Discrimination

Alamo, TN– I’ve never been a victim of discrimination and I hope I never am. I know a lot of people who have been victims of it and it really burns me up. Especially when it’s discrimination of disabled people.

Just this past month, I’ve read two articles about two different Walmart’s being at the center of this horrible act.

The first article I read was about a young lady in a wheelchair being fired because the public transportation she rode to and from work kept making her late. Are you flipping kidding me?! You’re gonna fire someone over something that isn’t their fault?! If public transportation makes you late to anything whether it be work or wherever, that’s on them and not you. If Walmart has a problem with it, take it up with public transportation. Not your employer.

The second article I read just this week was about a young man who was threatened to be fired basically because he had Cerebral Palsy.

Let me tell you something. Two of my best friends in the world have Cerebral Palsy and I will be damned if they get jobs that threaten to fire them just because they have Cerebral Palsy.

I’ll be the first one through those doors giving their boss a piece of my mind. Just because they have Cerebral Palsy or just because I have Spina Bifida doesn’t mean we’re any different from anyone else. We are human. We can’t help our disability. It’s who we are.

This world is full of hate and discrimination and it has to stop. It really breaks my heart and literally ticks me off when I see people like this. Why can’t we all just get along and treat people like everyone else and with respect.

I pray for these people as I do for anyone else that faces discrimination on the job.

Disabled or not, we are all human and we all have feelings. We should all be treated fairly and treated with respect.

That’s my view from the chair

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Bumps Into Blessings

Alamo, TN- These last two weeks have been very interesting and quite scary for me health wise. I’m not one to usually have real bad health issues unless when my shunt messes up and that’s once in a blue moon. The last time that happened was 2009. So when I found out that I had a case of cellulitis in my right leg, you can pretty much say that I freaked out.

It all started the week of Super Bowl Llll. I had noticed a red place on my leg that looked like a rash. My mother immediately started doctoring it and trying to take care of it but it kept getting worse and worse.

Off to the doctor we went!

The doctor looked at it and said that it was some kind of skin infection, probably cellulitis. I was put on antibiotic and told to come back in a week and they would look at it and go from there.

A week later, the antibiotics that I was given had not helped.

Great!

I go back to the doctor thinking the worst. Am I gonna have to be put in the hospital? I hope not. I HATE hospitals!

The doctor comes in and looks at it and decides to put me on more antibiotic (amoxicillin), he gave me a cream to put on it and he gave me a shot of antibiotic. He also told me to come back the next day to get ANOTHER shot of antibiotic. He said that if it wasn’t any better or if it was worse in 48 hours to call him and he probably would have to admit me to the hospital to be put on IV antibiotics.

UGH!!!!

Not only was I playing the waiting game but I was literally thinking the worst. What’s gonna happen to me? Am I gonna be okay? Am I gonna have to be admitted to the hospital? I even heard people can die from this! I was freaking out!

I prayed as hard as I’ve ever prayed and I spread the word around on Facebook and to my family and closest friends asking them to pray as well. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve had comment on Facebook, call me, text me etc. checking on me and telling me that they’re praying. It really meant the world to me and still does to this day.

Forty eight hours passed and what I thought was going to be a weekend from Hell turned out to be a huge blessing and an answer to prayer! My leg started to look better! It was still there but the coloring of it was a lot lighter than it had been! I couldn’t believe it!

We call the doctor and tell him what’s going on. Still expecting to possibly go to the hospital for observation, the doctor said to keep taking the antibiotics I was taking and keep doing the cream. He said if it gets worse to immediately go to the ER. Otherwise, follow up on Monday.

What a huge relief!

And to make things even better, my leg is continuing to improve!

I’m so extremely blessed and thankful that God answered my prayers as well as everyone else’s. This bump in the road turned out to be a huge blessing! Instead of spending the weekend in the hospital, I’m enjoying my weekend in the comfort of my own home.

This bump in the road has really woke me up and made me want to be a better person. I’ve had more bumps than I can count and I know I will have more down the road some day. But if I can overcome THIS, I know I can overcome anything! My bumps will turn into blessings!

That’s my view from the chair!

