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Category Archives: living

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…


Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams.

Ashley Smith


Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.

Maria Robinson



Today I chose two quotes, because they both speak of making the most of your life right now. They’re about living in the present moment, and breathing in all that life has to offer. As the Maria Robinson quote says, we can’t really change the “Once upon a time…” part. But we can change the “And then…”

Life is precious or people wouldn’t fight so hard for it. Think of all the people in the world fighting to live–engaged in a battle against cancer or some other disease. They are willing to go through a lot just to have one more day. One more day with their loved ones, one more day to sing and dance and laugh and cry. And most of us just take it all for granted.

Yes, life is complicated; life is messy. You can’t jump in its mud without getting dirty. But then there are those refreshing showers of grace that wash over us, and those moments (just moments) when all is right with the world. God must have put that will to live within us–the determination to fight for our time here on earth. As we get older, we begin to wonder where the time went. Didn’t we have the rest of our lives to do all those things? To say the things we needed to say? And then someone close to us dies, and we realize that there are no guarantees at any age. We truly only have this moment–this priceless, never to be had again moment. What will we do with it?

This generation is one of the first to have children still at home, and aging, sickly parents to care for. Until our daughter moved out recently, I fit into that category. My stepdad (who was like my father, since age 7) suddenly died, almost 3 years ago, from complications of triple bypass surgery, and it was a horrendous way to go. (On a ventilator, gasping for breath, unconscious and unable to communicate, for the most part.) And all we could do was be there day after day, praying that he wouldn’t die, but feeling woefully certain that he was going to. (And sadly, he did.)

At that moment, I lost myself. No, actually I lost myself about 16 years ago when I adopted a beautiful 3 year old daughter. It was not at all what I had imagined, but I learned some of the greatest lessons of my life, and suffered some of the deepest pain. It was never easy or comfortably predictable, but I gave her my love and my life.

I thought that perhaps I would now retrieve it (my life, that is), but silly me, I should have known that life was going to throw me another crazy curve ball, and it certainly did. Suddenly I was more or less responsible for my mother. I thought that I was responsible for her happiness, and for keeping her alive. It was an awesome burden to bear, and I finally had to learn that I could not give her immortality or happiness. Her length of life would depend on God, and her happiness had to come from within. I really struggled with that, and almost drove myself crazy for a couple of years, until my body pleaded with me to give the job back to the Lord, or die myself. I reluctantly at first, (and then with great relief) surrendered my cargo, and a great deal of my anxiety. It felt good not to be God, and to just be myself again.

I came to terms with the fact that when my mom does die, she says she is ready. She still wants to live on her own, and even if it is risky, it would be my wish also. (She is an insulin dependent diabetic, who sometimes goes low.) The sorrow I carried for her, at the loss of my dad, was so heavy that I almost could not think of her without getting a piercing ache in my heart. (Often, I still do.) And having gone through all that with her, it did leave me with fears of my own, which I continually have to battle, and try and shake off.

So that brings us to the topic once again. Life–such a gift, such a treasure–and we throw so much of it away. So many days spent angry at things that have no significance, worried about things that rarely happen, and procrastinating about truly living our life.

The first quote says to “fight for your dreams.” Fight for them. It doesn’t matter how old you are. You have a dream. Don’t pack it away in an old, musty suitcase. Take it out, and shine it up, and fight for it. Modify it if you have to, but keep on dreaming it. Don’t lose yourself in the monotony of everyday living. Be unselfish and giving, but take care of yourself also. How can any of us give what we don’t possess? We have to find that place within that is real and genuine. The place that validates our uniqueness, in a dime-a-dozen world. Express who you are in writing, in singing, in dancing, in art, in fashion, in poetry, in style, and in your surroundings. You are a gift, and a gift needs to be opened, in order to be enjoyed. Open yourself to life’s possibilities and opportunities.

Find the beauty, and not just the beast. (Or find the beauty in the beast.) Don’t stifle your personality, don’t hide your light, and don’t conform to things that take away your ingenuity. Be creative, be childlike, and be a seeker on a journey. If others won’t dance to your song, dance by yourself. But never give up dancing.

It’s true that you cannot change your “Once upon a time…”, but you can start today, and make it a happy ending…

Please see other articles that I have written here:




Lonnette Harrell

I was listening to a song tonight that said “there are two kinds of trouble in this world–living and dying.” Somehow it struck me to the core.

Dying seems like a horrible option. I don’t care how long we’ve lived, or how much we’ve suffered, the struggle to let go of this life cannot be an easy one. The life force is so strong, that we will go through many things, in hopes of staying alive.

I remember reading Tuesdays With Morrie, and thinking how much Morrie fought to remain on this earth, when almost every pleasure had been taken from him, and he was able to do nothing more than lie in bed. Yet he lived every moment of his slow death. Having once been a professor, he continued to teach a favorite past student. But the lessons weren’t the textbook variety. They were life lessons. Lessons about how to live, and how to die.

Many of us don’t learn these lessons until we are actually dying. But then it’s too late to go back and redo the story. It is what it is.

Here’s a novel concept–what if you were to live like you were dying? How would your life be different?

Most of us have been there momentarily, when we’ve gotten bad news. Not long ago, I was told that I could have kidney cancer. Many days passed before the test.  And then there was the actual day of the kidney x-ray, with the contrast material. Then once again, many days passed waiting for an answer. Waiting, and waiting, and waiting for the results. In a way, life came to a standstill while I waited. But I was doing a lot of thinking.

Maybe you’ve been through something similar. Suddenly all the things that seemed so important–aren’t, and all the things that didn’t–are. Petty arguments are of no consequence, and money and material possessions don’t mean a thing.

What really matters is faith, family, and friends. You don’t have time to guess about whether you’re right with God anymore. You have to know. You have to be sure. And those people that you thought you’d always be with (for many years in the future) become closer to your heart with every passing moment, and leaving them seems painfully impossible. Good friends become the support you need with reassurance, comfort and prayers. (And it’s then that you really learn who your friends are.)

Somewhere along the way, it crosses your mind that your life could really be over, and you wonder what you’ve accomplished. Did you live for the Lord, and to love and help others? Did you make a difference in anyone’s life? Was there a reason that you were here?

Some people never think on these things until they are dying, or someone close to them dies.

Funerals are sad events, but people are probably never more open to receiving the Lord, as they become in those moments, because they are forced to decide if they believe in an afterlife, heaven, hell, Jesus, eternal life, salvation, seeing loved ones again, etc. In this busy world, minus a tragedy, many people aren’t going to stop and focus on the purpose of their life–because they are so busy living it. It was John Lennon who said, “Life is what happens to you, while you’re busy making other plans.”

I have had a loved one taken from me unexpectedly. (Several in fact.) At that moment, you are shaken to the depths. You would give anything to have one more day, and most of the time, so would they. But the final chapter on earth ends, and it’s over. (Ready or not.)

It turns out that I did not have kidney cancer, and I can tell you that the sky looked bluer, and the sun shone brighter the day that I received the good news. But I began to think of all the people that don’t get good news–the ones who had been waiting, just like I was. (But they were not as fortunate in their diagnosis.) It happens every day.

So what’s my point? I think you know by now. It comes down to this–how would life be different, if we would all live like we were dying?…

Please read other articles that I have written here: