Friday, March 28, 2008

More about Loss

If you haven't already, you will lose someone you can't live without, and your heart will be badly broken, and you never completely get over the loss of a deeply beloved person. But this is also good news. The person lives forever, in your broken heart that doesn't seal back up. And you come through, and you learn to dance with the banged-up heart. You dance to the absurdities of life; you dance to the minuet of old friendships." Anne Lamott. PLAN B: Further Thoughts on Faith.

Folks, this quote tells the exact and total truth of my experience. I am a completely different person than I was before the death of my first child. I am a completely different person than I was before the death of my third child. And I am a completely different person than I was before the death of my soul mate. And there's good and bad news in the changes.

The bad news: I probably will never be as completely happy as I was capable of before the first big loss. Knowledge of the pain of loss makes the whole world look different. It is no longer possible to believe that everything will eventually be wonderful and stay that way forever. I knew that everything is completely and arbitrarily temporary. After the death of my first child, I believed that at least nothing that awful would happen to me again. It just didn't seem possible. Guess what! There are no such guarantees. For a long time I reacted to that truth by standing back from life as much as I could. That is bad news.

The good news: It is possible to accept the certainty that loss is a consistent part of life and use that truth to sharpen one's connection to life and love. Dancing with a banged up heart is a lot more interesting when you're sure you must seize the moment.

Friday, March 21, 2008


Here we are - reunited after 30 years... My first husband's brother, Sam, who is a great guy and was a great kid, plus my daughter, Liz, and her daughter, Rebecca. I am never endingly amazed at how good feelings for someone can last over so much time without any contact. As soon as I saw Sam I felt just as I felt 30 years ago - how much I liked him and had fun with him when we were kids. I think it must be a gift we're given to hold on to good feelings and forget bad ones.

Saturday, March 15, 2008


When I take time to play, to laugh, and to enjoy. I am taking care of myself and giving My Higher Power some room to take care of the rest. Courage to Change

It's Spring Break and for several years now I've spent time with grandchildren in one way or another. For a long time it was my middle child grandson who spent his spring break with me to experience being an only child for a few days. This year my daughter and her 14 year old daughter are here. Of course it's always wonderful to have visitor grandchildren and my daughter. But the side benefit is that I take several days off and just have fun. It's a requirement! This year we're visiting relatives in Springfield and will be visiting Fantastic Caverns. I don't know what it is about caves, but I just love thm. One time I was mad at Ron - don't remember why. He took me to Fantastic Caverns and I got over it!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


There is nothing unenlightened about crying over the tragedy of human suffering; perhaps what is neurotic is how infrequently we do. Marianne Williamson. Everyday Grace.

I have had a week with a lot of challenges. One of the volunteers that worked with us on our big event that was so successful took a lot of liberties and caused a lot of problems that we have spent days trying to straighten out. Once again a dear friend came to my aid and has helped a lot but there still a long way to go. Expending energy on solving problems isn't something that bothers me. On the other hand I have so little energy that the effort costs me days to recover or evenings when I go to bed at 6:00 p.m. and wake up at 8:30 a.m. I'm not used to having so little physical strength. These problems aren't tragedies but I suspect that the volunteer was suffering and probably has been her whole life. It's sad to watch people hurt themselves by their own bad behavior when what they are trying to do is make their lives better. I've been there. I know how bad it hurts. I'm grateful not to be living like that anymore.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Journey Update

Every time I start to do an update on my journey, I resist. I would rather just live day to day and not take an overall look at where I am. But it seems to be very useful to check myself out to see how I'm doing.

When I went to the doctor in January we still couldn't see from the xray whether my femur was healing or not. There's no way to be sure other than opening my leg up and looking - which isn't an option. So, he said to start using the cane and then walk without it and see how that went. So, here I am two plus months later. I walk a little without the cane at home, but my leg does hurt if I do much of that. That tells me the bone is not solid and that the rod that holds my leg together is probably moving. But I can get around with the cane like a house afire. I'm able to walk a lot and pretty fast. It feels so good to be able to go up and down stairs and go wherever I want - yay!

I wonder when, if ever, I will quit thinking about Ron. Maybe I will have to be without him for as long as we were together before he is not such a big part of my life and thoughts still. Of course, enough time has passed now that thinking about him doesn't cause me great pain. He's just there. I'm finishing up a fourth step and our relationship is a big part of what I'm inventorying. But I probably won't know what it all means until the 5th step or maybe even through 9.

