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Archive for the ‘Memorial’ Category

This is the post I was working on last week—yada, yada… 🙂 These videos are so powerful with what they have to say about ALS.

I read a rant about this and I had to ask why they were ranting and raving. They didn’t talk about people being hurt by the dumping of ice. They didn’t argue whether the money would get to the proper source but rather the individual was yapping because they were tired of hearing about some disease called ALS. (Big SIGH!!!)

 

I opened my mouth in several places around the internet–I didn’t hear anything bad about what I had to say and I tried to be polite. I said that people might get tired of hearing or seeing videos but that this has raised awareness in people—at least some people. Look at how much we take others for granted when they have something we don’t understand. Unless we are touched in some way with whatever disease it is, we turn a blind eye. People with ALS… I’m sure all of them would love to turn it off too but they can’t. They are stuck in their body even when their bodies become foreign to them.

 

I don’t like what we have become as humans. We distance ourselves from what we don’t understand and criticize others that act different from us. Who gives us that right? ALS is a most awful disease. One thing I hate to see is watching someone lose control over the simple things. It usually doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time and that elongation of time to those suffering from ALS is part of the let-down of their body. I really have no clue what they suffer but I understand losing control over muscle movement.

 

Note:  I wrote the above before I saw Bill’s challenge and if Bill can do it, so can many of the rest of us. Here are two very important videos—they have touched me so much.

Bill’s challenge (I love this!!!) 🙂 

 

And, if you have not seen this one…this is one we should all watch. It is this and more…

 

It bothers me that some think one disease deserves more recognition over another. I’m speaking about people who are upset that this cause that became internet viral is taking away from cancer research…it’s high time other things besides cancer become our focal point. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t look at any one disease lightly. Cancer took the life of my father and rheumatoid arthritis took the life of my mother and you know what I suffer from. There are plenty of areas that need focus.

 

We are all in this together. We should celebrate the triumphs and support all who show compassion to others. Let’s be good to each other. 🙂

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The death of Robin Williams touches a tender spot on my soul. I’m not at all surprised at his death. I wish I could say I was but I can’t. What great humor he brought to life but many people who do such are suffering in some way…suicide is not an act of a coward by the way as I have heard people say. Who can ever say someone is a coward? Who gives you the right? I have heard terrible things about his death…people think all types of things but it is when they open their mouth that shows how small-minded they really are. I wish people would stop this.

 

Depression. It isn’t just a sad feeling. Sadness can be part of it but depression is so much more. People say to talk to someone if you are sad. Wouldn’t it be great if it were that simple? People want a simple fix. They don’t want to get involved. They want little investment and want to believe depression can be cured. Hmmm.

 

So often, abusive and addictive behaviors go along with depression. Do you know why? Those addictions are a problem but they are also symptoms of pain and hurt and the biggie—lack of control. Symptoms. If you are treating the symptom, you aren’t getting to the cause and like cancer, depression will grow and worsen if left unchecked. But, different than cancer, depression doesn’t show up on a PET scan or blood test. You can’t just look at someone and see depression though there are some signs.

 

I have been in a state of depression most of my life but I try not to call attention to it and I try to stay motivated—thinking positive and pushing myself. It takes a lot of self-discipline. Most people don’t know I suffer from depression—well, until lately 🙂 . There have been times I didn’t think I could get through but my faith has helped with that.

 

Suicide…I really don’t think people want to die but their need to feel in control, to stop the pain, to stop whatever is happening that seems to possess their life…that is what suicide is about. It isn’t about being a coward—it takes a lot of courage actually. It’s about changing the state of being and it happens because there seems to be no other choice. I’m sure there are those who kill themselves craving attention but those who have been suffering from real depression—that isn’t it. I know more about this subject than I am happy about. I even feel uncomfortable talking about it publically because I know the labels people use and judge, etc. I also know others who suffer daily but make the choice to live on. It’s not about the sadness—not with the people I know—not with me either—but there are periods of sadness, too.

 

If you ever feel that you have lost control or are in so much pain (physical and/or emotional) seek help—please seek help immediately! I hope more people are willing to talk about depression and suicide following Robin Williams’ death. May his death lead to something positive.

 

We need to be kind to others.

We need to listen.

We need to quit finding fault with others.

And, we need to give a helping hand.

 

Blessings…

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Enter 2014, May 1, and I went straight to the emergency room after finding out my serum Dilantin/Phenytoin level was 50 mcg/mL. My daughter drove. Actually, it was higher than 50—probably more like 64 or higher. Just take my word for it. I was toxic. I remember the guy/doctor/intern…someone saying, “You were right.”

Yeah. I knew that. Now, just fix me was my response. 🙂

 

Normally, your system if working properly will flush out the toxins in due time but there was something more than just my meds being out of whack. I have been taking the same dosage for years. I needed an IV drip right away.

 

After getting back down into the normal range and beginning to wean off this stuff I have taken for so long, I came home on a new seizure medicine. Oh, goody. I was better but having side effects and withdrawals. I was also taking Phenytoin from the same manufacturer as I was before I went to the hospital (clears throat)… My serum Dilantin/Phenytoin level began to rise again and I didn’t understand what was happening.

 

After arriving home, I had sense enough to get a new prescription but not enough sense to know I should have taken it a step further. You have to remember that I still didn’t know for sure what had happened to put me in the hospital. No one did. I was being treated for symptoms. The cause wasn’t being treated because no one knew what it was.

 

I called around and found a pharmacy that had the same generic Phenytoin as I was taking in the hospital—the same manufacturer. I began to take it and the level dropped again—back to where it should have been. So, my conclusion… what made my level spike to the toxic range was the manufacturer. Something was not right with that batch of drug I received. It was what I was taking before I went to the hospital and after I came home. Both times it caused my level to spike. I have been on this other Phenytoin since a week out of the hospital and the level has not spiked but has remained where it should be.

 

It was a new manufacturer my local pharmacy is using to save money. I do not know why there is a difference only that I could be dead today. I could have died from the toxicity (which is not common but can happen) or something else. I am very lucky and I shudder to think of people this may happen to and they not know it. Perhaps it will not affect others as it did me but I know this type of thing happens. I have been searching the internet trying to find answers. The only thing I know is that not all generics are the same and they should be.

 

Do you know how many people take it for granted — that what is in the pill they take is ok for them? We all do it. We take so much for granted. We put our trust in our doctors and nurses and our pharmacists but there is truly no one who is responsible for myself other than me and that is a very scary thought. When I am almost comatose I cannot make those decisions for myself and yes, I do question doctors and their decisions. I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t take this seriously.

 

There is so much I want to talk about. I know everyone has something they have experienced. There are people who are dying who cannot get meds that will save their lives and I’m not talking about cutting edge technology. I will be one of those people one day. What do I do then? (In all honesty, I am closer to that time today than I was when I wrote this yesterday. 😦 )

 

We fight about all types of things but healthcare…simple healthcare…it’s a right to have healthcare. Fight about guns and other trivial stuff (sorry but I look at things differently) but healthcare…we should all agree and it should not ever be political — NEVER!

 

If you care for or have a loved one, think of that loved one in a situation where he or she cannot look after herself or himself and there is no one else. We all should shoulder the responsibility for others. That might sting but I believe it. Along with it comes responsibility for all of us.

 

I never want to worry about what I put in my mouth or body—if it will damage me. I would love to have someone I can trust with my life but I don’t feel that I can, not from what I have experienced these last few months.

 

Mom, I’m broken.

Can you please help me?

 

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Amy planting seeds. 🙂

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What is a therapeutic index and why should I care?

 

If you take any drugs, you need to know what this means. In simple terms, the therapeutic index is the window in which the drug is reaching its targeted amount in the bloodstream to treat whatever it is designed for. That is my simpleton explanation from my standpoint. You can read about therapeutic index here  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Therapeutic_index  or in medical journals, etc.

