Monday, August 31, 2009

Parades and Circuses

My leg was so sore when I got up this morning. Remember I woke with it hurting on Sunday. If you saw the video in my album, you know I ran all over my back yard with a certain little blond. Leg did not like it at all. I got to work at 7:45 a.m. and the day began with a roar. I limped into the building but spent the whole day on the run!

My boss walked in a few minutes behind me limping! He had sprained his ankle playing basketball over the weekend. He said he was waiting to see if it would get better. I sent him off to the doctor. LOL! Had to tell him it could be broken and he needed it checked. He came back several hours later with a boot and instructions to go back to the orthopedic clinic in 11 days.

I worked non-stop on files, stopping only to take a lunch break with my friend, Carolyn at McDonald's. We go there most days to sit and talk. Then it was back to work to try and finish my mounds of work.

In the afternoon I got an email from my author/teacher/friend, Ron Roat. You remember I mentioned him last year in a few posts and there is a link to his site, Remedial Academy, somewhere in my links section. He was my writing instructor from college. We've remained friends but he moved last year to Michigan. He was in town to drop his daughter off at the university and wanted to meet for coffee after I got off work. I agreed but had my appointment with my counselor, Dan, at 5 p.m. so it would have to be at 6.

I arrived at the clinic and had the usual "how are you" relay game where I make some attempt to prove my stability. He, like everyone that knows me, thinks I am a very funny person after a few minutes deduces that I am better.

I never understand the "you're so funny" statement. People always say it about me but I never get it. Is there something wrong with me that I don't think I'm funny? Thinking about it now, I realize that my whole family is funny. I have two brothers that can have the whole room rolling in minutes and people will be doubled over holding their sides and literally sobbing with laughter. My sisters and I seem to send people into tears over really stupid stuff. I have cousins who are hysterically funny. It seems we were blessed with this uncanny ability to make people laugh. But life was just hell for most of us. We're some of the most dysfunctional people on the planet. Well, not like the Bundys and Mansons, and those other folks. But we're not right. And people think we are just these hilarious folks! {head shake here}

Anyway, during nearly an hour of rollicking fun with Dan we discussed my concerns over my hair loss and the fact that I might soon have HIS hairstyle. I told him I thought I was better because the St. John's Wort was working but I was going to have to get off of it because I thought was causing my hair to fall out. He thinks it is possibly something else and suggest when I see my doctor in a week that I talk to him about it.

I left to meet Ron at.... McDonalds. Well it is a happening place. . . for me anyway. I seem to be destined to meet men either at parades or circuses.

Ron is always a lot of fun and I've always enjoyed our meetings. Usually it is mostly about what's he's been doing and I'm the listener. Today he was a good friend and played the listener. He asked me what happened. I told him. He seemed to know that was the right thing to do. And like all of you, said it wasn't my fault. Maybe I'll believe that someday. I doubt it but won't just toss it off.

So, what did we talk about? I talked about this blogging thing and you've got to know, he's not a touchy, feely sort of person. He's really an old softy but doesn't want anyone to know. But he's not sold on blogging for the sake of blogging or of hanging out the laundry. Doesn't think I can "help" anyone by any of this. I, of course, disagree. I help me. Totally selfish.

He told me again there is no God. He does that every time we meet. I ignore him because we will never agree on this and I refuse to follow endless arguments that can't be solved with people I admire and like. You're a believer or not and that's the end of it. I lose nothing by anyone's lack of faith. I can't convince anyone who doesn't really want to believe anyway.

So, we move on to writing, his and mine - he's published- I probably won't ever be but we both like talking about it. I rave over NaNo and actually got a spark of interest from the baby blues. We talked about his daughter. I remember sitting and talking with her when she was just a little girl with freckles. Segue to my kids, his work or retirement, his trip down, my trips - past and future. My flying - He's a pilot and of course, sympathized with those really bad ones from Memphis. Whatever flew into my head pretty much flew out my mouth. And he just listened and made Roatian jokes that made me laugh.

Do you know that when I left McDonalds two hours later I was smiling on the inside as well as the outside. I felt like I was breathing again for the first time in months. I smiled all the way to Walgreen's to pick up my meds. I don't remember laughing this much in a long time. It was a good end to a busy day and I'm so thankful for a friend like Ron.

I think that's what I've been trying to say for days, or weeks maybe. Friends are what make the unbearable, bearable. It is when loads get the heaviest that friends should step in and ask to shoulder some of the weight. I supposed the depth of friendship is what gets measured during times like this. You don't really know if people care until you actually need that care. What continues to surprise me is that those who loudly say they care are often those who care the least. I don't know how to fix that but I can make sure that I'm not the problem. I can make sure when someone needs to be heard that I am the one listening.

He really is a good teacher . . and a good friend.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Oh My Aching. . .

Pick one. Anyone will do. I think it was the fibro kicking in but maybe not. The clock woke me at 7:30 and my legs were hurting. My back was hurting. My neck was hurting and my hands. I think I got chilled. I'm not sure. I seem to be more cold natured than I used to be. Some nights I get cold and my air is not set very low. I think 74 degrees. For some reason about 4 in the morning the house seems much cooler or I am much cooler.

I went back to sleep and slept until 10:30... too late for church. Sarah is sick this morning too. She's caught Mike's cold. She didn't see him that much but I suspect it is just going around. Better she catch things from us since we seem to catch less nasty bugs than some folks.

Well, I'm going now. I've been lying around, chatting with my friend Alice and that is always fun. She's a very funny person and I usually end up in stitches talking to her. I need all the laughs I can get.

Maybe I'll pop back in later today. Don't know. If the aches are not too bad I will.

Saturday, August 29, 2009


It is true that lancing a wound will make it feel better. I've had injuries that became infected and after they were drained and bandaged they felt so much better.

After my meltdown this morning I had a better afternoon. No, I can't say I'm less angry. I'm just reconciled to it. I can't fix the world. I can't fix me. It isn't really my job to fix anything.

So, having vented, I left the house and had lunch with my son, Mike and exchanged some clothes for my granddaughter, Sarah.Then, we picked up Sarah and her mother, Becca. I took Mike home and the three of us came to my house to tutor Becca in math and Sarah took a swim in the turtle pool. Dave got off around 7 and came and picked them up.

I've just had time to get a shower and sit down to read blogs and emails and comments to my blogs. My poor aunt called and thanked me for making her cry. I had warned her ahead of time not to read the post today because it would upset her. Of course, her middle name is Eve. . .

I do have to thank all you brave souls who came in and felt you could post to that frightening blog. I do read all comments and sometimes I reply but I think I'd said all I could. What I did not say, you said for me.

I am also learning things from the comments people leave. They do give me some comfort. They do make sense. There is solace in having another human being say something, even if it is "I'm sorry for what has happened to you."

I've learned that one of the most common events in life is the least understood and acknowledged by those who will experience it more than once in their lives.

Think about that for a second.

When a baby is born we celebrate with gifts, and laughter, and showers. We call and write and send toys. Every milestone is met with fanfare and thousands of dollars in long distance calls. Photos of every step, fall, and giggle are sent over the internet, in letters, cards and even calendars. Every birthday is a monumental event until you're 16. After that, the tend to decrease is importance to everyone but you. But for 16 years, you get noticed.

Death, on the other hand, is a hurried affair. Ideally you want it over in four days and you don't want to EVER repeat it. The widow can cry all she or he wants until after the funeral but is then expected to appear in public fully in control of his or her faculties and ready to function normally. If you are fortunate to be able to take time off, well, two weeks should do it. The widow is expected to smile when meeting friends but no mention should be made of the deceased. After all, its over and done. It isn't like a first tooth after all.

No, dying is an embarrassment to everyone. I mean, it even out ranks prostitution. And guess what? It is contagious. If you live long enough, it will catch you.

Imagine also. At some point both of your parents will die. If you marry, you or your spouse will die. Losing a spouse is worse than losing a parent. I've lost both. Believe me. I adored Mama above every one else but losing Jerry was the worst thing that has ever happened to me. I lost half my identity. The only thing I can think of that could be worse is the death of a child. God deliver me from that! And if you have children they could die before you. If you have siblings one or more of these could die before you die yourself.

Imagine now, after you have read all my raging against death, imagine the feelings of the wives whose husbands died on 9/11. Imagine the husbands, and children, and parents who death slapped that day. Imagine all the horror, all the pain, all the nightmares you've read in my blogs and that also followed their lives and still follow. Do they wonder if one of those who jumped out the windows was their loved one? Thousands of people were jerked into a nightmare from which there is no waking.

