Thursday, May 28, 2009

Absent for the month of May.

This past month has been Doctors. Doctors Doctors.. It all started at the end of April. I had the Pre-Op with the Internal Medicine Doc, The ECG signalled the RBBB (right bundle branch block) is a defect in the heart's electrical conduction system that I have. So off to the Heart Clinic for a stress test. This is pretty wild cause I have to have it chemically induced with Adenosine, to simulate your are running. Yikes!!! That caused the beginning of an slight exacerbation, Then off to the General Surgeon to have on May 6, the laparoscopy done. I stayed overnight at the hospital.Everything turned out fine.
The greatest feeling was when I realized how many friends I have that did favors, offered to do them, and called to check up on me. I am truly blessed. I thank the Lord everyday and pray constantly for all of them.The hardest thing was having to board the doggies since Tues for three nights. Home Alone a horrible felling the house was empty but I needed the total rest. Then I actually hallucinated seeing Coco come out from under the bed to the hallway early on Fri morn, I started call him to get back into the room, when I realized ____THEY ARE NOT HEAR!! Seperation anxiety 100%! That's when I rushed to the Vet to pick them up. It was a short drive, but I risked the recoup issue. Any way needless to say I was right. I had waited since April 24, to get the SeluMedrol, so as not to delay the surgery. So yesterday I started a three day infusion. Both my legs were completely numbing out and the "hit by a 2x4 feeling", as I call it in my lower back was unbearable. This is day two and I already I feel relief, however this synthetic steroid is no picnic, as they say the cure sometimes is tougher that the ill. Finally got the gumption to post again, I betcha it's due to the infusion it takes away that cloud and fog that you have. A lethargic, no initiative to do normal things you enjoy. Another hurdle I will jump and with flying colors. Amen!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Attended the fourth and final recital

Well it's about time I posted! The whole Easter holiday season and Passover at the same time took up a lot of my time. Quietly meditating, praying and celebrating at home for all the blessings I have. On April 11, the final concert of the Kinna Series at the CAC, was fantastic.
The pianist was Stanton Lanier, check out this web site.
His music was so soothing and peaceful, that at the end of the concert that day you felt like you were floating on a cloud. Incredible sounds from this performer. His bio is amazing. I can relate so much to his lifes journey. I met him and we spoke on the approach he has for composing. He uses computer software to improvise and create his compositions. I had a great time. I even stayed for the reception. I can't wait till next year to attend these great performances at the CAC house.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The perfect storm of troubles and I laughed, Ha!

The fender bender of last week was finally fixed on Friday after a week of being Carless not Carlos. Then on Sunday morning the "Service Engine Soon" light came on. At the same time on Monday a Malware defender 2009 spyware attacked my computer. In addition to that I got a cold from opening and breathing in the air from a bag of cypress mulch over the weekend. All within a span of 72 hours. Did I panic? Did I complain? No incredibly to my amazement I started laughing when I realized that all these disruptions were insignificant maladies of this out of balance existence. So, I again realized that laughter and being able to laugh at yourself is a whole lot better that sulking in panic and horror over things that in the scheme of things are insignificant. I reminded myself that" This too shall all pass" Laugh ,crack a joke watch a good comedy show like Andy Griffith or Mr. Bean and "Forgetta About it". It's not worth it.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Another recital to feed the soul

On Saturday the 14th on a beautiful rainy night here in Douglasville, I attended another piano recital. We are celebrating the 300th anniversary of the pianoforte.
This time it was George Mann , a well known Professor of Music here in Lithia Springs. The piano was finally tuned. It is a 1930's Chickering 6'2" grand piano. The program included Schumann, Haydn, Bach, Liszt and one of my favorites Francis Poulenc. The performance was outstanding. Mr. Mann has an impeccable technique and made the piano sing. I especially liked his expert use of the pianofortes pedals to express and make the instrument breath. It is quite an accomplishment to be able to master this technique. I was very inspired to see and hear such an intimate performance. So much so that the next day I was practicing my exercises and playing one of Eric Satie's Gnosssiennes No. 3. I will soon be posting it on my Web Page. Definitely one must enjoy these types of events to feed the soul and elevate the spirit.
I feel proud of myself for having again attended a night out. I had my friend a couple of weeks ago tell me to get spiffed up and go out. Boy was she right, I thank her and her inspiration to motivate me to do this. If for anyone, for myself which is so important. To actually care for yourself and have the confidence to attend these events alone. This for me has been a milestone and a self-confidence builder. I highly recommend that if you are stuck at home all the time to get out and enjoy even a simple thing as a walk or drive around the block.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

The current culture of Ageism.

