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Monthly Archives: September 2008

Tomorrow– me, my brother, and my husband, are meeting with the social worker at the nursing home to discuss my mom’s health, and a plan for her future care. After we have met as a family, then on another day, my mom will meet with all of us. (That is the day I dread the most.)

I have known for a couple of weeks now, that they believe the only way she can survive independently, is to be in assisted living. The shock of that has had a little time to sink in, but I awake every day with a sick feeling in my stomach. I think of my mom, and how sad this whole scenario is, and I feel nauseated. (She thinks she is going home any day now, and that totally breaks my heart.) I feel like a knife is in my chest. She has mentioned that when the nurses (or CNAs) tell her something she said (that didn’t make sense), she denies it. She now thinks that they are all the enemy. She is so confused that she doesn’t remember the times when she has said troubling things, that let us know how bad things have gotten with her mental state.

Once she woke up in the evening, and thought it was morning-(not all that unusual given that she is away from home and familiar surroundings), but then she told the male nurse that she had promised her roommate that she would take her to dinner that night, and she realized that she did not have a car there. She was really disappointed that they couldn’t go, and said that they would have to make plans for another night. (My mother hasn’t driven in over 4 years, though she does still have a car that sits in her driveway.) Because she is on certain medications-particularly Oxycontin, she made the decision not to drive, though at times she has threatened to try again. She called me that night, and explained what had happened, and at first I thought her blood sugar had gone low. However, the male nurse got on the phone, and told me that he had just checked it, and it was high. He asked if I could come and “re-orient” her. I did, and she said that if we told anyone about it, she would kill us. (She was embarrassed, and we played it down, and tried to talk about other things.)

Another day, she told me (and the staff) that she had spent the night at a nurse’s house, and that the nurse had served breakfast, before taking a nap. (It turns out that this particular nurse lives in Baker-a long, long drive, and of course, it couldn’t have happened.) My mom was very distraught when they wouldn’t believe her, and she later refused to take her shower, because she said that she had already taken a shower earlier, at the nurse’s house. When the CNA tried to tell her that it couldn’t have happened, she said, “Are you saying that I’m lying?” Bless her heart, this poor CNA never knows how to answer some of these remarks. My mom truly believes that these things did happen, and she gets so frustrated when they won’t believe her. (These are symptoms that we have never experienced with her before.)

One day recently, she called me to say, “We’re still here at this “Wildwood” place…” And while I was speaking to her, they brought her dinner tray to the room, because she had slept too late to go to the dining hall that night. She asked, “Will the others be fed also?” They told her that they would, and she then told me, “The others will be fed too.” I told her that was good, but my heart was breaking, because she has been there 3 months now, and it was as if for that moment, she did not know the procedures, and had never eaten there. It makes my head spin at times, because I never know which person I’ll find when I visit, or talk with her. Sometimes she is completely lucid, and I try to talk myself into thinking, “See…it’s not so bad.” (It seems to be worse after she has been sleeping.)

But then something else will happen, and I will have to face the reality of her situation again. Since she used to give herself insulin shots 4 times a day, and take Oxycontin twice a day, and many other medicines, it is obvious that she will not be able to safely administer her medicines anymore, and both the Oxy and the insulin can be life and death situations, if not taken as prescribed.

She has also become incontinent a great deal, and is very distressed about this, as we all would be. She has had a couple of UTIs (which can contribute to incontinence), and recently went through a whole course of Cipro, and then was still found to have the infection. (This happened to me also, when I took 5 rounds without being healed. Finally probiotics did the job.) The medicine upsets her stomach, and they started her on it again (for the second time) and she told me that she refused it the other evening. Whether she will take it again or not is anybody’s bet. We are also concerned about Clostridium Difficile from too many antibiotics. She has had it before, and it nearly killed her. So what to do? I’m all out of answers…

For those who have not followed the blog, my own health is such that I cannot give her the amount of care she now needs. She has been getting rehab for a broken right foot, left leg, and a broken right hip. (She broke her hip, and had to have surgery, while she was a temporary resident of the nursing home, receiving rehab for the other injuries.)

My dad died 3 years ago, and I have been her primary caregiver for those years. We have been constant companions, and I took her to all her doctor appointments, errands, etc. But the care she requires now is more than I am physically able to give, and I have had to come to terms with that. My emotional state is not that great either, as all of this has devastated me.

