Posted by: Richard | January 7, 2011

Mom

I love my mom.  From the day she and dad first brought me home until now she has been looking out for me.  She always asks how I am doing and does the same for the rest of my family.  One of my favorite stories about her looking out for me was when I was in kindergarten.  It’s funny, after 28 years I still remember this like it was yesterday.

I got on the wrong bus at school.  I blame my teachers for that.  As I was riding home I recognized many landmarks leading up to my house.  We pulled into my neighborhood and drove right passed my house.  The bus stopped several places in the neighborhood and I thought the bus driver would simply turn around and take me back to my house.  As I watched my friends and other kids get off at their stops I soon realized I was the last kid on the bus.  I walked up to the bus driver and asked her to take me back to my house and she said she couldn’t.  So being the great bus driver she was she dropped me off at the back of my fairly large subdivision and left me there.  No phones.  No friends.  No adults.  I was all alone.  So I did what any kid who watched too many movies would do.  I started trying to ‘hail a cab’ as cars passed by.  No one stopped.  Thank goodness I had gone with my dad a few times to his boss’ house.  I was able to recognize the house so I rang the doorbell.  A young teenage boy answered the door and I explained my situation.  I told him that if we could just walk through the neighborhood I could probably tell him where I lived.  So we started out.  Eventually we approached my house.  I tried to walk with confidence when I saw my mom and some of her friends frantically looking for me.  I’m sure I looked pretty scared.  But my mom was there for me.

Mom was always there when I had a runny nose, an ear infection, and also cleaned up the occasional puke when I got sick.  I think she may be the reason I have a little case of OCD and perfectionism.  She was always making me clean my room.  We even labeled my closet so I would know where to put things.

Mom taught me how to vacuum, wash dishes, dust, and all the other household chores I never thought I would use once I moved out.  She taught me how to cook and read a recipe.  I was just telling some friends the other day how mom would come home and I would already be home and I would have a fresh-baked batch of chocolate chip or oatmeal raisin cookies made.  That was pretty much the extent of my cooking skills at the time.

Mom and dad were both examples to me as they taught me how to pray as they tucked me in every night.  Mom would read to me my favorite books, The Giving Tree and Where the Wild Things Are.  She was always so animated when she told the part about the wild things gnashing their teeth.

And now mom gets to hang out with the grandkids from time to time and she gets to continue to do the things she did for me with them.  She will tuck the kids into bed and pray with them.  And she loves to read them books.

Thank you mom for being such a great person and for being a great Nana Erma for the kids.  I love you.

Posted by: Richard | November 24, 2010

Dad

I guess I’m feeling a little nostalgic.  I’ve been thinking a lot over the past several weeks and I’ve been thinking about how I grew up.  I’m watching my kids as they grow and it makes me wonder, “Did I act like that?”  I’ve been thinking a lot about the things I did with my mom and dad as I was growing up and just thought I would jot some of them down.  I’m going to start with dad.

For those who don’t know it, I’m adopted.  I think that makes me pretty special.  My mom and dad, Jim and Erma Wiginton, decided that they wanted to adopt me so they drove from the Dallas area to Amarillo, TX to pick me up.  I’ve always heard the story about how dad got a speeding ticket on the way home after picking me up.  They’ve still got the ticket after 33 years!

Dad and I share a special bond that I’ve passed on to my son, Carter.  My grandfather’s name was Doyle Wiginton.  Dad is James Doyle, I am Richard Doyle, and Carter is Carter Doyle.  I’m hoping that name continues through the family for many generations.

I remember living in Garland and dad teaching me to mow.  I would follow behind him with my plastic mower while he did the real mowing.  After living in Texas for five years dad got transferred to Tulsa where I lived until I graduated from high school.  It’s crazy some of the memories you can think up when you reflect on your childhood.  Dad had a hobby for wood working and shared his passion with me.  He always let me go into the garage with him and work with the power tools (insert a Tim ‘The Tool Man’ Taylor grunt).

I remember dad being one of the coaches for my baseball team and the many hours of practice we had in the back yard.  I can’t tell you how many times we played catch.  And I still played catch with him even after he busted my lip open with ‘one last throw’ before dark.

