lost and found

December 14, 2013 at 10:25 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , )

in october i bought tickets for the nutcracker.  we went last year, it is at the fabulous fox theater in atlanta.  the fox truly is fabulous, it opened december 25, 1929. the decor was inspired by the egyptian discovery of the king tut tombs.

the day the tickets arrived i tried to think of the best place to put them so we wouldn’t lose them.  ah you’re shaking your head and you know what i am about to tell you.  fast forward to december, 2 days before the performance, i basically turned the house upside down looking for the tickets.

i confess to my guy with regret i can’t find them. not to worry though i can email or call and get duplicates emailed.  through the miracle of the internet that is exactly what happened. i was so annoyed with myself for losing them and decided i would keep looking.  with only 2 hours of sleep i start going through boxes of papers that need to be in files. i discovered receipts from the grocery store dated 2004, my man is a tiny bit of a hoarder.

voila i find the tickets which makes me very happy and restores my faith in myself.  while i was looking through said boxes i noticed something had fallen off the back of the desk to the floor.  i lowered myself down to the floor and started to reach for the items that are now just out reach.  i knew i was tired and a bit weak from no sleep and gripping pain.  as i was reaching my body started to shake and my upper body moved to the floor.  softly as if in a sacred space i say out loud, not now, i am going to california.  please not now.

it took a few minutes to regain the strength to drag myself up.  all my focus was on getting off that floor before he came home.  he had gone for a haircut and i feared he would be afraid to leave me alone if he came home to me laying out on the floor.  i just can’t have that.  he needs to go out and not carry the burden of worry for me.

tickets found i move to the living room.  once on the internet i have an email with duplicate tickets.  today we are off to the ballet and to meet up with heather.  i had emailed her the duplicate parking and performance tickets with the advice to bring it along with her.  at the door, when we present the original tickets, we get the big and embarrassing red light indicating the are not good tickets.  the speakers let us know that the performance is about to start.  we are sent to the box office and tell our story.  the young woman was very kind and issues new tickets.

the performance was spectacular.  we love the ballet and nothing says christmas like the nutcracker.  what no one knows or sees is the shaking in my body.  i am nauseous, my legs are weak and i am just hoping to make it to my seat.  once in my seat i try to relax, my body continues to shake.

prior to the event i had only slept about 3 hours.  when my love comes to wake me i can barely open my eyes.  i want to cry that i can’t possibly do this.  then that voice says, you can do this, just take it one step at a time.  my legs are like rubber and i am a bit unstable.  somehow we are on the road and my focus is on the upcoming performance and the anticipation of seeing heather and spending time with her.

we are headed home and he says “i don’t know how you do it.” do what honey? “have all this pain and stay so nice.” for a moment i think and i know what he means and think it is a good question.  so as honestly as i can i say to him that sometimes i don’t know how i do it either.  this is the truth but there is more to it.  earlier in the week i noticed symptoms of a kidney infection.  having had kidney failure in the past i am aware of the early signs.  during that time i remember being so weak i couldn’t walk from one room to the other without his support.  each morning started with dry heaving.  then it was loss of consciousness.  tonight i am still weak and have the dry heaving.

i say again, please not now. please give me this trip back to california.  somehow i will find the will to get errands run, pack and head to the airport.  i will reach down deep and in a few days i will be in california.  we are going to spend time with my sister, meet a fellow blogger named judy and just enjoy life.  who knows what the new year will bring? whatever it brings i am ready for it.  better than just ready for it, i will embrace whatever the new year brings and i will be grateful.  life is good:)

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reality checks vs sparing feelings

November 28, 2013 at 10:08 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

there has been some conversation regarding the like button.  since the first time i read a blog this has bothered me.  if i press like does it mean to that person what it means to me?  at times i have struggled not to explain what the like button means to me.  should i use valuable space and time saying what the person surely knows? what if they don’t know?  when are we called upon to be more than a click person and give our honest input?

in the beginning i noticed the occasional hurt feelings as a comment was a bit too honest for the blogger.  if we are not inviting honesty then why have a like button or a comment section?  we don’t have to allow either do we?

i find that a reality check for myself is often what i am looking for.  if someone agrees then i feel validated which is very nice, if i receive a comment that was unexpected it gives me pause.  i for one appreciate knowing that a comment is not some rubber stamp given without much thought.  knowing that someone has taken the time to think about what i am sharing and cares enough to risk an opinion means the world to me.

