Sunday, December 30, 2007

An Empty Box For Christmas

The tree is gilded

With tinsel and bells

But something is missing

My soul is not well

The presents are wrapped

With paper and flair

The empty seat a reminder

Of he who is not there

The cold of December

A deep winter chill

Tightens my heart

Still grieving and ill

Monday, September 24, 2007

The Wheel In The Sky Keeps On Turning.

"Oh, the wheel in the sky keeps on turning Ooh,
I don’t know where I’ll be tomorrow
Wheel in the sky keeps me yearning Ooh,
I don’t know, I don’t know
Oh, the wheel in the sky keeps on turning Ooh,
I don’t know where I’ll be tomorrow"

Every morning, the alarm clock rings
and it's time to get up and get on with a new day.
To continue on among the world of the living.
Each day it becomes a little easier.
Traction slips every once in a while.

Multiple things can be true at once.
I miss Sheyn.
It still hurts.
Still seems surreal.
His cell phone is disconnected but
I still don't have the heart to erase his number from my phone.
It seems so terminal.
Like a betrayal.
My little brother is gone,
but I know God's mercy was in it.

We had Sheyn for 23 years after having been diagnosed with a multiform high grade astrocytoma.
We were gifted with having him for that many years.

Even though his cancerous kidney was removed, the cancer had metastasized to stage 4 in his lungs.
His other kidney was failing.
Sheyn had a long, arduous battle ahead of him.
A battle that had a very poor prognosis.
No one wants to die slowly and painfully.
Sheyn was no different.

He died quickly, really.


Sheyn died on the afternoon of Sunday September 9th.
His memorial service was Thursday the 13th.
(One month after his 36th Birthday)
His funeral was Friday the 14th of September.
There were between 250-300 people at his memorial service.
I knew Sheyn had friends.
I had no idea just how many and how many
loved him so much.


Sheyn was a regular face in the Omaha music scene.
He didn't play, didn't sing and didn’t write music or lyrics.
Sheyn supported his many friends who were the
"Stars of the hour"
They came to look for his smiling face in the crowd enjoying their music as they played.
Over and over again, the many bands members came up to us and told of us of their affections for Sheyn.
It was like a tape recorder.
"We loved Sheyn. He was the most kind, caring, loyal, supportive, gentle person I've ever known."
"Now his chair is going to be empty"

Rough looking tattooed hard ass heavy metal musicians
were weeping.
Mourning THEIR loss of Sheyn.
Lingering past the allotted time for the memorial service, reluctant to leave him.
Perhaps in hopes that he would rise from his casket in a "Gotcha" of some morose joke.
Maybe a vain attempt of not wanting to let him go.
Sheyn, now gone, was "The Star of the Hour"


My family said his final days were foretelling in hind site.
The last two weeks of his life he was feeling progressively worse,
but family and friends all said that, "He looked better than he has in years."
Many said that he "Absolutely Glowed"
Two days before he died my brother was so weak that he couldn't leave the house
and told my mother that he knew he didn't have much time left.
The day before he died, although he was feeling terrible.
My sister and my mother were struck by, "How beautiful he looked"
The morning of the day he died my sister said that
he walked by her and she thought, "He looked so beautiful it took my breath away
and I had to do a double take. He was so handsome I couldn't even speak"

He was dead just a few short hours later.
The hand of The Lord was upon him.
His presence so near as he prepared to receive him that
God's glory was shining upon Sheyn.
Family and friends saw this


Sheyn was a witness to many.
His friends said, "Sheyn told me all the time that Jesus was the only one worth trusting"

When we sorted through his things he had so many witnessing tracts.
Books on how to witness to other religions.
Books on prophecy.

The testimony of his humble, unassuming gentle witness
was evidenced by the vast variance
of people at both services.
Atheists, agnostics, Hindu, black, white, Asian, Hispanic, Protestants, Catholics...
All deeply grieving.
All deeply touched.
All brought together to hear the final testimony of his life.
To hear the Gospel's message of salvation proclaimed on Sheyn's behalf.
Many who would not voluntarily step into a church sat in a mortuary eagerly listening to the minister share why Sheyn was the way he was.
Because Sheyn, reflected Jesus, in everything he did more than anyone I ever knew.
Because of Sheyn's life, Sheyn's death was a mechanism to bring others into the Kingdom of Jesus Christ.


