Thursday, December 27, 2012

Year End Review

I am sitting at my sister and brother-in-law's house looking at a howling blizzard outside, and I am thinking how lucky I am to be safe and secure in this beautiful place. As always we had a wonderful and crazy Christmas. The wrapping paper was flying as everyone was opening their gifts, certainly a reason to be thankful that we have all been so blessed.

In keeping with that spirit, I thought I would write about some of the highs and lows of the past year. As each year passes I am mindful of the ever increasing longevity of my friendships and how important my friendships are to my overall happiness. I also have become increasingly cognizant of the impermanence of almost everything in our lives and the need to appreciate  who we have in our lives while we have them.

Each year we add to the cherished memories we create as the years quickly pass. Unfortunately I lost two friends to cancer in this past year. First my friend of 23 years, Shawn Daly, I have written about him on several occasions and certainly could not have let this year end review pass by without mentioning this monumental loss. I still have his last two voice mail messages on my cellphone so that I can remember his voice. I will never forget all the times this guy made me laugh at his insane antics and of course the cruise we took together.

The second loss of a friend in 2012, is someone who  I actually lost a couple of years before she passed, there was a lack of communication between the two of us that resulted in her choosing to part ways and thus ending our friendship. This was a particularly difficult situation for me because I was not made aware of her cancer diagnosis and so I did not participate in her final years. Now I understand that her dying is about her and not about me, however, I loved her and would like to have demonstrated my love and support to her  because of the mutual love and friendship we once shared. I have been mourning the loss of our friendship for a couple of years but her passing just finalized something I had hoped could have been remedied. She will be greatly missed by me.

I stopped physical therapy in October of this year because of a newly imposed "cap" on medicare benefits, this cap was implemented retrospectively and thus I was not informed about the imminent monetary end of physical therapy until I had reached the limit.  This abruptness  of course left little time to tie up any loose ends and make as smooth a transition away from my "physical therapy family" as I would have liked.

As 2013 fast approaches I am not sure if I am going back to therapy at all. There is very little left to do except for an occasional review of my progress or lack there of, and the encouragement that ostensibly I need. To be perfectly honest, I am not working as diligently toward walking on those short legs as I should or could be. I guess over the course of time I am realizing how daunting this task before actually is. I realize that everyone gets discouraged from time to time but I am wondering if the effort necessary to walk on those short legs is really worth all the energy I expend.

The roommate drama continues as I search for a suitable candidate, something that I thought would be a no brainer has turned out to be quite a challenge, not to speak of the financial hardship of not having someone to share living expenses poses for me in my life.

My friend, Steve told me he thought I was one of the most positive persons he knew, according to him I am always finding the good in people. While I will admit I do think most people are good deep within their souls, I have found  that some persons disguise that innate goodness pretty well. I think after having reread what I have written thus far, it does not sound all that positive.

I guess it is now safe to say I have made it two years without a hospital stay, something I have not been able to say for quite a few years. If that is not a reason to be happy and thankful than I don' t know what is. It was a little over two years ago that I lost my second leg.

Every year it seems I look forward to greener pastures, hoping and visualizing good things for everyone in the coming year and this year is no different. I think sometimes rather than dwelling on what was not accomplished in the past year we should focus on what was accomplished and realize that if I can still write these words and you can still read them than we should rejoice in those facts and let the new year unfold such as it will.

Happy and Blessed New Year to Everyone.

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Saturday, December 15, 2012

Evaluating Our Priorities

Not unlike the rest of the nation who is still reeling in the wake of yesterday's horrific tragedy, I was deeply affected by the senseless loss of life.

I am not going to rant and rave about the gun laws and lack of control our nation seems to be so apathetic about changing, instead, I am going to talk about keeping our priorities straight and evaluating the prospective we have about our own individual lives.

It is so easy to get lost in the maze of our own  seemingly endless problems. We forget from time to time what is really important. We get preoccupied in everyday trivialities, which upon closer examination and when weighed against what is really important, seem petty and sometimes even meaningless.

