My Late Father

Me and my parents a month or two before Dad died.

I was recently asked if I wanted to contribute to a series called “Thanks, Dad,” over at ManOfTheHouse. I jumped at the opportunity, even though I knew that in many ways, the exercise would prove to be a difficult and emotional one.

I was wrong. It wasn’t difficult. But I was also right, as it proved to be an extremely emotional endeavor. That said, I’m so glad I wrote it. I was happier still to share it with Mom on Thanksgiving Day. It was invigorating to feel Dad’s spirit as we sat around the table.

I hope you’ll take time to read it. I think you’ll like it. It may even spark some memories of someone you love who’s no longer with us. If it does, I hope you’ll share some of those memories with me via a comment. After all, it’s the holiday season. And there’s no better time than now to reflect upon the people we love.

Here it is:

*  *  *

Early one morning in 2002, my brother picked me up from the airport and drove me to the hospital to see my dad. He had been unresponsive since the afternoon before. His rapid turn for the worse was what had prompted the previous night’s phone calls urging me to catch a cross-country flight – if I ever wanted to see him alive again.

The second I walked into his room, I was devastated. So that’s what it looks like, I thought, with equal amounts of fear and awe. It was dehumanizing. Which made sense to me. What was happening to Dad is what sets our spirit free. And our spirit isn’t human.

I sensed that though he was still with us, he was gone nonetheless. But I was wrong. Dad came back to us later that very day. Shortly after he regained consciousness, he told Mom something she’ll never forget.

“I died last night, Martha Lee.”

read more at ManOfTheHouse

In the Spirit of Giving

This post is for my Ktown peeps, and it involves another of my Ktown peeps — Katie Allison Granju. She’s doing everything possible to further the investigation surrounding the brutal assault that helped land her son, Henry, in the hospital. And she’s asked for our help.

Please read below:

WE NEED YOUR HELP!

On Sunday, April 25, 2010, 18 year old Henry Louis Granju (pictured below) solicited aid from a citizen in or around the area of Mayfield Avenue at Winstead Street in South Knoxville, culminating in the citizen driving Granju to Joe Foster Park located at 1116 Drive D, Knoxville TN. This interaction took place in the early evening hours on that date – likely between 6:30 and 8:00 pm.


Our family would very much like to locate this wonderful Good Samaritan who reached out to help our injured son. We want to offer our thanks, and we also want to find out what this person saw or heard when interacting with Henry inmmediately following the assault.

Additionally, we would like to learn whether anyone in that neighborhood or traveling through the area at that time directly observed Henry’s assault, or saw him being put out of a car by his assailants at or near Mayfield Avenue at Winstead Street in South Knoxville.

If you have any information to share, please call Henry’s mom, Katie Granju at 283-0395 or email her at katie.granju@gmail.com

Please help us spread the word however you can to anyone and everyone in the greater Knoxville area.

THANK YOU!

The Granju and Hickman families

Katie also writes:

In the next week or three, I will be organizing a weekend-long, volunteer search of the entire neighborhood around Joe Foster Park, as well as the street intersection where the attackers told law enforcement they put Henry out of their car. I will ask as many friends, family members and concerned citizens who are willing to help me canvass a 5-15 mile area with flyers and house to house visits, trying to find this person.

Katie — whenever you get this organized, no matter what we have going on, I can assure you that I’ll be there to help. Please keep us all posted on your plan to canvass. Still thinking of Henry often, as well as of both of his wonderful families, which, of course, includes his beautiful and brave mama.

With love…

the Osborne family


Good Men Project’s Dad’s Good

I'm in great company at Dad's Good.

One of my favorite groups recently launched an awesome new site within their site. Yesterday, The Good Men Project Magazine founded by Tom Matlack and publisher Lisa Hickey, introduced Dads Good: The Best of the Daddy Bloggers to their readers. And I was very flattered (if not somewhat overestimated) to be one of the few they asked to contribute.

Others include Aaron Gouveia of The Daddy Files, Craig Playstead of The Blog of Craig Playstead, Derek Markham from Natural PapaDad Centric founder Jason Avant, Jim Higley of Bobblehead Dad and Ron Mattocks of ClarKKentsLunchbox.

Trying hard to be a good dad is very cool.

