Hollow Self,an empty soul

lost_soul_evolurtion_by_nataly1st-d34sqs9It’s been about a year since my pacemaker was installed. I wrote about that experience earlier. The writing wasn’t that great and it was difficult to articulate into words what I was really trying to say. Sometimes my thoughts just don’t make it to my fingertips when I try to write what’s going on in my head.

It’s been a long time since I’ve wrote in this blog. In fact, the last time I wrote it was the blog that I was just referring to. I think that blog frustrated me simply because I had so much trouble trying to explain what I was feeling. Well, I’m still basically feeling the same as I did back then with little improvement.

I’ve been wanting to write again for a few months. I’m hesitant because of the failure of my last blog on making much sense. However, writing seems therapeutic and healthy as I try to put my mind to paper.

I’m only 47 years old. Yes, still a young man. Early last year my wife and I received the news from a Cardiologist that I needed emergency surgery for an implanted pacemaker, otherwise, I would be dead within a year.  I’m not going to write the history again on how we discovered this or the details of the surgery. The issue that I want to write on is the hollowness that has existed since my surgery.

It is a difficult subject to write about because it’s nearly impossible to describe. I’ve researched pacemaker patients and how they recovered post-surgery and it appears that I’m not alone. There are many articles and studies about post-pacemaker surgeries and the depression that follows. A majority of these patients receive anti-depressant prescriptions and some never recover and even become suicidal.

So what’s the big deal? It’s a simple pacemaker. I’ve even been told multiple times that I should be grateful that the Cardiologist discovered the problem and that I am alive today because of the pacemaker. Of course, I am grateful that the problem was discovered and that I’m alive today because of the pacemaker. But somewhere deep inside, hidden in my soul a poison has been growing.

I recognized this seed of depression a couple months after my surgery. My demeanor at home and work was becoming angry. My brain seemed to be working in slow motion, yet I was quick with disgruntled outbursts. I began to even notice some memory loss and I was constantly exhausted and tired. These behaviors began to have negative effects at work. As a manager, the daily tasks seemed to take their toll on me. After the threat of quitting three times to my manager in two short weeks, it became apparent that something was wrong. Why was I behaving this way? What has changed to cause these feelings of anger and depression?

The only big change in my life was that I now had a pacemaker keeping my heart alive. I decided to do research on the recovery process of pacemaker patients. That is where I learned that my reaction to the pacemaker was normal. Or possibly a better way to explain this would be my souls reaction to this pacemaker was common.

I discussed my depression with my family doctor. Luckily, he was familiar with what I was going through. He prescribed an anti-depressant for me and I’ve been taking them every day since. They are a huge help. However, this is where it is hard to explain. A better writer would be able to articulate this with more clarity but I’m going to do my best.

Prescription anti-depressants are great at covering up the poison that dwells deep in your soul. Prescriptions are for the body. These little pills feed the physical aspects of the problem and effect your outward nature. They help control the reactions and perceptions of your demeanor. The crazy way you exist with others is tamed and the appearance of health is disguised. But behind the whole portrayal of the new happy you lies the damaged soul within.

Somewhere beneath the flesh is your soul. Doctors, Cardiologist, psychologist, therapy, and all the drugs in the world cannot cure the poison that grows in your soul. In fact, nobody can define the characteristics that ultimately is the real you. When your soul has been disrupted in a manner that it doesn’t compute there becomes a space only to be described as hollow. An emptiness that you can taste. A hollowness that grips onto your throat and blankets your mind. The feeling of black. Maybe a dark marsh, or quicksand? All of these descriptions only touch the outer edge of the existence that is growing inside the soul. The lively soul that was once was, is seemly now exhausted and yearns for death.

The soul is the battery pack of your body. The flesh cannot live without it. The soul is your spiritual self. The temple of life. The gift of existence gracefully given by God. The body of flesh cannot live without the soul. The brain is a physical muscle tasked to keep the body of flesh functioning. The brain controls the emotions, reactions, and demeanor that the physical body displays. Hidden inside the body is the soul. The soul is the gift of life. The real you is the soul and the soul is the real you.

