Professor Media Matters

I am a media professional with 6 years as a TV producer and reporter, and college professor in the field of Communications. I am also a Conservative with a passion for pop culture. This will be my attempt to put the "me" in media. It will be my take on movies, TV, books, magazines, newspapers, the Internet and all that is the worldwide media.

Friday, May 05, 2017

KLOVE Racing

“I don’t want to gain the whole world and lose my soul.”
“Write your story on my heart.”
“The honest cries of breaking hearts are better than a hallelujah.”
These are some of my favorite lyrics from my favorite radio station, KLOVE. KLOVE is a nationwide, listener-supported Christian radio station. They feature a contemporary Christian music format featuring such artists as Toby Mac, Amy Grant and the Newsboys.

KLOVE radio also sponsors a car in NASCAR, fast becoming my favorite spectator sport. Driver Michael McDowell drives the #95 KLOVE car. KLOVE sees their NASCAR vehicle as an outreach effort, hoping to make more NASCAR fans familiar with their Christian music and Gospel message. I think it is a unique and admirable mission outreach. While I have yet to see McDowell win a Monster Energy Cup race (I did see him win an Xfinity race), I always root for him to do well because of his connection to KLOVE and Christianity.

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Wednesday, May 03, 2017

CLASSROOM CONNECTIONS

This is a devotional from my book about my son, Parker's Story: Essays on Autism and Awesometism.

KEY VERSE:

A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity. Proverbs 17:17

ESSAY:

            I was not popular in school. Student government, sports and other extra-curricular activities kept me busy and so I was well-known. But I was not popular in the sense of being among the cool crowd. My son, on the other hand, has the popular gene. People are just naturally drawn to him. For some it is his wild and naturally curly red hair. You would be shocked at how many women stop him in the grocery store to compliment Parker on his hair. Some have even wanted to touch it. The first few times it happened he acted all shy. Now that it has happened so many times he is used to it and he just ignores the women. For others, even those who see him at his worst -- full of tantrums and fits, they love him for his magnetic personality. So many of his teachers and therapists will secretly tell us that Parker is their favorite student. He is just one of those people who has the “it” factor and he has the swagger to go along with “it.” My son makes people laugh and smile and feel good about themselves. He is charming, charismatic and comical. He could run for President some day on his personality and popularity alone. His friendly demeanor is a God-given gift.

Preschool Pastor

            My son is part ham, part missionary. His teacher told me that for show and tell today at his public preschool he sang his class You Overcame by Jeremy Camp, which is his favorite church and Christian radio song. The song’s lyrics talk about how Jesus is worthy of honor and we should praise Him because He overcame death. The teacher and several of the kids didn't know the song before Parker sang it to them. Now they do and I bet he had them singing along. Another one of his teachers swears my son is going to become a pastor because he is always talking about church and God. Who knows, he may become the first autistic evangelist.

Classroom Crush

            Parker has a crush on a little girl at school. It is his first school crush, unless you count the crush he had on the drawings of Eve in his children’s Bible. He gets shy and embarrassed talking about his crush and won’t tell me too much. But from what I can gather, she is not in his kindergarten class. Her name is Sally. He did reveal to me she has brown hair and is pretty. I think she is older. She plays tetherball at recess. Bubba said he had a dream the other night where he rescued her. Oh my. He is starting young. He is only six.

Playground Poppa

            When I walk Parker to and from school every day I often get stared at by other children. On the playground they sometimes congregate around me. It is not because I look or smell funny, though I possibly do. I think it is because I am an oddity. Many of these kids, at a large metropolitan area public school, don't have a dad at home. They don't have a man who loves them, takes care of them and walks them to school. Maybe I represent a longing. The absence of fathers in the home is an American epidemic these days. The way I see it, me and Parker, we are blessed.

