Monday, October 26, 2009

I think I think too much.........

I don't know if it's got anything to do with having a mind that's more creative than analytical, more romantic than practical. But, for whatever reason, I never take anything on its own merit...everything has to be a story, a drama or an illustration. Nothing exists on a base-level...everything has to run deep in my warped mind. I think I think too much! Anyway, so was the situation yesterday as my family gathered to celebrate a birthday. On the surface, a gathering of family. A little food, a little birthday cake, a little laughter and an opportunity to make Christmas plans.
But in the abyss that is my mind (where lives the stupidity that works hard to make somethings out of all the nothings) I kept coming back to the notion that yesterday was a dramatic representation of the (cliche warning!) circle of life that has spun itself in our face yet again. For the first time (other than at her funeral) our family gathered without our matriarch. Though it's been many years since she was cognizant enough to enjoy our time together she still seemed content to be in the same room with all her children and grandchildren at these events. Yesterday, the chair she always occupied seemed awfully empty, even when someone was sitting in it. That is until I noticed that folks started taking turns sitting in that chair to hold and snuggle with the newest member of this small army. Passing my great nephew Hank to one another and sitting with him in the chair that Mother always occupied was a fitting picture, I thought. My heart's been awfully empty since Mother died. But that chair seemed nice and full, holding the beginnings of the next generation of this family.
See, I told you - I can't just enjoy a sunday afternoon with family....I have to go and make it Normal Rockwell meets The Waltons meets All My Children. Still, somewhere Erfy was smiling 'cause one of her babies now has a baby.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Saturday, October 17th........

The nurse that lives in my house (who I'm happy to be married to) wasn't real thrilled at my insistence that I attend the Georgia Tech/Virginia Tech game this past Saturday. I even pulled the "It's Daddy's birthday....if he was here he'd WANT me to be honoring his memory watching his Jackets play ball..." card on her. My bride's a smart cookie - she pulled out the "yes, but if your Mother was here she'd say that you've just gotten out of the hospital and you need to be at home resting" card. It was a stalemate. Finally, she said I could go if I promised that there would be no tailgating, no bourbon, no excess walking (had to take the golf cart from parking to stadium instead of enjoying my traditional pre-game stroll through campus.) At first I thought "no tailgating? No bourbon? What's the point?" But then I realized that the game is what's important and promised to abide by these conditions.
I started the day attending the men's prayer breakfast at the First Baptist Church of Buford. No, I haven't converted (relax John Wesley...I'm still a card-carrying Methodist.) I took it as an opportunity to spend quality time with the man who now plays the role of my father very well. I wasn't awake enough until after the second cup of coffee at that breakfast to remember that it was my biological father's birthday. I looked across the table at my father-in-law and knew that, were he able, Sam Freeman would shake Charles Fowler's hand and tell him how grateful he was for the job he's done taking care of me, teaching me and talking college ball with me....and then he'd step outside for a quick chew of Redman and start getting anxious about what time we were heading down to North Avenue. (You think I get to ballgames early? You never went with my father. For noon games it was sometimes just starting to get light out when we got downtown.)
So what had been a pretty crappy week took a really good turn that Saturday morning. I'd spent most of the week making everyone around me miserable because I was miserable. I'm a bad patient, I'll admit it. But any lingering symptoms disappeared sitting in the cold that night watching my boys embarrass the fourth ranked team in the country. When the clock said 00:00 I kissed my bride, I told my dad happy birthday and I thanked God that I'd gotten out of that hospital in time to see this. I wanted badly to call my father-in-law and tell him that my attendance at the prayer breakfast had surely brought about the divine intervention that my boys needed to pull this off...but we'd already heard that his beloved Auburn Tigers had gotten thumped by a bad Kentucky team..probably not the time for me to call gushing about my team.
I then wished I had one good belt of Kentucky's finest because it was really cold and I could've used some anti-freeze.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

To quote Flock of Seagulls....

I RAN. That's commonplace stuff for most, but I ran. Uphill. In extreme heat. A little over a week after I'd had my gall bladder extracted through this massive hole in my abdomen (that's going to leave a lovely scar.) I ran.
The details - 5 of us were in Tallahassee to watch Georgia Tech play (and beat) Florida State. If you're looking for nice, crisp football weather, don't look for it in Tallahassee. The highs everyday we were there were in the mid 90's. Humidity was officially 1 zillion percent. Because of the aforementioned hole in my abdomen still healing I was unable to get into the hotel pool. Hot weather really doesn't bother me...I'm just not used to it in October. Anyway, once at the stadium I found that all the cracks I've heard calling Doak Campbell Stadium an erector set are founded in truth. We had to walk about 9 miles of ramps to get to the ozone layer where our seats were located. My niece was walking well ahead of the adults. My sister - her mommy - reminds her to stay close to us. I say that I'll go up and walk with her. I found myself making a game out of this all of a sudden...and RUNNING up these ramps. "Uncle Tim's chasing meeeeeeeeee!!" were sweet words to hear. I was tired, but not dead. I was sweating, but not leaving puddles everywhere I went. My legs felt "exercised"...not on fire. I've said it a thousand times - it's the little, everyday things that show me how much my life has changed more than it is huge, heavens opening and angels singing moments. These days, on my worst days, I'm still having fun.