Thursday, September 29, 2011

Just Count the Good Strokes

My sweet daddy, J (Jay) Ronald Swint, passed away on September 19, 2011 at home. He suffered terribly for many years with ill health but did so with grace and integrity.

I don't remember hearing my dad complain about feeling bad, ever. But I did hear him try to joke and make things better. If he bust out into song with a rousing rendition of "I feel good..." we knew he was in extreme pain. He tried to keep a positive outlook on life and he tried to be happy and joyful all while enduring faithfully to the end.

I love my daddy with all my heart. He was a great man! He had an exciting, even glamorous life through his work with Capitol Records in the "hey-day" of great music. He knew and worked with the greats. I'm talking Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, The Beach Boys, even The Beatles. He was great at his job, but that is not what defined him. He wanted to be remembered as a man of integrity and principle; a man who loved his God, his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ; a man who loved his family and adored his wife more than he could express.

I happened to have the privilege of spending some of his last few precious days with him. He went downhill pretty fast. He struggled for each breath and we had to keep him doped up on pain meds just to keep him comfortable. It was the most difficult thing I have ever witnessed in my entire life! I shed many silent tears, expressed innumerable words of love and appreciation and I often just sat in silence absorbing the pure goodness of his spirit. I will ALWAYS treasure that sweet time we were afforded together.

My dad and I had great times together. He was one of the funniest people I have ever known and he was a blast to be around. We often golfed together. In fact, we used to golf 3 times a week. On the course, we would talk about life. Don't get me wrong, we laughed a lot, but we also had some of our best talks on the golf course. I always kept score for both of us. As I would inevitably lose my ball in the drink or in the rough, I would be counting up my strokes, including the penalty stroke, and he would say, "Oh babe, don't take a penalty...losing your ball was penalty enough!". Then he would go on to say, "Just count the good strokes, the bad ones just mess with your head and mess up the rest of your game!" and sometimes he would simply say, "Let's enjoy the game and NOT keep score today." (He was the sweetest cheater I ever knew...he always cheated in MY favor!)

As I have traveled through life, I have come to really appreciate the wisdom in what seemed to be simply a friendly game of golf. How many times do we focus on the negative or bad things that have happened to us and forget to celebrate the good? Focusing on the "bad strokes" tends to throw us off a rhythm and oft times throws us into a tailspin, leading to possible self-destruction...I tend to beat myself up over my mistakes and forget that I am deserving of my own forgiveness.

So to my precious and ever wise father, I say this; Thank you for reminding me that I have worth and that I am deserving of all the good things in life. I will always remember you and take great joy and comfort in knowing that I had the best father I could have ever imagined!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Common Sense??

I was visiting with a few of my husband's cousins the other night while I was home in Utah. As we were sitting outside enjoying what very well could be the last of a handful of beautiful summer nights, I shared some of the silly things that I have observed as a Flight Attendant regarding passenger behavior. Brad's cousin made the most profound and Oh-So-Truthful statement that I have heard in a long time. She simply said, "Common Sense is not all that Common."

We shared a few laughs over that statement, but as I have become cognisant of the behavior of the masses, I am more and more convinced of the magnitude of that simple statement! I ran across a great tribute to our old friend and just had to share (I only wish I had come up with this!)

Obituary of Mr. Common Sense
By Rick Archer

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as:

1.Knowing when to come in out of the rain

2.Why the early bird gets the worm

3.Life isn’t always fair

4.Maybe it was my fault after all

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don’t spend more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in charge).The health of Common Sense began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6 -year- old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.

Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children. It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer Tylenol, sun lotion or a band-aid to a student; but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

Common Sense lost the will to live as the Ten Commandments became contraband; churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims.

Common Sense took a beating when you couldn’t defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.

Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement. Common Sense was preceded in death by his parents, Truth and Trust; his wife, Discretion; his daughter, Responsibility; and his son, Reason.

He is survived by his 3 stepbrothers; I Know My Rights, Someone Else Is To Blame, and I’m A Victim.

Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone. If you still remember him, pass this on. If not, join the majority and do nothing.