Judge Mental

Alamo, Tennessee- Something that burns me up is being around people that are judge mental. I can’t stand it. I hate it. I went through it in high school with students and teachers and it was so bad that I wanted to drop out of school. There were even times when I wanted to end my life.

Just this week, I witnessed three different occasions where people were being judge mental. One of these occasions involved myself. I literally had to bite my tounge not to go off the deep end.

Taco Bell

I eat at Taco Bell pretty regularly. At least once a week, maybe twice. The other day, a video surfaced on Facebook that to this day still has me thinking twice before eating there again.

A deaf guy pulls up at the drive thru window and wants to order some dinner. He types out what he’s wanting to say on his cellphone and shows it to the guy at the window. The guy would not serve him because he was deaf!

ARE YOU FRICKIN KIDDING ME?!! What an a–hole!

The guy has since been fired, and quite frankly, I wouldn’t care if he never worked anywhere else again.

Grace Guys

Around the last part of 2018 (November or December), I had found a page on Facebook called Grace Guys. Grace Guys is an organization that walks with people and help carry the load with daily inspirations, thoughts and messages all wrapped around the grace and goodness of God. I had reached out to them on numerous occasions and had even became friends with some of them.

I was heavily involved and I felt led to do a Facebook live broadcast on the page to share my testimony and share how I overcame addiction and depression. Everything that’s posted on the page has to be approved by the admin, Alan Caplin. He seemed like a very nice guy when I talked with him in the past.

WRONG!

When I ran the idea by him, he started questioning my faith and criticizing me. He said I wasn’t a true Christian because of my addiction and the mistakes I made. He also said he thought I was using my disability to get to people and get what I want.

That isn’t what I was doing at all!! How could this guy who doesn’t even know me, A PASTOR, say all these hurtful things?

I left the page and haven’t had anything to do with any of them since.

Pastor Greg Locke

The very next day, I came across another video of a pastor whose page I follow. He does videos all the time on topics that I believe people need to hear every day. I know I do.

In this video, he was talking about a hateful and hurtful voicemail that he had gotten and you would not believe how hateful it really was. I shook my head in disgust. I also reached out to him and told him how sorry I was.

A guy had called him and left a voicemail going off. Now, when I say going off, I mean going off and acting like a maniac for no reason. Cussing him left and right, saying he deserved to be in jail for whatever reason and saying that he’s going to hell. He also said something about he ought to go beat his a– himself.

Obviously this guy has issues. That’s all I’m gonna say about this one.

Guys, don’t be so judge mental. Plain and simple. It’s wrong and very hurtful especially if you don’t know the person or what they might be going through. Keep your thoughts and opinions to yourself.

That’s my view from the chair.

New Years Resolutions

Alamo, Tennessee- Well, in less than 24 hours, another year will be gone and a new year will come in! This year has gone by so fast that if I had blinked, I probably would’ve missed it! While everyone is making plans to be with family, friends and loved ones, I’m figuring out what I want my New Years resolutions to be. I couldn’t pick just one so I picked the top five most important ones. They’re in no particular order, of course.

Be Happier

Ever since the fall of 2015, I have not been happy. In fact, I’ve been darn right depressed and angry. I’ve had so much going on and it felt like every time I turned around, something else was happening. It took me to a place in my life that I did not want to be in. There was a point where I was a monster.

As the years went on, I learned a very important lesson. Life’s whatcha make it. I can choose to be down and depressed over stuff that I can’t control or I can choose to continue living my life to the fullest and be happy.

In 2019, I choose to be more happier and not let ANYTHING get in my way.

Be More Positive

I used to always be a positive person, but when the depression kicked in, that’s when I started being more negative than positive. Everything I said was negative, everything I thought was negative and everything I did was negative. It got to a point where no one wanted to talk to me or even be around me.

I even didn’t like that side of me!

In 2019, I choose to be more positive. I choose to surround myself around positive people. I choose to think more positive. Positivity is the key!

Be More Respectful

Everyone that knows me can tell you that my attitude has been terrible these last few years. I have lost my cool and have been very disrespectful to a lot people, especially my family. I thought I was better than everyone else and that I was mister big shot.

I learned the hard way numerous of times that I wasn’t and that everything didn’t/doesn’t revolve around me.