Adam and “Eveden”

            Because Parker does not have school for 11 days, thanks to holidays and furlough days from the school district, we have been doing lessons at home. I am readying my homeschooling skills I guess. We have been studying the story of Adam and Eve in Bubba's Bible. With his autism Parker struggles with reading comprehension. He reads quite well for his age but does not retain or understand what he has read. So his questions for today's reading were: 1) Who made Adam? 2) Who was Adam married to? And 3) What was the name of the Garden where they lived? He struggled with that one, wanting to call it “Eveden” not Eden. I think he was confused by two similar sounding words and was combining Eve with Eden. But he eventually got it. And then he got to color a picture of the Garden of Eden. We had fun and he is doing so well. His teacher said he is the smartest kid in his K-2 special education class and he is just a kindergartner.

The Encourager

            My Bubba is a friendly and encouraging boy. For many autistic children, making eye contact is difficult and social interaction is awkward. But with lots of therapy, intervention and a God-given personality, Parker has developed a very personable demeanor. He likes to play games at home where he does the play-by-play sports announcing and celebrates his friends winning the big NASCAR race, hitting a homerun or scoring a touchdown. Bubba is always imagining good things for his school buddies and I sometimes have to remind him that it is okay for Parker to win sometimes, too. Last night when I went in to check on him, my son the encourager was chatting in his sleep. He was talking to one of his classmates: "Good job Keon! Way to go. I knew you could do it."

Parker’s Progress

            Parker's Behavioral Therapist visited his classroom today to assess his progress. She gave us an amazing report. Remember this is a boy born with up to 50% of his brain missing, a brain cyst, developmental delay, autism and cerebral palsy. She said he struggles with writing due to his cerebral palsy. But his math and reading skills are above those of his classmates. She had to talk to his teacher about skipping several math lessons so Parker would stay challenged. So proud of my boy. So thankful to God for hope in what could have been a hopeless situation.

Classroom Crush Part Two

            So Sally was his kindergarten crush. By first grade he had moved on: Bubba now has a crush on an older woman at school. She is NINE! Courtney is a cute, red haired, freckle-faced girl. He talks about her constantly. And his teachers say he tries to talk to her all day long. Last night in his sleep he said, "Hi Courtney."

Sunday School Silliness

            My son is such a ham. Yesterday while subbing in his Sunday School class the other teacher had all of the 5-7 year olds circle up. They had to say their names, what age they would turn on their next birthday and what they wanted to be when they grew up. I was surprised at how well the kids cooperated. Some wanted to be zookeepers, chefs or mommies. But when it was Parker's turn he said, "Parker. 7. I want to be a booger." The other kids erupted in laughter. He caught us teachers by surprise and we laughed, too. Seems like the boy is just as silly as his daddy.

Classroom Code

            At age eight Parker is at that stage now where he gets embarrassed when I drop him off at school or church if I say, "I love you.” My wife tells me this is completely normal. So Parker and I have invented code words for "I love you." Now when I drop him off I give him a big hug and say, "You have awesome boogers." Other people who do not know the code look at us strangely. That’s okay, we know what it means.

Parker’s Playmate

            Parker is developing a nice friendship with the Ukrainian boy who lives two houses down. Avenir is two years older and goes to the same school as my son. He likes to play catch with Parker. Avenir’s English is strong and he is a good kid. He doesn't mind that Parker doesn't know how to relate to him. With his autism all Parker knows how to do is repeat his favorite Disney movie lines. Avenir just smiles and keeps playing. I am grateful that Parker has a boy in the neighborhood to play with.

Sadness as a Good Sign

            When I woke up this Saturday morning I found Parker crying on the couch in the living room. I asked him why he was crying and he said it was because yesterday was Jose’s last day at school. He explained that Jose is a friend in his fourth grade special education class. He said he found out that Jose was moving and would be going to a different school. Parker was going to miss his friend and was expressing real emotion about it. For autistic children, the ability to show empathy and emotion toward others can be rare. Even though my son was sad, I was so proud of him.

APPLICATION:

            For most of us who do not possess the “it” factor that draws people to us in droves, we have to work at making friends and being friendly. God thinks very highly of friendship. Just look at some of the friendships in the Bible: David and Jonathan in the Old Testament and Paul and Timothy in the New Testament. Our challenge is to value friendship as much as God does. How can you show God that you value friendship as much as He does? What qualities of friendliness and friendship do you possess? Which qualities of friendship do you need to work on? Test out your skills by making a decision to develop a new friendship and strengthen the ones you already have.