Think about all that for just a minute. All those points at which death can reach out and touch you personally. How quickly, unexpectedly and cruelly it can come. And yet, we don't know how to deal with it? Even worse is that we don't know how to deal with the people who are dealing with death!

Imagine that. . . . . I can't.

How did we get to this place where we do not know how to comfort the grieving? Exactly when did we become so disinterested in human suffering that we forgot compassion?

Anger Phase

WARNING: This blog post deals with graphic and raw emotions surrounding grief. If you are upset or offended by emotional displays or strong language, leave now.

It is Sat-ur-day. That's right. This is Ur day to sit. Says so on the label. I've been up since 6:30 more or less. Clock kept going off, I kept hitting the snooze until around 7 a.m. Actually I woke before the clock and dozed off until it sounded. I can't sleep anymore. Before Jerry died, I could spend half a day in bed lazing around. I loved it. Now, it is as if I not going to be allowed to enjoy sleep and rest again.

I've had two cups of coffee since then and done pretty much what the day demands. I have no interest in life at the moment... truly. Those who know me know this is not normal.

Am I better today? You know, everyone says (and I've repeated it before), "It will get better." "You will get better." I get really tired of it. I suppose they are tired of my grief by now. Most people were by the sixth week. You can tell. People stop talking to you. They don't call. They don't send cards or letter. Does anyone do that anymore? Probably not so it doesn't really count. Oddly, even people who used to email me don't any more. So, I've been cleaning my contact list, my email list, and my Facebook. To be a bit dark, they are dead weights.

You do not get over this, folks. You learn to breath underwater or you drown. If people are uncomfortable with what they read here, that's good. I hope someone gets so uncomfortable that the next spouse you run into or the next parent or next sibling you meet who has lost someone in death you will reach out and wrap them in your arms and tell them how very much you care and want to be there for them. And I hope you will mean it in six months, a year, or two years. If you can't do that, then walk away and never, ever speak to them again. They don't need you giving them anymore grief.

As a point, name the people you know that have lost a spouse or child to death. Now, at which point did you begin to think, I mean really think they should be better? How many of you made statement like these: "I just don't see why she's still carrying on this way." "He needs to move on." "She really needs to get over it." "Her husband died a year ago and she still gets upset? What a drama queen!" "He has other children...." "She can get married again...." "How long are they going to grieve?"

My bet is that those thoughts or similar ones, even if not put into words, have passed through everyone's mind after six months. I don't care how kind, considerate, compassionate you are, you've thought those kinds of things about someone you know who has suffered a loss by death. You were wrong.

I told a friend last night that I am cursed with an over abundance of conscience. I also have a memory that won't turn lose of trauma. I relive events years after they have happened. I had a traumatic childhood and so I suspect that turned on a switch that can't be turned off. I am predisposed to bouts of severe depression as a result of trauma. The last day of my husbands life are engraved in living color on my memory, right down to the smile he gave me as he shoveled the snow that probably killed him. Watching my husband die in my bed is not going away. My failures that led to that are not going away. All of it is in perpetual rerun. I'm not going to get over it. Those who think this way need to get over it.

I believe I've reached the anger phase everyone always talks about. I'm angry. Angry at God for the injustice I perceive this to be. Yea, yea, yea, I know he's God and we can't call him unjust. Actually, he will probably be less annoyed at me than you are. I don't know that he doesn't think the same thing about Jerry's death. I was unjust in so many ways. So many things I could have done differently had I not been so self absorbed and selfish and miserable with the way life had turned for us. It was ALL about ME. I forgot Jerry in the end and what he was going through. He'd been sick so long that I just got used to it and failed to notice the serious changes that were occurring.

We forgot each other. We sort of lived in the same house. Our work hours were not the same anymore and we seldom got to be together as a couple anymore, just talking and going places together. Our children were constantly after us for something. The "I need" syndrome. We loved doing things for them but financially, they were breaking us. After all these months finding receipts he stashed and remembering events, I realized he was giving a whole paycheck away every month "for the kids" "for Sarah". My God, he shouldn't even have BEEN working! How selfish we all were! We pushed him to work and he worked himself to death. In the last seven months I have realized that had we shut off the money anything but OUR living expenses he would not have had to work for the last two years! We could have managed on my income and his pension.

No, no, no, no! I could not have saved him from heart failure. I'm not God. I do realize my limitations. But I am a realist. His life could have been prolonged had I paid attention. His life could have been happier and more meaningful had I paid attention. I could have had good memories of our last days together! I DID NOT pay attention.

Do not patronize me by saying I couldn't know. I know MY failure. I know what I did, did not do, ignored, over looked, and simply remained blind to. And it is MY nature to admit when I failed. It is MY nature to regret being an ass. It is MY nature to wish, fervently, with every shred of my being that I could roll back the clock two years and start over at that point knowing what I know so that I can be a better person. It is MY nature to feel remorse and guilt and sorry for my behavior. I did not, do not want to be that selfish. And it is far to late.

Thank God for a conscience.

I'm angry at people who have done the same to me. They've looked the other way because they are uncomfortable, don't know what to say, don't know how to act, or the just did not give a damn to start with and were only pretending because it was their duty. You need to get over it. Life was not designed for your comfort. You weren't put here to make YOU feel better. I'm not the last person you will meet like this.

So, yes, I am at the anger phase.

In the first days of this I had so many people who helped with the funeral and feeding my huge family and for that I am truly grateful. But in six weeks, every person I spoke with disappeared. I've had superficial conversations when we "bump" into one another, you know the ones, "Hi. How are you. Good to see you." That's it. I've sat in my home for seven months and of all the people I know here, three have called my house three times. I see no one and I hear from no one... unless I go to church where I get that lovely little greeting. My blood relatives call daily and weekly.

Alice and I talk via chat frequently. Her sister died almost two years ago. My co-worker, one of the best friends I've ever had, has lunch with me EVERY DAY unless we have other obligations that prevent it. Her son died in September. These two women and I understand each other. We know you need, desperately need, human contact and companionship at this point more than you need food.

Do you know the salvation the internet has been? That's crazy! I have been blessed by the people who have reached out without regard to their own comfort level.

Does anyone know that some nights I sit and read my blogs comments and cry because someone, someone actually said something that made me think they cared what I was living in, someone wanted to make it better? They can't but they extend that hand. Maybe 100 words but certainly more than a front door greeting. It doesn't take much to be human.

No one knows who sent me the books in the mail on grief that have been so very helpful. I don't even know but I know they came from someone I've never met on my Multiply contact list who knew that was the only way they could help me. And honestly, they have.

My blog started years ago as a fun, carefree way to explore my writing and get acquainted with interesting people. It has more than met that expectation. I love the people I've met on my Multiply blog. But with Jerry's death, it has also become a vehicle to expose this reality I am living for the hell it is and that most people never realize it is. That I never realized it could be. It is a vehicle to put on "paper" what I can't put into words.

If I said these things to some people, they'd be pretty annoyed. Some who read this will be offended. It is unfortunate if someone is made uncomfortable by this. You will just have to get over it.

Maybe you'll be better by morning. But if you aren't, well, I guess it isn't MY problem.

Yes, I'd have to say I'm at the anger phase.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Was Ever a Day So Welcome

Friday at last. I'm so glad. My headache is more or less gone and the pain in my neck abated with that. It still hurts but within managable range. Guess we know another factor in that saga. However, I found that I had not taken my bp medicine for a couple of days. I had the scripts refilled early in the week but forgot to put them in my pill minder with the rest of the meds. So, my headache was probably a couple of things. I didn't realize it until yesterday.

Last night was really not good at all. I did manage to sleep ok. I dreamed of a dark haired man that I didn't recognize but he lay next to me on the bed and put his arms around me. I don't remember anything else. And now, after remembering it, I can't write anything more.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Nearing Nadir

The weekend is a day closer. I have had a terrible headache all day. I forgot to take an allergy pill but did after I got to work. I did my exercises, too.

I discovered have to stop taking the St. John's Wort, at least for a bit. My hair loss has escalated to worrisome proportions for me. I'm losing it at an rate that I feel is not normal. I see my doctor in a couple of weeks and will bring this up. But, I did research again on SJW and found hair loss is a side effect. I do not remember this being a problem when I took it over 10 years ago and I took it for several years! But I also was not taking other medications that also can cause hair loss. My BP medicines can cause this and I suspect it is possible that combinations may cause the problem to be worse. So, for now I'm taking it in the a.m. and will reduce that in a week or so.

