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there’s a secret to life…

January 14, 2015


is what he said to me just a few nights ago and just several days after his 91st birthday – there’s a secret to life in that you never take any s*** from anyone and you always do your best to be nice to people, that’s the secret to life he said – and as those words arrived from my esteemed and well-loved world war 2 veteran friend who is in picture-perfect health in every way i have to say i entirely agree – i mean at 91 he walks daily at least a couple of miles at a clip at the same speed anyone a third of his age in taking a brisk walk would do – at 91 there’s not one single slip in his mental acuity as he’s every bit as sharp as a recent phd grad a third of his age yet he comes equipped with nearly a century of well-earned wisdom – i dare say if my friend was the one behind the desk at 1600 pennsylvania avenue this good old country of ours would be quite better off than where it’s at at the present – it’s further right on the mark in saying he’s everything as conversationally gifted as he is a wonderfully compassionate friend to us all in the highly spirited and completely genuine way in which he lives out his every day within our wonderful little community – and for it all we are indeed very blessed to have him in our lives – it’s been my great fortune that he’s been a very nearby neighbor for quite unbelievably nearly a decade now and to say i’ve become that much the better of a person just in knowing him is altogether an understatement – in fact over anyone i’ve ever known in my entire life he’s been the one i’ve most steadily gone to for advice or just a really good talk as i’ve never known anyone with such a deep level of truly engaging wisdom as coming from so many successfully well-lived years throughout such an extensive lifetime – that’s what it is and that’s what so satisfyingly happens every time i talk with him – and then what makes him even better than anything i’ve already said is his brilliantly comedic wit that we very thoroughly battle back and forth with just to see how long we can keep the perfect fun of an entirely nonsensical conversation going just because we wanted to, ha! – and then there’s the fact that he’s a fellow bird of the fearther in loving music above all else which led to his very long ago becoming quite the talented piano player – if you could only be so lucky to have him play a few melodies for you you’d always remember the smile you felt in seeing someone so happy in simply playing a song for his friends –

anyway that’s some of what it is in having one louis grouber or lou as everyone so fondly calls him as your neighbor and your friend – in a lifetime we have very few true friends let alone neighbors that become friends yet for me i have both and God-willing he will be a great friend for many more years to come – in closing this introduction i say to you lou thank you for setting me straight every time i’ve ever needed it and especially when i didn’t even realize i needed it – thank you as well for always leaving me feeling even better than i did before we had a chat whether it was for a minute or the better part of an entire afternoon – and lastly thank you above all else for simply being such a beautiful inspiration to all those ever so fortunate to cross your pathyou my friend are one-of-a-kind and we all love you! – wishing you all God’s every blessing ~rettingerrockfiles/RRF~

life in an instant…

January 9, 2015


truly can be everything so wonderful we can ever imagine yet there’re still moments that arrive that we’d never wish for in all of eternity – and that’s what it is when someone so exceptional comes to what the doctors believe very well may be an end from a most tragic and entirely inexplicable accident – as to why a young man like adam as well-adored and well-loved as a husband and a father and a friend as well as a highly-respected artist throughout the southern reaches of america would so suddenly and undeservedly meet such a pending fate is a question only for God that an entire lifetime of asking may never be met with a reply in the way of anything we can ever understand – and that’s just how it is – yet i for one have ever so thankfully come to discover in the recent years of my life that we can never underestimate the power of prayer and the collectively immeasurable strength of the prayer of many in so many times having such a beautifully supernatural affect on what may seem to most impossible yet prayer as the light of God proves otherwise – to many this is what’s called a miracle and they definitely do happen – and even though i may personally know only a very few of you so generous to me in reading these inspired words i nonetheless am asking you with all of my heart to open yours just the same in saying a prayer for a miracle for our dear friend adam newman in atlanta – further from there to share this request in every way that you can is a great blessing everything the same – Adam is a very good man with such a perfect heart and he and his wife and little daughter all need us now more than ever – thank you, godspeed to you and may God bless you in every way ~rettingerrockfiles/RRF~

