Surviving

Feeling the warmth of the sun on a cloudy day. A glimpse into a blind billy goat's unique, ever changing perspectives.

2015 07 01 Almost Cut My Hair July 1, 2015

Almost Cut My Hair

It happened just the other day.

Actually, I did cut my hair, and it happened yesterday. Yes, it was getting kinda long, a few inches longer than is required to donate to an organization that takes donated hair and manufactures wigs for financially disadvantaged children suffering from long-term medical hair loss from different medical diagnosis.

This is the first time I have attempted to grow my hair this long, and as my wife cut it yesterday afternoon, I decided that I would begin growing it out again. It’ll probably take a year and a half, or so, but with such a great cause, why wouldn’t I?

My wife has donated her hair several times over the past few decades, and I had always admired her for doing so. Her hair is incredibly thick and I would imagine they got a good head start on a finished product with each of her donations.

I was a little upset at the amount I was donating, for my hair has been falling out fairly quickly the past couple years. I’m not sure if it’s from the craniotomy I had done back in 2013 or not, but with this last double bout with a meningioma, the brain surgery and the radiation this past winter, I’m surprised I had any hair at all.

Anyway, I’m starting fresh, with a new hair cut, a new goal in mind, a fresh batch of apple sauce bubbling in the crock pot, and hopefully in 18 months, I’ll be chopping off my pony tail once again.

I woke up this morning and reached behind my head to do up my usual pony tail, but the hair was gone. I smiled as I reached in my mouth, took out my hair scrunchie, slid it in my pocket and tried to find my slippers at the end of the couch in the living room.

I am blessed beyond belief. Blessed that I have come through some health issues in fairly good shape, blessed for having an amazing woman stand by my side through the ups and downs, blessed to have an occasional piece of chocolate, blessed to still be able to attend college, blessed to have had the chance to meet some incredible people the past five years, blessed to have such an amazing family, immediate and extended, blessed to have my God to pray to every day, and I’ll stop right there for now. No use getting carried away, right?

I’ve written in here before how much I hate cancer, and there’s no doubt that I always will. The only good thing about cancer is that it sometimes points us towards an open heart, so that we may realize all of the truly beautiful things in our lives.

I am fortunate, as a cancer survivor, a cancer conqueror, that I’m still able to feel the warmth of the sun, hear the waves crashing on the shore, hear the wonderful voice of my grandson, and taste the magic of life itself.

I cut my hair just the other day, because it was getting kinda long. It was the best thing I have done in a while.

Thanks for stopping by and have a safe and wonderful Fourth of July.

dp

 

2015 06 27 Discombobulated June 27, 2015

So there I was, standing with a arm full of folded bath towels when all of a sudden I walked up to the fridge and opened the door. There I was, standing in front of an open fridge wondering why I was standing in front of an open fridge. I couldn’t remember ever having put away folded bath towels in the fridge. As I closed the door to the fridge and turned towards the bathroom, I smiled and shook my head, wondering how I was ever going to find my way to my pillow that night.

I shouldn’t have felt so discombobulated, because it wasn’t like I never did absent minded things like that before I lost my vision. Fact is, I used to walk into a room, stop, and think why I walked into that room at least once or twice a week. Fact is, I’ve been absent minded since they discovered I came equipped with a mind. Fact is, the busier I became during the course of my life, the more I frequented rooms for no particular reason. Fact is, being a human is like owning a free life time pass to the greatest show on earth, and the popcorn always has just the right amount of salt and butter.

No, sorry. No m&m’s. I just saw that in the Whiplash movie, and within a couple weeks from watching the movie, I’ve heard people talk about this trendy blend a couple times. Weird? Oh you betcha.

So, as I was saying, no one knows about being absent minded more than I do. There were those occasions that I would drive right by my next sales stop and keep on riding towards my next stop. Some times, I didn’t realize what I had done until I did in fact arrive at that next stop, and then, as I stared at the invoice of the customer I just rode past twenty minutes before, it finally dawned on me that my truck did a bad thing.

Bad, bad old truck! Might as well blame it on something else, right?

