Taking Time for Change


Recently, I’ve gone through a period of feeling overwhelmed in life. Not depressed. No, I’d compare it to feeling like a small green pea in a big pot of vegetable stew. Small, while trying to stay afloat……

After helping my father with his wife’s memorial service in Arizona, I planned to catch a plane back to St. Louis where an estate sale was in process, selling off many of my home’s objects together with a long list of life’s memories.  Unfortunately, I was a day late getting back due to weather delays and missed connections. When time was of the essence, I ended up spending a total of 19 hours in the small airport of Grand Junction, Colorado. Finally, a day later, my plane was diverted to Denver, where I grabbed a quick nap from 3-5 am before catching a non-stop flight to my original destination.

Upon arriving, there was barely time to say “Goodbye” to the home I loved so much. Quickly, I walked through my turret office space, where blog posts were tapped on keys of black. I strolled into the periwinkle nursery where I remembered gently placing my very first grand-baby in her spindled crib, as though she was a porcelain doll. Images of magical tea parties danced in my head together with giggles, dress up play, and story book time.

Afterward, I stepped outside onto the red brick pavers of my patio where fingers traced petals of crunchy golden sunflowers. Looking around, I began to collect a few, forgotten colored clay pots leftover from my garden. Suddenly, a brown sugar doe leaped from the woods. Sighing, my heart knew it was God’s last gift to me….at least at this house, in this time.

It’s been three weeks since I’ve moved to my new house, and I’m mostly settled now. For whatever reason, my body and mind felt spent when all was said and done. In moves past, I worked until everything was completely in place, typically within a few days to a week. Not this time. I was tired. I let things go. My mind said, “No.”

I’m happy in my new home. There is lots of room for my grand-babies to stay for as long as they like. Nearby, there is a beautiful lake surrounded by woods and walking trails with lots of nature. In fact, it’s a nature preserve where I see something new each and every day. A different plant, the sound of a bird’s call or the beauty of a new sunrise.

Best of all, my overwhelming feeling is beginning to lift. I guess I didn’t drown in that pot of vegetable stew after all.

 

Priceless Tears


It’s been a while since I’ve posted much about Chronic Conditions. Although this is the basic theme of my blog, often my writing path veers toward a stop sign of grandchildren, babies, beauty in the world and nature. Inspiration from nightly dreams with photographs to delight my days.

In truth, our minds push portions of what we see and hear from the surface of reality in order to protect us. My own has been doing it for over twenty years. It does that still. There’s a thin dimension hidden slightly below the surface of my smile, cowering in a corner of my beating heart. A sort of twilight zone if you will.

With lined paper and a pen or ten fingers tapping on a keyboard, words meander around Chronic Conditions to discover pure beauty in the world. Joy in a single blade of grass, symphonies tweeted from a flock of birds, or sheer wonder observed in a sky of my favorite aqua blue.

Days or weeks go by without me going there…skipping rocks over what it’s like to live with Chronic Conditions. Memories are pushed down…down…down. Eventually, they rear their ugly heads to snap my own back to yesterday, today or even tomorrow. Sorry to say, Chronic Conditions never go away.

Early this morning, before dawn broke in the dark of day, I woke to tears trickling from the corner of an eye. First the left then the right until both began to flow. I let them fall silently, not wanting to wake my husband before brushing them from the two of my cheeks. Most often, I keep personal emotions bottled up, not wanting to share heartache or despair. Chin-up. Be positive!

Memories…Last week we spent an afternoon with my son and two of our grandchildren. He needed a bit of help and we were all too happy to see them! Lunch in the mall before rides on a wooden train of primary colors in red, yellow and green. Choo-Choo, Choo-Choo! Carousel animals under a striped Big Top of round for us to choose. Which one shall it be? Allie the Elephant, Zee the Zebra, or Joy the Dolphin? “Oh, this one, Grandma! She’s BLUE,” my granddaughter exclaimed with excitement, jumping up and down! I lifted her atop the smooth saddle of a teal dolphin from the sea, buckled her up and away we went. Up and down, down and up, while singing a make-believe song of “High in the Sky.”

Afterward, our generations of three skipped with holding hands to the far end of the building to discover a park of indoors. There, children gathered to play on soft, emerald-green grass in stocking feet. Moms and Dads took turns supervising with grandparents too. We proudly observed kids crawling on oversized turtles with cocoa-colored shells of tic-tac-toe. Brothers and Sisters played hide-n-seek under purple plastic logs. My grandbabies jumped off bridges over fantasy streams painted with rainbow-colored trout or giggled while sliding down their bellies with new-found friends.

Suddenly my son needed something sweet to eat! Under his breath, he whispered “Hurry!” My husband ran to get him cinnamon and sugared pretzel bites with a soda to drink at the closest stand nearby. The kids and I ran and jumped, smiled and laughed. Swallowing his surgary drink quickly, my son munched on sugared pretzel bites, two or three at a time. He checked his sensor attached to his stomach hidden under a T-shirt of white. The number in red appeared to be going up. A few minutes later he did a finger-prick of blood. My husband sat with him fifteen or twenty minutes, making sure the danger zone had passed. Talk and laughter with smiles on faces. This was our normal. No one knew anything different. Many Chronic Conditions are unseen, diabetes included.

Only a few weeks ago at Christmastime all was merry and bright until suddenly my son’s blood sugar dropped like a falling rock to a dangerously low number. Scooping up the kids, my husband and I disappeared into the toy room where we silently played and prayed 911 wouldn’t be needed. Luckily, it was not. Everyone went to bed early that evening as my son was tired from his episode. Chronic Conditions take a toll on the lives of those who live it together with the whole of their families.

This morning when my husband woke to the sounds of sniffles, he begged me to confess my troubles, which I finally did. “It’s okay,” he said, cuddling me just so. “You have a right to your feelings. You’re his mother.” I started bawling like a newborn babe. It felt like a dam had burst there and then as my pillow of down went from damp to wet. So good it was to let the worry and sorrow drain from the whole of my body. I had bottled the “no, don’t go there” for quite some time.

So, if you’re like me, give yourself permission to have feelings and emotions. To show them, honor them and admit they exist. Touch your heart with your mind and be not afraid to awaken your soul. We can’t change the world, but we can change ourselves. And, yes, go ahead and CRY.

Tears are priceless…..

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