Anthony & Denise

Anthony & Denise

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Some of what I had and had not done

  I have had a lot of people through emails, Facebook messages, and on the Blogs ask me what I saw that I had and had not done right. At the time I was 44 years old a a whole lot had accumulated. I certainly wasn't the worse but I also wasn't as good as I should have been and a far cry from what I thought I was. I still am found lacking in many ways, but I'm a work in progress.

   I was taught not to judge so harshly by Papa which also taught the rest of the family too. Some of his and Annie's teaching they taught their children and us I had abide by like never turn away someone hungry or run someone off your property. While I was exactly an honest person in my youth, UPS changed that policy and I found just as I had been taught, tell the truth. I did hurt feelings sometimes as I could have told it a lot more tactfully. That a good paycheck, and a organization was about the only thing other than the many friends I made at UPS. I though had compared myself to other people in the process. I was a fast driver, holding records that I later found didn't mean squat. The place became me and who I was. If you are your job, therein lies the big mistake. If your job commands you to do or alter what is right and good, it is not worth salvation. I think when I hear the word Capitalists, I remember much of what God don't approve of. Capitalism is a religion. I know that isn't a popular thing to say either these days as the disinformation is heavy to make people think that is the American way. But look at where we are now and where it has gotten us and if you like this scenario, just wait until the curtain goes down. It ain't pretty. 

  Many asked if I had done these things while in real estate. No. While I had my license for 6 years prior they mostly just hung on a wall. It wasn't until after an injury at work that I started doing it fully time and I had left UPS. I knew better by then, plus mom wouldn't have tolerated it and would have been disappointed. I worked under her the last 2 years before the throat cancer hit.

   There were times when I even took part in making fun of less fortunate people. It wasn't often but, it did happen to keep in good graces with management. I threw my slats too occasionally at those who didn't want to live, breathe, and sleep for the company all those years I was at UPS. Dedication can be taken too far when it is in the wrong place and family and friends and number 2 and 3 of the list. God being number 1. There were times that I could have made things a bit easier on people, many, many times. Like crippled and blind people that I do as directed and just dropped the package on the porch, knowing they would be at the mercy of family or friends to get it inside. Times I could have said something kind to ease someone and times I done good to be praised and seen rather than doing good for the sake of doing good.

   It gets better than that too. Imagine every thought you have... every thought. Check that lady out and think bad things. Curse someone in your mind, done that a lot. Think your better than someone else because you are all wrapped up in what you can afford. That comes under the he or she could do better if they weren't so lazy or if they applied themselves thing. I saw myself driving and cussing while smiling, or as one Helped laughed and said, potty mouth. There are a lot of stupid people out there and I think I was perhaps the dumbest of them all. Next time your driving down the road, especially in traffic, monitor yourself. You will be given so many times to do good and do bad. Getting pissed off at the car who isn't too much on curiosity or errs is not a good thing, neither is the California Howdy sign. :). Next time you are in a check out lane and someone jumps line what you say and do is always an opportunity for right and wrong, depending on how you handle the situational.   

   Every minute of every day, no, let me correct that. I was taught to take care of the seconds and the minutes will take care of themselves, in productivity. But what is productivity? I found out that night that productivity is not what I thought. Productivity is something that can't be measured with a dollar. Something that has nothing to do what producing a product. Being productive is doing a good job, but then again, a good job is good relations with people... especially family. I never brought home the stress or anger, but I sure did the attitude. I'm sure my family was quite content that I did work all the time. At home though we had a hatchery and a mail order business for farm and pet supplies. It grew when we went online being the first hatchery up on the web and the 2nd or 3rd supply company. I was honest but heartless.

   From one of my cousins I had grown up with who had gotten murdered at twenty years old I hated and hardened my heart. I didn't grow up with my two half brothers or sisters or step brother, I grew up with my cousins as brothers and still to this day consider themselves to be. My heart broke when Joe was murdered, and my faith took a hit. Annie had many talks with me over the next 8 months about that, she died 8 months later. Joe and Mark had lived with her and taken care of her, she couldn't handle Joe being killed and the cruel words I had said to Mark and just about everybody else. Mark is all that remains now, along with Bobbie and Joey. Gerald (Mark & Joe's dad) died a few years later followed by Edna, their mom. Joe's dad which had also helped raise me began to drink and eventually he couldn't control it after Annie died in his arms, I'm not sure what I would have done the same losing a son and my mother in one year that way. Then I had a bad divorce and a lay off from Pet Dairy in the same year. I started back to church and done really good at going for the first time since I had quit as a teenager. I learned a lot and in a few short years all that learning was taken away from just one job a few years later. Then one day, as we were leaving church the preacher said, "Anthony, you need to get both feet in or both feet out". My answer was, "Well Hell, that's not a problem now is it." I haven't went back faithfully to this day. Between that and what I was being brainwashed at UPS, added with a hate than ran deep, well I'll say this. I was the best person to be around. I was funny though, lol.