I had a friend recently write to me a powerful message.....

"Have you noticed, Charlie, how in today's society this culture does not let one be a child and does not let one be an old person? We are being cheated out of our right to experience the cycle of our life with happiness. If you are a child, you are constantly bombarded with sex, drugs and violence; childhood's innocense is constantly being raped away by the media. If you are an older person, a vintage piece who should be loved and respected for his/her time on earth, mature beauty, knowledge and experience, you are constantly bombared with botox and plastic surgery and viagra. What happened to the days when the elderly had their place and function?"

Absolutely true now ad to that MS then where do we stand. Yes Madison Ave. is ruling , Notice that all the TV ads are geared towards 15-35 age range. The disabled are one or two notches below that. But you know what that's why when we stick together we can make a difference. In our place and the fact that we are survivors no matter what age we are.


Tuesday, March 3, 2009

My pets are my companions

Last week I took my two doggies, at the same time, to the groomer. Granted I wish I could groom them myself, like I used to, but alas a man has to know his limitations. This was the first time ever I had taken them both at the same time. An incredible thing happened that morning that I had not felt before. When I arrived after dropping them off I entered the house, it must have been around 10:00 am, and it hit me, " The house is empty of all living mammals, except me.!" I cannot describe in this writing or in words the tightening of my chest as best as I can describe it that I felt. Wow, I am now really alone. It was a sobering feeling.
The point here is that pets are our companions, physically and emotionally. We don't realize it until unfortunately, like in 2007 when I had to put down not one but two 15 year old poodles, until they are gone. That year was such an experience, the first thing I started thinking about was why didn't I hug them more or tell them I loved them more. I have learned my lesson since then. They are so much a part of our daily lives. Yes I know they can be a pain sometimes, like accidents, wanting to go out when your busy, etc. But believe me it is worth it. I have Maggie who always manages to let me know in the morning Hey it's time to get up your over sleeping. They lick my tears when I start crying during a sad movie moment or a melancholic moment, etc. I am also convinced that they are aware that I have MS especially the days I have bad leg craps or just not feeling well.

I am truly convinced that if any one is contemplating on whether to get a pet companion, any little creature especially doggies. Go for it. It will be worth every second and the benefits completely outweigh the excuses one can conjure. I will always remember this day. When I finally picked them up and arrived the house became a home again. So far I manage to remember the instant when they were temporarily missing from my life.
I now, as much as possible, I try to hug and play with them as long as they are with me.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I am in the Google Map picture!

While looking up my address , I noticed that I appear in the Google street level search. I have never seen people in the street scenes. Check this out. They caught me bringing in my garbage canister. I had parked my car to leave. Is this amazing or what! Just thought I would share this . If anyone has ever seen anybody in Google at the street level let me know .
It seems amazing to me . Enjoy! FOLKS 1984 is here alive and well!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

If everything happens that can't be done

A poem
By Edward Estlin Cummings, October 14, 1894-September 3, 1962

If everything happens that can't be done.

if everything happens that can't be done
(and anything's righterthan bookscould plan)
the stupidest teacher will almost guess(with a runskiparound we go yes)
there's nothing as something as oneone hasn't a why or because or although
(and buds know better than books don't grow)one's anything old being everything new
(with a what which around we go who) one's every anything soso world
is a leaf is a tree is a bough(and birds sing sweeterthan bookstell how)
so here is away and so your is a my(with a downuparound again fly)
forever was never till nownow i love you and you love me
(and books are shutterthan bookscan be)and deep in the high
that does nothing but fall(with a shouteacharound we go all)
there's somebody calling who's wewe're everything brighter
than even the sun(we're everything greaterthan booksmight mean)
we're everyanything more than believe
(with a spinleapalive we're alive)we're wonderful one times one

AMEN Mr. Cummings
Thank you.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Went to a Piano Recital (A night out again finally) I DID IT!

