Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year's Eve 2012





More than a year, this time, since I've posted on my blog.  I need to say something about the year just passing.  It's been a tough one.

My good friend Ransom passed this year.  What a shame.  It was a brain aneurysm, sudden and unexpected.  He was what we all strive to be: courageous, self-sacrificing, loving, caring of others.  An ex-Vietnam Chinook pilot with heavy combat experience.  Did I mention brave?  I loved him and I miss him daily.

My step-dad passed away, too.  We were never close, but it would be wrong to disparage him.  He did the best he could.  My step-brother had the tough job of disposing of his dad's life's possessions.  Did it well, too.

My darlin' wife had a rough time of it this year, and still does.  Two major back surgeries in November, one day apart, with a year of pain before finally making the big decision.  Unenviable at best, and she is still recovering, slowly and painfully but steadily.  She'll make it, though, and her smile is lovely. 

Our youngest and her family moved away so that she could find meaningful work in her field.  From Hillsborough, Oregon, to Toledo, Ohio.  Culture shock and the moving blues at the same time. 

Our eldest and his wife moved, too.  Here, to our home, as part of a career move.  They'll be here as long as they want.  It's good to have them around, them and their old beagle.

Our elder girl may have had it the toughest, though, with an ugly break-up.  She's doing her best with it and we're trying to be supportive parents.   It's never easy.

Even our pets get a mention here.  The two little ones we got as puppies on Thanksgiving week-end last year have grown into charming little guys.  They've got big shoes to fill, though, after Bailey's passing of three years ago.  Well, if dogs could wear shoes. 

Next week I'm losing my Vet Center counselor of more than 13 years.  At 65, Cliff is finally taking a well-earned retirement after 33 years in a demanding field.  He's the last of a breed, a Vietnam combat veteran who became a combat-related PTSD counselor.  Godspeed, my friend.  I owe you more than I can pay.  From here on out may it be peaches and pound cake forever.

As for me, I'm fine. To quote Willie Nelson in "Me 'n' Paul": "After taking several readings I'm surprised to find my mind's still fairly sound."  Couple of hobbies keep me busy and I'm active in a local AA group.  If I make it to next May, it'll be a quarter-century of continuous sobriety.  Who would have thought?  I try to have as much fun as possible and to remember the people who, at one time or another, saved my life or changed it for the better.  Sometimes both. 

I've got some fine friends, an excellent home life and a terrific wife and family.  I need to remember AA's lessons on gratitude.  There's no reason on Earth that these good things should have happened to me.  But they did.

Good-bye, 2012.  You did the best you could, too.

Thank you, my friends.

Thank you, Edythe.

Thank you, God.

* * * * *

I get half a million just to show up at parties.  My life is, like, really, really fun. ... Paris Hilton


New Year's Resolution:  To tolerate fools more gladly, provided this does not encourage them to take up more of my time. ... James Agate


Resolution One:  I will live for God.  Resolution Two:  If no one else does, I still will. ... Jonathan Edwards