A number of you have emailed to ask about the unusual posting schedule here at Frugal Dad over the last few weeks. I am overdue in providing an update, and I need to catch you up on a few things that have been happening in the Frugal family.
Some of you may remember that last September we lost my mom aftera year-long recovery effort following an aneurysm and subsequent stroke. She was 54 years-old, and the glue that held our little family together. We were very close – best friends, in fact, and her loss affected me deeply, as it did my kids and my wife (and many others who knew Mom).
It also took a toll on her dad, who had to deal with something none of us should have to face – the loss of a child. Even when our kids are grown, we expect to outlive them as part of the natural order of things. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work out that way.
My grandfather was like a dad to me growing up, so naturally when we lost my mom, he and I grew even closer. In fact, he lived with us, sharing our home with my wife and kids (and our dog, who quickly became his dog). It was great having everyone under the same roof; something we had done earlier in our marriage.
Sadly, in May of this year my grandfather was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer. He opted for chemotherapy and wanted to fight. Would you expect any less from a 29-year Marine? But the damage was done. We lost him October 1st.
The last few weeks were rough, with him in and out of the hospital. Once again, I tried to balance the roles of caretaker, full-time employee, father and husband, and blogger. Obviously, with only so many hours in the day, blogging took a back seat. I wanted to write more about the experience at the time, but honestly, I just had no motivation to do so.
Our family is doing well. We miss him terribly, but are comforted in the knowledge he suffers no more. He lived a full life. He loved his family, and he loved his country, and sacrificed much for both.
Focusing On What’s Really Important
The loss of my remaining family has been tough, and I am blessed to have my wife and her family, and my children, surrounding me. I have learned a number of important lessons throughout the illnesses and deaths of both my mom and my grandfather.
Prior to their illness I had my priorities screwed up. I was distracted by things that now seem so insignificant, like sports, politics, and even money. Not to say money is insignificant, but it is certainly not worth obsessing over. And trust me, neither are college football and politics.
When a loved one is seriously ill, and when you lose them, noises going on outside your little world become much quieter. It’s like someone has a giant mute button and tunes out all of life’s distractions. The only thing worth focusing on is that loved one, and when they are gone, the memories of that loved one.
All that to say that I am weary of the petty arguments going on today, when so much more is at stake. I am sick of the current political climate. I don’t want to turn this into a political rant, but I have to say that I could not possibly care any less about following the twists and turns and debates of every single race across the country. The name calling. The mud slinging. The attack ads. The cheesy ads. The amount of money wasted on those ads. It is all rather sad.
When I sat at my grandfather’s funeral watching the Marine Corps fold the flag draped over his coffin, listening to Taps, all that “noise” went away. Everything about our country, and our freedoms, and our future, seemed crystal clear.
Here was a man that gave nearly 30 years of his life to his country. He fought for that flag. Politicians like to tell us that they will “fight for us,” but how many of them really mean it in the same way members of our Armed Services fight for their country?
Standing in the halls of Congress delivering a tough speech is not the same as standing on top of an armored personnel carrier fending off enemies trying to kill you and everyone else inside. That’s a real fight. That’s life and death.
Shame on those who take our liberty for granted. Shame on those who pretend to uphold the values of our forefathers, and then undermine them at every vote. I will never believe my grandfather, and the millions like him, fought and died for nothing. I have always been proud to be an American, and always will be.
“I am an American” need not be stated apologetically, rather it should be exclaimed proudly. I hope the younger generations remember the lessons of that great generation, and carry them forward for us.
Back to Blogging
Thank you for allowing me a moment to vent. That felt good! Over the next few days I plan to get back to regularly scheduled programming here at Frugal Dad.
Let’s get back to basics. Let’s remind each other of the way our grandparents used to do things. Let’s challenge each other to get out of debt, to build a strong emergency fund, to be more self-sufficient, to strengthen our position so that we may lend a hand to others.
Thank you for sticking with me. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers. Though most of us have never met, I feel a kinship with many of you, and I am inspired by your success. Keep the comments flowing. Feel free to share new ideas on Facebook, or via email. Feel free to ask questions. Feel free to challenge ideas. Tell your friends about the blog, so that we may grow our frugal community even more.
I look forward to another year of sharing life’s ups and downs with you. May we all have more ups this year.