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Chasing accomplishments...... #3: A bit of reflection on a long year....

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Blog entry by KTMM (Krunkthemadman) posted 11-29-2011 06:51 AM 967 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Constant Motion... Part 3 of Chasing accomplishments...... series Part 4: Looking foward to a better year ahead... »

To start off, I am constantly reflecting on the passing of my brother in law several months ago….

On July 26, 2011 my brother in law lost his third battle with leukemia. I want to thank everyone for their prayers through that time. This has been a long sad year for myself and my wife’s family. My brother in law was just like a brother to me, we didn’t see eye to eye on everything, but he would come running anytime I would call, no questions asked. Even if it killed him to run on the two metal hips he had as a result of treatments for the first two battles with leukemia. He’d finally met a girl worth marrying and had started saving to buy her a ring, only to have it all ripped away.

At the beginning of this year, I set five woodworking goals to accomplish before the years end. My work bench, a wood screw making machine and a toolbox, the other two projects were gifts for other people. I was looking through sketchup files and one of my notebooks that I keep my ideas in and came across the drawings I’d made of these would be projects. Up to this point I’ve not managed to work any one of them except for the bench. I glued up the bench top months back, planed it for about 30 minutes and that’s where the fun ended.

In the past week I’ve managed to get a little free time and re honed my plane blades and gotten back in the shop. Within the past two months I helped my would be nephew (he would have been my brother-in-law’s step-son, had my brother in law been able to get married) build a soap box derby car for the local boy scouts. Just this past week I’ve managed to get back to the shop to start re-working that bench top.

Tonight I made it out to the shop to do a little work on a project needed for making some Christmas presents. While cutting a small piece of plywood on the table saw, I managed to bump the off-cut back into the blade. It shot up and hit me in the chest above my heart. The piece breezed past my face and hit the wall just behind me with a thud. I am ok, bruised, sore and ego whipped, but ok none the less. This was the one time I didn’t have my safety glasses on…. I killed the power to the saw and thanked God for the fact that I’m not sitting in the ER. I turned the lights off, locked up and came in the house. I might not be the brightest person in the world, but I know when to walk away.

Where am I going with this? I don’t know. Life is short, bad things only take a moment to happen that can change your life. Sometimes you have a chance to change things and sometimes you don’t, such is life.

-- Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect. Vince Lombardi



5 comments so far

View Dave's profile

Dave

11201 posts in 1564 days


#1 posted 11-29-2011 08:22 AM

Lucas I am at a loss for words.
I had heard of your loss through William and am so sorry. You know we were taking a little trip one day and you were telling me of him. People live in our memories and stories as we tell other people. Find peace in his rest with his battles because he won. He is in a better place. He will hurt no more. Be still and know there is a God, place it in his hands. Remember the reason for the season. The son of God was born
And then remember that child of yours
She needs her dad, so duck the next loose cut off

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are." http://chiselandforge.com

