Happy strokeversary, baby

Today is my Strokeversary.

It was March 15 in 2010 that my brain misfired and forced me to redefine who I am. And who I am not. So today seemed as good a day as any other to fire this blog thing up again.

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March 15 was a Monday in 2010, so the stroke struck on the first working day after the clocks rolled forward to daylight savings time. Now it always makes me laugh at how hard a time people have with the switch each year, all of the troubles an hour of missed sleep causes from more fender benders to increases in work place injuries to a general cocktail of bumpiness and lack of energy.

I think I have a lot of people beat on this front. But that’s not what this is about.

I’m back to blogging after seeing a picture of me and my old friend and work mate Jonathon Jenkins. It was taken back in 2009 at a memorial celebrating the life of David Quigley.

Quig made both our stories better when he was running the news desk at the Edmonton Sun where JJ and I each plied our trade as reporters in the mid 1990s. Quig left this earth too soon. About a year later I stroked out. And in 2014 JJ was taken away. Cancer.

This isn’t meant to be depressing.

What really upsets me is that I let both of those guys drift out of my life.

I didn’t even know that JJ had passed until a year or two after the fact. Another friend of mine had known him and when he realized JJ and I had worked together he brought up his passing, surprised to learn that I was clueless to it.

There was a time when JJ and I were fast friends. Aside from working together, I was the worst member of a band that had JJ as both drummer and heart and soul. After I left the news biz, I travelled to Toronto – where JJ moved to in 2000 – every couple of months.

And yet the only time I saw him after he left Edmonton was at Quig’s wake.

What am I on about? A couple of things.

First, that ‘ole clock never stops ticking but the sound of it slips to the back of your mind until you blink and your kids are grown up, you’re working with people born when you were in college and some of your friends have passed away without having a chance to say goodbye. You realize you’ve missed important chunks of the lives of people important to you.

Second, it’s a cliché, but there’s no making up for lost time. It’s gone. Kaput.

Finally, I’ve been thinking lately about how in my quest to get the most out of my post stoke brain, I’ve been giving short shrift to the soul. The two go hand in glove. Ignoring the soul leaves the brain alone to work as just a machine. So from now on this blog will be about heart and soul – heart of the brain, soul of the spirit.

Hopefully that’s not too heady.

You know, while that pic of me and JJ at Quig’s memorial led me down a remorseful path, I love how photo can kick start so many memories. This is why I’m digging Instagram.

I fire it up and find a pic of me and my girls at an event and for every aspect of it fires to life in my head. Another shot of me and some buddies from a trip a few years back and it’s like it just happened. Powerful stuff.

When I’m frustrated with my reading disability, I pull out images of the old flash cards my therapist used on my right after the stroke. Stuff with the ABCs meant for kids just learning to read. This reminds me how far I’ve come much more that words can.

Anyway, until next time…

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