 

Dilantin/Phenytoin (generic) has a therapeutic index of 10 to 20 mcg/mL. Many drugs do not have such a small window meaning that there is less leeway with Dilantin. Other drugs are more forgiving—the target isn’t so small. This particular one is used for seizure control. It was the “go to” drug of choice back when I was diagnosed in the early 1970s but there are probably better drugs today with fewer side effects. Each of us is different and we react to medicines in varying ways so many times it becomes a tradeoff.

 

I personally am at my best when the serum Dilantin level is about 17 mcg/mL—on the high end. It doesn’t take much to make it swing one way or the other but at 17, my seizures were well-controlled. To measure how much is in my system, a blood test is performed. Usually this is done twice a year when I show no problems and more if I have issues. There have been times where my level went down to 0.02 (yes, below 1). That is when I would pass out because I was not getting oxygen to my brain. That’s not a fun time either.

 

Anything ranging outside the bubble (so to say) is bad 🙂 . Anything above 20 is considered toxic. Toxic doesn’t necessarily mean lethal. Lethal doses are usually not referred to in the literature quite so much with humans but lethal means dead if you get my drift. Dead is definitely bad news (humor for the moment). So… toxic is an indicator that something is wrong and in my case it had nothing to do with changes of dosage—not in 2014.

 

Back in graduate school, my serum Dilantin level dropped and had to be reregulated…it had to be readjusted to get it back between 10 and 20. Sometimes it is hit and miss until you get it right and many times it takes a while. With me, I do better with a larger dose in the morning and smaller one at night but there are so many factors that can affect the level. Over the years I have learned what works and what doesn’t—well, usually I know when it is off.

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One of my many counselor experiences during graduate school.

 

All this basically boils down to is how the liver breaks down the drugs. We really should treat our livers better but that’s another story, too. The highest level I ever had measured until this year was 40 mcg/mL and that was hell, to put it lightly. My gums turned white and I could not tell you who I was basically. I could not walk/balance—a host of problems. That was the graduate school lesson and the only time I ever knew when I was toxic.

 

If you take medication, even illegal drugs, you need to know what you are doing to your body. There is a consequence for everything we do. Choose wisely, please.

 

Next:  “Mom, I’m broken.”

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It took courage on my part to open up about my brain a few years ago—the part about my abnormality—all joking aside. I figured maybe someone might come across something that might help them whether it is dealing with something health related or what … or possibly just so others can understand from another’s perspective…my perspective. I know I would have loved to read about someone with a similar brain buggar when I was young (I am referring to my AVM, of course).

 

I continue to have more setbacks lately and that’s unfortunate but not insurmountable. Long ago, I fought to be “normal” but I am losing that battle. I think people shouldn’t have to fight to appear that way. There is a lot of baggage I carry with me because of various circumstances I found myself in but no one wants to read about how bad someone has it day in and day out. We all have problems of our own and don’t need to attend every pity party so I tried to bring out the parts that I had hoped would help others.

 

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Making faces while waiting for the doctor

Lately—I can’t seem to get my life jump-started again and I need for my own sake to tell what has happened. Again, this is in hopes that these words might help someone else. Bear with me please as I try to set a course–I would probably be really bad at sailing, you know. 🙂

 

First, my brain buggar isn’t going away and I have known that for decades. It is a part of me just as my foot and hand are a part of me but more like a piece of my heart that cannot be touched. There is no “fix” … no balloon stint or repair kit. A new inner tube will not do even if I had such.

 

I try my best to laugh at things—use humor rather than seeing things so dismal. It is my coping mechanism and yes, there are times where I cry with my arms wrapped around my legs, my body in a ball…me just wishing the pain would stop or the numbness would quit spreading and that I would regain feeling so that I can walk or feel or hear … or be somewhat normal. With that said, I can’t complain and I know people who will read this that are so much worse than me. Right now, life is ok…pretty ok for me. I can walk with little help but that is today. Who knows what I will be like in several hours? I can still hear some things and I can still see and for these things and so much else, I am so very grateful. I appreciate all that is given to me. I am blessed beyond measure.

