Tag Archive | unselfish love

Woke by a Thud

The worst way to wake up from a good night’s sleep for me is to hear my dear husband fall. Through this MS experience, Ken has become a falling expert. So far, he hasn’t hurt himself except for developing a few bruises. But this morning, I found him on his belly, hips balancing precariously on the first step leading to the basement, arms out-stretched on steps three and four, while his legs lay in the back hall.

I thought for a few seconds how I was going to get him safely on the landing, and the only answer seemed to be to tell him to push with his arms while I pulled on his legs. Long story short — I rescued him. This time.

I’ve cautioned him a zillion times not to go near the basement steps, but the MS has formed lesions on his decision-making part of the brain, and he believes he can accomplish tasks he really shouldn’t take on in the first place. Today may have done the trick. I think he scared himself silly and will be less apt to attempt any activity which involves being any where near the back hall.

These kind of experiences first scare me and then frustrate me. My sadness comes from the ever-changing dynamics in our marriage, making me more of a caregiver than a wife. But what’s a person to do? I guess the only answer is to live in the present, try not to think of the past, and not anticipate the future. Yeah. That’s what I’ll do once I can breathe again.

*****

APPLE PIE AND STRUDEL GIRLS – BOOK 1 1936-1938

Chapter 8

Berlin, German -1937—Heidi Schiller considered herself the black sheep of her family because her fair complexion and blond hair set her apart from her three siblings with dark hair and eyes. Heidi stood almost five feet tall, and she carried herself like a graceful bird in flight when she walked. Her dreams of becoming a ballerina and dance on the biggest stages of Europe kept her busy. When she danced, an exciting stimulating current moved through her body. As she moved her body to the notes of classical music, her spirit soared to heights she wanted to keep forever.  Best of all she realized audiences sat breathless as she floated across the stage like a fragile butterfly.

Her parents wanted her to travel the regular journey of a girl–to marry, keep house, and give birth to healthy children, which was a world away from what Heidi wanted for herself. Her world centered on dance. Even now at age sixteen she never bothered thinking about boys. The boys her age stayed focused on the expanding army while they dreamed of serving Germany. Heidi found their political talk nauseating.

Her sweet personality endeared her to her father, but her shyness frustrated him. He usually caught Heidi curled up with a book in some corner of the house when she should be attending parties with her schoolmates.

Heidi held no realistic visions after completing her secondary education. Her parents made it abundantly clear dancing needed to be left in her past and she should quit dreaming about such a frivolous future.  When the pressure of her future got too much, Heidi ran into the woods and danced among the trees. How could she ever forget about dancing when this art filled her soul?

 

Book Two

1939

Chapter 1

Berlin, Germany – April 1939—Leisel invited Heidi and Marta to help her shop for a special outfit for the Fuhrer’s fiftieth birthday celebration. Heidi loved beautiful clothes as much as her friends, but such frivolous purchases didn’t fit into the family budget. Instead she encouraged Leisel and Marta while they selected pretty dresses, shoes, and hats for the Nazi party. Heidi only bought new hair ribbons. Over a lunch of bratwurst and potato salad at the Hoffbrau Haus they rested their aching feet and tried to guess what the special birthday party would offer.

“Marta, I just love the dress you bought; that blue suit brings out the color in your eyes.” Leisel commented and added. “Heads will turn when you walk by.”

Marta teased. “No. Boys will only look at you. We are only dust in the wind.”

Leisel blushed. “I can’t help I am beautiful.” She tossed her head back and laughed. “Perhaps you girls should get your heads out of the clouds and get serious about finding a beau. Heidi your parents will never allow you to dance as a ballerina, and Marta you are just as bad wanting to become an artist. You must realize our fates are set in stone. Why torture yourselves with such dreams?”

“What are your dreams, Leisel?” Marta turned the tables.

“My Vater will not allow anything but marriage. He informed me he intended to choose my husband.”

Marta persisted. “But if you dreamed of the most wonderful future in the world, what would you like to do when you graduate secondary school?”

“I would become a teacher. No. A professor at the university. As long as we are dreaming, I may as well make my non-existent plans large, ja?” She laughed.

Marta never heard Leisel be serious about a career. “What would you teach?”

