Showing posts from June, 2018

When the Tough Get Going; Well, No Need to Try Just Give Up

It’s that time of the year in the sports world again. It’s playoffs for Tennessee basketball. This is where the dominated teams prevail as champions or the possibility of the Cinderella teams upsetting their opponents. Here is where the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat happen. What if the coach suggest to the team to throw the game? That’s right coach the team to lose on purpose. That is what two teams yes two teams, from Tennessee did in the district tournament. One coach figured out if his team loss his team would be in a different bracket opposite from not only the defending state champion but also the national champs. One coach did his own bracketology and put his plan in action to lose intentionally. The other coach figured out the plan and decided to have his team lose as well. Both teams played poorly, turning the ball over and giving the other team a chance to score. They also missed free-throws on purpose. Believe it or not but these coaches were teaching their

Live Your Dream

What is your life dream? What life dream that sometimes seems possible but in some sense it is impossible? What dream that only a few people of the world can experience? I mean the dream you want to accomplish before death. We all  want something in life that seems hard to believe it’s capable of achieving – a dream away. Lauren Hill’s dream is to play college basketball ever since she could remember. She has put in hours amount days practicing and play basketball so her dream could come true. She has sweat gallons of perspiration  and excerpt enough energy to light her brainy idea over her young life. Her dream is so close to her grasp but it might as well be a light year away. For an athlete to play in college, the number is small. The number gets even small when you have a life ending disease. Lauren has brain cancer in which she has only months to live. Therefore, for her to play college basketball she will need a small miracle and it needs to come fast. The NCAA  granted th

Which 9/11 Are You Talking About?

Today is a date that when Americans are asked, “Where ere you on 9/11?” Most people will answer with in school, at work, just getting out of the bed, or something similar because of the tragic event that took place that day. In honor of all people who lost their lives on that day, Americans must live their lives without fear so the terrorists don’t stripe our freedom from us. We must continue our journey here on Earth but not forget the brave who allows us to conquer and survive. According to Friedrich Nietzsche, “That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” On that quote, when asked, “Where was I on 9/11?” I respond with, “What year?” Of course I know they’re asking about the year 2001 – thirteen years ago today. Even though I prayer for our country and pray for the survivors of that day. Plus, the ones who gave their lives but soon after that prayer I thank God food him to let me live. Thirty-one years ago, my life as I knew it died and living as a quadriplegic was born.

Just Get Over It

As we remember Robin William’s life, not only was he a comic genius, exceptional award-winning actor and a giving philanthropist but also let’s not forget the elephant in the room. He, like most or all of us, was running from his demons. He openly talked about his emotions and feelings, his life highs, how great life was as well as being so low down in life because of depression suicide was often thought. We know this as being bi-polar and/or manic depressed. His life is a great example of how having money and being a celebrity won’t buy you happiness. Even though he received counseling for his depression, the demons continued with the use of alcohol and drugs. While being sober, his bi-polar manipulate his brain to where he was sad and hurting too much for him to continue life. Most people look at suicide as a form of weakness, they think it is the unforgettable sin, and it’s selfish that their mess is left for someone else to clean up. They think people should just get over wh

After 30 Years, It's You

While growing up, getting older and wiser, have you ever wonder whatever happened to your childhood friend? A schoolmate? Your first school romance? A special teacher? Anyone who left a lasting impression on your spirit? I’ve been on the hunt for this one particular person for the last twenty years. In total, I haven’t seen this person in thirty years. When I was in the hospital from a spinal cord injury only two of my former high school teachers came to visit. One teacher was my baseball coach. The other teacher who visited was a huge surprise to me. Even though I respected her as my teacher, during my tour of duty in her English class we had fun. She knew and obviously I knew I didn’t put forth my best in class. Now I’m not saying I didn’t apply my best in just her class but I didn’t give my best in any of my classes. This teacher was my Sophomore English instructor who I failed half the year. So my Senior year I had to take half of year of Sophomore English as well as my Senior