I had to stop after that paragraph at work today because I got busy and the headache was just awful. When I came home I took an Imitrex. Only in the last 30 minutes have I felt any relief from that.

Tonight I am very bad. I can't watch movies very often anymore because I can't predict what will set off the flashbacks. No, they have not stopped. I'm just avoiding things that cause them. I happen to run across a Tommy Lee Jones movie. I have always loved to watch him in anything. He was dressed in a military dress green like they wore when we were in Germany. His build and coloring were so much like Jerry when he was in service that I simply imploded. I turned off the t.v. but the damage was done. Practically had to crawl up the hallway to the bed but then couldn't stay there and tried to walk the hallway. Couldn't walk either. Found myself more or less screaming in an empty house. I probably am fortunate that I live on a dead end street with old people. No one will hear me.

I can't do this. I simply can't do it. This is so horrendous and so unfair. I wish I had words to convey the impact of living a nightmare. I can't wake up! Sometimes I catch myself clenching my fist. Other times I find myself holding my breath, so much so that one day I nearly fainted before I realized it. I stopped but I started to notice that during the worst moments I can't breath. Maybe that's poetic justice.

It was not supposed to be this way. We were going to get old together. Life was going to get better now. We had hope for the new year, the first hope in so long, that things would be better this year. We were making plans. He wanted to know if he'd done the right things. I told him he had and we were going to start doing things for us.

I made him shovel the snow that morning. Even though I knew I'd never get out of that drive I had to try. And I couldn't do it. I knew I couldn't do it. I made him do it instead. He would never say no. Never say I'm sick. When he didn't finish it I fussed at him about it. He said he'd do it later but he never did. He got worse as the day wore on but the house was full and I was busy with them. I never saw it.

I should have been taking care of him. All I did was complain about everything. I never looked beyond me. I was hurting all the time and that is all I saw. I watched him die and never lifted a hand, never saw him suffering, never realized that he was dying minute by minute right in front of me. In FRONT OF ME!

It all was my fault. How do you live with that? How do you get up, walk through a day and go to sleep with that pounding you over the head, stabbing you in the chest, punching you in the stomach? You can pull the covers over your head for a while but not forever.

I don't know. I don't know. I am just tired, really, really tired. I want to break the clocks, all of them. I hate watching them move forward. I hate the alarm more than I've ever hated any single thing.

I don't know how to salvage what is left. Maybe because there is nothing left. I don't leave this room except to eat, sleep and go to work. I don't want to go anywhere. I have no contact outside except my children and people I see at work. And I don't care anymore. It just doesn't really matter that much.

Saturday will be seven months. There isn't really light at the end of the tunnel. It is just more tunnel, a grave with the ends knocked out and a road laid for gawkers.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


We all know when something is empty. It is without contents. Take an empty glass. It is a glass filled with nothing. But that isn't true really. The glass is filled, just not with something you can see or touch. It is filled with a gas. Air. So, in truth the empty glass isn't empty, and in fact, it is never in an empty state at all.

I suppose this would be true of all empty things. They say space is not empty, even though there is no air in space. There is lots of other stuff in space, some visible and some invisible. Science says that nature abhors a vacuum. So even nature doesn't acknowledge the existence of emptiness. It will rush to fill the emptiness, crushing the container if necessary, to fill the void. Everything is filled with something, even when you can't see it.

I am always gratified when spiritual concepts are confirmed with science.

In the center of my chest is a spot that you could fit both fists and still not fill it. Nothing is there but this great emptiness. The things that were there have been torn out, leaving ragged edges that scream in pain when something comes in contact. The walls have sealed off to protect and maintain the integrity of the structure. Still, it is a void, dark and hollow surrounded by a container attempting to maintain its form beneath the pressures of existence.

But science says this is impossible. I suppose in once sense it is filled. It is filled with the most terrible pain. Still, this is no protection from a vacuum. Breathing in a vacuum is impossible. Lungs collapse and blood will boil. Your body will explode as nature attempts to reinstate balance.

Unfortunately, when you are missing some of the parts of the structure, there is no way to maintain the integrity of the structure. It will collapse. It will be crushed. Nature. . . and I abhor a vacuum.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Turning In

Something I rarely do at this time of evening. I think I'm going to bed. I'm so tired and I'm concerned that tomorrow my neck and jaw will be truly painful. I have been forgetting to do my exercises. It was easier when I had a coach but now, remember to do them is difficult because I get busy and in a rush.

Do I have to make an appointment for everything!?? How annoying. I was never a "by the clock" girl to start with. My middle name was spontaneous. It was what people liked about me. I could come up with something to do at a moment's notice. Toss me a few words and I can come up with a story. Give me a scrap of fabric and I will make something. Give me yarn, I'll crochet. But tell me to exercise my neck twice a day and what happens? I forget.

Anyway, I'm tired and can't take another minute. I always get a bit depressed when I'm this tired and so I'm going to bed. . . after I exercise my neck.

A Quiz to Start the Day

1. What is the worst place you can imagine going first thing in the morning?

2. What is the worst thing you can imagine having done when you get there?

Anyone guess dentist & filling repair in that order? You get a gold star. I don't like going to the dentist at all. Not even for a cleaning.

I have a dental appointment this morning and then, on the way to work, I have to get my licenses plates renewed. We noticed over the weekend that they had expired last month. Jerry always took care of this sort of thing. I never had to think about it. I guess I do now.

So, won't be here long enough to really blog. I slept moderately well, neck is acting up because I'm rolling around and end up on my left side. I though I had that licked but apparently I've fallen off the wagon. I'm still sore but I am ambulatory so that is a plus.

I'm dressed and ready to go. My dentist is three blocks from the end of my street so it makes it convenient. I could walk up there in about 10 minutes or less. But, I'd have to walk back...

I made the rounds yesterday to everyone's blog and tried to leave a note for each. If I missed yours it was unintentional.

I also cleaned my contact list. I dropped about three people. They have either gone missing for more than 6 months or we've had no direct contact for that long. I try not to be one of those people who put things on my blog expecting everyone to come to me and never bother to see what they have to say. I visit your sites, although in recent months I've not been able to do as much of that because I couldn't think long enough to get through them all. So, last night I went through my history to see who has been by that I may have missed. And who no longer come by.

I selected my contacts because I actually liked what I read on their blogs, or they were already people I knew and liked, or they were related to me and I wanted to keep up with them.I didn't add people just to have a big friends list to show off. It is the main reason I keep my contact list to a manageable size. After you reach a certain point, it becomes difficult to keep up with everyone so it makes sense to only keep people with whom you actually share things and who want to share with you. I guess I'm nosy but I like reading about everyone's struggles and accomplishments. I feel a bit more normal.

I've said this before but will do so again. The last eight months would have been even more difficult to get through had I not had this blog and all of you holding my hands. You have all been a blessing in one way or another. As I start my day today, you all are on my mind. I hope your day is beautiful and blessed and that no trouble finds you. You that remain are keepers... most of you have been with me a few years. Faithfulness is a virtue.

I am off to see the dentist. Oh, his name is Dr. Pitt.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Evening to Night

Mike and I went to church this morning. I don't want to say I didn't enjoy it. That isn't exactly true. I love being in church. I can't say what was going on with me because I don't know how. I was simply terribly sad all through church.

I don't fit there or anywhere. I have no place, no purpose, and no plans. I am moving through time at a steady pace with no desire to make a stop anywhere along the way. I have no identity and no sense of belonging to anyone or any place. If I disappear tomorrow no one will notice. Or care. Jerry would have cared.

My pastor was at church this morning and while he looked as if he'd been ill, I know he probably looked good compared to what he has been in the last few weeks. It was wonderful to see him. Our associate pastor, Bro Alvey was also there. Bro Alvey is a wonderful elder of the church. Just one of those people who make you smile and laugh no matter what. He has had many health problems in the last year and so I've not seen him in months. It was truly good to see these too great men of God. I do love them both. My husband just loved them so much.

After church Mike and I had lunch at Grandy's and I took him home. Then, I came home, changed clothes and sat in my chaise in the back yard for the next couple of hours. It was pretty out. I tried to read and couldn't. I had my sun hat and my my mp3 player so I lay back in the lounger and listened to old radio shows I had downloaded. Abbot and Costello can make anyone smile, I think. I read a bit and just sat with my eyes closed listening. I could have dozed off but I became uncomfortable.

