It would be inexcusable of me to end this year without thanking the more than 160 regular members of the Kahrmann Blog as well as the thousands from my country and around the world who have visited the Kahrmann Blog in 2007.
It is a humbling thing to know people from my country and from around the world think enough of what I write to read it. It is my sincere hope that all your lives are going well and, if not, that things get better for you. We all deserve to be ourselves in the world safely.
I thought I’d touch on a few things here at year’s end.
WOUNDS AND BLESSINGS
Like any year, 2007 has had its share of both. As some of you know I work throughout the year with trauma survivors, primarily survivors of brain injuries but other traumas as well. Moreover, many of those I work with battle with the demons of addiction, alcoholism. One young man I worked with died this year as a result of the latter and another man my age left this world because of cancer. Not to be left out, I almost died last June when, among other things I discovered I had a heart condition, which is manageable but there nonetheless.
This year has again reacquainted me with the reality that I will not be able to have any real relationship with my 30-year-old daughter and my two grandsons, at least not now. I’ve also had to disengage from a woman I care about deeply. She and her two sons (I love them both) have a safe place in my heart, but whether the friendship resumes is yet to be seen.
Professionally I have gone through some rings of fire but so it goes when you are a human rights advocate. I’ve been one long enough to know there will some blows to endure. And I’m okay with that.
– Best of all, I am still sober. There is nothing more precious to me than my sobriety. Without it, I am done, and I know it. As a sober man for more than five years now, I am finally living life as me. My father’s death when I was 15 robbed me of sacred gift of being myself safely in the world. Sobriety returned it.
– Michael Sulsona. Michael and I have been friends for more than 30 years now and in recent years have realized and voice to each other that we have become brothers.
– Philip and Vincent Sulsona. Two young men that have called me Uncle Peter since they could talk.
– Frieda Coloccio. Frieda is Michael’s other half. She is a miracle in life who knows what loyalty of the heart means; she lives it.
– Atticus and Rowan: Two young men that will always have a place in my heart.
– Bruce Springsteen: God bless you, sir. Many times in life, your songs have helped me through the darkest times. Saw you twice this year and will see you twice next year. I hope someday we meet so I can thank you in person.
– The Kolbowski Family, for letting belong for a time.
– My three dogs: McKenzie, Milo and Charley.
– My survivors: To all the survivors I have worked with and spent time with through this state and beyond. You do more for me than I can ever hope to do for you. I love you all.
– Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela: For continuing to be my guiding lights through advocacy’s toughest days.
– Bill Buse. Thank you, bro, for being the greatest therapist on earth for me, and for believing in me all these years.
– For my daughter, Jennifer and my grandsons, Daniel and Adam.
– For my Dad, who has been my guiding light all my life, even though he left this world when I was 15. You saved me when I was a boy, during the dark days of homelessness and you got me up off the ground when they shot me down, Dad. I love you, I love you, I love you.
REMEMBER TO LIVE AND LOVE YOUR LIFE
This would be my message to you, my reader.
Remember to live and love your life. Don’t miss it. It’s yours. A sweet spring rain, a soft winter snowfall, the laughter of a child, the soul warming taste of good food, all these things are as real as the reality of bills, job titles, income, your looks, your weight, your height and on and on.
Remember to live and love your life. Enjoy the buds of spring, a piece of jewelry just made, a song just sung, a guitar chord played, the rhythm of Latin drums or the soft delicious cadence of a baby laughing.
Remember to live and love your life. Enjoy what’s in the cup you have, don’t let what you think is missing stop you from enjoying what is not.
Remember to live and love your life. Don’t forget to tell those you love that you love them. No such thing as saying it too much.
Have a wonderful New Year…my love and respect to you all.