Leisel waited before she answered. “I would teach mathematics. No. astronomy. I wonder what is beyond earth in the stars. I wonder how the sun continues to burn keeping a whole planet inhabitable. Yes. Astronomy. I would choose astronomy.”

Marta and Heidi sat stunned.

Marta said, “You must go to university, Leisel. You would make a grand professor.”

“And how would I so such a thing? My Vater would rather die than encourage a girl to rise to such heights. Even if he condoned my studies, only men get into the university.”

“You must think of a way.” Marta encouraged her. “Women go to university. What about Ida Noddack, the chemist who co-discovered rhenium?”

“Why should I dream of such things, Marta? It is impossible to change my Vater’s mind about anything.”

“Or how about Emmy Noether the mathematician?”

“Marta, please stop. I admit some women are exceptions to the rule, but we all realize only men are professors. If I possessed the stamina to travel such a lofty track, I would only become a bitter unfulfilled woman. I am content to accept reality and be happy about marriage and children.” Her tone showed an element of defeat.

“You are so brainwashed, Leisel!” Marta blurted. “Why should men deem our destiny?” She realized her voice and grown loud.  She softened her tone and added. “I guess we all look at the future in different ways.”

Heidi remained silent. She would never let go of her dream of dancing. As the other two girls pictured their non-existent futures, she pictured herself floating across the national stage as a world famous ballerina.

Marta sat silent, too. She vowed she would not let her father quash her dreams no matter what.

*****

The Fuhrer’s birthday party started on the afternoon of April nineteenth and continued for a couple of days. Throngs of his followers lined the streets with flaming torches to light the way for their charismatic leader. People screamed as a cavalcade of fifty white limousines brought the Fuhrer into the city. The motorcade traveled a four-mile route to a newly built boulevard which became the central thoroughfare to Hitler’s new capital of “Germania.”

The parade traveled to the Reich Chancellery, Hitler’s residence in Berlin. He appeared in a window and saluted the crowd below. Leisel didn’t understand why he appeared with no expression. If she thought people wanted to celebrate her in such a flamboyant way, she would be waving with great enthusiasm.

Marta concluded Hitler seemed bored. She didn’t understand why most people screamed with hysteria. She thought he clearly viewed himself above all others.

Because Leisel’s father secured invitations for his daughter and her friends, the three girls went inside the Chancellery to attend the ball after the parade. The girls strolled into the grand ballroom to witness hundreds of gifts piled on tables around the periphery of the room. A twelve-foot high model of a huge triumphal arch designed by Albert Speer sat as the centerpiece in the room. Everyone attending the party got a sneak peak of the architect’s dream of the future.

The over-the-top affair took Leisel’s breath away, and she realized she would carry this special night with her for the rest of her life.

A handsome Nazi officer approached Leisel and bowed. “Frauline, will you dance with me?”

Leisel extended her hand, winked at Marta, and took the hand of the boy. He whisked her away twirling to a Strauss waltz.

Marta’s aristocratic beauty attracted a good-looking young man asking her to dance, but she refused saying she didn’t want to leave her friend Heidi alone. Heidi longed to sway to the beautiful waltzes, but in her plain-looking house dress, no boy approached her all evening.

*****

A bigger spectacle took place the next day on April 20th–the Fuhrer’s actual birthday. Huge tanks, trucks, and half-tracks drove by the crowds. Fifty flag bears escorted goose-stepping Wehrmacht soldiers in straight lines. Leisel put her hand over her heart as the new country flag of red with a black swastika passed by. Waves of the Luftwaffe flew in formation overhead. Hitler seemed more pleased with this show of military strength than the previous night’s events. As his car passed, he stood and saluted the crowd.

“Isn’t this parade the most exciting thing?” Leisel screamed as the most popular leader in Europe went by.

Heidi and Marta nodded. No words could explain such a spectacle.

Since Hitler’s election as Chancellor, Germany took her place among the world’s greatest powers. New buildings and a system of roads named autobahns put people back to work throughout the country. People once again held their heads up with national pride. Down-trodden Germany was the past, and a new Germania emerged.  Hitler pulled Germany out of the deepest depression the world ever experienced and now life held promise for a prosperous future.

