Tag Archives: death

Loved You May and Hello June


May was the most interesting month I’ve had for what seems like forever!

A new medication for sleeping has done wonders for me.  Instead of needing and getting 12 to 14 hours of sleep almost every day, I now get up after only 7 hours and feel pretty perky.  All my other meds are the same and seem to be working really well for the most part.  I think the weather helps too.  I’m not isolating 1380021_10155657943450221_190890452345083084_nmyself so much as I was a few short weeks ago.  I love my yard; the sun sucks all the dreary winter from my body and brings the summer into my soul.

We found a cute baby kitty that we were going to adopt and kept him in the house with us for a few days until we could get him to the Humane Society to have him checked out and neutered.  He got out just before one of the most weirdest storms I’ve ever been through happened.  Snow with lightning and high damaging winds.  Then he never came back.  I still grieve for him.  He was so lovable and sweet.

The end of May marked the first anniversary of the death of my dad.  I still have the image of him taking his last breath as my sister and I clutched his hands, crying, and telling him to go.  It was okay to go.  I should have left right away so I wouldn’t have had to see his empty, thin body lying there.  I can’t forget it.  I still remember my mom as she looked after her death too.  I dream of them so much.    His birthday was 2 days after his death as well.  It was hard this year as I’m sure it will be every year.  It’s funny when I dream of my dad because, in my dreams, apparently his death was all a big mistake and he isn’t really dead and is still alive.

What makes it better, though, is in between the anniversary of my dad’s death 11107728_10155729474615221_1500065792585678561_nand his birthday my youngest granddaughter had her first birthday.  I remember the joy I felt when she was born in spite of the sad, dark time of a year ago.  This year was no different, really.  She is cute as can be and I love both of my grandgirls to bits.  Such bright and wonderful children who give me so much joy.

My daughter turned 18 in March and is almost 30.  Yeah. But she’s really doing great.  Doing fantastic in school, winning 2 awards and made the honour roll!  So proud of that girl.

I also met a man.  I decided to give up on the “bad boys” after reading several articles written by nice men who never seem to get a chance.  I also read some blog posts and comments from them where women have been stuck with the bad boys just like I was. And they just didn’t get it either. So…I’m giving one a chance.  It’s only been a few weeks but holy moly…wow.  He treats me like a queen, takes me for dinners, lunches and breakfasts.  He lent me his truck for 4 days (which my kids thought was really weird).

I have had to stop him from spending so much money on me.  If he had his way he would lavish me with gifts.  He wants to find me a car. He wants to buy me clothes. I said no. I keep saying no. He really giftswants me to be happy and expects a commitment in the future.  THAT I’ve  never heard before.  It’s been all disconcerting as I have not met anyone like him.  He loves how I look.  He’s beyond eager to meet my kids.  He wants to be with me all the time and I had to tell him I needed space to breathe and learn about myself in this new role.  It was a battle at first, only because of his own insecurities I think.  I notice he really doesn’t have that many of those so far.  He lives out-of-town on a beautiful 4 acre lot with an apple orchard and all the toys near a beautiful lake.  I’ve stayed there a few times and love the privacy, the birds and the sun on beautiful days.

I had a surprise graduation party for my son, his wife and my daughter on Sunday because they are all graduating.  My son got his GED back in the fall, my 11224583_10155851597945221_3784232355226808323_ndaughter-in-law went to night school to finish her high school and, of course, my daughter graduates high school in June.  My fella paid for all the food and drove me around everywhere to find supplies and presents.  He wanted to come to the party to do the cooking but I held him off as we had only been together for such a short time.  I just felt it was too soon.

He smiles all the time. And that’s important to me. We like and love so many of the same things and every time we discover something new it’s such a surprise.  He wants to make sure I’m not stuck inside and plans outings all the time.  He missed me yesterday and drove the hour drive and showed up at 4 in the afternoon with Chinese food for supper.

To think I was fighting this.  Neither of us could really understand my imagesCA48VGCDreasoning.  I do though, of course.  All those failed relationships, all the heartache and all the work invested and lessons learned.  He doesn’t want me to lump him into the same category as those guys.  He’s assured me he’s different.  I’m starting to believe it. His health isn’t very good at this time but we both hope for improvements.

