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We Check In; Are You OK?

Holding degrees in philosophy and Law. Formal studies or certificates or degrees in business, theology, insurance and security. Ex-preacher.

A Favorite Hike And The Name Is No Joke

The freeways are always straight and flat. The backways always up and down.

The freeways are always straight and flat. The backways always up and down.

Thank You Very Much

Life is full of twists and turns. I like the visualization of starting out in diapers and ending up in diapers. So often, so true. But for me I will have started out in cloth diapers and ended with some kind of synthetic ones if not a tube. How is that for starting out graphics? Runaway if you must but this does get better.

Dear Grandmother and Grandfather,

How are you? I am fine. I am in second grade. My favorite subject is recess. My favorite color is green. I like corn on the cob the most. But it hurts to eat it because I have no front teeth.

Mom told me that I am growing very fast. My school ends soon. I hope you will come visit me for my summer vacation.



Alright I admit it I had a lot of help from my big sister in order to write that. I think it took me a week of every night before sleep. Do not get me wrong, I super duper loved them, but my mom made us kids write letters to our Grandparents about twice a month. I think my favorite part was licking the stamps and envelopes. (do not tell anyone but at that time I kind of liked dry dogfood and that white pasty glue in school.)

There is a nuance to the letter that is so close to my childhood ones, it is “come visit me for my summer vacation”. It is not as much about my egocentrism it is about how my grandparents made me feel. I reckon the same for my five older siblings but maybe not so much as I was adopted and inter-familiarly referred to as the Chosen One, I even had an extra birthday called a chosen day. Although I think the chosen day was more about school so children could learn about adoption which seem to always include adopting a pet from the shelter. It really just meant a special day for the older kids to call me an illegitimate bastard. That was still kind of a deal back in my youthiest youth.

Sounds like a bit of mish mash at this point, but the point is that I was all happy and slappy, until folks pointed out to me that my life was crap. Then came the questions of “Eric, are you OK, really?”

A Rather Tough Concept But We Could Try!

The Dude Will Get Angry If You Are Not Happy--- That Does Not Make Sense

Really that is me smiling.

Really that is me smiling.

Any Thoughts On This

Let us answer that question. We will use me as a kind of fictional character like a teacher uses a student or other as an example. The problem was and is an inordinate ability to perceive any given situation as a gift. Like what I received was a blessing. My dad spanked me twice. I remember both vividly. Both occasions were me doing something dangerous or harmful to my self or to another after being told repeatedly that the action was wrong and why it was wrong. And it was made clear that the spanking was to get the point across because talking had done no good. After each time I counted my blessings that my parents loved me enough to teach me and that it was truly harder on my dad than me. As my youngest and I say “that is cray cray for a little guy”.

As bizzare as this may sound even more cray cray but I think I learned from my “1st grade” Bible school teacher, Mrs. Seidel that sometimes God is tough on us because he loves us so much that He would even be mean to us keep us safe and healthy. Please do not raise your eyebrows to the point of cramping, I really was the weird kid who took spiritual matters to heart as early as pre-school. Somewhere I just got it in my head that spiritual was as real as the brick wall I banged my head against trying to reinvent the wheel through puberty. I think that that spooked my mom a bit. In her last sentient years should would almost always ask about voices that I heard. I tried to assure her I did not and that it was in my heart not echoing around between my ears.

So Eric are you OK? “I feel great and am so happy for another day”. But how is the puking going with all your chemotherapy? “Wellp that kind of sucks but reminds me that I am alive and very thankful that I can now eat so they are not dry heaves.” Hey Eric, does it kill you losing that race that was so close? “Sure but I love practice and we are not taking the day off tomorrow.” And literally on and on and on.

Like I said, totally cray cray. I believe the correct term is Pollyanna. Probably a close cousin to hypo-mania or manic. But we cannot pin it on that because it is there when I should be depressed. Let us try to work this through.

IZ is Just a Kind Of Heroe of Mine

From a Seed Called a Mustard Seed Perhaps As small as a Grain of Salt

Let your love grow and bloom and give others happy.

Let your love grow and bloom and give others happy.

Please Make The Right Choice For You

Hey buddy how you doing? {in one second} “Great how are you doing?” “fine” – how is….? And your little one- …. And blah blah blah. It never ceases to amaze me how folks who are miserable answer “fine”. From above you can see the difference. Bad circumstance vs. being miserable, perhaps even with great circumstance.

Let me tell you real plain like; Do not tell me that I am freaked out and miserable and feel horrible because I have cancer. Even if I tried to my family would not allow it and I raised them. We simply do not do not OK. Now do not take this too far. One of the reasons that we do not do miserable is because we all feel the pain together. We admire you and we respect your emotions, feelings, pain and faith in the matter. First I own them. Then family respects my ownership and that it is not theirs to do with as they please. Then we praise and lift up each other. And I mean each other. A cancer victim’s child is about the only person I will recognize as a victim in life. But that don’t matter as my youngest and I are reading that one legged pirates still sail on!

My favorite sensei ever told me something clear. Pain, troubles, loss and illness are inevitable in this life but suffering is optional. And later I told him the truth that there is good news and bad in awareness. The good news is you feel others and sense them more deeply, and the bad news is that you feel others and sense them more deeply. Sorry but there really is no on/off switch really. You can stuff the feelings but you better deal with them real quick or deal with your compensating addictions later.

I hope that the above is not worrisome. That is in part why I used my ridiculous me with exaggeration to make my points here. A real part is getting hit with two kinds of cancer in one lifetime. The first fatal yet a miracle in love combined with bad ass docs cured it. And the second a gnawing - it will not kill you now for at least ten years maybe if all goes well.

