Archive for the ‘Emotions’ Category

Something For The Back Burner

July 15, 2018

I ran across this article and it really set me to thinking – I wish I had written it.  I need to read it several several times and let it simmer for a while until I can create a picture in my mind.   It comes from TheMighty.com – a site about chronic illness and the articles are written by people in the group.

The Wounded Healer Within: How Chronic Pain Can Have a Transformative Effect

Arjan Bogaers

One of the archetypes belonging to modern time is that of the Wounded Healer. The concept of an archetype can very briefly be explained as being an original model serving as a prototype of human behavior on which all other similar persons, objects or concepts are patterned. The Wounded Healer archetype is represented by the ancient Greek myth of Chiron.

Born of his mother Philyra, who, in order to escape Zeus’ attentions turned herself into a mare, and his father, the God Zeus, Chiron is half man, half god, symbolized in his body as a Centaur. Upon seeing her newborn, Philyra is so appalled that she abandons her child. This is Chiron’s first wounding: rejection.

Later, he is accidentally shot with a poisoned arrow by his friend Hercules.  This

is Chiron’s second wounding: that of trust.

This poisoned wound is very painful and cannot heal, and as Chiron, being a half-god, is immortal, he cannot die and thus be free of his pain. In his suffering and his attempt to heal himself, Chiron searches in the world for a cure, and through this profound sojourn eventually becomes a compassionate and wise master healer for others.

In Chiron we encounter the very opposites that are present in us also – we are of this earth and subject to our biology and personality, but we are also immortal beings of soul and spirit. Healing lies in reconciling those opposites. But this can only happen if one is willing to consciously experience and go through one’s wound to receive its blessing and emerge on the other side.

In the case of disability, physical illness and/or mental illness, the condition often has its origin in early conflicts of rejection and trust, or in its course gives rise to feelings of the same. Rejection by or loss of trust in: parents, friends, safety, life, God, a future, a lover, justice, etc. If you can relate to this in any way, your healing lies in being and doing for yourself what others could not or would not be or do.

“Nobody escapes being wounded. We all are wounded people, whether physically, emotionally, mentally, or spiritually.” – Henry Nouwen

Our immediate experience is usually that our wound obstructs our wholeness, but it is in truth the very expression of it, for it introduces us to the part of us that is whole, well and free. That awakening enables us to see that we are not our

wound, we have it. The wound, therefore, simultaneously contains both the pathology and its own medicine. Of this, Carl G. Jung confessed:  “I would

wrestle with the dark angel until he dislocated my hip. For he is also the light and the blue sky which he withholds from me. It is our own hurt that gives the measure of our power to heal.”

The wound’s inherent medicine however, is present as a dormant potential. Acceptance of what is and being receptive to what emerges is a necessary practice in the healing process. Sometimes this requires a deeply challenging change of attitude, from one of “doing” to one of “being done to.” At times, the task can be to await transformation, not manufacture it.

This is particularly difficult in a world where everything that does not fit into the healthy, ambitious, performing and (re)producing “archetype” is viewed as being less than whole or a disorder of some kind, that “should not be” and therefore needs to be fixed. Many of the qualities necessary for the transformative healing of the wound, such as patience, surrender and endurance are not part of our quick-fix consumer society. To be clear, I would at all times promote healing and the alleviation of suffering, but a balance may have to be found between what we want and what needs to happen, in order for the wound’s inherent medicine to be emerge. The real transformative and healing effect is found when you allow yourself to be recreated by your wound by going through it.

In this process, as with Chiron, the physical or mental affliction may not be cured and hence remain, but not your attachment to it.

Every strength has its weakness, every potential has its danger. A profound wound is a theme around which your life will be organized until it is healed and you have received the gift of that wound. In this, the degree of hold your wound has over you is also the measure of its power to transform you. But that power is at the same time seductive, and therefore: the degree of hold your wound has over you is also the measure of its power to entrap you. When you over-identify with your woundedness, you can remain stuck in its associated victimhood of rejection and damaged trust, long after the necessary suffering has served its purpose. You are then in danger of blocking the wound’s medicine and with it your transformation.

It is a difficult and sometimes painful task for us to develop discernment between what our wound presents in terms of necessary suffering as a gateway to wisdom and compassion, and the subconscious development of what is sometimes referred to as woundology. When finding comfort in discomfort and when pain and disability have become a tool for finding attention and have made you establish a bonding ritual with others of like condition, you become entrapped because healing would threaten that status quo.

A wound finds us not to destroy our life and keep us from what we wish to become, but to destroy our illusions and push us into who we really are. We each have the ability to move beyond our issues, our problems and troubles, albeit not on our own. What is considered to be a prison can be the very gateway into freedom.

This is from an article on Google.

Paolo Raeli

1. When you give other people advice, it feels like you are telling your younger self what you needed to hear. It’s this dynamic that makes you love to help others. Healing them heals you.

2. Since you were little, you’ve known that you wanted to help people. You may not have known how you were going to do it, but you were aware that you wouldn’t be happy unless your life amounted to service in some capacity.

3. Being recognized for your work is both your most intense desire, and your worst fear. You want other people to see you as a healer or teacher or writer or whatever, but at the same time, your deepest, most conflicting fear is being seen in that way.

4. You believe that without struggle, you cannot truly know happiness. You believe that there is a purpose in suffering, and that it is so we can see with complete clarity what it means to be at peace.

5. It’s hard not to let your work become your life. You give everything you have to what you do – and sometimes it’s hard for you to know when to draw a line. Your work is your life, but you wouldn’t have it any other way.

6. You sometimes help too much, and struggle to let people self-heal. You’ve learned the hard way that often, you can tell people the answer, but until they figure it out themselves, it won’t truly resonate.

