Jack’s Walk

Minion down, ©voyager, all rights reserved

This is a bit of a pensive Jack’s Walk. 2018 was a long difficult year and now that it’s over I’ll tell you that I feel winded by it all. The loss of Caine hit me hard, it hit all of us hard, and it seemed after that that things kept piling on. Personally, mother-in-law was diagnosed with kidney cancer and had her right kidney removed. Mr. V’s heart condition worsened and the swelling in his legs caused calf ulcers that won’t heal. My mother developed congestive heart failure and refused to take the medicine because she didn’t want the inconvenience of peeing out all the extra fluid (Mom can be a pip.) Jack had a big, expensive surgery and a very close friend was diagnosed with liver failure. She’s still waiting to see the specialist, but it’s likely she will need a liver transplant. Sometime during all of that (between August and December) I developed shingles. That’s not new, I get shingles a few times a year, but this time they’ve persisted. One patch clears up and another erupts. It’s enough to make you feel like the minion above. Face planted.

Time has already fixed a few things. My mother-in-law is thriving after surgery. She’s 92, lives alone and is as active as any 50-year-old. She bakes, she cleans, she irons, she walks and she even has a new beau who sends her little notes and flowers. My mother now has a catheter in place and she’s gotten rid of all the extra fluid with no peeing required. Jack is happier than ever now that Larry (the lump) is gone. His gait is as good as it was when he was young and he prances when he’s happy. Mr. V has only one small ulcer left to heal. That may take some time, but it’s definitely improving. His heart is stable and still as beautiful as ever.

And look. That minion might be down, but he isn’t out. He’s still got his wind and even more importantly he still has friends. How lucky. Me too. This past year something profound happened in my life and that is Affinity. I’ve been around since the beginning, but I lurked. I just didn’t feel confident enough to participate. Caine kept encouraging me, though, and so I finally joined the comments and even sent in a photo or two. When she became ill I was still fairly new to all of you, but I wanted to help Caine so I took the chance and stepped forward and what I found was a community who welcomed me. All of you have added to my life.

So last year brought some very good things, too. Like all years I suppose, with their measures of bad and good not always equal, but always both. I try to focus on the good because I prefer to live in gratitude. So, this seems like the proper place to end with Jack and I both looking at the pluses of life and prancing into 2019.


  1. Ice Swimmer says

    I hope 2019 will be better! I hope we can all have it better! The minion down is a bit reminiscent (but with significant differences, the cause is different in all ways) of the Asian man in the bus when I was coming home from my friend’s place in the morning. His face was down on the back of the next row of the seats, he had had too much to drink. His companions (a youngish man and a woman) managed to get him out of the but on the same stop that I got out. He vomited in the bus stop and they started their way towards home. It was probably good that he vomited in the bus stop, possibly expelling some alcohol. It think he’ll have an hangover but after that life will be better.

    BTW, overall, there were very few people who were visibly drunk, which was a bit of a surprise for me, apart from the Asian guy, one Finnish guy was very drunk and either tried to scam a free bus ride or was too drunk to operate his phone to get a mobile ticket and the bus driver told him to get lost after a few stops and he obliged. Apart from the two, people were having fun without getting overly drunk, opposite to our national stereotype.

    The Asian guy clearly had friends/family. My friend and myself got seats in the very full bus from the city to my friend’s place because two people wanted to let the blind guy and his friend have a seat rather than letting them stand in the crowded aisle (taxi cabs have been deregulated recently, so it would have been almost impossible to get a cab from the only taxi company/consortion that has a deal with the municipality for subsidised cab rides for disabled persons).

    The municipality I live in decided not to have a fireworks show for environmental reasons, but they had an outdoors laser show, which judging by the videos I saw, was a fine show.

  2. Jazzlet says

    Voyager I hope you have lots of time to catch your wind before anything else troublesome comes along. I also hope Mr V’s ulcer clears up completely, I know how persistant ulcers can be, Mr J has a place he gets one on his ankle from time to time, even though he follows the instructions from the Tissue Viability people, and they take ages to heal.

  3. Nightjar says

    Voyager, that sounds like a rough year. I hope time keeps fixing things at a faster rate than new ones show up and I wish I could do more than send virtual hugs your way.

    I look forward to the adventures you and Jack will share with us in the new year. It has been fun getting to know the place where you live through your photos.

  4. says

    Big hugs for you, voyager.
    Some years are horrible, health wise, and then they may be ok the next year.

    My mother now has a catheter in place and she’s gotten rid of all the extra fluid with no peeing required.

    I never want to get that stubborn. The fights we had with various old relatives about needing to drink and pee…

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