there’s a way…

January 4, 2015


about the beginning of a new year that’s just entirely engaging yet at times for some of us it may seem somewhat frightening – and even though there may be a seemingly insurmountable array of well-founded reasons in so-called reality as to giving in to the fear, it’s the part about it all that’s in our mind and what we make of it that’s always far more critically important – in fact it’s always the part that’s in our mind that makes every difference in the way of how we’re getting there and just how potentially memorable of a journey it’ll be along the way – after all even though it’s really all about the journey it’s also imperative in realizing that it’s every bit as wonderful and vitally necessary in reaching the righter of the goals we set in life as well – and to me that’s where a newly determined resolve can tend to be just what the doctor ordered – in other words it’s truly invaluable in committing to a new year’s resolution not betweeen you and the world and not between you and yourself yet rather a resolution in the far greater spirit of a steadfast declaration between you and God – it’s in this highly elevated light of knowing and then declaring out loud what it is you’re set upon in having your life be as to where real progress begins and then continues happening in such a loving fashion that’s entirely unattainable in any other way – that’s the serendipity of thriving in the holy spirit – after all success in the way of notoriety and the monetary is ultimately rather difficult, empty and highly self-defeating when it’s free of any greater enlightened meaning as it is when it’s missing the one that made us – and a greater folly in life there can never be than that of what it is to be missing God –

many so blessed are already ever so thankfully well along this wonderful path from within and to lead and be led in any other way would quite rightfully never be given as much as even a blink of consideration – and then there’re so many already believing in God yet never truly realizing that he has been at their side all along as they instead repetitively give way to the self-blinding pattern of a life of free will as met with a lack of faith – and then there’re the far too many in the world effectively dying as they live finding words such as these with a complete and utter disdain for such a belief as well as the ones believing so, and that’s an exceptionally sad place to be – and if that is you then once and for all you must know that when you finally speak to God for the very first time with a faith unlike you’ve ever given way to before that he will indeed hear you and in the most beautifully overwhelming fashion you will indeed hear him in return – and further from there from you will truly feel him so very much alive in your heart as that is the one and only way of the holy spirit, that is the love of God and that is the way to your destinyand it all happens when you just have faith – wishing you one in the very same and God’s every blessing ~rettingerrockfiles/RRF~

feeling the hurt…

December 26, 2014


at this time of the year is absolutely crushing in every way as long as you let it and then there’s the idea that you just don’t have to stand for it – we all seem to have sorrows and for some very new and incredibly upsetting losses that lead the way to an excrutiating heartache that none of us would ever actively choose yet at times that’s life isn’t it? – and when these sorrows and upsetting losses find their way into the christmas season as they have for me with the very recent and highly unexpected passing of both my dear mother and her wonderful brother it can feel that much the worse than it would otherwise – yet as it is in virtually anything we ever do in this life as we know it it’s entirely up to us as to what it is that we initially decide we’re going to feel which is always the path to what it is that’s then very likely to happen for us – it sounds so simple and it seems just so easy to call shenanigans on something so elementary yet that’s the beauty of it that for so many of us we just never see as we sadly buy into lie after lie as to what it is that life is really all about and further from there how it all works – you see there’s a faith that underlies it all and it’s in that very faith where the mark is set – and likewise in keeping that faith it’s typically right there at that very mark that you’ll likely arrive – however and quite unfortunately so many of us bandy about saying so much against this that and the other thing and even more so against ourselves to the degree that we effectively keep on hammering one nail after the other into our very own coffin – that’s the way of what it is when we’re negative

and then there’s the other way that the devil just cannot stand and that’s the way of happiness – at nearly every turn when we’re happy and especially when we find a way to be happy when everything else says we shouldn’t be that’s when the amazingly-timed and always perfectly-received grace of God touches our life just when we need it the very most – we’ve all heard the approximate words of one henry ford with respect to whether we think we can or whether we think we cannot and how we’re nonetheless right yet old henry was just passing on the good word as that’s exactly how God has it all set up – after all he’s not going to lift you away from the couch and make everything just brilliant without your lifting as much as a finger is he? – and just the same if all you see and all you can say out of empty faith is nothing more than so-called critical wit than that is what you will get back in this life – to the contrary when you’re all lit up with a love in your heart as can only ever come in the way of the holy spirit through God your words are ones of the deepest faith as well as the grandest vision as created within a neverending spirit of thankfulness – and when it’s this wonderful place from where you constantly aspire you’ll see your dreams and desires as originally written in your heart from the very beginning all come to beand that’s how he does it – it’s how it’s always been and it’s how it’ll always be and for this revelation that i only came to discover through such a sad and disparate sorrow in recent years i am completely grateful – it’s a decision, i made it and i’ll never look back and you can too – wishing you one in the very same and God’s every blessing ~rettingerrockfiles/RRF~

