i am definitely not an angel my friends

December 11, 2015 at 3:13 am (dying, end stage congestive heart failure, gratitude, how does it feel to die, living with dying, the dr. says) (, , , , , , , , , , )

my dear blog friend Terry wrote this.  i am posting it here as i have something i want to say and her post may or may not have an impact on what your response to it is.  i know mine has changed over the day.

here it is-

Dear Sandra, My Friend
Posted on December 10, 2015
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You were an angel
Who came into my life
When my brother was sick
You wiped tears from my eyes.

We remained friends
After he passed
You grew in my heart
A friendship to last.

My heart always breaks
When I read your new blogs
You are much stronger than me
Keeping faith in your logs.

Although we have never met
Your heart has touched mine
I love you dear friend
I don’t want to ever say goodbye.

You have fought more than some
You have seen all the best
If you feel you are tired
Lay your head down and rest.

I want you to know
I pray every day
For more miracles to happen
Along your life’s way.

I love you dear friend
Written by ,
Terry Shepherd

Dedicated to my good friend, Sandra C.

Written on December 10, 2015

i have never felt terry or really any of my friends here on the word are insincere in their words to each other.  that is why this caught me off guard.  i have never thought of myself as an angel.  not even sure i believe in them.  terry is very much a believer and follower of her faith. she has given her life in the care of others.  her family has been in need of her care most of her life and now she has her own health crisis.

if you read her poem you will read her desire for a miracle.  not that she expects one but she hopes.  where there is hope there is life?? today i managed not only to take a shower but to wash my hair.  this is rare.  my hair is quite long and before i read this poem i thought what an incredible. day.  after what would normally have me on the floor gasping for breath i was able to walk to the car, ride to the salon where we get our nails done. oh yes, he now gets a pedicure and today he got a manicure.  afterward we went to our local eatery.  i was not sure i could walk out of there on my own steam, i was so beyond tired and my oxygen was running out.

when we got home he went in and got a new tank.  tank changed, we walked in to the house together.  i was starting to swell with fluid so i knew i would have to take another pill. actually i would have had to do that anyway.  so there was this small “miracle” here in cartersville.  given how i have suffered over the past month it never occurred to me that i would be able to do so much in these few short hours.

is this a miracle? is it the medication i have been taking? is a combination? i don’t really need to know.  it happened, i accept it and have gratitude.  maybe that is enough.  buddhism teaches that we are our own savior.  i was raised believing this. we must call on our own strength to get through these situations.  there is no one to rescue us.  this is not a bad thing.  it teaches us to look inward for the answers rather than asking why has this happened or why hasn’t this happened.   we may go through some event that can keep you stuck or we can accept that event as part of our journey.  we don’t need to know why something happened.  life is random and stuff happens.

when i go to the v.a. i am usually surrounded by men who are stuck in whatever war changed them.  whatever has kept them stuck there.  i have seen some pretty scary things in my lifetime.  i have experienced events that are rare and in some cases the people this happens to just gets stuck there.  it is not that i am better or worse than them.  i simply have found a way to accept and move on.

last night when i blogged the truth is i was ready to go.  if i could just see my family through the holidays i would then be ready.  today i wonder if that would be premature.  so i will wait. i can wait. give it time so i am sure.  it requires great balance.  i am no angel, i am oh so human and frail.  i make the best decisions i can, however, i am only human.  i welcome this day and the blessing of my few hours out.  my darling needed ti as much if not more than i did.

so i am going to go eat some of the best cookies EVER that a friend baked and brought to the house.  maybe that was the beginning of my awaking.  maybe it is terry’s poem.  i don’t know and i am ok with that.  i am grateful for the prayer and i am grateful for the cookies:)

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the diary of anne frank

November 2, 2015 at 4:15 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , )

just about every kid in the u.s. has been required to read the diary of anne frank.  i have a few books that i have read multiple times, each time having new thoughts and even discovering a turn of words that i now see in a different way.  before living in germany i dreamed of some day visiting the camps and more importantly the last place this brave young girl lived out the last days of her life.