The day after his funeral.
My sister happened upon one of Sheyn's books.
A book of subject that was a particular fascination of Sheyn's.
A book on Biblical prophecy.
My sister said that she felt God tell her to turn to page 40.
Between pages 39 and 40 was our father's obituary.
She heard God say to her, "Sheyn is with your dad in heaven."
Because of long seeded hurt and bitterness towards our father, only God could have said this to her.


Stepping back from it all.
The pieces all fit.
The picture all forms a picture giving evidence that the timing
was within God's perfect design.
Sheyn is reveling in God's glory.
He's smiling down on us, having the time of his life in a perfect body.
He wouldn't want to return if given a chance.
Who would?
We can still hurt.
We can still grieve our loss of such a beautiful, wonderful man we all took for granted.
But we can still rejoice that in all of this, Jesus is glorified.
And Sheyn is pretty pleased with how all 36 years
and 27 days of his life turned out.

Sunday, September 09, 2007


Just a few lyrics from Pink Floyd's "Time"

Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day
You fritter and waste the hours in an off hand way....

...You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today
And then one day you find ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun

And you run and you run to catch up with the sun, but its sinking
And racing around to come up behind you again
The sun is the same in the relative way, but you're older
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death

Every year is getting shorter, never seem to find the time
Plans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines...
The time is gone, the song is over...

When my brother was in the ICU after having just had his cancerous kidney taken out that he wanted to go see a Pittsburgh Steelers game before he died. (His cancer had metsed to his lungs)
I had rolled that idea around in my head, with every intention of taking my brother to a game this season.
I wanted it to be a surprise.
I had asked a couple of friends in Phoenix to hook me up with tickets.
They were in the process of scrounging them up, which, I have no doubt would have succeeded.
Today I sat down at the computer to check on airline and hotel prices.
Man, I found some very satisfactory prices.
With the "Reserve Tickets" button right in front of me I thought I'd call him and tell him the good news.
I kept trying to call him, but got no answer.
I tried my mom on her cell phone...went directly to voice mail...very unusual for her.
I tried several times on the home phone..nothing...
Then my sister called in a panic and said, "Sheyn is having a heart attack and the Ambulance is here"

He's 36!
This is not happening!
They're mistaken!
No, it's true...

I know the cardiac arrest statistics.
I know the likely etiology of his cardiac arrest and that complicates things further...
Due to my vocation I know what the scene looked like....
I know that the prognosis is grim...but I also know that God is great and that Jehovah Raphah heals. I know that God holds time and life in His hands.

There, with the reservations window up,... my brother dies.
He was only 36.

Timing is everything, isn't it?
Is this cruel irony?
I never even got the chance to tell him.
How twisted.
Despite what the enemy tries to whisper in my ear, God is not cruel.
He is faithful.
God has a time for everything.

Ecclesiastes 3

1 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:

2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,

3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,

4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,

5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,

6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,

7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,

8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

Ecclesiastes 4

2 And I declared that the dead,
who had already died,
are happier than the living,
who are still alive.

My brother was dying of cancer. Kidney cancer which metastasized to Lung Cancer.
Lung cancer, which is a particularly cruel form of cancer.
He had a slow and painful death to look forward to.
We all assumed he had time.
He was so fearful of dying slowly and painfully.
Well, God is merciful and loving so He took Sheyn quickly.

Now instead of wasting away he is now in a new, healed, whole glorified body.
He's with Grandma and Grandpa.
He's with my dad.
He's with our brothers who died as babies that none of us have ever met.
More importantly he's with Christ.
He is basking in the presence of the creator of the universe.

Even so,
I'm reeling grief, in the sudden loss of my brother.
My heart hurts for my mother and sister who had to witness his death.
I cannot even fathom what my brother in law is going through having been the one to have been doing CPR. It's physically, spiritually and emotionally exhausting. He tried hard and I imagine there are so many things going through his mind.