7. Criticism feels particularly painful to you. As someone who has been deprived of love in some way (that’s what all wounds are made of, FYI) sometimes criticism can sting more than it should (but you pull through).

8. You are grateful for the difficulties you went through. You recognize that the most painful times in your life were the most deeply transformative; without them, you would not be who you are or where you are. They were necessary (and transitory).

9. You are always working on yourself. You are committed to self-growth, and you are always open to ways you could be more open-minded, more loving, or more aware.

10. You want to fix everything, sometimes to a fault. It’s hard for you to see the difference between being a perfectionist and being driven toward the life you want. You often blur the line between dedication and near-insanity.

11. You have a very sound sense of purpose. You know why you’re here, and you know what you’re here to do, even if it’s just be present and be as kind as you can.

12. Your life goal is to know that you helped even just one person, even just a little. You don’t have to save the world, and in fact, you don’t really care to. All you want to know is that you helped at least one person in their life. That, to you, is success.

EMBRACING IMPERFECTION: THE WOUNDED HEALER ARCHETYPE

In our everyday lives reminders that striving for perfection should be our number one priority surround us. The media perpetuates the myth that emotional and physical flawlessness is something that everyone should work towards and we are made feel ashamed by anything that looks or feels imperfect or ugly.

We can spend a lot of time and energy resisting change or taking the next step into unknown territory on our personal journeys for fear of being hurt or wounded in the process. But it is these very wounds that can make us grow and stretch into the warriors we were meant to be.

It allows us then to create a map for others going through this struggle and gives us a point of reference in order to help people on their personal journey.

In Psychology

The psychologist Carl Jung, when talking about a particular relationship between client and therapist first popularized the phrase ‘The Wounded Healer’. He believed that to be ‘wounded’ in some way could actually be beneficial to the therapeutic relationship. For Jung, ‘a good half of every treatment that probes at all deeply consists in the doctor’s examining himself… it is his own hurt that gives a measure of his power to heal. This, and nothing else, is the meaning of the Greek myth of the wounded physician.’

The therapist however needs to make sure that he is fully aware of his own struggles as his own wounds may be activated in certain situations, especially if his client’s wounds are similar to his own. This is the nature of healing and why many people go on a journey of self-discovery before embarking on a healing path.

Shamanic Roots

‘The wounded healer’ is a significant archetype in shamanic traditions also. The Shaman itself embodies what it means to be a wounded healer. Shamans are thought to be “called” by dreams or signs, which require lengthy training.

There is a phenomenon often referred to as the shamanistic initiatory crisis. This is a rite of passage for shamans-to-be, and commonly involves physical illness and/or psychological crisis. The significant role of initiatory illnesses in the calling of a shaman can be found in the detailed case history of Chuonnasuan, the last master shaman among the Tungus peoples in Northeast China. (Specific details of Chuonnasuan and his initiatory illnesses can be found in Richard Noll and Kun Shi’s essay ‘The Last Shaman of the Oroquen of Northeast China’ which is available to read online).

The wounded healer is a kind of archetypal journey that is very important to the novitiate shaman. He/she undergoes a type of sickness that pushes her or him to the brink of death. In the shamanic traditions, this happens for two reasons.

Firstly, the shaman crosses over to the under world. This happens so the shaman can venture to its depths to bring back vital information for the tribe and in particular its sick members. Secondly, the shaman must become sick to understand sickness. When the shaman overcomes her or his own sickness, they will then hold the cure to heal all that suffer from this.

As a Personal Philosophy

But what is the significance of adopting this archetype for yourself? We can see our lives through a variety of lenses, and our perception of ourselves and how we fit in the world around us is what makes our reality real. In CBT for example we are taught to restructure how we think about things to get a more positive and measured outlook on our lives. There is also the idea of ‘post-traumatic growth’ which is explored in Maureen Gaffney’s book ‘Flourishing’. It refers to positive psychological change experienced as a result of the struggle with highly challenging life circumstances. These sets of circumstances represent significant challenges to the adaptive resources of the individual, and pose significant challenges to individuals’ way of understanding the world and their place in it.

Post-traumatic growth is not simply a return to baseline from a period of suffering; instead it is an experience of improvement that for some persons is deeply meaningful.

The Dutch theologian Henri Nouwen is also synonymous with the concept. Henri, in his book entitled ‘The Wounded Healer’ tells a story to illustrate the idea of this archetype.

A Rabbi who came across the prophet Elijah and said to him:

“Tell me—when will the Messiah come?”

Elijah replied, “Go and ask him yourself.”

“Where is he?” said the Rabbi.

“He’s sitting at the gates of the city,” said Elijah.

“But how will I know which one is he?”

“He is sitting among the poor, covered with wounds. The others unbind all their wounds at the same time and bind them up again, but he unbinds only one at a time and binds them up again, saying to himself, “Perhaps I shall be needed; if so, I must always be ready so as not to delay for a moment.”

Nouwen adds, “What I find impressive in this story are these two things: first, the faithful tending of one’s own woundedness and second, the willingness to move to the aid of other people and to make the fruits of our own woundedness available to others.”

What this story also might illustrate is the idea that to become ‘The wounded healer’ there is a level of sacrifice that may need to take place. In order to fully embrace becoming a healer you must give over a part of yourself to the people that need your help.

Nietzsche recognized the transformative potential of negative experiences, and while you may not go as far as he did, to wish suffering upon those closest to you, it can be a consoling thought that hurtful experiences could be the very things that lead us to a more enlightened view of the world and a stronger version of ourselves.

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What Day Is It Anyway?

November 19, 2017

I have been having trouble keeping the days of the week straight since the middle of March when Eddie quit working for Andy.  He has been busy with things at home, I can’t tell the days apart any more.  Each day used to feel distinctive, a character of its own – now they all run together.  So I have decided to take a page from Winnie the Pooh

That will be how I think of each day, especially when they seem to run together.  I realize too often I think about things ahead rather than enjoying right now.

