hole

Tomorrow morning will a week that I have been without Ozzie. Even though it’s gotten easier to get up and face each day, it still hurts just as much. It was 14 years ago since our paths crossed and I brought him home. He was at PetSmart the day I went looking for a cat. I had been living on my own for a while but never had a cat of my own. There were other cats there but Ozzie was the one who came to me and was nuzzling against the cage towards me. He let me play with him and I let him love me with his claws. I always say it was he that picked me that day.

As the years progressed, we grew up together. We both had similar personalities.  He didn’t need a lot of attention or love but always wanted to be able to see you. Sometimes he’d want to snuggle, some times he’d just want to in ear shot. Other times he’d want to be on his own. He could find great hiding spots. On no more than one occasion we had the entire house searching for him only to have him wander out of his hiding spot, all the while watching us frantically searching for him back and forth.

We made a lot of moves together. Our lives changed together. In many ways he was my best friend, in other ways he was the closest I’ve had to a son. My phone and Facebook were always filled with pictures of him. Over the years my lenses had captured his essences.   The love that he shared with us all, we shared with all of you.

I didn’t tell anyone about his illness other than Patti. And I didn’t even tell her about my decision until I had already come up with it myself. Through all my life I know I’ve made a lot of decisions but none as difficult as the one I had to make last week. We had a very long weekend together. One night in particular I found myself cuddled with him in his sleeping spot and I was a mess.   As I lay there next to him he put his paw on my arm and just sat there. If he could have said “there, there” he probably would have. I’d like to believe that he under stood what I was telling him through all that sobbing and even though I was trying to comfort him, he was comforting me.

I didn’t want any attention from sympathy or trying to explain. I just wanted time to try and get through these past days without turning in to a sobbing mess. Patti mentioned to me that there are a lot of people out there who loved him just as much as we did. I’ve spent a lot of time remembering the past 14 years.   I know you have many of your own memories of him which is why I’m sharing this with you now. He filled all of our hearts with joy and laughter, he filled our laps with purrs and cat hair, and he left our cheeks and ears with wet nose kisses and licks.

He can’t ever be replaced and I don’t know if my heart ever will be able to love another like I loved him. There are others in our house who need just as much love and he did. Tibby and Roscoe miss their friend too I’m sure. I have to express my heart felt thanks to North Plano Animal Hospital and their staff for their compassion and understanding. I wish you could have gotten to know him as well as the rest of us had.

If I could share anything with the rest of you, it would be to cherish the ones you love every day you can. I know sometimes it’s harder to than others. Days when they are batting at the window at 2am in the morning because their food dish is empty or when they find their mouse in the middle of the night. Or when they want to snuggle.. on your face.. as you try and sleep. I know it’s darn right painful when they kneed your lap or lick the ear wax out of your ear, but it’s what they do. It’s their way of showing the same love you show them. Enjoy them while you can.

The past week has been hard not seeing him come to the food dish when it’s being filled, or not in his usual sleeping spot, or not on the side of the couch we used to sit at together. I keep thinking that I need to tread quietly when I’m going to the bathroom in the middle of the night as not to disturb him.. or I think see him walk around a corner sometimes. I’m sure it will get easier as time goes on, just need some time.

Ozzie, I know I never said everything I wanted to say. Many of our best times were those quiet unspoken moments. Thank you for picking me all those years ago, thank you for loving me, for understanding me and for putting up with me. Thank you for the unconditional love you always showed me and those who meant the most to me. You will always have a special place in my heart. I will never forget you.

ozzie copy

 

Feeling useful again

From the first time I visited Covenant Church I knew that this was the church that i wanted to be a part of.  Everything about this pace was what i was looking for.  A relevant message, like-minded beliefs, a warm welcoming environment, a strong worship team, an amazing media team and a clearly defined vision were some of the initial items that i was able to check off my list.  I visited Covenant every chance i could.  I would intentionally plan my business trips to dallas to include a Wednesday evening layover.  The true test was bringing Patti to see it for herself.  The evening of my “interview” in Dallas, we got to encounter a Wednesday evening together.  She felt the exact same way i did the first time i visited.