Have you ever thought of something, some place, some word, some occurrence, but for the life of you you couldn’t transform the thought to words? Is that a form of absent mindedness? Is mindedness a word? Should it be? What was I writing about?

Oh ya.

I have run into non connectivity between my brain and my keypad quite a bit these past few years. I know what I’m thinking about, but I can’t think of the correct word to adequately convey the meaning onto the screen. I know some of you are thinking to yourselves, “Why don’t you use a thesaurus?”

Goat don’t work that way.

Fact is, if I can’t say it one way, there’s always some other way to construct a writer’s path that gets the job done. I know I’m not the most fluent of writers. I don’t have a pocket dictionary in my pocket. I have a limited vocabulary that sometimes has me scratching my head. I do like to paint a picture with words, but I probably should have gone to artistic colors in text class or something, because I do at times feel like a fish out of water when it comes to hitting a concrete wall of confusion and doubt.

About half an hour ago, I was standing in the middle of the kitchen, slowly turning around in a circle, from the sliding window, to the kitchen sink, back to the kitchen table, and all the while I wondered what it is that I was supposed to do.

I didn’t figure it out. I didn’t remember. I didn’t let it bother me though, and so I walked in this room, woke up my computer, opened a word document, and as I sometimes do, I started to write.

I didn’t remember anything I wanted to write about, so here it is.

 

2015 06 20 Hate to Admit It June 20, 2015

I hate to admit it, but sometimes I get extremely frustrated with things. I mean, to the point when I’d like to open a window and chuck all of it out onto the front lawn and let Mother Nature have a go at it. I don’t like the feeling when I get in these moods, and some days, no matter how I try, I just can’t seem to shake all the crap out of my head.

Is this human nature? Is this me not being able to let go? Is this something that after nearly 55 years I still need to work on? How is that possible? How come after all this practice I’m not good at certain things like this some days?

I know, I know. Some of you are probably thinking what to write to me right now, trying to think what to say, thinking what golden nugget of experience you could slap down onto the table that would point me in the right direction.

Fact is, I would appreciate the hell out of any response that could find the magic potion, or remedy, or cure. Fact is, even if I had heard that profitable saying that did the trick, it would be like I was hearing it for the first time, even though I might have heard it a thousand times before.

I experienced one of these days just a few days ago. My insides were all bunched up into a tight little knot that would embarrass a boy scout for not being able to untie. From the early morning hours, I could sense that something was adrift and no matter how I tried, I couldn’t quell tide after tide of emotional swells that totally took control of me and drowned the ramparts with that unforgiving seawater that never sleeps as it eats away at whatever it touches.

That was just a few short days ago, and although I managed to find my pillow that night, I lie wide awake and turned over and over again the ravaged emotions that reminded me how human I am, and how much I have no control over.

I write a lot about how there is an opportunity within each hurdle we face. Inside days like those, with the bitter pills that I sometimes swallow are those carefully hidden sweet drops of nectar that keep my needle pointing north.

Now, if I could only remember if I’m supposed to be going north or not.

Thank you all and God bless every one of you. I always pray that I might keep paying it forward. I have received so much through my lifetime, so I’d better get on with it.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great night.

dp

 

2015 06 17 None the Less June 17, 2015

I noticed something the other day, and that’s that I shuffle my feet when I walk across the floor. I do the same thing that used to make me laugh when I was a young sprite. I’ve turned old, right before my very eyes that can’t see. Not that it really bothers me, or I should say, out of sight, out of mind, right?

I remember when I was a young lad, watching older people and the way they handled themselves. They just seemed to have such a significant stature about themselves that I was sure I would never see. Now, I don’t know if I have achieved that same stature as I used to witness, but I’m old none the less.

I know, I know. All you guys and gals that are roughly the same age as me are calling me names as you read this, or completely exiting this post. I’m sorry for stuffing you into this rude category, but all I’m trying to do is convey the fact that no matter where I go, the older I become, and I’ve been to quite a few places, so I can’t help but realize that I must have done some huge amounts of oldening up.

Is oldening up a useable phrase?

