Filed under: Courage | Tags: Becky Coon, Leadership, Lee Coon, Little Rock Taekwondo Academy, Michael Coon
I reconnected with some old friends today on Facebook. While I had not talked to them in years, I’ve talked about them many many times. Many of the people that have gone through my Taekwondo school will remember the story, if not the names. I’ve cried a lot because of Lee and Becky Coon and their son Michael. I’ve cried every time I’ve told their story to a school gym filled with kids. I’ve cried when I told the story to Steve, to Keely and her friends. I’ve cried buckets of tears today as I wrote this blog.
There are some people that make a huge impact on your life. A skinny teenage boy with big ears changed my life forever.
Michael Coon was very quiet, very polite. He got that from his dad Lee and his mom Becky. Well, Lee was pretty quiet, Becky kind of balanced the quiet with the gift of gab. They all were students at my taekwondo school when I bought it. Michael was in our instructor program for a while, and then he hit those teenage years when time gets so precious. He was involved in activities at school and church, and the drive from Redfield to Little Rock in the evenings became too much. But his dad Lee still worked out with us when he could during the day, and the family would stop by and say hi when they were in the area. A great family.
I’m going to tell you the story, but I’ll tell you up front I’m kind of fuzzy on some of the details.
It’s been ten years, and I can’t remember who called me. I’m pretty sure it was Lee. He told me that Michael had been shot and was on the way to the hospital. Becky was on the way. They got there, and he was gone.
He was fourteen.
Michael and a couple of friends were going to go hunting. Somehow, Michael was shot. By one of his friends.
I can’t imagine the shock to Lee and Becky. They left for work that morning, a normal routine. That evening when they came home their world had been turned upside down. This story is one of the reasons that my kids always hear me tell them “I love you” before we go in our different directions. Every single time.
Lee asked that Charles and I come to the house. It was overflowing with people, there to support Becky and Lee.
Lee pulled us aside, and told us that the police had arrested Michael’s friend, the one who shot him. This was a boy that had grown up with their son, someone that they loved and had welcomed into their family. Lee was heartbroken.
He took us into Michael’s room and showed us something very special. Michael was one of the youth leaders at their church, and he had been keeping a journal. One of the last things he had written was:
“If Christ died for my sins, who am I to not forgive others?”
He told us that he and Becky felt that Michael was telling them a very important truth.
During the grieving process of losing their son, Lee and Becky comforted the other boys’ family. They visited him in jail and told him that they loved him. They stood by him. No hate. No anger. Just love and forgiveness.
I went to the memorial service for Michael. His black belt certificate was next to the casket. The church was overflowing, full of teenagers that had gone to school with Michael, full of adults that had been touched by the Coon family.
The pastor invited people to talk about their memories of Michael.
In a sea of white faces, an African American young man stood in line to speak:
“I moved here from New Orleans after Katrina. I don’t know if you guys noticed, but there are not a lot of black faces around here. I was really scared about starting a new school. Really scared. I had heard a lot of stories.
The first day I walked up to the school, there was a group of guys standing around. One of them saw me and started heading over. I thought to myself, I’m going to get beat up right now. Well, that is not what happened. Michael Coon reached out his hand to me, introduced himself, and took me over to meet his friends. He invited me to sit with him at his table at lunch. He invited me into his home. Mr. Lee and Mrs. Becky invited me into their family.
I’ll never forget him.”
The young man broke down and went to his seat. I don’t think there was a dry eye in that church. I don’t think I’ve ever cried so much.
We hear a lot of talk about leadership. Martial Arts schools have programs saying that they teach it. Corporations bring in consultants to teach it.
But that skinny fourteen year old boy could teach a lot of people about leadership.
I’ve told Michael’s story to thousands of people. I’ve been in schools where the teachers couldn’t get the students to calm down, and after I’ve told Michaels story there was a hushed gym full of teenagers. I’ve talked to my students during class, and cried for the loss of this very special boy. I’ve given out the Michael Coon Leadership Award to some very special people at our annual awards ceremony.
Michael Coon touched a lot of people in the short time he was here. His legacy is one of friendship, inclusion, leadership and love.
