Hey ya'll...I'm writing a book!  Like it will get published or anything.  So I figured I'd share the chapters here with you.  It's about my life over the past decade and some change.  Hope it brings hope and blessings to you.  That's why I'm writing it.  I'll try and post a new chapter each week day by 6pm.  Enjoy.

Stalled Out, A Blessing In Disguise
Chapter One: The Phone Call

I was sitting at my desk working on several projects for 96.5 The Mountain (WMTZ-FM) in Johnstown, Pennsylvania when Denise the receptionist paged me, “Roger, line three! I believe it’s important.”  Typically everything was important when Denise patched a call through because she didn’t want it sitting in her call bank until it started to sound the alarm that no one had picked it up.  I could understand, I had an ex-wife who had a tone similar to the sound the call bank made when someone sat on hold longer than a minute.  It would want to make your ears bleed.

I answered, “Hello?”

“Rog? Its mom, we HAVE to go to Florida NOW. Your brother, sister and I will be driving through Pittsburgh tomorrow morning about 10am. Can you meet us on 79?” my mother’s voice was shaking.

“What’s going on mom?”

“It’s your dad. I got a call from his maid, he has had massive heart failure,” she said on the verge of tears “He’s in the ICU unit in one of those $%#@ Ocala, Hospitals and they say he’s going to die.”

My heart sunk and a huge lump filled my throat as every memory of my father rushed through my head.  My dad was a good man at heart, the type that would do anything for anyone. However every day after four o’clock he was at his favorite local watering hole, Sassler’s Bar & Grill, getting sauced up.  Then he would storm home about 2am and find a reason to wake us all up and start yelling at my mother about how worthless she was.  But no matter how obnoxious my dad would get with us, my mom would always try to explain that our daddy loved us and that it was the alcohol talking, not the man who loved you before 4pm.  That was a hard pill to swallow because my childhood was filled full of memories of Robert’s (my dad) silhouette standing in my bedroom door yelling, “Get up! I’m so sick and tired of your $#@%!” I would follow him down into the kitchen where he would go off about a grade I hadn’t achieved on my report card or how I had to get dressed and go mow the lawn again at 3am because I had missed a blade or two of grass. Let me tell ya, the neighbors loved that one.

But even with all those bitter memories from my childhood that had hardened me to the verge of hate for my father, the little boy inside me cried immediately at the news about his daddy.  The daddy, when sober, that would take us on four wheeler rides, spend time teaching me how to hunt on our farm or took us fishing in his boat off of Lake Erie.  The man who seemed like a huge old bear to me who gave giant hugs that would squeeze you senseless. The man who had the quickest wit and the greatest sense of humor which could make any bad situation funny.

So I said to my mother, “Ok…listen,” I choked back the tears “Brian, Charlotte and I can make the drive. You stay home.  You have what, fourteen head of horse to take care of?”

“No Roger. I am going. Bob needs me and you guys will too, period.  Your uncle Len and several of my barn buddies can take care of the horses while I’m gone. Your father needs us.” She instructed me. 

I knew there was no changing my mom’s mind.  Just like I knew she was bound and determined to get to Florida to love on the man who needed her. There is a special type of love that some of us never get to experience.  The type that only God has for us.  My mother loved my daddy in that type of way.  Did he deserve it? No. She was always his angel while he fought off the devil. Sadly he ultimately lost her when he decided to be unfaithful.  My mother was shattered at that point and divorced him but never stopped loving him.  She never dated anyone else seriously.  She claimed she didn’t want to get burned again and was done with men.  But later in life it became obvious to me that she was just waiting for her man to need his angel again. So when duty called she was on her way to gather up the troops and make sure if Bob did die he wasn’t going to face the great unknown alone, no matter what he had done.