just another night here in georgia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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we all get sad sometimes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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angina pain

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

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

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

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

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dancing cheek to cheek

February 20, 2015 at 1:43 am (Uncategorized) (, , )

we are staying at a historical hotel in the hills of west virginia. the first word that came to my mind as we drove through the gates was opulent. of course that was followed by gasps of joy and a few tears at the sheer beauty, not just the beauty before me but the beauty of my life since meeting him.  some were skeptical when we first met nearly 23 years ago yet here i am with him now and even more in love and in awe of the life we have built together.

IMG_0407The Greenbrier, White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

the new battery in the device implanted in my chest to keep this heart beating must be working overtime! just a few short weeks ago i had been told that my battery was at the end of its 3 month warning to be replaced.  at that time i seemed to forget the decision once made not to have it replaced. my only thought was “do it.”  as i lay in the hospital bed i couldn’t help but ask if i had been hasty.  we usually talked about such big decisions, i had sent him home not wanting him to be overwhelmed by all the medical jargon that was going to be flying in the next few hours.

now sitting in the car, looking at this incredible hotel that would be our love nest for the next few days, i have no regrets. the scar still healing is tender, not more tender than my feelings for him. nothing is ever more tender than that.  Men in smart-looking uniforms rush to open our car doors.    immediately i am taking pictures. one is of standing by the lion statue, the man in uniform asks if we would like to have our picture taken together.  i hate to see images of myself, but he answers with a firm yes and there i am with him by the lion..  we are told rubbing the lions nose will bring us good luck. what he doesn’t know is, i have already  been blessed with abundant luck.

you can tell by the shine on his nose that many have come before us looking for good luck!IMG_0417

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

arriving on monday we went to our room and napped a bit. then on to have some dinner and explore.  there are 6 restaurants in this sprawling resort.  there is also an ice skating rink (we did not go skating), bowling alley, and casino.  we had “afternoon tea” accompanied by live piano music.  he asked for our song, of course he is so tender-hearted that tears start to flow with the first notes.  i love him all the more for this soft side of him.

tuesday i was down for the day. he went out alone a couple of times but kept coming back to check on me.  once he lay with me and took a nap.  we had room service that day.  it seemed a waste of time and money to be there but he just re-assured me that tomorrow would be a better day. wednesday we explored the small town of lexinburg, most of the shops were closed for the winter. lunch was at a very hip little diner that served only organic food.  they even listed where they got everything and it was all local.  thursday it snowed most of the day.  my love went down for tea on his own this day and again i seemed stuck in the bed.  again we had room service. the night before we had dinned in the main dining room.  it was so marvelous! the food was like a work of art.  i decided to stick with appetizers since the meals were just huge, it worked out great.  amazingly we had piano entertainment.  while i was in the restroom apparently he had made his requests for certain songs.

as i was walking back to the table i saw him across the room . he was walking toward me and i thought “how sweet he is going to walk me back to the table.  suddenly i here the music and she is playing Dancing Cheek to Cheek. he takes my hand and suddenly we are dancing, there is no one else in the room, or is there? in that moment there is no else in the room. there is only the two of us. he fold me into his arms and i feel like nothing can take me away from him. death cannot separate us.

there is a song I hope you dance and i would wish that for the whole world. wouldn’t we all be a little happier if we danced? i could only dance for a minute, no matter, it felt like a lifetime there in his arms.  this battery won’t make me well.  we know that. what we hope for is a little more time.  however long or short that may be we are so grateful.  i don’t know how many of these trips i have in me.  on the way home we recalled all our favorite moments at the Greenbrier.  we also discussed and agreed that long trips were no longer an option. time will tell what the future holds for us. i am excited about what the possibilities are.

