What I want most I can never get

I’ll get right to the point. There is one thing on my wish list each Christmas…

Okay, it’s on my list even in the summertime. And in the Spring. And, yep, the Fall.

So, what’s this all season wish?

Let me first ask you, the reader: what is it that you want more than anything? Do you have a passion in life? Is there something you’d definitely not want to go a day without?

I realize those are two different questions. Let’s take the first question, Do you have a passion in life?

First, if you have a passion, such as mountain climbing, it may take a while to condition yourself to attain that goal. If you have a career goal, you know the drill. Set the timetable and write it down. Get advice from those who are where you want to be, etc. Having a passion can also be something you do but it isn’t getting you any real benefit, such as a passion for sex, alcohol, shopping, gossip, or lottery ticket buying, tobacco buying… all right, you can tell I’ve been around convenience stores too much.

Convenience stores aside, what is your passion in life? Does it make you a better person if you pursue it? Does it help others?

Next question: Is there something you’d definitely not want to go a day without?

Let’s get the obvious out of the way, such as oxygen, water, etc. Yes, we prefer to eat and sleep, but I suppose most of us would still be alive 24 hours later if deprived of food or sleep. But air? Kinda ranks high on the list.

Push aside the essentials, and what do I mean by is there something you’d not wanna go a day without? tobacco? caffeine? pornography? texting? Facebook? gossip? video games? TV?

What about those healthy choices, like daily exercise, Bible study, prayer, random acts of kindness? Yes, all good and healthy, per se, but what about your passion? What is your driving force?

This sounds like a motivational speech, doesn’t it?

So, be prepared to be a little less motivated.

My one thing I want but cannot get.

I’m passionate about creating art, literature and visual stories through video and photography. I’ve written books (check them out on Amazon) and appeared in a variety of films and stage plays. I’ve created artwork on T-shirts and canvas; in fact, that’s what I do for a living now. http://www.1ofakindonline.com

Let’s step back from passion, drive, ambition, goal setting… all the motivational stuff.

What do you want most?

Think about it before you answer.

What I want most is______________.

Let me know what your answers are. Comment below.

Ready for my one thing now?

Finally, here goes: The one thing I want most but cannot get is to have my children live with me.

Yep. That’s the thing on my wish list. I wish I could wave a magic wand and get the last six years back that my kids have been apart from me. It’s not their choice they had to leave. It sure isn’t mine.

But divorce happened. And because it happened, though I fought against it tooth and nail, it took my precious boys away from me. They were 12, 10, 7 and 1 when the separation occurred. It tore like a knife.

For details, see my book on Amazon “Divorced Christian Dad.”

The one thing I want, money can’t buy. The one thing I want, I can’t get by working on something, or improving who I am, or completing a seminar or going to counseling.

The one thing I want, to have my boys live under my roof, is the one thing I can’t get.

Even if I gained a ton of money and pursued custody in court, it wouldn’t buy back the six years I’ve lost.

That’s why things get a little weird for me. Not having the one thing I wish for most, and realizing that if I changed all my behavior to the “Billy Graham” setting of perfection, or if I had the “Bill Gates” income, or the “Brad Pitt” appearance, nothing could get me what I want most.

I’m stuck on a timeline in the course of eternity that happened to start in the 20th century and now continues into the 21st century. Then, scores of years hence, no one will remember me and I’ll be a distant memory to the few who knew my children or grandchildren.

Just like my great-great grandparents, I won’t meet my great-great grandchildren. Just like them, I won’t be talked about in the 22nd century. And, as time rolls on, or even if Christ returns in the rapture and the world ends in a ball of fire, I still won’t have had my children growing up in my household in the early 21st century the way they were supposed to.

No matter what happens or doesn’t happen in the Cosmos, John Cockroft won’t get full time custody of his kids.

If I could go back in time, I would. I would change everything that caused those kids to not be in my home. I accept responsibility for my mistakes. But I can’t cause those mistakes to have never happened.

What did I learn from my mistakes? That there’s nothing I can do to reverse them. No matter how good a person I become. No matter how much money I earn. No matter how influential and powerful I become.