I have high hopes for this wonderful man.  If it doesn’t work out at least I know there are nice men out there.

So bring on June.  Graduations, beaches, long drives and love.  Bring it on.

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Roller Coaster


Finally, I feel I have the ability to write again, both electronically and emotionally.  Well, I still don’t know about the emotional part.  Its been a very emotion-filled few weeks, with many ups and even more downs.  My laptop may overheat but I will write with breaks so it can cool down.

During these times I came to learn valuable lessons about myself:  I’m still strong, there is always something new on the horizon, and I have my pride intact.  There were lots more lessons learned but those are the big ones.

I was always waiting for something.  Exterminators because we had bedbugs.  It took the landlord 2 months to get them here so poor Carly and I would go to bed each night so the critters could feast upon our milky flesh.  All the info we read from the government and exterminator’s websites recommended you don’t sleep on the couch or they will find you.  Where. Ever. You. Go.  So I couldn’t sleep.  I would stay awake until the sun came up, killing any that crawled on me and put them in a jar of bleach and laugh manically as they dissolved before my eyes (I bet you didn’t know how sadistic I can be).  During the day I would pick though my daughter’s bed, trying to decrease her discomfort.  She would still have new bites every few days.

During this 2 month time we were banned from seeing my grandchildren as my son has an almost supersized fear of the bugs and he did not want to risk any hugstransfer from us.  Ditto for the boyfriend.  I maybe saw him 4 times in that 2 months and that was to go to movies.  I was so relieved when we were finally sprayed at the beginning of December.  My oldest granddaughter was overjoyed when I walked though their door.  The hugs!  Hugs beat the bedbug blues every time!

Unfortunately the bugs seemed to be the beginning of the end for the boyfriend. He called less and less and I saw him very infrequently. We seemed to have a plan to go to Cuba though, where I hoped some alone time would help.  Over the holidays, he just stopped calling except for a text telling me Happy New year and don’t be mad, I’m going to Cuba with my friend.  That was almost 2 weeks ago and not a word since.

I knew this was a man who has lived with a very traumatic past and this is the worst time of year for him.  It took me a while to realize that he could not be ready for a relationship.  He needs to find his own self before he could ever trust his life won’t be ripped apart again.  I, of course, have had my own traumatic past.  The difference is I have both professional and familial support.  He chooses to have a different way of handling his feelings.  I’m afraid it ended with me having a broken heart because of the silence.  Or maybe I’m giving him too much credit and he really is just a jerk.  I don’t believe that though.  I do know, really, it’s for the best because, unless there is help in his life, my heart would never heal and would keep going through these unresolved issues he carries.  I think I might be stronger in some ways.  Unfortunately, I’ve now developed some trust issues of my own.  My self-esteem is even more damaged than before.  Who would want me?  I don’t feel attractive physically or emotionally/mentally.  What a mess.

There was one day that I slept away.  22 hours.  That was when I knew I had to try to do something but everything was pretty dark for me.  For those who survive depression hopefully knows everyone feels it differently; it’s never a contest, like “I have more reasons to be depressed than you do” kind of thing.  No.  What I feel ????is physical (heavy like an elephant) and mentally (my brain is a foggy bog of poo).  It’s how to get out of it is the challenge.  Sleeping 22 hours may not seem like a healthy way to do it but that was all I could do that day.  The next day was less, more like 14 hours.  Then it was 12.  I can handle 12. I did the dishes.  I tried to go grocery shopping.  Then suddenly I had stuff to do and had to get out of bed to do them so my going to bed at 7 am was not going to work anymore.  I seem to have developed a fairly normal schedule.

How I felt is so hard to explain.  I wish I had the words to tell you how dark my world was.  My dreams were where I wanted to be.  I couldn’t wait to dream because what happened in them was so much more exciting and meaningful than what my life was.  My bi-polar dreams have always been vivid but never so much as during this time.  My awake-time flashbacks from the dreams would leave me  quite confused. Once, on the rare occasion I did go out, I was very nearly hit by a bus and leapt 3 feet in the air as the driver laid on the horn, inches from my hip, waking me from my musings.  I thought no one would care anyway.  Of course I know now that is not and never been true.  I have my peeps who love me and always will.