I’ve been reading the bulk of these guys since I started blogging last year. And while it’s important to note that I’m tough on blogs in general and writing in specific, I genuinely believe that these guys have serious chops. So I hope you’ll come check us out by clicking here.

Thanks!

Photo: MorgueFile

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Cam Newton, His Dad and Their Disaster

Cam Newton is head and shoulders above everyone else.

Anyone who knows me knows knows that I’m a huge sports fan—college football in particular. This season has been an especially exciting one thanks in part to one player’s extraordinary play.

Sadly, a story which surrounds that very athlete has put the season in jeopardy. At least it has for me it has. The player is Cam Newton, and at the center of his story is a man who should be keeping his son out of these types of situations rather than dragging him into them.

That man is his dad. I wrote about my take on the allegations involving Cecil Newton over at Babble. It’s one of the better pieces I’ve written for them. I hope you’ll check it out by visiting Babble.

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Dad Defends Wife: Video of Encounter With Pro-Lifers Goes Viral

Women who walk into this clinic know this guy's story. But does he know theirs?

One of my friends has a video that’s gone viral — over 600,000 hits. His name is Aaron Gouveia, and the first time I ever read his blog, I knew he was the kinda guy I’d be down with. Over the past several months, we’ve built a friendship. Most recently, we’ve become teammates of sorts, as we are both part of a group of dads who will be regularly contributing to the site GoodMenProject.

Anyway, back in July, he shared a series of unspeakably difficult experience with his readers on his personal blog. It culminated with the experience he captured with his video. As I read the series of posts, I was overcome with equal amounts of sadness for my friend who was going through such tough times, as I was admiration for my friend who was navigating them the only way he knew how — without a single ounce of bullshit. And I mean that in the most complimentary way possible.

Most recently, he again shared his story on the aforementioned GoodMenProject site. It got picked up by a bunch of other prominent sites — Salon and Slate among them. And for the second time, his video blew up — only this time to an even greater extent than before.

Simply put, Aaron’s a hero. And I’m not one to throw out such a term lightly. But there’s no other word to describe him. Once you learn his backstory and see the video for yourself, you’ll think he’s a hero, too. I promise.

I blogged about it over at Babble yesterday. I hope you’ll take a few minutes to check it out.

And, Aaron — you’re a good man, my friend. The world needs more like you.

Updates and Important Info

Right now, I'm in transition.

You wanna know the story of my life? Spending a ton of time revamping a site that I suddenly stop using. Well, stop using may be a bit of an exaggeration, but it’s definitely safe to say that I’ve not been posting very often of late. There are several reasons why, the biggest of which being that I recently accepted a writing gig with Babble, a prominent parenting website. I’ll be contributing five days a week. (Today’s offering? A 10 step list to get rid of head lice. Not that we’ve ever had them or anything. Okay, that’s bullshit. We’ve had ‘em. Stop judging me.)

While the Babble thing is great news, it’s also thrown me a bit of a curveball as far as time management. What’s more, I just got invited (along with six other “dad-bloggers”) to regularly contribute to another fantastic site — again, a good development, but also another curveball. So this batter is making some adjustments at the plate. Long story short, I’m in the process of reshuffling my deck and soon, many things in my life will look much different than they do now.

But one of those things will not be my blog. I love writing here. And I plan to eventually return to business as usual at jco.com. Which means I’ll continue to regularly post random-ass stuff with super-long, borderline-run-on sentences, which, of course, if not inevitably, will contain a shit-tons of commas.

Please come back tomorrow, for I will definitely have a “real” post for you. But before I leave you today, I want to pass along something extremely important. As many of you already know, my good friend Katie Allison Granju is enduring every parent’s nightmare. She dealing with the death of her oldest son, Henry, from a combination of a drug overdose and complications stemming from an assault. Through it all, Katie has bravely chronicled her agonizing story in hopes that by doing so, she might save lives.

I believe she will.

WBIR is running a special on Henry’s story tomorrow night, Wednesday, October 27 at 7:00 Eastern. If you’re in Knoxville, please, please, please watch this. And consider having your children watch it, too. And if you’re not in Knoxville, you can still watch as WBIR will be streaming it live here. And regardless of where you are, if you cannot watch tomorrow at 7:00, it will be archived on WBIR’s website so you can watch it at a more convenient time.

