Wednesday, September 20, 2017

A Dream

Good morning. I hope everyone is doing well.

I had a nice dream last night. I found myself in the back seat of an old car but the car did not seem old. I was sitting behind the driver. My wife Jeri was to my right.

I saw my mother sitting in the front passenger seat and my kids were all in the front with her.They were kids again. My mother was young too. Her hair was made up the way she wore it in the 60's.

I was trying to grasp the situation when I realized it was my father who was driving the car. It was all very confusing because I knew he was dead. In the dream I began to remember that my father had come back. He never died he was just gone for a long time.

Suddenly, I stood up (I was the age I am now but it's a dream), reached over the seat and put my arms around my father. I was emotional. "Dad, all these years we thought you were dead!" He patted my arm and said "I know mijo, I know, I'm sorry.

I looked over at my mother and she had this blissful look of contentment that I have not seen in her face since my father has been gone. We had eye contact and I felt what she was feeling "He's back, everything will be okay now" I felt it more than heard it. It seemed so real I thought my father was back.

I'm sure there is some deep meaning to the dream. She could use him right now. Things have tough for her. It was a nice dream.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Classic Photo: Family Get Together


This has to be from late 1954, maybe the holidays, or very early 1955.

That's my mother, Anita, seated on the left with my sister Evelyn and I, the woman standing is my aunt Angie (my father's sister), the man squatting, I'm almost certain, is her husband, my uncle Mauro Caldero. The man holding the guitar is my uncle Gilbert De La O (my father's younger brother), the woman in the center is his wife (at that time) my aunt Francis, whom I remember very well. I'm sure it was my father behind the camera.

Believe it or not, I have a very faint memory of this night. My mother has always been amazed at the things I remember. I'll describe something and she'll look at me and say "But you were just a baby!"

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Rocky Photo on Instagram

I woke up today to find that Sylvester Stallone posted this photo on the Official Sly Stallone page on Instagram, of him and I at the long gone Main Street Gym in Downtown Los Angeles. The photo was taken during the filming of the original Rocky in 1976.

I don't know if I can ever explain how lucky and how grateful I am just to have been a small part (and it was very small) of this epic boxing movie. It's one of my nicest memories of those days and I treasure it.

As nice as this is it's the reaction from my wife, kids and grandkids that makes this truly meaningful.

Good Morning!

Good morning family and friends! I'm enjoying my morning cup of coffee right now before I get started with my day. I wish you all the best today!

I collect coffee cups, some are given to me by my kids, some I have bought and others I can't remember where I got them. I don't know if collect is the right word, maybe accumulated or amassed are a better choice of words.

I take turns with my cups. I'll use one for a while, then put it away and use another cup, and so on and so on. This cup was given to me several years ago by my daughter Savannah but they have all given me similar cups through the years. When I drink from this cup or any of the cups they have given me I see all of my children's faces. That's because I see them as one. My children.

The words on the cup are; Father, Strength and Courage and at the bottom: "The Man of Integrity Walks Securely". Proverbs 10:9.

These words do not describe me but they do describe what all fathers strive to be, or at should strive to be. How awesome it would be to be such a man!

When I drink from this cup and all the others i remember just how truly blessed I am. My wife, my children and grandchildren are my life!

Enjoy the day that God has given you!

Monday, August 21, 2017

Pennies From Heaven


By Randy De La O

My wife Jeri collects pennies - not every penny she sees just pennies she finds: on the sidewalk, a parking lot, the market or just any place she happens to find one.

She heard long ago, as many of us have, that pennies are a gift, a message, a reminder or just a quick "hello" from a loved one that has passed.

Now, when I see a penny I pick it up and save it for her because I know she will want it.

It's not so much that I 100% believe it but we have had some pretty strange coincidences. We never just find a penny, we almost always find one after talking about someone.

While driving, there are times when we'll be talking about our late grandson Nathan - something we do a lot - we'll pull into a parking lot, still talking about him and almost invariably one of us will look down and sure enough, there's a penny. She has amassed a small fortune just from Nathan. If I find it I'll say to her "Nathan said hello".

A couple of days ago while driving we were talking about her mom & dad and my father, all three are gone now. I stepped out of the car and there were three shiny pennies.