This Saturday February 14, I did it! I mustered the will to get, as I planned and my dear friend recommended, spiffed up and go out somewhere. All day Saturday I was talking myself out of it. I conjured up a myriad of excuses and reasons not to go. Finally, I put my foot down and fought the negative isolation trend that I am trying to break. So I found myself at this recital at the Cultural Arts Council beautiful Douglasville. The recitals are part of the Kinna Chambers Concert Series, presented every year during January through April. Tonight's performer was Ms. Cassandria Hanna. Ms. Hanna has performed as a soloist with the Miami Symphony Orchestra and the Greater Miami Symphonette Society Orchestra. She has also given recitals throughout South Florida, at Kennedy Center, Munich, Germany and Nassau, Bahamas. Professor Hanna chaired the Keyboard Division of the Performing Arts Department at Maimi-Dade College. Her biography is more extensive on the the program we received. These are just a few excerpts of her accomplishments and credentials. When I read last month that Series had her as the pianist in February, I could not believe it. It just so happened that I had attended Miami-Dade College in 1975. Needless to say when I got there early at about 6:15 P.M., she was at the piano warming up. These recitals are done in the living room area of a Southern mansion that was built almost 110 years ago. It is in the historical registry. So the atmosphere is very intimate. I walked in and sat in the foyer area and listened to the warm up. Sure enough she was doing the standard Hanon exercises and scales. The wonderful part was that when she finished as she was crossing the foyer area from the living room to go upstairs, she saw me and said, " Don't I know you from somewhere". I replied, "Ms. Hanna it's Carlos Gonzalez from Miami-Dade College". Well she was amazed and reached out and hugged me. She told me that she remembered my face. At this point I broke down and flood gates opened. I always cry at the drop of a hat. Even though that recently they determined that MS can cause IEED, (Irrational Extreme Emotional Disorder). I am just a very sensitive and romantic individual that has that sentimental streak. Anyway, she was very happy, as she said, to see a familiar face. She recently retired to Georgia in 2007. She asked me what I had been doing and I told her about my story( a short version or else I would have had her there all night) and my MS. She told me that she had not noticed my crutch with all the laughing and hugging we were having. We said goodbye for now because she had to get ready for the performance. I went to take a seat at the area right in front of the piano. As I was sitting down, a man and with his date asked me, " Are these seats taken " and as I said no, he said " Don't I know you " at which time I recognized him but I couldn't remember his name. I said "I am Carlos aren't you from MDCC ", he said "Yeah Carlos it's Brian remember from the Piano School". Here goes a second person that relocated from Miami to beautiful Douglasville. Turns out he is teaching in two different schools in the area. He also has a group and plays and produces recordings. At 7:00 P.M. Ms. Hanna began a beautiful repertoire ranging from Chopin . Beethoven, Liszt to Debussy. The performance was beautiful and inspiring. At the end of the night a toast was held in her honor with cider, champagne and assorted chocolates. I stayed and mingled a while. At the end I said goodnight to Ms. Hanna and Brian. I did obtain their e-mail addresses and business cards. Ms. Hanna told me as I left, that we must definitely get together. She lives close to where I use to live in Paulding County. After I got home I felt the change in my attitude towards myself and my surroundings. I did have and still do a sense of inspiration and a willingness to carry on. Absolutely a motivating night. Of course those self-pity dark thoughts wanted to creep in like, " You wasted your time and didn't finish the formal college degree of Music" or " Look now you've got MS you can never amount to anything" and so on. Guess what, I fought those negative thoughts away and concentrated on what is true and real . The present moment of having enjoyed a wonderful time. I also reconnected with not one but two new old friends, who just happen to be musicians like me.
I am looking forward to next month when God willing I will attend the March 11 performance of Pianist George Mann.
I did it!!! Amen to that.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Getting spiffed up and going out on the town.

