Naked hugs! Yesterday, January 3, 2019, was a very special day for my friend, Jay, and myself. It was the tenth anniversary of the day that we met and for the both of us it seems as though we were the best of friends from the first moment that we met. For those reading here, I’ve written several posts on the circumstances surrounding our first meeting and its aftermath that were posted here last year. In case you missed those posts, I’m offering those links below.
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?”
Despite what the featured photograph and title may infer, the designation “Black Friday” has nothing whatsoever to do with a racial reference. Instead, the term “Black Friday” is what is known in the U.S. retail industry as the official first day of the Christmas holiday shopping season. It is the day after the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday (always the fourth Thursday in November) which means it is always a Friday. The “Black” designation is in reference to the customary business practice of posting commercial profits in black ink and commercial losses in red ink.
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.
I realize that the photograph above may be somewhat late in the season for those of us living in the Northern Hemisphere where the summer is already an item of our past. However belated, this image caught my attention and I wanted to put it to use here. Autumn now invades our lives and soon scenes such as this will only remain as a fond memory of 2018. Most outdoor pools have already closed for this year. For those living in the Southern Hemisphere, please anticipate the summer before it arrives there!
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.”