   I didn't do a lot of things like get drunk, step out on my wife, beat her (she's stronger than me, lol), run around, or screw somebody over. I wasn't kind though to worse of all, my family. I ran home like they ran me. In some ways I think I was abusive to Denise with my words, the kids too. Naw, let's face it, I was cruel at times, too many times. I took them for granite. For 11 years we never took a vacation. It's not like we're just minutes away from the Smokies, a picnic would have been nice. So was looking past some things that really didn't matter and tossing more compliments out. Being kind. Getting mad easily. Giving those Marine type speeches we got at work when something didn't go right. Not telling them how proud I was of them and how much I loved them, even when I hated myself. I swallow camels and choked on gnats, as the saying goes.

  The pride, arrogance, unforgiving, hate, deception... all come through that night. My God I didn't realize all I had done or how bad I had done it. I was at the top of my heap and you know, I thought it would never end. Funny how we seem to forget that we are here for just a blink of an eye. Funny that we forget how we came into the world naked and empty handed, and we go out the same way. I had done a lot of good things too though more than I had thought for all the wrong reasons. Those don't count, at least not in a positive way.

   The only thing I had done good was that night, and that was because I thought I would never get another chance to say anything to anybody.I was afraid that my ride had come to an end and so before I went as Denise walked along beside the bed, I looked at her and said after he explained that the blockage was probably massive and it could stop my heart when they went to stop the heart attack. I said, " I've got something to confess." I saw her worried and scared too and wanted to ease her, but I was scared myself. Denise looked like oh no, here it comes, but she remained silent. I told her "I know I haven't always been a good husband, and I know that I have lacked a lot in many way. I want you to know that you have been a great wife and I have always loved you and always will. And I'm sorry for not being as good a husband as I should have been. Whatever happens tonight, please don't be bitter. I love you." It did not have the calming effect I had hoped for. Actually it may have made it worse.

  There are just too, too many things for me to list individually. If it is a gray area it is a black area , gray don't exist. If everybody is doing it and it really doesn't seem like a bad thing, then it's not a good thing either. There is only 1 you when it comes to facing God for your wrongs, nothing is curved on if you were at work or not. If your work is you it is wrong. You should work to live not live to work. Your company is not your family nor your first priority, actually it is much lower on the list, no higher than fourth. What you speak openly, silently, and think all count. Or at least that is what I seen. Judge yourself to no one except Jesus. If you are then you are already falling way short. Love yourself least than you love everybody else. Forgive, even your enemies. Love nothing this earth has because it stays on this earth. The things that are worth the most here is faith, truth, love, and those around you. That is what I learned. Anything you can actually pay money for and buy is false wealth.  Be nice. Be truthful yet tactful. Be calm, inside and out. Be Humble. Be Kind. Serve rather than being served. Anybody can be served, but only great people can be servants.

  That is just a small touch of it, but I'm sure you get the jest of it. I can tell you just as many right things I did, but some were for the wrong reasons and telling them would be bragging. I also saw how that don't look too good either. Man I've told more than I meant too. While I'm far from a saint I try and watch what I done before. There is not a day goes by that I do not ask for forgiveness. There is not a day that goes by that I don't think about the old me and ask that God help me to never be that man again. There is not a day that when we talk on the phone that I don't end it with I love you to Denise, the kids, the grandkids, and my parents... even to some friends. There is not a day that goes by that I don't give thanks for the great people that He has allowed me to be in the company of. People that have not only tolerated me but forgave me and loved me despite my past and my short comings. God is Good. 

  So I try and monitor myself these days, knowing how I fell the first time. That doesn't mean I still don't fall, I just know how it works now. I think this song pretty much says the truth.


  1. Thanks Anthony for the response. Your words are definitely something we all need to live by. I guess God really meant it when He said Love your brother as yourself! lol Too many Christians look down on others and if they only knew the harm they were doing. Hopefully, your experience will help open their eyes. Also,I loved the song that you posted. Hope you are feeling better!! Still praying for you :)
    Barb from OHIO

  2. What a beautiful testimony! I have been checking your blogs since I first saw you on TV. God has taught me to pray by listening for His spirit to bring someone to mind, instead of me bringing a list to him. He has brought you and your family to my mind a lot over the past months. I am in awe of the Christ in you. Your honesty and transparency are an invitation to the true love that abides in you. Please keep sharing your journey.