Before Christmas, I was on the bus after seeing my mental health worker and tearsjust broke down.  I was crying in public.  No one did anything except for the lady beside me who handed me a used tissue.  I sat there with tears streaming down my face, suffering in silence.  Which is what most people do.    All this was not necessarily because of a man.  I was on my way to my darkness partly due to the isolation I was in and the feeling of not being wanted anywhere because of the blasted bugs.  I was just so sad and lonely and alone.

I missed my Dad so much over Christmas.  His joy was like a child’s when he opened gifts.  His place was empty at the table where we would squeeze his walker in.  I did have a wonderful day with my family though.  We all felt his presence there, especially when, for no explicable reason, glassware started banana-cream-pie-004falling out of the cupboard and breaking on the ceramic floor at my sister’s.  I was making the banana cream pie at the moment, which was his favourite dessert.  I had to stir and stir the homemade pudding for at about 45 minutes so it wouldn’t burn.  Maybe Dad thought I wasn’t doing it right but I kept right on stirring during all the crashing and sweeping and didn’t burn the pudding at all.  One of the best we ever made.  He was keeping me on my toes I guess.

Carly and I got wonderful news the other day.  We now have a townhouse we’re moving to through public housing.  Instead of paying rent I cannot afford it will be covered by the benefits I receive from Disability.  This is a huge financial relief for me.

I have lots to look forward to.  I will get to purge yet again.  The crap that weighs me down.  Crap that I hang on to.  Crap I can let go.   And it ain’t just because of the packing.

If I can help it, life is going be like taking a deep breath of fresh air.

 

Getting Through the Week


This week my second grandchild was born.  My Dad died on Friday and Lexi was born on Monday , 11 days overdue.  Lexi was supposed to be a boy, according to three 3D ultrasounds but came out a beautiful, healthy girl.  She was a huge surprise.  Hopefully we can find all the receipts for the boy stuff everyone bought.

I was sure having Lexi in my life, now with a huge empty space from losing my Dad, would fill in that big gap in my heart.  She does in a way but I’ve had a cold or allergies since she was born so only saw her once. My Londynn was here, though, and kept me going for one afternoon.  She makes me tired.  🙂

I no longer have my daily visits with my Dad.  Those sure got me out of the Sage, fire, memoriesapartment.  I miss him so much.  Tonight there was a sharing circle at my sisters.  It was wonderful to hear stories about my Dad coming from people I barely knew and from family I love dearly.  I  shared some of my own stories while taking in the scent of the bonfire, the sage burning in the bowl beside it and listening to the birds singing and calling out to each other.  After I was finished I threw cedar into the fire and watched it get eaten up by the flames.  Everyone else did the same. I watched the smoke drift up to the sky.  The sky looked like it wanted to rain but it held off.  I was glad I went.

Never have I felt so alone as I have this week.  It’s been a confusing time and I thought I would have been prepared for this but I wasn’t.  I’m not.  His birthday was on Tuesday and that day was just a write off for me.  I spent that whole day in bed.  I just couldn’t get up.  The same thing happened the day after he died.

I’ve gone downhill in my mental health; feeling more isolated, sleeping so much more and feeling quite alone in my already little world.  Everyone in my family are grieving too and my sister is so busy with arrangements and such.  There are a few people who have written to ask how I’m holding up (badly) or one really nice man I know tried TWICE to get me out but I couldn’t bear to leave the apartment.  He even promised me ice cream!  I received a lot of support on Facebook from my friends.  I thank them all very much for taking the time to acknowledge my loss.

I hope to be in a better frame of mind next week.  My routine goes back to normal with volunteering and seeing Dr. G again.

Now I better check myself for wood ticks.

Ciao

Songs, Birds and Goodbyes


After an incredibly long fight my Dad finally let go in the early hours of May 23.  Every day for weeks you could see the struggle within him; wanting his aging, ailing body, mind and soul to hang on, to stay here with his family and to live another 95 years.

