Another Quick Note

Time seems to slip by and I haven’t posted anything for a while. Sorry.

I am coming out of the darkness that the anti depressant brought to me.

Those three weeks was a true walk “on the dark side.” I didn’t handle the medication well at all.

The first week on the meds caused me to feel so empty. Instead of the heartache, I felt nothing about everything. Numb. Then it became a little frightening.

I had one day where I could not go out of the house. I missed a couple of days of work with a cold and with this darkness in my soul.

I kept thinking that I needed to give it time to get to the therapeutic level, but I finally emailed my doctor and told him how I was feeling. Not good.

I have been off of the medication for about a week now and I am back to “myself” again.

My doctor asked if I still felt depressed. I said that I didn’t know as yet because I had been without emotions of any sort for long enough that I didn’t know what I was feeling about anything.

He commented that some people who have this kind of experience no longer have depression symptoms when they discontinue medications.

For me, I felt elated that I didn’t have to take that pill any more. The medication frightened me more than the effects of the depression.

I can’t say that I do not have symptoms of depression any longer, but I am much improved after stopping the drug…

Now, on with living and recovery…

No matter how dark I believed the days before the medication, they were not as dark as those on the meds….I don’t ever want to walk in that much darkness again.

I can understand the warning on the information sheet where it cautions that this medication can worsen depression and produce suicidal thoughts. It can, it did and it is gone!

Hopefully, this weekend, I will have time to post on this blog…The “writing bug” is growing stronger…

Bye for now

Advertisements

Quick Note

Thanks goes out to those who have emailed or posted regarding how I am.

Truth is that I am having trouble with the medication and I am trying to give it time to get to theraputic level in the blood stream before deciding as to continuing with it or not.

One of the effects of the medication is that it seems to have “deadened” my emotions.

That isn’t all bad. The heartache isn’t as bad, but I didn’t want it to “numb” everything.

I have always sang and written from my heart. When my heart is so dull, I do not have the willingness to write.

Please forgive me for not posting as much, but I am hopeful that I will return to this kind of outlet for my recovery as soon as I can.

In the mean time, I am coping with all of this as best as I can….it is still night and I still am hoping for the Dawn….

Letters To Heaven

Dearest Dan,

I don’t know why I want to write this letter. I know that you can see all that you loved here without any explanation or “Newsflash”. I just want to share with you the things that we always shared together.

Tonight, Bubby wrestled in his first match. Of course, I thought about you and all the evenings that we watched wrestling. Thank you for not watching the fake WWF stuff. I never enjoyed watching the acting kind of this sport. But, I did enjoy watching the other kind where the contestants actually use wrestling moves.

As I watched him on the mat, I thought how Bubby would have benefited from your experience. All, but the part where you “blew out” your knee. Kids don’t need to know about the injury possibility right out of the gate, at least, not Bubby. He already sought me out when he became winded and told me about how his lungs were hurting.

You know, NanNan the Nurse, should be able to tell if he was “over doing” it. All of this before the match began. I had to hide my smile.

Bubby seemed impressed when I told him about how you wrestled in High School. There are so many things to tell the next generation about you. How will I ever remember it all?

I haven’t heard much regarding your other grandsons. As time progresses, the communication lines become more quiet. You mustn’t be upset with your family. Their lives are full of raising young children or seeing to the care of your parents. It is just the way things go when the person that linked you to them is no longer on this earth. It is human nature.

Yet, there are old friends that seem to keep in touch. I still hear from a few of them back in Parke County and Brazil. They have been deeply touched by your life and, when you come to mind, they seem to remember me.

An update on your Washington State branch. You oldest granddaughter just turned 2 years old in August and she sings all of the songs from the Sound Of Music. When I was told about her Christmas gift of a guitar, I thought about you. It seems that she will be the next generation to love and perform music. Yes, my love, that part of you, the part that loved music, lives within her.