Prescription anti-depressants treat the body. They help sooth the brain and bring a balance to daily behaviors. Please, don’t misunderstand. Doctors, surgeries, prescriptions and even pacemakers are great. But how do I repair my soul? My soul is poisoned. My soul cries for help but nobody can hear it. My soul is drowning. It aches throughout my body and blankets my mind. Prescriptions mask the soul by presenting my body as healthy, but is there a prescription for the real me? The self-inside myself. The spiritual being in which I really am. The one that is hurting. The one that is lost. The one that has become hollow and quickly becoming empty.

Can a simple pacemaker create a barrier between the body and soul? It’s hard to believe but I can attest that this is indeed true. I know that my brain would like to control my heart. My heart is now controlled by a little electronic device and a battery. I believe there is conflict between my heart and brain due to this foreign object surgically installed in my chest. But strange as it may be, somehow, my soul seems to be effected as well. I cannot determine how or why, but know that it is the case. I’ll continue with my prescriptions and my behavior will be of good nature. Everyone will see that I am still around. I’ll crack jokes from time to time and laugh when I’m at the movies. I’ll love my family and be a good husband, father, and “grumpa”. But, all the while, my soul will remain hollow. My soul will always wonder where the prescription for it is?


Body alive by battery, now how do I jump-start my spirit?



I want to warn any reader that the meat of this journal entry (Blog) is near the end of this long story. It would be difficult to explain what I’m trying to get across without a little history first. So, I promise, if you get through the first part, I’ll try to articulate the reason for the title. Okay? here we go…

I think just the name “Cardiologist” is scary. It’s difficult to describe the conversation my wife and I had as we traveled from our home to the Cardiologist office. I do recall words being spoken but exactly what was being said that day has fainted away. Long pauses and bouts of spoken optimism and few silent prayers are merely all I remember. I recall as we sat in the parking lot before entering the office, my beautiful wife held my hands and we prayed.

Just a week earlier, I had been called to this same office. My family doctor had submitted a prescription for a heart monitor just to rule a few things out. For the past few years I had been complaining to my doctor that I get exhausted while doing simple things. Just walking up stairs or mowing the lawn had become difficult tasks. I would muscle my way through any physical activity though thinking that if I just pushed myself i could get anything accomplished. Nearly two decades ago, I went through the Police Academy and had been taught in PT training the theory of “mind over body“. There is wisdom in mind over body but not when your body is broken and you just don’t know it. I had a few obvious symptoms and they were  becoming more relevant. During even the slightest tasks I would become light-headed, immediately start sweating on my forehead, have shortness of breath, and dizziness.

My doctor instructed me to go to a Cardiologist and wear a heart monitor for a month. This monitor would send a reading to some office somewhere and it would record what exactly my heart was doing twenty four hours a day. So off we went to the Cardiologist. We never met the Cardiologist though. He had an assistant meet with me and she demonstrated how to hook up this monitor by attaching three wires to various locations on my chest. She gave simple instructions on how to recharge the battery and explained that this monitor would be monitored 24/7. She explained to me that I would need to wear this for four weeks and then I was to mail it back in the pre-addressed packaging that was in the monitor box. Well, that seemed pretty simple. Bummer that I had to wear this thing for an entire month though.

On the fifth day of wearing this heart monitor, I received a phone call from the Cardiologist. It turns out, that I don’t have to wear this monitor for the entire month after all. The Cardiologist asked me if I was married. I explained that indeed I was. He then told me that my wife and I needed to come see him in the morning. He stated that they had discovered a few disturbing issues from my heart monitor and made an emergency appointment for me the following day.

