Nov 26

Crossroads

What a great week it has been!  We had a nice long weekend and spent time with family over Thanksgiving.  After that, we came back to Columbus and went to the Ohio State vs. Michigan game.  It was cold and even snowed a little, but the Buckeyes won!  So, it was worth it.

During the past week, I’ve met with and talked to a number of people.  I’ve been considering a pause in my blog posts.  I’d still give updates on doctor’s visits and surgeries, but not my inconsistent ramblings.  My reasoning was to come to grips with the new me.  Discontinuing the writings would allow me to move on.

After much thought, I’ve decided that I can’t move on.  When I started writing, it was to encourage others.  Dropping my blog would be giving up on my promise.  My commitment to making my circumstances worthwhile, by showing others how I’m dealing with it.  My faith, family and friends have shaped who I am.   

So, to be totally contradictory to my earlier thought, I’m considering taking my show on the road – so to speak.  Over the next few months, I plan to meet with individuals that can help me to tell my story to an audience.

Look for more on this in future posts.  Until then, have a great week!

Nov 18

The update to the update!

I forgot to tell you about my check up last Friday.  Dr. Katz said that he was happy with the way my eye’s are progressing after surgery.  At this point, he’s considering the “frontal sling” surgery on my right eye.  My next appointment is….in…(wait for it)… 6 weeks.  December 31st to exact.    

Nov 18

Happy Thanksgiving!

Of course I’m thankful for my family, both personal and extended.  I’m thankful for food and shelter and coffee.  I’m also thankful for friends.  Long lasting relationships mean a lot to me.  I don’t just mean Facebook friends.  I’m talking about the ones that would (and some that have) fly across the country to support me.  There’s also friends that have been an impact, or impacted, on my life.

This week, I found an old friend on LinkedIn and shared a little of my story and then sent him a link to the original post on my blog.  His reaction was to post the following on Facebook:

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“You cannot not model…

Okay, not my typical Facebook post…but felt the need to share as a Father, as a Husband, and simply because it will add strength to your day.

Yesterday I received a message on LinkedIn from an individual I encountered back in 2004. His name is Brian Wagner. I first met Brian while working at Ohio Mutual when we were upgrading our systems. Brian worked for IBM as a Software Sales Specialist. Until today, I had not spoken with or heard from Brian for many years.

The message he sent to me via LinkedIn yesterday was simple. The subject line was worded as “Hey” and the body of the message read – “It’s been too long. I’ve heard that you’ve moved on (from Ohio Mutual). Hope you’re doing well.” To which I replied “Hey Brian. Good to hear from you. Doing great. Give me a call”.

Today Brian called me and after some dialog I learned that he has been experiencing grace in his life. You can read about it on his blog – http://wp.me/p1TaAz-d I’d recommend taking a moment to do so…I hope you find strength in his story.

I can tell you that Brian sounded great on the phone – he sounded as if he has found his purpose for living, his mission, his calling.

I am having lunch with Brian on Wednesday. I’d ask that you pray for him and his family. I’m not sure exactly why God has connected Brian and I once again, but I look forward to experiencing Christ through him.”

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Another of these friends wrote a special note, talking about the impact that my heart surgery-survivin’, volleyball playin’ daughter – not me – had on his life.  Here’s a bit of what he wrote.

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“Brian, as you know, I hold your daughter in the highest regard – in fact, as my personal hero. I am further blessed to see her so big and strong and growing up. I’m so glad. I am also glad that God placed your family so near to us at that time and that although it was suffering to have her go through what she did as a young infant, but that it had such a great impact on me. That fact literally took the edge off of my fear of the approaching surgeries. If they could “fix” a tiny girl, could they not easily fix a full sized man. Sure. It was just plumbing. But I saw in Jessie that it was possible to survive and thrive as she has. God bless you as you further recover. Get to as many games as you can and enjoy the excitement. I hope they do really well.”

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These are just two of my friends that have written me in the past 18 months.  Maybe you should reach out to an old friend or make a new one.

What are you thankful for?

Nov 05

Why not?

In my last post I left you with a Chinese Proverb.  “It’s always better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.”  I have gone through some pretty dark days during the 20 months.  This was not one of them.  Today was “All Saints Day” at church.  This is a church holiday for those than have “gone” before us.  It’s a rather solemn part of the service when the pastor reads the name of all of the people that have departed in the past year.

You have to feel for people sitting there hearing their loved-ones name being read aloud.  You have to wonder about those that are departed.  Are they happy with the time that they spent on earth?  Granted, they’ve all been taken too soon in our minds.   But for the time that they were here,  did they live life to it’s fullest?  Once they’re gone, they’re not really gone.  They have had an impact on the world and will continue on in heaven.  From the departed’s standpoint, they continue living.  Just not here on earth.  That’s why the saying and the song that tells us to “live like we’re dying” is wrong.  We should be living like we’re going to live forever.

I said that the Chinese Proverb was appropriate but left it to you to draw your own conclusion as to why that was.  My reason’s are obvious and otherwise.  The “obvious” is the lack of light that comes into my eyes on a daily basis.  Some days are better than others.  It’s hard to get into things that require vision.  Once I get started, if my vision cooperates, it’s almost “normal” – the new normal, anyway.  The “otherwise” is a lack of confidence in everything I do.   That’s my personal darkness.  There are times that others see me for who I am and then there are times that I get “the look”.  I know that people don’t mean anything by it, but there’s that curiosity.  First on their part and then on mine.

You should know that I had my second eye surgery on October 10th.  My follow-up appointment, with Dr. Katz, was pretty straight forward.  He’s not satisfied, but indicated that my vision is about 60% of where he wants it to be.  This means one or two more surgeries on my eye muscles.  Once my eyes stabilized, he’ll work on the lids.  After that, I’ll probably get prism glasses to put my vision in proper alignment.  My next appointment is November 16th.  (evolution, not revolution)

This is the second year in a row that NOT being on that list has had a much greater impact on me.  That day will come for all of us.  So, why not live while you’re living?