Archive for June, 2009


Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

My life has been hectic since I last wrote. It seems as if there’s not enough time in the day, yet I don’t make good use of the time that I have. Right now I find myself too active in too many things. I need to take a step back and evaluate my priorities.

I took Theo for a walk shortly before dark. As we walked along the road I glanced at my left hand. For some reason the scar on the back of it seemed to jump out at me. It has been many years since I gave it any thought at all, but I was inundated with memories last night. It might be because Theo was with me when I acquired that particular scar.  I believe it was 13 years ago this summer that the scar appeared. I was behind my parents house moving 3D archery targets around. Theo was tagging along behind me and playing in the woods. He was only a little fella back then and I never realized at that point how important he would become in my life.

As I moved targets I came to a pine branch that I had to clear out of the way. I pulled on it and figure it would easily snap. The harder I pulled the more it seemed to fight. Suddenly, it let loose. I can’t remember much, other than a jagged piece of the branch shooting into my hand. I quickly called for Theo and bent over to catch my breath. The pain was so unbearable I vomited. Theo was at my side by that point. I can remember looking at him and knowing that he knew that something was drastically wrong. I could see the fear and concern in his face. I stabilized my hand and slowly made my way back to the house. After a while the pain subsided, but I still have a nasty scar today. It’s funny how much pain can be associated with scars, but they also have the ability to bring us back to a time that would otherwise be forgotten.

I still have a scar on my forehead under my hair-line. I’m not sure why but it only appears when I sweat. That scar was created on my parents anniversary when I was 5 years old. Dad and I went for a quick ride on his motorcycle that evening. When we got home I was going to spend the evening with my babysitter and he and mom were going out to dinner. We never made it back home. A dog ran out from under a car and got caught between the wheels of the motorcycle. Time stood still for a few seconds and I can still see it today. Dad was thrown from the bike and barrel rolled down the road and into the ditch. However, I was still on the bike until it went ass over tea kettle and ended up in pieces on the side of the road. When we got to the hospital dad’s bones in his hands were visible and my head was covered in blood. When I look at the pictures I still can’t believe that I survived the crash and that I didn’t need reconstructive surgery on my face. When I sweat I’m glad that the scar appears because it makes me realize how lucky I was to live the life that I have lived so far.

After Theo and I changed to the other side of the road on the way home I had to switch arms on the leash. Not sure why, but my attraction was instantly drawn to another scar on my right arm this time. The scar is on the inner side of my forearm. It looks like three white circles that extend for about an inch and a half. I created it myself. My head was in another place. My world had all but collapsed and an infection was festering in my arm. I decided to boil some water, saturate a cloth in it and leave it on my arm to help draw the infection out. When I did it I didn’t realize that the heat from the water transferred right through the cloth and into my arm. I ended up burning my arm and causing more of a mess than I started with. It was a time that I would like to forget, but I have the scar to look at as a reminder. Although I lost my head for a while I surely came out on the other side.

Many people carry visible scars around while others carry them inside. Their souls have been scarred by different people along their journeys. These are the people that need us the most. I’m no stranger to these types of scars. I was involved in a fierce battle with my psyche for quite a while. I second guessed every decision I made. Although I plodded forward I had no idea where I was going. I didn’t have a path to follow or a map to guide me there. I tried to create the rules as I went. Of course, I made a lot of questionable decisions, but in the end it helped me along the way.

I try to offer my hand to anyone that has internal scars. Far too many people think that they’re all alone. They don’t realize that the journey isn’t easy for anyone. The grass might always look greener in another pasture, but until you have walked a mile in another man’s shoes you will never know for sure. It’s easy to sit back and imagine, but the reality of life clearly shows that nobody has an easy path. That’s what makes our lives what they are. We all make decisions that guide us in different directions and sometimes we come face to face with the devil. It’s those times when we know that we must keep faith and not sell our soul down the river because we feel as if we have no hope. Sometimes all it takes is that one extra step to get us into the clearing. It might rain for days on end, but the sun will always come out out when it subsides.  That’s what we must try to remember in the dark times.