I didn’t think so, but I ain’t letting that stop me!

Onward, through the fog!

There I go, getting older by the moment again. Again? I didn’t stop getting older, did i? I didn’t stop maturing and acting, umm, older, did I? I didn’t stop doddering and fidgeting and rambling and fumbling, did I? I just pissed a lot of you off once again, didn’t I?

Good. Nothing like getting things accomplished.

I was with my son and grand son the other day, and as I sat in amazement, I thought to myself how wonderful it was to be able to be with two of the most important men in the world. I thought and I shifted in my seat as I thought some more, and it dawned on me that my grand son Jack is the same age as I was when I used to look at grown ups, older people as really, really old. Then I thought to myself that I’m of the age that I never thought I would ever be, and as I once again shifted in my seat, I smiled as I reached out and squeezed Jack’s shoulder.

Then I reached down and grabbed his knee until he screamed out in tickled agony!

Sometimes being old has its advantages, you know?

 

2015 06 12 Just Another Friday June 12, 2015

Another Friday is upon us, and as another week winds down, June is nearly half over. I know I’ve written about how fast time flies by, and how fast opportunities come strolling down the sidewalk in front of your home, but some times I feel as if without my sight, how am I supposed to realize all these things going on around me?

I’ve heard that with vision loss comes a heightened existence of your other senses. I realized this first hand during the first year or two of darkness, perhaps mostly because I was receiving extensive orientation and mobility lessons.

Gang Way! Biggie Billy G with a cane coming atcha!

Seriously though, I did notice my hearing, my smell, my sencing of items around me, they all seemed to jump up a couple notches, and believe me, it helped me more than a few times as I swept through the sidewalks and intersections of Waterville. One step at a time, one sweep of the cane after another, with an incredible teacher standing guard over my progress.

So much of my life changed way back on that July day in 2010. So much of my life seemed completely lost, and what wasn’t lost, stood a few feet from me, arrogantly smiling, knowing full well it was just out of my reach. I hated that feeling most of all. Most times, when I would work towards these things and finally place my hand on them, they didn’t seem the same. They didn’t have that shine, or that shape, or that sense of belonging to me. I was a visitor in a foreign land, full of never ending change that I wasn’t prepared for.

Life though, continued moving ahead, and so did I.

I didn’t really know what to do, so I just kept doing whatever presented itself to me. It’s amazing to think back and understand what was really happening with me. As my life suddenly changed, so did the opportunities that presented themselves. I was a first grader all over again. I understood that there was a lot I didn’t understand, so I stood out next to the mail box, with my cane, and waited for the school bus to take me to the rest of my life.

The rest of my life. When you say it and think about it, it sounds very open ended. It sounds like amidst the anxiety of the unknown, there’s a feeling of excitement, a feeling of incredible opportunity that jumps out and asks if you’re ready or not. Ready? Me? Ready for what?

Funny thing, these obstacles full of opportunity. Dare to tread through the frightening narrows and you just might be surprised. I know I have been.

Complacency put a halt to my life experiences many, many times. I was comfortable, and anything out of the ordinary threatened that comfort to the point where I would turn and walk away, cowering back to my little, comfy place.

That was probably the most important thing about me that changed, and I’m here to tell you, it scared the gummy bears outta me. Fear of the unknown was something I never did well. I’m not saying I did it any better these days, but I put my head down, dug my heels in and did it anyway.

And here I am, a few days older with those experiences that have helped me to become a different man, swiping a white cane as he moves forward.

I have been introduced to an amazing array of inspirational points of light. I’ve been shown a courage that I never knew existed. I have been given the hope and support of a community that so many of the world never recognizes. I am blind, and I am in awe with a sense of admiration that has inspired me as I keep moving forward.

How many ways can I describe the thanks and gratitude that I feel for the opportunities I have been afforded? How many times can I say thanks and show my appreciation? How many of you have lived your lives so that I may come to know the gifts you possess?

Ok, I admit it. I’m rambling once again. As I write this post, there are people out there who don’t ever stop living their lives. Some folks might categorize them as being handicapped. Some folks might see a condition, instead of seeing a life full of life. Some will never understand how strong these people are, how determined and driven and capable and inquisitive they are.