one commenter that has at times taken me to task is laurie.  she asks the hard questions and let’s me know that she doesn’t see my way of thinking working for her.  i appreciate that, i am not so unsure of myself that everyone needs to agree with me..

on the other hand i would be dishonest if i didn’t say here that i so appreciate knowing i have friends here who support me.  i just think you can be supportive and honest at the same time.

this whole like button issue is more of a nuisance than not.  if i don’t press it will someone think i didn’t like their post?  are we over-thinking the whole like button thing a bit too much?

well, like scarlett o’hara, i will think of this another day.  due to bad weather we were not able to go to charleston and be with family for thanksgiving.  of course being raised in native tradition it was not one of our “celebrated” holidays as i was growing up.  it is only in my adult years that i make the effort.  so let’s just hope i don’t set the oven on fire yet again, the last few times i made turkey that is what happened.

today as always i am grateful for so many things, my family and friends being right at the top.  hope you can click the like button for that:)

 

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maybe we don’t need to say it

October 10, 2013 at 2:30 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

for the past few weeks, maybe even months, he has been talking about what we are going to do for new year’s eve.  today he asked about valentine’s day.

we went to the biltmore inn a few years ago and it was fantastic.  the whole night was magic.  last year we went to the grove park inn for valentine’s day.  both of these are beautiful and yet very different places, they are in the mountains of north carolina.

i started to ask him why plan so far in the future?  then i stopped myself.  i know why.  he may not know why himself consciously but it is in there. it is in his heart and thoughts.

he hopes that making plans and  thinking about the future will somehow stop the inevitable from happening.  we do talk about what is coming, however, we don’t feel like we have to talk about it.  there are things that we both know. things we both hope for.  we hope that when the time comes it will be as easy as possible for death to be.

making these plans postpones de-activating the defib.  this does make it more difficult for me to make that decision.  should i do it before the new year? should i wait until after valentine day?  on good days i believe i can stay here through the holidays and even through the new year.  is that too much to ask?  i also find myself wondering if i turn this thing off am i turning my back on time i could ahead.

we don’t need to talk about these things.  we will have to play this one day at a time.  oh wait…. that is what we all do.  no need to talk about it now.  there will be a time for that, as there will be for us all.

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it’s 4 a.m.

September 13, 2013 at 3:38 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

a couple of days ago i woke from a nap and my love asked me what i would like to do.  my answer was quite selfishly i would like to go shopping.  what do i need he asks.  i think back to a few months ago when i would have simply said i am going shopping, i should be back by whatever time and off i would go.  that was freedom, that was independence.  these are things that i am losing and am trying to make the adjustment as seamlessly as possible.

at the mall:  we are passing sephora (large cosmetics store) and he says “you like to go in there.”  yes i say but i don’t want to bore you.  he says don’t worry about him, he will sit in the chairs just outside the doorway.  he doesn’t sit though, maybe his add.  as i am picking up a lipstick he pokes he head around the corner, “do you want some help?”  as a sales person comes by he says, “she is going to need help and she is going to buy whatever she wants.”  i am not sure what he is doing and i feel some embarrassment.  he steps away as though going to sit in the chairs.  as he walks his head turns back, looking at me, wanting me to ask him to stay.  then he says “unless you want my advice or opinion???”  of course i do, i say and he comes back.

he worries, he worries that i shouldn’t try to drive that far. he worries i might have an “event.”  while in the clothing store i realize i have pushed myself too far.  i am done and there is no more push left.  i see the worry on his face and i feel responsible.  if only i could do as i could have a few months ago.  now i have to make it back to the entrance.  i tried not to go too far but i have.  he is worried.  i keep moving, i think of the strength deep down and yes the pain has started.  my heart is having a spasm (angina) but i keep putting one foot in front of the other.

it is 4 a.m. and i want to get some sleep yet i know when i close my eyes it may be for a few hours or it may be for as long as 12 hours.  in just a few days we are going on our trip.  it is 4 a.m. and i am worried..  losing more freedom, independence and worried about not spoiling this trip for him. he deserves this adventure. he deserves a wife who is healthy.  he is so loving and kind that he would never want me to think this way and so i don’t say it.  well not out loud anyway.  thanks for being here, thanks for caring, thanks for listening.