After the parade, Marta realized the show of military might positioned Hitler as a catalyst of impending catastrophe. She read accounts of the “Night of the Long Knives,” in the newspaper when Hitler executed leading members of the party to maintain his position. Under his instruction, a propaganda program designed to humiliate and dehumanize Jews grew up around Berlin. Posters and graffiti littered windows and the streets.  Many people laughed, but Marta felt ashamed because of her father’s involvement with the movement.

Marta believed a man like Hitler should never be celebrated.

 

 

A Happy Celebration

hugsToday I’m celebrating my 401st post on the Word Press site. When I told a friend that I had written so many posts, she replied, “You’re a wordy bitch, aren’t you?”

I answered, “You’re just realizing that now?’ Then we both laughed and went on to talk about the weather.

I must admit it has become harder to come up with something interesting nowadays than it was three years ago when I set out into the blogosphere. Then I was teaching at the local community college, designing and selling jewelry, and having fun painting–so one of those topics could inspire a conversation. Now, I primarily write and wonder what to write.

My inspiration doesn’t strike as often, but still makes an appearance from time to time. When it does, I try to pass it along to you. Like this morning when I watched my favorite CBS Sunday Morning program. This is the one 90 minutes of “news” I never miss. Today they presented a story about a man who suffers from ALS (Lou Gehring’s disease) and has dedicated the time he has left to bringing a smile to others and making them happy.

At first, he bought dozens of glazed donuts and went to chemo wards, children’s hospitals, parks, and other places where people might need a smile and he passed out his donuts. After he did that for a year, he put a challenge out to others to come up with creative ways to make strangers happy, send in a video of their project, and after a time he sponsored a premiere showing for those who rose to the challenge.

He made the celebration a night to remember with a red carpet going from the street to the theater where the show would be presented. He welcomed everyone in the audience and thanked them for their creativity. Then before the show started, he passed out — wait for it — donuts!

What a wonderful, feel good story, huh? I love to hear about people doing things just to make someone else’s life a bit better. I do try always to be thoughtful and giving, but sometimes I wish my creativity would lend itself to something as great as this. Just think how many smiles one man has given to the world. Incredible.

Here’s my advice. If you’ve read this complete post, go out there and do an act of kindness everyday. It can be as simple as smiling at someone and wishing them a good morning as you open the door for them. That’s not hard, right? And who knows, you might just turn around a crumby day to one that has a little joy in it because of a simple kindness.

We can all do that.

Getting out of “Dodge”

travelI hope some of you noticed I took a hiatus from blogging. Being missed by someone is a compliment, so I guess I’m also being presumptuous you’re glad I’ve returned.

Grounded No More,” my seventh historical novel has been keeping me away, but this morning I put the finishing touches on it to go to my editor. I so enjoy historical fiction. I love researching other time periods to catch a glimpse of the people who lived those years. I’ve zeroed in on the World War II era because I find the sacrifices and hardships people endured amazing. I enjoy how people faced their fears and carried on in the face of adversity–particularly the women who were expected to become someone else in a blink of an eye. Through propaganda campaigns, they entered the workforce in all kinds of jobs, including some very dangerous ones.

The other fact that has kept me away from blogging is personal. I’ve been soul searching for some answers. Being a caretaker impacts a person in ways you never expect. As you might imagine, Ken’s Multiple Sclerosis can be trying at times. I must continually remind myself what he does is the disease and not him, but sometimes I drown myself in something artistic to put down my emotions of losing him bit by bit.

The winter has kept us both in the house longer than usual, so I haven’t been outside to start my spring clean-up and plant my flowers. We’ve been together 24/7 for over three years, and I need a respite, but going on such a journey has turned into an overwhelming task.

Because Ken would rather stay home than go to a care center, the quest is more difficult. I need to find him a qualified person to provide 24-hour care. When I expressed my frustration with the woman who acts as our coordinator, she said she’d work with the nurse and help me get this done. I guess it helps to whine once in a while.

Another part of my challenge is myself. My heart needs to stay home, but my head realizes without a break sometime in the near future, I might snap. My patience will wane, and I’ll do or say something I will regret. I equate the emotion to putting my little girl on the bus for kindergarten, only this time I’m the little girl.

