I know it’s been a while. I was ambitious to send out a newsletter when life happened…2019 style.
We had a baby at the same time Covid hit. I started a new job in Project Management leaving “selling code for money” in the past. Sure, I still code a lot, but mostly C, embedded code, and of course all sorts of Python.
Our baby boy was born with a cleft lip (not a cleft pallet thankfully). So the first year he looked a little like Morty. In January of 2021, he was operated on and is cute as we could have ever hoped, minor scar included.
At the same time, we bought a second house and moved 30 miles outside of Denver. We now exist on 3+ acres on the side of a mountain at 8500ft MSL. Much heartache, a few serious injuries, and lots of hard work and stress was the diet. All during Covid, we are still here, with one notable mention.
Some people may know that my mother had suffered from MS for a long time, over 40 years. The disease is like death in slow motion. What starts as a weird pain, strange temporary blindness, or other random event is often the first sign. A very difficult disease to diagnose without MRI, indeed the rise of this tech was responsible for her affirmative diagnosis in the early 1980s.
My mother's illness turned out to be my Albatross. On 29Jan2022 she finally passed away at the age of 79, married to my father for 60 years. My father was her primary caretaker for the past 20 years and I can only endeavor to have as much love and compassion as him. My life has never been normal, and her illness and my poor means of dealing (or not dealing) caused me considerable pain and suffering. This one event, stemming back to my childhood progressively worsened over time. Many have suffered in my wake, and for that, I offer an apology.
We chose to refrain from life support one day earlier. She was in a vegetative state. This is after a week of not eating and being admitted for sepsis. Sepsis is a blood infection, it is deadly, very deadly. Survival is difficult, this infection permeates the body. Well, this was the third major sepsis in about a year. This was on top of 3+ UTI infections that presented as a stroke and had the same long-lasting effect (since Nov 2019). There was also breast cancer, only a few years back. There were blood clots in the legs because of inaction and so many more ailments. Bedridden for the past year, near paralyzed for the past several years, and in a wheelchair for almost 20 years, I never processed this information correctly.
Or did I?
It turns out I had been saying goodbye for over 3 decades. Each visit would express another loss. Possibly an arm is not working, the disease contorted another part of her body. Speech got harder where eventually Alexa failed to decipher her requests. We all get old, I was not happy about my first real grey hair. This was different.
My mother wanted no funeral, no service, no announcement. If you think I am a strange bird, it comes from her. Her decades of illness ran parallel to my father’s continued resiliency. A few bypass operations, 2 brain surgery, a new hip, and other “nearly died” medical procedures are but a few highlights. A lot for an only child.
Until she passed I never understood how much pain was carried on my shoulders. The past weeks have been one filled with great sadness and morning. This event I had run through my mind ad nauseam, a toxic element in all of life for me. But at the moment, facing death and the loss of a parent, I held up. Another checkbox on the list of “adult things” was ticked.
Jordan B Peterson suggested being the strongest man at your father’s funeral (paraphrase).
I feel good now, better than I thought. No sizable regrets. Content with what I did and tried to do. Happy with how I interfaced with such a difficult event. In many ways, my mother died a thousand deaths, and the woman who raised me has been absent for almost 30 years. Saying goodbye was something I feared. It turns out I was saying goodbye for decades.
To end on a happy note, Heidi and I have decided to put me in primary care of our son for the next few years. She will continue to grow her business. Contracts and a few other endeavors will be my work life. I am adjusting my primary focus to raising our only child. Nothing have I looked forward to more, no greater purpose exists.
If you are rocketing through the 285 corridor, reach out.