In 2019, I choose to be more respectful to my family, friends and loved ones. I choose to treat people the way I would want to be treated. I choose not to make things all about me and choose not to be mister big shot.

Work On My Faith

Omg, my faith! It has NOT been good! It’s been so bad that I’m very ashamed and embarrassed. It been so bad that I was saying, “God who?” I had stopped going to Church, I had stopped reading my bible and and I had stopped praying. I had been listening to the devil more than God!

HOUSTON, WE HAVE A PROBLEM!!

In 2019, I choose to work on my faith and be a better Christian. I choose to be the person that God made me to be. I didn’t get baptized at a young age for nothing. I got baptized because I wanted God in my life. I wanted to follow Him and live for Him.

Without Him, I am NOTHING!

Write More

I started this blog in June of 2017. I’ll be the the first one to admit, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I had never written ANYTHING before. I always thought I sucked at it. I always thought it was one of my weakest links.

Now, I’ve written over twenty blogs and still going strong! It’s been a huge blessing and great therapy for me!

I had stopped writing in March and didn’t start back until October because I wasn’t inspired much. I didn’t want to write about just anything. I wanted to be inspired to write something.

In 2019, I choose to write more. I choose to be inspired more. I choose to be more creative and not just write about something that suddenly pops in my head.

Who knows? Maybe I’ll get inspired to write songs!

What are your goals for 2019? Whatever they are, my advice to you is don’t let anyone or anything get in the way of you achieving those goals. If you do, you will get nowhere.

If you have plans for tonight and tomorrow, have fun but please be safe. Most importantly, BE RESPONSIBLE!

That’s my view from the chair! Happy New Year!

Precious Memories Of 2018

Alamo, Tennessee- With 2018 coming to an end next week, I wanted to take the time to look back and relive some amazing and precious memories from throughout the year. These memories include a family vacation, three concerts of artists that I saw for the very first time and a second Southern League Championship in three years. So, where do I begin? How about from the beginning!

Orange Beach

Every year, my family and I go to the beach for vacation and this year was no exception. This year’s trip landed us in Orange Beach Alabama. What made it more special was that my sister and nephews got to come along with us.

We would get up every morning and go downstairs to eat a DELICIOUS breakfast then head out to the beach.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to go down on the beach with the family but that didn’t stop me from enjoying myself. I would hang out by the pool or on the balcony and look at the ocean for hours and hours.

There’s nothing more relaxing than staring at the ocean with music in my ears and the breeze hitting my face.

Every night around dinner time, we would go get cleaned up and go out to eat together. My all time favorite place to eat around that area is The Crab Trap. The Best mahi-mahi I have EVER had. After dinner, we would find something to do in the area or go back to the hotel and hang out.

PRECIOUS MEMORIES!!

Nelly In Jackson

If you had asked me a year ago if I thought I would ever see Nelly in concert, I would have said you were crazy. Well, on April 27th, that’s exactly what I did. My cousin and I went to see Nelly, Bone Thugz and Harmony and Juvenile at The Ballpark at Jackson where the Generals play.

Three acts meant hit after hit after hit!

Over 8,000 fans showed up and it was so packed that you couldn’t get around ANYWHERE!

The stage was set up on second base and fans swarmed the field as well as the bleachers. The concert started around 7:30 and ended around 10:00 or after.

By the time it was over, it was definitely hot in herre!

PRECIOUS MEMORIES!!

Life’s Whatcha Make It

June 15th was another precious memory for me. The Life’s Whatcha Make It Tour rolled into The Ballpark At Jackson and it featured country superstars Jake Owen, Chris Janson and newcomer Jordan Davis.

I got there around 5:30 and there was already a line. Fortunately, I got there early enough to get a spot toward the front of the line. As we were waiting for the gates to open, we heard someone honking their horn, and when we turned around, it was Jake Owen’s bus arriving at the ballpark!

Finally around 6:00, it was time to open the gates!

The concert started around 7:00 with Jordan Davis taking the stage. After him, Chris Janson and then Jake Owen.

Hit after hit after hit!

After the concert, I learned a pretty important lesson. Life really is what you make it. You can choose to be sad and depressed or you can choose to be happy and positive.

PRECIOUS MEMORIES!!