Her mental decline has been dramatic since her hip surgery, and I have heard that anesthesia, at this age, can cause mental problems that can be lasting. The nurses and social workers have told us that sometimes in 6 months or so, some of the confusion goes away, and sometimes it doesn’t.

My mom was already experiencing memory loss and some confusion, but it would be considered minor compared with her mental state now. She could not tolerate Aricept (an Alzheimer’s drug) but was able to handle Namenda very well, but the insurance company would not approve the Namenda. They said that the diagnosis of “Mild Alzheimer’s” was not sufficient for approval. This is so infuriating, as all the advertising says that these drugs should be taken early, to slow down the progression of the symptoms of dementia. But I guess the insurance companies want you to be fully out of your mind before approval. Once you are that far along, they are not as effective. What sense does that make? Since when did insurance companies have a medical degree? Since when do they know more than your physician? It makes the patient (and caregivers) feel hopeless.

So tomorrow, I guess they will be telling all of us what they suggest. Just when I was reluctantly accepting that my mom could not return to her home, and getting used to the idea of assisted living, I ran into the social worker one evening, and she told me that my mom would probably not pass the assessment for assisted living at this point. (I agreed at that time (about a week ago) that her physical limitations were still quite worrisome, and that I was afraid she would fall again, as her transfers from her wheelchair to her bed, or to the toilet, were still very unsafe.) She often forgets to lock the brakes on the wheelchair, and many times forgets that she cannot just get up from the chair and walk. Both the family and staff have been concerned every moment that she would fall again. Mentally, she can’t seem to grasp the instructions as to what is needed for safety, and they tell me that they have to start over every day with her, as she can’t remember the instructions from the day before, and doesn’t understand why she can’t just get up and walk around the room.

So, until recently, my greatest fear was that she would have to go into assisted living, but for a couple of weeks now, my greatest fear has been that she wouldn’t even qualify for that. I want her to have her own bedroom and bath so much. She is a private person (as I am), and is so frustrated having to be in the room with different people all the time. It would certainly drive me wild also, due to the lack of privacy.

I know that the risk of her falling again is very great, and that she will probably fail to use her walker, and wheelchair like she should. She used to refuse to use her walker at home, because she was stubborn about it, but now mostly, she just forgets what she should do, (though at times she is still very stubborn.) But I also know that is something that I cannot have control over.

The reason they met with us before, is that the 100% Medicare coverage has run out–the supplemental coverage was over a while back, so we have accrued a daily charge of somewhere around $125.00 or so per day, for several weeks now. They say that if she still needs to stay at the nursing facility in order to receive more therapy (which they definitely  think she will benefit from) then Medicare B will kick in to pay for less therapy (3x per week instead of 5), but that won’t help with the cost of the facility. Actually, different people there have told us different things, and it is rather mixed up at the moment, and quite confusing. (She would also be able to receive therapy 3x a week at the assisted living apartment, if she passed their assessment.) They have different levels of care, but once you get past the second level, the cost becomes prohibitive. It is so discouraging that money becomes the prime consideration in all these things. (My mom’s only asset is her house, and she receives very little Social Security, and a small retirement payment from working for the government for so many years.) She does not have very much monthly income at all, and the cost of assisted living is astronomical, and every “extra” that is added raises the monthly rate considerably.

They would check on her every 2 hours or so, and give her the necessary medications. She could also have supervision getting in and out of the shower, if necessary, and some other benefits. Will it be enough? I don’t know.

But tomorrow will likely be another painful meeting, and I wonder how my brother will take it? Again, I don’t know. I don’t know how I’ll take it, except to say, how much more can a heart break? It’s raining…I’m drowning…Lord, teach me to stand in the rain…

Please see other articles that I have written here:

http://www.associatedcontent.com/user/109497/lonnette_harrell.html

“Crying while driving” has a nice poetic ring to it, but it is not a wise thing to do. But when you feel like crying, wisdom is the last thing on your mind. So why I am crying while driving? Because I was on my way home once again, from the nursing home, feeling exhausted and in despair.

I cannot reveal yet the total story of things lately, but in time I will. (So it is much sadder than the words I write.) Tonight I arrived, with a basketful of clean clothes for my mom, and proceeded to put them neatly in her cabinet. Blouses on one side and pants on the other. I used to combine them into outfits for her, but she said that she would rather pick out her own combinations, and that makes a lot of sense to me, as it is one of the few things that she has any choice about these days. The long sleeved blouses and slacks are on the bottom shelf; the short sleeved blouses and her gowns are on the middle shelf. The top shelf is reserved for the things she doesn’t need as frequently, like extra boxes of Kleenex, red bedroom shoes, and toilet tissue. And in the separate, but attached, cabinet on the right, there are the diapers, tactfully called “briefs” in this world where there’s only so much stark truth that can be tolerated.

