Tuesday, April 08, 2014

A New Season

Yes! We are still here! Sorry for waiting roughly three years to update all of you wonderful folks that love and support Ben. Painful situations still surround us yet we somehow keep moving forward by God's grace.Actually I had this really cool and much more interesting post the other day but the computer ate it which means a) computers and technology have a mind of their/its own  or b) I'm getting so much older I don't really know what the hell I'm doing any longer. I choose "a."

Ben is now 14! He is very healthy and thriving like a young teenage boy should. In short he is AMAZING!!! Of course y'all knew this already. As you can see our boy still loves baseball. We took this photo about two hours after his Miracle League game last weekend and now our television is now dominated by Major League Baseball or anything resembling it on ESPN. The ladies of the house are kind and sort of proud of this with the upside being I no longer have to watch "Cake Boss" or "My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding."

There is much more to blog about including our daughter being 17 and all (which includes a boyfriend), me getting job(s) that let me contribute to our budget (a little more so than the art shows), our home getting partially renovated by some incredible folks, and of course our most awesome and courageous boy!

It is good to be back and I know Ben is happy to be here as well!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Color Theory

The irony of not updating our blog for going on six weeks is that for the first time in a long time I actually have something, or rather lots of things, to write about. And for a change it all feels so positive and worthy of sharing. It seems that each day a new realization occurs to me, a little nugget of enlightenment or just a funny little anecdote about Ben, and I can't wait to sit down to write about it. Except the ebb and flow of sober living attracts me so much that I move on to the next thought, word, or action and I lose the time to physically tap out words to express my little brainstorm.

After saying that I have to confess there have been many moments over the last month that I've spent in the eyes of some just "wasting time" with my kids in the evenings. That may or may not include curling up on the couch with one of them for a big drooly smoochfest, or a passionate game of whatever Wii sport Jessie chooses to kick my ass in, or just lounging between two sleepy souls with two sets of long legs entangled on my lap admiring the incredibleness that defines my two kids.  95 days ago Jessie and Ben couldn't count on that foot-rubbing guy to be anything close to sociable later on in the evenings, much less having their dad even awake or alert enough to notice the value of such profound moments - moments that some parents never will get back. Thank God I am no longer one of those.

In between those short snippets of pure joy have been visits with my two brothers - the two most responsible people for my sobriety - including a trip to Tampa, Florida for spring training baseball games; a fun day-long excursion to a NASCAR race with two of the folks financially involved with renovations to Ben's living space; watching Jessie learn and play softball; and the not-so-great annual allergy roller-coaster of March many of us endure here in the southern United States. The irony of ironies? Ben has been the healthiest of us all the past month or so!

Life is indeed good. I guess if I looked hard enough I could find something to complain about but it is just too much fun right now noticing all of the terrific stuff - the family, the friends, the music, the laughter, the smiles, the colors - surrounding me at the moment. There's an old almost forgotten trick one of my art mentors taught me a long time ago to help me break out of a rut or encourage creativity when the painting ideas have dried up. "Take out a couple of your favorite paints and put a few blobs of color on your palette," he says to me. "Close your eyes and smell the fragrance of those pigments and binders. Now put your hand on your palette making sure you get a good amount of paint between your fingers - rub 'em together like your breaking up a clod of dirt." Finally he tells me, "Now open your eyes and look at your hand. You have a choice. Are you gonna go wash your hands or do something better with all that paint stuck to your paw?"

Thursday, February 17, 2011

More Dabs of Color: Character

"What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you."
 
"Character is higher than intellect. A great soul will be strong to live as well as think."

"Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."

"You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late."

"Make yourself necessary to somebody."

"To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded."

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Expressions of Color: Character

"The more difficulties one has to encounter, within and without, the more significant and the higher in inspiration his life will be."

"Take your duty, and be strong in it, as God will make you strong. The harder it is, the stronger in fact you will be. Understand, also, that the great question here is, not what you will get, but what you will become. The greatest wealth you can ever get will be in yourself. Take your burdens and troubles and losses and wrongs, if come they must and will, as your opportunity, knowing that God has girded you for greater things than these."
 
"It is not necessary for all men to be great in action. The greatest and sublimest power is often simple patience."

"Habits are to the soul what the veins and arteries are to the blood, the courses in which it moves."
 
Horace Bushnell

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Character of a Saturday

In a few phrases or words: new softball glove...smoked ribs...a pink balloon to play with...breaking in a new glove...the smell of old & new leather...naps...Rocky Road with chocolate syrup & whipped cream...Dr. Pepper...spring-like weather...memories of youth...laughter...smiles...talking to a balloon...dance rehearsal...bare feet...looking through art show applications...acoustic guitar...soaking a sore elbow in hot water...mink oil...Fresca...camera...and great big hugs from two awesome kids!

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Character Through Pain - Part 1

So far I'm failing miserably in attempting to post every day during the month of February, yet I am still determined to make 28 posts for NaBloPoMo before National Bird Feeding Month is over. It's not a matter of having anything to write about - in fact I have a list that could easily spill over into Spring - the issue of time has been the stumbling block so far...sort of. I knew the beginning of the month would be busy  - I just didn't prepare for the unexpected circumstance which should be an expectation as a parent of a child that routinely pulls something rather unexpected.

Long story short Ben has been having "mini" seizures for the past few weeks. We have seen this before and it genuinely typifies something positive - that Ben is very healthy. So healthy that he is growing beyond his current dose of anti-seizure medications hence the occasional tremor whenever he is startled or disturbed while he is asleep or fatigued. Given that our boy is now a pre-teen we knew it was time to visit the neurologist to match his dosage to his weight...preparation and expectation in harmony. What we didn't count on was my own personal clumsiness.

Sunday evening I trip over Ben's feeding tube yanking the entire device completely out of his stomach. What followed was a scene straight out of ER or House including lots of sweating, cursing, and a mad scramble for medical & cleaning supplies. I cannot describe the sound of Ben's voice nor have I have personally suffered the same injury but I can damn well guarantee that it it hurt like hell. The seizure that followed shortly thereafter was one of the worst our family (including Jessie) has ever witnessed. It finally ended when Joan had to administer Diastsat, something we really, really hated to do. Watching Ben "stoned" is almost as unpleasant as watching him in the throes of his convolsions.

Thankfully his neurology appointment was Monday and throughout the week the seizures reduced in frequency and intensity. But yours truly has been doing a terrific job of punishing myself for putting Ben through a difficult few days. I think you will forgive me for not being so timely with my NaBloPoMoing.