reflecting on all of the yesterdays…

November 29, 2014


is where i find myself as the moments of the holidays arrive in every way other than that of what they once were – this time around there’s a very different lense in front of everything that i see – it’s a lense that at once is altogether clear as much as it’s also with a touch of a shimmer that’s leading me to feel as if i can somehow reach inside finding my way back to when we were all together at some lovely time in the past – and in some ways i imagine that’s entirely possible yet in others it simply just isn’t when you’re missing someone’s smile and they’re just not there to smile with you – such is the everchanging way in which life reveals itself as days and settings that seem as if they’ll last for a lifetime begin to change sometimes changing dramatically and very fastly at that – so it is in the very spirit of giving thanks i find myself more thankful than ever for not only the remaining blessings that have been there all along yet for the many new and wonderful gifts God has so perfectly written into my life as well – as a rather complex kid to say it lightly i am very well aware of some of what it is to be someone so closely involved in my life and for all of the grace that’s ever been given to me by any one of you as that someone i am exceptionally thankful – in some fashion or another it has been this grace as coming from you that has helped me to leading as good of a life as i have come to learn to be thriving in and again i am most thankful for every experience that’s collectively landed me right here to this very writing – yes i wish i wasn’t so slow to listen at times yet i imagine when i finally did the greater blessing that was intended came to be nonetheless, and again for that and for every one of them i am very thankful –

for me yesterdays hold many good and amazing memories and in many ways all of the other times lesser than that have thankfully faded away to nearly nothing – and then there’s today and the promise of all that is still very well and alive in my heart as well as that of the continuing and extraordinarily fascinating story that makes up my life from one day to the next – and with that story and by the loving grace of God i am endlessly thankful in finally discovering the key to a life well-lived as beginning with a vision as coming from the heart that i can literally feel as if it all has already arrived and then it does and it has and i have every faith that it always will in many amazingly breathtaking ways from here on out for the rest of my life – and for that and everything above i am forever thankful in a way that words can never say – wishing you one in the same and God’s every blessing ~rettingerrockfiles/RRF~

this time around…

November 17, 2014


with the now very fastly arriving holiday season so much just isn’t the same – in the years past in every single one of them all throughout my entire life i’ve always had my wonderful mother there with me no matter where we may have been from one coast to the other – for most of those years that meant not only having her warm and always welcoming smile yet it also meant hearing that perfectly infectious laugh of hers that always led the way in every family gathering – and then to be in my mother’s house at the holidays also meant we were all the ever so fortunate guests at a temporarily never-ending holiday bakery of the truly most delectable variety – and might i add that my sister has long ago lovingly picked up in continuing this very same delightful tradition for her family and in effect the rest of us as well when we’re visiting her during the holidays – in reflecting back to a time so long ago right up until just last december mom very clearly was always very happy at the holidays – and with her happiness that made what was already such a wonderful season of the year that much the lovelier for every one of us –

in the beautiful light of that loving happiness comes to me such a grand memory i so clearly recall right along with an unending list of so many others of just the same fashion – yet this memory is of the one christmas eve in pennsylvania right after returning from midnight mass as we were all gathered around that amazing living room stereo console that was always a beloved fixture of mom’s as she loved to listen to music all of the time, in fact my father still has that original piece in his home all these decades later – and here’s what happened – the station announcer came on to give the weather report and in that very same report he also enthusiastically included that santa and his reindeer had just been seen by air traffic control as now entering into the skies over america and mom then said to me did you hear that gary? – and i did yet it even further engaged me in fully realizing this as coming from just the loving way that mom said those five little words to me – it was right there and then that my christmas for that year in 1977 was already made and for it i say thank you mom

as for this christmas season and all of the decorations and gifts and greetings that’ll surely be happening for so many of us i’ll be forever the lesser in my heart in not having my dear and wonderful mother there with me – yet i’ll be forever thankful in a way that words will never properly exclaim in holding tightly to the eternally living memory of a christmas gift that lasted for the 44 years when she was – and that’s a gift that will surely last forever in my heart as well as far beyond this life as that’s just one of the wonderful ways in which heaven truly is all around us – i am certain there will be many more beautiful gifts to come into my life in the hopefully several more decades written for me for this time around and for that i am already most thankful – i am also just as certain in every way that not a one of them will likely ever meet let alone ever transcend that of the gift that it was to have had charlotte ann rettinger as my mother –

