Monday, April 18, 2011

Every Rose Has Its Thorn

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When I was around twelve years old and maybe a little older then I'd like to admit, one of the '80's glam hair bands I listened to was Poison. Like most everyone else, I grew up and stopped listening to them. Then there was some news in 2010 that their lead singer Brett Michaels had a brain hemmorage. Out of nowhere some of Poison's old songs popped in my head and I found myself reminiscing their hits on YouTube.  Like magic his fans and the media shone the spotlight on him once more. 

I have no idea whether Brett Michaels is back in good health and that's where I feel I can relate. My road to recovery looks to be long, perhaps the toughest days are ahead. I wonder who will care when Myrtle and Faith need support the most and 'Ruban having cancer' is old news. That's not to say people don't truly care now (they do) and won't later (they will). Plus it might be unfair to compare my families life to an '80's glam hair band. I'm hopeful that unlike Poison, our little band's best days are ahead of us.    

Actually the outpouring of love has been overwhelming. I'm stunned and speechless to who has reached out and how. Thank you for all the email and snail-mail. 

It's humbling to be in this position. Any distance walked longer than our home I need to use crutches. Anywhere I drive I need someone driving me. My ten month old girl is beginning to move faster then me. Sitting down on a regular chair is best kept under 30 minutes. I could go on, but suffice it to say it has been an adjustment physically and emotionally since my oncologist said "There's no point to go back to work."

Being home the vast majority of the time must be a peek into what it's like living in a seniors home. Like them I spend most of the time in a recliner, read the news, scoff at idiot politicians, and I wait for people to come visit and try to talk them into staying longer (mental note: must buy more Werther's Original Hard Candy). Fortunately, as of now Myrtle is the only one in a diaper here. 

Recently I read a story worth sharing:

There once was a man whose lifelong dream was to board a cruise ship and sail the Mediterranean Sea. He dreamed of walking the streets of Rome, Athens, and Istanbul. He saved every penny until he had enough for his passage. Since money was tight, he brought an extra suitcase filled with cans of beans, boxes of crackers, and bags of powdered lemonade, and that is what he lived on every day.
He would have loved to take part in the many activities offered on the ship—working out in the gym, playing miniature golf, and swimming in the pool. He envied those who went to movies, shows, and cultural presentations. And, oh, how he yearned for only a taste of the amazing food he saw on the ship—every meal appeared to be a feast! But the man wanted to spend so very little money that he didn’t participate in any of these. He was able to see the cities he had longed to visit, but for the most part of the journey, he stayed in his cabin and ate only his humble food.
On the last day of the cruise, a crew member asked him which of the farewell parties he would be attending. It was then that the man learned that not only the farewell party but almost everything on board the cruise ship—the food, the entertainment, all the activities—had been included in the price of his ticket. Too late the man realized that he had been living far beneath his privileges.
Of course I'm on a different journey of sorts, and it's much too early to have a farewell party. Recently I have focused too much on what I can't do thus ignoring what I can do.  Before the tumor I planted on my window sill several seeds to be transfered when they were big enough and the weather was favorable. Thinking about how that man missed out his journey of a lifetime I decided to transfer those plants from pot to soil. Faith brought Myrtle outside and we mucked in the soil. The girls soon went inside to eat dinner and get ready for bed, but I kept on.  
Canada has lax child labour laws.
As cars passed by me I could hear them say (in my head) "Isn't that the guy on crutches with cancer? He should be resting." My reply back was "I am that guy, I'm not dead and mind your own business!" When done I surrendered to a long hot shower and decided to no longer live beneath my privileges. 


  1. somehow i missed the memo that i was supposed to grow up and stop listening to them. doh. ;)

  2. Def Leppard anyone?
    I still love rocking out to them.

  3. I was just head banging to Megadeth with Logan in the car today , from their 1987 album "Rust in Peace"

    And you can relax knowing Brett is in great health !

  4. you are inspiring!!! Let's all follow and no longer live beneath our privileges!!

  5. Thank for sharing Ruban, you are always making me laugh. Keep thinking positive, everyone is cheering for you and you will make it through this. 50 years from now you'll be looking back at this time and see all the blessings you and our family has received from this journey. This is just a moment in time, and this too shall pass. We are in this journey together, Myrtle and I love you and you are NOT going anywhere because big momma said so!

  6. Hey Rube, I like that story about the cruise and its implications for all of us. I remember you and me hanging out one of the many summers we did that and you found a jukebox (leave it to you), and what song did you select? Every Rose Has Its Thorn. Those were some good times.

  7. Ruban, I think of you and Faith every day. she is such a kind hearted person, I can only imagine that as her partner in life you must be as equally kind. I wish you and your family well, I just wanted you to know that your family is in a lot of hearts being prayed for and thought of often.

  8. you really are a talented writer. for reals. keep it up! it was all so touching then I scrolled down and saw you transplanting in the middle of april and I just got mad. that iI live in N. alberta ....GRrrr. happy planting, you BC hippie!

  9. @Faith Faith you are absolutely amazing, I watched you this week making your husband his meals and taking care of him and your little girl....and I thought you shouldn't have to be going through this but I don't get to decide Heavenly Father does and he knows you and Ruban better than anyone and he loves you all better than anyone, as much as I do love you <3 You are being very strong and supportive and a great example of womenhood and motherhood, when you do want hug or a cry from your mom I am here for you. Saying that I know Ruban will kick this it is just a new journey