My Dad’s final days were spent with his family surrounding him every chance they got.  I spent a huge amount of time with him and have some very happy times I really want to share.  Little things, like when we first played bird songs on my sister’s iPad and the smile that came across his face.  He wasn’t really in the same world as we were at that point so this was really nice to see.  He spent a lot of time in this another world so any indication that he heard us or recognized something else was wonderful and so very special.

The nurses all had stories to tell and all said how much they love him, how he was a favourite there.  Dad was known for his hugs after putting up big battles whenever he had to be turned or changed as it gives him so much pain.  He would fight, kick, hit and swear at the nurses and then, when they were done, calmly ask for each of them to give him a hug.  They loved it and made it worthwhile they said.

The day before he died I was there with him and my sister.  We were playing music from his era as well as songs he used to sing to us when we were little girls, all from his era as well.  “You Beautiful Doll”, “I Did It My Way”, lots of Frankie and Bing and some Al Jolson.  Of course it was hard not to cry when we heard these songs.  We even sang them to him too.  When he could still talk he told me, very politely, to stop singing please.  So when he couldn’t talk anymore, I started singing to him again.

One song, “If You Were The Only Girl..” we played over and over because he seemed to react to it the most.  I was holding his hand when he started tugging on it, urging me to get up off my chair.  I did and his other hand was searching for my other one so I grasped our hands together.  Suddenly, he started swinging my arms to the music!  We were dancing!  It was marvelous and my sister and I were laughing so hard and he was grinning as he was trying to push me over on one side then all the way over across his bed.  Finally, his incredible strength got me to almost topple right on top of him where he had me in the most incredible bear hug and had my arms all twisted like a pretzel.  I honestly couldn’t move!  My sister was laughing so hard she finally managed to choke out, “need a little help?”  I could only squeak, “yes please” when a nurse appeared, shocked at the spectacle and he let go.  I will never forget that last dance with my Dad.

I spent a night there and would have spent many more but I was on baby alert, waiting for my grandson to arrive, which, as of this date and 10 days overdue, he has not.  But I would spend all day every day with my Dad.  Yesterday, though, my sister told me something was different and maybe I should get there quickly.  So I took the hour-long bus ride earlier than I was going to, praying that he will hold on just long enough for me to say goodbye again and arrived there in plenty of time.

I leaned over him, giving him my killer smile as I always do, and, lo and behold, he smiled back, tried to say my name and wrapped his arms around me in a huge hug.  After that though, his morphine was working and he really wasn’t conscious anymore.  More family came to say goodbye and all we did for hours was watch his chest move up and down, then nothing, then up and down again.  Fooled us many times.  With his apnea, this was expected we were told.  My sister and I were finally left alone with him for the night.  My son was getting someone else to be on baby alert.

Before he finally let go my sister and I were trying to conjure up my mom so she could come and get him since he wouldn’t leave on his own.  Not 3 hours later, I noticed his breath getting shallower and quieter.  Then I went to his mouth and nose and felt for his breath.  There were only one or two more breaths, then nothing.  Still nothing.  I checked his heartbeat and got my sister to call the nurse.  The nurse came with her stethoscope and confirmed what we already knew.   My mom found him and took him home at last.

It’s so hard to believe that this is over.  My Dad is gone.  An era is finished.  It’s very strange not climbing on the bus everyday.  It’s very strange not to hear him babble about his mom and dogs and horses and call me by his sister’s name or him thinking I’m his mom or even knowing it’s me.  It’s very strange connecting to family I haven’t seen in months or years.  It’s very strange to have the first love of my life leave this earth so quietly after arguing so much and so long with whomever is in charge of our length of time on Earth.  That’s it.  All done.

But my Mom did come and get him.  I know she did.  Thanks Mom.  Love you both so much.

Kill The Demons (or just find a way to shut them up)


On January 13, 2014 and a Monday to boot, I faced a demon I’ve had in my dreams and my life for over 5 years.

This was a spontaneous decision to go to this place on this day although I had wanted to do it for a long time.  I faced the outside of the door, more than a little apprehensive on what my reception would be.  Unannounced, with no appointment but a steeliness in my heart, my hand reached out and opened the door.  My feet crossed the threshold.