Now, concerning what do people talk about on the way to an emergency Cardiologist appointment. I’m still not sure I can recall much of anything. I recall attempted optimism of guesses that the doctor would tell me to lay of the Twinkies and walk around the block a few times. We assumed that this would all come down to diet and exercise. But then again, I remember wondering if this was it. Even the best attempts of being optimistic in these moments seemed to fail. Somewhere, in the back of our minds lingered the pit of despair. The mortal crutch that we all bear knowing that one day we will all die. What had the Cardiologist found that was so immanent that we have been rushed in to see him? Also, I kept thinking to myself that it must be serious, simply because he wanted my wife there for something.

Out in the parking lot of the Cardiologist office, my beautiful wife said an amazing prayer. A prayer requesting comfort and understanding. A prayer for acceptance of whatever we were about to hear.

We were led into a private examination room and a nurse did the normal routine of checking blood pressure and my temperature. She asked a few questions and then left. A few minutes later, the Cardiologist entered and with him was a secretary who sat and recorded everything that was discussed. The cardiologist began the conversation by asking how I felt? What were my symptoms? So I responded by quickly explaining my exhaustion and dizziness, etc… The Cardiologist then agreed with my response and said it matched with his findings from the monitor which I had worn. He grabbed some papers in a file and showed them to my wife and I. They were copies of heart monitor graphs.

Third degree AV Block 2

Third Degree AV Block

He explained that I had a heart condition which was called a Third Degree AV Block. This condition was extremely serious and needed immediate correction. He proceeded to describe the condition and gave us details of what exactly a Third Degree AV Block was. Apparently, it is a birth defect but not something I inherited. A Third degree AV Block is a condition that the top two chambers of your heart and the bottom two ventricles have absolutely no electrical communication at all. The heart needs this electrical communication to keep a steady pace rhythm pumping top to bottom in sync.

My wife and I were stunned. This isn’t the optimistic news we had hoped for. So I asked him what I thought to be an intelligent question. “Is there any chance that this is a mistake? Possibly, we should seek a second opinion”. The cardiologist seemed a little annoyed by my question. He shot back a question to me. “Well, did you have someone else wear the monitor for you?”  Of course, I hadn’t. Then the Cardiologist laid it all out in plain English. He said that I needed emergency surgery where a pacemaker would be inserted with two wires connecting the top of my heart to the bottom. I would be scheduled the following day at the hospital across the street. He also explained that it was absolutely crucial and that if I didn’t get a pacemaker that I would die this year.

The cardiologist went into detail on how my heart wasn’t working properly. My heart had a resting heart beat of 34 beats per minute. It also would stop beating for six seconds at a time with only one heartbeat splitting up a group of multiple six second intervals. He explained that at six seconds without a heartbeat that I would blackout and at eight seconds that I would arrest and die. My wife and I were stunned. We inquired some more trying to grasp what we had just learned. Where did this come from? It is difficult to articulate the shock that one goes through when a doctor informs you that if you don’t receive immediate surgery you’ll die soon.

The receptionist had already scheduled me for surgery the next day. Unfortunately, the hospital she had scheduled was out of our insurance network. We had to reschedule with a different hospital that was covered in our insurance and that was difficult due to squeezing me in as an emergency surgery when the hospital was already fully booked. They decided the best way to do this was to schedule me in at 4:30 am so I would be first before regular scheduled surgeries. However, even this was going to put my surgery two weeks away.

The Cardiologist gave me strict restrictions for the next two weeks. He told me that driving was out of the question. Due to the likelihood of blacking out, driving was now deemed unsafe. I was not to lift anything heavier than five pounds. That included groceries and basically anything. I was to limit climbing stars and any kind of labor. I was also supposed to stay stress free and maintain a calm state of mind. Easier said then done.

