I remember

24 11 2010

I remember where I was standing seven years ago today.

For a few years I had known this day would come, but I didn’t know when. The last few weeks it had seemed as though the day was approaching rapidly. I received the call from my mother in the 10:00am hour on November 24, 2003.

Your daddy is gone.

Today, I remember. I remember his smile. I remember the warmth of his embrace. I remember his laughter. I remember his tears. I remember his prayers. I remember his pain. I remember the love he had for his wife. I remember the love he had for his children. I remember his dedication. I remember his work. I remember his personality. I remember his athleticism. I remember… I remember… I will remember all day long.

My father had faults, but the great thing about time is I don’t remember those anymore. I remember the things that made him my daddy.

He’s been gone for seven years and it feels like yesterday and it feels like an eternity.

I found his belt several weeks ago while cleaning out my mother’s garage. It was just a little piece of him that was always constant. It’s still in wearable condition and I will be wearing it today as I remember.

I remember that my dad had a favorite poem that was introduced to him by his brother. To me, it’s not as much a poem as it is a rhyming short story. This is what he would say were he here today:

The Race
“Quit, give up, you’re beaten”
They shout at you and plead
“There’s just too much against you
This time you can’t succeed”.

And as I start to hang my head
In front of failures face
My downward fall is broken by
The memory of a race

And hope refills my weakened will
As I recall that scene
Or just the thought of that short race
Rejuvenates my being

Childrens race, young boys
Young men, how I remember well
Excitement sure, but also fear
It wasn’t hard to tell

They all lined up so full of hope
Each thought to win that race
Or tie for first, or if not that
At least take second place

The fathers watched from off the side
Each cheering for his son
And each boy hoped to show his dad
That he could be the one

The whistle blew and off they went
Young hearts and hopes afire
To win and be the hero there
Was each young boys desire

And one boy in particular
Whose dad was in the crowd
Was running near the lead and thought
“My dad will be so proud”

But as they speeded down the field
Across a shallow dip
The little boy who thought to win
Lost his step and slipped

Trying hard to catch himself
With hands flew out to brace
And amid the laughter of the crowd
He fell flat on his face

But as he fell his dad stood up
And showed his anxious face
Which to the boy so clearly said
“Get up and win the race”

He quickly rose, no damage done
Behind a bit that’s all
And ran with all his night and mind
To make up for the fall

So anxious to restore himself
To catch up and to win
His mind went faster than his legs
He slipped and fell again

He wised then that he had quit before
With only one disgrace
“I’m hopeless as a runner now
I shouldn’t try to race”

But in the laughing crowd he searched
And found his fathers face
That steady look which said again
“Get up and win the race”

So up he jumped to try again
Ten yards behind the last
If I’m going to gain those yards he though
I’ve got to move real fast

Exerting everything he had
He regained eight or ten
But trying hard to catch the lead
He slipped and fell again

Defeat, he lay there silently
A tear dropped from his eye
There’s no sense running anymore
Three strikes, I’m out, why try?

The will to rise had disappeared
All hope had fled away
So far behind so error prone
A loser all the way

“I’ve lost, so what”, he thought
I’ll live with my disgrace
But then he thought about his dad
Whom soon he’d have to face

“Get up” the echo sounded low
“Get up” and take your place
You were not meant for failure here
“Get up”, and win the race

With borrowed will “Get up” it said
“You haven’t lost at all”
For winning is no more than this
To rise each time you fall

So up he rose to run once more
And with a new commit
He resolved, that win or lose
At least he shouldn’t quit

So far behind the others now
The most he’d ever been
Still he’d give it all he had
And run as though to win

Three times he’d fallen, stumbling
Three times he’d rose again
Too far behind to hope to win
He still ran to the end

They cheered the winning runner
As he crossed the line first place
Head high and proud and happy
No falling, no disgrace

But when the fallen youngster
Crossed the line, last place
The crowd gave him the greater cheer
For finishing the race

And even though he came in last
With head bent low, unproud
You would have thought he’d won the race
To listen to the crowd

And to his dad he sadly said
“I didn’t do too well”
“To me you won”, his father said
“You rose each time you fell”

by D. H. Groberg

What do you remember?

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I am Philip’s Brother

17 09 2010

I was the baby for nearly eight years. If I wanted I got it and no one had ever challenged me on that. All that changed on the morning of September 14, 1983. Baby Philip Carea Daigle was born and the rest is History. This blog post is three days late, but it still rings true. Happy Birthday Philip. I love you and I am proud to be known as “Philip Daigle’s Brother.” And in case there is a doubt in anyone’s mind at the power of my brother, check this out.