MercyMe

For my 32nd birthday, my mother surprised me with tickets to see one of my all time favorite contemporary Christian bands, MercyMe! It was my first time seeing them as well my first contemporary Christian concert. To say I had a great time would be a huge understatement.

They didn’t sing ALL of their hits unfortunately but the ones they did sing were amazing. My favorite one that they did was “I Can Only Imagine.” I had already seen the movie about how the song was written so getting to hear MercyMe do it live was pretty special.

PRECIOUS MEMORIES!!!

We Are The Champions

What can I say about the 2018 Jackson Generals season?! Pretty special! I had just finished up my 13th season with the team in late August-early September but the memories just kept coming.

First of all, I got to hang out with some of the best friends in the world for 5-6 months. Other than God and my family, there is nobody that I love more than my work family. They are the BEST!

Second of all, I got to meet Shelby Miller unexpectedly (Major League pitcher for the Cardinals, Braves and now Diamondbacks) so that was pretty cool. He was making a rehab assignment in Jackson and pitched for us in game two of a doubleheader.

Third of all, the Generals won their second Southern League Championship in three years! I wasn’t able to go to that final game to see them win because it was on the road but I was at every home playoff game cheering them on. Not only am I an employee but I’m also a huge fan and supporter so getting to see them go all the way for the second time in three years was extremely special.

I’m already excited for next season!

PRECIOUS MEMORIES!!

To say I had a HUGE 2018 would be a huge understatement. Yes there was some drama. Yes there were some personal things that happened. Yes there were tears. Yes there were mistakes made. But all of that doesn’t take away from the precious memories that I made throughout the year.

2019 is going to be a HUGE year for me and I can’t wait to get going! I’ve already got some huge plans! More precious memories will be made!

That’s my view from the chair.

Angel or Coincidence

Alamo, Tennessee- Last week while I was at the hospital with my aunt, something happened that’s had me talking and wondering since. Something that’s happened to me once before.

First of all, let’s rewind to 2001, the start of my second semester as a freshman in high school.

It had already been a rough year with 9/11 in September as well as the death of my best friend at the time. To make matters worse, I had started experiencing severe headaches. They got so bad that I couldn’t even focus because I was hurting so bad.

Unfortunately, I had to have emergency surgery because my shunt had messed up.

I made it through the surgery fine but the doctor wanted to keep me for a couple of nights for observation.

One of those days, I had decided to get up in my chair and roll up and down the hallways to get my strength back. As I was rolling down the halls, this older African American woman approached me. She patted me on the shoulder, told me everything would be alright and walked off. When I turned around to say something to her, she was NOWHERE to be found. When I asked the nurses where she went, they didn’t know what I was talking about.

Was it an angel or was it just a coincidence that I ran into this woman because of everything going on? How come the nurses didn’t see her or know what I was talking about?

Fast forward to last week.

My aunt and I have always been close. She’s one of my best friends in the world. When she went in for surgery, I was pretty nervous about it but I was trying to be the strong one for her and the family. I was probably the strongest of the family. However, I did keep going back and forth to the Chapel all day to pray for her.

Not only did I pray for her, but I also prayed for myself because I had been going through some things. I prayed for God to give me a sign that lets me know that everything would be alright. Someone. Something. Anything.

As the day went on, I kept running into this guy. He was dressed in a t-shirt, a leather jacket, jeans and sneakers. Everywhere I went, there he was. We would speak every time but it was a very short conversation because he would always say he had somewhere to be. When he would walk away, I would turn around to see where he was going and he would be NOWHERE to be found, just like the lady from my hospital visit in 2001.

Was this guy an angel as well or was it just another coincidence that I ran into him because of everything going on? Was it God’s way of answering my prayers? Where did he go?

I’ll probably never know the answer to these questions but I’m not doubting one bit that these people could’ve been angels sent by God to watch over me and my aunt.

After all, God does work in mysterious ways and he does perform miracles every single day.

That’s my view from the chair!

Lucky

Alamo, Tennessee- These last few weeks have been very interesting in more ways than one. Not necessarily in a good way.

It began a few weeks ago. What I thought and was expecting to be a normal day turned into one of my worst nightmares.