 

Breathe… I am embarking on something that will probably not go the way I want (seems that it rarely does) but I desperately need to shed some light on things—this is not a one-post type of situation. I could sit here and complain but that won’t do any of us any good, so…

 

I want to talk medical. I want to begin with drugs—prescription medicines. At the forefront will be what we know (and I say “we” because this isn’t about me). What will — I hope — become apparent is how much we do not know about the drugs we consume and how much we assume there is someone watching out for our best interests. I will tell you what I have encountered and I hope with all of my heart that this helps someone besides me. I can tell you now that it is a very serious topic and at times there is no humor but only tears.

 

I am not sure where this will lead but it needs to be said. I’m not trying to lead a revolution only to talk about things I have encountered and I’m sure there is much to add that I do not know. People need to talk about it–medical care. We–people–families–communities need to discuss some things. The only person that has our best interest at heart is us and as sad as it pains me to say that…it is the truth. This is NOT about politics and I will not discuss political dealings. This is not a soapbox for the political arena. It is about what happens when we don’t know the questions to ask our doctors and pharmacists. It is about what happens when there is no one to intervene and consequences of our actions or inactions. I hope you find something here that can help you if not today, maybe down the road. 🙂

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Life really likes to throw us some curve balls sometimes…when we least expect it. Last month I had to make a surprise visit to the hospital for several days. I’ll get into the whys later but I am having to go off the medication I have taken for over 40 years—not an easy feat as I am trying my best to limit the withdrawals. I had an interesting little stay—the nurses were great. I felt bad that I needed so much help from them at times and tried to limit my calls to the desk.

 

The worst things were the belly shots—OH MY! I was purple by the time I left from all of the puncture wounds everywhere–either putting stuff in or taking stuff out. I have to thank my caregivers. They each give me so much and I can never repay them. I would not be here if it were not for them. Thank YOU!

 

Here are a few photos — not so beautiful but a bit entertaining–maybe. 😉

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All that was left by the time I thought to take a pic of food. I was so hungry after being in the emergency room all day. I had not eaten. Cute idea.

 

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Here is another dessert.

 

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Waiting for my CT scan. I look rather calm given the tension of not knowing what was going on both in my body and in the ER and hospital. I was trying to let people know I was ok by sending them this photo taken in X-ray.

 

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The food was actually one of the redeeming qualities of my visit. Some things were better than others but breakfast was usually very good.

 

At peace…finally…

 

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I looked awful while in the hospital but this is a rather ok photo — almost angelic if I do say so. 😀

 

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And, here is … “me and my buddy.” He went with me everywhere and cried in the middle of the night. Too bad I couldn’t go far. I didn’t even see the hallway until the day before I left.

 

If there is ever a “next time” I’ll be sure to have a photographer to stop by after I get a makeover (kidding). I am so glad I don’t have a photo of my leaving the room toward the end of my stay. To see how mobile I was, I used a walker with security strap (safety) while in my hospital nighty — not a sight for the weak. 😛

 

Finally, the night before I left, I was able to walk to the little couch by the bed and sit for a while. That was awesome. The little things in life. 😀 One of my caregivers slept on the couch all but the first night and another caregiver stayed with me for that one, too. I’m so sorry but I’m so grateful.

 

I have been a sick little human and have a ways to go but I know others who are having to go through chemo treatment again because their cancer did not go into remission. My situation is nothing to theirs. Blessings to all. 🙂

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Have a great weekend! 🙂

😀

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Time to write about a certain “faction” (for lack of a better term) within the US–only a shadowy glimpse. A certain lawyer turned preacher has passed away or that is what I understand. From my perspective, he was very bigoted and hateful which seems to be the most ironic thing coming from someone who professed to be Christian. I am trying not to find fault but it is very difficult.