Why was I uncomfortable? I can't put my finger on it. It feels like someone is standing behind me. I want to turn around and look but when I do, no one is there. I know. I know. Weird. I can't help it. It isn't actually fear, just a sense of someone in the space around me. I have never, every had this feeling at home, particularly not when I was outside alone. I finally came in and played a game on the computer and messed with my hair a bit looking for quick fixes for a quickly graying mane. The last six months have taken a toll on several things I fear. I considered going to church but I just did not want to go through that struggle again. It is exhausting.

I am very sore tonight. I'm going to take a hot shower and see if it helps. I am hoping that tomorrow I'll be over the worst of this. It isn't as bad as it would have been had Mike not helped me. I'd have been down for a couple of days otherwise.

I don't know if I'll be back on tonight. I'm rather worn out even though I've done nothing. I am sure much of that is from all I did yesterday. I am glad that it is done. The yard looks much better. I should have taken photos of those rocks! I may still. I really want to just get rid of them. They are so much trouble.

I hope everyone has a great week ahead.

Why Sunday?

I'm dressed for church but it has been a battle. Why does Sunday have to be this nightmare of memories that simply send me reeling over the edge. I am so tired of it. I want to crawl back in bed and pull the covers over me.

I'm not really terribly sore, a bit, but not to the point I can't move around. The neck hurts most of all. But I simple get this huge wave of memories that just rush in and sweep over me like great waves, each one higher than the next and I can't take it.

It is so tiring and so disappointing not to be able to look forward to church, to feel as if I'm going to a funeral, for heaven's sake! I want to be able to believe I have a good reason for going and that when I get there I won't be miserable until I get out.

I am going to get Mike. He is going with me. It is a bit more distracting when someone goes with me but not much. Becca said she and Sarah would go this morning and I was looking forward to that but I can't get them to answer the phones. David didn't even go to bed until nearly 5 this morning according to his Facebook. And people think I have no life!

Well, I have to leave now. Maybe I'll come back on later if I can. I usually take a nap on Sunday but haven't done that much in months.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Lovely Saturday

I've finally run out of steam. Mike and I got the whole yard cut and actually did a bit of cleaning up. I still have to find a weed trimmer. Everyone seems to be sold out of the electric ones and I refuse to pay $100 for one I can't use myself. They are just too heavy. I did buy an electric one today only to find when I got it home, some parts were missing. So, I had to take it back. It was the only one they had. I was truly annoyed because the grass around the fences is about three feet high and I have to get it cut!

We cleaned along the drive way, straightening up the rocks that line it. They are so heavy! And over time they actually sink into the ground! I made two large piles at each corner of the drive. I'm tired of moving the darn things every year. My plan is to get rid of them at some point. Some weigh as much at 30 lbs! I just can't deal with it. We've only kept them because some people can't seem to stay in the tracks of the drive. I don't have a paved drive, it is gravel. People were driving all over the place, backing up into the yard. We've kept the rock and it has worked but now, with just me, it is way too much to handle keeping them straight. (People still hit them and dislodge and dislocate them.) Anyway, if they hit these piles their car will be messed up I'm going to have to be careful myself.

I am hoping that I won't be sore in the morning with all the moving and mowing. Mike was a big help today. He really worked hard. I had not realized how heavy he has gotten. I am concerned because all he does is sit in his apartment and watch television or videos. He is riding the bike to go everywhere and that is good but he really needs to get out and move around more. They denied him again on his social security, even though the audiologist suggested he needs a hearing aid now. He is totally deaf in one ear and the "good" ear doesn't work well. Oh, don't go there. I can't let this upset me.

I booked my flight today! I know my aunt and uncle will be so relieved! I bought the insurance in case I have to cancel for some reason. I don't know of one but you never know in my life when something will happen. I really want a nice relaxing week somewhere.

Many of you have said that I seem better. The stomach is better and the headache gone. So that is good. The depression seems to now be under control to some degree. Work has kept me very busy and I've been trying again to get enough sleep by going to bed at a decent hour. Trouble is, I'm waking up anywhere from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m.! I am NOT a morning person, folks. I don't have to be at work until 8 a.m. and I live no more than 15 minutes from work. There is nothing to do that early for a person who is not focused that early.

I have been getting phone calls from brother #1 this week and of course, my aunt. My sons call me.... usually wanting something but they call. Becca, daughter-in-law, calls daily, several times if she can. We always find something to talk about... Sarah {grin} is an unlimited topic. Dave, now back from his job training, did call to chat about his new Magic Jack phone. You can look that up on the internet. If it works as well as it seems to thus far, it will save them a small fortune on phone bills! Free phone service anywhere in the country! I will be getting one for Mike so he can get save on his too. I may also do that. Jerry's sister called tonight to talk a bit.

I should have called her before now but well, you all know how things have been. I just haven't called anyone much and those who've called me are as you see, a small group. That's ok. I've learned the hard way who I can depend on. I spent many years in foreign countries. I've been more alone here than anywhere I've ever lived. And I've decided I'm probably better off knowing who my actual friends are rather than thinking someone cares who doesn't really care at all. Frees me up for healthier relationships, I guess.

Well, it is late and I am going to bed soon. Got a moving going but it is on Hulu so I can stop it anytime and pick it up later. Have a good weekend... what is left of it anyway.

Much Ado.... That's TO DO

Actually, I do have much to do but it is all outside and it is very cloudy! But the temp is 65 F. degrees! Amazing! It would be a nice day to clean the garage I supposed but I really need a bit of help with that.

Not going to happen in this life.

And I need to cut the grass but first I have to go get a weed trimmer. I can do it all myself and probably will I just don't know what shape I'll be in after I'm done. But I've decided to stop asking anyone to help me. Doesn't do any good anyway.

My house is CLEAN, CLEAN, CLEAN. I only have to do the dishes and keep things picked up. I still have boxes to go through in the den but have no inclination today to do that. I'm going to get dressed, go to lunch and then, see what I want to do.

You all know I am taking a trip in September. I am going to buy my plane ticket today sometime so my wonderful, sweet, adorable aunt (and uncle) WILL STOP ASKING ME IF I HAVE BOUGHT MY TICKET! I told her yesterday that I'm going to have the whole plane to myself so it doesn't matter when I buy it because no one is going where I am going! She laughed. Yes, it is a secret so don't even ask her! Even Mike doesn't know where I am going yet. He will know before I leave. Kind of nice to have a secret. All will be revealed in good time. Hmmmm, I may wait till return with photos.

I am seriously wanting to go to England in the coming year. I now know I have at least three contacts over there, well four if you count Katey, who has disappeared from blog land all together. One of my Cassandras is in Scotland! So, I am thinking a nice trip to the British Isles would be fun. Now to save the cash and vacation time...

Ok, I've got to get going. I'm hungry need to get dressed to go to the store.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Nite, Nite

I'm going to bed. My stomach is just not happy and ergo, me neither. I went to supper with Mike thinking food was the answer for the headache and tummy ache. I'd have very little to eat all day so seemed a logical idea. On my return, with no relief in sight, I lay on the sofa and watched television for about 2 hours hoping the turmoil would settle down. It hasn't. So, the only thing left is sleep.

I have to get up and get my license plate renewed... expired a month ago. God must have been watching out for me. I've not been stopped or ticketed. Now, if I can slip to the license bureau unnoticed....

Then, need to cut the grass and trim the weeds. Got to buy a weed trimmer for that. So much for saving money this month.

So, till tomorrow.

I'm. . . uh. . . Better?

I don't think so.

The headache is hanging on and I feel really bad. I slept all afternoon when I got home. Got up at 5:30 p.m. and went back to bed about 11:30 p.m and slept all night. I woke at 5 a.m. this morning but stayed in bed and went back to sleep for another two hours. So, I think it is fair to say I am not sleepy. Well, I shouldn't be but maybe just a bit. I think I could sleep if I could lie down and I wish I could lie down.

My night was uneventful because I watched Hulu and played games until I was no more than a mindless lump. My head just hurt so much I couldn't think. I just feel yucky today. Neck is hurting, and that is probably because of the headache. I'm going to get something to drink and maybe some yogurt for lunch to see if that will help. I really would like to lie down again. Mike is coming and I'll let him drive so I don't have to deal with seeing.

I don't want to have to take an Imitrex. I haven't had one in months. Actually, I don't know if it would help. It isn't a migraine kind of headache. It is right in the front of my head and in my neck. That is more like an allergy or bug of some kind. So, I'm taking an allergy pill now and see if that works.