I remember numerous times going with dad to work, either at his office or going to stores with him to help him with his resets (he used to work for Kraft).  At his office my sister, Kathryn, and I would play hide and seek in the back warehouse area.  At stores, dad let me help him stock the shelves.  I enjoyed watching dad work because, if you know him, he was a great salesman.  He still is.  He never meets a stranger and can talk to just about anyone (including talking his way out of speeding tickets!!).

Dad and mom were always super active in my life, whether attending Cub Scout meetings with me or going on every single band trip with me in high school.  Most people would hate to have their parents follow them around during high school, but my parents were so loved by my friends I kind of enj0yed having them around.  Mom and dad were band presidents and helped with so much during my three years in marching band.

Dad was always a hard worker and when I told him and mom that I wanted to attend Harding University they stepped up and helped with the bill.  He never let me go without.  I guess you could say I was a little spoiled.  But dad enjoyed spoiling.  Now that I’m older and I have my own family he is still spoiling and loves to introduce his grandkids to his friends.

I love my dad and there is so much that I could say about him, but I’m going to keep a lot of it for me.  I just hope that I can follow in his footsteps and be a dad like he was and is for me.  He taught me how to live a good life, how to talk to and respect people, and to just have a good time.  Thanks Dad.  I love you.

Posted by: Richard | October 7, 2010

Be an Example

I don’t even remember this woman’s name.  I can only remember her story.

I know a lot of my blog posts have come from work experiences, but a lot of those experiences make me think deeper.

A few days ago a young lady came to the police station.  She was not there to report a theft.  She was not there to make an accident report.  She wasn’t even there to say she had lost her purse.  She was there because that was the last place she felt she could come.  She had come for advice.  She had come for support.  She needed help.

She proceeded to tell me that she has had an addiction to heroin.  She told me that her addiction has been so overwhelming that she has put her family at risk.  She has been putting her family second to her addiction.  She told me that her addiction started about a year ago.  She was having some physical struggles and was taking pain medication.  A friend of hers gave her some heroin and told her it would take away the pain better than the conventional drugs.  And it did…for a while.  Then the addiction started.

I don’t know how much you know about heroin, but it is a very addictive drug and it is very difficult to break the addiction.  Breaking your addiction causes you to become violently ill.  People have told me that they cannot even begin to describe the feeling of coming down off of heroin.

The woman told me that even as she spoke with me she was high.  She told me that she, her husband, and their very young daughter were living out of their car because they had lost everything to her addiction.  She began selling small items in their house to provide the money needed to buy her heroin.  After she ran out of small things she began selling other things and slacking off on monthly payments to fill her desire for more heroin.  She said she had lost everything, including her house, and the car they were living in was on the verge of being repossessed.

This woman told me that she did not know why her husband was still with her and hadn’t taken their daughter away from that situation.  Her husband was with her and told me that he loved his wife so much and wanted to help her get better.  She told me she had tried to break the addiction and had made it two weeks until she found some heroin in a drawer and the demons inside her came out again.

I asked her why she wanted to quit.  She told me she had to…for her daughter and her husband.  I told her that she had to be an example for her young child.  I explained to her that her daughter has seen this mistake in her mother’s life.  She is going to grow up seeing this mistake materialize every day.  I asked the woman what would be better, for her daughter to remember the mistake or for her to remember how hard her mother fought to combat her illness.  How hard her mother fought for her daughter.  How hard her mother fought to correct the mistake in her life.  I believe that the example she would set for her daughter would be tremendous.  “Yes, dear, your mother messed up and messed up big time.  But I fought because I wanted you to see what I did was wrong and I worked to fix it.”

Now, I know most of us are not and probably will not be in a situation like this.  But how many times have we made mistakes and just swept them under the rug?  What a great example we could be to our kids to let them know that we make mistakes and making mistakes is part of being human.  But the real example comes when we show them how to handle the mistakes we make in our lives.  Then we can introduce them to God’s grace, how we can never mess up so much that we are not covered by His grace.