I'm going through a tremendous amount of change right now. All good things but very challenging. I'm doing the first in a series of classes for recovering people that Ron and I talked about doing but never did due to his health problems. We'll see how that goes. I think it is time for me to look for other ways to earn a living other than working for the Alzheimer's Association. I need a less stressful kind of work so that my body can heal without having to deal with stress. I'm also committed to working toward being a published writer. I haven't made much progress there because I'm still trying to finish all the odds and ends that are left from the wreck. I still need to clean out some of Ron's stuff - especially in the garage. I'm making my will and doing all my "end of life" stuff that needs to be changed. I'm almost there but not quite. When I get that stuff done, I will have serious time to write.

All in all, I'm satisfied with where I am. I wish I were farther along but considering the barriers I have, I think I've done pretty well. I have more energy now than I did and my sleep patterns are not as screwy. My eating is healthier and I've lost a tiny amount of weight. The foundation for everything is my physical well being and I've made more progress there than anywhere else. Thank you, God, family and friends for all you give me. Nothing would be working without that support.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008


It has been really cold the past few days and I feel it more now with all this metal in my leg. It's harder to warm up again once I get chilled. I realized that I was hibernating inside to avoid getting cold. Not good. So I now have some pink silk long underwear. It's working. While I was at it I bought a silk quilt too. Now I'm warm all night too. Amazing and odd the things I'm grateful for these days.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Rebecca and the Snow in Texas

It finally snowed in Texas. Rebecca did the snow dance last night and it worked. She's letting snow flakes melt on her tongue. Yay for snow in Texas.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Meditating with the Devil

The topic at the meeting I went to on Saturday was "worry." I heard a lot about faith being the answer, staying in the now, etc. But then I heard that worry was "meditating with the devil." Wow - that has got to be true. When I'm worrying I'm making myself miserable and probably making everybody around me miserable. What a great way for evil to get a foothold in my life!


"We need not wait for someone else's expression of love before giving it. When we love, it will be returned tenfold. Love attracts itself, and it will heal us, soften the hard edges of our lives." Each Day a New Beginning

There have been some times when I really lived by this and was amazed at the results. Then I got hooked on the love I got from one person. When the supply was interrupted I got crazy like addicts do. Then it was REALLY hard to give love. Besides that, I finally realized that this is not a promise that I will be loved by the person I want to love me. While I'm longing for that love, I'll miss the rest of the love that's coming my way. And lots of it is, and I am so grateful.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

I Gave Them a Piece of My Mind

I wish I had that
piece of my mind
back now.
They didn't want it
any way.
I miss it
because I felt really smart
for a minute but then
I got to feeling stupid
and no wonder
with such a big
piece of my mind missing.


As I begin to write seriously, I looked back at some of the things I wrote in the past. Here's one of my favorite poems I wrote 20 years ago.

How to Rescue other People

"... you can never really live anyone else's life, not even your own child's. The influence you exert is through your own life and what you become yourself." - Eleanor Roosevelt

When I was about six months into recovery, I desperately wanted to save all the people I loved. I knew I had finally found the answers I had been searching for my whole life, and at last had found relief from fear, crisis, and disaster. I knew they needed what I had found. I knew they must want to be relieved of their own misery. Well, guess what? They didn't. They looked at me like I had two heads and had gone completely crazy and was in the grip of a cult. One of them said I had been "brainwashed." I remember thinking that I probably had been brainwashed - my brain needed it!

So, in my despair at not being able to save my dear ones, I called my sponsor who said that this was how recovery worked. Of course, you want to pass on the wonderful gift you've received to the ones you love. The thing is, they won't accept it from this person they've known for years as a screw up and a general crack pot. The only way to help them is to get well and happy yourself over a period of time, and then they might want what you have. Of course, they will not ask you for help. They'll ask someone else. Most of the people you can directly help will be people you don't have a relationship with.

Hmmm. I could see the logic in that. So, I quit trying to save them and worked on myself. As far as I know, none of the people I was desperately trying to save have ever availed themselves of recovery. The reason I don't know for sure is that they got bored with me and left my life! But I've gotten quite well and happy.

Now my problem is that the people around me think that I'm some kind of paragon since I seem to be able to handle a lot of crap in my life without crashing and burning. That's because they didn't know me before, of course. When they tell me how wonderful I am, I respond by explaining that it's not me, it's my recovery program. Then they think I'm being excessively modest. But no, they are missing the point! The same power to handle life is available to them too. Phooey. I still haven't been able to figure out how to handle this. Maybe it's the same thing as before: Let them think what they want and go on working on me.

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