Life is just not what I wanted it to be
Because what I lost is what was closest to me

I try to move on and push into something new
But it always fails in comparison, the best part of me was you

It bothers me that the only time I ever feel real
Is when I feel like these wounds won’t ever heal

I’m surrounded by a past I can’t have, you see
I’ve given all of myself to people that leave me

So the world keeps spinning and life keeps going
I know the Bible preaches karma, you’ll get what you’re sowing

I’m unwilling to put my standards up for sale
“Thank U, Next” is just a guaranteed way to fail

Knowing how it all works kinda feels like a curse
But I’d rather feel despair than make things worse

I don’t like to ask for anything, but if I could
If I have to stick around, please give me something good



I just want something to mean something to me
This gray aura is everywhere – it’s all I see
I know there has to be something still pumping my blood
But I haven’t felt it in forever, I’m stuck in the mud
Everything in life seems to be a distraction
And I’m missing out on years – due to inaction
I guess I find more purpose in people than I’d like to admit
But I’ve been burned so many times I just want to quit
I’d rather be alone than do the wrong thing
Be half the man I was, plus the baggage I’d bring
I’m spinning my wheels, I feel defeated
Help is not wanted, but I guess maybe it’s needed
My heart hasn’t skipped a beat in so long
And every night home alone just feels so wrong
I finally found something I’m truly afraid of
Growing old alone, the absence of love
I don’t want it to be what fixes me
But it would add some color to everything I see




It’s inevitable.  People pass away.  You lose people the older you get.  Time spent here isn’t indefinite.  You don’t think about it until you’re older.  Time is worth more than any currency on the planet.

My family lost a pillar in the storm that is this world.  She was quiet, but strong.  She was afraid of simple things, but she had faith for the big things.  She wouldn’t cross the Elton Hills bridge because of its complexities but she undoubtedly had childlike faith in her Savior.


Gladys was consistent.  She was consistently stubborn.  She didn’t want the negative talked about around her, especially at the end.  She wanted to fight for every minute she could have.  She wouldn’t have wanted that if she couldn’t feel the love of her family.  We did good, everyone.  We surrounded her with love and we kept her where she wanted to be, until she went some place way better.

Grandma was a prayer.  She never ceased.  She would ask me about my cousin, Jason.  Just to get tidbits of information about how he was doing.  She wondered where he was and if he was on track with work and life.  She oozed love for those that she rarely saw.  She was a pillar of light in the darkness and most of us didn’t get the chance to see how bright she was.  She was a homebody.  It was engraved on her heart, her love of home and everything she knew so well.  But her light shined into her yard and her beautiful flowers.  They were a gift from God to her and she took care of them as reciprocation.  This is a photo she took of her flowers.  She had vision.


She was a light to anyone that would come to see her.  If there was one thing I would change about her it would be that she would have wanted to go and share her light more.  Everyone she knew loved her.  How could you not?  Many wonder of the mysteries of the universe and how God made so much from nothing.  I wonder how he fit so much spunk and love into such a small little woman!

When her family quarreled she hurt.  When brothers and sisters fought, she wept.  When cousins and aunts and uncles butted heads, she went without sleep.  When we wouldn’t accept our family and spread love instead of grit our teeth, she was in discomfort.  Her favorite times were the holidays when she would have the whole family over for Christmas.  She was a picture taker.  She would revisit those happy memories over and over.  She loved to see her family all together and the smiles on our faces as we grew up.  She knew she didn’t dictate our paths and she knew we would all make our mistakes.  Just as we knew that she was there in that little home on 10th Ave praying for us and loving us unconditionally.  An imperfect human, she loved perfectly.

She would want forgiveness to dominate our lives.  Forgiveness for cousins, forgiveness for brothers, forgiveness for parents, forgiveness for aunts and uncles and nieces and nephews.  She would want us to put our differences aside and love each other.

She would want us to forgive ourselves.  She would want us to move forward together.  She would want us to be Godly and she would want many of us to step up and become pillars of this family and lead our kids toward Christ (she was so happy that we are).  She would want us to help each other and encourage each other.  She would want us to try to help each other be better, but despite our own inevitable resistance because of sin in our lives, she would want us to love each other no matter what.

She wasn’t perfect, but she was consistent.  She was a trash talker, a secret street racer, a wordsmith, a unique photographer and the best grandma, mom, sister, daughter, mother-in-law you could have. 

Let’s make her memory useful.  Let’s wipe our slates clean and come together in her honor.  I am unqualified to call for the healing of our family’s hurts, but Gladys plead for their resolution in prayer daily.  Near or far, I am with you all.  Grandma changed my life for the better.  I won’t forget her, ever.  And my love for my family is stronger than anything else in my life.

 ❤ Justin


I’m not on social media because the world doesn’t need to see me.  I’m not blogging for attention.  It’s a release – and maybe someone will identify with something I say, some day.  Social media is like a contest that nobody ever wins.  It’s a place to present your unrealistic, fake self.  I’m not interested.  There is some good that can come from it, but ultimately it promotes popularity and discourse.  Two things that cheapen true, successful social interaction.

