This is a really special blog, my father asked me if he could pass along a personal story and have me upload it to my little area of the web. Of course!
When I received and read his ‘blog’ it really moved me, because as humans we are so connected as we experience this thing called life! Not only is his message an important reminder of inevitable change in time, but also an inevitable change with our connections to our bodies.
My father is an amazing artist and he used to teach me how to draw as a child, it was something I am thankful for to this day. He always has a way to add an artist flare to anything he gives, this picture of Astro is a quick chalk scratch he drew on the inside of the gift box for a custom handmade paracord leash for him. That HE made!
I hope everyone enjoys this guest post as much as I did and as Al would say Rock on People! (Post below – love you Dad!)
Embracing the Sunset by Al Beausoleil
I’m trapped in good health! Being of healthy mind and body with a heart that’s not cooperating has me ruminating on my journey forward.
My general health is excellent. Haven’t had flu-like symptoms since 1993.
Here’s the kicker, my heart has both plumbing and electrical issues. There is a defibrillator implant in my chest. “Minor” heart attack at 40 resulting in quadruple bypass surgery. Developed arrhythmia at 56 resulting in defib implant.
I’m a person that considers solitary, physical labor my “church” or meditation.
Perfectly at home working for hours, alone, collecting, hauling rock. Then building rock walls, outdoor fireplace, etc. Or … cutting, splitting and stacking firewood for next year. Hauling, stacking wood for this year. This kind of work brings me peace … aligns my soul.
I recently had a medical emergency that has me rethinking the whole physical church thing.
Dec 2022 – I was splitting and stacking wood by myself. Going slow … taking it easy. Some guy in my head, in a red flannel shirt, is singing, “I’m a Lumber Jack and I’m Hap-Hap-Happy!”. (I know. Weird, huh?) Apparently, I wasn’t taking it easy enough because the plumbing started backing up (angina) causing an electrical glitch (arrhythmia). Defib fired. I blacked out … hit my head on the way down and was down for about forty minutes (no coat). A neighbor found me on my hands and knees shaking violently. Hypothermia. Body temperature was 92 degrees when they got me in the ambulance.
Because of the hypothermia I lost my memory for three days. Recovered ……… Phew! Close call.
Which brings me to my source of reflection.
While I’m not afraid of limited mortality; I’m more concerned with not being able to live a physical life. However, I must consider that family and friends are afraid of my limited mortality. It’s time for me to change my source of peace from the physical to the cerebral.
Retirement is right around the corner. Spending free time with my beautiful wife and not slogging back and forth to a mind boggling boring job will help with that. But, I can’t become that guy that sits in his recliner, watching Judge Judy all day eating from a box of Cheese-Its!
I’ve been blessed with artistic abilities. I’ve always been creative and inquisitive. I’m thinking that using these abilities can help me find my “church”. While drawing, painting, creating you flop over into a right-brained zone that temporarily takes you out of the present and removes any crowded thoughts. Same with making a solid wood pile or a decorative and functional stone wall.
So, it’s time to dust off the drawing table; break out the pencils, paints, pastels, woodworking tools, etc. and find relaxation at a slower, easier pace. With me, and probably most people, my mind thinks forty-something while my body is screaming sixty to seventy-something! Time to listen to the body.
The most important things to me are loved ones, family and friends. My plans are to behave myself so I can spend as much time as possible with them. At 66 years old it’s time to grow up and Embrace my Sunset!
Rock on people.
P.S. Special thanks to my beautiful daughter for giving me space to jabber like an old man.