About two week s ago an old friend told me to start learning to live with myself and go places on my own. Once I started to do that I would increase my quality of life 100 fold. Believe me that's one of the hardest hurdles I have had to jump in the last 6 years. The friend is so right Tomorrow I am going to a piano recital here in town all by myself. I did this last year through the encouraging words that time of the Ms support group. I was able to muster the courage to go to two different events last year. I have to take advantage of this starting early Spring weather, because if not when the heat starts it's Lock-down until mid Sept. So, I got spiffed up yesterday got a haircut, of what is left. Tomorrow get cleaned up, I'll dress up nicely and go. I went and bought the ticket ahead of time so I can't back out. I'll even stay after the concert for the reception. Whew! I'm getting cold feet already!!!! I'll tell you all about it.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

When offered help loading your groceries

Being disabled I use one of those electric carts to do my groceries. On Thursday, like many times before, a nice person offered to help me load the groceries in to my car in the parking lot. I guess she saw me with e-cart and trying to load the groceries in the back seat and wanted to help. Many times before, I would decline the offers for help. Then I realized that by refusing someones offer to help I was sort of being rude. Out of my own pride and suspicion from the jaded atmosphere of the Miami city scam world, I would so no. I felt that if I accepted I was being helpless. But recently I have found that people are trying to genuinely help, especially in this area, for now anyway, from the bottom of their hearts. So I have decided to accept those kind offers for help in reaching for something, putting the groceries on the cash register area, etc. anytime that a person offers their kind offer to help me. Needless to say it was a good feeling after I was helped the kind person chatted with me some small talk and went on their way. Like I said little things are always there that keep you going.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Eucharistic Adoration

The first Friday of the month I go to Church and sit there quietly in front of the Blessed Sacrament. It would have surprised me one or two years ago, that after 30 years away from my Catholic roots I would be praying again in a church. That would have been unheard of. So I find myself at this juncture that I come full circle. I definitely experience a calm and spiritual connection with the Holy Spirit by being in the quite silence of the Eucharist. Years ago I would have thought this to be idol worship, but it is clear to me now that I am in the presence of the body of Christ. It is not easy to explain. I felt the same spiritual connection many years ago in a Bat Mitzvah. That feeling that hits the core of your spirit. The real you not this mortal coil as Shakespeare would say. I love it because it centers me and gives me peace inside. In the Church completely quite and serene, as you sit there in the earth shattering silence you might hear the still small voice answering your prayers and guiding you. I definitely always first give thanks for all the blessings I have. "In all things give thanks" as the scriptures say. Even though I my body has MS, "stuff could be worse", to quote my friend Kim. Yes, even if I am in physical pain 24/7, I have my medications, my home, I have a car, I can drive, running water. Simple things we take for granted on a daily basis are definitely blessings. In addition, there are all the blessings in disguise we take for granted. For example, you are caught in a red light at the last moment, and little do you realize that maybe that red light just saved your life. There might have been a car ten seconds later that would run a stop sign and have caused you to be a horrible accident.
You misplaced your keys and you can't find them you are delayed. Maybe that small time of delay will cause you to meet someone at the grocery store that has a job opportunity for you. These are just a few things. I could go on and on with examples. I was told once that "coincidence is God's way of remaining anonymous". I've never forgotten that quote.
It all comes down to what you have faith in. I don't think anyone has all the answers.
If anyone tells you they do, well I don't know. The more you know the more you know you don't know anything.
So I will keep praying without ceasing.

Checking out my family last names

Last night while emailing my friend I stumbled on my GreartGrandpas on my fathers mom. ARTILES last name crest origin, It happens to be Irish. How do like that . No wonder I could not find the Sephardic Jewish roots . It is Irish no doubt Celtic.
Anyway , I thought that was pretty exciting. I also found my GreatGrandma for my moms father CHILE is ENGLISH. So two generations ago I got a dash of England and Ireland to the Spanish Canary Island blood. How do,like that. Oh well it's that great dipiction that
"We matter" It took 500 years thousands of people to get together to get to me or you.
Just think two people to make you . Two people each to make them and so on.


Thursday, February 5, 2009

Ever feel lost in your own house?

