How To Remain Vigilant Through Tragedy & Crisis

When my wife Mary died in the summer of 2005, not only did I need to act swiftly by handling funeral arrangements - but also with financial and legal issues as well.

I guess some of us have a built in innate sense of taking responsibility when it comes to a crisis, while some of us stare like deer to headlights.

Preparing yourself for a crisis is one thing, but acting on it - without preparation, is quite another.

One of the things that still tugs at my heart string, is when I had to explain "death" to my five year old son Hazen, just hours before attending the funeral for his mom.

Seek Help

Luckily for me, Mary was a Clinical Therapist and her professional friends helped guide me, for what it was that I had to say.

So on the the day of the funeral, I approached my son and told him that we were gonna go see his mom. Not looking at me while playing with his toy, he said "okay".

And as he started to face me, I told him that when people die - their body doesn't work anymore and mommy won't be able to talk to you, or hold you. But when we're finished at the funeral, we can go home.

He looked at me in assurance and said "okay".

For me the task was simple enough, but the effect of the experience - will last till the day I pass away.

Here's a pic of Hazen and I - at a job site in Kingman, Arizona.
Man I wish I could grow up and be as tall as him someday.

Note that the ring strapped to his neck, is the one that was on Mary's finger the day she died.

Focus On Reality

There are things in the past and things in the future, but real action takes place now.

We're never gonna be in control of everything and to attempt that is like trying to hold back the waves crashing on a beach.

In many ways we have to be versatile, because things change constantly and how we choose to react will usually determine the outcome.

The main reason why my son and I are working for the same Electrical Contractor in Kingman, is because he changed his mind from joining the Marine Corp.

And the way that happened, I normally wouldn't suggest anyone else to do. It's just that I sometimes respond fairly quickly to situations without having to actually think it through. And in this case, I could've lost my job.

Because what I chose to do was bring Hazen with me to some job sites unbeknownst to my employer as my own apprentice and pay him a cut from my own wages. Yeah, totally unprofessional especially because of liability issues and what not.

I could only afford a couple of days doing that and it ended pretty quick. But it also worked wonders because after work picked up and the company needed more workers, Hazen was at the right place to take that position. And now he's doing well with the company and even got a promotion.

So yeah, sometimes you gotta take risks even if you don't know how things are gonna turn out. Which is probably why my son shakes his head while watching me do crazy stuff at work - like accidentally tearing my rotator cuff.

Through life we go through many things, most of which we're ill prepared. But how we come out on the other end ultimately shows us what we're made of.