THREW Mikes EyEz

Original Writings, Images, Video and Artworks of Mike Hartley


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I keep finding new secrets in life. Sometimes adversity brings knowledge. Sometimes an appreciation for life that those who don’t experience adversity will never know. Today I feel both sad and lucky.

One of the many important things my mother taught me was there was always someone worse off and to appreciate all we have at all times. I remember her saying that to me, the first time I saw a soldier who had an arm amputation. I was only about 6 or 7 years old at Bethesda Naval Hospital. First, she said it’s not polite to stare at Michael as we walked toward him. She slowed and asked if he needed help because he was using a cane with his one full arm. He said he was good but thanked her for checking. As we walked away I remember her saying those are the people your daddy helped years before. Later when we were sitting in the cafeteria at the hospital she says remember how lucky you are to have both hands holding that sandwich.

Just short of 65 years ago in my Moms arms.

With the anniversary of her passing, I’ve remembered a few things about our time together at that hospital. For a short time, my father was stationed there, and seeing him in uniform. The time in my youth when I was treated there for a few things. And later took my mom there for her tests, operations, and treatments. Sometimes I felt that was our second home.

She worked over there for years helping the Red Cross. Many mornings helping load her car with crafts for patients.

Dad is in uniform downtown. Photo by Shirley Hartley

She would remind me to be thankful from time to time as difficulties would come our way. Even well into adulthood. I saw incredible courage as she faced many health challenges in her senior years, always telling me about someone else who was struggling or suffering greater. I will never be as selfless as she was, but I will try to do my best and find ways to emulate her compassion in my own ways.

It’s interesting the change when your parents have passed. I lost my dad very early and my Mom lived to a pretty old age. So I got a mixture. My better half had parents that lived into their 90s but both were gone in the same year which I saw caused much pain also. There is no good time to lose your parents.

Those embraces were filled with love. The unyielding support and optimism. Those special gifts or special meals. The advice and guidance. That morale-building call or note in the lunch or candy bar she would give me for running an errand as an adult. I still feel those things. I can still remember the smell of her fixing one of my favorite meals. When I look at their picture I feel a warmth like a hug. I feel satisfaction after visiting their gravesite as I would after paying her a visit and spending some time talking or helping her move stuff in her gardens. I miss them greatly and at the same time feel their support now.

Remember when you were young
You shone like the sun –

From Shine on you crazy diamond by Pink Floyd

Random Thoughts of the Day

  • The secret of the musical group The Who is that they all play lead at all times. It gives them an energy few other groups have. Well, had.
  • Went to a family christening today. A wonderful time and saw my own children for the first time in a while. So despite feeling sore from about 3 hours of mowing it was a great day.
  • I might have to try this thing about going to bed before midnight a try.
  • Even though work is on the agenda the next few days I’m still going to grill out.

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.

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