I know that Lee and Becky think of Michael every day. But I wanted them to know that they, and their son, forever changed me. I hope they are proud of his legacy, and the impact that he, and they, have had on so many people.
Filed under: Relationships | Tags: Charles Ray, David Ray, Joe Edwards, Keely Ray, Krista Brown, Laurel Truan, Steve Cox
David is the son of my heart. For the years I was married to his dad, he was legally my step-son. After his dad and I split up, he called to tell me that he loved me, and I was still his mom. He is still my son.
I met him when he was two. White blond hair, extremely verbal, very precocious. He started to call me Mom, which bothered his mom Laurel. I don’t blame her a bit. David handled it by calling me Mom when he was with me, but if both of his moms were together he would call me Michelle when talking to Laurel, and use Laurel’s name when talking to me. Like I said, he was a smart kid.
He loved Star Wars. He had a problem pronouncing “L” and “Y” for a while. He was always “Uke” Skywalker and he wanted to wear the “Ellow” shirt. I still pronounce “Luke” and “Yellow” that way sometimes.
My mom told David that he was her “Number One Grandchild”. David started crying. “I don’t want to be Number One!”
Mom said, “but David, you are my oldest grandchild, that makes you Number One.”
“I don’t want to be Number One, I want to be Number Zero because Zero comes before One!”
Henceforth, mom always referred to him as “Ole Number Zero”.
There was a picnic table on the beach at Destin, Florida that David ran into every year. The story of that table and David’s affinity for it comes up every time we get together.
Destin is where a momentous occasion occurred.
It was our first visit as a family, David was two and a half. We went to a restaurant on the wharf, and to put it bluntly, he was being a holy terror. We put up with it for a while, and then finally Charles got up, took him by the hand and marched him outside.
A while later, David came down the aisle with his dad behind him. I could tell they had both been crying.
David climbed into his booster seat beside me, looked at me and said “Boy, Mom, wait until you have your first spanking!”
Charles had taken him out, spanked him, and then cried with him afterwards.
I reminisced with David just this week about that story.
We have had our ups and downs, David and I. He came to live with us when he was 13. Anyone with any experience with kids will tell you that the teenage years are not anything fun to go through, for the kid, or the parents.
There were battles over getting up in the morning. The solution of several alarm clocks around his room didn’t work because he would just put his pillow over his head and go back to sleep. Drove us nuts.
I had to bang on the bathroom door in the mornings because he would go to sleep in the bathtub.
It was a battle of wits and will. I remember telling him he had five chores to do because he could go out. He only got three done. And he said I didn’t tell him about the other three. Now I was pretty sure I had said five, but there was some doubt. So I let him go out with his friends.
Next weekend, I gave him a list. And I made him sign and date it.
And then there are all of the Christmas stories. Maybe they are so real because of all the pictures we have.
David and Kat would start checking the packages at Christmas, so they pretty much had all their gifts figured out by Christmas morning. I fixed that by putting numbers instead of names on the packages. And I wouldn’t tell them who had which number until they came downstairs Christmas morning.
Another Christmas I rustled everyone out of bed to open gifts. We noticed after the gifts were open that it was still dark. Which is when I realized the clock had read 3:30am instead of 5:30am. They all stumbled back to bed while I enjoyed the quiet of a Christmas morning and read the newspaper.
David’s little brother Joe spent Christmas with us one year.
David moved back to California when he was 17. We kept in touch by phone, with a few visits tossed in.
Christmas of 1999 David called to ask if he and some friends could stop over for Christmas on their way to Florida for the for the New Year’s 2000 Phish concert. Several young adult boys piled into a van in Oregon, with virtually no money, and made the cross country trek. What a cool adventure. We fed them well, packed a lot of left overs for the trip and sent them on their way in an epic ice storm.
He spent Christmas with us our first year in Colorado. Charles was here too, so Keely was in heaven. It was the first time any of us had seen David in four or five years. It was a good week. David and I went on some walks, talked about life and tried to solve all the problems of the world.
So many great Christmas memories.
David now is a dad. Kyle is two, and looks so much like David that it is spooky. And he is verbal and precocious just like his dad was at that age. So when David calls and tells me Kyle stories, I find myself remembering that little white blond boy. And telling those David stories to David.
