Birthdays make me sad. Maybe the Super Bowl will cheer me up.
This is an emotional time of the year for me.
It is my birthday weekend. It is a birthday not promised.
Six years ago I suffered two strokes. They were not major strokes, but doctors showed me X-Rays of my brain and told me how close I was to either being a vegetable or dead.
The veins in my brain are large, healthy and work to perfection. However, there is one that is mangled, weak and restricted blood flow. It is a ticking time bomb that doctors believe I was born with. If it were a road Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer would be screaming “Fix the damn road.”
I appreciate life more. I appreciate people more.
That wasn’t the case after I got sick. One stroke zapped me of fine motor skills and the ability to walk like I used to. The second took away my social skills. It was the one I feared less, but it was the most dangerous.
My childhood friend Lamont suffered a similar stroke the same week I did. He died.
Doctors feared depression setting in, which would be devastating. One doctor suggested I duplicate my old life as a sports journalist and radio talk show host on a smaller scale, with less work and less stress. It is something I enjoyed.
That’s why my work with Woodward Sports is so important. I am not an employee. I am in therapy.
My most rewarding times are walking through the offices and talking to the young talent. They tell me what’s new in media and social media. I tell them old war stories, which they seem to soak up. It makes me feel good, which is what my doctor wanted.
I got a big chuckle when none of them knew what the Windsor ballet was.
I appreciate these days of getting out the house and interacting with people. If I didn’t do this I’d mope around the house, getting upset and depressed. I sat in a restaurant and listened to the sad story of a woman who lost her son in a plane crash. It was sad to hear but I was glad to be there to let her get the pain off her chest.
I’m excited for the weekend because my birthday falls on Super Bowl Sunday. I am also getting a flat top grill to cook breakfast, hamburgers, hot dogs and shrimp.
I am so excited about the grill that I might even buy a chef’s hat.
At some point I will get misty eyed. However, a few minutes later I will enjoy life. Maybe I will get an ice cream or sip on good bourbon. Or maybe I will slap my wife on the ass and say good morning.
Maybe my joy will be sitting back and watching a good Super Bowl game.
Yes, I will cry. But I will also laugh and joke and act a fool. It is the best way I know how to respond to weak moments.
I am so happy that my kids can call up and wish dad Happy Birthday again.
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