“where there is life, there is hope.” anne frank.  she was so young and had done nothing to deserve what was going to happen to her and her loved ones.  don’t worry i am not about to compare myself to anne frank.  we all have words that touch us deeply and guide us through life.  these seven words have gotten me through some pretty extreme situations.  after all if this young girl could be so incredibly brave and still believe there is hope how can i not?

these past two weeks have definitely challenged my desire to honor these brave words.  it has been a two full weeks since i went to the dr.  at the time i mentioned having all the symptoms of a sinus infection.  these are routine for me and expected on a regular basis.  later that evening i was coughing uncontrollably and realized that i had been doing so for at least a week maybe two prior to this visit.  as the days went on i had fever and the exhaustion became worse.  the feeling of drowning whenever i tried to lie down convinced me that i most likely had pneumonia.  i have had this before, however, since the symptoms can indicate other illnesses it can be difficult to nail down (without an x-ray that is).  the dr had given me antibiotics so i thought and still do think that it is just a matter of time for it to clear up.

tonight i am not so sure.  maybe i haven’t been sure for two weeks.  where there is life there is hope i tell myself.  our family had been planning for months to all meet in hilton head, south carolina.  there was going to be a car show and everyone had the bug to share this event.  as the time came closer, it was this weekend, it became clear that i would not be able to go.  although angie had been a part of the planning and had some great ideas for family fun time away from the car show.  she immediately stepped up and insisted she stay home with me.  my sweet man was so torn i felt relieved when he finally headed out.  up to the last moment he would say “what if something happens while i’m not here?”

whether it is from the anemia or the heart failure or the possible pneumonia my exhaustion reached a new high.  sleeping was and is difficult.  if i lie down my breathing becomes strained and rattles.  i use my inhalers with little to no effect.  dozing for periods of time only to wake in near panic as my breathing becomes impossible.  the fluid retention is more serious than it has been to date.  if i thought i had difficulty before this raises the bar to an all new high.

let me walk you through this.  if i were to stand behind you with my hands locked around you in the position to perform the traditional motion for someone choking, then suddenly squeeze and push against your solar plexus you would experience what i am on a continuous basis.  this isn’t to elicit sympathy.  i say this in order for my next thought to be easier to understand.  these words that have resonated with me for most of my life have taken on a new vision.

i see this young girl writing in her diary what a young girl believes, where there is life, there is hope.  it was the hope of a young girl who had not yet truly lived her life.  she hoped for an end to this insanity that had her life on hold.  on the other hand i am on the other end of the time line.  i have hope, it just isn’t the hope of a young girl with her whole life ahead of her.  tomorrow i go to get cross typed and matched for the blood transfusion i am to receive on tuesday.  it has to be done through the outpatient dept due to the congestive heart failure.  transfusions are risky for us.  it is clear to all that i need this, my concern is with my obvious increased fluid retention i may not be a candidate.  my hope is that i am able to have the transfusion.  if not then i hope for relief to come after the holidays.  i ask for this not for myself but for my family.  it would forever leave a dark cloud over future holidays for my grandchildren.  for the rest of their life it would be sitting there in their heart.

so here is my where there is life there is  hope, i hope to spare my loved ones the memory of this loss to be forever linked to what should be a joyful time of year.  i hope to see them over the next couple of months.  i hope to leave with dignity.  i hope to leave knowing that those i love feel my love for them.  and dare i hope for you?  i hope that you know the kind of peace of mind and heart that i have been blessed with.  i hope that you are loved the way we are meant to be loved.  i hope that you leave that door open no matter what has happened in your past.

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Dr. Phil can’t help everyone

October 7, 2015 at 11:17 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , )

a couple of nights ago i was sitting here asking myself just how bad does it have to get before i get off this ride?  for a couple of weeks my ability to breathe has gotten worse.  that sounds so minor when i read it.  try to imagine that you can’t say more than one word without gasping for breath.  walking from one room to another is the same as running 10 miles, having a conversation becomes more effort than it is worth.  eating is difficult ,even if you have not eaten for over 24 hours, so much so that you gasp in between bites until you give in and just give up.  i say this not to complain, rather to explain how a person can reach the end of their hope for a better day tomorrow or even soon.

while i am thinking about this angie and i decide to watch a dr. phil that i had recorded one day.  i try to record a wide variety of shows that i can watch either on my own, with chris or with angie.  some times it is tough to find something that isn’t a program i enjoy just with either one of them.  not this one because he and i always watch this or not this one because angie and i enjoy watching it together.  they both love funny and they both love the british mysteries and comedies.

