Surviving

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

2017 05 20: Journal Post Page 3 May 20, 2017

Good morning everyone.

This is the third post of my journal series. As I read through these pages, I am taken back to those days in 2010 when it appears that I started this next chapter in my life. Although the going was tough, it enabled me to experience a series of tests that I would have never been introduced to, had it not been for the loss of sight.

Life is what we make of it, and here’s a small slice of my life seven years ago.

Deon

***

Page Three:
Early July, 2010.

For the next two days, I was put through a barrage of tests which all came back with the results that I was dreading. My vision was permanently impaired, and would not ever get any better than it appeared to be right then. My heart sank when I heard one of the specialists say that there was nothing they could do for me. It was Tuesday morning, and I was just coming from the last series of tests.

They had ruled out all of the other probable causes of the stroke, and pinpointed the root cause as a central retinal arterial occlusion. The blood flow had been cut off to the retina from in behind the eye. It appears that the walls of the artery collapsed, thus shutting down the blood supply. This is what happened over and over again, and the final few times on that Saturday morning finally did me in. It was just too much for the retina to handle, and it finally shut down.

It was also thought to have been caused by the continued lifelong deterioration of the arterial wall, which was the direct result from the radiation that I received as an infant to combat the retinal cancer. This form of radiation, which was very new, as well as severely intrusive on outer lying tissue, was the culprit.

I will never forget Dr. Witkin’s comments made to me in his Waterville office a few weeks later. He said that in his opinion, I had been given 50 years of vision in that eye, and from his perspective, that was a miracle in its own right. I had never thought of it like that, and have never thought of it any other way since that day. He spun my mental state around 180 degrees that day, and I owe a lot of my rehabilitation, or ability to stay focused enough to move on, on those comments.

After all of the dust had settled from the tests in Boston, a call was made and Matt came to take me back home. I was never so happy to see him as I was that afternoon when he arrived in my room at the hospital.

I did not want to be in Boston for one more second. Not one. I had had enough bad news, and wanted to say goodbye to the town where so much hope had been shattered. The dwindling hope faded as we drove closer and closer to Maine and my Battleridge home.
I had not had a cigarette in over 2 days. So I think I smoked around a pack on the way home. We stopped at Mickey D’s on Rt. 1 on the way back to Maine. The food never tasted so good, and the caramel ice coffee hit the spot.

When we finally arrived at home, I felt completely alone. I know that my wife was there, and the comfort that I had in knowing that she was waiting for me is indescribable. But even though she was there waiting for me, I felt as though there was a huge blank sheet of paper in front of me that represented the rest of my life. My life was at that point and time, very uncertain at best. It was as though someone had taken my life story, and ripped it in half and thrown it in the trash. What in hell was I supposed to do now?

So much of my life was based on pure complacency. So much of it was just robotic at best. I liked my life, but probably most of all I liked the unchanging ways of my life. There was a routine that I had grown to accept as just the way things were. I had routines that I had created, and that was just fine with me, just fine and dandy. What in the hell was I going to do now? I felt completely vulnerable and totally at risk to everything around me that I couldn’t see anymore. That was the scariest and probably the most frightful times that I had ever felt. I was completely at the mercy of everything around me. My senses were all messed up. My thoughts continually veered the wrong way down a one way street. I could come up with a thousand metaphors and they would all fit. Every one of them.

Those next few days were some of the longest of my life. I was receiving phone calls from my family continuously. They were very far away, but they seemed so very close. I did a lot of crying and complaining those next few days. Hell, those next few months. I guess I still do go through some of the same feelings now as I did back then. I feel as though I can handle the emotion swings a lot easier now.

I did continue to smoke those next few days, and that must have worried Lynne to no end. Just think of it, a blind guy banging his way outside through the garage to light his fingers on fire while trying to light a cigarette. Crazy is the best adjective I can think of. That would all come to an end sooner than I ever imagined. Thank God. I never ever saw myself quitting smoking. Never in a million years. I saw myself choking on those damn cigarettes until the day I died. Pitiful.

