* * * * *Before the regularly scheduled post for this day, I wanted to give one, final brief concluding statement related to "Andrew's" blog, 4th Avenue Blues, and why I choose to no longer comment there.
"Andrew" had been struggling with issues about his medication and family disagreements for a period of time, and I attempted to offer him words of encouragement. This seemed to be well received and allowed for a congenial discussion between the two of us.
Suddenly, out of nowhere, "Andrew" became hostile towards me and said I "harped" at him about some of the above mentioned issues. This statement was rude and uncalled for. I told him so.
He then decided to remove the link to my blog from his, is telling others that I hurt his feelings and that he no longer reads my blog.
My concluding statement is simply to no longer comment on his blog. I do not need to be on the receiving end of such impolite and rude behavior, especially when I had been only friendly and helpful to him. I used to consider "Andrew" a significant Internet friend. Unfortunately, I was apparently very deceived.
Now we can return to the original post for this day.
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This meme is from Not Fainthearted at This Journey, but was used by me after seeing it on Abbagirl
's blog:1. What were you afraid of as a child?
I was afraid of being left all alone, with everyone I knew or cared about being dead. In my gravest rendition of this fear, I would be in a nebulous space without contact or stimulus of any kind other than a faint glow of light. There would be no one, nor anything that I could touch, no one that I could talk with, and no one who was alive who knew of me or that I existed.
2. When have you been most courageous?
I believe my most courageous period was in the latter stages of graduate school when I earned my doctoral degree. Earning a doctorate is always a frustrating activity, but for me, it was to the point where I almost cast my efforts aside simply to go work in another career. Not because I was failing, but because I had lost the hope for a future, a vision in what I had wanted and strived to become my career. My courage derived from my tenacity to simply keep sloughing through repeatedly for months and years out of shear determination and stubbornness. 3. What sound most disturbs you?
The sound of a little girl crying. The cries can be so heart-wrenching and sad. I feel compelled to try to "fix" whatever is happening to cause a small child crying so to stop. 4. What is the greatest amount of pain you have been in?
Acute pain - the first time I rode on an airplane. I did not realize I had significant problems (scarring) in my Eustachian tubes and also did not realize I had an ear infection. Upon descent in the plane, the pain in my head felt akin to a heavy railroad spike being pounded into my skull. I was only in my early 20s at the time of this first flight, and I was truly fearful... having never experienced such pain... I was thinking I may have had a stroke. Upon landing, the pain was still agonizing and I had very poor balance control. I staggered off the plane, and drove myself to my physician where the issue was diagnosed. I then slept for nearly three days in my attempt to recover.
Chronic pain - my tempormandibular jaw syndrome, when it is in an active state can cause intense, throbbing pain to radiate down from my ear through my entire jawline. 5. What's your biggest fear for your own children?
My biggest fear is that something I have done or will do, will cause them to be significantly unhappy or afraid in life. 6. What is the hardest physical challenge you have achieved?
The hardest physical challenge I have achieved was to wait until the evening of my marriage to engage in copulatory behavior for the first time. I did so due to the philosophical teachings of my religious faith (Roman Catholicism) and to respect my parents. Yet, it was a very difficult physical challenge for me. 7. Which do you prefer: Mountains or oceans/big water?
Oceans and/or big water is the preference for me. While I think mountains are beautiful and very special, for me, a person who raised and lives in a flat geographic area, mountains disorient me, and I find it challenging to navigate when in the midst of them. 8. What is the one thing you do for yourself that helps you keep everything together?
I do not know for certain. There have been many things but they change over the years, or even from day-to-day. At times, taking care of my beloved mother who recently passed away helped ground me, but at other times it would fill me with sadness and fear. Other times, I smoked my pipe as a means to keep my grounded. Still other times, I have used (or tried to use) exercise in that manner. Perhaps if I could discern something that would always work, I would feel more "together" on a day-to-day basis?
9. Ever had a close relative or friend with cancer?
Sadly, more people that I care to count or reenumerate.... but here it goes... my father died of mesothelioma (cancer of the pleura of the lungs due to asbestos), my mother (bladder and colon), a cousin (pancreatic), and others.
10. What are the things your friends count on you for?
I am not sure. I think I used to be counted on more for humor and a good disposition. But, due to the signficant saddness, I suspect my true, deep, long-term friends count on my now (and perhaps before as well) for my stead-fastness, my resolve, my stubbornness in helping them. 11. What is the best part about being in a committed relationship?
Having a friend who is willing to know you and listen to you and hear you. 12. What is the hardest part about being in a committed relationship?
Not being able to communicate successfully.
13. Summer or Winter? Why?
Summer now. I would have said Winter perhaps 10 or more years ago, but I have grown to appreciate the beauty, the heat, and even the humidity more than I have grown in my appreciation of the cold. 14. Have you ever been in a school yard fight? Why and what happened?
Yes, albeit without any actual punches thrown. I was in elementary school and had had just about enough of an obnoxious, crude, and idiotic bully whom I dispised. Even though I had been trained through years of effort by my parents to not engage in physically violent behavior, this person was just beyond my ability as a nine year old. The "fight" never actually came to blows, for I latched onto his shoulders with my hands, and he did the same. As we were physically similarly matched, all we ended up doing was pushing each other around for 20 minutes... each of us with our hands locked onto each other's shoulders the whole time until the coach (who was the recess monitor, and who had been smoking a cigarette at the side of the school during much of this time) hollered at us to break it up. 15. Why blog?
Because blogging allows me to communicate ideas and thoughts and opinions to a broader audience than I otherwise have in my classroom, family, or community.
16. Did you learn about sex from your parents?
No, as a scholarly kid, I read about it in books on anatomy and physiology and books on psychology from the public library. When my father finally approached me to tell me about the "birds and the bees" when I was 15, he simply asked me "Do you need to know anything about the process?" I quietly said, "No." with a red face of embarrassment. To which my father replied, "Oh, ok, good." and we then went to a diner, had a couple of Coney Dogs, drank a few root beers and smoked a few bowls of vanilla tinctured pipe tobacco while we talked about more engaging subjects. 17. What are you most thankful for this year?
In this very hard year, I am not overly thankful for much. I lost my mother, I have diminished faith, I have felt quite a bit of despair. The one thing I am thankful for is my wife and my children. Their love has helped me beyond what they can know.