i have learned in recent years in the midst of so much unexpected and devastating loss of those i treasured the most in my life that we have but the one direction to set forth in from those points forward – and that is the direction of immediately deciding to see everything we can as everything of the blessing that it is from the very slightest aspects of our daily lives to the grandest gifts we’ve been so lovingly graced with in a way that can only ever come from God – i’ve also come to discover that the further grace of silver lining vision then sets in within our hearts allowing us to hear, allowing us to heal and allowing us to lift ourselves back up into the happier destinies in this life, after all that is the way of the holy spirit and what i know and embrace to be godspeed – and thank the good Lord for it as i for one will be carrying forth in just that way knowing anything the lesser will only ever lead me onto a path of sorrow and that is a path no one deserves to be on, especially at this time of the year – so as we arrive into the holidays as getting underway in just the next many days with thanksgiving i say to God thank you for the added strength to simply continue praying with the overwhelming grace that’s come into my heart in these past few years and now even far more so with the loss in the last many weeks of not only my dear wonderful mother yet now also with the loss of her golden-hearted soul of a brother my uncle chuck bloxsom – may God rest their beautiful souls and may God be with you all in every way in this very special season upon us that i will continue to always love – wishing you all the very same and God’s every blessing ~rettingerrockfiles/RRF~

a man so kind…

November 2, 2014


like that of what my late wonderfully dear-hearted uncle chuck bloxsom was is far too often a rarity in this day and age – yet so exceptionally kind is indeed just the way he was with everyone anywhere he ever went all of the time – when it came right down to it he was truly a golden soul who really never had it in him to be anying other than very nice – he was a child of the fifties who then so suddenly lost his father right at the start of the sixties as did his brother, my beloved uncle jerry, and their sister, my most lovingly kindhearted mother charlotte – for them all it must have been simply so tragic in such an upsetting fashion that i imagine none of them could initially see how life would ever be good again – you see their father was a very sweet soul himself and when he left this life at only 48 from a sudden heart attack their mother, my nana, was already also facing her oldest, my mother, leaving the house very soon to be married to my father – so there she was facing so much loss with the two young boys just about to become teenagers and i could only wonder at the frightening thoughts nana must have had as to what would become of both chucky and jerry – yet by the grace of God my father at the ripe old age of 21 further came in to their lives in a way that of course hadn’t been planned beforehand yet in he came nonetheless – and for them dad did everything as best as he could to be an older guiding brother and a father-figure as well – and he did this all the while as he was just beginning his life with his lovely wife and my sister whom arrived in the summer of ’62 just one year after they were married in the summer of ’61 – it was quite the dynamic new family that was emerging in those early years of the sixties yet a family it was and it was a very supportive and loving one at that – and i know in all of the wonderful things uncle chuck ever had to say over the years about my father as to just how grateful he was that dad stepped in and stepped up in doing everything he could for him and jerry – in fact uncle chucky was always very thankful for every blessing he was ever given and he very well let you know that he was if you simply took the time to chat with him for a few minutes –

you see my uncle chuck was like a greatly shining light in a ballroom of the grandest design as to just how much life came out of him with the way in which he greeted you and then shook your hand and then always said how wonderful of a person you are – i’ve yet to ever meet anyone else quite like uncle chucky in the way of the tremendous vitality he had literally overflowing from that beautiful heart of his – yet right along with that wonderful vitality he also had an amazingly spirited intensity about him – and with that intensity he most often channeled it into football in the latter years of the sixties and that then led to an offer to play college football on a full scholarship and my goodness if he had i just wonder what his lifestory may have been otherwise – from what i understand he was exceptionally good on the old gridiron to the point it wouldn’t have surprised any of us to see him end up all the way into the nfl and ever so perfectly thriving on those fantastic steelers teams of the 1970s when they won those first 4 superbowls, somehow i can just see uncle chuck with a championship ring on his finger to this very day – yet that potentially storied path just wasn’t to be as it all changed on a dime when out of his lionhearted courage he decided instead that he should channel his energies into voluntarily serving his country with the marines – and in that measure when so many others his age were hitting the deck and running for the hills up into canada doing everything they could to get away from the draft uncle chuck instead set off in the other direction with the sole intent of heading all the way to the other side of the world to vietnam to fight a war against the likely over-estimated and highly misunderstood advancing threat of the reds and their ill-conceived venture in spreading totalitarian communism – in hindsight as well as what was likely foresight by my father i sure wish uncle chuck had never gone off to fight as he ended up paying dearly for it – and dearly he did pay in a small way with his hearing yet in a very bad and lasting way for many years to follow with a rather harrowing post traumatic stress disorder that likewise hiddenly plagues so many of our younger veterans of iraq and afghanistan here in the modern day – so further into the 70s uncle chuck arrived back from the war trying to find a direction that somehow made some sort of sense given the path he’d been on for so many years in leading a very physically-centered life in football and then with the marines while at war no less – and find a direction he did by the grace of God as one of the more amazing things uncle chuck next very unexpectedly accomplished was graduating with an economics degree with high honors from duquesne university in the later 70s – shortly thereafter graduating offers came yet the memories, the many disturbing visions and the cold sweats continued to come as well and a life less ordinary was the path that ultimately would unfold for uncle chucky –