One Reason Bullying Continues

Recently, I went to a Nashville Sounds game with my brother Bear and my friend Coach Way. The games was great with the Sounds winning, we enjoyed the expensive foods and drinks, and we remised about the good old days. While the game was moving to the next inning after inning, I noticed one row below me a woman who seemed to be having a great time. She was laughing, nudging a friend beside her, and making a video with her cell phone. Cell phones are great! Coach Way and other people were videoing the San Diego Chicken as he was performing in between innings gags and pranks. The Chicken was just as enjoyable as the game and company that night. Then, I noticed the woman sitting below wasn’t having fun because of the Chicken, not the ballgame but she was interested in making fun or bullying another spectator. She was videoing another woman while getting her friend to laugh at the unknowing spectator. The inconspicuous woman was overweight, not watching most of the game because she

First Day of School

When starting school the first day should be exciting and memorable. It should be exciting meeting your teachers and your fellow students while knowing this is the beginning of a new chapter of your life. This was the beginning on my doctoral degree in education; full of excitement I bought my first book a few weeks before class. The cost for a used book was $98.50. Later I learned, books could be purchased online and sometimes the books would be cheaper. The same book that was $98.50 as a used book was $37 brand-new online. I decided to return the used book for a refund. I got to the university fifty minutes before my first class so to return my used book and get refunded $98.50. When standing outside of my car and started pivoting so to position myself to sit down when I noticed my wheelchair had rolled away from me. Cautiously sitting down inside the car, waiting for someone to retrieve my wheelchair and hold it in place for me so I get to the bookstore. After a few minutes, some

You Had A Bad Day

It’s our decision on how our day starts; right. Well, I believe that can be debatable. People say that if something happens to you it’s your choice to become mad. If circumstances out of your control put you in an undesirable mood, it’s your fault others would say. I think its O.K. to get mad when someone is out of control and their actions effect you. For example, a family going to church and a drunk driver hits them. Yes, it’s acceptable to get angry, but no it’s not right to hang on this angry for what seems a life time. During a football game, I became paralyzed due to someone’s irresponsibility. After learning I’ll not walk again, I was furious. It took time but I was able to forgive him while hoping the best for him. I think he visited me once at the hospital. While looking at the floor lying face down on a Stryker frame, two people came to visit and raise my mortal. After a short time, it was time for them to leave. I heard the door close but suddenly the door opened and

Sometimes You Never Know Who You Are Helping

While walking Ricardo in his favorite venue, a woman approached us saying, ”I read your book.” My response, “Excuse me?” “Didn’t you write a book? I remember the picture with you and your dog on it.” She replied. “Yes.” I said, “One More Play.” As she was petting Ricardo, obviously he is not spoiled; I asked her, “How did you acquire my book?” She then explained, “I was locked up in the Sumner County Jail. One More Play is in the Sumner County Jail Library in the Christian section.” Who would have guessed my book, One More Play, is helping someone in jail? It goes to show; you never know who you are helping and whatever their circumstance. About eight months ago, I learned one of my children books, Never Fear Ricardo is Here, was used to encourage and help two sixth grade students read. They were in the sixth grade with a low reading level. In June, I received the privilege of meeting these two young men and witness their new reading skills. Not only could they read bett

Help! I’ve fallen and Can’t Get Up

What would you do? If you were wheelchair bound, it is time to get out of bed and transfer to your wheelchair. When all of a sudden the wheelchair has a mind of its own and it moves without you. You’re traveling to the floor at a high rate of speed and you have a hard stop on the floor like a sack of potatoes. Then, you realize the position that you landed the phone is out of your reach. What would you do? Dr. James Perdue, a quadriplegic since the age of nineteen from a football game, experienced this situation. What did he do? James spent the next two and a half hours dragging himself from the bedroom to the living room so he could call for assistances. Today, if the circumstance was to repeat itself, James can call Ricardo to the rescue! Ricardo is a handsome black Labrador retriever who provides assistant for James. Ricardo can pick up items off the floor such as cell phone, keys, clothing, and many other items. Ricardo can turn lights off and on, open and close drawers, as we

Self Doubt Controls Your Success

Our biggest preventer in not being successful or happy in life, is not other’s influence, although the people we associate with on a daily base seem to influence us in our lives, but it is our own self doubt. We talk ourselves out of trying something new such as being the next American Idol contestant, the inventor to make life easier, the cure for a specific disease, getting help to overcome an addition, or whatever you can think. Why do we self doubt ourselves? We are comfortable where we are in life. We are in a certain routine that makes sense to us. If we do something different, our routine changes. The people in our lives might disagree with our decisions. We think the worst that can happen is that we try and fail. We don’t want to be a failure so it’s easier not to try. There are two type people in this world. The, I’ll sit back and wait for the world to give me something. They believe the world and other people owe them something. They wait for opportunity to come to them an