We left the Cardiologist office and drove to my place of employment. Wow, How do I explain this to my employer? This Pacemaker surgery was scheduled two weeks from now and then I will need an additional month to recover. I manage around 63 drivers and it’s a difficult job. To top this off, I don’t have the luxury to even give any notice.  The drive from the Cardiologist office to work was kind of eerie. What do my wife and I say to each other?  I remember there was a lot of, “It’s going to be okay”, and “at least we found this before you um..you know”. We recognized the miracle that God had given us. Yes, indeed, a miracle that this Third Degree AV block was found.

My employer took it well and everyone wished me well. Certainly everyone of my employees and acquaintances were shocked when they heard the news. I put in my leave of absence from work and for the next six weeks I didn’t work.

The surgery took place on it’s scheduled time. The surgery went well. I was put in the cardiac ICU for a two days to recover. It was odd to watch the heart monitor as I was laying in the hospital bed. My heart beat had a steady pattern that was consistent but there now was an additional “spike” line on the monitor. I watched that monitor for hours. A little white line then heart beat. white line…heart beat. Amazing.005

Upon being released from the hospital I was given specific instructions on how to keep the wound clean and then the biggie. “Don’t raise your left arm above the shoulder!!!”. The danger with two wired pacemakers after post-surgery is lifting your arm to high. There’s a good possibility of pulling one of the wires out of place. Literally, by fully extending the arm the wire will detach from the heart. They say 1 out of 2000 pacemaker patients do this. It takes your pacemaker wires about six weeks to grow into your body and basically anchor inside the vein where the wire was placed. After the six weeks is over you can again raise your arm as normal.

Well, about one week after being home I did it. I raised my arm and I became part of the 2000 club. Lucky me, I got to have my pacemaker surgery twice. Another six weeks off work and recovering from home. The second surgery went well and during my recovery I was better disciplined and made sure to keep my arm down.

Finally, if you read to this point congratulations. It would have been difficult for me to have started here and made any sense to what the point of this entry is about.

After my back to back pacemaker surgeries and even an ankle surgery while recovering from my second pacemaker surgery I finally returned to work. I was so excited to be back to my normal routine. I was warmly welcomed back from all my employees as well as upper management. It was good to just be back where I belonged. Most of you probably know that when you’ve been gone from work for a while, there is a back log of necessary work that has piled up during your leave. Well, that was certainly the case for me.

As I stated earlier, I manage an arm full of truck drivers which includes multiple tasks. A few of the tasks would be dispatching, finding jobs, hiring, annual reviews, time cards, heavy over-size permits, piloting heavy equipment, hiring and terminating employment, safety meeting, compliance training and reporting, etc…. Not to mention that each of these employees has their individual needs and personalities. The first week or so upon my returning to work was great. However, during the weeks following I notice a change in me. I found that I wasn’t sleeping at night and I was just plan angry all the time. I was angry about everything. I was miserable to be around. I was constantly irritable with all my co-workers and I felt that I was falling into a deep depression.

Throughout my first month back to work, I found that simple tasks were unbearable. The job that I’ve been doing for years now seemed impossible. I must admit though that during our summer months work typically is difficult. But work being difficult was not new to me. I can take a few punches and maintain my character but this was different. The change was not work it was me. I knew that something was wrong. My behavior at work had now come to a crossroads. In fact, I even went to the VP and told him that he could take my job and….(I’ll keeping it clean). I sent emails to my area manager and told him to place an ad and find my replacement. I seemed to be out of control and out of my mind. I have worked for this same company now for twenty three years. I started from the bottom and worked my way up. Why was I doing this to my career and how can I make this monster in me stop?

One night my wife mentioned that I have become completely withdrawn for her and our children. She didn’t recognize the man that I used to be. Now to be clear, I’ve always been a little rough around the edges but this was something completely different. I discussed my behaviors at work and read some of the emails that I had sent to my supervisor regarding me quitting. This upset my wife and she became nervous about what I was doing. If I lost my job we would really be in trouble. How would we pay or bills, our mortgage, and all of our expenses?