It was nice to sit in a service and get to participate in worship without being called to fix something or check on things.  I could just relax and recharge.  I made contact with the executive director of media and introduced myself and expressed my skills and desire to serve with them.  Once we made the move up here we started the process of getting officially plugged in the church.  We went through their next steps program.  Around the same time the church also conducted a big “Get in the Game” campaign to recruit new volunteers throughout the church.

Get in the Game Draft Day 2014 (HQ) from Covenant Church on Vimeo.

One of the biggest struggles i’ve found since moving here has been the solitude.  Back in the valley I knew people all over.  Family, Friends, Church Family, co-workers.   A lifetime of relationships nurtured and cherished.  These past few months have been a bit lonely.  Sam went back to the valley to visit his other grandparents so the house has been very quiet without him.  I at least have work that i can spend a few hours a day at, Patti is probably even more lonely than i am at the moment.

We’ve sent out inquiries to some “Small Groups” in our area from the church but haven’t heard back from any yet.  I did find out about a men’s group that meets on fridays at 6am (!)  I’ve been attending a few of those but i’m really not a morning person and it makes for some longggg fridays.  This past weekend we were invited to a reception for the new media volunteers and got to get to know several of the staff.  It was nice getting to hang out with other adults.  At the table we were sitting at i got to visit with the audio guys.  They were really fun and down to earth.  It’s refreshing to talk to other professionals who know what they are actually talking about.  I also got to visit with the lighting guy and some of the administrative staff.  Although there are so many places i can find myself getting plugged in with, Video, Lighting, graphics, audio, etc.. i’m finding myself inclined to all of them. I really am just so excited to finally get to be a part of a team again that i’ll take anything they are needing help with.  Ok anything may be a stretch but there are several tasks i can see myself covering easily.

Last night we had our first group training with the video team.  Patti and I got to meet some of the directors.  Learn their terms and equipment.  Tonight we have another training with the lighting guy.  On sunday we are both already lined up to shadow some positions during actual services.

I’m not really sure where i see myself setting down in.  Coming from a position where I found myself having to learn each component of the technical ministry to a  place where i can choose it a little daunting.

I am rather proud of what we were able to accomplish at AGCC.  From where they started to where i left them, they are much better off.  I conducted several major conversions and planned quite a few long term projects.  I’m glad to saw that I was able to accomplish all of my goals and i don’t have any regrets.  Now i’m looking forward to a new chapter in our lives.  A chance to not be a single entity but a part of a larger team that I not only pour myself into but also be nurtured as well.  Just talking with some of these guys it’s nice to hang out with like minded people who understand what your talking about.  I’m anxious to develops these friendships and expand “our circle” beyond the walls in which we live.

Happy Birthday Princess

I have found myself married to one of those most amazing women put on this earth. She is truely a proverbs 31 woman..

When she speaks she has something worthwhile to say,
and she always says it kindly.
She keeps an eye on everyone in her household,
and keeps them all busy and productive.
Her children respect and bless her;
her husband joins in with words of praise:
“Many women have done wonderful things,
but you’ve outclassed them all!”
Charm can mislead and beauty soon fades.
The woman to be admired and praised
is the woman who lives in the Fear-of-God.
Give her everything she deserves!
Festoon her life with praises!

-The Message

She has blessed me in so many ways. Her presence is a treasure highly valued. Everyone wants to be in her presence. Her children each are a bright star in my night sky. They each in their own way have praticing the gifts that were instilled in them many years ago.  Watching her with our grandson has given me the opportunity to see the mothering side of her i never got to see before.

One of the things I had asked for in my wish list for a wife was someone i could come home and “talk shop” with.  Someone who was interested in the the weird stuff that i find exciting.  When we are at church or an event she’s noticing the technical stuff behind the scenes that i thought only i was interested in.  She’s edited all of the McHi band videos, she’s built several websites.  She was even the IT point person for her office in Edinburg.

She always brings out the best in me.  She’s an encourager and supporter.  She stood behind me and helped me decide about this new job.  She never complained or asked me to do something i wouldn’t want to do.   My family loves her, i think she talks more to myparents and sisters more than i do.  I love you Patti.  My prayer for you is that i can make you as happy as you’ve made me.  That i can fill your life with as much joy as you’ve given me and that all our years to come will be even better then they already have been.  