It's surreal.
It's hard to comprehend that he's dead.
Did he really know how much I loved him?
Does anyone really know how much we love them?
How many times did I have that little voice tell me to call him, text him, e-mail him...
I'm busy, I have time...
and yet...
he's gone.

Oh, I really don't know what to say.
I feel numb.
I feel like I've cried more than I knew I could, but the tears keep coming.
So many people are calling with their support, which brings the emotions up again.
Yet, in between phone calls I'm blogging
and crying
It's OK
It's somewhat cathartic.

I miss my little brother.
With My Brother Sheyn Joseph Inclรกn (Right) (8/13/71 to 9/9/06)

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Yes, I Smoke..........

I spent the Labor Day weekend smoking in the
back yard.
Three racks of spare ribs to be precise.
I use a different rub approach to beef, pork and poultry.


I think I have by proprietary rub(s) pretty much



Smoking more than one rack of ribs, however, is still under practice.



Once THAT is done, then I'm going to start working on a BBQ sauce of my own formulation.
In the meantime, I'm using the old standby K.C. Masterpiece Original and I though I'd try a new one too yesterday.
Budweiser Beechwood BBQ sauce. We really liked it. Just a subtle hint of beer, not too overpowering with a surprisingly nice texture.

Budweiser BBQ Sauce

The nice part about perfecting the art of BBQ is that you get to eat all of the trial and error.

My next try at BBQ, though, Is going to be a Pork Shoulder.
That way I can try my hat at the pulled pork thing.
My wife likes that the best, so let's see how that works.
Now, If I could only convince her to allow me to buy a Caja China.
$299 to $329 (Haven't checked Ebay)

Caja China

Then I could do a WHOLE pig or several roasts or shoulders at once.

Whole Pig.

In the meantime, I'll use my $50 garage sale smoker and love every morsel.
Man, I love BBQ!!!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

35th National Down Syndrome Congress

The first weekend of August my wife and I attended the our first National Down Syndrome Conference.
The 35th Annual National Down Syndrome Congress was held in Kansas City, MO.
It was awesome.
Aprox 2500 family Members/Advocates and Self Advocates attended.
Amazingly encouraging.
Well, it was nice to get away without the kids. Our 11th anniversary was the following weekend, so we kind of made it an anniversary getaway.
It was encouraging to see so many families and their loved ones with Down Syndrome all at one venue. They kept referring to each other as "Family", IE the Down Syndrome Family and it indeed felt like that.
Tulsa has a GREAT Down Syndrome support community D.S.A.T. (Down Syndrome Association of Tulsa), but seeing so many from so many areas of the country was a big boost.
I'd say the biggest thing I walked away with was that we sell our son too short.
We've always said that we expect a lot out of him. We believe that he has more potential than sitting in a corner with his tongue hanging out scribbling in a coloring book his whole life.
We've felt that he would be one who'd be out there cleaning tables at Taco Bell and such.
Screw THAT!
We've sold him short!
There are those with Down Syndrome with Associates Degrees!!
Those with Down Syndrome doing amazing things!
-Teaching Martial Arts-
-Theatrical Performance-
and more.
The Self Advocate that got me pumped the most was Karen Gaffney.
Stink'n AMAZING speaker. She was a better speaker than most "Normal" people I've seen speak. I'm not even exaggerating.


Karen Gaffney, self-advocate, long distance swimmer is about to cross Lake Tahoe.

The hard way.

On September 25, 2007, Karen will swim the 12 miles across Lake Tahoe, all to raise funds for the National Down Syndrome Congress.

Karen is best known for being the first person with Down syndrome to complete a relay swim across the English Channel. Now, to raise funds for the National Down Syndrome Congress, Karen will attempt to swim across Lake Tahoe!

The target date for the swim is Tuesday, September 25th, weather permitting. Karen will have Wednesday, the 26th and Thursday the 27th as back up days if she needs them.

