I posted a few days ago regarding losses – specifically the loss of my daughter, and a good friend’s loss of most of his lower left leg and foot.
Hardly an upbeat read.
However, Life is not just loss. Life also gives us lessons!
Since I heard from my good friend Bob regarding his diabetic amputation surgery, I’ve tried to contact him. We exchanged texts initially a couple of times, and he advise me he would call.
I feared the worst.
So, I took it upon myself to call him. Not to incessantly badger him (thinking he was busy enough) but once a week, just to check-in on him and his condition. And attitude.
And I ended up leaving messages. And this concerned me.
Bob returned yesterday’s message last night. I needn’t have been concerned.
Bob – (my former PI and gun store boss) was in great spirits! YES, he did lose his left foot and about 12″ of lower leg. And yes, he has a long, painful recovery and rehab ahead.
But he was not only doing physically well – he was doing well emotionally and spiritually, too!
Now, Bob would be the first to tell you he is not a religious guy. And not the most spiritual. But he almost lost his life to sepsis, and took his survival to mean he is supposed to remain here a while longer.
And not wallow in his losses.
He is fortunate to have the great support of his wife and two daughters. And his brother. And he reminded of previous losses and near-death experiences he has suffered.
AND HE SEES THIS AS YET ANOTHER CHANCE TO REDEEM HIMSELF!
Or, in the words of his parents (both deceased), “Put on your big boy panties and get on with it!”
And his is and has.
And, he reminded me (indirectly) that I have similar lessons. I, too, have had losses, and near-death experiences. And I have wallowed. Or more specifically whined.
I might lose some benefits. So what? Big boy panties are available for the wearing.
Bob has set an example for me to try and emulate.
From the time we are very small, we believe Life is about acquiring things. Food, warmth, love…stuff. It’s when we are a little older we realize that Life, too, is about loss.
And, most of us don’t understand or like that. In fact, most of us hate it!
And, it becomes a matter of degree. That toy that broke (with which we didn’t play, anyway), gives way to the lost book. The dog that died. The high school girlfriend who moved away.
And we choose to suffer for our loss.
But, there is a larger picture, if we choose to see it.
If we didn’t lose ‘it’, we wouldn’t really appreciate it.
My dear friend Bob (of the many Bobs I know) texted me yesterday, to advise me that on Friday he had his left foot and about six inches of his left leg amputated. He’s been diabetic for many years, and had already lost a toe. Even though I lost the use of my right hip when I was 12, I still grieved for him. I’m certain he has a long and arduous road ahead involving prosetheses, crutches, and much pain.
And grief over the loss of his foot.
Most of us don’t even think of our feet or legs, unless they are giving us difficulty. A blister, a bunion, a corn. Calluses. For me, calluses are difficult, because grinding them off is problematic with a fused hip. And, I too, am diabetic.
I still am fortunate enough to still have all my extremities, though. You can bet my nightly cursory examination of said feet was more than cursory last night, though!
I was wrong. And I survive here to do the suffering.
I love you and miss you, Molly. And sometimes grieve over you.
But, I also appreciate the time I had to know and love you. I believe so much more than if we had continued in our parallel life paths. Because of the yin and yang.
And I’ve my memories to keep.
Go and hug and kiss those you love, and tell them. Because you never know.
And, if you are diabetic, check your feet often.
Nope, not mine! :-)
My roommate, J, is having a medical procedure done today. Early. While not life-threatening or surgery, she has need of someone to accompany her. I am happy to do it, as she was there for me when I had my bouts with lymphoma and carcinoma, as well as many other times and ways.
I hope to blog something of a less personal nature later. Or not.
Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers.
THIS JUST IN – Subject is resting comfortably. Procedure seems to have been successful!
When I started this blog, it was more just an outlet – it was something to do. Being on medical disability for lymphoma, compounded by arthritis, a fused hip, and diabetes, I told myself I would NOT use the blog as therapy.
Even though, on more than one occasion, I have! :-)
But one advantage of this window on the world is it can be indeed a window. And can be observed both directions.
Recently, I posted about Kilted To Kick Cancer. Cancer charities are especially personal to me, being a lymphoma survivor, and all. When I was diagnosed, and required chemotherapy, I was actively employed and had quality health insurance.
But, it wasn’t enough to cover the high cost of the chemo.
Enter a charity – who, upon my application, covered the bulk of the cost not absorbed by my insurance.
For this, and for many things, I should be grateful.
But, I get into myself, ongoing chronic pain issues, inability to work, low income, old bad car w/o A/C, yatta, yatta, yatta…
Then I get a view into the window!
I’m privileged to have many people follow me on this blog. I’ve no idea why they do. And while some are fellow travelers of the libertarian/conservative/gun totin’ kind, there are others.
Talk about an attitude adjustment! To see what this beautiful woman and her family are going through…
And so many others.
Or rather MY libertarian conundrum!
I’m generally a libertarian (small L), politically and philosophically. Want to MAKE me do something as a function of government? I don’t think so. (conscript me, tax me w/o representation, ad infinitum). Want to believe something different than me? Sure – have at it! Believe in Krishna or The Flying Spaghetti Monster, or nothing. I don’t care.
Just don’t knock on my door demanding I believe as you, with or without the force of government behind you!
I respect your right to think and act and believe differently, as long as you leave me to do the same. Period.
Now comes the conundrum –
I tend to be isolationist. If one tribe or political party in far off Boogaboogastan wants to kill another tribe or political party, it’s no skin off my nose. As long as it doesn’t affect me. Or the National interest. (whatever THAT is!)