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the one?

July 22, 2013 at 8:49 am (Uncategorized) (, , )

friday and our trip to one of our favorite places.  we love the atlanta bread company.  they serve soup, salad and sandwiches.  not fancy but good.  our trips are not every friday as in the past.  it is more difficult to find the energy to go out at all.  not that i am ready to give them up yet.

we are coming off several days of little waking time.  for example, i layed down for a nap at 3 in the afternoon.  i woke once to use the bathroom, sleeping until 1:30 a.m.  up until around 4 a.m. and then going back to sleep.  my expectation was with all that sleep i would be up and perhaps feeling restored.  that was not to be this time.  i did not wake again until 6 or so that evening.  going back to bed a few hours later and not up and functioning again until 2 in the afternoon.  on friday when i woke at 2 in the afternoon i forced myself to get up, shower, and venture out.  last friday i had been able to go out with a friend for dinner so i was very optimistic.

we are sitting at the table having just finished our soup.  our conversation is about finding “the one” and whether or not we believe it happens.  he tells me it happened to him when he met me,  he reaches across the table to hold my hand.  he glances down and i know this to mean he wants to say or ask something more.  he looks up at me and says “i am afraid to ask if you felt the same way.”   i can’t help but laugh a bit, we are getting ready to celebrate our 18th anniversary.  we have been together 21 years.  my hand reaches for his and i want him to know that i felt he was the one from the beginning and he will be the one until i am gone.

we know how lucky we are and have been in finding each other.  as i recently told a friend, we enjoy hanging out together, we are best friends.  i can imagine going through this without him and it is not a happy thought.  this is the best time of my  life.  from the day i met him til the die i am gone i will be grateful to have found “my one.”

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i made it!

June 14, 2013 at 12:44 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

yesterday was the official 5 yrs mark.

i woke up with chest pain

went to get my car washed

continued to have chest pain

got my grey covered

out of breath and pain

while getting my hair done spoke to my sister several times

made it back home just before she arrived

the rest of the evening was having dinner, laughing, talking and more laughing

she had to be ready for the airport shuttle at 3 a.m. and got to atlanta around 2p.m.

chris went to bed around 11, being the older sister i was concerned she was still up.

then she said the thing that made my heart smile

she said she wanted to be with me at midnight

i had mentioned that the 5 yrs would officially pass at midnight

how lucky am i to have a sister like her?

so lucky that my heart was full of love and gratitude for the love in my life

so lucky to pass my 5 yr mark

 

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ironic

June 4, 2013 at 7:55 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , )

today we went out to do a couple of easy errands. by the time we got home i felt as though a few moments longer and i would have lost consciousness. as i made my way for a lay down i swear i heard alanis morrisette sing her Ironic Song.

we are having a big party and though we are not telling everyone it is to celebrate my passing the 5 year mark. it has occurred to me that it is not completely unreasonable that i could still not make it. we are optimists though and i say if i die before then well it can just be a wake:) that wouldn’t be so bad. everything already planned, people invited, even my sister will be here. it could actually be very convenient for all concerned.

 

anyway here are the words to her song:

 

It’s a black fly in your Chardonnay

 

It’s a death row pardon two minutes too late

 

It’s like rain on your wedding day

 

It’s a free ride when you’ve already paid

 

It’s the good advice that you just didn’t take

 

Mr. Play It Safe was afraid to fly

He packed his suitcase and kissed his kids goodbye

He waited his whole damn life to take that flight

And as the plane crashed down he thought “Well isn’t this nice…”

And isn’t it ironic… don’t you think

 

A traffic jam when you’re already late

A no-smoking sign on your cigarette break

It’s like ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife

It’s meeting the man of my dreams
and then meeting his beautiful wife

 

yes life can be ironic and the joke won’t be lost on me.

