I started this blog this past weekend because I felt something so powerful that it washed over me and consumed the entirety of my consciousness. It awakened my body and spirit and I was able to consume every sight, sound, smell, taste, touch, and spiritual thing going on around me. I felt the past, present, future, and the place. I was experiencing everything without interruption or interference. It was a rare (to me) moment of clarity. As I read it to my wife Jana before posting it, I became consumed again. I heard the words aloud and I went back to the experience, but this time more vividly than before. I wept, but not from sadness. It came from thankfulness. It also came from the realization of how small we truly are; how small our footprint on time truly is.
This morning I thought it might be a good idea to say something about myself in case somebody actually reads my ramblings that doesn’t know me. I’m an almost 40, fairly liberal Southerner, which seems to be a rare species these days. I like to watch college football (#HailState), hunt, fish, and I generally enjoy the outdoors. I don’t get to enjoy them as much as I used to, though. I got married to Jana two years ago this past May and moved to Vicksburg where we bought a fabulous, really big old house on a quiet street. This took me an extra hour away from our family farm, and it’s hard to get motivated to drive over on the weekends when I just want to be lazy. The main reason that I don’t enjoy the outdoors as much as I used to has to do with me being the owner of a murdered out, super fancy, super comfortable, infinitely adjustable Permobil F5 with the Corpus VS seat. That’s a wheelchair for the uninitiated.
I have Fascioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy, or FSH as it’s commonly referred to. It’s a degenerative condition that commonly affects the muscles of the face shoulder blades and upper arms, but is not limited to those areas. It manifests itself in many different ways with different severity among those it affects. Mine chose to manifest itself in my core and upper legs as well. When normal muscles are exercised, the muscle fibers tear and then regrow stronger. With FSH, the way it was described to me by my doctor, my muscle fibers don’t regrow. It has something to do with a bad protein and the DUX4 gene on some chromosome or something. All I know is that it’s part of my life I deal with every minute of every day. It is not something that I think about much, though. It’s just life. You do what you have to do to make it until tomorrow.
I work for the man at an office in Jackson, and that affords me about an hour and a half comute everyday which I have turned into a great opportunity to listen to audiobooks and learn about all kinds of stuff. I started off with the Civil War. Living in Vicksburg provided the interest. I then listened to biographies about the presidents, generals, and major players in the war. This sort of morphed into an interest in Mississippi and the delta specifically. I’ve listened to books on Mississippi politics, the economics of cotton and slavery, the past and present state of social interactions, and am currently working to understand Faulkner (it’s a true labor) and the stories of Eudora Welty.
I have a great family surrounding me. I have a beautiful, talented wife and 3 stepsons. My in-laws are close by and have a long history in the town. Then there are my parents who’ve been supportive of me and a great example. I also had the great fortune of having all of my grandparents into adulthood. I’m sadly down to my last living grandparent. My mother’s father, my Pop, still lives up in Louisville. He’s 89 with a birthday coming up in December, and he works 6 days a week in his machine shop behind his house repairing heavy equipment for the farmers, loggers, and others around Winston County. I can’t fail to mention he has a cattle farm with my uncle as well.
My religious upbringing was staunchly Southern Baptist, and my politics were staunchly Republican. I was even the first ever vice president of the Teenage Republicans when the chapter formed at my high school. As I grew, my politics got more liberal and my religious notions became more aligned with the Episcopal Church.
I think that’s enough for now. I don’t want to give everything away up front. If anybody does read this, hopefully, the rest of the truth will come out in future posts.