May 17, 2014
March 7, 2014
Instead of taking the time to write here, tapping these little square, black keys, I chose to dump my feelings on the lined paper pages in my pretty journal. A paper cut while turning a quickly filled page
reminded me that life is moving at a fast pace, yet it’s important to still use pen and paper. I write to stay sane. Processing feeling, events, facts, and recording quotes so that I have “proof” that something has been said is important to me.
Parts of life are pushed back into my little mental closets. I don’t like pain of any kind, even though pain helps us to persevere and grow stronger. Other parts of life are the things that I wish I could suspend in front of my eyes so that I can enjoy the JOY and beauty of the moment. My sister’s recent, horrific dental visit (5 extractions without pre-numbing for each shot of novacaine) (yes, really) was an experience I will never forget, while she will never remember because of the sleeping pill that finally took effect. My pain of really missing mom hit me 2 weeks ago and I simply wanted to run away. Running in place has become the new norm. The joyful moments include my little grown up girl’s upcoming wedding. Thankfully, things are rolling right along and for that, I am so thankful. The photo of her in the gown we bought is at the forefront of my memory right now and I smile with sheer contentment. Soon, my 6th grandwonder will be born, hopefully healthy…a little girl. The events of life are like the petals of the rose. Layered. Some with ragged edges. The outer ones kind of flopping open and the inner ones looking crisp and tight. The in-between layers~petals are sensing both ways; feeling the tightness of the inner ones and watching the flopping of the outer ones. I wonder where I am in this. Probably in the middle section with a few ragged edges.
January 26, 2014
This pond appears to have a sheet of plastic wrap on it. At times, I feel as if that is me; living with a protective sheet of plastic on myself. I have lived well since November
yet, there have been difficulties. That’s life here. Thankfully, I am focusing on what is true and good. Right now, what is true and good is that we are loved. We have choices to make. We do what we can to be healthier, though sometimes, I still need that occasional fattening mocha. Fat cells still cling to my body. That will not look pretty when I wear my MOTHER of the BRIDE dress! (I am, however, eating more carefully.).
On December 19th, after requesting and receiving our blessing, a special young man proposed to our daughter. That was a very special moment and Christmas was mostly about what love and marriage and wedding plans would look like rather than the typical Christmas. And that was fine by me! The wedding will be in June, outdoors, and we pray for no stormy weather!
Weather here has been so weird this year. Temperatures in the 60s with no rain means it feels like a dry, dry Spring. I actually love it, but I need to water my bulbs to make sure they bloom nicely. Because of the warmth, I am pining for the beach. Oh, I do so need that kind of a getaway, yet I shouldn’t complain. At least our time in Texas in December was FUN! We did the Indoor Skydiving at IFly in Austin. Now I know; if I ever need a complete release of tension, do IFly. I laughed hysterically when I came out of the fly tube. It was so funny to have that happen to me the 2 times I “flew”. Hysterical laughing after being brave enough to go through with what could be a scary and dangerous experience was my entire being’s way of letting go. Facing and conquering fear was very important to me and definitely moved me forward, emotionally, away from the grief of my mother’s death. Afterwards, I wondered if she was cheering for me from where she is. I imagined her big grin. Maybe the Texas experience, with Brianne’s graduation, the indoor skydiving, the eating at different eateries, meeting Brianne’s future In-Laws, taking pictures in different places, the airplane flights…was all better than a quick trip to the ocean would be. The hard part sometimes, is coming home and getting pulled back into the Home groove with all this pushing and pulling from people who need us for many different reasons. I truly appreciate being needed and wanted but only to a certain level. Then, I am done, finished, needing a whole new break. For now, I don’t see that break happening, and I am still “on call” for my dad and the things he wants accomplished. Maybe after this next week, I can declare myself UNavailable for a little while. I do need to be with people who are not pushing and pulling me, to get out and share time together for a hike with our cameras, coffee/mocha at a favorite cozy, funky coffee shop while we catch up on the latest news (without gossiping of course, because gossiping is just wrong and so passe), walking around the courthouse square because we all need to get some air and extra exercise, stopping at the local women’s shelter to deliver bread and tortillas, going to the Griefshare group,….sitting around doing nothing is not in my reperoitoire.
