Reflecting

Tonight is a little bit hard to write. I am hoping that on Monday we will have countertops for the bathroom. They have failed to be here several times and it makes me doubt that they will be here on Monday.

to lose a friend

Life continues to throw sadness at me. A friend of my husband’s has died. I know that both of us are feeling how fleeting life is. As we get older and is sometimes difficult to face the fact that you have few years left in front of you.

 

But most of the time that’s not what I think about. Most of the time I like to think about what can be done. What things can I do? How can I give someone a smile or a helping hand. Those are the things that seem to make my life worthwhile at this point.

Each time I can do something for someone there is a warmth that washes over me. I know that this is where my joy lies.There is nothing that can take away your own worries or sadness more than being of help to someone else.

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Not concentrating on yourself but thinking of others doesn’t allow thinking about yourself. Be of help to someone today. It will be the best help for you.

Scary things

Today I am again using the Dragon software so forgive any grammar errors.

This has been a quiet day. I did have to attend the funeral of the young man with children who died. The funeral was a real tribute to him. There must’ve been at least 300 people there. Sad though it was his funeral was a celebration of his life.

Grief-1480

There is always something so much sadder about the death of a young person. We feel as if there are things that are unfinished. Someone told me many years ago that in truth the death of a young person is not a life unfinished. That each of us has our own lifespan. It is a lifespan set for us alone. For some reason that gave me comfort.

Death is something that we all come to. It is something that we all have to face. Many people fear death. For me death itself is not frightening. It is the dying that we don’t look forward to.

There are so many things in life that can frighten us. For those of us who suffer with anxiety it seems that we can be afraid of almost anything. Although I think each of us has certain things that trigger our anxiety. I know that some things that might disturb me might not be bothersome at all to someone else. I think each of us has to discover what are the things that set us off.

consistency
Over time with help we can learn management of our own triggers. The thing is we have to practice and keep up by exercising those tools frequently. If we think we can just use them when we are in a panic it won’t work. I think that is the hardest part. Reminding ourselves daily to meditate or pray or whatever it is that works for us to use it. Consistency is the answer.

No matter what we have to keep on going, keep on working, keep on hoping, and keep on living.

Perspective

sadness-depression

It seems that sad things come in groups. As I said in my last post a young man has gone into Hospice leaving a wife and two children. Today we got the news that one of our friends has had a reurrence of a brain tumor that has remained small and idle. It is now growing rapidly and although not malignant will still be a serious problem. We don’t know yet how it will be handled and what the prognosis will be. The last surgery for it left considerable physical deficits.

Another friend’s daughter was in a serious auto accident. Someone crossed the middle line and hit her head on. The good news it that her injuries can heal in time. Her son, who was also in the car is fine. So in the bad there is good.

It is time for some good news and happy outcomes. Hearing these sort of stories certainly brings our own problems down to size. The frustration about the mess in my home is minor by comparison.

blessings

 

Hearing the tragedies around us can adjust out perspective in an instant. Tragedies around the world matter but they seem worse when close to home happening to those we know.

It is time to stop and count my blessings.

Invisible

I was watching a tv program and there was a scene in a nursing home. One of the elderly men was talking about being there. He said the hardest part was being invisible. When we are younger we have an identity. We are handsome or beautiful, pretty or a nurse, doctor or workman. We have something to connect to. As we age we are just called old. Not connected to anyone or anything. Nothing special.

It is so sad but having visited nursing homes he is so right. The elderly are invisible. But they have had lives. They have stories to tell. We need to acknowledge them.

God’s creatures

butterfly-effectThis morning as I was driving out of my driveway I saw what looked like a small creature lying beside the drive. As I passed I could see it was a small, possibly baby, raccoon. It lifted its head and shook in fear as I went by. It was obviously hurt. I assume it was hit by a car. As I paused and watched it gave a last breath and was gone. Sitting for a moment to be sure he/she was gone and then went to my appointment.

This quick incident really bothered me. I felt so much empathy for the poor creature that tears were close. It had such a short life. I really saw it as one of God’s creatures and said a prayer for its passing. I saw the same imagery as with the dogs and pictured it moving over the rainbow bridge. I can’t help experiencing grief over any creature I see in pain. I wish I could have helped but there was nothing to be done. We will give him/her a decent burial.

Rainbow-Bridge-heaven

I can’t help but see all of creation being linked and the death of one creature, flower, tree, insect being part of the whole. I know I am epathic and can feel pain for the smallest thing but we all should feel that loss. It is what we have ignored for too long.

