Friday, April 28, 2017

Death Leaves A Heartache

There are some bridges we all must cross, and love is our way and our guide.

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Thursday, April 27, 2017

May Silence Make You Strong

There are times when peace is simply not within us. Accept, reach out, and embrace the help that is offered.

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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

In Loving Memory

Today is bittersweet. I have received the formal word on a promotion I have been working toward for some time now. It's been quite a road and many hours, with help along the way that I cannot thank enough, and I am beyond thrilled for the opportunity. Most of what I will be doing are tasks that I have been doing before now, but they are tasks that I have always gravitated toward, and I am finally doing them officially, for real, and in a way that HR won't get fussy about. It's a great step, and my dad would be proud.

That's the bitter part, of course. He didn't get to see this. He helped make it possible, in so many ways over so many years, and I know he would be proud. I would give almost anything to be able to call him and tell him, but this way will have to do.

Dad, I got the promotion. They practically designed it for me, for my skill set, for a skill set you helped me develop. Thank you. I love you, and I miss you.

It doesn't get easier, but we learn.

Monty R. Jones, 59, was called home on April 26, 2013. He was born May 6, 1953, to Arthur Clyde and Barbara Sue (Barnes) Jones in Freer, TX. He married his love Mary Sharlene Elliott on August 7, 1971, in Beeville, TX.

Monty was a long term resident of Beeville, Texas, and an A.C. Jones graduate of 1971. At the time of his passing, Monty and his wife were residents of Odem, Texas, where they have lived for 15 years. Monty served with the Beeville Volunteer Fire Department for 20 years, where he enjoyed giving back to the community that he had grown up in. He spent many years as an oilfield worker in the South Texas area, where he was able to work his way up to a tool pusher position. He was an owner/operator for Whitey Patten / Lonestar Transportation Service for 24 years, where he was able to travel the country as a truck driver. His love for travel soon turned to the open water. Taking his first cruise in 1996 for his 25th wedding anniversary, Monty had found a new love. Since then, Monty was always looking forward to the next cruise.

Monty was a loving and kind-hearted man who would always looked for ways to give of himself for the benefit of his family and friends. Monty placed a very high importance on family. Never one to miss a family reunion, Monty greatly enjoyed the catching up, visiting and story telling that came with a family gathering.

Monty is survived by his beloved wife of 41 years, Sharlene Jones, and his two sons, M. Rhea Jones (Heather) of Phoenix, Ariz., and Richard A. Jones (Jennifer) of Cleburne, Texas. Also surviving are his brothers, Ricky, Ronnie (Paulette) and Mark (Gloria), and his sister Cindy, as well as his three grandsons, Julian, Collins and Joshua; and two granddaughters, Kayli and Riley.

Visitation will be held from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. Monday, April 29, 2013, at Angelus Funeral Home Chapel. Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday, April 30, 2013, at Angelus Funeral Home Chapel with Matthew Gibson officiating. Interment to follow at Glenwood Cemetery, Beeville, Texas.

The family of Monty Jones would like to thank everyone for their prayers and kind words during his last weeks. There is a hole in that family today that will be filled with fond memories and the love of the family and friends whose lives Monty touched.

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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Grief Changes

Time does not heal all wounds, but it can help you learn to live with them. Some lessons are more difficult than others, but we learn. We live, and we learn.

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Friday, April 21, 2017

You Are A Lighthouse

For most people, there is no "maybe". You will be the lighthouse in someone's storm, and you may not even know it. Remember that.

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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Do Not Grow Old

Aging is mandatory. Growing old is not. Stay curious. Always learn.

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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Information Is Data

It isn't enough to know things, or even to know how to use the things you know. We must be more than what we know.

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Friday, April 14, 2017

The Soul Collects Wisdom

An old silent pond…
A frog jumps into the pond.
Splash! Silence again. – Basho (17th c.)

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Thursday, April 13, 2017

Never Assume

While also not safe to assume, the opposite is more often true. Loud is often used to disguise weakness, and the greatest strength can be found in silence. Still, never assume. That way lies trouble.

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Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Music Is Medicine

Sometimes all you need is the right melody to make it all better. Even when that is not the case, music often helps. Find your song and sing.