BUT, what if I had this opinion (and had been alive) during WWII? What if The United States did? Would we all be speaking German or Japanese now? (Those of us who are alive?)
In short, what is in keeping with libertarian principles, but allows us to have our National Security and Sovereignty and be able to look ourselves in the mirror?
Do our National Principles apply only to us? And if not, to whom, and when?
A partial sampling:
|2014.08.31||Iraq||Ramadi||37||38||Thirty-seven Iraqis are reduced to pulp by a Shahid suicide bomber.|
|2014.08.31||Yemen||Shabwa||6||2||Two Shahid suicide bombers take out a half-dozen human beings.|
|2014.08.30||Afghanistan||Jalalabad||6||33||A Shahid suicide bomber disassembles six other people.|
|2014.08.30||Nigeria||Borno||14||215||Boko Haram militants spray machine-gun fire into villages while yelling praises to Allah. At least fourteen are killed.|
|2014.08.28||Thailand||Pattani||1||2||Muslim terrorists murder a teacher with a bomb.|
Should we have gone into Iraq initially? I won’t debate that, because the fact is we did. And we then left.
hundreds thousands are paying for our having done so.
A libertarian tenet is WE ARE NOT THE WORLD’S POLICEMAN. We cannot afford to be, and we are not going to make everyone believe as we do.
It would be great if we could just leave others alone to their own Destiny. Or Hell. Pick one.
Then look in the mirror the next morning.
My good friend Crystal is participating in a public art tribute to those (like herself) who suffer from chronic health conditions, and those who are survivors of conditions such as cancer (like Guffaw).
Being a big believer in voluntarism, I support her in her efforts to get the message across that folks who suffer are not victims, but are simply trying to be understood and accepted.
She is 49% funded in her efforts, and supporters get original goodies when they contribute! She has 10 more days left in this effort.
(at the link below – I HAD it embedded, then it went away! DRAT!)
50% of Americans have a chronic illness that they don’t talk about. As a society, we’re uncomfortable with less-than-perfect health. When you fund this public art installation, you acknowledge the elephant in the room and celebrate the resilient people who surround you and their caretakers, mentors and sponsors. – Crystal Daigle
(I get nothing from her, save her friendship. I much prefer this approach on a more personal level than large bureaucracies or government funding. Please view her message even if you cannot participate. Thank you.- Guffaw)
or say a prayer, if that’s what you do.
Mary C. – Dave-the-mechanic’s mother passed away Father’s Day, after a short illness. She was 88, having had her birthday that Saturday. Her memorial is today.
Mary was longtime volunteer at Desert Samaritan Hospital, serving for 24 years in many different offices and was Volunteer of the Year for the State of Arizona in 1983. She was an active member of King of Glory Lutheran Church, singing in the choir for 35 years and serving as choir librarian for 20 years.
Mary is survived by her husband of 62 years, Al; her children Mick, Dave, Ruth, Karen; 8 grandchildren and 9 great-grandchildren.
To have been the center of such a great family, and been a giver of such service…
She will be missed.
My thanks to all of you who commented, wrote or at least stopped for a moment in your day to think of Dave and his family. – Guffaw
Every day my morning ritual includes signing onto the Internet, checking my email, the news (such as I can stomach) and doing my blog (such as it is).
Then, usually after I read the daily almanac, I start perusing my blogfriends (TM), many of whom are listed as ‘The Usual Suspects’ on the blog.
But, more and more I’m distressed. In the 3 1/2 or so years I’ve been reading blogs, many have dropped off the radar. Some due to unfortunate circumstances (death, illness, law-enforcement-interaction), others just because they lost the interest or material to continue blogging. To wit:
Whose Paranoid, Eternity Road, TJIC, Hedgeroot, Misanthropic, Tall Tree-Short Rope, Tango Juliet, North, A Girl And Her Gun, To which I replied, Tranquility Lost…
And one or two more who went ‘dark’ or are now password protected.
(I’m certain I’ve missed a couple of others. Apologies.)
The most recent is Kevin Baker’s The Smallest Minority. Due to family illness and business concerns, he’s not stopping blogging entirely, but is cutting back.
And I’m sad. He and the others are missed.
PS – Does anyone know CoolChange’s (Tranquility Lost) status? Last I knew he was quite ill and hasn’t responded to my email.
I’ve been whining of late, in this venue, regarding my lack of funds, a decent transportation vehicle, lack of guns, health ISSUES, in other words, me, me, ME!
How shallow and self-centered of me. Seriously.
I’ve had two brothers. One, a step-brother, lives a short distance away, was pre-eminent in his field (is now retired), and is a truly fine human being. But, we have no real relationship.
Why, you ask?
Because he is 12 years older than I and we have absolutely nothing in common, except we lived in the same house for a year or so, after my Dad remarried. He, in college, me, in the third grade.
You see the problem?
The other brother remains unnamed. Why? Well, I only found out about him a couple of years ago. You see, I am a twin, and my brother didn’t survive. And my parents never told me about him.
Fast-forward to this past weekend. I’m fumbling around here, trying to get computers to work and get on-line long enough to post on this blog, with limited success.
And I didn’t get to read many other blogs, as I usually do, daily.
I missed word from Brigid that her brother ‘Big Bro’ had passed away, after his long battle with cancer. He was a U.S. Navy veteran, a motorcyclist, and a fine man. How do I know this? He’s her brother, how could he not be?
Please say a prayer for her and her family, if that’s what you do.
And take time to remember brothers everywhere – named and unnamed.