 

2017 05 14: Mother’s Day Poem May 14, 2017

Filed under: Childhood,Devotion,Faith,Family,Humility,Life,Love,Perception,Poem,Poetry,Writing — DP Lyons @ 12:32 pm

This poem is dedicated to my mom, Carol Jean Lyons, and to all the moms out there.
I hope your day is filled with wicked awesome mom stuff. grin

I love ya mom.
dp

***

Mother

Mother, oh mother, hear my pleading call
Shivering child from years ago stands before you
Grant me access to your warming heart
Calm my scattered spirit with your magical potion

I remember your words as I craved your touch
I remember your gentle kiss on my forehead
I remember wrapping my arms around you
I remember

Please sing me that same, soothing lullaby
Please rock me in your arms until I fall fast asleep
Please tell me everything will be alright
Please

Walk beside me as we brave the world
Walk beside me as I dare to dream
Walk beside me as your older boy discovers the unknown
Walk beside me

Promise me a handful of possibilities
Promise me of the love that awaits me
Promise me a family of my own
Promis me

Rescue me from a dastardly foe
Rescue me from an unrelenting obstacle course
Rescue me and whisperyour calming tone
Rescue me

Sing to me your praise as you stare into my eyes
Sing to me of the opportunity each day provides
Sing to me your anthem of faith, love and hope
Sing to me

Share your secrets with me
Guide me towards tomorrow
Pray for me as I do for you
Watch over me with confidence

Soothe my skipping heartbeat with your healing touch
Calm my worried gaze with your gentle touch
Release my anxious breath with a mother’s touch
Mother, Oh Mother

 

2017 05 07 Essay: Lessons May 7, 2017

I’ve had some lessons in my life. It’s safe to say that we all have. The thing to think about is how well we learn from our lessons. Now, if you’re like me these days, it might take a couple run throughs before the lesson fully sinks in where it can do some good. It’s not that I don’t want to learn, it’s that for a grand host of reasons, my soggy mush melon doesn’t retain things as good as it used to. I blame it on acquiring large quantities of cheap drugs, a closed head trauma, not enough chocolate and I’m fairly certain that there’s a few other reasons, but for the life of me, I, well, you get the picture.

Our lives are a constant barrage of one lesson after another. The do’s, the don’ts, the should have’s and the what the hell were you thinking’s. They all blend in seamlessly to produce a life like sculpture of ourselves.

Instruction manuals always seem to get lost, misplaced or thrown away. A lesson though, I mean a real good unforgettable lesson never leaves our sides. It’s always there to throw hints at us, remind us, guide us and sometimes give us something to laugh about, for humor always has an element of truth in it, and humility is as good a teacher as any lesson can provide.

Anyway, what we learn through life is a huge part of who we become. Some of my most embarrassing moments in life are also the strongest lessons I have learned. It seems the more the lessons let loose my emotions, the deeper they sink into my soul to mold future reactions to certain things. The phrase I use often is absorb, adapt and advance. Boy how that holds so much truth, which makes it nearly impossible to ignore, or forget.

When I woke up this morning, I was blind, still, again, and also. I enjoyed several moments during the day when I actually forgot that I can’t see. Those moments don’t last long, but they are pieces of my day that I embrace with deep respect. I’ve learned more lessons these past seven years than any other period in my life, and the learning continues each waking day.

Those lessons of our childhood are also made of the lessons that stand with us throughout our lives. Tie your shoes, look both ways before crossing the road, don’t talk with your mouth full, keep your eye on the ball, there’s so many of them that stick with you without even trying to remember them. Common sense can also provide great tutoring, but it isn’t a constant source that we can always rely on, for we, as unique individuals sway to and fro with our abilities that vary from one day to the next.

Our judgment is built on experience, which involves common sense and instinct. Is instinct a natural thing, or have we learned it along the way? Perhaps it is a combination of different elements of life that swirls around us, or perhaps we were born with the instincts and we don’t realize we have them until a situation calls for those inborn characteristics to show themselves.

Boy I’m getting spun around with all of this. I’ve taken a psychology class at school, a few sociology classes, and a couple humanities courses. They all weave in and out amongst themselves to help define who we are, and how we react, use and manipulate the lessons we have been afforded along the way. And oh what a way we have, with all of it.