I have been thinking ahead about my radio show.  I don’t have the sponsors to keep it going for another year, unless the calvary comes to the rescue at the last minute.  I did get a good deal from the station manager for the last 2 months of year – plus the two sponsors I have helped pay for the time.  Unfortunately they are not in a position to  fully sponsor it for a year.

Back in October I decided I had to be willing to let it go – truly let it go.  I know it has to be whole hearted, not say it but assume I won’t have to actually give it up.  It hasn’t been easy, a lot of tears and puddles but I think I am okay with it now.  I may get a little weepy at times.  I have decided to celebrate the last show at the end of December rather than mourn.  I am going to miss going to the studio, spending time with Benny and having fun, all the people there.  It is like a family – not like any other radio station.

When I was checking Google yesterday for  my guest on Nov 28th, I came across a station that is nationwide and less money, so I emailed to find out more about it.  A woman was interviewing my guest, but to be honest, the host had such an unpleasant voice I couldn’t stand to listen to her.  But I checked out the station – it will be interesting to see what the response will be.

Since I have been doing the show, I have found myself writing a book about all the stuff I have been talking about.  It is kind of strange, at times I am writing all the time, other times I haven’t done anything for a while.  I will have time to work on it after the end of the year – I am curious to see what I come up with for this book. Reminds me of art school when I didn’t have a clue what to do – I would wonder to myself what I will turn in to class.  Amazingly, I always had my assignment done on time with an idea.  Sometimes the idea wasn’t all that great, other times everything fell into place.

This week Eddie is going for his first cataract surgery on his left eye.  He has really been noticing the changes and says he isn’t nervous.  We’ll go together because he can’t drive afterwards.  Then the next day he goes to the doc to check it out.  They figure he will be able to drive then.  Two weeks later they will do his right eye.

We have been invited to Mike Lombardi’s house for Thanksgiving.  He is the Boeing historian Eddie volunteers with at the archives.  He had invited us to the MOHAI gala to fill the Boeing table.  Eddie and Mike get along so well and enjoy Wednesday mornings.  Mike’s wife Paula is great – she was at the Gala but it isn’t all that easy to visit with all the money being raised.

We have been having a lot of rain – this week the weatherman says it will pour for most of the week.  That’s what he says, but I am more interested in what Mother Nature has in mind – I believe her over the weatherman.  Some of the passes have gotten about 4 feet of snow – some still don’t have snow to open the ski resorts.  I’m quite happy to have the snow stay up in the mountains.

A couple of weeks ago we were finally able to see the Olympics.  They were gorgeous – sunrise so all the snow was pink.  They seem to spend more time behind the clouds than they do in the sunshine.  I remember my Dad saying the sun usually shines almost every day, just some days you have to look quickly to see it.

UPDATE

I had an email from the other radio group and she said we were meant to meet.  I forwarded the email to Erik to see what his take on it is – he has been in the business so much longer than I have.  She would like to talk with me  – so I will see what she has to say.  Trouble is, I don’t want to leave KKNW but money is the deciding factor.  I’ll keep you posted on what happens.

Reimagining Mother’s Day

May 8, 2016

This is the second Mother’s Day since Mom died; in some ways it feels strange she is not here, in other ways it doesn’t feel strange at all.  Maybe because the last 3 or 4 years of her life were dominated by dementia and she wasn’t quite the Mom I have known my whole life.  I am glad I was there for her during the time she was alone after Dad died, he was her whole world and she missed him so much.  She didn’t really say much about how she felt about things, her generation didn’t talk about feelings or were as open as we seem to be today.

When we were kids, we wanted to give her breakfast in bed – that was considered very much a luxury. However, Mom was not a breakfast-in-bed kind of person – I think Dad convinced her to let us do it for her.  Sometimes I think it was hard for her to accept receiving from others, she was such a giver to everyone.  She enjoyed having people come over and she would feed them.  She liked the people we invited over, Mom was very comfortable in her own home rather than out somewhere.

I remember when the three of us girls and Dad went to buy her a black nightgown – what that sales lady thought one can only imagine.  I remember it as  fun and a little out of the ordinary.  It never occurred to us to think in terms of what Mom would like best, Madison Ave always told people what to do or give on any occasion.

Mom was rather dismissive of Mother’s Day, because the idea of honoring mothers and showing how much they are loved on just one particular day was phony.  To her it was an all year round activity and more important for those small things every day.  In some ways I have agreed with her, make up for all the unsaid things, not visiting, etc. on one particular day.

I was living away from Seattle for over 34 years, I was able to come and visit my parents at least 3 times a year, sometimes more.  It was joy to be back in Seattle and be with my parents, we had a lot of fun together.  It was even better when Eddie was with me, the four of us would go on adventures.  Sometimes Eddie came on business trip and I couldn’t go with him, so he had my parents all to himself.  I have often thought he is the son they never had, plus Eddie thought of them as his own parents as well.  Eddie really enjoyed the times he and Dad went out by themselves – a guy’s day.  Dad showed him a lot of back roads around Seattle and Eddie still uses them.

They would come to visit us maybe once a year – I was able to take them around to places I knew and when I was in Atlanta, we drove up to Nashville to visit Candy.  When we lived in LA, we met friends of theirs from when dad was growing up and when they were first married.  Dad showed me places in Rolling Hills and Palos Verdes that were special to him and where he spent his teenage and young adult years.

When we were growing up, Mom was a stay at home mom, she was there when we came home from school – if she wasn’t, we knew she would be back shortly.  Sometimes she would be king cookies or downstairs ironing with the smell of fresh, clean clothes.  It wasn’t until high school, when I went home with a friend, that I realized how blessed I was to have Mom home when I came home.  I took it for granted.  My friend’s father had died in WWII and her mother had to work to support them.  When we went into her house, it felt cold – not just temperature, there was no one there to welcome her with warmth.  That really hit home and I began to value having a stay at home Mom.

