Goodbyes are never easy

I bid farewell to some very dear friends today. Ones I’ve known for 40 years and more. Good times, bad times, true friends always come through and mine have always been there for me. But to be honest, we’ve grown apart in recent years. My health has declined several notches and so I don’t do as much with them as I once did.

My vision has declined to the point where I needed to replace the lens in my right eye last May. I only have vision in that right eye, so the procedure was a pretty big deal.  And I had to choose between being able to see well at distances or see well up close. Artificial lenses don’t have the capabilities that we were born with. If both my eyes worked I could have chosen one of each type of new lens, switching between eyes to see both near and far. But I don’t have that luxury with just one eye.  Which prompted me to chose and I gave up the ability to see well at close range and now my  friends, my tools (thousands of dollars worth if I were to replace them) are no longer of any use. While I can focus somewhat at close range, using high strength glasses, I have no depth perception with this new lens and now building, repairing, replacing all the things I’ve done in the past is no longer an option. After decades of using my tools daily for putting food on the table and a roof over my head, we have gone separate ways.

But through the tears, and I can tell you stories about every hammer, screwdriver, pliers that I have, there is a happy ending. One of my nephews has just been selected to be a trainee pipefitter, and he appreciates a good tool. For Christmas, I gave him all I have and we are both the better for it. Now my old friends can keep my nephew’s eventual grandchildren in good company. It’s a proper fit.

This past year, recovering from a near-fatal overdose of a tainted medication, followed by a near-fatal hospital stay where I contracted a serious hospital-borne infection, I decided that it was time to visit South America. A corollary to that decision was the decision to reduce my belongings to a single suitcase. The thinking being that when I croak, why not make it easier disposing of my remains by not having many remains to dispose of? So I have a goal. I am now more than 90% there compared to what I owned less than 2 years ago. AND IT FEELS GREAT!!

In 2 weeks I leave Honolulu and I will be arriving in Quito, Ecuador late in the evening of the 23rd of January, 2015. This is my first entry on this new path. You’re invited to come on along. I think that together, we can discover some of the wonder of Latin America.

3 thoughts on “Goodbyes are never easy

  1. nalomacs

    Welcome to the blogosphere amigo. Looking forward to what’s next. For now perhaps you could explain the scene in the photo above. Que pasa esta?


    1. kmalivuk Post author

      Tim, Thanks for the cheer. I’m way behind in my correspondence and hope to catch up tomorrow. The photo is from my Guatemala trip (I haven’t posted any Quito images yet, stay tuned). The man in the foreground was so iconic that I had to grab a quick shot (with your camera by the way!)). He is bringing an offering to the altar where the other men are preparing a casket for clothing a mannikin of the Christ figure. It was Good Friday in a small village on the shore of Lago Atitlan. The other men, with the Holy Aerosols 😉 are spraying everything in sight. With the light behind them the scene was so moving that I had no choice but to capture it. Every time someone brought out a new fabric the squad of spraymasters would saturate everything in sight. Each of them were getting drenched but it was so solemn that I was riveted to the sight. Back later.


  2. Roberta Lipson

    Our love goes with you, Karl. We so look forward to reading about your adventures in Quito and beyond. What a guy!
    All the best,
    Roberta and Bill



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