Alright now. I have used up my words.
November 24, 2013
Thankful posts are all over Facebook. I want to place a Thankful post here, but first, I want to say that I seriously need the sun to shine for more than 5 minutes. Like, maybe tomorrow? Okay, complaint over.
Thankfully, our new windows are IN and not only that, we have shutters on the front 3 windows. I have wanted shutters for years and years. The house now looks and feels cozy and inviting. The money for this project came as a result of the passing of my husband’s parents 5 and 6 years ago. Their deaths bring those emotions of mine up out of storage, but I truly appreciate what they have provided.
I am even thankful for the rain, because it does water the trees and brush and any underground surprises that might appear in the spring. I need to get to the garden store and buy some bulbs because last year I was too depressed to bother. This year, I am desperately looking forward to seeing a pretty assortment of spring flowers here. My mom would be so happy to know that I am “doing better”. Speaking of mom…
Thank you, Jesus for always being with me, in me, through me. If it wasn’t for you, I don’t think I’d be in any operable shape today. Thank you for allowing me to have a dream very early this morning in which I saw mom, clearly younger and gorgeous and smiling on a television screen. In the dream, I was shocked to see her on TV and began sobbing. And that, as You know, is how I woke up. You do know how I miss her and you must’ve comforted me because I was able to fall asleep and feel rested when I woke up again later.
The sense of humor you have instilled in some of our friends is a blessing, along with their smarts about the Bible, specifically when we’re studying YOU, Jesus. I cannot wait to be completely with you.
There have been moments lately where I have gone to the store and silently complained about what is no longer in stock. I have also been grumpy about the fact that some food products no longer taste like the quality they used to contain, such as Kraft parmesan cheese and Quaker Oats and bread. Sizes are dwindling while prices rise. I get it, I really do. Times “are ‘a changin’!” The thing I need to be thankful for is that I do still eat and I can do without the cheese and those oats AND the bread! I think back to the days when I was a poor missionary kid, when we ate nothing but beans and tortillas and fish and on good days, dad would bring home a hen to roast. YUM! I won’t claim that “those were the good ‘ole days” because there was so much pain, emotional and physical. But living on the very basics, living simply and being thankful for that, is SO rewarding, actually. Today, I feel spoiled, because we have a 21 pound turkey in the frig, doing the slow, careful defrost for Thanksgiving din-din.
My family is something to be thankful for and right now, I am so excited that very soon, less than 3 weeks now, we’ll be watching our daughter graduate from her university. Not only that, we’ll get to meet her special guy’s family and go tour a bit of Austin, TEXAS (Big letters for the big state) together. This event is also great because hubby and I FINALLY, FINALLY, FINALLY get to go and HAVE SOME FUN!!!!!!!!!!!!
No matter what A Day In The Life throws at you, give it to God and let Him help you deal with it. That’s where I find more things to be thankful for.
October 27, 2013
I perused through some of the xanga info from Xanga and saw that a guy named John is at the Xanga office in NYC. I’d love to see what’s behind that Xanga door and I wonder why he hasn’t posted since, like, last year. My doubts are inflamed. I hope “they” are really and truly working on things and not just flipping us off.
Life has become a little brighter lately. Our little house is getting new windows. Hubby and I won’t freeze in our little bedroom this Winter. Thank you, Jesus! That portion of the house was an add-on years ago and when hubby tore off the exterior in that corner, he discovered very poor-shoddy workmanship. So, he corrected that along with installing the doublepaned window. Two windows, in fact. A friend is coming this week to help install 4 more windows. Then, we’re finished with that project. Hallelujah!
