Thursday, July 23, 2009

Act 2: A Love Story

If "Act 1" of my life were to be labeled or defined, some would call parts of the act both tragedy and comedy.

Tragedy in the sense that towards the end of my "Act 1", or in the last two years, I suffered a medical meltdown, on life support, in a coma for ten days, then a period after that night that saw me hospitalized for 100 days, and rehabilitating at home for 15 months.

During that time, and shortly after my medical 9/11, I became totally and profoundly deaf, lost all inner balance that put me in a wheel chair to start, then months and months (still on going) of physical therapy to teach me how to walk with NO BALANCE.

The above would be part comedy, and I saw the humor in life as I stumbled around deaf and awkwardly.

I crawled out of my medical soup and started down a road of recovery. During that part of my "Act 1" I lost my wife of 19 years to a dogged and determined blood cancer called Leukemia.
And oh yea, I lost my dog as well to cancer.

So my life in 2009 was started different, as my son Dan and I set out in the world as best we could. My mindset was good, and as I wrote often here, I was in discovery mode to see the world through a new and fresh perspective.

Then I met Mary!

I have posted about her and described how my new friend Mary graced and changed my life quickly. I first posted back in April this:
"So when someone graced my life a few weeks ago, I did the usual observing, listening, contemplating, deliberating, meditating, and reflective thought. After reasonable time and conversation it became clear that this new soul was a kindred one indeed.

I am pensive and rational by nature, so I was intrigued by my "full speed ahead" quest to spend more time with this wonderful soul as she was so engrossing.

My deafness along with my obvious magnet on my melon, has made me more shy and guarded than the previous analog version of myself. It was with great delight that this lady disarmed my silly perspective of myself, and made me feel "normal". In so much as I hate the word normal, and at times believe I am no different than before, I am also aware that my challenges with cochlear aided hearing do indeed make me different.

I had also forgotten how wonderful it is to share conversation one on one, as I posted a while ago. I get caught up in the wonderful world of sharing, and find myself "hogging" the conversation, as I have been for starved of that for quite some time.

Acceptance of new friendship can be hard. When one is "not looking", "not interviewing" or "not accepting resumes" for the friend position; one is caught of guard a little bit when the universe offers up a wonderful kindred soul to share and laugh with.
To allot and apportion my time with is a treat now as I look forward to the experience and the daily give and take of the conversation that is offered up when two people share common interests and goals.
The give and take of life is worthy of sharing with others. So my enchantment moved quickly to contentment.

Yes it has been a relatively short period of time in our friendship, but we are not 17 any more, and there is no sadness in that simple fact.

Life moves on at the speed of life. Change happens faster than we like, but it changes.
The glee and gratification of sharing the day to day trials and tribulations are lighter from the mirth and pleasure of having someone to chew the words with.
Another wonderful soul to relish the day with.
A kindred spirit to share the hilarity and jollity of life and it's joy.

There are no accidents in the Universe"
End of post.

Since meeting we have spent 134 days in each others company. We have only been apart for 7 days, and that was when Mary and her sister took a vacation together. It was during that week apart that I knew that I had something special in my life. A kindred spirit. A wonderful soul that was quickly becoming my best friend in the universe and the love of my life.

The relationship was amazing from the start, and it was as if we knew each other all our life's.
She made me comfortable in my "magnet on melon" appearance, and found it "silly" that I considered myself "handicapped", when I had hearing and other than a magnet on my head, I was just like anyone else.

We share life together as if we have been together for 134 years, not days. Our experiences, strengths and hopes from and for life are common indeed. I often question why such an amazing lady would want anything to do with a deaf old 51 year old.
Mary is a self proclaimed "Pain in the ass", but she is anything but!

Mary has two adult children so has been more than a tremendous resource in dealing with my 15 year old. Trust me on this, as good as Dan is, he is still a 15 year old boy discovering high school and all of the temptations and peer pressure that go with it.
Mary has "been there, seen that" and is amused most of the time at my naivety in the world of parenting.
I have learned much and continue to do so. Not just about parenting, but life. I have a wonderful teacher in my life now, that shows me not by telling or stating the obvious, but by watching her, and listening to her. I have learned mountains of good life lessons, and daily it astonishes me at how far I have come.