A family friend that I’ve known my whole life had been diagnosed with cancer and it had spread all over her body. The doctor says at best six weeks. She is in a wheelchair and has spina bifida like myself. The only difference is that she can’t talk because she was born with brain damage.

About a week later, I found out that one of my former doctors had passed away at the age of 85. I’m assuming from cancer but I’m not 100% sure. This guy literally is one of the reasons I’m still here today. He operated on me as soon as I was born to close my back up AND he was the one that put my shunt in.

Not only that, but he was a huge support system for my mother. My mother would be in tears and he would be right there to calm her down and reassure her that everything would be alright. He was a very strong Christian and was the first doctor that I had ever heard of that would walk around the hallways singing church hymnals.

Finally, just last week, my mother and I traveled to Memphis for a couple of days because my aunt had surgery. She had 70% of her stomach taken out to help her lose weight. She made it through the surgery fine but had a very rough night and early morning. We really didn’t know what was going to happen. By the grace of God, she pulled through and was discharged the next day.

While we were in Memphis, we learned that this sweet lady that was staying at our hotel was going in for surgery to remove a tumor. It was at the same hospital that my aunt had her surgery at. This lady was a 30-year cancer survivor, but unfortunately, it had returned.

I’ll never forget, when my aunt, uncle and cousin checked out of the hotel, they gathered around the lady and prayed for her. One of the sweetest things I’ve ever witnessed and I could feel God’s presence immediately.

Why am I bringing all of this up?

Because after experiencing all of this, it made me realize how lucky I am.

After being told that I wouldn’t live past two years old (here I am 32) and after 20+ surgeries, I am alive and have a clean bill of health. I thank God every single day for watching over me and taking care of me for 32 years and I pray to live another 32 years.

I may be in a wheelchair but that’s okay because I know there are people out there with worse situations than myself. While it makes me sad to think about that, it makes me happy and thankful to know that I have it made pretty good.

That’s my view from the chair!

Thankful Part 2

Alamo, Tennessee- Last year, I wrote a blog about the people in my life that I was thankful for. This year, I wanted to write about the one THING that I’m thankful for, second chances.

I didn’t tell everyone except for my family and a few of my closest friends, but from late August of 2015 to now, I’ve been struggling with depression and anxiety. I’ve had alot going on from then to now and it was just way too much to handle. No one knew because I’ve always been this upbeat, happy, fun, funny person and I was embarrassed to admit it.

I was so depressed that I had quit eating like I should (only one meal a day and snacking every once in a while), I had lost alot of sleep, I was changing into a person I wasn’t, I was doing things that I don’t normally do and I had lost interest in almost everything except for the ballpark. Honestly, there were times when being at the ballpark wasn’t making me happy. There were alot of times when I wanted to leave as soon as I got there.

Another thing that it did was cause me to struggle in my faith. I’ve always been a very religious person and a strong Christian. Dang, I got baptized when I was between 7 and 10 years old. I had stopped reading my Bible every day and I had stopped praying. There was even times when I was saying, “God who?” I just didn’t care anymore. That’s really when I started changing and making mistake after mistake. I had started listening to the devil and having him control me.

WHAT WAS I THINKING?!

Moving forward to now, I’m EXTREMELY thankful that I was able to realize that I needed help. I needed it before I fell WAY down and wasn’t able to get back up. I needed it before God was done with me for good.

I’ve been on antidepressants since June and I’m finally starting to feel happy and like myself again. Do I still have my moments and my ups and downs? Of course! But, I feel like I’m slowly heading back in the direction that I want to be in and I finally feel like me a little more each day. My faith has even gotten better and I’ve been praying every single day for God to heal me and guide me in the right direction.

I’m not 100% but I’m alot better than I was this time last year, the year before that and so on.

For that, I am so thankful! I’m thankful that God and life gave me a second chance! I’m so thankful for realizing I needed help. I’m so thankful for my family and friends who were there and are still there for me every step of the way.

That’s my view from the chair

Halloween Traditions

Alamo, TN- With today being Halloween, I thought I would do a blog about a couple of Halloween traditions that I used to do every Halloween.

When I was a little boy and my sister was a little girl, our mother and father would dress us up and take us trick or treating all over the city. We would go up and down every neighborhood as well as go to local businesses downtown that were handing out candy.

