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July 12, 1998

Another Loss

It's so odd.

I was thinking about net friends over the 4th of July weekend, feeling that I'd been disconnected some how. I only found out today that I had been, and hadn't, as I'd thought, known about it until well after the fact.

Dan Briggs was a friend of both John's and mine while we were at Caltech. He was of my class, and I always admired his brilliance in getting those two degrees. He fenced on the fencing team, and had a great time just talking with me at times. We kept talking even after school, through our alt.callahans connection, though he was more of a lurker and I far more flamboyant in those early days. We talked a bit about the evolution of the group, about our lives, about all kinds of things, the things that email makes possible even when two friends are far apart.

We drifted away from each other in the last three or four years, in many ways, for no good reason, just time, perhaps, interests in other directions. And now he's gone. In a way that he understood, with risks he knew. So I don't feel bad about it, just... I dunno, it just is a loss.

Oddly enough, I'm kind of glad of his web page, of having something to look at and remember and think and know what he'd become. Funny to think that people might someday look at these pages that way. And, given that he died doing what he loved, knowing what was possible and flying into the teeth of that, he was living his life to its fullest. Which is, for me, a good way to be living.

So that kicked me in the pants today. In some ways. Too much death these last few weeks for me to deal with it all well. Harder yet to see me as some kind of person trying to get a community to move. Though, oddly enough, the memorial on Saturday really got me to see just how much a part of that community I really am. How well I really do know the people and with as much as I've shared of myself, how much they know of me.

Carl has written to tell me that everything is planned, setup and ready to go for next weekend. I'm going to need it, I think. It will be good.

Another good thing was my doctor's appointment with my surgeon for my knee. It's been three months, and Rick's workout was to make sure that I was in good shape for the checkup.

Dr. Thayer was very pleased. Just as I'm pretty darned pleased with what I can do now. He said, though that I need to keep up with the boring stuff, that the fun stuff can't really replace the simple muscle building capabilities of the boring things, and that while all that's left is the strength building, it has to be done at a slow and steady pace rather than hard workouts that make me incapable of doing the small stuff for days.

It really does mean that John and I are going to have to do something about redesigning our life so that we do have the workout time. The doc said that the bike ride was the perfect thing, too, if I keep my revolutions up high, with very little resistance, keep the gears low enough that I just keep going and not have to push super hard, then that would be perfect for getting my strength back up. But it wasn't a good replacement for all the same quad sets, weight lifting and band stretching that I also have to do.

Three months more and if I'm happy with things, I don't have to do a thing. Another check in another three and the same qualification. If, in three months, I want to go back into soccer, then I should call into them an get another protective brace for the knee and then play with that. And he said that that would be fine, if I played in the fall. If my strength got back. That was pretty keen to know that I'm pretty much on the schedule that I'd hoped to be on.

I still have pain in the joint. Straightening it or bending it, but it's nothing like when I injured it, after I injured it or even before the surgery. When I over do it, like with the workout with Rick, it aches steadily for a while, but it gets better.

I really do think that I'm pretty much 80% recovered and have the knowledge I need to get the rest of the way back. This is very good indeed. So I'll just keep doing this healing thing in the face of all the losses.

So many reasons, now, to live all the more fully.

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