Wednesday, January 29, 2014


As a child, I was no stranger to loss. People seemed to leave my life for various reasons, be it death, relocating or what. Often when meeting someone new, I would not bother to remember their name for even just a few moments. Because I knew that I would never see them again. Therefore, I was always very unattached. I would often make up stories in my head about friends that I had once known. I'm certain that my stories were much better than whatever the truth might be. One thing that was always true was that they are gone. And I will never see them again.
As I sat in the uncomfortable vinyl padded chair in the nursing home, I knew this loss would be different. I sat there every day for several months. The first couple of months, I thought there was hope. That hope eventually gave way to a new hope. A hope that the suffering would soon be over. I sat by my mother's side night and day. Some of my siblings would trade off with me for a while so I could get some rest or go off to work overnight. But I would be back as soon as I could. I had made a promise that I would be there for her no matter what.
I was angry. Angry at the doctors that had misdiagnosed her condition for the last couple of years. Angry that they had caused her to drag around oxygen tanks and take medications that did nothing for what was going on inside her frail body. Angry that all the while, her condition was worsening and now she was in the one place she always told me she never wanted to be. When it was clear that she was to the point of no return, I found out what it really means to have medical power of attorney for someone that does not want life support. It was time to sign the papers that cleared the nursing home from any liability for her death. I signed the death papers for the woman that gave me life.
Working in the business that I do, everyone expected me to be the strong one. I was. I have been. I'll try to continue to put on a strong face. It's not that she is gone or that I can't call her up and ask her silly questions. I'm quite used to that part of someone leaving. What bothers me most is the helpless look in her eyes as she knew what the future held. Her whimpered cries for her mama that had died when my mother was only twenty and before knowing any of her grandkids. She passed away silently with my sister by her side. I was already on my way when I received the call.
Then a short two years after loosing my mother, I arrived at my father's house to find him convulsing. Between seizures, he had a look in his eyes that said, "What's happening to me?". Within an hour, I knew we had reached that point once again. Again, I was the one to have to sign the papers. We decided that it should happen at home and we set up a schedule for someone to always be with him. After ten days, I was with him, holding his hand when he went to be with his wife of fiftyeight years once again. January 16th would have been my father's 90th birthday and the first of his birthdays that he has not been here for. I guess that is part of the reason that I've been focused on all of this lately.
For both of them, I handled everything to do with the funerals. Everyone thought the services were a fitting tribute to the people that brought this family to life and kept this family together.
But after all of that,what I have been struggling with is, what the family looks like after their departure. I feel an obligation to be a part of every one's life but at the same time, a freedom to finally do what I want instead of what everyone else wants.
When there is a loss, it always leaves an empty space in the lives around that person. I was prepared for that. What I wasn't prepared for was to be completely at a loss for where to go from here. These losses have effected me more than any other. I don't wish them back or wonder why they had to die. I for the first time in my life have realized that I have got to live my own life. I owe that to the parents that gave me life.

While I love to blog and even more so, love the connections and friendships that have come along with this blog, I am taking some time to get myself together. I can be better prepared to help others if I've got a purpose for my own existence. I'm not leaving blogland. You will see the occasional post from me. And I'll continue to comment on my favorite blogs if word verification allows. And for those that have followed me on facebook, I'll continue to be my witty self on that format. I just don't want to pressure myself with deadlines and expectations of myself. I want to keep this lighthearted and free. I know that I will be back. I'll be back stronger than ever and I look forward to that day.

Take care my friends.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Derogatory Words

I find the word Obamacare to be a very offensive, derogatory word. The fact is, we need a reform of our health system in America. If you ask me, what they've been able to pass, only scratches the surface. There's a long road to this reform. It should be referred to as what it is and not given a derogatory undertone simply because of who got the ball rolling. It is, health care reform.

As a small business owner I fall into that group of people that find themselves uninsured. To afford even the smallest health insurance policy would put me out of business. I've said for years that the cost is way too high for any kind of coverage. I've found in the rare cases that I've needed any kind of attention, the doctors typically will have some sort of discounted rate for people that can't afford it. Even then, a toothache almost left me bankrupt. Over the years, I've come to accept the fact that if anything major should arise, it would probably mean the death of me, at which point I hope I'd at least get a discount in death.

I couldn't agree more with what this young man is saying in this video...

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Valley of Peace

I have a love of history. Not just the history that you read about in books but real history of ordinary people. That is why I find myself wandering the cemeteries and graveyards, lost in thought. I'm wondering what the lives associated with all those markers must have been like. You can tell a lot about an area or time period just by slowing down and reading the granite and marble carvings that fill our memorial parks. To view the graves of the youth that served their country in a time of war and gave everything they had can bring a tear to your eye. 
Just the other day, the cold snap ended and the temperature rose. This caused the snow to melt at an alarming rate. The fog was so thick and I found myself in an old cemetery, with no camera! The old statues in the fog gave me goose bumps. I didn't want to leave. I could almost hear the spirits speaking to me, trying to tell me their stories. Stories of real people that built this country, whatever small part it might have been.
I've lightly touched the haunting cemeteries of New Orleans and after viewing the area on Google Maps, I am looking forward to spending much more time getting to know the people that lived in that city in the past.
Speaking of Google Maps, I found this article and had to pass it on to you. Imagine the stories almost piled into this place....

When you see Wadi us-Salaam, which means “Valley of Peace,” on Google Maps, you’ll have no idea what it is. From a distance, it looks like a bustling, sprawling city in Iraq, full of neighborhoods and office buildings. It covers more than 1,485 acres, which is about the size of a small town in the US. However, when you zoom in a little closer (and do some research), you’ll realize it’s definitely not a city. Although it does have the people…
People have been buried in the cemetery for over 1,400 years, resulting in literally millions of bodies there. It’s estimated that over 500,000 additional bodies are buried here each year.
During the Iraq war in 2003, fighters in the Iraqi militia frequently used the cemetery to hide in, ambushing enemies. They knew the winding lanes and mausoleums better than anyone else. Since the wars and violence, the graveyard has expanded massively.
I've seen my share of large cemeteries, but this one is astounding.