four leaf clover

March 22, 2015 at 1:57 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

on the cover of a st. patrick’s day card from a friend-

you’re like a four leaf clover

on the inside-

rare

lucky

kind of a freak of nature

 

i can relate to the lucky and maybe the freak of nature. rare?……… not so much.

to have this life is proof of the lucky.  to have the love of this amazing man, to have this family, to have these friends, there are times it brings tears of joy to my eyes.  do you ever just lay in the bed at night just before you go to sleep and think,  think about how completely awe inspiring life itself is?

when i met him my life was barren, desolate, just plain sad.  a widow of a year and a half, facing my 38th birthday without joy or hope for a better life when he comes walking down the street with a bounce in his step and what can only be described as a jaunty style, he simply glowed in my eyes.

i fell in love that day and have remained so some 23 years later.  that is more than i ever would have hoped for,  everything changed for the better from that moment on. lucky? yes i am, there is something deeper than that though. something so beautiful, spiritual and life altering that i am afraid to question it.  the question i have asked many nights? do i deserve this life?

my belief is we all have a path, a journey, or destiny that is unique to us.  we have choice in the direction or path along the way.  when i first laid eyes on him i had the choice to move forward with this new path presented or to continue on the path i was walking at the time.

to say that i am lucky is an understatement.  he loves me in spite of my being a freak of nature.  every night i think about how lucky i am, how my life journey may end when i close my eyes.  how i am just grateful for the time i have had with him.  he has suggested the possibility of his  going first is just as possible.  this is something i can’t let myself think about.  to live without him seems just wrong on so many levels.  when i explain this to him, he points out that i expect him to bear that burden.

what he doesn’t know is that i am doing everything i can to make sure he has the support system he needs to make it through the event and keep moving forward.  he is loved and cared for by many.  as the time moves closer i try to picture what this path will look like for him.

it is late and my body is ready for the sleep that will restore me and prepare me for the brunch with my lovely step-daughter heather.  i will be meeting my step grandcat tomorrow.  i am lucky to be walking down this path. i am grateful to be walking down this path.  whether i live another day or another week, month or year i am grateful for every moment i have been given.

no, i am not rare, yes i am lucky and a freak of nature.

 

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leaning in to love

March 15, 2015 at 10:42 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

it’s sunday and i have been up for 8 1/2 hours. that is a record for this week.  every day has been much like moving through quick sand.  the angina pain has been relentless once again.  even the nitro has not kept it at bay.

almost every day i have made plans thinking i would rise to the occasion.  it has not turned out to be true.  having to send a text canceling or letting him make the call and the apologies.  each day thinking this day would be different, today i will rise and have the strength to be the companion my love deserves.

my love is so tender when he climbs in to bed next to me.  his hand reaches over and lightly rubs my back.  i love his hands. he says they are gnarly with age but that is not what i see.  i see the hands that held mine in good times and bad for 23 years.  i see the hands that took mine and promised to love and honor me, the hands of the man who has kept that promise.

over the years he has adorned my hands with lovely jewels.  there is none more treasured than the ring given to me on our wedding day.  all i have to do is look at that hand with the ring and remember the love we share regardless of how many hours i am awake.  his love has never wavered, i think i can relax and lean into him much the way i have leaned in to the pain that makes great effort to hold me.  there is no greater comfort, no drug eases the pain in the way holding his hand can.

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the one question and Being Mortal

March 10, 2015 at 6:38 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

there is one question that many of us would like to ask, however, there is no one who can answer this question for us. actually there are some people who swear they have the answer.  while working as a nurse i heard what some thought was the answer.

we think we know what happens at the time of our birth. do we? i think maybe we do and maybe we don’t.  certainly our life begins, the clock starts ticking and moving toward the end of our life.  i am going to say now something i have never uttered to another human being. this is more difficult than you may think. once the words are spoken, or should i say written?, there is no turning back.  i remember waiting to be born.  of course it lost clarity the minute i was actually born.

sounds a bit nutter doesn’t it? well, that is one of the big secrets i have carried around my entire life.  from an early age i knew this was not something to say out loud.  there have been people that swear to near death experiences.  they tell of looking down on their bodies. some say they were visited by family and friends who have gone before them.  most are skeptical i would say.  some want to believe as it answers their own questions about death and what will happen to them.

as a whole i believe many are more worried about that moment than those who have no worries.  for my own death i have no such questions. i just hope that at the moment of death i will have the bravery to face death as i have life.

i have held the hand many times of those who beg for more time, those who simply slip away, and of course the ones who rage and blame their god for their suffering.