I'll try to pop back in when I'm really better.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Achy, Breaky...Something Icky

I came home from work early today. Left at 2 p.m. I've felt bad all day. Achy shoulder, headache, calves hurt, feet hurt. Now a crampy stomach and diarrhea. Actually, I realized this afternoon that I've had a grumbly stomach for a couple of days. I kept thinking I was hungry but eating didn't help and I kept telling myself I wasn't hungry!

So, I've just had some green tea and thought I'd drop a post in here.

I got a subpoena at work today. One of the clients is taking his landlord to court. I hate it when that happens. Thankfully it is the week after I come back from vacation! I was really concerned because I'm going on a trip between the 12th and 19th. When they told me I had a subpoena in my box I thought, "Oh no!" I was relieved to see it said September 23rd.

I'm going to stop here. Got to make a little trip and I think I want to lie down. I shouldn't be tired but I am.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Taking Tests

I was browsing Cassandra's blog and links and found an interesting quiz. Sometimes these things are uncanny but other's I can't really see.

Your Soul is Searching
You are a wanderer. You constantly long for a new adventure, challenge, or eve a completely different life.

You are not a very grounded person. You prefer dreams to reality. For you, it's all about possibilities.

You believe that people see you as larger than life and important. While this is true, they also think you're a bit full of yourself.

Your near future is in a very different place (both physically and mentally) from where you are right now.

For you, love is all about caring and comfort. You couldn't fall in love with someone you didn't trust.

You Are Fantasy / Sci Fi
You have an amazing imagination, and in your mind, all things are possible.
You are open minded, and you find the future exciting. You crave novelty and progress.

Compared to most people, you are quirky and even a bit eccentric. You have some wacky ideas.
And while you may be a bit off the wall, there's no denying how insightful and creative you are.

Oh, this next one is very interesting and too close to the mark!

You Are Original and Innovative
You are very open. You communicate well, and you connect with other people easily.
You are a naturally creative person. Ideas just flow from your mind.
A true chameleon, you are many things at different points in your life. You are very adaptable.

You are a free spirit, and you resent anyone who tries to fence you in.
You are unpredictable, adventurous, and always a little surprising.
You may miss out by not settling down, but you're too busy having fun to care.

You are very intuitive and wise. You understand the world better than most people.
You also have a very active imagination. You often get carried away with your thoughts.
You are prone to a little paranoia and jealousy. You sometimes go overboard in interpreting signals.

You are a seeker. You often find yourself restless - and you have a lot of questions about life.
You tend to travel often, to fairly random locations. You're most comfortable when you're far away from home.
You are quite passionate and easily tempted. Your impulses sometimes get you into trouble.

You are truly an original person. You have amazing ideas, and the power to carry them out.
Success comes rather easily for you... especially in business and academia.
Some people find you to be selfish and a bit overbearing. You're a strong person.

You tend to be pretty tightly wound. It's easy to get you excited... which can be a good or bad thing.
You have a lot of enthusiasm, but it fades rather quickly. You don't stick with any one thing for very long.
You have the drive to accomplish a lot in a short amount of time. Your biggest problem is making sure you finish the projects you start.

You are usually the best at everything ... you strive for perfection.
You are confident, authoritative, and aggressive.
You have the classic "Type A" personality.

Do You Know What Time It Is?

Can anyone tell me what time it is getting to be? If you guessed NaNoWriMo, you would be a winner!

Yes, my dear friends, you will all be subject once again to my angst and excitement over National November Novel Writing Month. As you devoted readers will remember it is 50,000 words in 30 days beginning 12:01 a.m. November 1 and ending at midnight on November 30.

Despite my lack of focus and my inability to think logically I am going to attempt to invent a story of at least 50,000 words. This year will be my fourth year participating and I hope it will be a third win. I'm give it my best. The fun of the forums awaits as well.

They issued the badges early this year. Perhaps to generate more interest. I would have to say if you are even a little bit of a writer you should try this. It is a lot of fun and you meet some great people. And the writing practice is truly wonderful. Working under such a tight deadline forces you to actually write! LOL, fast!

My friend, Cassandra C. is a friend from NaNo. Please drop by her blog and encourage her and keep her in your thoughts and prayers. I just found that she has been going through some very difficult things this past year. For one thing, they have found a tumor on her optic nerve. I knew about some of the difficulties she'd had but not that particular one. I do not know if she will try NaNo but I wouldn't be surprised. She seems to be one of those who will keep trying. My hat is off to her.

I've been both busy and very tired these last few days and have just not wanted to post anything. I'm going to be buying my ticket for my get-away in September. More on that later.

I'm also going to make myself order that laptop I've had my eye on. I keep putting it off but I think that will be my birthday present to myself this year. October is a little way off but an early present is not a bad thing.

I had a cleaning lady in yesterday. My daughter-in-law's mother absolutely loves to clean. And folks, she is a whiz! If cleaning has a mother, Sue is it! At the moment she is laid off for a few days and I requested her services. After I got home, when I opened my storm door so I could unlock the front door, I could smell my house. When I opened the door it felt like a weight had been lifted. Everything was dusted, swept, vacuumed, mopped, and put away. I was thrilled. Mind you, it wasn't very dirty to start with but I just knew it needed a thorough job of it.

And now I'm going to find a show to watch and then to bed. I've been so tired and I'm taking my medicines a bit earlier so I get sleepy earlier. May have to adjust that if I'm to get anything done.

Monday, August 17, 2009


Link - Oak Park Church Podcast

My cousin sent me the above link to his (and my aunt's) church website so I could listen to their podcasts of services. I've visited their church several times and always enjoy it.

I didn't go to church on Sunday night but I did listen to their Sunday service.The worship service and preaching is on the podcast and you can drag the button ahead to get to the preaching sooner if you aren't into worship music.I am so I listened to the whole thing.

Tonight, I listened to last Wednesday night's Bible study. I agree with my aunt that her pastor is good. Grammy, this might be right up your alley as you obviously love the Word. This Wednesday night service was very good.

I've found podcasts to be rather interesting. You can get all kinds of stuff on podcast and many websites now have them. For people who may not be able to get out for health or mobility reasons, this is really be a great idea.

I'm not blogging much tonight. I'm considering going to bed early. My Monday was about a boring as it gets and that is never good. Means all the really crazy people will show up on Friday with catastrophic problems.

Maybe I'll watch something on Hulu....

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Sound of Memories

I watched a commercial today that I posted on my site and the music soundtrack they used is a song that Jerry and I really loved. When we were newly married the Bellamy brothers were a big hit. We liked them. The song you hear now is one of our favorites. I had to listen to it several times and then it just blew me away.

I remembered that when our favorite oldies songs would be playing around here I'd often get up and dance around the room while he would just laugh, smile and shake his head. Sometimes I could coax him onto his feet to dance with me but he was all long arms and long legs and had never really learned to dance.Well, neither did I. I just expressed my happiness that way.He was a good Baptist boy when I married him and I was a good Pentecostal girl and one thing we had in common was we didn't dance! LOL!

But I did dance, sometimes, when I was happy I danced and even sang loudly. And he had danced with a few girls in his dating days. But neither of us was a Fred Astaire or Ginger Rogers. But at home, when we were having a goofy day, I might jump up and start dancing and I'd drag him on his feet so we could dance together and then we would collapse into a chair laughing at how silly we looked. To bad dancers having a good time.

And then, after the song ended, I found that memory is often an enemy with knives. All I want is to dance with Jerry to the Bellamy brothers singing Let Your Love Flow. All I can do is close my eyes and watch.

Sunday, Sunday

I'm on my way out to church but stopped because the coffee is still hot. As you all know, Sunday is the worst day of the week for me. Sunday was the day we would go to church together, have lunch and then, he'd have to go to work. But we'd have those few hours to see one another. So, by late afternoon,I've had enough.

I've been thinking that I need to change the routine and go on Saturday nights. My church has services Saturday night, Sunday morning, and Sunday night. I could go on Saturday nights but I seem to be so tired after doing stuff around here all day that I can't ever get there.

I do have an energy level problem and I don't know how I'm going to fix that unless the fibromyalgia gets fixed. I'm tired most of the time and after work of any kind I seem to just run down. Or maybe it is just here, at home I have the problem. I'll have to evaluate that idea and see if it is true.

The day looks beautiful outside but it is already 79 degrees Fahrenheit at 9:04 a.m. That is warm.

