If you’ve aged, you’re physically not the same person that you started with… A long time ago, I read a science magazine article that claimed every cell in our body is replaced about three times in a lifetime. And everyone changes their mind at least a “little bit” over the course of living.
But our core individualness doesn’t change. Our “self” contains the “AllSpark” that makes you, YOU and me, ME. Our unique and separate spirit is at the soul of each one of us.
Home is where your mind can rest and your spirit can soar!
My wife is my best friend. God sent me a beautiful behavioral beacon after my first mental breakdown. Susan feeds and guides me from self imploding. Her role is not an easy one. She found out late that I was a basket case. That’s my fault. I fell in love with her the instant I saw her. And I wanted her to love me back. So I didn’t tell her about my 1977 mental crash. Long story short, we were married in 1980 but she didn’t realize the full extent of my basket case until my second breakdown in 2003. That year was life changing for both of us. I began a frantic search for God to help me mentally heal. Susan began researching bipolar wackiness.
October 24, 2021 – I was introduced to Pop Tarts at age 13 and now I’m fast approaching 70. My current early morning ritual before I eat a good breakfast consists of a single unfrosted tart along with a stout mug of black coffee.
I negotiate this mass production pastry with my wife because she’s always trying to get me to quit the sugary treat. But I just cry a little and remind her that I prefer the unfrosted version (as if that should help). It’s like when I bought my first Indian a few years ago. I whined and cried (pestered is more accurate) for almost six months before she finally said, “I guess you’re not going to give up”… That was all it took. I made a beeline for the nearest Indian motorcycle dealer.
I’m not saying that Susan is an enabler. She’s a loving spouse that has to deal with a nine-year-old bipolar wacky doodle husband. Fortunately, she has a great sense of humor. She generously credits me with being “ten years old” and does her best with what she has to work with. I’m very blessed to have her as my wife and best friend!
December 28, 2021 – Well, I’m in trouble… AGAIN…
You know how people generally say cute things like “trouble is my middle name”, well “trouble” is my first and last name… my middle name is “always”.
Anyway, I’m on voluntary restriction. I’m supposed to limit my Ed’s ArtSite activities to four hours a day. Two in the morning and two in the evening.
It’s only because my Susans love me. Yes, there are two. And they are both natural born care givers… wife Susan and nurse Susan. And of course, I love them both. Nurse Susan is easier to get along with because she doesn’t have to live with me and put up with my stubbornness for very long. Nurse Susan has it easy compared to wife Susan.
My other Susan is a registered nurse. She has been successfully supervising me for quite a long time. Nurse Susan helps keep me mentally on course without fencing me in. I wear a chemical straight jacket and she helps adjust the tension on the straps whenever they get too tight or too loose. I look forward to my visits with her. She actually understands my disordered brain.
It takes a strong person to deal with mental illness. I hope you are lucky enough to have a Susan in your life. I’m blessed with two!
Above is my beautiful favorite youngest daughter Kate ❤️ on the left and my beautiful favorite oldest daughter Ash ❤️ on the right. Their beautiful mom ❤️ deserves most of the credit for growing these two. I deserve a little. They both make us very proud!
Playhouse I built for Ash and Kate in Spring 1991 matching the basic style of our home. It sports a Dutch door with a heart shaped peep window. Inside I incorporated a fold away table using my early years drawing board.
January 26, 2022 – Peyton is my feline companion. God sent him to me via my youngest. God does things like that. He knows what’s best… like that 50’s TV sitcom about a really smart father, except way more smarter… “Father Way Knows Best!!!”
Peyton had a rough start. Chased by dogs near the expressway at a few months old and later abused to the point of a broken jaw and shoulder. Peyt did not have an ideal introduction into life.
Along comes my daughter. She takes him in and pays an enormous vet bill to repair his shoulder. They had to add a pin to put his bones back together. He still has the pin, crooked leg and a crooked bite. His leg and jaw healed just a bit off kilter.
I fell in love with Peyt right off the bat. He’s my animal kindred spirit. I thank God for Peyton. He accepts me same as I accept him.
Peyt is all cat but he follows me around like a puppy. Mischievous? Boy is he ever! He likes to get his paws into everything! He so reminds me of me! I think God gave me Peyton to show me what I’m like as a cat!
Peyton was diagnosed with lymphoma on January 12. He had been showing signs that something was wrong. After 13 years, I’m going to miss him terribly. Terribly to the point that my nurse and family are worried about my health. I told them that they worry too much. But as with any close loved one, when Peyt dies, part of me is going to die too.
Peyt has a very beautiful and strong spirit. I’ve always admired his fighting spirit. Like when he got snake bit. We think it was a copperhead because we’ve killed a few in our yard over the years. Peyton was strong at only a few years old but he wasn’t feeling too well after tangling with a poisonous snake. So we rushed him to the emergency vet clinic where they treated him as best they could. The doctor said his chances would improve with a hyperbaric oxygen chamber. The nearest one for pets was in Chattanooga, Tennessee two hours away. Long story short, that oxygen chamber might have been the thing that saved his life.
Peyton’s always been rambunctious and a biter. I suppose he learned that behavior as a kitten. I have received numerous bites because that’s how he learned early on to communicate.
Over the years Peyt has backed off the fierce biting a bit. His bites are more of the ‘I love you but I’m still the boss’ kind of bite now.
Love is conditional for a lot of people.
One of my friends recently told me that they didn’t understand how people could get so attached to animals.
I don’t understand how they can’t.
March 19, 2022 – I buried Peyt today. I had him euthanized at the animal shelter where he started his life with us.
I miss my buddy terribly. It was difficult to watch him succumb to the cancer. The disease slowly drained his strength in spite of my wife’s galant animal nursing efforts. I was helpless except to be his buddy and companion.
I worried over Peyton like a dad worries over his son. I never took Peyt for granted but God took him from me anyway.
I know God knows best. That keeps me moving forward.
And I have the best family on the planet.
Peyt is still with me in my mind and spirit. I’m grateful for the time we had.
I miss you Peyt
a spirit true
though I have your spirit
what I miss is you
I buried part of me
that’s what buddies do
because forever I will be
your companion too
Losing a loved one leaves a vast hole in your heart. You just want to lay down with them. Your world stops and you cry. You may busy yourself with the mundane but your heart aches with every reminding thought. And you know that ache is never going to go away. Grief can last a lifetime. Of course you realize that “time” will make that vast hole a little smaller, but as long as you’re alive you know the ache will remain. You’d give anything to have them back. And you look forward to the promise of Heaven where you can once again be companions.
Above is my very patient, youngest daughter Katie’s photograph of the sunrise beach scene I hope to paint at some point.
Both my daughters love the beach. They get that trait from their mom!
The beach gives us an unobstructed view of the sun rising above the gulf’s surface. It’s amazing to watch how fast the sun climbs in the beautifully colored sky. Close to 902 mph at this particular latitude.
The clouds make a clever natural Artist’s frame for the magnificent Florida sun.