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Little Big Man

September 25th, 2009 § 42 comments

“He big man! Let me talk to you for a minute…”

I kept walking.

For two reasons: 1) I knew it must be a panhandler;1 and 2) I didn’t realize he was talking to me.

I just don’t think of myself as a “big man.”

Granted, most folks would say I’m tall.  According to surveys, at 6′-3″, I am taller than 97% of other men. I realize I am generally the tallest man in any given room2 but that figure really surprises me.

Still I’m guessing the percentage of  people who would refer to me as “big” is pretty small.

Because I don’t have a lot of body mass.  To me, that’s what makes a man big.

I have big hands, nose, feet, ears, etc., sure; but everything that connects them is pretty slim. I’ve always been slim, sometimes downright skinny.   I was around 150-160 lbs at 6′-3″ in my teens and early 20′s. Those are the years you really become who you are, so maybe that’s the way I will always see myself.

Even though I’m right around 200 lbs3 these days, that’s not all that much when stretched out to 75 inches.

Yet, to at least one homeless guy, I’m big.

The reason I write about all this is because it has me thinking about perception and how it effects almost everything in life.  There is very little black and white to our existence.  It’s all what kind of light you see it in.

It’s a struggle the Attorney and I are having right now.

Lately my time with him has been very limited because of having to ramp up my care for Granny.  I actually have not laid eyes on him since Labor Day weekend.4

To him, he’s not getting what he needs.  To me, Granny is getting what she needs.

A big deal?  Or a small sacrifice?

Depends on which one of us you ask.

Don’t get me wrong.  I understand where the Attorney is coming from, but I also know what I have to do.

I once heard a drag queen say lighting is everything.

As long as I remember that, I won’t lose perspective on his perspective.

I may not be big, but I hate feeling small.

{ fin }

  1. Don’t just beg for money. At least try to earn it in some way.  Play an instrument. Clean a windshield.  Something. []
  2. unless the Attorney, who is 6′-5″, is there. []
  3. the most mass I have ever had in my life []
  4. Very briefly at that. []

§ 42 Responses to Little Big Man"

  • My ‘Grandma’ has always been my career. And the few ‘Attorneys’ on the way, over the time had to understand that or move on.

    They all moved on, one after the other. After all, they too, had but one life to live…

    It started dawning on me that I needed to come up with much bigger, better and more sophisticated strategies, if I wanted any ‘Attorney’ to hold on to me. Ever. And I was not going to let my career go down the drain either. Success IS sexy. Very sexy. And there is really no price too high for being able to call the shots and run your life as you find fit.

    I started negotiationg my way around. “See, I have got to do this, so that I can get there. If you support me here, this is what the two of us can do together afterwards.”

    Soon enough, a very cool guy came along, gave it a very serious thought, and said, “Yup. You have got this good thing going. It did not come easy. We’ll put our heads together, and make it work even better. Because you are willing to do something for me, I am willing to do something for you.”

    I was stunned a bit.

    Yet, when you come to think about it, a serious relationship changes your life in a very profound way. It takes considerable courage to admit that you want to stick with the basic fair-play here, and that you want the best for both your partner and you, too.

    A very simple construct: “This is what I want to do. Help me out here, AND this is what WE can do afterwards, because I will gladly sacrifice, if you do, too…” actually moves the world.


  • Sue says:

    Sometimes you just have to do what you have to do. If you lose him over granny, then he really wasn’t worth it. I sincerely hope you don’t lose him though. Most of all, I wish the best for granny. My prayers are with her [and you]. You are such a good grandson. I know she must be proud. I am too.

  • Doug says:

    Always doing the right thing! You’re going to make the rest of us look bad.
    Like Sue I am proud of you, making the tough decisions and doing it right.
    I hope and pray for the best, for all three of you.

  • Daryl says:

    Someone once told me “Things are unfolding as they should.” You have to do what is right for you. Don’t let anyone convince you differently. Wishing you the best.

  • Kirby says:

    I hate being called “big guy.”

  • chamblee54 says:

    Panhandlers usually call me sli-yim.

  • irisgirl says:

    Your devotion to Granny is such an important part of who you are, and she obviously needs all of your spare time right now. It sounds like driving down to the Attorney’s house even once a week is not an option.

    I hope the Attorney chooses to, and is able to, devote his spare time to support you and your relationship by traveling up to your place whenever possible.

    Those are the choices we make for the people we love.

    I pray for Granny’s health, and that you and the Attorney can work out a new arrangement that gives you some precious time together, without compromising your priority to Granny.