2014

garfield_newyear2There is an old Garfield comic that i was actually looking for.. Garfield was laying in his bed, covers over his head.. first pane reads, “So this is 1980” (or some year) , next pane he sticks his tongue out, and the final pane he’s covered in his bed again, “Taste the same”

This year does not taste the same.  I’m at a new job, in a new city, in a new house going to a new church.  From the first time I made my first trip to Dallas to do some work out here I knew that i needed to pay attention on how to get around the town.  I figured i might be spending a lot of time up here.  Last July I got the offer for the job and made the move in December. Continue reading 2014

An old friend past

i just got notified that an former co-worker of mine has passed away today.  i remember the first time I meet Ken.  He was the chief engineer for KBFM (B104 in those days) and KTEX.  i had just got hired on as the IT manager and when i finally got the chance to meet him I wanted to try and impress him with what i knew about radio engineering.  i had spent some time earlier with another radio engineer so i knew some lingo that i figured i’d find a cleaver way to throw into the conversation.  Not very easy to use terms like STL, uplink, side-band, modulation and carrier waves in casual conversation but i somehow was able to pull it off.  Once i was able to prove that i could help along side him het let me.  and boy did he let me. Continue reading An old friend past

As much as we screw up…

This weekend Patti and i took part in a class at our new church called “The Story of God”  Through this two day class we went through the stories of the bible in a way I never had taught before.  it wasn’t a sermon, it wasn’t a lecture, and it wasn’t a reading.  it was God’s story told as a just that.. a story.  As the stories were told, we engaged in discussion taking in-depth looks at what was happening and how it was fitting together.  Although i took many things away from the lesson, one of the things that stuck out was just how much a screw up mankind really was/is.  From the time of Adam and Eve, Abraham, Jacob, Aaron, Moses.. all of the greats still managed to get things wrong.   As many times as we went wrong, disobeyed and decided to follow our own path rather than the direction we were sopoused to, God was “Just and Perfect” he corrected the wrong action, he shielded them from further harm and he continued to use them as vessels. Continue reading As much as we screw up…

Commencement

This afternoon I sat in attendance along with hundreds of others watching the McHi class of 2012 move their tassels across their caps.  Hannah walked across that stage and accepted her diploma.  I can’t put into words how proud I am of her and her accomplishments.  She has grown up to be such an amazing young woman. She’s taken an interest in music and technology. She’s taken a strong interest in Sign Language and become one of if not the best in her class. She developed a desire to help the deaf community and wants to use her talents to help them.

In the 15 years I’ve had the pleasure of knowing her, I’ve been able to be a part of her groaning up from a cute kids to an amazing young woman. She is truly everything i could have asked for in a child of my own. This coming from a guy who never wanted kids. I couldn’t be any prouder of her. I know we can expect great things from you in this next endeavor of your life. I’m so excited to find out what’s next in your life. You’ve already made us all so proud.

I remember times when I got to take you to school, and get lost taking you to school. I remember having lunch at your elementary with you and your mother. I remember all the years of joining you to “meet the teacher night” In these past years you’ve probably taught me more about being a step-parent than I could have ever bestowed on you. For that I thank you. Thank you for making me a better person. Thank you for blessing me with the privilege of getting to be a part of such a wonderful person’s life. Now as you prepare to move on to your next challenge. I leave you with one of my favorite lines from Robert Frost.

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

 

 

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

 

 

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of the easy wind and downy flake.

