Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. “T”

 

“The best way out is always through.” — Robert Frost

I love that quote. It rings of all the things we learn across life that are basic and true – finish what you started, just keep going, don’t quit, get up, endure, just keep swimming – just keep swimming. I’ve seen a fair amount of non-quitters in my time. I’ve seen some seriously tough soldiers; I know a guy who’d die before he’d quit. We all know lots of people say that but he’s the one who’d actually do it. He left the Army, became a missionary in the mountains of Burma and now he’s in the middle east saving kids in war zones. I saw guys swim underwater knowing they were going to pass out; no swimming for the side or trying to stay on the surface, they’d just go limp and start to sink. I have seen it across all walks of life well outside my military world too. Oftentimes one does not get a choice in what happens but they can choose to get through it. 10 July 1961 is a date that would affect my life forever despite not even being born. That was the day my sister arrived on the planet.

She has chosen to go through and it has made all the difference.

She’s a piece of work and I mean that in a good way. I call her “T” and she was born 20 years too late as she is a natural-born hippie where things are groovy and peace signs are appropriate at every auspicious occasion. She’s smart as a whip; she got a 143 IQ score a few years back “that echoes in eternity….” As a brother, I am required to quip every time she does something foolish (like we all do) saying something like “well you’ve easily dropped to 139 after that” or “hey one-four-three what’s going on here?”

We grew up in a divorced, largely dysfunctional family that has had ripple effects across our lives. She’s been to the edge (from there I stood and looked down…) overcoming the demons of addiction and absorbing the sometimes intense consequences that go with that. This resulted in a marriage too young and raising three kids as a kid herself. She decided the best way out was through.

In the late spring of 1992, she sobered up and set her mind to put her life back together. She had left her husband, then, as a single mom with a suitcase full of problems, got help, fought her way into and out of the welfare system, went back to school, got her GED, then an associates degree, then went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Humanities. In 1993, she got married again to a good guy this time around. Once graduated she got a job at the local community college teaching. She rose to be the Adult Education Director and was a force to be reckoned with at the school. She helps people get back on their feet having been down the rocky road. She endeared herself to the ESL community assisting them to get educated and integrated into the good ol’ U.S. of A. I swear the whole city knows her.

During all of this, she never lost sight of her mission as a mother standing by her kids time and time again; she made mistakes but never faltered in her focus. She continues to repair all of her relationships concentrating on her kids helping them wherever and however she can; not spoiling them mind you but sharing the life scars she has endured in her own walk, supporting them in their own walks, and honorably owning her own mistakes. And she’s stood by me as I fought off my own demons.

Sadly in 2011, she started having health problems. In 2012, this turned into a life-changing event. She was originally told she had leukemia (Standby T – I am inbound with bone marrow). She was suffering fevers, pain, rashes, high white blood cell count, lymph node swelling, night sweats, edema, and weakness; other than that she was good. After months of testing and emotional angst, it turned out to be what is classified as Still’s Disease. It’s not Still’s but that’s the closest they could get. After more months of enduring a myriad of various treatments, she finally got some help through Stanford University Department of Medicine prescribing a chemo cocktail every month. She ebbs and flows but mostly flows. She went through all of that coming out the other side stabilized and once again returned to a full life.

Astoundingly in 2013, she and her husband decided to move in with her daughter and son-in-law and their three kids. I gave it two months – tops. I am happy to report I was grossly wrong and it’s one big happy household. Staying home since her illness she’s the eye in the center of the storm. There’s school, home school, cooking, cleaning, a seemingly endless house remodel, shuttling kids to and from activities and sports, caring for our dad, and trips to the doctors just to name a few. And that was before COVID. She doesn’t stop. Part of me believes it’s what keeps her together. I talk to her and am tired when I hang up.

Then just recently due to some peripheral family problems and big hearts they collectively (the adults of the house) adopted a one- and two-year-old. Like adding gas to a fire. She didn’t flinch. She will go through this too, love those kids as well as she does her current grandkids (and they will love her), and everyone will be better for it.

I know I am.

Happy Birthday, T.

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  1. Arahant Member

    Happy birthday, T.

    dajoho: other than that she was good.

    I know a few people who resemble that remark.


    This is the Quote of the Day. If you have a favored quotation or a person you’d like to honor, why not pick a day and sign up?

    • #1
    • July 10, 2020, at 3:02 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  2. Bruce Caward Thatcher
    Bruce Caward Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    What a delight to read.

    • #2
    • July 10, 2020, at 3:50 AM PDT
    • 10 likes
  3. She Reagan
    She Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Happy Birthday, T! And many more. 🎂🍰

    As they say, “everyone has a story, and some have more than one.” Thanks for sharing your sister’s.

    • #3
    • July 10, 2020, at 4:25 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  4. Stad Thatcher

    What a gal . . .

    • #4
    • July 10, 2020, at 4:59 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  5. Dr. Bastiat Member

    I’ve never met T, but I hope I do someday, somehow. People like her make the world a better place.

