By Rick Hinton
Praise comes in different ways and forms. As 2020 rolls toward its last month – with this year’s Thanksgiving celebration anything but – most are glad it’s on the way out. Will 2021 be a better year? We can only hope. Yet, regardless, 2020 did have its moments in this household.
In the summer of 2019 I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. I guess it’s a “getting older” sort of thing. After a planned trip to Gettysburg, I had the prostate removed in October. It was a soothing operation. I missed Halloween with the grandkids and slept on the couch for a few nights. “We need to keep checking your PSA levels,” I was instructed. 2019 carried into 2020. …
The PSA levels were on the rise. Must have missed something in there. Yeah … why not! Hormone therapy was started, and I was suddenly introduced to the wonderful world of hot flashes and moodiness; I could easily stare off into space for minutes on end. Then the radiation treatments began – five days a week, Monday through Friday, for seven weeks. I had to learn to juggle an intentional full bladder early every morning on my drive downtown to the hospital and then make it to work with as few bathroom stops as possible. Fatigue was a daily companion every afternoon. It was a small price to pay and you learned to live with it. And … throughout this all, a new player raised its ugly head in the early months of 2020 – COVID!
My wife and I were fortunate; both of our workplaces were considered essential and remained open. We were blessed with good health. Laura’s 79-year-old mother, who lives with us, was as spunky as ever. Viral cases seemed to be going down, my radiation treatments ended, and I began to regain back my strength, PSA levels were virtually nonexistent, and the “New Normal” seemed to have traces of the “Old Normal” residing within. It didn’t, however, last all that long!
Presently the entire Hinton Compound has tested positive for COVID-19. This means that the entire Hinton compound is in deep quarantine, regardless of the fact that it’s been over a week since the initial onslaught, a few days after that for our drive-up test through CVS, and roughly four days after that for our results. Hell, we’re already on the mend, yet our workplaces don’t quite see it that way. However, that first ‘sick’ weekend was interesting:
I had my first – in a long time – NyQuil-induced nightmare whereupon “Torry’s Top 10” writer Torry Stiles and I shared a hospital room, and Pork Rinds came for a visit. Mayhem and mirth ensued! Laura learned that my mother-in-law cannot handle NyQuil in any form because it gives her hallucinations. Monsters and ghosts were tormenting her in her room, so in the wee hours of the morning she wandered downstairs to the safety of the couch to fight them off.
Yet, throughout it all, there is still room for praise:
Praise for our Pastor Tony Smith and our family at Elevation Church.
Praise for a simpler and reduced Thanksgiving spread this year.
Praise for our tradition of not observing or even acknowledging any Black
Praise for the improvements we have made to the backyard this year regardless of the pandemic. And … the start of exterior improvements in 2021.
Praise for our health. It could always be a lot worse!
Praise for family, and all that entails.
We all have our praises, and our stories. Each and every one!