Here’s is the trailer for the special.

Ad Campaign Sells Dads on Fatherhood

Do dads need a commercial to remind them to do this?

The New York Times reported a new series of ads introduced by the Advertising Council yesterday. The target demographic? Dads. The hard sell? Fatherhood…The message — “take time to be a dad today” — is a good one. But is it a necessary one?

That’s the question I pose over at Babble today. If you are interested, just click here to read more,

The Camera

It adds ten pounds, you know. And apparently bags under the eyes as well. Still, the piece that aired last Wednesday night on WVLT here in Knoxville turned out pretty good. Some folks asked me to post it here, so I’ve embedded it below. Click play to see the carnage as well as to hear about the contest I’m trying to win for charity.

Even if you’ve already voted for me, I hope you’ll click on the World’s Greatest Dad icon which appears below the video and do so again. (You’re allowed to vote once every twenty-four hours.) I’m dropping like a stone, so I could really use your help.

Again, if I win, I’ll donate the entire $2,000 first prize to ChildHelp, a fantastic organization which benefits the victims of child abuse and neglect. If you’re so inclined, you can help ChildHelp win that two grand by sharing this post with your network via one of the social media icon buttons which appear directly below the contest icon.

Thanks!

I’m on TV Tonight

Ktown peeps — please tune in to the WVLT 6 o’clock news tonight. At, um, 6 o’clock.

Why? Because my brood and I will be featured during one of the segments. You see, the one and only Michele Silva was kind enough to stop by mi casa earlier today. But not only that. She was also brave enough to stay! For like an entire, or something. I’m happy to report that she survived the encounter without sustaining even so much as a scratch.

Her cameraman, however, is rumored to have suffered a broken pinkie toe during a bizarre hit-and-run encounter with Monster, who accidentally ran over Silva’s sidekick while hauling ass on his scooter through our (furniture-less) living room. (Okay, that last bit was bogus, but it easily could have happened. Right, Nate?)

But seriously — watch it if you can. Michele said the segment turned out really well. We talked about all kinds of things including my book and “the video” the “Greatest Dad in the World” contest.

I want to repeat one thing loud and clear. I don’t even think I’m the greatest dad on my street, much less the greatest dad in the world, but I do hope I win. Because if I do, I’m donating the entire $2,000 first prize to ChildHelp.org, a leading national non-profit which benefits the victims of child abuse and neglect.

By clicking on the icon below, then clicking on “vote,” you’ll help me make that donation a reality. And, remember, you can one time EVERY SINGLE DAY! Currently, I’m in second place — but don’t give up on me! I have a feeling I’m gonna pull it out.

World’s Greatest Dad

No. I'M the world's greatest dad. You're just some punk about the scream "uncle."

Greetings, all. My “Where’s Mommy?” video has been entered in a contest put on by a the fantastic folks over at Man of the House — the “World’s Greatest Dad” contest. And while I don’t even consider myself the greatest dad i my neighborhood, much less my world, I am hoping to win. Why? Because if I do, I’m donating 100% of the prize money to charity.

And that means that ChildHelp.org — a leading national nonprofit which benefits victims of child abuse and neglect — would get $2,000.00. In this depressed economy, I know each donation is valued even that much more. So please help me raise a nice chunk of change for a great cause without so much as spending a dime!

This will literally take you five seconds. Two keystrokes. First, click this link to get to my video:

http://manofthehouse.com/greatest-dad-contest/entry/3f16f392e303513a

Then click on the “vote” icon. BOOM. Done.

You can vote one time per day between now and October 22, so I hope you’ll vote a few times between now and then. And if you like this idea of donating two grand to a foundation which helps children who really need it in communities all across the country, then I hope you’ll share this post with your network of friends via one of the social network icons that appear on the left side of this page.

Thanks, y’all!

PS – Like my new look? Hope so. PJ Mullen, the good man behind Real Men Drive Minivans, is to thank for it. If your site needs a facelift, he comes with my highest recommendation. Don’t forget to grab my feed if you wanna keep following me. Though I have the same address, the feed did change. Same thing if you were getting posts delivered to you via email! Thanks for reading!

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