Friday, July 28, 2006

One of THOSE Dreams...

Last night was one of THOSE nights. You know the ones. You toss and turn. And you have one of those seemingly endless dreams.

In this dream, I had bought an old store and was renovating it to be my new home. It was quite beautiful, painted in shades of my favorite green. It had lots of large windows and the scenery was lovely.

As I was admiring the new home of my dreams, my (long deceased) mother appeared. She began berating me for not getting on a ladder and helping with the work. Of course, I was not able to do this. I woke, feeling helpless and ashamed.

It does not take a dream interpreter to figure this one out. It seems like there has been a message in much of what I have been reading and watching lately of seizing the day, making the most of the time I have, and being productive.

Unfortuately, for me, sometimes seizing the day is being able to get out of bed and get dressed. Making the most of the time I have may involve taking one nap instead of two. As for being productive? It took me three hours, on and off, to do one load of laundry yesterday.

But, then I look at the other things I did yesterday. I had time to encourage my friends. I had the patience to help 11 year old Sam start a blog in hopes of sharpening her writing skills, and I laughed with my husband at the silliness of Frasier on TV. If I had been "whole" I might have been too busy to do any of these.

I miss the old me. But, I am making peace with the me that I am now. Slowly.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Thinking the Worst

This morning, I received a phone call from the medical clinic where my husband had his physical a few weeks ago. The nurse asked for Bill and when I told her he was not at home, she asked me to give him a message to call her back.

Well, thanks to HIPPA, I knew better than to ask for any information. But, my thoughts immediately began racing. Was there some test that had come back abnormal? I thought we had all the results.
Had they decided that he needed some more tests? Bill is so healthy that sometimes I take his good health for granted. I can't even picture him really sick. If he did get sick, would I be able to take care of him?

Hours later, Bill came home, called the clinic and discovered that they simply wanted to nag him about not scheduling a routine colonoscopy yet.

How often do I immediately think the worst? And how often does it turn out to be nothing?

Oh me of little faith.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Praying for a Parking Space

Now this may sound silly to some, but when one is disabled, one learns to pray for parking spaces. Finding a handicap slot can mean the difference between being able to attend church, a funeral, or a concert, and just having to turn around and go home.

Tomorrow my friend John is being remembered in his own beautiful funeral home chapel. I know he would not have it any other way. But, I may or may not get to attend. It just depends on whether or not I can find a place to park where I can unload my mobility scooter. This is just one of the challenges of everyday life and most of the time, I can deal with whether or not I get to attend a function.

But, tomorrow is different. I want to say goodbye to John. So, as of right now, I am praying for a space.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Goodbye, John T.

My heart sank as I read the morning headline in my local paper. John T., our county coroner and manager of the classiest funeral parlor in town was killed in a car crash last night while enroute to the scene of another fatal accident. John was 48.

John was good at his job. He was the person who hugged me and reassured me that my friend Elizabeth never knew what happened when she died in an apartment fire a few years ago. He buried this revered schoolteacher without charging a dime. She had no family and there was no way to get to her meager savings as she had left no one else able to access her bank account. He also never charged to bury a child, saying that he just could not add that burden to anyone dealing with the loss of a little one.

I got to know John from singing for funerals that he directed. Behind the scenes, he had the macabre sense of humor that many in the business of death cultivate in order to stay sane. Many's the time that sense of humor and one of John's hugs helped me get through singing for the funeral of a friend or acquaintance.

I have to wonder if ol' John is up in Heaven right this minute sharing a joke with God and watching, with interest, the preparations being made for his own funeral.

As for me, I just can't imagine death without him.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

It's NOT cancer!

I have about decided that these are the most beautiful words in the English language. When my friend called today with these wonderful words after weeks of waiting and worrying, I could finally REALLY relax.

She is blessed with not having cancer. Two of my other friends have not been as fortunate. Both of these clean living, health conscious, and positive thinking people of faith have been diagnosed with cancer this summer. Why these precious people have to deal with this brutal disease while other people can abuse their bodies with alcohol and tobacco for years with no consequences will never cease to puzzle me.

I may never understand. But I can pray daily for miracles...and I do.

Happy Birthday, Sharon

Today is my friend Sharon's birthday. She is 3 months older than I am. This year, as I do every year, I will pray that this next year will be a bit easier on this dear person.

Sharon is one of those people who has a string of difficult life situations going on all at once. For starters, her husband is chronically ill and in constant pain. He has had to retire early, and now Sharon is the primary support of her family.
Social Workers are not in the profession to get rich, so fiancial struggles are a constant in her life.

Another constant stressor is concern for her granddaughter. Sharon's daughter is diagnosed with bipolar disorder, characterized by impulsivity, poor judgement, and a host of other symptoms. The daughter uses Sharon's 4 year old granddaughter as a weapon and the needs of this child come second to her own. This puts the child's safety in constant jeopardy. Sharon is trying to learn to let go, but this is not easy.

And, if that were not enough, Sharon has a two year old grandson who is diagnosed with multiple disabilities, including mental retardation and neuromuscular symptoms. He is non-verbal and requires constant care which is mercifully provided most of the time by Sharon's parents. But, Sharon is still called upon to provide the bulk of decision making about this child's medical and social needs.

Add everyday stressors such as the air conditioner going out on the hottest day of the year and rebuilding her practice after a recent job change and I have to wonder how she gets out of bed in the morning.

But, she does. And my admiration for her grows daily.

Happy Birthday, my friend. I am praying once again that this will be your year.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The Phone

Well, I got a new Razr phone today. But, it was not for me. It was for my 11 year old neighbor, Sam.

Like many families, Sam's has given up the use of land lines in favor of cellphones for each family member. This is a money saving measure. But, Sam was given a cheap phone that did not work properly. This left her unacceptably vulnerable as far as I was concerned.

Sam has to worry about things that were not even on my radar screen when I was her age. Her brother is an ex-drug user and has been clean for several months now. But, some of his druggie friends continue to try to get him back into their fold. Add a dad with a hot temper who does not always set a good example for his family, and sometimes things are a bit chaotic at Sam's house. Her cellphone is her security.

When I explained to the lady at the cell phone place about why I needed a phone without a plan (mine is not yet upgrade eligible), she "just happened" to have a returned Razr in perfect condition in the back. She could "make me a deal" for about 1/3 of the retail cost of the phone.

I whipped out the debit card so fast, I am surprised that it didn't catch fire.

And bought peace of mind for Sam. And, for me.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Me & Trusty

Did I Say That Out Loud?

Did I Say That Out Loud?

I got this title from one of my online friends. She says the most outrageous things. Then she comes out with the title line. I can't see her, but I can just picture the look of feigned innocence on her face.

Sometimes I just want to say something. I have a reputation for being a tactful person, and, for the most part, I am. But, sometimes, the little devil perched on my left shoulder wants a voice.

Maybe he can have it here. ;)

Mystery Meat

I have recently become reacquainted with a substance I have not voluntarily encountered since my school years.  Mystery Meat  I brought ...