A Mother’s Day Love for Her Son: Isaac

When a family gets kicked in the teeth from life, what’s there to do? A mother and father decide to assist other families to make their struggles feel of love and care. Be sure to tell your mother you love them on this Mothers Day. Simply Making Isaac’s Laugh Eternal (SMILE), Inc. was founded in honor of Isaac Bode, who was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) which was complicated by a rare genetic translocation (17/19). Isaac was always known for his quick wit and endless humor. Even through cancer, he continued to be quite the charmer. Isaac was 16 years old when he was diagnosed and was so humbled by the gifts and cards he received from total strangers while in the hospital. He said, “That’s cool. When I get better, I’m gonna do this.” Isaac went to be with Jesus less than five months after his fight for his life began. So, Isaac is better now and this is how he is continuing to make other kids smile. SMILE benefits the families at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hos

Unexpected Inspiration

March 15th was National Storytelling Day. Ricardo, my service canine, and I were invited to share a story of how we became companions. My story was about overcoming adversities and difficulties. We will all have challenges in life that will push us to our limits – at least we think. Sometimes we need someone to help us through our tragedies – a spouse, a doctor, a friend, a family member or a total stranger. On this day, little did I know that I would be providing the inspiration this woman, a stranger, needed. I had eight minutes to tell how I got paralyzed, my diagnoses, and my accomplishments. Everyone met Ricardo and he demonstrated how he assists my needs. Like always Ricardo stole my thunder – ha! After the day and all the programs were over, there was time to meet and greet the storytellers and authors. A woman who I believe to be in her fifties maybe sixties, came to talk with me. She explained she was dealing with an issue in life. While listening to my story, she told me

My Hero: My Mother

My mother, Kate, is the strongest person I know, not physically strong, but emotionally, spiritually, and character strong. If I take the letters MOTHER, I can describe her to a tee. M anaged to be the jack of all trades. She could help work on cars, build an additional room to the house. She was my personal catcher, doctor, and nurse. O pened her home to all. She was mother not to just her own children but mother to other children in the neighborhood. She would feed us, correct us, discipline us, provide financial support as well as emotional support. She would be proud of all of us, even though we might have disappointed her. T he nerves of steel. Mom could handle any situation that came to her. She raised her three sons and the neighborhood children after my father died when I was sixteen years old. She came to the hospital with an amazing calm and positive attitude when she found out that I had broken my neck and would be paralyzed the rest of my life. Even after I had attem

Terry vs. Moose

College was to Terry’s ticket to freedom. It was also expected from his parents that both of their children would go to college and graduate. Unfortunately, Terry’s SAT scores were very low. He tried numerous colleges that seemed appropriate for him, but it seemed that he wasn’t “appropriate” for them. Finally, a small school in central North Carolina gave Terry that letter of acceptance that he had so anxiously awaited. Terry’s parents, like all anxious parents, waved goodbye to him for it was time to start school – his freedom. Terry turned up the stereo and was “free at last”.  This new experience of being on his own was extremely overwhelming. The social activities of dorm life and fraternity parties didn’t leave much time for scholastics. After a semester and a half, Terry’s father became tired of sending him to “fun 101”. Terry didn’t keep up his end of the deal by passing classes. Tears came down his face as they pulled out of the college driveway. Terry started to wonder wha

Jacob's Story

I remember being in church while still pregnant with Jacob. A friend told me he would be a peace maker and he did indeed become that. He was half like his older brother Jordan in that he was very outgoing and likeable. He was half like his middle brother in that he was a quick learner. There were never many fights between the brothers and when they started karate they became the three musketeers. Jacob was always a happy boy. That is why when he took his life on Oct. 4, 2007 it caught me by surprise. Yes, as a fifteen year old he was going through some things but nothing I viewed as insurmountable for Jacob. He was having headaches that our family doctor was in the process of evaluating and he had recently been dumped by his girlfriend and that hurt him deeply. Sadly it was to much for him to bear and he committed suicide. It has taken several years to get over the pain and even now there are still times when it hits me like a ton of bricks. One thing that has helped me to deal wi