People matter

expect-e1573855705917.jpgToday is my 79th birthday. I was hoping that it would be a good day but my hope was in vain. While backing out of a parking place my car caught on someones bike rack and pulled loose a part of the side panel on my car.

This is my favorite car that I have ever had. It is not going to be difficult or expensive to fix as it looks as if it just needs to be popped back but it really got to me. I don’t know if it’s because I was expecting a good day or if it is because the car is my favorite.

It is not usual for me to be so upset about something like that but I am. Just one of those days.

 

I have talked to many times about how life is never boring and here it is again. The fact that it is not boring can be because of something good or something bad. Today it was something bad. We will get the car fixed and all will be well. Now all I have to do is get myself back to a better state of mind. By tomorrow this will just be a bump in the road. After all, for me, it is not things that are important but people. Remember that when things go wrong that can be dealt with.

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People matter!

There is more to learn

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Yesterday we had a high in the 80’s. Last night it went down to 45. For us that is winter. Where is fall? I actually enjoy the cooler weather and look forward to having a fire in the fireplace.

One of the most difficult things about growing older is when you begin losing friends and contemporaries. Going to funerals is not much fun. The only blessing is that most of them have lived good, fruitful lives. You can be grateful for the time you have known them and the joy they have brought to life.

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I don’t mean to sound depressing. Most of the time growing older feels to be just another phase of life. It has some incredible joys and blessings. I have experienced so much and learned so much and writing has allowed me to continue to share. I try to appreciate each day. One of the hardest things is to learn to live fully each and every day. Time is not to be wasted but experienced. If only we could learn to let go of living in the past or the future and just be where we are at the moment.

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.

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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.

Accepted but not fixed

Last evening I had some sad news. A friend’s son-in-law is dying from cancer leaving a wife and two preteen children. I am so sorry about this. I watched my friend’s daughter grow up, get married, and have children. Now they have been fighting this disease for several years and he is on Hospice.

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I hate so much for that family to lose a father and husband. Life will never be the same. There are some things that change us utterly and immediately. Some things are slow in coming and give us time to grasp them. Death, no matter how we see it coming, is still not prepared for. Life moves into a totally different reality.

I pray for that family and will offer any help. Nothing, however, can fix it. There are things that can be accepted but not fixed

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.

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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.

 

What can we do?

The storm has passed us by. Yesterday the winds were high. We had moved all the porch furniture against the wall, brought in all plants and cushions and just watched to see what would happen.

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Watching the wind whipping around the trees and pushing the tide water in making waves was eerie. We watched until it got dark. We were blessed that we had power. Very unusual for here. Usually the slightest storm will knock out the power but it never went out. We did everything that we could to prepare for the storm and finally went to bed listening to the wind.

Surprisingly, I slept until about five. It was still dark and the wind had lessened some. I checked things and all was well. When daylight came we had very little to tell what had happened. We only got the edge of the storm.

bahamas

I can’t imagine what it had to be like to have been in the Bahamas. Having that storm sitting in place for so long with winds that will lift you up and blow you away outside….seeing the water rising abound you and unable to do anything to save yourself or your loved ones. The horror of that time….hours and hours of fear and horror….I can’t even imagine it.

Those of us who have not had to experience this kind of catastrophe have been spared. I don’t know how much we are responsible for this increase in the size and number of storms. It is possible that we are more than partly to blame. I hope we can do what we can to help the environment and change things.

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.

Hurricane and the aftermath

Well, no one knows where Hurricane Dorian will go. Waiting to see who will get this devastating storm is like watching doom coming one inch at a time. The storm when it hits is bad enough but most people don’t think about the aftermath. Electricity can be out for weeks or more. The heat and humidity are agonizing. Food goes bad, people have to leave their homes and if they have pets so many places wont’ take them. Then there is the rainfall and the flooding.

During a driving rain, Maggie Belgie of The Cajun Navy, carries a child evacuating a flooding trailer community during Hurricane Florence in Lumberton

Weeks are spent cleaning up debris and if your home is damaged it may take months or more to get things fixed. I still prefer a storm I can see coming to a tornado. At least my family can get to safety.

Please keep the people in the path of Hurricane Dorian in your prayers and good thoughts. This will not be fun or easy.

Below are photos from the storm that hit us several years ago. We were blessed. Some people lost everything.

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The tree limbs went through the house into the great room. Things were all wet inside. We are high enough that we did not flood. Just wet from rain.house front after storm

New patterns

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Sand Mandala

This is something I wrote years ago when a dear friend moved away to be near her Aunt. Sadly, she died and her aunt lived on.

My friend
Your journey begins
A new life

Exploring your place
among
your beginnings

a time to see yourself
in your childhood
memories

and measure
what
you have become

sand-mandala-royal-photographymy friend
the for me
brings sorrow

a turning loose
of patterns
I loved

Learning how
To reaffirm
The friendship we have woven

Now must become
New patterns, new threads
New fabric

Not losing
The old
But adding new

Journeying on
To see with
New eyes

The whole pattern
Will emerge
In all its beauty