1 Memory About Jonathan Richard Cring

For Angel, it was her wedding

I asked the sons, daughters-in-law, and grandkids if they had any specific memories or stories about Jonathan they wanted to share on his blog.  Angel responded with this remembrance:


In December 2009, I boarded a three-leg flight with my fiancé, Justin, to travel all the way from China to meet his family for the first time in Nashville–to get married there.

I knew little about Jon back then other than a few warm email exchanges. I brought my wedding dress and high heels—not sure how the wedding would look like, since Jon was planning most of it for us. 

The week of the rehearsing and planning was so much fun. Jon would call meetings with us to discuss the ceremony process, asking me for my preference and input on every detail. He found a beautiful chapel with Christmas decorations for our ceremony, picked the songs and arranged all Justin’s brothers to participate in the process.

The reception was hosted in his beautiful home on Bayshore Drive, with family and close friends. The chef was sweet and nice, the food was delicious. The cake was white with rosy decorations on it.

Jon even arranged the honeymoon suite, and later a road trip for us to visit Boston. 

“My dear, is there anything you would like to have for your special day?” he asked me, a couple days before our wedding, after we discussed everything in detail. His tone was warm and sweet, just like a father to me, making sure it will be my perfect day.

I said, “I want those cola cans at the back of the car that drag on the ground, like I watched in Hollywood movies.”

He laughed and said: “We will take care of that for you!” Just like that—it was done.

My wedding took place on December 21st, 2009. It was one of the most dreamy, sweet evening in my life.

After he passed away, my husband and I read through Jonathots, only to find out that in 2009, he was going through housing crash after the 2008 financial crisis. His property went down in value by over 50%. He was planning on selling the property for some profit as his next project—only to realize that he can now barely afford his mortgage.

It happened before our wedding and he never mentioned a word. None of us felt a drop of anxiety, stress. Joy was all that he gave me during my visit, and for my wedding. 

I think this might be the biggest lesson I learned from this one-of-a-kind man. He refused to be defined by his circumstance—absolutely determined to treat the world and everyone around him with good cheer. And in my twelve years of encounters with him, countless moments like this one defined him for me.


Angel is an entrepreneur and recently began a management position with Amazon. She lives in Shanghai with Justin and their two sons, Wyeth and Noel.

Things I Learned from R. B. (September 27th, 2020)

Jonathots Daily Blog

(4537)

Epilogue

R. B. was buried in Gallatin, Tennessee.

He knew no one there.

After a couple of weeks, I decided to visit his gravesite.

Johnny, his brother, had promised to take money out of R. B.’s remaining funds to buy a headstone for his brother’s final resting place.

He didn’t. There was nothing permanent on R. B.’s plot—just a simple brass marker and weeds.

My stomach curdled. This was not right.

It was not my responsibility, but it was a needful soul moving.

I quickly abandoned any thought of chasing down Johnny, and instead, enlisted my daughter-in-law, Angy, to head the project of raising money for the stone.

We put a design together, and it turned out beautifully—even better than we could have hoped.

Truly, it was rather magnificent, honoring his best song.

The words were engraved above his name:

God’s Love Is Reaching Out to You

Published in: on September 28, 2020 at 2:24 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , ,

1 Thing You Need to Do to Be Alive … September 22nd, 2020

Jonathots Daily Blog

(4531)

Respond when someone knocks you on the head and says: “Are you there?”

Trust me–it’s true.

After nearly eliminating my life by accidentally taking too much insulin, those are the words I heard.

Are you there?

I wasn’t. But I was not gone.

So I responded affirmatively.

Death visits our lives more frequently than it should.

Don’t leave a welcome mat.

Published in: on September 22, 2020 at 1:53 am  Comments (1)  
Tags: , , ,

Things I Learned from R. B. … August 16th, 2020

Jonathots Daily Blog

(4496)

Episode 28

It seems that driving on the wrong side of the road is illegal, even in Hendersonville, Tennessee.

Sitting at home on a quiet Sunday afternoon, I received a phone call from the local police. I was informed that R. B. was in their custody and that he had given them my phone number—and headquarters was wondering if I would meet the officers down in front of the shopping center near the middle of town.

I wanted to ask questions, but my instinct was that this would be met with resistance—especially since the lady calling would probably not know the specifics anyway.