I was back in the building where I spent 15 years of my life, giving it my all and then, when I left, felt like a failure.  The first thing I noticed was the silence.  This place was always full of noise when I worked there.  The next thing I noticed was a face peering at me from the front desk; older and maybe even wiser.  It took a minute for him to register who I was.  He jumped and said my name with a bit of a shout, and had big smiles for me.  I barely remembered what we talked about. We giggled a lot.

This wasn’t what I came here to do.

I asked the lovely receptionist (who was my work-husband on and off for 20 years) to see if the Executive Director was in and would he see me.  As he made the phone call, I started to notice other things.

spirit1There were ghosts.  Everywhere.  I knew that the clients I’ve known here, loved and stuck my neck out for were mostly gone now.  Their presence was obvious, though, almost like a breeze in some cases (Hi Marie, it sure is great to see you!) to waves crashing from an ocean to a shore; strong, really loud and hard to ignore (Well, looky you! WELL THERE YOU ARE!!  I knew you would come back.  Why did you leave?  Why. Did. You. Leave. Us?)

I wasn’t sure this was a good idea anymore.  What was I expecting?  It’s been a very long time since my sudden departure.  I waited at the front and saw a former staff member, one of my favourites.  I shouted her name and she turned around peering at me too.  The smile on her face was huge, the hug she gave me was huge and my heart was huge just seeing her again.  We only had a moment to chat before the E.D. came out.

His face was all lit up, grinning from ear to ear, obviously glad to see me.  I was so  happy to see that grin.  At least he didn’t have a lawyer with him. 🙂 We made our way to his office, ghosts still clamouring for my attention.

Some of the ghosts?  There was “Bill” who came to see me everyday no matter what.  Actually there were a lot of “Bills'”. And “Tim” who nobody seemed to like and he beauty of naturescared them because he was a bit crazy but I could see who he was back then, a frightened, rejected man for most of his life.  He would visit and I tried to get him to be a bit more sociable.  Sometimes it worked and lots of times it didn’t.

All through the halls, they spoke to me.

We arrived at the E.D.’s office and I sat in the familiar seat.  He was very animated and very glad to see me which he told me over and over.  I was feeling a lump in my throat.  I had to get the words out.

I explained I was here because I needed to say something about when I left so many years ago.  I wanted him to know how bad I felt about what I put him and the staff through, especially the last 6 months I was there.  I realize now how ill I had been and that there was no choice but to leave.  I didn’t hold anything against him or the organization.  It was a huge part of my life and who I was.  Unfortunately it was too huge to bear.  I couldn’t save everyone.

I also told him how much better I felt mentally.  My life is still a bit off-balance but I am now progressing rather than going backwards or stagnant.  I also told him how often I dreamt of this place (almost every night).  He wanted to know if it was good or bad dreams and I admitted to both, mostly bad.

He was so shocked that I, or anyone for that matter, would come in and say these things.  He also said that an apology was never needed nor did he ever harbour bad feelings towards me.  He could see my strength and I could feel it too.  He thought I was brave!  HA!

He explained how it had been for him and the rest of the staff:

He told me I had been such a fixture there, the staff and clients all felt a strong connection to me and could see me struggling every day.  It was awful for all to watch and he had no idea how to explain to me what was going on and what they were seeing.  Me, who could not see anything at all wrong with the way things were and it seemed pretty hopeless to get me to understand that things were not right.  He ended up putting my health first and making me go on disability.

He didn’t know what a nightmare it was for me after I left.

Now, watching his face and laughing with him and listening to the funny voices he still did that always made me laugh so much, I knew that this part of my life has some closure.

He escorted me to the clinic where I found some more long-lost staff and we reunionhugged and told stories.  Most of the staff I knew were no longer working there but, to the people who still did, I showed off pictures of my granddaughter, my dad and my kids.  They were all so amazed at my Carly and how beautiful and grown up she has become.  I was treated like much-loved and sorely missed royalty.  They were eager to hear about what’s going on in my life and what’s in store for me next.  I felt so…special.

slamming doorFinally it was time for me to go.  Off to the lawyer to slam a door on another part of my life that has been up in the air too long.