some of us understand that life is suffering.  life is also a beautiful and mysterious journey that we walk with others until it is time to walk alone.

it is 7:20 in the morning. i have been alone for many hours now. these are times for reflections.  these are the hours that i hope for a good day.  that i send out love and courage for those who need it and for those who don’t know they need it.  i wrap my arms around you and hold you close.  you are not alone, i will never abandon you until that moment when i have no choice.

it is comforting to know that though i will not be remembered widely, i will be remembered deeply.  what a beautiful thought.  life is beautiful. the moment of our birth is beautiful and i believe so is the moment of our death. for me that is the answer to the one big question we hold on to tightly.  some of us dare not say the words, or write them for fear that others may  not understand or accuse us of wasting our time wondering about something we only truly have answered at the time of our death.

the question? what happens when we die? though i do not rush to death’s door in search of this answer, i do not think of slowing it down. i don’t think of my loss as some have assumed. i do hope i leave enough love and good memories behind to make my passing easier on those i love.  you will have questions regarding your own mortality in those moments.  it is ok to say it out loud, those who love you will understand, and the rest of them can go to the own little hell they have created for themselves.

may you be held in the arms of those you love when you leave this world.  in that sense dying is a bit like being born isn’t it?

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just another night here in georgia

March 1, 2015 at 5:13 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , )

even though i had only slept 2 hours i was up and thinking we could get out a little.  i recognize the signs of cabin fever and want to get him out and about for a few hours.

our first stop is the Cracker Barrell where some of our friends work. big  advantage to have friends in the right places, it  can be getting seated before the 36 people on the bus that arrived just before us.  then we get to see and chat with our friends. it makes breakfast more enjoyable, catching up on the latest.  i can feel the heaviness coming over me.  my body feels slow and it takes an effort to pick up my fork.  i smile and laugh , listen to the stories, watch him smile and bask in the friendship of these ladies that treat him/us very special.  rita comes and sits for a minute, julia our server who told us to come on in and sit at her table even though others were waiting, comes and laughs and shares what is new with her. another friend comes and gives us a hug and asks about our weekend plans, we ask about hers. in the mean time i realize i can’t swallow and so i don’t finish my food.  my ability to swallow has been compromised.  there are times when even fluid can’t be swallowed.  in the past i had tumors blocking my esophagus.  i am not willing to go through more testing and surgeries if this is the issue returned.

on we go to look at new hondas.  he has been talking about them lately but i see a shift now that he is dealing with the reality.  we went to barnes and noble, i was reading yoga magazines and he was checking out consumer reports new car reports.  we went over the cost and how they rate.  several cars were ruled out just because i am not about to pay that much for a new car.  a couple of the hondas fell with what i consider our range.  i then went on to point out how we have had family expenses of 1500,00, travel expensive of 2000 or so and another 1000 for rental expenses.  of course there have been other expenses in addition to these and i don’t want to add another car payment to this total.  he put away the magazine and hopefully is ready to let it go for a while.  the craziness of this is he wants a new car for me! i do not want a new car! i love my car, it is older than we have had up until now. in the past we have traded every 2 years. now that i am retired it just does not make sense.  he will be ok and move on i just have to keep reminding him that i don’t want a new car and he will be ok.

while looking i moved to that phase with my eyes just wanting to close. my knees feel weak. we cut it short and get in our car.  now we are on our way to our favorite book stores, my eyes are barely open, my body melts into the car seat.  we are there and i make every effort to get out of the car and keep the smile on my face.  i head back to the bathroom since i have now moved to the nauseous part of our program.  i manage to make my way to the seating area and am relieved to find seats.  i browse the mag he has brought for me to look at and then i choose a psychologies mag.  he realized how tired i am so offers a bite from starbucks, he gets coffee and i get tea.  we move on to the car.  he gets us back home and in to bed.  i sleep from 5 until 1:30 am.  i stumble awake and know i must eat and take care of a few personal items. it is now 5 am and i am about to head back.  i hope  i do not sleep more than 8 or 9 hours.  we will take it as it comes. the way we always do.

i have a hair appt on tuesday and plans for nails with a friend, rita.  it would be so wonderful if i can do these.  it is the little things that mean so much when you are in my position.  it means so much to know that you still have friends who are flexible and care enough to be there for you whatever that means.  another reason who i miss my friend paula so much.

to my friends here i can only say i hope you know how much your friendship means to me.  to my lovely family who loves and support me through the good times and the bad i love you more than you could know.  to those friends here who have stuck by me and show up when most needed, i thank you and love you.

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