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Monthly Archives: March 2009

Lest you think that all I do is sit around and cry, I would like to reassure you that it is only a small part of my existence. I actually have not cried very much, considering the terrible sadness in my heart. But I do feel the sharp pains of anxiety fairly often.

The best cure for that is to make plans, to force myself to move and get involved in living, when often it’s the last thing I really want to do. I think for the last couple of weeks, I have grieved deeply for the loss of my mom as I once knew her. But I have decided that is a very necessary part of this process. There is no way I could have been so close to her, and not grieved the loss of our relationship, even though it was very painful for me at times.  So I have determined to grieve when I need to, simply because that is inevitable, and I can’t rush the different phases.  I have been almost immobile (physically and mentally) for about a week, but I am working through that, and starting to feel some energy once again. After having been so very sick, as well as so very stressed, perhaps my body is calling the shots, and leaving me with no choice but to be still. I am learning to listen to its wisdom.

But in between the grieving, I will continue to live my life, and try to look to the future with hope and expectation. Making plans is a faith statement that life will go on, and that there is a reason and a purpose to all of it. I read a sign the other day in a shop that said, “Hold Onto Your Dreams–They Are Your True Wealth.”

I am a big believer in dreams, and in turning those dreams into reality, with God’s help. When we lose our dreams, we lose everything. A dream is our assurance that tomorrow can be better than today. So I dream…

I try to keep writing as much as I can, because it brings such a release from sorrow and heartache. If I can get it down on paper, I have processed it enough to feel some relief. And when I am happy, the joy has to spill over through my keyboard or pen. And isn’t that what life is made of anyway…sadness and happiness…sorrow and joy?

Only those who have deeply felt sorrow can truly feel joy. And aren’t love and hate just centimeters apart? There’s not really such a great divide in our emotions–just a block or two. They just feel like Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, and sometimes I am so weary of it.

I am doing much better with my Collectibles booth at the indoor flea market. I have had more time to devote to it lately, and sales are up. (Of course, prices are down for that to happen. Grin.) Oh well…a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do, right?

Seriously, I have decided to add some jewelry to my inventory. That means purchasing locked jewelry cases, as theft is a huge risk in a flea market. Don’t you just hate thieves? Grrrrrr….

So, I’ve purchased 2 medium-sized countertop locking jewelry cases, and also some lovely black velvet display pieces, so that the shine of the jewelry will really “pop.” The cases were ordered via the Internet, and are hopefully on their way. I thought that I  might sell Sorrelli jewelry in one, and Vintage and Fine Jewelry in the other. Lord knows if it will sell, but one lady there is having quite a bit of success with Sorrelli. Sorrelli said there are no additional openings for dealers in this area of the country, so my inventory will have to come from auctions, or other sites that sell Sorrelli. Sometimes I win an auction at a very good price on Ebay, so we will see how that goes.  It will fit right in with my Victorian feel–teacups, teapots, beautiful glassware, and lovely small treasures. (Yes, I know…I’m truly trying to get the “flea market mentality” and forcing myself to throw in some “junk” here and there, as long as it doesn’t ruin the ambience I’ve got going. LOL!) I had been in antique malls for so many years, so it’s difficult for me to grasp the trash to treasure concept, but I am making the effort. You sure can’t sell items at antique mall prices in a flea market, but this is the best place to be right now in our small town, as the owner does advertise and has a year round clientele, not just a tourist season one. So that helps. It seems that when he gets the people in there, I am able to make sales. Think there could be some correlation? (Smile.)

I have also been packing (at a snail’s pace) for another getaway to the ocean. We are going back to the area we visited for Christmas. It is only a 2 1/2 hour drive, and we had a house right on the beach. This time we have rented one where the ocean almost comes up under the house.  (I say this bravely, though it is my husband who is thrilled about that part. I just hope I don’t get seasick. Well, there’s always Dramamine I guess.)  I will write and let you know how it goes while I am there. We are planning to go now at the end of March, then again in September, and also at Christmas. (I’ve never gotten Rob to get away this much ever.) I know he really likes the fact that he doesn’t have to drive so far, or that we don’t have to fly.

