In memory of Arlene

The other day was the day that I help out with the local soup kitchen at Trinity Episcopal Church in my hometown of Aurora Illinois (which I love). I was excited to see that the church that was helping us was that of one of my favorite people I’ve gotten to know through that soup kitchen, Arlene (a photo of her and I is below).

As I stepped inside Trinity and started prepping for serving others, I asked the guy who normally takes Arlene how she was doing and he informed me that she passed away in her sleep 3 weeks ago. That hit me hard, I asked a few questions pertaining to the service and then I stepped outside to be alone with my thoughts and emotions. I didn’t cry, but the tears might come later, but anger rose to the top of me because no one let me know that she passed away and some people who know me and my interaction with me could have called me. I would have wanted to pay my last respects to Arlene by being there, so I guess this’ll have to do because that opportunity is not afforded to me, so here it goes…


I met Arlene a few years ago and instantly I knew this old[er] lady had spunk. Arlene was of Irish decent, and it didn’t take long for her to let other people know this; There are two types of people in the world – those who are Irish and those who wish they were she’d tell others. It was essentially “love at first fight” with Arlene, she had torts, I had retorts, and she had reretorts…but it was good natured and nothing she said hurt me and vice-versa. I would occasionally help her outside of Trinity and spend time with her as she’d smoke cigarettes, telling me tidbits of her life and her family, she really loved her grandsons and was proud to tell me of their latest accomplishments in life. Arlene had a lot of stories, it was interesting to hear about the days of Alaska before it was Alaska (The Yukon Territory). There were times I sensed that her family, though local, kept themselves busy with their lives and didn’t spend as much time as she would’ve liked with her. She wasn’t lonely, but she was one who appreciated family and just wanted to be there for them where she could.

Arlene was a sweet older woman who would let me know, “Despite what everyone has to say, I think you’re something special!” I would quip, what everyone has to say? I don’t believe you! and she would quip “I don’t believe me either!”
It was sad to see her fraility at times, her slow gait and her frustration with it all, but she was good at what she did; primarily she would work at the end of the soup kitchen line and hand out cookies and fresh fruit to whomever wanted it. I was quick to replenish her supply as it went quickly, and she was pleased that I did this, telling others I was her guardian angel…she knew how to make me blush in this circumstances, I was just glad to serve her as she served others.

Hot summer days kept her away from Trinity, cold winter days did too, which made autumn ideal and I was hoping to see her again but that didn’t happen this year. It was her time to go and God wanted her home, I can’t be stingy about it nor can I complain, she had a good run and I’m glad to have known her.

RIP Arlene, I hope you’re not causing too much trouble in Heaven for God and others 🙂


[Mis]adventures in Online Dating

So for a few months now I’ve been trying out this thing called online dating, and…well…to be honest, it’s a slow process.

When I first started I was talking to my friend about how much it reminds me of writing up a resume. I, submit a photo (since I rather be behind the camera than in front I used my laptop’s webcam to take a photo of me), I write a bit about who I am, my passions, my hobbies, my five-year plan…and then the fun (sarcasm) part begins called the waiting period.

I find that I am somewhat of a parodox, or at least I’m perceived one of two ways: The funny guy who is never serious, or the serious guy who is never funny. The thing is, I am both, but I’m not perceived that way and it bothers me 😦 I know when to switch gears from being funny to being serious, it needs to be done and I’ve learned how to. I just…want to love again and be loved.
These things take time, I’m fully aware of that, but the single life despite being okay with being single at this time in my life, isn’t what I want long term and I’m just antsy about it.

So far, nada, but I’m not overly worried.


My older writing horrifies me

I have been blogging for close to 11 years now, and even now and before the days of the internet I would write with pen and paper. Now apart from grammatical errors (comma splice was my vice), punctuation, sentence structure and all of that…I’m horrified by my writing of yore.

I recently came across some things I wrote 9 years ago; mostly prayer requests for others, prayer requests for myself, brief tidbits of thanksgiving for good weather and life, but I also wrote some things that just make me cringe.

I wrote some brief but detailed prayers against certain groups of people, against! I used prayer, the way I best know how to communicate to God…against people? What the hell Nathanael of 9 years ago?!?

I also wrote some things that border on the line of spiritual manipulation, and lust mingled with infatuation…:shudder: It is eye-opening to who I was, what I thought of God, what I thought about humanity, but here’s the clincher…

That’s who I was, I am not that guy any more, I believe and truly think that I have evolved in my ways of thought. That’s what I appreciate when it comes to writing and very much life; second chances, edits, however you want to put it sometimes God gives us the capacity to revision and restart, not from the beginning but from the ashes of where we left off.

Thanks be to God for second chances,

Help defined

A good portion of what I do for work is helping others out. To some extent the people I work with are capable of taking care of themselves, but there are certainly times where they come to me or I to them and I help them out. For reasons pertaining to the nature of what I do I won’t devulge anything that I do, in which I’m stopping talking about my work right now.

Yet lately I’ve been toying with the reasons why I like to help other people out, and I’ve also been exploring how help is defined.

I think the reason I like helping others out is because I like to paired with that there are times where I think I’m really getting through to someone as I help them. My helping doesn’t come from a place of assessing the person’s problem and tackling it headon, but more of taking time to BE with the person who has a problem, active listening, and going from there to work with them on their problem together.  I do help with people on their problems in a together kind of way because it gives the person ownership as to dealing with their problem paired with my assistance is given where I can and however I can.

Help can be defined in several ways, according to here are several:
– to give or provide what is necessary to accomplish a task or satisfy a need; contribute strength or means to; render assistance to; cooperate effectively with; aid; assist:
– to save; rescue; succor:
– to make easier or less difficult;

Yet when I think how I define help, I think this. Help is asking someone to assist you from the path you’re on, diverging from the course you’re on and turning into a better direction that what you’ve been on up to that point.

When I ask for help, I’m not looking for assistance that will keep me going the way that I was going, but in a direction that’s different and better. Yet if I am honest with myself I don’t nearly ask for help as much as I should, my pride gets in the way and sometimes I think asking for help makes me appear weak.

But I’m getting better at asking for help, and not the sort that comes from texting a friend, facebook…none of that, but in real life help.

Everyone needs help sometime or another. Don’t hesistate to ask, it’ll make you better than the appearance of it making you weaker.