The ghosts were following me to the door, waving goodbye.

I stood outside those front doors for a minute wondering if they would follow me.  They stayed on the other side.  But they will have a better, less guilty place in my heart.

Always.

Housework


Wow, It’s been a while again. I guess I’ve been all discombobulated. Life has sure had its ups and downs in the last few months. Let’s see…

  • I’ve moved and survived.
  • I’ve discovered music on my TV and that is giving me a lot of joy. I never did figure out how to get music on my iPhone.
  • I lost 30 pounds without even trying!! That would be because of no more Lithium.
  • My cat is now home with us in the new place and that puts me over the moon…even though she had has some adjustment issues. I look out where I’m stepping now. cat-pukingNothing like warm (or cold) cat puke on the bottom of my foot when I’m trying not to wake up too much when I have to go pee in the middle of the night.  Or the yowling.  She especially likes to yowl in the bathroom.  At 3 am.  The echo I guess?

I had such a bad time before the move. I honestly didn’t know if I could make it. My daughter was at her wit’s end.  Neither of my kids Bipolar-disorder-treatmentreally understand what’s going one with my illness.  So they get impatient. They figure I’m lazy and probably even stupid.  I’ve done what I can to get them to get it.  I will keep trying I guess.

In past posts I’ve written about my mom and how her presence seems to be everywhere. Well, the months and weeks leading up to this move I know she was trying to help. I would babble to her while I was awake and in my dreams.  I was a basket case as only I can be. I was driving everyone nuts with my fears and tears and rants and being generally incapable of coping. Coping skills? What the fuck are those? I had no money (again), no food (again), bills piling up (uh huh again), welfare not paying me what they were supposed to. I couldn’t afford bus tickets or fare so I was even more isolated than ever before.

So anyway, my daughter and I were going through yet another box of stuff that she was urging me to purge and to which I would resist. “It was Gramma’s,” I would cry. She was relentless on lots of stuff but that always got to her so I used it a lot. When we came to some pictures of she and her Gramma we would both cry. Then, in an old purse she was MAKING me get rid of, there they were.  The crystals.

stonesOf course there is a reason why I bring this up.  After my mom died, like pretty much right after and when I went back to work, a volunteer came to my office telling me she was moving in the next few days to London, England to marry her long time lover.  Same-sex marriage wasn’t legal in Canada yet.  I was glad for her of course.  We had gotten rather close the last few months before my mom died.  She always knew things.  She was very spiritual as well as a Wiccan.  She taught me a lot and gave me peace of mind.

That day she came in, she saw the sadness in my eyes that no professionalism could hide.  (Who was I kidding anyway?  Professional? Me?)  She told me about leaving and I told her I knew it was coming and I was so happy for her.  We hugged for a long time in my office.  We didn’t cry though.  She said she wanted to pull some of the sadness from me and give me some of her joy. As she moved away she reached into her bag and pulled out a little baggie with stones in it.  Gorgeous stones: amethyst for my mom, rose quartz for her and the blue quartz for me.  Spiritually aligned.  A beautiful gift.

Then I cried.

I hadn’t been able to find these particular crystals for a long time until I found ???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????them in the old purse. My heart flipped in my chest when my eyes found them and my fingers touched the little bag.  I whispered “Mom” and Carly looked at me like I was, once again nuts.  She just rolled her eyes until I explained it to her.

I think her head must hurt from doing that all the time.

It was like everything changed when I got up the next morning.  The hopelessness had lessened so much I could call my worker at welfare and demand the bus tickets I needed to get to doctor’s appointments.  I could purge the things that weighed me down in that apartment.  Our new apartment is rather cozy so of course I had to give up things.  I didn’t mind so much anymore.  My daughter even said “Mom, look at you” as I zinged crap into garbage bags and hauled them to the garbage bin.  I purged even more when we were unpacking.  I arranged movers and COMMUNICATED with professionals.