As I think about it, home was a place that was safe where I was loved and wanted.   No matter what was going on outside, I would find a retreat at home.  Mom and Dad made it feel that way, Mom was the major component for it.  As I got older, I found more things we had in common, such as the books we liked.  When I was married, I learned to appreciate her more and understand things better.  If I had had children, I would certainly have understood being a mom a lot more.

So now I have to re-imagine Mother’s Day since Mom is not with us any more.  I know she is now much happier because she no longer has dementia and is with Dad.  Maybe it will be a celebration of her life and what she gave to me and my sisters.  I don’t quite see a picture in my mind yet, it may have to simmer on the back burner for a while.  When I think Mother’s Day, I see the lunch we had with her sister Jean and her son and daughter-in-law or the last dinner with Jean before Mom died.  They are happy pictures in my mind and I want it continue that way.

I did another post a while ago with pictures and I want to put those in this one.

Mom and her sister Jean

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Mom as a little toddler

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This is the house she grew up in on Main Street in Glastonbury, Conn

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This is out at the farm in Waterford, Conn near Long Island Sound

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I think this was a camp somewhere

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Mom was a Traveler’s Aid volunteer for more than 34 years – she thoroughly enjoyed doing it.

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Every summer, Mom’s father would rent  house on Clinton Beach in Conn., the family would rent houses near it and spend the summer there.

Dad made an album of pictures of Mom’s life and I used to go through it with her on my visit.  She had Macular Degeneration, so she wasn’t able to see them.  I would describe them to her and she knew exactly what I was describing.  She would tell me stories about growing up – I never knew when she was in a talkative mood.  It would happen all through my childhood, so when I lived in Conn., I went to Glastonbury and saw where she lived and met the relatives that were still alive.  On one of Mom and Dad’s visits to us, I took them there and we also went to Clinton beach to see the rental houses – surprising it looked a lot the same.

Those are the memories and pictures I have of Mom in my mind.

A Particularly Uncomfortable Few Days

November 29, 2014

Boy, computers can bug the hell out of me!!!!!!!!  Yesterday we signed Eddie up for his prescriptions and they sent an email for an electronic signature.  We did it just now and nothing works to send it through.  However, it just occurred to me they are closed, their computers are too.  We’ll try again tomorrow.  And for some reason, the first time I started this post, the bugger would only let me write the title, not the post itself.   Now it’s working – technology 2, Me 0.  I WILL not let it defeat me!  I won’t even mention the printer.

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This is one of Candy’s photos, after the week I’ve had, it always brings a smile to see the rose.  Thank you Candy.

That isn’t the subject, I got sidetracked just before I started writing.  It isn’t painful, just aggravating.

And now to business.  A week ago Thursday I was here in the office and ended up with another splinter in my foot from the hard wood floor.  It is the only place it happens and this time I couldn’t pull it out.  I could feel the end but since it was on the bottom of my heel, I couldn’t see it or bend enough to see it.  Eddie tried getting it out, but he couldn’t either.  It wasn’t that uncomfortable, I have had other splinters that stayed in my foot and have not given me trouble.  By Saturday I could feel it, it seemed to be pushing itself farther into my heel.  I began to feel as if I had a twig in there.  By Monday it was so uncomfortable and I didn’t want to walk on it.  I was sitting here and Eddie said “You have that look.”  I asked what look.  He said the look of “I don’t like this”.  Spot on, he was so right.

Tuesday I was really limping – fortunately I had an appointment with my rheumatologist and my infusion.  When I saw Jennifer – the doc’s nurse – I found myself ready to cry.  I had been having a really bad time and I so appreciated Jennifer as she took the splinter out and cleaned all the junk in it – it had become infected.  It hurt like crazy when she took it out, but I was so relieved to have it gone and cleaned up.  As it was, I did  start crying a bit from relief.

They put a bandage on it and decided I wouldn’t get my infusion.  Fortunately I also had an appointment with Doc Pierce in the afternoon – could I have timed it any better?  He checked it out and gave me a prescription for antibiotics and orders to soak my foot in Epsom Salts.  I have another appointment with him on Tuesday, then an appointment on Thursday for the rheumatologist and I hope my infusion.  Not the most comfortable week, I spent a lot of time sleeping or napping to rest from all the pain and stress.

I am still soaking my foot and everything is so much more comfortable.  I hope it looks good to both docs next week.  As for me, it feels so good to walk comfortably again.  The antibiotics are for 8 days, 3 a day.  Tuesday night, Eddie was ready to cancel our dinner reservation for Thanksgiving  “because you can’t walk”.  I’m glad he didn’t because I was doing much better Thursday afternoon and we had a lovely dinner at Il Fornaio.  It was amazing how quiet it was on the viaduct and downtown, hardly any traffic.  We were half an hour early and they gave us a table right away.

We decided to do the traditional Thanksgiving dinner of 3 thick slices of white meat, yams, stuffing, mashed potatoes, haricot vert and cranberry sauce.  I couldn’t eat all of it, but I did enjoy it.  We decided to have pumpkin pie as well, though it was one thing too many.  But it was a great dinner all around.  We just relaxed all day, reading, working the computer and watching some tv.  It really felt good.  We were glad we were home before it started raining.

However, Friday we were out paddling around in the heavy rain, didn’t go too far a field and were glad to come home and be warm and dry.  This morning we woke up to snow – really coming down for a while.  I think we had an inch or so, the roads were bare and wet fairly quickly.  Good thing because the temperature has dropped and anything liquid is going to be ice.  We saw so many people who had left their car outside, full of snow not very well cleared off.  What a difference to keep our cars in the garage so we don’t have to scrape.

