As a healthy male who’s been pretty fortunate all his life, from time to time, I must admit I still sometimes stop what I am doing to give thanks to the female human species!
My appreciation for the opposite sex began when I fell in love with my first girlfriend at the age of 12. I couldn’t believe the insane adoration I was feeling and I have always been thankful to her, wherever she is, for the amazing experience of an average boy being head over heels for such a beautiful creature at such a young age. Little did I know years later that feeling would pale in comparison to the love I feel for my wife whom I truly and completely worship and respect.
My wife is an angel sent from heaven. She kind of reminds me of my mother in how she cares for and loves our children. I often think of how difficult it was for her to carry both of my kids to full term and how horrifying and painful it must have been to give birth to two children. I think of how all women got the short end of the stick, too. I can’t imagine a world where men give birth and have to deal with menstruation. Can you imagine that? We’d be the biggest whiners on the planet.
As I hurried through my teen years, I started to appreciate my mother on an entirely different level altogether. Of course, I counted on her for virtually everything when I was barely out of diapers and I realized how important she was in my life but I was experiencing a newfound comprehension of the challenges a woman must go through in her life, and I began putting the pieces of life’s puzzle together. I paid more attention to how she would wake up sleepy-eyed at 5:30 A.M. every weekday morning so she could cook us all breakfast, how she would see us off to school, and how she would go to work as a seamstress in a nearby factory to supplement my dad’s income. By dinner time, she always had a great meal waiting for us and man, could she cook! It took me fourteen years to realize my mother worked harder and a few more hours a day than my father!
She always had our backs when it came to clean clothes, the house was always sparkling clean, and she always had our lunch boxes ready for school with our favorite foods, sandwiches, and treats.
My mother is the biggest reason I worship women.
For those of you females looking for a lifelong mate, if I were you, I’d try to find someone who respects women like I do. There are plenty of men out there with the same feelings I have for women. You can’t lose if you fall in love with a partner who thinks women are the most precious beings on this planet!
The Associated General Contractors of America says approximately 31% of construction companies are planning to hire more workers this year. This comes in the face of the 9% of companies stating they have no choice but to cut jobs.
Just a year ago, approximately 37% of companies made plans to hire while 31% of them were planning on cutting employees so this definitely means 2013 shows a potential marked improvement for the those looking for a construction job.
However, when 1300 firms were surveyed, 56% of them said they have no expectations for the overall construction market to grow until 2015, at the very least.
Without a doubt, the industry hit hardest by the jobs crisis was the construction industry. Roughly 1/4 of all jobs lost in the United States were from construction and they have yet to come back. A measly 18,000 workers were hired last year by construction firms and it left one out of every five construction laborers out of a job.
Even though the construction industry should be much healthier in 2013, many are cautiously optimistic. Contractors are still facing tough challenges including higher insurance costs, much less demand for projects, and higher prices for materials.
In certain parts of the country such as the San Francisco Bay area, you would never notice there is an economic problem in the United States; there are plenty of construction jobs. However, if you move up the coast towards Sacramento, the story changes.
This is a common scene in America right now but it also shows a glimmer of hope in an otherwise stagnant industry that’s been severely hurting for the last few years.
This may also indicate the construction market is rebounding and many construction company officials have mentioned how they have seen an increase in demand for construction in their areas.
We hope they are right; construction jobs are as American as apple pie and Chevrolet and we need to bring much-needed relief to those construction workers and their families who have taken such a huge hit.
Six months ago, my older brother who has always been as strong as a rock, came down with Guillain-Barré syndrome. This condition strikes one or two people out of every 100,000 and is an autoimmune disorder usually caused by an infection. The easiest way to explain it without having to go into medical jargon is that Guillain-Barré causes an internal error where the body tries to repair itself but the immune system attacks the wrong tissues and the nerve cells are unable to communicate with the muscles. This, in turn, causes paralysis which is usually temporary. In my brother’s case, it’s been six months and although he’s able to move his head, neck, and his upper back, he is still unable to move his legs or his arms.
