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OlNate

Just popping in...

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Hi, folks. Not sure who will be interested in this, but since I've had a few messages since I've been on hiatus, I wanted to at least say hi, and let you know I'm still this side of the grass.

The fact is, I've been going through a bit of a hard time since just before Christmas. My closest uncle was diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer. We just got word today that he has been moved to hospice care, and is in his final days, perhaps hours. He's a great guy, with absolutely no interest in politics, preferring to spend his time with his Harley and his kids, who are a little bit grown up, but still too young to lose their dad. Left or right, you'd all have had a great time sharing a beer with him in his garage. Like so many others, it's hitting him way too young. Holy ****, but I'll miss him. It seems like yesterday we were having a great time, telling stories and sipping mushroom tea on a warm September night, or smoking a joint while he showed me the latest restoration work done on his old chopper. My uncle is an awesome guy to party with.

With all this going on, I have found myself utterly disinterested with politics, and the associated ugliness and fighting. Perhaps it would have been better to have stayed...the manufactured outrage and the affirmation realized by being propped up by one's own tribe does provide a certain comfort...a break from reality, given the theatre that politics ultimately boils down to, despite it's very real consequences. But as I wrestled with the inevitability of my uncle's death, I couldn't also contribute to the futility that political discourse has become. I couldn't muster the passion, nor the desire to either educate or obliterate. So many of our conversations are designed to hurt those we disagree with, over something we have virtually no control. I know, because I liked to think I was good at it...and in an anonymous arena, it was easy to find that fun. But when faced with real tragedy, the false urgency and purpose of political debate fizzles a bit. This is why I took a break.

My uncle's response to his impending death is much like his response to most things he isn't happy about, but can't change. "It is what it is." That is all he will say, before moving the conversation around to attempting to comfort those he will leave behind. I don't know what to call that. Courage? Stoicism? Love? I suppose these things all become easier in the face of inevitability, but I can't help but judge my own behavior and treatment of others against that standard. It's easy to be a dick. It's harder to get your point across with compassion and an attempt to understand what drives the disagreement you're battling through, from both sides.

I'll likely be back when all this is over. I enjoy you guys too much to stay away for long, and you need a mouthy Canadian to tell you what's what... And, frankly, this is about the only venue I have to express myself fully and completely - this is the first I've really put my thoughts about my uncle into any kind of coherent expression, and the ability to do that here means a lot to me. Thanks to those of you who checked in, I'm sorry it took so long to get back to you, and hopefully I'll be back soon.

All the best,
Nate.
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Comments

  1. TheGoverness's Avatar
    Hey, take all the time you need. Real life comes first.
  2. Dragonfly's Avatar
    Yo My Friend!!! I just invoked your name today. Before I saw this blog.

    Return when you can

    Peace
  3. Lovebug's Avatar
    Life has a strange way of telling you what is important. Lots of hugs coming your way. Keep you chin up. If you need a shoulder...
  4. Old 'N Chill's Avatar
    OlNate, I have been missing you and wondering about you. Very sorry to hear about your uncle and can understand your need to be with family and off the forum for a while. Please take care of yourself Nate, you are a good person and I do care about your well-being. Wishing the best for you and your family. Hugs.
  5. X Factor's Avatar
    My dad’s been in the hospital since Tuesday so I hear you, Nate. If you ever want to chat about something other than politics just let me know.
  6. trixare4kids's Avatar
    I'm sorry, Nate.
    Your uncle is lucky to have such a caring nephew.

    Trix
  7. Trippy Trekker's Avatar
    Live Like You Were Dying
    Tim McGraw
    He said
    "I was in my early forties
    With a lot of life before me
    And a moment came that stopped me on a dime
    I spent most of the next days
    Looking at the x-rays
    Talkin' 'bout the options
    And talkin' 'bout sweet time"
    I asked him
    "When it sank in
    That this might really be the real end
    How's it hit you
    When you get that kind of news?
    Man, what'd you do?"
    He said
    "I went skydiving
    I went Rocky Mountain climbing
    I went 2.7 seconds on a bull named Fumanchu
    And I loved deeper
    And I spoke sweeter
    And I gave forgiveness I'd been denying"
    And he said
    "Someday I hope you get the chance
    To live like you were dying"
    He said
    "I was finally the husband
    That most of the time I wasn't
    And I became a friend a friend would like to have
    And all of a sudden going fishin'
    Wasn't such an imposition
    And I went three times that year I lost my dad
    I finally read the Good Book, and I
    Took a good, long, hard look
    At what I'd do if I could do it all again
    And then
    I went skydiving
    I went Rocky Mountain climbing
    I went 2.7 seconds on a bull named Fumanchu
    And I loved deeper
    And I spoke sweeter
    And I gave forgiveness I'd been denying"
    And he said
    "Someday I hope you get the chance
    To live like you were dying
    Like tomorrow was a gift
    And you've got eternity
    To think about
    What you'd do with it
    What could you do with it
    What did I do with it?
    What would I do with it?
    Skydiving
    I went Rocky mountain climbing
    I went 2.7 seconds on a bull named Fumanchu
    And I loved deeper
    And I spoke sweeter
    And I watched an eagle as it was flying"
    And he said
    "Someday I hope you get the chance
    To live like you were dying
    To live like you were dying
    To live like you were dying"
  8. it's just me's Avatar
    Lost my stepson to pancreatic cancer earlier this month, I feel your pain.
  9. Angel's Avatar
    Sorry to hear about your uncle, but glad to hear from you.
    Stay strong.

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