So, it is out the door now!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Access From Anywhere


Every once in a while I mention watching television shows and movies for free on If you are not in the US, you probably can't watch these programs. However, I ran across a work around on a tech site that I used now and then. It is a good site to learn a lot of things but here is a video where he shows you a way to watch HULU outside of the US.

Now, you computer geeks will know that there are other applications to this hack but I'm only telling talking about the ability to watch videos on HULU.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


It is late and I won't be long at this. I am glad tomorrow is Friday! I've been tired all week, it seems. At least, I'm sleeping but it seem that isn't enough.

I talked with Roselynn tonight and she was very excited about her job and school starting. I'm glad she is doing this. There is a family situation brewing that has serious potential of chaos but it is a situation we have no real control over and so have decided to let the powers that be deal with it. Not our problem... yet. LOL! If she wants to relate what is going on she can but let's say that our family is not without truck loads of drama.

I truly would like to be able to get up and get loads of things done on Saturday. We will see. My energy just doesn't hold out too well. By Saturday I am so worn out that all I want to do is read with my feet up.

I am headed for bed now. I hope everyone will have a great weekend. I would like it to be a nice one here.

New Priest's Ideas

It was my first laugh of the day and I think it should be shared.

The elderly priest, speaking to the younger priest, said,
"It was a good idea to replace the first four pews with
plush bucket theater seats. It worked like a charm. The
front of the church always fills first now." The young
priest nodded, and the old priest continued, "And you told
me adding a little more beat to the music would bring young
people back to church, so I supported you when you brought
in that rock 'n' roll gospel choir. Now our services are
consistently packed to the balcony."

"Thank you, Father," answered the young priest. "I am
pleased that you are open to the new ideas of youth."

"All of these ideas have been well and good," said the
elderly priest, "but I'm afraid you've gone too far with the
drive-thru confessional."

"But, Father," protested the young priest, "my confessions
and the donations have nearly doubled since I began that!"

"Yes," replied the elderly priest, "and I appreciate that.
But the flashing neon sign, 'Toot 'n Tell or Go to Hell,'
cannot stay on the church roof."

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


I think we have this image of the death of a spouse and subsequent widowhood as some romantically gentle thing where the widow wears lacy black dresses and carries these dainty hankies and has all these caring people holding her hand and surrounding her with love and attention. She is buoyed up by friends and family. Her every move is monitored to be sure she is holding up. Someone is knocking on the door, calling on the phone, sending letters and cards.

That reality couldn't be further from the truth. None of that happens. She sits alone in the house she shared with her husband. She does laundry for one, prepares meals for one, sleeps alone, listens to silence, and stares at photographs of their life. She finds some trivial pursuit to occupy her mind so she won't think about it anymore. The door is locked and no one knocks. The phone only rings when those who actually love her call. There are no cards and letters. No one holds her hands, no one caters to her at all. She becomes a pariah, an outcast.

Places they went together, she can't go alone. It hurts to go there and the people they knew avoid her anyway. Places she'd like to go that would be less painful or provide some interest she can't go alone.

Jilly said something after my last post that set me thinking about why I am sharing all this. "I know when I read your words and listen to what you are saying that there are messages there for me. I have tried to change certain things because of stuff that you have said."

I knew in my head why I am so vocal in this blog about what I am experiencing. I have hesitated at times to be so vocal but as I pointed out in the last post I feel better when I get it all out. Jilly saw the other reason. The other reason I elected to keep this open is because someday, some of you will be where I am. You will wear my shoes and eat at my table. You need to know now what is important. You can't afford to wait until you have the plate set before you to discover that the meal is unpalatable.

If only one good thing comes from what I am living I hope it is that someone will be changed in ways I was not before this happened. So much of what we do is done without realizing any long term effects. Remember the Butterfly Effect. It is the theory that the fluttering of a butterfly's wings in China can spawn, weeks later, a hurricane in the Atlantic. What you do and say has far reaching consequences. You will not see the results today, maybe not tomorrow, or even for several years. But at some point, your actions or lack of action will be seen and felt. And the results may be devastating.

You know, it is the things we didn't say to one another that drive me crazy. The things we should have talked about, things that needed to be resolved, and the things I should have done are the weights I carry now. I have to learn to live with the would haves, should haves, and the could haves. They are as sharp as swords that slash out at unexpected moments or as I turn a corner. They are a thousand paper cuts to the soul. I can't escape. I have to learn to live with these. Perhaps that is what it is like for anyone in this place. I don't know. I never bothered to find out.

So, I'm telling you.

Stop talking at one another and really look at each other. Listen to what is not being said as well as what is heard. Ask questions you are uncomfortable asking. Be kind in the face of frustration, anger, and despair. Be loving, even when the person is unloving. Be considerate even when you feel taken advantage of. Even when you own pain is overwhelming, try and see what is happening to the people around you. Say what is in your heart, not what is on your mind. For God's sake, put your hands out, extend your arms and prop someone up so they can stand just a bit longer.

If you can't see a purpose to any of it, then make a purpose. Tomorrow one of you may not wake up.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Truth in Action

Someone sent me this a week or so ago and it is worth sharing.

While watching a little TV on Sunday instead of going to church, I watched a church in Atlanta honoring one of its senior pastors who had been retired many years. He was 92 at that time and I wondered why the church even bothered to ask the old gentleman to preach at that age.

After a warm welcome, introduction of this speaker, and as the applause quieted down, he rose from his high back chair and walked slowly, with great effort and a sliding gait to the podium. Without a note or written paper of any kind he placed both hands on the pulpit to steady himself and then quietly and slowly he began to speak....

"When I was asked to come here today and talk to you, your pastor asked me to tell you what was the greatest lesson ever learned in my 50-odd years of preaching. I thought about it for a few days and boiled it down to just one thing that made the most difference in my life and sustained me through all my trials. The one thing that I could always rely on when tears and heartbreak and pain and fear and sorrow paralyzed me.... the only thing that would comfort was this verse........ ....
"Jesus loves me this I know.
For the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to Him belong,
we are weak but He is strong......
Yes, Jesus loves me.....
The Bible tells me so."

When he finished, the church was quiet. You actually could hear his foot steps as he shuffled back to his chair. I don't believe I will ever forget it.

A pastor once stated, "I always noticed that it was the adults who chose the children's hymn 'Jesus Loves Me' (for the children of course) during a hymn sing, and it was the adults who sang the loudest because I could see they knew it the best."

"Senior version of Jesus Loves Me"

Here is a new version just for us who have white hair or no hair at all. For us over middle age (or even those almost there) and all you others, check out this newest version of Jesus Loves Me...


Jesus loves me, this I know,
Though my hair is white as snow
Though my sight is growing dim,
Still He bids me trust in Him.

Though my steps are oh, so slow,
With my hand in His I'll go
On through life, let come what may,
He'll be there to lead the way.

When the nights are dark and long,
In my heart He puts a song..
Telling me in words so clear,
"Have no fear, for I am near."

When my work on earth is done,
And life's victories have been won.
He will take me home above,
Then I'll understand His love.

I love Jesus, does He know?
Have I ever told Him so?
Jesus loves to hear me say ,
That I love Him every day.

A footnote to this story is one of my own: Riley Robinson was well known to my grandparents in his youth to party but he eventually came to God and married a girl late in his life. When I was a 14, he was a tiny, shriveled old man nearing his ninties, his voice failing. Every testimony service he stood and no matter what else he said during that testimony, he repeated this phrase every single time in as loud a voice as he could muster. As long as I live I will see that shakey arm raised, hand twisted by arthritis and hear his quavering voice shout: "Thank God for Jesus!". He never wavered. I will never forget him.

A Summer Storm

I woke up tired. Isn't that crazy? I went to bed about midnight I think after hours of watching HULU t.v. shows. I went to sleep very quickly and slept all night But I'm tired. The sunny Monday has ended in a stormy night.

I'm sorry if my post yesterday upset anyone or caused you to worry. They told me to write what I was feeling and what was happening to me during this process. Sometimes, it is all I can do or I'd be in a corner pulling my hair out.

One of my friends came on and chatted with me last night and apologized for not "being a good friend". I was shocked because I talk to her at least two or three times a week online! Alice's sister died a couple of years ago and she understands a lot of what I'm dealing with and she has been very good to keep in touch. But she does live 4 hours away.