A week ago, we got out for a little while and took a photostroll through one of our local parks. There is a creek that runs through there, although it’s been dry many times. I was thrilled to see water in it because water makes for prettier pictures. So do golden trees! After our jaunt, we returned home and I put together a fabulous dinner for us three, plus dad and sis. They LOVED coming over for a yummy, homecooked meal and we enjoyed each other’s company. I wish I could do that for them several times a week! Soon, we’ll be celebrating dad’s 83rd birthday. One thing that has happened since mom went to her heavenly home, is that dad and I have a sweet relationship. I am amazed that the frustration and anxiety and sometimes anger I felt toward him “before”, is completely gone. I love him dearly and he is a sweet old daddy and cuter than cute.
This picture is one I took on the day he and mom would’ve celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. He was pretty brave. He looked up to the sky and said “She’s up there” and kind of giggled (maybe to keep from breaking down crying) and then we were on our way.
So, I’m staying on here for awhile to write and post pictures and read what you, my handful of friends are up to. I have hopes that John (?) and the other mystery people at Xanga will truly come through for us and prove me wrong.
October 21, 2013
You are doing a terrible job here. I must say that. I feel so sorry for all the generous people who were duped into giving money to keep xanga alive and not only that, supposedly improved. Several of my friends’ posts are blending in together. They are not separate like they used to be. Also, I’m getting junk from random strangers because of the published email address. I’m beginning to wonder if Xanga has been hacked or given over to hoodlums of some sort. It certainly isn’t the wonderful place it used to be and this leaves a sick feeling in my soul. WHO ARE you? Who is in charge????? You are not by the people, for the people, that’s for sure.
October 12, 2013
I told the doc the other day that even though I have joy in me, I need to find Happy and Fun! I cried a lot. I’m so tired of crying. I realize it’s healthy, cleansing. But the sadness….oy. Fortunately, I’m now on St. John’s Wort and a BComplex and an antibiotic for the sickness that permeated my body. The weather this morning is beautiful; sunny, NOT windy (YAY) and not freezing cold like the other day. Now I feel hopeful for accomplishing what needs to be done around here, although I’m powerless to cut down the dead elm tree out front. I’m also powerless to fix the 2 dead cars out front. Also, I can’t hose insulation into the attic or go into the crawl space under the house to rig up more hose to the clothes dryer. I can only imagine how much lint has gone all over the place down there. And I can’t buy and replace the 50 year old windows or go into the storage shed and dismantle the 8 foot high stack of boxes. Those are the Biggies. I have to focus on the Little things, because it’s much easier for me. The Biggies are up to the Man of the House to get done. He says he will. That has been his “mantra” for a long time and I leave him alone with it. And when nothing changes and I go inward, I ask God, “Why does everything have to be so hard for us?” The answer, I believe, is that He simply wants me to need to be in His spirit, listening to His heartbeat.
October 4, 2013
Oy. Please restrain me, dear God from complaining. Okay, here we go. Thank you God for allowing me to have Bronchitis AND for a spot on my spine to give me such pain. Thank you for knowing that I needed a break from grief and busyness. I just didn’t really want to be DOWN in physical pain. Thank you for reminding me that you love me intimately and speak to me through the pain, showing me how much bigger MERCY for OTHERS is! Thank you for who you use to clip the wings off of my flippant attitude…again. Thank you for shining light on what is most important; not the political or spiritual arguments, not WHEN are we EVER going to fix the front yard, not WHY is OUR house the one with the dead car/flat tire out front, not HOW soon can I get to the city to find new jeans that will fit me right, not blah, blah, blah~You are so loving and patient with me and I want to share that with everyone. And thank you for the chiropractor who will hopefully be able to help me because the pain feels like the fire in that flower in the high desert.
September 17, 2013
Through the dining area window and over the fence, I have admired the growing ~more~ gorgeous crop of flowers. Why didn’t God bless my yard with such “green thumbness”? It was okay, however, because at least, she planted them in that particular spot, never dreaming of what a healing blessing they would become.