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Tuesday, May 02, 2017

RACING ON A PRAYER

“Oh say can you see?” In the United States, amateur and professional sporting events usually begin with those words, the first lines of the National Anthem. It seems perfectly fitting and appropriate to me to pay patriotic tribute to our nation before boxing, basketball and baseball. But there is one professional sporting event in America that does more than just the Star Spangled Banner. NASCAR begins their pre-race event with a prayer. A Christian prayer. They pray to God. They say “in Jesus name, Amen.” I love it. The televised prayer comes just before the anthem and the four most important words in racing, “Gentleman (or Drivers) start your engines.” Why don’t more sporting events start with prayer? Why is only NASCAR willing to honor the Almighty? A couple of quick thoughts as to why: 1) NASCAR is very big in the South, known as the “Bible Belt.” The people of the Southern United States seem more predisposed to accepting Christian tradition. 2) Auto racing is a very dangerous sport and the prayer almost always requests that the Creator keep the cars and their drivers safe from harm. When you have large objects made of metal hurling around a circle at 200 mph, praying for safety seems wise. Regardless of why NASCAR does it, I am grateful they do. My son loves to watch NASCAR. And every week he sees the drivers and their pit crews praying on national TV. The prayer is always offered by a pastor, usually one from the local area of the race track. For those at the venue who are looking for a home church or some spiritual guidance, they now have a name and a face to look up in their region. And to the national TV audience watching at home, often on a Sunday, praying in Jesus name reminds them of God, maybe even convicts them of sin. Praying before the race is a win-win for everyone involved. Let’s pray that more of the sports world will follow NASCAR’s lead.

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Monday, May 01, 2017

The Homeless Informant – chapter outlines
To promote my first novel, I wanted my chapter outlines to stand out and be memorable. So I made them rhyme. Call it the rhyming. Here is a description of each of the 40 chapters in this twist and turns soap opera style story.
11-    THE REUNITING
Lilly and her teen son Noah have a fight. It’s on Halloween Eve night. She reluctantly takes her family to the church site. Lilly and her long lost friend Penny reunite. Penny’s marriage to Steve is a fright.
22-    THE TELLING
Lilly worries about her friend. But she knows she must also tell Jeff, her husband. Jeff can’t believe Penny’s marriage has come to an end.
33-    THE INFORMING
Jeff and Lilly meet to inform their kids about Steve. No one understands why he would leave. When Penny comes over they discuss not mentioning it because it would make their daughter Gracie grieve.
44-    THE TALKING
The kids scram so the adults can talk. Penny says she doesn’t know why Steve would walk. This makes Jeff balk.
55-    THE ESCAPING
Penny and Gracie are in danger. In their complex their neighbor is a violent stranger.
66-    THE MOVING
Lilly insists that Penny and Gracie move in. The whole group tries a new living arrangement on for a spin.
77-    THE INVESTIGATING
Jeff’s friend Kasey is a P.I. He will look into finding that Steve guy. Kasey’s questions cause Gracie to cry.
88-    THE ARRESTING
The police officers who rescued Penny are on a stakeout. But the identity of the perp they wanted is in doubt. Who they arrest is interesting to find out.
99-    THE TESTING
Will Penny pass the test? The results have her in a state of unrest. Lilly reminds her she will be blessed.
110- THE MEETING
The police officers meet the D.A. She is intense with personality Type A. To get the drug kingpin would make her day.
111- THE STRESSING
The kids are stressed in their crowded abode. The moms try to get them in calmed down mode. One day at a time is the motto that’s told.
112- THE INTERROGATING
The D.A. interrogates Steve, the homeless male. He must cooperate to avoid jail. She wants him to lead her to the drug kingpin in the midst of a sale.
113- THE SPOTLIGHTING
The D.A. goes to the press. She says the police have created a mess. Letting a known drug dealer go leaves her in duress. But if not for the spotlight she’d say a lot less.
114- THE DEPARTING
Noah and the younger kids leave early for movie night. Noah wants to get the concession stand just right. The moms advise him how to get the youngsters to behave and be polite.