We don't actually "know" each other on sight but I believe we've become friends in the more than three years we've been conversing and she's been reading my novel. Still, I don't expect her to be able to run over to pat me on the head. It is enough that she talks to me and she makes me laugh. It helps that she actually cares and says so.

It is the same with all of you who have stopped by here to leave notes, send emails, PM's and the like. You may not feel you are helping but really, even though I know what I write is often excruciating to read, you still show up and you still leave a note just saying you're here and holding my cyber hands. There are times when that is all I have had.

Realistically, I know there is no one who can walk me through this. I know there is nothing anyone can say but sometimes listening is all that is required. Sometimes we just need to be able to lean against something until we get our feet back under us. In this place, where I live, you learn that talking is not always possible but something to cling to may be the thing that saves you. A lifeline in a storm requires no words.

I met with Dan, the counselor today. First time in a month. He asked again how I was and I was at a loss. I don't know. I'm fine. I'm o.k. Finally, foundering, I pulled out the copy of yesterday's post, saying, "I knew you would ask me so I brought this." I read it to him. Honestly, even I was scorched by the words and they were where I was yesterday. I'm still there today but the intensity of it is gone. I feel better because I lanced the wound.

What did he say? "Wow." He agreed I probably felt better because I got it out of me.

He asked me why I made my journal public. Did I want people to see it?

I told him I had considered keeping it private but had decided that people should, no needed to know what this is like. They need to know it is not a joke. It is not an exaggeration. It is not a bid for attention. It is not melodrama. It is raw, gut-wrenching pain that hits you over and over and over and when you think it is finished, it blindsides you all over again. And you sit in your house alone and there is no one to call, no one to sit with you, no one to hold your hand. You scream at walls and ceiling and pull your hair and beat your pillow with your fists. You demand an explanation from the silence that has built around you like stone walls. You tear at the stones to get at the truth only to find that there is only that darkness on the other side. Dark, dark, deafening silence.

People should know that the next grief stricken person you meet is very likely living this. They may smile or laugh at your joke but when they walk away, they are stabbed with a memory that sends them reeling. You need to know that their pain is real and you may be the only person between them and the darkness that threatens to swallow them up.

I told him I was tired of not saying what I felt, of sparing other people's feelings when mine were raw meat. I told him I had learned a lot about compassion and about people since Jerry died, particularly people who have "ministries". What I've learned is disappointing to me and is not pretty for them.

I am tired of people who are uncomfortable with my grief. We are supposed to feel and we are supposed to feel for other people. We all, I include myself, spend enormous amounts of time trying to avoid knowing about other people's pain. We don't want to talk about it, acknowledge they are hurt. We make the excuse that "Oh, I don't want to upset them!"

Bovine excrement! That's the nicest way to put it even though the impact would be greater with the courser phrase.

We don't want to be burdened with caring or put to the trouble of holding someone's hand while they fall apart. Think about it. If I say I care and they reach out to me, the burden is then on me to respond with an action. I might have to do something! Or even worse... I'll have to actually feel something human! If I avoid them and say nothing, maybe they'll know I care and just let me live my life with nothing required of me. Let's not make me uncomfortable! I'll just pray for them! That'll do the trick!

Yes, that's pretty much the gist of what I told him. He listens well. Then it started to storm and I smiled and told him I loved storms. He asked me why. I said they make me feel good.

He told me that wasn't an answer. What about storms did I like? What did they make me feel? I told him I liked the thunder and lightening. No, what was it about a storm that made me feel good... why did it make me feel good. I said I didn't know. I liked them. They were awesome. I liked the earthshaking, blinding lightening, pouring rain storms. The kind that shake everything. He smiled then.

I told him about a trip we took years ago in a terrific storm. There is a post called Out Running the Storm that relates that night. He insisted that I need to figure out what it was about a storm that I liked. What was it about the storms that made me feel good. I couldn't tell him.

He told me I spend a lot of time in my head. Yes, I laughed too. It means I don't talk about what I'm feeling. That's true. But I write it very well. Even Alice told me that... for free! Why? I have an ability to write what I feel because there is no barrier there. I let the barriers down in my writing. I need, apparently, to find a way to talk about what I feel and why. He asked again, "So, what is it about thunderstorms that make you feel good? Why? Is it spiritual or emotional or what?"

I looked at him, laughed and finally said, "I don't know. No one has ever asked me that specific question. When I say I love storms everyone always just looks at me and tells me I'm crazy." I told him I would sit in an open field in a thunderstorm if it wasn't dangerous but that I wasn't stupid. I told him I wanted to stop in that storm long ago and watch the lightening strikes all around us. Jerry said I was crazy and we didn't stop. I wish we had. He would have if I'd insisted. He'd do anything I wanted to do.

So, as I left Dan's office the question nagged at me all the way home. I can't answer the question. Somehow I figure it probably is important. I suspect it will reveal great truths about me. Or maybe I just love storms.....

The thunder has moved off now. I suppose the storm has gone with it. That's too bad. I should have gone out and stood under the awning and watched it.

I Can't Happen to who?

I won't post my opinion on this since I've already posted about this vaccine several times. This speaks for itself.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Just Another Day

I went to church this morning. It was freezing cold and I left after an hour with my shoulders and hands hurting. I had Mike wait to start the car so I could let the 90+ degrees seep into my bones. It took at least 15 minutes for the skin on my upper arms to actually feel warm to the touch. I didn't remember to take a shawl. I usually always take a sweater or shawl.

I came home and had lunch with my children... not all together. Mike first and then I took him home. When I got back Dave, Becca and Sarah were here and eating their lunch. Mike lives about 15 minutes away. I had a problem and had to go to bed. I took a bit of a nap and then Sarah and I played Starfall. We had not done it together in a long time. She plays with her mother and now can recognize all her letters and is learning to read the words.

They left and I've been trying to get through the rest of the day. It's hell.

On the way to take Mike home I saw a young man, probably late teens, get off a church bus and walk across the road carrying his Bible. I do not know why in that moment I saw Jerry but I did. I didn't get a good look at the boy. He was walking with a young woman and they were talking, he facing away. There was no resemblance to Jerry, except maybe the thick dark hair and the gait. But there was a rush of intense memories that began to roll through my mind and I was almost not able to drive. I got Mike home but when I got home I just had to go to bed. I've not been able to stop them. I tried watching a movie but an expression on the man's face in the movie sent me back over the percipice. I lay curled in a fetal position for about 20 minutes screaming in a pillow. God, how insane.

I was told by someone before Jerry died that I was a fighter. I don't know what he was seeing when he said it. But I'm tired of it. I've lost every battle. I've carried wounded off the field and doctored their wounds and got them back on their feet. I've urged others on and watched their victories. I've staggered along dragging myself because there was no one to carry me. But I'm tired. I'm bleeding to death and I stand in a barren wasteland in tatters, alone. No one carries me. No one binds my wounds. No one shoulders my burdens. I surrender. I don't want to fight anymore.

Don't tell me to pray or call someone or find some interest. I've done all that. I thought a while ago that perhaps I should pick up the phone and call some of the people I know and say, "Hi, I was just calling to check on you and see if you were wondering how I was?"

Someone called a while back and wanted me to try and comfort someone else who had lost their spouse. I wanted to laugh. I don't have any comfort to give. What do I say to her? "Honey don't expect anyone to give a tin whistle about you." "Don't expect to hear from your so called friends." "I hope you have family!" I told this person to make sure they call and call and call. They won't. . . unless they want something in return.

So, here I kneel on a stony field amidst the remains of 52 years of battles.... all lost. No victories here. No glory. No banners or parades. No cheers from the sidelines. Just broken bones and defeat. And today I lay down my weapons.

I remember weeping over my blog-friend, Jenn's blog where she described her loss of faith after the suicide of her 17 year-old daughter. I remember praying for her, hoping she could find herself again, find her faith and her desire to live. How very arrogant of me.

I realized today when you look death in the face, you don't see anything but darkness. There is no light in it. And you can't look away. It is so terrible that you are fixated by it. You see nothing but an empty blackness. Even your faith gets swallowed up in that blackness. Everything is sucked in and disappears.

In the worst times of my life I think I've held onto my faith. I've always believed God was listening and he cared. I've always loved him. I do not remember ever not. I want to believe I still do.

Today, I've asked all the questions I know to ask. I've prayed all the prayers I know to pray. I've said all the things I know to say. And the darkness echos.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Friday Sunshine

The day looks very pretty out but I hear it is to be in the 90's today and over the weekend. I'll probably be spending it indoors if that is the case. Those temps here in the pothole of Indiana mean bad air quality. I have a stuffy nose already this week and it seems worse today. One of the girls here in the office has been hacking around and sounding hoarse so it could be a summer cold I've caught. I hope not. They're yuk.

