Monday, June 16, 2008

A Hat-tip to Tim, Father's Day and A Plea

A friend from work, Tim, has a tutorial soldering video which is also doing remarkably well. Check out Headless Solder Guy.

I had to work Father's Day but Tammy and I were able to get out Friday night for dinner at Outback. Rachel was going to come with us but a night spent with friends won out.

Earlier in the evening, I was getting ready to take the pups for a walk when Tammy and Rachel cornered me and asked if I wanted one of my Father's Day gifts early? Tammy insisted that now would be a good time. They'd bought me a Sony radio with an AM/FM/TV/Weather tuner. I'm a gadget guy but the radio I'd been using on my walks was one I'd bought at least a dozen years ago and Tammy felt I needed something less clunky looking. She was right. In fact, just last week I'd been kicking around the idea of buying a new one but I hadn't mentioned it to her. Funny how that works.

The other gift they gave me was a beautiful cross to replace the one I'd damaged last month. I was pretty sure they were getting it for me and I'm very happy to have it.

There's a show on A&E called, Intervention. It profiles people with addictions who are at or near rock bottom and the struggles their families endure as they helplessly watch their loved ones slip away. Last night the show told the story of former professional bicycle racer, Chad Gerlach. He raced with Lance Armstrong and the U.S. Postal team for a couple of years in the late '90s. A harmless joke by Chad directed at Lance led to his dismissal from the team and his fall from grace. He poked Lance in the stomach while calling him doh-boy. Nobody has ever accused Lance of having a sense of humor. Chad's addiction soon followed.

It can be a difficult show to watch as too often the addict is unable to overcome their addiction or is unwilling to try. Meanwhile, the family is left to try and move forward without them. In Chad's case, he entered treatment and has been sober since late February. Maybe it was the editing of the show but while watching it I didn't have much hope for him. I'm glad I was wrong. The final minutes of the show gave you a glimpse of Chad having found a new lease on life and focused on his recovery. It was great to see. What struck me most of all was the heartfelt apology he gave to his family for the torment he'd caused them and how truly grateful he was for their love.

My family is no stranger to addiction. We've each had our own way of coping and often times that led to rifts within our family. I was always a "tough love" sort of person. I saw no reason to enable behavior that did nothing but tear us apart. Tough-love should not be confused with no-love. There are still residual wounds that I'm doubtful will ever heal. Personally, I'd love nothing more than a rebirth of those relationships but I'm realistic about the chances of that happening.

We, as a family picked up and continued living life but the dysfunction which entangled us remained. I think we all could have benefited from an intense group therapy session strung out over a few months.

That dysfunction is now being played out in the next generation. I have a sister whom I dearly love. She's a solid person who I would drop everything for in an instant should she need me and somebody I'd never hesitate to call for advice. She and her husband are two of the most giving people I know. They're good people; how else can I say it? I'm disturbed because she's under attack from others in her/our family. Unlike the way our family chose to put our collective heads in the sand, she has attempted to reclaim her family through counseling: a let-the-chips-fall-where-they-may approach. Her attempts have been met with a curious silence. I don't understand why people would feel threatened by sitting down and discussing that which divides them.

I'm disturbed that some would twist the truth and campaign against her. I'm sorry that others are willing to sell her out for their own selfish gain. There's no excuse for that. I love you, Jackie.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the kudos, Kev, and I don't want to minimize the popularity of your "Judge Judy" video but I must object to your comparison of that video to mine.

The "Judge Judy" video is merely a capture of a professionally produced and nationally syndicated television show whereas mine were original creations.

You must concede that a vast amount of the appeal of your "Judge Judy" video is most likely associated with fans of the show itself (and the notoriety thereof).

Granted, you have the distinction of appearing on a nationally syndicated television show (and the fame associated with that), but I say you're comparing your apple to my oranges.

And apparently lots of people think my homegrown oranges are so sweet!

Kevin Gilmore said...

"and the fame associated with that"

Yeah, right...lots of fame. I did have a woman approach me in the store one day after the show aired and ask me if I was the guy she'd seen on Judge Judy the previous day. I was amazed that she could remember a face so well.

Anonymous said...

Hey Kevin,
There is a nasty rumor that your Judge Judy clip was actually produced by Tim. Is this true? Are you falsely claiming someone elses work as your own?


Kevin Gilmore said...

Rob...yes. Before I was skilled enough to turn my VCR tape of the show into a digital format, Tim offered to help me with that. I took the video data he assembled for me and edited it for the upload to YouTube.

I honestly think he offered his services because he was a bit star-struck at being so close to an actual Judge Judy personality. Me.