Published February 1, 2017
I have a friend who tells me that his brain is no longer his ally . He tells me that he knows he's 'losing it', yet no one around him wants to believe it. His memory is fading...he gets "lost in time" and fears for the future, the near future. "There are a few people who rely on me...what about them? He's, physically, in good shape, but , mentally, he tells me, " I'm fading away,man...Sometimes I don't even feel real...it's like I'm viewing the world, my world from somewhere else, kind of like looking into the wrong end of binoculars...I once felt colourful, now feel translucent..." He's been to doctors who think he's depressed and anxious, which he admits he is, but he feels the problem's in his brain. He tells me, "I've always thought i had a 'bad brain', now I believe it's worse than I had thought....years ago, I did a lot of drugs and wonder if this is the result of that, or, something else." He's losing optimism. I tell him to please hold on. He responds " I've been holding on for a long time but, Louie, my grip is slipping...."
Another friend checked herself in to rehab, days before Christmas. I admire her courage. I know her trauma pre-dates her recent,awful trauma, trauma that was perpetrated upon her....I can only hope they'll uncover that at rehab and not just 12 step her.
Sarah, my dear friend Snap Shirt Brother #1's daughter , short of a miracle, is spending her last Christmas with her family. I can remember when SnapShirt called me and told me that his(then) 18 year old daughter was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma. How do you say goodbye to your little one?
My friend Tom Lamb continues to display incredible courage to his family and friends. I often wonder what he thinks in his quiet moments. Tom recently had some, not good news regarding his illness.
Double N,Glenn's son died this past year... he holds on...I don't know how...
I cannot find 'Uncle' Curt.
Sweetie-V was 'cured' of Hepatitis ...she's struggling to get back into 'life', to trust again, to be truly intimate, with someone...
Erica Baily was in and talked about her daughter's leukaemia. The Novellos, Lynn and Derek, still smiling thru their tears are amazing, loving parents.
11 September came and passed again, ....for the Jersey Girls (Monica Gabrielle,Lorie Van Auken,Mindy Kleinberg and Kristen DBreitweiser) , 15 years after their loved ones were murdered. As awful the memories of that day in 2001 are for us, we cannot even begin to imagine their pain.
You wonder why anyone would stick a needle into their arm and inject a powerful narcotic that almost kills them. Their pain's been killing them for years. You take vacations to FEEL warm sun, cool waters and to wiggle your toes in sandy beaches, junkies take a brief vacation FROM feeling...if they die, it's still a release from their hell, their painful netherworld. (btw, the ignorance of the recent legislation in Ohio, demonization of doctors, won't decrease heroin abuse, it will increase heroin use/abuse. No one's trying to stop the bleeding) Bobby, a retired police officer who's served this community honourably, went for a shoulder replacement, got an infection at hospital, had bad reactions to antibiotics and is now on kidney dialysis . Another friend and former law enforcer has congestive heart failure Andrea, who has a severely autistic son, continues to work to help those with medical and environment concerns....to help THEM, it won't do anything to ease her or her husbands pain... Linda, 60 years old, lost her mom last year and can't find her way out of the pain. . We all carry some pain. For some, the pain's wallet sized, small, and manageable . Others juggle their pain, trying to keep the balls of pain moving, mostly in the air, know if one drops, they all fall. For others, it's like an over loaded back pack that eventually makes it difficult to look up...at worst, dragging a steamer trunk,making it hard to look forward...but, look forward we must, if we're to survive, to thrive. I remember being a pall bearer awhile back. There was a young man who was a first-timer. I suggested he be in the middle. I said to him: ' I know your concern, your worried if you'll be able to hold the coffin up.' I assured him that there were 6 of us to spread the weight, even if he couldn't hold on he shouldn't worry, or as the youth of today would say 'i got you' . I find the painting, Forgiven by Thomas Blackshear a very powerful image...the image of a broken man, a man in great pain, being held up, supported. We need to know, to KNOW that we're all carrying some level of pain. We all know the Footprints in the Sand poem..which is beautiful, but, I see it a bit differently. I believe it is us, each other, we humans that need support, to carry each other, sometimes.... to take the pain away, or , at least help each other, through this journey of life, and then, only then, if we recognize the pain in each other, just for a bit, to show some compassion, some empathy...after all, if we would just treat each other as we want to be treated, to listen , actively, to hear each other, to carry each other, just a bit, to follow the 'golden rule', to help each other on the way.....to lighten each other's load, if only for a bit...a bit of time.