November, 2018, was most definitely not the month I expected it to be. As those of you who read ReNude Pride regularly already know, my father died on November 11. This event happened unexpectedly following his diagnosis of stage 4 cancer of the colon, liver and one kidney on October 28. Mercifully, it wasn’t a protracted end but was swift and relatively pain-free. Which does beg the question: “How the hell do the doctors or any of us really know how painless any death truly is?”
I am sincerely grateful and humbled by all the comments on my post from one week ago, entitled “My Father.” (Click the link to view). The encouragement and love that inspired that post sustained me through a very difficult and painful transition in my life. I am grateful to all of you who read the post and especially those who left a message. There are no words to express the appreciation and comfort that I felt simply in knowing that others were sharing in my own pain.
On the day of the recent USA congressional elections, I received a text message from my oldest brother that summoned me home (Greece) immediately. My father was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer in his lower abdomen (one kidney, his liver and his colon) three weeks prior. Instead of the couple of months remaining (as the oncologists had advised us), the prediction was changed to “a matter of days.” I caught the earliest flight to Athens available and Aaron, my spouse, was followed me a day after.
The new academic year began for me almost weeks ago. A new journey with new faces and new students to enlighten and to inspire (hopefully). It is also exciting for me, personally and professionally, as I am one of a team of three professors collaborating on a new class being offered this semester. As this upcoming November 11, 2018, marks the centenary of the signing of the armistice that ended the Great War of 1914-1918 (World War I), this particular class offers a retrospective on that event, the “war to end all wars.”
Nude entertainment always sells. It’s a very lucrative business as millions of people every day fork over their money just to see the live nudity of someone they don’t even know and will probably never meet. Anonymous gratification of humanity’s obsession with sexual expressivity. Now that most people pay for their entertainment via credit card, I’m not too certain as to how anonymous the entire procedure truly is anymore or even if it was anonymous ever. However, that thought is outside the scope of this post.
Today, August 15, is our (Aaron, my spouse and myself) third wedding anniversary. Three years of marital bliss and harmony! All right, I’ll try to be real and amend that to be three years of one year of compromise (33.3%), one year of bliss (33.3%) and one year of tolerance (33.3%). It has been happy, fun and adjustment, but we both agree it’s much better than eight years of nothingness. If you’re having trouble with the math, we lived together and shared the same bed for five years and three months before we stood before a justice of the peace and promised ourselves to one another!
August is now here and in the Orthodox tradition, this is the month for the customary (at least in the home country) blessing of the grapes. In other words, invoking the divine to shed his benevolence upon each and every grape that we consume, be it the fruit itself or the juice or the wine that we drink. Trust me, as Greeks, we do consume quite a bit of wine and have a remarkable ability to eat an impressive number of grapes.