We’d been out of sorts for years; on again, off again sort of friends. Turmoil invaded their family through drugs and abuse and anger. Lots of anger. Also, sneaky manipulation, which I discovered was a product of the addictions. The cops came and went, the yelling began and stopped and began and stopped. And that was just what happened on their side because of their behavior. I won’t waste time here with how their life choices affected us.
One day, I finally realized the meaning of grace and forgiveness. The WHOLE meaning. God gave me the opportunity to go over there and apologize to pretty neighbor for how I wrongly “handled” things at times. I ended up sobbing as she hugged me and acknowledged that she, too, had mishandled things. After the tears, hugs, apologies and declarations of building a new friendship, we were on new footing. Now and then, we had the chance to say Hi and How’s “it” going, etc. Then came my mother’s cancer diagnosis news. Pretty neighbor promised to pray and think positive. Summer rolled along and each of us was so busy, we didn’t get to say Hi…a smiley wave was good enough, but rare. One afternoon, hubby and I pulled into our driveway and got out of the Xterra. Pretty neighbor was coming toward us and I suppose our emotions were all over our faces because she stopped in her tracks and voice wobbly asked, “what’s wrong, what happened?” My mom died. Oh, the hugs and tears. I cry quietly now as I recall that moment.
The other day, pretty neighbor came to my door, holding the most gorgeous bunch of her flowers., cut from that very spot I’ve been admiring. A gift. For me. You can imagine, I hope, how glorious that was and is. Healing takes time. This is the fruit of forgiveness.
September 6, 2013
My mother didn’t look beautiful at death. However, I still KNEW she was beautiful. While her spirit went to heaven to rejoice, my spirit felt tired. While I desperately needed to be held or touched ONLY by her, her body was now a cold shell. While her fingers~hands became smaller and bony, yet NOT curled in (thankfully), mine felt weak from the times I helped to change her, move her, feed her, cuddle her, change her bed (along with my older sister)…long before the friend and hospice home care lady and younger sister came. They were the younger ones with more umph than I and older sis had. Older sis is a saint. She, in her developmentally disabled and not great physical shape did everything she could to help mom. There came a point when she and I needed help. Younger sis fluttered onto the scene like a determined angel. Then her hubby came and the 2 of them decided to spend a few nights there, no doubt thinking they could “do this”. I was so grateful that they came to the rescue. It didn’t take long for them to see that we ALL needed more help, much more help as mom’s condition was now beyond just us. We called in the troops! They called Hospice and got that ball rolling. (THANK GOD for Hospice!) Also, our “adopted” big sister from Pennsylvania arrived to my house at 2 a.m. one day after our dear, extremely enthusiastic friend from California came. In those next few days, I felt comforted, yet overwhelmed in a different way. If there was ever one piece of advice I’d give to people going through this, it is: Let your desires be known, heard. Don’t be afraid to speak up. Because of circumstances, I was denied the privilege of helping to dress my mom in her final outfit, the beautiful butterfly top that she would wear when her body would be taken out of the house. At first, I was angry. Now, I am not, because in the grand life puzzle, the pieces were put together by someone else. I can exercise power in other ways, not to harm anyone, but to help myself feel comforted, in control. And that is why I take pictures; capturing life moments as they present themselves to me.
September 5, 2013
Okay. Hubby says he’ll try to figure this out with me/for me. He knows how important it has been for me to sit here and write and post my photos and share encouragement and advice with my wonderful friends. So, Xanga, we’re ON. Just please help me post my photos! Pretty, pretty please. Insert heart of Love here.
This new format is horrible. I don’t have the time to mess with it. People at Xanga, please refund my money as I will not be using this place to post my photos and words; it’s beyond me. Change is great for some, but right now, I’ve had enough change in my life. I didn’t need this one on top of everything else. I didn’t realize how hard it would be! I had my head in the grief cloud, not even knowing what wordpress would mean.
