Wednesday, October 6, 2010
It has been a long, long time now since I have sat in front of a screen, with this blog in front of me. "So where the Hell has he been?", you may well ask. I would like to be able to regale you with stories of travels to wonderful shores, sandy beaches, nubile, skimpily attired wave babies laying langorously around me like so many sun-drunk kittens...
Or even that my better half and I have been criss-crossing North America, from the glorious fjords of Gros Morne National Park in Newfoundland, to Custer State Park in South Dakota and beyond. I'd like to be able to tell you such happy tales, but alas I cannot. I am revisiting a Hell from my recent past. On the 24th of July this year, I hit and was subsequently run over by a pickup truck, as a friend and I were heading North along Rte.31 (Bank Street).
We were returning from a day trip to New York State and were probably 20 klicks from home, just outside of the village of Vernon, when it happened. Mercifully, I was affected by what the doctors call retrograde amnesia, and therefore I do not remember the accident itself. Not the moment of impact, nor the undoubtedly horrifying last seconds before same. I have been advised that in time, these memories might come back to haunt me. I will deal with them as best I can, should that moment arise.
My travelling companion was a neophyte rider whom I had been glad to take under my wing this summer. We had already travelled many klicks together, along some of my favorite roads. It would be entirely fair to say that he was in fact traumatized by the experience, but much to his credit, did not think of bailing on riding, just because of my particular misfortune. I am so happy, for his sake, that he decided to stay with it.
Unlike my last misadventure (now referred to by my wife and I as my "little accident"...), I was not content to simply screw up one shoulder. No, no... This time we went for all four limbs and a hand. It has been months now and I am only beginning to walk with the aid of a walker. For most of my days, I am still relegated to a motorized wheelchair. My entire plane of existence has shifted. Just about every action is now hard, painful, frustrating. My days end invariably on an exhausted note, yet a good night's sleep continues to elude me, as I am constantly woken up by my pain. I know that my injuries will heal in time. To what extent I will remain affected, I cannot say. I do know that my capacities will be limited to a certain degree.
Yet of all the injuries I sustained, the most serious has been the one inflicted on my confidence. On my willingness to get back on the horse. And for that, I will never be willing or able to forgive the other driver. My physical injuries will leave me with a dubious quality of life. My life without riding? I don't know how to even begin addressing this possibility. If you are reading this and do not ride, don't even bother trying to understand what I am saying here. You simply can't. It's not a "sport". It's not a "pastime" or a "hobby". It's not only a large part of my life, it is a major part of who, of what I am.
Find my other posts which I've compiled on here, about riding, about the road. Read them. See if you can glean even the slightest bit of my love and devotion for this lifestyle. The freedom, the bliss that it provides me, to travel either strange or very familiar roads, always looking to discover, to explore, to experience.
But lest we forget, I am not alone in this. My wife has become the everything person by default. My income has dwindled to less than half, not even able to apply for EI, as the insurance's Wage Loss benefits basically zero any amount I might have gotten from the Feds. It's simply not enough to meet our financial obligations. So she finds herself scrambling to get the house ready for sale. We can't afford it and I can't live there due to the number of stairs. The stress in unbearable...
Me??? I can do literally nothing to help her. For a man of my personality, who has always been independent, self-sufficient, "man-the-provider", as it goes... it has come as a crushing blow to my self-esteem. My job has become to heal. To get better. To get mobile so that ready or not, I can be thrust back into the workplace, in a desperate bid to head off the wolves. To keep them at bay until I can begin earning my habitual wage.
Life is seldom if ever, fair. I have been trying to figure out who I ever pissed off in a past existence, to deserve such a karmic kick in the stones. Particularly at this late stage of my life. This ordeal has aged me, I fear. I can hear people whispering in the near future: "He was never quite the same after his last accident, you know? He just sorta slipped away after that...".
Yes as you know, I am stubborn... and obstinate, and ornery. I am so goddamn contrary that if I ever drowned in a river, you would have to go upstream to find my body! I am Navy proud and disciplined. But how much of that do I have left in me? That well can't be bottomless, I'm sure. I'm tired, folks...
So okay... Mark it on your calendars. It is Wednesday, 06 October 2010 and I am back on the blog. I'm sorry if this entry has not been my usually uplifting and humorous type of banter. Then again, my rants usually aren't either... :)
I promise to return to my normal entries at the next sitting. Really...