Right now, I’d trade all the money, fame, power, and praise for the chance to raise my sons in my home rather than be a visitor every other weekend.

I hope you are reading this with hope. I hope you aren’t divorced, and that you still have your kids. Or, if you are young without kids, I hope you get married and stay married. And raise your kids all the way through.

My new wife and I have devoted our lives to making marriage popular again. Check out our YouTube channel “TwentyFourSevenMarriage”…

Chances are, John Cockroft is more transparent than you. That’s because  he’s a big-time muckety-muck professional blogger so don’t even try it on your own.

I almost cried at Starbucks

starbucks-mcallen
The Starbucks in McAllen where this happened. For real.

I usually rant about bitter, grumpy older man stuff… you know, the kind of thing that makes Millennials cringe…

This rant is dedicated to the Millennial couples I witnessed at a Starbucks in McAllen, Texas tonight.

It’s a January Sunday night, and the weather in this South Texas town is cooler than usual. My leading lady and I are finished working the market http://www.DonWesFleaMarket.net where we sell original artwork on Tee Shirts and Canvas.

donwes-artist
Me doing my artwork at the DonWes Flea Market. Wanna know more about my art? http://www.1ofakindonline.com

The weekend work aside, we stroll into a Starbucks to do our duty to remind you how in the online audience of ours just how observant and wise we are. Heck, we were born in the ’60s so we’ve earned some respect, right?

We sit at a corner table and I immediately notice a young Hispanic couple (Hispanic… only in America do we call Mexicans Hispanics, lumping them with Cubans, South Americans, Central Americans, and “real”Spanish people from Spain! Oh, and Portuguese. We don’t know what to do with them, but throw them into that group, too; not that we ever encounter a real red-blooded Portuguese person… or not that we would recognize one from the pack of aforementioned people groups; but I digress…)

Anyways, I am sitting in the corner table facing the door and I immediately notice this young Mexican couple and they’re so engrossed in each other… I mean, talking and laughing and touching appropriately from time to time. Sweet little “aww that’s adorable” stuff that would make a romance movie producer envious.

So this wonderful Mexican-American version of “When Harry Met Sally” is playing live before our eyes, and lo and behold, another Mexican-American couple walks in. He’s holding the door for her, and holding her hand for her, and… you get the picture.

They are like totally immersed in one another’s eyes. The way she looks at him. And these couples go on and on, for like, minutes, and minutes. No electronic devices. No negative gossip. No profanity. They are speaking English. Then Spanish. It’s… okay, to use a chick-flick term, freakin’ adorable.

I get goosebumps. My faith in young people is rising immensely, watching these couples go about their romantic Sunday night dates. They aren’t home, sitting in separate rooms, he on the video games and she on Facebook trashing him. They are in love and it shows.

Then, after a wonderful extended time together, the first couple leaves. He gets the door for her, dumps her trash for her. They go to their vehicle. He. Gets. Her. Door.

OMG… I’m gonna shake his hand. I’m gonna tell him what I think. I got goosebumps and tears in my eyes. I’m bolting outside and waving to him so as not to freak him out as he comes around to the driver’s seat. “Hey man,” I smile, approaching slowly. “I’m from Missouri, and I’m not used to seeing such amazing…”

I hardly know how to put into words what I’m thinking.

I point to him and look at her, smiling in the passenger seat. “You’ve got a real winner here,” I say. She quickly agrees. I turn back to Romeo. “I just want to say, you’ve restored faith in young people for this old guy. The way you treat her and each other with such respect. That’s almost unheard of nowadays. Thank you. You’re a wise, respectful dude.”

He shakes my hand, thanks me, and they are gone.

My next little couple eventually rises to leave. He dumps her trash, opens her door, and as they walked out hand in hand, he gets her car door. My heart is overflowing, and my eyes want to follow suit.

McAllen, Texas, if this is how your young people behave on a Sunday night, it’s little wonder your community is so blessed!

For those of you aspiring romantics, here is a recommended book:

John Cockroft is a really sensitive guy underneath his somewhat aloof exterior. His stuff is visible at http://www.JohnCockroft.com.

