Thursday, May 22, 2008


I feel the need to apologize to anyone who makes an effort to come to my blog, only to see that I haven't posted in a while. I've been stuck in a bit of a pity party this week, and I've not felt the urge to do much else than waste away in front of the TV or a sudoku book.

I got a few bits of bad news lately, and I suppose that's the cause of my dreariness. First off, the father of one of my college friends passed away rather abruptly from stage 4 colon cancer. He got the news about 2 weeks before passing away. The family barely had time to digest the news, and I can't imagine how horrible a shock that would be.

It reminded me, as did an email from my brother, that last Thursday was the 3rd anniversary of the death of my uncle Jim, who also died of cancer. His was pancreatic, and he fought it amazingly for a couple of years. He seemed to respond very well to his initial treatment and was even able to travel to my wedding and party with the best of us in 2004. It came back with a vengeance in 2005 and took him on May 15th of that year.

I'm not sure why his death hit me as hard as it did. On the surface it was probably because he was one of the people looking out for me through my college years. He used to give me rides home from Columbus to Louisville during my freshman (car-less) year, and he sent me money regularly to help pay for my insidious and growing latte-habit. (Hey, caffeine aided in my studies...OK?) On that level, it was a deep appreciation and gratitude for him that caused me grief.

A little bit deeper reason is that I always looked up to him in regards to his business sense and his that shows what loyalty and hard work can accomplish. It was a good thing to admire, I suppose. Don't get me wrong...he wasn't infallible, and I never aspired to be exactly like him. He traveled too much, always seemed intimidating, and was too much of a hard-ass. He made fun of me plenty of times and was never shy of giving me a "disapproving look"...the kind that makes you feel pretty small & silly. However, he loved and cared for his family and (very) extended family so deeply, that those disapproving looks had the right effect. You felt loved, AND you wanted to please. You didn't WANT to see that face. In addition to my parents, his was always one of the faces that flashed in my head when I aspired toward something. And I often wonder if he would have been pleased with how I finally turned out...Therefore, there was also a selfish level of grief because I was -- in part -- sad because I never knew that for sure.

And on top of those emotions, I was also deeply saddened by his passing because the entire family was there saying goodbye to him in his final hours, and I was here....7 hours away, on a CAMPING trip with friends, no less. The geography that separates me from the rest of my family is hard all the time, but it was the hardest on that day (and for weeks after). I never got to say goodbye, and it haunted me tremendously.

The haunting started to hit me again this weekend when I learned that my grandfather/Papaw had a serious health-crisis & we almost lost him. His health has been failing over the past couple of years, and we've known this time was coming for quite a while. He made it through the weekend OK, but it reminded me how far away I am....not just geographically....but in my life. It's difficult to make the trip up to Ky. to see my grandparents because of work, or money, or other family/friend/house commitments, and it shouldn't be. It's easy to just say it's difficult (which it is, in fact) and not go. But I know that the real difficulty will be in realizing that I took the easy road in accepting the distance and not trying to work around it.

On top of all of this depressing crap-ola, on Sunday I had a new symptom pop up in my "ever-expanding laundry list of nervous system weirdness." My left hand began to tremor when I would hold it in a certain position, and it continued to do so for three days. I called my neurologist, and he can't see me until next Thursday. I spent most of Monday night laying on my bed, worrying about MS (despite a negative test for it back in 2005) and wondering why -- after being hit by a car, having my spine burst, and narrowly avoiding paralysis -- do I have to deal with the unfair crap of having my nervous system freak out 6 years later. I'm supposed to become a 'nervous wreck' AFTER i have kids, not before, right?

See? One big pity-party. It'll pass though. I'll go back to an ass-kickin' mentality soon. Promise. Now you've heard me out so I'm gonna go.

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