Death & Appreciation

I don’t ask this often but please share this.  Death & Appreciation.  Both extremely difficult topics for me to write about.  Death, because I’m not very good at dealing with it.  Appreciation, because I feel like most people don’t have any appreciation in life and it makes me feel bitter about it.

I woke up this morning knowing it was going to be a long day ahead of me.  I wanted to keep sleeping, to not deal with today.  Yesterday brought 12 hours of work, followed by laundry, dishes and dinner, taking the garbage out, and than more work.  I stayed up till almost 2am, and finished watching the last episode of Season 1 of Revenge (great show by the way).  Back to today, waking up, I woke up feeling mentally and physically, and in a way, unappreciated.  So why was I not looking forward to today?  I had a full day of work (busy time for quarter close at my job), I wanted to make sure to get home on time for the family Bears time, and I had a funeral to attend during the day.  Unfortunately, I felt as though there wasn’t enough time in the day to get everything done, especially on 5 hours of sleep.  As I looked ahead to the day, I couldn’t help but feel down.  Than something happened… something great.

My wife, Mrs. Z, text me a picture of all the things she appreciates about me.  It’s like she read my mind and knew exactly what I needed.  All the things I read made my heart feel happy.  I felt appreciated.  I felt loved.  I felt as though I could take on the world at this point.  To get a note, email, text of all the things you love and/or appreciate about your significant other when you least expect it, is amazing!  It really turned my day upside down.  However, I still had a funeral to attend to.  This person was like a grandpa to me (he was my grandfather’s sister husband), who actually invited my mom, me, and my grandparents (my immediate family) to the states from Kiev, Ukraine.  I knew him well and respect him and found out the other night, he passed away at the age of 85.  Now, my opinion is that if you live until 85, you should be grateful.  Now I know that you should be appreciative as well.

Attending this funeral this afternoon was difficult.  I cried as I hugged his daughter (my aunt), I cried as I hugged his son (who I don’t see often but know him well enough), I cried as his granddaughter gave a speech about him, and I cried as the casket was lowered.  And as I looked over at my grandfather, I thought to myself how impossible it will be to deal with his death, and tears just began rolling down my face uncontrollably.

As I made it through that, I made my way back to work and have continued grinding it out until just now.  I’m waiting for a report to get done, and will pack it up to make it just in time for the Bears game.  After all of today, here is what you all need to know.  Things I’m learning that I never thought I would.

I learned today one reason to get married is to have a support system 24-7.  My wife comforted me, she was loving, and that means everything to me.  Death comes so fast, yet it seems that day may never come.  Everyday here on Earth needs to be appreciated because tomorrow, death may come get you.  So don’t waste your time with bullshit (sorry for the language), instead of complaining, being unhappy, criticizing, judging, being lazy – go do something with yourself.  Go serve some sort of purpose in this world.  Each of us are born so insignificant and die insignificant.  We are remembered by some and soon forgotten through generations.  But we have an option to make a difference, to enjoy life, to appreciate things.  I consider myself a positive, energetic person but I feel like I have more and I’m wasting it.  It’s time to make a difference.

I want to spend more time writing.  I want to spread my word.  I want to provide advice.  I want to help people.  I want to give people energy, positivity, love.  I’m not sure how I’m going to do this yet, but I believe this is what I’m meant for and with the support of Mrs. Z now, knowing she got my back no matter what, I will get there.  I will make a difference.  I will appreciate and when death comes for me, I will be ready and know that I did all I can here.

I don’t ask this often but as I mentioned at the top, please share this.  This post is for Alexander… I love you and respect you.  Your memory lives on with me forever.

Max 10.10.2013

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I hate bad news…

I know when to lean on my bride to be for support and unfortunately, today was one of those times – I received a phone call today from my mom.  It started with her saying, “Max please don’t worry, everything is okay and don’t freak out.”

How am I supposed to react to something like that?  How am I supposed to stay calm when someone close to you starts a conversation like this?  My heart begins to race, I feel sick – so I need to know what is going on as fast as possible.  My mom and I have always been very close.  She raised me as a single mom and I was an only child.  The close family I grew up with have been my grandpa, grandma, and my mom.

As it seems like days go by before she tells me what is going on, I think back to the end of May of this year.  I received a similar phone call that started the same way. “Max you need to come home right away because I can’t watch the girls today,” she continued on to say “your grandma has not gotten out of bed all day and she has slept most of the day.”  I remember panicking in that instant.  My grandma has been in bad medical shape for the past couple of years and I won’t go into the laundry list of issues and medical conditions she has to deal with, but let’s just say we have been fortunate enough to have her make it this far along.  I’ve had the pleasure of knowing her for 29 years now and have spent more time with her than most people get to with their grandparents.  Although, I knew how bad of a medical condition she has been in recently, to receive a phone call, letting me know that they will be taking her to the ER by ambulance is still difficult.  I remember leaving work right away and coming home.  I have about a 30 minute commute home.  And I remember now as I drove how I felt and what I thought.  Is this it for her?  Will she not make it this time?  What was the last thing I said to her?  Why didn’t I go see her one more time?  What’s my grandpa going to do without her?  Is she suffering right now?  I found out that day that my grandma was going to be okay, and it was just another scare.

Back to my moms phone call.  She began with, “Your grandpa fell last night and we spent the night at the hospital.  Ambulance picked him up.”  I begin to panic and can barely breathe.  My grandpa has been like a Dad to me.  Him and I are close, as close as a grandchild can be with a grandpa.  I’m also getting married next week, the only person I need to make sure is there is him.  Is he not going to make it to next week?  “He scrapped up his knees, broke his shoulder, busted him arm and it will take 6 to 8 weeks to recover.”

Sigh of relief by me.  As bad as it is for an 85 year old to take a bad fall, at least it was only his shoulder.  It could have been much worse.  He will still be there for our special day next week.  I know my grandpa, and he wouldn’t miss this for anything.  What is the lesson of all of this?

Well for one, I know that I hate bad news… I hate receiving phone calls that start with “Don’t freak out but…”  And no matter what, it is difficult to deal with them.  But what I attempt to do is stay positive.  Stay energetic.  Don’t let bad news bring you down.  Learn a way to calm your nerves.  Take deep breaths.  Call your significant other to lean on, because these are the times that you most need each other.  So Thank You to my better half for being there today.  Tomorrow is another day.

08.28.13 – Max

About Us

My fiance and I will be getting married in exactly one month from today.  We have been together for over 11 years.  We have two beautiful daughters, 4 years old and 1.5 years old.  We have lived together for over 5 years.  We are both in our mid to late 20s.  We have decided to create this blog to tell others about the journey we have been on and long journey still ahead of us.

We want to provide relationship advice, parenting advice, life advice, health advice – we want to be your 1st stop for any assistance or help you may need in your personal life.

We believe the reason we can provide the best advice to anyone is because of the experience we have been through.  The best part is you will also be able to get a Male v Female perspective.  We look forward to sharing our story.

We are still in the process of creating the appearance of the site, so give it some time.  My fiance is the artsy one so I will let her take the lead on this.

-Max. 08.07.13