Since her Channel Swim, Karen has kept up her string of “Firsts”. She has completed seven swims across San Francisco Bay while preparing for and competing in the “Escape From Alcatraz” relay triathlons that includes the 1.5 mile swim from Alcatraz to the St. Francis Yacht Club. She completed the “ Round the Rock”swim – round trip swim from Aquatic Park, to Alcatraz Island, around the Island and back to the park – about a 4 mile swim Karen completed in 2 hours and 15 minutes!

Karen regularly swims 2 miles a day, and she will step that up in preparation for her Tahoe swim. She will swim the length of Donner Lake, near Lake Tahoe, in a Masters swim event on August 11th, a 2.7 mile swim. She will make the attempt on Lake Tahoe after spending a couple of weeks swimming in the Tahoe area, getting acclimated to the elevation. Karen says “I want to show others that people like me can accomplish anything they put their heart to!”


My little Self Advocate (Who will be 3 in October) will start school tomorrow.
A Special School here in Tulsa called The Little Light House.
It's as school totally supported by donations that has an international reputation and proven results. We are so excited to see his potential realized through the resources we have here in Tulsa.
Not to mention all of the little sibling therapists that love him and teach him each and every day.

We Pray this over our little Self Advocate:

"being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." -Philippians 1:6

Sunday, August 19, 2007


One step closer.
My great niece and nephew are now living with us.
We are that much closer to having 6 children.
The courts mandate that we have them in the home for 6 months before we can move toward adoption.
Every one is going through the adjustment period as could be expected.
We are all very excited to have the ball rolling in the right direction after so much uncertainty.
God is faithful and is moving at His own pace so we can only put our trust in Him.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

The Good The Bad And The Ugly

The Good
Well, my brother cancerous kidney was removed without much difficulty.
They had believed that it may have spread to his pancreas and spleen, but when they went in there were no metastacy to either of the other two organs. My brother is at home and healing well.
My brother is a bit of a professional groupie/roadie and is well known among many of Omaha's local bands. There are a few bands that have decided to have a benefit concert to raise money to pay for my brother's medical expenses. They are planning on holding it some time around his birthday the second or third week of August.

The Bad
The lungs, seem to have gotten the brunt of the cancer mets. They are putting him at stage four lung cancer. Also, his kidney levels are off. It doesn't seem that his sole kidney is picking up the slack for its missing mate. Not good.

The Ugly
As I've said before he went through chemo and radiation during his early teens, has seen our sister go through recent chemo and radiation. With those factors weighing in on his mind he is seriously considering not to undergo any of it.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

New Tattoo

OK, my wife wanted to get me a new tattoo for Father's day.
We got a baby sitter, went out on a date..Italian food, if you want to know.
Then we went to a highly recommended tattoo artist here in town.
Jose Sanchez AKA "The Ink father"
Well, he was in such high demand that the first opening he had was last night.
After two hours. It finally turned out as shown.
(It's on my right calf.)

Stay tuned.
I want at least two more.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Good News / Bad News

There was a Daffy Duck cartoon where he says, "Ooooh, I hate not knowing what it is..."
My brother's Red Blood Cell elevation had the so called experts scratching their collective heads.
They deemed it Polycythemia Vera even though he didn't fit the demographic.
Well, if you can consider knowing the etiology of a problem good news, they found it.
My brother was told he has kidney cancer.
Some how we don't feel like celebrating.
How can it get worse?
It's Metastasized to his lungs and quite possibly pancreas and spleen.
So, now two of my siblings have some serious cancer going on.
July they are going to take my brother's kidney and then biopsy the lungs, spleen and pancreas.


