Untitled (which is a title actually, isn’t it?)

It’s taken me six days to remember how to breathe; and I’m still trying to master sleep.

At this point I will issue a product warning:  this is the season of Lent, a time when I reviewed all the things that I might give up; chocolate is a favorite, ice cream (that’s a biggie), when I was younger; sex (solo and shared).  This has ben a year of changes and reflections; this year I was going to take more on: more prayer (10% of my day, 2.5 hours), teaching Sunday School…giving, not taking on.  So I prayed on it, right?

Answered prayer is a bitch.

I am with the octogenarians, parents to my wife, the SWMBO.  I asked to do this(?).  Mom has been diagnosed with a cancer; it has metastasized to her spine…limiting her movement in shoulders, arms and hands and has brought on pain, pain of a level she had not known before.

Now let’s us introduce pain meds, fun for a day or two and then the hallucinations, the falling and an unpleasant disposition.

We’ll add in a heavy dose of denial, “mini-strokes” and the onset of dementia.

Do, do be sure you ask for what you want in prayer.

Communication is a challenge;  Drs. don’t recognize my status, they talk to Mom, I remind her of the conversations and I’m a liar, Dad’s in the room, physically.  “Dad, do you understand what we are going to be doing?”

“What’s on tonight?  Tues is NCIS?”

“It’s Friday”

“Mom, we have to be at the Interventional Radiologist’s office in half an hour, have you got everything?”

“I don’t want to go, I don’t need to go, I’m strong.”

“If you walk away from this fight without the weapons they’ll give you…you’ll be weaker in spirit and body and you will lose.  And you may very well die.  It will kill you.”

“Give me your hand and we’ll go get you signed in”

“I hate you.  No one is going to run my life.  Don’t treat me like a child.”

“I know…you can call your insurance company and see if they will cover a care giver you like…after we get you signed in”

Dear readers,

Did you know that there are things YOU can do to help a cancer patient, their family and care givers endure the time before, during ad after treatments.

Every treatment center waiting room has a book exchange with very limited numbers of old, for the most part tasteless, paperbacks.

You’re writers, artists and readers; collectors, gather books; stand up at your Starbucks and ask.  For those that are truly bold, volunteer yourself for twenty minutes a month and make sure that the two shelves on a small book case has something to offer…maybe your new tome.

Answer someone else’s prayer, qietly let them know that someone cares when they may in doubt.

Peace out

mw

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Who/What Am I Today

The daily question: What am I going to do tomorrow.  How stupid is that?

0500, the SWMBO is showering, preparing for another day in the “orifice”.  The kids ; fed, moderately played with, walked and soon to be neglected for the balance of the day as I sneak away…to meditate…to meditate on the question: should I continue my studies to become a meditation instructor?  How stupid is that?

My turn to prepare for the outside world; the donning of the distractions; ornate rings on either hand (two for the right one for the left), several bracelets, leather and wood, outlandish socks, poly-chrome shoes, stylish cane and always a hat.  Always an odd old bird, but few see the tremors, the twisting and jerks, or so I like to think.  Like a four year old that makes himself invisible…by covering his eyes. How stupid is that?

This morning its take the octogenaria to the hospital, more tests…still no answers

I’ll wait ’til tomorrow to answer all my questions.  Really, just how stupid is that?

Illustration: Calligraphy-Zen Art by Qiao Sen

CalligImage

Throw-Away People?

Not long ago I promised myself that I would be here daily…and I haven’t.  I have been running through the house(s)  (mine. the octogenarians and my neighbors’) looking for things to fix; preferably those things that seem beyond repair and things to sharpen (knives, tools, my wit).

In all honesty, I am a simpleton; there are a great number of things that I just don’t understand.  If I can’t wrap my tiny little mind around an idea/concept; I fix things.

A simple tinker I am.

Should the Truth behind the concept totally escape me, the more elaborate the tinkering; I’m trying to repair an antique wall clock (never done it before) and I’m sharpening every knife, wood plane and ax on the block.

Tinkering is my path to the Truth; a clock is running properly or its not; a knife will cut or it won’t…a concept has Truth or it doesn’t; the perfect world for a simpleton.

John J., one of the octogenarians, father to the SWMBO, suffers from vascular dementia (according to Marion J., not nearly as much as she does).  The nature of this affliction is such that he will reach plateaus and then declines with no chance for improvement.  John’s declines have been happening in rapid succession, effectively shrinking his world.

John also has an abdominal aneurism that is growing, growing to the point that it is becoming life threatening.  The repair is a simple, out-patient procedure.

Thus far I have had no problem, certainly nothing that would drive me to my wet stones.

John’s doctor, a more than competent vascular surgeon, has suggested that doing the procedure would be a waste of time, considering the rapidly advancing state of his dementia.  “He probably won’t live more than two maybe three years longer.” (Quoting the doc, not me).

John remembers every classmate he had from grade 4 through high school; he’s told me (more than twice) about his time in WWII as a parachute rigger, the flood in ’62 to that devastated his home town, his adventures with his Dad and Uncle Joe at the Russian Club in Seymore, CT.

We share war stories and I listen, he likes to talk; he loves music and he reads a lot.  Is he a perfect specimen? Hell no.  Is he alive, fully living? I don’t know.

Over dinner the SWMBO, the octogenarians and me discussed his upcoming procedure, “Why am I doing this?” He asked.

“So you don’t die, Dad”.

“Oh, good…I don’t want to die.”

I am an uneducated old man and I have made few, if any, contributions to peoplekind, I’ve never held any title of note; other than: simpleton and tinker.

I fix clocks, pots, vacuums and gnomes; I play in the dirt and enjoy the company of children and madmen; I speak softly and when I laugh it can be heard for miles.

The Truth is: I can’t, I won’t, throw away a toaster if I can brown one more piece of bread with it.  I can find NO Truth in judging a man unworthy to live.

I’ve heard John’s tales many times and I will hear them many more (God willing); I will listen and ask questions…if only because it gives him joy.  But, his two young great-grandsons must hear his stories, they are their history.

Well, I have four knives in front of me right now that require my attention…and I will try not to think of all the other doctors across the land, that hold the life of a man or woman that is too old, too feeble, too poor, too simple to own the days, the months, the years that are rightfully theirs.

I am far too simple to find the Truth in that.

Defining My Writing

I have wanted to write since my early teens.  I thought I was passionate about writing; I may have been wrong.

Using a word over much tends to muddy the definition; I looked up the word Passion:

  1.  Strong feeling or emotion (singularly vague)
  2. The trait of being intensely emotional (drama queen?)
  3. Something that is desired intensely (I’ve many desires, not all good and it sounds like I am taking away rather than giving)
  4. An irrational but irresistible motive for a belief or action (irrational…Webster read my stuff)
  5. A feeling of strong sexual desire (refer to #3)
  6. Any object of warm affection or devotion (I’d rather it be hot than warm)

French from Latin passio (suffering), passus (suffered), pati (suffer) (again, they’ve really read my stuff).

I have dropped passionate as a descriptor for writing (verb).  Instead, I find enthusiasm more appropriate.  It is defined thusly:

  1. A feeling of excitement (on the rare occasions I can successfully string two sentences together, I do get excited)
  2. Overflowing with eager enjoyment or approval (you know how you feel when you finish a piece and its almost good)
  3. A lively interest (if writing isn’t this, why write?)

From Middle French-enthousiasme, from Greek-enthousiasmos, “be inspired” from entheos, “inspired, possessed by a god” from en-“in” theos-“god”.

May you always be Enthusiastic about your writing and may the madness of your “possession” carry you to heights and wonders, as yet, unimaginable.