It's been 4 years now. A rare condition caused by an extra piece of bone in my shoulder had weakened the main artery in my right arm and lodged clots throughout my hand and arm. Over the coming months, four surgeries were performed to try and save my arm.
The doctor told me he was going to try and save my arm, as he wheeled me into surgery. I found out later that he didn't tell those waiting outside for me the same thing. But as the story unfolded, he in fact was able to repair much of the damage. He called it the miracle arm, and over the weeks I was in hospital, nearly every doctor in the 3000 bed facility came to see it.
Through therapy over the next couple of years, I regained most of the dexterity and a good amount of the strength. I can't do things that require me to work with my hands overhead since only the auxilary blood vessels keep my hand supplied, but at least I was able to relearn how to play guitar.
Bonus time. That's what I call today. This song was already in the works in my head before the incident, but it didn't really take on its meaning until I could learn just how precious every day is.
You don't have to wait to go through what I have to learn how to rightly count the days. Don't waste them.
This next song is a personal story really. I think of it every time I have to move. As we'll be leaving Denver this weekend for Birmingham, Alabama, I was reminded of the time we'd first moved to Ireland.
Home is a strange concept really. It's not so much about where your stuff is as where your heart is. (Often the two are pretty closely connected.) Anyway, it was our third week in Dublin, when as I sat there enjoying my first cup of coffee, a songwriting contest was announced on the radio (the Gaye Byrne Show for those who'll remember.) The song had to be written on the spot and then entered over the phone within the hour. I never got a chance to play the tune because the line was always busy, but I've enjoyed it as much as any song I've created.
It always takes me back to my first discovery of the sea (50 meters from our house), the hillsides south of Dublin, the abundance of children in Ireland and most of all the friendliness that welcomed me and my family to our new home.