Tuesday, May 15, 2007

It's Not Supposed To Happen

He was only 37.
I Loved him.
We were really one time anyway...
We were in each other's weddings...I was at the hospital when his first daughter was born.
Things don't always go as you hope.
Chris made some very bad decisions in life.
Decisions that cost his business, his marriage, his friendships.
Despite all of the betrayals and deceit though, I still loved the guy.
He had a special place in my heart.
Chris died on the morning of Friday, April 27th.
He had some health problems that seemed to get worse, like a stone picking up speed as rolls down hill.
He had been relegated to a wheel chair the last year...developed three staff infections... a lung infection which they were treating with antibiotics.
Thursday the 26th he began having difficulty breathing so went into the hospital.
That night he was put on a vent in the ICU.
The next morning he had a cardiac arrest and died.
Pulmonary Embolism, more than likely.
37 is young.
Heck, I'll be 40 this year and I feel young.
37 year olds aren't supposed to die like that.
Car crash maybe...accident at work...but not like that.
He was such a gifted man.
Talent, smart, funny (He enjoyed his own humor the most)..wasted.
He really did squander his talents because of demons he had so much trouble shaking.
So many bridges that carried so many friendships burned...
The faces at the funeral were grieving the loss of his life, yes, but more so I think, for the loss of what could have been with Chris.
I think there was healing in his death though.
People were forced to deal with issues.
His mother hadn't seen her granddaughters in years.
Chris' ex-wife attended...along with the girls.
There seemed to be much needed reconciliation between the two women.
Life renewed because of his death?
I certainly hope so.
The whole thing really made me think about the importance of restoring relationships.

2 Corinthians 5: 18-19
"Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation."

Friday, May 04, 2007


My brother has received some bad news this week.
Back in December he suffered from idiopathic vertigo and syncope.
For days he was unable to get off of the floor of his apartment and lost many hours of work...the hospital was unable to explain what had happened...three different blood tests kept clotting so they decided to forgo further blood tests and equated it to a benign vestibular dysfunction....inexplicably, the symptoms went away.
Well, they reappeared again last week. Blood tests this time revealed an incredibly high Red Blood Cell count. He had a RBC count of 22!
The hematologist stated that it was the highest he's ever seen. My brother told the doctor, "This scares the heck out of me."
The hematologist leaned toward my brother and said, "This scares the heck out of me too."
The doctor told him that he has a disorder called Polycythemia Vera. Even considering the condition, the hematologist stated that my brother had the "Thickest blood" he had ever seen. They are really surprised that he is still alive.
One of the treatments for Polycythemia Vera is taking a unit of blood a week.
My brother is requiring the taking of two units a week.
So....needless to say, our family would really covet your prayers.

Note: From The National Heart Lung And Blood Institute website.

What Is Polycythemia Vera?

Polycythemia vera (POL-e-si-THE-me-ah VE-ra), or PV, is a rare blood disease in which your body makes too many red blood cells. These extra red blood cells make your blood thicker than normal. The thickened blood flows more slowly through your small blood vessels and can form clots. These clots can cause heart attack and stroke.

Blood cells are formed in your bone marrow—the soft tissue inside bones. In addition to red blood cells, your blood contains two other types of cells: white blood cells to help fight infection and platelets to help your blood clot. If you have PV, your bone marrow produces too many red blood cells, but it also can make too many white blood cells and platelets.

Red blood cells also are called RBCs or erythrocytes (eh-RITH-ro-sites). Normal red blood cells look like doughnuts without holes in the center and have an average lifespan of 120 days. Red blood cells contain hemoglobin (HEE-muh-glow-bin), an iron-rich protein that gives blood its red color and carries oxygen to the body. Red blood cells also remove carbon dioxide, a waste product, from cells and carry it to the lungs to be exhaled.
Important General Information

PV is a rare, chronic disease that can be fatal if not diagnosed and treated. The cause of PV is not known. It develops slowly and may not produce symptoms for many years. Sometimes, your symptoms can be vague and nonspecific. Many people find out they have PV from blood tests done for other reasons. It is more common in adult males 60 years or older. It is very rare in people younger than 20 years.

With PV, thicker than normal blood slows down the flow of blood to all parts of your body. Clots can form more easily, which can block blood flow through arteries or veins. The slower flow of blood means your organs don’t receive enough oxygen. The shortage of oxygen can lead to angina, congestive heart failure, and gout. Slower blood flow also deprives your arms, legs, lungs, and eyes of the oxygen they need to perform normally. This can cause headaches, dizziness, itching, and problems with your vision, such as blurred or double vision.