 

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angel of friendship

January 30, 2015 at 8:29 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

for years i have made it a goal to do “random acts of kindness.”  it has brought me great joy and a sense of connection. today it brought me the “angel of kindness.”  my experience is or has been that when you put out good, you get back good. of course we all go through some difficult times and that is only natural.

today my sweet man went to pick up a few items from the pharmacy and grocery store, he also stopped at the cleaners.  i was pleasantly surprised to see that a sweater i had dropped off last march had been found and returned.  the woman who works at  the cleaners also sent a gift.  there were a couple of small items along with a willows angel holding a puppy. on the box it was titled “the angel of friendship.” i have met in person, and here online, so many kind and generous people.

when listening to the news at night it is easy to believe the world is a scary place with people who just rob and create mayhem. most of my life i have had to be able to close the door on one part of my day, even my life, in order to have peace.  while in the army whatever happened while on duty had to be left behind when i made it home.  those at home deserved my full attention and focus.  as a therapist i often found myself in the same situation.  whatever sad or horrible stories heard while working needed to be left behind in order to again be fully engaged at home.  there were times i would watch the kids next door to remind me that there were ordinary families that loved each other and they had ordinary lives.

as a kid, at times when my grandmother and i were in california with my mom and dad, i would walk to what i considered average neighborhoods.  the point of these walks being to stand on the sidewalk and observe these moments of unguarded family time.  i would see parents being loving to their children and usually the family sitting down to dinner.  it reminded me that soon i would go back to my real home where there was no screaming, arguing and hitting.  there were moments i wanted to cry for the tenderness i witnessed.  i always knew my grandmother loved me but i have to admit that she was not the warm fuzzy kind of woman.  she had a hard life and her mother had passed away when she was quite young.

for all the kindness that i have been freely given in my life i am, with all my heart, grateful.  it is almost painful for me to know such depths of friendship and kindness.  it is the kind of thing that will bring tears to my eyes when little else will.  my tolerance for pain is much higher than my ability to receive from others.  thank you for these gifts of love.  for much of my life there was an absence of such love, however, it has been abundant in the most important years of my life.

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the hospital, bossy sister and what are we avoiding?

January 16, 2015 at 4:07 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , )

finding the problem with my last post has been frustrating.  this process is mostly flow of thought.  so to purposely redo a post is difficult for me.  how was i feeling at the moment i first wrote about this experience? how do i get my head back in to that whole moment? so please bare with me through the next few paragraphs. to get his pound of flesh for my previous non-compliance, dr. o turned slowly, almost like the character in some horror movie, he asks… are you ready to do anything i ask you to do?  i look for the hint of smile and don’t find one.  oh he is good! out come the words i was not prepared for, so you would go by ambulance to the hospital?  inside i am a mix of emotions, i want to give some flippant answer but am acutely aware that this is a test of some kind.  “yes” is say. oh my beating heart be still, how bad can it be i ask myself.  well, self has an answer to that question but we are not going to discuss that here and now. it starts with going to the waiting area and bringing chris back to the treatment room.  trying to put what is about to happen in the best possible terms.  how to make all this seem like just a little side trip.  the nurse puts in an iv which i am most grateful for later.  she gets it on the second try, chris is watching and cringing with each slide of the needle.  the ambulance emt’s arrive to whisk me off to the er where i will be , if all goes according to plan, admitted to the hospital.  it is frankly sop (standard operating procedure) for this medical group.  my blood pressure was out of control.  way too high for someone with my health problems. not good for anyone but especially for someone with heart failure.  on the ride over, they used sirens to avoid stopping for lights and traffic, i find out the emt with me was in the army.  the emt driving is a firefighter but is required to do x number of hours as an emt.  we had nice conversation  on the way over and arrive fairly quickly.  i was concerned about my love getting lost along the way.  it is an area with a lot of one way streets.  we are now in a hallway waiting to be admitted to the emergency room.  after 15 minutes the guys (emt’s) start talking about the wait.  it was decided the nurse manager should be called.  our ace was the threat of going to another hospital.  within minutes there was a tech taking me in to a stock room to do an ekg.  this was followed by an assignment to a room.  things seemed to be moving in an efficiently speedy mode.  chris arrives and runs into a sweet friend of ours with the police department. she pops in to say hello and confuses the nurse.  no, the police are not with us i tell her. a dr. comes in and explains the “plan” to us, we are on board with this so called plan.  meds are administered and my blood pressure goes up and down within the next couple of hours.  chris pulls his chair closer and says ” i am going to call heather, angie and kristen.  i want to protest, however, i he is set on doing this and i have no good argument against this plan of his.  seems everyone has a plan except me!  i listen as he speaks to my younger sister and my heart hurts for her.  literally my heart started to hurt, the nurse comes in when the alarm goes off again.  chris steps out to make any further calls.  now things slow down.  a new nurse comes on shift and will be around for the next 12 hours.  he comes in and introduces himself, he assures us that the promised bed in an actual room is going to be a reality soon.  yes he says to chris, you can spend the night.  no, no i say. this is not my plan.  chris compromises with the promise he will go home once i am cared for in the promised land upstairs.  we sit back and watch as one then another are taken upstairs.  the nurse does not come back.  i can hear him calling and asking when this bed will be ready, reminding who ever is on the other end, that i have been waiting approximately 3 hours at this point. at last a young man comes for me.  in the meantime i have asked chris to bring some items to me upstairs.  as we are going up there seems to be some confusion, yes we are going to the third floor, however we are not going to the unit that is open for business.  we are going to a “unit” that has been closed for a prolonged period of time.  i remain on the gurney, now in this room i am moved to another gurney.  this was a recovery room for patients recovering from heart surgery.  two nurses have been pulled from another unit and have not even found where the bathrooms are on this floor. that’s right, there are no bathrooms in these so called rooms.  there are actually 2 bathrooms on this whole floor.  these have to be shared not only with patients but with their guests and there were lots of those.  i find the bathroom and show the nurses where they are for everyones convenience.  suddenly patients are being sent up from the er.  the nurses are overwhelmed and call their boss.  at this point i decide for self preservation i will unplug and plug all attachments from their machines. let’s cut to the chase here.  lots of dr.’s, physician assistants and nurse practitioners hear the story of my lapse of judgement regarding my little “shocker” in my shoulder.  my poor man gets lost driving and calls me, i try to navigate him back to the hospital.  he finds the interstate again and makes another run at the landing pad.  his plans are to stay with me and i have come up with a plan of my own.  there needs to be this buffer between me getting news and me passing it on to him.  i am very clear with all staff that nothing is told to him directly.  no matter what i am going to protect him the best i can.  that doesn’t mean leaving him in the dark, just that all information is given with the best twist possible.  i can tell he is grateful to be sent off home.  it is now his job to take care of the fur-babies and himself.  the young man who looks at the read out of my implant(ICD) and i confess to my lapse.  when the dr comes in there is some whispering.  turns out my battery started winding down on the 21st of october.  there is typically then a 3 month window to replace the battery.  i was looking at days now rather than months. the dr doing the surgery is such a nice guy.  very sensitive, i can tell.  he is obviously taken aback by the time between the implant surgery and the visit now where we are in a time crunch.  as i remain in this no mans land staff is coming and going.  they all offered their assistance but were visibly relieved to hear that i would not require their attention.  a bed was finally provided, it was moved in to the room i was in rather than me being taken to where the bed was previously. all through this i am talking to or texting my younger sister.  for the hour that i am on the phone with her i am not the sick sister, wife, mother, nana or great nana.  we laugh, typically at ourselves or if need be others, and the nurses are starting to look in, i know they are wondering what i find funny.  one nurse became teary when speaking to me.  this is what i avoid at all cost. most of us sick folk want to avoid this aspect.  please do not feel sorry for me.  there is no reason to what so ever. i have to stop as i am writing this post.  i am struggling with angina pain and fatigue.  not getting enough oxygen i start to have this numbness spreading over me.  until next tuesday when the battery is replaced i plan to just coast along.  my next post, which will be soon, i want to tell you what is going through my mind regarding this decision.  i will not avoid you or this decision and what went into it.  we need to talk about this and some other things on my mind recently.  what am i avoiding? we will speak of this at another time/ another post.  thank you for caring about me, i hope that you are not reading this feeling sad.  i’m not. angie thought i forgot to mention why i said my bossy sister! oh no, no, i am going to tell it here and now.  you might expect that she would be all gooey but you would be wrong.  she nagged me to the point of complete surrender on my part.  every contact included certain questions.  what do you mean your going home without the surgery?  when are they scheduling the surgery and my personal favorite…. do what they say, i mean it.  she knows me in a way others will never know me.  the time we spent on the phone laughing was exactly what i needed.  she has always known that weakness. our mother brought it to my attention just a few short months after she was born.  it came with a warning, “sissy” she knows if she makes you laugh it’s all over.  she still makes me laugh and yes that is how she still can get me to do anything.  chris makes me laugh in that way, it was one of the things that i fell in love with, over the years i have come to treasure that laugh of his.  oh how you will all be missed if things do not go according to PLAN.  i love you and will hang on as long as possible.

