Double Birthday #2

Today I’m blessed to celebrate my second “double birthday” — fifty-three years since I joined the community of the living, and two years since I suffered a stroke (or three, depending on who you believe) and died once during emergency surgery at Shands Hospital in Gainesville.

It continues to be a wonderful life, highlighted by another eventful year that nobody promised to me. It dawned with the finding I’d need forty-six radiation treatments in twenty-three days, a regime I’d wish on no one. Short walks with a cane down a side street led to the ditching of my cane in November. That work continued, as many of you know, until I was regularly logging over 100 miles of walking each month. Finally, the year ended with the best news we could’ve hoped for: no tumors are currently present in my head. (YES!!)

I continue to be surrounded by conscientious doctors, unspeakably incredible friends..

And of course a family whose love, strength, and patience defy description and belief. Thank you Gale, Zach, Kyle, Alex, Crystal, Chris, and Steve for sticking with me while we got me this far, and for joining me on the journey ahead.

The year until my next birthdays is sure to be nothing short of fascinating. I’m ecstatic to be able to share it with you! See you there..

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Two Years On

I’ve been a perfectionist all my life. In technology and in music, it works in my favor. In my current set of challenges, not so much.

Two years ago today, my family watched, confused and worried, as I underwent a five hour operation to remove a benign cranial frangioma tumor which was discovered four days prior (on our tenth wedding anniversary) but had been present since I was very young.

Life is very different after the surgery.

Given my current set of gifts and limitations, it’s pointless and unconstructive for me to pursue classical perfectionism as I did for so many years. Far more useful is to consider what fools we’ve made of the “medical experts.” They said I’d never communicate. They said I’d never speak. They said I’d never walk.

I’m driving regularly and without incident. This morning I walked over 10 kilometers (and passed 400 miles on my New Balance shoes). I get to spend every day surrounded by a loving, supportive, and attentive family. I can see the sky and smell the trees and flowers. When I’m home, I’m never more than four feet from an overaffectionate dog. I laugh and dream and cry and love.

I LIVE. It’s awesome, and I am so blessed and thankful for the prayers, love, and support we’ve revived over the last two years, from inside our home and around the world. I don’t think I’d be here, in the shape I’m in, without them.

Today is a great day to turn away from the perfectionism of my old self, and embrace the pure joy and perfection to be found in this life that God has granted me.

It is indescribably wonderful to be among you. I love you all.

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