Her baby sister is growing.  She is a real Buster. She is one of those little fat babies that knows when meal time is rolling around. She is trying to crawl already. It is amazing that she is doing all of these things. It reminds me that  life is passing so quickly and  I am not living at the same speed.

I missed you, tonight. As everyone walked out of the gym, I noticed that it seemed everyone walked in pairs.  All of the parents and grandparents that filled the gym were walking two by two…everyone, but me.

How I hurt to see all of these grandparents enjoy watching the beginning of the days that will be spent watching grandchildren and dreaming of the next decade. Somehow,  they count on the time that they will spend being involved with these kinds of events.

For a moment, I feel the bitter burn of disappointment; that old familiar stabbing pain, that tells me that you had so much more to live and to experience. I know that it means so much to kids to have family come and watch them as they try the new things of life…how cheated I feel for both of us.

Tonight, I can’t sleep again. I seem  not to be able to quiet my mind and find slumber. My thoughts are with you and the pain of your absence nags at me like a constant ache in my body. 

I tried to watch a movie, but my mind wanders away from the plot and, as usual, I loose too much of the story line to enjoy what I see. You see, some things never change. At least, you don’t have to explain the details I missed because I was out of the room. That thought makes me smile. I know how much that always irritated you.

Watching TV into the night  is just another coping mechanism. Numbing my mind with meaningless TV just doesn’t seem to work like it once did.

In a few days, it will be 8 months since you left. Every time I begin to think that I am recovering from some of this pain, I realize that I fall back into it. I am always falling back to you.

I don’t know what to expect now. It seems that I don’t have a life to call my own. I just work and immerse myself in the lives of others and their needs. Dan my life is still with you.

Well, there is nothing more to tell you. I am sure that you are keeping tabs on the kids and grand kids. As in life and now in your new existence, I know that your heart is always with them.

I don’t have an address for this letter. Just like the Valentine Days card, I hope that it will find its way to you by some kind of “special delivery”.

I love you, Dan. I miss you tonight….and every night.

All my love,

Immobilized

icy-gripThis is the third day that I have been unable to get to my clients and I am getting frustrated.

We ended up with 17 inches of snow and a layer of ice 1 inch thick.

imagine-6-more-inchesMy son came yesterday and the day before to help me dig out of this mess. He also took me to one of my clients so that I wouldn’t have to try and “catch up” on Thursday…

All of his efforts proved useless this morning. Everything refroze and because the garage is lower than the rest of the driveway, I couldn’t get the rear wheel drive car out of the garage.

I put boards under the tire that was slipping and that is when I felt an old pain in my left shoulder. It is the shoulder that I hurt when I slipped and fell in late November…that was enough.

I resigned myself that I am stuck until the weather gives me leave and then I read that there is a possibility of more snow coming in next week.snow-storm-2009

I cannot afford to miss this much work. I cannot afford to get another car that is has better capability to go in the snow.

I am truly stuck and I hate that feeling. How much more frustrating it would feel to be stuck in a body that couldn’t go as you want it to do?

That is what I thought when the pain in my shoulder mounts and than I think how strong and resolved Dan was in his battle. He truly didn’t “feel” like getting up most days, but he did.

It was only in the final days that he didn’t push his poor body to get up out of bed and put on his clothes.

He pushed his resources to a degree that most have never done…and I stand amazed at his will power.

I am trying to find a way to get myself past all of this. I am trying not to feel so helpless and powerless at this realization that I am only half as strong of a person as I thought I was.

But, that is my reality. Half of me is missing. It is the “greater half” and I am trying to come to terms with being a shadow of what I once was.

“It is what it is”

That is what I used to say to Dan when he would rail against the cancer. How empty those words sound in my ears now that Nature’s Fury has visited.

Yes, these elements will pass and a renewal of life will come to what now is covered with a white blanket, but when Winter comes to the human body and to its soul, how does it keep from giving into the Insurmountable?

