Sunday, October 7, 2012

"Lost" Year

The government and most corporations operate on a fiscal year. Instead of the new year starting on January 1st, like the calendar year, the fiscal year starts at some other date and usually has to do with accounting or budgetary concerns. But what do you call a year that starts and ends with another date other than the First of January but has nothing to do with money or the budget?

I’m making up a name right here and now. I’m going to call this “Lost” year. It’s kind of a take-off on the phrase Last year. It’s lost because everything aged by one year, yet I barely had time to live most of it as I was laid up or affected by some kind of malady or disaster.

From October of 2011, when I returned from a great New Mexico motorcycle trip, things changed drastically. It was near the end of the month that I was sitting here, like I am right now, typing a story, in this same chair, and I felt funny. I felt a popping in my neck and could see my chest move rapidly with the beating of my heart.

That was the start of atrial fibrillation and other heart related problems. I found out I also had Congestive Heart Failure and when an angiogram was taken, I was told there isn’t much left by way of arteries in my heart to do anything about it. There was also a blood clot in my heart and that needed to be broken up and dissolved before a procedure known as ablation could be done to get my heart back to a normal beating rhythm.

I got out of the hospital on December 29th, 2011 and started my recovery from this episode. I didn’t go anywhere until March when I decided to venture out to Albuquerque and fetch my motorcycle. I had left the motorcycle there at a shop for routine service in the hope that I would return and get it right after November 1st. I never made it, so I stored it at PJ’s Motorcycle Shop until I could come and get it, which happened in Mid March, 2012.

I did get some travel in during May and June. I went out to California, with my bike in tow, and drove out there with my good friend Dave, Hal’s brother-in-law. We played some music and did some visiting. I towed Hal and his bike back with mine and we rode Michigan’s Upper Peninsula as well as did some projects here at Spadoville. We played more music.

After that trip, I was wondering about my future as far as riding a motorcycle was concerned. I had a few problems riding on rugged terrain and had the thought that maybe I should sell my motorcycle and put all the many miles I have ridden into a slot called “memories”.

I mentioned selling my bike at that time. A friend from Madison, WI showed a lot of interest and talked me into selling it. I turned around and purchased a new bike and kept on riding, but with the hot humid summer and busy schedule doing day care with my Grandkids and finishing all the projects we started when Hal was here, I didn’t ride too much.

I took a trip, via motorcycle, down to Taos, New Mexico, in early September. That was sheer joy. It was just a few days after I returned from that journey that my friend Steve called and suggested we meet in Manitowoc, WI and ride together for a couple of days. I did that and that’s when I had the accident.

The bike is totaled and I’m not sure what kind of permanent damage I’ll be left with as far as my mouth, jaw and teeth are concerned. I go to oral surgery to start treatment this coming Tuesday.

Besides my illness and the accident, there were more episodes that took place during this “Lost” year. We were notified that a very close friend was diagnosed with breast cancer. She is like a daughter to us and the news was a kick in the stomach for our whole family.

Adrienne, is the friend of my daughter Maggie. She was in the car accident in 1991 that took Maggie’s life. She is undergoing cancer treatments now. Mrs. Spadoman has taken her to the hospital for these treatments and will continue to do so as needed.

So far, things look very hopeful, but it is a scary thought while it is going on, especially with such a close friend/family member.

Around the same time that Adrienne told us about her breast cancer, my good friend Gene was heading down to the VA for a health issue. Gene lasted about two months from the onset of symptoms to his death from liver cancer.

Since Gene was a Vietnam Veteran and exposed to the chemical known as Agent Orange, I don’t doubt that his death was caused from this exposure. Another death from Vietnam that will never make its way to “The Wall”. I pray that the grief that his wife and children are going through is not too harsh on them.

Wait, there’s more. The Father of my Grandchildren underwent a major heart surgery last month. He seems to be pulling through so far, but there were other problems mentioned and this situation is not yet resolved.

Anyway, it has been one hell of a year from Last October to now. I’m not looking forward to the oral surgery at all and I sure hope and pray that they take care of Adrienne and that she pulls through. That means it’s not over yet by any means. I just hope “Lost” year comes to a close swiftly and in a good way.

I’m hoping and praying that this “Lost” year is over and that a new year starts today.



rebecca said...

dear joe,
"lost" years are so heart wrenching. certainly this has been one filled with challenges, loss and suffering.
i am sorry for your pain and that this particular year seems over weighted with events we would never choose for ourselves or anyone.
come over to recuerda mi corazon where we are gathering to share stories of loved ones who have changed us with their immeasurable love.
come start a new year of living life one day at a time. a new year of honoring the fragility of life and how in the end only love matters.

Mel said...

"come start a new year of living life one day at a time. a new year of honoring the fragility of life and how in the end only love matters."

I adore how that's offered to you. Rebecca is good people--and she gets it. Which makes her just that much more special.

For some people, a new year began in September. And it was followed by a Day of Atonement, to make way for newness--to wipe the slate clear of whatever might be drug into the new year.
Fiscal year has come and gone, New Years has come and gone.....and today was a new day, thank G-d for that, eh?

It's hard to glance backwards in the midst of the storm--you see the rough waters you've barely tread. Can I lovingly point out that you DID tread them? And can I remind you that it's very difficult to remember sunshine and warmth when you're in the midst of pain and loss?
We all get to feel what we feel--it would seem that's required as human beings.
I'm one who'd echo the wisdom of Rebecca who invited you to start today, to live honour the fragility of life. And to always, always remember that--in the end--love is all that matters.

I send prayers of healing and love. And positive thoughts for Adrienne as she battles fiercely.

Blessed is she to have love in her presence.
As are you.

(((((((( Spadoman )))))))))

Jeannie said...

I guess you must be owed a boring uneventful year. I have found that sometimes there's an overwhelming amount of bad stuff that happens in a short period of time. It's very demoralizing.

But you have survived so far and hopefully, it's true that what does't kill us makes us stronger. I think a nice healing ceremony would do you well - to help you move on to a more pleasant state in life and leave the sadness behind.

"white" folks really don't have enough symbolic ceremonies do they? I often think of getting a tattoo but seriously, there's absolutely nothing I can think of that is symbolic of my life or any portion of it - I just don't have that kind of culture around me. And I think I am much poorer for it. It's also what keeps me from believing in my artistic merit - I am empty of symbols.

Lea said...

What Jeannie says here, sparked something in me... as you sparked me this past August to do the ritual in my labyrinth. You might want to think about marking the turning of this "lost" year into this new year with some sort of ceremony that has meaning for you. The concept of the lost year also makes me think about going out on a vision quest. This past year has taken you to some pretty difficult places, out of the usual hum of life... and I will honor them here with you, and will continue to hold Gene's family in my prayers, and will do so also with Adrienne, as I do you and your family. Thank you for sharing this with us.

Fran said...

Well, there has been healing in this difficult year, so take the positive, honor those who passed, and move forward.
Last year was rough for me--- so it was a feeling of good riddance to it...
still there were blessings or saves, or healing, or some humble gratitude that although I needed surgeries, I know it was a blessing I was able to get the care I needed & things went well.

Some kind of cleansing ritual is in order.