Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Hey Bud!!!

Greetings People,

This has been a challenging month.

As thoughts go through my head, I can only hear those words “Hey Bud!!”

This was what I hear every time I see the Ol’ Man. That was his customary greeting to me.

After the greeting, we talked about sports, news, and things going on in our lives. They were good conversations. Additionally, he offered some good words of wisdom. It was something that helped me out in the long run. I remember his positive attitude, his jokes, and his good natured spirit. Even when diabetes took away part of his leg, he continued to dance. If that is not the definition of happiness, I don’t know what is.

Now, I am coming to the realization that I will never hear or see those things again. I grieve now and will continue to grieve for a while. If there is a silver lining in all of this, it would be the good memories I have. From childhood to right now, the memories are with me and I am grateful to have them. Another silver lining I can think of is the fact that does not have to suffer anymore. He has been battling diabetes for the last 30 years. 15 of them were through different surgeries. The last 5 was through dialysis. I remember taking plenty of sick hours from work to accompany him to different hospitals and pickups.

Within the last couple of years, I have experienced the loss of friends, relatives, high school classmates, and fellow Toastmasters. Even though they were tough to take, it does not compare to the loss of someone so close. It hits home and it hits hard enough to put a chip in my heart.
What advice can I offer you people? If there is someone that is or has gone through something of this magnitude, all I can say is that it is okay to cry. It is okay to grieve. It is also okay to remember and appreciate the time you had with a loved one. That comforting solace will help one go through life day by day.

That loved one may be gone, but remember that piece of the person will always remain in your mind, thoughts, and heart. Once you have that, it will make things a little easier.

That is all I have for now. Take care and thank you for your time and attention.


Jesse I-I-I

In Loving Memory of
Jesse Oakley Jr.
“I love you Ol’ Man”

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Life and Death Lessons

Greetings Happy People,

It happened on Monday morning, February 27, 2012.

I was getting ready for my day at work when I got a phone call. Little did I know, that phone call changed my life.

Within the past four months, I have seen many Toastmaster friends pass away. I have also seen relatives of friends pass away too. Those moments hit me hard, but it was nothing compared to suffering a loss that was so close to home.

It was a difficult time for the Oakley family. What I have been through in the last two weeks was painful.  As I go through a mix of emotions writing this to you, I can tell you that I learned some lessons through this time. Some of them were good. Others were bad. Either way, they are lessons that I will not forget.

During the last two weeks, I have seen plenty of selfish people. Like vultures, those wannabe opportunists want to take whatever they can get. It doesn’t matter if it is related to finances, material items, or anything else, they always want a piece of the pie when someone dies.

I have also seen the overly dramatic drama queens. These people never cared when someone was living. Once the person dies, they go into theatrics. The tears start pouring out, the sobbing gets too loud, and they try to make themselves look like “the good person” by consoling other family members. To make things more interesting, they would stand in front of the mourning family to just put attention on themselves!! Can you say “Holy strawberries??”

I had to turn away one relative that was like that. Hey, if I could not trust this person when I was drunk, what make them think that I could trust this person sober? All I can do is shake my head, cross my arms, and say “Really?” 

Another thing I have seen was one of the lowest moves of all. Just because a person dies, it does not mean that the widow is “available” at that moment. If a widow grieves, now is NOT the right time for anyone to make the moves on that person. I have seen one of the limo drivers try to make the moves on my mom and she was not having it. He tried to get to her via yours truly and I was not having it either. Yes, you do have people like that.

While all of these bad things can happen when someone dies, there are also a lot of good things too. Many of which I am grateful for.

The first thing I am grateful for is the love from friends, family, and other people that I barely know. These people showed condolences, offered thoughts and well wishes, and gave a kind word, a few dollar bills, sympathy cards, and some good food. Nice gestures like these are amazing to see and it I am happy and thankful for it. It is times like this that make me think that for every bad person that exists, there are ten more that are still good.

The next thing I am grateful for is the memories of me and the Ol’ Man. For my 36 years of living, I can honestly say that the time I have spent with the Ol’ Man will never be forgotten. I will remember the words of wisdom. I will remember him for being an awesome provider. I will remember the positive attitude he displays even through the last few years of his life. I will remember how grateful I am to have him in my life and how proud I am to carry his name. Anytime I go to Boulder City, I will make sure to stop by and tell him “Hello.”

Good memories and moments like this can outweigh the bad at any time, any place, and any level.

As I conclude this message, I would like to say is that if you have anything in your life, take the time to cherish it before it goes away. There may be some bad things that come along the horizon, but remember that it will either pass or come to roost. If you can be grateful for the things you have right now, it will make the moments and memories that much sweeter.

I may have lost the Ol’ Man and there maybe a chip remains in my heart, but I will never lose him for all the days I live because I will never forget him. I love you dad.

That is all I have for now. Take care and thank you for your time and attention.


Jesse I-I-I

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