Category Archives: Family Stories

Posts that deal with family issues, including marriage, children and growing up.

Doing The Laundry

I put the last load of laundry into the dryer, and lugged the basket of newly dried clothes into the bedroom. I mindlessly folded the various pieces of clothing from the basket, and then put everything away. I even matched up all of the socks, a fate worse than death. I breathed a sigh of relief as I matched the last two socks. “There,” I thought, “my debt is paid.” Continue reading Doing The Laundry

Uncle Bill

I learned last night that my uncle, Pastor Bill Brewer, passed away. Uncle Bill was my mentor, my tormentor, my surrogate father, one of my heroes and my friend all rolled into one.

It was Uncle Bill who moved my family out of an inner-city Los Angeles ghetto to Imperial Valley. He had visited my mom, seen our living conditions, and then took it upon himself to help us have a better life. I’m sure he regretted the decision at a truck stop in Indio when my pitbull Prince relieved himself on Uncle Bill’s leg. Uncle Bill was scared of Prince, and rightly so, so he just pleaded quietly for me to get my dog to quit using his leg as a fire hydrant. Continue reading Uncle Bill

Getting Old

Dentures in a glass of water on black background.

My youngest son turned thirty years old in July. Thirty years old! I never thought that I would live to be thirty years old, let alone have two kids in their thirties! My seventeen-year-old self could not begin to comprehend the 57 year old me.

When I was seventeen I had hair. I even made fun of my uncle, Pastor Bill Brewer, because of his lack of hair. I asked him if he “combed his hair with a washcloth.” He chuckled, but I am sure that a little part of him died. It wasn’t his hair, because he didn’t have any, but something died, I am sure. Little did I know then that my uncle and I would share a hair style. Well, technically, a lack of hair style. Continue reading Getting Old

A Coach Looks At Dads

Dejected young baseball player.Bobby puts his helmet on, picks out a bat and heads to the plate. As he scans the stands he knows what he’ll find. Or rather, he knows what he won’t find: his dad.  He steps into the batter’s box and tries to overcome his disappointment and concentrate on the pitcher. Oh well, it’s not like Dad has ever shown up… Continue reading A Coach Looks At Dads

A Pastor Looks At Dads

912758_85165325In thirty-plus years of ministry I have seen it over and over again. A young man with no male role model at home struggles with manhood and his place in the world. Without a strong man at home showing them what a man, a father, a husband looks like, they are left twisting in the wind, filling in the blanks on their own. The world is more than happy to fill in the blanks, telling young men that their manhood is tied up in their sexuality. And yet each sexual encounter leads to frustration and the feeling that there never is enough. Continue reading A Pastor Looks At Dads

Divorce and Marriage

divorceAs I sat in the emergency room Wednesday, I kept telling my wife how sorry I was that she had to go through this with me. She just smiled and told me to be quiet and let the pain meds kick in. They did, and soon I was asleep. When I woke up, there she was, sitting right by my bed, patiently waiting for me to come to my senses.

September 12th marks our 32nd wedding anniversary, and for many of those years it seems that Lanette has been patiently waiting for me to come to my senses in one way or another. When I tell people how long we’ve been married, their  response is almost always shock that someone could be married that long, or maybe they are just shocked someone could be married to me for that long. Continue reading Divorce and Marriage

Saying Goodbye To Gary


My wife’s brother passed away last week. Gary was a great guy, a former pastor, a coal miner who survived a cave-in, a father, husband and grandfather. He will be sorely missed by everyone who knew him.

Gary had been sick for a long time, so when he passed, it was hard to feel bad for him. Beyond a shadow of a doubt, the moment after Gary drew his last breath on earth he took a deep breath of the rarified air of heaven. He went from a hospital bed that he couldn’t get out of to running and jumping on streets of gold. Why would I feel bad for him? He should feel bad for me being stuck here on earth! Continue reading Saying Goodbye To Gary

Walking Away

walking away textLanette and I have been married for over thirty years. That’s a long time. In fact, we’ve been alive together longer than we’ve been alive without each other. We have been through a lot with each other. There has been a lot of pain, laughter, sorrow and happiness. She has been by my side through some really dark times. My life would not be the same without her. She is truly the greatest gift I have ever received.

So, of course, I am going to just walk away from her. Oh, I will do it over time, not all at once. I’ll begin by not talking to her as often. I will keep things to myself, enjoying life. I will still talk to her in times of crisis, or when I need her, but I will talk to her less and less, then not at all. Continue reading Walking Away