August 26, 2013
Dad told us on Saturday that the mailman delivered a box and mailman said “Did you lose a pet or something?” It’s a good thing I wasn’t there and the one to receive that box with a label/sticker that read “cremated remains”. I think I would’ve began crying and angrily scolded him for being a complete idiot because that was my mother’s body’s dust.
A variety of frustrations continue after this loss. I know, it’s normal. Life could be worse. I’ll finally write Thank You notes. This weekend I have a photo shoot to do; hallelujah, a paying one. Maybe today, I’ll scare up some energy and do a little workout routine to begin my new NOW, Take Care of Gail stage. I wish Sues could’ve stayed longer; what a dear cousin. But, as much as I’d love to beg her to move here, her life is near Philly. At least she got an inside scoop on how things are here in Podunk.
I have beautiful flowers and cards to look at. I’m so thankful that I know so many wonderful people who reach out because they truly care. God bless every single one.
Okay, time to get my sore hip out of this chair and DO something.
August 23, 2013
Sunflowers and butterflies are all over the place. I haven’t been able to capture the butterflies with my camera. They flit and fly around. They remind me of my mom and the blouse my sister dressed her in before “they” took her body away. The blouse had butterflies in it. As I stood by a bench down the street from mom and dad’s house, talking on my cellphone to my daughter who’s in Texas, a butterfly wafted by. RIGHT in front of me. It was as if God did that on purpose to give me some kind of comfort message not long after mom passed into heaven.
This evening, a massive thunderstorm blew in over our little mountain town. The lightening was all over the place. Startling, riveting, scary and beautiful. The storm made me forget about the butterflies and sunflowers. My mind conjured up sadness, though I know the feeling~mood will not stay. I’ll probably lay awake in bed and think what I’ve been thinking every night now for awhile; how mom looked “near the end”, what we could’ve done differently, what is she doing right now, how is dad coping without her, etc.
Please, God, let the sun be shining tomorrow. Please let my sister and I sing beautifully in our mom’s memorial service. Please help me hold my nerves and tears until I get home. And then, help me to just finally relax so I can have a good emptying kind of cry. I just want to be done and then carry on with whatever a new normal will be. No more sorrow. Please. Thank you.
August 18, 2013
On Monday, August 12th, at 4:12 in the Arizona afternoon, mom’s spirit went to be with Jesus. My comfort is knowing that she is THERE and not floating around in nothingness. When I took this photo of her and Brianne, we didn’t know yet how serious her condition was. We knew that we needed to make the most of the time we had with her. So when Brianne came home in June to sing in her friend’s wedding, mom wanted to see Brianne in her almost 60 year old wedding gown. I wore the same gown 33 years ago. The sight of my daughter in that gown took my breath away. Mom’s eyes were teary. This was a special moment that I will never forget and it was only for mom, Brianne, me and hubby. Maybe Brianne will someday wear that gown, slightly altered, for her own wedding, and her “Mommom” will be smiling on her from the heavens. Oh, how I miss my mommy and my Briannie who is in Texas.
July 31, 2013
Flowers for Mom, sent by her dearest, oldest firiend (91 year old friend)Mom’s been so very emotional and loving as she sees what all we’re willing to do for her. She’s very appreciative and she’s drinking in all the love and attention. She also says some weird things, depending on what the meds do to her. I never dreamed I’d be in this situation with her and that includes cleaning up a mess that should have landed in the hospital style portapotty. I’ve seen her in a way that I haven’t seen her in since I was a child. And guess what, little old me? It wasn’t so traumatic after all, was it? We just forge ahead with a heart of determination and compassion and the ever-loving spirit of God.I wish I could claim that my head is spinning with all the information I’ve absorbed with this cancer experience and hospice, etc. But no. I can actually claim that my brain is fried, my neck is stiff and sore, my left ear hurts back into my head and makes me think now that maybe I have a brain tumor. Silly me. Getting overtired and paranoid. That’s not very trusting, is it?Tomorrow is a new day for more exhaustion and opportunities to eat too much of the wrong things, such as chips and brownies and ice cream. My reasonable side says, we’ll eat salad and tuna sandwiches on healthy, homemade oat bread, in between taking care of business with mom and an older sister who needs to be reinstated into the social security system. oy. And that’s just life with them.Life at our house continues and it feels different. It’ll probably never feel like it used to because of mom and her cancer. It’s interesting how someone who shares your genes and gave you life and proceeds to go into the dying process can affect your entire being and existence….no matter where you are or where you go. The connection is never broken….like a cell phone call going into your ear and it never ever stops….and you don’t even have to keep talking.SO many people have been very thoughtful with their words and actions to help me/us through this. When I say Thank You, those words sound so helpless, so NOT ENOUGH! I feel so little. No, wait. I feel so teeny and feeble. But then a surge of beautiful Someone, Jesus, comes through and reminds me that He is everything I need and that the Thank Yous ARE enough, because people who know me, know that I truly give thanks from every cell in my being.