My ordeal now boils down to letting go. When I must release my hold on something or someone I love, I need to take small steps, so when a girlfriend invited me to go “up north” with her for a weekend, I could consider her offer. I realize baby steps will be best for both Ken and me, so we’ll muddle through this first short separation, and if things go well, perhaps then I can plan a trip to Florida to visit my dear friend Kay–which was my original intention when I began this respite quest. I’m simply not ready for such a long separation.

Ken and I are lucky.  Through our relationship of nineteen years, we enjoyed many wonderful trips together. Timeshares in different parts of the country. A couple of cruises. Weekend getaways in quaint Bed & Breakfast places or swanky hotels. I am thankful for all of the good times, but I’m sad we will probably never travel together like this again.

 

Who Misses Grocery Shopping?

grocery shoppingOur corner of the country is still in the grasp of this never-ending winter. Every night the weather man (who I am beginning to hate), forecasts colder than  normal temperatures and of course, snow. Yuck!

I’ve done my best to fight back with writing and painting, but honestly, the gray sights outside my window and the mounting bills of snow removal are getting to me. Enough already!

Ken and I have a fear of falling on the ice. I can’t pick him up. In fact, last week, I had to call 911 to get some help to pick him up off the floor after we struggled together for an hour. Having him fall outside would be tragic, and if I went down, we’d both be in hot soup.

So, winter has kept Ken and me in stasis. We work on our computers staring at each other across the room. He’s become a Spider Solitaire junkie as I entertain myself with reading, writing, and Candy Crush (as well as other FB games). To break this monotony we promised ourselves, on a good day we will leave these four walls at least once a week to enjoy a nice dinner/lunch together. . . even if we only go to Burger King.

Yesterday was our day.

Temperatures soared rose into the 20’s and off we went. It always amazes me a change of scenery has such a positive effect on both of us. In a restaurant we ponder over the menu to find that special dish that will send our taste buds into a happy place. We use our restaurant manners, putting napkins on our laps. We joke with our server. We take our time and make conversation about what is going  on around us. Best of all, when we are finished, there is nothing to clean up. We pay the check, put on our coats, and leave. Who would think such a simple outing would perk us up the way it does?

I share this snippet of our simple life as a reminder life can’t be taken for granted. Because life is in a constant state of flux, you never know what surprise waits for you around the corner. Ten years ago, Ken and I would meet for dinner after an exhausting work day because neither of us had the energy to go home and cook dinner. We would joke with a Greek owner of a family restaurant we were going to “let her cook” tonight. We satisfied our hunger and went home to “let it all hang out.” Going to a restaurant at this point in our lives was to fulfill a need; it was not a social event.

As Ken’s Multiple Sclerosis progresses, doing simple things have become exhausting for him. Taking a shower, getting dressed, and driving his wheel chair to the living room tires him. Having energy to go out and enjoy a meal has become rare.

As I watch him struggle everyday,  I wonder what will be left for us tomorrow and the next day. We have lost so many simple pleasures already. Even enjoying a hug and kiss has become difficult. Do you realize we used to enjoy grocery shopping together or going about our Saturday chores together? It strikes me funny I miss those simple activities. But I do.

If any of you learn anything from me by reading this blog, I hope you understand it is important to live in the present. Don’t take simple things like grocery shopping with your husband for granted. Make parties out of ridiculous things like “it’s Tuesday.”

Enjoy every minute even if you are in pain or feeling lonely. You’re present circumstances may be pleasant or miserable, but I assure you, they are temporary. Hopefully, the sun will come out for you tomorrow.  Find joy in every minute . . . no matter what.

The Best of Christmas Everyday

Christmas Party 007With Christmas just around the corner, I’m happy to share what a great life our time here can be. Even with all the hardships of Ken’s M. S., we still find joy in each other as we spend each day doing ordinary things. We are truly blessed with a wonderful family and a stable of faithful friends. Sometimes I wonder how we got so lucky.

Usually people count their blessings on Thanksgiving, but I do everyday. Ken’s wonderful family has sustained us through times when our car was repossessed, there were few groceries in our cupboard, and a pile of bills we didn’t know how we would ever pay. Ken’s Aunt Lil rallied the family together to pay for a beautiful wheelchair ramp our friend Scott Martyn built. Now we can get Ken’s power wheelchair out of the house and into the van that also miraculously came along this year.