 

 

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Tonight, we remember an angel

Last thanksgiving a year ago, Patti and i sat up waiting for “the call”.  We knew the end was close and it would probably be tonight.  When the call finally came- we had resigned ourself to know that she was finally resting in a better place and after a long few weeks battling this with her, we were ready for some rest too.  Shortly after we got another call that the family was wanting us with them at the hospital so we thew on something real quick and made our way up to the 4th floor.  The normally bustling and rowdy hallways were now quiet and all of nurses and staff we all shocked and teary eyed just as we were.  Thorough all the time Loulou would spend in the hospitals, she was the life of the party.  Hanging out with the nurses, cheering everyone up, racing down the halls in wheelchairs, everyone knew here- and everyone loved her.  we walked to the ICU.  her room was the easiest to spot.  it was the one with the glass doors covered in artwork, paintings, cards and balloons.  She didn’t want just a hospital room, she wanted her vacation loft and she wanted it personalized.  Seeing her in her room is an image i will probably have burned in my memory forever.  Mostly because she was finally at rest.  No more struggling to breath, no more wincing in pain, no more tears, machines whirling and beeping.  just peace.  almost felt jealous of her.  We spent the rest of the evening with the family, cleaning up her room, taking down the decorations and packing up all the gifts, teady-bears and other trinkets that fill an 11 year old girls room.  We must have hauled down 6 loads down to the cars downstairs.

LouLou, i know your not here with us, and you know that we miss you, but we still see you, in the eyes of all the kids that you continue to help reach.  I hadn’t been back up to the hospital since that night but i went just this past weekend and it is still full of kids who need to experience that love that you had.  we are trying to continue that.  we are trying to let your life live through them.  and we are trying to make a difference.

hope we can make you proud-

To graffiti or not to graffiti

Photo Oct 21, 4 48 13 PM

I’ve never been one for bumper stickers or other paraphernalia on my vehicles.  As a matter of fact, the only thing i would sport on my vehicle was the occasional “support magnetic ribbons” ribbon mocking those who would put any such ribbons on their cars.  So… Patti got me this vinyl the other day for my car “I know you probably wont use it but I got it anyway”

You know, I can’t think of a kid who I am prouder of more than Hannah.  I wouldn’t have considered myself a band geek growing up but I was at least a band nerd.  From 7th grade we started participating with the varsity band.  Loading and unloading.. carrying instruments banners, etc etc.  8th grade year we even got to mach with the band.  There really isn’t an experience quiet like marching for a 1A (1/2 a more like it) school on a grass band filed with gopher holes and ant hills.  My freshman year was the last year our school had football so there wasn’t much chance to march other than the occasional parade.

With Hannah being part of the band gave Patti and I both the chance to relive our band careers.  We’ve had the chance to watch her preform in front of huge crowds and always do an outstanding job.  As much work as it is, there really isn’t anyplace else i’d rather be on a friday night than watching her perform on a game night.  I missed one game because i was in Dallas and i’ve thought about taking one or two nights off occasionally but i just couldn’t pass up the chance to see her perform again.

I can’t help but say i’m proud of what she’s accomplished and the detection she herself has shown to her section and band.  There are times when i find her loading the trailer or the trucks usually outdoing the boys just standing around.  Kind of reminds me of myself 15 years ago.

So.. without hesitation, i have no qualm about putting a sticker on my car showing just how proud of her that I am.  Tonight is pigskin.  The big competition that everyone’s been working so hard for.

One of the band directors said it best today on Facebook..

Dear God, 3 months of triple digit weather practices, longs hours on our parking lot, perfecting an extremely difficult drill (page by page), many loads of sweaty laundry (thanks mom ☺), breaking sticks/mallets/drum heads/keyboard strings/ chime cords (you name it, we’ve probably broken it), making new life long friends, striving to always do our best, wearing the “purple and gold” with pride, being blessed with the world’s greatest band boosters, all while being guided by our band directors. Today we perform the finished product at our Region XV UIL Marching Competition. We ask that you guide us tonight and throughout all our lives. Amen

So as we gear up for the final moments, no matter what the judges may think.. you are a One in our eyes.

A quiet house tonight…

It’s going to be a little quieter around here.  Sabrina, the old queen, took her last breath this afternoon.  She’s been around over 18 years.  She’s always been a scrapper and protected her home.  In her old age she could keep up with even the younger cats of the household.

She’s always been a staple of the Kohrt house.  Everyone always knew of her and remembered her.

She was laid to rest at the residence of Randell Kohrt.  She proceeded Tabatha and is survived by Delilah, Kovu and Ozzie.