I don’t know. I just know it in action through Dan and I stand amazed. It must have been his spirit and the Holy Spirit in tandem that caused him to say, winter-haven                            “Thank you, Lord for another beautiful morning”.

So this morning, in the midst of all my helplessness and frustration, I will choose to say, like Dan,

                               “Thank you, Lord, for another beautiful morning.”

…and mean it…

New Awards

 lovely_blog_award

In the past couple of days, I have received two awards one from Crone and Bear It and now, Stephanie’s Place.

Both of these wonderful ladies honor me and I am so humbled by their kind words. I have a hard time understanding that my journey and my writing strikes such a cord within them. It leaves me speechless. (Those that know me would find that hard to believe.)

The first award is from Stephanie’s Place. I read her blog because I totally understand her struggles with loving a man and the children that he has with someone other than herself.  It reminds me of my own “step mother struggles”. Those years were some of the best and the worst years of my life. But, how could I not love those that are a part of my husband’s flesh and blood…for Stephanie, and for me, love came naturally.

Of course, with these children came the trials and tribulations of dealing with the birth mothers. Like me, Stephanie has two birth mothers. This can be quite a nightmare and the custody issues seem to be like a freight train bearing down on you all the while, you are tied to the tracks…

I love reading her blog and of her deep love for these children. Her sacrifice is no less than if she were their natural mother, and yet, she is viewed as a party that has nothing invested in the legal preceding. Oh, how well I remember….

The second award is from “Crone and Bear It”. Linda’s blog always brings a smile to my face. She has a pithy wit and a wonderfully humorous way with words. The comments that she leaves on my blog are full of concern and kindness to me.  I enjoy reading her blog for all the selfish reasons. It makes me smile. And, Lord knows, I need to find a smile on the days when all I feel is heartbreak.

I am to pass these awards forward, but the problem is that I read many of the same blogs that they do, so this is going to be a little difficult.

1. the price of love 

This site has helped me face my present journey. Road’s posts allowed me to envision the future loss of my husband and give the hope of internal fortitude to face my recovery from great devastation. Roads not only lost his wife to cancer, but he was left with being a single dad raising children the ages of 2 and 11 months. What a challenge!

Roads is ten years past the loss of his 33 year old wife to breast cancer and his perspective is so helpful for me. The timing of his memoirs was in sync with my real time journey. There were moments that it was so uncanny and I was astounded as to how I would be living the very stage in which he would write about his beloved Jenny.

His blog continues to help me walk through this Valley of the Shadows. I cannot thank Roads enough for writing down his journey. The stages of death and dying and then the recovery from his loss are a huge part of my own personal path to recovery.

2. Within Crepusculum 

Frank’s musings and contemplations of aging are reflected as he cared for his vent dependent mother. His love and devotion to her goes beyond words.

I love Frank’s stories of his childhood. His Midwest roots are my own. We have shared so many similarities that we have wondered if we are somehow siblings separated at birth.

3. I love Frank’s other blog “Four Chances .

On this site, he posts his poetry and  stories of his military service in Vietnam. He also shares his love of all things culinary and the stories of when the cat ate the birthday cake made me roll with laughter. His writings on both blogs are a treat for me. I devour his writings as if his words were a delicious dessert of chocolate cake.  Through these blogs, Frank has become a dear blogging buddy.

4.. At Twilight  

This site is wonderfully written blog by Jonas. I marvel at his wordsmithing. I find his posts are akin to being in a great art museum surrounded by brilliant colors and exquisite beauty. Jonas is such a gifted talent and he is like one of the great masters who crafts masterpieces every time he writes. My favorite post is about how he hid in a church to listen to the master’s touch as he played the pipe organ. His prose takes you into the moment and then into the music with a crescendo of rapture. I am never disappointed when I visit his site and I leave inspired by his magic.

5. Nichole3’s Weblog

Nicole3 began her blog with the idea of sharing her Orthodox faith. A few months later, she was diagnosed with breast cancer and her journey began. Of late, her blog has been an outlet as she journals her husband’s recent brush with a failing heart and the wonderful care of Vanderbuilt Hospital.