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hospital stays, dead batteries and bossy sisters

January 12, 2015 at 1:37 am (Uncategorized) ()

so this last week i was in hospital.  some time ago (august of 2013, they looked it up!) i visited the cardiologist and he sent me to the hospital.  when we got there i waited for 6 hours and was stuck about that many times to start an iv that was not used and pulled out at the end of our wait.  the dr at the er sent me home. the sort of surprising thing is he wrote in his “official” paperwork that i left AMA (against medical advice). this was completely false and done to cover his own a..

thinking that after the holidays would be a good time to re-introduce myself to the medical community i made an appointment with the above mentioned cardiologist.  nothing that happened after leaving his office should reflect on him.  he had sent me to the er in good faith.  he thinking i would receive the care i couldn’t in his office.  so he was at first shocked and then a bit on the angry side.  the fact that it had been nearly 2 yrs since i last saw him did not set well. i swear i didn’t think it had been that long.  he was somewhat appeased by the fact i had continued to see my primary care physician.  that was i had been seeing him until he moved to urgent care and sort of left me without a dr.  the plan was i could come to urgent care and he would see me.  once he moved though we both realized this was not going to work out.

once i realized just how long it had been since seeing dr. okendaye (cardiologist) ( i should say angry cardiologist) it became clear there would be some groveling on my side.  oh yes there was much groveling over the next few days. at one point i thought of just putting up a big sign on my door stating that yes i had been a very bad and non-compliant patient but i am mending my ways.  mea culpa, lo siento mucho! in any other language spoken i am so sorry!  as each dr,. along with the p.a., and the nurse practitioner came through the door i knew that i would have to explain why it had been 5 yrs since my device had been checked, why it had been 2 yrs since seeing the dr and being at the er.  in all fairness can we agree it had only been a year and a half since i saw the cardiologist?  could we agree that i did come to the er as he had requested?

 

ARGHHHH….. about 1/2 of the post did not post! i have no idea what happened or how to recover it.

please accept my apologies. i will try to recover or re-write the missing portion.

 

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is love really all we need?

January 1, 2015 at 4:22 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

All You Need is Love, by the Beatles, is the ringtone assigned to my dear man on my phone.  i remember the first time i saw them perform.  i was 9 years old and visiting california.  we were watching t.v. which was very exciting for me, in arkansas we didn’t even have electricity so of course there was no television.  they sang I Want To Hold Your Hand.  they were the most exciting thing to happen in my long 9 years.  that moment is frozen in time for me.  my dad liked the Ed Sullivan show, not so sure he liked the Beatles but he let me watch them…

strange but true he also took me to a Hermans Hermits concert a few years later.  it was the only thing i wanted and it came as a complete surprise when he told me we were going.  he made very few decisions without her approval so i remember them well.  this was the first one i remember.  the second was when he signed the papers for me to attend community college while i was in high school.  when i was summoned at the age of 14 to live with them i was scared.  i had never lived with them alone.  my grandmother had always been there and she did her best to protect me from my mothers rage.  i was so surprised when he went against her and signed the papers. he only had an eighth grade education and i had helped him study and get his ged.  he needed it to be promoted at work.  up to that point he had worked 2 and sometimes 3 jobs to support all of us.