View William's profile

William

9223 posts in 1567 days


#2 posted 11-29-2011 04:30 PM

When I first heeard the story of Superman (your BIL), I was humbled. I have been through a lot and often feel self pity. Anyone who has health issues knows it’s hard not too. Sometimes in life though you hear of a story that makes all our little problems pale in comparison. He went through so much and fought right up to the end. I followed his progress on a site his wife had set up to keep everyone concerned updated on his status. I noticed something through the time he was in the hospital before he passd. He often had a smile on his face. Sometimes it was faint, but it was definately there. He smiled more than I in that last month, and he had a hell of a lot more to deal with than I did.
I did not know your brother in law personally, only through you. I do know way too much though about living with chronic pain and health issues and I’m going to tell you what I have told my closest loved ones about my death, whenever it may come. I tell you this because, even though he may not have said as much, I have a feeling your brother in law felt this very same way.
I have suffered to some degree for such a long time. Sometimes I do it not so well. I try my best though on a daily basis to be graceful and put on a brave face for the ones I love. The people closest to me know on the days that I hurt the worst because there is just no way of hiding it. They don’t realize the tolerable days though that I smile in pain.
Some have asked why I do all that I do if I hurt so much. So I thought long and hard on this matter. I do it because its better than the alternative. I survived something that few do. Every single day that I wake up and see the sun, the birds, my kids, my wife, the world, is a blessing in and of itself. One day I will run out of blessings and leave this world. My objective in life at this point is to create as many memories as I can between this day that I wake and the time when I don’t.
I pray that my loved ones do not grieve long. For someone like me, and your brother in law, you have to realize that, although a blessing, every day is also a struggle. At some point you come to accept death, not as this scary and horrible thing, but as a relief. Death, for some, is an end to a blessed suffering. It does not mean that we give up or that we do not wish to be there for the ones we love. It only means that our long and burdensome work on earth is done.
His fiance, I’m sure, misses him greatly. It seems that he was taken from her. I hope one day though it will come to pass that she realizes that he was not. No. The time she had with him was a gift. Maybe she needed the inspiration in her life that he put there and, for the short time she had him, she was blessed with it. Now she must carry that inspiration and strength on and pass it on to someone, probably her son. Remember him always, but remember that his struggle is through. His work is done. He is no longer in pain. Now his blessing can live on through others though. I feel that if any of us can impact another’s life in a positive way, then we were successful in this crazy thing we call life.
Might I make a suggestion though? I know you love your girls, but spend some time with your nephew too. I won’t call him “would-be” because I feel that, under the circumstances, he is as close as any nephew could be to your heart. I truly believe the time you spend with him will be benificial to both of you. I have seven sons. I try to teach them well. It is amazing though how much I have learned from them as well. Children can be a pain sometimes, but if you step back and look at the big picture, they are a blessing to all who take the time to know them before they grow up and become like the rest of the world. Only a child still has the ability to still love unconditionally without llimits.

As for you my friend. I talk to you enough to know what you’ve done in the last year, and what you have not. You brought up what you have not done, but with all that has happened this year, its amazing that you’ve even had the time to blow the dust off your tools. Don’t worry too much. No matter how much you do, or don’t, get done, remember that every day is a blessing for you too. Yes, even people without issues such as mine are limited on time in this life. Each day is a blessing. Any of us can expire this very day. It is amazing when you consider how fragile human life is. I knew a guy once in perfect health that tripped over a stray cat one day, fell and hit the back of his head, dying instantly. So I think we have to look at it like this. Our lives are amazingly long when you consider how easy it is to die. Therefore, each day is a gift. So enjoy! Watch the sunset. Have a stiff drink. Hug a friend instead of just shaking their hand. Above all, LOVE. Love someone each and every day like it’s your last, because it very well could be.
Take it easy buddy. Smile a little. Don’t sweat the petty things and don’t pet the sweaty things.

Also, thank you for your texts now and then. If you ever feel like you’re not accomplishing something, remember this. On many occasions in the past few months, your texts seem to come at just the right moment when I desperately need outside contact with another human. I think you are aware that I live a somewhat sheltered life these days. My contact with the outside world is often limited to texts and internet. Several times as of late, your texts have come just at the moment when I felt cabin fever creeping in. That’s the way life works. Small things that may not seem like much to us at the time have a huge impact on someone else’s lives. Without realizing it (at least I don’t think ya’ll do) you and SuperD have come to my recue at times as friends when friendship was the one thing I needed most.

-- http://wddsrfinewoodworks.blogspot.com/

View Dave's profile

Dave

11201 posts in 1564 days


#3 posted 11-29-2011 05:11 PM

yall quit ya gitin to mushy

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are." http://chiselandforge.com

View Roz's profile

Roz

1661 posts in 2511 days


#4 posted 12-06-2011 10:42 PM

I find I have a lot of time to reflect, as you have here. I think that your reflecting on you brother in law’s life, honors him and the life he led. The most we can achieve in this life is to be important in the lives of others. It looks to me like we have to give of ourselves and our time to achieve that impact in another’s life. It is clear that you Brother (in-law) definitely understood that. We are celebrating his life by discussing him. This death we must all endure is not the end. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

-- Terry Roswell, L.A. (Lower Alabama) "Life is what happens to you when you are making other plans."

View chrisstef's profile

chrisstef

11349 posts in 1731 days


#5 posted 12-06-2011 11:02 PM

KTMM, thanks for letting us hear your thoughts and dont be afraid to post them around here. It was a very touching story for me to hear. I posted this speech by Jim Valvano a few days ago and in some ways i hope that his words can comfort you and help you along grieving through this. Much like your story, it will bring a grown man to tears. I offer you, your nephew, and your family the best of luck.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

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