My Sincerest Gratitude

Hello All – I want to start by sharing my sincerest gratitude with everyone. It’s a great feeling to hear such positive things about my weight loss journey that I have been on for nine months. I like to think I have been on this journey my whole life. It just took me a little over 32 years to get this chapter going. I firmly believe we are not given anything we cannot handle. Although, sometimes, it is very hard to understand that in the moment.

I really want to get this point across – You really can do anything you put your mind to. I never imagined that I could lose 10 pounds one day, let alone 90+ pounds. I just could not fathom that. I am not trying to preach here, but it is very important to state that if you have a goal, please just start! On your first day, don’t do too much – Just get started. I weighed 268 pounds on Monday, December 11, 2017 – I was huffing and puffing and about to blow my house down as I struggled to get through my first 20 minutes on my Elliptical that day. I have moved that Elliptical three more times throughout my house. Please let me rephrase that – My brothers for life, Garrett and Ben, have basically moved it on their own while my fatass attempted to “help!”

With all that being said, I couldn’t even decide where the best location was for my Elliptical at the beginning. That is fine. I finally just shut the hell up and started. Like anything else in life, everything will eventually fall into place. It does not have to be perfect the first day. Can I tell you a little secret?? I promise, it will never be perfect, because nothing in life is perfect. We all must do the best we can with the deck of cards we were dealt. That is all anyone can ask of you and you can ask of yourself. It has taken me a looooong time to realize that. Hell – I am honestly still trying to fully understand that myself.

I beg of you to go after what you want in life. The chances are your dream will not just fall into your lap. Believe it or not, life is not normally like the movies. If you do not take a chance, you are still going to hear that no. If you ask for what you want, there is that chance you will hear a yes! At the end of the day, all we really want in life is to be put in a position to be successful. Life is too damn short for anything less. I was parentless by age 31. What I would give to be able to call my parents just to say hello. That will never happen, but I finally get it. These were the cards I was dealt. I will take the lessons I have learned from my losses, and hopefully, I will be able to help someone get their win! I believe that would make my parents happy.

And I will say it again – Thank you all so much for your kind words as I continue to be on my personal journey. It is not really about the weight loss. It is what the weight loss has been able to do for me in all areas of my life. My Life’s Motto – “If you really want to change your trajectory and are consistent and persistent, you can have the triumph you deserve.”

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Nine Months Since My Dad Passed Away

It has been nine months since my dad passed away. At times, it feels just like yesterday. And sometimes, it feels like it was nine months ago. He had been in the hospital his last two months and hospice his last six days. I was fortunate to be able to be with him throughout this journey but was not in his hospice room when he took his last breath. A little after 7pm on Thursday, August 10th, I got the phone call from hospice that my dad was “transitioning.” I left the house right away. When I got there, he had already passed away.

As I was driving there, it was very surreal. I could not believe I was going to see my dad for the last time. The first two nights he was in hospice were the previous Friday and Saturday nights. He was still giving law advice to hospice employees. The human body is an amazing thing – positive and negative. I have said it before, and I will say it again – When I walked into his hospice room seeing his lifeless body on his deathbed, I was numb. And nine months later, it feels the exact same. There is this empty void. 19 years, one month, and three days earlier, my mom had passed away. At that time, I was 12 years old. All the feelings were coming back from her death.

Once I walked into his room, I was 31 years old and parentless. I called my sister bawling. As I was going through all these emotions, I was thinking about what really matters in life. Not to sound too morbid, but the sad truth is we will all end up lifeless on our deathbed one day. Was my dad perfect? Absolutely not! Did he try the best he could? I really think he did the best he knew how. Something that I really admired about my dad was that he found his passion early on in life and did whatever it took to be the best attorney he could be. He enjoyed the law and helping people who could not help themselves. Lesson to be learned here – You may not want to be a lawyer, per se, but find what you are passionate about and go after it. You only get one life. Do not have any regrets when you are on your deathbed a long time from now.

The last nine months have been up and down – I am not just saying the words about trying to find your passion. I am trying to live these words every day. For the last five months, I have taken my health very seriously. I am happy to say I have lost a little over 50 pounds since Monday, December 11th. As of today, I have been on my Elliptical for 151 days in a row. No day is probably as great as it seems, and no day is probably as bad as it seems, either.

We need to put everything in perspective. Being without my dad has been quite an adjustment. I never thought I would be ready to be on my own. Not even realizing it, taking care of things for my dad his last two months really helped me get used to doing more for myself. No matter the situation, you can always find a life lesson somewhere in there. It may not be today or tomorrow, but once you can step away from it, you can reflect and learn something.