  • tonkamanor says:

    Someone at work called me big guy. I found it funny being just shy of 5’8″, must be the 200 lbs.

    As for the attorney, he should know what the priority is, he has been there, seen, your life, knows what is to be done! If he can’t get past that, then he is missing the opportunity of a lifetime………


    My best wishes for Granny and you!

    And the Attorney too!

  • Mystik says:


    I say this not be morbid, but I went through the exact same thing with my grandfather. I was at the hospital everyday for three months, neglecting everyone else in my life. He past this past August. He led a very full life and was at peace went he went.

    I wanted to say that those who cared about me, understood what I was going through. And they fought like hell to get me to take a step back and allow myself to recharge so that I could continue to be there for my grandfather. If the Attorney is anything like my friends, I am sure he wants the same thing for you. And of course a little bit of a selfish motive in there too.

    I am keeping you and Granny in my prayers. You and the Attorney as well.

  • sean says:

    Maybe he had xray vision. :)

    As for the attorney, Make time for him. If you have to hire someone to stay with her then do it. You can’t take care of someone if you don’t take care of yourself.

    Granny is lucky to have you and you her. There should be more men like you in the world. Thanks.

  • David says:

    Of course you need to take care of granny. It’s the attorney who needs to do some bending, even if it’s just coming over to sit in the next room for 45 minutes. I know he’s busy, but these are things people have to do for each other. There’s nothing wrong with your lighting, Tony; in fact, you’re standing right in it.

    I wish Granny well.

  • Jeremy says:

    Hey Tony,

    I’ve read your blog for a long time, but have never commented until today.

    It’s hard to talk about, but my friend lost his fiancée two weeks ago. She went missing six days before their wedding, and on their wedding day police found her body–she was murdered, and her body was hidden in a wall.

    I’m sorry to be so morbid, but I’ve had this feeling lately–none of us know how much time we have, or how many more opportunities we’ll get to show the people we love what they mean to us.

    Granny knows what she means to you. One day apart from her will not change that. On the other hand, one day’s worth of your love and care will really show the Attorney what he means to you. Don’t put it off another day if you don’t have to. Take a day and spend it with him. Take care of your relationship. Granny will understand.

  • TL says:

    I don’t do well with lack of contact. It’s kind of like the out of sight, out of mind thing with paperwork etc. I have it with people. If I don’t have contact I feel like I’ve lost my connection. I’ve got to see, or talk, and share myself with other people to feel close, otherwise distance grows and what I had with the person feels like something in the past. I can’t be the only one that has this.

    If you are focused on Granny and starting the grieving process your energy probably doesn’t come close to matching the attorney’s. Could the attorney be feeling the loss of your attention and be expressing it the only way he knows how – in terms of his own needs? Talking about it may help him to understand where you are and give him that feeling of intimacy in a way you can do right now.

  • California Alex says:

    Rock and a hard place.

  • Christopher says:

    Tony – What a post. Please do whatever you have to do. Speaking from experience I took care of my ex’s mother when she became ill and she moved into our home. If I had the chance to live those two years over again I would do the same darn thing.
    Currently, I am caring for an elderly parent with dementia issues. To put this in perspective….the dude I was most recently seeing felt I was not able to spend the quality time with him he felt he required. I am over worked in my career, recovering from a bad business venture, and caring for someone very dear to me. I could not imagine leaving my mother alone to take care of herself and know none of my siblings would step up. The past few years have been very challenging and I have seen the effects of this horrible illness. But I also have experienced the joy of caring for someone who was always there, through good and bad, whether around the corner or across the country. I am truly blessed every day to be able to care for my mother with the resources I have available. Hopefully you won’t have to make any ‘decision’. But please do whatever it is you think you must do. Thank you for this terrific post!

  • Bob says:

    I wouldn’t dream of trying to give you advice but I just wanted to say that you are a ‘big man’ in all the important ways.

  • Curtis says:

    You are definitely a big man. Not because of what is between your legs, but what is between your ears. I’ve told you this before. It never ceases to amaze me how special you are and how much you inspire me to be a better man.

    Granny will go the way she is supposed to go, and the attorney will come ’round. The question is, will you do what is right and honorable and kind?

    Will you live up to your potential and will you be true to yourself?

    I am betting that you will.

    –your friend always

  • Rick says:

    Apparently it is all in the lighting: We go where the light shines.