I had also bought a standing mirror for her to use, while putting on her makeup and combing her hair. The bedside tray tables in the nursing home do not have mirrors, like the ones in the hospital do. She had been using a hand held mirror, but this would be much more convenient, and less hassle. I am always arriving with things that (I hope) will improve the quality of her life, in this place she dislikes so very much.

The lady in the room with my mom, called us “angels” and said how sweet it is that we do Betty’s laundry, and fold and put away her clothes. She never had children, but has 2 nieces from Birmingham, who are helping to facilitate her move into an assisted living apartment, on the same property where she previously lived, in a military retirement village. Since the nieces are so far away, their visits are limited, and so this little French lady thinks the attention that we give my mom is wonderful. Betty praised Rob to the skies, calling him “so special” (as he is actually doing her laundry, bless his heart.) And as an afterthought, she said, “Lonnette is special too.”

Earlier, I noticed a grouping of towels on the end of her bed. They were neatly folded, except for the washcloth, and she explained, “Those are my towels that I’m going to wash out before I go to bed.” My mind did cartwheels at that statement, but somehow I managed a weak smile, as though I understood. This was just another day in the land of dementia, and it feels like being in the Twilight Zone. One moment things are going well, and the next they aren’t. It is very disconcerting and confusing. I’m still trying to accept it.

My mom was a very smart lady all of her life. Unable to afford college, she worked as a secretary at one place or another. Once she worked for the Coca-Cola company in Atlanta, and after moving to Florida, she worked on one of the military bases for the Comptroller’s office, until she retired. She was an excellent, efficient secretary, and always gave it her all. She was also one of the most organized people that I have ever known (with regard to paperwork, particularly.) And still is, or was.

We brought 2 Krystal corn-dogs (by request) and she was busily (and happily) eating them, as we talked. (She hates the nursing home food, and I don’t blame her. I had a dinner there at a luau one evening, and I didn’t really like it either.) So as often as I can, I bring her treats, or make picnic dinners or snacks for her. Sometimes I’ll even cook a casserole that she enjoys.

I waited for the nurse to make her nighttime drug pass, and asked if I could speak to her for a moment. We discussed the antibiotic, Cipro, that my mom has been on for yet another urinary tract infection, and I remind her to make a note that she has had clostridium difficile before, as a result of that same antibiotic (in excess.) (My mom’s stomach has been upset for several days, and we suspect the Cipro.) At any rate, my mom then decided that she needed to go to the bathroom, and after helping her safely into the room, we resumed our conversation.

Imagine my shock, when they told me that she now refuses to take a shower! I remembered that a week ago she had refused on a Monday evening, declaring that she had already had her shower earlier in the day. This was part of an elaborate psychotic (or hallucinatory) episode that I will discuss in more detail in another post. At any rate, she had not had a shower, and she refused to have one. Tonight they told me that she refused again. (In the nursing home, they only get 2 showers a week–one on Monday, and one on Thursday.) They then proceeded to tell me that she refused last Thursday’s shower also. (This is totally out of character for her.)

“So, you’re telling me that she has not taken a shower since Thursday a week ago?” I asked in disbelief. (She last had a shower on a Thursday. Then she missed a Monday, a Thursday, and now another Monday.) This meant that she would not have a chance at a shower again, until this coming Thursday.

 “Are the nurses (along with the assistants) involved in encouraging her to take a shower?,” I asked, exasperated.

“Yes,” Mrs. B answered, “But she turns us down also. We thought we would speak to you about it, and maybe you could encourage her to agree to a shower.”

About that time, my mom was ready to exit the bathroom, and our conversation ended.

Since it was getting late (for nursing home residents, anyway) we got up to leave. Then my mom tried once again to get up from her wheelchair, which was at the foot of her bed. I asked her to please let me get it near the bedside for her, and reminded her (for the hundreth time) that we needed to lock the brakes on it every time before she got up. She stood, and then pivoted into position on the side of the bed, and sat down. (They have recently informed me that most of her transfers are unsafe, so they want her to be supervised, but she often attempts the transfers without them.) As I told her goodnight and kissed her goodbye, I realized that she could not yet lift her feet into the bed alone, because of her hip surgery. I bent down to lift her legs, and she told me that she only needed help with the right leg (the side of her operation) and then she showed me that she was able to lift the left leg into the bed.