back to dr. phil, this show was about a young man who has stage 4 liver cancer.  three years ago he was given 6 mos. to live.  the show was about his parents being upset that his wife is emotionally abusive to him.  of course there is always so much more to the story.  the young man’s name is nick and his her name is star. the parents say that star hits their son, refuses to take him for treatment, has had multiple affairs and on and on.  she says they both get physical and he is much larger than her, he is skeletal and weak looking. she is at least two feet shorter than him.  most of the time was just accusations flying back and forth.  nick even complained that his parents get in the middle.  finally the good dr says they (parents and wife) need to just shut-up.  very professional:) and my thoughts exactly.

bottom line the wife is told she doesn’t have the right to waste one minute of this man’s time.  the parents get a dressing down as well.  why isn’t anyone asking how to make his life better phil asks.  his parents seem to think if he came home where he was living before he was diagnosed he could live longer.  they also seem to think star wants the life insurance.

one thing lost in all the noise, as far as i was concerned, is just how difficult life can be when one partner has a terminal illness. star brought this up, she went in to how she is the only one working (he is a veteran but got ill after discharge), they have two children to care for and it is a nine hour trip one way to go for his treatment which is once per month.  she asked if she had a right to some happiness in her life and while i was thinking of course she does, no one else seemed to hear her.

living with someone who has a chronic or terminal illness is not for the faint of heart.  one of the reasons i am so grateful to my sister for moving here is so my honey can have a life.  he doesn’t want to go anywhere without me due to his concern for my having an emergency while he is not here.  however, i try to remind him that he cannot just sit here next to me all the time.  he will go to play bridge on thursday afternoons but not to eat with his friends afterward unless i go too.  he plays poker once a month but there have been times he has not wanted to go because he was worried about me.  we have gotten past these times but i have to say things are much easier now that she is here.  of course i worried about her in the beginning.  it seemed like she was taking things to seriously.  now that she has been here for a few months she goes out every day with a friend or to yoga classes.  she still drives me to almost all appts.  monday she starts a new job and so her life will go back to more normal.

putting all this in to prospective helps. yes i am getting worse and there are times i wonder when is it ok to say enough is enough?  as much as i love my family and want to spend however long i can with them i also know that they would not want me to suffer past a certain point.  finding that point seems more difficult at times like these.  what i know for sure is i would not want to be in nick’s shoes.  i am grateful for the family and friends i have been blessed with for sure.  it would be better to be alone going through this than to be with the kind of people he is dealing with.  actually i don’t think you have to be terminally ill to know that you want to be treated with love and kindness by those in your life.

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House of Cards

June 2, 2015 at 12:28 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , )

we are watching a political show named House of Cards.  the main characters are kevin spacey, who plays a senator from South Carolina. he is married to Robin Wright who is the director of a non-profit agency to bring water to people in 3rd world countries. this is a couple willing to do anything to get what they want. we are sharing our perception  of this fictional couple.  we decide they are “driven.”

chris: what drives you?

me: you tell me….

chris: i guess it is your core values and wanting to do good when you can.  you are one of the most……. (fill in a lot of flattering words).

me: do you really think those are the reasons i get up every day? i am no saint and you know it better than anyone.

chris: i have never met anyone so blah blah blah…

me: i’m going to ask again, what do you think drives me?

chris: love for your family, friends, the cats……… and me.

me:  at this stage i would have no reason to get up, get dressed, take a shower, take all the pills, if it weren’t for the love of one man…. that would be you.  you have to know that.  i have love for all and it starts with you.

chris: i know i am a part of the reason….

me:  honey it all starts with you.  now let’s get back to our show and just enjoy them for who they are and be happy that we don’t treat each other the way they do.  i will expect full disclosure on what drives you and it better be good:)

don’t tell him but i completely adore him!

how lucky am i?? bring on that stage 4 kidney failure!!  i got this….