Posted by: Richard | October 6, 2010

Patience is a Virtue

I’ve grown up hearing that phrase from my dad.  Patience is a virtue.  Most of the time I would respond, “One which I do not possess.”

What is it with people and their patience these days?   I can recount numerous times sitting at a stop light and hearing the horns of cars blowing because someone didn’t proceed into the intersection the moment the first hint of green showed on the signal.  Yesterday I was scheduled to work on the afternoon shift, 2 pm until 10 pm.  But I was also scheduled to be at court at 9 am.  So I packed the kids up (which that alone tried my patience) and took them to day care so they could get to school and I would have plenty of time to get to the police station and then get to court.  I made it about half way there and ran into traffic.  I heard on the radio that there was an accident ahead which was blocking the two left lanes.  Not a big deal, I thought.  I’ve worked many accidents on the highway and they should have this cleared up in no time.  I was wrong.  Forty minutes and three miles later I finally got out of traffic.

But it’s what happened in those forty minutes that fit the title of this blog.  With every inch I moved forward, 30 seconds ticked off the clock.  I had to be somewhere.  I was going to be late.  I began to yell at no one just out of frustration.  Not that anyone could hear me, but it made me feel better.  I looked in my rear view mirror and saw a guy cussing at the top of his lungs.  I thought, “What’s this guy’s problem?” and then realized that was probably how I looked to the guy in front of me just seconds earlier.

I decided to calm down and made it to work.  Then I had to go to court.  I must have hit every single red light between the police station and the courts building.  I got frustrated again, but I decided since I was in a police car now it was probably not a good idea to yell at the cars in front of me.  But I was yelling inside.  These people were making me even later.  When I finally got to court I was twenty minutes late.  I explained to the prosecuting and defense attorneys what had happened.  They were very understanding.  Just one problem.  The defense attorney had subpoenaed me for the wrong day.  I was not needed to testify for another month and a half.

I kind of giggled inside because I had made such a big deal about getting there on time when it really didn’t even matter.  Why is it that we are so high-strung these days?  I realize that I had an appointment I had to make.  But I had no patience or faith that things would work out.  I am going to try to work on my patience.  Patience at work and definitely at home.  This story leads me into my next blog subject:  examples.

Posted by: Richard | September 30, 2010

I’m Praying for You

Over the past week I have heard several versions of the phrase “I’m praying for you” during the loss of my grandmother.  I have received cards, e-mails, and Facebook messages all giving some sort of rendition of the phrase.

Now, I know that most of the people who left me those messages probably meant every word when they said it.  But it got me to thinking.  How many times do I tell someone that I’ll be praying for them during a serious struggle or loss in their lives and how many times do I actually do it?  I can count just within the past month several times I have said that same phrase to someone and then left it at that.  No further thought.  No prayer.  I lied to them in their time of need.  They needed my prayer and I told them I would talk to the Father and I let them down.

Let me be the first to say that I made a mistake and let me be the first to encourage us all to live up to that promise when we make it to someone.  If we’re not going to pray for someone, don’t tell them we will.  If we do tell them we’ll pray for them, let’s do it and let’s do it with a sincere heart.

Thank you to those who prayed for me and my family over the past week.  Your prayers were felt and greatly appreciated.

Posted by: Richard | September 27, 2010

A Godly Heritage

I am taking my blog post title from my cousin’s, Monica, blog title.  I hope you don’t mind, Mon.  I use this title because that is what I feel I have:  a Godly heritage.

I spent the weekend traveling to and from Texas for my Mamaw’s funeral.  I was anticipating the day when I would receive the phone call informing me of her passing, but I was not expecting it to be this soon.  It hit me like a ton of bricks when I received the call from my father last week telling me that his mother, my Mamaw, had passed away.  She was 92 years old.  Here is a list of her life’s accomplishments.