But it is the love that makes "Act 2" so wonderful.
It is indeed an second act in my life, and I am grateful for it. I will never loose nor forget the first act and how it shaped my life.
The wonderful things it brought me.
The beautiful boy that is also a love of my life is a major part of my first act, as is a marriage of 19 years, and a medical firestorm that changed the way I see the world.

But it is a love I have with and for Mary that is new territory and amazingly wonderful. I have never felt this way.

It is not a "puppy dog" love, nor is it the love/lust of two 17 year old's. God knows we are both not 17 anymore, and are clear on how short life is, and where we are in God's calendar.

So for the past 134 days I have felt the love of an amazing woman.
Shared stories, meals, laughs, friends, hurts, cries, hugs, cleaning duties, laundry, bed making, shopping, sunrises and sunsets.
I have met and spent time with her wonderful family, and her with mine.

We are in love!

So we will ride off in a plane to spend 7 days in the Dominican Republic on Saturday, and I am in bliss about having my new best friend by my side 24/7. No interruptions for work!

Life is amazingly wonderful and when I look back on the last two years I do a big "huh?"
How can I be so happy so happy after everything I have been through?

Answer is simple, and she goes by the name Mary.

Life in a Cone of Silence was my first attempt at writing a blog describing the world of deafness and how the world was viewed in silence.
Five String Guitar was a life in a liminal space that wrote about my new way of hearing the world through a cochlear implant, but offered up the limitations of sound. Five out of six strings if you will.

I found my missing string!



Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Back In Blog Land

I am indeed back!
Not that I went anywhere, but I have been MIA from this cozy place that I used to spend hours putting fingers to "qwerty".

Since I last graced this page in attempt to update in a creative manner, summer came. Well sorta. The days flew from June to July, and now I scratch my head trying to recount where July went, and what I did or forgot to do.
Ah! Life at the speed of glorious life!

I still am, and will be forever, as deaf as a stump/stick/wheel of cheese.
My balance is a misnomer as I will never have "true balance" but I do a wonderful "fake" walk that would fool the best Cirque de Soleil folks. Daily I do a regime to trick the brain into thinking that walking like an Egyptian is really a cake walk.
Inner balance is so overrated dear brain.
The eyes have it.
Relax you worry wart of a grey matter!
Just relax!

Work keeps me from penning my first novel, and pretty much keeps me from attacking the dust dust bunnies that attack the house that Guitar Boy and I share in our little town.
Work seems to take over a life that enjoyed at one time spending 3 hours researching and creating the perfect French Toast.

Work, be it of the house nature or of the 40 hour per week nature, is also overrated. Yes, it pays a bill or two, but man does it take away from the discovery mode that I was in at one time. I seem to have my head down and buried in a LCD screen more than days gone by.

I will not grumble about being a million miles from a place that saw me deaf, and in a wheel chair for a time. And by the way, that does feel like a million miles ago on this journey.
Despite what some famous author declared that "there are no second acts in an American life", this Canadian boy has reinvented himself and, as a matter of fact, is on his second act.

Yes my friends, life does change, move forward, and move at the speed of life. People die, babies are born, illness strikes, senses are changed, zits appear on young boys faces overnight.
Change, change and then change.

Embrace, accept and get on the hamster wheel I suppose. I love this life, and I love to learn.

So I will depart on Saturday for a week in Punta Cana, in the Dominican Republic. There I will spend 7 days with my head buried on one of several novels. I hope to read at least two or three of the trash nature, two or three of the classic's and perhaps one or two that teach me something.

Leaving the "summer" here, that has been in the blistering 20's ( high 60's F for my American friends that chuckle at the rest of the world in Celsius) and going to the high 30's.
Sun, sand and a break from the Blackberries, LCD screens, and excel spread sheets that oh so tire me out.

I will be back.

thanks for your patience and kind words always.