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An Obituary

I saw this in a movie once, “Serendipity”, with John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale (one of my favorite movies).  The idea is to write your own obituary, to find out what you have done and what you would want remembered about you.

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Eulogy

By Scott L Vannatter

6/10/2013

It is with considerable sadness as well as profound joy that I can relate to you the eulogy of Scott L Vannatter.  He would have wanted this to all be said and for you to be the ones to read it.

Scott is survived by many in his family, two, especially, his son and his daughter, his two proudest moments in life:  the births of each of them.  While he did divorce their mother, they did raise them with a lot of care and hard work.  Both children always had parents.

Scott was a mix of feelings and achievements.  He managed to work over 20 jobs in his life.  The two that were of the longest span and reach were his work as a computer assistant (operator, programmer, and administrator) and a teacher of special needs children.

Scott’s road to teaching was long and fraught with perils.  He wanted to teach as young as his seventh grade, but he allowed life and things to get in the way.  After his second divorce, he had a deep insight; quit his current job, and moving in with his parents, started back to school for teaching.

This was an important step for Scott.  He was, finally, living a dream.  He proved part of this when, through several years of online classes as well as teaching through part of that time, Scott was awarded his certification in teaching, nearly 60 hours of coursework with a 4.0 and a 100% total in all classes.  He did his student teaching under a master teacher at the Pendleton School System and began working at the New Castle Alternative School teaching grades 6-12 special needs students.

It was here that he really began to shine.  Under good supervision and taking the “slings and arrows” of the classroom, Scott taught respect to his students, mostly, by example.  He loved them all and showed them that they were important, were listened to, and could be respected.

On May 7, 2010, Scott suffered a major hemorrhagic stroke, which, by his accounts, led him to that bright room with the hallway of lights.  It was here he decided to stay around and live.  That he has done.

With all his filters wiped clean, Scott began to rebuild himself, mentally, physically, and spiritually.  He learned to trust God in so many ways and in such a strong manner that he laid his life in the hands of God many times over the next few years.

The stroke was as much a blessing as a curse.  Not being able to work, memory slightly scattered, attention difficult, walking near impossible, Scott fought long and hard each and every day to regain those parts of life he desperately needed in order to continue.  During that period, he also learned how to continue and how precious life was.

By summer of 2013, Scott was walking without a cane, running a daily blog, reading over 40 other blogs, many articles, and consuming himself in a lot of intellectual work.  Finally, having the full opportunity to write, Scott amazed himself by selling 8 stories (1 was charity and 2 were without pay) online and was printed in 2 anthologies, on the Kindle, 1 online magazine, and scheduled for 5 other places by summer’s end.  To say that he was happy would be an understatement.  However, writing was not his life.

Scott’s life was lived fully in his mind.  His imagination was where he had grown up and learned and thrived.  The stroke took some of that ability from him.  He had great difficulty “daydreaming”, something he was very fond of doing.  He could imagine entire universes in his mind, filling them with unearthly, yet emotional, creatures, but he had great difficulty putting himself into those situations.  This saddened him.

He also went through times of being lonely and down; however, he knew life was good and that God was with him, so he never stayed in those times very long.  His motto summed up his life and living:

-All things work out in the end; if it hasn’t worked out, it isn’t the end-

Know that Scott loved life and all of you; he would want you to live, at all costs – live.

Namaste,

Scott L Vannatter

Who are You?

Recently, and not for the first time, I received a list of 12 things about you (me) that I identify more and more with.  Bert made a comment to me, today, about approaching the point where there were no more ethics, just limitless compassion.  I like that.  And, in accordance with that ideal, here are the 12 things and my comments on them.  I hope you like and identify with several, if not all.

Scott Westerfeld, I believe, wrote “Uglies”, a wonderful book admiring imperfection.

(Image from http://cupcakesniper.blogspot.com/2009/12/operation-beautiful.html)

1. At least 15 people in this world love you in some way..

if you think about this, there are many different types of love.  My Mom and Dad love me, so does my sister.  But, my best friend does too.  I love myself.  There are people here in this blog world that I love, so I can also imagine that they could love me, too.  It doesn’t have to be romantic or even a, “I would do anything for you” type of love.  Love can be very simple and light-hearted.

2. A smile from you can bring happiness to anyone, even if they don’t like you.

Did you ever think about the power of a smile?  I often meet people’s eyes in stores and out walking and give them a big smile.  They, usually, smile in return.  Sometimes, they even stare.  I assume it’s because they can’t understand why I am smiling.  I feel confident that it brightens their day; I know it does mine.

3. Every night, SOMEONE thinks about you before they go to sleep.

My mother and my sister both tell me that they pray about me every night.  That makes two.  My aunt told me that she does, too.  I don’t know if I count, but I think about myself each night before going to sleep.

4. You mean the world to someone.

When I was in high school (I didn’t find this out until much later), there was a girl who admired me greatly and never told me so.  I don’t know about romance, but she looked upon me as a role model and thought the world of me.  It unnerved me when I found out, because someone was paying attention to me and I didn’t have any idea.  After that, I realized and tried harder to watch how I acted around others and the type of impression I might make.