Frances Berniece Parris Wiginton entered this world Nov. 9, 1917, and departed to be with her heavenly Father, Sept. 22, 2010, at age 92. She was the child of Oliver Walker Parris and Frances Terra Parris born in Santa Anna. In 1939 Berniece graduated from Texas Tech University with a degree in Vocational Home Economics. After graduation she began her lengthy teaching career in Itasca (TX), where she met her life’s love, Doyle Emerson Wiginton. They married Dec. 4, 1942, before Doyle left for World II. During the war she worked for Consolidated as a supervisor and counselor for Rosie the Riveters in Fort Worth. After the war they moved to Big Sandy, where she was a dedicated homemaking teacher in Hawkins and then Big Sandy for a total of 38 years. She loved her students, teaching three generations in Big Sandy, and encouraged them to set goals and reach their full potential in all areas of life. Her students excelled in state and national contests such as “Make it Yourself with Wool.” She was also a leader in Future Homemakers of America, encouraging her students’ participation in local, regional and state activities. Several students went on to develop strong leadership skills by holding regional offices.

Service in the education community was completed by three years on the Big Sandy School Board. She played an active role as Bible teacher and mentor at Big Sandy Church of Christ, encouraging many students to become Christians. The delights of her life were her two children and their families as well as an extended family of friends, students, and others she helped mold and shape by modeling the Christian values in which she strongly believed … God first, family and others second, and self last. Mamaw, as she was lovingly referred to by all, never lost her optimism, zest for life and love of telling others about Christ. Mamaw was preceded in death by her parents and loving husband, Doyle Emerson Wiginton.

She is survived by her children: daughter, Frances Jane Edwards and husband Stan; son, James Doyle Wiginton and wife Erma Lou; grandchildren, Shea Edwards Constantikes and husband Jim, Tyler Jay Edwards, Jordan Todd Edwards and wife Whitney, Ryan Emerson Edwards and wife Ashley, Richard Doyle Wiginton and wife Melanie, Kathryn Ann Reynolds and husband Brad, Vera Ranchinskaya (Wiginton) Pollard and husband Parrish. Great-grandchildren are: Ashlyn Ray Wiginton, Carter Doyle Wiginton, Braden Ford Wiginton, Kingston Cavender Edwards and Shelby Lou Reynolds, as well as many nieces, nephews, relatives and friends. Her family would like to thank her caregivers at Atria in Tyler and especially her wonderful Shay Ervin and Tasha Skillern.

As I prepared to make the journey to Texas I read through some of my dad’s Facebook messages left by friends and family.  I was truly amazed at the amount of people leaving messages who were former students of Mamaw’s.  I was even more amazed when I saw about twenty of those students at her celebration of life.  But I guess I shouldn’t have been amazed.  That is the kind of person Mamaw was.  She is one of the pillars in my godly heritage.

Mamaw taught me a lot of things.  She taught me how to play numerous games to include Solitaire, Double Solitaire, Rummikub, and her most loved game, dominoes.  Nights spent at her house were spent saying our bedtime prayers together.  She showed me how to truly talk with God.  She showed me the importance of friendships as she introduced me to numerous friends of hers who would also become friends of mine.  As I drove through the town of Big Sandy, TX memories flooded over me as I had vivid pictures of her, my cousins, my sister and me all driving to the train tracks to put pennies on the tracks to get get smashed by passing trains.  I could see her back yard where I would pick up pecans from the pecan tree and then shell them inside for a delicious snack.  I could feel the tight string of the bow as I would launch an arrow across the back yard.  I could smell her amazing cooking and see every room of that house as if I were standing in it at that moment.  As I fought back the tears and we drove past her house I pointed out to my children the driveway where my initials were engraved in the concrete. 

Mamaw taught me the importance of being a grateful winner and an accepting loser.  She taught me that it’s not about winning the game, but playing it and having fun doing it.  She connected those lessons to life and showed me that it’s most important to have fun living your life and playing the game.

As I stated at the graveside service the object of the game of dominoes is to go out first and carry the least amount of points on your dominoes.  As I placed the double blank domino on her casket I was unable to hold in my emotions.  Mamaw has won this game we call life and she has definitely gained the ultimate prize.  She gets all of the points.

Mamaw always asked me when I talked to her why God was letting her stay alive so long.  I believe she asked everyone this questions.  I believe God has a purpose for everyone.  I was informed several weeks ago that Mamaw had been talking and studying with her in-home nurse, Shay.  Shay was baptized just days before Mamaw died.  Mamaw had a purpose.  It was to raise godly children.  She nurtured her children in Christ and they in turn raised children who were believers.  That was her heritage.  To pass along Christ to her family and friends and further his kingdom.  She did this up until her last weeks on earth.