My brother is incredible. Phil, you rock.





The truth has lost its legs

4 09 2010

There are some things that are so blatantly obvious that they do not require any commentary. This is one of those things. The lack of requiring commentary is, however, the reason why I shall commentate.

From politicians to preachers, it seems that it has become en vogue to embellish the truth to add to the “power/effectiveness” of the story.

I don’t know that there is any one thing that our attention can be directed to on which the blame can be placed. If there is a requirement for blame, perhaps it can be put on that first man, Adam. Of course, Adam lied in the more traditional manner. It was the, I’m caught so I’m going to make up a story to cover my tail, kind of lie. We have graduated from those “butt-covering” lies, to now, we make up stuff to give our story more oomph.

Somewhere along the way we just decided that the truth wasn’t good enough. Someone decided that the truth was paralyzingly frail in and of itself. The truth can’t stand on its own. It doesn’t have any legs. We must give the truth a vehicle to travel to the places it couldn’t go if we left it alone.

Perhaps, to lie is human nature. Maybe it has always been so easy that we have just become accustomed to it. Lying is just not nearly as good of an idea as it once was. Here’s a bit of advice for everyone who makes up stuff to embellish your story, sermon, or speech: everyone listening, reading, or watching you has access to that interwebs thingy. If you lie, it will come out.

My prayer today is that we, as a society of liars, would be baptized with a good ole case of truth-telling. Let the truth stand on it’s own. It will take you where you NEED to go.





Milestones

30 08 2010

Congratulations!
Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.

I have recently been reminded of those words from the famed Dr. Suess book, “Oh, The Places You’ll Go.”

Last week was a time of milestones at the Daigle house.

First, Saturday, August 21, my daughter, Alexandra turned 1 year old. My beautiful angel is starting to eat regular food, use sign language, and more than anything else show the fact that she is really a female. She can be a bit temperamental at times.

Second, Monday, August 23, my son, Caleb started kindergarten. This one hit me harder than the other. Whereas I have always known that my children would have birthdays, the fact that he is starting school and actually entering the real world came as a shock to me. I am suddenly facing the realization that I am the father of a child who will take my dreams with him into a real world. I am coming to grips with the idea that my dreams must be bigger than me. My direction must be greater than my selfishness. Before he just carried my name with him to day care and home again. Now the Daigle name is entering the hallways of academia and my influence will begin to be felt through his actions.

As I write this I am compelled to examine myself. Am I a good father? What is he learning at home? Is the way I treat his mother a reflection of the way that Christ loves the church? How do reflect my disappointment in his actions? All of these questions and more are causing me to spend time reflecting on who I am. While I am the one who determines where Caleb goes and how he gets there I must give myself to being an example that I will not be ashamed of when he is the one who determines where he goes and how he gets there.

What questions are your recent milestones causing you to ask? How are you answering them?





Am I the reason Anne Rice left Christianity

2 08 2010

Am I the reason Anne Rice left Christianity?

“Today I quit being a Christian. I’m out. I remain committed to Christ as always but not to being “Christian” or to being part of Christianity. It’s simply impossible for me to “belong” to this quarrelsome, hostile, disputatious, and deservedly infamous group. For ten …years, I’ve tried. I’ve failed. I’m an outsider. My conscience will allow nothing else. As I said below, I quit being a Christian. I’m out. In the name of Christ, I refuse to be anti-gay. I refuse to be anti-feminist. I refuse to be anti-artificial birth control. I refuse to be anti-Democrat. I refuse to be anti-secular humanism. I refuse to be anti-science. I refuse to be anti-life. In the name of …Christ, I quit Christianity and being Christian. Amen.” – Anne Rice

The tweets and comments have been flying around for a few days about her statement and the conviction that Christians should feel. I may get beat up for my opinion on this topic, but I have to say that I wholeheartedly disagree with the sentiment that Christians should feel guilty for the actions that she has taken.