So there is this full circle kind of thing going on. This Christmas, Steve, Keely and I are going to be joining Krista, David, Toby, Jake and Kyle for Christmas.
My little boy is now a man. A responsible adult, who goes to work and takes care of his boys. He calls me on my birthday and on Mother’s Day.
That little boy that insisted on calling me mom is someone I am proud to call my son.
Happy Birthday David. I love you.
Filed under: Life | Tags: AL remarry clause, long divorce process, marriage in CO, self officiant marriage
We hoped to get married before we left Little Rock , but realized after the first mediation and divorce hearing that Steve’s divorce was not going to be a reasonable negotiation between reasonable adults.
Steve was in Alabama for yet another hearing when out of blue I got this text:
“The divorce is done, start planning a wedding!”
Well it was done, but not done. It had been read into the record. But the attorneys had to get paperwork done, language had to be agreed to, and then the judge had to sign it. I had not been impressed with the efficiency of the court system in Alabama, and I sure didn’t think it was going to improve just because we had an agreement.
Steve and I would have been happy going to a justice of the peace. But being part of our wedding was a big deal to Keely. And once she told her friends, it became a big deal to my “other kids”. So we decided to do a small ceremony at our house, followed by a casual party. The only problem was, Keely was booked on a flight for Little Rock on June 8. So we needed to plan the wedding for the weekend before, or reschedule her flight. While it was possible the paperwork could get done in time for June 1, that would mean that the attorneys and judge would have to be quick and efficient. I had no expectation of that happening.
Once I found out that Colorado allows a couple to officiate at their own wedding, the decision was easy. We would do our own ceremony and party on Saturday June 1. If the divorce wasn’t final, no big deal. We would do the legal paperwork whenever it came in.
June 1 we had our ceremony and party.
Tuesday June 4 the divorce papers were signed in Alabama.
Now this is where it gets funny.
You have to understand that when Steve gets his mind set on something, he gets tunnel vision. And his mind was set that we were going to get married ASAP after the divorce decree was signed.
So he called me on Tuesday, June 4 and said:
“I’ve got the divorce decree, and I’m printing it out. I’ll come by the house at 4PM, you and Keely be ready, and we will go into Canon City to get the marriage license done. They close at 5PM”
Now of course this was not going to be easy and straightforward. Of course the State of Alabama was going to throw a wrench in the works. Alabama is one of the few states in the country that thinks that adults can’t make up their minds about getting a divorce without a little extra help from the State. The decree said that “neither party could remarry for a period of 60 days” I gotta tell you, I almost had a heart attack when I saw that language in the draft decree. But we did some online research, and talked to an attorney here in Colorado. Basically that only applies to the parties that are living in Alabama. Since Steve could prove he had lived in Colorado for three years, we should be home free. But of course we could run into a problem at the county courthouse. So Steve made a copy of all the online legal opinions and had them with him when we went to the courthouse.
We walked in, and the nice lady said “how can I help you?”
“We need to get a marriage license.”
“Great! Just come over here to this computer and fill some stuff out, then I’ll ask you some questions and we will get you taken care of.”
We filled in the stuff on the computer. Name, address, social security number kind of stuff.
Then the clerk came over to finish up the process.
“Have you been married before?”
“What is the date of your divorce?”
“several years ago, here is the date, judge and court in Little Rock, AR”
So she wrote all that information down.
“Have you been married before?”
“Date of divorce?”
“Yep, today. As of about two hours ago. And here is a copy of the decree.”
You can imagine the dumbfounded look on her face.
She turned and looked at this older lady sitting at the desk behind her.
“He just got divorced today. Can we do that?”
The older lady didn’t even look up.
So she took the copy of the decree to the copy machine. Steve and I looked at each other, wondering if she would notice item number 2 “neither party shall remarry for a period of 60 days”
I could tell when she saw it. She stopped and read it. Looked at us. Read it again.
Walked over to the older lady
“This says he can’t remarry for 60 days”
I spoke up
“That is in Alabama. Here are legal opinions that basically say that Colorado doesn’t give a damn about what Alabama says”.
She looked at the older lady
“We don’t care”
Big grin on Steve’s face.