And somewhere in there, we are also going to Portland, Oregon. He has an adoption seminar he has to attend, and we are hoping to spend some extra days there, as we have heard that the mountains and the coast are very beautiful. However, he is usually exhausted after those meetings, so I don’t know how good we’ll actually feel after that. (But we will hope for the best.)

I almost never got to travel with him before anywhere, as there was first Chelsea to care for, and then my mom. Once in a while a friend kept Chelsea while we went to the mountains, but that was at the most, once a year. So there is something wonderful to be said about the freedom we now have for the first time in our lives. We are so not used to it. And it seems that it is important to separate yourself from home at times. Just a change of scene can be therapeutic.

So that’s all for tonight. I think you could say that I am feeling a little brighter, and a lot more hopeful. I will try desperately to hang onto that feeling for as long as I can.

Yes, it’s a positive thing to be dreaming and making plans…

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A sharp pain echoes through my heart

Before the tears begin to fall.

And in the darkness of my room

I cry.

For everything that’s ever hurt me-

And all the things that ever will,

Alone in the blackness-

I cry.

And the tears become sobs

And the sobs become screams

And the screams become prayers-

That I cry.

Are Your arms wide enough-

Is Your love strong enough-

To comfort this child

When I cry?

Let me hear Your gentle words

Let me feel Your presence here.

Let me know I’m not alone-

As I cry.

But You are strangely silent

And I feel no arms around me

As I call out Your name

And I cry.

I wail until my heart is empty-

Till crystal pain no longer flows.

And fall asleep among the teardrops-

That I cried.

Your angels sang a lullaby-

Your gift of tears- a sweet release,

And You were with me all the while

I cried.            

Lonnette Harrell

Last night I cried, because I thought about my mother, as I often do. I know she must be sinking farther and farther into dementia, and I can’t do anything about it. I love her and miss her, and I wish things had ended differently. (But I guess she made her choice also.) I wish I could comfort her, in that far-away place she now dwells. How can you be angry with someone who is now probably like a confused child?

I cry because I remember her fear of dementia, and her fear of having to live that way. I cry because I tried so hard to care for her and please her, and she called me hateful names (while she was still in her right mind.) I cry because I’ve always loved her, and I just wanted her to love me back.

I cry because I wish that I could soothe her fears, and I can’t. All of this is progressing so rapidly, and I could see it plainly awhile back. We were told that it would not get better. I knew that her care needs were more than I could handle anymore, and I was already 3 1/2 years into total exhaustion, and sick myself. There should be no shame in saying that I could not continue on as I was. I simply could not. I knew that I was going to die.  But my brother didn’t get it. Now maybe he will.

How frightening it must be, to be trapped in your very physically ill body, losing your mind. It seems like some kind of cruel nightmare, that has no ending. She was so afraid of becoming like the people we saw in the halls of the nursing home (where she was for 5 1/2 months of rehab.) I always reassured her, and tried to help her through her confusion, and prayed that it would pass. It really accelerated after her hip surgery. She was never really the same after that, and we were warned by the Ortho doctor that many elderly people are affected that way by the anesthesia.

And now I can’t get to her. She might as well be in a castle with a drawbridge and a moat, instead of a small house in a small town with my angry brother, and a caregiver. She’s isolated. She probably wouldn’t want to see me anyway.

And I could not go back without becoming totally involved in her care, and I am not physically able to do that anymore. I have been very sick lately, and I just can no longer take the stress of her care, or of her emotional treatment of me. 

That is why she was so much better off in the Assisted Living, where she could get socialization, food she loved, and medical assistance and supervision.  There was a Memory Care Unit there as well, if she needed it later on. But my brother was determined to bring her home, and now he is probably overwhelmed as well. (You cannot possibly know what it is like to care for all her needs until you’ve done it. I could not keep up anymore, and the stress of it all was killing me.) I needed help desperately.

I can only reach her through my prayers. I ask God to comfort her, and strengthen her. I ask Him to take care of her, as I no longer can. I ask Him to soften her heart towards me, and let her memories be of our happy times together (and there were quite a few, in spite of our problems.) I ask God to tell her I love her.