As you go forward remember that some of those nasty internal scars that you carrry around are there so you know what to avoid in the future. They will help you enjoy every new experience to the fullest and they might guide you away from making a previous mistake again.

I’ve learned that scars are souvenirs that you never lose. I’m thankful for that because it has made me stronger, more appreciative and much more willing to give to others at all times, not just when they need it. That day with Theo, in the woods, will be with me forever. My hand hurt like hell that day, but I can look back and remember him as a baby. I’ve given him a good life and he has brought a tremendous amount of joy to my life. It’s amazing what a 13 pound dog can do for a grown man. Thank you little buddy. I love you.

Back in Play

Sunday, June 7th, 2009

It seems like I haven’t had time to breathe lately. One thing leads to the next and before I know it another day, then another week has passed. I felt like it was necessary to sit down to write tonight since I’ve let that slide the past few weeks. So much has happened that I don’t know where to start, so I guess I’ll start with last weekend.

I haven’t shot a 3D target all year, but I decided to go to the NY State IBO Championship in hopes of qualifying of for the IBO World Championship in August, which will be held in western NY this year. Without any practice I didn’t have any expectations. I figured I would shoot my best and see where the chips fell. The rain fell steadily on my drive to the tournament. When I finally arrived the rain subsided and the wind began to howl. As the day moved on the winds stayed steady at 25-3o mph. Since I’ve shot in those conditions before I knew that I shouldn’t fight the pin and just pull through the shot. From my experience I have learned that the arrow will usually end up fairly close to where it should. Well, when the day was done I ended up walking away with another state title. Although I was glad I didn’t feel any sense of accomplishment. I’m still not sure why. It might be because I didn’t think I deserved it or better yet I knew that I hadn’t put anything into it.

Golf has become a wonderful new hobby for me. It’s funny but I can see the same patterns developing that I saw in archery about 20 years ago. Whenever I get a chance I want to hit golf balls. I also do what I can to get better. I want to become proficient at it. Although I know that I will never reach the same level that I did in archery I want to be able to have fun and also score halfway decent. It seems like a lot of fun right now and I enjoy playing with some new friends that I’ve made over the last couple of years. It amazes me how much time can change who we hang out with and where we go from one year to the next.

I went to see my cousin Nick yesterday. Every day that passes is another day that makes me realize that there’s no getting time back. I need to decide what I’m going to do and put it in a time frame to get it done. I’m going to pursue some plans and prices so I have a better idea of what’s ahead and if indeed it is possible. I would really like to have a place to call “home.” I need it for my mental well being. I need it to bring another type of stability into my life. It seems as if nothing has been easy since the carpet was torn out from under my feet a few years ago. It seems as if I’m climbing up a mountain without a summit. I climb every day, but never gain altitude. Sometimes the dense cover blocks my view and I let everything around me suck me into the darkness. It’s hard to see beyond, but I know the beauty of what lies at the top. It’s always a breath of fresh air up there. It’s a feeling of freedom. It’s just the top of a mountain, but it seems like it’s the top of the world. I’m a fighter. Sweat drips from the back of my neck and slowly dribbles down the crease of my spine as I push forward. I’ve realized that the journey isn’t supposed to be easy. If it was easy it wouldn’t be rewarding.

My father worked his ass of for everything he has ever gotten. I watched it with my little brown eyes when I was a child. I saw him give everything he had to me and my siblings as we got older. It seemed as if he worked soley for us. He worked to provide for us and show us and give us things that he never had. It is very much appreciated and I will never forget it. It seems so hard right now because when I look at what’s ahead of me I’m not sure I have what it takes. That’s where I hope I have a small bit of him inside of me. The proposition of the whole thing is just plain scary. I’m not sure if I’m financially secure enough to take on what I might attempt, but as one of my friends recently told me, I will never know if I don’t just do it. I could sit on my ass and never take the chance and watch my life pass by. When my dad built his house he didn’t have a pot to piss in, but somehow he found a way to give us a great life and put a roof over our heads. Back in the day it was considered a big house, but by today’s standards it’s fairly small. He has made a good life for himself. He did it solely through hard work, passion and dedication. I know that I don’t have what he did, but I’m my own person. Each one of us is unique and I’ll surely find my way as I continue down the road. I’m just glad that I have him to hold the light and guide me along. Between my mom and dad  a child could never ask for for. Although I’m just shy of 40 I’m still a child. I know that they’re able to live a little more for themselves now than when they were younger, but I need to find my own way again. I just know it’s time.

