On Old Friends and Happy Endings

People will come and go into our lives with a great deal of certainty. That’s life. Some you will forget quickly, others not so fast. We would share our thoughts, our problems and our ideas with one another and when two guys do that, that’s as close as you’ll get to love without being physical. In our younger years, we were both crazy. I lived by my wits and my attitude. He just used his wits. We did it all. We knew we were headed for trouble. I didn’t care. Neither did he. The trouble with going through life at break-neck speed is that everything starts to blur and then one day you hit that wall. By the time I had hit my wall, we hadn’t seen each other in years, not for any particular reason but our lives and our paths had taken us in different directions. It took all the kings horses and all the kings men to put this version of Humpty-Dumpty back together again, something that would take years to accomplish. And we all know that the copy, no matter how good, is never as good as the original.

But there are those who never really leave your heart, for one reason or another you just never quite seem to get them out of your system. The common denominator here was golf—my friend was in the golf business and my thoughts are never really that far from golf so, I guess, that was the link. The friends that we had in common and the particular courses that we played all seemed to figure into the mix, too. Nobody seemed to know what happened to him, he just kinda disappeared. I was in the dark. So was everyone else that I knew. Someone had spotted him once in Florida but that turned out to be a wild-goose chase. It would have been easier to find Elvis. No, usually when someone goes missing like that and stays missing, it only means one thing. My Russian grandfather used to say: He quit eating potatoes or he woke up missin’ for breakfast or he’s takin’ a dirt nap. Yah, you get the idea. He was gone, really gone. For good.

About four years ago, I started to write the short story Peter and The Deacon , a fictitious story that was based at the course we had frequented together. Although none of that story featured my friend, his presence was with me in all the time I spent on it. I’m serious. There were times in the story where the main character, Peter, would be out walking the course at midnight and I would think of my friend. When Peter gets to meet The Deacon, a much older version of myself, my thoughts would always go back to my friend. As the story grew in its popularity with the publication of A Box Of Shorts , my friend kept going in and out of my thoughts. I couldn’t explain it, really, it was just one of those things.

In March of this year, quite by accident, I bumped into my old friend through the internet. It seems that he had forsaken the big city and done the smart thing and gone back to the simple life in farm country. That had to be very hard to do because when he was among us, he was the big fish in the little pond. But, you never really know where you’ll find what you’re made of until life comes along and kicks you to the curb. Sometimes, it’s best to go back and start at the beginning. That was the smartest thing he could have done. Needless to say, there’s an added bounce in my step and a lightness in my heart knowing that my friend is still among the living and doing well, I might add. I’ve toned it down quite a bit but I’m still a little crazy and I hope he is, too. So, here’s to ya, Hoss. Be well, my friend. You are loved. There you have it. Whew!! A happy ending. At least, that’s the way I see this. MLProko (2011) more at www.mikeproko.com

Published in: on May 8, 2011 at 2:26 pm  Leave a Comment  
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On Prayer (and the small pieces to the puzzle)

Think about it for a minute: How many of you have not made some kind of deal if only your prayers were answered? Be honest now, we’re talking about prayers, remember? If only. If only. Those two words combined have to be the loneliest words in the English language. If only. Now, how would you feel if you found out that your prayers were probably answered all along but you didn’t know it? Maybe the difference is in how you’re praying. Y’know, for the most part, prayers are always answered. For the most part, prayers are never answered in the form that we have chosen but, yes, they are answered. The difference has always been in the details, the small pieces to the puzzle. It’s been said that life doesn’t always give you what you want but more times than not you’ll always get what you need.

When we pray, it’s always best to expect results from that prayer. That is where ‘belief’ comes into play; this is where ‘faith’ bends its knees and bows its head. Mark 11:23: Whosoever shall say unto this mountain, be thou removed and be thou cast into the sea and shall not doubt in his heart, he shall have whatsoever he saith…’ And shall not doubt in his heart. That’s the key. And yet, we pray and we pray and wonder why our prayers are not answered? We had the answer within us all along. We are praying and we are filled with doubt. Now, that’s a very bad combination. In essence, what we are doing is wishing and there is no prayer that comes to mind for wishing. But, again, praying just for the sake of praying seldom works out. Now, don’t get me wrong. If you’re praying for someone or something halfway around the world, by all means, say a silent prayer. However, prayer is an active process not a passive process. My grandfather used to tell us when you pray, move your feet. Action!! You gotta take action. Once you have the prayer out of the way, get to work. The Lord knows this. That’s why they say that He helps those who help themselves. EVEN IF you don’t know what to do or which way to turn, DO SOMETHING.

Now, this has to sound foreign to some readers. How, you ask, are you supposed to start something without knowing which way to turn? We didn’t learn that one in business school. The process starts with that single step. What you don’t know, you will learn along the way. Once you have made the commitment to yourself and start to move forward, something very strange starts to happen, something strange and wonderful. The Heavens step in and conspire to help you along your way. You will find yourself in situations that you never dreamed of with people that you never or hardly knew and they will all be there to help you. I can’t begin to tell you how many times in my life this has happened to yours truly.

There can be no small prayers, can there? If there is something in your life that warrants ‘prayer’, then, indeed, it is a big deal. The trick is not to make a big deal about it. Say your prayer, expect a result and then, work your butt off. Tell yourself at the end of the day you have done enough. Try again tomorrow. The following day, hit it again. And just keep that up. Slowly but surely, the pieces will start falling into place, the small pieces to that big puzzle. And you’ll get this warm feeling all over that, yes, your prayer was answered but you’ll know that you had a hand in the outcome. This I know. At least, that’s the way I see it. MLProko (2011) more at www.mikeproko.com

Published in: on May 5, 2011 at 5:13 pm  Leave a Comment  
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