he was not the kind of man who hugged and kissed his children. he was not the kind of man who spoke the words “i love you.” once in my life he said he was sorry.  once i got caught between him and my second sister during a terrible fight.  he meant to hit her, i had stepped in and lost one back tooth.  he never said he was sorry but i know he worked overtime to send me to a dentist.  there was never money for this luxury.  he loved me. i knew that. i always knew that.  yes i knew he loved me and i loved him, i had since the day i met him.  i was 4 yrs old and he was leaving for korea, he asked me if i was going to kiss him goodbye.  i didn’t talk back then, so i ran outside behind some big shrubs, he followed and i gave him a huge hug and big kiss.  i wanted him to come back.  over the next year i thought of him often. by then my mother was sure he would never come back. she said he had a girlfriend over there and i cried in my pillow at night. then one day there he was, i took him behind the shrub and hugged him. he said he would never leave me again. problem is he did leave me.  he didn’t want to but he did, twice.  the first time was when they moved to california and she wouldn’t let him bring me.  he seemed so sad but didn’t fight her.  the last time was when he died.  i love him now and always. he is my dad.  some that know my mom didn’t stay married to my bio dad asked if i wondered about him and the answer is no.  i had my dad and there was no need for another.

chris was telling me this morning about a study that showed terminal patients who give of themselves and have a lot of loving relationships live longer.  it is the endorphines released that supposedly makes the difference.  i think he needs to understand why i am still here.  maybe even wants reassurance i will be here longer.  he seems to think that my kindness to others is keeping me alive.  i listened as i always do when he tells me about these new studies.  he needs to think that there is some explanation for my being here when every day others are dying from the same illness.  he needs to think there is some reason that will allow me to stay.  there is no reason, one day it will all end and i will just be grateful to know that he wanted me to stay as long as possible.  he loves me and i have been blessed with 2 wonderful men in my life who loved me as i am.  to know someone, their good and bad parts, and still love them? that is all i need.  that kind of love is all i need.

all you need is love, all you need is love, love is all you need…….

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have an open heart and break some dishes

December 20, 2014 at 4:50 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

after a long stretch of not so great days we were able to go to our favorite place to eat here locally, cracker barrel. getting out was nice, however, it made my “situation” even more evident to us both.  after this short drive, about 15 minutes from our home, and the first solid food in 4 days i was so exhausted i could barely make it up the 2 short steps to our door.

regardless of how i feel physically the mental boost is intrinsically important to me.  there are a few servers whom we have come to know and really care about over our years here.  it may be an odd sort of relationship but i know they care about me and my lovely man.  in return i feel they know we care about them and are genuine in our feelings for them as well.  today was heartwarming and the holidays give me an excuse to be a little more open with my feelings for them.  our server today was a very young woman named kacie.  let’s just say she was not having a great day.  usually our food is the standard fare that we can count on, today there were a few bumps in the road.  not knowing us it is understandable that she would feel stressed.  at the same time we were there she had a rather large table.  i noticed she was  gone off the floor for a bit and wondered if all was ok.  just before we were ready to leave kacie came to our table and after i made an off-hand remark she shared that she had dropped a full tray and broken every plate.

i laughed and said good for you, if you are gonna break some plates break them all! she seemed a little unsure of my response but managed to smile and after a few more words thanked me for making her smile.  as we were leaving i took a moment and said to her, “in life you are going to break some plates, don’t let it bring you down.”  “when you reach my point in life you will look back and realize just how little this is in the scheme of your life.”  she smiled but then said “your going to make me cry.” she then thanked me for taking the time to talk to her.  as we were driving back home chris said “you gave her the bird bump.”  now bird is that secret name that lovers keep for each other and not known by others.  he went on to say that the world is a better place for having me and that he admired me for the way i tried to bring others up.

we have had some rough days this past week.  he had oral surgery and i think it is difficult for him to realize that he doesn’t bounce back the way he did even a few short years ago.  i had skipped my medication the day or two before so i would be able to get up and drive him. he had made a little fuss about he didn’t need me to drive him but now knows it was something he did need.  this is the kind of thing that worries me about leaving. who will drive him to his dr appointments if he needs that?

one of our rentals is changing tenants and that can stressful.  we were very fortunate that the current tenants are the kind of people who really have open hearts and have just been a blessing for us.  they came along when we were having the most problems with another tenant and as a result one of the neighbors.  greg just sort of took them on and has dealt with them during a time it would have been too much for us.  i can usually handle this sort of thing but i have not had the energy to do much of anything.  his wife karen works as a teacher and has a very busy life yet she finds the time to send me a text and ask if i am ok and do we need anything.  i am hoping they know how much they mean to us and how much we appreciate them.

