The Shenanigans Are Over

For the first time in 2 years, the Chicago River was dyed green yesterday.

The St. Patrick’s Day tradition had been put on hiatus because of the Covid-19 Pandemic. The dye will stay in the water for about 48 hours and then it will change back to normal.

I posted my usual stupid St. Patrick’s Day Puns on social Media:

I also posted my yearly reminder that while “every one is Irish” on March 17th, St. Patrick wasn’t!

As I scrolled Facebook yesterday, it was full of plenty of people decked out in their best green outfits. Many people indulged on green beer, corned beef and cabbage, potatoes, and Irish stews in bars and restaurants beginning early in the morning.

I scrolled upon a post by a pastor friend of mine, and I felt that it was certainly worth sharing:

“Saint Patrick was a passionate evangelist who believed in the potential of young people to change the world. Instead of drinking green beer in his honor why not share the gospel with a young person today? He’d be way happier with that “

I think he would! I found a great quote from St. Patrick:

I didn’t partake in any green spirits yesterday. I didn’t even wear any green!

They always talk about the “Luck of the Irish.” Well, I am not Irish, but I consider myself one lucky man. I am married to the most beautiful woman on the planet and we will celebrate our 4th wedding anniversary on Saturday.

4 years ago …

I have been blessed with four amazing kids. My two oldest boys from my previous marriage and my daughter and baby boy with my wife. Who says you have to be Irish to be lucky?

Ella and AJ 2022
Dante’ and Dimitri – 2015

Yes, I am one lucky Italian!

Oh, yeah, I guess I did partake in some St. Patrick’s Day shenanigans at work …

We do sleep studies on a lot of pediatric patients. This week, one kid drew pictures for us and we put them up on the board in the tech room. Another kid made a thank you card for us. I grabbed a piece of paper and some crayons and I drew a picture of one of my coworkers and said, “You had a kid in the room I was in last night, right?” I told her I “found” a picture that her patient must have drawn of her and that it looked just like her!

I’m sorry, every time I look at this, the lips make me think of the Joker from Batman!

I understand this is probably only funny to me … so I apologize. I hope you had a nice St. Patrick’s Day ….

Grief

I saw this twice on Facebook today and it really hit me. It is SO very true. I’m sure that collectively, you and I could easily add more true statements to this. I wish I knew who wrote it to give them proper credit.

I am reposting it here, so I will always have it and so that anyone who may stumble on this blog will find it useful as well.

Whether it is because I am getting older or the fact that we are in the middle of this whole Covid pandemic crap, the truth is that I have seen more death in the past two years than I care to. I’m not just talking about the overabundance of famous people who are dying, but the normal every day people in life – classmates, parents of friends, spouses, teachers, fathers, mothers, siblings, grandparents, co-workers, etc… My Facebook feed provides at least two to three links to obituaries a day now.

Many of my friends are still trying to cope with losses that are VERY fresh in their minds. I hope that this helps you or someone you may know who is currently dealing with grief – or has been dealing with it for some time.

Grief

Grief doesn’t just show up the day they die

Grief shows up on a random Monday night

Grief shows up in aisle five at the grocery store

Grief shows up when they’re favorite song comes on the radio

Grief shows up at the dining room table

Grief shows up at your graduation and wedding

Grief shows up in the delivery room when they aren’t by your side or in the pictures

Grief shows up on those sleepless nights

Grief shows up when the phone rings and it isn’t them

Grief shows up when you go to dial their number and realize they’ll never answer again

Grief shows up time and time again always unexpected and never invited

Grief doesn’t just show up the day they die

This chart could not be more true….

My List Keeps Growing

I wanted to do a quick blog about something that has been on my mind for the past couple days. My prayer list seems to get longer and longer each and every day. I can’t even really blame it on the pandemic, although it certainly has played a part in it.

As I scroll through Facebook, I will often come across a friend who is asking for prayers. It could be in relation to the loss of a loved one or maybe a family member who is hospitalized. Sometimes the prayer request is an “open” one where the friend asks for prayer without revealing why they need them. Many times I will stop scrolling and pray at that moment, while other times I add them to a list.

That list is a long one. This week I added two more friends who shared that they have entered the cancer battlefield. They are my age. We went to school together. It’s not fair. God, do I hate cancer!