So I drove down to the parking lot. As I cruised along, I saw R. B. sitting on a bench in front of Jersey Mike’s Subs, with a constable on either side. When he saw me, he waved and cheered.  I parked, got out of my car, walked up and R. B. started blabbering out a story.  When it became obvious that he was not making sense, the kind officers interrupted.

The police had been notified that a red car was driving down the wrong side of the street at about fifteen miles per hour, scattering traffic.

When they arrived on the scene, R. B. had already traveled almost a mile-and-a-half down the main thoroughfare. Yet the officers were able to corral his car and he finally came to a stop, bumping into a fire hydrant.

When they saw him and did a preliminary interview, they found that he was not malicious—nor a drug lord.

He gave them my telephone number and address, so they decided to transfer him into my care. As I gazed at him sitting on the bench, he was so thin that he looked like a marionette between the two puppeteers.

I must tell you—my first instinct was to run. I don’t know what kept me there. Maybe it was propriety. Perhaps I was afraid to object in front of the lawmen.

I agreed.

Somehow, I was able to gather him together, get him into my car, and drove the two-and-a-half miles to my house. He was so exhausted from the experience that he lay down on my upstairs couch and fell fast asleep.

This was the day I had known was coming. Barring an all-out Holy Ghost miracle, R. B. was going to get sicker and sicker.

I knew I couldn’t take him back home. He would just try to drive again—but this time, somebody might get hurt. I made a couple of phone calls to agencies and was blessed by assistance from some angels of mercy, who quickly and efficiently located a hospice for R. B., so he could be under constant care. I was astounded at the mercy extended. How wonderful to live in a country that provides such fail-safes.

When R. B. woke up, I explained that I was going to take him someplace—that he wouldn’t have to worry about cooking, cleaning up, or complaints from the family living below him.

He seemed to be fine with it and settled in. Then it was time for me to leave. It dawned on him that I was departing without him. He was so angry. He swore at me, and with weak and feeble arms, he took a swing—trying to strike me. He was unable to complete his blows, but tears streamed down his face as he gritted his teeth, feeling betrayed.

Maybe he was.

They sedated him. After fifteen minutes, I was able to leave, telling them to let R. B. know that I would return tomorrow.

I went home, realizing it was time to involve his family from Rhode Island—whether they wished to be disturbed or not.

 

3 Things … April 16th, 2020

Jonathots Daily Blog

(4376)

That Make Earth Like Heaven

 

1. Not wasting time worrying about dying.

 

2. Not sitting around trying to decide who is really bad.

 

3. Stop preaching God—just enjoy His sense of humor.

Sit Down Comedy …March 1st, 2019

Jonathots Daily Blog

(3971)


I do not want to expel my innermost feelings, like some sort of nattering ninny in a room which is progressively disinterested. After all, in our society, we encourage one another to be honest, when what we really mean is honestly lie.

How are you?

Fine.

How’s the family?

Busy.

Got any plans brewin’?

Oh, just the usual.

Have you had any deep emotional or spiritual experiences which have transformed you into a new creature in your journey on Planet Earth?

What??

With this in mind, I have decided to candidly present to you my feelings about dying—that moment when I will leave this Earth, or at least contribute my dust to its topsoil.

I want people to be devastated.

I want slobbering sobs.

I want people wondering whether they can go on without me.

I want my demise to be a topic of conversation beyond a single news cycle.

I want people to remember things that are probably fictitious, but still cast me in a great light.

I want people to note the vacancy left behind by me checking out of the room.

I want loved ones to keep loving me with the same intensity they did when I was alive—except having it enhanced by the realization that I am no longer among the tax-payers.

I want to be valued.

This is probably why I do noble deeds—or at least attempt to. Of course, there is an altruistic part of me that really does give a damn and wants to help people, but I also want to be remembered as someone who lended a helping hand.

I’m not one of those Bible-thumping sorts who believe “this world is not my home” and “I’m just passing through.”

I want an empty chair at the table, so people will remember I once filled it—often gluttonous.

I want to be treasured, and if that means my loved ones lose a few hours of sleep, shed some tears and shake their heads, speaking of how unfair it was for me to be taken, then so be it.

Of course, I also realize that much of this is highly unlikely. With the several thousand people I may know, and the several hundred who have personal contact with me, and the few dozen who share intimate details, I will be very fortunate if there is one.

Yes, if there’s just one person who gets to the funeral luncheon and can’t eat because I’m not there.

If there’s just one who sits around with other people, refraining from discussing how good the honey baked ham truly is, it will be sufficient.