    • #5
    • July 10, 2020, at 5:41 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  6. Douglas Pratt Coolidge
    Douglas Pratt Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    What a wonderful world, that has such people in it.

    Thank you.

    • #6
    • July 10, 2020, at 5:42 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  7. Percival Thatcher
    Percival Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Born too late to go to Woodstock, but still the tail end of the boomers, and a year younger than I. Old enough to have witnessed the nonsense, young enough not to be totally wrecked by it.

    Happy birthday, T.

    • #7
    • July 10, 2020, at 6:17 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  8. Boss Mongo Member

    dajoho: “The best way out is always through.” — Robert Frost

    Amen, brother.

    dajoho: saying something like “well you’ve easily dropped to 139 after that” or “hey one-four-three what’s going on here?”

    You? Deploying dry and acerbic wit? I’m shocked. Shocked. This is my shocked face.

    dajoho:

    She will go through this too, love those kids as well as she does her current grand kids (and they will love her), and everyone will be better for it.

    I know I am.

    As am I, for this story. Thank you, Dajoho. Outstanding.

    • #8
    • July 10, 2020, at 9:35 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  9. Charlotte Member
    Charlotte Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Sounds like she’s one of the good ones. HBD.

    • #9
    • July 10, 2020, at 12:51 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  10. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Inspiring!

    • #10
    • July 10, 2020, at 12:51 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  11. Barry Jones Thatcher

    Simply superb. Happy Birthday T! 

    • #11
    • July 10, 2020, at 2:47 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  12. Susan Quinn Contributor

    You have lightened my heart and filled me with joy with that story. Just what the doctor ordered. Thanks so much. Happy B-day, T!

    • #12
    • July 10, 2020, at 4:46 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  13. Dr. Bastiat Member

    Boss Mongo (View Comment):
    Boss Mongo

    dajoho: “The best way out is always through.” — Robert Frost

    Amen, brother.

    After way too much Jim Beam, allow me to make a fool of myself by disagreeing with Boss AND Dajoho…

    I’ve never been in a war. But I was really good at our most popular war game: football. Ridiculous comparison, I know. But Mr. Beam considers it valid for our purposes. 

    Anyway, the reason speed is so deadly in football is that it allows you to go AROUND, rather than through. Thus, speed is nearly unbeatable in football. You can beat power, but you can’t beat speed. And in actual war, how many armies have lost because they were outflanked by an unexpectedly mobile opponent? 

    I love T.

    But I think that the best way out is usually AROUND (says the guy who was 6’2″ & 225, but really fast…). And I stand by my assertion, because even though Boss & Dajoho could beat the crap out of me, it doesn’t matter, because they’d never catch me. 

    • #13
    • July 10, 2020, at 5:02 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  14. Arahant Member

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):
    But Mr. Beam considers it valid for our purposes.

    Mr. Beam is not terribly wrong.

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):
    Anyway, the reason speed is so deadly in football is that it allows you to go AROUND, rather than through. Thus, speed is nearly unbeatable in football. You can beat power, but you can’t beat speed. And in actual war, how many armies have lost because they were outflanked by an unexpectedly mobile opponent?

    They still have to go through the war. Yes, speed and mobility as a whole are important, but if they give up in the middle, it does them no good.

    Edited to Add: You don’t win a football game by playing the first quarter well and then sitting on your duff. That’s what we did in Vietnam. We pulled out when we were winning because of politics.

    • #14
    • July 10, 2020, at 5:45 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  15. Percival Thatcher
    Percival Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    Boss Mongo (View Comment):
    Boss Mongo

    dajoho: “The best way out is always through.” — Robert Frost

    Amen, brother.

    After way too much Jim Beam, allow me to make a fool of myself by disagreeing with Boss AND Dajoho…

    I’ve never been in a war. But I was really good at our most popular war game: football. Ridiculous comparison, I know. But Mr. Beam considers it valid for our purposes.

    Anyway, the reason speed is so deadly in football is that it allows you to go AROUND, rather than through. Thus, speed is nearly unbeatable in football. You can beat power, but you can’t beat speed. And in actual war, how many armies have lost because they were outflanked by an unexpectedly mobile opponent?

    I love T.

    But I think that the best way out is usually AROUND (says the guy who was 6’2″ & 225, but really fast…). And I stand by my assertion, because even though Boss & Dajoho could beat the crap out of me, it doesn’t matter, because they’d never catch me.

    Be like Walter.

    [Blocked by the stinkin’ NFL. Which pretty soon is going to stand for “No Fans Left.”]

    Be both.

    • #15
    • July 10, 2020, at 5:51 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  16. Percival Thatcher
    Percival Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Or do the airborne thing,

    • #16
    • July 10, 2020, at 5:54 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  17. Arahant Member

    Percival (View Comment):
    Be like Walter.

    Ah, Sweetness!

    • #17
    • July 10, 2020, at 5:57 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  18. Flicker Coolidge

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    Boss Mongo (View Comment):
    Boss Mongo

    dajoho: “The best way out is always through.” — Robert Frost

    Amen, brother.