 

There are people who have steered away from any religion—all faiths—because of the words from this man–so much pain he and his followers have inflicted—so many bad seeds they have planted. I was shocked to see how proud they were of themselves for doing such–pride in telling people that God hates us. If this man was trying to bring “justice” to the world, he succeeded in ways I don’t believe he meant to. But if he was trying to further Christianity or his beliefs, I believe he failed. Rather ironic in several ways.

wikipedia

 

My heart hurts not just for what he did but more of what he could have done—good things—but he abused his leadership—his power. I want to scream! I must grab myself before I let the hate consume me. Hate grows and it feeds—it consumes everything in its path. We can control it but we choose to feed the beast—well, often times we do.

 

I think he narrowed my focus and helped me to see that we cannot judge others—really judge. We have—HAVE—to extend a hand and not shout from the sidewalks. We can’t think of ourselves as perfect and believe we are the only right things in life. We should be willing to stand with a brother or sister, ALL of them and not say no because we believe they are “unclean.”

 

We can choose to help others or we can choose to hinder. I have this belief that if we begin to show kindness all of the time then the hate has less food to eat and will wither from starvation.

 

How would you want to be treated? Whatever your faith or religion, or absence of, no one deserves to be treated with lack of respect. We need to quit being hateful…even to those who spread hate. 🙂 Hugs…

 

Blessings… 😀

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This isn’t about me or the movie but rather, it is about others. How can we treat others differently than we want to be treated?

You know the scene in Top Gun where “Maverick” comes back to fly after “Goose’s” death? They are in the Indian Ocean and there are “migs” in the area? Remember that “Maverick” could not engage…get in the position to take the shot? Top Gun was one of my favorite movies—I love fighter planes. I would have loved to fly one. I’m like “Maverick” – not as cool as he is but I can’t seem to engage like I should.

 

To add to everything that is going on in my world, and that’s not to mention everything in all of the world, I was deeply hurt this weekend and this week by something. At the center:  I’m upset about how people treat Muslims. I had someone on FB yesterday start stuff and then someone else and someone else… What in the world? And then their talk switched to the president—nasty talk. I really don’t believe what I hear sometimes—nor read.

After 9/11, I felt hurt that people (terrorists) would target such a vast amount of individuals—civilians and no, I don’t believe all of the crazy conspiracy theories that are out there. I know it is so easy to fall in that train of thought but I remember when we had yet to grasp the enormity of the hatred toward the US but we were feeding our hatred of others. There was a town hall type of meeting on TV to talk about what had happened, the feelings and all. I remember a young girl spoke about how the highjackers might have felt—seeing it from their viewpoint—what might have driven them to do such. She was sympathetic and I could not on earth imagine being sympathetic toward anyone who would kill the pilots and fly the planes into buildings. Senseless first of all. Why would I want to be sympathetic? I took offense at what she said. Hmmm.

 

Guess what? This young girl was absolutely right. People see the US as very selfish, very materialistic, very uncaring, very carnal and sex crazed. And, we are. Not all of us are like that but the bad things will always stand out especially if you are looking for them. Somewhere along the way, I began to be sympathetic—not the thought of killing or harming someone but to the hearts and souls of the ones who “attacked”—the little boys they once were—the mature and wise men they will never be. We can say they were not human but they were. I have thought of the holes left in their families’ lives. Sure, we can think that they are hailed as heroes and they may be but we can’t keep up this hatred. It isn’t about who is better or who is right. It is about getting along. Why can’t we do that? Why is it so dang hard? Are we really that much against others?