If there’s just one who sits in a dark room and conjures memories that are so rich and full that it seems my presence hangs in the air, it will be enough.

Because that one person could remind the others, and then the others can be stirred to good thoughts.

I know it’s silly. I don’t care.

I don’t want to be part of a genealogy. I don’t want to slip through the cracks of a gravestone.

I want one blessed, holy, sweet person to wonder what he or she is going to do since I have vacated the space.

Just one.

Donate Button

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this inspirational opportunity


Subscribe to Jonathan’s Weekly Podcast

 

Catchy (Sitting 62) Meeting II, Three and 4…August 19th, 2018

Jonathots Daily Blog

(3769)

“I usually don’t meet with white people.”

Terrance Eldridge.

Carlin paused, considering the statement. “Well, I usually don’t meet with a racist,” he replied.

Terrance stiffened. “I’m not a racist. I wasn’t casting an aspersion on the white race. I was merely saying that usually white people don’t want to hear what I have to say.”

Carlin smiled. “Maybe if they knew you weren’t going to be reluctant to see them they might be more receptive to your words.”

Terrance leaned back in his chair, reached over and took a sip of coffee. “You see, you feel comfortable being self-righteous, my friend. That’s because you’re white. If I take a dignified position, I’m uppity. Or radical. You may not be aware, Mr. Canaby, but America works on the ‘Hue-y’ decimal system. ‘What is your color? Then we’ll place you on the appropriate shelf.'”

Carlin just shook his head. “There’s nothing new here, Mr. Eldridge. This is the same drivel that’s been shared through Malcolm X, Farrakhan and any number of urban rappers who rail against the system and present themselves as victims.”

“Not victims,” said Terrance. “Just unable to join in the game without being proclaimed a loser before it even begins.”

Carlin sighed deeply. “Well, I’m not here to argue with you. Let me just sit here as the oppressive white person in the room and listen to you rattle on for half an hour, and then deliver my report. But I’ll tell you right now–somebody’s made a mistake in choosing you for anything. You are an agitator. Yes, an agitator. You come along just to stir people up, without offering any solution. And I, as a white man, don’t have any problem telling you that you’re sand blowing in the wind.”

Terrance eyeballed him. Then he spoke slowly. “I think I like you, Canaby. I think you’re stupid. I think you have no grasp of the problem. But you speak your ignorance eloquently.”

Carlin lifted his hands in the air and replied, “Then we agree. We’re both talking asses.”

“Perhaps we should start over,” reasoned Terrance Eldridge.

For the next half hour, the black educator did his best to present a coherent message to his pale brother. Basically it was pretty simple. As long as white people were deciding what black people were, black people would be unable to make decisions for themselves. Even if the decisions made by white people were favorable–“they’re great athletes” or “no one is as strong as they are”–black people were still victims of slavery.

They are really African-Americans, Terrance pointed out.  They deserved to be honored with their history one month a year. But even when such concessions are made, they are still chosen by a white committee.

Terrance explained that the black man achieved nothing by being angry at white America or at the nation in general. This just played into the hands of false patriots, who wanted to believe that equality had already been achieved, and what the black race was looking for was entitlement.

Terrance had two visions.

One was educational–huge weekend rallies held in big cities, inviting famous athletes and musicians to come and share, and to punctuate the fact that the black race, although brought to the United States under evil pretense, still owns their portion of the American dream.

The second piece involved taking the finest actors in Hollywood and making five movies–entertaining but also inspirational–about the journey of the black race in America. Each movie would take a different era, beginning with Movie One: 1750; Movie Two: 1850; Movie Three: 1950; Movie Four: 1960, Movie Five: Today.

Using the foundation of the Alex Haley series, Roots, there would be storylines connecting all the eras, to show what progress had been made and what progress still needed to be pursued. The movies would be entitled “AmeriKin” in honor of Terrance’s book.

So with the combination of the rallies and the release of the films, a new awakening could come into the black community, to seek common ground with all races in the country, to claim the space reserved and preserved solely for them.

The meeting ended up lasting an hour. Carlin listened carefully. Even though Eldridge was guilty of both erroneous opinions and overly zealous projections, Carlin could see where there would be value in having a movement among black Americans to claim their true heritage.

Terrance closed his discourse by saying, “I don’t know why you’re here, Mr. Canaby. I don’t know what this is all about. I don’t know whether you’re a spy or just a nice guy. I don’t know whether curiosity brought you here or if I’m going to walk out in the hall to say good-bye and get blown away by an assassin. So let me just say this–I will find a way to do all the things I’ve mentioned here. I will not judge whether these things will be successful until they’re accomplished. And if I’m the only black boy in America who claims his true kinship in this country, you will have one of us to deal with.”

