Random thoughts: What if someone online dies?

Random thoughts: What if someone online dies?


If a friend of mine dies, I get the information from; a text, word of mouth or maybe the obituaries. This is how it works if I know the person in a tangible sense, another words physically.


What happens if an online friend died? If I have never met them in person and we chat on a weekly basis. What if they die?


Some of my online friends live somewhere in the world and I have no idea what corner. Are they married, do they have kids, what country do they live in, what state, how old are they or really who are they?


I don’t need the answers to those question, but after a few conversations with the same person, those questions arise.


All of a sudden they stop posting. At first I might think, maybe they’re moving or something else minor is going on in their life to keep them from the net. What if they had cancer and didn’t let us know or maybe they were in a bad accident of some sort. What if Colonel Mustard killed them in the Kitchen with a knife?


Life comes and goes, that’s the way it is. It has to be that way or we would run out of room. It’s a sad thought, knowing a friend could die and I wouldn’t know anything about it.


This is Ben and I just met him at the La Plata Starbucks. I might not ever see him again, so he might fit this little story.


Random thoughts: Dad’s replacement

Random thoughts: Dad’s replacement


Dad died at the age of fifty eight years old, when I was twenty one years old. He gave my first wife, Mickey, a ride to the hospital, when my youngest son, Billy, was born. I was working and by the time I got to the hospital, Billy popped out and she was sleeping.



Dad died in 1975 is buried at Arlington National Cemetery


No one could ever replace my dad. Even though he was an alcoholic and he scared us sometimes with his drinking, he was my dad. He seldom scared us though, so I still loved/love him dearly. His smile was the biggest around town and he was a great dad otherwise.


About twenty years ago, I realized I was adding a father figure in my life. I never called them dad or never told them of my obsession to have an older man in my life. They were someone to sit with and talk of old times in each others lives.


I think my mom pacified that need until she died. My first father stand in was a man from church, we became very close when mom got sick with cancer in ’98. He left by way of cancer shortly after she did. Since then there have been several other alternates. Their course out of my life was moving, death, or a number of other ways.



Mom died 1998 and is buried on top of dad at Arlington National Cemetery


I was wondering do you think this is a normal thing? I’m fine with it.

Random thoughts: Single fathers

Random thoughts: Single fathers


Sitting at my favorite coffee shop, Starbucks, in La Plata, I was doing my favorite things. Yep, people watching, talking and making up stories.


I see a little, maybe two year old, dark hair girl with her father and grandfather. She looks so content and happy in either set of arms.


The grandfather’s smile looks natural, but not his touch. He’s afraid he’ll break her or at the very least drop her. The kid won’t let that happen though, she’s holding on for love of life.


Her dad knows what to do though, she doesn’t even wiggle with him anymore. He lays his left cheek on top of her head, breaking contact only to kiss the line that parts her hair.



Top row, left to right: me and Linda Left to right: Jamie and Billy. Linda wasn’t their mom, she was my first girl friend as a single parent.


I raised my two sons from the age of two and four without their mom, they’re in their forties now. I had help from my mom and whatever woman was in my life. So naturally I started reminiscing of the pleasures and difficulties of being a single dad. The scene took right back to the giggles and laughter.


I wondered what happened to his marriage, does he get the kid once or twice a month or does he have full custody, like I did. I regret the closed doors he’ll face as a single parent, but I’m happy for the open hearts that will be willing to help them in times of need.


As he gets up and walks to the trash can I ask, “How old?”


He replied, “Almost two.”


“Big brown eyes.”


“Yeah, she got those from her momma. She’s home making supper.”


There I am, the great storyteller wrong again, “What are we having?”


He laughs and says, “Not sure.”


“Have a good night and be safe.”


“You too.”


I did have the pleasure of Jamie and Billy bouncing around in my head for an hour.



Billy and Jamie in 2006 at Dulles airport.

Random thoughts: Dad and uncle George

Random thoughts: Dad and uncle George


I really have no idea if dad and his brothers were into sports, when they were growing up in east Texas. I know dad was a sport’s fan as an adult and he always rooted for the local teams.



Mom, me, dad and George, about 1957. left to right


He never showed me how to throw a baseball, football or dribble a basketball. Thinking about it now, I don’t think he knew how.


He did make sure, my brother, George, and I learned how to play what ever we were interested in and play it with good sportsmanship.


My dad rooted for the Washington Senators baseball team and the Washington Redskins football team, so by default I did too. Neither team was any good, but they were our local teams and we rooted for them, win or lose.


I have several fond memories of the farm, but this one often comes to mind. The Washington Redskins play the Dallas Cowboys twice a year. If the Redskins won, dad called uncle George in Texas, the opposite would happen if the Cowboys won. Twice a year that conversation occurred and it always started by one razing the other. It didn’t take long before they starting talking about family and old memories. This is one of my favorite memories of all time and that itself taught me how to be a good sport. He taught me by showing me.


I met uncle George one time and that was in 1972 after the Washington Senators left Washington and moved Texas and became the Texas Rangers.


Poetry by Jim: It comes in three’s

Poetry by Jim: It comes in three’s


first give thanks
for all I possess
all You gave me
it could be less


then You gave
Your only Son
He lives in my heart
which means I’ve won


next we start over
not necessarily new
but one more year
before we’re through


the last five weeks
embrace all three
different as they are
but Lordly and free


by Jim McDonald