Looking Deep Inside….

Recently, I saw a man I had a great deal of respect for laying in a casket. His time here is over. Now, I am a firm believer that respect is earned, it not automatically given. Much like trust and loyalty, I hold this in high regard so if I respect, trust and am loyal to you, you have to be something special.

I have been very quite over the past week. I have been deep in thought and taking some time for introspection through this process. What am I doing with my life? If I die today, was my life worth living?

I have decided that some changes need to take place. Very few noticed that  I haven’t been talking as much. So if no one misses what you have to say, it really must not matter, so stop talking. If anyone wants to know what you are thinking, they will ask at some point, then I will talk until , just say nothing. If you implode, maybe they will realize that what you said mattered.

I am going to stop promoting a business that is not working for me right now. I will not bore people with what I am working on, I will continue working but once again in silence. I will only share it with those who care about it, not the public.  When you feel like you have little support, you do it for yourself not for others. You make what you like. You enjoy what you are doing even if no one stands and applauds. That is passion.

I am going to make the most of the days I have remaining. As I heard two days ago, we are all one step away from death. Do I want to spend the rest of my time chasing dreams that may not happen or am I going to do those things that stir my soul? I would rather stir my soul. If people like it cool, if not, that’s okay too.

I want passion, fun, life. I don’t want to spend all my time worrying about what I am doing wrong. I don’t want to try to measure up to what others think I should be, being the perfect daughter, sister, aunt, employee whatever…. I will never be the perfect anything. I promised myself a long time ago, no regrets, I don’t intend to have any. I will use the words “I love you” more. I will follow my passions. I will not allow myself to settle. I will be happy with who I am, what I look like at any given moment, what I love to do and who I want to be with. It is my life and I want to live every moment of it. I like the rush I get from trying new things. I like it when I am busy and my mind is racing a hundred miles a minute on something creative or constructive. I love that feeling. It is like jumping out of an airplane and free falling.

I want to live every moment, not just exist because, some day, someone will be standing over me and reminding people that this is coming to all of us some day.

And Then Came Peace…

In my last post, I wrote about my pastor. What we were afraid was going to happen, happened. His transition has come. Sunday night just before midnight, he left his Earthly home.

My folks called and told me. They called the other members of the church and told them.

Sleep did not come that night. Plenty of tears but not a moments sleep. The next day was my great nieces birthday and we had planned a girls day to take her to breakfast. My mom questioned if we should continue on, we decided that we should.

We went and had breakfast. I didn’t eat a lot. I had no appetite. I went back to my mom’s to take a nap. It never came. I rode to town to speak with my supervisor in case I needed to take off work. My person wanted to go have lunch. Once again, not hungry for food just his company. I told him what I was thinking. The loss, we as a collective group, was feeling. How it was effecting my parents. I just needed to be near him. I needed to know he was there.  I was tired. I hadn’t slept much on Sunday and none on Sunday night. I wasn’t much company but we were together. It helped to talk to him.

I worked last night. I had plenty of time to think. I firmly believe that we as humans are eternal beings in a temporary flesh dwelling. We are not meant to stay here forever. We are here for a limited time. Yet, I still struggle when someone I loves leaves their flesh house.

I use the term flesh house because a house is a dwelling. Not to sound cliche’ but home is where the heart dwells.

I wrestle with what I know and what I feel. What I know is that they are relieved of pain and worry. What I feel is selfishness, plain and simple. That is what grief is. We have lost that familiar. We have lost that thing we never thought we would lose yet here we are and we helpless and out of control; because WE ARE. We don’t control anything.

Today, I got ready for work and I hadn’t  been  around people. Something kept telling me that I needed to go to my church which is just outside town. I drove up there and I was listening to the song “something in the water. “

As I stood there, I took a picture of the three crosses in the church yard. There was a  cloud looming behind them. As I stood there, a light mist of rain began. It was almost as if there was something in the water. Peace, peace came to me right there on the side of a hill.

