Something Sweet

I said once awhile ago that I would do my best to turn whatever happens into something sweet and wonderful. Well, I've lost track of time since I started this phase of my life and while I'm certain what I've made is not yet sweet. It is wonderful and at moments even sweet.

The studio has emerged as a center of my home. Look at how far I have come. Wow. I mean seriously, who knew I was made of such awesome stuff? I mean I had confidence in my abilities but never so much for my qualities I suppose.

Quality comes to mind often these days. I love chocolate. Not the cheap waxy stuff made to resist melting under Desert Storm conditions. No I mean the real stuff - Ghiradelli is my favorite, the kind with the crunchy peanut butter in the middle. It melts on your tongue and lingers, marvelously just for a moment and during that moment I try not to swallow, just sit still, eyes closed, trying not to move or breath because it doesn't last long. Just a piece is all I want. A bar will last me weeks. I can't get that feeling from a whole box of Little Debbie's, just ask me sometime how I know that. Uh-hem. So anyway thanks to everyone who has sent me chocolate, thank you, thank you, thank you.

I am a woman of quality. I don't know what to call it but maybe it's a combination of qualities like curry is a combination of herbs. I think if I were going to make a curry of qualities for making a sweet and wonderful life I would have to use: depth, shallow people won't thrive on this ride; introspection, don't be afraid to look yourself in the mirror (unless of course it's the middle of the night and you forgot to take your mascara off and you just know you're going to look like Alice Cooper's evil twin); strength, the enduring kind any other just won't do. I know there are others but these thoughts are just rolling out of my brain and into cyberspace so finally, Grace I think is the secret that makes the whole mix sweet. Grace is the result of living the way I choose to live with no regrets.

Actually I have no idea what goes into it but what I DO know is that making a sweet and wonderful life is a choice and it's hard work sometimes. It does get easier with effort and time. Every day is a good day, maybe not a great day, but good. Sweet and wonderful. Well, I guess it's like that chocolate, just close your eyes and enjoy it for all its worth because those moments don't linger long. Even so, with all the good and the bad it is so sweet and without a doubt wonderful. Now if I only had some chocolate.


It ain't complicated

11 months since I was ripped in half. I am growing more and more comfortable with being alone but still have long moments of pity for myself and wishing I had the comfort I once enjoyed. No getting that back and I accept it, I even accept the possibility that I will always be alone. I don't like it but I know from past experience that living with the wrong someone is worse than being alone. I choose alone. I know I do. I don't have to be alone.

My state of mind seems to grow worse with the waning of the Klonapin. It has lost it's effectiveness over time and I am in serious need of more. I find myself self medicating to remain in balance yet I still have lost days. Days I force myself to move or worse yet the days I lack the energy to force it. The Portland Health Clinic is my best option for healthcare these days and it seems I am a difficult patient so in order to see the psychiatrist I have to wait until July. Deep sigh.

I think I will have to shell out the $68 it takes to see my general practitioner and pay out of pocket for any meds he prescribes me just to get me through until then. I know he will take care of me and I can have relief quickly. Hopefully with relief will come progress. Progress in my business, and with my family.

At the Grief Support Meeting this morning I was so disappointed at the description of grief as a cyclical thing. I learned early on that it was not linear but to call it cyclical is wrong as well. There are no viscous cycles of grief, it doesn't go round and round. He described it as a trip from here to New York City. I'm sorry but that's just stupid. Bless his heart, I know he is teaching what he has learned and I know everyone suffers grief. But my grief has been like a raquetball shot out of a cannon into a closed room. I never know where it's going to take me.

Grief hits out of no where, sweet memories come and they are bitter tasting still. Overwhelming sadness comes less and less but I think sometimes they are internalized and come out in different ways. They aren't gone and can still hit you when least expected. One of the members talked about losing her mother. I am blessed and grateful I don't have to deal with that. Mom and I are just going to have to go out of this world together. I could in no way deal with her loss and don't want to put her through losing me.