Nichole’s site is also full of her love for her children and grandchildren, her admiration for the Amish and their way of life and her wisdom of living on a shoestring budget.

Nichole has been one of my original blogging buddies. I was always touched by her signing of the comments left on my blog with “Your friend, Nicole”. She may never know just how much I needed to see that phrase, “your friend”. She truly has become one the first Internet friends that I made on my blog.

6. Sparkle’s Search for Happiness

Lonnette is an author that does freelance work. Until very recently, her time was consumed for caring for an elderly mother who suffers physically, but also emotionally. Her journey is  so familiar for my generation. We are sandwiched between the tasks of finish raising our own children and caring for our aging parents.

Her recent struggles are with the realization that her mother could never give what she did not have and that was ” mother’s love”. Lonnette writes of her heartbreak and happiness in reclaiming a life that was sacrificed on the alter of  narcissism. Her site is full of insight as to how to deal with toxic relationships between a parent and a child.

As you can see, the blogs I read are varied and full of issues that apply to my life. I am so thankful to these people. Their willingness to be transparent has offered wisdom, encouragement, empathy and true delight.

Well, I know that I was to pass these awards along to 7 people. It seems that I have fallen short of that goal,  but I am including  Stephanie and Linda, the originators of these blog awards as recipients as well.

It is my understanding that each award winner is to pass these awards onward to other worthy bloggers. We grow by learning from each other and I believe that these authors are a great foundation to build upon.

I hope those of you who drop by my blog will take a few minutes to see what I am talking about these wonderful sites. I am so very blessed to have found my community of bloggers. I am greatly appreciative of each person behind the blog.

All who meet me here give me so much more than I could ever give to you.

Thanks for reading and for commenting as I journey on through the Valley of the Shadows…

New Year’s Update

I want to thank all those who commented on my last two postings. I was unable to respond until this morning.

On Friday evening and over the weekend. I had the flu. I seem to have started this year off not so right.

I am improving and I can say that I didn’t have this virus as bad as some. But, it was really bad on Saturday.

I had a terrible headache, and tummy upset. I could only think about just how alone I was and that if Dan were here, he would be taking care of me.

But, instead, God sent a few people to my rescue. I didn’t feel well enough to call my son or anyone to come and help me. I was able to just lay still so the headache would stop pounding.

Then, early Saturday afternoon, Magilynne called. She could tell that I wasn’t well and she wanted to know what she could do for me.

I told her I needed some food. I didn’t have anything here and that if she could bring me some Chicken Soup and orange juice, that would be wonderful.

A few hours later, she brought the soup, fixed it for me and I drank the orange juice…and I kept it down.

As the day progressed, I began to feel better and I was able to get up off of the couch and tend to Mozzie…poor thing. He thought that his “throat was cut” because I was unable to stand long enough to feed him…

All of this just re enforced that being alone is a little dangerous as well as miserable…

So, today, I am going to work and I am relieved that I am at one client’s house for the day…it will be a 12 hour day total, but I think that I can make it…

Just one more thing that drives home the loss and the deep need to have my mate with me…and then the tears that bring the reality that he is no longer with me.

I will get past all of these things. I have seriously considered doing a mission trip.

My husband’s daughter in law has a brother in Iraq. The locals have asked him to help orgainize and administer a hospital in the area.

I gave my daughter in law forms that I use at work as a guide line for continuity of care.

As we discussed this further, out of my mouth came, I would like to go do something like that.

Her brother is in the north of Iraq which isn’t as dangerous as the south….I am intrigued by the idea…maybe, something like this will help me more than anything else.

Don’t know. I have always had a missionary heart and I have done mission work in Haiti and loved it. Like I said, Grief can make you fearless….

Well, enough of an update…I must get ready for work…

A New Year

Somehow, I dread this holiday much more than Christmas. Christmas is about family and children. It is full of joy even when your heart doesn’t seem to have any.