Today we went out for a bit, the wind was really cold and it is due to be colder tonight and the next few days.  It will be drier, clearer and colder – not much fun being outside in that weather.  Not much else to report, we haven’t been doing much these days of the holiday but we have enjoyed it.

Election Day

November 4, 2014

The “Silly Season” is almost over!  There is something about campaigns, elections and the media that brings out so much balderdash that some of us are fed up to the teeth hearing so many pontificate and speculate.  Enough already!  It’s on television, in my mailbox, on Facebook, the radio, the telephone and anywhere else anyone can think of to put it.  No wonder we have voter fatigue.  If I hear any more analysis of each race and every tiny detail, I will go round the bed.

The worst part is that not many voters actually vote – those are the ones who whinge and complain the most.  Not only that, the same people keep running and getting elected – how many races have only one person running?  It is negative slants, lies, accusations and rumors instead of issues and what truly needs to be done.  It often seems politicians only notice us voters when election time, the rest of the year they are feathering their own nests rather than working for their constituents.

I vote every time, but  not enough other people do to really make a difference; wouldn’t be nice if we had people running who knew what they are doing.  Too many good people don’t want to be put under the microscope by the press and have their whole lives examined.  Why not put those same news people under the scrutiny that give to candidates?

There doesn’t seem to be much choice of parties or candidates – either very conservative or very liberal.  Why not a moderate party – otherwise some of us don’t have much choice.  Why oh why have the voters been split into segments – black voters, Latino or Hispanic, women, seniors – there are so many segments it is hard to  see us as all American voters.  We are all Americans, with no hyphens.

It is the right, privilege and responsibility for citizens to vote; to have informed voters would be the icing on the cake.  Maybe I am just old-fashioned; after seeing what my husband went through to become a citizen, I know how blessed I am to have been born an American.  Sometimes one has to leave the country and see how things are in other places to really appreciate what we have here.

Too bad this election is the end of it for a while.  Tomorrow they will start going full-bore for the presidential election in 2 years.  When that comes along, that will be major voter fatigue.  I don’t want to hear it, see it or deal with it until about September 2015.  Too bad I won’t be able to do that.  Maybe a little respite before the onslaught for 2015.

I don’t usually rant, but today I have had enough!  I am going to bed early, they can decide each election without me – the New Year comes in whether I am awake or not.

 

No Idea For A Title

November 2, 2014

I just realized it has been a week since I posted – not a lot to write about that is interesting.  I’ve been going through the days, often not sure what I need to be doing.  That ugly word “Should” tends to creep in and I am not boarding that bus voluntarily.  I heard an intuitive talk about letting go of the past programs rather than keeping them playing in a loop in my head.  What a great idea!  I have spent too much time and energy with several and enough is enough.  I have an appointment with an intuitive on Tuesday to help me clear a lot of the “Mom stuff” that feels at this moment as if it is choking me.

There has been a situation that my husband keeps harping on even though it is now resolved.  The last time he brought it up, I told him it is a dead issue.  Wonder why I didn’t use that a lot sooner for things I know are dead but I keep them in the mind loop.  I decided in Ike Pono I don’t board the guilt bus any more – I am only responsible for me, not anyone else.  I have finally learned that no matter how small I play, it never makes anyone else feel secure.

Last Monday on my show I talked about the gifts from Mom’s dementia experience – I wasn’t sure if I would get drippy, it worked out fine.    Late in the afternoon I heard the buzzer on the back door – a fellow bearing flowers.  It was a gorgeous bouquet of white lilies, roses, stock and I am to sure what else.  It was from the Breakfast Club.  I had already received a card from them on Saturday – signed by everyone.  Such wonderful friends and colleagues!

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Tuesday I looked at my calendar and realized I had missed my infusion the Thursday before – I don’t think I looked at my calendar at all last week.  So I called my rheumatologist’s office to see if they could fit me in the next morning after Breakfast Club – they could.  I also asked if I needed to change my next infusion because it would be only 3 weeks in between.  I was ready to go to my regular doc and realized it was 9:00, not 9:30.  By then it was 9:15, so I called his office.  Turns out he hadn’t come from the hospital yet and had 2 other people waiting. So we rescheduled for Wednesday afternoon.

I had coffee and lunch with my friend Patti – we hadn’t met for quite a while and it was good to see her.  I was dragging and spending time with her helped me so much.  I have a very boring life next to her, if it isn’t her house, her family, her business and computer – it is her neighbors.  Sounds a bit like a soap opera.  She has been through taking care of her Mom as well, so she had some good advice and insight.  Also, she is in the same business of promotional marketing, though she specializes in gold mining supplies.  I have learned a lot about gelding from her.   I hope she benefited as much as I did.

Wednesday was medical day – I went to Breakfast Club, then to my infusion, then to my doc in the afternoon.  My doc is a little concerned about me and dealing with Mom’s death.  He has offered to give me the name of a really good grief counselor if I need it.  I  like to wait for a bit to see how I do – he wants to see me in a month.  I may take him up on his offer.

Thursday I spent at Apple first at the Pages Group Session, then a One to One about podcasts and putting them on iTunes and my website.  I seem to give Larry a challenge when we do a One to One.  I need to make another appointment so he can figure out the RSS code and how to apply it to my stuff.

Back in a bit.

I took advantage of the sun while it was out to take pictures of John’s handiwork.  It has been raining, often pouring so much, there hasn’t been much sun.  John and his crew worked in the rain – it had almost stopped when they were finished.  This way there is more light to really show what they did.

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Looking down the porch to the road

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It may not look much different because the big trees belong to the neighbor across the street

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Things look so much better with the ugly hedge gone.

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Now you can see the sidewalk to the front door

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Donut lilacs that dark core is rotten.

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The camellia was so big, too big for the space.