Is marriage relevant anymore?

My wife and I are big defenders of marriage. On YouTube check us out at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8Ua1MQJZXl-Qzx_C7hpn6g

Our channel, TwentyFourSevenMarriage, offers hope that people can get married and stay married, despite social stigmas against it. We’re “making marriage popular again!”

We’d like to hear your thoughts on marriage. Is it important? Why do more people seem to live together rather than “take the plunge” and commit to vows?

A young person recently stated, “I don’t want to get married because my parents got divorced and it might happen to me.”

That’s true. Life is unpredictable. Divorce is painful (trust me, I’ve been there!)

CHECK OUT THIS CHECKER

Cashier Sommer* loudly proclaims to the customer in front of me that she will NEVER get married. Sommer appears to be 14½ months pregnant, according to her bulbous belly button poking through the fabric of her smock. Why do minimum wage employees wear “smocks” when the same thing would simply be referred to as an ugly vest that doesn’t fit well anywhere else?

Oh, yeah. Nobody would be caught DEAD in one of those ugly vest smock thingys anywhere else outside a menial job…

Anyway, Sommer’s flippant attitude toward marriage has my blood pressure rising like a Saharan thermometer.

Instant replay:

Customer: Looks like your new addition is due anytime…

Sommer: Yeah. My due date was two days ago. I can’t stand it!

Customer: You and your husband must be so excited. Is it your first?

O.K. I know what you’re thinking, why did the customer assume Sommer girl was married?

Clarification: Customer is a 133-year-old grandma with a tight white bun atop her shriveled prune head. Her dress is choking her throat and extends well beyond her abundant backside to the floor. O.K. I lied, she’s maybe 132, tops…

cashierfinal

Sommer: (Face contorting in a bratty “I was born in 1999 so I know everything” manner: ) I’m not married. I’m still in high school.

Customer: Oh, my goodness.

Sommer: I’m never gonna get married. My parents are divorced, my grandparents are divorced, my aunt and uncle never got married, but they have seven kids and they hate each other, my next door neighbor’s second cousin got divorced thirteen times…

Customer: I’d like that in paper please.

Sommer: Huh?

Customer: Paper bag my items, please.

Sommer: We haven’t had paper bags around… ever.

Customer: You had them when I was here last.

Sommer: When was that?

Customer: 1967, I believe it was Kroger’s back then.

MY TURN

Young people (and older ones, too) often get marriage tangled up in the drama they’ve seen around them relating to marriage. We want young people to find the right mindset for pursuing a life marriage partner and not get mumbo jumboed by the relational rubbish being puked out around them.

Persevere, youngsters! Help is on the way!

Here are some tips to making marriage last:

BE PURE. Yes, I said pure meaning sexually pure before marriage. No hanky-panky or play involving body parts that should be covered up in public. Being pure makes your mind pure and ready for the real thing on wedding night. Two virgins in love have the best chance for the best sex. They learn together and grow to meet one another’s needs together without the baggage of slutty memories.

BE HONEST. Yep. Be totally honest. How many children do you want? What is your faith? What is your money handling strategy? What are your job and income aspirations and goals? What is your family like? People with family issues tend to carry them into their relationships. Don’t be a fool and think you can “fix” a broken person no matter how attractive they seem! If you have dirty secrets, share them and work on them. Don’t lie about porn use, illegal or legal bad habits, etc. Get help and then pursue a relationship.

BE PATIENT. Wait for the right person. They will come along when you are least expecting it. Don’t go on social media looking for love. It’s a scam. Some of you found love that way, and I get it, but for the most part, shut up!

YOUR TURN

Do you have other remedies for a long lasting marriage? Comment and share and spread the good news, we’re making marriage popular again!

John Cockroft is happily married. He was married for 18 years to his first wife, who left him. Since then, he has realized a few things he needed to change. He is so honest with his new wife (he wasn’t with his first) that she sometimes hits him playfully in disgust!

One more bit of friendly, self-righteous advice to those afraid of marriage because they might get divorced: Don’t drive or ride in a car. You might get into an accident!

*Her real name, according to her name tag