looking at this post i wonder if it is making any sense at all.  the bottom line is we have been blessed with not only the love of family and friends, we have been blessed with people who have opened their hearts to us and make life just that much better.  back at the restaurant we got hugs from a couple of our server friends and short conversations.  rita was on her break so she sat down with us for a bit and it was just easy conversation.  she told us if we needed her to feed our cats while in charleston she was not going anywhere and would be happy to do so.  julia came by the table and chatted.  a couple of years ago rita had a heart attack and julia stepped in to care for her, opening her home and it was never a big deal.  i remember thinking how inspiring that was. while julia was trying to care for rita, rita was trying to care for someone else that was in need.

the friends that i have made here online with this blog have touched me deeply.  these open hearts reaching out and offering words of kindness and support.  some of you, you know who you are, have shared their own stories and inspired me in ways that keep me in awe of these open hearts.

it would seem that i may be coming closer to leaving this world.  we are trying to do what we can while staying realistic regarding my illness.  we have had more conversations that needed to happen.  i want to thank al for that one.  even writing this post is exhausting. i have to take pause and catch my breath.  for now i am keeping the spirit hopeful and my heart open.  at night i think if i don’t wake in the morning it’s ok.  i am at peace within my heart, soul and mind.   of course i would appreciate as much time as possible with my loves, i am grateful that i know it is ok to break a few dishes and that keeping an open heart means you are able to not only give but to receive the open hearts of others.

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Urban Dictionary: I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today

December 15, 2014 at 10:37 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Urban Dictionary: I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.

last night we had a couple of friends over for dinner and one of the couples knows that i have stopped taking my meds, at least intermittently for now.  just as we were getting ready to sit down greg asked if i was still not using my meds and how was that going. i quickly reminding him that was hush hush and he smiled with an apology. he believes this may be the best thing for me so that i can really enjoy these last days of my life.

as a result the first thing i thought of was this character.  basically that is what i am doing. i am not getting a hamburger but i am getting something now and offering to pay for it later.  of course he never had any intention of actually paying for his advance  and i know that i can not avoid paying for my advance.

last night was a rare night for me and i want to give a lot of credit to my guests. they were two couples and just fun, low key people. they both brought us poinsettia plants which are my favorites and i was so grateful and excited. one couple brought actual how made cookies and they are delicious!! charlotte is definitely a great cook.  her husband ken is one of the most kind men i have ever met and they are just interesting fun people to spend an evening with.  everyone just stepped in and helped where needed. it was not a big deal although they all know that i am suffering from heart disease along with a few other organs going in to failure.

by the end of the dinner i could barely stand, walking, even sitting was shear torture but it was my choice and gladly chose this time with these particular people for a reason. in the end chris and i and will say how much fun we had and as they may be the last people we entertain there are no regrets.

at the end of the day i was so swollen and just in pain i could barely walk to bed.  i couldn’t get my legs on the leg rest of the recliner. once everyone left  broke down and started crying from the pain.  by now i had taken 3 pain pills which is very rare for me.  i tend to get a prescription for 30 oxycodon once a year. usually they last for the entire year and so it concerns me to take so many in one day.  guess i will worry about this when the holidays are over.

i feel empowered knowing that i have friends who support my decision and will spend time with us without ever making me feel like i am dying.  make no mistake i am getting closer.  i feel it.  the visits from those that have gone before have become more frequent.  the bear is sometimes so close i can feel her breath on my face. she whispers of what it to come and how she just wants to be with me when the time comes.

the questions now are do i let him know and give him the option of being there or do i protect him and let him simply come to me when it is all over.  can i wait until angie is here? if so how long after she arrives do i give it? if i get “better” how much “better; do i have to get to make it worth the continued suffering?

for now i am just concentrated on my sister getting here on saturday and going to charleston for christmas with all the family.  now that is a great way to end your life.  i am grateful that i have had all these conversations with my family and so they all understand my choice and what i am asking of them.  i have the best family and friends.  wowow i am so blessed!!!

much love to you all and to all a merry christmas:)

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