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Looking to the back door

Friday John Van Zanten came with his crew to give us our view back and also give some  things a hair cut.  I asked him to take out that ugly hedge by the outside stairway and then he trimmed some branches on the lilac and the camellia.  Turns out the lilac looked like a donut inside, it was rotted.  Things look a lot different now.  Also, Bob ad Delores next door appreciate the haircut for the view, it helps theirs a lot as well.

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There is a lot more light in the bathroom – small window

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It looks a whole lot different with the branches gone

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I want the camellia, lilac and the rhode bloom in the spring, then we will cut them and dig them up – plant something to soften the brick but not above the windows.

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Not sure what to do with the two camellias on the left – not really the best place for them.

I took naps for several days  in the week, I slept, then sleep well at night – still tired.   Lots of weird dreams, wonder what they are telling me.   I went to lunch on Saturday with Char, Joan and Joyce in Marysville for Lois’s birthday lunch.  It was cloudy here, but as I got near Everett and Marysville, it was foggy – cold and raw.  However, we had a lovely time and I am glad I went by the time I came home, it was too late for a nap – I could certainly have used one.

That’s my week.

Taking It As It Comes

October 24, 2014

I can think of a lot of things I could or need to do, but at the moment I don’t really have the energy.  One thing I have learned is that writing it out often helps a lot, even if it is just to express it and get it out of my mind.  I look back on yesterday as a good day.  I had a great show with Dave Gagley, my attorney friend and the one who helped me so much with Mom and her affairs.  It was fun and we had a caller with a good question.  I kept it to estate planning since it is only a half hour, but I would like to have Dave on again for other things.

I had time between finishing the show and my chiropractor appointment, so I read a Dick Francis book – didn’t want to put it down until I saw how it all came together.  I did enjoy my adjustment, Cheryl is gentle but very effective.  Lately I have been stiff and sore around my clavicle girdle – that is around my back, neck and shoulders.  Guess there is still tension and stress.  I decided to have coffee and something while I read, that was enjoyable.  I was also putting off going to the funeral home to “pick up Mom and Dad”.

I took Dad’s ashes on Friday and they combined them so when I scatter them from on the Sound from a ferry, they will be together.  I also arranged for some to go to Candy, she wants to do something for them around Dad’s birthday.  It is the only physical evidence of them now, their essences are not in the earthly container any more.  It is amazing how heavy ashes are – the box and container with Dad’s was really heavy and the two together was also heavy.  I am not sure what I am feeling other than uncomfortable – yet there is no reason to be uncomfortable.  All this is new to me, I am so glad to have Dave helping me navigate the legal stuff, Char has helped a lot because she did it for both her mom and dad.  So many people have offered whatever help I need, I need to sort out how that looks for me.

By the time I got home, I was exhausted.  It was after 3, too late to have a nap.  However, I was happy to go to bed early and glad I slept well last night.  It is a kind of droopy day today and I decided to just go with it rather than push against it.  I probably would have been better off having a lie down in the afternoon, but I didn’t.  However, bed looks pretty good right now.

Back later.

 

It is a whole lot later than I planned – it’s Friday afternoon.  I have been having naps and sleeping pretty well at night – that is all to the good.  Wednesday morning before leaving for Breakfast Club, I had an email from Ellen with a Flash From the Past – she sent a photo with everything blooming.

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It makes me think of my Mom and how much she enjoyed her flowers.  I had a real lift from it and I made sure I emailed Ellen back to let her know how much I appreciated it.

When I went to Breakfast Club, I wasn’t so down and droopy.  They are a wonderful group of colleagues and friends, it is often a lift to the week.   I will say the week got better after that.  Thursday I spent at Apple learning more about Pages, though she had several new ones who didn’t know how to do it.  I mostly played around the cards and looking on the internet for pictures, etc. – I didn’t have a particular project.  I was surprised to find myself really tired, I seem to be okay in the morning and then suddenly run out of energy.  I decided to have a nap and since we hadn’t turned on the furnace yet, it was cold and I was glad to curl up in the warm cocoon of the bed and sleep or doze.

Last night we went out to Mongolian Grill for dinner, we haven’t done that for quite a while and we enjoy it.  Also, no dishes to wash.  it has been pouring a lot this week, we managed to find a break in the action to go to dinner.  Eddie has had the brunt of it going to and from Mukilteo, even hail yesterday

I decided to turn on the furnace this afternoon, three layers of wool and a layer of cotton wasn’t keeping me warm.  We thought about waiting until the 1st of November, but I just decided I had had enough of being cold and turned it on.   Blessed warmth!  If I were brought up in the UK, 61 degrees would seem quite comfortable.  I went to breakfast this morning with Judith and Juno – I almost didn’t, but figured Why not.  I enjoyed it and then went over to the funeral home to pick up Mom’s death certificates.  Suddenly ran out of energy and thought about coming home for a nap.  I ended up calling people about being a guest on my show or being a sponsor.  Not sure how any of it will turn out – it is God;s hands.

It has been the kind of week I’ve had for the past couple of weeks or so.  Still not sure what I feel or how I am doing, just working my way through what’s happening this day without wondering about tomorrow.

Somewhere In Neutral

October 14, 2014

I have to do at least one thing today – so far I have slept, watched tv and been on the computer, but not accomplishing anything.  I got up with Eddie this morning to have breakfast with him, he is spending the day at the Convention Center for the Interior Show.  Then we have the volunteer dinner tonight – he is the volunteer in the family.  I feel at loose ends, somewhere in neural – that’s the phrase that comes into my mind.

