Up and Down

leunig-up-and-down-lifeThe past week has been up and down. My friend who lost her husband has had some good news….although it hard to have good news after a death. Before his death she planned to move them both to an independent living facility. There was a two year wait that suddenly disappeared and she got called Tuesday that there was space for her. This is an amazing coincidence. Two weeks after her husband’s death and she gets to move to a good place.

This, too me, is the kind of coincidence that I call a miracle. I know! Lots of people don’t believe in miracles but I happen to. We just have to open our eyes to see it. This was the up part.

The down part is that I am struggling again with IBS. A while back I took a new medicine that got me so much better but only lasts a while. It cannot be taken too often so for now I will struggle with my previous normal. My daily schedule will again depend on how my body is functioning. Annoying but I can do it. Of course anxiety was triggered again but I am also dealing with that with lots of ideas from all those who suffer with the same issues. It will all work out in the long run.

life-is-always-up-and-down-so-why-are-you-8796618God did not promise us an easy time but he did promise to hold us up when things are a problem. He has been doing that. If it is one thing that I have learned over the years it is to not stop your life for anxiety. Stopping living just makes it worse. For me, being with people off and on and sharing with friends and writing makes a great deal of difference.

Don’t ever put yourself away in that dark place and just let the world go by. It never helps. Keep pushing, keep trying and keep trusting God.

 

 

When we don’t know how to help

thumb_i-stopped-waiting-for-the-light-at-the-end-of-20625406Today for the first time in forever I feel a sense of accomplishment. I only have one more day of major work to get the vines out of the azaleas. There actually is a light at the end of the tunnel. Then I can get back to routine house and yard work. Seems appropriate since it is now August.

Some of my stressors have eased. My friend, whose husband died, is coping and I will keep close as she grieves. My friend, whose husband in hospitalized, is hanging on but the stress of this long term up and down has stretched her to her limit. Long term anxiety with no let up causes so many physical problems. Staying at an adrenaline high is not good for our body and after the stress is reduced it is a long time recouping. I worry about her and her own health.

She has little time for the things that can hold us together: time out, meditation, time with friends, a break day, or something fun. She is devoted to her husband and spends each morning at the hospital. By the time she leaves to go home (usually around 1 pm) she is exhausted and just wants to rest.

It would not be surprising to experience symptoms of PTSD when faced with unceasing stress. Each of us has struggled with anxiety and know the toll it can take.

i-get-by-with-a-little-help-from-my-friends-5263475

I have tried to find things to help. We invite her to lunch often as she is too tired at night but she is usually tired and just wants to go home. I speak with her every day and have offered to take her place at the hospital. I would like to think of something to help break the monotony of her life and find something to help. I plan to take some art supplies to her as she likes to paint and draw.

If anyone has any suggestions please pass them on.

Days have attacked!

one day at a time
Jane Seabrook

This sums up what my last two week have been like. With one friend’s husband dying and helping with funeral plans etc and the other having to re-admit her husband to the hospital it has been a zoo. Yesterday I had a good day planned with early yard work, shower and if lucky a massage. Needless to say that went away quickly when after my shower I had to get back in the car and head to the hospital as surgery was planned. I got home at 7:30. They are wonderful loving friends and I will be there for them but I am feeling attacked.

I have learned in my life that there is nothing in the world that can replace good friends. Right now I am the one helping but at some time it will be the other way around and they will be there.

I grew up in an era when favors were paid back to the person you “owed.” If you couldn’t do something for them you felt guilty. This is not how life works. I have lived in many different places and helped others or they helped me. I couldn’t return the favor to them but payed it forward to someone else. This is how it should be. We should be ready to share ourselves when someone is in need. Moving forward someone else may do the sharing for us.

Life is too short to worry about who has helped who. (should that all be whom??) Whom cares!

Friendships are formed when we are willing to share… not only help but also ourselves. It is openness that people respond to. Value the friendships that you have. Good friends are a gift.

Pull your head out of the sand

ostrichSometimes I feel like an ostrich with my head stuck in the sand. I have written recently how it seemed that I was being of little use/help to anyone and wondered if there was something else I should be doing. That was Monday or Tuesday. On Wednesday I wrote about my day with the death of a friend and my other friend’s husband having a set back.