I found the penny in the photo the day before yesterday. my grandson was on my mind and there again was a penny. I forgot about it until I emptied my pockets this morning. I handed it to Jeri and said "Nathan said hello"!

Coincidences? Maybe but they're nice ones.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

A Birthday Breakfast


It was a nice surprise birthday breakfast for our granddaughter Mariah this morning. we were happy to spend the morning with her. These are the things that make life worthwhile!

Happy 18th Birthday to Mariah

Mariah 2001


Mariah's Graduation Party

Today is the 18th birthday of one of the loves of my life, My granddaughter Mariah. Newly Graduated, now a college student and beginning the great journey of life.

She is an amazing young woman. Jeri and I are proud to be her grandparents, her Nana and Pop Pop.What a honor and pleasure to be with her and watch her grow up. Kudos to her mom for doing such an amazing job!

May God watch over her and keep her close her entire life

Saturday, August 19, 2017

It's Who I Am

By Randy De La o

Years ago, when I was a manager on the MD-80,program, at McDonnell Douglas, a guy on my crew named Kevin (I can't remember his last name) said to me “Randy, you have a Pollyanna view on life”. I wasn't sure how to take that and I guess it showed because he said “I don't mean it as an insult, it's just that you're always optimistic and you always look for the best in everyone. You trust people”. He was complementing me.
I didn't realize it at the time but he probably summed up exactly who I am when he told me that. Maybe not entirely but in a large part. Sometimes being optimistic and trusting has it's good points and at other times it's not so good. When I was young, both as a boy and as a young man, I think I was easy (in some ways) to take advantage of. I was easy to cheat because I trusted people.
I would like to think that I learned a few things in my life since then. I also believe that those people, both family and friends, that became close to me accept this flaw or asset (still not sure) and in some ways it became the basis for our friendship. It became a bond of trust. I learned to recognize those that looked at me as prey (I'm no one's prey). In time I learned to defend and protect myself. I'm not talking physically but emotionally and socially. I'm telling you this because at my core, this is who I am. I am optimistic and I trust people (just not so blindly).
I am still a person that genuinely believes in and trusts in America. You may think me naive but it's who I am. I believe that the good people of America still outnumber the bad. I still believe the best of America is still to come. I have to believe that, I'm a father and a grandfather. I still believe that this country is worth fighting for, just not with each other.
As much as I love my country, there are still things that I don't like about it. It's the same with you I'm sure. We need to remember how to agree to disagree and work together again.
Words are meaningless, it's how we live that counts. I want to make a difference. It begins at home. I have raised my kids to be independent, respectful and to love their country. I don't expect them to think just like me. They all have minds of their own and all have their own points of views but they respect each other.
My family is not perfect and neither is my country but we're all we have. Sometimes we are even dysfunctional but if we don't make it work, or at least try, who will?

Today, just like thirty years ago, I'm still optimistic and I still look for the best in everyone.

At Grandma's House

At Grandma's House

This photo brings bittersweet memories to mind. Sweet because it's a nice picture from ten years ago,with Meranda and the girls, Savannah, Jeri and I and my mother at her home in Spring Valley Lake. It was a good day and a good visit. i remember it clearly the only thing i cannot remember, for the life of me, is who took the picture.

The bitter comes from knowing that things have changed drastically for my mother and in knowing that nothing stays the same. I'll say again what I have said may times over, let the people in your life know you love them. Time passes quickly and things change before we are ready. Take pictures of the good times, make memories, big and small, and don't forget to smile or better yet, laugh out loud!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Questions For Today

By Randy De La O

How hard is it, really, to show love, or to like, or show respect for someone different from yourself?

How hard would it be to extend a hand in friendship?

How hard is it to have a little empathy for someone that has less than you or nothing at all?

How difficult is it to stop hating someone you don't even know?

How easy it would be to stop with the insults and stop stirring the pot.

How nice it would be to celebrate what is different about us and recognize all that is the same?

How enjoyable it would be to share a meal with someone from a different culture and discover something new?
How hard would it be to stop blaming?

How hard or how easy would it be to look at your child and say "It starts here in my home, with my family!"

How magnificent it would be to be one people; Americans
How simple it would be to try!