Monday, February 27, 2017

Goodbye My Friend

I'm pretty terrible at saying goodbye.

Moving to Canada was difficult, because my friends are incredibly important to me, but I knew I could always come home, I could text, Skype or Twitter. And I have done all those things and more. But eventually you have to face the reality that everyone has to say goodbye at some point. The forever goodbye.

Last year I lost a friend to cancer. I didn't know him nearly as long as I do many of my other friends, but he was amazing and funny and taught me that it's not over until it's over. Saying goodbye to him when I moved to Canada was especially tough as I knew it might be the last time we spoke. As it turned out, happily, it wasn't. We got to see each other when I was home in 2013, and, most especially, when I was home with Ada in 2015. I got to introduce my daughter to him, and the photo of the three of us together is still a treasured memory to me.

But leaving that time really did feel final.

When I got the news of his passing, I was so upset. I couldn't be home to say that final goodbye, or to be with my friends when we laughed about the amazing person he was. I never got the closure that funerals are for, the chance to see someone off on their last, great adventure to whatever. It hurt for a long time, and I wanted to post about him and what a great friend he was, but every time I thought about him I got upset again, which was not how I wanted my lasting memories of him to be.

I'm not particulary religious, so I don't pretend to believe that he's watching over us, but sometimes...

Sometimes, weird shit happens.

One night, a while after my friend died, months ago now, I had a dream. I know, I know. Just bear with me.

I was at my friends funeral, and all our friends were there. We were laughing and crying, telling each other stupid stories about how terrible he was at rolling dice when it really mattered, and how amazing he was at writing things that could make anyone laugh. We were sharing all these great tales, and among it all, I was there. But I was making everyone to promise not to mention to anyone that I was there, because I wasn't supposed to be. I clearly recall explaining to Mike that the other me was still in Canada, and that me didn't know that I had been able to come. Mike, for his part, didn't even seem to question that this was odd, and happily agreed to stay quiet. I had no explaination for how I was there, it was as if I wasn't dreaming, but instead had somehow travelled across time to be there.

It doesn't hurt that this is exactly the kind of weird story that would have made my friend laugh.

When I did wake up, I found myself profoundly at peace. I awoke with a smile on my face, and my heart beating just a touch faster than normal. I find it heartwarming to think that I still vividly remember this dream, dispite most dreams fading from memory within minutes of waking up, and certainly not lasting more than a few days. Ever since then, I've been able to think about my friend without tearing up. I remember those stories, those happier times.

I'll miss my friend, but I know that he'd rather I missed the fun times than the bad ones. So I will.

Goodbye Chris.


Still Shakin'

Long time readers know that I was diagnosed with Early Onset Parkinson's Disease in late 2012. When I first bogged about it in October 2013, my intent was to post about it at least once a year, on October 1st, the anniversary of my diagnosis. Clearly, that has not happened.

In fact, if I'm being honest, my PD is one of the reasons I haven't beeen blogging more. Or, more accurately, I'm using it as one of the reasons. I've regularly told myself that my tremor makes typing with my left hand too awkward, and while it is partially true; the tremor does make it more awkward than before I had it; it is, on the whole, bullshit.

The persistant tremor does not stop me from typing, and never has. Sure, I sometimes double type letters, miss a letter here or there, or transpose two adjacent letters in a word, usually from the left side of the keyboard, but I was never the fastest typist anyway, so it really hasn't affected my overall productivity. Using my PD as an excuse to not write more often is just that, an excuse, and a lame one at that.

Since my diagnosis, my condition has continued to progress very slowly indeed. I'm still not on medication, nor do I or my neurologist feel that I need to start any time soon. My left arm still has the noticable tremor, but without lose of strength, and my right arm doesn't show any signs of developing one as of yet. My left leg gets jittery when I get excited, but my walking and running isn't affected at all.

My neurologist has increased the frequency of our visits from 12 to 9 months apart, because, in his own words, it's going to get worse eventually, so we should watch out for it. Despite this, my last two visits lasted less than ten minutes each, and he was very happy with my progress. Or lack of progress, I guess.

So, all is good in the world of Denis and his stupid brain. Yay me.

The Flow

Oh. Hi. It's been a while.

In the last few months I've had lots of ideas for fresh blog posts, from board game or movie reviews, to random thoughts, to cataloging cool stuff I've done, but I've never made the time to sit down and write anytihng. I have had plenty of time to do that if I wanted, I just didn't, so, my bad.

I've heard it said that writing is like any exersice, if you don't keep at it, you start to lose the skill. Maybe not as fast as you might lose fitness by spending a few weeks sitting on a couch, but certainly after a few months without writing, you start to lose "the flow", the ability to just sit and write and be happy with what flows onto the page or screen. I can feel it even now, writing this.

But I'm going to make a fresh effort. Like I said, I've certainly had lots to write about this last year, so let's see what happens.

I've also been lax on my drawing and uploading photos to Flickr, but we'll take this one step at a time. At least I still post to Twitter... Hopefully some of you who read this thing are still around. Welcome back.