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bridge ladies that come to tea and lunch with friends

May 24, 2013 at 8:37 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

i had been thinking about the ladies that play bridge with my honey.  as i sat here thinking about what i wanted to say, or how i wanted to say it, i watched the finale for The Big C.  this is something i am going to give more thought to.

the main character has reached the end of her journey and she wants her final words to be about how lucky she is.  this is what i have been saying to you since i started this blog.  funny that the people who i feel grateful to have in my life, probably don’t realize just how much they mean to me.

in the last couple of days i have had the opportunity to spend time with friends.  although my energy is extremely low i managed to go out for the two days.  on tuesday i met my friend M at a great little restaurant downtown.  she also has some health issues and we try to get together but it can be tricky.  the other is a very close friend that i met wednesday for lunch at a local burger place.

tuesday   was my afternoon with M and she is such a sweet person i felt a bit guilty for being so cavalier when with her.  as i told my friend  there is such freedom in dying.  it is a bit like getting older.  one starts to feel a certain comfort in their own skin.   as we are contemplating what to order she says she can not allow herself to order the monte cristo sandwich. i ask her why and of course it is due to the excess calories.  ah yes i remember she is on a “diet” and trying to eat healthy.  this is not directed at my friend but i do say something about this being an example of the freedom i enjoy. how she asks, well i answer with some lightness, too late to leave a beautiful corpse so i will leave a happy one!  i amuse myself, then feel the guilt of laughing while she is uncomfortable.  i did feel better when she ordered the cristo.  we chatted and shared how nice it was to be friends with someone who has similar health problem.  when she has to cancel or is late i completely understand and vice-versa.

during our conversation she sort of stumbles through asking me if i was the person who mentioned about finding my husband a new wife.  this makes me laugh since i understand just how this sounds.  it is true that i would like to know that he is going to be taken care of after i am gone.  my first thought was he and wife number 1 might be able to re-connect.  now i realize that is not what they want and maybe it is just too much for the kids to deal with. so i started looking at what other women he knows.  i have told him who i think is the most suitable for him.  he has asked me not to pursue this further. out of respect for his request i will stop.

it does concern me who will keep an eye on him but also who will go to the movies with him?  who will get his jokes? who will travel with him?  he likes to travel but not alone. he has a quirky sense of humor that is not everyone’s taste.  on the Big C the woman wants to do this and even sets her husband up with an online date.  when discussed the opinion is she is being controlling. ok maybe she/i is/am.  maybe she just wanted her husband to be happy.

but i am off topic and need to get back to my friends.

pushing the envelope i decided to go out to lunch on wednesday with my very good friend P.  we have been friends since the first day i started working for the state.  she has some health issues but they are not terminal. P gets my humor most of the time but even she is not always sure if i am joking.  so we hung out for a couple of hours before i took off for my hair appointment.

by the time i get to the hair salon i am exhausted and even take a short nap outside in the car before going in.  M had told me the day before that i looked like i felt good and i usually just say thank you but tuesday i chose to say thank you however i don’t feel the way i look.  this unusual for me.

wednesday night i remember thinking about my choices with my friends.  i also thought about how much i miss my sister.  i tried to call her and wouldn’t you know it she didn’t answer! she called thursday night and we talked over 45 minutes.  we just talked about what we find funny.  i can be completely open with her and know that she gets me.

i am lucky.  i have some very good friends and family.  even the ladies from bridge have been so kind to me.  i am not a great cook yet they have come a few times and allowed me to offer up my limited bites.  since i don’t get out that much anymore so  these soirees are so important to me.  it is an opportunity for me to have social interaction which we miss since leaving california.  i am forever grateful to them for their friendship.

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we’ll always have Paris

May 20, 2013 at 1:40 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

if you have seen casablanca you remember that line and the atmosphere enveloping the two lovers. it has to be one of the most romantic moments in a movie.

we are watching the pbs special mr. selferidge. two of the characters are employees that are verging on a relationship.  it is his birthday and he asks her to meet him in the dinner room after hours.  she arrives, there are candles and a table set to perfection with a piece of cake on the table.  a bit of small talk, then he asks her to dance.  it is the kind of romantic moment women want to live out in their own life. just the two of them waltzing to their own music.

i remark that it is one of those moments, he asks if i am disappointed i have not had that same experience.  i want to say of course not but there is something else i want to say. something that needs to be said and something that needs to be remembered.

this a a moment to let you know how you have given so many moments over the years. they are living here in my mind and heart. so i tell you, i remember our first valentine day.  i was at my flat waiting for you so we could go to lunch.  glancing out my window, the sun is shining and everything looks so clean and fresh in my mind.  then my breath does a little gasp…. coming down the street is a man with a huge white box with a huge red bow on it.  that can not be you i think, this can not be for me! the man comes closer, never looks at the window, doesn’t realize the impact this gesture has and always will have.

