Monthly Archives: March 2011

No One Wants to Write Their Father’s Obituary!

My family called on me to write my father’s obituary this week!  What a hard thing it was to do, but I did it, here are the results of the most difficult thing I have ever had to write!  I’ve also added a very small photo tribute!

Glen Thomas Johnston died Tuesday, March 22, 2011, after a lengthy battle with Asbestosis and complications of multiple strokes at St. Dominic’s Hospital in Jackson, MS.  He was 78 years old.  Relatives and friends are invited to attend a visitation on Thursday, March 24, 2011, 5:00 – 8:00pm at Johnston Chapel United Methodist Church, 2093 Chapel Drive, Summit, Mississippi 39666, which will continue on Friday, March 25, 2011 from 10:00am until a service of Christian Burial at 11:00 am also at Johnston Chapel UMC with Rev. Glen Martin and Rev. Allen Dearing officiating.  Interment will follow the service at Johnston Chapel UMC cemetery with Rev. Richard Boone officiating.

Yes, that is my Dad as a child in a flower sack dress, like most kids (boy or girl) wore back during the depression.

Glen was born in Summit, MS to Benjamin (Benny) Thomas and Eula Williams Johnston.  He was the 10th of 12 children.  In 1951, he graduated from Johnston Consolidated School in Johnston Station, MS, where in 7th grade he was a varsity starter, he was a two-time all-state all-star player and two-time member of the Johnston Station State Champion basketball team.  Following graduation, he was the first freshman to start as a varsity basketball player in the South Eastern Conference at Mississippi State University.  Starkville was too far away from family and he returned to finish his Associate of Arts degree at Southwest Mississippi Junior College.  During the Korean War he served as Staff Sergeant and was based at Fort Richardson in Anchorage, Alaska.  While playing baseball for the Army, he attracted attention from and he was asked to play professional baseball for the St. Louis Cardinals, but in that day, the pay was not enough and he passed on that opportunity.

Trace & Shelby selling some, if not the last Black Diamond Watermelons Dad grew.

He began his professional career as a barber in Summit before working at the Summit Post Office until retiring 30 years later.   He then began working in home construction, commuting to Jackson, MS.  His joy other than friends and family included hunting and attending grandkids sporting events.  His growing of Black Diamond watermelons and breeding high quality rabbit hunting beagles, made him well known in southern Mississippi and Louisiana.  He coached several baseball and basketball teams in Summit, Brookhaven and McComb including several state championships.

Glen was a lifetime member of Johnston Chapel United Methodist Church in Summit, MS, where he served as Lay Leader and Administrative Board Chairman for several years as well as other leadership roles in the church.  It was once said, he was a Christian man who loved the Lord and his church.

Dad & Mom's Wedding Photo August 31, 1956

He is survived by his wife of 54 years Eleanor Matthews Johnston, a daughter Glenda and son-in-law Michael Richard, a daughter Darlene Johnston, all of Summit, and a son Thomas A. Johnston of Medellin, Colombia, South America. His grandchildren are Tara Abdul-Hadi of New Orleans, LA, Trace Abdul-Hadi and fiancée Bethany Emfinger of Hattiesburg, and Shelby Abdul-Hadi of Summit.  He is also survived by siblings Floyd Johnston, Geraldine Reed,  Erma Stockton, Bryant Johnston, Jewel Johnston and Lemelia Boone and numerous in-laws, nephews, nieces, cousins and friends, all of whom he cherished.  He is preceded in death by his parents, siblings Flora Freeman, Clyde Johnston, Eva Kenna, Elwin Johnston, and Lois Johnston. Pallbearers will be Trace Abdul-Hadi, Tim McDaniel, Scott McDaniel, Jonathan McDaniel, Ted

All In The Family!

Lofton, Kelvin Boone, Ken Boone and Lamar Melton.  Honorary pallbearers are Monette Moak and the Albert Freeman Sunday School Class.

Memorial donations can be made to the Memorial Garden Fund or Gym Renovation at Johnston Chapel United Methodist Church.  Alternately, in recognition of his generous nature, random acts of kindness for family, friends and strangers are encouraged. The family joins him in expressing thanks and gratitude to all that supported him through his health battles including Dr. Ruth Fredericks, the staff at St. Dominic’s in Jackson, the membership of Johnston Chapel United Methodist Church and the friends too numerous to list who kept him in prayer.


 

 


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Road Rage 101: If You Do Not Suffer From Road Rage, You Are One Of The People That Causes Road Rage!