Carlin smiled. He suddenly felt close to the dreamer. They stood to their feet. Carlin gave Terrance a hug. Terrance recoiled a bit, but reciprocated.

Carlin walked out the door, comically mentioning that there was no assassin–because they couldn’t find one on a Thursday afternoon. He headed for his car.

He had done what he was told. He had completed his mission.

What in the hell did it all mean?

*******

Jasper was freaked out.

He thought he was supposed to meet up with a comedian named Mickey Kohlberg at a comedy club. Jasper was used to comedy clubs. They were pleasant holes-in-the-wall in the middle of Downtown Somewhere.

But Jasper became unnerved when the corporate jet flew him to Tel Aviv in Israel.

Jasper did not like the Holy Land. First of all, it wasn’t very holy–more bloodshed had been perpetrated there than any place in the world. And honestly, Jasper never found it to exactly be land. There was so much contention, so much disagreement, over who owned the little strip of property, that it was difficult to believe that anybody would ever be able to put up permanent housing.

Landing in Tel Aviv, Jasper was handed an envelope by a fellow dressed in black, with no neck. He sat on the tarmac and opened it. It read: “You will be taken by car near Jerusalem, where you will meet up with Mickey Kohlberg at a location called the Sinai Club.”

That was it.

Jasper had a million questions–but the only person to ask was his driver, who only spoke Hebrew. Or was it Farsi? Jasper could not distinguish.

He decided to take a nap on the ride, and the next thing he knew he was sitting in front of a building made of cement blocks–unfinished, unpainted, resembling more a bomb shelter than a commercial venture.

Jasper climbed out of the car and a very small man with wire-frame glasses, long, black curly hair and a beard came walking up, and introduced himself as Mickey Kohlberg.

For a brief moment, Jasper was mentally and physically unable to function. He wordlessly followed Mickey inside.

He couldn’t fathom being where he was. He thought he was heading to a comedy club. What was sitting in front of him was a makeshift structure without air conditioning–without electricity–filled with small round tables and rickety wooden chairs.

Because Jasper felt so overwhelmed, he just allowed Mickey to do the talking.

“This is what we do. You may not know it, but you’re sitting on the border of a disputed territory. You go fifteen feet in one direction and you’re in Israel. Fifteen feet the other direction, you’re still in Israel–but not according to the Palestinians. They believe it’s their land. It’s a little bit hard to define who ‘they’ might be–coming from Bedouin backgrounds, they don’t exactly have a formal government or leader. They have a claim. They believe the land is theirs.”

“Every night I open up this club, put some candles on the tables, and I invite people from Israel and from Palestine to come to this structure and sit down together…and laugh. This club has been blown up five times. That’s why we keep building it in cement blocks. Makes it much easier to reconstruct.”

Mickey smiled a bit sadly. “So you may ask, how do I bring these people together? I find the only thing they really share in common is Jesus of Nazareth. He was once a prophet to the Jews and also one to the Muslims. I don’t sit here and share his teachings, but I take his teachings, his thoughts, and even parts of his life, and I turn them into comedy routines. Because I’m not making fun of Jew or Muslim, they are completely willing to laugh at Christian.”

“Now don’t misunderstand me. I am very respectful. But I do poke fun. Especially when I talk about how Americans have turned their religion into guns and bombs instead of compassion.”

Jasper held up a hand to stop Mickey. “I don’t understand,” he said. “What do you expect to achieve?”

Mickey sat for a long moment before answering.

“I believe,” he mouthed slowly, “that if we can show, even for a moment, that Palestinians and Israelis can agree on a common laugh, we might gain the world’s attention and get comics, musicians or artists from all over the world to come and sit in our little stone building and encourage the possibility of communication.”

Jasper sat very still. He realized that such an effort would require much money, a whole lot of motivation and twisting some arms.

“And what is the end game?” Jasper inserted.

“The end game?” repeated Mickey, uncertain of the meaning.

“Yes,” said Jasper. “Where does this take us? What is the next step afterwards? Where are we going?”

“I don’t know,” said Mickey. “Honestly, I just come here in the afternoons with a bunch of friends–early enough to rebuild the stones if necessary, and grateful if we don’t have to.”