Maybe some people just like being lied to.  Some lie to themselves.  Maybe being genuine isn’t the wisest choice.  I know it’s not the easiest.  It doesn’t take long to understand most people have an agenda.  For some it’s selfishness, others money, power.  The list goes on.

I’ve spent my entire life being genuine.  It’s been embarrassing from time to time, but it’s also blessed me in many ways.  Ingenuity opens the door to fulfillment, embarrassment and hurt.  I believe the former is worth the risk.

With me, at least you know where I stand.  I cut straight through the bullshit and call it how I see it.  Maybe that’s what people will remember about me.

When you’re genuine, you hope with all that is in you that karma is real.  I spend my life caring about people and genuinely wanting to help people.  I’m not vindictive, but it would be nice to live in a world where there is an equal and opposite reaction to every action.  The thing about it is, you don’t always get to see the reaction.  I think sometimes it’s not getting hit by a car, it’s getting hit by the truth.  Both equally shocking (at least I hope).

A curse of ingenuity is that your interactions truly mean something to you.  It takes a lot of work and energy.  I think that’s why I’m anti-social – because I don’t want to have fake interactions with people.  Especially in close relationships, you mean what you say.  It leaves you with a feeling that you always end up caring more about the person than they do about you.  Your heart is in everything you do, so when they aren’t on your level with communication, you’re left with silence and yourself.

People find ways to justify their means.  They have to live with themselves and it’s easier to adjust your reality than it is to own up to the mistakes you have made, right?  Justifying poor behavior is the social cancer of today.  Genuine people make mistakes, but they don’t lie about them.  We fail, but we don’t give up.  When you’re genuine, you’re committed.

When you wear your heart on your sleeve it’s easy to get hurt.  Thing is, I’d rather spend my days being me and being genuine than hide behind a facade of my own creation.  I’d rather get stabbed in the back by someone I actually care about than never really care about anyone.

Genuine people want genuine experiences. Genuine people want depth and true commitment to a friendship/relationship.  We’re the type of people that are aware and can read people.  We pick up what you’re putting down, even if you’re not really thinking about it.

I want to be found.  I’ve been here for 30 years and I feel like no one really took the time to understand me.  I guess I just hope that one day someone genuine sees me for who I am and can’t get enough.  I’ll be here calling it how I see it until then.


This one’s gonna hurt.

I’m not going to compare.  I know my story is different from yours.  I know you know the pain of loss.  I’m just going to share some stuff I’ve learned (and some I’m still learning).  Maybe there will be a tidbit you take away that makes you think.  Maybe there will be a quote they can put on my headstone one day.

Loss.  The life changing kind.  You don’t know it until it hits you as hard as it can.  Sometimes you can see it coming but you can’t really prepare for it.  It’s inevitable, and it often strikes when you least expect it.  It brings darkness that only a few things can break through. It strikes like lightning.

But you know what?  It means something.  Loss means you had something to lose.

I lost the future I thought I saw forming.  I was going to become a dad.  I was on board with everything happening in my life.  Then came the storm.  First the twins weren’t developing like they were supposed to.  Then the verdict came down, “Soon, you will miscarry, or we’ll have to perform surgery.”  I don’t really know what it meant to my wife.  I held her while we cried, but she never put into words if it crushed her like it did me.  I can only imagine it was much worse for her.  I’m the kind of person that wants to come closer through pain like that.  I look towards my lover, not away.  Anyway, about a week later, it happened.  I was there.  I held, I carried, I supported, I advocated for.  It wasn’t enough.  We lost our babies and I guess knowing it was coming made the day sting less than maybe it should have.  We were numb.

We suffered, and I was trying to be attentive to how I felt and how my wife acted, but I’m helpless.  The second she seemed normal my awareness went out the window.  She seemed really urgent about wanting things back to normal and she said she wanted to try (for a baby) again.  I was scared.  I knew what happened was neither of our faults, but the prospect of it happening again wasn’t making me excited about the process.

Before we really got a chance, she was gone.  She went to work on a Monday morning and never came back – by choice.  She changed her mind about me.  I don’t blame her.  I guess it has never really made sense to me.  I’m told it probably won’t.  “Some things in life you just have to let go of.”  It ain’t easy.

I go hard.  It’s a blessing and it’s a curse.  See it depends on the other person.  When I commit, I’m all in.  Well, it takes two to tango.  I’d be a terrible poker player.  I wear my heart on my sleeve and I live my life in the most genuine manner I can imagine.  I’m far from perfect but I know what love is.  It’s sacrifice.  It’s not easy.  It’s compromise.  In one of my poems I loosely defined it – “Love is not a feeling, it’s an existence.  It’s a life of obstacles lived in persistence.” Love survives devastation.  The real stuff, anyway.  Love doesn’t keep record of your faults.  It might be far, but it’s never absent.  It’s silent, but it’s the most beautiful thing when it’s expressed.

Which brings me back to loss.  Real loss.  It means you had something.  It means something meant so much.  If you survive it, you grow.  Sometimes it’s temporary, sometimes it’s permanent.  Sometimes it makes no sense.  You learn more from the hard days than you do the easy.

What does all of this mean to me?  I now know I’m not in control.

But you know what?  I’d rather take risks and fail.  I rather feel this than nothing for anyone.  I’d choose to give you the power to hurt me every day of my life over the alternative.