Breast Cancer cut the lives of my mom and grandmother short. Lung Cancer took the life of a radio friend. Brain cancer took the life of a young gal I met while doing a radiothon for kids with cancer. It doesn’t matter what type of cancer it is, I really hate it. I am grateful for my friends who are cancer survivors – I have many of them and I have prayed for them all.

To my two friends who shared their diagnosis with me and are beginning your battle – I will pray for you and am here for you if you need to vent, cry, or complain. For my friends who continue their fight, I pray for you, too. For those who are in remission and cancer survivors – you are an inspiration to those who are in the fight.

Keep Fighting! I’m praying for you!

I Now Pronounce You …

Another first for me this past weekend – I performed a wedding ceremony. Many years ago, I worked briefly for a DJ company that had all of their DJ’s get ordained on the internet. The idea was that if you were DJing a wedding where the minister didn’t show up, you could step in (and make the company more money). In the 30 years I have DJ’d, I’ve never had to step in to cover for a no show minister. I have also never performed a wedding ceremony, well, until Friday.

Backstory

I have known Theresa, the bride, for over 30 years, as we went to high school together. We’ve remained friends over the years. This was her second marriage and I actually DJ’d her first wedding. It’s been a long time, but I am almost positive that her first wedding was the first wedding I DJ’d (at least one of the first.)

I was laid up in the hospital with diverticulitis last year (almost exactly one year ago) and she came to visit me. Sam was in the room with me when Theresa came in. After a few minutes of chatting, she told me she had gotten engaged and was getting married. I congratulated her and she asked if I could to DJ for her. I told her I would. Then she asked, “Didn’t you tell me that you could perform wedding ceremonies one time?” I told her I could, but had never actually done it. She looked me dead in the eye and said, “Keith, I want you to marry me!” Without skipping a beat, I looked at my wife, then back at Theresa and said, “Well, I’m sorry, but I’m already married!”

Covid Postponement

Because of Covid-19, the wedding date was changed three times. Luckily, each time I had the date they moved it to available. I know the stress it put on the bride, and I can’t imagine all the stress Covid put on others who had plans throughout this pandemic. I know I was never able to find a day to do a small graduation party for my graduate because of it, and there had to be be many others I know who had to cancel things, too!

A week before the wedding, Theresa texted me about the wedding and said, “I don’t think we need a rehearsal. I think we all know how to walk down the aisle and such.” I made sure to call her and at least go over all of the music and details of the ceremony. The wedding party was small, so I thought, “How can we mess this up?”

I decided that if something didn’t go as planned, I would just ad-lib “This is what happens when you don’t have a rehearsal.” It didn’t take long for me to have to use that ad-lib. The bride’s brother was helping with playing the music for the entrances. He couldn’t figure out which button to push for when the bride entered. So, the bride just started walking in – with no music. All in all, in the end, it went well. They have a few funny moments to remember forever! LOL

Old Friends

Since Theresa and I went to high school together, we have numerous mutual friends. I knew of two that were going to be there, Stacey and Kris, but I was surprised to see my friend Pam there, too. Seeing these three friends was a joy. Stacey and I talk often, and have been close friends for years. We played trumpet together in band and often talk about Bible stuff. Kris and Pam both went to elementary school with me, so we’ve known each other for a long time, too. Facebook is a great way to keep in touch with old friends, but it is always great to see each other in person! They danced a lot and suggested some great old school tunes. They really made the night fun for me.

When I was a senior in high school, I asked Theresa’s sister Karen to the prom. Karen and I actually dated for quite awhile, so I knew all of their family very well. It was nice to see Theresa’s mom and dad, her brother’s Paul and Joe, and her sister Katy. Karen had an emergency come up and was unable to be at the wedding, but I was able to see her briefly before I set up. I felt bad because she was supposed to stand up in the wedding. Her brother’s kept me laughing a lot. They reminded me of some very funny stories that I had totally forgotten about. I sat with Katy and got to meet her kids and her husband. A couple of Theresa’s aunt’s were there and came up to me saying they remembered me, too. It really was a nice time.

If you are a wedding photographer, please do not take offence to this, but there is nothing that DJ’s hate more than a photographer who pulls the wedding couple away for more than 20 minutes to get pictures done. The DJ is left to deal with the people who are done eating and wondering when the dancing is going to start! The bride and groom always have the first dance, so if you have them and every other member of the bridal party off somewhere for over an hour, people get bored and leave. Despite it taking awhile to get the dancing started, once it did, people danced all night.

I was happy to be a part of such a special night and was even happier to see so many good friends.