We didn’t even have to give her the legal opinion paperwork.
So she brought the certificate over to us.
I told her we were going to be the officiants. She instructed us on where to put what name. I asked her if we could just sign everything there so that we didn’t have to come back into town.
“You can’t sign it here at the counter but you can go to that table out there, sign it, and bring it back here”
Which we did
We were married.
The next morning I picked up our marriage license and started the process of changing my name.
So that’s the story of the longest quickie marriage. It took three and a half years for Steve to get a divorce. And two hours for us to get married after the divorce paperwork was done.
Filed under: Life | Tags: banana pudding, black eyed pea restaraunt, emotions after surgery, hip replacement
And last night I had a total meltdown over banana pudding.
While I had cooked and frozen a lot of healthy food, these first few days out of the hospital I didn’nt even feel like finding something and warming it up,
Steve said on Monday “Look I can’t cook for you, and you wouldn’t want to try to eat it if I did. But I can pick stuff up. So you order it, and I’ll pick up dinner for us on my way home.”
Now if you want to see Steve Cox’s face light up, suggest going to eat at The Black Eyed Pea. Since I didn’t have much appetite, I thought The Pea would be a good place to get some decent food that everybody would enjoy. I spent a while looking at the menu, and even looked at the desert menu. I NEVER look at the desert menu. Ever. I do not believe in using food for comfort. Been there done that and had the fat to prove it.
But the cobbler and the banana pudding sounded really good. Comfort food. And there was a little voice in the back of me head saying I deserved some banana pudding. My mom was a really awful cook. But one of the few things she made that we could actually eat was banana pudding. And as I have been hobbling around this week I’ve seen my mom in the ways I am moving. She had such problems with her legs and hips those last few years, finally going from a cane to a walker. So when I reach for the counter to walk my way through the counter I’m seeing mom do the same.
I don’t really know of mom had anything to do with it but I was really looking forward to banana pudding.
So I called in the order. Cobb Salad (for me to eat the next day) Chicken tender dinners for Keely and Steve, Pot Roast with sweet potato fries for me. And Peach Cobbler and Banana Pudding.
Well guess what? We got the wrong order. Chicken Fried steak, pot roast, lots of mashed potatoess. No sweet potato fries, and NO BANANA PUDDING! I was disappointed. I was pissed. But since we live 30 minutes away from the restaurant, there was not a lot that could be done.
Tuesday night we had take out Thai.
Wednesday, one week anniversary of my surgery, we decided on The Black Eyed Pea again. Keely was going to church with a friend so it would be just me and Steve. . Intermittently during the day I would look at the menu. I knew what Steve would have…Chicken Tenders, okra, black eyed peas. I knew I was going to order peach cobbler and banana pudding. I still didn’t have much of an appetities, so finding something that sounded good to me was more difficult. I finally decided on a plain hamburger steak with sweet potato fries and spinanch. Healthy, and I was going to indulge in a bite of cobbler and some banana pudding.
Now there are some things you have to understand about my first week after surgery.
I have not had any of my vitamins and supplements for two weeks. Including the stuff that keeps my hormones in check.
I’m sleeping in a recliner next to our bed. I’m not getting a lot of sleep and the sleep I’m getting is not what I call quality sleep.
I really miss sleeping in bed my husband
I am trapped in this house, unable to drive (yet) and have not been out since we came home on Friday.
I have to think about every move I make. I can’t pick up something from the ground if I drop it. I have to walk with a crutch. I have to be careful about my leg. yada yada yada.
So understand that I was looking forward to this meal. I got to control it, choose what I wanted, and have it delivered to me with no effort on my part. Sheer bliss.
This time, when I called in the order, I told the very nice lady to put the full name “Steve Cox” on the order, because Monday we got someone else’s order. She was very apologetic and said she would make sure this order was right. She just didn’t understand how they could have messed it up that bad.
Steve got home and I took one look at that bag and I knew we had a problem. There was not enough food in that bag. In fact, there were several small round containers but only one entree sized container. And nothing that could possibly be cobbler or banana pudding.
“Is there another bag?”
“No, this is all they gave me.’
