The continuing saga

For some reason it has been very hard for me to write. It is as if my brain has gone on vacation. In some ways it worries me. Has all this stuff over the last year changed my ability to think? It is a scary thought. One that is particularly frightening one for me. I have worked with families who are suffering through family members with dementia and their pain is great. I hope as things settle I will feel more myself.

I hope that it will only be a few weeks before I more to my next destination. It will be so wonderful to feel that I can plant my feet and settle into a home. The apartment is being worked on at this time and I can move as soon as the work is done.

I have been trying to get some things cleaned up and sorted for the move. That means sorting my husband’s things and deciding what to let go and what to keep. It is going well with some moments of sadness.

Hopefully I will get back to my regular writing schedule in the near future and actually have something interesting to say.

Letting go

Last week was a lost week. For some reason I was in a bad place and nothing seemed right. It is the first time that I have had such a down time. I think the impact of everything that has happened since last March finally got to me. (Covid, husband in hospital several times, moving to another city, downsizing to an apartment from my wonderful home, losing my husband, paperwork, changing everything from ours to mine.) A lot to take in over that short time. I guess I wouldn’t have been normal if it didn’t get to me. Just letting it all out helped.

I have begun doing mandalas for healing again, my attitude is different and I feel better. Strangely enough the dogs are behaving better. I am sure that my upset has been affecting them. Yes, I am still grieving and that will take time but I feel more grounded

A milestone

Today has been one of my first special days to get through. It was my husband’s birthday. It is strange to live that day without him around. I was remembering last year when we did a party for him outside in the yard with just family and one friend. He was not well then and didn’t really enjoy it.

I am sure that this day is better for him. He didn’t cope well with being unable to do the things he loved. Even though he was able to be with family during the last months it wasn’t the same for him.

Now it is time to accept this day with joy for the time I had with him. That is what he would want.

In Between Pondering

For the last few days I have been thinking about what it means to lose a spouse of almost 59 years. It has reminded me of something my grandmother said after she turned 100. She remarked that no one she had known for most of her life was still alive. No one could really grasp her journey.

I have remembered that statement and thought about it over the years. Now having lost my husband and all but one friend I grew up with I can begin to understand what she was talking about. Fortunately for me there are still people around who are my contemporaries and so there are still those who remember the things I do. That is a blessing.

I have realized though that there is a kind of loneliness in missing the person who lived most of my life with me. There are experiences that no one else shared. I know I will continue to miss being able to connect with him over our life together.

There is also a loneliness in knowing that I am alone in a way that I have never been. Thank God I have a loving and wonderful family of children, grandchildren and great grandchildren who will continue to fill my life with joy.

Friends also help to dispel the sense of being along. With them are also many shared memories and I know that there will be many more with those I will connect in the future. I tend to look at the positive and continue to savor all that life has to offer me. This is just an in between time that brings thoughts and ponderings to light.

Leaping

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.

Life goes on

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.

I hope everyone had a good Easter.

Coming back

It has been so long since I have posted that I feel lost. For some reason after my husband’s death I just stopped for a while. It is time to be back. First let me thank everyone for your kind messages of sympathy. They were much appreciated and helped me at a time when I needed help.

Now I hope to get back to my normal writing. I have thought about so many things during this hiatus and will be sharing thoughts and ideas. Life is never boring and always has something to teach us if we are willing to learn. Wisdom does come with age if we choose to learn as we go. I have much to learn still and am still curious about life and the world around me. I hope I never stop learning until I leave this earth.

Glad to be back. Peace, Suzanne

Powerless and more

So much has happened in the last few weeks that I have been unable to compose any posts. My mind has been unable to settle enough. After the week of absorbing my daughter’s breast cancer diagnosis Austin was hit by a winter storm that not only shut down power but decimated the city’s ability to provide water. My daughter’s home had power the whole time but still has no water. We are tired, thirsty and smelly. On Wednesday we moved from our apartment that had no power and only moments after getting my husband settled he died from what we believe was a heart attack. We are overwhelmed. This morning I read this poem in Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s “Prayers from Prison” and found great solace from the words of the last two verses of the poem “Joy and Sorrow.” I place them here for your reflection. I know I will read them often.

“What then is Joy? What then is Sorrow?
Time alone can decide between them,
when the immediate poignant happening
lengthens out to continuous wearisome suffering;
when the labored creeping moments of daylight
slowly uncover the fullness of our disaster
Sorrow’s unmistakable features. Then do most of our kind
sated, if only by the monotony
of unrelieved unhappiness,
turn away from the drama, disillusioned,
uncompassionate.

o ye mothers, and loved ones-then, ah, then
comes your hour, the hour for true devotion.
Then your hour comes, ye friends and brothers!
Loyal hearts can change the face of Sorrow,
softly encircle it with love’s most gentle unearthly radiance.”

A good change

Today there was a quote on the blog “idealideas” on Word Press that really caused me to think. “A good change is a short term inconvenience for a long term solution.”

It made me see that my husband and I have done the right thing. We are aiming for the long term solution. Right now we are in the short term inconvenience. Hopefully it will not last too long but after this we will hopefully be where we can stay permanently. That will be a wonderful thing. Sometimes it feels like this is stressful and unreasonable but it really is not. It is just that with covid and trying sell a house it seems like it will go on forever.

Sometimes life can be really hard to take and difficult to understand but it is how we deal with it that matters. Keeping your resolve is not easy but worth it in the long run. I know that this time will pass but at times that is hard to believe. We just have to keep on.

Keep moving on

It would be so easy in the midst of all that has been going on to be afraid but fear doesn’t help. Fear merely increases our adrenaline and does bad things to our body. Unless we truly need the fight or flight response it doesn’t help us. It is so easy to be afraid of covid, afraid of the riots and insurrection. There are many things that can make us afraid. Many times we are afraid of things that scared us as children. For some reason I hate spiders. I don’t know why but there is probably something in the past. Fear is a necessary part of our make up. It can save us when we are in danger but we have to learn to see when it is hurting us.

The things that frighten us don’t have to be real. Many of us experience fear/anxiety for a multitude of reasons. The more we learn ways to use tools that help us the better we become. Fear can stop us from doing things that we need to do or things that we really would love doing. Learning to cope each day, each moment is the goal. We just have to keep moving on.