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oh you silly human:)

June 1, 2015 at 1:38 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , )

my perception is we go about our life with the false impression that we are in control.  we are the captains of our ship even.  oh we humans can be so silly when it comes to understanding life.  so many of us, myself included, face each day with some routine.  we are up, showered and head off to our job or get the kids to school.  that isn’t the norm for even more of us.  we are in accidents or someone we love is hit with some devastating news.

no we can not control what happens to, usually that is.  when we become terminally ill it hits us that the illusion of control has gone.  now we are at the mercy of our body, the body that has betrayed us.  no that isn’t what i believe.  i believe we can accept that we were never in control.  all the type a’s are having a fit right now:)  with each change we grow and learn even more about ourselves and the world around us.  we can become more loving.  when i became ill i was given the greatest gift of all.  true freedom.  freedom to know who i am not just who i say i am.  it is easy to have ideals, however, life gives you this freedom to show your self to your self.  what good is faith if you never have it tested?

this begs the question……. why not test your self before this journey is ending?  i feel a comfort knowing that i have done just that throughout my life.  my beloved man has done this. he is someone who does not just talk about making the world a better place he actively works on making that happen.

my younger sister has been doing this more and more in her life and i see her becoming the woman she is meant to be.  it makes me proud to see her challenging herself and not taking the easy way out.  no she is stepping in to the unknown to make the world a better place. when she talks about the good she wants to do in this world i am humbled and filled with pride.

i have a cousin, actually two of them, she is facing a long and difficult road.  i know that she lives a life of purpose.  no matter what happens she can leave this journey knowing how her faith has been tested and how she has risen to the top.  her sister is going through some surgeries herself and her road has not been an easy one.  i love them and think of them more than they know.  there is too much ground to cover with our story, i just want to say that these are good women and they were raised by loving, caring parents.  my uncle was a great man who did great works.  he is a true believer and i am sure that brought his family some measure of comfort.  my aunt is still with us and i smile when i think of her.  she is a force to be reckoned with for sure.

more talk of them some other time.  a couple of weeks ago i was admitted to the hospital.  nothing unexpected, nothing to be done at this time.  there are five stages of kidney failure/function. in stage five it is dialysis or kidney transplant, i have quietly slipped in to the stage four.  in fact i am on the precipice of stage five.  there will be no transplant for me.  too risky and really a waste of a kidney that someone else would benefit from.  i would ask in fact that if you are reading this you say a prayer, light a candle or just send healing thoughts to my cousin, she will hopefully receive the organ she needs so.

it is my greatest hope that i have never thought i was in control.  i hope that i have kept my heart, eyes and ears open.  i hope that i have loved well and been a good human bean.  i hope that i have made my family and loved ones proud to know me. i hope that i make those who have gone before proud.  we can be silly us humans, thinking we are in control…….

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be kind to yourself

May 3, 2015 at 6:13 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , )

As I’ve aged, I’ve become kinder to myself, and less critical of myself. I’ve become my own friend.

I have seen too many dear friends leave this world, too soon; before they understood the great freedom that comes with aging.

Whose business is it, if I choose to read, or play, on the computer, until 4 AM, or sleep until noon? I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the 60 &70’s, and if I, at the same time, wish to weep over a lost love, I will.

I will walk the beach, in a swim suit that is stretched over a bulging body, and will dive into the waves, with abandon, if I choose to, despite the pitying glances from the jet set..
They, too, will get old.

I know I am sometimes forgetful. But there again, some of life is just as well forgotten. And, I eventually remember the important things.

Sure, over the years, my heart has been broken. How can your heart not break, when you lose a loved one, or when a child suffers, or even when somebody’s beloved pet gets hit by a car? But, broken hearts are what give us strength, and understanding, and compassion. A heart never broken, is pristine, and sterile, and will never know the joy of being imperfect.



I am so blessed to have lived long enough to have my hair turning gray, and to have my youthful laughs be forever etched into deep grooves on my face. So many have never laughed, and so many have died before their hair could turn silver.

As you get older, it is easier to be positive. You care less about what other people think.

I don’t question myself anymore. I’ve even earned the right to be wrong.
So, to answer your question, I like being old. It has set me free. I like the person I have become. I am not going to live forever, but while I am still here, I will not waste time lamenting what could have been, or worrying about what will be. And I shall eat dessert every single day (if I feel like it).

i have no idea where this came from and i hope i will be forgiven for repeating what may belong to someone else.

