(Truly, I cannot believe it’s been Twenty Years!)
There are things that are good to remember; things bad to remember; and things important to remember.
The crummy part of all this is sometimes my brain is not too good at discerning which is which, or what goes with what.
My character (being flawed and neurotic as it is) has a tendency to default to the bad.
A shrink, I’m certain, would say it’s all about low self esteem, negative messages from childhood, etc. The reasons don’t matter.
Twenty years ago, today was the accident in which our daughter Molly was killed.
I was driving – this makes me ultimately responsible, as I was The Dad. The Protector. The fact the other driver ran the red light while speeding is of no consequence.
I carry a sidearm. I’ve done so for 41 years. Long before I even met Molly’s mother, I chose to do whatever I could to protect myself and my family and friends. It’s a roll I haven’t taken lightly.
And I took my assignment as Protector even more seriously when I became a father. It’s what father’s are supposed to do!
We were making a left turn from 44th Street, East onto Thomas Road. A little after 1 PM. Going to Monkey Wards after an earlier visit to Famous Footwear @ 20th St. and Camelback. Saturday’s with 12 year old daughters meant shopping! The signal didn’t have a left turn arrow back then. It was just like in the movies – in the midst of completing the turn, I sensed something was wrong. Based on the estimated speed of the other car, we were pushed across the intersection in about one-tenth of a second.
And many lives changed forever.
I’ve no memory regarding what happened next. Nothing to recall on the witness stand months later. I was told I regained consciousness enough to give my estranged wife’s phone number to the ambulance guy, when I was asked if there was anyone he could call.
I had early drugged hospital memories of being on board a ship(!) Not enough consciousness to ask why I was on a ship. Turned out, with one (now re-inflated) collapsed lung and the other half filled with fluid, County Hospital had me on a pneumatic bed which kept hissing and rolling, to keep fluids from settling in my damaged lungs. Ribs pushed into a lung. Broken collar bone. Broken arm. Tube up the nose, and IV morphine/ativan drip.
My sister, wife and friends were there, being supportive and keeping loving watch as much as they could. Not wanting to answer the obvious question: Where was Molly?
In my few awake moments, I remember asking about the funeral, desperately wanting to be well enough to attend.
My wife was told Sunday morning there had not been any brain activity, and had the courage to disconnect life support. Had our roles been reversed, I don’t think I would have had the bravery. I am forever grateful to her for this. A number of folks benefited from her decision.
The funeral was that following Tuesday. I was largely unconscious in ICU at County for another two weeks.
Ultimately, after being moved to Good Sam, being given Tylenol in lieu of the morphine/ativan drip (!) and weeks in the regular hospital and rehab, I was able to walk and breathe again.
I was deeply depressed and pretty much just counting the days.
Until I could pay my respects.
That came weeks later.
I’ll say it again, as long as I take breath – Tell your family and friends you love them, right now!
Because you may never get another chance.
AND be an organ donor.
I try to remember the good times. The IMPORTANT ONES. It’s what has kept me alive for the past twenty years.
My thanks to all of you, family and friends, for holding me up, until I could stand on my own.
(Commentary has been turned off – I know how you all feel. Thanks, again.)
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.
As I’m approaching another year as a blogger (aka ersatz writer, copy thief, waster-of-time) I’m looking at my blog roll (The Usual Suspects), and trying to decide who to keep, who to add, ad infinitum – ad nauseum. Some folks are simply no longer blogging.
Also, is anyone missing? What about those blogfriends™ who list Guffaw in AZ in their blogrolls, but I don’t list them in mine?
Is anything missing? Serious, thoughtful commentary? Intellect? Blazing retorts? Nudes? (Remember Rule 5!)
What would YOU like to see? More politics, stories of governmental abuses, gun stuff, libertarian stuff, investigation/security stories? (Remembering the final decision is up to me, regardless). :-)
PLEASE let me know, especially if you have been kind enough to list me, but I’ve neglected listing you…
I’m in whine mode.
(I know I said at the outset that I wouldn’t use this weblog for therapy, but, hell, it’s my blog, so here goes…)
Why? Not only do I not have any funds to get neat presents for friends and family, but, I’ve no one with whom to share the non-materialistic parts of the holidays. One terrific couple I know gifted me with a cool assortment of cheeses and beers (including Lindeman’s raspberry ale!), and all I could give them in response was a small bag of garlic goldfish.
Hardly an even trade.
I love my sister and her kids, and her kid’s kids dearly, but going to a family celebration alone with certain people in absentia is always painful.
Now it’s the downhill slide from the New Year, to Molly’s birthday, to the anniversary of the accident, in March.
