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each feather fell from skin

This posts has been knocking around inside my head for a couple days…

I’ve never been one to take on a new year like a chance to be reborn and improve myself, this year isn’t any different.  However, 2008 has had a distinctive yet blurry feel to it.    I get stuck finding the right adjective to give this year meaning.  Do I lambaste it for its numerous scary and sad moments or do I champion my personal triumphs that arrive in 2008?

I’m stuck.

I can’t get over hating 2008 for all of the medical scares my dad had.  Never before, I had I had to confront the actual possibility of the mortality of my parents.  Never will I forget the drive from Cottage Grove to the hospital in Oregon City where my dad had urgently been admitted.  Until then, hospital trips were resigned to the oldest generations of my family, for broken bones, but never for something that was life-threatening and so close.  It is amazing how the mind sorts through and presents every possibility and how rarely it is positive.  I can’t shake the sense of mourning that had already begun to fog my mind and body as I drove faster and faster.  Thankfully, I was very premature.

I can’t let go that 2008 has been one of the best years for me personally.  To change myself so drastically, to improve something that had been weighing me down literally and metaphorically.  To run my first 5k, to be able to feel like I had never felt has been truly a metamorphosis.  2008 has helped me not only lose nearly 70 pounds but also fix those habits and tendencies that plagued my life to the point that it was dragging me into a unhealthy lifestyle and most likely a premature death.  I never thought that I was able to run over four miles continuously without stopping… both mentally and physically.  It makes me what else am I capable of?  What have I been telling myself “no” about for so long that I wholeheartedly accept a misconception.

How can I hate a year that brought me that?

But I think it is far more complicated than I have laid out.  These two events, which are by far the biggest, are laced together.  Had my dad not had his pulmonary embolisms, I wouldn’t had realized that I was at far more risk for far worse consequences of my own.

I don’t think 2008 was a good year, I’m glad its gone, I also know that it wasn’t a soul-crushing year either, and I’ll be fond of it.  So if it wasn’t either, than it had to be a year of my own education.  Hopefully, I have learned, or at least begun to learn that I must value my body and take care of it.  As well, hopefully I have begun to learn the wealth that exists in the people around me and to let go of the trespasses that I have long held onto, to improve upon my faults and mistakes that I committed on others.

We’ll see what I do with it.  Hopefully I’m not all hyperbole and metaphors but of action.  Here comes 2009.  I don’t have any resolutions.  I just want to keep on learning, hopefully these lessons are at the hands of positive situations, but if not, I must make the best and not let the bad take the fight out of me.

I’m sure it only gets more interesting after this.Train to Salzburg Chris

Living is easy with eyes closed…

2008 has been a rough year, so far.  Too much illness, sickness, hospitilizations, death and general rough times.  It is amazing just the overwhelming amount of negative things that have taken place this year; a lot of foundation shaking has taken place.

So, after my dad’s surgery Tomorrow, can we have that be the last big thing for the rest of the year?  Can I have pass card until at least 2009?  Or at least, give me some room to breathe in between?

…but the hills of Iowa make me wish that I could

Happy belated New Year. The year we just saw out provided me with a wide view of everything, it seems much to massive to try to remember everything that I considered important at certain moments. Actually it seems very overwhelming, when did my life become so cluttered and full? Arg. What ever happened to the feeling of emotional freedom, now I see the ties to ever action of every person… I just want ties to a few people around me. Once again, arg… definitely arg.
My winter break was less than extraordinary, being pulled in between happiness, sadness, and anger; all of which ended up in a aura of confusion. There were very many times that I was very happy during break, but as it is, there was the opposite, the many times I felt sad and angry. The anger I won’t go into, but more importantly my sadness resided with Max. I’ve already emptied out on that subject, but it is still sad… which i think is a good sign.
My happiness, on the other hand, was due in part to four people: Mom, Dad, Meagan, and of course Jessica. My parents are my personal champions, nothing like a good fight with a University to bring the family together. We really stuck together and I believe that shows that we might be just as screwed up as any other family, but when the metaphorical feces hits the metaphorical fan nobody is more cohesive than the four of us. And Meagan, she has really surprised me; for a while now I thought young teenagers were devoid of any empathy or emotion beyond their own wants, but Meagan showed me that I was wrong. She actually told me that what was happening to me made her feel bad, out of all the people that told me same thing, it meant the most coming from her. She is well on her way to becoming a good person.
Jessica… She is truly my saving grace. The many hours I spent angry or sad she was still steadfast in making me feel better, she is good at that. I am sure if I did not have her companionship right now I would be an amazing ball of anger, sadness, and loneliness but she is definitely an anchor. Nothing made me feel better than visiting her for four days in Bend. I cannot convey how much I needed that, I didn’t know it myself but in retrospect it was a great therapy. I enjoyed helping out on her ranch, especially feeding the cattle. I got to ride in the back of a trailer and throw hay. Jessica and her mom took me on one of the best walks I will ever claim to have ever been on. Going on a walk is great in itself, but there is something about walking in snow that makes the moment have a hint of mysticism. Though heading back home was a very hard thing for me to do, as my bus pulled away from Jessica a voice in my head said “what are you doing, you idiot?” Up until then I’ve never had an urge to jump from a bus.

And finally, my happiness can also be contributed to Tolley, my family’s new dog. Half Mastiff half Newfoundland. This dog is and will be huge. His mother and father were 150 and 200 pounds respectively. He is a smart dog too, he’s picked up the skill of not peeing on the living room carpe

Help me believe in anything, I want to be someone who believes

RIP – Max

…I’ve got an answer: I’m going to fly away…

Max, my black lab of 11 years was put to sleep this morning. One of the saddest moments of my young life. What can I say, I truly feel that I have lost a companion who has been by my side since I was 9 years old. This dog had seen me through more life than most people around me. Absolutely loyal and loving, everything someone could ask for in a friend. I know that after I finish writing this that I will head to the bed that is in my old room, carefully stepping to make sure I don’t accidentally step on Max. The routine that revolved around him was so very comforting and I only realize this now, this seems to be a theme in deaths.
I will miss being woken up in the middle of the night because Max was getting up to sleep closer to me because I had shifted in my sleep. I will miss that any time I touched the car keys I would hear the jingle of his collar has he bounded for me hoping for his “car ride.” The very utterance of the word “car ride” would send Max into a furry or running and tail wagging. I will miss the whistle from his nose I as we drove down I5 bringing me back to school or even how he would wedge his head in between my shoulder and the wall of the car. I was never quite sure why he did that, I just know that I liked it… maybe that is why he did it.
I will miss how on some days Max would never leave my side. I will miss how great of a pillow Max was, when I’d get a little lonely I’d just lay down with him, my head on his side just listening his chest rise and fall with every breath. I miss that from here on out when I get situated in bed, I won’t see Max sitting right beside me, his face full of anticipation because he knows that as soon as I say “come on up” he’ll be to sleep next to me on my soft bed. I miss that every time that I would enter a room that Max was in, you could hear the thunderous thumping of Max’s tail. Even in his last few hours he tried to maintain that same thumping, but it had been softened by his condition but I knew he meant for it to be just as loud as it had always been.

Every time I walked into the kitchen today, I was looking out the window to see if I could catch the back and forth motion of a tail or the brown eyes peeking just over the bottom of the window. Sitting in the living room today I turned my head and briefly out of the corner of my eye I thought I saw Max coming to sit by me, but it was only a shadow that had managed to be dark enough to think it was my favorite black dog. Every time when I walked past the back door I would reach for the doorknob to let Max in or at least go outside and sit with him; But right before I would touch the knob I would remember.
I had always enjoyed wrestling with Max, or walking with Max, or petting Max as I read, or even just having him sleep at the floor of my bed every time I came home from school.
I miss my black dog, Maxie-dog, Maximus, Maxwells, dog-boy, bark-o, buddy-dog, and most of all I miss my friend Max. So here’s to a dog that really made me happy, through all the awkward, depressing, happy, sad, fun, boring, worst and best times. I really loved that dog and I never had any doubt that I did. It is going to be hard to get to sleep tonight.I miss my buddy.


…and the people are drifting door to door…

Dead Nutria

I had mentioned him once before in an update, but as time passes on, so do friends and the nutria was no exception. While feeding the ducks at Alton Baker, I came across his (I assume his, but I really have no idea to tell the difference; and I wasn’t about to go searching for nutria genitalia.) body laid upon a walking stone that led our way to the island in the middle of the waterway. A loss for all of Eugene, I am sure. His little webbed feet laying out beside him, his little nose laid in the waterway, his whiskers no longer twitching. Never again shall a piece of 79 cent a loaf bread be thrown from my hands to be caught in mid-air by his little front claws. I am not sure I will be able to cope, but I will try. I will try.On a serious and lighter note, Jessica and I will have two months of officially being official come tomorrow. that makes me happy. What else can I say about this gal? How about she is good. More to come, you can be sure of that…

will you come see me thursdays and saturdays…

Dick died last Wednesday at two in the afternoon.

I’m not sure I am comfortable with the whole deal with death. Now with Dick passing, I am again confronted with my thoughts on the matter; but also, i am plagued with the death of grandfather or Papa as I had always called him. Still to this day I am drowned in the disbelieve, or denial, that he is no longer loudly asleep on the couch after lunch, walking with me as a kid down to Gary’s market on a Sunday to get the paper, or even complaining about my sister and her awful tattered blanket that was forever in tow. It just doesn’t seem right, or even fair, to have someone around for such a long time, having the memories compile and build up and for what? So you can speak about them in past tenses. Troublesome. Even now, when I think of what has become of my grandfather it makes me physically ill. What happened to this man who was commanding of one’s respect? What happened to this man who was known by almost everyone in the State of Oregon (oh, you’re the Judge’s grandson). I feel so despicable. I saw it as a chore to see this man. It was taking from my time, what a waste. Unfortunately, at the side of his bed, where he sat motionless except for his automated breathing, I came to the realization that this was the best way to spend my time. I feel selfish. This was a man who did a lot for his family and me personally. He loved me greatly, as well did I for him, but I don’t think I ever let that be communicated to its fullest capacity. An extra phone call. A few minutes of listening to him talk. But no, it was my time, too important to me to give to him… but in hindsight, I wasn’t giving up my time to him, I was making some of the most important time in my possession. I don’t think I can fairly write this off as youthful naiveness. Sometimes I wish I hadn’t seen my grandfather in the last couple years of his life, I want to remember him as the Judge. I want to remember him with his edge, his bite, the man who would be up at the earliest of early shaving, not the man who needed my help getting in and out of chairs. Don’t get me wrong, I am overwhelmingly happy that I got to have that time with him… but never shall I release the last memories. How unfair. It is indescribable how honored this man made me feel; the greatest honor was him being able to come to my graduation. not only that, but he was so happy to be there and to see me that he was crying at the end of it… I had only seen my grandfather cry once before, that time being when his wife, my grandmother, had her stroke. He could be a strict man, he could be a harsh man, but when he loved it was proof of his true core. I search and search for the right closing words, but the only phrase that comes to mind is this: I feel as I have been cheated, not by fate, not by some other body, not even by death, rather by myself; and that itself is the harshest of all.

ps. don’t believe that i am depressed because i am not… i am simply am involved in my own brand of saying good-bye.

Most Trying week… ever.

Like the title says, this has been the most trying week I have ever been through… on a serious note, if you have been watching the news (in the Portland Area), we had a resident die from Meningitis; not one of my residents. This has hit everyone really hard, a couple of my residents knew her, so we are trying to help them through this. Its quite sad, but for some people, this might but things into perspective. Everything bad seems to converge at one point in time; mid-terms, the job, and the general atmosphere has shifted to a less than positive light… but things will and are getting better. On a positive note, my staff celebrated my half-birthday 3 days ago, I got two cheese cakes and a huge card that the staff signed. It was kind of nice, especially on Wednesday, the worst time of my bad week. Also another birthday was celebrated on Sunday, Emily, one of our residents was surprised with a party Sunday night, because of that party I have a picture of the ladies of Ganoe (most of them). <!–[if !vml]–><!–[endif]–>– This was taken in the Ganoe Lounge, about 11:30 at night… I was the one taking the pictures.Next update should be more happy.