5. If not for you, someone may not be living.

I dated a young woman years ago.  She was bent on killing herself in a few years.  She told me she was waiting because she made a promise to someone that she would, at least, wait until a certain age.  We broke up because I told her I couldn’t live under the pressure that someone I cared for might kill herself like that.  I didn’t want to fall in love with someone who was planning to go away so soon.  After we broke up, I called her.  She was much happier.  She said she had thought about what I had said and decided to try counseling.  She was doing well and was on anti-depressants.  I think she qualifies as my one.

6. You are special and unique.

This should go without saying for me.  It is at the center of my entire belief system.  I told this to my children every day for about five years.

7. When you think you have no chance of getting what you want, you probably won’t get it, but if you trust God to do what’s best, and wait on His time, sooner or later, you will get it or something better.

This is even more central.  Restated:  “All things work out in the end.  If it hasn’t worked out, it isn’t the end.”  My mantra for life.  God may not always give me what I ask for, but He knows best.  Whatever I get is what I truly need.  It doesn’t mean not to ask; it simply means to accept.

8. When you make the biggest mistake ever, something good can still come from it.

See number 7 above.  It’s just a natural result of 7.  If you trust that all things work out, then, mistake or not, it will all be fine – so, quit worrying and just live.

9. When you think the world has turned its back on you, take a look: you most likely turned your back on the world.

Most of the time, when you think all is lost, it is merely that you are giving up for the time being.  Turn yourself around and realize that God (the world) never turns His back on you.  He will always be with you, watch out for you, and give you what you truly need.

10. Someone that you don’t even know exists loves you.

I can believe this for one big reason:  there are some women out there who I truly believe I could (perhaps, do) love and they have no idea I feel that way.  There is a book entitled “The Dance” by Oriah Mountain Dreamer.  I read that book and fell head over heels in love with her just from her writing about her life.  I even wrote a letter to her telling her this, but never mailed it.  She had no idea I was even alive, so yes, it happens.

11. Always remember the compliments you received. Forget about the rude remarks.

There will always be someone who wants to rain on your parade.  When I think about poor Amanda Todd, I know that she remembered the rude remarks.  There were compliments, even if she didn’t pay attention to them.

12. Always tell someone how you feel about them; you will feel much better when they know and you’ll both be happy.

This is something I am learning to do now.  Since the stroke I am more prone to tell people things and be truthful about it.  If I am a little upset, it helps me to tell them and it, eventually, helps them to know.  If I care a lot about them, I need to share that, too.  They may feel the same or may like me more when they know.  Since I don’t hate anyone at all, I shouldn’t have to deal with that part.

There you are; 12 things that center my being and make my world a good place to be.

How about you?  What things really make your world worth it?

What makes you happy to get up each morning?

At least, know this:  I love each of you and hope your day is beautiful.

Namaste,

Scott

A New Lease on Life, Well, on Sleep, at Least

Well, last night was different. When 11:00pm rolled around, I decided it was time to take the new set of meds.

Now, mind you, when I am tired, things worry me more. So, I was still concerned about taking all three meds at one time. I stood there a moment and looked at the three pills in my hand and … well, prayed just a bit.

I really do love God, but I also really did not want to meet Him in person that night! So, after turning it all over to God, I kinda just shrugged my shoulders and took them all. That didn’t, of course, alleviate all my worries, but I decided that I was really too tired to care, so I went to bed, said another prayer, and read for a few minutes.

When the words didn’t make a lot of sense and I had stopped enjoying the reading, I put down the book, turned out the lights, and FELL ASLEEP within 15 minutes. I woke up about 5:30am and, looking at the clock, thought,

“Man, it’s still early. Then, I thought, “Hey! I am awake!”

That made me happy enough to get up, go to the rest room, and stagger back to bed. I woke up again at around 8 and again at 9:30 when the alarm went off.

I realized that in some way, I had gotten in about 7-8 hours of sleep and, more importantly, over 5 were at one shot! I was still tired all day, but I think it was mostly catching up from being so tired for 3-4 days.

So, the new meds are working and I didn’t die or go into a coma! I am one happy camper.

I went to my daughter’s today and we had lunch at an Indian buffet and watched “We Bought a Zoo”. That was a great meal and it was a fabulous movie.

English: Scarlett Johansson at the Hasty Puddi...

English: Scarlett Johansson at the Hasty Pudding Woman of the Year Parade in Cambridge, MA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Based on a true story, it dealt with a father and two children to gambled it all to purchase and run a zoo. It was excellently done and kept my attention throughout. I will say that Elle Fanning (Dakota’s sister) did a great job of being the kid who everyone liked and Scarlett Johansson would bring me to a movie almost anytime.

If you haven’t seen it, check out the trailer below. Good movie.


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Namaste,
Scott

A Quick Look for You – 2 Movie Review

Nollywood Movies

Nollywood Movies (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have gotten to watch a couple of movies this week and thought I would take a moment and just let you consider them. They are at opposing ends on the spectrum.

