Death isn’t a big deal. According to the fundamentalist faith tradtions of my hard ass forefathers death is the end of our problems. In a moment we’ll go from all the struggles, worry, pain, fatigue etc of this life, to standing before the Judge. Judgement will be terrifying as it won’t go our way until the Lamb of God steps in but then we get to rest on that high mountain.
That’s how it goes, for that future mercy we do our best to honor God and give our unending allegiance to the Almighty, the Son and the Holy Ghost. By breeding and training that is the ultimate capital T truth handanded down to me by my forefathers and that Truth has motivated me to step into some fairly stupid situations. Or caused me to get really angry with myself and step into them anyway if I ever felt afraid. Probably not the most healthy way to live but I’ve never shied from telling it or failed to admit to owning a pretty serious death wish toward the tail end of my marriage. Dying seemed like the only way of escaping the living hell of marriage and going to rest on that high mountin sounded pretty dang good pretty dang often
The being dead part is nothing to worry about.
The how you get there part is powerfully worrisome.
Living hard makes it easy to rack up serious injuries and dealing with them is a goodly part of my life these days. It’s most apparent in the way I train. My training time is focused on keeping my anaerobic capacity as high as I can to offset the crushed and mostly non functioning part of my lungs and movement patterns which help restore natural lines of motion. Mechanically I’m in good shape. Shoulders are mostly pain free, my feet hurt much less, my elbows rarely hurt, my hands have more good days then bad, my right knee is pain free 8 days out of 10, my left knee is still a mother fucker but I’m not looking at a hip replacement any time soon and that’s no small thing.
That’s a reflection of 4’ish years of changed thinking, which drove a change of actions and none of the above would have occurred without my Beloveds and spare cash. We have battled some shit togther. Near on lost everything when trucking went bad, 3 year brawl with the IRS, hurricane took out our home ( churched up for dramatic effect, we didn’t loose anything but the house was shoved off its beams), and I got real close to being called home. Live hard, die fast etc etc. I would never changed my op tempo if I didnt have enough money to secure our future. I would have kept ignoring the pain and the problems, mission 1st, which reguired switching my thinking from dollar bills invested to creating a steady recurring income. And yeah there is a difference.
Getting my body back to a relatively pain free and mostly mobile condition let me focus on my fucked up Swiss cheese brain. TBI’s are a real bitch but I had to solve one problem to clear things up enough to focus on the other. My physical pain levels were high enough that I wasn’t really picking up on the other stuff unless I was having a really bad esposide. TBI’s are a bitch and they are hard to quantify because a lot of what happens to me happens to everyone. It’s a matter of scale. Folks forget the words they want to use on occasion. I’ll loose large chunks of my vocabulary. Memory/ recall can be gone for days at a time and I’ll be stuck as a low level functioning adult from time to time. We’re not talking small details lost to time. The Girls will ask me about when we lost the trucks and I won’t remember owning them let alone loosing them. I dont forget the term “grocery store”. I’ll forget what they are, where they are, how to find them or what to do if I did find one. It’s a extra large pain in the ass. Or was. Doesn’t happen as often and I’ve gotten better at dealing with it all. Less angry and more sit back and enjoy things that never seem to fade. Like riding a Harely, how to cast a line, grill a steak and so far I don’t loose track of my people. I know my kids, my Girls, my grandkids…… even when I can’t recall names I always know they’re my kin and the nature of that relationship. I never forget my parents, grandparents or my little brother, though I will forget he’s moved on. Which really sucks
I removed a few lines about all this from another post, but Ame busted me….. you bitch ;)….. I removed them because it wasn’t really relative to that post and I don’t want any bullshit sympathy. For many years the Lord let me walk across His earth like a legend but there is always a price. I was willing to pay that price. Was. In many ways this is the best my life has ever been. I’m no longer ashamed or emabrssed by having a faulty CPU. Before folks helped me figure some shit out I thought what was going on with me mentally was my own failings and short comings and nothing pisses me off more then when I drop the ball…. but my head is literally fucked up. Price to pay and all that. Like all things I should be in much worse shape then I am. Mercy great and small.