After a long discussion with my wife and with my employment in question we decided that we should do some research. The only thing we could think of that may be a problem would be this pacemaker. At first we thought that was ridiculous to think a pacemaker would  change someones behavior. How could a pacemaker cause a person to become angry, irrational, or even crazy?

Our research was pretty easy. We just Googled “pacemaker and depression”. That was it. We learned in just a few minutes that this has been a huge issue and researchers and doctors have been actively studying this behavior for a long time. It turns out that for many men who receive an internal pacemaker that within a few months after suffer from clinical depression and anxiety.

We found dozens of articles and were literally surprised about all this research concerning what I was going through. The odd thing about this depression and anxiety that I was feeling happens so gradually that you don’t notice the change until the monster is already there. I’m almost fifty years old and have always been in control of my behavior and demeanor. I’ve never had any experiences where my brain took over my being.

This is hard to articulate and I imagine this entry is just becoming long and boring. The truth is that although my body had excepted this foreign object (the pacemaker) without any complications such as infection or other physical issues, my mind had rejected it. My body and my heart are healthy and strong  due to the pacemaker doing it’s job. The communication within my heart is now functioning exactly how it’s supposed to. The problem we learned was that my brain or mind is confused or upset by having something in my body functioning or over-riding it. The brain has always been part of my heart functioning and now something else has gotten in the way.
The following day, I went to work and discussed this with my supervisor and VP. They were very understanding. I then went to my family doctor and discussed these issues with him. He new exactly what I was talking about and put me on some “Happy Pills”. The pills have been a great help and I believe I’m on my way to finding myself. What a journey this year has been.
So the title of this entry is “Body alive by battery, how do I jump-start my spirit?”.
That’s the question and my life’s goal. My body is now being kept alive by a battery and two wires. A miracle of science and a miracle by God. How great is it to be alive in a time where medical science can perform such operations where not too long ago this wasn’t available. I also want to be perfectly clear that we thank God everyday that this Third Degree AV block was found and corrected. By God’s mercy and grace I’m alive today. It’s my eternal desire to earn this gift and bring people to Him by the way I live.
However, what concerns me is this. I’m now on medication to maintain my temperament and behavior. I recognize that this depression is clinical and normal after these procedures. The doctors compare this depression to PTSD. (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). I will stay on this medication for as long as it takes but I want to answer this question. “How do I jump-start my spirit?”
I believe my body is a creation from God. It houses my soul or my spirit. I believe my soul is what matters the most. This body of mine is meant to be battered and bruised. This body was created with the very purpose to get sick and die. This body is flesh that feels pain and pleasure. This body is a trap for sin but also a temple viewed with high esteem from the God who created it. But, my soul is in this body. My true self is the spirit inside this package. The treasure in life is the discovery of this very spirit that defines you. Possibly a mystery to most people and certainly a tragedy if they never see through the flesh to the spirit within. I believe that the spirit inside is the pathway to God. The individual worth of this spirit that lives inside us is priceless and when a person loses touch with their own spirit then all seems lost.
So I ask the question, “How do I jump-start my spirit?”. My physical heart get’s jump-started throughout the day by a battery and two wires. My body stays alive by this very thing. I thank God for this and believe it’s a miracle beyond words. But what about my spirit? My “true self” that is locked away in this body. Medication will help for awhile and keep my behaviors under control, but finding myself again is difficult. I suppose prayer is the answer for such a spiritual quandary.  So I pray to God for a jump-start. Jump-start my spirit to live again as it once did.





Dirt Roads being paved by God

Dirt road

I was reading a blog yesterday concerning disappointments and struggles  that this individual was going through. It touched my heart and made me reflect on my life’s history and personal struggles and road blocks that have happened in my journey through life.

As I went about my day, I kept thinking about this article. I realized something quite spectacular. Possibly, my thoughts being articulated into words in this blog won’t clearly explain in depth of what my mind has brought to light. However, here is an attempt to explain.