i remember as a child in the 70’s my always enjoying uncle chucky being around as in most of his waking hours he was in such a good place and had so many nice things to say to us – and then there was that wonderfully off-paced signature laugh of his, a laugh unlike any other i’d ever heard before or since – you could pick uncle chucky out of a crowd at three rivers stadium with that perfectly funny yet immensely vibrant laugh he had and i loved it! – and then came the 80s and then the 90s and something so wonderful so thankfully happened in uncle chucky’s life again as the haunting memories altogether vanished for good, and what a very good thing that was in every possible way – at that point life also became so much better for my nana as they had both been under the same roof so much of the time which always had nana on the frontline of helping uncle chuck in his striving to live in the peaceful happiness he always sought to be in – and then such a dramatic change came as uncle chucky’s dear mother, my nana, passed on to heaven in the summer of 2000 and none of us knew what would become of him as they had depended on one another so intrinsically for decades at that point – yet by the grace of God something so wonderful happened once again in that right when he needed it the most and after nearly 30 years of such a frustratingly limited veterans disability benefit an angel came to his side in the v.a. and his benefits were quadrupled and back-adjusted for all of those many years of unfair suffering – and at the ripe old age of nearly 50 he set off on his own and for the first time in his life really began to enjoy his life –

he got a nice place directly across from one of the most beautiful churches anywhere in pittsburgh or for that matter in all of america and that made him very happy as he was a devout believer as one who was always quick in celebrating the good word – he got the first brand new car of his life as well and then he met a wonderfully loving woman whom he would share nearly all of the rest of his years with in happiness – he always traveled to all of the fantastic holiday gatherings my brother jimmy has been so wonderful in having in cincinnati over the years and at every one of them he certainly seemed so happy to be with all of his extended family – uncle chuck was a gigantic fan of the steelers as well as the pirates and the penguins and on a number of occasions he would come out to the games in person and that further made him quite the happy soul as well – and then there was coffee – no one in the entire world could drink as much coffee as fast and as joyfully as uncle chucky always did – in fact i am pretty well sure of it that i once watched him have 13 cups of coffee when we were all out to dinner somewhere in pittsburgh many years ago and i’m almost fallling out of my chair laughing right at the time in now remembering that spectacular feat – and uncle chuck would go on to nearly repeat that performance i imagine hundreds or maybe thousands of times thereafter – uncle chuck was half italian and half irish yet his ingredients of life clearly must have made a detour through columbia shortly before he was born!

my uncle chuck bloxsom was a very good man and he will be missed by many for a long time to come – i know he couldn’t be any happier than to now be with my also recently and completely unexpectedly departed mother, his sweet sister charlotte, as well as now being with his dear mother, my nana, as she has been in heaven for these past 14 years now – and then i cannot even imagine how sweet it must be for him to be reunited with his dear father charles as he has been gone in heaven himself these past 50+ years – so let it be said in that none of us would have ever chosen to be arriving into the holiday season now just underway this weekend without my mother and without my uncle yet God clearly had other plans for them for reasons we will all only ever truly realize when we meet them so happily once again in heaven ourselves – i have always heard to make sure to tell the ones you love that you love them every time you’re so blessed to be together with them and again by the ever-loving grace of God those were indeed the last words i said to them both and i can remember it like it was just earlier today – life is indeed far too brief in the way that we know it in the here and now and in that greater light it’s best that we always remember to live with passion as coming from the inner peace that only we can ever decide to have – and further from there may we always remember to live our life at its highest by forgiving others as well as forgiving ourselves in that we may further live our life with the greatest spirit of compassion and the waking reality of the God-given fulfillment of our dreams far greater than we can ever imagine – and when i think of my mother and her brother as i do every day at many times i remember just that and i smilegodspeed to you and may God rest your soul uncle chucky, i love you – wishing every one of you God’s every blessing ~rettingerrockfiles/RRF~

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