July 16, 2013
Earlier, the above scene was something I enjoyed from our car ride home from the Phoenix Airport. I’m so thankful that Brianne and “her” Ryan are here now and visits with Mommom will be cherished. I wonder if Brianne will cry when it’s time to tell her good-bye. I know mom will cry…she did the other day with the grandkids she hadn’t seen in several years.ANYway, being at the airport was so fun. I just love that place. There are people going hither and thither and yon, hauling fancy backpacks and pulling all kinds of luggage and babies and people being pushed along in their wheelchairs by assistants who seem to be pushing them beyond the speed limit. I was glad to stop at the Starbucks to get my “go juice”. I thanked the “barista” for being so pleasant. Last time we were there, we had quite the grumpy one. If I worked at that Starbuck’s, I’d be a ray of sunshine to all who came my way.It’s so late now, I can hardly stand it. Tomorrow, we’ll be running errands. Ryan has a job interview, I need to do a bank errand and then Brianne and her Ryan will go with me to mom and dad’s for awhile. Oh yes, and we have to make the bread pudding. Then, I need to finish editing photos I was asked to take at the funeral of one of the now famous 19 firefighter-hotshots that were killed. I was very discreet with the photos and most of them are from outside (not cemetery). I truly believe God was putting my finger on the button at certain times. And if ever I am asked to take pictures at an event like that one, I will say No. It was just. so. hard. You can’t take pictures and cry at the same time. I can’t, anyway.Without the benefit of advil p.m., but with the aid of do’terra Balance oil drops, I will lay my head down onto my squishy pillow and relax. Then pray. Then sleep. I hope.
July 15, 2013
I see that not many people are on here anymore, so I’ll write as if to myself. Which is how I should’ve written all along. Goodness, are we tired, or what? I truly am drained, but I did take today off from a long streak of days with poor mom. I can only see so much pain. Thankfully, her meds work pretty well, as long as Mar keeps up with the timing of them. We’ve made several changes that help mom. The whiteboard that says what day it is, along with a happy verse. The hospital bed that Patrick from Hospice brought yesterday. The little hospital table is convenient, too. I made bread pudding with yummy raisin bread for mom and dad to eat. Mom enjoyed a little at a time. I am SO glad she’s eating better this week. She sure scared us when she quit eating and slept all the time. That awful morphine is not the answer if you want to be coherent for the last part of your life. If it wasn’t for my siblings coming up here to help, I am pretty sure I would be a pile on the rug right now. Nervous breakdown averted. And I don’t even dare dream of a vacation. Nope. That’s for people who get to just enjoy life right now. I am not one of them. However, I am not bitter. I am resolved to just take one day, even one moment at a time and focus on NOW, which is hard when I’m in bed trying to go to sleep and all I can think about is, “I wonder if mom is hurting right now? I wonder if mom is trying to get out of that bed and walk BY HERSELF (on very weak hip and legs) to the bathroom? I wonder if mom is singing in her head right now? I wonder if mom is crying right now?” My goodness, Lord, I cannot take much more of this.A heart in the clouds.