Friday, July 29, 2016

Greater than I

There is a quote, we all "misquote". The rendition of the quote I know is,

I think most of us know this quote.

While at the memorial service for Cole last week, Father Patrick brought this quote into his sermon.

This a Catholic Priest. I'm paraphrasing here, but, what I remember him saying:

People misuse this quote (after he had said the quote). Then he says, it's not true. If God were NOT to give you something you can't handle - there would be no suicides. God gives me things everyday I can't handle.

Father Patrick then continues on:

He may give ME something I can't handle. BUT, he won't give US - the community, this group of people, etc. Something WE can't handle.

Father Patrick had another great story relating a biblical tale to us the next day at the Mass funeral service.

Cole was here to remind us there are things greater than I.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016


  1. 1.
    a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common.
    "Rhode Island's Japanese community"
  2. 2.
    a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.
    "the sense of community"

I'm all about community. Always have been. Always will be.

I've said for years, it's my "tribe" who has gotten me through my life. I wouldn't be where I am today, without the community who helped get me here.

One group, got me to the next.

I've known for years, my neighborhood has been special. Sometimes almost too much.

In my group, you know each other well - you are not in everyone's business. You are though in everyone's life.

The school (Slavens) my kids attended is a neighborhood school. K-8. Public School. Only 50 kids PER GRADE. I've often referred to it as the "public/private school". You find your tribe. I found mine.

Or rather,

The tribe found me.

This has been a harrowing week in the community. A loss that hit way too close too home. Every time I've said or written that statement, I've had to retract it. This one didn't hit CLOSE to home.

It HIT home.

And, you know what - if this had been my own - instead of "one of my own", I could think of no better group of people to take care of me.

Watch out Denver, we are about to "go all Slavens on you."

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Downhill from there

Sunday night at 11:30 pm. I receive a text from my youngest.

I'm in the police paddy wagon headed downtown. You need to come pick me up.

I respond

Is this for real? How do you still have your phone?

Long story short. He was out after curfew. I thought city curfew for teenagers was midnight. Apparently on weeknights, it's 11pm.

No handcuffs. No fines. They got to keep their phones.

We do have to go to a class on "diversions" to keep teenagers from getting into gangs. There were no fines, tickets, etc.

We got home about 1:30 am Monday morning.

My week went downhill from there.

I normally have these kinda weeks in February.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Where's Patrick?

There is a picture that was on my fridge for years. (It's in the family room now).

It was the cast of the TV show Sponge Bob Square pants at Universal Studios in California. Plus DN and the daughter of my friend in California. The kids look like rug rats. I think they were 7,8 & 9 ((respectively)

It's a great picture. M always says "one of our best pictures ever." In fact, every picture is compared to this one. "Not quite as good as the Sponge Bob picture". "Maybe second best to the Sponge Bob picture."

There is family down the street with the oldest being the same age as D. The youngest 4 years younger.

We would trade off bringing the kids home from school. Sometimes, we'd all have dinner together.

What I remember most about those "after school moments":
Every Tuesday, when the other kids would come to my house, one of the first things the younger child "C" would say: Ms. McIntosh, where is Patrick?
Patrick Starfish is a character in Sponge Bob. He was missing from the picture.

This went on for months.
Ms. McIntosh, where is Patrick?
I don't know. Was always my response.
Finally, months into our conversation, I finally replied:
He was sleeping that day. We didn't get our picture with him.

That was it. That answered satisfied his curiosity. He never asked me again about Patrick.

Flash forward: I met a guy named Patrick. Charming. Good looking. A million other things I could go on to describe.

I called C's mom, down the street.
Will you tell Cole, I found Patrick?

There was a car accident yesterday. An 82 year old woman was driving her car. We still don't know if she had a stroke, a mini heart attack or what.

She hit two teenagers on their bikes/skateboards.

It was in my neighborhood. An accident. It could have been my kid. It could have been me.

Monday, I had been on my bike and there were some boys on their skateboards/bikes with Slurpees riding down the street. After all, It was 7-11.

Cole was on his bike and waved to me.

Cole - I found Patrick.

Thank you for the inspiration.

Rest in Peace.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Fourth of July

For the first time in 8 years, I was in Denver, Colorado for the 4th of July.

24 years ago 4th of July, I arrived in Denver for the first time. While I've lived in Colorado ever since (except those 9 months in California) then, I haven't celebrated the 4th actually here in Denver.

The 4th marked another monumental day in my life.

I've now lived in Colorado longer than I lived in Texas.

I remember driving here all those years ago with my mom. She flew back on July 5th to Texas. That moment seems so long ago.

It also seems like yesterday.

I remember (and I might have told this story before) getting to the state line. We stopped. We took a picture of me in front of the "Welcome to Colorado" sign. I remember crying.

My mom said, "we can turn around."

I remember saying, "That's not why I'm crying.".........

After all, it's independence day.