Thursday, April 1, 2010

Do You Want To Race?

April 1st 2003 is my official retirement date “April Fools Day” I suppose is as fitting a day as any to call the start of your Early Retirement, I was called into my office about a half hour before quitting time on October 3rd 2002 which was my fifteenth year anniversary of going to work with the Water Company, thinking I may get a handshake or “Atta Boy” for fifteen years of service, needless to say the word was “Jimmy you are now officially on medical leave until you find out what your problem is” My Problem? My Problem is actually a medical condition that I could do nothing about, am I bitter about this? Not really My Problem is the way it was handled, so better than Happy 15th Jimmy I will be more appreciative of the seven years since I officially retired because I am still alive.

A lot of the start is still kind of fuzzy, trips back and forth to the doctors started to run together and my memory just went away for a bit, now my memories of a long time ago are a whole lot clearer than the memory of where my coffee cup just may be right now.

Can the computer be a friend? Well to answer this one I go back to a period of frustrating time after what was called a T1A Stroke, I lost one side of my body, can’t remember which but it was scary looking in the mirror because one side of my face just didn’t work, I am so glad it all came back after a couple weeks, still have the short term memory loss but Cindy tells me that it is just selective memory loss and that I am just fine, she has been a big help in getting me back on track, she actually sat me in front of the computer and challenged me to play Free Cell, man that was hard but after a period of time it all started working and I actually won a game. I started a website and began tracing my family tree, I joined a few forums and actually got myself spread pretty thin on the computer, I have now consolidated it down to where I am doing a bit of genealogy and really enjoying this blog, with my wife’s support and all of the friends I am making here I guess you can say a computer although not a friend is a gateway to many.

Back at the beginning Cindy got tired of waiting on the insurance company to decide if I was eligible for a set of forearm crutches so she bought me a bright red pair that I finally learned to use without getting myself into trouble, people thought she was really mean when out in public she would yell at me “Run Jimmy Run” or “Do You Want To Race” I finally started answering “I Am Racing” or “I Am Running” and the race was on, it still isn’t a fast race but she is still there with me keeping me going.

I always liked Snoopy although I am not sure if he still likes me or not, I told my buddy Ron this story that really happened not long after my first stroke, I was full time either in a wheelchair or on the bright red forearm crutches Cindy got for me, we were visiting her folks here in California (back before we lived here), and she decides to take me down to Knott's Berry Farm, I am in an uncoordinated manner attempting to use these bright red crutches when I see Snoopy dancing next to a stage while there is a performance going on for the kids, I tell Cindy I am going to see Snoopy so she can take my picture with him, I really wanted a picture with Snoopy so off I go, I yell at the top of my voice “Snoopy” he continues to dance, I am sure he just didn’t hear me so I again yell “Snoopy!!!!” I am a lot closer by now and the crutches are clanking and clattering, picture this a 43 year old man with long hair and a beard yelling at the top of his lungs fighting a pair of crutches while attempting to catch Snoopy, he spins looks at me and vanishes into the crowd leaving only a puddle of pee where he was dancing. I’m not really sure if there was pee involved but I think it just may have happened, Cindy had a good laugh and I didn't get my picture with Snoopy but just wait until next time when I rent an electric scooter.

Since I retired a lot of negative things have come down on us and we have been through a lot of changes to our lifestyle in an attempt at keeping things normal, so as far as negatives go they are outweighed by the positives, the positive part is that I have come to realize that life is better spent with someone who loves you, life is better when you are racing at a slow speed and not really worrying about going any faster, life is going to pass whether you accept it or not, I have many fears but that is just what they are--just a fear, I will not allow a fear to stop me from living because if you do life will pass you by while you are fearing that it will be gone.

Live your life enjoying your friends and family, a lot of people are not in your life for various reasons and you can’t make them be there so don’t worry about things you can’t change, enjoy what you have because the Good Lord gave you these people and things for a reason, we just have to be smart enough to look into the eyes of the ones who are there for us and Thank God for the gift of their Love.


  1. A wonderful post, Jimmy. Inspiring and informative. I didn't know any of that about you.
    Thanks for sharing it.

    I'm wondering if May 1st last year is gonna be my 'retirement' date. That's when I was laid off and job prospects still seem dim for a 58 year old. Only time will tell. I'm keeping a positive attitude. Reading stories like yours helps.