  3. im a ups driver also 27 yrs of service to the big brown machine. do you miss it at all? how do you get by wihout the check? i hate it here and would like to leave but to scared to with this eeconomy. i dont know what god would have me do. good luckwith your cancer, and i will pray for you and your family.

  4. Thanks Barb for the prayers and kind words. I think this post was the hardest post I have ever written. I am embarrassed to even write it, but the truth is the truth. I believe that is how we change, by admitting what we were and working on it from there.

    Anonymous 1, Thank you for the prayers and kind words. I have a long ways to go yet, but I'm trying. I think for whatever the NDE lacked, or rather what I regressed back from a bit, the Throat Cancer made an impact to try and finish. I know that sounds bad, but it is the truth. I pray this journey ends soon, yet I'm just along for the ride. I figure either way I win. That however nowhere makes me deserving of it or is a need to let down my guard or stop working on myself. I think if we reach all we can we will fall short, but through Grace, Jesus will reach the rest of the way to help us.

  5. UPS brother, I drawn a modest retirement. Since the IBT/UPS retirement people would not tell me if Denise would get a surviving spouse's benefit unless I am already started in drawing, I started drawing. I also was fast tracked for disability, but no insurance, my wife carries that. Hopefully that is temporary though. Plus Denise works. I made pretty decent money in real estate too, but medical bills went through that pretty fast. Our advantage was that we owe nothing, thank God for that. I built our house in 1982, me, my dad, my grandfather (also I call dad), my step father, and a cousin. All are dead now except my step father. Later when I met Denise me and her added on. I'm a car guy from way back, so all of our old cars were paid in cash, neither me or Denise drive newer cars. The night of my heart attack I remember thinking that we were so badly in debt, so that was priority one. We tightened our belts and over the next few years paid both houses off and I think we already had the farm paid for. Paid off the Credit Cards and said good-bye, save one for web ordering or reserving a room. The settlement from UPS (out of court) finished her car and the house off. It wasn't much but then again, it was enough to do that. We grow most of what we eat. Egg, gardens, cows. I will say though I saw an old check stub from 1996 and got a bit depressed. We've cut back a lot on wants. Something breaks either me, my son-in-law, or Mark (cousin) can fix it.

    I'd stay put if I were you, and I know that has to be hard with that new system. If I had not torn a rotator cuff they could fix right and 3 discs in my neck, I'd probably have worked as long as I could. Little guy on the dock didn't realize he picked up 138lb box and spun around with it until he lost it above me. It was an accident and he didn't mean too. No settlement on that one, didn't want him to get into trouble. The doctors wanted me to leave in 05, I stayed until 08, when after the surgery I lost 37% use of my arm. I tried to go back because I had worked with it like that since 03. But company policy was if they could get me ti 100%, I couldn't come back. So I went full time into real estate with my mom. I done mostly the last year foreclosures and BPOs, but I did have regular clients. For some reason, first time buyers and people who knew me. I was always honest with everybody and I think that helped. When I went down the later part of 09, I was working a lot in real estate, had 4 gardens, had just bought a bike in 08 (used). Then it just came to a screeching halt.I'm hoping I can get built back up, but I don't know who would hire me. 2 cancers, 1 heart attack, pernicious anemia, shoulder, neck, mild Aurthur from a Lymes Tick many years ago, COPD. Now I get to add Neuropathy, no saliva glands, no Thyroid, hearing has damage, and memory fog... those were from the "cure", if indeed it is cured. I believe 5 years is what the shoot for and consider a positive step and I'm told that when and if it comes back that I can never have radiation or chemo again due to the reaction.

    I do miss all the people I delivered to and most of the people I worked with. I did enjoy the job until they made it enjoyably. By the time the center manager was though though, I'd almost starve before I went back. You would not believe what all he done to me and my family when I was injured. One of my sups that retired before I left call me to go to a retirement with him. It was his 1st time in 9 years going back. He called and said if I have to go you have to go, period. He is not impressed with them either. Best workers in the world and they treat them like dogs, IMHO. Thank you for the prayers

  6. thank you for your answer i work in knoxville. im trying to hold on for a few more years if i can. had shoulder replace 2yrs ago.bad knees now.the hours are awful still.and ups stays on us even more now with this new system. take care . i will check you out on face book.