Aunts Sharon, Lil, and Rita have sent us checks when we really needed the money. Our friends gathered together to clean our kitchen, which had gotten to the really yucky phase because my arthritis in my hip and knee doesn’t allow me to wash floors and walls any longer.  Then there’s Ken’s brother Steve who has treated us to many a meal out. And who can ever forget our Secret Santa who has sent us extravagant gift cards every year for the past four years.

Through the intervention of angels, we were put in touch with the ARDC which helped us learn about agencies that aid people like us who have fallen into a financial pit because of devastating illness and unemployment. Then there’s the people at Societies Assets who agreed we needed to move our laundry facilities upstairs. Again, Scott and his crew stepped in and built us a beautiful laundry room that will save so many agonizing steps. There’s also the support of the IRIS people who have provided us with Kaitlin who guides us through the government bureaucracy.

This year has been one of learning how to accept help. For a couple of baby boomers, this is a hard lesson because for so many years we’ve stood on our own two feet, not needing such help. For some, accepting help is a lesson in humility. For me, it has been a blessing. I’ve learned to how to say thank you in so many ways.

Even though these trials have come along, so has the opportunity to focus my energy into producing stories and novels. Needless to say, these years of hardship have also been wonderful for my writing career. Teaching basic grammar has strengthened my writing and also given me satisfaction of reaching one or two students. This blog is my 368th post, and slowly, I’ve been able to spread my words and phrases across the world. It is my hope that I give hope and inspiration to other writers, along with a few laughs and joys to others who just enjoy reading what I have to say.

My wish is that everyone reading this post will find happiness inside. Then share that happiness with a friend, a family member, or even a complete stranger because it’s through everyone of us God works his miracles. And believe me, they do exist.

Tragedy Gives You A Choice

writingThis week I gave my class a writing assignment which asked them to discuss an instance how a personal tragedy turned into a strength. Most of them were having trouble with the writing assignment because they couldn’t come up with an example. They’re too young to have “hit the wall,” and worst of all, they have no idea how they will act when personal tragedy strikes.

If I had to write this assignment, I would tell the story of “Barbie and Ken” in middle age. I’d walk my reader through how we’ve worked together with the help of friends and family to face a few “biggies” with a smile.

When Ken’s health turned bad in 2000, neither of us cried. Instead, we looked at his cancer diagnosis as a project that needed to be managed. He faced the pain and suffering of the disease, as I stood by his bedside as his advocate, making sure good decisions were made for his care. Our friends stood by both of us with support and visits. One woman in our church group arranged a committee to take transportation issues off of my shoulders. She helped get Ken to his intensive chemotherapy. His infusions went on for five days, lasting about four hours everyday. This course of treatment was done every third week for four months.

After his diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis in 2006, I was told his memory loss was worse than many Alzheimer’s patients, and for the first time in our life together, I cried. Somehow, I got through the cancer without tears, but this load was too heavy. Once again my dear husband had to face a tough battle, but the effects of this war would endure forever. But somehow, we both got it together as the diagnosis set in, and once again we reshaped our lives to deal with the cards we were dealt. He had to learn how to be alone all day, while I went to work. He decided to handle the household chores, so we could have our weekends together to do some fun things. I had to assume the outside duties of grass cutting and weed pulling.

It wasn’t until 2009 that things got really tough. I lost my job, and little did I know this was the beginning of my “retirement.” I was too young in years to really retire with parties and fond farewells. Instead, I faded into oblivion. The economy was in the tank, and nobody wanted or needed a person my age around any  more. But once again, Ken and I pulled together with the help of our supportive friends and family, and somehow we saw our way through three years without enough money, creditors calling, and days filled with each other 24/7.

Now as his MS progresses,  he needs me home all of the time. Am I ready for this? Probably not, but I’m making the necessary changes.  I’ve decided to stop teaching to become his caretaker–both jobs are too much.

