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Can I Have a Different Meal, Please!?

I am not very good at returning food at a restaurant if I don't like it. I usually just don't go back. Times have changed and I now have the revenge of the Internet! I also can ask nicely for something else, or a replacement. I have had very good experiences the last two times I asked.

I never thought, what if the replacement was worse than the first plate? I guess it's possible.

Today I am not feeling too humorous. I just got back from the dermatologist and had to have 5 more chunks of flesh removed. Now I look like an acne crazed teenager on Jolt Cola! My mother and brother both had melanoma; my mother's apparently led to pancreatic cancer (depending on what study you read.). I really hate cancer.

As most of you know I am unemployed as well as recovering from shoulder surgery. It was my third surgery in a year's time. After being out of full-time work almost 9 months last year with the heart stuff, we are more than behind.

I guess I was feeling sorry for myself as I walked towards the tennis courts after my appointment. Heck, I only got a few hours of sleep and things sort of suck. I was thinking how I would rather have a different lot in life - another meal because I wasn't liking this one.

My face still numb from the Lidocaine injections, I was watching one of the tennis instructors getting ready for my daughter's group lesson. My family wasn't due in for 20 or 30 minutes, so I struck up a conversation with Chris.

It sort of started with, "Well, what happened to your arm?"

"Rotator cuff repair." I said looking at the ground. My face was starting to come to.

"It's probably from your 120 mile per hour serve!," he smiled.

"I was never much of a tennis player." It made me grin thinking about taking off somebody's cherries with a fast serve like that.

"I was a pro at one time. I used to run marathons for 17 years too." Chris said. "It's over now. I had a neck injury and I will be walking with a limp for the rest of my life."

I thought to myself: man that does suck. I suppose I will heal sometime soon. In spite of my discomfort, I won't die from cancer in a few months. "Wow, I am sure that was tough to handle."

"It was an emergency surgery and I didn't get to decide how it was going to turn out - simply that if I had it, it wouldn't get any worse." Chris said with a interesting gleam in his eye.

"Life has some surprises for sure," I added.

"You know, life is good. I get paid to play tennis with kids all day. I do private lessons with people that will never achieve much, save the praise I give them. I've taught tennis to people with one arm. I go and visit US vets in hospitals that have lost limbs. I have it pretty good compared to them."

"Sure it's not my first choice in life, but it's the best second choice I could ask for."

Chris continued. "I had a dentist that gave me a couple of crowns once after I got it with a fast ball playing in college baseball. It saved me thousands of dollars. Ever since then I just give whatever I have to give - I give it everything I have. Some people call it paying forward, for me, it's life."

"Oh yeah, and your daughter, Chris said. "She is very athletically talented. With the right coaching, she'll get some stuff done."

My family pulled in, and kids started whacking tennis balls in every direction. For me it seemed a little chaotic, for Chris, he limped into the middle of the court and started hitting them back.

142 votes + -


wisebadger53 wrote 120 months ago:
Chris sounds like an amazing guy, and we could all learn a lot from him! Keep your chin up David. You have a lot of friends pulling for you, and you have a knack for getting it done right! Good luck my friend!
Mustangsally1000 wrote 120 months ago:
You know, you always run into someone who makes you appreciate what you have. Ssometimes I get pretty down about my hip issues..4 hip surgeries in 5 years, now, it's a restricted joint. Still can't tie my dang shoes. Then..met up with some friends from high school that I hadn't seen in 40+ years. Glenn was the HOTTEST thing in high school..still gorgeous..with an amputated leg. The amputation didn't go well evidently..He's been in tons of pain for years..they keep doing surgery to see if they can make it better. So far, no..lives on pain killers..does charity golf tournaments every year, and has a smile on his face all the time. There but for the Grace of God~~