When The Heavens Cry With You….

My pastor is “dying”. I prefer the term transitioning to his permanent home.   He was sent home this morning, from the hospital with Hospice care. He was transported to one of the big hospitals on Thursday. This morning his wife and children heard the words I have heard before. “We’ve done all we can do”.

That very moment is when you start functioning in survival mode. You have arrangements to make. You have to make sure someone is there to care for them. Luckily, this is a family of a wife, 3 grown children and 5 grandchildren who are old enough to help out.

When he heard the news, he told them that he wanted to go home. So they went home. Last report, the nurse was with him where he resides getting him settled in.

We live in a small mountain community and we are a very small but loving congregation. We have been in constant contact for the past three weeks since he got severely ill.

He has been at our church for 23 years. He has driven 50 miles, three times a week to preach to us. He made numerous trips to the same hospital and others when things were going wrong in my world. He has been in my home when we were facing death to let my husband know that he was loved and cared for even when his own family would not come around.

When my husband died, he was right here in my home providing love and comfort.

After making sure my parents were okay after getting the news, I went for a long drive. I was alone and I could cry as hard as I wanted. It was raining buckets almost as if the heavens themselves could feel my pain.

I cry for his wife and his children knowing what they will be facing. I cried for our church, we have a heartache that unless you have felt it, you don’t understand. My tears are not for where he is going. He is heading to Heaven, where his heart and lungs will not be an issue. I cry out of selfishness. I will miss him.

He has been our spiritual leader, our burden bearer, our under shepherd taking care of  the flock. You have a tremendous amount of respect and love for him.

We are independent. We don’t have someone to come in and fill that spot, not that anyone could take his place.

So for now, we as a collective group try to carry on. We will have a fill in preacher tomorrow. We do what we have to do to cope. One lady went and rode with her husband in a dump truck so she would not  be alone. My mom carried beans to the can house to stay busy. I went for a long drive and had a good cry.  We all handle it differently.

My prayer for his is that his crossing be gentle. He has been a faithful servant.

My solace??? I can just imagine my husband looking at him when he crosses and saying “Well Preacher, what are you doing here?”

 

Six Years…

It has been 6 years. 2,190 days, 52,560 hours, 3,153,600 minutes, 189,216,000 seconds. That is how long it has been since my world changed.

I remember walking into my house after he had to leave me. The transition had happened. He was out of pain. I was in pain.

My mom was with me. My best friend was the first one to show up. I sat on the sofa holding my little dog. It was more his dog than mine. They were there all day together while I worked until he went in the nursing home then most of my time was I there.

I sat there as people wandered through my house. I felt nothing. I watched as they carried food into my house and they sat and talked and honestly, I didn’t hear a sound.

As night fell, I began to pray. I was praying to make it through that first night, just one night was all I prayed for. I laid in the bed that we had slept in together and I cried. I laid there for some time. I remember when I woke up and saw the sun, I said I made it through the first time. I was going to be okay.

I couldn’t go back in my house and I walked off 135 pounds just walking to kill time so I didn’t have to go home to an empty house. Just something to do became therapy, which became a habit, which made me feel better mentally, physically and spiritually.

He had made me promise him that I would be alright and on the days and months that followed when I wanted to give up, I reminded myself of that promise.

When it got unbearable, I decided to end my own life. I knew how I was going to do it, I had a plan. Nobody would have thought anything except that I had grieved myself to death.

On the same day I was going to do it, I was sitting in my chair and I got  a response from a post on facebook that said “I feel ya but that first part isn’t right.” I asked the person to explain themselves. The response “I personally think you are hot and gorgeous”. I remember screaming all over the house. A friend of mine thought that I was hot and gorgeous. Me. Nooooo….. but at that point, I had a reason to want to live again. This man was gorgeous. He was sexy as hell and he thought I was hot and gorgeous?!?!?

I had been flattered by men since my husband had died but this one was different. I had sparked to him the first time I had met him. There was something more to him. Something of quality. Something worth me getting to know him better. That was five years ago. We have been through a great deal together. I have fallen in love for the second time after I thought I wanted to die. He became my person. That person I want to share everything (and I do mean everything) with.

If anyone had ever told me that I would fall in love again, I would have slapped them. If they had told me how deeply I would fall in love the second time, I would have laughed. Yet, here I am.

For the second time in my life, I am in love with a good, honorable man. A man who cares for me. A man who treats me with love and respect. A man who treats me an equal, he doesn’t talk down to me because I am a woman.

Does he still think I am hot and gorgeous? I can’t answer that . Only he knows the answer to that. I hope he does. In my mind I wonder. I am not 20 and skinny. I am not a model. He sees his share of those. I am not the kind of woman men trip over themselves to get to know although, sometimes people tell me I get a second look from time to time. It would be nice to hear it from him from time to time,  that he still thought that.

Life has changed for me a great deal in 6 years, 2190 days, 52,560 hours, 3,153,600 minutes, 189,216,000 seconds. At times it seems like a lifetime and at times it seems like it just happened.

I had one love and we honored those vows to the very end.  I have just found a new way of living and a new way of loving. the heart can mend and it can love again if given enough time and patience.

 

That Voice On The Other End Of the Line…

I haven’t ever told you what I do for a living. I am the calm voice on the other end of the line when tragedy meets the lives of those in my community. I am that person you call when you need a policeman, a fire truck or an ambulance.

I am invisible most of the time. I am a voice, not a face.

When you are losing your mind I am there to get you help.

I am a people mover, I find out where the problem is and I get help there as fast as humanly possible.

I know how to talk to people who can’t contain their grief or fear simply because I have been where they have been. Not exactly because all our stories are different. I know what it feels when you have the rug pulled out from under you when you hear the words that “It is Cancer and we have to start treatment today”. I know what it is like to walk around a shopping center parking lot trying to digest those words. Making those phone calls screaming on the inside.  That the person you love has cancer. You lose you shit. I also remember the very words he said to me that day. “God has not brought us this far to leave us, now get hold of yourself and go get me something to eat, then we will go back to the hospital.”

I know what it is like to sit beside someone you love as they take that last breath and the next one doesn’t come. That panic that you feel in that moment because half your heart was just ripped out.

I know what it feels like to be alone, lonely and scared. Laying in the bed at night, just praying to die simply because you see no reason to go on.

I know what it feels like when someone strolls into your life and stays no matter how bad it gets from time to time and suddenly you find a reason to get up in the morning and that loving for a second time is perfectly wonderful.

I know what it is like when your mother is having a seizure and you call an ambulance and it feels like it is taking forever for it to get there.

I know what it is like for the same thing to happen a second time and the paramedics are there and they talk you through that oh so scary moment.

So, when I answer that call, I try to meet people where they are, for I, myself have been in so many different situations.

So when you are scared, lonely, lost, grief stricken, be patient with the person on the other end of the phone. If they have to ask you questions, try to listen and answer honestly, for they are trying to get you help.

What If They Told You….

I have spent the evening watching episodes of Touched by an Angel.

While watching it, I have been writing in my journal.

The episodes have kind of gone along with what I have been writing. That was the second odd thing to happen to me today.  The episode I am currently watching is about a woman who thought she had 5 years to live. She has a chronic medical condition.

She finds out that she doesn’t have five years, she is going to die that night. My journal writing just before this was about how you have to live for the now. You are not promised tomorrow.

You can’t spend your life being upset by every little thing. That you can’t assume that you will have tomorrow to do that thing you have wanted to do. You can’t save the good china, the trip to Italy, the best clothes you have for those important occasions.

I thought about what if they told me that I wouldn’t make it through this day.

What if you knew that before the sun set, you would be living in that place where faith becomes sight.

