The Meaning of Marathons

I knew when to talk to my oldest daughter about the Boston Marathon bombing. On the way to school. But I didn’t know how to talk to her about it. So I gave the matter some considerable thought, not just the tragedy, but also marathons in general.

* * *

Like so many, my life has been touched by the marathon experience. I ran my first one – the Portland Marathon – when I was a Seattle resident back in 1997.

What made you enter? my friends would ask. The truth was, I didn’t know.

My dad had recently been diagnosed with the cancer that would eventually claim his life, so that was obviously part it. It was part of everything in those days. But to say that was the sole reason wouldn’t have been accurate.

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The Night I Hung Out With Mindy McCready

Mindy McCreadyI tried to post this once before, but it got away from me. The preface that I tried to write, that is. So I’m trying again to write this preface which laments a common scenario I run into about town. The one where people come up and talk about this site in ways that make it clear to me that they cannot and do not perceive a difference between JCO the dad and JCO the writer.

I obviously understand why. The world sees me as a dad blogger, and, of course I also get why that’s the case. Even so, I see myself as so much more. (Which is probably why I started a profane, edgy, irreverent sports site that, in just six months, is already drawing far greater numbers than this site ever has — even when I posted here all the time here. Oddly, none of the readers over there have EVER come up to me and said “You must be the best sports fan.”)

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The Conservative Risk Taker: A Cautionary Tale of Parenting and Hypocrisy

I’m a risk taker. And I knew it shortly after I’d graduated from college when I loaded up my Toyota Tercel and headed to Seattle despite the fact I’d only visited the city once in my entire life for a grand total of 16 hours just two weeks prior. And despite the fact that I had no money whatsoever. (Don’t worry. I stopped in Vegas.) And no job waiting for me. No friends, either, except, I suppose, my college girlfriend, though that relationship was destined to fail shortly thereafter.

True to form, I had a sound bite (sound byte?) prepared for all those folks who questioned what I was doing (and, believe me, there were many).

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Father’s Day in Heaven

A young JCO kicking it w/ Mom and Dad shortly before his death. (Yes. He's rocking a smoke.)

I first posted this a year or two ago and I thought I’d post it agin for two reasons: first, it’s been viewed hundreds of times just this past week via Google searches for the term: “Father’s Day in heaven,” which tells me that many of us have someone up above we’d like to reach out and touch this Father’s Day. And, second, I suppose this is my way of saying Happy Father’s Day to my dad. Even if you’ve read it before, I hope you’ll read it again, particularly if you’re in a similar boat and can relate. And Happy Father’s Day, y’all.

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 although 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.

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A Briggs Story Best Left Untold

Note: The events described in this post actually went down last week, but I didn’t get a chance to publish it before our family camping trip, so here it is now.

Okay. This post is a total vent. So feel free to bail right now if you don’t wanna hear me bellyache. Oh. And if you have a weak stomach, you’re seriously in the wrong place. Leave. Immediately. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

So I get home from work a couple of days ago, and I smell something that’s all too familiar in my household.

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Irrefutable Proof That I Was Right And Caroline Was Wrong [Video]

Caroline and I put together a little Valentine’s Day video that I first posted on my BabbleVoices blog. If you watched the video, I’m sure you remember that part of our playful debate centered around her driving abilities, or lack thereof.

You see, I contended that Caroline  has limited ability when it comes to driving while she countered with the contention that she’s actually quite adept behind the wheel. So we took our conflicting opinions to a third party arbitrator who was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to rule on the matter.

And the following 30-second video proves that I was right. (Shocker.) Check it out.

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The Countdown to a Birth and the Embracing of It

Grand Finale has it. He’s holding on to it right now.

Today marks 39 weeks which means that sometime within the next seven days it’s overwhelmingly likely that Grand Finale Osborne will begin his reign of planet Earth. And the reality of what’s to come is finally taking full effect, causing my mind to race at warp speed, looking ahead to the future with hope as it looks back to the past for guidance. Back to the child who had it, yet never understood exactly what it was.

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Father’s Day in Heaven

Image: TheAlieness GiselaGiardino²³ via Creative Commons

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.

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The Goldsmith And My Sister

Before molding his precious metal, the goldsmith must first melt it down until the material becomes ideal to work with. The gold reaches that point only when the goldsmith is finally able to see his reflection staring back at him each and every time he casts his patient gaze upon it. When this occurs, he’ll take possession of the metal, then carefully create the form in which it will forever remain.

It appears as if the Goldsmith is satisfied, indeed, with my sister. I have no doubt that He’s able to see the reflection of His likeness whenever He looks deep within her soul. As such, He’ll finally turn down the heat. Throughout the years, however, He has melted her time and time again, but Holliday never complained. She simply endured, and as she did, all who witnessed were warmed by the glow of her bravery and determination.

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Snoop Dogg’s In The Miz-osque

Pookie may not ever win any penmanship awards, but that doesn’t detract from the beauty of her writing. Within the past year or so, she’s taken to leaving her mother and me notes, usually in the kitchen to prohibit us from various sweets she’s classified as hers and hers only. Whenever I run across one of her communiques, I know I’m in for a treat, even if the note’s purpose is to actually deny me one.

Accordingly, I was tickled pink when I found one of her sloppily written doctrines the other night. But my delight quickly disappeared as I read the downward-tilting and crooked verse of her scribblings. It was the lyrics to Katie Perry’s California Gurls — more specifically, Snoop Dogg’s part.

Color me old school, but no little girl should ever write all that ass, hangin’ out. Ever. Speaking of hangin’, y’all hang tight. I gotta puke real quick.

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