115- THE PATROLLING
The Police Officers patrol the neighborhood in their squad car. They hear on the radio the press and the D.A. spar. They worry and wonder did she go too far?
116- THE DISCOVERING
Noah discovers a homeless man outside the church. With his begging for food Noah won’t leave him in the lurch. He thinks he sees Uncle Steve and that renews the search.
117- THE FIGHTING
Lilly tells Jeff that Penny is with child. With the crowded house and finances Jeff could go wild. After a fight, she helps him calm down so his mood becomes mild.
118-  THE DREAMING
Gracie has a bad dream and falls out of bed. She is scared of the violence and is missing the man to whom her mother is wed. Penny tries to comfort her and kisses her head.
119- THE REASSURING
Noah tells his mom & dad what he saw. He thinks it was Uncle Steve, don’t guffaw. He gets reassurance from his ma and his pa.
220- THE KIDNAPPING
Archie, the drug kingpin has thugs. They kidnap Steve to protect the drugs. They beat him up badly, he is not leaving with hugs.
221- THE SHARING
Lilly and Noah share with Penny about seeing Steve. Penny isn’t sure what to believe. She doesn’t think Noah would deceive.
222- THE WARNING
Steve and Archie chat. Protecting Archie’s drugs is where it is at. If Steve is a snitch Archie warns he’ll be dead like that.
223- THE CONFESSING
The adults go for coffee. They want to update Kasey. Kasey asks for them to provide photo I.D. Penny confesses that Steve used to be a druggie.
224- THE REVEALING
Steve and Officer Gustafson meet. Steve won’t return to the druggie life he once beat. All he knows about Archie he reveals to him complete.
225- THE THANKSGIVING
Lilly’s family celebrates in style. Their Thanksgiving praises go the extra mile. It restores Penny’s gratefulness and makes her smile.
226- THE TRUSTING
Steve goes to Archie’s house. He is uncomfortable with the rich louse. But Archie trusts him so it’s best not to grouse.
227- THE CONFIRMING
Lilly takes Penny to the Crisis Pregnancy Center. There we meet Lilly’s mentor. A confirmed pregnancy is a part of Penny’s splendor.
228- THE PLANNING
Steve, the police officers and the D.A. discuss their plan. They need Steve to be the man. The D.A. doesn’t talk but demand.
229- THE EXPECTING
Gracie discovers her mom Penny is expecting. This has them both reflecting. Steve’s disappearance remains perplexing.
30- THE PREPARING
Officer Gustafson prepares Steve for the potential arrest. He’s wearing a wire and a bullet proof vest. To stay out of jail he will do his best.
331- THE COLLAPSING
While Christmas shopping with Lilly, Penny takes a fall. Will the baby survive her collapse at the mall? The medics are called and her bleeding they stall.
332- THE GUNNING
Archie believes Steve is the one. He trusts him and gives him a gun.  Archie acts maniacal and thinks it is fun.
333-  THE WORRYING
The ambulance takes Penny for a ride. Lilly stays by her side. Might Penny be worried that the baby has died?
334- THE SHOOTING
Archie and Steve try to do the drug sale. Steve is determined that the wiretap not fail.  Officer Gustafson shoots a bullet from his gun and Archie he does nail.
335- THE DIAGNOSING
The doctor’s diagnosis is a pre-eclampsia mess. Penny while pregnant must stay on bed rest. They are monitoring her blood pressure and trying to manage her stress.
336- THE INCLUDING
The D.A. wants the limelight for the successful drug bust. Including my officers, says the Police Chief, is a must. The heroic officers steal her thunder as the D.A. makes a fuss.
337- THE RECOVERING
Steve recovers in his hospital room. His nurse for therapy says down the hall he must zoom. He stumbles upon Penny and wonders is their marriage doomed?
338- THE WALKING
Lilly and Nurse Amy talk. They decide Steve needs to walk.
339- THE BEEPING
In Penny’s hospital room Steve falls asleep. He is awakened by the blood pressure monitor’s beep. Into emergency surgery to save Penny and her baby they must leap.
440- THE NAMING
 A miracle baby is born to the Mathers family. Their bond has become stronger and saving their marriage is key. To meet the new baby Lilly and her brood gather to see.  When the baby girl is named after her Lilly is moved and happy.