  • Kerry in Phoenix says:

    Our perception of ourselves affects everything we do(sometimes to a great extent, other times not so much). You’re right about Granny getting what she needs and you doing the right thing for now. I’m sure Attorney is frustrated, but hopefully he’ll come to understand. Hugs, my tall, big friend!

  • Kerry in Phoenix says:

    Granny has been a part of your life a helluva lot longer than the Attorney. And even Attorney knew that when he became a part of your life. Your current situation is far from ideal, but we do what has to be done. Sending you lovely vibes!

  • john says:

    Granny is going to leave this world someday. Make sure you have no regrets when that happens. I think you are going down that path anyway. Relationships sure take some juggling, don’t they… eh.

  • moby says:

    He needs to realize that family comes first. And if he ever wants to BE family, he’ll hang tight till things are better. If not, then he doesn’t deserve you. Harsh but true.

  • rayrayj says:

    I’m sorry to hear that you have the struggles you have right now but I’m also aware, that in some paradoxical way, it’s a blessing to have these particular struggles.

    I don’t have any advice to give. You have demonstrated time and time again that you’re a smart guy who has his priorities in order (Hell most of us should be writing down questions in order to ask you for advice, when you get the time).

    It’s always wonderful to read you observations of life. I look forward to reading them as you have time to post them. Good luck and blessings to you.

  • Blobby says:

    Etc? in regards to having big things.

    Brains and emotions are two of those things (i won’t go into the gutter). It is those two things which why I believe the Atty will wait for you due to your big heart.

    If he’s as smart as I think, he’ll know that what you do now sets the path for you are.

  • dwight says:

    Dear Big Tony,
    I came upon your blog rather late. There are a million books on the art of compromise. Obviously few ever read it.
    I dont mean to make anything humorous here, but that man of yours needs to bend. Even if he came to your town and there was a place to go to for two hours. There are a million latin phrases that say family is everything. al familia might be one . Being the last honorable man would not be a sin. Dwight Williamson

  • Frank says:

    I sure hope you’re back soon–miss your posts and hope things are working out…

  • Greg says:

    Always loved your gift with words, Tony. I hope they bring you the comfort and clarity you need, and always illumination on those different perspectives. Hang in there.

  • Chris says:

    I’m glad you are taking the time to help your grandmother out. I spent about 9 months to a year helping mine out and my great aunt, and I have very fond memories that I will always treasure. It was right after I graduated from college and I had not found a job yet.
    They were both very classy and now I am so glad that I did it. My father, who is a attorney, no pun intended, paid me a little bit of money to drive the 30 or so miles down to my great aunts and grandmothers houses. They lived about a block away from each other.
    So I am glad to see you are doing the same thing. You will always treasure your happy memories of this time as your life goes on, believe me.

  • Gregg says:

    Maybe the one who said “hey big guy” was someone sent to give you confirmation. You are having to make rough decisions at this juncture. Perhaps you should look at it as if you were being called “big guy” because that is what you are being. Granny is in my prayers.

  • Richard says:

    I sure am missing your post, but most importantly, I hope all is okay with you, granny and the attorney. You’re in my thoughts and prayers and I, as do many others, look forward to your return.

  • rayrayj says:

    Just popping in to say hi and I hope you’re doing well.

  • royster says:

    i am where At-Tony is right now. Got a guy i can’t see for various reasons. It is hard. It makes ME feel small to be so petty. i also was out of the loop for months recently caring for someone else. Caretaking is some of the hardest business in the world. i feel for both of you. It can work out. All life is a cycle. And your hearts are big enough to keep from sweating the small stuff.

  • Frank says:

    Miss your posts. Hope all is well.

  • Suave says:

    Yup, I hear ya. According to surveys I’m bigger than 98% men. And I’m 5’9″…

  • Mark says:

    Thinking of you. Hope all is well. Stay strong.

  • FortWorthGuy says:

    Just wanted to touch base…your fans miss you but understand.

  • David says:

    Hi Tony,

    I’ve been checking in. My thoughts are with you.

    God bless,

  • David says:

    Tony, Thanksgiving Eve. I hope things are good with you. Thoughts are with you. God bless – David.

  • royster says:

    does anyone know what this “Final 1″ thing that showed up today on my puter meant? it just started playing, i didn’t hit a link or anything…it was beautiful but somehow kinda valedictory….thanks if you know post here or e-me “kensboy7@gmail.com”

  • Thanks for posting this, lifted my day.

  • Thanks for posting this, lifted my day.

  • I will recommend not to hold back until you get enough amount of cash to order different goods! You should get the personal loans or just financial loan and feel comfortable

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