I don’t have to tell you it’s extremely difficult to see my brother in this condition. I’m talking about a guy who has always been my second idol after my father, because he has always protected me like no other brother has ever done for any other sibling on this planet. We’re also talking about a guy who’s a criminal defense attorney with hundreds of clients. His son, a second-year law school student, has had to scramble to make all the arrangements necessary to fulfill my brother’s client obligations.
About six weeks ago, my brother flat-lined. He had been hooked up to a respirator since he landed in the hospital and some malfunction or wrong setting caused a problem where he was not getting enough air until he became unconscious and his heart stopped. Since he is unable to use his arms or legs, he was unable to call for help from a nurse. However, apparently the alarm sounded and the nurses and doctors arrived just in time to use the defibrillator to bring him back to life.
I heard about the incident a couple of weeks later; interestingly enough, my mother and my sister-in-law, whom have constantly been at his bedside, decided not to tell anyone immediately. I later found out he made them swear not to tell anybody.
What I’m about to tell you made the hairs on my arm standup at full
attention. My brother is an atheist and has never believed in God. He was raised a Catholic and I believe his supreme intelligence causes his faith to conflict with conclusive scientific proof.
I questioned him about what had occurred a few weeks prior and he seemed a little tentative and embarrassed to talk about it. After I pressed him for a few more minutes he finally came clean.
He said the last thing he remembers was losing his breath without being able to help himself and he found himself floating through a dark tunnel with a glorious white light in the distance. As he neared this white light he felt completely serene and content that he was no longer having to deal with his condition. He says he didn’t want to come back. I wanted to punch him at that point!
He went on to tell me as he neared the white light, a female dressed in a light robe he believed to be the Virgin Mary, told him to go back and that it wasn’t his time. This same figure went on to tell him he needed to return in order to fend for both of his children who desperately needed his help. Indeed, his young daughter is struggling with drug addiction and his son is burdened with attending law school and taking care of his private practice at the same time.
I can’t help but laugh every time I see him, now. Maybe that’s why he didn’t want to tell me about his adventure. I vividly remember him saying all the time as we were growing up how only fools believe in God and there is nothing left for us when we leave this world. I have privately conducted plenty of near death experience research and have always been intrigued by the possibility that another life exists after death. Judging from the source, I think I have my definitive answer.
Dwyane Wade tweeted a message that got him in a little bit of trouble with the New York and New Jersey residents on Thursday evening. His tweet appeared to refer to the frustration o being on a bus and waiting three hours in traffic just to get to New York City. Three tweets later, Dwyane Wade had set the record straight about how he could not stop thinking about the families who were devastated and the ones without food, water, or power after after this horrible disaster. Many people viewed those last two tweets as Wade trying to merely conduct some damage control after supposedly putting his foot in his mouth as many people do when they misuse social media.
To back up his sentiment, Wade is going to donate his game check to the relief efforts for hurricane Sandy victims. Wade goes on to talk about how he personally knows many people in the New York area and how we can’t believe the devastation they’ve gone through. Wade, a Miami Florida resident, should know just as well as anyone how scary and impactful the threat of a hurricane can be.
Whatever you want to believe, one thing is for sure; Dwyane Wade has consistently been a pillar of strength in his community and will probably continue to be the same hero he has always been to many in South Florida and beyond. We must not forget how in 2010, Wade and teammate Alonzo mourning joined forces in helping with the recovery effort after the huge Haiti earthquake. Their combined efforts helped raise over a million dollars. Many people also don’t know about how Wade founded his Wade’s World Foundation in 2003 to focus on the promotion of children’s education where the motto is, “every child deserves a shot.” The foundation services communities in the south Florida area, Chicago, in Milwaukee. Recently, he released a very personal book detailing his life and the joys and struggles of fatherhood.
Wade went onto say he doesn’t agree with having to play basketball game in the wake of this disaster. He feels a game of professional basketball has no significance whatsoever on a day like today.
