Archive for July 19th, 2009

Birthdays, Fear and Hope

Sunday, July 19th, 2009

Tomorrow is my cousin Kyle’s birthday. Don’t ask me how I know, but he is the only cousin that I know the exact day. I know a few cousins are in November right around Thanksgiving and I believe one is in April, but I could never tell you the exact dates. I remember when Kyle was born because I had spent most of the summer with my Aunt Kathy (Kate) where I was able to swim in Lake Sunnyside and experience the finer things in life as a child. For some reason I can remember how hot it was. It was definitely a far cry from what this summer has been so far. Another reason I can remember his birthday is because it’s the day before my sister’s. With each passing year it becomes more and more evident that I can’t make time stand still. Although I wish I could, it’s just a fact of life that I can’t. I’ve always been pretty good at making the most out of my time, but I’m beginning to think that I lost that skill sometime in the last couple of years.

Next week will be my niece’s birthday. Up until she was born I always had my own day, but I was actually glad to have someone to share it with when she came into the world. It’s even better now, as she’s in her teen years, because it’s almost as if my birthday gets overlooked which is just fine with me. It tends to give her the attention that she needs in her growing years and it allows me to hide in the background.
The last few weeks have brought me to a place I haven’t been in a while. I’m not sure how to explain it. I don’t have a lot of motivation, but at the same time I’m still moving forward with the things that are necessary. I wrecked my leg this week playing softball. It’s cut from one end to the other and is an open wound of raw flesh. Everyone has commented on it and tells me that I should give it up. They think I’m too old and act as if I’m stupid for doing what I love. I will play sports as long as I have the ability to do so. I know the day is coming, but I won’t give in until I absolutely have to. Every year I tell my friends that I will quit softball if I don’t hit any balls over the fence. Well, it looks like I’m safe for at least another year because my stroke has been more than sufficient this year to get the job done. I enjoy the competition and I like the team concept. That’s what brings me back every year. I don’t want to abandon my hobbies when I still have the ability to do well while participating.

Well, my mind is all over the place so I’ll move to another topic. I thought my cousin Rich went to Boston last week, but he’s headed there this week. I saw him today while he was sealing my uncle’s driveway. I didn’t see him to talk to, but when I drove by I tried to imagine the thoughts that must be in his head. He knows that he’s in for a battle. The doctors found a spot on his brain and the debate as to what it is will soon be ended. He’s a tough guy and I know he can get through it if he’s given an opportunity to fight. We always think the worst when we first hear the news, but if anyone is like me they will try to find the hope in the darkness that surrounds them. I’m sure that he’ll keep a positive attitude and do his best in this battle that lies in front of him.

Once again it seems like there are a lot of unfortunate things striking my extended family all at the same time. We’ve encountered many tense and stressful situations over the years.  All we can do is pray for one another, stay positive and hope for the best. Once you lose hope everything else is gone. We’re very fortunate to know that there are others in our family that have survived some traumatizing news and events. What we all face now is sure to test our mental strength, but we’ll somehow find a way without showing our fear on the outside.

Fear is unfortunately a part of life. We fear things simply because we don’t have an answer. We can only let our imaginations run wild and hope that we don’t get consumed with any negativity that might arise. We all search for answers that will never be found. However, we have to find a way to come to terms with everything that is thrown in our laps as our lives move from one day to the next. Everyone deals with it differently and that is what we all have to remember as we glance into their world from the outside.

I can’t tell you what will happen as the summer fades into fall, but I will pray every night when I lay my head on my pillow that everything will happen as it is meant to happen. I won’t say much as I will just let the scene play out in front of me. I know that we’re all fighters and fighters never quit.

On to another thought that I’ll close with. This evening, shortly before the daylight faded into darkness, I found myself driving down a road I don’t normally drive on during the weekend. As I glanced out the window my eyes burned from the inside out. My blood sugar was high and I felt like a sack of sand. Although I didn’t feel well, I saw something that gave me a little life. It was something that made me appreciate where I was, where I had been and furthermore, where I am going. Sometimes things come out of nowhere to slap us in the face and bring us back to reality. The visual that I received did this to an effect. It made me realize that things happen for a reason even if we don’t know the reason at the time. I’ve learned along the way to let the wind blow as it wants to and watch the water glide toward the sea. I can’t stop any of  it from happening, so I’m just along for the ride. I smiled as I continued down the road, as I was truly happy just to be alive. Things might not always be good or great, but I’m surrounded by great friends, a wonderful family and hope that burns bright inside of me every night when I click the light off and fade into a land filled with dreams.

I’m still breathing in and out and one foot is still going in front of the other. I’m getting closer to the reality of my dreams. I was gifted with patience as a child and I’m very thankful for that now. I might not get there right away, but I will get there. I have been consumed by darkness before and although I  was lost, I  found my way to the light on the other side. If you jump on my back I’ll take you with me.