A few questions for those Christians who feel like conviction should set in:

1. Are you anti-gay? There has never been a time when Christianity, across the board, has been more tolerable than it is today.
2. Are you anti-feminist? There are more females involved in ministry and Christian leadership than there has ever been.
3. Are you anti-artificial birth control? I’m not going to even explain the holes in that argument.
4. Are you anti-Democrat? A person’s agreement with a particular party should not and should never put a person in good or bad standing with Christians.
5. Are you a secular-humanist? She has a valid point. If you call yourself Christian or a Christ-Follower you can’t really call yourself a secular humanist. I don’t say that because I have anything against a person who is a secular-humanist. You can check out secular humanism if you are not sure. http://www.secularhumanism.org
6. Are you anti-science? I have great difficulty understanding how anyone that calls themselves a Christian could say they are anti-science. One of the greatest understandings of the universe is that the creator of the universe built it with such detail that science is woven into everything.
7. Finally, are you anti-life? Life is the basis of Christianity. Jesus said “…I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.”

Unfortunately, Anne Rice decided to take a very general shot at Christianity. I take great offense to her comments and do not feel any kind of conviction because of her.
To answer my opening question, I am not the reason Anne Rice left Christianity. If you are, you are most likely not truly a Christian.





Daddy was walking away

21 07 2010

Today, I wish I were an artist. If I were an artist I would paint you a picture of a memory of my father that is etched in my brain.

It was probably about 45 degrees, although as a child I probably thought it was in the 20’s and my father had taken me hunting. We were not sitting in a deer blind waiting for the deer to come to us so we could shoot them as they grazed. We actually parked our car on the side of the road and hiked into the Sabine National Forest in hopes that we would come across a trophy buck, or doe, or, that day, even a trophy squirrel. The sight of a wild animal of any kind would have had me overjoyed. Unfortunately, we did not see any wild “game”. And I use the term “game” loosely. We didn’t even fire our guns. But I learned something that day about my father, which may be just now starting to show itself in my life. You see, that day, we got lost. That’s right, deep woods lost. Or at least, that’s how I remember it.

I can still smell the air of that day. It was overcast and cold. It was in December after my 10th birthday. I remember because my father still had his blue Oldsmobile company car. It was that blue Oldsmobile that we parked on Hwy. 87 just over the hill and around the bend from FM 3315 and went into the woods at about 7 o’clock in the morning. By lunchtime we were extremely lost. We had brought our lunch with us, so food wasn’t a problem, but as it started getting darker and colder, I could see my dad becoming more and more perplexed. We knew where we parked the car, but we just could not get back to that area. After what seemed like an eternity, we came out on a road that we recognized. The map shows where we came out and where we parked the car.

We were so relieved. We went back to the little gas station at the corner of FM 3315 and Hwy. 87 and began to thaw out. Of course, that’s what I did as a 10-year-old boy, but my 38-year-old father could not stay with us because he had to walk back to where the car had been left. Perhaps the most vivid memory of my father is him with his back to us trudging up the hill, with his hands stuffed into his pockets trying to stay warm and I knew everything was going to be alright as he walked away.

Looking back on that day, I realize that leading is not so much about facing a crowd and telling them how to live, but it’s more about turning your back to them and giving them someone to follow.

The people we love the most WILL have memories of us walking away. It is inevitable, but what will we be walking away to?

My dad walked away to go to work.
He walked away to help others.
He walked away to take my mother on dates.
He walked away to pray.
He walked away…
And led me to be more.

As you turn your back on those you love the most, where are you headed?
Today is my daddy’s birthday. He would have been 63 today. I hope he has a big birthday cookie in heaven.

Thank you, daddy, for leading me. Happy Birthday from your #1 son.





My iPad At Work

15 07 2010

One of the big questions with the explosion of the Apple brand is, “Does it translate to the enterprise?” Employees from the receptionist to the CEO are falling in love with Apple, from the iPod to the iMac to the iPhone. And now the iPad has been added to the array of gadgets that people can’t wait to get their hands on. There is a misnomer that says that the iPad is nothing more than an over-sized, overpriced iPhone. I have to say that, although the iPhone and iPad have similar functionality, their capabilities are exponentially different. Being in the IT Management world I am always looking for ways to make remote management easier. The iPhone has a few RDP apps that can be downloaded, but the screen is simply too small to do any real work. Enter the iPad.

This morning I received a notification that a file server needed to be rebooted. The easiest thing to do would be to tell the users that they would have to wait, as everyone was on the road, in traffic, and we would be in the office within an hour or so. That was before the iPad. I simply pulled into a parking lot, activated my VPN and opened up my WYSE PocketCloud RDP app and, voila, I was staring at the server that needed to be restarted. The entire process took approximately 2 minutes.

I know there will always be Windows purists who will despise anything Apple. I for one have embraced the opportunity to be a geek and cool at the same time.