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Sunday, April 30, 2017

Media Encouragement (short story)

Announcer: “The Capital One Credit Card. For every purchase, every da$# day.”
“OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! I hate that.”
The TV blaring in the family room quickly got Maggie’s attention. She stormed in on a mission to find the remote.
“I can protect my kids from violent TV programs. I can block the shows with sexual content. I can monitor for lousy political propaganda. But there is no TV Guide that will tell me when they are going to air a commercial where they have swearing. And I hate that.”
“So write them a letter.” Maggie’s oldest son Gabe had followed the sound of her voice and found her ranting in the family room. As she frantically looked for the remote, he found it on the bookshelf and hit the off button.
“Thank you. And I have done that,” Maggie said. “I have written more complaint letters to more television executives than anyone west of the Mississippi.”
“I know, mom. It’s just what you always taught us to do.”
“Look here, Gabe. Here’s the stack of letters I sent to the NFL after Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction at the Super Bowl. That was ten years ago and I still have every copy of every letter. What good has it done?”
“Well, have you prayed about it?”
“Huh?”
Gabe slowed down his speech to mock her, “Haaaaave youuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu prayed aboooooooooooooout it?”
“No, I heard you. Hmmm.” She laughed. “You know Gabe, I’m not sure. I mean I document everything that I think is offensive. I think my letter writing campaigns personally employ dozens of postal workers. But I honestly don’t know if I have prayed much about it.”
“Maybe you should do that.” Maggie, still distracted by the shock of his question, remained silent. “Maybe we should pray about it right now,” he offered.
“I would like that Gabe. That’s a great idea. I’m afraid your question has me a little discombobulated. Would you do the honors?”
“Sure. Dear Jesus, thank you for my mom’s vigilance. She wants to protect her family from everything displeasing to you. And it’s frustrating because there is so much that is out of her control. Out of our control. Please help her to know we appreciate her efforts. Please let it have a positive impact. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
Maggie was truly touched by his gesture. “Thank you Gabe.” She walked across the room and gave him a hug. “What about you? Since we’re praying, what can I pray about for you?”
Now it was his turn to discombobulate. He hesitated. “Umm, nothing. No, I’m good.” He turned to make a beeline for his room.
“Not so fast, partner.” She glanced at the clock, “you’re home late by the way.”
He hesitated again.
“Out with it. What’s going on?” Maggie decided to get comfortable in the oversized lounge chair everyone fought over on family movie night.
“I got sent to detention,” Gabe admitted. “It’s no big deal.”
“Gabe how could you?”
“Mom, it’s all your fault.”
“What are you talking about? I wasn’t even there.”
“Well, it was like you were there. Everything you ever taught us was running through my mind and you got me in trouble.” He was talking really fast and flustered. His heart was racing as he relived the moment.
“Slow down, partner. Take a deep breath and explain yourself.”
Gabe exhaled slowly and sat down on the couch. “I was in last period history. Ms. Wells’ class. We were watching this documentary about the Iraq war. That’s what they called it, anyway. But it only documented one side. All it showed was all the bad stuff our troops do.  I just got sick of it and told my teacher I thought it was unfair.”
“Son, you have to be careful about these things.”
“No, mom. It was unfair. And I was respectful, I promise. I get that war is horrible and lots of bad things happen. But lots of good things happen, too. Before he died in Fallujah, Uncle Kyle wrote me all of those letters from Iraq. He told me about all of the lives they saved, and the school they built. None of that was in the video. I told Ms. Wells that American soldiers have liberated lots of people. She didn’t want to hear that. Then I said that Jesus said that greater love has no one than he who lays down his life for a friend. Quoting the Bible really sent her over the edge. She sent me to the principal’s office.”
“Hm. You really said all that Gabe?”
“Yes mom. All our lives you have talked to us about what we watch. What we take into our minds. I remember that night I watched Psycho at Billy’s slumber party and I came home crying. You sat up and prayed with me for 3 hours until I felt safe enough to fall asleep.”
“I was so mad at you that night. You knew better than that.”
“I know mom. And I never forgot that lesson. Now I am really careful about what I watch. And I examine everything to see if it honors God and tells the truth. And this documentary just didn’t seem like it was telling the whole truth. Before I knew it, I was talking about it to the class. I sounded more like you than you do.”
They both laughed.
“I’m really proud of you,” she said.
Now it was his turn. “Huh? You’re not mad.”
“At your teacher, yes. At you, no. I mean maybe we should watch this documentary together and I can see for myself. But bottom line, I am proud of you for using discernment. And for standing up for what you believe.”
“So, I’m not in trouble?”
“No. Ask your teacher if we can borrow the documentary and we’ll watch it together tomorrow night. And before we do, we’ll pray about it. How’s that?’
“Thanks, mom.”
“No, Gabe, thank you.”









