Friday, October 30, 2015

Remembering my Cousin Jr.

Garry Wesley Hines Jr. was born on April 14, 1958. He died December 6 2014. He was 56 years old. Garry was preceded in Death by His Father Garry Wesley Hines Sr. and His Mother Sonya Hines, His Daughter Lauren Michelle, and his wife Karen. 
As the first grand son on both sides he was doted on. His Paternal Grandparents gave him the nickname of Peanut because of his minute size when he was born. Altho, Jr. continued to carry the nickname of Peanut it ceased to be a name referring to his size and was just a nickname of endearment. Peanut quickly outgrew everything. He was quite the tyke and by the age of 10 was clearly gaining on his mother. It was during his early teen-aged years that his mom brought home his baby cousin Marty to be his little brother. Of course there was adjusting that needed to happen but one thing for sure, Marty was his little brother and Family was to be protected at all costs. Sure, life was crazy and Marty was treated like any other little brother, the teasing and picking sometimes never stopped, but don't let an outsider start something because Jr. was there in a heart beat.
When Jr was a teen he got his first car. Bo and Luke Duke had nothing on him. Getting to spend most of his time down at Mazie's Landing and Mission Bend the roads and open fields were his playground. He marked his territory with tire tracks on the roads or embedded in the fields. Jr. Graduated from Catoosa High School in 1978. It was during this time that his talent at the Pool Table started earning him play money.
Just like a young Minnesota Fats, Jr learned the magic of the hustle. His smile was infectious and he soon started taking his little brother or his cousins out to the pool halls, all with the permission of the adults who happened to be in charge. This is where the hustle began, he would spend time teaching his new protege how to strike the cue ball and knock another ball into the pocket. Before long a bystander would want to take the table and Jr would get them to make a wager. The young ones would start the game. Then the challenger might get one or even two balls into the pockets. Then Jr. would step up and the game was over. He would proceed to knock every single ball in and clear the table. Once in a while the challenger would catch on to the hustle and Jr on at least two occasions grabbed the cousin under his arm and high tailed it out the door before blood was shed. Of course the greenbacks made it out the door as well, either held tightly in his fist or stuffed in his pocket.
Jr. enjoyed and embraced life with gusto. He was passionate about family and lived by a code, that one should always stand up and take care of family, that code also was for Jr's friends... if it required knocking a few heads together he was front and center willing to do the knocking.
Jr spent years doing odd jobs here and there never really landing in a particular position. He did work as a bouncer on more than one occasion. The Peanut had grown into a man that could intimidate the fiercest brawler. But he had that smile the one that landed on more than just in the up turned curve of his mouth but it reflected in his eyes.
It was that smile that caught the eye of a Nurse. Nurse Karen. Jr.and Karen quickly became an item and before long they moved in together. Even before he Married Karen he became Mr Mom to her two daughters Jennifer and Kara. He was tough and taught the girls to be tough. Then on November 22, 1990 his life forever changed, his daughter Lauren Michelle arrived into the world. She was the light of his life. She was a tough one as well and he taught her and her sisters to be some of the best softball players in the country.
Though out his life Jr. Struggled with addictions. Those addictions often landed him into trouble but the one anchor of his life was the love he had for his little girl.
When Lauren became a teen she began struggling with debilitating health issues and after months even years of medical issues she died Jan. 4, 2007, in Wagoner at the age of 16. The light of Jr.s life became only a smolder.
Depression can have horrible consequences for those that struggle with addictions. For Jr, It was not just the addictions but the havoc he took on his body with years of abuse and also having diabetes that caused many medical emergencies. After years of depression and continued struggles with addictions the glowing embers of his life got doused when his wife Karen passed away at home Feburary 6, 2013.
Since the passing of his wife Jr had been in and out of the hospital more than a dozen times. He would try to be happy but his heart was broken. When the doctors would tell him something he didn't want to hear he would fire them and check himself out.
During his last stay at the hospital the Doctors told him he needed to have his leg amputated. Jr. was tired, he didn't want them cutting on him any more. The day before he died he decided to allow the doctors to remove the infected leg. He was looking for the quality of life he had left not the quantity. He really didn't want the surgery, what he wanted was to be with his wife and child. God granted him his request. Jr peacefully left this world in the early morning hours on December 6, 2014.