“That’s good,” I praised her.

She answered, “And when I can do the other one, then I can go home.”

Love hurts.

So that is why I was crying while driving. It might not make total sense to you right now, but it will in the days to come…

 

Please see other articles that I have written here:

http://www.associatedcontent.com/user/109497/lonnette_harrell.html

There is so much that I am not at liberty to say, until the family has discussed it, and made decisions, but I can tell you that the overwhelming sadness of this situation has almost killed me. The pain in my heart is never-ending, as is the sorrow in my soul.

This seems almost worse than death. I know you can’t understand that, unless you have walked in my shoes. But my mom doesn’t take things easily–she is a fighter, and lately she sees everyone as the enemy. She hates the nursing home, she gets angry with the staff, and she is very, very frustrated.

Honestly, I feel that all in all, the staff has been amazingly caring and compassionate with her. This was something that surprised me greatly, because I had heard the horror stories that we all hear abount nursing facilities. Of course, there are some that are not our favorites, but most are kind, compassionate, and competent. Most likely, she would not have received as much quality care in another place. But you could never convince her of this. She is angry, and has told me that she sees all of them as “the enemy.” I wonder if I will also fall into that category as days go by. I hope not. I have been there for her steadily. (At least every other day, and often every day.) My house, my health, and my relationships have all taken a beating because of it. But I have to be there for her, and I want to.

I have cried a river lately, over some of the news that I have received about her, and some days life just seems too difficult to bear. I have been nauseated, sleepless, and grief stricken. I am barely functioning. Tonight I stayed home and cleaned my kirchen. (Just my kitchen.) I can’t seem to focus on anything, or get anything done. I guess it’s depression because I can’t fix this situation, and I can’t change it for her. I am sure that she will think I can, and somehow hold me responsible for the outcome. But it is out of my hands. I will elaborate on this further in another post.

I am 55, and feel 75, at least. There is so much stress in my life, and so little fun. I am having trouble believing anymore that tomorrow will be better. (Maybe I’m getting angry also.) But who do I get angry at? Fate? Life? God? The Devil? I do understand my mom’s anger, and I feel it also.

I am truly worried about my health. I am having chest pains, and the uncertainty of all this, means that there is very little resolution to the problems ever. It’s all up in the air, and we’re walking on eggshells with her. She is confused and demanding, but we don’t have control over this. When we try to explain anything to her lately, she cannot retain it for long. (That part is so very sad.)

I took her on a picnic yesterday, and she said, “Excuse me. I’ll be back in a moment.” She started to get up out of her wheelchair to go to the bathroom, because she thought she could. (She is not allowed to walk any distance to speak of right now, unless she is in therapy, and using her walker, with close supervision.) She simply did not comprehend that she couldn’t get up and walk to the bathroom. This is what makes her current situation so very dangerous. Sometimes she is stubborn about what she wants to do, but many times now it isn’t defiance–it’s a lack of comprehension.  She simply does not understand, or retain the instructions.  She totally forgets what she can or can’t do. There are mental and physical problems. The mental issues are clouding everything now, and I will elaborate on some of those later.

For now, I am not ever at peace. I don’t know how to deal with this, and no one around me seems to know either. We are meeting with social workers, therapists, directors, etc., trying to figure out what to do now.

Tony will need to be informed about her current physical and mental status, as I don’t think he has observed as much as I have lately, (because I have been called in on every crisis), or Betty has told me about them. (It seems like there is a crisis at least every other day now.)

I thought that raising Chelsea, with her stubborness and strong will, was the toughest thing that I have ever done, but this is tougher. To watch your mother decline in every way, day by day, is too much to bear. At least it is for me. I have fought so hard to keep her well and happy since my dad died, and to observe this constant deterioration is devastating. I am too close to it all–too close to her. I can’t seem to accept it, and part of that is because she can’t accept any of it. She makes it all even more difficult, because she fights and rages against everyone so hard. She wants to have her way, and she doesn’t want to be told what to do. (We all get frustrated with that, don’t we?)

When you are younger, you never think that there will be a day that you have to face this kind of pain. It may be part of life, but it is so tough to accept. When you feel so utterly helpless and often hopeless, it is a long journey…

Please read other articles that I have written here:

http://www.associatedcontent.com/user/109497/lonnette_harrell.html

A few nights ago, I ran across a song that ministered to exactly what I was feeling, and I used it in a blog post. Then I went to a friend’s blog, who very recently lost her husband, and she had used the same song. Maybe God is trying to tell those of us who don’t understand His ways, that someday we will see Him face to face, and it will be worth it all.

I want to believe that–I really do. Deep in my heart I cling to that truth, though there are days that the pain and agony of living is just too much to bear.

My mother’s dementia is getting worse, and there have been a couple of episodes lately that I will write about when I feel stronger. It’s all out in the open now, and others are well aware of it at the nursing home.  I just can’t fully talk about it right now. It’s too painful.

But tonight I was talking to her on the phone, and everything was completely normal, though she was frustrated and depressed, with being in the nursing home for rehab so long.

Suddenly she related something that had happened today, and how no one would believe her. She said that she argued with the CNA about it, and then everyone started asking her questions. They wanted to know if she knew where she was. (It was certainly NOT believable, but I knew that I needed to reassure her, and be her friend when she could find no other ally.) It doesn’t do much good to harshly confront someone suffering like this. You have to reorient them gently, because it’s too disconcerting to have everyone tell you that what you fully believe is true, isn’t. She believed with all her heart that it was true, and she was desperately trying to get someone, anyone, to believe that she wasn’t crazy. (It clearly couldn’t have happened, and I was once again confronted with how very serious this is becoming.)

As I listened to her, I felt that sickening feeling in the pit of my stomach, and that dizzy feeling in my head, and my eyes filled with tears. (This can’t be happening again, I thought, but somehow knew that it was going to continue, again and again.)  I calmly tried to understand the things that she was saying, and tried to reassure her that she wasn’t crazy.

We talked a little more, and I told her that I would visit tomorrow, and to call if she needed me. (I had just been with her last night, and she was very lucid.) She’s had great difficulty with the phone lately, but sometimes she remembers how to answer it. Cell phones are so complicated for the elderly. They don’t have regular phones in the room. Isn’t that weird???

After I hung up, I wanted to throw myself on the floor and wail loudly, but I didn’t have the strength.  So I ran downstairs to tell my husband, Rob, who really never knows what to say to me at a time like this, for truthfully, what is there to say? (Only God can comfort me lately, and even He’s not always successful.)

I have suffered painful losses in the last few years-both of my dads (my birth dad, and my stepfather from the age of 7.) They died close in time to each other. In a way, I died then too. I laid down my life, as I knew it, to care for my mom. I was obsessive about it. I thought that I had to keep her alive. I was sure that I alone would be to blame, if she died or got really sick, or injured. And so I never slowed down, trying to be everything that she needed, and do everything that she needed.

And even though I did the best I could, I couldn’t stop this from happening. My counselor said that I needed to understand that I couldn’t give her mortality. Still, I tried to make things okay. But I can’t make them okay anymore. I don’t have the answers, and it’s all spinning out of control. I’m not just losing her-I’m losing her in a frightening way. She goes in and out, and I’m clinging to what’s left of her on any given day. I have watched her scream out in physical pain in the ER for 6 hours straight, after breaking her hip, and yet she has been so strong emotionally, through all that she has suffered. (Too strong in a way.) I know that she grieves for all her losses (her husband most of all), and yet she goes on with determination. But she is very, very frustrated now. She has been away from home too long, and she feels so confined in her wheelchair, and she keeps trying to get up, when they’ve told her it’s not time yet–not without supervision. And we’re all afraid that she will fall again. But she can’t understand. Sometimes she is just being stubborn, but many times now, I think she doesn’t remember what they’ve said, and she just doesn’t know the dangers. She is walking some in therapy with her walker, but they don’t allow her to walk in her room right now. It’s too soon. She is angry about being there so long, she is worn out, and disgusted with the way her body and mind are betraying her.

I can’t control this. Like so many things over these last 3 years, I’ve had to realize that I can’t make it all work out. I can’t fix this. I desperately wish I could.

I try to trust the Lord with the outcome, but I am fearful and exhausted. Every day it’s a different crisis, and every day I wonder how much more I can take.  (And how much more she can take.)

