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When B+ struggles......

POSTED February 19, 2014
BY Timothy W. Gaffney
Twitter: @TimothyGaffney

TORRINGTON: It takes a lot to get me down. I’ve lived through some pretty turbulent times in my life but always took them on with the glass decidedly half to three quarters full.

My blood type is B+. I’ve always been able to find something positive in whatever the mess, regardless of how bleak it may look to others.

It’s something I have taken pride in over the years, regardless of how it might seem to others.

Over the past six weeks as I have recovered from knee surgery after taking a fall in late December, I have found even my positive, ‘things will always work out’ attitude challenged like never before.

Life was good.

I had just retired from Frito Lay to fulfill my lifelong dream of writing for a living with this site which was flourishing and because of the efforts of the tremendous writers at Litchfield County Sports still is but I could no longer go out for a while.

After undergoing knee surgery in early January to repair a torn quad muscle in my left knee, my bright side and positive attitude was flying.

I’d be back, I’d be fine faster than a speeding bullet and nothing would stand in my way.

I had never had to have surgery in my first 55 years, never had more than a sprain or aches and pains that go with being older since I took a head first dive onto that rock paved road when I was but a kid and scared up the area under my nose for life.

At some point, I’m going to do a story about this entire process, from fall to ambulance to emergency room to surgery and back but not today.

Today I want to talk about why the love of family and good friends can bring back even the most positive of persons when they start to lose faith and don’t see the bright side.

Remarkable, that person is me.

As the rotten days of this winter got longer and longer and I, unable to go outside, drive a car, take the garbage out or do any of the mundane things we take for granted and complain about at times, found myself unable to shake the feeling of just feeling lousy.

Call it stir crazy, call it cabin fever, call it what you like. I had it big time and could not shake it.

One thing you usually find with the perpetually positive is that it takes a good long time before we will allow ourselves, if ever, to admit that something plain stinks.

There is no silver lining to this knee injury, I found myself saying to myself.

Not a give up statement but pretty close. All the great things we had done to get LCS to the media position we had worked so hard to get ourselves seemed a distant memory.

If I’m not out there, how can I make it happen?

I am by nature a people person, as my good friend Rick Wilson reminded me today when we talked.

Admitting something is terrible is usually the first step in getting back.

Talking with some of the key people in your life is another step and it started on Monday night.

It started when I talked with my wife Deb, who is simply the strongest human being I have ever met, last night when we were going to bed, I told her how bad I was feeling.

Now understand, everything that goes with running a house, a business and a family had now been dropped unceremoniously right in her lap in late December.  

Work, all the chores around the house that involve anything that isn’t on the top floor of our house, the shopping, taking care of the dog and the cat and being responsible for stretching this annoying knee all fell to the Mrs. Gaffney.

Forget about all this obnoxious snow that keeps laughing at me because it knows I can’t clean it up. I’m the only person who wants desperately to get back to taking out the garbage and letting the dog out. It will be heaven!

We started to recall how things were back the day I got hurt and the following weeks and she reminded me how far things had come since then.

How over the first two weeks, I could not even get myself out of bed with her holding my leg on the way down.  

No worse feeling than not being able to do the basic functions like getting dressed, getting up or jumping in the shower without it being a pre-planned time slot in an already packed schedule.

I spent most of my days and slept on the pull out couch for the next couple of weeks until Deb and our granddaughter Skyy rearranged our room to allow my left leg to be guided by my right in and out of bed.

Things have come along since then, she was right and my mind started to feel better.

On Tuesday, I called to check in with a great friend, Tony Turina, who himself has had a rough start to 2014 and we talked a while, which is always good for my soul.

One of the greatest motivators of all time, one can’t help but feel better once you talk to “The Coach”.

After lunch, I talked with the “Old Soul” of our family, my daughter Jillian who has been a rock for since from the start. She was there the day I was in the ER, the day of the surgery and while 90-minutes away, she is never really not right next to me.

While the snow flew heavy in the eastern portion of the state as opposed to western hills, I had a great conversation with a young lady who amazes me every day with her ability to balance college, work and our grand-dog, Frankie.

My conversations ended mid-afternoon with a call to Mr. Wilson who has been a good ear throughout this entire process as we bounce our highs and lows of life around.

This Litchfield County Sports adventure has allowed us both to do what I am doing today, writing from the heart about something very personal.

Rick is a great friend and the steady hand in this venture and just a great guy to talk to, especially if you’re not having a good day or first eight weeks of the year!

We talked local sports, a little UConn women’s basketball and planned a trip to Storrs on March 1 when I swear (and hope) I’m going to able to fit in the front seat of a car for Senior Night at Gampel.

All in all, I feel more hopeful and understand that everybody is feeling pretty lousy with this downright ridiculous winter, one that has tried to get the best of this B+ guy but in the end will fail.

We have great writers at LCS, Patrick Tiscia has been on top of his game while I’ve been on the DL. John Torsiello has pitched in with some timely features, Marianne Killackey and Mic Nicosia have kept the photo’s flowing.

Mr. Wilson has been, well, Mr. Wilson. Tremendous as always.

I am truly blessed with a great family and friends who are around to help jump start this guy who just needed it this time around.

For more from Timothy W. Gaffney click here