  2. Well I am so sorry for your struggles and what you have been through. However, selfishly I say this, if all those things had not happened to you I might never have met you. Do thing happen for a reason? I don't know how I feel about that. Do we try to turn negatives into postivies?...I think we do because at the end of the day we are survivalists. If you have people you love and good friends... you want to live to be part of all that. So I am choosing to believe all those things happened to you so you could become obsessed with the computer and jump into various arenas like diabetes daily where you could meet a sad, isolated, scared newly diagnosed diabetic like (me) and give her hope and friendship. I do feel your caring and friendship over the cyber waves and have actually come to depend on it. So you should know you have touched my life in a profound way.

  3. You've certainly been through a lot Jimmy. Glad life is good for you these days and you at least know what your medical condition is.

  4. Thank You Greg,

    I agree a positive attitude gets us by a whole lot better than a negative, hopefully things will turn right to where you want them, if retirement is there for you already then you just have to go along with it, this comes from a man who fought it for many years before accepting it Ha Ha, it aint so bad once you get used to it.

  5. Hey Susie,

    I do think things happen for a reason, we are so tuned to making things happen that we have a hard time just letting things happen, I am trying so hard to just follow the Good Lords lead and to not question the direction and by doing so I am here and I am happy with my new Friends like you who inspire me to accept myself and also my Family who have been there beside me while I sorted out what was going on in my life.

    All in all Life is good and we have many years of stories and observations to share amongst ourselves and the Grandbabies who are coming our way (mine anyways)

    Thank You for your Friendship.

  6. Thank You Ms. Anthropy,

    I am glad you enjoyed it and appreciate you stopping by.


    Yes we have a handle on the condition and appreciate the struggles because without them I would not be where I am today nor would I have the dear friends I have now.

  7. I have to tell you something, my friend...

    Quite often while reading your posts, I find myself tearing up with emotion. And such is the case with this one.

    Now let me be clear in saying, it's not because I feel sorry for you. Quite the contrary, I admire you because of your able to see everything in your life as a blessing.

    You also do something that I know is very difficult to put into action. It's one thing to say we have faith, but it's a totally different thing to actually trust that faith. It's not until we go through the challenges our lives sometimes brings us, do we KNOW faith. Trust me, I know this from my own life experiences.

    When I read your words, I can always sense/feel the tremendous amount of love that surrounds your life.

    "we just have to be smart enough to look into the eyes of the ones who are there for us and Thank God for the gift of their Love."

    Thank you for sharing your life's journey with us, Jimmy.

    You're an inspiration because you reitorate everything I know in my soul to be truth.

    P.S. and please tell Cindy I think she's the BEST for getting you to sit in front of a computer.

  8. Hey Ron,

    I am honored and appreciate you my Friend.

    Faith is a hard thing to trust but once we learn to believe in our faith then life is good, I love the saying:

    "Play with the hand the Good Lord deals you because if you couldn't handle it He wouldn't have delt it to you"

    Cindy is a keeper and I think she sits me in front of the computer sometimes just to keep me out of her hair Ha Ha

  9. I didn't know all this about you Jimmy. This makes your attitude and love even more special to me. You are the inspriation. It's people like you that propel the rest of us to live better lives. I'm honored to read your blog.

    I think you are doing great!

  10. Thank You Trisha,

    It's friends like you who inspire and make this all worth it.

  11. Happy retirement day!
    Your wonderful veiw on love and life, remind me so much of my dear friend.
    He has a rare disease and had to have his legs amputated, but that hasn't stopped him one bit.

    You are an inspiration!

  12. Thank You Heather,

    You can either live life to the best of your ability or let it drag you down, I like your friend choose to live.

    I'm happy to have you join us here

  13. I'm here from the future Jimmy! Actually, I followed a link from one of your latest posts. You have been through some stuff, and still have the best attitude and sense of humor possible. Very uplifting my friend!

    I noticed that DrSoosie commented on your post. She was one of my all time favorite people in blogdom. I sure hope she is doing well, and wish she would drop in every once in a while.

    1. Hello Pat, I sure appreciate you popping in from the future, Seriously thank you so much for your friendship and support over the years.

      DrSoosie was a follower of mine for a while, she was always very kind and a pleasure to blog with, it would be nice to have her drop in and let us know how she is doing.


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