Great blog, once again!!! I hear ya!
ctlinj7 wrote 120 months ago:
Awesome convo. Really puts things in perspective, especially for our trivial "the scale says I gained .001!" excuses and rants. Things happen, you embrace it. Carpe Diem!
odditblue wrote 120 months ago:
Such wonderful truth there. Life comes. We handle it with what we can. Easy to wish we had something different. It's harder to look at the bigger picture and see how very, very lucky we really are. Bittersweet. Beautifully broken. It is in those most painful moments when we begin to know what we still have is really a treasure. Love your thoughts. They stick with me. Been doing a lot of soul searching myself lately. When I read your words I find I have more hope than I first thought. Thanks for the thoughts. Prayers for you and yours.
TheNewo wrote 120 months ago:
beautifully written. As always, thank you for posting
rocketass99 wrote 120 months ago:
Always an amazing story on the human life condition. we think we got it bad...but the truth is we never know someone else's life story til they tell us.
Jennicia wrote 120 months ago:
what a beautiful, uplifiting story!
Sherry1979 wrote 120 months ago:
Thanks for sharing this.
cessnaholly wrote 120 months ago:
Personal challenges make you look at life differently.
MellyGibson wrote 120 months ago:
I usually never read blogs - but something about this just said, "Go ahead". I'm so glad I did! I tend to turn to humor to get me through the tough times - but this is just what I NEEDED!
Thank you for posting this!
Denjo060 wrote 120 months ago:
wow you relly now how to put things into perspective dont you? My husband has that Knack for thatstoo he has a bad back and had surgery and has a hard time walking somethimes and says well it could be worse I could have no leggs, and he goes about his day. Its amazing when you look at other peoples lives how sometimes things arent quite as bad as we think in our own lives. Thanks for making us think!!!
Good luck to you my friend!!!
Dad_of_3 wrote 120 months ago:
Don't know you David, but know that there are people who don't know you that are rooting for you and keeping you in their thoughts and prayers.

I appreciate you bringing a bit of perspective to me today. I needed it.
FatCopThinCop wrote 120 months ago:
I too feel this posting. I have had a lot go wrong with my knee's. I spent a lot of time on Worker's Comp and many injections. Not just the knee's are bad but I don't think there is anyone that has not been hit hard with work and $$. Chris, makes you/me look at "What You Can Do" that is the important thing. Enjoy what you have always and what you don't have, forget about it. There is always someone that can use a hand. Don't quit even if you have to re-invent yourself to make a change that will give you the happiness you need to live well.

Thanks for posting this story and hope your body gets better soon.
lorib75 wrote 120 months ago:
You have a gift... Your writing is very compelling.
Thank you for sharing. I'll pray for some relief in your life. Take care!
cindyhoney2 wrote 120 months ago:
Such wonderful and needed words of encouragnent. We can get thru this. I have frozen shoulders and I think I will be able to skip surgery (it looks good right now any way) I keep pushing and it gets better everyday and I'm very thankful.
LowcarbNY wrote 120 months ago:
I'm awe struck. Thanks for Blogging.
cristileigh wrote 120 months ago:
Sending prayers your way...
AlmstHvn wrote 120 months ago:
This may seem really random, but bare with me.

Your friend Chris reminds me of a series of books I'm into now. A friend has been recommending them to me for years now, and I've just now sat still long enough to get into it. The author is Spider Robinson, and it's his Callahan series (Callahan's Chronicals is a collection of the early short stories/books).

If you're not familiar with them, you might take a peek. The first two stories are "The Man with the Eyes" and "Time Traveler". They're classified as science fiction, but .. not really. The setting is Callahan's bar, somewhere in New York. They are stories about human nature and the ability to get through the tough moments. I'm just getting started but I LOVE them. You may, too, because you sound very much like a regular at Callahan's bar :)
happypath101 wrote 120 months ago:
Great blog!

I, umm, have, let's say, some body issues. I've even been accused of having some self-esteem issues.

But, my boyfriend's daughter is a quadrapalagic. She's 13. She's never walked. Last Sunday, her Dad and I were fascinated watching her figure out how to lower the visor in her fancy wheelchair equipped minivan as we were driving to our destination. (She has some very limited jerky motion with her arms, that she's most definitely trying to improve.)

How can I possibly be upset that I'm pear-shaped, or have asthma, or have some scars and wobbly bits???

Perspective and gratitude - it changes everything! :O)
JfMarrs wrote 120 months ago:
The world need's more people like Chris. Wonderful story thank you for sharing this with us.
deabora wrote 120 months ago:
ditto on swykes comment...
You know, you always run into someone who makes you appreciate what you have.
it never fails.

Time2LoseWeightNOW wrote 120 months ago:
Beautiful story , It really makes you look at your lot in life differently.
violet456 wrote 120 months ago:
That is an excellent post. Thank you.
felicity866 wrote 120 months ago:
no matter what point you are at in life...talking to people always brings surprising results!!
Cjoseph03 wrote 120 months ago:
Beautiful Post! Thank you so much for that reminder.
jms3533 wrote 120 months ago:
Thank you, I really needed to hear this story this week. I'm reassessing starting right now.
bluiz13 wrote 120 months ago:
very uplifting ending after a pretty "sad" start....i just goes to show that you need to focus more on what you have and less on what you dont or could have happy in the moment cause you never know when it might end....strange that such a simple concept if so hard for so many to grasp hard onto, me included...thanks for sharing....
nellybutler wrote 120 months ago:
Thankyou for this. i have been feeling just a little bit sorry for myself lately due to various health issues. You sometimes need to read about others to take you out of yourself and count your blessings,of which there are many. Keep your chin up and dont despair. :)

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