he is at the door and i am grabbing the knob, pulling him in,  in my head and heart.  he steps inside and suddenly i realize that this is really happening. i have never had such kindness in my life.  no one has ever loved me like this.  slowly touching the bow and the box, taking in every sense of that moment, not rushing and ripping into it. it doesn’t matter what is in the  box.  slowly and carefully the ribbon which is a real red satin ribbon comes off the box.

my fingers ever so slightly touch the box, feel the texture, the weight of it.  lifting the lid slowly as though it may have something that would frighten me, i lift the top. there in mounds of white tissue paper is the most beautiful red mohair afghan from a local irish shop.  it is simple and perfect.  it is the best ending to this moment.  your face at knowing how happy you made me, made me love you even more.

i glance over at you and you are not looking at me.  i can see that you are touched, what we call “choked up.”  then you speak,  i remember the first kiss we had in the tower books parking lot.  i have to take this in, to understand that this was a moment for him. oh yes i remember this moment well.  the awkward is he going to kiss me, no it is too soon. then there it is we are leaning against the car like a couple of teenagers and don’t care who see’s us. don’t care who knows in that moment that we have something amazing starting.  it is the beginning of a million more kiisses and hugs. it is the beginning of life time of precious memories.

bogart may have said “we’ll always have paris” but we say “we’ll always have j st.” and they mean the same thing.  we have this moment, this very moment now, that nothing can touch, there can be nothing from the outside, not even my dying that can darken that bright and beautiful day.

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thinking of mothers and loss

May 12, 2013 at 1:18 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

mother’s day comes just before my birthday, sometimes on my birthday. i have to confess that neither of these have been a big deal to me in the past.  i am not sure when this happened but i find myself thinking feeling very plugged-in and even emotional as i sit here reflecting.

my personal experience with this “special” day has ranged from oblivious to heart-broken to some understanding and acceptance of what this day means for me.  while with my grandmother no one celebrated this day. maybe because we were poor and rather disconnected from the rest of the world.

with the my own mother, aka the queen mother/marie, when i came to live with them full-time i became aware of how important it was not to disappoint her on this day.  for the next couple of years i worked with my dad to make this day everything she expected.  once i left home it was easy to send a card and flowers, one year she told me the flowers were nice but she would like a different kind of green. you know, the ones that come on dollar bills. right from the beginning of our relationship chris sort of stepped in and made sure things were taken care of.

each year he picked out the card, signed the check and even called her.  she thought he was a saint.  the problem, not just with her, i believe is this sort of false expectations.  some families have that Norman Rockwell life, the majority do not.  many “holidays” set people up for disappointment.  it is sad to know that this one day can cause so much pain to so many.

i have been thinking of some of my blog friends. there is such a range, from a mother whose son died suddenly to the mother who lost her daughter just recently to a terminal illness that caused her a kind of suffering the mind can not imagine.

one asked if she is still a mother since her adult child has passed on.  this has been on my mind for some time.  finally this is what i think, you never stop being a mother.  your child may be gone from this world, yet you still feel them don’t you?  you haven’t stopped loving them or hoping that you will be reunited with them when the time comes.  they will never stop being your child so how can you stop being their mother?

tomorrow is Mother’s Day and there are already ups and downs.  chris is going to make me waffles and bacon:) his favorite breakfast to cook.  one of our friends has a young son who told chris he could get a job at the waffle house for sure!  yesterday i received a card from my grandchildren in charleston.  i almost cried when i read there little messages.  in the past i looked forward to a card from someone else and it didn’t come this year.  my disappointment and hurt have surprised me.  it goes back to wanting to be remembered and how i will be remembered. if this special person no longer sees me as a maternal figure then maybe i have failed in some way. wow, i didn’t realize just how deep this was until i put it here in words.  my tears will dry and i will look at this event again tomorrow, hopefully with different perspective.

hallmark has created a whole new pool of patients for the therapists:)

i want to wish all women a happy day tomorrow.  it may be bitter-sweet for some of us but i hope all find a way to get on the other side where we can breathe easier again.

Happy Mother’s Day!

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