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the irony of Being Mortal

April 12, 2015 at 4:21 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

there are so many things i want to say.  the most difficult thought for me to impart is the physical pain and exhaustion i feel every day.  most days i sleep until the afternoon, or the early evening.  when i get up to use the bathroom, often with the hope i can get my day going, it takes so long i worry about making it in time.  that is a shameful thing to share here with you but how can you understand if i am not honest here.  there is pain throughout my body constantly now.  i can feel each and every fiber of my body, with the exception of the times that i have the numbness from neuropathy.  often i stagger and find it hard to prevent myself falling.

i was naive to think i could keep doing this blog at a normal pace when i am progressing with my heart failure. of course there is also the (non-alcohol) related cirrhosis of the liver. there is a long list of other complications that i find too tedious to list.  when i am awake but unable to actually get out of bed or out of the recliner i think of things that i want to make sure i say.  i often look at my laptop sitting a couple of feet away and am over-whelmed with the idea of actually picking it up. then there is the part of putting together comprehensive thoughts.

a couple of months ago we watched a documentary about a doctor who wrote  a book entitled Being Mortal.  he wanted to understand how to have better conversations with patients who were terminal and had reached the point where modern medicine could no longer enhance their life.  his own father was diagnosed with cancer and they found it difficult to have a conversation about what was about to happen.  the ironic thing was he said “what i found missing in every book was the voice of the patient.” yet here he was writing about the subject of dying and again there was not one patient voice. it was other drs explaining how they were handling talking to patients about palliative care rather than further treatment.

as time goes by i have more understanding. patients are just too damn tired and don’t want to use valuable energy to teach healthy people how to treat them.  for the second time in just a few months i have heard friends relay to me that they have not seen someone who they are friends with, and the person is terminally ill, as retreating.  i say to them is that person retreating or are you just not taking the time to go see them?

visiting someone who is terminally or even chronically ill can be frustrating.  sometimes in our optimism we say yes to  a plan one day but the day of the event we are unable to function.  does that mean we don’t want to engage? HELL NO! it means you are going to have to be understanding. it means you are going to have to be creative. it means if you are really my friend get your behind in your car and come to me.  it means you may be sitting in bed next to me or in the double recliner with me and yes you may have to make an effort to carry the conversation, you may have to bring pictures to share or read to me.  it wouldn’t matter to me if you just spent 10 minutes just sitting with me.  of course i don’t say this just for myself, there are so many others out there who are spending their last days alone.  i am blessed to have love around me, even saying that i must be frank and say he needs a break sometimes.  every time there is any opportunity for him to get out and socialize i encourage him.  what holds him back is that i will be alone and then what?

oh i will have my amazing, beautiful in spirit as well as on the outside, sister here in a few more months.  she will also need to go her own way in order to fully life her life.  i have some other ideas on the back burner though so no worries here.

just remember that your time will come and ask yourself what would you like from your family and friends?  now do exactly that for someone you know who is suffering from any type of illness and make their last days their best days possible.  when you give kindness it comes back to you.

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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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we all get sad sometimes

February 27, 2015 at 2:15 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , )

most of the feedback i receive is so uplifting, supportive and means more to me than you can know.  there are times that i hesitate to voice when i am feeling sad.  to be clear, and this sounds odd even to me, i am rarely sad for myself.  of course when we have had family and friends pass on i feel sadness as most do for my loss. usually i find myself very quickly looking for the silver lining. there have been deep losses over my life time when it was difficult to let the sadness go.  the memory of those losses can creep up on me, and i allow myself to feel it in that deepest part of my heart the weight of the pain.

this has been a short month in days but not in pain.  of course there is always the physical pain. the injuries i sustained while in the army are with me daily. angina pain holds me in its grip and feels like it will stay forever. of course it helps to remind myself that physical pain will rise and fall so i just have to relax and let it flow out as it flowed in. my new device placement has caused discomfort. the doctor tried to move it over a bit and had to do some pushing that left my insides very tender.  some times it feels as though there may have been an internal stitch that pulls.  that has mostly passed but this darn thing will never be comfortable where it is. well it may be but i’m not:)

the psychic pain has been a bit more to carry than usual.  the bridge group he plays with on thursdays consists almost completely of women.  over time i have gotten to know some of these women and to even care deeply for them.  we try to get together for dinner after they play bridge and i so enjoy this time.  there have been days i wouldn’t have gotten out of bed much less out of the house if not for my anticipation of the good time and good company.  one woman brings her husband so chris is not the only guy, though i don’t think either of them would care if it is that way from time to time.  when we were returning from our trip his phone started working and i noticed he had a message.  we stopped to eat and he checked.  it was one of our friends telling us that another woman had passed.  she had been admitted to home hospice on wednesday and had passed on friday.  she was in her 90’s and believe me she had made the most of that time! she was a real character and had adventures few people would have expected from this petite, one armed, woman.