Suddenly things were just working out.  We looked at a great apartment for a great price and the manager liked us so much he wanted to move us to the top of the list.  It turned out he couldn’t do that and had to take the first tenants that applied.  He did have another place, though, that we could have first crack at.  He went to bat for us to make sure we got it.  He made sure everything was ready for when we moved in.  He was wonderful.   Welfare was paying for movers so that was great.  Like I said there wasn’t much to complain about at all.

Oh and I will be a Gramma again! (No NOT Carly)

Of course I am not miraculously better.  I am better though.  I’m still more isolated than before we moved but, for some reason, welfare sent me $150.  So I bought a bus pass for the next week.  I can get to the dentist to have my broken tooth looked at, see my psychiatrist (missed the last appointment because I hadn’t called for bus tickets, doh!).  And get some food!  After that I don’t mind not going out in the bloody cold.

Part time work may be in my near future as my wonderful sister figured out a great job that might just work for me and it sounds like one I would love to do.

Things are more peaceful in my head. There’s more purpose to my days whether I’m selling my jewelry on Facebook (Carly needed tampons) or actually doing the dishes instead of letting them pile up.

My crystals are in my purse again.

I am getting things done.

Found them…


April 15, 2013

I spent most of the day watching the news.  Twin explosions at the Boston Marathon rocked the world and made a fear which never really left come back like a punch in the gut.  (I’ve been punched in the gut and I know how it feels)

I frantically texted my daughter and, thankfully, she was 2 minutes away from home.  I told her to hurry as something crazy is happening to the world again.  She burst through the door a few minutes later crying, asking, “Is it North Korea?”  She was frantic we were all going to die because of the news that has been on lately.

There are 2 things I want to say here.  Well 3 things.

Number one thing is that I will say horror a lot.  It’s a word stuck in my head today.

The second thing is my horror that our children, MY children and MY grandchild, have to live with the same fear my peers and I had when it came to the threat of nuclear war.  I used to go to bed at night terrified that I would melt in my sleep.  I would dream of horrible deaths of the people I loved.  I don’t want my child to go through that.  Why does she have to?  ( I wish I could write more about this but my thoughts are still pretty scattered to get it out the right way. All I can say properly is please vote and these madmen will not be so powerful in this world.  Feel free to say in the comments what you think as well.)

My son is 12 years older than she is and didn’t have that threat over his head while growing up, at least, not a very serious one.  Now, however, he has his own family that he loses sleep over because of it.

The third thing I want to say comes after watching the coverage in Boston replayed over and over again by the media.  I tried to block the images of the blood on the streets;  I tried not to think about the limbs of innocent people  strewn over an area where thousands had gathered for a famous sporting celebration on a major American holiday when bombs went off…That’s when I saw something else.

I saw the helpers.

It struck me how help was there immediately when that street of celebration became Hell.  There were medical staff there for sure and police, of course, as they were there for the event.   Runners who just ran an unbelievable 42.20 km, rushed to the injured spectators or to other fallen runners.  I saw people frantically ripping down and climbing over fences, rubble and banners to get to the hurt and fallen.  The strength they showed was almost inhuman.  There were many people who ran away from the blasts, looking for those they loved, going for safety or lining up at the hospitals giving their own blood to save others not so fortunate.

Then there were these other people who could have run away to do nothing, but they stayed and saved the world.  I noticed them the most.

Many of them were young people.  The under 30 group who I admit I was guilty of being so quick to judge in negative ways.  They were there, ripping and tearing to get to those on the sidewalk, struggling to wrap t-shirts around severed legs and horrific wounds, comforting a stranger’s child until her mom could be found.  Young people everywhere, carrying the injured, pushing wheelchairs and working hard, side by side, with the police, and medical personnel.  Organizing.  Helping.

They would not leave until they were made to go, covered in other people’s blood, maybe their own; looking for more ways to get rid of the nightmare their world had become.  The anger and hurt and horror on their faces was almost worse than seeing the carnage on the street.

This was not a war they chose to fight.

My friends and I used to worry about youth today. After all, they will be the adults who will have to look after us in our old age.  We were fearful.

I’m not worried anymore.

When I was a boy and I would see scary things on the news, my Mother would say to me “Look for the helpers.  You will always find people who are helping”

To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster’, I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.

– Mr. Rogers