I have learned a lesson with this essay, as I have with just about every other essay I have written. The hidden lessons, the ones with built in reactions, the ones that catapult our instincts to new heights, these lessons, the ones similar to the one I have learned while typing this written piece, you can never correctly put a value on the lessons we discover along the roads that build our stories. The truest lessons of all will forever remain a priceless piece of who we are.

Who says you can’t teach an old goat new tricks?

Take the lessons of your lives and feel the urge to learn. The energy found deep inside will totally amaze you.

Thanks for stopping by, and do take care.

dp

 

2017 04 29 Poetry: Road Map April 29, 2017

29 down, and 1 to go. Actually, many many more than 1 to go, because it feels like my writing is never finished, and there’s something else that I need to write about. Thousands of words, lines, sentences, phrases, thoughts, descriptions and meanings, all rolled into 7 years of hunting, finding and punching keys, and there’s still something I feel I need to write about.

I never dreamed I would reach the age I am. I never dreamed of being married. I never dreamed of having a child, a son and a grandson. I never thought. I just never.

We lost our power tonight, and I was right near the end of another poem I was going to submit tonight. Unfortunately, I didn’t save the stupid thing, and lost it with the outage, so, below you’ll find another one I just wrote. It’s quite a bit different than the first one, and try as I did, I couldn’t come close to remembering it.

I know, I know, a lot of you are shaking your head right now. Some are thinking what a fool am I, some are thinking about a similar experience, some are just wondering when I’m gonna stop rambling and get on with the poetry.

No matter what the lessons are that we learn, life continues to chug along at a pretty good clip, and that ain’t the half of it.

Ok then. Right. Here we go with my 29th submission for this National Poetry Month. This is actually only my 27th submission, as I skipped two days. Like I told a good friend, I’m still batting over 900, which ain’t too bad in baseball terms.

And away we go! Happy Saturday night to you all, and whatever happens, don’t you ever stop writing.

Best to you all.

Deon

***

Road Map

There’s a road map sketched in my mind,
Taking me to places I’ve already been,
Taking me to places I have already seen,
Taking me to places I will never let go.

There’s a song playing in my mind,
Singing to me a childhood lullaby,
Singing to me some old time rock & roll,
Singing to me some folksy blues.

There are pages turning in my mind,
Reading out loud about a shy, timid little boy,
Reading to me about an unexpected love story,
Reading to me about an incredible non fiction drama.

There’s a movie playing in my mind,
Showing a classic that I can watch again and again,
Showing me an unforgettable theme,
Showing me a fascinating 3D epic drama.

There is an image collage displaying in my mind,
Picturing a life changing gears,
Picturing a life changing lanes,
Picturing a life unfolding a worn and tattered road map.

 

2017 04 27 Poetry: All I Ever Wanted April 27, 2017

Click the heels and where are you? Does it look like the 27th? If it does, you arrived right on time.

Pretty cool, huh?

I joke sometimes that I’m going to school so that I might figure out what I wanna be when I grow up. I’m still wondering, especially on those days when I feel like I’m a 7 year old blind billy goat that needs a lot of practice trying to figure out how to be a 7 year old blind billy goat. I’m on a mission, and I will take no prisoners, unless they have ample amounts of chocolate.

Truth is, I never really knew what I wanted to be as I was growing up. None of the normal kid answers seemed to fit, and besides, I was too busy having fun being a kid.

Now that the kid has grown, or became a close facsimile, I think back to some of the moments of my youth. It all went by so fast, but some parts, the tough parts, the testing parts, they seemed to last forever. You know, time stands still? Ya, it’s true, or so it seems.

This poem reminded me of so many moments in my life when the learning was front and center. This is my submission for this 27th day of National Poetry Month. The sun came out today, and the warmth felt good on my face.

I hope you all saw the sunshine today.
Take care and be well.

