Monday, November 12, 2007
This evening we took a stroll on Redmond Ridge which we have not visited since prior to surgery. I like this trail as it goes into the woods along the Trilogy golf course and feels like an enchanting forest with its tall hemlocks, mossy covered trees and stumps, and bushy ferns everywhere. (Lord of the Rings ambienence)
It is tradition to often stop and see Kari's Bog. Karen Ingrid Osterhaug was born the same year I was but passed away in 2003. As it says on the dedication stone above, she was an evironmental scientist instrumental in creating the bog. Knowing that moves me and makes it a more special place - that someone committed their life to creating a refuge to share and pass on to humanity. The fact that we were the same age and shared similiar interests also make me feel more connected to this place.
Every time I see the bog it reminds me of times I enjoyed in the outdoors of upper Michigan and playing in the wetlands (swamps). When I look across the bog I half consciously expect to see or envision a moose as I had witnessed in the UP (upper penninsula of Michigan).
There is a quiet peace and contemplation at the bog. It is a place where I can stop, peer into the grandeur of the sky and reflect upon my life. Like entering a church, it is a place where I can stop, pay tribute, ask God for strength, and to be thankful for what I have.
As I looked across the bog this evening the magnitute of everything started to hit me. If I had known 10 or 20 years ago that I was going to have a brain surgery, it would have been hard to comprehend. For those of us with NF2 it becomes a normal part of life (almost a rite of passage). But outside of life with NF2, the idea is hard to grasp.
For a moment I put myself back in the frame of thought outside of NF2. I felt amazed and overcome to have made it through and be standing there alive as I had prior to the surgery. I made it! I had these aliens cut out of my head and I lived! A tear of sheer happiness and appreciation for life welled up in my eye. I thanked God for carrying me through it and I thanked Kari for providing me the place to come to during my journey.
Then I came back to my NF2 life. I wondered how many more surgeries I would endure and how many more I would live through. If I can make it through one I can make it through another. I prayed to God and to Kari to give me the strength and the courage for what lie ahead.