Let me pray that this helps you to really ask and really answer if you are OK. And please be kind to yourself. You just might have the best life in the world and for some ungodly reason feel bad. You are not a bad person for that. Just as that pain in the ass, always cheery guy is not really just stupid and lame, but is not a bad person for that.

This Was A Sermon.

My Publishers would rather I not label this a sermon and not in Religion category. Let your beliefs decide for you.


lovetherain from Untited States on October 19, 2017:

I think we tell others we are fine because we don't want them to worry. We don't want to put our pain onto others. It is for them, not us. I think.

Eric Dierker (author) from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on September 16, 2017:

Lawrence, I just now am having to work at not letting what those close to me say bother me. It is a balance between caring what they say and learning from it and staying focused about criticism or just plain old negativity.

And yes for me the main tool is Christ.

Lawrence Hebb on September 16, 2017:


This was a great 'life lesson' (I suppose that's what a sermon is, but I'll respect your publisher and not call it that!)

I've not walked the same path as you, but I'm an eternal optimist, and as a neighbour once told me, "as long as I'm upright, and sucking air, things are great!"

We've got our struggles, but we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us!



Eric Dierker (author) from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on August 10, 2017:

Bill, I was thinking of you and the heat. I am glad to know you are getting through it. Griping about weather is a favorite of mine, as you can do nothing about it so you have to laugh at your self for being so silly.

Eric Dierker (author) from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on August 10, 2017:

Venkatachari I really appreciate your comment. This acceptance of what is, is paramount to a good life.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on August 10, 2017:

I'm tired but fine, my friend. Thanks for asking. In all honesty, Eric, I've never had it so good in my life.

Venkatachari M from Hyderabad, India on August 10, 2017:

A Very nice approach towards life. I also believe in this theory that pain, problem, loss, aging, and illness are all inevitable here. But, when we can understand this reality, we learn that we need to take them as different stages of life and get accustomed to them with no fear or suffering feelings.

Thanks for this enlightening post.

Eric Dierker (author) from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on August 09, 2017:

Hi Lori and thank you. I was reading the Book of James this morning and I had to stop and consider about his notion of trials. Count it all Joy when you meet various trials. And as my mind wondered it took me back to Shadrack and the fire in Daniel.

Which brought me back to the notion that the best teachers in the world teach by action taken in trial by fire.

We must remember that each of us has a duty, because each of us is looked to for encouragement.

Oops, I probably should have kept most of that to myself.

Thanks for your oh so encouraging words.

Eric Dierker (author) from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on August 09, 2017:

Clive, sometimes I get so busy munching on food for thought that my wife has to remind me to eat some real food.

Eric Dierker (author) from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on August 09, 2017:

Thank you much Dora. You reminded me of my son on our way home from swim lessons. For some reason he was thinking about numbers, and asked if there was more than infinity. How do I answer that? So I asked why. And my little spiritual genius told me that he thinks Jesus loves us more than infinity. You reminded me due to your seemingly endless encouragement and support.

Eric Dierker (author) from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on August 09, 2017:

Chitrangada, you always brighten my day when you stop in for a visit. That is so cool you have some of your letters.

I also think that the saying is very sound. And some days I am so covered in love that I look around and cannot find anyone as blessed as I.

Lori Colbo from United States on August 09, 2017:

What do publishers know. You are one of the most grateful, upbeat, the glass is full and overflowing people I've ever known, at least that's how you seem to all of us. I think trials and afflictions teach us and shape us if we are actively looking and open to God. I pray for your complete healing, Eric. You are in God's hands but thank you that in the midst of your trial you bring encouragement and hope to us. God bless you, brother.

Clive Williams from Jamaica on August 09, 2017:

Food for thoughts

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on August 09, 2017:

Eric, you are plus okay. Due to your expressions of faith, the cheer from Bobby McFerrin and the smiles from Iz, I have spent more time on your page today, than I will spend on any other. You excel at encouragement, and you can only give it because you have it. Stay happy, Buddy! Keep feeding your spirit with life.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on August 09, 2017:

What a wonderful read! You brought back memories of my childhood. Yes I also used to write letters to my grandfather and he always replied it so promptly. I have preserved some of those precious letters .

It's not possible to be hundred percent OK for anyone. Although we may not say so when asked this question.

Life gives us some pleasant and some not so pleasant moments. But that is 'life'!

That reminds me of the famous saying, when you are in distress, think of the person who has more bigger problems than you.

Of course this is a sermon! Thanks for sharing!

Eric Dierker (author) from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on August 09, 2017:

Tim I have these episodes of hypochondria. Usually about 2 weeks in length. And I always come out the other side laughing at my self.

Thanks for stopping by and leaving a note.

Eric Dierker (author) from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on August 09, 2017:

It is always good to hear from you Bill. Kind of strange these days but I look at folks who are very busy with envy.

Eric Dierker (author) from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on August 09, 2017:

Thank you John. I just cannot get on board with folks who think we as a species are just doing horrible. I look around and see wonderful things happening.

Tim Mitchell from Escondido, CA on August 09, 2017:

Respect, admiration, and Love. Rock on! I echo John's quote; "Pain, troubles, loss and illness are inevitable in this life but suffering is optional".

William Kovacic from Pleasant Gap, PA on August 09, 2017:

I'm falling so far behind, my friend. Been super busy. Now I have a lot of catching up to do. Thanks for sharing this one!

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on August 08, 2017:

This really brings the reader back to Earth, and make us stop feeling sorry for ourselves, Eric. What your sensei said was so true, "Pain, troubles, loss and illness are inevitable in this life but suffering is optional." No matter how bad we think our situation is there are always some people worse off, and you just have to play the cards you are dealt as best you can. Peace to you.

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