“You’re a dead man walking,” observed Jasper pointedly.

Mickey welled up with tears. “There are worse ways to go,” he said. “That’s why I call is ‘Dying Laughing.'”

Jasper felt horrible for his nasty comment.

He told Mickey he would go and report what he had found and see what the people wanted to do about it. Jasper explained that he didn’t even understand why he was there.

“Just one more question,” posed Jasper. “Why do you call it the Sinai Club?”

“Mount Sinai was the last time that God spoke to my people,” Mickey answered. “I just think it’s time again.”

Mickey stood to his feet and walked out of the building, terminating the interview.

Jasper picked up a handful of the sandy floor of the club and tossed it across the room. He strolled out of the concrete bunker, hopped into the car and headed back to the Tel Aviv airport. The jet flew him to Washington, D.C., arriving ten hours later.

Coming down the steps of the jet, he found himself face-to-face with Jo-Jay, who was getting ready to board.

“Where you been?” she asked.

“Hell,” replied Jasper. “At least, the closest place to hell there is on Earth.”

He walked across the tarmac to the hangar and disappeared.

Jo-Jay shook her head and headed into the jet, waiting for them to refuel. She was on her way to Phoenix, Arizona. There she was scheduled to meet up with the young man named Careless.

She had done a lot of reading. She had a lot of stats and facts–the kind of useless information that makes interviewers feel informed, but actually does little to acquaint them with the subject.

Careless had selected his name based on the idea that if rich people were so rich that they weren’t concerned about money anymore, then they should start acting like they cared less and find ways to care more.

He was an igniter.

He felt it was his job to connect people of great finance with people who had Earth-changing ideas. He called it “the MacDonald project”–after Old MacDonald who had the farm.

In this scenario, the “farms” were worthy projects, organizations, research or efforts to quickly and efficiently impact the human race.

He envisioned a situation where he would be the conduit between those who had money and those who could use money efficiently to heal, protect, save and inspire.

He called it the E.I.O. Project.

Eeliminate

Iilluminate

Oobliterate

He was looking for people to take one of the “MacDonald farms,” a stash of cash, and in a 365-day period, either eliminate an evil or a disease, illuminate a nation or a race of people, or obliterate an injustice that exists on the planet.

Each one of these “farms” would be given fifty million dollars and at the end of a year, would be asked to account for how they used it and what effect they felt their project had achieved. There would also be a private investigating committee, which would likewise review and summarize.

If one of the “farms” was successful, the following year they would be given a hundred million dollars. If they were not, they would be replaced by a new “farm.”

Many people had been critical of Careless, contending that one year was insufficient to evaluate any effort. Careless, on the other hand, explained to his billionaire clients that too much time was spent by charities deliberating the best way to do something instead of experimenting with the next way.

It was radical.

Jo-Jay fell in love with him. Not romantically–but she believed she had found a common spirit. Even though Careless was well-versed in the subject matter, there was a simplicity and optimism in him that was infectious. She left her meeting inspired–realizing that the billion dollars he planned to raise to get the project going was chump change to the fifteen potential clients he was pursuing.

It was an interesting possibility.

Jo-Jay departed overjoyed, thinking to herself that the whole world could use such a sensation.

*******

On Thursday, at 1:15 A.M., Matthew checked himself in to the Las Vegas hospital. It had been a rough week.

Leonora had left him. He wasn’t angry at her–she had hung around for several weeks, even though his ability as a lover had diminished to nothing.

His body was taking on the pallor of a dying man.

She tried, but she was just too pink to be gray. She was too young to be around debilitation.

When she left him, he wanted to turn to the bottle, but now he felt too weak to even get drunk.

When he woke up on Wednesday morning and realized that his left leg was not moving, he knew he was in serious trouble. He spent the day crying, thinking, and even for a brief moment, tried a prayer.

But at midnight he realized it was time to call a private ambulance to pick him up and take him to the hospital.

He was only in the examination room for about an hour when the doctor appeared and confirmed the situation.

“You are in the final stages of liver failure. Your other organs are beginning to give up in sympathy. You need a transplant and you need it now. Before you ask me, I will tell you–we’re talking no more than a week. I’ve had your name pushed to the front of the list for donors. We shall have to see.”

The doctor left the room.

Everything was so still that Matthew could hear the buzzing of the flourescent bulbs.

He needed to talk to someone.

Who in the hell should he call?

 

Donate Button

The producers of Jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation for this inspirational opportunity

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: