It is so revealing when your eyes open to the truth. When you see that someone you cared about and wanted in your life for so very many years becomes someone you no longer care to have in your life. When you realize that “appearances” to them really are everything, that hurting others is really okay. Calling themselves Christian and being so righteous while making judgments about everyone else’s choices, once again reaffirms the adage “walk the walk, don’t just talk the talk.” I guess today I am feeling blessed that I have traveled the journey I have. I do not care about appearances; I care about people. I care about doing the right thing for its own sake. I care about treating people right. Not for my benefit, but for theirs. Just because “it’s the right thing to do.” (quote attributed to Lu) I am truly blessed that I have had the friends that I have, some still in my life and some not, who have helped me along this journey. I am a far better person because of them!
Today is my mom’s birthday. At least I think it is, as I am not sure one actually has birthday’s anymore after they have died. She would have been 96 today. She is in a better place and no longer has to endure all the pain that she lived with for so long. She died seven and a half years ago and I remember so vividly her telling the doctors, “I’m done. I don’t want to fight all this anymore. I only want two things; to be with my husband and to not be in pain.” I remember being so proud of her for being able to say what she wanted. She wasn’t able to do that a lot in her life. And I also felt surprise that she did not say that she wanted her kids with her. After all, she always said that her family, dad and her children/grandchildren, were the most important “things” in her life. But she made her wishes known and it was up to us to honor them. This was a Friday afternoon in October. On the following Monday, she agreed to hospice and signed all the paperwork. My dad was released from the hospital on Tuesday of that week. I remember telling her that dad was back, as she was “out of it” at the time. She opened her eyes, smiled,and said, “tell him I love him.” Through my tears I did.
I got THE phone call on Thursday morning that she was “gone.” I had been with her constantly since Tuesday night. I left to take a shower and change clothes. I wasn’t gone more than 45 minutes, and she left us. No one was in the room. I think she wanted it that way.
I can’t say that my mom and I always got along. In fact, we didn’t get along at all until I was older, much older. Then we became very close. She would tell me that she could talk to me in ways she couldn’t talk to anyone else. I wonder if she said that to anyone else? My mom was a master at making someone feel guilty, I’ve never met anyone better at it! She was also passive-aggressive in getting what she wanted. She had a temper when I was a kid and if I did something to make her really mad, I knew better than to go around her the rest of the day. I know why, now; but I didn’t growing up. Of course, my temper could match hers back then, at least when I was a teenager. If I had been them, I would have put me in a “home” somewhere! I was an angry kid. I know why, now; but I didn’t growing up. But as time went on, we both mellowed. I think we both realized that life is too short to fight. And, I moved out and then moved away. That helped too.
I spent a lot of time with mom the week before she died. We talked about a lot of things. A few of the things she said stick with me. Some feel like they haunt me. But the one that I remember everyday is when she told me: “There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t miss my mom.” I get it, mom, I get it.
Happy Birthday Mom! I hope that wherever you are, you are dancing and having a beer (or two) with all the ones you love!
“Happiness comes from within.” We hear that all the time, that nothing and no one can make us happy. And it, for the most part, it is true. Yet, when a major event occurs and changes your circumstances, it’s hard to believe it!
Yesterday that happened for me. The major event that I was so very stressed and worried about happened, see: Sometimes You Just have to Admit it Sucks. It turned out better than I could have hoped! And it relieved the stress and the tension that has been enveloping my life for the past two and a half years. I had no idea that I had been living like that! But the fact that I slept for nine hours at one time has shown me that I have. That and the black cloud is not so dark today.
So does happiness come from within? I don’t really know, maybe. Maybe the relief of stress and tension and fear has allowed me to feel some of the happiness that is innately in my heart. Maybe the pain I feel everyday has been validated by those who don’t really have a clue what it is like to live my life. Maybe the black cloud lifting has allowed me to truly feel the love and support I have from all of my friends.
All I know right now is that whatever it is I will take it!
And I will hold onto it for as long as I possibly can!
I wasn’t at all sure that I wanted to share this, yet somehow not sharing takes away from the essence of what I want this blog to be: an authentic look at life, the way I see it, so that it can create discussion and thought for those who read it. I’ve thought about adding humor to it, however I find that humor is something that escapes me on most days. It is not that I am avoiding humor, for I do look for it always, I just don’t find really funny things in my everyday life. So for explanations sake here goes: I have Psoriatic Arthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Osteoarthritis, Hypoadrenalism and Hemiplegic Migraines. Lots of fancy words! I can sum it all up very succinctly: there are many days when life just sucks! Balancing the medications, I think I am up to 15 or so, with the symptoms and side effects is a full-time job; and yes, you got it, I can’t work. At least not at anything that provides an income. My “job” is battling disease which involves my immune system attacking my body to destroy it…not only my joints but my organs also. To do this, I take medications that cause cancer and can kill me in other ways. What a trade off! Yet it is the only way I can live, as the pain is way too intense otherwise. Of course, the medications for the auto-immune diseases, Rheumatoid and Psoriatic Arthritis, have caused other diseases, like hypoadrenalism, and have made that seem like a larger issue than what I had when I started! It all gets very complicated and confusing. I will talk more about this as I continue to post, as it is an ongoing saga.
I try to stay positive. I try to say that these diseases will not define who I am or what I can do. Yet I know in my head and my heart that they do each and every day. Maybe this is why the humor is hard to find and why I have such a difficult time being authentic, the difference between how I see myself–capable and desiring–is very different from my reality–full of disease and unable to do the things I want. How do I find authenticity in this? I have tried to deny the diseased part and think of myself as only capable, however this leads to more physical pain as I overdo. I have tried to accept the diseased part and give myself allowances for it, however this leads to more depression as I do not want to be diseased. Many days, ok every day, I walk this tight rope hoping that I don’t fall off, as I don’t want to fall into the pit of depression. Maybe this is why I cannot find humor, I am using all my energy to stay on the tightrope. It takes a lot of concentration to stay up here, there is little left for anything else. Maybe this is why I am so tired all time…oh yeah, there is also this disease my body is fighting. If only it was as easy as it looks on TV…
Today has me thinking about all the genuinely GOOD people in the world. I’m not sure why this has come into my mind so strongly today, however it is here and it is screaming at me! Maybe it is because I am so very thankful for the people in my life who reach out to me. But it is more global than that today, there are really so many great people in the WORLD doing really fantastic things for others! There is so much focus on the negative crap that players are doing, that the positive gets lost in the fine print, if it gets printed at all. I can’t write about all the positive things happening everywhere, so I will write about a few of them in my small corner of the universe.
Lots of people, I suppose, say they have the “best” friends. And I would hope that they are correct. For in my life I am sure that I have the BEST friends! I am very lucky indeed that I have such wonderful people in my life…someone who would drive 2.5 hours to pick me up, drive another 2 hours to an appointment, then turn around and take me home so they could then drive home. And do this every week, or was that twice a week? Of course, at the last appointment, my friend literally saved my life…something I can never repay! And, let’s not forget another friend who stopped her life a year ago to care for me…what was supposed to be a week turned into at least three, or was it four? Many friends helped out at that time and I would not have made it without them…I am indeed very lucky.
Day-to-day, I have friends and family who call just to chat, who help out with projects I can’t quite handle on my own, or at all, and who stop by with smiles and treats when I need some of both. I am very blessed in my life, even though there are times I get caught up in the negatives of pain and struggles that I feel I can’t control. So while I say “Thank You” so very often and I think I have so little to give back to all those who make my days brighter, I am hoping that I am a positive in their lives also. I hope someday I will be able to tangibly return their kindness to me, but if I don’t, I know that they will continue to do what they do! For that is their character and how they are made! For that I am blessed!
My fervent wish for you is that you can take a few moments and clear out the negativity of your day; to focus on the positives and the ways you are blessed in your life. If you feel so inclined, I’d love to read about them in the comments below, as I find that writing them down makes them even more real. It is very difficult to think about the negative when you are writing about the positive!
So, I’m perusing Facebook this morning and come across the “You are 100% Responsible for your Life” quote. Now I know that. Everyone knows that, okay how about everyone should know that! But today it hit me: Holy Shit, I am responsible for everything!!! Like EVERYTHING! I’m ok with being responsible for my choices…but damn it, I don’t want to be responsible for EVERYTHING!!! Like the house and all of its “inner workings.” I don’t think the house is going to be responsible for itself! I mean, has your furnace ever quit, and the house just picked up the phone, called the repairman and paid the bill??? And then there is the car and its “inner parts.” There are just too many of them and ONCE AGAIN, I don’t the car will decide when it is having “issues” and work to resolve them! And the bank account…do you think that just once, one time…is that too much to ask…that just once it could take responsibility for itself! That it could watch its balance and make sure that it is not overdrawn. Nope, that is way too much to ask!
So it is all on me…100% responsibility for myself is feeling more and more overwhelming! No wonder people don’t like taking responsibility for themselves…this is scary shit!
“Cell phones only inhibit everyone’s social skills.” “Smart phones are making everyone imbeciles.” And my favorite: “Kids today can’t talk to anyone face-to-face, they can’t write in whole words and there is no use expecting them to have respect for anyone.”
Now, I think these are some pretty harsh statements, but I have heard them all within the past two or three weeks, and from different people. I agree there has been a profound impact on society since the cell phone, bur really, since the smart phone and social networking. I see some huge advantages of social networking, and yes I will be posting this to Facebook when I its complete! There have been days that my only interaction with others has been through Facebook, not by choice but by circumstance. And I have met some very nice people through Facebook, that I would never have met in any other way. Of course, you can feel it coming, there is a downside. Like getting together with friends and the entire evening one of them is on Facebook “chatting.” It is curious to me…why would someone go out with friends, only to not interact with them? Why does someone pretend to be interacting with the person(s) they are with, when in actuality, they are “with” their social network on Facebook? Or, for that matter, why does someone text others, surf the net or play games when in a social situation? When this happens to me, it screams “You are boring me, but I feel I have to be with you, so I am going to ignore you and do something else.”
Maybe this is just because I grew up without these devices, although I am pretty much into all the latest gadgets. I had a cell phone as soon as they came out, in a reasonable size, in the early 1990’s. I cannot tell you how many I have had since then, but I know I’ve had at least three iPhones. I am on my second iPad, my third Kindle, etc. I say this only to let you, the reader, know that I may not have grown up with “gadgets” but I have fully embraced them! I feel lost if I leave my cell phone at home. I’ve always put it on the table next to me so I would be sure to see it. I’ve texted people while playing cards and, yes, I have gone on Facebook just to “see what’s happening.” And for all those times, I am sorry. I never meant to say that I was bored or that you were not important. I realize now how it must have felt. From now on, when I am with friends, I will leave it in my pocket. I will ignore it when it rings, text or call. I know what it feels like when someone your with takes a call or answers a text…”this is more important that you…”
I have found myself taking my iPad, iPhone and whatever other “i’s” I can find with me to places I know I need them. Places where I know, or at least history has taught me, that this will be the activity at some point. I hate being the “if you can’t beat them join them” type…I’ve always been the “rebel,” and I am much more comfortable with that role. But sometimes, you know you are beat. After all, I looked up one afternoon when I didn’t have my electronic companions, and everyone in the room was engrossed in their iPad or Kindle. After an hour or so of just watching them, I chose to go home. It was only Christmas after all…a time for family and fellowship. I’m guessing that has become something we do electronically now?