What would be carrying in your heart that you never said? Would you use the good china or  wear your good clothes in Italy? What would be that one thing you want to do that you haven’t done? Would you run to someone and tell them that you love them? What would you do? What would be that one thing?

What if today was your last day?

Ever since….

A great number of these posts start out with no title because there are so many things roaming around in my mind and I am not sure where  I will arrive until  I get to the end. This is one of those post….I will have to work through it and see where we land. Here we go….

I am a middle aged woman, I am not a size two, I don’t have an exotic look that so many men find attractive. To most of the world, I can be one of many women. I am average.

Or so they think….

I have battled weight issues for 38 years. It started 38 years ago yesterday, the night my grandmother died. I was her favorite grandchild, I  will freely admit that. She let me get by with more than the others. I think maybe somehow she sensed that my life would not be easy once she left so she tried to make the most of the time we had together. She was diabetic. She finally died of a stroke at the age of 55. My dad woke us up in the middle of the night and told us. His exact words, as he is not one to mince words was”Your grandma died”. I remember asking which one. That is the last thing I remember. Everything including her funeral and burial, I blocked out.

You can look at my 5th grade picture and my 6th grade picture and see the change. I was eating to fill a void. I know this and yet during times of stress I will either eat everything in sight or eat nothing. There is no in between.

Having said all this, I am now for the most part comfortable in the skin I wear. I have bulges and bumps. I have fat. I have cellulite. Whatever you want to call it I have it.

It will never completely go away. If I live on lettuce and water, it will never completely go away for genetics are powerful. Large women existed on both sides of my family.

I am a woman, I carry my weight in my belly, my butt and my thighs. It doesn’t leave simply because I do not like it, so I have had to learn to like it. I am not settling, I want to be the best I can be, I have been outside exercising more in the past five years that I have in my life.

I am the woman who was married to a sick man for 10 out of 18 years of marriage. He was very mild mannered most of the time and I spent all my time fighting for him and his needs. I had to be tough, so much so that I kind of lost myself in the process. It took me a very long time to find myself.

When he transitioned, I was lost. Not so lonely as lost. Maybe some of both. I was 43, I had no clue who I was, my brain was telling me to look in the mirror;. Nobody would ever think you were attractive, nobody would ever love, desire  or want you. I stayed in a job where I was miserable just to have a place to go to every day. Nobody needed me, I had no children, no husband, what would it matter.  I had lost my passion for life. One day, I made a decision. The pain needed to stop. I knew how also but one person stopped what could have been a lethal decision. One person and eight words, I hope he still feels that way but I don’t know.  For a long time, I told nobody. I was ashamed that I had let my life get to that point.

Now at the age of 48, I finally found my voice. I finally found my courage. I found that there are still passions to be ignited in my life.

I learn new things all the time, I am finding it fun to try new things and  I feel more brave than I have in my life. I want to make all the memories I can while I can.

Today, as I was getting ready for work, I was putting on a uniform. I did something that I don’t do often, I looked at me in a semi-dressed condition.

I had on my favorite bra and panties. My hair which is finally growing back out after years of having it cut short so I didn’t have to worry about it had that sex kitten look to it, you know, how you work really hard to make it look like you didn’t  and my make up looked good. I liked what I saw. I saw a woman who is sexy, yes sexy, passionate, and braver because of what she has endured. I DID NOT see average.  It has taken me a lifetime to like this person.

Maybe one day he will look at me and forget to breathe.I hope someday he wants to run his fingers through my hair and smudge my lipstick. Initiating that, well…. I can’t do that, I am  not that brave yet, so I sit and think about what it would be like.

I sit here, in my uniform with all these thoughts in my brain, coming from a statement I made today. There was no comment in return. I honestly don’t even know why I said it, I was comfortable with him and it just kind of slipped out. This whole post came from the sentence…”My grandma has been dead 38 years yesterday and I have been battling my weight issue ever since.”