Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 in Retrospect

Urban legend has it the there is a Chinese curse which states, "May you live in interesting times."  While the validity of the origin is subject to dispute, as no modern reference aside from several anecdotal quotations exist, I can honestly say 2012 has been a very "Interesting" year for me.

How do I begin to describe the year as it closes.  I guess to quote Dickens would be a bit repugnant; however, "it was the best of times; it was the worst of times," is appropriate nonetheless.

I began the year divorced, and generally feeling of healthy, as I had recently checked an item off the bucket list and completed a marathon.  I was preparing to leave a job I loved and pushing my career forward into the unknown as I returned to the operator aspect of my work which I had not done in several years.  I was moving to a location I knew little about and would, in essence, be starting all over again.

It did not take long to realize that "MY" plans were not quite in order with the "Big Picture" of things.  Soon, I was unhappy at work (a rarity for me) due to insurmountable obstacles (such as incompetence and apathy in my subordinates) and I was experiencing several personal changes in the same time frame.

I began having extreme pain when breathing.  Imagine a side stitch while running and magnifying it by 10.  It was off and on, and being the "I don't need a doctor" kind of guy, I dealt with it as best I could.  I was also experiencing remorse for my past decisions and the effects they had on my life.  I realized that I was wrong and needed to let it go and pray for a chance to make amends.

The pain in my side kept getting worse, and the ache in my heart did as well.  By June, I was newly diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer and walking around in a haze of uncertainty.  I did not know how or if I could or should make plans aside (based on a comment from my Dr.) from getting my affairs in order.  I also had to make an extremely painful phone call.  I had to tell my (at the time) ex-wife this news.

This was the most painful phone call I have ever made.  Mostly because I still loved her and knew I had hurt her in the past.  I wanted a chance to show that I was not who I once was.  While I did not express those thoughts at that time, I just broke the news and let her know that I would make sure she and the kids were well taken care of if it came down to it.

In July, she and the kids visited with me at my fathers home in Houston while I was out of work adjusting to my treatment routine and the medicines that were poisoning my body trying to kill the cancer.  One night, while there I had the opportunity to express myself and explain that I still loved her and wanted to try again.

I left that visit with a renewed sense of hope, since the conversation (in light of my self-doubt and negative presupposition) went well and we began talking again.  I managed to visit her and the kids in Georgia and they came all the way out to me as well.

God is good and trades beauty for ashes.  In November, we remarried.  While we are still working through things and figuring out how to be together full-time (I need a bigger house, and preferably not here), we are together in spirit and they visit me as often as possible (a benefit of a home-school education, being highly mobile). We will be reunited soon, one way or another, and we will plod on into the unknown of the plans God has for us.

The cancer is still here, but I have completed one 12 cycle round of chemotherapy (flying through it, as my nurses tell me), and have started another one with a slightly different cocktail in the mix.  Each time a certain blood test is run, the tumor marker numbers are going down and from an huge number at the start, I am almost within a normal range for the test.  I don't know what all that means, but I do know God has a plan for all this and all I want is His will to be done.

2012, you have taught me a lot.  I am loved.  I have great friends all over the place.  I can be loved by those I hold most close.  I can be forgiven.  They were hard lessons, but sometimes I need that kind.  As you close out a final sunset and I prepare to run headlong into 2013, I just want to say thank you for all you have shown me.  You were a very "Interesting" year indeed.


  1. Oh wow what a year. I just love the way you show gratitude, hope and appreciation after all you have been through. May 2013 be the best of years for you xxx

    1. Thank you, Sara. I appreciate your comment. Without hope, I have nothing.