Monday, October 26, 2015

To All the Mothers of Boys.... both old and young

Boys Will Be Boys 
Mothers all around the world who have indoor plumbing continue to have issues with their son’s bad habits. Some Mothers are ready to revert to the old days, and send their boys outside to water the lawn, so to speak. When boys are young, mothers have been known to toss cheerios into the toilet, allowing target practice to take place. Under a mother’s advisement, companies have developed bright multi-colored target shapes to tempt boys to take control and not miss. Still, as their boys grow up, mothers continue to clean up all the time knowing their sons aimed better at three than they do at six or even nineteen. Sinking the targets as a youngster may have something to do with the problems mothers encounter today. Could it be these young men are crying out to garner more attention? Do they yearn to see the targets again? Did they become bored? Considering documented history, maybe someone should create toilet targets that make bombing noises, as the old saying goes; “boys will be boys”, and they love to make noise. 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Dating Game, Is He the Right One?

I am over the top with concern about my girls and lady friends who are venturing the dating jungle. For some of you the thought of stepping into the dating game after a long sabbatical gives you hives. For some of you dating is not anything, it’s a free meal and interesting conversation. There are some of you that are excited to finally be old enough that your parents are finally acquiescing you to date.
You all are the ladies I want to talk to. I am going to give you a few things to mull over and hopefully something I say will be applicable to your lives. Because, if you are one of my girls you deserve the best, and I want you to give you ways where you can lay flags down that you can grab easily as warnings.
We grow up dreaming about our handsome prince, about the strong cowboy, about the Doctor, Lawyer, or the body builder who will sweep us off our feet with flowers, candlelight dinners, walks in the park and whisper sweet nothings in our ear. Our binge watching of romantic flicks like Sabrina, Kate and Leopold, The Wedding Planner, or Cinderella have made our minds mush when it comes to reality. But, I’m here to tell you there is some truth of what we see on the movie screen and what we should expect from potential suitors.
First of all, have you really put things down on paper of what you desire and expect in a potential mate? WHAT? MATE? You said MATE… Yes, a mate. There is only one reason to date and that is to find the person whom you find compatible, a potential one whom you could marry. Because you never want to date someone who you couldn’t see yourself married to. My Granny told me that.
Step one. Let’s make a man plan. Write down at least 20 traits you think are very important for your potential husband to have, over time you may find that there are some things that aren’t as important as others and you can refine those things or even remove them from your list.  Let me share with you my list that was created a long time ago:
He must be a Christian that has a very strong walk with God
He must be a gentleman
He must enjoy Super Hero Movies and Star Wars
He must like kids
He must be willing to toss a football or a baseball
He must like old people
He must be willing to attend political functions and enjoy himself

He must have good behavior (no drinking, cussing, yelling or hitting)
He must be a hard worker
He must
be financially stable
He must cherish me and love my kids
He must be an encourager
He must like dogs
He must like to travel
He must be self-assured

Let me assure you that there are all types of things you can put on your list. Age, height, weight, ect. Ect. Ect. The thing is you should be aware of what you want in a potential husband and don’t date those who fail to meet at least a portion of your must haves. Because we are human and we can easily be swept away and lose sight, and in so doing, get our heart strings broken, when the red flags start appearing. Love
doesn’t have to be blind. There’s no reason to settle for relationships that are unhealthy or even harmful, because I guarantee you that you can’t change him, He is on his very best behavior now while you are dating him, it’s downhill or straight and narrow from this point on, it’s doesn’t get better.

God cares about you. He cares about the one you marry. And you can trust He will give guidance or even some red flags to be aware of along the way, thus the reason for the man plan and revisiting it periodically.