    After way too much Jim Beam, allow me to make a fool of myself by disagreeing with Boss AND Dajoho…

    I’ve never been in a war. But I was really good at our most popular war game: football. Ridiculous comparison, I know. But Mr. Beam considers it valid for our purposes.

    Anyway, the reason speed is so deadly in football is that it allows you to go AROUND, rather than through. Thus, speed is nearly unbeatable in football. You can beat power, but you can’t beat speed. And in actual war, how many armies have lost because they were outflanked by an unexpectedly mobile opponent?

    I love T.

    But I think that the best way out is usually AROUND (says the guy who was 6’2″ & 225, but really fast…). And I stand by my assertion, because even though Boss & Dajoho could beat the crap out of me, it doesn’t matter, because they’d never catch me.

    I can’t say that I’ve ever been able to live this out, but I remember when I was twenty or so, and old black man who told me his secret to life. “Be like water. You gotta be like water. You can dam it up but you can’t stop it; it’ll flow right over. So can put a bolder in it’s way but it’ll just go around. And a mountain can’t stop it because it wears the rock away. You gotta be like water.”

    • #18
    • July 10, 2020, at 6:51 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
  19. Bruce Caward Thatcher
    Bruce Caward Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Percival (View Comment):

    Or do the airborne thing,

    When football was still football. I’m going to miss it.

    • #19
    • July 10, 2020, at 7:34 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  20. Percival Thatcher
    Percival Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Bruce Caward (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Or do the airborne thing,

    When football was still football. I’m going to miss it.

    I have been, for at least the last 12 years.

    • #20
    • July 10, 2020, at 7:43 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  21. dajoho Member
    dajoho

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Happy birthday, T.

    dajoho: other than that she was good.

    I know a few people who resemble that remark.


    This is the Quote of the Day. If you have a favored quotation or a person you’d like to honor, why not pick a day and sign up?

    Thank @arahant. I know some folks and a lot of situations that resemble that remark.

    • #21
    • July 11, 2020, at 1:47 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  22. dajoho Member
    dajoho

    Bruce Caward (View Comment):

    What a delight to read.

    Thanks for reading @brucecawardce and the comment.

    • #22
    • July 11, 2020, at 1:48 AM PDT
    • 1 like
    • This comment has been edited.
  23. dajoho Member
    dajoho

    She (View Comment):

    Happy Birthday, T! And many more. 🎂🍰

    As they say, “everyone has a story, and some have more than one.” Thanks for sharing your sister’s.

    Thanks @She and isn’t that the truth “everyone has a story.” I think the trick is slowing down enough to listen.

    • #23
    • July 11, 2020, at 1:49 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  24. dajoho Member
    dajoho

    Stad (View Comment):

    What a gal . . .

    Thanks @stad

    • #24
    • July 11, 2020, at 1:49 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  25. dajoho Member
    dajoho

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    I’ve never met T, but I hope I do someday, somehow. People like her make the world a better place.

    Thanks @drbastiat.

    • #25
    • July 11, 2020, at 1:50 AM PDT
    • Like
    • This comment has been edited.
  26. dajoho Member
    dajoho

    Douglas Pratt (View Comment):

    What a wonderful world, that has such people in it.

    Thank you.

    Thank you @douglaspratt for the comment and reading this.

    • #26
    • July 11, 2020, at 1:51 AM PDT
    • Like
    • This comment has been edited.
  27. dajoho Member
    dajoho

    Percival (View Comment):

    Born too late to go to Woodstock, but still the tail end of the boomers, and a year younger than I. Old enough to have witnessed the nonsense, young enough not to be totally wrecked by it.

    Happy birthday, T.

    Thanks @percival that’s a pretty apt description.

    • #27
    • July 11, 2020, at 1:51 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  28. dajoho Member
    dajoho

    Boss Mongo (View Comment):

    dajoho: “The best way out is always through.” — Robert Frost

    Amen, brother.

    dajoho: saying something like “well you’ve easily dropped to 139 after that” or “hey one-four-three what’s going on here?”

    You? Deploying dry and acerbic wit? I’m shocked. Shocked. This is my shocked face.

    dajoho:

    She will go through this too, love those kids as well as she does her current grand kids (and they will love her), and everyone will be better for it.

    I know I am.

    As am I, for this story. Thank you, Dajoho. Outstanding.

    Always through.

    I don’t feel acerbic………….

    Thanks for reading @bossmongo.

    • #28
    • July 11, 2020, at 1:53 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  29. dajoho Member
    dajoho

    Charlotte (View Comment):

    Sounds like she’s one of the good ones. HBD.

    I like her! Thanks for reading @charlotte.

    • #29
    • July 11, 2020, at 1:54 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  30. dajoho Member
    dajoho

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):

    Inspiring!

    Thank Jim.

    • #30
    • July 11, 2020, at 1:54 AM PDT
    • Like