Friday, December 4, 2009

Only the Good Friday, December 4, 2009

Let's get started.

This week has had some extreme challenges to deal with. I had to dig deep to find the “Good”. With all this practice I’ve had with Shelly’s Only the Good Friday posting, you’d think it would be easy to stay positive and put a “Good” spin on things, but this one was a pressure cooker type of deal. Even Shelly has had some dealings this past week and she writes about it in her post today on her This Eclectic Life blog.

You see, I went to my primary care physician at the VA hospital this week, last Tuesday. It was a regular appointment for him to check me over, take blood and all that. Last time I saw him was in April. I was supposed to see him in July, but I kept calling and canceling appointments because I knew the blood numbers weren’t going to be good. I was trying to avoid the lecture and the inevitable changes that I knew he’d make in my medication.

I have been a diabetic for quite some time and I’ve skated through it all up until now. I’ve had plenty opportunity to arrest this beast, and at times, I have been very successful at losing just a few pounds and adding a regular form of exercise to my daily routine. These two things have given me blood glucose levels in the range that would be considered normal, especially for someone with diabetes.

After my latest disregard for my own health and by staying away from the doctor for so long, it was time to make the change I’ve dreaded for years. I start using a needle and insulin injections this week. This news, inevitable as I knew it was, still devastated me. Hard to find some “Good” in it, but I’ll try.

I also took a fall when I slipped on the frost one cold morning that was on the deck. I was just going out to fill the bird feeders when I went down. I weigh 220 pounds and the impact crushed my elbow and shoulder. The pain radiates down from my shoulder through the bicep and my back. More “Good” to look for as I writhe in pain.

Even amidst these personal setbacks, I was able to walk the kids to the bus stop every day this week. And I will this morning at 7:57 a.m., that’s when we leave the house for the 120 yard trip to the corner of Griffey and Short. Donna, a neighbor and resident of the town house apartment that sits right on that corner, is usually always there. She has a son that gets the bus and is there to supervise the 16 or so kids that get on the elementary school bus. I’m just another adult who watches over the kids.

The weather is getting colder each day. The Winter winds are blowing here in the Northland and we’ve even had a dusting of snow one morning. While I was sitting on the telephone companies big green box that sits on that corner, I watched the children playing. One girl in particular kept trying to zip up her jacket. A jacket way too slight for this cold snap. She had to be about six years old.

Now these kids see me there every morning and have since Labor Day. I asked her if she wanted me to help her zip up her jacket. It was the first time I had ever directed words to her. The only time I speak at all is when I hear the diesel rumble of the bus and in my deep manly voice direct the attention to the “Bus is coming”.

This day, the little girl looked at me, said nothing, and went to Donna and asked her to help her zip her jacket. I knew it wasn’t easy for little boys and girls to want to be around a mean old gnarly man with a deep voice. After all, I wasn’t their Grandpa. They didn’t know how kind and gentle I really am. I felt a little saddened by this, but I came away wanting to be seen as a kinder gentler old man to people, especially kids.

I thought of how I should be carrying myself. How I must attempt to stay humble, yet let people know I can be trusted. Geez, my body shape alone is intrusive. Barrel chested, large arms and legs, powerful voice. Even my walking gait is formidable.

Yesterday, I was on the corner, sitting in my usual spot. The same little girl was there, her jacket, too thin and light for the weather, unzipped and flying off her little kid shoulders needed to be zipped. Donna was no where to be seen yesterday. I was the only adult there in person. I know there are a few that watch out the window.

I asked her if she wanted me to help her zip her jacket. She looked at me and said, “No.”
Then, in a matter of seconds, came to me and held the bottom edges of her jacket up to me. Her body language asked the question better than any words. I grasped the ends of the zipper and put them together and zipped her into some warmth. I handed her the powder blue scarf that she had dropped and put it around her neck. She smiled and ran away to play. I tell you that was the best thing that has happened to me in a long time. A child gave me their trust. That is a “Good” thing. And even though I have this monster to tame in my own blood, even though my arm throbs constantly in the cold bitter wind of December here in Wisconsin, It felt “Good”.

Sure, I get hugs and kisses from my own Grandkids all the time, and believe me, I never take that for granted. I have to make sure I shave my pokies off or the little girls won’t kiss my scratchy face. I need to earn those hugs and lap sitting sessions. They are worth it and make me feel real “Good”.

Another “Good” I know of is the local jacket drive going on in the schools. Little kids, like my unzippered friend, will probably get a warmer thicker jacket, more in keeping with the weather we have here, at the coat drive. That’s a very “Good” thing. In fact, Mrs. Spadoman has been sewing Polarplus hats and mittens for weeks now, all for the drive to clothe those that need it. That’s “Good” too!

I know, kind of lame for the Good on Friday post, but that’s what it is today. I feel “Good” about finding some joy in Mudville. I feel “Good” when I visit other blogs and read “Good” things happening here and there. I feel ”Good” getting an e-mail from an old friend in Southern California. I am still looking for the “Good” in starting insulin injections, but maybe that straw is the one that will prompt me into action to finally get serious about taking better care of myself so I can be around just a little longer to zip up little kids jackets and be trusted by the innocent. So I can live until I die.

