The weather has been beautiful here in Austin. Over the weekend we decided to visit the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. It was wonderful to see. The spring flowers are blooming and we took a long walk around the field with many different flowers blooming.
The flowers were so beautiful and the landscaping so pretty. We also saw a mother owl with her little ones but couldn’t get a photo. It was a really nice day out. Nothing like fresh air, sunshine, great scenery and good company.
Homes are not meant to be lived in – but only to be moved out from.
Richard Rohr in Falling Upward
When I first read this statement I was confused? -startled? – surprised? I’m not sure what. I realized that only when we are confronted with real change do we experience the growth that really moves us forward. It is a time of searching and redefining ourselves. We are moved our of our comfort zone and made to experience the world in a different way.
That has been my experience for, at least, the last year and a half. My life has been changed, disrupted and scrambled. Only now am I beginning to understand that this is not a negative but a positive. This is a time to “fall up” and explore what is revealed to me.
My 80 plus years have not been wasted but are a platform for jumping off. They are a gift that keeps on giving. It is up to me what happens next. I just have to take the leap.
“The tendrils that connect one human being to another are so unlikely so inherently fragile…I think that is it s a miracle they exist at all.”
From the TV program Numbers
Connecting with one another is so key to how we live. I have always needed those connections and tend to nurture them. Without them I am lost.
Whether we are connecting to the family that raised us or family that we choose and continue to choose from those we meet those connections form us. They are the glue that hold us together. The support that we receive from others makes our lives manageable. The love of those connected by those tendrils is what brings joy to our journey through life.
It is a miracle and one that I depend on and rejoice over every day.
This past week I was able to get my second covid vaccination. It is a relief. Now I have to look to moving forward. It looks as if I will be moving to the community (that we were both to move to) at the beginning of June. I am so longing to be finally settled. I have felt so disconnected.
We were also able to go to church on Sunday and that was so wonderful. I hope that before long we will actually be able to connect in a deeper way. Masks make it so difficult.
Before I move I need to donate my husband’s things. This is hard to think about but they will mean so much to those who need them. I will feel as if I am giving part of him away but he would be glad that his things can be used. This is just another step in my grieving…another move forward.
Moving my dogs into an apartment with no outside access will be a change for them but I think they will be happy wherever I am. they are very clingy.
Today was a different day. I dropped off one of my dogs early this am to have her teeth cleaned and a cyst removed from her back. I expected to pick her up about four this afternoon. It is now 7:15 and I am still waiting to get her. They had emergencies and didn’t do her stuff until 6 pm. Not what I had planned. Now I will have a dog just out of surgery and not herself to care for tonight. I love her and that is ok but this didn’t work out well. Hopefully things will work better later. New vets….just have to learn if this is the one for my pups.
Yesterday I got to visit the place that I hope to move to. Once there I will never have to move again. After all, at 80, I’ll be blessed to get to 100 with all my faculties. There is so much there. The place is connected to thee University of Texas at Austin and professors come to teach classes. Residents have set up many activities for themselves and they travel and enjoy life. I hope to never stop learning so this sounds perfect for me.
I will also be glad when we can all get back to church. I know that following all that has happened and may still be a problem life will be different but I hope that we will be able to be with other people more than we can now. (wow…long sentence…maybe needs editing)
This has been a good day. I got to spend most of it with my daughter. The only sad spot was picking up my husband’s ashes. Doing it with my daughter made it meaningful. We will be able to do a memorial service in the fall at the church my husband built. He loved it so. We want people to be able to come and I want a military presence since that was such a part of his life.
We spent lots of time in a garden nursery center that was amazing. Just being outside with lot of plants and flowers brightens the soul.
I was a able to get a few plants to put outside and two indoor ones to make my apartment home. I love plants. However, I can’t say I miss the huge yard we moved from. It was truly overwhelming. I never could reach done….not even for a day. It was just constant. Probably one of the few things I don’t miss after moving.
I miss my friends. Friends are so important in my life. They are always there when I need them. I hope I do the same. I try. I am still able to talk with them frequently and that helps but what I wouldn’t give for a hug. Of all the things I left my friends are at the top of the list.
Grief is a funny thing. Some people think it follows the pattern of acceptance by Kubler-Ross. That pattern was actually developed about acceptance of a coming death. In my mind grief is different. Having run two years of grief support group and feeling my own grief I think it is much more erratic. It comes and goes like the waves of the ocean. I am certainly feeling that. I can go along just fine and then suddenly something will trigger tears.
We can’t run away from grief. Instead we have to go through it. We have to experience it. Hiding from it or trying to deny it doesn’t work. It can take a long time. Sometimes people have no idea what to say to us when we have a loss. Some comments can be upsetting but we just have to understand that most are well meaning.
It has been and will continue to be particularly hard due to the circumstances we all find ourselves in. Covid doesn’t allow us to do normal things that help us accept a death. Funerals are done with few people or put off until later.
In my case there is also moving to another city away from longtime friends. Being with family has helped but I am not in my long-term home and things are not as usual. I reach out by phone and electronics but it is not the same. I am lonely and missing my place in things. It will get better when we can be with people but for now it is hard.
My faith helps and I find myself leaning on God for support more than usual. I guess loss makes us reach out and understand what is important to us. God is my rock that I stand on.
We all grieve in our own way and I will move through this and find new friends and people to do things with. Being able to go to church will help. Life does go on.
Today memories have taken over my thinking. I have taken myself back to my childhood and remembered lying on the floor in front of the fire at night and listening to the radio. You heard me right. There was no television. The radio was our entertainment and I can tell you scary programs and worse when it is your own mind conjuring up the villain. There was “The Shadow” and one with a creaking door. Less stressful programs were “Let’s Pretend” “Fibber McGee and Molly” and many others.
Television didn’t come into my life until sometime in the 50’s. My grandfather bought one for his office. He didn’t worry about those of us a home. (he and my grandmother lived with us) I used to go to his office just to see this magical thing.
Later we were able to get one for our home. It was a small oval screen and the picture was black and white. There weren’t a lot of programs and I don’t remember many of them. Strangely enough I remember the radio programs more.
In the late fifties I remember going to a teacher’s home to watch something from Disney in color. That seemed truly amazing.
My daughter decided that after all that we have been through recently it was time for a break. She rented a few days in a wonderful VBRO (Vacation Rental By Owner) very near to us. She felt, rightly, that just changing the scenery for a few day would make a big difference. It has. Here are a few photos from where we are staying.