I’m almost 50 years old. I am married to the most amazing woman and we have three children. (We also have five grand children). We married quite young and had big dreams of our future. When we married, we both had jobs that paid basically minimum wages. We worked hard each day and month to month we barely could get our rent paid and all other expenses. We dreamed and discussed about the distant day of purchasing our home and raising children. Years went by and we just couldn’t seem to get out of our daily rut. We wondered how everybody else seemed to be able to do it. What was the secret?

Anyways, to make this article shorter, life handed us lots of struggles. We would take one step forward and life would shove us two steps back. Each day seemed to drag on and hand us different hurdles to trip over. Day after day and month after month came new trials. Of course there were good days, In fact great days. Certainly the stresses of life were there but between the good, the great, and the hurdles that tripped us we stumbled through life. Probably our focus may have been on the negatives which make us weary that we weren’t progressing as our dreams were formatted.

Yesterday, I read a blog that reached out and bopped me on the head. I thought about this writers story and wrote her back. I’ve included what I wrote to her at the end of this blog.

Everyone has heard of the dirt road that we all have traveled on that has gotten us to where we are today. An old cliche’ right? As I was thinking about this throughout the day, I realized that the road I traveled upon had been paved behind me. Yes, you read that right. The rough, dusty, pot-holed road of life I had traveled was now a smooth paved highway. How odd indeed. But as I reflected on my past life events, I see no evidence of any dirt road or flicker of dust. Certainly, my memories of the rough times are evident and clear to me but possibly my perspectives and views have changed.

Life’s trails are extremely difficult. Our dreams are real and most seem unreachable. There are times in life when we just want to give up. There are times when we do our best only to be shot down, rejected and dismissed. Life is hard and then it gets harder. I’m not sure if it ever gets easier or we just learn how to fail better. But what are these times if we defined them differently and I wondered how would God define these times?

We as humans being without the majestic scope of life would unfortunately define these life trials as dirt roads. Dirt roads are difficult times and they ought to be. I believe God expects us to endure this roads. These tough times we trip and fumble through I believe are necessary evils. Shamefully, traveling on these wandering dirt roads we have lost  focus on our dreams and ultimately our purpose. We feel frustrated and overwhelmed and due to life’s burdens and hardships. Another tragedy often occurs with most of us as well. Our faith in God will also dwindle through these dirt roads of life. Again, we may lose our focus on our spiritually well being and our faith in ourselves. We may even divert to blaming God through these rough times.

Ironically, God is in control and he is the architect of the road in which we travel. During our traveling on this road, we grow. We grow in strength, wisdom, maturity and demeanor. Our spiritual self can grow as well. We capable of re-grasping our hope. We can learn to pray again for God to assist us and we make progress. We fertilize our life and recognize our purpose and develop ourselves as we wonder no longer aimlessly down the dirt road. One day, sometime in our life, we will turn around. We will reflect on who we are and where we came from.

As for my wife and I, we are later in our years and further down this road that we call life. We see what lies ahead of us with more clarity. We have a stronger faith in God and our salvation. We hold a stronger hope then we used to. We have more optimism in our future then we used too.

Why? how did this happen? When we were traveling these dirt roads, through Gods wisdom, we learned and grew through these trials. We were being educated and taught by our daily failings. Learning to fail and then trying again is key. Taking risks and being rejected but by learning to stay consistent and never taking “no” for an answer has built character. Most importantly, beyond everything imaginable, this dirt road as led my wife and I to God. It may be hard to comprehend, but true indeed. The pathway to God is by traveling on a a windy dirt road. Yes, the bible states that the roads in heaven are paved with Gold. (Rev. 21:21). Incredibly, the route to get there is a dusty dirt road. We call this road life.

As I turn and look down this road, through all the unsettled dust and far in the distance I can faintly see that this road is being paved. This road of life that I have stumbled on and fell upon. due to trials and heart ache is being repaired to a flawless smooth asphalt finish. I wondered why I couldn’t have traveled on this smooth surface. Walking through life without all the pains and anguish that had beaten me as I wandered.

