I think we all have a tendency to hold something back.

Pitchers hold some extra punch for a fastball they want to throw by the best, comics hold a good punch line for the right moment, we ll wait for the proper moment to say those special words…

and then never say them to someone.

Maybe it is fear, maybe it is what we have had drilled into us, but what we need to remember is we are only on this earth a short time, a blink of an eye in comparison to the earth as a whole. We need to make every moment count.

Which brings to a friend of mine.

She is a loving, loyal friend who would do anything for others and yet does nothing for herself. I see her in pain and all I can do is try and make her smile.

She said that four friends helping her up, cant overcoming the twelve people pulling her down.

I disagree totally.

This year I have had symbols of things that weren’t meant to be. I was outdrawn on my big hand at the final table at the APL National Championships. I could have finished in the top 3 and won a buy in to the WSOP. But I didn’t. My friends and family were happy that I took the shot and made a dream come true. I am as good as anyone out there in poker and I proved it.

This year I lost Patrick, which has weighed heavily on my heart and soul. But as I look at the wonderful things my brother has done and has left behind, I can see the true unconditional love that he had for my sister in law Theresa, and for my own family.

This year I had my new 2006 Ford Fusion wrecked by someone who was trying to do me a favor and detailing it after I was in the hospital for Meningitis. It was a total loss and I could have looked at it as something horrible. But with the exception of the horse shit (as he ran into a horse trailer) that was on the hood, and my broke car I was blessed by not having anyone hurt. Cars and possessions can be replaced, lives and friends can not.

I spent this year bemoaning the inability of finding someone wonderful and I pressed myself into trying to hard. But when I just gave up, the Big Guy Upstairs gave me Amanda and I have been and will continue to be truly blessed.

My point is, I could have taken all the bad things that have happened and those horrible things that I didn’t even list here and let them control me, let them pull me down into a dark pit of despair that which I would never have come out.

But I had friends.

I’m going to tell you a story that you are not going to believe, but in the scheme of things has a place.

I was in the hospital, my temperature had risen to 103+ degrees and I was seeing things. I saw my brother and sister, both dead, and I tried to reach up to them, I was trying to pull myself up with them. BUT they pushed me back down.

My friend Kerri came in, one of few people who braved my meningitis to come see me because she cared, and shared with me something that she had just got on her Blackberry from her church.

“Blessed are the meek…,” she said as she read from her device.

I looked at the ceiling and yelled, “Is that what you want Big Guy? Come on , you can do better than that, you send a frickin burning bush. If you need to send me a message send me a real sign!” I said as the fever was taking me over.


“Yes, what do you want” I said to the two men who walked in.

“We normally start at the top floor and work our way down, but I had a feeling we needed to stop here first,” the first man said to me.

“We’re the hospital pastoral staff,” the second one said.

All I could do was weep.

You see I was at the lowest point I could be at with people pulling me at so many ends, I was worrying about remotes that I missed and how much the hospital bills were going to be.

But then The Big Guy sent a snow shovel banging on my head.

It’s not how many friends you have lifting you up, but that you have even one friend to lift you, for even one friend, who may seem to be the weakest, can overcome hundreds of negative people trying to pull you down.

All you have to do is ask for a sign and take the hand of the friend who is wanting to pull you up.

That’s the key. You have to want to take the hand and pull yourself up.

If you do, nothing will stop you.

As for my friend. I know she is stressed, crying, in pain, hurting, and thinking the world is against her.

But my hand is outreached, Amanda’s is outreached. Even now, I think your hand is outreached.

Last week I asked if you had done a Mitzvah? I had several people ask me why I asked if they had done a Mitzvah. It really didn’t matter to me if you did one or not.

But I know the Mitzvah I accomplished made someone feel wanted and loved again. No one else needs to know what you did for someone else, but if you don’t hold back waiting for tomorrow and live for the outstanding opportunities of today, you will feel the joy of a Mitzvah. You will get the smile that you thought you lost, you will find money in your jeans, you will be able to understand the love that you thought was lost permanently in your heart.

I know that there are people who don’t understand…

but then again I know that there are people who do.

3 thoughts on “Holding back…

  1. Sean, You are amazing..did I ever tell you that??? There are times that yes you are correct you get hit in the head with a show shovel for God to get your attention. Thank you for all that you do and all that you have done..You are the friend in this world that if you stay around long enough you might actually get to see all the sides of a person..the weak, the strong, the intolerable, the funny the list could go on and on..LOVE YA MEAN IT!!!THANK YOU

  2. Sean,

    You have realized something I learned about a year after my divorce and shortly after I battled out of the absolutely lowest point in my life. During the dark times, I questioned my value, I questioned my worth, and I questioned why I bothered to wake up and go on living in this world. I felt unwanted, worthless, and a waste of human flesh. My realization came not from ego or arrogance, but from a simple cliche we hear everyday. “You can judge a person by the company they keep.” I had friends like you, Craig, Randy, Shelley, and Harold. With people like that calling you a friend, you have to worth something or they wouldn’t bother with you. Everybody out there, look at the people you call friend, and the people that call you friend. Are they the same people? If you view them as valuable to you, then you have something worth fighting for. It got me off the canvas one last time, when I didn’t think I could. Ya’ll never said a word and I never talked to you. But your friendship over the years held such value that it protected me even in the darkest parts of the night.

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