I never did, but I sure as hell do now.

 

2015 06 05 Ups and Downs June 5, 2015

Hello all you amazing people, and how the hell are ya doing? Great I hope.

I haven’t posted anything in here for a couple or so weeks, so I figured I would just pop in to say hi, and let you know that I’m doing ok.

First of all, I started my online college course a couple weeks ago, and for the most part, it’s going good. I did run into some difficulty learning the Blackboard program that is necessary to take online courses, and is also necessary to take most of the on campus courses as well. This program is accessible for the most part, but is quite cumbersome to navigate. Fact is, it is very difficult, even for us blind billy goats. After some intense tutoring sessions with my man Nicholas at KVCC’s TRIO, I am making headway and have been able to get into the necessities so that I can get the work done. It’s a huge piece of mind to be able to finally feel comfortable in doing so, but I also realize that I have a long way to go. The class runs for 7 weeks and we’re just heading into week 3, so we’re off and running.

I am taking Intro to Sociology, which my wife told me I’m a guaranteed A with. As skeptical as I can be, which is usual for me, I’m taking nothing for granted and holding nothing back.

Well, again, I wish to thank you all for your support of this blog site and hope you keep coming back. I’ll try to keep writing when I can and hopefully will never stop. It’s funny how much growth my writing has seen these past five years, and it’s amazing as I try to look ahead and dream where the next five will take me, take this blog, and although I’ve got a long way to go yet, I have come a long way thus far.

You all rock big time, you know?

I’ve discovered some really good, new music these past few weeks, I’ve eaten a lot of chocolate, worn some from the tip of my mobility cane, went to the drive-in theater, eaten a little more chocolate, listened to a few shows, a few movies, discovered a couple more music artists, Tried my hand at mowing the lawn, wondered why I ever tried my hand at mowing the lawn, counted my toes, re counted my toes, prayed that I still had all seven of my toes, and then prayed for more chocolate.

That’s it. Nothing more, nothing less, just me and you and a dog named Boo. Oh ya, there’s also a little promise that I’ll keep adding to this blog when I get a chance.

I’ve had my ups and downs the past few moons. I’ve added a few new friends, lost a couple of really good old friends, made a couple or three mistakes, realized a couple of things, forgot a few more and all the while I’m just trying to make it to the pillow every night. I miss all the things that I used to do and give thanks for the things that I do. I will always remember those eyes of blue and try to live up to the gaze of my family.

Ok, I admit it. I’m getting carried away.

And once again, I’m back.

You know what? I hope you all have a great time doing whatever it is that you do.

Bye for now.

dp
https://dplyons.wordpress.com/wp-admin/

 

2015 05 17 I Sit and I Wonder May 17, 2015

I sit and I wonder, with so much of it around, why aren’t the hallways, the sidewalks, the corridors teaming with account of this most powerful life tool? I wonder as I sit, and while wondering some more I am mystified how such a significant force doesn’t have the scriptures rewriting themselves in awe of, it? As my hair turns as old as my reflection, never a day goes by where I don’t reach out and try grabbing a slice for myself, as selfish as I might be. I am ecstatic with it all, but humbled by its presence, knowing full well that in an instant it can wash down through me and catch me completely by surprise. Caught off guard and unprepared, we vary with our excuses as to why the encounter didn’t take hold of us sooner, like a first hug from the bosom of our introduction into this big, beautiful blue marble that we so casually call, home.

How many ways does it exist? How many times will it cross our paths? How many days does it take to add up to a life time of possibilities?

I sit and behold as I listen and learn. I search and discover as I bend and mend. I dare as I might, while I grow and become.

The more I look, the more I notice. The more I notice, the more I look and search and scour this existence for, it.

As quick as an instant can come upon you, it can also disappear. A lifetime of moments within our grasp. A lifetime of chances to take advantage of something that is absolutely free. A lifetime full of those things that catch our attention and ask for nothing in return.

No matter where you go, there you are, and there it is, so why not reach out and just…

 

 
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