Wednesday, March 25, 2009

You Gotta Get Small...

I have been so in tune with nature lately. It might be just the fact that spring has sprung or that I know there are limited numbers of them left.

Loving the big spectacular images of spring can be breath taking and impossible to ignore.
It takes a little more effort to fully experience the fullness of what is going on. The flowers in this photo bloom in my yard every year. I have never bothered to appreciate them before. To learn their names or pay attention to their life span. You have to get small to see it, smell it, know it.

Yesterday.... I got SMALL!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Life Goes On....

It the grand scheme of things our lifetime is but a millisecond. With a little luck our impact on others can last much longer. (Say 10 milliseconds).

Three years ago, my daughter (step-daughter actually) gave birth to our first grandchild. I was committed to being as good a grandparent as mine had been to me. The impact they had on my life has been passed to my children and now I would have the opportunity to share it with my granddaughter. Thus extending the life of my grandparents.

A funny thing happened over the next three years. My symptoms appeared, I was diagnosed,
and my millisecond became a nanosecond. How can I crush the generations of wisdom that my grandparents had passed to me into such a short time? The answer will inevitably be that I can't.

So I've been trying to think of the one single thing that my grandparents taught me that I must pass on. Something that has been an absolute pearl of wisdom that can only come from the mature understanding that age begets.

I think I have it! It's simplicity is its strength. Whether used literally or metaphorically it is spot on. Every time!

Drum roll please........


Pure genius!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Golf and My Dad

Golf and my Dad are inexorably linked. I have no memories in my life that predate the bond we had as father and son and golf's involvement in that bond. Earl Woods and his son Tiger had nothing on us (except the skill thing). I am certain my Dad could have taken Earl....any course, anytime. Dad was an outstanding striker of the ball and at 77 still has a knack for hitting the ball straight.

He was also a sports writer, career US Navy, and spent 14 years in the front office of two major league baseball teams. He served in Korea AND Viet Nam. He raised four children and completed his college degree at age thirty eight. He is currently completing his memoirs.

To say I was blessed to be his oldest son is a colossal understatement.

Back to golf : He started teaching me the game as soon as diapers were no longer an issue. Though he taught me the nuances of the swing, ball control, and course strategy, he spent as much time on the integrity, honesty, and sportsmanship that makes the game great. Those golf lessons have carried me through life.

Dad phoned me Sunday and said, "the weather is looking good for Tuesday, can you play." I told him that I didn't think I could. "My right arm doesn't always do what I tell it to do. I think my golfing days are over." The statement was met with silence. I had not thought through the impact of the decision. To never play golf again with my father.

Something died in both of us.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Some days I feel like I'm going in the wrong direction!

Thursday, March 12, 2009


My last post was rather grim and I feel like it is necessary to follow it with counterpoint. My life is not all consumed by my illness but there is a dark cloud that hovers in the vicinity. But there are moments of sunshine that tells me things aren't so bad.

A recent ray (of sunshine): We have a faux (fake) fir tree near the entrance to our front door. At Christmas we plug it in and it lights up. I'm into low maintenance decorations and it fits the bill.

Sunday as my son, Scott, was leaving for work he got a little thrill. He then shared the thrill with his mother, who then shared it with me in the form of a shriek. I yelled, "WHAT?" She responded with a louder shriek that I misinterpreted as a "Big Spider Shriek."

It was actually the "Medium-sized Snake Shriek!" I did what any protective husband and father would do..... I ran to my car to get my camera.

Actually, it was the snake's good fortune that I was home because my wife has a history of torturing the poor creatures with wasp spray or long handled shovels. I just let him go into the edge of the woods to go eat mice.

It was fun! We are still making memories and having laughs. Rays of sunshine in the form of a snake. How ironic is that?

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Anticipatory Grief.......

It has been a tough week.

I was a Psych major in college and I tend to see things through those psych-colored glasses. I've been feeling kind of bummed out for weeks and talked to my doctor about it. I feared that I was slipping into depression. After some self analysis, I believe I'm going through a normal grieving pattern. More specifically "Anticipatory Grief."

Anticipatory grief is, "grief that begins before (in anticipation of) the loss, such as the initiation of divorce proceedings or when a loved one is diagnosed with a terminal illness." Only this time the loved one is ME and I'm not just mourning the loss of life but the loss of quality of life.

Grief and mourning is supposed to be healthy and normal. Humans survive the grieving process though there is almost no way to do so without completing all the steps. Denial (been there), Anger (can't seem to find this one yet), Despair (can't shake this one), and finally Acceptance of the loss. I haven't been able to wrap my brain around how to get to accepting the loss. It makes no sense!

I have tried to keep this blog upbeat but honest. Today it was hard to be both.....Sorry!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Spring...A Time of Renewal?

Bah Humbug!
I took a walk a couple of days ago and was startled to see the early signs of spring popping up in February. It gave me a sense of hope and renewal.

When I was about 8 years old I joined the FSA (Future Salesmen of America) by responding to an ad inside one of my many DC Comics.
They sent me a box of flower and vegetable seed packets and a script of how to sell them door to door. I was a pretty good salesman and quickly expanded the script to incorporate personal anecdotes to insure that the housewife standing in front of me would see that I was emotionally invested in that pack of Zinnia seeds. I sold a lot of seeds but didn't quite grasp the concept of the corporate structure and spent my "seed money" on more comic books. My mother paid off the FSA and made me plant the seeds I had not sold.

Well, I have been a salesman my whole life and I never stopped planting seeds. My annual tomato garden is a family favorite and my wife's co-workers are regularly
impressed by the flower arrangements I create from our yard for her desk.

But I ramble! The point of this diatribe is that the near spring-like weather enthused me to get back on the bike. My condition causes my right arm to tremor under stress and after a couple of past crashes I can only ride my bike on the trainer. After a week of 30 to 60 minute intervals I could noticeably tell I could walk a little better. I even had a dream about pedaling down a country road. I entertained the thought of strapping on the helmet taking a leisurely Sunday ride.

Then we got 6" of snow Saturday night. We never get 6" of snow! I guess Mother Nature was dropping me a hint. She's telling me that I must not ever go faster than my TV remote can carry me. So for the time being I'll just keep pedaling to nowhere.

On a side note: A blogger I read just recently pedaled "To Hell and Back."
I wish I could have gone too. (I've been dying to use that line).