alice was not someone i had met in person but still cared for very much. she and her husband had a lot in common with the two of us.  we exchanged comments here, emails and a couple of phone calls.  again while we were away, another loss.  she passed on the sunday after our return.  my phone had stopped working on wednesday or even before maybe. there was bad weather all around us and we were in the mountains of west virginia so it was to be expected. we returned on saturday and attended our friends memorial the next day.  i have a picture of alice and for a few days i had been drawn to go back to that picture more than once. i thought i would call even if she couldn’t talk, i could talk to her husband. it was my plan to …… when we got home sunday i went for a nap and didn’t wake up until monday night.  this happens with heart failure, the exhaustion just takes over and there is nothing i can do about it.  for days i barely moved, my body was recovering from the drive home. i am ashamed to say that a week passed without me calling, something held me back. then i received an email letting me know that alice had passed. he had sent a text but it had not come through. how amazing he is to have gone through this loss and care enough to send a second message to me.  they have a beautiful story, it is not my story to tell but i will love them till i am gone.  i admire and respect him so.  he has given me food for thought and great advice. i hope we will truly remain friends until i am gone.

as hard as the loss from death can be i am going to share another kind of loss with you tonight that weighs on my heart.  all my life i have only wanted to be a good human being. everything else comes from that as i have said before.  part of being a good person, i thought, meant that when someone is your friend they don’t just drop you without a word.  over my years i have learned that is not so true.  we all do it, we outgrow the relationship for whatever reason, no harm no foul. except this time it feels like harm, it feels sad and confusing.  of course i know that life goes on and she wasn’t my only friend. somehow this feels different though. i was a friend to her when her own family didn’t want to be around her.  i tried to uplift her and be supportive. there were times when she needed financial help and i was there. whatever she needed i was there.  i always told her i didn’t expect anything in return and each time she told me how she would always be here for me and how she loved me like a sister.  well no one can step in to the shoes of my sister but i took her to be sincere.  maybe what makes this different?? a few months ago she “reconnected” with some friends she knew in school.  since that time things have been strained.  what seems funny to me now is people around me would ask about our friendship, we are very different people in many ways, and i would defend my loyalty to her.  the loss of a friend is just another death. that would bring the total to three in this short month.

i am sad for al and joe, they will miss alice (wife and mother), with all their heart.  i am sad for bronia’s family, they had her for a long long time, they lost their mother and grandmother. the loss of a parent no matter your age is a heartbreaking event. when i started writing this tonight i was sad for the loss of my friend, she will be missed.  i am happy for her and the new life she is making for herself.  i don’t fit in her world any more. maybe i never did and we just didn’t know it? tomorrow is her birthday and i wish her well and toast to her new life.  sometimes a new beginning, without old reminders of who we were before, is what we need.

i was given a new life and fresh start about 23 years ago.  it has been an amazing time full of love and life well lived.  sometimes we all feel a little sad, thanks to you i am feeling it less and less.

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angina pain

February 21, 2015 at 2:17 am (angina, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , )

for the past 3 days i have been suffering with angina attacks.  it has been relentless with only short breaks of relief. angina feels like having a heart attack.  the pain is unmistakable if you know what it is.  one feature of the defibrillator i like is when i have this pain i know it isn’t a heart attack since the defib doesn’t go off.  i have tried all the relaxation exercises i know and try meditation.  at least they help me lean in to the pain and accept it rather than rail against it.  when you lean in to the pain it feels very different.  it’s like taking a warm shower rather than a cold one.

the new battery doesn’t make my heart failure healed, it helps it keep beating.  the beating is joy to me, i often stop and just listen to the beating.  it’s a beautiful sound.  i hope to keep hearing it for quite some time to come.

this is just a diagram to show you where you can expect to have this pain.  if you do please get checked immediately!!

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