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The Last Decade

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fredcowie
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Post by fredcowie » January 1, 2011, 6:45 am

The Last Decade
© 2011 Frederick J. Cowie, Ph.D.

January 1, 2011, 6:00 at the Bagel Company, downtown Helena, Montana. I am beginning the last decade of my life, the last tenth. Whether it be one year or ten or thirty, it will be the best years of my life, for I will make it the best. Every day people say to me “Have a nice day” and I reply, “I will. I make my own nice days. If I had to wait for one to come along it could be a long wait.” And you know what, they all agree, for they all know nice days and happiness are theirs for the taking, theirs for the making. I’ve had a few other decades, but this will be the best.
The forties were my baby years, my toddler years, my primary school years. The fifties my grade and high school years, the sixties my flunking out of college on a full ride scholarship and Army Security Agency years. The seventies my graduate school and teaching college years. The eighties my seminaries, fall in love, and new parent years. The nineties my get a real job and caregiver and watch my boys grow up years. The zeroes—What is the correct term for the first ten years of a century?—well, they were my recovery from caregiver/work burnout, watch my boys turn into young men, and my be with my wife while we learn to cope with losing our elder son years. The last year of that decade, last year, was also the year the caregiving ended when my son Christian died, the year I had my heart stents put in to give me my erstwhile energy back, and the year when December marked three years of a great relationship with my son Jon, who has lived with us those three years. So when I say “last decade,” I mean the culmination of a great lifelong struggle being me, having passed the evolutionary mileposts of surviving and procreating, and entering the time of life when I enjoy and rejoice in being me, and actually follow my own advice: LIVE YOUR OWN DREAM OR YOU WILL LIVE SOMEONE ELSE’S!
My wife and my love, Cecilia, has stayed with me through my stupidities and we have built a life, a companionship, out of two frayed lives. She has given me the opportunity to become who I am and I believe I have returned the favor. We believe we have done the same for Jon. We each know that whatever happens from now on, our lives and our individual fortunes are our individual responsibilities. We can’t save or make happy or fix the other persons, we can just take care of ourselves, our selfs, and be there for our loved ones trying to do the same thing. No one and nothing can take the place of Christian. Nor can anyone take the place of Cecilia, Jon or Fred. Christian died unable to move, unable to breathe, yet spent his last breath doing breathing, coping, relaxing exercises with me, so we could each live with his dying. He did not whine. He did not live angry and depressed. He lived creating new art, new poems, new friendships. The song which came on when I turned on his van, the song that was playing the last time he had it on, was on this line when I got in the van the day after he died: ONE MORE ROAD TO CROSS, ONE MORE RISK TO TAKE, GOTTA LIVE MY LIFE LIKE THERE’S ONE MORE MOVE TO MAKE. Soon it will be six months, and Cie and Jon and I are learning to live again. With a little luck and a lot of hard work, we will all have a good decade.
This decade I will read more on neuroscience and probability and other interesting things, starting with the cool books Cie and Jon gave me for Christmas. By painting every day, I will continue on the road to becoming a person who is a professional artist, i.e., a person who sells art in order to pay bills. I will hone my training and marketing skills and hopefully have enough speaking gigs to add to the kitty to fix the house up, which needs new roof, new bathrooms, new kitchens new flooring, new windows and new siding, although it is sufficient for our oh so basic needs. I will keep on writing short stories and non-fiction newsletter articles, sending them out for friends to read. And I will write the poems which say the things stories and articles cannot say. This will be the best decade, as every new decade should be, since we enter each new year with more knowledge and skills than we had in the past. This is not to say that there will not be days which—as I often said to Christian—will be days when the best thing we can do is “suffer well.” But that is much, much better than not suffering well when suffering was the stuff of the day. So, wish me luck as I enter what I call, THE LAST DECADE!
Frederick J. Cowie, Ph.D. Please visit my website at fredcowie.com, my FACEBOOK(/fredcowie) page where I post my writings and my paintings every day. Peace!

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Ron Atchison
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Post by Ron Atchison » January 1, 2011, 3:44 pm

With every best wish to you and your family Fred... and thank you very much for this glimpse into your heart. The way you write and the manner in which you live your life greatly inspires me.

