“A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP” — Leonard Nimoy
If I may take a moment, and of course I can because this is my blog and I’ll do what I bloody well please, thank you very much, I would like to simply thank those who have helped me create those “perfect moments” in my life.
CKD sucks, and it is the number 1 item on my list of “things I would change if I could go back in time”. I just spent a birthday at home, not because I particularly wanted to, but because I had to due to an annoying 24-hour medical test. This morning I had to go in for a blood test that turned out to be quite painful (normally they aren’t as bad, and I hate being able to say “normally” because that indicates that these tests are a regular occurrence). In an undisclosed length of time I will have to face dialysis and possibly getting a transplant, both of which have their particular difficulties, pains, and new issues/challenges to face. Oh, and of course for years now and for the rest of my life there are things I either shouldn’t eat or can’t because they’ll make me ill or damage my body.
Beyond CKD, let’s just say there are other difficulties in my life as well that I’d prefer to not get into at this time.
However, after years of life I find myself married to a wonderful woman who still actually cares about me (even after being with me for over a decade and a half), and I have a daughter who is intelligent, pretty, and can always make me smile even on my darker days. I miss my father all the time, of course, but I have an extended family. Yes, they are there for me when I need them, but even more importantly they are there when I don’t. There are others who are tied to me by neither blood nor law, but binding relationships in their own rights, relationships forged not by relation or paper but by the two things that can be even more enduring: time and effort.
Yes, I spent yesterday stuck at home, but I have a home and people to share it with. It’s cold outside, but I was warm, sometimes even slightly warmer when our cat would deign to curl up on me. I had food to eat; yes, perhaps not the food I wanted, but good, fresh food. It was all-in-all a relaxing day, and there are many out there who would love to be able to have just that.
I have been lucky enough to be able to travel. It’s very possible that travel will likely become significantly more…challenging…in the coming years. Not impossible by a long shot, but not as easy, either. But over the past many years I have been privileged to be able to visit Indiana, Austin, Houston, Las Vegas, Zion/Utah, the Outer Banks of NC, Lisbon/Portugal, Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Washington (state), Oregon, California, Disney World, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Illinois, Ireland, Ohio, Maine, Michigan, New York, Colorado, South Carolina, and of course some places I missed.
What I’m getting to is this: thank you, everyone. Perfect moments in life can be had, and I have had a tremendous amount of help over the years crafting those perfect moments in my life. From walking up the path to Rothenburg for the first time, to sitting at the beach house on the Outer Banks listening to the waves, to eating a quiet and relaxing outdoor dinner of fried chicken in Missouri with my wife, to lounging on the ramparts of a castle in Lisbon looking down on the city, to the smile and eagerness on my daughter’s face as she, brimming with excitement, wishes me a happy birthday…. There are countless perfect moments, all crafted and obtainable only with the help of those around me.