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Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Life Is Like A Piano

Every day is a song. Find the grace within the notes, and hear the beauty in the sigh.

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Friday, April 7, 2017

An Act Of Self-Creation

Every day, we are creating ourselves. Every day, we add to and subtract from what and who we are. You are the sculptor and the clay. What will you create today?

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Thursday, April 6, 2017

When The Crowds Are Gone

On Thursday morning, I woke up to the news that legendary music producer Paul O’Neill had passed away at the age of 61, as a result of chronic illness. The average reader may not know his name, but one would almost certainly be familiar with at least his most recent work, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, which has crossed genre boundaries to become a holiday season entertainment juggernaut over the past twenty years. O’Neill, along with fellow producer and keyboardist Robert Kinkel, had worked closely with the progressive metal band Savatage since their 1987 album Hall of the Mountain King (an album so iconic that Savatage founder and singer Jon Oliva has carried the nickname “The Mountain King” ever since). Guitarist Al Pitrelli joined Savatage for their 1995 album Dead Winter Dead, a rock opera about the military conflict in Bosnia, and the pieces were in place. O’Neil, Oliva, Kinkel, and Pitrelli began working on other ideas and, springboarding off the single “Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24”, which had first appeared on Dead Winter Dead, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra album Christmas Eve and Other Stories was released in 1996. The album was a runaway success, quickly going double platinum, and it remains their best selling album to date.

O’Neill has said of TSO, "I wanted to take the very best of all the forms of music I grew up on and merge them into a new style. Basically I was building on the work of everybody I worshipped: the rock opera parts from bands like the Who; the marriage of classical and rock from bands like Emerson, Lake & Palmer and Queen; the over-the-top light show from bands like Pink Floyd." He did not disappoint. In 1999, the band began what would become an annual November-December tradition of holiday performances that are among the most popular concerts of the year, frequently selling out large arenas within minutes of tickets going on sale. Millions of people have loved music that would not exist without Paul O’Neill, and his passing will leave a hole in the music industry that cannot be filled.

I have been a Savatage fan since High School, and I am among those who count Hall of the Mountain King as easily among the greatest albums ever recorded. Paul O’Neill was one of the chief architects of a musical sound I have loved more than any other, and his music has been a huge part of the soundtrack of my life. Seeing the headline that announced his passing was a blow, as a fan, and my heart goes out to his family and friends. His art was amazing, and he will be missed. I don’t know how much comfort that can be, but I hope it is some.

I know this is somewhat rushed, but I wanted to put together a small tribute in memory. Rest well, Paul O’Neill, and know that you have brought joy to many.

“And the lights
Turn them off my friend
And the ghosts
We’ll just let them in
‘Cause in the dark
It’s easier to see.”
(from “When The Crowds Are Gone,” written by Paul O’Neill, Criss Oliva, and Jon Oliva)

Hall Of The Mountain King

Gutter Ballet

When The Crowds Are Gone

Christmas Eve/Sarajevo

Forget About The Blame (live with Lzzy Hale)

Requiem (The Fifth)

All music and videos are copyright to their respective owners and are used here only for tribute purposes.

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A Better Place

Sometimes we get so busy looking for external solutions that we forget all solutions are internal. The world is made better because I do something to make it better. If every "I" on the planet takes that view - or even just a significant number of them - the world cannot help but improve. If you believe something needs to happen, be the one to do it. It starts inside.

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Wednesday, April 5, 2017

When One Teaches

We can learn from everything. A good teacher is learning as much as teaching. Pay attention. Discover. Learn!

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Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Bear Witness

I visited the National Holocaust Museum last week while I was in Washington DC. It was incredibly moving, and I highly recommend the experience to anyone and everyone who can get the opportunity to go. Whenever you put someone in a box, whenever you view people as a category rather than as individual people, you open the door to atrocity and horror, pain and shame. We must never forget, and we must be ever vigilant of how this happened, and how it can happen again. Too many people who walked that path did not realize the direction they were going until it was too late. People do not usually set out to be the monster or the villain. Guard your intentions, yes, but that is not enough. Know where you are going, be aware of your results, and change course as reality demands. What you do matters. Make sure it is actually what you intend.

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