Deon

***

All I Ever Wanted

All I ever wanted was to color inside the lines.
I did a pretty good job, but I colored the man’s face purple.
All I ever wanted was to be a big boy and watch my little brother.
I thought I was doing ok, until I couldn’t find him.
All I ever wanted to do was ride my bike, just like my older brother.
My dad took off the training wheels, and I fell over sideways.
All I ever wanted to do was hit a baseball like Carl Yastrzemski.
I stepped up to the plate, and struck out.
All I ever wanted was to sleep in the top bunk.
I rolled over in the bed and fell 4 feet to the floor.
All I ever wanted to do was ski down the hill like my older sister.
I made it halfway down and took a nasty header.
All I ever wanted was to do a summersault off of the rope swing into the river.
I swung out, tried to summersault, panicked, and splashed with a belly flop.
All I ever wanted was to bravely dive off the wall at the North Gorham swimming hole.
I took a deep breath, plugged my nose, and jumped in feet first, again.
All I ever wanted was to jump the curb with my skateboard.
I reared back, flipped the tip, clipped the curb and took another nasty header.
All I ever wanted was to have a girlfriend in school.
I nervously turned to talk to her and tripped down the stairs.
All I ever wanted was to somehow find a lady to love.
I didn’t have to. She found me.

 

2017 04 25 Poetry: Birthday Cake April 25, 2017

April 25 is here at last!

Are you kidding me? Here at last? What the heck happened to the first 24? Did they go by way too fast? Did I write about this already? Repetition, right? Grin

It’s sort of strange knowing that I have been living out here on the ridge for 31 years. It’s even stranger that this house has been here since 1904, which makes it, um, let’s see, carry the two, bring it over and, ok. Man, this house is old!

Well, here it is, time for another poem submission for National Poetry Month. I hope I ain’t boring ya, and I hope you like the following poem, cuz it’s all I got for today.

Anyway, repetition is the main ingredient of life, so take it, and then, take it again.

I hope you have a good Tuesday night, and have fun with it.

Deon

***

Birthday Cake

Sitting here staring at a birthday cake.
A little boy’s smile staring back at me.
A thousand dreams make their way around the room.
Make a wish and you just might see.

A wind up car flies across the floor.
Laughter heard coming from a room upstairs.
Trim your hair for a Friday night dance.
Caring too much about what everybody wears.

Little boy went and grew up too fast.
Echoes still whirl around his bedroom walls.
I can still hear him dash through the house.
I see his smile every time he calls.

I sit here again and I stare at a cake.
It’s not too different from one back awhile,
Except for one unique difference.
It’s my little boy’s little boy that gives me a smile.

Dedicated to my son Matt, and grandson Jack.

Sent from my wicked younger than me Windows 10 Machine.

 

2017 04 23 Poetry: Little Ones April 23, 2017

Is it the 23rd already? How can that be? Why it seems that the month just started.

How does time fly by so fast sometimes? Is it because we do something differently? Do we bend the fabric of time without even knowing it? When the time goes by fast for us, does it also for everyone else?

What we do with our time gives us definition. Our hobbies, our work, our play, what we like, dislike, who we are near, everything plays into the script taylor made for only us.

Life is what you make of it. The diversity, the obstacles, the trials and lessons help to give us the makings of one day after another.

The old saying that every cloud has a silver lining is debateable at best, and it reminds me of the other saying that says it’s never as bad as it seems.

Really? I mean, really? Grin

Hit the ground running. Pull yourself up by the boot straps. No matter where you go, there you are, so take advantage of it.

I think I like that saying the best.

This is the 23rd of April, and here’s my submission for National Poetry Month. The time is at hand, and the hand is pointing towards the clock, so I guess I gotta get moving before what I’m doing becomes the past.

Have a great Sunday night, and write on writers.

Deon

***

Little Ones

Look into those eyes and study that glowing smile.
Find the story that’s written within every beating heart.
Carefully craft the unknown with your imagination.
Let your senses cascade down through a waterfall of life.

Capture the sunlight for a rainy day.
Dance along the edge of a crescent moon.
Gather in the brilliance of a million stars.
Become what you once only dreamed of.

Take advantage of the possibilities.
Turn obstacles into opportunities.
Learn from the laughter of the little ones.
Chase the inspiration.