Go little raccoon, over the rainbow bridge and join those who have gone before you.

 

Please no more this year..for everyone

train in tunnel

Hopefully today there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Just hoping it is not a train. Our portion of the shoreline has been downgraded to “tropical storm” which we can handle. We have nor-easters here which are about the same. Nevertheless we will keep a close watch.

I still weep for the people in the Bahamas. I can’t even begin to imagine what it has been like to see that storm battering away for days without a break. I pray there are no more for them this season. What must it be like to have your home torn apart and not just yours but your neighbors and most of the island. I know that other places see this kind of devastation from earthquakes, tornadoes, fires etc. but it is always terrible.

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We all need to do what we can to help the recovery there. It will be a long time recovering.

Still waiting but coping

kind-of-coping-9781507209189_lgAnother day just waiting. The workers who are redoing our bathroom will not be able to work this week so we will just continue toughing it will stuff everywhere. Who know that fixing a bathroom would be such a big deal? We are very lucky that we tore it out since we discovered that a major leak had been occurring under the tile. Before long one of us would have fallen through the floor. I am so glad that we are able to fix this now.

Life is never boring. At least that has been my experience. Life has had nice lulls. Just enough time to think it might continue when something else comes along. This is a pattern I have learned to accept and manage to absorb.

sharing wisdom

I am sure that age has something to do with my perspective. I’ve had a long time to learn how to roll with things. There are still things that can wreck my calm but after a short while of acceptance I usually can move on. I wish I had been able to manage this well when I was younger. I hope that my sharing my experiences is helpful to others. It is a major thought in everything I write.

May all those who are threatened by Hurricane Dorian be safe.

Still waiting

golden-retriever-sits-outside-stWe still have no idea what the hurricane will do. It is moving so slowly so we just have to continue to wait and see. We do have somewhere to go if we have to leave but it is not easy, at our age, to board up the house. We have metal shutters but they have to be carried around to the front and screwed in. we will manage but hope we don’t have to.

Again I feel such anguish for those in the Bahamas. It sounds as if the islands will just be swept over with water. I hope that anyone still there survives.

Even though we are waiting life itself goes on as usual. It’s funny that I am not triggered by this situation. It is physical problems that trigger me. Each of us has different things that set us off. It is helpful to know what it is.

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I hope that the people redoing the bathroom will be able to work some this week but who knows. Again it will be a waiting game. I guess waiting will be my middle name for the near future. I will be testing my patience. Not something I am especially good at.

Waiting

waiting-isnt-punishment-its-preparationAs I said yesterday, waiting to find out what a hurricane will do is tedious terror. My sincere hope is that it goes out to sea and spares anyone the trauma of a major storm. All we can do is wait. Not something fun in the best of circumstances. So we do the best we can by being ready to leave or just hunker down for the duration. The price we pay for living in all the beauty around us.

Prayer, meditation and calm are in order for the next few days. If we get to stay and just wait out any rain and wind it can be absolutely beautiful. Mother Nature in full charge can be amazing to watch. I love to sit on the porch, when possible, and just experience the beauty of it all.

Thoreau-empathy-quote

I feel so much anguish for the Bahamas. The amount of devastation on those islands can be unbelievable. I weep for them.

Help where you can!

Yesterday I didn’t write which is unusual for me. I spent the afternoon with my friend while someone came to get a history on her husband and help to evaluate her husbands mental status. He has had such a devastatingly physical journey that it has taken its toll. It took all afternoon to get it all down on paper.

She wanted me there because I have been on a good bit of this journey with her and could help with the history. Just having someone write it all down made me realize what an extensive and harrowing time it has been.

I feel so humbled by how she has weathered this whole scenario and my heart aches for all she has been through with him. I don’t think anyone can appreciate the level of exhaustion and stress seen when a long illness puts their partner into the caregiving role.

fragile

It is so important for caregivers to have time away from the situation. Without it their physical and mental status is at risk. It is a blessing when help can be afforded but in some cases that is not possible.

Most people just keep going and hate to ask for help. Frequently there are friends, neighbors, church members or others who would be willing to sit for a while with the ill person. When they do it is important for the caregiver to do something for themselves…..meet friends for lunch, go outdoors away from home, or whatever rejuvenates them. Too often they take that time for errands and tasks that must be done. This may be necessary but even a short while doing something they love will help.

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If you know someone who is a caregiver take the time to offer help. Be specific. Tell them you can sit for them or run errands or, if they can, take them out. Caregivers need all the help we can give. It is so easy to continue with our own agenda but remember those who have no time for themselves.