Sunday, December 16, 2018


I am 70, I have failed thousands of times! A wiser man than I once said, "Either I win, or I learn!" I have felt that way all my life. Thomas Edison failed a LOT while inventing the electric light bulb. I remember a cartoon of Tom Edison looking out the window of his laboratory, on the second floor. and the pile of failures higher than his second floor window. His assistant came in the door and said something like, "No luck yet, Mr. Edison?" His assistant knew he would never,ever quit! His mother needed an operation to save her life and the kerosene lights did not give enough light to operate at night.

My first crusade was bringing troubled teens to Christ about 28 years ago. I was the maintenance department at Oasis Youth Services in Manheim, PA. It was started by Manheim Churches. Many people asked why I was helping Pastor Jim. They said a lot of teen hoods hung out there. DOH! Those same people think why should we help kids not get into a life of crime. It is way cheaper to train teens than to wait until they commit big crimes and put them in jail. 

Mary and I took our three kids to whatever program they wanted to get in. Girl or Boy Scouts, soccer, baseball, basketball. I pulled the kids every year for Manheim parades, for 15 years. I used my service truck. I was an electrical contractor. Burned out 3 clutches over the years. We took the kids to scout camp when the astronauts were there. We camped in the woods, it was 100 degrees in the shade. We help the grandchildren too. Mary is now helping our granddaughter learn parallel parking so she can get her driving license. The second granddaughter will be there in about 2 years. The 8 year old grandson, we get a break for 8 years. LOL

Failure is a great humbler. The first wheelie I did with my first motorcycle, I started on my bicycle at 12  years of age, I was arrested on my Honda 90 for disorderly conduct on a motorcycle. $35 fine. McDonald's was a hangout, and everyone loved to drive under the golden arches. I did a giant wheelie thru the golden arches.

I failed with Mary, I was too pushy because I told her we would get married and have three kids. She freaked out and broke up with me. Eight months later she came back. I know I grow on people. Like a bad rash, I am hard to get rid of. May 20, 2019 we celebrate 47 years of wedded bliss. Change that to Mary putting up with me!

Mary and I both told our kids they can be anything  they want. Laura born 1973, works with paraplegic individuals, she followed Mary into nursing. Tim born 1979, is a Doctor of Childhood Sociology, Autism, for a big firm near Philly. He works out of his home. Jeff born 1983 works at LA Ronald Reagan Hospital, in the Clergy Department. Jeff is  Jeffery Lloyd Caldwell, named after my Father, Lloyd Sylvester Caldwell. I am so glad Lloyd got to hold his Grandson/namesake before he died in 1983. He had high blood pressure all his life.

I have it too. Mary got me on blood pressure pills in 1973. I am jealous of the people who die slowly and can visit their families as they are dying, can say goodbye, and I LOVE YOU. Lloyd had the main blood vessel that feeds the brain stem explode at 9:00 PM on a snowy night. About 3 weeks before he died I hugged him, picked him off the floor and said I LOVE YOU. When we got to the hospital his brain stem had already died. The emergency room Doctor remembered me from one of my failures on the motorcycle. He said the man you know as your father is gone. How long do you want his body to suffer? The brain stem is the man you know and loved, now he is gone. My mom Edith was in no shape to decide, we 3 brothers said let him go in peace.

I am 6'2" , I  was strong physically all my life. All my life I teared up at sad movies and TV. I was terribly mad at GOD for taking Lloyd. He was the first family person I lost. I did not talk to GOD for six months. My greatest failure. 

If your kids fail, recite to them "I win or I learn". They will realize life is a learning experience, and learn to no matter how often they fail, as long as they are still breathing, they have another chance to try; NO, MAKE THAT DO!!

My motto for is "I will never, ever, never quit until the tally is Every 24 hrs 0 PTSD Suicides!! Our brave heroes must not die by their own hands."  SEE

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