But, New Year’s was always about us. From the beginning of our “second” life together, we made New Year’s special.

We didn’t always go out for entertainment, even though, one of my favorite memories was the year we spent New Year’s Eve at the symphony.

It was a wonderful “Signature Series” and Beethoven was featured. Dan had played most of the music and he was enthralled.

new-years-eve-19962We were a sharp looking couple and we enjoyed the attention especially the Champayne that was included in the cost of the tickets. (at least, I did)

Most times, it was he and I looking back over the year and marveling how many things were done. Some, we planned, some we didn’t know how they occurred, but always in a quiet awe that we had accomplishments that was beyond ourselves.

Our greatest blessing that we counted was having each other. We realized that we could have lived a lifetime and never known this kind of love.

But, now, the lifetime that we had together is over and I am not looking forward to the years ahead that are without him. I know that I will go on with all my wonderings as to why, but that doesn’t really matter any more. I know that I must leave this life behind and let it go.

It is with great pain that I face this New Year, but I know that I have no other alternative. Whatever happens, good or not so good, it can’t be more painful than what I have been living…. Funny, grief can make you fearless…

As, my friend, Roads wrote on his blog, “The Price Of Love”, he received a comment that, even though it is true, was difficult to hear. It puts all of this journey in percective. My paraphrase of it is at follows:

“Grief and bevearment is nothing but a long continual readjustment…”

I think that puts it into a few words, but it is true, none the less. One day at a time, is the only way I know how to look at my future. I cannot grasp seeing it in  terms of a year or years or “milestones”…so, this day, I will look back and then I will look forward to tomorrow. Not the idea of “my tomorrows”, but rather,  the literal tomorrow…that is all that I have the strength to do…

Seeing Beyond The Veil…Part II

crepscular-rays1As I left the hospital, I pondered all that was happening. This year has been so difficult and now the hardships are more compounded by the mental state of my husband’s parents.

My brother in law said that Dad didn’t comprehend much of anything. He didn’t realize that Mom fell, that she had surgery and, no matter how many times Dad was told that Mom was not coming back home, but going to a nursing home, he didn’t grasp it.

I thought of the tremendous stress that was on my brother in law. It is hard enough to have one parent suffering from dementia, but to have both parents afflicted, isfar beyond human endurance. He is sustained by God’s Grace.

Then, I thought about Mom seeing Dan and my brother. It started me thinking and so my thoughts went like a CPU units grinding on a task. I wondered just how much she could see. I knew that she didn’t realize that Dan and my brother were dead. She saw them associated with me.

The veil that is between this world and the next is not just my term. It has been used in other circles, especially mediums, for hundreds of years. I didn’t realize this until after I wrote the first post. It was a phrase that came to me as I was trying to find a way to explain what Mom saw.

I don’t believe that our souls are “trapped” between worlds, however, I don’t have an explanation for this either.

I believe, as my brother in law, that our loved ones are not “angels”. I don’t believe that they become “God’s messengers” (The interpretation of the word ‘angel’ is messenger), but I do believe that we return to our “spirit” form that has always been. I believe that those that pass become “ministering spirits” and there are times that God allows them to “visit” us. Dan had one of these experiences.

I was at his home and in the middle of the night, I awoke to a fragrance in the room. Dan was not in bed so I got up to see where he had gone.

When I entered the living room, he was holding the door open. Tears were rolling down his face. I asked what he saw.

He said that his grandmother came into the bedroom and she had his daughters in each hand. She told him to not worry. Then, she turned and walked out of the bedroom. Dan got up out of bed and followed her. He said that he cried out to her to take him with her. He was at the open door when I entered the room.

He was distraught. I asked him if his grandmother wore a fragrance and he said that she did. I asked him if it was lavender and he said that it was.