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Saturday, April 29, 2017

Hospital Encouragement (Short Story)

“This stuff is so good,” shrieked Amy, as she scooped another spoonful.
“Pass it down here. My turn,” demanded her coworker Beth.
“You know if Dr. Martin catches us eating at the nurse’s station we are toast,” warned Joseph.
“I know, but this cookie dough is too addicting. Do you think anyone has ever really gotten sick off raw cookie dough? This warning label seems silly to me.” Amy grabbed for the bowl and another turn.
“I don’t know. We had a dormitory full of sick coeds once in the E/R with salmonella and a shared tub of cookie dough was one of many potential culprits,” remembered Beth.
BUZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.
“Dang it! That’s my pager. It’s room 678 again. That man just won’t leave me alone,” complained Amy.
“What’s wrong with him?” asked Joseph.
“Everything. He is going downhill fast. This is the 6th time he’s buzzed me this shift. What’s it gonna be this time? Nurse, fluff my pillows. Fluff your own pillows you crazy old…” Her voice drifted off as she walked down the hallway. She stopped outside his room and took a deep breath, trying to gather her composure. “Dear Jesus. I don’t know why but I am losing my patience with this man. Help. All things are possible through God who strengthens me.” She entered, avoiding eye contact with the old man.
“I can’t give you any more meds for another 3 hours Mr. Bloom. Doctor’s orders. You’re just going to have to wait.”
“What? No, I don’t need any medication.  That’s not why I buzzed you.”
Amy wasn’t listening. “I’m sorry but there’s really nothing more I can do for you. I have to finish my rounds but I’ll check back in on you before the morning shift takes over.”
“Wait. Don’t go!” he pleaded. Now he was embarrassed and with the raising of his voice to get Amy’s attention, he had overexerted himself. He sank back down in his bed.
She wanted to keep walking but she knew she had to stop. His cheeks were red and he was breathing heavy. “Mr. Bloom, what’s wrong? I already helped you with the TV remote. I brought your juice. We changed your bandages and your IV.”  
Amy wasn’t really able to disguise her impatience. But Mr. Bloom didn’t care. This might be his last chance. He tried his best to get the words out.
“Nurse, what day is it today?”
Amy’s chin dropped. She was so frustrated right now. She had 4 other patients she needed to visit and this man was asking her to be his own personal calendar. “It’s Wednesday!” she barked.
“Sorry, no. I mean what is the date? I’ve been in here so long, I’m losing track.”
That made sense to Amy. Though recently moved to her section, he’d been in this wing for about three weeks and she could understand patients getting dementia.  That always broke her heart. “It’s June 3, 2014.”
“That’s what I thought,” he mumbled. Immediately tears welled up in his eyes.
That did not make sense to Amy. “Mr. Bloom, what is it?” She wasn’t sure she wanted to know but was beginning to sense this was going to take a while. She brought him the Kleenex but didn’t give it to him. Instead, she wiped the tears away for him.
“I’ve been trying to talk to someone all day. The doctor came in for all of 20 seconds and she didn’t even let me ask her a question. She spoke a couple of clinical sounding sentences, wrote on my chart and dashed out. You at least smiled at the beginning of your shift and I knew that I had to talk with you.”
The smile returned and Amy let it linger. She was starting to feel bad about how she had been treating him. She sat on the edge of his bed.
“What’s on your mind Mr. Bloom?”
“Call me Alex.”
“What’s on your mind, Alex? Why the reaction to June 3rd, 2014?”
“My wife died one year ago today. In this hospital.” Again the tears flowed and Amy could feel them bubbling up in her as well.
“I’m so sorry, Alex.”
“We’d been married 56 years. I was just missing her so much.” Amy walked up and gave him a hug.
“Where’d you meet her?” Amy sank back onto the bed, fully drawn into the moment.
“I was in the Army. The USO gave a concert at our base and Marianne was one of the backup singers. She had a great set of pipes, if you know what I mean.”
Amy laughed. “Do you have any children?”
“Our daughter, Amy.”
“That’s my name. With a name like that, she must be great!”
“She is. But once my wife got sick and the medical expenses started piling up, we became a financial burden. Our Amy just stopped calling. I haven’t seen or spoken to her since her mother’s funeral.”
Amy was stunned. “Well, enough about her then.”
 “I’m sorry I’m bothering you.”
“Alex, you’re not bothering me. I’m sorry I was in such a rush earlier.”
“I was overwhelmed with this sense of loneliness and then it dawned on me what day it must be. It has been a difficult year.”
“Tell me more about your wife.”
“She was beautiful. She made me the man that is wasting away before you today.”
Amy nodded. He was wasting away and she knew his time was short. She was going to make it as special as possible. “Let me get my coworker Beth and ask her to check on my patient in 684. Do you have any photos of Marianne? I want to see this great set of pipes, as you called them. I’ll be right back.” She left the room. “Hey Alex, do you like cookie dough?” she hollered as she went on a hunt for Beth.