Yesterday I spent the day helping the first friend make plans for a funeral and after arriving home the other friend called that her husband needed a procedure done and could I come. I got home last night so tired I could hardly move. I am still tired today and am shaking my head over my stupidity. God does have a sense of humor. I complained and I got what was coming to me. Not that I wanted any of this to happen to two dear friends but God certainly showed me in no uncertain terms what I need to be doing.

my-life

It is so amazing that we can’t see clearly and know that we are where we are supposed to be. God is very good about putting us in the right place at the right time. If I had things planned that couldn’t be changed I would not have been available to help where I was needed. We all need to learn that God knows best and has it all in hand.

 

Who knows what the day brings?

strong 1

Today I am tired. It has been a strange day. I worked in the yard this morning and came in for a shower. The phone rang and it was one of my best friends telling me that her husband died. This is not the one I have written about before but one whose husband is in his nineties and has been fading for awhile. However, I did not expect to get that call. My husband and I immediately went to her home to help where we could. Things seem to be on track there and we got back home about 3:30. I am sad and feel a loss for her and all of us. He was a wonderful man.

I decided to call and check in on the other friend whose husband has been struggling at home to improve (with much needed help) only for her to tell me they were taking him to the hospital as he was more ill. He is being admitted.

Strange day. I asked my husband, (somewhat tongue in cheek) if we could lose two of them in one day. May God grant that this doesn’t happen.

It is clear once again that we never know what will happen in a given day. There are no assurances or guarantees. We have to live each day as it comes. One of my grandmother’s favorite Bible verses was “sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” Don’t look for more to happen. Absorb what has already happened. That will be enough.

I am grateful that I was available to be where God needed me to be today. I guess this is a reminder to me to use the gifts he has given me where he is calling me and stop griping about what I need to be doing. I think I am doing it.

coping skills 1

These events do tweek my anxiety but I will continue to cope and be available when needed.

 

 

The Beautiful Death

My friend Deirdre loved and cherished all those who crossed her path. She welcomed people from different faiths and different cultures. Her death was so amazing with people of many faiths joining together to send her on her way. I wrote this poem following that experience. The “all shall be well” is a loose copy from Hildegard of Bingen.

RisingSun-Feature

The Death of De

The light is waning and the gloaming is here.
There is a hush in the turning of the earth
it holds its breath for just a moment.

We stand watch sensing each breath
matching it with our own
anxious with each pause
while darkness encompasses the room.

Her soul loosens but holds
I sign the cross on her brow and Christ is here
A Hindu friend joins and her prayers are added.
Another comes and the prayers to Allah are lifted up.

With loving hands we anoint her with sweet lotion
brought from France by another.
All faith is here, we can feel God's gentle breeze,
there is true communion

My friend is held in the arms of love
She is suspended between life and death 
through the night.

As the sun lifts itself into the heaven
love lifts her on her journey
and with the smallest wisper
she is gone.

Behind her from the air come the words...
All shall be well
and all shall be well
and all things shall be well.

 

A roller coaster again?

Do you ever feel as if you are on a roller coaster? That’s what my life has felt like lately. I hate roller coasters. As a child I loved them and went with my father. I’m not sure when that changed but I will not ride them now. Especially all the crazy ones that have shown up lately.

oh no

Physically it seems as if I am up one day and down the next. At least I am not constantly down. For me, it is best when life feels settled. Right now settled is many moons away. Company will be here for the week-end. My grandson, his wife and another couple who are their friends. We live near the beach and I am sure we will not see much of them but I am glad they want to come.

The thing is…it’s hard having company here but also had to turn away the loved ones you want to see. It’s a conundrum. So they will be here and I am set to push all stress away and just enjoy.

We miss so many things in life if we are struggling with our own selves and can’t enjoy the wonderful things that we could be doing. When this happens it is time to “center down” ( I have used that before….a Quaker expression meaning lower your Chi) and plan time for yourself to step away for a moment and gather yourself together.

dont-miss-your-blessings-1

So until the week-end I have no stress related things planned. I will enjoy each day and be ready to enjoy the visit and not miss out on a wonderful moment.

These special moments in life are too important to miss. Family and friends are what matter and we can’t afford to shut ourselves away from that. It won’t come again.