Monday, February 24, 2014

Dad's Eulogy

 Michael R. Althouse, Sr., loving friend, cousin, nephew, brother, son, and an unforgettable father. We come here today to both honor and celebrate his life, and to remember him in light of all the wonderful memories we have of him.
            Dad was a man well known for his happy-go-lucky personality—a jokester to the core with a contagious smile and a knack for making people laugh. And aside from the visage of the guy with the piercing blue eyes and charming looks, he was a man with a huge heart and an always-extended helping hand. Be it needing a shoulder to cry on or someone simply to just talk to, Dad was there for those in need.
            And speaking of talking, boy did he like to chat. Dad could sit down and have a conversation for hours—as I know firsthand from the many past phone calls we had talking of what seemed to be little to nothing for an hour or more. And I would sit there on the one end, getting a bit antsy, because he would keep going on and on. But now, in reflection of his life, what becomes apparent is how easy we take for granted the little things in life—I would give anything to hear his voice again if only for a moment in time. I guess I really learned the value of living every moment like it could be the last, because only God knows what tomorrow brings.
            On further note, however, I can recall countless other memorable times I spent with my dad—trips to Wawa for candy and Slushees when I was younger, or visiting Talluto’s for our favorite little mozzarella balls, or even just a quiet night out to eat at a local restaurant. And who could forget he was a good cook? Old bay spaghetti with shrimp was one of my favorites that he made. It was these little things that mattered most to me.
            As for Dad, even through a past full of struggles, it was his kids that mattered most to him, and his pride for his children and their accomplishments was nearly unrivaled. He would brag to just about anyone about how proud he was, and in doing so he would light up with joy and a large smile would quickly form on his face. If anything, he never left me feeling unloved or underappreciated—he found life in his children. If he could have given us the world and more he would have.
            As I stand up here today, let us remember my dad in all his former glory. As a beloved friend and family member he lives on in memory as someone we hold dear to our heart. Let us rejoice in the good times and find within us the ability to forgive. And while my dad fought his demons, deep down he truly was a remarkable individual. Through him I would not be the resilient person I am today. He provided me with a pathway to learn from his mistakes and better myself, and he instilled in me a greater drive for learning and understanding the value of an education. But he is with the Lord now, without pain and suffering; an angel of God welcomed with open arms by those loved ones who we have also lost. And until the day has come when the Lord has called for us all to return to His kingdom, Mike, Moose, or Dad—however you choose to refer to him as—will be greatly missed.

Musings of an Alley Cat

I walk the line of solitude in hopes of recognition,

For you to catch my blackened stare devoid of recollection,

Of what it felt like to be loved and held dear to someone’s heart;

To feel the aching in my soul whenever we’re apart.

But here I stand, abandoned still, with no one’s hand to hold,

Left to wander, aimlessly, these empty, lifeless streets, so cold.

A stray to love, I view myself—lost but still not found;

Waiting patiently until that day when you might come around,

To scoop me up in both your arms and plant me with a kiss;

To fill my heart with joy once more, for that’s what’s been amiss.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

A Love Note of Remembrance for the Future

Right now we’re young and innocent without a worry in the world.

We live each passing day, bathing ourselves in the all that simply is,

Living in the moment—with no fear of what’s to come or regret for what was.

But will you remember me when we’ve grown old?

Will you remember the life we used to share together?

Will you cherish the way things used to be…

Before falling prey to the workings of time;

Before Life’s unpredictability led us down two separate, lonely paths?

Will you remember those nights spent lying beneath the twinkling of the stars,

Holding hands and gazing up wondrously at the heavens;

The way we used to dance together in the opalescent moonlight,

Two lovers amidst a symphony of silence and beating hearts,

And the glowing of a thousand fireflies in the dark.

Remember how we used to smile,

Remember how we used to laugh,

Remember how you used to fill my heart with happiness.

And if you are to only remember one thing, just remember how much youmeant to me;

Remember how I used to love you,

And remember that I always will.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Beauty of Destruction

An old building that once touched the sky, crumbles into nothing more than a pile of rubble and debris—a pale comparison of the great structure it used to be. And in a few years time, something bigger and better takes its place.

We often look at creation and life as something amazing; renewal and preservation as something marvelous. But yet, on the opposite side of the spectrum, there is something so awe worthy and amazing about destruction that it sparks a great sense of interest inside of us, or at least I know it does in me. We often look at the two—creation and destruction—in terms of good vs. bad, life vs death, light vs. shadow, etc… but does destruction really have to be the essence of negativity? Like all things, there is no beginning without an end, and nothing lasts forever except Time itself as we know it. Sometimes it takes the imminent destruction of one thing (or many) to cause the creation of something else much newer and better than it was before. As we recognize and respect destruction for what it is—a way of paving a path for the birth of something new—the line that separates opposite from opposite, creation from destruction becomes blurred. Soon before we know it, what was once viewed as something to be feared becomes a process of life and renewal in and of itself.

Without one, how could we possibly come to know the other?