We’re told the best way to get out of this kind of funk is to create a gratitude list. So here goes…
I’ve a roof over my head, and a working car. Thanks to my friends! I’m on Medicare. I’ve disability benefits, which, while in no way am I rich, I can buy food, gas, and pay rent. I’ve a select group of friends, both locally and on the Internet, who help out whenever they can. Many of these friends have gone above and beyond – for years – when I am unable to give back in kind.
This must mean something.
I’m disabling comments for this post. Because, in lieu of giving me an Internet “there-there”, or a virtual hug (or a kick in the pants), please stop for a moment and create your own gratitude list.
Essentially, it describes a kind of malaise.
Why blog anymore?
Between Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook*, blogging is being re-defined as the ‘buggy whip’ of social media. Who blogs, anymore? I mean really…
For me, it returns me to why I began blogging in the first place, and what I expected to get out of it.
I began blogging because it gave me something
constructive with which to waste my time. A personal daily discipline. And the ability to share my politics, philosophy and history with family and friends. I had no expectations then, and certainly don’t now. And have been met with a wonderful community of friends I didn’t know I had until I began blogging! Some of whom have become friends and confidants off the Internet. In the real world.
Many folks have voluntarily or involuntarily removed themselves from the blogosphere since I began. And that saddens me. It means time is passing, and people have removed themselves from our lives. That is their choice. Or Fate’s.
Guffaw, your humble blogger, will continue blogging. At least for the time being.
Weather permitting. :-) (“They’ll be a rain dance, Friday night. Weather permitting.” – George Carlin, The Indian Sergeant) See, there’s always guffaw in there, somewhere. :-)
*Facebook – Guffaw is on FB, in his real name. But, the more I blog, the less I am there. Guess I’m doing this backwards(?)
It’s November 24, GUFFAW’S Birthday! I’m 62 !
AND, it’s time for a tonsorial update.
Remember, June 26, 2014, the post entitled Tonsorial Splendor?
Well, here’s an update:
Or Gabby Hayes*…
(*Children, ask your parents, or use that Internets thing!)
There was a ‘news’ story a few weeks ago, that the boy who chewed a Pop Tart into the shape of a pistol for play (we assume it was for play – can one rob the lunch lady with an L-shaped piece of pastry?) would still be expelled, due to his past acts weighing on his egregious behavior. I think he was 8 years old.
Now Alphecca brings us the other end of the spectrum:
The Broken Bow School Board voted Monday night to allow seniors to pose with guns in their senior portraits.
After a student requested to take a senior picture with a gun last year and was denied, the school began looking into the option as Broken Bow is a rural town with a lot of hunting and gaming availability.
“We have the 1 Box Shooting Club, a great trap range and sporting clays range,” said Ken Myers, the Broken Bow School Board President. “A lot of youth are interested in that so that brings up firearms, I guess, a little bit more to the forefront along with the hunting.”
When I was in high school, guns were neither banned, nor encouraged. I remember a good friend bringing his new hunting rifle in to show the chemistry and physics teachers (both avid hunters). They kept it in their office for safety, as it was too long to fit into my friend’s locker. No one blinked an eye. He was probably 15.
I suspect his locker WAS large enough to hold a box of half-eaten Pop Tarts, though…
Quote of the YEAR!
Yes, more people are killed by cows each year than lawful guns intentionally fired by a non criminal. Even more than sharks (though I’d avoid if swimming in the Pacific wearing your wasabi wet suit).
Yes – Cows.
My dear friend Brigid wins the Internets with this one! And all the more serious (and sometimes less so) appending text.
I’m not big on insulting my readership, however, if you are not reading Brigid regularly (and own a copy (or more) of her Barkley book – see the sidebar) THEN YOU ARE AN IDIOT!
She is thoughtful, and well-versed in the manner of educated prose. And poetry! And turns-of-phrase. (see above).
Who would hurt me significantly if I posted a proper photograph.
Not really. But close!
WordPress software informed me yesterday that I now have 300 (three hundred) followers of Guffaw in AZ!
This means three hundred folks actually pretend to want to read stuff I have written (or have
stolen borrowed). This is a far cry from the initial 10 (#10 being North, the first follower unknown to me from the Internet only) since I began blogging March 6, 2011.
I do recognize some of the number are folks who play Facebook games, ‘friending’ me that I might friend them back. But, it’s been a few years since I was in junior high. Hopefully, they actually read the blog, regardless.
Of course, I am still surprised ANYONE does.
This whole blogging thing continues to be amazing. I’ve had commentary and/or email from folks in the Americas, Europe, Asia, including a woman blogger in Pakistan!
And service personnel everywhere! Thank you and all veterans for your service!
And thank you all for stopping by.