I survived a stroke, three years ago this week. Recovery has been a bumpy road, but one I happily (if a little unsteadily) walk. Or jog. No complaints. Not one. That is not this story.
This is a story of Adventure. With a capital ‘A’. Even before the stroke I tried to live each day as though it were my last. Even more so since. I drag my long suffering wife around with me to enjoy all kinds of new adventures. Mile after mile after mile… hiking trails, driving around Manhattan, swimming in waterfalls. In one case leaping out of a perfectly good plane at 13,000 feet. We’ve done a lot.
When a text box notification popped up on Facebook this week telling me it was three years since my stroke, I thought ‘This isn’t enough. There should be… more.’ I went to work.
As a thanks to my beautiful wife for her support, love, and patience; and as a memory to keep us warm in our dotages, I made the video montage below. It is a labour of love, with some of my favourite photos from this year cut to a song close to my heart. Each photo tells a story, each gives a smile.
Technically, the workflow was quite a mini project. From Camera to Lightroom, Photoshop, After Effects, and Premiere Pro, I created something special, personal, for us. From scratch. No templates. This was all developed by hand, created from a fully grown idea I threw onto an empty canvas.
As a sidebar, 3D spacial calculations are not easy things to juggle around in your head. Worth it. I learned some tricks and overcame some hurdles, and now I have my own flexible template I can adjust to any length song and any number of photos – that makes me very happy. Let’s talk Future.
It’s been a busy Summer. Next year’s will be too. And the one after that. For as long as we go.
As we wind our way slowly closer to decrepitude, senility, and eventual death, I declare once more that I will not go without a smile, and a laugh into the stormy face of life’s challenges. I will fight every step until death takes me, and then I will grin, look him in the eye and say “Hey, boney. Double or quits?”
And why not? None of us will get out of this alive. Let’s face it: Life is fatal. It’s what we do on the journey, and how we face those challenges, that define us.
This video is a nice bookend to our yearly adventures, with enough memories to bring back the highlights. As age takes it’s toll and memory and physical abilities fade, we can look back with smiles.
I plan to keep making one of these each year, for as long as I am able, and for as long as this fine and wonderful woman will walk that path with me. I figure we have another ten or twenty years if she continues to put up with me. By then we will have quite the library of adventures to look back upon.
This video is my Labour of Love. But she was there every step of the way. I would have it no other way.
Together, we will go hand in hand into the future. Whatever it may hold, we will enjoy the adventure.