Some days feel like the same day. It's like a "Groundhog day" movie effect. The time passes night falls and you realize that another day has ended. So tomorrow will start all over again.
How do you beat that sort of effect and way of thinking. I have no clue.
It seems that one just has to hang on or else we'll loose it.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Was able to contact the love of my life after 30 years

At this time in my life when I am feeling lost and alienated a gift from God arrived through a grace moment. I had been always wanting to know where and how she was doing, my high school sweetheart. After only being able to locate her sister some years back, I finally decided to do it. I was able, to send her sister a message on 1/20/2009 at approx 3:00 a.m. via email. Anyway, she forwarded my e-mail to her and low and behold the magic of the Internet.
At 3:38 PM on 1/22 I received the message on my answering machine. This was one of the best moments of my life that I can remember. After 30 years my high school sweetheart the love of my life had left a message. WOW! Is that incredible or what. The gift is overwhelming. I had just arrived from the supermarket purchasing groceries Needless to say, after catching my breath, I called her on 1/22 at approx. 5:15PM . We spent almost 3 1/2 hours talking and sharing stories of our lives over the last 30 years.
I am breathless, my life long wish that I would be able to speak to her before I died came true.
I was able to contact and reach a person that I had lost, not once but twice, out of my own immaturity. The diamond I lost in the ocean, not once but twice, I located again on the shore.
She is safe and has a happy life.
The odds of that are astronomical. I'll hold her in my heart forever and at least we were able to share our life stories.
What more can I ask for.

Praise be to God , Jesus Christ.
God is great and wonderful, it's the only explanation for this miracle.

Beatles First Day in the U.S. Arrived

Does anybody remember that today Feb 4 was the arrival of the Fab Four.?
They arrived in New York City and I was seven years old. All over the T.V. were the comments of the mop head long hairs. The big hit was She Loves you Yeah Yeah Yeah. Another one that was playing over and over was " When she was just Seventeen" Does anybody remember? When they don't it won't exist. I guess.

Some more details of My Story-This is a long post

Went to Gesu Catholic School in downtown Miami. The oldest Catholic school and church in Miami. After that went on to LaSalle Immaculata for 9th grade. Made the big mistake of asking to leave for public school to attend and graduate from Miami Senior High in 1974. Then eloped in 1976 and married on August 16, 1976. One year to the day before Elvis would pass away. Not a great way to remember your anniversary.
Continued my musical education at Miami-Dade North Campus. See I wanted to be a famous musician. Did my share of recreational drugs. Played with many local bands and almost made the big time. To read the full story and listen to some of my stuff go to www.myspace/antikastropoliticalrefugee on the web. In 1985 went back to school to get into Banking. Started as a teller at Flagler Federal S&L. There I decided that internal audit was my cup of tea. I would never be a Gestapo auditor like the one's that would audit us. Finally got my Master in Accounting from Barry University. You can see my employment history on www.myspace/elcharley. Then I was hit like a two by four on 11/26 1996 when I was formally diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. The my current employer at that time as I returned to work informed them of my condition. I had been there three years with excellent evaluations. Well guess what? I was put on a 6 months probationary status because all of a sudden I wasn't doing my job properly. Well, started looking for a new employer and to no avail everyone in town had found out that I had MS. So with the help of the Internet in 1997 I was offered a position at SouthTrust Corp. Needless to say it was another exile for me having to uproot from Miami after 35 years in the city. I purchased a home in Hiram, Georgia. Within four years I retired from my career and filed for disability. In 2002 my now ex-wife decided she no longer wanted to put up with me or our home and got herself a boyfriend. Who later turned out to be an indigent alcoholic. Also put her in the hospital in 2005.I lost my home in 2003. I could not sell it or continue to run with all the expenses of such a large property. I then made the mistake of going back to my parent’s house in Miami. The Miami heat was unbearable and the health care deplorable. After 17 months and three days I returned to Georgia. This time Douglasville was the best option. I now live alone with the Lord in Douglasville amd my two doggies a Maltese and a miniature Poodle.

The first night exiled in the U.S. 1/1/1962

Ironically, my first meal , in the United States, that night was a McDonald's hamburger, fries and a Coke. How's that for a start to assimilation. This Mc Donald's was located on 32 Ave. N.W. 7th Street. Back then they were open air seating a walk up white tile counter. Obviously, this location is no longer there. A treat from my aunt's relatives that had received us into their home.

A blog What the?

The first attempt at trying to write my daily thoughts . Boy do I have a lot . I love to talk. However, people have often reacted negatively. Anyway, I was even told to shut up many times by my ex-wife. Things like "oh, you talk too much" . She was not alone even my own mother , later repeated the comment , "You talk too much Carlito".
Well guess what now everyone can listen or in this case read all my " I talk too much".