My stomach dropped and I could feel the emotions welling up.
“This is wrong. There is not enough food. Damnit WHY CAN THEY NOT GET THIS RIGHT? IT’S CHICKEN FRIED STEAK AGAIN! CHICKEN FRIED STEAK! I HATE CHICKEN FRIED STEAK AND THERE IS NO BANANA PUDDING!”
Steve did not say a word as I dialed my phone. I am ashamed to say that my voice was actually shaking when I told the woman that we had the wrong order again. She calmed me down. We went back and forth, I questioned Steve “There is only one Black Eyed Pea in Pueblo, right?”
Voice on the phone “Pueblo? You picked up in Pueblo?”
Voice: We are at Garden of the Gods in the Springs”
Me: “Oh shit”
So apparently I called the wrong restaurant, in the wrong city to place an order. Twice. And what is interesting is twice they gave Steve food. Someone else’s order obviously.
I hung up the phone, told Steve that I had called the wrong restaurant twice, and promptly started tearing up. Steve said “I think you need a hug” and started around the counter. He hugged me, I sniffled a little bit feeling like a total wuss baby. So I took a couple of deep breaths and said ok let’s eat.
Steve innocently asked what it was we were going to be eating. “Fucking chicken fried steak” I growled.
In a really chipper voice he said “Well I really like chicken fried steak! “
Bless his heart, the poor man had no idea what he just got himself in for with that one sentence.
“I don’t care if you like chicken fried steak. I don’t like chicken fried steak. This is not about what you like, this is about me not getting once single thing I wanted last time or this time and I WANTED BANANA PUDDING AND THERE IS NO BANANA PUDDING!” And I burst into tears again.
He came back around the corner, held me while I cried. He did not utter a word. Not a sound. Smart man.
“OK” I sniffed. “You divide it up and I’ll get the silverware.”
Later, Steve looked at me. “You OK?”
“That wasn’t like you”
“You’ve had major surgery, you don’t have any control over a lot of stuff, and you were really looking forward to that meal and that’s why you reacted that way”
I’ll get you some banana pudding tomorrow.
Today, I wont get any banana pudding. Steve will be home late and I’m warming up a zucchini lasagna that I froze a couple of weeks ago.
And of course, it’s not like banana pudding is all that important. It’s really not even my favorite desert. It’s just seem to symbolize comfort to me this week, maybe because it is one of the few deserts my mom ever made.
I don’t need banana pudding for comfort. I have a wonderful man that loves me and takes care of me. A daughter that is happy to help me with my compression socks, put my boots on me, and load the dishwasher and clean the house. Friends that cook me good food, bring me flowers and their company. Phone calls and cards from those that are not close. That is what is real. That is what is truly comforting,.
But I’ll certainly enjoy me some banana pudding this weekend.
As expected, yesterday pretty much sucked. It took two
hours to make the drive to Denver from Penrose. The night before we
had a good a good meal and finished up packing. I hugged Maestro
and Patches, breathing deeply of that comforting horse smell.
Pepper, my new fuzzy Shih Tzu knew that something was going on and
was dodging my every step. All four dogs were concerned. It was
hard saying goodbye to their worried little faces.
I have to say the staff at Porter Adventist Hospital have been awesome. Once we
started the admission process at 9:30 everything moved very
rapidly. They let Steve hang out with me after they got me all
punctured and hooked up. He watched everything very carefully. At one point as the nurse was running the IV line I looked at him and said “you think this is cool don’t you?” Big grin. “
Yeah I do”
Dr. Haas was running early so my surgery was at 11:00am instead of noon. Spinal injection and meds injected
into my IV, and the next thing I remember is looking at a clock and
it was 1:30. I was fuzzy. Sometime later they moved me to the room.
I saw Steve in the hallway as we moved to the elevator so he
walked with us. It was so comforting seeing his smile from across the hallway.
Gorgeous room. It’s newly remodeled and large. A couch for Steve to sleep on. I haven’t been out of bed to check out
the bathroom. I still have a catheter. This hospital has a room service menu, free for me the patient, minimal charge for Steve. I don’t have much appetite so I just eat a few bites.