And so lately, I sing this song in my head, and try to remind myself that even though I don’t understand His ways, they are so much higher than my ways, and I have to trust Him. I have to let go now, and let Him work this out. It’s so hard to let go, because I have taken care of her like my child. I have bonded deeply with her, and if I could, I would protect her from every danger and threat. I would hold her, and never let her go. But I can’t.

I’m grieving already–life is so hard. Please God comfort me. Comfort her. Help us make the decisions that we need to make for her best care. Guide us. Let us feel your presence in this dark hour…

Please read other articles that I have written here:

http://www.associatedcontent.com/user/109497/lonnette_harrell.html

(My dear friend and fellow blogger, Linda, wrote an insightful post about the luggage of grief, and I responded with my thoughts on the subject. See her blog here: http://mysteryoriley.wordpress.com/2008/08/29/a-different-suitcase/

Now for my musings:

I write because I have to-in order to survive. Since I started blogging, I have found such a release for all the craziness that has been my life, for several years now. The journey keeps throwing me dusty, winding trails, paths that are uncleared (jungle-like), and roads of sorrow that have no end it seems. But what can I do but journey on? What can any of us do, right?

Be sure your suitcase has wheels, for the times when it is far too heavy to carry (which is most of the time, I’m sure.) Just drag it behind you, a step at a time, because much of life’s joys and horrors are in it. It is both a treasure chest, and burdensome baggage, but it is what our life is comprised of, and there is perhaps little that we would part with, once we have gotten rid of the superficial.

It is our life experience that makes us who we are, and while we replace our suitcases now and then, some of the content will forever be a part of our journey-memories and faded photographs, love and longing, heartbreak and hope, joy unspeakable, sorrow unspeakable, doubt and faith, life and death.

We can decide when to open it, though at times its contents spill out, and we cannot contain them. Our most private articles sometimes come tumbling out for all the world to see. (A bit embarrassing, but also a bit freeing as well.) For once they have seen the underwear, how shocking can anything else be? And after that, we don’t really care, and if they are judgmental, then who needs them?

Perhaps then, it is time to “repack” and bring a bit of order to the chaos, realizing that it won’t stay neat for very long. Living is messy. For such is the journey-we are weak from the effort, but in some strange way, also strengthened. If we are still standing, it is a victory. (Sometimes just breathing is enough.)

But we must rest along the way, and find an inn where we can eat, sleep, and commune with our Lord. There are times of refreshing that are so necessary in the journey. Times to light a candle and have a cup of tea. Times to reflect and renew our spirit, so that we can continue on. Times to lighten the load.

Sometimes we pull the suitcase, and other times it pulls us–beckoning us onward in the search for understanding and truth…

I journey on…

Please read other articles that I have written here:

http://www.associatedcontent.com/user/109497/lonnette_harrell.html

I believe that as we experience life, our writing changes. For me, there is a depth to it, because of the things I have encountered. It’s almost like the love I professed for my husband when I first met him–though passionate and wild, it was somewhat superficial. What did I truly know of love, trust, endurance, committment, and loyalty? Over the years, it has matured into a deeper, truer devotion because of our shared experiences. But I do not despise the younger experience of love. I treasure it as one of the happiest times in my life. But little did I know how a love could be tested, and a heart could be tried. I did not know that I would stand with this man at the funerals of those I loved, or share the devastating heartbreak, and genuine happiness that only a child can bring. I did not forsee the times that he would see me through sickness and incapacitating hurt, or the days that I would be there to encourage him, when all the world had walked away. I cling to young love and to mature love, for both are part of my journey, I am thrilled that I found excitement and passion, but I am eternally grateful that I found a forever friend, and a shelter from the storm. So it is with the seasons of our writing. They evolve with our life experiences, and reach a greater depth with every tragedy, and every joyful event. Sometimes the greatest challenge is to be willing to reveal ourselves, to remove the masks, and to bear our souls, though sometimes it will cost us. To be transparent is to risk being exposed, and once we are honest, we are truly vulnerable. But how much better to take that risk, and be willing to share our soul, so that others can be comforted in some way–so that someone can say, “I am not alone.” Until the day I die, my soul will forever express my feelings with the written word, which frees me from the prison of emotions yet unspoken. If I can just get it down on paper, I can survive it, learn from it, and receive inspiration to continue my journey. And someday it’s gonna be worth it all…

Please read other articles that I have written here:

http://www.associatedcontent.com/user/109497/lonnette_harrell.html