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Have You Lost Your Marbles?

The world thinks eccentricity in great things is genius, but in small things, only crazy.” - Edward G. Bulwell-Lytton

You can always trust the information given to you by people who are crazy; they have an access to truth not available through regular channels.” - Sheila Ballantyne

Where's the church, who took the steeple, Religion's in the hands of some crazy ass people, Television preachers with bad hair and dimples, The God's honest truth is, it's not that simple.” - Jimmy Buffet

Well, my friendlies, gather round because it's story time. Now, I don't know how many of you have considered committing suicide over the course of your lifetime, and that's not the point of the story anyway. I suspect that, given where depression takes the mind, it's been more than me and it's been more than once. I've felt that the closest I've personally come was June 19th last year, when I had everything in place and ready to go. And I couldn't leave my cat by herself (see yesterday's post).

Don't get down here...this is a good story...honest! Because, you know, deep down, into the furthest reaches of the depths of who I am, flaws and all, I know I'm a good person. I fundamentally and truly believe that, unshakeably, of every soul who walks the face of this earth. So even then, on June 19th, I knew that I wouldn't go through with it. I can say with as absolute certainty as anything that can be said, I know that I never will.

Now let's shift the story to last Wednesday evening, a week ago today. I was in the middle of the worst attack of Menieres that I've ever had. There were 5 or 6 meals in a row that I was unable to keep down (hang in there...it's still a good story < smile > ), I couldn't walk without hanging on to a wall or something, even with that I stumbled and fell a couple of times, my vision was blurred, I know it will eventually lead to deafness, and there is no cure. Last Wednesday's supper was the final meal in the string (Newsflash: it's completely gone away and I'm back to good old "abnormal" Rick!). I don't mean to be grossing you out here, but it's necessary for the story. While I was expunging my stomach..it wouldn't stop! Even after there was nothing left to give, the pot was asking for more...and NOW!! The point is I had two thoughts go through my head during the minutes this was all taking to happen. First, I remember consciously and deliberately reminding myself that I had to find a way to breathe in, to get air into my lungs. I was getting near panic. It's the next thought that got to me, though. In fact, I spoke it out loud to anyone or anything who might be listening. I said: "Not like this, Rick. Not like this." Of course, I meant that that was certainly not the way I wanted to go if it was indeed my turn, bent over a pan of puke, retching my guts out. (Good story, you ask? Yup! The best, I answer, keep hanging in!)

Now my friendlies, stay gathered around because it's still story time (chapter 2). Up until a couple years ago, I owned my own company that distributed greeting cards to about 130 different retail outlets, give or take as business waxed and waned. Then I started having manic bouts and depression cycles (I'm called a rapid cycler or something like that). I don't know if it was a side effect of medications, or just a side effect of simply being manic, but I often found myself unable to tackle the work the business demanded. I couldn't concentrate, I was easily confused, and I was unable to remember accurately if at all. At various times, my brothers and sister would fly out for a week or so to help me through a servicing round.

That certainly is a wonderful part of the story, but...wait...there's more, much more. One time, when none of my siblings could make it, a very dear friend (the lady from whom I got the cards, actually) flew out from Ottawa to help me. As she was heading home, she told me that was the longest she had ever been away from her husband since their marriage (and their children are full-grown). She's the kind of lady who just does things like for people and doesn't expect (and usually won't take) anything back in return. I've had several people like that in my life. I'll likely write about "The Lady On The Train" tomorrow.

I vowed through the help of these people and many, many more that when and wherever I found myself in a position of passing on the kindnesses that they showed to me, I would do so. Cornball as it sounds, you can't make ripples in the ocean unless you toss in some pebbles. You can make waves if others join you.

I received an e-mail from my Ottawa angel on Monday, and besides the personal notes, it contained the following:

The older I get, the more I enjoy Saturday mornings. Perhaps it's the
quiet solitude that comes with being the first to rise, or maybe it's
the unbounded joy of not having to be at work. Either way, the first
few hours of a Saturday morning are most enjoyable.

A few weeks ago, I was shuffling toward the garage with a steaming cup
of coffee in one hand and the morning paper in the other. What began as
a typical Saturday morning turned into one of those lessons that life
seems to hand you from time to time Let me tell you about it:

I turned the dial up into the phone portion of the band on my ham radio
in order to listen to a Saturday morning swap net. Along the way, I
came across an older sounding chap, with a tremendous signal and a
golden voice. You know the kind; he sounded like he should be in the
broadcasting business. He was telling whom-ever he was talking with
something about "a
thousand marbles." I was intrigued and stopped to listen to what he had
to say.

