About Me

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I'm a life-long New Englander, father of 4 challenging kids (I know: I'm supposed to say "wonderful", but while that'd be true, technically speaking, it'd also be misleading), and fortunate husband to my favorite wife of more than 20 years. I've got over 20 years experience breaking things as a test engineer, quality engineer, reliability engineer, and most recently (and most enjoyably) a Product Safety / EMC Compliance Engineer. In the photo, I'm on the left.

Friday, December 30, 2011

I've Never Been So Well Complimented

If you've never seen the Movie "Return to Me", and you like chick-flicks, you should watch it. It's about a man and a woman. The man is played by David Duchovny and near the beginning of the film his wife dies. The woman is played by Minnie Driver, and at the beginning of the film she's in need of a heart transplant.

You can see where that's going, eh?

This is also Carol O'Connor's last film, and he has a great line when he says to Minnie:

"It's the character that's the strongest that God gives the most challenges to. Now you can take that as a compliment."

If you read my post from yesterday, I'll tell you today that this sort of thing is what has been going on in my house for the last decade or more. With the kids, there have been three broken feet, Sever's disease, and a broken elbow in 2010 & 2011 (all three feet just this past fall); the list just continues. I think that I'd like to be less well complimented!

I do get every now and then the question that falls along the lines of 'how does your family get through it', and it's really pretty simple.

It is my understanding that we all have our cross to bear, and so many folks have their lives much worse than we have ours. We've never gone hungry, though there have been many times when we've gotten paid *just* in time for the mortgage. A childhood friend of mine died in his late 30's, leaving a young wife with three young children. There's a child who was in grade school with my daughter who already passed from cancer. There's a kid in our high school with progeria.

As I look about, and everyone *looks* fine, I realize that they have their burdens too, and I might not ever know of them, nor should I expect to, in my thinking. In my house, we're all still here, and able to enjoy each other. We have relative wealth, as there are so many without homes or food. We live in a time where medical technology is such that we can deal with the various incidents and ailments that have descended upon me and mine...there are resources, and there are many people who are willing to help.

Even as there are a myriad of dolts, idiots, and morons who seem hell bent on making easy things hard, there are also allies, friends, and sympathizers who are well bent on making hard things easier.

So, thanks to all the well-wishers who let me know that although I tend to think such, not EVERYone out there is a devolved, heart-shriveled, slack-jawed, slow-thinking, mean-spirited addlepate.


Thanks to my children, who, in spite of their seemingly concerted effort to fray every last neuron that I've got, are actually very good people, and do typically try hard to do the right thing. So long as it doesn't interfere with their plans to do as little as possible.

Thanks to my lawyer, who's going to help me to dope slap a stupid-ass 19 year old kid and a handful of incompetent doctors. I know that he's doing what he's doing out of the kindness of his heart, and not for any expectation of recompense.

Thanks to my youngest brother, who stands out as a helpful hand whenever I need one, and always has...uncomplaining and unbegrudgingly. Over the years I've learned a lot from the wee bug.

Thanks to my boss, who has been as flexible as anyone can expect with the various shenanigans that have visited of late.

Thanks mostly to my wife, who has put me on more than one higher path, and drags me, kicking and screaming to be a better person.


  1. I like this..taking the positive spin on things.

  2. Your brother's just hoping to get into your will.

  3. LOL! I hope he's not disapointed to find that my "estate" will be little more than a pine cone! :)

  4. Swans and ducks looks so serene, effortlessly floating on the lake. Out of sight their little legs are going hell for leather just to keep them moving. Which is a poetic way of saying just what you said - we cannot see and may never know the trials that other people face. And equally, that we should assume that there is something out of our sight, not out of their minds.
    Lovely post and I really, really hope that the compliments you have been receiving ease off in 2012.

  5. Swans and ducks!!

    I just last night watched for the millionth time the movie "The Replacements" in which Gene Hackman makes that observation, then calls himself "just another duck on the pond".

    Thanks for continuing to stop in! I don't know about you, but I'm having a bit of long-winded fun.