"I pass the baton".

I rarely am at a loss for words. It's not that I feel the need to talk all of the time, or to hear thoughts in motion in an effort to seem more grandiose in my own presence........truly. I need quiet time. Lot's of it. I have been in a public arena in one way or the other for much of my life that most days I just feel physically, emotionally and socially exhausted. I've listened to so many stories of people's lives, troubles, hurts, successes, trials and tribulations that some days I think I'm a sin eater. My Grandma Ellis used to warn me to not let people drain my energy. The users will latch on and suck you dry and "You are kind enough to let them". It's taken me decades to truly understand this and yet today I struggle with the balance of altruism and selfish self protection. My heart is big, my pockets are generous and when I have had enough, I border being a martyr. I am not always proud of this, but am learning balance with self growth each passing day. I have been disappointed in the love of friends, blown away by the kindness of strangers and karmically balanced by my own ups and downs in both directions. I am human on a blessed journey to becoming one with the Infinite.

In my soul I am an artist. Not just in the sense that I have been a painter, musician, singer, writer, court jester to all, but someone who creates. That thinks. That wonders, dreams and hopes. One that finds the best in situations and people. I would however not consider myself a complete optimist. I am more realistic than that as life has taught me some tough lessons and I do take heed and would today consider myself a practical idealist. I will give you every benefit of the doubt until you have proven me otherwise. I do preface that by saying, "I'm not allowed to breed or carry firearms because most people need to be neutered or shot" and I'm no exception.

I started this website in an effort to present pragmatic solutions in design and execution wrapped in a warm fuzzy way showcasing my own real life journey. I believe that to be true, but have also always known that much more would come from it. Each personal road map has twists and turns that take you where you need to be at each point and time. This is a medium that allows those interested to follow and I welcome views as every one is valid and the more you open the dialogue to opposition, the more you learn.

Right before my Mom died, I had just turned 50. Her gift to me was a hand written journal of our lives. It was a chronicle of Her life up to my 13th year. It was more about Her and the connection that would become Ours. I had asked why She had stopped there and She told me, that at that point "your Dad and I had divorced, You became a man and wrote your own story." When She gave it to me, I went home and read the 3, 5X7 books from cover to cover. It took me all night. I never read them again. I didn't need to.........I had memorized them. Why had She chosen this gift at just this time? Do we somehow innately know of our end? Was this a "Here's your sign"? I can't help but wonder on this daily.

I had been thinking for a couple of years about looking for a piece of property that could serve multiple purposes. Something that could be home, offer rental potential, storefront options and storage. I had been more interested in places downtown and had rarely considered suburban or even rural, but God does work in mysterious ways and after much consideration compounded with the situation at hand, my childhood home could actually work for most or all of those needs.

With the passing of Mom being so untimely I had never considered this ever being an option as I had truly expected Her to live long enough for us both to be sharing a tandem wheelchair, but we sincerely are not in charge and there is a plan bigger than us all. Whether your beliefs are purely of a biblical God, karmic balance, sheer luck of the draw or some personal unique combination of all of those, fact is just as in euchre, sometimes you have to go alone on the left bower and a nine if the queen of diamonds left you an off suit ace in the hole.

The hardest part of the transition was how to treat the relationship that Mom had been in for almost 28 years. They had lived here together since the late 80's As this is a long and very personal decision, I'm sure it will take more time and soul searching, if ever, before I share publicly all the details that lead to this final outcome. Be sure that the road map that brought me back was 90% Mama GPS and 10% common sense. The vast majority was already signature sealed, no-brainer technicalities. The remaining 10% was a 6 month nightmare. But in the end, you have to be pragmatic and put the pieces, places and people in situations that they can control and handle at the point in life that they are and how well they have prepared themselves to perpetuate those variables. We chose our parents for what they have to teach us, and our flowchart of previous and future relationships, loves, laughs and lifetimes lead us to where we are. How much of what we do, learn, suffer is predetermined by our unique puzzle that we create? Did my Mother know that in someway her life was a springboard for my destiny? Is this how all of our lives our connected and why we succeed in the presence of some and fail with others? Are the failures just a tug on your arm to veer you another direction in order to lead you to your goal? The combinations are endless, our earthly lives are not, and the need to create the optimum path is paramount.

These entries have at times been in a random order. It's not that I don't have things to write as the voices never stop. Oh my, the voices! Sometimes the thoughts come so fast that it is overwhelming. The goal is to create complete thoughts so as they stand on their own no matter what the order. Some of us think in circular motion, while others need linear progression, but in the end we only absorb what we can relate to. What we need to hear at that moment and what path we are travelling parallel to the words.

In it's own way, that's where I am now. Back full circle. Not only in the sense that I am back home, but have pulled the focus back to the Why. To the Alpah. The Omega. The Mom. Where it all began, and in a way that we will all experience. The end and passing of our inception becomes a new chapter for our own beginning. No one in the background editing. No one praising your less than stellar attempts and no one to kiss the scrapes and bruises. No safety nets and no do-overs.

A few years ago I wanted to pursue manufacturing a product. I was at a complete loss of where to turn and what to do. As like many middle aged, middle class middle Americans, I didn't have the time or capital to keep screwing up with my own money and I'm too mid-western to consider putting someone else's on the line. So, in a man to man with my Dad at the kitchen table over coffee and pie, He said something that still makes the hair on my arms stand up. The words were all "Kenny", but the thoughts and meaning were meant for Dave. He said that he wasn't really sure where to direct me, but if I would contact 5 people that I respect and present them with the same series of questions and needs that he was sure that I would in someway be directed forward. To the next step. But what he said next was what I needed to hear. He pat my hand and stared at me, with beautiful sincere blue eyes that I could feel the love from and said that I needed to consider that the reason I couldn't find the answers from others was that most people come to me for that. He had passed the baton. I was Mr. Ellis.

At some point you have to trust yourself. Start listening to the voices and yes the one's from within. When you reach a point that you not only ask yourself the important questions, but answer them, you have become your own sounding board. Your own conscience. And yes as we lose our parents, our aunts and uncles, our friends and mentors.................we become that collective consciousness. At this point as we become the mentors to our circle and are asked the polite Who? What? and Where's?, step up to the plate and help them search their hearts for the most important question of all................Why?