I can wriggle my toes on my right leg, but that is about it . If I want to move my leg, I have to reach down and lift from above the knee. One if he hardest prohibitions for me is to not bend past 90 degrees. That means I cant reach down and put on my shoes and socks. I cant pick anything up from the floor. For EIGHT weeks.
My first night was tough. My right quad, my nemisis, started spasming. The room was dark, Steve was getting some well deserved rest and I was miserable. I couldn’t even feel my hip, the quad hurt so much. It was a claustrophobic feeling, trapped in the bed, unable to roll over or stretch my leg. I couldn’t get away from the pain. I finally called the nurse, woke Steve up. She suggested a muscle relazer. OMG what a difference that little pill made.
Physical Therapy the first day consisted of walking through the halls, first with a walker, then with crutches. Occupational Therapy came by after, and I was instructed on the no bending past 90 degrees again. They are really serious about that.
Early afternoon my PT guy came by again and we strolled over to the gym. I went up and down stairs and got in and out of a car. Piece of cake. We spent much more time talking about karate and his two kids than we did PT stuff.
So one more night, Jen the OT comes by in the morning and I get to take a shower. A shower! A shower!
Filed under: Life | Tags: Dr. Brian Haas, hip replacement surgery, recovering from surgery
I’m bitching and whining, either to myself or to anyone that I can get to listen. I dread this surgery. I dread going in to the hospital. I dread the waking up and my leg not working. I dread coming home and not being able to sleep in my bed. I dread crutches and cane.
Lilly is coming over to stay with Keely for the two nights we will be in Denver. I’m getting the house cleaned up so that I do not come home to a dirty house. I hate housework in principal anyway, and cleaning house so it will be clean when I get back from the hospital really pisses me off. I’ve got food cooked and frozen so that none of us starve after I get home and don’t feel like cooking.
Per doctor instructions I quit taking all vitamins and supplements several days ago. Which means I’m having hormone swings and hot flashes and I am using every bit of self-control not to be a major bitch. Probably cracked my teeth gritting them the last few days.
I have no patience. I’ve had headaches and I can’t take anything for pain. I’m sneezing my head off and I can’t take allergy meds.
I’m rubbing an anti-bacterial solution on my hip and putting antibiotic ointment up my nose twice a day to lessen the chances of getting that flesh eating disease that is rampant in hospitals.
I am not happy.
There is almost a sense of mourning as I go about my last few days. I was in the garden yesterday and realized it would be my last time. Someone else is going to harvest the rest of the year because I won’t be able to. It pisses me off.
Saturday was my last day to go riding with Lilly and Ann. It was a gorgeous day, we went to Beaver Creek and met up with other horse people. There was actually water in the creek and we got to splash through it. Some of the horses had never been in water. We ended up riding for about five hours. That ride also reinforced that I needed to get my hip fixed because I thought I was going to die on the ride home, and for the rest of the day for that matter. I was very aware as I put Maestro up that I wouldn’t be seeing him for the next few weeks. No way do I want to get accidently bumped by a horse.
Speaking of being bumped by a horse…I’ll have to be really careful around Brandi. Our sweet, gentle English Mastiff weighs 180 pounds and she is clumsy. She also likes to lean on her humans. So I’ll have to stay away from her for a while.
We will bring my little recliner upstairs today. I learned with the other surgeries that trying to sleep in bed after a major surgery is not a great idea. I toss and turn a lot under the best of circumstances. Waking up in screaming pain every few minutes because I tried to roll over in my sleep is not a fun way to spend the night. I can’t roll over in the recliner, therefore I don’t toss and turn, and therefore I sleep better. I’ll sleep in the recliner for as long as it takes to get comfortable in a bed again. I don’t remember how long that took before but I’m thinking it will be a week or two. That makes me sad. I love getting in bed with my husband and snuggling, touching throughout the night. Steve has already said that he will sleep in a chair or on a couch to be close to me. So neither of us will be getting great sleep.
I’m going to have another big scar. Guess now the hip scars will match. I wonder if I can ask Dr. Haas to make his incision about the same length as my other one so that I won’t look lopsided.
It’s my right leg so I don’t know how long it will take before I can drive.