Many people are familiar with road rage. I have long said – If you do not have road rage, then you are one of the people who cause road rage! When us road ragers are off of the road, we still have a lot of rage in our lives. Now I do not have a car to drive…. I have no way to expel the rage! It is growing in me like a tumor! Although I have an upper and lower scope scheduled later this month, it will not find this tumor! But I have found the way I can give it some chemo or at least radiate it – distance!

I have the best friends in the world. They love me just as I am and they have even made the effort to understand me. This does not mean we agree on everything, in fact we more than often disagree. But at the root is a respect for each other. I have learned the hard way that not everyone has that respect for me; to a degree, it is only disrespect they have or show me.  Respect requires listening and there are a lot of people in my life now that are not listening or even trying to listen to me.

One key factor to understanding why someone has rage is seeing “it”, “things” or “situations” from the other person’s point of view. As one of the people who is having severe rage with some people in my life now, they can only see it as I am selfish and self-centered. Aren’t we all if we can be honest with ourselves? But they do not or cannot see things from my perspective, or even listen to how they are treating me makes me feel. I think mostly because they do not care!  I feel In the current “situation”, what I am doing helps them. But because I also ask something of them, they only see that. They begin a negotiation, if this then that. The answer needs to be just YES sometimes! Some things are not requests or favors, somethings are just about showing respect and/or consideration!  Even when someone earns respect, no one is required to return respect!

Not getting respect is like road rage – the other person does not see it as their fault. They think it is ok to drive the speed limit or less in the far left lane (also known as the fast lane!). They are not breaking a law. It is a courtesy for slower traffic to keep in the right lanes on an interstate but not a law. Doing something for someone shows them respect and as a courtesy it is good to show them respect back, but it is not a rule of life for all. For some of us it is something we at least try to do!

There is too much of the acceptance of the attitude of demanding respect and not enough of the giving of respect.  But there are poor slobs like me that feel or think we are showing respect and helping others, but do not seem to get any “earned” or reciprocated respect when we do give respect.  Eventually we reach a breaking point but this breaking point is usually at a point of rage before it gets expressed.  I recently asked for consideration to help me and my requested became a negotiation – this only angered me more.  The next day another request and a flat out no!  I now chose to be selfish and take care of myself – few where I am seem to care. So the treatment is now going to be DISTANCE.


My computer crashed, if you enjoy my blog and would like to contribute for a replacement computer, I would appreciate it! 😉

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Trapped In An “Ice Age”

Once I was asked what movie character best represented how I saw myself.  My response was Sid from the “Ice Age” movies.  Sid is a loyal, lovable sloth that is also misunderstood and disliked.  My herd tolerates me, with just a few loving me while others feel obligated to put up with me!!

While I am aware of the disdain people have for me (hence my nickname TomASS), I think Sid and I share an apathy as to how it affects us.  It’s not so much we do not care, but we accept we are different and not everyone can accept others being different.  This is such a world of conformity.  Even with our own self-acceptance of who we are, there is still a pain that comes with the rejection and the deliberate hatred that we do feel.  These people become the bane of our existence.  Not that our lives are not difficult enough!

Also like a sloth, I come across as lazy.  I have Multiple Sclerosis.  My most common symptoms are fatigue and peripheral neuropathy in my legs (a pins and needles stinging & numbness like when your legs go to sleep).  It makes my walk sluggish and I sleep a lot more than even a teenager!  While I have other symptoms, these two make me appear slothful like Sid the sloth.

My herd is like Sid’s herd – we are an eclectic group: Muslim, Christian, Atheist, Spiritual, Mormon; gay, straight, bisexual, transsexual, curious; skinny, big, muscular, tall, short; Caucasian, Middle Eastern, Latino(a), Black; liberal, conservative, moderate, nonpolitical; but what we all share is we love each other in spite of our differences.  We love each other for who we are as individuals – not how we fit the conforming society.  In fact, that is what we like about each other, we challenge each other and we learn from exchanging ideas.

Most importantly we respect each other and help each other.  The only time I wish to be more than Sid is so I could do more for my herd (friends).  My herd goes above and beyond to help me and I just am not in a position to do more for them.  That is my only real regret.  I often feel trapped in my body because of my MS and because of finances (or lack of! lol), the depression that comes with this feeling makes my herd even more special to me!  I LOVE THEM!

My computer crashed, if you enjoy my blog and would like to contribute for a replacement computer, I would appreciate it! 😉

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