It's not the grief that's keeping me in this state right now though, it's a combination of mental illnees, PTSD that just was made worse when I found my lover dead in the yard and the strength and focus it takes to keep myself from being disabled but rather to be successful. I am tired and everything he did for me before is either being done by me, the boys or not getting done at all.

It seems everyone I have here either helps and wants something. My attention or my stuff, shakes head disdainfully. I am so disappointed in people right now that there would be so many that would take advantage of you, even in your most vulnerable state. Oh well, it's all those years of looting bodies on video games, I guess Karma is taking it's toll. Some say they will help and are never heard from again. So most of what needs being done I have to do. I have wiring in the basement that needs to be fixed. I "think" I can do it but I am no electrician and know it would take a real electrician moments to fix but I will lose at least a day on that. It took me three days to remove my dishwasher and install a new one. Help isn't the main thing I miss though. Alone I am used to but that doesn't mean I want to remain this way forever.

Being alone is nice at times but right now I would like to share the movie and warm bed I'm about to get into. I'm in no hurry but I am pretty sure now that I do have heart left to give. Perhaps even more so having survived this experience. Knowing what I know now I would have done more for him and with him. Doting as I am I would have done more. It ain't complicated we have a short time on this earth and I am not holding back anything I have left to give. I just ain't giving it to anyone who doesn't deserve this woman I am becoming.


It's all Reagan's fault

Ronald Reagan is the reason I am a republican. So many good things happened in those years. The Wall came down.
I started out with the flu about 3 weeks ago, I had a shot so it only lasted a day. I thought I was well but then I got a cold with chest congestions and was left with a sinus infection. In my right maxillary the poor mangled thing from surgery years ago is formed wrong and always prone to infection so I take care of it and rarely do I get sick like this. Saturday morning I felt the pain in my teeth and irrigated and took care of myself as best as I can then came the bonfire. That night I stood next to a bonfire the wind was a little brisk so the smoke swirled and there was no place to be away from the smoke. It didn't take long before I didn't want to be near that fire but I think the time was enough to set this non orbital cellulitis I suffer from now.
This is the first time since I was widowed that I have faced needed medical care I cannot afford. I pay my General Physcian - we'll call him Hef, $68 to see me. He makes the time worthwhile, he gives me the attention I need and because he knows me he knows the right questions to ask. The 68$ is worth it. The presciption prices are another thing. One of the medications I need is nearly $300. What am I supposed to do. They say there are prescription drugs companys that want to help and will send you your medicine for free. Well that sounds good until you plug your income, in my case the death benefits I receive from my husband, it seems I make far too much money for that kind of help. Deep sigh.
Then it became apparent that I might need to be hospitalized. No way, I've seen those bills, I can not afford that. I was wondering if I could just buy the medicine already in bags and just let a nurse start me a line. I'll drag a bag around with me a few days at home. I didn't even know if I would be able to afford that.
So the Reagan years to me were hopeful. For our lifestyles and for world peace in my opinion. I don't know what happened between then and now but, I find myself embarrassed to admit that I am a registered Republican. However, I think if I were a Democrat at this point in history I guess I would be a bit embarrassed. The whole political hubub about "socialized" medicine is ignorance. No I don't hold a doctorate in anything but the solution seems clear.
Our great country is not where it should be globally speaking we are becoming weak. Government run medicine works. No arguments. It works. Facts are that countries with nationalized heathcare rank far above the US in terms of longevity and health. The healthcare reforms people were up in arms about over the past year are ignorance as well. How would that have helped our country. It seems to me all that plan would have accomplished is to hurt the small business owner, me. I don't need to be hurt anymore financially, trying to get up here. But you know it's hard when someone with my income can't get the same services my children get.
Let's talk money. If my infection had gone on too long and I died what would the state and federal government spend to raise them?
Widows and Mothers need healthcare, everyone does but isn't it time our country started valuing the lives and the health of it's people over it's income? Society started out with people in small communities taking care of one another so our population has outgrown that type of lifestyle but the fact remains we need to care for one another first.
I have the answer ~ take me to Washington.