Lastly, I feel “Good” about a post at one of my friend’s blogs. susan, (non capitalized as she writes it), had a post this week that talks about kindness in everyday people. Her blog is called Phantsythat. Go take a look and read the comments. A lot of “Good” people still on the planet. One of the things that her post brought to my mind was my recent visit to the VA. I watched a lot of episodes of people getting up off their chairs to help others with simple tasks. Getting someone a glass of water, pushing a wheel chair through a crowded doorway, helping one man get his battery powered scooter out of his pickup truck, a volunteer smiling and handing out coffee to anyone that wants a cup, always with a smile and a cheerful greeting. All “Good”, all in the everyday. Someone even helped me with my jacket as I grimaced in pain twisting my painful arm and shoulder trying to get the darned thing on.

We can be “Good” and do “Good things, even when we are suffering and struggling to find the “Good” in a situation. This is the Spirit of “Good”. I see the Red Buckets are out. I’ll check that out and see if I can do some “Good” over there where the bells are ringing.

Peace to you. “Good”ness to you as well.

One of my most wonderful daughters.

Number 5

Number 2

Number 6

Youngest of my offspring

Number 3

Number 4

Number 1

The one we miss.

Saving the best for last


Mel said...

It's a hard 'good' to be honest with ourselves and to face up to the circumstances we had a hand in creating. Was a time I'da lied and made it about everything else but me...frankly, I was proud for you. And now I can be concerned about the results of the fall--and hope for healing there, as well as overall healing.

Made me smile to read about that little gal at the bus stop. It's a huge deal for me to be that trusted--obviously one to you as well.
And thank you for the reminder about the coat drive (I gotta drop off coats and mittens/hats we've collected!)

Himself is bell ringing, something he feels honoured to be able to do--and this week he'll be working in Santa's Workshop, helping organize the prezzies for the Salvation Army...a very good thing.

Funny--I didn't have to wait to see the 'good' in the was there from the get go. Maybe it's simply because it a form of examen and I trust that process, yaknow?
I'm graced to know someone so blessed.

Hang in there. As someone who is still wading through the 'stuff' that anger/resentment is made of it's humbling to sit here and see humility in action.
So, thank you for that.
I mean that in a huge way.

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

Fran said...

Here's to kids being trusting, earning the trust, warmer jackets, and better DM control.

I, Like The View said...


susan said...

Oh dear, I'm sorry you have to be taking the insulin injections and hope it won't be a permanent practice. I know what you mean about putting things off though. It's so very easy to let things slide.

Overall I too thought your post was very Good Fridayish right from the beginning. The story about the little girl coming to you to have her jacket zipped was one of the sweetest stories I've read in a long time.

Your wife is wonderful for doing all that work for the clothes drive. Your children are all very beautiful. I hope it's a very Good Christmas.

This Eclectic Life said...

Oh, Joe. Smashed elbow and insulin shots? And you still managed to find the good. I'm so proud of you.

As for the little girl, yes, I know that earning her trust felt good. However, you must remember that she has probably been told about "stranger danger." I'm not very intimidating physically, but I still encounter the hesitancy from children sometimes ... and that's good! Children can be too trusting, and not everybody is as kind-hearted and gentle as you.

I hope you start feeling better soon. Take care of yourself ... for us! :-)

Spadoman said...

Thank you all for stopping by the Round Circle.

Mel... I have lied for too many years. Facing anything is the only way to attempt to end the pain.
Yes, the trust from the little kids is the best.
Good to hear Himself is ringing the bell. Salvation Army gives a greater share of their donations to the people in need than many other places that take donations.
Thanks for saying you saw the "Good" right away. Just thanks.
We're all wading through a lot of stuff. Character change is endless and goes on and on. After you fix one mistake, you make another. That's why we do it everyday in all our affairs.

Peace and thanks again.

Fran... It's really good to see you and hear from you again. It's been a while, (and a while since I've talked to you as well). We go back a while, so you know the diabetes scenario. Thanks for being here. I'll tell you the horrid details in an e-mail someday.

Peace and thank you.

I, LTV... :-)

susan... Thank you for coming by. You sound hopeful for me and I appreciate it. You said that you hoped the insulin wouldn't be permanent practice. I know it is up to me to get my body moving and change eating habits/styles forever to maybe have a chance to get off of insulin. Thanks, it is a start at the motivation I desperately need.
That exchange with the little girl was the sweetest thing that has happened to me by a stranger.
I'll tell Mrs. Spadoman you appreciate her efforts.

Thanks again and Peace to you.

Shelly... Thank so much for stopping by. Glad to see you made it home from Houston.
What you say is true, kids shouldn't talk with strangers. I hope since she's seen me everyday with my own Grandkids everyday, she might have finally decided I wasn't a nasty old man at that. That's "Good" too!
Thanks for the well wishes. I am feeling better already.

Wonderful to hear from people. Hope your days are great ones.


Anonymous said...

Man Dad! you could have posted a photo of me when I was cute and little too!!! Jeeeze!

Spadoman said...

Anon... Yes, but I did put your photo first!