THREW Mikes EyEz

Original Writings, Images, Video and Artworks of Mike Hartley

Back in stride


I’m starting to feel productive in my personal hobbies and endeavors again. Just making some more time for it and enjoying it as much as I can. At the same time, the same old and new stresses continue. I’m getting used to it as the new abnormal.

It’s interesting how change and stress evolve over time. Some are able to turn it around, adapt, and get even more creative and motivated in support of life and others. The opposite also holds true though and many get more stressed and depressed. And probably the largest group in the middle as always trying their best to just tread water and stay positive despite being beaten down daily.

Having a bad hair day in that weather. Photo by Mike Hartley

Today doesn’t look like the best weather here in the state of Maryland to be out and about but I’m still going to grab the cameras and head out in it. I’m kind of excited just to have some time and be with my better half.

Last night was a special evening. A memorial mass and dinner for my father in law who passed earlier this year. I hadn’t been to church in a bit and it just happened to be in the church I got married 40 years ago almost to the day. So it was interesting the feelings that came up. I still remember him walking my better half up the aisle and giving her hand to mine.

As the whole family gathered in his honor I could almost feel him watching so intently. Soaking each one of the families loves up to him. As I scanned the church upper balconies for some reason I was looking for a face. I didn’t find a familiar one.

As I gazed forward my mother in law was directly in front of me but separated by an empty pew. If there was a spot where his presence would be it was right there. Right behind his wife who was flanked by his oldest son and daughter. I could imagine him leaning forward and wrapping his arms around mom and then all three of them.

I thought about the thousands of times my mother and father in law sat in that church together, hand in hand for weekly services. They also worked hard for that church in both time and resources. I believe it was appreciated but that isn’t why they did it. They were just two of many good people in this world who do things for others without recognition or gain in mind.

I worry about the toll the loss takes on Mom’s heart though. After all those many decades together, how does one get through the day? We all try to do our best to keep her spirits up and celebrate the things we can in small ways but these times create a lot of difficulties. The physical support of a hug or a kiss or whisper in the ear is changed. And that is such an important part of emotional support. Doing that elbow touch instead of that firm handshake and one arm hug just doesn’t cut it for me with the men in the family and I also miss the embraces of the backbone of the families (the ladies).

I’m not the most religious individual on the planet but you see people come together with that giving and loving spirit within them does make you think about a greater good.

My observation and I think my feeling about the way I’ve lived and seen others live that I respect, is that if you have done it right, your memory, spirit, inspiration, love, and quirks will live on far after you can no longer share them day by day. RIP Dad and let my parents know I made it to church without getting hit by lightning.

Random Thoughts of the Morning

  • Mistakes. Last night I went to bed in the bottom of the 9th inning with the Dodgers up 7-6. I wake this morning and find Tampa Bay wins 8-7. This isn’t going to help me go to bed in the future.
  • The first day of the season where temps probably won’t get out of the 40 degrees range along with showers and drizzle. Normally this would trigger a hostile attitude but I’m going to go with the flow and dress for it.
  • Well, the sun isn’t up yet but I have a lot to accomplish this fine day so I’ll be leaving you till later. May everyone have a great Sunday.

Author: Mike Hartley

With a lifetime and a half in the Newspaper industry I'm preparing for my retirement career as an Artist, Writer, Photographer and Video content provider. I'm a proud father of two wonderful children and I'm still married to the first girl I fell in love with and probably only one that would have me.

2 thoughts on “Back in stride

  1. Beautiful post Mike – the pic, your going out and your observations about your father in law and mom and being religious.

    Stay safe. Stay motivated 😊🤗

Leave a Reply