Mostly I am better because of The Girls. They roll with the punches when I’m down. They ask some questions to find out if I’ve had a brain fart or if I’ve gone full retard and either talk some shit or extend some extra grace, situation dependent. I wont get into the detials but I’ve had some bad episodes. There is no battle on the home front and that makes everything easier. Not being angry at myself, not dealing with The Girls being aggravated etc etc is the bedrock of everything else.
On my end I do some things. None of them particularly scientific. Doctor offered pills, I offered the 1 finger salute. Congative therapy was just another asshole telling me I have PTSD vs helping me thing better. So I figured shit out the help of my kin and my Beloveds. And really that’s some expert level help. Not my mother’s or Gril#1’s area of professional expertise but they both understand the the science much better then I ever could on my own.
I’m no expert. I am not recommending a dang thing. I’m my own science project, have been my own test lab since I started doing steroids but I’m not willing to lay claim to any sort of expertise…… here we go…..
I take some supplements that’s supposed to help people focus, I take some that’s supposed to help get more oxygen in the blood. Brain food and brain fuel. After that I deal with this problem like I deal with all my probelms, a fuck you attuide and work. I do some basic breathing work every day, two different types, 3 if you count breathing when I train. Regular cold exposure. Generally a bucket of water over my head. I make a point of learning at least one new song on the guitar every month. Learning a new kettebell trick is part of it. I’m relearning some Spanish. My son in law sends me stuff from his engineering school days, which I learn at a very slow pace because I’ve never been much good at book learning. And he tests me on what he sends,, $20 for every wrong answer. Was skunked the 1st 3. Retested 3 times on the 1st quiz before I got 70%
All that really sucked for about 18 months. Nothing was working and busting my ass for no ROI makes me cranky. In the middle of that I had a serious malfunction….. doctors say stress can make things worse, but once again The Girls did what they could to keep things steady. Which really means not being bitchy about me being cranky. They didn’t patronized me, no useless sympathy or platitudes. We kept rolling as best we could for as long as it took. Things started noticeably improving about 8 months back. Friday I did some 1st year mechincal engineer calculations. Correctly.
I don’t know if this will help anyone. I hope it helps men think twice about military life, especially extended combat operations military life. My head and body are all fucked up and all fucked up over dumb ass wars were defined in ways that ensure you can’t win and aginst people who were never a real threat….. no real threat if you are willing to violate the terms of political correctness……..which means we as a nation had other options, easier to implement options…..done on behalf of a nation and goverment that is 100% opposed to all the things Southern men think they are fighting for. And really I got off lucky compared to guys I know with cool new nicknames like peg leg, stumpy or legless
Take away #3 is this; There is always a cost to be paid for being the boss and mostly that cost is very well hidden because it’s much futher down the road
Edited to add this….. my theory is, for this to work, it has to be mental work you are not naturally gifted in. Music works for me becuase despite being ok with a guitar it’s never been easy for me. I’ve always struggled with English let alone a second language. Dyslexia, ADHD and my hearing makes learning/ speaking difficult…..my hearing combined with a mild speech impediment is extra fun….and while I pick up mechanica things fairly easy when working with my hands the theroy stuff and math are real mofo’s to learn. If I was good at these things I would have chosen different exercises. Expect the guitar. I think the mind/ manual dexterity thing is critical.
So, the next time my Husband sits down and asks how things are at Spawny’s, I’ll tell him Ton called me a bit**, and he’ll start cracking up and ask what I did to earn that! 🙂
The being dead part is nothing to worry about.
The how you get there part is powerfully worrisome.
seems i might have told this story once before, but i only do so in places where it can be heard properly, and i think this is one of those places.
twice my Oldest was suicidal due to things her dad and his parents did to her – the first time was when she was nine 😦 … anyway, God is good; she is fine. her freshman year in high school, the year before i pulled her out, they got into a ‘discussion’ in her english class about suicide. she and one other boy spoke up ‘for’ it … meaning they didn’t rip people who ended that way or people who considered it. they were the only two in the class. they were the only two who had faced it.
i’m not one who thinks we need to live at all costs; there will always be a time to die. that’s Written.
but i do acknowledge that, for many, and in various circumstances, living is the much harder choice.
i have more questions than answers about just about everything, including life and death. always amazes me how fragile life is while simultaneously also being so resilient. amazing what little thing crosses one over to the other side while others beat the odds like you do over and over.
kudos to you for pushing forward and not giving up long-term. it’s one thing – the things we share with the world out here; it’s a totally different story what’s going on irl.
that funeral i mentioned about the preacher who’s philosophy about putting the church in debt i didn’t like … his two adult sons gave eulogies, and the way they spoke about their dad was priceless. apparently, he was a great dad. one of his sons said their dad taught them to live well … and he also taught them to die well. when it comes time for our kids to talk about us after we pass thru that veil, may they be able to say the same.
