Glad tidings and blessings to all my fellow Cluster Heads, UNSUNG HERO's and family and friends.
Wow, what a year 2014 has been. So many things have happened in the past year. Globally and in my life.
It has been an enlightening year, educational, uplifting and blessed.
June and July was the worst two months of my Cluster Career. I was near Suicide once again, yet thankfully I was in a much better head space. Emotionally I was able to overcome and still see the light at the end of the tunnel. And with the assistance of friends (no need to name the names, you know who you are). With much education, guidance and support I was able to bust it out.
Having had the worst and best times of my Cluster Career in less than 6 months gave me much gratitude and respect for those never forgetting that there is others who suffer far gravely than I when I couldn't even grasp that thought before in my own torture I endured several hours a day myself. Once having an ounce of relief I was able to channel my focus to those still suffering and give back. And my mission thus started.
Its never been about me. It is not hey look at me. Its always been look at us as a whole and what we endure, overcome and battle daily and what it has made us today. I may have started the decal/book draw, but I take no credit where all the credit came from all of you supporting this journey I am on with all of you. My family and I can not thank all of you enough. From the "Brain Freeze Challenge, to the decals, book and hundreds of emails a week to other survivors out there and phone calls". Thank you for each and every opportunity each of you has given me. Some have been a learning experience. Some have been challenging, some have been poetic. So much love, support and gratitude.
Traditionally, Christmas in my family hasn't been on the positive side of things. Each year we do our best to change history and move forward. Sometimes less family members. Its ok. We move forward, be positive.
Myself and my son are Christians and this time of year its a time to reflect on what is important to us as Christians and that is Jesus. I am not the preacher type. However as a christian. I know i have my faults, and everyday we try to be more God Like and loving. I could personally care or less if I ever got a gift. I much prefer to give than receive. Its just who I am and try to raise our son to be. My wife is not a Christian yet Spiritual and she knows and sees how important Christ is to me and my life. Its an equal amount of respect for one another. Each day we count our blessings despite the cards we and others are dealt and do our best to feed and help the homeless, cluster heads and others in recovery. We are not measure by what we have yet what we do. Ill never be remembered for the 70+cars I have owned in my life yet I pray to be remembered if anything by those my family.
In September my family and I went to Nashville to the Cluster Buster conference which I have blogged about. We have made what we believe life long friends. These people are so truly remarkable. Not because they have Cluster Headaches like me. Because in small or large form these people go way above and beyond and out side their comfort zone to help others. I expected to me 100+ cluster heads in Nashville. I did not expect to meet a 100+ people who I could call family, and do anything for. Even if I am unable to ever attend another conference, we are so grateful for being able to attend. Wow. Just wow. I love each and everyone of you as family.
All the fund raisers I have done...the decals, the book...is all because of YOU. So pat yourself on the back. You all deserved it and earned it. Raising well over $1100+ was because of you. Thank you.
I look back at special dates through the year. Dates that have significant impacts on my life. My wedding anniversary, my sons birthday, days I had brain surgery. There are many days I want to forget too. Heart ache, heart break, cowards and pricks who well...never mind...just rather focus on the good.
These dates are reminders where I been, what has happened to me. Who was there(as usual) and who wasn't. How I want/try to help others and who I learn from. Let it be known...if I don't talk to you. I am watching you silently. Listening, Learning. Taking all the advice and information I can to help. My wife and son is my Unsung Hero and I also have many Hero's in my life I look up to. I won't mention names because they are far to modest to even acknowledge it.
Sadly, as i write this...my beloved "Buster" is on his last days/month(s). Everyday he is a bit worse. We know its coming. We are just praying he goes in his sleep. We rescued him from our front lawn left for dead in the worst possible condition you could leave an animal to a bright white fluffy dog who's only passion is to be loved 24/7. His time is near and as I type this tears roll off my cheek. I am going to miss him beyond words.
Some things in life are lessons. I tell my son every single day "Whatever you do son...make it count...because it affects tomorrow forever". Really its, so true. Everything we go through is a lesson. To yell at the clerk or mistreat them because we wait long in line? That could be your kid behind that counter training....Give them a break.....flipping someone off because they took the parking spot. Chances are they needed it worse than you and looking at myself in the mirror, I need the exercise. .....Buying someone a coffee in the drive through or paying their order....you may have had just made their day. That person could have lost a loved one, got fired or have a family member sick......giving "care packages" for the homeless....it won't change their situation....but it gives them hope that humanity isn't all lost. Be kind to others. Live and let live. Forgive for yourself and move forward.
For my fellow gear heads locally. Spring can not come soon enough. Tire smoking, engines rumbling, exhaust shaking, more power (Tim Allen Grunt- RRR). I enjoy every single moment. Being a 'Gear Head / Car Guy" isn't just buying a car....its a way of life. A culture. I live, eat breath cars, and if I am not on the PC doing Cluster Head stuff....my wife says I am online doing "Car Porn". I am in every sense of the word a Gear Head and proud of it. You can take the Hot Rod away from me....but not out of me.
My goal is that the Cluster-Suicide Headache decal be recognised world wide as a international logo for Cluster Heads. Please feel free to use it on Facebook and Twitter.
As my family and I embark on 2015. Our prayers and well wishes go out to all of you. For pain free days to come. Health to your family. We hope and pray we can all work together as a T.E.A.M. (together everyone achieves more) by advocating this horrid disease to the world. That we help one another, support one another and give to one another.
God Bless you, Merry Christmas with love
Tom and family