After he left, I checked email and then went back to bed.  I had trouble going to sleep because I was cold, then had weird dreams.  When I got up, I checked the clock and thought it was 1:00.  I had a show and got dressed, then looked at the clock again – it was only 11:30.  I’ve been sleeping well, so I may be beginning to unwind and release tensions of the last few years.  I did my show yesterday with Krista Gibson as my guest – she is great to have on the show and I enjoyed interviewing her.  Actually, I wanted her to clarify a couple of things I had heard her say because it was just a vague I think I know, but I was looking for I know that I know.  Now I am letting it simmer on the back burner until it really sinks in.

Before the show, I had a chance to meet and talk with Consuelo – her show is at 8:00 a.m., so I hear it as I am driving to the station.  I like what she has to say, plus she is the one who told me about Sound Cloud.  As we were talking, I asked her if it was too soon to see if my Mom had transitioned smoothly and was she with Dad and Josephine – Consuelo said she is there with them and it went smoothly.  She is happy and surrounded by love.  I was so glad to hear that – I know how scared Mom was to let go and all three of us girls told her Dad would be waiting.

After the show I went to see Dave, my attorney friend, about a matter for my sister.  He wasn’t there but I was able to give Dana the information and I will probably see Dave tomorrow at Breakfast Club.  Then went to see Dr. Cheryl for an adjustment.  My shoulders and neck have been stiff and sore – a large weight I have been carrying?  I’m not sure I am ready to examine feelings and emotions right now; I know it needs to be addressed.

I went to my caregiver support group, told them about Mom.  I realized I had been doing a lot of venting, but it was necessary and I knew it was a safe place.  I didn’t say a whole lot and there were two new people.  We ended up with 2 Jeans and 2 Lauries.  Then there was Claire and me, later Toni.   Last night I suddenly realized I don’t have to deal with that any more.  I am a little reluctant to say Mom’s passing is a relief – for her because she isn’t anxious or confused any more; for me because I was having trouble handling going to see her each week, seeing her decline before my eyes.

I was really tired when I came home, then fell asleep for a bit before dinner.  I could have gone to bed at any time, I didn’t want to find myself wide awake in the middle of the night because I had gone to sleep at 7.  My mind feels a bit like mush, hard to hold on to a thought or action for very long.  I feel as if it is one of my “drag my ass tired” periods with RA.

I hear from friends this is fairly normal.  It was very different when Dad died, our niece from Jerusalem was visiting and we left for Virginia after the Celebration of Life open house.  I went home and had to put my cat to sleep and our niece had used our phone to call her fellow and he kept calling.  Eddie was really upset because he told her not to use the phone, plus his sister and her husband didn’t want her talking to him either.  I finally answered the phone, told him I would let her talk to him once but not to call again because I had too much to deal with at that moment.  I told her the same thing, but he kept calling, so I didn’t answer the phone.  So she was mad at us and when she went back home, she didn’t speak to us for a long time.  There was a lot a stuff going on and for a while I couldn’t think about Dad.

Finally I sat down and wrote to him, at times hard to see the keyboard because I was crying, it felt good to put it in words.  I think I wrote at least a couple of other times – wonder where I put the sheets.  What has always surprised me is that whenever we came here to visit afterwards, it didn’t seem strange Dad wasn’t here.  It’s more than that. but I don’t have the words to describe it.  The experiences are different,  not sure what works for me.  Mom’s passing is still so new, I am just being and seeing what happens.  It’s odd how I suddenly remember she isn’t here any more and it brings me up short.

Glad to know I accomplished something today.

Her Journey’s End

October 9, 2014

Yesterday morning at 4:50 my Mom died peacefully in her sleep.  She had her 96th birthday last month and she finally was ready to let go and make her transition.  We had a call shortly after from Judy, her caregiver to tell us Mom had died.  It was part expected and in part startled me.  Since the doctor had said she was going into the last stages of dementia, I didn’t know how long she would be with us.  It is a relief and also upsetting; even though I knew Mom didn’t want to be here, that she missed my Dad and her cat Josephine.  Judy asked if I wanted to see her body, but I said No; I wanted to remember her the way she was when I saw her Friday – fast asleep under the covers, looking warm and comfortable and holding the weighted baby doll.

I am not sure what I am feeling or what I need or want – I feel at sixes and sevens, sort of wandering around wondering what I am supposed to do.  I called my sisters to let them know, I spoke to Ellen and had to leave a message for Candy because she wasn’t available.  Eddie had a conference he was helping put on and there was no need for him to stay home.  I think it helped him concentrate on that rather than Mom.  I went to my Breakfast Networking Group – Julia asked why I was there.  I didn’t want to be at home.  I’m so glad I went, this group of people have been there to support, encourage and help me through some difficult times – they are close friends rather than just people with businesses I network with every Wednesday.

I am still alternately calm and teary/drippy, never sure when the drippy will appear.

LATER

I’m having trouble settling to anything – I quit writing this because I couldn’t  keep going – usually I go into a flow once I start writing.  I’ve been wondering if writing it out would help – not really sure any more.  I tried having a lie down, to possibly sleep; didn’t happen.  I know I am tired – probably exhausted, but sleeping is not working out very well.  It took me a while to get to sleep last night – then I noticed how stiff and uncomfortable I was.  Not sure what is going on.

Back to the story:

After Breakfast Club I went to see Judy.  She told me Mom was very different on Tuesday, she noticed changes that weren’t there before – she recognized it probably wouldn’t be too long.  She checked on Mom quite often that night and then Mom was gone.  She reassured me that I had done everything I could for Mom and that she feels the loss as well.  She loved my Mom, as she loves all the residents as long as they are there.  It is difficult for her to see them go.  I have tried to tell Judy as often as I can how much I appreciate her, all that she did for Mom and to thank her.  She told me many times that it made such a difference for her to be appreciated – I don’t think too many do that.  She said Mom was a darling and everyone in the house loved her.

I keep meaning to tell Ellen the lilies she sent for Mom’s birthday are still beautiful – they are on the dining room table for everyone to enjoy.  Some have lost their petals, but quite a few are blooming.