I still need to work on not dwelling on things that have happened. Once they happen, you cannot change the outcome now matter how much you really want to. Learn from everything you go through and move forward. With a death, it is easier said than done. I am still a work in progress for sure, but I want to be the best I can be. I want to help other young adults who have lost their parent(s). I will not rest until I am able to do that. That is my passion in life. If I am going to give that advice to the masses, it is only fair that I take the advice myself. Now, let’s go make the world a better place!

Aspiring Motivational Speaker

I will be the first to tell you I am not an expert at anything, but I do know about the things I have been through in my life, thus far. Everything happens for a reason. We can learn from everything we go through in life and become a better version of ourselves because of it. With that being said, I want to be a motivational speaker. I have had numerous people close to me say that I have not done anything. And I get that.

In all honesty, I have never had a full-time job. In full disclosure, I had been offered somewhere between 70 – 80 part-time jobs from my late teens to my late 20’s. This is not something I am proud of. I was very immature, and I really wanted to see if I could get the job. I had no interest in working most of them (I still miss being a Visitor Locker Room Attendant – Atlanta Hawks). It’s a sad truth. I can admit that. A few years ago, I stopped doing that. I no longer wanted to waste the potential employer’s time or my own. And I finished my 10.5 years of college and was my dad’s primary caregiver until his eventual death in August of 2017.

I am not trying to sound “woe is me” or anything close to that, but since I was little, I had always felt defeated and trying to play catch up to my peers. I found out my mom had cancer three months before my 5th birthday. Since I could remember, I was always dealing with knowing that my mom was going to pass away sooner than later. And then my dad sending me to live in Florida with my aunt was very hard, because I was taken away from being with my sister and my home very soon after my mom passed away (that’s a story for another day).

The term underdog may not be the right word, but it gives you a better picture of how I felt growing up. I am not saying that I physically wanted for anything growing up, but things would never seem to go my way. I was just used to it. I loathed my college experience (we can save that whole thing for another time, as well).

Going to Israel was an eye-opening experience. I was 24 years old on my trip. I was probably a little over half way finished with college. It was great to be with 40 other Jewish Young Adults, who, for the most part, had graduated college and were in the “real world.” Four and a half years later, I joined them with my own sheet of paper that had my first, middle, and last name on it! It was very humbling!

A week after I got home from my trip to Israel, my dad started on Dialysis and the rest is history. It was one more time I asked myself, “When is this going to stop?” I realize I have not had it the worst in the world, but I feel I have been tested more than the average person my age. And as I reflect on all that I have been through, on one hand, I am very sad that I am 32 years old and I cannot call either one of my parents just to say hello. I hope to meet a nice Jewish girl one day and get married – And I will never get to have a mother/son dance.

With everything I have been through, I feel I have a story to tell. I think I see this world a little differently than your average 32-year-old. I no longer sweat the small stuff (for the most part). And I try to only worry about things I can control. If you do not have your health, then quite frankly, you don’t have shit. My dad was a Defense Attorney for 35 years. Worked for himself, and absolutely loved what he did every single day, but never took care of his health until it was too late. For close to a year, he was on me every day telling me I needed to lose weight and get healthier. I kept telling him that I knew I needed to, but at the time, obviously I was not willing to put in the work to be successful.

Now, almost nine months after he has passed away, I have lost close to 50 pounds. I wish I had started this when he was still alive. I know he would be very happy. Everyone can say, “Well, Scott, I know he sees you!” Let’s keep it real – Even if that is the case, we can all admit it is not the same thing! This is something I really regret. If there is anything you have been thinking about doing and keep putting it off, then just shut the hell up and start it. It does not have to be perfect the first day. Just. Start. It. You are never guaranteed anything in this life, and I do not want you to have regret like I do.

I was determined to change my trajectory and no longer feel sorry for myself. I want to let others know that things may happen to you, but it is up to YOU to change the outcome and not wait for anyone else to change it for you… Because I can promise you one thing – Only YOU can and will be able to do that!

The Little Things After Losing A Loved One

After losing a loved one, your family and friends try to comfort you as best they can. And you should be appreciative for the empathy they are trying to show you. With that being said, when you are mourning a loss, the last thing you want to hear is “I can’t imagine if this happened to me…” or something similar to that. That is not comforting. Sometimes, less is more. Sometimes, all you need is someone to be there for you knowing that you can communicate with them, even if it is nonverbally. You always want to have those people that will be there for you no matter the situation. I am very fortunate in that respect.