In the morning light, he tried to discount all of this and I told him that he shouldn’t. I told him he must have been concerned about his daughters and that God allowed his grandmother to come and comfort him by letting him know that she was watching over them. I reminded him that I smelled her fragrance. She was there.

I never met his grandmother. She died the year that Dan’s family moved to my home town. There was no way that I could have known the fragrance she wore, but I identified it because of what I could smell immediately following her appearance. This was real, not a dream.

Concern over his children’s well being was a constant thought because he was not able to see them as much as he would have liked. He was very protective, especially of his daughters. I think that God allowed this visitation to ease his worry. My husband did take comfort from that visitation especially after he learned that he had cancer.

I wrote an email to my brother in law relating the experience in the hospital with Mom. The following is his response. 

I think that, while humans do not become angels, they are nevertheless ministering spirits. For instance the souls of the martyrs from under the altar crying out to God for Justice, mercy and judgment to come upon the earth. It indicates that they (though glorified in Heaven) are aware of circumstances and people on the earth. How dimly we see now. I believe we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses; not just figuratively…but surrounded. And until we need that grace or by God’s purpose we shall not see them. It’s the race of faith.

paradise-sky-clouds1I agree and I know that there are other instances in scripture that support these visitations.

While we are so tied to the things of this world, we miss so much that is around us. What we call reality may be the illusion and not so concrete as we believe.

No matter. I am sure there are those who believe in the paranormal and have a plethora of explanations, but for me, I choose to believe that this kind of experience is one of those mysteries that remain to us.

At one time, my curiosity would drive me to a flurry of research and I would dig up anything and everything relating to this kind of experience. Not now.

I have no need to find answers. I know where my husband and my brother are and that is enough.

I feel very comforted and blessed that Mom was able to see them and that she was able to verbalize what she saw.

Should she be able to see “beyond the veil” because her psyche is stripped by the dementia, that is alright by me. There is no way to “quantify” what she sees and what she says. I am content to know that, by what she saw and by what she said, I found comfort.

For me, that is enough.

Dreams, Flashbacks and Reversals

At first, I was afraid to sleep because I might dream of my husband. I know that may sound strange, but when I dream, the feelings in the dreams can stay with me all day long and I do not need that kind of distraction as I go to work…I must have full attention to detail.reflection1

Now, I am a little troubled as to why I am not dreaming of him. I seem to long for a glimpse of his face even if it is in the land of half light and altered conscienceness. I always believed that I would see my husband again in my dreams.

The flashbacks are totally different. They are triggered by so many different things that provoke a memory. They can totally undo me for the day. I will not be thinking on anything related to my husband and, before I can get a hold of myself, I will see his eyes filled with tears or that horrible rug burn that was on his face. I really hate the flashbacks because they are filled with pain…. his pain.

My counselor says that these kind of things are normal and that they will diminish as time goes on. She says that it is the mind’s and heart’s “radar” sending out sonar waves to test and see if these events are true. It is the “bounce back” that confirms that he really is gone and I am really alone.

Sometimes, I feel like saying to myself, “Make up your mind and quit this signal sending. Just get on with it!”, but I am not in control.

The reversals happen without warning. I will receive something in the mailbox addressed to him. I cannot answer a question about something that only he has the answer. Or I am totally unaware of where something is or what was done with it. These cause a horribly painful reverse mode.

With the flashbacks and reversals, I cry as if he just died and I feel the true depth of loss when I think, “Dan would know where that is or how to do it.”

I grow so weary of going forward and backward, of wanting to step ahead, but afraid of leaving him behind…I am just weary of emotion upon emotion and pushing myself to get through demanding days of work.lifes-merry-go-round

I want to get off of this Merry-Go-Round for a couple of turns, then I will get back on it again. That is what I tell myself. But, again, the sonar comes back and “pings” that this kind of thinking isn’t reality.

I can’t get off for a couple of turns. I am here on this round about ride and here I will stay until I am able to think on him without tears…I doubt if that will ever happen.

I miss him…