I came home  and found a voicemail from Candy – I’m sorry I wasn’t able actually talk to her.  I called the Allens and also John and Luzma to tell them.  I ended up checking my emails and then had a cup of tea and a pear for lunch.  I suddenly felt very sleepy, so I went to lie down for a bit – I think I slept but then the tea kicked in and She Who Must Be Obeyed let me know I needed to get up and use the bathroom.  I went down again for a bit, then Luzma came by.  John had told her when she woke up.  We hugged each other and we sat and talked for a while – she will definitely miss Mom.  She remembers how kind Dad was to her, accepting her and treating her well.  She loved Mom, she said she was like a grandmother to her.  Their shared their gardens and many other things.

I decided I needed to do something, so I worked on the expenses for the business, I have let it go for too long.  it seemed to be the only things I could concentrate on.  Suddenly John and Luzma reappeared, carrying flowers.  She said she knew Mom loved her rose and she thought the house should be filled with roses.  There is one vase is small roses in a deep pink, one vase with red roses and a third vase with apricot roses.  The last vase had white daisies – plus a balloon.  In each vase is a lovely butterfly.  (I’ll put the pictures in another post).

They told me to call them for whatever I need – as soon as I know, I will.  While they were here Eddie called, he was on his way home from the conference, it didn’t last as long as he thought.  I was glad to see him when he came home.  We just had tea and bread – it was later than we usually eat and we were both tired.

I left a message for June, one of the domino ladies and also called and talked to Kathy.  I know there are people to tell but I can’t quite think of them at the moment.  That was Day 1.

The Rest of The Story

October 5, 2014

I didn’t write my sisters about Wednesday until the next day – I needed to digest it for a bit first.  I also needed to meet Mom at the Center to take her for a haircut.  Last time she was fast asleep through all of it, not this time.  She was sleepy and holding on to her plush lion, but she was a bit more with it.

Lisa put the plastic shield around Mom and the lion so Mom would have something to hold.  She wasn’t all that happy about having it washed, I had to put a towel around her forehead because the headpiece let water run down into her face.  She didn’t like the shampoo – at one point tried to bite Lisa.  Unfortunately she wasn’t able to really get her hair clean because Mom was so feisty.  She cut Mom’s hair and then put her under the dryer to dry it as much as she could.  Mom was not happy under the dryer, I was sitting next to her and put my hand on her arm and let it know it was all right.  Then she held my hand while the dryer was going, at times she got agitated and I just told her it’s fine.

Lisa fluffed her hair some – interesting to see the back curly and the front very straight.  She said it happens with geriatric patients, some parts will curl, others won’t.  Certainly Mom was glad it was over.  I took her back upstairs to get ready for lunch.

I asked Sherry, the receptionist, if it was possible to see Dr. Myre, I wanted to collect my hug.  Instead of phoning, she must have written an email because Dr. Myre came out quite quickly.  Not only did I get one hug, I had several strong ones from her.  She  is very comforting and understanding – I, of course got teary and drippy.  Seems to be the case a lot lately.  She said I was doing a great job being there for my Mom and it helped to hear that.  Many of my friends and my sisters have continually told me that – it is good to hear since the old “beat myself up” program keeps intruding.  It says I haven’t done it perfectly and not done all I could – that voice will always tell me I didn’t do it perfectly or enough.  So I am learning to  release the need for that and to know I am enough.

I left and went to see my acupuncturist because I felt the sore, scratchy throat starting again. Probably would have been smart to go Tuesday and nip it in the bud.  I made an appointment for Friday as well.  Seems as if lately everything is coming at once, with not much time in between to regain my balance.  I’m not sure it is supposed to come in separate intervals.  When I worked in department store, it was either everyone came at once or it was very quiet.

Friday I went to visit Mom, I wondered if she would be wiped out after the haircut.  She was fast asleep in ned, holding on to the weighted baby doll Char gave to Mom.  Judy said she likes to have something to hold, keeps her hands occupied.  I didn’t want to wake her up, but I did tell her I love her and that Ellen and Candy send their love.  I knew I would get too teary if I stayed much longer, so I left and headed over for my acupuncture appointment.

It’s been an odd week, Eddie was home Wednesday because the archives were closed and he wanted to get another shirt from the Car Museum.  I went to Breakfast Club, then came home because I had to work on an order for calculators.  He assumed I would come with him and seemed a disappointed I didn’t.  The Friday he had the day off because he was going to go to the venue for the PNAA Defense Conference to show Lisa the layout.  I  didn’t get home until after 1, he wanted to know what kept me.  Trouble is, he assumes when he takes a day off, I am available to play.  I usually have been but now with new things going on, it isn’t possible and he has to adjust.  Funny how things change, then change again.

We also have been sleeping in separate rooms for the past 3 weeks or so.  He had a bad cold and didn’t want to give it to me, then I had the coming down with something – neither wanted to give it to the other.  Friday we finally got together again, though we are being careful because we don’t really know if either of us is contagious or not.

I also wrote an email to the Northwest Schooner Society to see if they were interested in the models and Dad’s old wood working tools.  I had a nice email and Kitty wrote back saying they would be very interested.  I email pictures and she said they were gorgeous.  So now we are working on a day for her and her helpers to come and pick things up. I told her the box may be a bit heavy, that I would check with my next door neighbor to see if they would be around to help.  They are a young, just married couple living in the lower level of Bob and Delores’s house – Cameron is their grandson – I think their son Jerry’s son – and his wife Kika.  We saw them last night – they were locked out and came for the key – and they are willing, it just depends on when.

Plus my radio show – I have 2 guests lined up and working on a third.  Still no sponsors but I have given a couple of people the information.  I am getting ready to publish my website for the show – it will be rough and needs refining.

Otherwise, not much has been happening here.


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