PV may also cause you to develop stomach ulcers and kidney stones.

A small number of people with PV may develop myelofibrosis (MY-e-lo-fi-BRO-sis), a condition in which your bone marrow is replaced by fibrous (scar) tissue. The abnormal bone marrow cells may begin to grow out of control. This abnormal growth can lead to acute myelogenous (my-e-LOJ-e-nus) leukemia (AML), a disease that worsens very quickly. In AML, too many immature white blood cells are found in the blood and bone marrow.

PV is a serious illness that can lead to death if it is not treated.

PV can be controlled with treatment, but no cure exists. If you think you or someone you know might have PV, it is important to talk to your doctor about it. Some people with PV need only minimal care. Others will need more intensive treatment. Treatment can control PV and lessen the risk of blood clots, heart attack, and stroke that can result from the disease.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Death By Caffeine

I love energy drinks!
For the longest time I was a Red Bull fan.
I still like the flavor of Red Bull, but have developed a new favorite.

Stink'n great [better flavor IMHO] and with more caffeine.

Red Bull has about 80mg of caffeine
or 9.64 mgs of caffeine per fluid ounce.

NOS has 250mg of caffeine or 15.63 mgs of caffeine per fluid ounce.

While looking for caffeine content in energy drinks I came upon a cool tool:
  • Death By Caffeine

  • Determine how much of your favorite energy drink it would take to kill you.

    Though, this would be a rather unpleasant way to die.

    Sunday, April 08, 2007

    Easter Brisket!

    In celebration of the Risen Savior I smoked a brisket for Easter.
    Isn't that an Easter tradition here in Oklahoma?
    My first Brisket.
    It was most yummy.

    Tuesday, April 03, 2007

    And Now The Good News!

    Next week I get to go back to the day shift!
    Though I prefer much of the elements at night better than days, It'll be nice to have normal times with the family.
    just thought I'd share.

    The More The Merrier

    Well, they finally began the termination process on my niece.
    Don't really know how long it will take.
    I don't foresee the likelihood of my niece and her loser boyfriend contesting it because they really don't show up for any mandated court appointments anyway, so that's good.
    The State of Nebraska has decided that my wife and I would be the best choice for adoptive parents.
    That means six kids!
    Will prolly have to by a bigger van to tote them in.
    Anyone want to donate to the adoptive child transportation fund? ;)
    We are actually quite excited about it.
    Our kids are elated and can't stop talking about it.
    My great niece and nephew have been told about it and that we would be Mommy and Daddy and they are actually excited about it.
    While we are looking forward to their arrivals, all of it is sad in the fact that my niece is a drug addict and my sister is dieing of cancer.

    Tuesday, February 20, 2007

    Cancer Sucks!

    Allow me to share what's been going on with my family the last few months.
    My sister (45) was told that she has two kinds of cancer.
    She has been weak and anemic for years and her doctor had poo-poo'd it as her being a hypochondriac.
    Many in my family have an autosomal neurological disorder which generates benign tumors randomly about the body so malignant tumors have a risk of being overlooked.
    They thought some of her growths were these.
    Not so much.
    After finding a different doctor they found several tumors in her body.
    On her heart, aorta, intestines...
    One type mildly aggressive one Extremely aggressive.
    The really aggressive one attacks the nervous system so can Mets rapidly.
    Normally, they would address both types with treatment.
    My sister is maybe 5 foot 100 pounds soaking wet with a pocket full of rocks, so they said attacking any of it too forcefully would kill her. -Great-
    On top of that, her daughter (my niece) is a crack/meth/coke...addict and had her two kids removed from her.
    My sister, is the fostering them...the state of Nebraska is reviewing whether or not my sister can care for them.
    My sister is so weak now from chemo and radiation that she is crawling around the house.
    Deanna and I have been trying for years to persuade the family to allow us to take the kids.
    I mean as soon as she got pregnant with them we tried.
    Now, they are like, "Hmm, maybe we should explore the option."
    Ya think?!?!
    We live in Oklahoma now so it complicates things quite a bit.
    Cancer Sucks! (See link to the Right)