Mamaw will definitely be missed.  But her heritage will live on through her kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids.  I hope that a little of her has rubbed off on me so that when I leave this world I can play dominoes with her again.

Posted by: Richard | April 22, 2010

Busy Schedules

I’ve been playing around with my ‘new’ phone.  A few months ago I bought the HTC Hero with Sprint.  I read through the instruction manual numerous times trying to figure everything out.  But that manual is just an introduction to what the phone can do.  The rest you have to figure out on your own.

So I’ve been learning some new things.  I’ve been able to make it where when someone calls me their Facebook profile picture pops up.  That’s pretty cool, and it’s pretty weird.  People are constantly changing their pictures so I am constantly surprised when someone calls me.

The biggest thing I’ve figured out is the calendar.  I can go in and add events, show the weather for a particular day, and view multiple days at a time.  I’ve set up a Gmail account and can get on a computer and do the same thing.  The coolest part of that is I don’t have to plug my phone into my computer to sync the calendars.  It does it automatically!!  When I hit enter on my computer my phone is updated within seconds.  The same goes when I put events into my phone.

The only bad thing I’ve found about this little application is I now have no excuse for not remembering something.  I’ve also come to realize just how busy life with three kids is!!  Almost every single day has some sort of activity posted on it.  Melanie has access to my calendar and can post events too.  That’s a good thing because when she used to tell me something I would rely on my steel trap of a memory to help me remember the event.  That didn’t work too well so now I have no excuse. 

I’m busy.

Posted by: Richard | April 12, 2010

Flight Tracking

I’m working the midnight shift now, so when I’m off I stay up late at night and do meaningless things.  I have found an interesting website where you can track your airline flights for free.  It’s pretty interesting.  I don’t know how accurate it is yet because I haven’t tracked a known flight to me.  Someone needs to fly up and see me so I can see if this thing works.

You can track several different ways:  by flight number, by airline, by tail number, by airport, or you can just choose random flights to track.  It’s kind of fun.  It’s got weather delays and airport delays.  It’s also got a mobile website that you can use on your phone.  You can also set it up to where it notifies you via a phone or e-mail message when the flight plan is filed, the flight departs, lands, or is cancelled or diverted.

The website is Flight Aware.

Posted by: Richard | April 10, 2010

Happy Birthday

Nine years ago today we anxiously awaited the arrival of our first baby.  We did not know if we were going to be blessed with a son or a daughter.  As Melanie was enjoying her medication a little too much and not benefiting at all from the epidural, we waited as our baby was being born without the doctor being there.

The doctor finally arrived just as Ashlyn was being born.  We were so excited when the doctor told us we were blessed with a healthy baby girl.  She had dark hair and chubby little rolls.

Ashlyn has been such a blessing and it has been an honor to watch her grow into the beautiful young lady she is.  She is so smart and so pretty.  She loves her brothers and loves teaching them.  I look forward, Ashlyn, to watching your continued growth into a beautiful Christian woman.  I love you.

Posted by: Richard | April 5, 2010

Easter

Yesterday we spent the afternoon and early evening with Melanie’s mom and dad at their house.  We had a great dinner and just some down time to sit and relax.  The kids got to go outside and hunt some eggs.  As the sun was starting to go down I decided to go outside and spend some time in the cool breeze just enjoying the weather.  I watched as a storm front started building and decided to take some pictures.  I took this one just as the sun was peeking out around a cloud.  The sun looks great, but the flag was a little dark so I took another one where the flag stood out a little bit.

I guess looking at the American Flag on Easter Sunday made me start thinking about the many sacrifices that were made and are being made for our freedom.  God sacrificed His Son for our ultimate freedom from sin.  The sacrifices I see daily on the news being made by our troops overseas tear at my heart.  The sacrifices that have been made by past generations make me think how lucky we are.  I am extremely thankful for all the sacrifices that have been made for me to live a free life in a free country.

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