Archive for September, 2011

Happy 93rd Birthday!

September 25, 2011

No, it isn’t mine, it is my Mom, who turned 93 yesterday.  My two sisters came on Friday to spend a few days with us and celebrate Mom’s  birthday.  Mom has seen many things in her lifetime, married my Dad right after Pearl harbor, traveled with Dad while he was a field service rep for North American Aircraft during the war and waited out each time his number came up for the military.  Thank goodness they decided he was more valuable where he was!  She and Dad raised three daughters, partnered in a business doing standard line and custom products for boats- when Dad died 11 years ago, she continued to run the business for another 6 or 7 years.  She came to the point of deciding she didn’t want to be”a captain of industry” any longer and closed it.  She started  volunteering at Traveler’s Aid at Seatac Airport in the mid-60’s until they disbanded it 34 years later.  She also started rug hooking about the same time and  only when Macular Degeneration came did she have to reluctantly stop hooking.  It was always fun to talk about my mother the hooker.

For a visit that really hasn’t had a plan, we certainly have been busy.  The past week felt as if there were so many things to deal with to get ready, plus at long last the boat has gone to a good home.  My parents bought an 18″ Mukilteo hull back in the early 60’s for family outings.  I don’t remember too many outings, seemed so many glitches that a lot of the fun went out of boating.  I remember the first time we were going out with a picnic lunch – Mom had made fired chicken and potato salad.  We ended up having our picnic on the lawn in the backyard because Dad was having trouble with the lights on the trailer.  The next time we did put it in the water, but then we found the water rough and had to keep bailing.  Wooden boats need to be wet to keep the swell in the wood to make it watertight.  Then, when it came time to put the boat back on the trailer, we couldn’t get the trailer down to slide the boat on.  Dad kept backing the car closer to the water but the trailer kept floating.  It finally dawned on us that not only was there air in the tires, but the trailer was wood.  Somehow we managed to get it back on – let’s face it, three little girls were not much help and Mom was helping Dad and keeping an eye on us.

Later Dad put fiberglass cloth and resin on the boat – I remember helping him and painted his hand with resin.  We looked at each and laughed.  My brother-in-law used the boat to fish for awhile, then it spent the last years upside down in the back corner of the yard.  I finally called the Center for Wooden Boats and they were quite interested because it is a Mukilteo hull – turns out it was built in 1936 and instead of ruining the boat, the fiberglass saved it.  It need a lot of work but there is also a marine school that is looking for a Mukilteo to make a pattern to use in teaching the kids how to build the boat.  Maybe even a student project to restore the boat – who knows.

Friday my older sister arrived in the morning and in the evening my younger sister arrived.  We had dinner and by then most of us were ready for bed.  Yesterday ended up rather busy, some shopping in the morning, lunch and then baking a birthday cake – gluten free so I could eat it – then John and Luzma from next door came by to sih Mom a Happy Birthday.  They stayed for awhile and we had a good time.  Then Eddie grilled a wonderful steak for dinner, then birthday cake and gifts afterwards.  Eddie went to bed early because he is working the next 3 days on the delivery of the first 787 at the Future of Flight – he is having the time of his life.  I think he gets a bit overwhelmed at times with the Paull women all together.

I suspect the next couple of days will be a little quieter, one never knows.  Then both Ellen and Candy will leave and life will go back to normal – whatever that is.  From what little Mom has said, I think she is glad to have us here, she may be a bit on overwhelm at times.  Mom and Dad gave us a wonderfully loving foundation growing up and gave us the gift of integrity, honestly and discipline – from my point of view they always made us feel loved and wanted.  They have always been there to share our triumphs, good news and support us when things were tough or we just needed some reassurance or advice.  Quite an accomplishment!

Happy 93rd Birthday Mom!

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Baby Steps

September 19, 2011

It has been an enlightening week, some not so comfortable but also a lot of encouragement.  Since I had the very direct message about being ambivalent about having RA, it has been simmering on the back burner.  I had a picture in my mind of a large square with a teal green background; it was divided into 2 halves.  On the right side were all the pros and cons, advantages and disadvantages of having RA.  Yes, there are advantages, benefits and payoffs as well as the crappy stuff.  On the left side was pros & cons, advantages and disadvantages of not having it.  I found myself concentrating on the left side, with all the advantages and all the possibilities.  I am  now at a point where the print on the right side is fading, while the left side is being filled to overflowing with positive words and phrases.

On of the big items on the right side is Identity – I realize I have spent the last almost 41 years thinking RA is my identity rather than simply one part of me.  I have had a lot of confusion trying to understand what my identity is – most often it is associated with what one does for a living.  Well, I didn’t have a profession, so  RA was my substitute.  Now a big item on my left side is Identity, except I realize it means who I truly am.  I have come to understand that there are many parts to my identity, so emphasizing only one aspect seems counterproductive.  Without RA I can concentrate on other things and not obsess  about it with a capital “I”.