How much time does one need to be able to mourn a loss without being “criticized?” I honestly have no clue to that clinical answer, nor do I really give a shit! As a human being, the answer is on an individual basis. And if someone tells you otherwise, tell them to go kick rocks (this is the first time I have used this phrase – And I kind of like it)! We are all called individuals for a reason, therefore we mourn differently and at different speeds. In addition, some people graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree in 4 years (and some people graduate in 10.5 years)! The journey is what really matters and learning valuable life lessons along the way!

So, this brings me to the topic of this blog post – “The Little Things After Losing A Loved One”. If you have lost someone close to you, then I imagine you know exactly what I mean. And if you have not experienced this, then it can be hard to put this into words. The reality is at some point, everyone will unfortunately have to go through this tragic event. It is just part of the life cycle. Enjoy every moment you have with the people close to you!

The little things that you never thought twice about before losing a loved one can become a big deal. I lived with my dad before he passed away. I would come home whenever, and it would not be a big deal. Now, I have no interest in coming home late to an empty house. With my dad being on Dialysis for many years, he would have to cough a lot. This may sound weird, but it is strange to not have that noise at the house. And it can be lonely when you were a caretaker for someone, and they are no longer here. I am sure most people have experienced this if you have lost your parent(s) – It is very hard to sit there and listen to others complain about their parents. Again, I know there are exceptions to every rule, but it would be easier for people close to you to have as much empathy as they can. I only wish I could talk to my parents.

A perfect example – I went to Provinos (an Italian restaurant that offers a free birthday dinner) on his recent birthday. I sat there by myself. For many years, we would meet there for both our birthdays! And I had an empty seat across from me. It just put this whole loss into perspective. His birthday is still going to come around every year. And I will still have to have dinner that night. In my personal opinion, you should try to carry on certain traditions to be able to remember your loved ones, because at the end of the day, when all is said and done, all you will have are your memories.

If you are fortunate enough to still have your close loved ones living, what are you going to do to make sure you have as many good memories as you can with them?

Deathbed

One of my goals on this blog is to not be too morbid, but today’s blog post is about the term – Deathbed. If you have never had an experience with the death of a loved one, then this is just a compound word. On the other hand, if you have dealt with death in some capacity, then the word deathbed may have a real emotional meaning to you.

I have seen three of the closest people in my life pass away on their deathbed. My mom passed away in July of 1998 in her hospital room. My maternal grandfather passed away in January of 2013 in a hospital – like bed in his living room with hospice and the family near by. And most recently, my dad passed away in a hospice facility in August of 2017.

In all honesty, watching a loved one on their deathbed is one of the hardest things an individual can go through in their life. To see that person suffering and knowing they have exhausted all of their options leaves you feeling as helpless as one can feel. At that point, the one and only goal is to make them feel as comfortable and pain free as you possibly can while knowing the inevitable.

From my perspective, it is not in the best interest to let the person transitioning know your full emotions. If they are cognizant, worrying is the last thing they need before they leave this earth. I believe that one’s hearing is the last thing to go before someone passes away, but they will not be able to verbalize anything. You can talk to them and let them know it is okay for them to go and for them to not worry about anything. You basically give them the permission they want but cannot ask for, so they can go in peace.

What is very hard for the family is not being able to tell their loved one how they felt before they passed away. Think about all those conversations you had with them throughout your life, and the one that most likely made the biggest impact on you cannot be verbalized to them. It is crazy to me after all these years with my mom passing away when I was 12 years old, that I could never talk with her about everything I was feeling when she passed away and everything that has gone on since then. More recently, it is the same with my grandfather and dad passing away. It really makes you put your life in perspective.

I am not going to sit here and say I have not let little things bother me since my dad passed away in August, but I do try to take a step back and realize is this something that is going to really matter when I am on my deathbed – Most of the small stuff we get worked up about with our blood pressure boiling over do not mean jack shit at the end of the day! There are exceptions, but I am speaking in relative terms.

The question you have to ask yourself is – What do you want your legacy to be when you are on your deathbed when all is said and done? Once you figure out that answer, my advice is to go out there and live each day as if it were your last, because we really do not know how long we have here on earth.

What are you waiting for?

GO!

Making an Impact

We were all born with a gift. Some might have been noticeable when you were little. Some might not have been noticeable until you were a teenager, young adult, or so on. As we grow and mature, it is our job to determine what these specific gifts are and help make this world a better place.

Life is too short. We must find our passion. Something that gets us up in the morning, where we can make an impact in this world. It does not matter how big or how small you think it might be. Talking about it is one thing – I know I have done that for most of my life, but I am at the point where I feel I want to be someone who can help others who have been through similar situations. We really need to step up and help one another instead of trying to tear each other down. I have learned that someone’s success does not mean you have failed. In order to make that change, sometimes, you really have to take a step back and think hard about what is in front of you.

