Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Writer's Workshop-A Friend For Life And My 100th Post

I haven't participated in this much lately, but this really inspired me. This carnival, by Mama Katt, definitely can stretch your creative juices. Tonight, though, I'm only writing on one. You'll see why as you read.

1.) How did you meet your best friend?
(inspired by Kati from Country Girl, City Life)


2.) What are you feeling guilty about? or Memories of your childhood home.
(inspired by Josie from Sleep Is For The Weak)

3.) Tell why you are ecstatic "The one that got away" got away.
(inspired via twitter by Jay from Halftime Lessons)

4.) Have you found your bliss? What path did you take to get there? or are you still searching)
(inspired by Carma from Carma Sez)

5.) Create a conversation between one of these three couples:
(inspired by myself)

The fall of 1988 found me in a random North Texas College going to college as a freshman. I had picked this University for two simple reasons. One, I had a chance to walk on to their tennis team and two...well, my brother was going there.

I was not the most gifted socially and I felt that I need the security of having my brother there in case I got home sick or worse. So, in late August, I was trudging my way to the courts for the tryouts. I had a sense of dread as I felt I had gotten in over my head. You see, I wasn't that great in tennis. I was number three on my high school team...a small town high school team at that....and here I was playing against guys that went to region and state in 4A and above. Let's just say, I was a long shot to even be practicing the next day.

Well, as I was watching the action onfold on all the courts around me, I noticed that my earlier worries were ringing to be true. I was watching drills with the other players that I was competing against and I found they didn't miss a lot. One guy was an obviously rich asshole preppy with an red izod collared shirt. He had a fancy racket and was definitely standoffish. "He must be from the metroplex or Plano," I thought. Then I saw this guy hit a forehand into the net and say pretty loud, "HOOOORSSSSSSESHIT!" Okay, maybe I misread the cover on this book.

Roby Dearing was well off financially, but shy. He was not the asshole I pegged him to be. It turned out he was a farmer/rancher from north Texas. He was quiet, modest, and the best athlete I have ever known. In time, as our friendship grew, I knew that he was the strongest Christian I may ever really know.

From this first meeting, we developed a friendship that lasted through several years and weird moments. He was the one who took me to the Colonial Golf Tournament where I made Phil Mickelson wait to enter the tee box while I stood in the way oggling some girl. I was with him when his truck was broken into in Fort Worth. We were snowed in together as a freak snowstorm hit his house in 1990. All we had in the house was stale popcorn. Half starved, we decided to risk death to exposure to eat at the Green Frog Cafe in Jacksboro. We went to Ranger games, Cowboys training camp, and even a Mavericks game once. In Kansas City, where the NAIA national tennis tournament was held (oh yeah, I made the team), we paid a belly dancer to get Roby on stage and belly dance. It was the funniest five bucks I've ever spent.

We spent some sad times too. I was there when his grandfather died. I listened when he vented about his father's increasing signs of Alzheimers. He also helped me through the end of my first long term relationship. But, over the next decade, he would always be counted on for a game of golf, a pick up basketball game, or hitting the movies in Wichita Falls.

Then, in February 2000, Roby was diagnosed with Cancer.

He died in late June that year.

The day before his funeral, another friend, Grady, and I decided to spend the day playing golf and remebering Roby. We were to bring the balls that we hit the last putts in our round with to the funeral and lay them beside Roby. it was to be a tribute in our own way. As we stared at our friend in the casket, I guess my motor skills went sort of haywire and I dropped my ball inside the casket.

Grady looked at me with a "You didn't just do that, did you?" looks. We panicked for a moment. Here we were at the front of the church as the congregation was slowly filling up and I had dropped a golf ball that had fallen all the way to the bottom of the casket. We knew that when they moved him, it was going to roll back and forth. Fortunately, Grady solved the problem by reaching unobstrucively into the casket and finally found the wayward ball. The situation was saved.

As we said good bye, Grady and I knew, though, Roby was looking down on us laughing. He would be saying, "Man, that could've only happen to you, Lane."

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Fear Mongering? A Sneaky Rant

"No one should die because they cannot afford health care, and no one should go broke because they get sick. Participating in "If you agree, post this as your status for the rest of the day."

One of my friends on facebook had this on their profile.

Now, even though I haven't seen her in years, I have always known that she is a very level headed lady. So, when I read this, I didn't just dismiss this as stupidity. I decided to do a little research. It's illegal in the US for a hospital to turn away somebody away who can't pay and has no insurance if they aren't stable. Now, I realize that they still may not receive treatment if they are stable and that itself is a crime. But, is this a reason for socialized health care?

Some call it universal or national, but please don't give me a lesson in semantics, it will be socialized.

This is an idea that was given to the powers that be by the great 'success' of the same system in Canada and Europe. You know, they have a tax rate of over fifty percent in those nations to pay for the health care programs. It's an idea that isn't new. The government taking your money and using it for you. Like you're some kid who doesn't know any better.

Or, maybe, they plan not to raise your taxes? How much to our debt do you think this beauty would cause? Perhaps, they mean to raise your taxes a little at a time so you don't notice it as much? Five percent this year, another ten next year, and so forth.

I am not yet forty, but in my life I have learned a few things. Give the government control of something and they'll find a way to mess it up. Social Security, anyone? How about education? How about welfare? Are those some well run organizations or what?

In addition, how good are the doctors going to be in the future? I know people believe that the majority of doctors go into medicine to help people, but the stark fact of it is, a lot go into it to make money. You know, the best and the brightest want to get paid. The fact is this health care package is going to reduce their salaries. If they aren't going to get paid like they have in the past, do you think the majority of them will still go through the hell that is medical school? Do you really want the guy that scored a 'B' in sophomore level biology diagnosing you or do you want the guy that scored best in his class, no matter how big an A-hole he is? But, don't worry, you can still use him to sue the hospital for gross incompetence.

I mean, your next of kin can.

This idea of government providing health insurance is a very bad one in so many ways. It is also going to mess up the entire fabric of our medical community. If you think they are bad now, just wait until you spare them to death with mediocre service, practices, and procedures.

Look, I do not think a hospital should turn away anyone that is sick, even if they are stable. I also don't think that your life savings should be sucked away because of a protracted illness. But, my question is why should another twenty five percent of my income go to the government to give me practically the same care I have now? I know it's to prevent some one else from having to go through the loss of their income, but why is that my responsibility? Why should I have to pay for somebody else's health care?

I know that sounds harsh, but, the people I will be helping with half of my income would say the same about me. I know life happens and things will occur that suck. I know it's possible next year I will get cancer and all what I've worked for at that point will be gone. But, that's life. It has happened for centuries before us and it will happen for centuries after.

All you can do is trust in God.