"Well, Tom, it sure sounds like you're busy with your job. I'm sure
they pay you well but it's a shame you have to be away from home and
your family so much. Hard to believe a young fellow should have to work
sixty or seventy hours a week to make ends meet. It's too bad you
missed your daughter's "dance recital" he continued. "Let me tell you
something that has helped me keep my own priorities." And that's when he
began to explain
his theory of a "thousand marbles."

"You see, I sat down one day and did a little arithmetic. The average
person lives about seventy-five years. I know, some live more and some
live less, but on average, folks live about seventy-five years.

"Now then, I multiplied 75 times 52 and I came up with 3900, which is
the number of Saturdays that the average person has in their entire
lifetime. Now, stick with me, Tom, I'm getting to the important part.

It took me until I was fifty-five years old to think about all this in
any detail", he went on, "and by that time I had lived through over
twenty-eight hundred Saturdays." "I got to thinking that if I lived to
be seventy-five, I only had about a thousand of them left to enjoy. So
I went to a toy store and bought every single marble they had. I ended
up having to visit three toy stores to round up 1000 marbles. I took
them home and put them inside a large, clear plastic container right
here in the shack next to my gear."

"Every Saturday since then, I have taken one marble out and thrown it
away. I found that by watching the marbles diminish, I focused more on
the really important things in life. There is nothing like watching
your time here on this earth run out to help get your priorities

"Now let me tell you one last thing before I sign-off with you and take
my lovely wife out for breakfast. This morning, I took the very last
marble out of the container. I figure that if I make it until next
Saturday then I have been given a little extra time. And the one thing
we can all use is a little more time."

"It was nice to meet you Tom, I hope you spend more time with your
family, and I hope to meet you again here on the band. This is a 75
Year old Man, K9NZQ, clear and going QRT, good morning!"

You could have heard a pin drop on the band when this fellow signed
off. I guess he gave us all a lot to think about. I had planned to work
on the antenna that morning, and then I was going to meet up with a few
hams to work on the next club newsletter..

Instead, I went upstairs and woke my wife up with a kiss. "C'mon
honey,I'm taking you and the kids to breakfast." "What brought this on?"
she asked with a smile. "Oh, nothing special, it's just been a long time
since we spent a Saturday together with the kids. And hey, can we stop
at a toy store while we're out? I need to buy some marbles...

A friend sent this to me, so I to you, my friend.

And so, as one smart bear once said..."If you live to be a hundred, I
want to live to be a hundred minus one day, so I never have to live
without you." - Winnie the Pooh.

OK, friendlies. Scoot! Run along! Do whatever it is you have to do, but don't forget...it's only 3 days until Saturday. (Personally...I have 749 Saturdays left.)

{Hugs to everyone}}}


These are wonderful words of wisdom. It's so important to enjoy the little things. I am often critisized for not keeping the neatest house, but I'll take it a little messy knowing that I passed on cleaning to have a little fun once in a while :)

The Winnie the Pooh quote got me choked up. I've said something along those lines to Tarzan many times. I can't imagine breathing without him.
What a beautiful story about the marbles. Life has so many precious nuggets if we stop along the way. I'm glad I stopped by your place today & that you're in my life.

That was a great story!!
Just so you know - I love ya!

That is beautiful Rick & sad at the same time.

I think the part that I've discovered I like the most about blogging is the openness and the support. I find it incredibly cathartic.

Mel: If you want a competition for messiest house...you're on! LOL It's all abput setting priorities isn't it. Reminds me of that saying about "When you're up to your ass in alligators, it's sometimes difficult to remember that your original goal was to drain the swamp".

Jane: What I can I say except that you've touched me. I'm glad you stopped by too.

KS: Aw, blush!

Mackey: I'll go along with the beautiful part. I can't figure out what part is sad, though.

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  • I'm Evydense
  • From Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  • And I'm tired of living in the shadow of narrow-mindedness and ignorance. So here's the fax, Jack! "The Bible contains six admonishments to homosexuals and three hundred and sixty-two admonishments to heterosexuals. That doesn't mean that God doesn't love heterosexuals. It's just that they need more supervision." - Lynne Lavner*** I'm confused; curious; satisfied; realistically resigned to being a frustrated idealist; usually at peace with myself, but not always. Amazed at how little I know, and wondering how much I need to understand.
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