It then occurred to me. Was this road of life as bad as I thought. As I traveled aimless and hopeless, winding around and around seemingly without a real destination, God was indeed guiding me to Him. It took the bumps and bruises for me to achieve my successes or better yet Gods successes. My development through life was only possible by traveling on dirt. A road that God was making perfect with a paving crew just behind me just out of my view. Or perhaps, maybe, Gods paving crew was always in perfect view if only I focused sooner. But how would I have known to focus on God if not to have wandered on this beautiful dusty dirt road.

Here is my letter I wrote yesterday responding to a blog:

Hang in there. God is in control. Lot’s of prayers and let Him guide you to your house. Good luck. Life seems difficult as we struggle day by day. The miracle of life is being able to look back and see all the progress you have made.

It’s a funny thing, today and yesterday sure feels like a pot-holed dirt road with no end in sight. Just dust and achy bones and thoughts of just quitting or turning around. But, God in his wisdom, has a paving machine somewhere behind you beyond your scope of vision. You won’t ever see Him paving this bleak roadway your traveling down for quite some time. However, one day, you will look back at these trials and see nothing but smooth roads. It takes time. It takes endurance, and it takes faith. Hang tough through these struggles and gain strength along the way. Soon you will have that house. The house won’t be the trophy though. Your character and lessons learned will be. How will you know when those trophies are awarded? Look back….and see the dirt road has been paved.

Trip to Vernal and a most unexpected “Nugget” found.


We were driving out to Vernal, Utah to look at a Studebaker 1953 Custom hot rod pickup truck I was interested in purchasing. We ended up purchasing a 1923 Ford Model T Roadster from a guy in Mapleton.


23 Model T Roadster 1

Bryckelle had come along for the ride. She was pretty quiet in the back seat and Misty and I were enjoying the long ride and just chit-chatting about life events and what we desired in our future. What a great day.

When we arrived in Vernal, Utah, we called the man who was going to show us this Studebaker Hot Rod pickup truck. What a kind and friendly man. He had us follow him to his huge three building warehouse. When we arrived, we got out of our truck and had a friendly introduction in which we all shook hands and small talk.

He then leads us to one of his warehouses. We were pretty excited to see this Studebaker. During the past week, I had searched and completed a pretty in-depth research on this particular Studebaker build. I was really excited to see it in person. We had made the trip to Vernal, Utah with the desire to purchase this truck.

The man unlocked the ware house doors and asked us to wait outside as he went to turn the lights on. Oh, when the lights came on. What a thrill. This warehouse was stuffed like a sardine can. Full of antique muscle cars, the classics, and a few modern beauties. I must be clear of the vastness of this ware house. It was huge. Wall to wall mint condition cars and trucks. As we entered the ware house it was difficult to navigate around these vehicles and not brush up against them. He explained that the Studebaker that I was interested in was in the next ware house to the right. In order to get there, we had to walk to the back door of this warehouse and through another door we would find our Studebaker.

As we slowly made it through this first warehouse, we asked if he would mind if we took our time so we could admire each car as we went through. It was purely amazing. We saw Corvettes from many years, T-birds, classic Caddies, Ford Mercuries, Furies, a Dodge fast back Dart, Old 30’s ford pickup trucks that were pristine. New Ford F-150’s and Mustangs.

We then entered the second warehouse. The 1953 Studebaker was directly in front of us. It was the closest to the door. It was amazing. This ware house was also packed full of classics. Directly behind the Studebaker was a 1939 F-150 classic in excellent re-built condition. It was difficult for me to stay focused on the Studebaker in which we came to see. But I did, I inspected the ’53 Studebaker from top to bottom climbing under it and touching every bolt, spring, frame, and whatever else I could touch. This ’53 Studebaker was in perfect restored condition. It was beautiful and something to be admired. We checked under the hood and the motor was remarkable. Every inch of the engine and related parts had been chromed or polished aluminum. The brakes, calibers, springs, and every little connecting rods had also been chrome plated. This vehicle would blow anybody’s mind. It was one of those show cars that comments would be made about, “Attention to detail”.

After we had finished admiring and drooling over the Studebaker, the owner asked if we would like to tour the rest of his cars. We absolutely did. He took us around the other two warehouses and it was purely amazing. He had a had a 1955 Ford pickup that was restored and customized into a hot rod. He had more Cadillac, mustangs, T-birds, Fairlanes, Coupes, Olsmobiles, Grand Torinos, A Mustang BOSS Shellby, and many more. It was absolutely a thrill to be toured around his warehouses.

We went outside and discussed the cost to purchase this 1953 Studebaker R3 Show Truck. It was beautiful and the work on it was pristine. However, after seeing all of his other collection, I wondered if this truck was now the one I wanted to buy. We told him that we would get back to him after we had discussed it and decided the direction we wanted to go.

We left Vernal feeling really good. We had a great couple of hours walking through this gentleman’s museum of historic cars. What a collection and what an amazing man. Again, we were having such a wonderful day. It was a nice long drive through the mountains. He drove by many lakes and had nice long discussions with our daughter and my beautiful wife.

Now, with all of this being said, this was not the most amazing part of our day. Not even close. What happened when we got back to our home was the most amazing thing. We arrived home around 11:00pm. It was late. We were all exhausted. Each of us taking turns showering and putting our jammies on. Bryckelle was about to get in the shower and Misty checked her phone for missed messages. I was gathering my P.J.’s so I could shower next. Misty then became emotional as she read something on her phone. She went and gave Bryckelle a big hug and said, “Thank you so much, I love you too”. I inquired what Misty had read? Misty told me that I would have to read it myself. Bryckelle, was now in the shower and I was too last to get my phone off the charger so I continued to beg Misty to read whatever it was that she found.

So Misty did. Wow… What a “nugget for life”. These are the moments that parents treasure forever. These are the times that pull everything back into real perspective. Simple sentences written for no occasion. Words written out of love from a teenage daughter to her parents expressing a rare truth that will burn in my soul forever.

Now, about the awesome warehouses packed full of classic hot rod cars. So fantastic and pristine that would certainly make any man crazy with boyish dreams. Shattered by comparison by a simple letter put on Facebook by my daughter. I’ll always remember the driver to Vernal to check out the 1953 Studebaker. I always remember the tour of dream cars and the thrill of seeing the classics. But nothing will ever compare or compete with a simple post from my daughter, Brykelle, and the wonderful message of love for her parents. These precious moments are so rare. I would rather keep this Facebook post in my “Nugget Folder” for the rest of my life then to have purchased any of the classic cars we saw that day.

What made this trip to Vernal precious? The post from Bryckelle on our drive that we were unaware of until bedtime. Thank you Bryckelle, these are the moments that change everything.


Bryckelle’s Facebook Post: (8/18/2018)


It’s not a special day or anything.

I just wanted to take the time to talk about my parents and how much they affect my life every day.

My dad, he is such a hard worker and even though he may seem like a very angry guy he really understands and cares about others.

I want him to know that he’s not alone in his struggles and I really look up to him even though it may not seem like it at times.

I love that when he puts his mind to something he works for it and accomplishes it.

I love that and that’s something that I take after him.

I love him dearly and would do anything for him.


My beautiful mom, she’s so caring and will do anything for others.

I know that she can get frustrated with her job at times but always seems to find a way through the rough patches in the best way possible.

Her beauty can be beyond compare at times and I’m glad to have her in my life.

I wish them the best for both of my parents and thank them a lot for what they have taught me and how they’ve raised me to be… well whatever this is. 😹 love you guys lots. ❤️