Bonkers, round the bend, looney

Once a bell is rung, it can't be stopped. After the initial sound - a real bell, one with weight and significance, the sound continues. A bell used to signify to small communities that there was danger so everyone could prepare for what was coming. Even now our society uses bells - or sirens - for the same purpose.

Looking back at my life I see so many of those bells, gone unnoticed by me, my family, my friends, all ringing because I refused to confide in anyone, really. For a short moment, only ten years, of my life I had peace. Conflicts occurred, problems of life continued but, they were all in the periphery of our lives. Never center stage, life centered around us and it was good.

That Saturday morning nearly 9 months ago my bell was rung again.

I know I heard nothing but the bells until sometime in August. I had respites, times of laughter with friends and family, but in times alone my head was reverberating with such a deafening sound that I was unable to breathe.

Everyone touched by this tragedy has their own bells. I was able to hear most. His parents, my children, his children and my parents bells all rang along with mine at different beats. It was difficult to be around anyone but a few. My inner circle whom I leaned on and new friends that weren't so close to the events of that year were sources of encouragement. I laughed and made friends but still the ringing went on.

My boys both have suffered severely. Nate makes it plain to see. He is transparent like his mother. We understand each other and I could see the way his pain was manifesting itself. Vaughn was a different story completely. They were suffering but I had no idea what to do, I never got the manual. I made mistakes and I got up and I kept trying to keep it all together. We had isolated as a family. We all had our own bells and it was easier to get lost in ourselves than face one another. After all what else can we say after so much had already been said?

When Vaughn was hospitalized last week I made life stop. My son was gone and I was left wondering if I would get him back. I am proud of him for recognizing that he needed help and doing everything it took to make the help offered to him - work for him. He is an amazing young man and so much stronger than any one of us. The havok in his head that he can't release and his inability to express those frustrations with anyone all while being shunned by his peers at a young age. He has turned into a long haired boy who wears black and tries to scare any potential friends away so he can remain as alone as possible at school. That is not my Vaughn. I know him and know he has tremendous abilities - all I have to do is figure out how he can release them, no pressure there.

Nate and I spent a lot of time together. The house seemed even emptier with the absence of Vaughn. We huddled together and watched TV and tried to come to grips. During this worst of all times his teachers had enough of his apathy at school. He is gifted and so intelligent but he just wasn't doing his work. I actually was unable to move one day and took myself to the doctor for help in moving. I took the help he offered and with the help of Nate's teachers and myself we were able to get most of his work done and relieve the pressure for him.

When the bell was first rung and at its loudest, I had no direction. I decided that I would make a plan A and a plan B. Plan A was to finish the ceramics studio and start my business, Plan B was to get a degree in Art History and go on to graduate school. I let Plan B take over my life and my time but I didn't see it, after all, going back to school is a good thing in the eyes of our culture. It's only now that I can see that only fear keeps me from my Plan A.

So another bell is rung. I need to stay home with Vaughn and ensure he gets what he needs done so he can graduate on time. With this added responsibility I can't go to school too. Perhaps God's hand is in this change of circumstance. I will put Vaughn to work helping me get the business rolling and perhaps even be ready to teach some classes this summer for other kids like Vaughn who just need a way to release their frustrations through creativity.

So the bells, while still there, are still all ringing but I have direction and a little clarity. I need motivation but hope that the medication will help. "Medicated and motivated" my new motto if that happens. So am I bonkers, round the bend or looney? I don't know but I do know that I am breathing, my boys are getting what they need and my business is more of a reality now than it ever has been before.

Like a good friend said today - I learned, you never know what you're capable of until you're forced to do something.


Eight months and counting

It's been eight months since Vicki lost her husband and she is struggling to learn to live alone. She is lonely and some days it's hard for her to even get out of bed.  She and the boys spent the time between Christmas and New Years with us and we had a good time but just the day-to-day living is what is the hardest for her.

I talk to her daily but I have no magic words to make it better. I tell her that it will get easier, if not better, and I hope that's the truth.  I've not lied to her before and I don't want to start now.