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Friday, April 28, 2017

Married to a Broncos Fanatic

On any given day, my wife will wear her vintage John Elway jersey with her Denver Broncos socks. She will accessorize that with her Broncos earrings and purse. Inside her purse is her makeup bag emblazoned with the Broncos logo. And before she got dressed she will have brushed her teeth with her Denver Broncos toothbrush and dried off with her Broncos beach towel.
When everything you touch in order to get ready for your day reminds you of your favorite NFL team you know you are a football FANatic. My wife is one of those fans. For more than 25 years she has faithfully fawned over her favorite team.
Now, in many marriages one might assume the husband is an avid NFL follower and the wife may or may not share in her husband's football fandom. But in our household, though always a football watcher, when I married my wife I definitely also married her pigskin passion for the Broncos.
While every room in our house has some Broncos influence, the office is decked out all in Denver decor. I am typing this article in a swivel office chair with the Broncos logo. I can keep my writing notes in a Broncos folder. Each wall is covered with Denver decorations, from blankets to bags to bumper stickers. Oh and board games, too.
Of course the jewel in her crown is the large curio cabinet filled to the brim with Broncos memorabilia. Boy did I score some brownie points when I bought her that for Christmas one year! She's got coffee mugs and key chains and anything else you can imagine. As the old saying goes, “everything but the kitchen sink.” She'd have that too if they made one.
If there is an item with a Denver Broncos trademark on it she either has it or wants it. Broncos inspired clothing that she can’t wear she foists upon her husband or son. I joke with her that I could put a Broncos sticker on a dead opossum and she would find a place to display it. I am still waiting for her to buy Denver sheets so she can say she sleeps with the Broncos.
Along with Elway merchandise, she has a Terrell Davis doll and Tim Tebow magazines. Whenever workmen come to the house to do repairs they automatically assume the collection is mine. I admit to loving the team,  yet I have to own up to the fact that my wife runs the museum.
There are no official visiting hours yet for the museum, but trust me, the collection keeps growing. Just this morning my Bronco-loving bride reminded me of a certain Denver emboldened item that she wants for Christmas. If she keeps this up, we’re going to need a bigger house.


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