But when I can’t take the pain in my heart anymore, I cry…

Well this will be a popourri of news updates, if I have any readers left, after my prolonged (but necessary) absence. I am feeling quite a bit better, though still weak and battling a few symptoms. Some of the most worrisome ones are the side effects of the 2nd antibiotic. I was down to the last 2 pills. I took one of them, and about 3 hours later, in the bend of the elbow, I started swelling  just above the joint. It became very tender, and the other side was tender also, though not as swollen. I was already experiencing some discomfort just above the  back of the knee joint on the right side. It started a few days into the Avelox, and never really resolved itself.  So, being quite a bit concerned, I opted NOT to take the last pill. I wasn’t too worried, since I had already had 7 days of Clarithromycin, and 9 days of Avelox (a quinolone.) The Avelox also made me dizzy (enough that I couldn’t drive) and it gave me a dull headache. Quinolones are associated with some serious ruptured tendon issues, as well as central nervous system side effects. And, as I mentioned before, they seem to be the only drugs my doctor is familiar with.  (LOL!) The Clarithromycin was given by an ER doctor. At any rate, I haven’t had my follow-up appointment yet–it’s later this month. I suffered one whole day of nausea and extreme dizziness after stopping the drug. It was horrible, but by the next day, I was better. I know that when you have an upper respiratory infection, you can develop secondary infections, and inner ear problems that can cause dizziness as well.

The latest news on Chelsea, is that Rob contacted her birth dad (per her request), who was very quiet on the phone. He wasn’t all that excited to be contacted, but Chelsea called him a couple of days later, and at least made a connection of her own. She found out that she has a 16 year old half brother, who apparently didn’t know about her. I assume that at some point, she will visit where they live in Kansas, though there are no plans at this time. (The whole thing was decidedly anti-climatic after the fiasco with her mom this past Christmas.) She seemed a little disappointed that he wasn’t more excited to hear from her, but I think if you consider the past situation, and that he divorced her mom before Chelsea was placed for adoption, then it is clear that he was never very involved in her life from the start. So we’ll see how this one goes. Only time will tell.

Rob had to go over to my mom’s to have her sign some papers for him to resign as POA. He had been working on resolving some Medicaid issues for her, from her time in the nursing home, and needed  the POA until that was finished. He was able to show my brother that I had already resigned in early November. (I just wanted out quickly.) He said that he got a cool reception from my brother, and that my mother was angry and rather snarly-(my word.) He stated that she did not seem happy at all. I assume that her life is vastly different without me in it. I took her shopping, out to eat, and all her doctor appointments, as well as anywhere else she wanted or needed to go. Now I assume the lady who watches her during the day is responsible for those things, while my brother is at work. I don’t really know, but after hearing how they treated Rob, it answers a lot of questions. I figured that if she ever thought of me, it was probably in anger, and that is most likely the case.  I guess they deserve each other-two angry and tormented people. Still, I pray for them, and pray that I will be able to forgive somehow all the hurt that they have caused. Every day gets a little better, and I get a little stronger emotionally. I’m moving on with my life, little by little, and I’m grateful for simple victories.

Another update-my collectibles indoor flea market booth is doing a LOT better, now that I finally have had some time to devote to it. I made a profit both January and February (after paying my rent), and the owner is quite satisfied with that. I have really worked to keep the booth stocked, and looking nice. (I honestly think I would pay to do it, as I enjoy it all so much. I love shopping for merchandise, and decorating the booth, and displaying things. I call my business “Ribbons and Roses.” ) It’s just a small booth, but you would be surprised how much it can hold! It is something that is fun for me, and a great escape from stress.

I’ve been doing lots of freelance writing for pay, and that has kept me very busy. Hey, I’m getting rich and have no time to spend it. (Just kidding.) I’m not getting rich by any means, but it does provide me with some extra spending money, which I greatly enjoy! And it provides me with more writing experience all the time, which looks good on a resume. I just enjoy writing, and always have. To be paid for it is a terrific bonus!

I hope to start writing in my blog more often again, now that I’m feeling better. For now, that’s my life, and I feel a greater urgency than ever to truly start living it…