Thinking about my Brother Mike today. It’s been three years since he passed.
As a brother, my Sister and I had our ups and downs with Mike; he loved us and I was always comforted in knowing that he always had my back.
Mike was a great dad and loved his kids with everything he had.
Yes he did.
Love you and miss you brother!
To put this horror in perspective, you must first know about my Mom’s extreme paranoia of anything to do with a Tornado. At the end of World War II, in 1944, my mom lived on the typical Northwestern Iowa Farm. One hot and humid May day that seemed so typical at the beginning of summer. My mom, Donna Jean, and her family hastily had to seek cover from one of the most destructive tornadoes to ever touch down in the sleepy Iowa farm country. Rather than try to tell the story myself, you’ll get a better feel for the life-threatening devastation in this excerpt from a document published by the Pocahontas County Historical Society.
Next on the list was the Amos HARTSOCK farm, Sherman 6 southeast corner. They decided to outrun the storm as they had seen it approach – Harlan said it was so muggy the water dripped off the tools as he was working in the shop. He was home on vacation from Illinois where he worked for Packard. He and sister Donna Jean, outran the storm in his coupe; Mr. and Mrs. HARTSOCK took the family car and left … the big shaggy dog jumped in the car to go along … he had never before ridden in a car! … can these animals sense danger?? Upon their return, disaster was the understatement. The house was badly damaged: the chimney lay on the ground, the windows were all gone,curtains all gone, the shade trees were no more. The only way to get supper was on the oil burner because of no chimney. There was a kerosene stove intact on the porch but the grids were swept away. When they tried to get into the house the door was locked … it had never been locked as there was no key for it! It took much manipulation to get the door open. There was dirt in the refrigerator contents; the wash basin in the sink was lifted out and flung into the bedroom; the Pekinese was under the bed scared to death; chickens lost their feathers; a Stetson hat was in a pond a mile away, upside down, unhurt; a straw was driven into a tree; clothing was inside the hoghouse at the DEXTER farm which was just a short distance away. Storm windows had to be installed before nightfall; the out buildings lay in ruins.
Growing up, my sister, brother and I heard these stories over and over. I was always petrified. All you had to do was to see the terror in my Mom’s bright blue eyes to know that this was very scary stuff.
The good news is… My school was never hit by a Nuclear Bomb, we learned to dig out of the snow and even after all the hours in that Bomb Shelter, we were never hit by a Tornado.
Even though we had perfectly logical plans like getting under our desks to run for cover. I never felt completely safe until the drill was over or the storm had passed. As I grew up, the dangers changed but the fear was still very tangible.
Then, one day, shortly after Kayleen and I were married we were out partying with friends. I shouldn’t have been drinking and driving, but that was very common in the 70’s. We were on our way back to our friend’s apartment when I was run off the road causing my first major car accident. At around forty miles per hour, the car jumped to curb and smashed head on into one of those 50-foot Freeway light poles.
I hit the steering wheel with my chin and don’t remember anything until it was all over. When I looked over and saw Kayleen’s face covered in blood. My first thought was that she smashed her face and in my stupidity, I had ruined that beautiful face. At that point, I must have gone into shock because everything else went a blank.
When I finally came to, I found out that Kayleen had hit her forehead at the very top above the hair line. The thin skin there caused intense bleeding. Ironically, she required nine stitches on her head and I got nine stitches on my chin. Other than that, we walked away.
Later the next day, Kayleen and I talked about what happened. Surprisingly we felt the same thing when the car went over the curb. Gone was the feeling of terror. We didn’t see our lives pass before us. Instead, we both had the same explanation for the feeling we experienced flying over that curb.
You know, when you’re on a Roller Coaster and it’s climbing the hill for that first unavoidable drop? That feeling that wells up deep inside of you that has an element of fear, but is mostly filled with Expectation and Anticipation. That was the feeling that we shared that night.
As Kayleen and I talked about it, we agreed that it was truly divine intervention at multiple levels. God used that accident to teach me several things; like don’t drink and drive. Most importantly, it taught me to “Let Go and Let God.”
While I still have a lot of self-induced paranoia about things like Heights, Roller Coasters, Tall Bridges and numerous others. When it comes to those “I can’t stop this from happening” kinda fears. They are gone. Replaced with that “mostly filled with Expectation and Anticipation feeling”, and the knowledge that God is watching out for me, and no matter what happens, it will ALL be okay!
Inevitably in those situations I remember this scripture….
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” -Mathew 6:33-34
Happy Anniversary Kayleen!
It’s Been 42 Years of LOVE!
Please join Kayleen and Me as we go down this Memory Lane of our Love Story.
We have been blessed with a Wonderful Life and the Four Best Kids on the planet!
All My Love!
My Fathers Eyes
Sailing down behind the sun,
Waiting for my prince to come.
Praying for the healing rain
To restore my soul again.
How will I know him?
When I look in my father’s eyes.
My father’s eyes.
When I look in my father’s eyes.
My father’s eyes.
Whoever fears the LORD has a secure fortress, and for their children it will be a refuge.
Happy Fathers Day Pops!
We Miss You!
Our Pastor talked about Joy and Rejoicing in Church today and it made me think of my Adopted Dad Bob. The Best Father In-Law A guy could ever have.
Thanks for being a Great Dad for the Love of My Life Kayleen.
Love and Miss You Bob! Happy Fathers Day!
This was Bob’s favorite verse:
This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.
“Oh, What A Beautiful Morning” -Ray Charles Enjoy!
Happy Birthday Jax!
Happy Birthday to our sweet, blue-eyed Tweety Bird!
Happy Birthday James!
It Was Thirty-One Years Ago Today,James Robert Had His First Birthday,He’s Been Goin’ In and Out of Style,But He’s Guaranteed to Raise a Smile!So May I Introduce to You,The One and Only James!Truly the King of Gamezzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!
Happy Birthday James Robert McCuen!
Happy Birthday Jason!
Here’s a Belated posting of the Video we sent for your Birthday:
Happy Birthday to the LOVE of my LIFE Kayleena Maria!
Here’s the Video I did for your Birthday this year:
Happy Birthday Malesha-Pinkster
Here’s the Edited Video I did for Your Birthday this year:
Happy Birthday Martha!
The Best Sister * Friend a guy could have!
Here’s the video that I did for your Birthday this year:
Life Is Very Short…
All my Adult life I have worked to follow the teachings of Jesus, Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi, and yes John & Paul.
All taught one simple lesson, love …one another.
Imagine that? (Pun Intended).
It’s not always easy, but it is always the right thing.
For all of you out there fighting with friends and loved ones over the current political environment, please head the words of these lifelong friends that were unable to resolve their differences before time ran out.
Michael Charles McCuen 1953-2014
Today is my older Brother Mike’s birthday. He would have been 63 today, but sadly, we lost him in December, 2014.
Mike was a true “Older Brother”. While he picked on me a lot, he always had my back, and for that I will always be grateful.
Mike led a hard life complete with Demons that only he understood. And while most would call him stubborn, I knew Mike to be extremely Committed. If Mike wanted to accomplish something, nothing could stand in his way.
One of his Life-Long commitments was to his Family. He loved our mother Donna, my sister Martha and me intensely. We lost my Dad when Mike was 16. While my Mom, Martha and I were able to move forward, I don’t believe Mike ever recovered from the loss.
Mike wanted all of the things that most of us do, success, a Family and all of the joys of watching a Family grow. Like everything he ever did, Mike was deeply committed to his family. Even though he had his share of rough times. Mike was dogmatic about caring for his children. So much so, it seems that he sacrificed everything in his life to make sure that they all got a rock solid footing for their lives. Once they were grown, Mike was content to watch them grow into wonderful adults with children of their own.
Learning about Mike’s passing, our Brother-In-Law, Gene said; “Take comfort in knowing that Mike Led the Life that he wanted to Live.” Couldn’t have said it better myself.
Please take a moment to watch this Video Memorial to my brother Mike, and remember his love and his commitment to family and when it was all said and done…
He Did it His Way!
“I Grow Strong Again”
After thinking of some of the recent Challenges that our McCuen family has been going through of late I thought I would post the Ancient Family Crest of the MacEwans to remind us all of the history we have in overcoming Adversity. The MacEwan Motto is: REVIRESCO or “I Grow Strong Again”. Always remember that Faith is like a Muscle and that it needs exercise to Grow. Many thanks to Pastor Rowdy Van Horn for helping me to realize that the exercise for Faith is Hope! May God Bless you All!