Today I’m blessed to celebrate my second “double birthday” — fifty-three years since I joined the community of the living, and two years since I suffered a stroke (or three, depending on who you believe) and died once during emergency surgery at Shands Hospital in Gainesville.
It continues to be a wonderful life, highlighted by another eventful year that nobody promised to me. It dawned with the finding I’d need forty-six radiation treatments in twenty-three days, a regime I’d wish on no one. Short walks with a cane down a side street led to the ditching of my cane in November. That work continued, as many of you know, until I was regularly logging over 100 miles of walking each month. Finally, the year ended with the best news we could’ve hoped for: no tumors are currently present in my head. (YES!!)
I continue to be surrounded by conscientious doctors, unspeakably incredible friends..
And of course a family whose love, strength, and patience defy description and belief. Thank you Gale, Zach, Kyle, Alex, Crystal, Chris, and Steve for sticking with me while we got me this far, and for joining me on the journey ahead.
The year until my next birthdays is sure to be nothing short of fascinating. I’m ecstatic to be able to share it with you! See you there..
I’ve been a perfectionist all my life. In technology and in music, it works in my favor. In my current set of challenges, not so much.
Two years ago today, my family watched, confused and worried, as I underwent a five hour operation to remove a benign cranial frangioma tumor which was discovered four days prior (on our tenth wedding anniversary) but had been present since I was very young.
Life is very different after the surgery.
Given my current set of gifts and limitations, it’s pointless and unconstructive for me to pursue classical perfectionism as I did for so many years. Far more useful is to consider what fools we’ve made of the “medical experts.” They said I’d never communicate. They said I’d never speak. They said I’d never walk.
I’m driving regularly and without incident. This morning I walked over 10 kilometers (and passed 400 miles on my New Balance shoes). I get to spend every day surrounded by a loving, supportive, and attentive family. I can see the sky and smell the trees and flowers. When I’m home, I’m never more than four feet from an overaffectionate dog. I laugh and dream and cry and love.
I LIVE. It’s awesome, and I am so blessed and thankful for the prayers, love, and support we’ve revived over the last two years, from inside our home and around the world. I don’t think I’d be here, in the shape I’m in, without them.
Today is a great day to turn away from the perfectionism of my old self, and embrace the pure joy and perfection to be found in this life that God has granted me.
It is indescribably wonderful to be among you. I love you all.
This past Saturday would’ve been my father’s 86th birthday. We remember him, every day, with joy and love. We also miss him. Every day.
In a year full of transitions, here’s another one: Friday is my last day at Microsoft.
We’re still licking our wounds and trying to find what’s next. More details as they evolve.
If you’re looking for SQL Server expertise, drop me a line..
My high school buddy, Anthony Coates, has marked my Dad’s passing in his column. My thanks to him for sharing his recollections.
We’ve posted Dad’s obituary online at my website. Please stop by and read it. He lived a remarkable life.
I’ve been down, but not like this before
– Paul Barrere (Little Feat), All That You Dream
It’s a very disturbing trend in one’s life when so much of one’s writing begins with the three letters which this entry does.
It’s an even more disturbing event when the subject is one’s father.
It’s my sad task to report that my father, Thomas Alexander Pond, passed away early Sunday. He was eighty-five.
All, all that you dream
Comes to shine in silver lining
And clouds, clouds change the scene
Rain starts washing all these cautions
Right into your life, make you realize
Just what is true, what else can I do
Just follow the rule
Keep your eyes on the road that’s ahead of you
My father was a gifted educator whose work touched thousands of people. You can read more here about his contributions to Rutgers University, one of the institutions he served.
We’ll have more to say soon; in the meantime, I’m with my sister, sharing memories and making plans for Dad’s memorial.
I’ve said this before many times, but it bears repeating: if it’s cosmically possible, please call your parents.