Now that we’re older, our parents are divorced and my sister is married with her own kids, we don’t do that anymore as a family but my sister and her family have their own Halloween traditions and I have mine.

I’ve always been a person who likes to give back. That’s how I was raised and it’s how I’ve always been.

Another Halloween tradition that I had (not so much anymore) once I got older was that I would always go to my grandmother’s house, spend the day with her and be there to help her hand out candy. My all time favorite thing about doing that, other than visiting with my grandmother of course, was seeing all the little kids all dressed up and seeing them all excited to get candy.

Some of them would come up to me and immediately grab candy out of the bowl and run off while others would come up, hold their bags up and look at me with the most sweetest and innocent look on their faces haha! I would see alot of people I knew as well as some that I didn’t know. I would even have family come wanting candy.

Of course, when I did see someone I knew, it was hard letting them go on to the next house because I couldn’t stop running my mouth hahaha!!

Unfortunately, I’m not able to do this anymore because my grandmother is in a nursing home suffering from dementia. Oh how I miss it! For the past few years, Halloween has been sad because of my grandmother but what gets me through the day is thinking about how much fun we had every year.

I guess now it’s time to come up with another tradition to start doing every year on Halloween.

What are some of your Halloween traditions? Do you still do them?

Whatever they are, please be safe but have fun! Try not to get spooked!

Happy Halloween!

Five More Minutes

Alamo, TN- First of all, I want to apologize for not writing since March. I’ve been going through some personal issues and I had lost inspiration. But I’m back and better than ever!

Do you ever wish you had five more minutes with a loved one that had passed? Maybe you want to tell them something important that you didn’t get the chance to tell them before they passed. Maybe you want to tell them something that’s going on in your life. Or maybe you just simply want to tell them that you love them.

I’m going through this exact thing right now and have been for seventeen years. One person that was like family to me passed and I never got the chance to say good bye. I never got to tell her everything that I wanted to tell her. Things that have gone on in my life and will go on in the future.

October 22nd, 2001- It was the day after my 15th birthday. It had already been a rough year with 9/11 and the passing of another good friend of mine earlier that year. I was on the bus coming home from school. I rode the CDC bus because it had a wheelchair lift and I needed a way to and from school because my mother worked so I didn’t have a way.

Anyway, the bus driver would always take me home first then take the other passengers home. We had a substitute driver because our original driver was out tending to her troubled grandson. The lady dropped me off and as I was getting off the bus, I told my best friend at the time that I would talk to her later that evening when she got home.

Never did I think my worst nightmare was about to happen.

I got off the bus, went inside the house and started my normal after school routine (snack, tv and then home work). A few minutes later, my phone rang and it was my grandmother. She was crying and kept asking me if I was okay. She had heard that a school bus had crashed about five minutes away from my house and she heard that it was mine.

Seriously? How many times do we hear of a school bus crashing? More times than not.

I assured her that I was fine and told her to stay calm because it might have been another bus.

After a few minutes, I hung up with her, and not even fifteen minutes later, my phone rang again. It was my sister. She asked me if I was okay because someone had come into the bank that she worked at and said there was a horrible accident. They had indeed confirmed that it was my bus. To make matters worse, rumors were going around that my friend had been pronounced dead at the scene.

PANIC MODE!!

Long story short, later that evening, I was watching the news and it was the top story and the woman doing the story said that my friend had indeed been pronounced dead at the scene. My heart just stopped. I couldn’t believe that I had just seen her and then she was gone five minutes later. I thought it was a bad dream.

I still to this day wonder if I’m gonna wake up any minute and it all be a bad dream.

I think about her all the time and I know she’s in Heaven looking down at me. I know she’s always with me and I know without a doubt that she’s proud of me. However, there are so many things that I wish I could tell her and talk to her about because I know she would understand. I wish I could turn back the hands of time and have just five more minutes with her.

Appreciate EVERY minute you have with your loved ones. You never know when it could be your last time seeing them. Make sure you tell them you love them and appreciate them. Make sure you spend as much time with them as possible and talk to them as much as possible. If you don’t, you’ll be like me and wish you had five more minutes with them.

That’s my view from the chair