(Happy New Year to you! ;) )

~ Ron

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lifeboat
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Post by lifeboat » January 3, 2011, 2:37 am

I just wanted to echo Ron's words Fred. I fnd your story inspirational and wanted to thank you so much for sharing it.
Very best wishes for this new decade

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fredcowie
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Post by fredcowie » January 3, 2011, 4:16 am

Well, it's 5 AM and I just finisihed aerobics, making another good day. Thanks for your comments, they help keep me going forward. Today I hope to paint some small rorschach type watercolors, folks have liked them and I find it stimulating to make the brain create non-traditional art. Have four talks in 2011 booked, two freebies and two standard pay, so I can pay my way for a while, but if I am physically and mentally healthy, then I can cope with whatever comes. Now that my heart is good again, I cando anything, manual labor or caregiving, so who cares, right? All of my advances in life have come from coping and chaos-response, so I am ready for anything. This will be a great decade, hope the same for you, Fred
Frederick J. Cowie, Ph.D. Please visit my website at fredcowie.com, my FACEBOOK(/fredcowie) page where I post my writings and my paintings every day. Peace!

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Lion~*
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Post by Lion~* » January 4, 2011, 12:45 am

It is pertinent to find what prospers your soul. The best and worst decade... they are the same... without contradiction. The last decade wore me out and blessed my soul. I've morphed indomitable because of all that has been. I can't edit any part out... it is all significant. You know how people tend to say that this and that shouldn't happen... why shouldn't it? If I don't accept all of who I am and why I am... I lose a portion of my value and if I try to edit away my history I lose my wholeness. The best has been there always and is siamesed with difficulty...this very moment it is being caressed by memory and hope... I suppose that is the aerobics of my mind... since my body certainly won't jump back and forth ever again. I look back and lose my breath... I turn around inhale... take a step and a foot slides forward toward the consistant prosperity my soul deserves...

Cheers to the great decade...cheers to your workouts, poems and colors...
Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart...William Wordsworth

Follow your honest convictions, and stay strong. - William Thackeray

The bottom line, especially for my character,
is the issue of unconditional love.”
Matthew Weeden

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fredcowie
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Post by fredcowie » January 4, 2011, 4:18 am

Lion: I always think of you when I think of my son, beautiful people whose bodies hit the random world of craziness, yet who learned that that is who they are and deal with it. He died without ever whimpering, but proud he was a person who could cope. THanks for opening up to me, I need it when my random world falls in on me. Peace, it is five fifteen am and I just did my aerobics Love Fred
Frederick J. Cowie, Ph.D. Please visit my website at fredcowie.com, my FACEBOOK(/fredcowie) page where I post my writings and my paintings every day. Peace!

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Muchoki
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Post by Muchoki » January 20, 2011, 4:56 am

Fred - your writing is inspirational!!

I wish you all the best of success as you embark on your best decade. I hope it turns out to be better than you ever expected...for you, Cie, Jon and all your other loved ones...

Godspeed!! :) :)
As footsteps shies the front,
preferring the wake to decorate,
my life i pray,
shall acquire similar character.

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fredcowie
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Post by fredcowie » January 20, 2011, 8:01 am

Well, life is going on, and going on well. Thanksgiving was hard,Jon athan's birthday in December was less hard, and Christmas was truly joyous, and now we laugh about Christian's sillinesses and enjoy the memories that arise, the easy and the hard ones both. It helps to have a world full of thoughtful, caring friends like you. I am on my first long post-Christian cross country back road driving trip. I used to call him every time I got lost on some back road or in some city, so now I text or call his mom and we laugh. I am putting together a 50-story short story book, painting, and writing a lecture I will give in Florida in April. Work is the best therapy, even if it's work I truly love. Peace and thanks for being you and caring Fred
Frederick J. Cowie, Ph.D. Please visit my website at fredcowie.com, my FACEBOOK(/fredcowie) page where I post my writings and my paintings every day. Peace!

c91329
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Post by c91329 » February 8, 2011, 3:35 pm

Ron Atchison wrote:With every best wish to you and your family Fred... and thank you very much for this glimpse into your heart. The way you write and the manner in which you live your life greatly inspires me.

(Happy New Year to you! ;) )

~ Ron
I agree wonderfully done. It good that someone inspires.

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