  7. I tore 1 shoulder and it healed, figured this one would do the same, it didn't. I torn an elbow out and remembered that word had gotten to the dr that if he done surgery I was pretty much gone years before. I done more damage avoiding surgery than I would have if I had done it. I don't regret not having my neck worked on though. 1 disc healed and the other two I usually wear a magnetic necklace which helps. I know the knee thing too. I think the only thing that made it through was my back, lol. I ran out of Morristown and I know some of the Knoxville drivers.

    The guys tell me all the time just how bad it is there now since the eds system is in place. I'm thinking got bad, lol. Then I see the loops they run which don't make sense, and even though they're not hooked up, see the bulkhead door sensors. I miss the people I delivered to and most of the people I worked with, but I do not miss the company.

    They have some of the best people on earth working for them, so why they have to treat people like that I have no idea. I remember telling one of the supervisors that he need think twice back then before he continued to lie, cause God ain't gonna accept I was paid to do that or that was me at work. Hang tough. After you get out it will take about a year or two, give or take. One of my supervisors told me that when we talked. He climbed to division manager, then quit. He almost had a heart attack and said while he was in the hospital thought about it. He decided with what all they were making him do and what he had become, if he had died he would have went to Hell. So he quit.

  8. in knoxville our trucks are hooked up and working. they know if your bulkhead door is openen and your speed and when you back up and how far you back up. big brother all the time now.not like the old days anymore. they still push you thought .even more now .hope i can hang on, i look forward to going home to be with the lord when my time comes,i beleive we are in the last days all so, do you? take care, your ups bro, HC

  9. I believe we are in the last days too. I use to argue with me great grandmother, she died in 1983 but was born in 1894. Back then she had said we were headed towards end days and that my generation would see it. I believe her now. I think we are just now seeing the beginning and the worst is yet to come. Still, anything that we endure here is worth even a second with God, so forever is well worth it. I've studied what some call conspiracy since that night, now I'm looking into what the Bible has to say without the added footnotes that seem to get told these days. I cross reference the scriptures, so it is a slow go. Things seem to be speeding up these days. Death doesn't scare me, living does.

    I couldn't imagine what and how they treat the info they gather with all that added data. I thank God I am not there now. I loved the way they told you the safest way, or the proper way, but then made you do things just the opposite way. I hear the guys telling me how they push harder and harder. Lay off drivers and kill the rest. I think if the founders saw what has become of the company they would be very disappointed.

    Hang in there if you can, just don't let them compromise you or injure you. I know that is hard to do. Believe me, your health has no price tag on it and your soul don't either. My mom says she wished I had never went to work there. But I made a lot of good friends and even met my wife while delivering there, so good things came out of it, not to mention made good money. Still, I should have left sooner. I was trying to at least make it 25 years before listening to the doctor's advice. Didn't happen though. Not only physically but also morally, it made it so hard to come back for those last 3 years. I stood my ground there on the last and our local didn't support it at all. I started working there to live rather than living to work there. We both know how that don't work too well, lol.

    I'll keep you in my prayers and have faith that you can endure, but if you can't, you are still a winner. The game is rigged. Take Care my ups brother, Anthony

  10. I have seen you on "beyond and back." Like most folks who have posted comments, "There is something about you Anthony" that speaks to their hearts and mine. I have seen all the shows so many times my boyfriend won't watch it anymore with me. Well, I decided to look for your blog that you mentioned in your piece because like many I'm curious if you indeed are a , I guess you'd say "faithful man." It's a awesome blog but Anthony what I really , really enjoy is the music that you select. Love it dude. Thank you so much . Teresa I will pray, pray ,pray for you and your family

  11. Hi Teresa, I'm honored that you liked the show. It's sad that your boyfriend won't watch it with you but us guys do stuff like that sometimes.

    I always listen to this music on 106.9 The Light. In it I find so many songs over time that have toughed my heart, almost like they were written just for me, but I know they are not. Still, I feel they come to me when I need them the most. They also have some pretty good preachers on there too.

    About anybody that knows me knows that if nothing else in my life, I am faithful... to God, my wife, my family. I ain't much in many ways but that one I have gotten down pretty good.

    Thank you for the prayers. I Think that is the strongest gift that one can offer and the most important jester on can make.

    God Bless, Anthony

  12. Dear Anthony,

    I'm honored to have read your blog which was brought to my attention through one of the few shows I actually feel good about watching on TV. Please check out the link posted below and download the book, "Angels in Starships". It is a free download and it has changed my life... maybe you will like it too. Take care brother :)

    "Love is the way. There is no other way. Love is the only way."

    Sincerely, Angelica