Surgery, Mortality and Family

Well, surprise.  Another lengthy period has passed since I’ve written.  I know.  Some blog, and some blogger I am.  Right?  Trust me, I deserve the sarcasm.  It’s well earned.  I’ve been in a blue funk these past few months, and quite ridiculously have let it impact my writing.

Not that I needed it, but I now have indisputable evidence that people actually take the time to read these self-serving little missives (that’s right, sis.  It’s you!).  Thank you.  You’ve inspired me to climb back into the saddle, and I love you strong.  A dear friend also reminded me today that a gift can be taken from you if allowed to lie dormant, and when not used for its higher purpose.  So, so true.

All is in divine order.

To catch you up on things a bit, fall and winter of 2005 have been pretty tumultuous for me thus far.  To begin with, you know that issue that so many black men have about seeing the doctor on a regular basis?  Well, I’m no exception.  Hadn’t been to one in about seven years.  So, in late August, giving in to the consistent prodding of just about every significant black woman in my life (my mother, sister, co-workers, friends, editors, etc.) I picked up a phone one day, set an appointment, took the time off from work and just went.

After a complete physical examination, he found a tumor in my left ear canal that was small, but growing — about the size of a nickel I’m told.  It had reduced my hearing in that ear by more than 80 percent.  Imagine that: Down to less than 20 percent hearing in one ear and I didn’t even know it!  I underwent surgery in early September, one week before my 46th birthday, and it went well.  It took me awhile to heal, but hey, things could have been much worse.  I wonder where I’d be today if I hadn’t scheduled that doctor’s visit when I did?

To be perfectly honest, the experience was a pretty scary one because I haven’t been a hospital patient since I was born, and when they’re wheeling you down the hallway on a stretcher alone, and sedated, everything gets hazy and all you can think about is your mortality.  What if one of those much publicized “mistakes” happens while I’m being operated upon?  It’s even worse when you’re a single person because then your thoughts revert to who’s going to know, or care, if I kick the bucket?

Who’s going to step in for my son and take care of my final affairs?  What really happens if I go under and never wake up?  Did I leave my apartment in order?  Do I have on boxers, or briefs?  Does my student loan still get paid, and what about the cable bill?  Yes, pretty surface thoughts to be sure, but they do cross your mind.

On a positive note, my younger cousin, Marcus, was released from prison near St. Louis.  I’m still celebrating that.  I wrote to him when he was on lock.  He’s upbeat, optimistic, has a good woman in his corner and is on the right path.  Additionally, my mother’s side of our family convened its first true family reunion, bringing together relatives that many of us had never met.  God, we are such a beautful, beautiful people.

I’m exceedingly proud that our reunion committee got that important project done this year.  It was a real treat for everyone who attended; they did such a thorough job.  The goal is to make it annual from now on, and we’re planning one for my dad’s side of the family for next year.  I’ve traveled quite a bit on business this quarter, been battling the IRS, had Chinese Food for Thanksgiving dinner and solidified some great friendships.

I’m thinking a great deal of late about my nephew in Iraq.  I keep in touch with him as best we can via e-mail.  His spirit and fortitude remains high.  So far, all is well.  My friends from college all seem to be surviving in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.  I’ve reached them all, and all got out of New Orleans in time or were out of town already when it hit, yet most have no homes to return to.  Still, Louisianans are resilient.  The survivors have their lives, their families, friends and faith, which is everything.

A lot of naysayers are going to be eating crow when the Crescent City rises again.  Most importantly of all, however, Grambling State defeated Southern University in this year’s Bayou Classic, 50-35.  Kudos GSU tigers!  We are truly reclaiming the black and gold legacy (

In short, its been crazy, busy and unpredictable but cool since August.  I’ve always said that life is never about what happens to you, but it’s always about what you do about it.  I promise it won’t be months before I check in again. 

Continued strength and blessings.

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