 

It’s funny. Being a woman, I may see things in a different light but I have this strange idea that there are women out there who think the same way I do…that it doesn’t matter what we believe if it means our husbands and sons will die. I think there are those of us who want to move past the hatred because we see a bigger picture. Maybe because we are nurturers by nature, I don’t know. I just think we should learn to put our thoughts of hatred to the side and be humans again. I know we all cannot trust everyone fully but what are we doing to ourselves and to our children and the next generation after them and so on? With each bad thing we say, even the smallest, the more we reinforce to ourselves and our children how much we hate others. We separate and we hate. It’s not what others do to us…it is what we would have others do. Treat others as we would want to be treated. Where have I heard that before? 🙂

 

I have been critical of those who refuse to tolerate others because of their religion, their color, their height 🙂 (or lack of) … whatever it is. I have become tolerant and loving to others but now those who don’t tolerate, I have trouble. If I said I was Muslim, what would you say? Would you accept me with open arms? What if I was atheist? Or, gay? Alcoholic or a drug user? What if I said I killed someone or stole money? What is the worst thing you can think of? What if I did that? Hatred and separation have to stop somewhere. It’s in our hearts. We have to do something about it. We have to find and show LOVE. We have to teach it to others.

 

I’ll get back to normal one day–whatever normal is. 😀

 

Blessings…

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Death—it surrounded me when I was 3, tried to grab hold when I was 11, held hands at 16, wrapped its arms around me at 19 but death took a piece of my soul at 21.

 Dungeon Prompts (Season 2, week 8):  When did death become real for you? 

 

When I was three, I didn’t say goodbye to my grandmother at the hospital before her death. My great aunt tried to sneak me in—I wouldn’t go. I didn’t see her body afterwards and was not allowed to attend the funeral. I knew she was sick but where did she go? I was told, “to heaven,” but where is heaven?

 

At eleven, I met a boy a little older than me. I was being diagnosed with my AVM and he was being treated for a malignant brain tumor. I didn’t know the severity of it and I sure didn’t understand mine. He later died and I carry a piece of him with me to this day. I didn’t know death then but this is part of the ribbon that binds us all together.

 

Peach. It was the color I liked. It reminded me of her. I remember it like yesterday. Caskets are elaborate boxes that I would love to nap in if they were not for the “ever after.” They look so comfortable. I picked out the first one when I was 16. My great aunt had just died. She was my best friend and filled in the role of grandmother. Never having children of her own or marrying, I spent much of my childhood with her. I expected her to die one day—it was the natural order of things. She was old…she was 84 but it wasn’t easy saying goodbye.

 

Death was getting closer. Death asked me to dance.

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On my dad’s shoulders.

Going to funerals became an activity for the family for a few years. Some relatives I knew, some I had met, and some I had never seen. I got accustomed to the routine of saying goodbye, shedding tears, and packing those memories up in a box to put aside. That was how I dealt with death. I didn’t know how to grieve—to go through the motions and the stages of recovery. You see, we never get over death—not if we really care for someone. We only learn to deal with our feelings of loss. We learn how to prevent it from hurting us so deeply. The pain is always there but we usually learn how to cover it up and disguise it. I didn’t have a clue of what death was when I was 16. I pretended to know.

 

A distant cousin flirted with death all of his life. My grandmother that died when I was 3 … he took her car and fixed it up but then one night he was drag racing and drove into a tree. I was small—young. He was messed up and I wondered if he would live. Memories haunt me from that night. One, I remember his blood. It seemed to be everywhere. The racing did not stop and neither did the wrecking. He went through a few cars and always promised he would never do it again but he was thrilled with speed and he loved to race. He loved other things, but racing was his downfall.

 

I was at college when my parents called to tell me he passed away. I was 19. It was a wreck he wouldn’t survive. It took the life of a young mother, too. He had been my mentor, my hero, and my protector–the big brother I never had. Death quit dancing with me and became a part of me at 19. The innocence was gone. I never forgot that night he almost died so many years before and after this, I never looked at things the same again. I had talked with my cousin not long before he died. He sought me out yet he was much older. He said that he wanted to patch up his marriage and go into the ministry. He wanted to make things right. I didn’t know why he would talk to me about such private matters. I was a kid but I was also the innocence of life. Sometimes we want to see the past in order to find our future.