The other interesting thing was on Sunday, I spent a lot of time on the computer on a possible new project and was tired at the end of it.  My first thought was how sore and uncomfortable my shoulder and neck were going to be the next day.  Then it hit me, does it have to be that way?  Is it only a learned assumption from the past months that I have to be in pain the next day?  I had to think about that for a bit.  I decided the answer is no, I don’t have to be in pain.  Now I did put arnica gel on the places that usually are sore and did some massage while breathing through the pain before I went to bed.  How amazing to find the next morning I was doing rather well.  I have been doing pretty well this week, some bit and pieces of pain here and there but not the constant , miserable pain I have had for so long.    I realized I was choosing good health and well being rather than choosing RA and pain.

Another interesting discovery, I received some encouragement and validation that my angels, guides, spirits and master teachers are hearing me and helping.  I have been doing a conference call every Saturday with a small group of amazing women and last time Juanita posed a question.  If you were a seed, where would want to be planted and  what would you like to be?  As usual I knew it needed to simmer on the back burner as well as asking my angels for some help and guidance.  They have come through for me when I need an idea for something and I have had this knowing that they are there waiting to help me.  So after the call I asked them all to help me to know what seed I would be.  Now I was thinking literally and someone once called me a lotus – but that didn’t feel right.  So I just let it go and had other things to keep me involved.  As I was coming back from my massage I remembered about the seed, it was Friday and the call is on Saturday.  I was driving along with the windows open on a lovely sunny day, then it came to me – seed of Discovery.  I would be planted in the heart of one who is ready for it and I would bloom into understanding.  Then came a tug of war with ego – she kept saying I was being presumptuous and full of it while my positive mind said it was from the angels.  I decided it was from the angels, I have spent too much time listening to ego, so I told her “Thank You for sharing, I know you want to protect me but I’m not boarding that bus!”.  Debye was all smiles when I told her about it, she said they had asked her to ask me and they were all excited I “got it”.

I am so encouraged  that I really do have intuition and it is becoming a little stronger each day.  Part of it is clearing out a lot of the stuffed down feelings from all these years, now there is beginning to be room for intuition to bloom.

Mixed Messages

September 11, 2011

I will admit to having a rather crappy week after my realization on Sunday about Mom – now that I am willing to be aware (awareness sucks sometimes) I realize how often she would just ask me a question without using my name.  It has been more obvious when she struggles with whether I am her daughter or her sister.  When I went for my massage on Friday, I was able to release a lot of the feelings I didn’t want to acknowledge, much less know about.  It also brought out something else – I know it has been going around in my head for a long time but until then I didn’t really want to put it into words.  However, this time it was not hard and I was ready to admit it.

While Debye was working on me she said the spirits, guides and master teachers told her I am giving them mixed messages about RA.  On the one hand I want to have it healed but on the other I seem to want to keep it.  How can the Universe work with me when I am ambivalent?  It must be frustrating – or does the Universe get frustrated?  I have known without giving it voice that RA has been my identity for 40 years, so is the idea of knowing my true identity that scary that I will continue with this one?  I had to look at both to see what I truly want.

To continue with RA is to hide from the world and having to get a job.  It is receiving praise and admiration  – “I don’t know how you do everything you do while having RA”; “You are my inspiration”; “You are my hero”.  It is telling people I have it so they won’t expect much from me, then surprise them with how much I can do so well.  It is not having to compete, hiding behind RA.  It is also pain, little flexibility, meds, fatigue, medical costs, effects of meds on my body, low self esteem, not much flexibility, feeling powerless, dependent and helpless.  Is it worth the positive feedback I receive from having it?  It is very uncomfortable a lot of the time, but familiar. Plus, can I be of help if I don’t have it any more?  Is that a requirement, that without RA, do I have credibility?

On te other side, it is a bit scary to know another identity – my  true identity – than the one I have as someone with RA.  It’s new territory, instead of seeing it as scary (that scared feeling is the same as feeling excitement), why not think of it as an adventure and something to be excited about?  What else is there without RA?  Flexibility, energy, no pain, ability to do many things without painful consequences a day or two later; enthusiasm and vitality; joints and muscles that work properly, no meds and feeling free.  I feel there is something coming, don’t know what it is or how it will look, only that is is cool and fun and I can be myself.  So what would I like to do?  I have thought about that so a long time and usually the answer has always been “I don’t know”.  Suppose I think more about the elements and the feelings about it.

How will it feel?  There is energy, flexibility, sleep well, no meds, joy, exuberance, enthusiasm, excitement, more in touch with my intuition and energy center, truly loving myself exactly the way I am, being in tune with Spirit, my angels, guides and master teachers because it all comes from them – I just show up and get out of the way.  Being open, receptive, unlimited, allowing, and playing big (playing small so others feel secure just doesn’t work!) knowing whatever comes is something I can do.

It calls and fills my heart and soul, I am myself talking about what I have learned and the experiences I have had.  I want to write a book, possibly several books.  I want to help others, not as someone who has all the answers but who is just like them.  I would like to do presentations, seminar and workshops to groups, be a speaker and travel.  I would like a radio show that helps others in a wider area, with guests who I know do great work and help them expand as well.  I want to be a healer in a holistic practice.

I do know there are things the ego part of me wants to know – what exactly is it, how do I do it, where does the money come from, etc.  Plus those snarky thoughts of “Who do you think you are?  What makes you think you can do this?”, “Yeah sure, in your dreams!”.  She wants to protect me and I thank her for that, but I want to see where it leads, this or something better, rather than allow her to continue to control my life and make me afraid to step out and take risks and see what is out there for me.

Right now I feel it is preparation time, to clear out all the negative energy and stuffed feelings and emotions from the past , to create the space for new, positive and loving things to come in and multiply.  It is often uncomfortable and sometimes I don’t want to deal with it because of the pain and emotion – then again, isn’t that why they are all stuffed in my body?  I didn’t want to deal with it at the time.  Thankfully I don’t have deal with it alone, I have wonderful partners to help me through the process – even kick my butt with love when necessary.  It is easy to fall into feeling sorry for myself because of all of it (I have done victim very well these many years), so having objective and loving partners to keep me falling into that mode is such a great help.  I feel more ready to face it and deal with now.

An Uncomfortable Truth

September 6, 2011

I wrote this post a couple of days ago, not sure if whether to publish it or not since it isn’t just me involved.  I have decided it is part of my journey, a big part of my life at the moment and definitely has a bearing on RA.

I am realizing I am in denial sometimes – at times it feels as if I am the Queen of Denial.  this morning I realized that I thought my Mom’s dementia was occasional when she doesn’t remember who I am – big newsflash to me, it is a lot more often.  She seems to see me and Eddie as the man and woman who live here, not her daughter and son-in-law. I know in my head that it isn’t about me, it isn’t personal, that she is struggling through a fog and is probably scared and unsure.  The emotion in me feels a stab in the heart when it happens – some from my grown up self and some from my little girl, it hurts to know my mother doesn’t know who I am am.  I can usually go along and deal with it as it comes, but for some reason it really hit me this morning.  maybe because my husband told me about the conversation after I left to have a shower.  He was laughing about it and I told him it is no laughing matter, it hurts to know your mother doesn’t know who you are.  I had a cry in the shower and then visualized the blackness of negativity and hurt slowly draining out of my body, replaced with a bright irridescent white light of love filling the spaces the black left behind.  I have also  called on my angels, spirits, guides and master teachers to help and guide me to come to terms with it and resolve it;to help change my attitude to positive.  I asked them to work with me with whatever works and is for my highest good.  I am still feeling very emotional and can probably start crying again – I decided to write it out instead.

I suppose it started this morning because I had gone to the bathroom and Mom wanted to use it. So I finished and then she asked if I was going to take a shower.  I told her no because she complains a lot of the time I take all the hot water, so I  make sure she has the first shower unless I have to go out early.  Later she came in the kitchen and asked why I wasn’t having a shower, so I told her I was reading the paper.  She went back to get dressed and came in the kitchen to ask me why I wasn’t having a shower – I was drinking coffee that coffee and shower don’t mix well.  So I finished my coffee and said “If I have everyone’s approval and permission, I will go have my shower.  Then I am enjoying my shower and Eddie comes in to tell me about the conversation after I left.  Mom wanted to know why that woman was angry, what did he say to her?  Then he was laughing about it and it really hit me in the heart – she doesn’t know who I am most of the time, not just occasionally.  I told him it was no joking matter to not have your mother know who you are – it hurts!  He left and I was crying in the shower for a bit.  Then Mom comes in, calls my name and asks if I am in the shower.  I think she remembers for a bit after she is reminded, but it doesn’t last – I have been thinking it lasts longer than it does.  Yesterday Eddie and I went out and she was talking to my older sister Ellen on the phone, I said to tell her I said hello.  Mom didn’t know who to tell her , so I said “Your sister Elizabeth”.  Then she got it.

I have not really wanted to acknowledge what is happening fully.  Yes, I know she has lapses in memory and gets things confused, I think it was really brought home to me this morning how far into the thin places she goes.  It is so frustrating to answer her question only to have her ask it over and over again because she doesn’t remember.  It is as if it goes into black hole right after she hears it – where that black hole is could be anyone’s guess.  It is as if there is a cotton wool layer that everything goes through, little bits break off and are caught in the cotton wool, then attach themselves to something that comes through latter.  So by the time Mom talks about it, things that aren’t related are jumbled up with what she wants to say.  Then there are the times when she remembers something I wish she wouldn’t – like the little kid who tells embarrassing secrets Mom and Dad would rather not be made public.  In some ways I feel the parent now – I have no experience because I chose not to have children, so I have no clue how to do this.

I take it one incident at a time, it is always surprising what comes out, nothing I expect.  I am doing my best not to take it personally, to be objective about it because it is not about me, but there are those times when it really hits me.  Most of the time Eddie is such a great help and takes care of finances and so many other things – every once in awhile he drops a clanger, just as all of us do.  I certainly wouldn’t want to be doing this all alone.


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