We forget the joy of a child's smiling face, the hug from a close friend, the comfort we feel when surrounded by those whom we love and who love  us. This heinous act which was perpetrated upon innocent children and loving, dedicated educators is a sobering reminder that we should pay closer attention and show more appreciation to people we love.

It is never known in advance what lays ahead around the next bend in our lives, consequently, perhaps we should try to be more conscientious about telling and showing those whom we love how much they really mean to us.

We get wrapped up in the business of living and sometimes take for granted that those who are in our lives will always be there. If everyone would tell at least one other person every day that they love them, that they are proud of them, and that they appreciate them, our world would be so much more of a loving place in which to live.

When I think about those children whose lives were snuffed out in the blink of an eye, I want to cry. I want to cry for what could have and should have been.

Let us all reexamine our priorities to determine what is really important in our lives, remembering that love and life are what our real priorities should be.

I am as guilty as  anyone of getting caught up in my own world of problems and not remembering to tell my family and friends how much they mean to me and how much better my life is because they are a part of it.

I hope that many lessons will be learned through the loss of all of those innocent lives yesterday and that we as people collectively will change whatever needs to be changed, be it laws, attitudes, societal tolerance, or restraint to curtail if not totally eliminate further needless bloodshed.

Today is the day and now is the time to change our priorities, demonstrate  our love for each other not only through our words but also through our actions. Each of us have the capacity to evoke change and the first step is to exemplify our reverence for life itself and every one's inalienable right to live happy and fulfilling lives.

May God bless those children and teachers who lives were stolen from them yesterday and may God's strength and peace be with the family and friends of those who have suffered such an inconceivable loss. Amen.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Weird Blog Comments

For the past few months I have been receiving weird blog comments, always by an anonymous person. The comments usually pay some arbitrary or generic compliment, followed by a web page or other blog they would like for me to visit.

I visited a few of them and they have absolutely nothing to do with my blog post. Could it be that some word contained within the title of my particular blog post prompted a person searching on google to my site? If that is the case, than why would this be happening all of a sudden?

A few months ago I received a blog comment on the post I titled, "Utilizing All of Your Tools" the comment said, "Alle denken immer nur das Eine." I had a friend of mine translate it from the German it was written in, to English. The translation is, "Some people only think of themselves." What is that supposed to mean?

If anyone has any insight as to why this has been happening please share that information with me. It is a little irritating to me that these unrelated and irrelevant comments are being sent to me.

My blog was designed to be informative and hopefully uplifting, not used as a means to promote or increase the Internet traffic on another blog or website that is not connected with my blog topic or concerned with life as an amputee.

While I am on the subject of blog comments, I think there has been some confusion as to how a comment is posted on my blog site. If you would like to leave a comment, you enter it in the comment section following the blog post. If you want your comment to appear at the end of my blog, after entering the comment, hit the word publish and it will be printed in the comment box for other blog visitors to read.

The comment box at the end of a blog post serves two purposes; first, to give me, the author, some feedback from you, the reader, and secondly, by publishing your comment, I then have the opportunity to respond to you comments.

This back and forth dialogue is something I have always hoped would happen but has never actually caught on. Does all of this make sense?

There is a blog forum associated with "" and I guess I should pose these questions to the forum to see if others have experienced similar occurrences.

I am only writing these things because I am hoping these arbitrary comments will stop, which is not to say that I do not value reader's comments, on the contrary, I highly value the comments my readers take the time to write.

I enjoy reading the comments sent to me, both positive and negative. It gives me a sense of accomplishment knowing that people feel the words I share about my experiences as a bilateral amputee have meaning and are relevant.

This blog was meant not only to be informative but to also help people understand my life as I go through it as an amputee. Ultimately, I hope this blog serves as words of encouragement  to others who may not be an amputee per se, but looking for a new perspective on how to interpret  life's circumstances and learn to live as happy and positive a life as possible.

Thank you.

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