The first film is entitled “This Means War“.

It stars Reece Witherspoon (the only reason I would watch “Legally Blond”.

It is the story of two CIA agents who are very different and who both fall in love with Reece. They go all out to try and win her and it is hilarious. It also features a lot of action, thrills, and even some romance worked in there.

I liked it and that is not normally my type of movie. It was well-worth the time, however, and I recommend it with an 8 of 10 rating after finishing it.

I do believe it is rated R so be careful who watches with you and for the trailer below – has language and some sex-related material.

The second movie is entitled “Predators“.

It is not funny. It is not very romantic – though there is a bit.

It is a lot of action and quite a bit of gore.

The “Predator” series has been around quite awhile and I almost dismissed this one because I didn’t know if I could take another one. Wrong! This one takes a really different look at it and has a multitude of stars in its main cast.

There were enough that the acting was excellent and the plot was not very standard. It tripped me up several times and that’s what I enjoy. Also rated R. I know most of my readers won’t like it and won’t watch it. That’s why I did the other one first.

I would rate this one another 8 of 10 but for different reasons, obviously. The clip is a bit rough – just so you know – language and some gore.

As an extra, no clip, however, if you really like “chick flicks” a short list of several I truly enjoyed was:
1) Pride and Prejudice with Kiera Knightley
2) How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
3) Bicentennial Man

Okay, enjoy.
Namaste,
Scott

You Have Got to Know (So I am Gonna Tell You)

I have been frazzled today.

I finally (Thanks) decided to name him  Hugsiey Tumbles.

I finally (Thanks) decided to name him Hugsiey Tumbles.

I tell you that so you will know that I am not one of the “life is always wonderful” people.

There is a huge difference between “life is always wonderful” and “everything works out in the end”.

The person who is always saying “Life is always wonderful” is, most likely, in denial. They are not seeing what is out there and are not willing to admit things can be bad. I may make a few enemies here, but I include the “It’s God‘s Will” people here, too.

I have seen too many people use the comment “It’s God’s Will” or “If It’s God’s Will” to allow them to explain away anything bad. It’s a type of denial, in my opinion, because I truly don’t think God has worked out a plan in which it is predetermined that you have to suffer and be miserable and things just go to heck. It just doesn’t make sense.

Quit telling me that it was God’s Will that my grandmother die or that I had my stroke. I believe God gave us choices and consequences come of those choices. Then, God uses our choices to help give us other choices.

Do I think God is always trying in everything to help us in life? Yes.

Do I think God prearranged all these things? No.

I think God works with us through our free will to “nudge” us toward that beautiful life we could be having.  We make the choices; God gives us more choices; some of those choices are tough and we may have to go through some rough spots because it finally got to the point that we were not following the easier path.

It makes sense to me, but I am never quite sure if I am explaining it right.

I had the stroke because I kept choosing to eat wrong and be stressed out.  There were a lot of ways for me to avoid that stroke path, but, finally, it had to happen; I didn’t give it any other choice.

The way I see it, God allowed me to live and still showed me the wonderfulness that life can offer even in my circumstances.  I, finally, chose to begin following the better path (maybe not the best one, yet) and then things could start to smooth out.  Notice I said, “start”.  I have a long way to go and still have a lot of choices to make.

But, I digress.  The other side of the “Life is always wonderful” coin is the “everything works out in the end.”  I think I just explained all of that.

That is me, and my day (look, full circle) was Frazzled!

In brief, I took Dad to Dialysis.  That is a 6 hour trip from start to finish.  We do it three times a week.  For Mom and me it is getting Dad there, waiting 2 hours, then lunch, then either going somewhere for an errand, or coming back for another 1 1/2 hours until he is finished.  Then, hurry home so Dad can get settled in and eat, and I can get home and do whatever by 4:00pm.

That wasn’t the frazzled part; that was just how the day started.

I was tired;  I didn’t take the best way to the dialysis clinic;

I got home and “remembered” (thanks to an email ad) that it was election day;

I drove in a hurry to the library to vote (two main streets were closed);

I went to the grocery; then ate just before my buddy called me to “go eat”; I went to “eat” (low, low carbs) with him so we could talk;

I dropped my blood pressure pill on the floor and couldn’t find it, right after spilling coffee while trying to “wipe up a smaller spill”;

I decided to go to grocery after all;

I was nervous and anxious by the time I got home, then realized all the online work I needed to do for blogging and Amazon and “things”.

So, I was frazzled. (I also left out the part where I had this post 1/3 done and accidentally “deleted” it)

Okay, all that, just to help you to see that “everything works out in the end” does not mean “everything works out today”.

You still have to live in the moment, but keep an eye on tomorrow.  What does help me is that, if I will keep that eye on tomorrow and remember the working out part, I can make it through today and, usually, calm myself down (which I have now done).  Because, you never know what is really going on…

You need to look at tomorrow and know that it will all work out, so that you can work through today without having to live in denial.

I love you all…

Namaste,

Scott

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