It is hard to believe that I have been blogging for almost five years now. The first blog entry I wrote was on May 8, 2007. That entry was written on the Caringbridge web site that I had set up for Patty. At the time I knew nothing about blogging or social media. Caringbridge makes the process of blogging very easy. All that you really need to do is provide the updates about how your loved one is doing in their health battle. Over time I would eventually write 394 posts to the Caringbridge site. But after Patty's passing it didn't make sense to keep posting things to Caringbridge as the focus was no longer on Patty's illness and fight to survive. Instead the focus was now on how I would live my life without my spouse and how I would do raising Zack.
So on November 11, 2008 I decided upon a name and I launched the blog A Dad And His Boy on the Blogger website. Prior to coming up with this name I had experimented with several other names like - A Dad and His Boy Living the Life, A Dad and His Boy Hiking Through Life - all different kinds of names. In the end run they really don't matter that much because it is just a URL that you use. More importantly you can create a title for your blog. Right now I am on the 3rd title, which is "My Life Revolution". I don't remember what the other two titles had been.
Besides writing many blog entries I have also read tens of thousands of blog entries written by other bloggers. I am always looking to see what other bloggers are writing about and what they are thinking. Frequently you will see blogs come to a bitter end because of comments that are received from readers. Normally there is a sequence of events that begin with the blogger writing something with which at least one person disagrees. The reader will then leave a comment that is usually anonymous on the blog. At that point the blogger gets upset and does one of two things. They either do the "If you don't like my rules I am taking my ball and bat, going home and not playing any more". If they don't do that then they do the "I am angry at the world why would someone criticize me". Both of these responses usually achieve the same result, the blog comes to an ignoble end - either through the childlike, thin skinned behavior of the blogger, or the blogger acts like a crazy person and writes a horrible rant and drives all of his/her readers away. It is a very common pitfall of blogging and I have seen it play out more times than I can count in all the hundreds upon hundreds of blogs that I read.
This morning I had one of those moments. I got an anonymous comment sent to the blog that I found to be hurtful. It was hurtful in it's tone and the message it sent. Here are the contents of that comment: "Stop putting all the stuff about Shelley on here. Trust me, as a woman this is not working. It is probably just making her mad because she feels like it is a guilt trip. Even if she does not read your blog, I am sure someone tells her these things. You have told her how you feel and now it's time to leave it alone. Send an email to check in with her in a few months but that's it. If it was meant to be then she will be back. If not then you need to move on. While this sounds harsh I really am saying it for your own good."
What do I say to this. Not a lot I guess. There are many things about this comment with which I had a problem. But I am not going to go down that road and spell it all out as that will accomplish nothing since the comment was made anonymously.
Instead this is what I am going to say. I write what I write because it is what I feel. This blog is about the life that I live and feelings that I have in my heart. I do not write things in my blog to hurt, annoy, ridicule or belittle one specific person. (OK - I sometimes do satire about the news, current events or political situations and some of those posts might be seen to be annoying or ridiculing of some one - normally a bigwig politician, but no one who I know in personal life.) Outside of what I write in this blog, I have no other way of expressing my feelings about Shelly. I am not going to go into the details of expressing what lead to the end of our relationship or the things that were involved in the day-to-day life we shared - because that isn't anyone's business. But I choose to write about what I feel.
To me, Shelly is the one woman on this earth who I could see being with for the rest of my life. Right now though I no longer have any kind of contact with Shelly. I don't know where she lives, I don't know what she is doing in life, I don't know if she is dating some one. I literally know nothing about her and her life at this time. All I know is that I truly love Shelly and I ultimately believe in the power of love to heal any problem, correct any wrong and overcome any obstacle. Shelly is a phenomenal, beautiful, amazing, strong and intelligent woman. And with that I won't say more. Because I am sensitive to how my thoughts and words may come off to people I will continue to feel what I feel in my heart but I keep much more of that to myself. I can't commit that it won't slip out every once in a while when I have a particularly strong memory of her or when I think of something I really wish I were doing with her, but for the most part I won't talk about it. I will keep my feelings alive in my heart and maybe someday if the stars align correctly I will have the opportunity to have Shelly back in my life. I believe in love and I believe in having hope. And so that is what I will hope for and dream of. And in the immortal words of Forrest Gump "That's all I have to say about that".
One other comment coming out of that - if you are going to comment on what I write, have the courtesy to leave your name. Coming up with a harsh comment and then leaving it anonymously is unfair. I write this blog and put all my feelings and thoughts out there and you all know who I am, I think it is only fair if you are going to leave a comment you do so and attach your name to it. So no more anonymous comments please!
Otherwise today have been somewhat lackluster. This morning I had an appointment with the orthopedic surgeon who did the surgery on my leg back in October. Based upon her evaluation of my leg, the bone has healed very well and everything looks good. It was remarkable to look at the difference between the before X-rays taken back in September and the X-rays now. They are just so different and my fibula looks like a normal bone again - except for the fact that it has a ton of hardware in it! The pain in my back is continuing to come and go. Typically when I wake up in the morning it is hard for me to even walk. But as the day gets along the amount of pain decreases that things get better. I will re-start physical therapy next week to hopefully help me over the final hurdles of pain associated with this injury. I see my neurosurgeon again next Tuesday. I think he is probably going to order another MRI and then use that to make a determination if he has to go back in to clean up the hematoma that is in my spinal column.
This afternoon I put Zack and my nephew Cole to work clearing my driveway of the ton of snow that fell last week and yesterday/today. I paid Cole to help out and it was part of Zack's household chores. Since Zack is doing a lot better with his anxiety now that he is on the new meds I am pushing him hard to take the responsibilities he should as a 13 year old. He is getting no slack cut for him when it comes to things like doing chores, getting good grades, etc. He just needs to do it and there are no if, ands, or buts in this situation. He needs to work and work his ass off. It is really good to see him open his eyes and start to get some of these lessons. He isn't totally there quite yet, but everyday we get a step closer.
I also got my marching orders for work today. My return to traveling is happening next week. I am not 100% sure how my back is going to handle it, but I did clear it today with the neurosurgeon. Next week I am heading to Daleville, Indiana for a day's worth of meetings. At least I am not starting things off with a bang by having to do a huge international trip. Though I suspect that will come shortly. It is time to start making all the necessary plans for Zack. Traveling is never particularly fun, but it will be good to get fully back into the swing of things for work.
I feel exhausted having written this post tonight. So I am turning off my computer and going and laying down on the couch and just vegetating. Good night!
Thanks and peace to all! ~J. (Even if you write harsh comments and do so anonymously.)