Isaac was listening to Pandora a few nights ago and I heard this song being played. It was right after I started reading Jack Canfield’s book titled The Success Principles.
I’ve heard this song literally hundreds of times – but this time I heard something different, something I’ve never heard before. I heard a song talking about a family living a life of no excuses.
The old man
He’d been to Viet Nam and although he possessed the skills to be a well-paid mechanic, he had PTSD which kept him from holding down a regular job. Instead he worked on old cars at home – making whatever he could fixing cars for the neighbors and selling parts from those he couldn’t fix. The nightmares kept him awake at night so he was always tired. Jack Daniels kept the demons at bay but he always drank too much which made him onry and mean. Sometimes the flashbacks would surface and he’d lash out at those closest to him. But never once does he use the excuse that it’s not his fault. He doesn’t blame the government for his poverty, for being a drunk, for driving away his daughter. She won’t come back home and he knows it’s his fault because he’s an abusive drunk. He may not be a good role-model to most – but look at his life and you’ll realize he lives a life of no excuses.
She does everything she can to help keep the family fed and a roof over their head. She doesn’t bitch and nag about all his problems. She gets out and plants and harvests the garden right alongside him even though her hands are calloused and bleeding. Sometimes the bills don’t get paid and the lights go out but she gets down on her knees and prays. She tells the neighbors how proud she is of her husband for fighting for his country and how good of a man he is. She, like the old man never makes excuses. This is her life and though it’s far from perfect she’s made a choice to make the best of this life and live it as best she can.
He’s been knocked down and never had anything handed to him. He could’ve grown up and been a good for nothing drunk but he didn’t. He talked about how he spent his summers, cutting wood and working for his room and board (something today’s kids know nothing about). Despite his “poor white trash” up-bringing he still managed to make something of himself – he’s been to the Grand Ole Opry, met Johnny Cash, and I’m sure many other accomplishments he didn’t mention in this song. He made no excuses for his life – instead he made something from nothing. He pulled himself up and lived a life of no excuses.