Yes, I’m just wallowing is self-pity right now. And I’ll wallow a lot during the next few days. Then I’ll get tired of that feeling and wallow less. That’s the process. Unfortunately I’m getting experienced at this process. Woe is me woe is me.
OK, enough of all of this. I’ve got stuff to do.
Filed under: Life | Tags: Alisa McCoy, danny dring, hip replacement, Ryan McCormack
I had my left hip replaced in 2007. I’m not going to say it was a pleasant experience, it was not. But it was necessary if I wanted to continue in my profession as a martial arts instructor. I still had the Taekwondo school and was very aware that I needed to set a good example for my students. Working within the perimeters set by my surgeon, I was back teaching at two weeks, performed patterns and self-defense for my 4th Dan confirmation test three months after surgery, and even snagged a silver medal (in sparring) at the International Championships in Las Vegas six months after surgery.
I remember the pain, the frustration of not being able to put my clothes and shoes on. I remember hating seeing my shadow, because it looked like an old crippled lady hobbling along with a cane. I remember calling my friend/instructor Danny Dring, who had hip replacement the previous year, and asking if he got depressed. “Hell yeah I got depressed. You go from being able to work out and do things for yourself to being helpless and being in pain. “
Lifting my leg with my hands to get in and out of a chair or a car. The incision, and then the scar. Crutches. Cane. Being afraid, really afraid, of uneven surfaces because I knew if I fell it would hurt like hell, and I literally would not be able to get up by myself.
I couldn’t sleep in my bed. I spent the first few weeks in a recliner, because rolling over in my sleep was not a pleasant way to wake up. Apparently I roll over a lot in my sleep.
So now, the Formerly Known as The Good Hip is going under the knife on Wednesday. And I will admit to whining about it quite a bit. Steve is taking off work and will stay with me in the hospital room in Denver. This surgeon says I need to use crutches for four weeks and a cane for another four.
I liked two weeks with a cane better.
But different surgeon, different philosophy and I will do what he says.
I’m sure I’ll whine about it, and get frustrated, and get a little depressed. With all that being said, let me also say that I am counting my blessings big time right now.
• This is an elective surgery, and it will make my quality of life better.
• We have insurance to pay for it.
• I don’t have to scramble to try to get back to work
• Steve Cox is a wonderful caregiver
• Keely is old enough to not be a worry and to actually be a great help
• I have a community of friends that I know I can call on.
In the last few weeks, while dreading the surgery and the aftermath, I’ve been slapped upside the head with how lucky I am.
Last week my friend Alisa McCoy found out she had colon cancer. She is in her early 40’s, mother of Emily, a high school senior, and Ben, who is nine years old. I talked to her the other day and she was very matter of fact about the whole process. She understands the worse that can happen, is prepared for it, and optimistic that everything will work out ok. I can’t begin to tell you how much I admire this lady. As we were hanging up, I told her I was going to quit whining about my hip replacement, because I realized that in comparison to what she was going through I really should just shut up.
I have to be realistic though. I will whine and bitch. Even though I know what I am going through is nothing compared to what Alisa is going through.
Surgery was a few days ago and we are getting updates on Facebook. She is in good spirits and I know she is going to get through this.
Ryan McCormack is a friend and former Taekwondo employee. He was always my rock; smart, calm, an amazing martial artist, and he just quietly got things done. He moved to Dallas after getting his degree, and has been working as an actuarial. He is also a gifted musician who writes as well as performs. Ryan had a stroke a few days ago, the day after his 38th birthday. All I could do was stare in shock when I got the news.
Ryan will be going to Little Rock for up to three months rehabilitation. I don’t know the extent of the stroke, but I assume he will be learning to move, and perhaps think, again.
So between Alisa and Ryan, it has really been brought home to me that I should really be counting my blessings.
It’s very easy to focus on the negatives in our lives. Sometimes we have tunnel vision on all the stuff we don’t like, and don’t want to do, and we fail to acknowledge the good. So during the next few weeks, when it is going to suck to be me, I’m going to complain and bitch. But I vow to be thankful for all the blessings I have and the people in my life that love me.
Every time I’m feeling sorry for myself, I’m going to offer a prayer for Alisa and Ryan. They will be getting lots of prayers.