That a 9 year has done that math is beyond fucked up….. I have a niece who thinks about it often. How seriously? No one knows
I have certain trip points set and if they occur then I’ll check out but that’s more about what I am willing to put others through on my behalf
yeah, those were some rough years. the three of them would corner her and tell her how terrible she was to want certain things that were normal.
so, i really prayed about it b/c i had to teach her to honor her father while also protecting herself. so we got a piece of construction paper and some markers. wrote down the bible verses about honoring your parents. then we drew a line and made a list of ways she could honor them and protect herself at the same time. came up with things like saying she needed to go to the bathroom, start coughing a lot to redirect their attention, etc. it worked. it gave her a sense of control and a new way to think about things.
ironically, the second time was when she was 14-15, and he tried to use those same bible verses (he never knew about our project) to manipulate her to do things that were wrong. he printed them out and handed them to her. she threw them back at him and told him she already knew those verses. he told her to her face he didn’t like her, didn’t want her, and to call her mom to pick her up, and not only never apologized but held firm till his end that what he did was right. it broke her – she ended up in the er with neurological medical stuff, lots of specialists, etc. ended up pulling her to homeschool b/c she couldn’t do it. she’s doing great now, though; really proud of that girl. she’s had a rough life but has forgiven these people, learned how to protect herself from them, and still loves Jesus. amazing.
anyway, life is just hard sometimes. we don’t usually get to choose our ‘hard’ but we do get to choose how we deal with it. you’re teaching your kids and grandkids and many others more now than you probably ever have by how you’re dealing with all this stuff. i know it’s ingrained in you, but never give up … they’re watching and learning and absorbing into their very psyche everything they’re seeing. it won’t be perfect, and that’s good b/c if it was, they’d dismiss it all.
honored to know you from afar and to be able to learn what i have from you. i pass it on to those who, as Bloom says, have ears to hear.
Dang that shitty
Life is usually unjust. Which sits poorly with me
Yeah. Don’t understand God’s sense of justice at all; just have to believe it is.
Taught my girls young that everybody’s got something, this is your somethin, so suck it up and get over it.
Also taught them life is not fair just or equal. They’d complain about that one. I’d tell them to add it to the list. So then they’d say, “It’s not fair and I don’t want to add it to the list!” 😂
Ton, this is an excellent writeup with excellent advice.
I’m convinced if mom had done anything at all to exercise her brain in the past 30+ years, the most recent fall would have been far less catastrophic (at the moment she can’t figure out how to master the complexity of a walker on wheels, it’s less dangerous for her to walk without one).
“Friday I did some 1st year mechanical engineer calculations. Correctly.”
That is something beyond spectacular.
One more Tonnish entry I’m going to save to my desktop to inspire our boys.
Grace and Peace,
God bless you and yours Ton
Hey I was just talking to Mike about your post, Ton, and he reminded me of something…
It’s really good brain exercise to try and use your non-dominant hand to do things with.
Throwing the football, writing, and so forth.
He has been doing this for years (for that reason, Alzheimers runs in his family), and he’s ambidextrous now.
I’ve been doing that with kettlebells, for different reasons but I will add that to the list
Tell Mike thanks
May the Almighty keep all y’all safe in the palm of his hand
I thought English _was_ your second language.
I would like to have your mechanical skill. If you can bottle it as 80 proof, I’ll pick up a bottle. We all have our strengths and weaknesses.
I told another guy who was giving me shit for singing karaoke (something I’ve started doing) with a 20-something broad and I told him that there were two garments that never look good on a man–envy and jealousy.
Hope you are feeling better!
I haven’t been following blogs much since this nonsense started, because I spend most of my time now researching and following that.