Still, the confusion that led to all the questioning of Wade’s true feelings regarding the events that have unfolded in New York stems from the all too common scenario these days; celebrities tweeting messages without stopping to think about what they’re saying for just a moment. Wade may have initially put his foot in his mouth, albeit unintentionally, but either way if you ask anybody who knows him; Dwyane Tyrone Wade, Jr. is a wonderful human being who truly cares about other people. This is why he is donating his check tonight, not because he wants to save face!
When I reach into my my childhood memories, I vividly remember a hard-working man who would leave home at 6:00AM and make it back to the house just in time for a 7:00 PM spaghetti and meatballs dinner. As we would all sit at the dinner table, I also recall how this same proud man would ask how our day went and how much I loved this, the only family time it seems we would ever spend together. Dinner would last about thirty minutes and my dad would “retire to his chambers” and not be seen again until 7:00 PM the following evening. The same sequence would repeat itself until Sunday morning, his only day off of the week.
As time went on I came to believe everybody’s dad worked long hours to earn enough money to put food on the table and a roof over our heads. This was perfectly normal as far as I was concerned. After all, my best friend Arnie’s father did the same thing. We just figured “that’s life” and appreciated our childhood even more because of it. We already had an idea about what the world had in store for us and it scared us half to death!
As time went on, my dad eventually made more time for us and he even took turns coaching his three boys’ little league baseball teams off and on for a 12 year stretch. My greatest memories of being a kid are firmly planted right there on that baseball diamond alongside my father.
My dad worked until he was 75 and passed away at the age of 81 with all of us at his bedside, thanking him for being the best father who ever lived. Throughout his life, he struggled hard to balance work with his home life; he was a true daily workhorse who would stop at nothing if it meant it would benefit his family. He was a loving person who took the time to instill values in his kids. He cherished my mother, and together, they exemplified what a marriage should be all about. I believe as he matured in life, he learned it was more important to spend time with us than to make a few extra bucks for us. And spend time with us, he did!
I followed directly in my father’s footsteps. I worked long hours and found it extremely hard to balance my work and home life in an effort to live the “American Dream.” For a few years, I voluntarily sacrificed spending time with my children and wife in order to work overtime hours to “get ahead” until the emptiness and guilt hit me in the head like a sack of potatoes!
I fell into the same trap most men fall into; I convinced myself there was no other way than to work long hours so we could have all the things we wanted. I forgot the most important thing; I wanted to bond with my children, I wanted to spend quality family time with them, and I wanted to lead a fulfilling life and simply be happy. More than anything else, I wanted to make my wife and kids happy. I was failing miserably. I was not seeing “the big picture.”
I was conveniently unable to attend my kids’ school functions. To me, it wasn’t as important as making an extra 200 dollars that night working an overtime shift to make more money for the family. Even though it stung hard when my wife would tell me later that night how my daughter asked, “Where’s daddy?” I kept convincing myself there was no other way.
I turned it around just in time! I stopped working those long hours and while we had to make do on less income, we gained a lot more happiness than I could have ever dreamed of. Both of my kids who live at home are, thankfully, well-adjusted and thriving in school. My oldest is making her way on her own and very happy in her life. We are very close and spend a great deal of time together, during the week and on weekends. To me, I have the happiest kids on the planet! There’s a reason for this; I have learned to work hard while balancing my home life with my job, and my kids and wife come way before any deal or money to be made. It isn’t easy but it’s as simple as that without any excuses!
Whether you are a male workhorse with an entry-level job, a corporate executive, or the CEO of your company, you can make more time for your family. You can sacrifice your workload for your family, not the other way around! We male workhorses miss out on so much happiness while we are enslaved to our professions, and for what? In the end, we leave this earth with nothing.
Sure, we want to leave that hefty trust fund for our kids but at what cost? Would you be more comfortable with leaving $250,000 to each of your kids who happen to be spoiled, miserable brats who didn’t appreciate you, or would you feel better if you worked a little less and left $100,000 to each of your wonderful, compassionate children who absolutely adored you because you raised them in a healthy, loving environment?
Work is important but not as important as leaving a legacy of love and happiness to be carried on and enjoyed by your family members for generations to come. Your kids will take after you and your children’s kids will, too!