Thursday, August 6, 2009

Deaf Aerobics And Other Firsts!

The continuing journal of my seven day holiday and journey.

It is now day five in our vacation. For me it has become what I had hoped: A seven day discovery of David. The thought patterns and process of self diagnosis are neither planned nor thought out in advance. They occur at random.
For seven days I will be out of the home and work environment. I am four and a half hours by plane removed from my home and native land. This in itself helps me look down at where I am at this point in my life.

I can't imagine a time from from memory where I have been more content or at peace with me. To be sure, the Caribbean ocean that lulls me and the waves that dance before me daily have been a catalyst in the gratification I feel. But the peace that resides inside me today, has been manifesting for months. It is good.

In the past 23 months I have weathered great storms, and if I am honest with myself, the last five years have had hurricane and tsunami days. 2004 was the diagnosis of Janet's blood cancer that would take her life 4 1/2 later.

If I am really honest I suppose, I could find great gusts and micro bursts in my 40 odd years of memory, and 51 years in life; but I dealt differently with life in the past. Often I would view change as a tragedy. It took me 51 years to realize that change is part of life.
In previous versions of thought, I viewed "lack of things" as reasons for depression or unhappiness.
"If only I could make $10K more a year, I would be happy and out of this funk" I thought constantly years ago.
Years later when earning a much more substantial income I was now saying "If I could only make another $40K a year more, I would be happy and out of this funk" !!!!!!
We all know the life lesson about money and happiness. I only wish I heeded the advice back then.

So is it then fair that I lost so much (loved ones, hearing) yet found a wonderful peace within?
Not sure.
This I now know: Life changed. Always did and always will.
There were huge changes in my life, many of them physical, and many of them emotional in nature.
Always will be as well.
Babies were born and people in my life died. My father died seven years before my son was born.

I lost hearing and ability to walk for a time, but I gained a love of life and a new found patience that at one time was as foreign to me as natural hearing is to me now.
All storms subside. First into a gust and then into a clam and perhaps without the hurricanes, cyclones, tornadoes, tsunamis, micro bursts and clouds of impending doom, we might not have any calm, or perhaps we would not recognize the calm for what it is.

The peace I feel here on the last Thursday of July, in the last year of this decade, could only be a result of storms that have subsided in my life. I have new hearing and new love. I walk and fake balance (but my God is the beech here ever throwing my walking for a loop).

I am sitting under a palm tree that thanks to a vigilant resort staff armed with machetes to trim, would drop coconuts on us unsuspecting tourists. If heaven were a traveling summer theater group, it is indeed playing here: on this beech.
Four shows a day!
Evening performances as well!

Life lessons are often learned as if by osmosis, but the lesson never sinks in until we use the absorbed skills in one of our life storms.
I know this now.
Two years ago I would rage against any darkness in my life, choosing to fight or flee a storm that I know now cannot be defeated or retreated from.
I now choose to light candles in the darkness of the storms to guide me through. It is a better place to be.
Perhaps deafness taught me more than my hearing life did.

The sun shows me that it is now noon. It is directly overhead now and without the ever present gentle Caribbean breeze, I would fry like the proverbial egg on the sidewalk in July.
It is the dogs days of summer I suspect, and this morning we saw our first dog in the Dominican Republic. A cute and playful puppy frolicking at oceans edge. It is a reminder of the wonderful pets that have been part of life, and the change that saw them move out of my life.

After lunch I lull into my unplanned but not surprising afternoon siesta. In my REM stage my dreams today are of food. Again, not surprising based on my buffet prowess thus far at the resort. I am startled into an early awaking by Mary. She has jostled me awake because the puppy from this morning has returned and is paying the two of us a visit that breaks both of our siestas into a shortened nap. Dog days!

I made reference to the "many firsts" that this journey would serveup. By day one in my holiday I had my first cochlear implant through the airport security; first flight with my C.I.; first time in the Dominican Republic.
I have been to the Caribbean before. Twenty one years ago I ventured to Cuba. It was in December of 1987.

Single then, and going through through one of those life questioning moments, I spent a week on the island. It was over Christmas, and I remember most vividly pushing a broken down rented Lada automobile through the hillsides outside of Havana, trying to get the car back to the resort where I rented it from. This was how I spent Christmas eve in 1987.

One month prior to that trip, I had been at the funeral of my Father. A man who I had not seen or spoken to in 15 years. So this was Caribbean Island visit and round one. It was one of many "rage against and run from the darkness and storms". It was how I did the "why me" in life's earlier journey.

This trip, Caribbean round 2, is a candle lighting mission of sorts wwhere I dare to ask my self the questions, learn answers through thought provoking and introspective meditation, and discover more love and life again from Mary; my beautiful traveling companion and soul mate.

It is now after 4 in the afternoon here , and we have traded the breeze and blues of the white sand stage named "Bavaro Beach", to kick up the action pool side. The beach lays back and the swaying of the palms lulls it's remaining denizens to sleep after 2 pm. The wave breaks never vary in their location. The playground of the morning is now a nursery for overfed, over sunned adults.

The pool, just meters inland from the ocean and a break of coconut palms is a daytime frat party and aerobics club. Music pumps and thumps from high strung speakers, as Dominican's in hotel attired t shirts and shorts, walk the pool deck, attempting to cajole us lazy folks into joining in the fun. There is now Salsa lessons, and they don't take "NO" for an answer. I eventually get brave and join Mary in the shallow end of the pool for an aerobics workout. I tuck my magnet and processor into a case and head for the water.
Deaf as a coconut shell I wonder how I will keep beat to music I can't and will never hear without the aid of my "gear".
Matters not!
I am here for seven days of life, love laughs and many many firsts.
Deaf aerobics just adds to my list!



6 comments: said...

Keep those journals & pictures coming. Very entertaining and insightful.

bobbie said...

this vacation of yours is probably the best thing ever for you.
and that final photo is fantastic!

Anonymous said...

I can't imagine a better journey. What a beautiful place for introspection!

Deaf aerobics makes me smile -- and I'm sure you do as well as some of us with hearing! said...

wow it looks gorgeous where you are at mo! :)
Medical journeys can teach us a lot that we can be quite lucky even if it takes a few yrs to realise it through the calm and stormy times.. :)

Jan D-M said...

Hello, David,

So glad to hear that your vacation has been so fruitful, in more ways than one, I'm sure! (The DR has yummy fruit and veggies).

In the 1 1/2 years I've been reading your blog, I've rarely heard you lose hope. You have always tried to keep your chin up and BE a candle.

You have earned this time away. I'm happy to know it was good.

Sarah Lulu said...

You are SUCH an inspiration for me ..right when I need it.