Loss, Joy, and Alternate Plans
Today I felt loss and joy all at the same time. While my oldest brother was dying in Alabama, my youngest living brother called me and we spoke for the first time in our lives. I say youngest “living” brother, because my younger brother Shane, the brother I was raised with, passed away nearly eight years ago. Yesterday would have been Shane's 32nd birthday. Every Valentines Day I remember Shane and recognize how old he would have been, because Shane would have been so proud and happy to be 32. Age was very important to him. My brother Shane had developmental disabilities, some call it mentally challenged, but Shane let little stand in his way of enjoying life. Shane and I had some great times together before he passed. He was always very proud of being a man! And he'd let you know! You didn't ever call him a kid past the age of 18. When he turned 21 I took him to a few establishments where only adults where allowed. We sit at a bar one night and sipped our Coke while we listened to music. Shane couldn't drink alcohol because of his medication, and I very rarely drink anything with alcohol, so sitting at a bar and sipping a Coke suit us just fine. I tried to be a bad influence that night by offering him a cigarette, he accepted, and after a few awkward puffs, he never touched them again. The way he handled that situation and the look on his face, and how he wasn't sure if we should tell mom, are moments I'll cherish forever. I wanted Shane to experience all of the things he dreamed about, even if for only a night. I'll never forget how important he felt when I took him with me to the comedy clubs. He gave me so much love, in his eyes I was perfect, even though I was far from it, and he wanted to be just like me. I miss him dearly. If he were here today, he'd be slimming down right along with me I guarantee. As for my brother Daniel, I never knew him at all, but being my brother, I still feel a loss and an emptiness that I really wanted to fill. When Chris called this afternoon I was on the treadmill at the YMCA. I didn't recognize the number, but as soon as I finished my workout I called the number back. I had no idea who it was from, and when he answered I still didn't. It was a real joy to speak with him. Turns out he lives in Southern Oklahoma! Small world right? So maybe we can get to know each other and have some kind of relationship. What does any of this personal stuff have to do with losing weight? It's emotional health. I'm addressing my physical health issues head on by losing the weight, and getting my emotional health in good shape is really important too. When I feel good inside it's so much easier to do good on the outside. I hope I'm making sense here.
Tonight Irene and I planned our Valentine excursion. Well, it didn't go as planned. We had some unexpected company. My sister and brother in law popped in to visit and stayed quite a little while, then they invited us out tonight with them, and since Amber and KL were here they went along too. It was a very nice evening, but not “just the two of us,” so I'm insisting on a “do over.” Tuesday night will probably work out nicely. After nearly twenty years of marriage we've learned a thing or two about changing plans at the last minute and being extremely patient when things don't go exactly the way we wanted. But I will have my Valentine dance, I promise!
Weigh day is just three days away and I couldn't be happier about that. I've worked really hard this two week period. I've put in the extra effort and I'm ready to reap the rewards on the scale. What will it say? I want it to say I've lost at least 10 pounds, that'll make a total of 116. And 116 will be a personal weight loss record. It's onward and downward from here! I'm also excited about the first public gathering for the Lose To Win community weight loss challenge. I can't wait to see how many show up. They've asked me to speak briefly about my success so far, and about my simple healthy no-nonsense approach to weight loss. No comedy set list will be needed for this crowd, all I have to do is speak from the heart about this wonderful journey. I can't wait to share with you how that turns out.
Part of Irene's gift to me was a new belt. I immediately wondered if she drove all the way to Wichita or Oklahoma City to buy it, and no she didn't. She bought it less than a mile from our house! This is a breakthrough! Finally I'm starting to be a size that can be fit locally. I needed it too...None of my previous belts work anymore. I've lost enough weight to see drastic changes in my clothing, in fact I don't own a pair of pants that wouldn't fall down without a belt. That's cool. I better get some rest. Good night and...