 

I wish I could say death and I parted ways for a while but my life was forever changed at 21 when my dad died of cancer. He was my biggest fan. He loved me … called me ‘Monkey’… I don’t know. He would do anything for me if I needed it. He almost died of a heart attack when I was diagnosed with the AVM. He didn’t want this for me. He wanted life to be better. I loved him so much.

 

He taught me most of what I know from roofing a house to planting a garden to so many things. He taught me to think for myself and to not take ‘no’ for an answer. The closeness between us caused death to take part of me—part of my soul. I never allowed myself to grieve. I had to be strong for my mom and to show others that I wasn’t weak. I could not understand how my dad could be taken away at such a young age. I thought he was invincible. I believed he would be healed but it doesn’t matter what we want to happen. Sometimes things are going to happen no matter what. Death became real that night I answered the phone from the hospital. Life stopped for me in some ways and never returned. I carry that pain with me. It goes deep, very deep. I wasn’t prepared for my dad to die.

 

Death did not stop there, of course. I have said goodbye and had to bury all of my family except my girls. It hurts. I learned how to grieve finally … a little late but I learned. When my mom passed away, the tears wouldn’t stop. I couldn’t cry for my dad until she died. I kept family at a distance–scared that the next person close to me would die. I wanted to protect everyone I knew. Later, my mom’s mom died here in the house when the girls were little. I was her caregiver just like I was for my mom. I hope the girls don’t have bad memories later or that they cannot grieve. I worry about that—a lot.

 

Oh dear, sometimes we know someone who dies and we ask ourselves how it was them and not us. There have been other deaths—a lot of them along the way—but there is one that touched my heart and my family—my youngest daughter’s best friend’s mother, “Mom Number 2.” The girls had been friends for much of their school years. They were a lot alike—more tomboyish than girly. Both were in high school when the best friend’s mom had an aneurysm burst. She was medevac’d to a place that could safely remove it but it turned out she had two of the dang things. Everything seemed to go OK but then she took a turn. No one ever dreamed this could happen. I always thought she might need to care for my girls if/when I died. She wasn’t supposed to die but infection set in and she passed away. I still can’t believe it. That was six years ago this month. I have watched my daughter deal with grief while remembering my own inadequacies. We talk about feelings and loss … and memories. I hope it will help as well as her participating in some rituals with her friend each year.

 

Finally … When I was young, I remember seeing a TV movie called, “Death Takes a Holiday” (not the 1934 version). My mom was watching it and for some reason, it intrigued me. It’s been an awful long time but the movie was about ‘death’ becoming human. Death stopped—no one was dying. In this particular family, a certain member was to die but another family member made a deal with death so that he/she (not to give away the ending) could die and spare the one that death came for. A silly notion that we could trade a life … but I sometimes daydream asking myself if it were possible how I would act.

 

I used to dread the possibility of experiencing another death so close—I said I couldn’t take it. I think I would gladly trade my life for another if I was the only one who would be affected. I watched my mother struggle after my dad died. I never wanted to lose my mate to death but I think death is sometimes an easier reality than what happened in my marriage. My mom knew my dad loved her. Sure, they had problems along the way but they loved each other. She could not put her arms around him nor his around her but she knew. In many ways, I have experienced the death of a spouse without going through death—someone I trusted my life with, someone I sacrificed so much for—but no love in return.

 

We have walked closely, Death and I, because of the people I have lost—so many I have known who are gone. No one thought I would live this long so Death and I have walked in the same footsteps at times. I have never feared death for me. I have been afraid of losing those around me but I am learning that we cannot hold on to the ones we love. We have to let go. That’s not easy for me. Death becomes more real to me with each death.

 

So, where is heaven? (small snicker) Heaven is on the other side of death … of course. 🙂

 

* Note:  Thanks to Sreejit for this prompt (dungeon prompts-link). I write about death fairly frequently but this is the first time I have put all of these stories together in one writing. It was extremely cathartic but I can’t stay here in this thought. I find that if I remain too long, I forget the sun rises and sets only to rise again the next morning. 😀

Blessings …

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