My neck is bothering me the last several days. I've been doing my stretches but not as faithfully. Distractions keep interfering and I forget. I need to get over the the YMCA and talk to them about signing up again.

I have put together a nice laptop at Dell.... but it is ridiculously expensive. But, it's only money, right? I'm a power freak and I figure if I buy system a bit more than standard it will take years to be obsolete. Worked for us so far. My computers generally last 8-10 years. I still have the Gateway we bought in 1999. LOL, I do want one to take with me when I'm away from the house. If I don't write now.... I never will. Time is slipping away so very fast. . . . . . . . . . .

Well, back to work. Lots to do before five.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Longest Day

As you all know by now, today was Jerry's birthday. He would have been 60 had he not left us in January. He was so looking forward to being 60. He made jokes all the time about the senior citizen's discount and how he would qualify for so many things once he was 60. He wanted to be 60. Has any of us ever wanted to be 60?

The children have gone home for the evening. My sons, Mike and David, my daughter-in-law Becca and granddaughter Sarah came over. They said they felt I should not be alone tonight and were here when I got home. We had supper together, sandwiches, soda and chips. We just sat around a chatted and I read stories to Sarah while they went and got Blizzards and brought them home. No discussions of anything heavy. Now, I'm just tired.

Several of you have sent special messages to me today. I have two friends named Cassandra here on Multiply. Cassandra C. sent a special message while the newest Cassandra has taken me on a special virtual tour today of some exciting places. We've been to a nice historical bed and breakfast with an unlimited chocolate bar, a day spa for a nice relaxing massage before going to a Murder mystery dinner theater. All in virtual time. But what fun it has been "site seeing" with her. It is a unique gift she has and I am glad I added her this past week. My deepest thanks to both of the Cassandra's.

All of you have left me messages both on the posts and in PM's that have just been so good to read and know that special people thought of me today or said prayers for me. I wish so very much I could tell you each how much your friendships have come to mean. I liked you all from the beginning. I love you all now.

I also got a card from a young lady that used to go to my church. I don't think she planned it to arrive today but it did. It was very sweet. On the front it says "Embrace Life". I try... it doesn't hold the same appeal at the moment as it did. Perhaps later.

For now, I'm going to get a hot shower and get ready for bed. I may watch a movie if I can stay awake. Actually, I'm very tired tonight and just want to sleep. I'm glad tomorrow is Friday. The week has been far too long for me, and the end of the longest day is here.

Thank you, again, all my friends. I do not use the term lightly. I do hope I can be as good to you all as you have been to me.

Happy Birthday, Jerry!

August 6, 1949 Evelyn and Gordon Maddox gave birth to a son, Jerry, at Andalusia Hospital in Andalusia, Alabama.

I would give him life today. . . if I could.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Urgent Prayer Request for My Pastor

Please put my pastor Willard Clement on your prayer list tonight! He had heart surgery last week, as I mentioned but he also has bronchitis. He has coughed so much he's pulled some things loose and has to go back tomorrow to the hospital. There is fluid around his heart.

Please lift this wonderful man of God up in prayer tonight and tomorrow. Our church needs our pastor!

Cleaning Day

My day did not start well. I'm fighting this depression and I'm not sure who is winning. I don't think it is me. I've started back on the St. John's Wort. I was off it about a month but I was fine. I realized on Saturday that tomorrow is Jerry's birthday and it has just pulled me down.

I think cutting that last tree was more difficult, too. The yard so very bare and it is like an alien landscape. I pull in the drive and the sense of something off kilter or out of place is terrible.It is similar to what I would feel coming home from work when Jerry died. I go in and sit on the computer until I'm so tired I can't see and then go to bed and pray I go to sleep. I am sleeping, but I wake up in the mornings in this very depressed state. I am nearly sick over breakfast every morning.

Anyway, I'm having my teeth cleaned today and probably will schedule to have a tooth filled. I have a filling that needs it and they talked about putting in an implant where I had a tooth pulled about 40 years ago! That's a lot of money to fork out but I have to get it fixed to prevent any further drifting of the adjacent teeth.

I may be back later.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Bad Day's End

I'm had a very bad morning and did not go to work. My feet were hurting but frankly, I was in meltdown. Not sure what to do about it.

I was having crazy dreams and as you may recall, dreams upset me so when I woke I was very depressed. The dreams made no sense but they made me sad. I called in and then cried for a couple of hours.

After that I played with my hair to see how hard it was going to be to fix it and posted the results in the albums. And when the tree guy got here, I watched the last of the trees fall.

I'm going to bed soon. Neck bothered me all day.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

OH! My Aching Back

I was awakened at 4:45 a.m. with a pain in my lower back. My sciatic nerve chose just that time the deliver a searing kick right to my left lower back. I reached around and found a knot that felt the size of a thumb and extended from the left of my spinal cord to my hip bone.

I shifted positions but finally had to get up and get a hot pack and put on it. It didn't help a lot. At 8:00 a.m. I got out of bed after several hours of restless sleep. I would have given a lot to have someone rub it until the know went down. I been movingaround and even sat on the edge of a chair for a bit. I found sitting at the dinning table and reading was a bit better because of the hard chair but after a while that becomes hard on you bottom.

For a bit my left leg felt like it might go but that seems to have eased off a bit. I hate it when the leg goes out. There is no one here to help me if that happens. It is nearly 11:00 a.m. now and I still have some pain but not as much.

I didn't do anything much yesterday. I worked on cleaning the garage again and I trimmed my crepe myrtle bushes. They have something that looks like baby powder on them that is killing the blooms. I'm concerned about so many things dying in the yard. I need to call the lawn people and ask what they are putting out that could cause this.

Oh, I did hold Sarah outside and she fell asleep while I was standing holding her. I rocked her from side to side, twisting at my waist. Last time I did that I had a flare up of this. So, now I know not to do that. Oddly, my neck and shoulder don't hurt as much from holding her! So, the stretches have helped a lot.

She isn't really that heavy. Doesn't weigh 25 lbs soaking wet! LOL! She's a tiny mite with boundless energy. Yesterday I introduced her to the tree guy and she said, "Hi I'm Sarah. And this is Mawmaw." We all laughed. Very proper she has become, too. Later she and I were discussing something and I told her she was a princess and she said "I'm just Sarah." No airs, apparently. Then, when I told her I was a girl, she said, "No, you're Mawmaw."

Well, I'm going to log off for a bit. I need to do some financial stuff. Makes my head hurt to even think of it.

Oh, and I would appreciate it if you would all welcome a new member of my contact list, Cassandra. She asked very nicely to join me about a week ago. She says she has been wading through the posts trying to get to know me. All I can say is that will keep her busy for a while! LOL. So, welcome Cassandra!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

A Vacant Lot, A Princess, and Grapes of Joy!

I'm really sad to see all my trees go but go they have. Even the hedges at the back that were over grown are cut right to the ground. They will come back up next year I think but they were way beyond my ability to deal with so they had to go. And he did that for no extra charge.

After lunch I went to get Sarah. Her mother and dad took her to a little fair a church was having and when she got tired, I picked her up so they could have time for themselves. I'm so nice! But we had a great time. She is such a funny little thing and just such a joy to watch. There is nothing quite like the sparkling blue eyes of a princess. And did you ever see a princess make dinner for you? They are poetry in motion. And did you know that grapes are pure joy? They are! Just watch.

Down Come the Trees!

Here is the progress thus far! The first tree is little more than a pile of logs. It wasn't very large.

The lumberjacks taking a water break. I asked them to let me take a photo and they were very pleased by it. The guy in the center. Lew, is our friend who is heading up the operation. The other two gentlemen are also tree men who work for other companies during the week. The guy in red says there is good money in this work.

I warned them I was putting it on the blog and they were fine with it.

This limb that is about to come down worried me. It was directly over the house and almost touching the evens. Lew had been up on that roof cutting things back so it wouldn't damage the room but it was still large. They are holding a rope tied to it so they can pull it away from the house.

Here they begin to pull hard as the other man begins to cut into the tree. I was holding my breath!

TIMBER! It falls away just as they planned. They made it look so easy.

And it is now ready to chop in peices and be hauled away. You can see how bare my back yard is going to be without my lovely mimosa.

More later!