Yesterday was our first experience with this group called “Harmony Club.” Ken was the youngest guy in the group and probably the most handicapped of all of them, but everyone welcomed him with open arms, and I could leave him, knowing he was in good hands. I went to one of my favorite breakfast places and enjoyed an omelet, while enjoyed watching people go about their daily business downtown.

I guess the point of this discussion is to say no matter what happens in life, everyone has a choice. You can whine about how the world has done you wrong, or you can look at what has happened and be creative. Finding new ways of doing things can be fun. Discovering new abilities is exciting. I finally had a chance to let out my creative side through producing novels, paintings, and jewelry–all of which people tell me they enjoy. Perhaps my novels won’t make the best seller list, and my paintings are not museum quality, but all of these endeavors is an outlet for my many emotions.

It takes strength and creativity to face disappointments in life with a smile, and if you’re lucky you’ll have a support system to carry you when you think you can’t go on. If you  must have a pity party, make it a short one. Then go and defy the disappointment bully and punch him/her in the hose. You’ll feel better for it!

Out With The Old

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

I’ve taken a few days away from the blog to do some serious furniture shopping. I’m happy to say, after a few trips to various stores, I found a sofa and a recliner to compliment Ken’s lift chair and our pug boy Ernie.

I think the saleswoman thought I was a little nuts when I told her my criteria for a sofa. I specified the sofa had to be comfortable enough for a night of insomnia and wide enough for me and, of course, Ernie.

After going through four books of swatches, I decided upon a gray fabric with a thin black line to add some texture. Best of all, the soft fabric is polyester, so it will wear well for an animal’s feet.

The chair? It isn’t part of a sofa set, instead, it’s an automatic recliner. (That means you plug in the chair and push a button instead of having to pull a crank.) The chair is upholstered in solid polyester fabric that looks like suede, so again, it’s Ernie-proof.

For all of you who are not dog and cat lovers, you might think this kind of shopping is crazy, but for Ken and I, we are just compensating for our “kids.” Our animals are part of the family and both Ernie and Vinnie have run of the house. We haven’t restricted them from jumping on the furniture simply because we love them sitting beside us when we plop down for a night of television. Stroking their soft, silky fur lowers our blood pressure and makes us feel cozy. Neither of them are good conversationalists, but they always listen when we talk to them. Who could ask for better friends?

So, now all we have to do is wait eight to ten weeks to have the manufacturer build our sofa to our specifications. The chair, however, will be arriving tomorrow between one and three o’clock in the afternoon. I just hope when we put my “writing chair” out on the curb, my muse won’t go with it.

 

The Best & Worst on the Same Day

Do you remember that famous quote, “It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.”?  Charles Dickens sure could turn a phrase, couldn’t  he? At the very least, he summed up my experience last week.

Last Wednesday, I confessed I celebrated a milestone birthday. I also confessed I’m a big kid about my birthday, and I pout when my friends and family ignore my big day. I also told you my friends are sweet enough to indulge me with great food, laughs and of course, presents. All of this happened last week—all week.

The worst of times concerns how Ken felt most of the week. He suffered debilitating fatigue from the damn MS. Most everyday he was unable to walk from the kitchen to the living room, which was heartbreaking because we live in a small 1100 square foot bungalow. We both planned to celebrate my birthday by enjoying lunch at Red Lobster, one of our favorite restaurants. But when July 31st rolled around, the poor guy was too weak to go.

He collapsed in the hallway after he struggled to get dressed, and I couldn’t help him get up. He was dead weight and even when my daughter Sarah tried to help us, we were unable to get him up off of the floor and onto the sofa. So, he lay in the hallway insisting Sarah, Joyce and I go off and leave him home.

The last thing I wanted to do was leave, I had been through this scenario several times before, and I knew in about thirty minutes he would regain enough strength to move to a more comfortable place, but I wanted to stay with him. He almost got angry with me when I said, “Let’s go another time.” He gave me a look that said, “Just go!”

As I drove to the restaurant, I wanted to turn around and go back home. I didn’t feel like celebrating anything without him, but I knew he’d be more upset if I went home. He would think his sickness once again put a damper on my good time. What he didn’t realize is, when he’s not able to enjoy the outing with me, I don’t have a good time either.

This birthday was the first time in almost twenty years we were apart. Up until recent years, Ken always made a special effort to make me feel special on my day, and now he can’t. He can’t drive to a store, shop for a gift, make dinner reservations, and take me out. His decline has made him dependent on others, and that’s a hard pill to swallow for both of us, but it was especially painful on my  birthday.

If you learn anything from me, take this away: Don’t take anything for granted. Be thankful for what you have and who loves you.  Appreciate people you love and tell them often how much they mean to you. Tell them you are a better person because they have wanted to be part of your life. Believe me when I say, the only sure thing in life is CHANGE, and I guarantee someday your traditions will fade, and you will end up apart from the person you love–and maybe it will be on your birthday.

The Human Connection

handsDo you ever wonder why you connect with one person and not another? Why do we develop friendships and associations with certain people and not with others? What makes such a thing happen, and more so, why do some relationships last a lifetime and others don’t?

Some short-term relationships can be beneficial and help you grow in a direction you want to pursue, while other relationships are with people who journey with you for a lifetime,  allowing you to express your talents and gifts and meet you on a deeper level.

Some people believe it’s simple chemistry which brings us together. I like to think meeting your soul mate or a friend who is closer than blood, is more than some chemical reaction. Wouldn’t it make sense if relationships are just a chemical reaction, they eventually peter out?

Some people believe we are attracted to other people based on the energy they radiate.  I think we can all agree that we operate on some kind of internal electricity, right? So, it makes sense when a person’s “vibe” is the kind of energy we want to acquire, we feel a strong attraction to them. Just being with them helps us adjust our energy so we can learn and grow from them to make changes in our own lives.

The result is this: relationships with other people is a reflection of the relationship you have with yourself.  If you are troubled, your relationships with others will be troubled. If you are “in tune” to your true self, you will have friends who are like you, enrich you, and connect with you.

With the death of my father and my dear sister-in-law in the past month, I have been thinking about the life beyond our conscious life.  I’m not sure if I believe in reincarnation, but I do like the concept. To think that we travel one life after another with people we love is a wonderful idea, especially after losing a person we dearly love. Knowing we never have to say goodbye forever is comforting. The idea we will go to some heavenly place after death free of pain and care to be reunited with people who went before us is also comforting. I surely hope it is true.

I need to believe my life has a purpose. I am on a journey to improve my soul on the way to enlightenment–where I understand the truths of this life and beyond. Perhaps I am more Buddhist than I know.  I do think the journey we all are experiencing is to try to heal personal wounds and  find peace inside. We must learn to love who we are, and then no matter where the journey takes us, the right people will show up and then we will never travel alone again.

 

What to do When You’ve Been Evicted

The July 4th holiday week(end) is over. The flags flew. The parades went past. The picnic food has been devoured.  The fireworks blasted into the night sky. Now it’s time to endure the rest of the long, hot summer.

Our after the 4th celebration began by being “evicted” from our home on Saturday. A group of our friends and family have formed an “Share the Care” organization, and on July 6th, they came to do some heavy-duty cleaning in my not-so-clean kitchen. I am a great cook, but a poor housekeeper. Somehow I attract dust, dirt, and clutter and have no burning desire to do much about it. I can be quite sure I will never receive the “Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval.”

On the outside of the house, the gutters were full of leaves and debris which should have been cleared last fall, but I am unable to climb a ladder to clear the stuff — so, like the kitchen, the crap built up. My dear friend Dave and his wife Terry worked all day in the Saturday heat to get the job done.

How do I thank such generosity and hard work?  How do I ever even the score? How can I ever return the favor?

The answer is, I can’t. At least not right now. I can only say “Thank You” and let them all know how much I appreciate their hard work to help us. I can be thankful they love us enough to give up a Saturday to help Ken and I keep our house in working order. Being on the receiving end of such unselfish love is a blessing.

And what did Ken and I do during our eviction? Well, we enjoyed breakfast together at a restaurant, gassed up the car, and faced the holiday traffic to go to Chicago to wish our nephews congratulations after their graduation milestones. We ate too much and laughed even more, as we shared the afternoon with the McCloskey Clan. All-in-all a great way to end the holiday weekend.

And now, like everybody else, it’s back to work.  Today it’s “Subordinating Conjunctions” and a review of Prepositional Phrases. Color me excited.