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October 25, 2011

I am beginning to feel more despondent lately because of my sporadic blog posts. I have many legitimate reasons for this, but none of them should really keep me from communicating with you all. I made a commitment to myself and to you to share my journey and this means to find ways of doing this even when it’s difficult to do so. I just have to get creative about it.

One of my good friends suggested I make my posts smaller when I reach difficult times, and this makes sense to me. I admit that I tend to be wordy, (I am more an e-mailer than a face-booker). But I can learn to mix it up … especially when I realize that avoiding the short posts might be a lack of honesty on my part … not wishing to share the frowns along with the smiles. But if this is to be a true journey, then the experience is as much within the cold rainy days as it is within the crisp, sunny one’s.

Pain management continues to be one of my biggest challenges thus far. By feeding me enough pain meds, I can -in fact- be relatively pain free, but at a cost: my alertness and clarity are much diminished, and I can fall asleep on a dime, anytime … not exactly favorable social attributes when I want to be with people, but then neither is a lot of pain. So what I tend to do is try and live in a world between these two extremes: a little pain for a little social cognizance. We are getting there, but are finding this a difficult balance to maintain.

And then there is my diminished stamina … a moving target that I don’t always want to take aim at. I love people, and I love being with my friends … more  now than ever, so I often ignore the signs of fatigue. The results of this are not always pleasant, but sometimes worth it because it gives me a chance to be with people I otherwise might not have a chance to be with. Still, I can probably be better about this.

So here are some suggestions you can help me with.

1) It’s getting harder for me to move around a lot to see everyone, so a call or an e-mail and an appointment to come here would be very helpful. I will try and let you know if my day is already “overbooked”. Hah … I’m so popular!!!???

2) when we are together, I don’t mind talking about myself and my illness, but I also want to hear about your life, what you are doing, and what you are learning. I even want to know how I can help you if that’s appropriate. As long as I am able, this experience is not going to be simply about me … you are all integral parts of this journey, and your problems are at least as legitimate as my own. This gives me purpose and energizes this part of my journey.

3) Don’t be afraid to express your love for me. I will certainly not be afraid to tell you. So far this has been one of the nicest of the many fringe benefits of having a terminal illness: there is no longer a reason to hide the love we have for each other because of  cultural strictures, social misunderstandings, or any other reasons we have developed to keep our true feelings from one another. For the most part, people have not felt inhibited in expressing this bit of lovely information with me. Once we express a pure and sincere statement of love, we automatically become family to one another. In the best sense, family means an everlasting love that comes as close to unconditional love as anything we will experience in this life. Sadly, this has not been the case for many; but the beauty of this life is that we can create our own extended family. Each day brings us new opportunities, and what do we have to lose  -really- by pushing the envelope of this objective in our lives? We are all worthy of love and of being loved, so it has lately become a marvel to me how so many people don’t yet realize this. Rejection has more to do with another’s ignorance than it has with anyones worthiness. This is something I am proud to say I finally believe in my life.

4) I will try to be honest with you when I am getting fatigued, so long as you don’t take this personally. I have little control over what my body needs and when it needs it these days, and as frustrating as this is, it is my reality.

So I think that’s about it for now. I love you all … and I thank all of you who have been working in the background to support Peg and I in so many ways. We truly feel cared for.

We are all one family


8 Comments leave one →
  1. carl schlecht permalink
    November 10, 2011 12:31 am

    Rickla-I walked all the way to the tower a few days ago. There was a regular woosh of sensations from snarling hounds to waving motorists. I can sure see why you made it your constitutional. That is unless I am off the literal track of your daily jaunts? I am still spellbound with your landscape in my bedchamber, whenever I doubt the world holds beauty a simple glance up through dawns dim light and I see the candied colors of your craft. You tickle me sir. You have branded our surrounding landscapes, and created a currency that can fill a heart with an image warm as the womb and exciting as an endless twilight. The picture moves with some apparent magic known only to itself. I love the art you put forth into the world, and it matches your efforts to illuminate peoples who orbit your generous and most chivalrous nature. Bless you Rickla. Your landpartner&grateful fellow-Carl

  2. Mokasiya permalink
    October 26, 2011 9:18 am

    Love is like a bladder
    no matter how many ways we empty it
    it keeps on filling back up.


  3. Lauren permalink
    October 25, 2011 6:25 pm

    Dear Rick, it was so enjoyable talking with you today, just sitting in the yard and in the sun. I didn’t get to tell you how much your friendship means to me and hope to do so in person soon. But here’s some of what I would have said: I feel so free to be myself around you and share openly all of the internal struggles I have. This means a lot to me, especially after having gone through a negative experience where my reaction was to close up, hide emotionally, and be wary of friendships with men. So my friendship with you has been so incredibly healing in more ways than you can know.
    Lots of love,
    PS. you should take that trip to Hawaii, now!

  4. October 25, 2011 3:43 pm

    Rick…thanks for your honest sharing about what you need…I am most happy to share my love and appreciation for you…and I do it NOW!!!!!! I will honor what you need and will call if I want to come for a visit. You will tell me if it fits, OK?

    You are dear to my heart.

  5. Elaine permalink
    October 25, 2011 11:15 am

    The frowns, the gray, rainy days create a brighter, more beautiful sunrise, a lovely, more welcoming smile.
    Your vision of life expressed so eloquently in words and photos is an extraordinary gift you bless us with Rick. I am a student inspired by your teachings, willing and anxious to learn.
    Thank you Dear Friend. You are amazing!

    As we live the reality of this journey please know….
    In the measure that I can I feel your pain. I am there to meet the challenges of each new day with you glad for the simple Joys that bloom from that which we endure.

    The thought and courage you and Peg give to this journey is truly remarkable.
    You have my Love * Respect * Admiration.

    You have My Heart,


  6. Rebecca Wainscott permalink
    October 25, 2011 10:05 am

    Dear One – thank you for making the effort to stay connected and keep us all informed of your physiological whereabouts.

    Your humble honesty cuts such a clear path through all the murk and detritus of our daily feed.

    We are so Very Blessed (although grief rarely feels like such a blessing) to be given permission to feel what we feel for you and share the truth of those emotions with each other as well as with you.

    Earlier this morning I was thinking again about the deep relatedness I feel with you and how rare an experience that’s been for me, especially with men. (I would, out of necessity, put aside any physical attraction, and, you would know this as well… for you are an attractive man.) (and damn that necessity, by the way).

    And then you are writing to us about our need to acknowledge our relatedness and share our feelings and there is such a beautiful equanimity in your words and I hear and recognize the Teacher that you are and the depth of process you are facilitating in us, and I just want to say, very loudly, in addition to what a rare gift this is:

    I am NOT HAPPY that this is happening!

    and I Love You,
    Love You, Love You,

  7. MikeL permalink*
    October 25, 2011 8:34 am

    I just want Rick’s many friends to know what a wonderful weekend his ever-expanding extended family (some 25 of us) had with him last weekend in one of the beautiful hidden valleys of the “Driftless Area” near Soldiers Grove on the mighty Kickapoo River.

    We were rewarded with beautiful weather, great food, good company and most of all Rick, who while obviously affected by the pain and fatigue he talks about here, was still an integral part of the celebration of our family together. It was one of those rare moments in life that will remain precious in all our memories.

    I want to thank all who were a part of it, especially Rick’s brother,Tom, and sister-in-law, Jenny, who spent months organizing it and piecing together the puzzle of getting 25 people together at one time in a remote venue. This is not an easy task; a fact that Tom, I suspect, will strongly attest to.

  8. Matthew Schliesman permalink
    October 25, 2011 6:59 am

    Rick– you have been in my thoughts quite a bit lately. I’m saying “hello” here and will follow-up with an email shortly. And I am hoping there will be an opportunity for me to stop out to see you. More to come on this. Best to you and Peg.

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