I’ve made a lot of progress on my book the past two weeks. I’m definitely pushing forward with a particular goal in mind. Things seem to be easier with the text and picture boxes right now. The more I work in the program the more comfortable I am. I’ll get there eventually.

I’m glad that summer is bearing down on us. I like the energy that it brings to me. I like being outside and taking in everything around me. It feels so good to be alive. I enjoy every breath that I take and I’m thankful that I’ve been able to live a happy and healthy life up to this point. Although I battle a tough disease I could always have it much worse. I try to keep it under control to the best of my ability. My discipline with it has taught me a lot about who I am. I know that I can finish what I start if I put my mind to it. I need to keep that in mind for the coming year.

As I launched a golf ball off the tee this morning I watched it explode on impact and then gently glide through the air. It softly hit in the middle of the fairway and gently rolled a few feet forward. If not anything else, I have power and accuracy of the tee. I might not have any game besides that, but the flight of the ball is what keeps me going. I am that ball. I was launched off the tee a few years back. However, I was sliced into the bushes and left for dead. I was one of those balls that rests quietly in the wooded section that is too deep to penetrate. Instead, a ball is dropped and play continues. I sat in the forest all by myself. I was lost and forgotten. Nobody ever came looking for me, so I just sat there. The rain pelted me throughout the summer and the snow piled high on my back in the winter. Then, out of nowhere, a small boy found me, stuck me in his pocket and brought be back out onto the course to play once again. As he dropped me for his penalty stroke I knew that I was on the right path once again. All of those dreaded nights were behind me. I was alive again. One day led into the next and brought me to today when I was launched off the tee into the middle of the fairway. I’m on my way again. There’s no looking back now. I’ll surely end up in the center of the cup. It might be a par 4, but I’ll get there even if it takes me a snowman to complete the task.

There are starts and stops throughout our lives. I’m tired, but I’m not beaten.  I’m bloodied, but I’m still standing. I have been weak, but it has made me stronger.  I have cried, but I am not sad. I have forgiven, but I have not forgotten. My legs are sore, but I can still walk and I’m walking into a new chapter that I can’t wait to write about a few years from now. Even if things are always want I want them to I have learned how to fake it until I make it if that’s what it takes, but for today I’m perfectly content rolling along the fairway.

A Few Short Passages From My Book

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009

A passage from “The Broken Leg Buck”

When we got back to the tent Smitty and Jeff had supper waiting for us. We made quick work of it and discussed our plans for the following morning. After we organized a plan we settled in for the night. It was the scariest night I can ever remember being in a tent. I didn’t sleep a wink. Trees crashed down around us all night long. Dad and Jeff didn’t seem the least bit concerned, but I knew my buddy Smitty was in the same place I was. Whenever I thought I was the only one awake I could see his little eyes, filled with fear, peeking out from his sleeping bag. Our glances connected on more than one occasion. Neither one of us was sure we would live to see the morning. Although most hunters always wish they are in the woods, I was praying with all my might that I would be able to step foot in my own home again. I was scared for my life.

A passage from “The Sleeping Buck” chapter.

Then, I saw something that I had never seen in my life and most likely will never see again. I still can’t believe it to this day. There was about a 2 foot gap between the ground and the tree. The buck squatted down with his front legs out in front of him and his rear legs behind him. He wiggled his head under the tree and then belly crawled until he got under it. When he cleared the tree he stood up and continued along the edge of the swamp. I have carried a video camera with me many times and I have some phenomenal footage, but I don’t have anything that could compare to that event. It’s a vision that is etched in my mind forever. (This was about a small buck that I passed up)