As I have said before – Things matter, but at the end of the day, life is too short to sweat the small stuff every single day. I would hate for something traumatic to happen in your life in order for you to see that. Please learn from my mistakes. I have made plenty of them. One of my biggest flaws has been not really taking other people’s advice before it was too late. I wish I could take that back now, but in reality, I cannot. All I can do is be better the next time, and hopefully help someone not be in the same situation I was in.

What do you see yourself doing for the rest of your life? With our internet, the world is becoming more of a playground than ever before. What would make you happy every day? What impact can you make on the world to leave it just a little better than when you found it?

My Dad’s Last Two Months

On Sunday, June 11, 2017, I took my dad to the hospital for what would be the last time. Let’s back up for a minute – The night before, I came home from hanging with my cousin about 1am. My dad was still up, and he told me he was not feeling well. I could tell he was really struggling, so I asked him if he wanted to go to the hospital. He said no and wanted to be left alone. I told him all I could do to help him would be to go get him water, but that would only make him throw up even more, so I offered to take him to the hospital, again. He was adamant with a resounding no. I even looked up how long the wait was at the ER. It was less than 10 minutes. He was still not having it, so we finally went to sleep.

Fast forward to the next morning… I heard a BOOM! I tried to find my glasses. I couldn’t find my damn glasses, because I didn’t have them on my fat face. Finally, I found them under my bed. I ran into his room. He was on the floor. I was not sure he even really knew he fell on the floor. I tried to pick him up. I quickly realized that was not gonna happen unless I took a deep breath and pulled him up under his arms with all my “might.” He was not able to use the little strength he had from being so weak all these years on Dialysis. I finally picked him up and put him back on his bed. I told him I was going to take a quick shower, then we were going to the ER. He said, “Okay!” As I was getting ready, I was thinking he could have already been admitted and gotten the care he needed without having that gash on his forehead from the fall, if we had gone in the middle of the night.

Since starting Dialysis in July of 2010, it seemed we would visit Eastside Medical Center at least once a year for about a week. My dad kept his Dialysis port near his chest, instead of having a fistula, as was always recommended to him – He was so damn stubborn (might be where I got it from). He would annually get an infection from the port. This time was no different. Once he was admitted, it seemed like he was slowly getting better, but then after about a week in the hospital, I could tell he was starting to decline. It was a Sunday, and I was about to go check on him. They called to tell me he was moving to the ICU. Then, I found out that he had Sepsis and became delirious. It was very scary. That went on for about a week and a half. Then, on July 4th, I walked into his ICU room, and he looked at me and said, “What’s up, kid?” I was dumbfounded that he seemed “normal!”

By now, he had been in the hospital for over a month. He was looking to leave there and get into Eastside Medical Center’s Rehab Facility down the street for Physical Therapy to get stronger. Now, he had no strength from being bedridden while he was delirious. He tried hard, but he was not getting any stronger. Then, he had to go back in the hospital.  He ended up being there for another two weeks. After that, he tried a different rehab center, but they could not help him, either. He found out if he had ever gotten out of these facilities again that he would have needed surgery on both rotator cuffs, as he could not lift either arm even halfway.

He started asking me what I knew about hospice. At that point, the only way he could get into hospice was by stopping Dialysis. So, he went to his normal Dialysis center for one last Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. On that Friday, I gathered his items from his last rehab center and met him over at the hospice facility. I could not believe I was about to walk into my dad’s room, and see him on his literal deathbed. He got there on a Friday night and peacefully passed away the following Thursday evening. They called me about 30 minutes before he ended up passing away to tell me to get up there, because he was about to “transition.” I walked in the door, and I asked if he was still alive. They said he had passed away a few minutes earlier. I walked into his room, and saw him lying there dead. It is something I will NEVER forget. I was numb, and I still am. I don’t think that will ever go away. I called my sister. I could not believe we were parentless.

I learned so many life lessons throughout those two months. Things matter in this world, but it is all about putting them into perspective. I still have a lot of growing up to do, but I feel I grew up so much in those two months. I am glad I was able to be there for him. He was definitely there for me. I am forever grateful that we got as close as we did toward the end.

Life is too damn short. Make that call. Give that extra hug. If something is on your mind, then tell that person. Unfortunately, at some point, you won’t be able to do that anymore. It is not fair. Life is not fair. Just do the best you can each and every day, so that you will have no regrets when it is all said and done.

I miss you, and love you very much, my boi!

Gordon Greenhut (April 3, 1955 – August 10, 2017)