Friday, April 15, 2011

Taking Wing to Heaven

If I could, I’d tie to me a thousand birds and fly,

Above the highest mountain tops, on past the clouds and sky;

I’d soar beyond the earth and stars, and land where angels play,

Just to hold you close once more—oh surely there’s a way.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Love Eternal

Someday I hope, when I grow old, I’ll find the one for me,

And we shall live our lives throughout in peace and harmony.

And when God comes and says it’s time for us to say adieu,

I’ll leave my earthly form behind but not my love for you.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Preserving Life: A Controversial Reflection On the Pro-Choice Debate

A flower does not begin a flower but a seedling, planted by the two hands of its gardener. It is not without a little love, care, and some patience, provided by those two tender hands over time, that that once tiny seedling can flourish and eventually blossom into the beautiful flower it’s destined to become.

Epictetus, an ancient Greek philosopher, once said, “No great thing is created suddenly.” In essence, greatness is an incubation process, and it takes time to develop, much like a mother’s carrying a child in her womb. But without a chance, greatness can never be achieved; it can never even be acquired, let alone perceived. When we support the idea of abortion as a feasible means to an end, we support the most basic violation of human rights: the right to LIFE, liberty, and the PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS. How can we be so selfish as to deny another the right to live, to have aspirations and dreams of their own, and to strive to achieve greatness for themselves? We will never know if we never give them a chance; instead, we often look towards the route that will best quench the thirst for resolution to our “problem”, our “mistake”—by diminishing the affects of cognitive dissonance, and clearing our head of the many conflicting thoughts that sail across our guilty mind like a boat amidst a tumultuous sea of regret and negative emotions. Unfortunately for many, the resolution to their “problem” is abortion.

And now to propose some questions… In America, do we not go through 12+ years of schooling? And do we not learn in the course of those 12 years at least once the process of human reproduction and the possible result of our participation in sexual acts between two members of opposite sex? While it may be said that not everyone in the world has such access to sexual education, and in some cases (such as rape or incest) not everyone is entirely at fault and at will for the result of pregnancy, it goes to say, that in the United States, where this topic is of great concern and importance to both men and women alike, we cannot deny then that we don’t have at least some knowledge of the consequences of having sex. Using negligence as an excuse for our life problems is not a valid excuse whatsoever.

Furthermore, in addressing the idea that men are in no way and should not in any way be part of a woman’s decision making process of whether or not she is to have an abortion is, simply put, absurd. While men may only contribute the sperm and the women do carry the baby for the first nine months of its pre-natal life, it still remains that that baby would not be in the first place without both, that that child is not strictly of one but possessing genes from both the parents, that what is hers is equally his. I know a father would be greatly displeased if he did not have a say in his own child’s life—as if he himself had no responsibility in the creation of human life whether by will or by unplanned pregnancy, and that ultimately, his opinion on the matter was of little to no importance. It just so happens, that women carry the baby—that's nature—but the presence of the way things simply are as a result of Nature’s workings should not mean the absence of opinion and responsibility of one’s actions on the male’s part.

In continuation of said point, the woman’s justification that, “it’s my body and I have complete say over what comes and goes into and out of it ” may appear quite logical and indisputable at a glance, but under more careful examination, and in arguing about abortion in particular, it is in all actuality quite paradoxical. I suppose the woman then, in cases of consented sex, had “complete say over what comes and goes into and out” of her body in respect to allowing the male to ejaculate inside her, and as a result is now held personally accountable for the pregnancy. Furthermore, when the male then decides to leave her because he finds out she is now pregnant, he is not responsible for the child because “he has no say” over a woman’s decision to keep or abort her child. Ludicrous? Any sensible person would agree, that yes it is. But it is easy to see how the implied context of a statement can easily be flipped to work against it once that statement is recognized as being contradictory. Obviously a man leaving his pregnant female counterpart is a reflection of him evading his own personal responsibilities and obligation to be there for his baby’s birth and watch them grow up. So if he has an indisputable obligation to support his wife in her pregnancy, then he has an indisputable say in the life of his child. Anything contrary to that understanding would support the obviously ridiculous hypothetical situation described above.

Overall and simply put, a life is a life. Once human life is created, that individual has the right to live. They have a right to learn, to grow, to laugh, to play… just like any other child who was given the chance to thrive. Though we may all not achieve greatness, we have the right to try, and with a bit of self-cultivation and some determination we can do just that. Perhaps, all those lives who were never given a chance of their own could have grown into someone exceptionally noteworthy, someone admirable, respectable—a passionate civil rights activist like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the world’s brightest scientist who goes on to making an astonishing ground-breaking discovery in the fields of science, medicine, or technology. Perhaps they will flourish into a man or woman of remarkable character like the wise Mahatma Gandhi, or speak kind words of peace and love like Jesus. No great thing is created suddenly, and that’s the truth.

Don’t be the one to say yes to abortion; always remember, adoption is an option, and one couple’s unwanted child may prove to be the ultimate blessing to those who cannot have children of their own.

We only have one life to live here on Earth and one chance to live it. Their life is in your hands.

A life is a life.