Now for you naysayers, No I’m not married, not right now. But I was married, I was married for almost 7 years to my best friend, and the plan you see above is almost exactly the same as it was before I met my husband. I added 3 things. J My husband has been gone for 16 years, but one day I’ll meet the next man God has planned for me, and I will review my man plan before I let my heart get away. Just as you should check off each item with each potential suitor, some might be far from the items on your list, while others will surprise you on how well they match your list. The thing to remember is, that this list can grow and evolve, it’s not stagnate, because it’s you, its how you grow with each new relationship or heartache.  

Dating dos and don’ts
Think about this, if he asks you out to dinner and a movie, it is his responsibility to pay. ALWAYS! He is getting the pleasure of your company. When a man pays you don’t owe him anything except a "Thank You." Some women feel it’s just polite to offer to pay. Others feel compelled to pay so they don’t owe a man anything in exchange for dinner. This is nonsense. You don’t owe a man anything when he buys you dinner except a gracious thank you and a warm smile. If he has other expectations, he is probably not the right man for you.
Now let me say this, there are a few exceptions and I mean very few scenarios where it is acceptable for a lady to pay for a man. Scenario one; if the two of you are wanting to see a movie together and you know he can’t pay, it is quite acceptable that you pay for yourself. Did you see that? It is OK that you pay for YOURSELF, remember, he needs to pay his own way or he doesn’t need to go. Just saying.  Scenario two; It’s his birthday. No need to say more.  Scenario three; say that you have been dating for some time and your anniversary is on the horizon, it is perfectly fine to surprise him with dinner and his favorite movie, or maybe a game of putt-putt.  
Remember this, you don’t have to have money to have a good time. There are many things you can do together that are not pricy. Going for a walk in the park, collect leaves on a hike, visit a museum, go window shopping after hours, enjoy a picnic. The thing to remember, here is that he should be engaged enough that he makes plans, those are the signs of a leader.
If you’re supporting your boyfriend and paying for everything now - this may not change much later. Is he a hard worker? Does he have a job? Is he a workaholic? Does he have secretive spending habits? Addiction to gambling? Insurmountable debt? Once married, these patterns can worsen when the stressors of family life and responsibilities mount high. Money problems and financial struggles are one of the main causes of divorce
There are many ways a man can show you that he cherishes you, without showering loads of money on you. Does he open your door? If you are driving and in need of fuel, does he hop out and fill your gas tank? If he sits in the car while you go pay and take on the dirty work of filling-up you might want to quickly mark him off your list.
Does he wash your windows? Does he suggest that you wash the car together? Did he take you on a walk and pick flowers then graciously hand them to you? When you walk together down the sidewalk does he walk on the side next to the road? If you trip on the sidewalk/floor/stairs does he reach out to steady you? Does he take the downward steps first or the upwards steps last? Does he put his phone down and look at you? Does he respect you and your values and lines, or does he try to belittle them?
Date a believer. Missionary dating and marriage will be a road of extra struggle. If you hold vastly different spiritual beliefs now, don’t falsely assume you’ll get him to “turn around,” or change his ways later.  Stick to your guns on what you really want Remember what you see now is the best it gets. Be careful not to settle for less than what God would want for the spiritual health and care of your marriage.
Nothing is impossible with God. Absolutely nothing. However it is a good idea to have those flags laid out to grab and make yourself revisit your man plan.
Waiting is hard, believe me, this is something I know better than most. What can you do? Pray, Pray that God will guide and give you wisdom. Pray that he will keep you in check, that you don’t try to escalate a relationship faster just because you want a relationship.  Ask for His protection and help in making the best choices about any relationship.
Believe the best about yourself. You are valuable, you are treasured by God. Do not believe the lies that you are “less than,” or need to settle for one you can’t fully trust, or may not treat you respectfully or lovingly. A good man will do more than proclaim his love for you he will cherish you and show you his love in a multitude of ways.
God is so good to us in so many ways. There is no way we can have it all figured out or be able to see what, or who, is ahead. But God knows. His timing is perfect. His ways are good. God is at work behind the scenes where we can’t see. Don’t think for a minute He’s forgotten you. He cares. He wouldn’t give us a desire to have a mate and not supply. It may be that we aren’t ready yet, or it could be that our future husband is not ready yet.