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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Alzheimer's and other sad stuff

Today I found out a friend lost his sister recently.  He's devastated.  I feel bad that I didn't know about it sooner.  He's a "blog friend" but someone I've been close to for about ten years, he was there for my first blog back in the early 2000's (can't remember the exact year).  I feel sad for him and feel like I am not as good of a friend as I used to be, its something I want to work on.

Then found out a little girl, only 3 years old, lost her battle with a brain tumor today.  Things were up and down for her the last few months, so its not a total shock - but still a total heartbreak for the family.  They described in an email what it was like when she was unhooked from all the machines and they were allowed to carry her outside to a special garden they had just for this purpose.  She was in her mother's arms with her father and other family members, wearing her favorite purple shoes, and she slowly just stopped breathing.  It took my breath away reading that....how does one go on?

After that I got a call (at work) from a mom who was trying to get her son some community service hours.  She was me three years ago.  She didn't mention drugs, but I knew so I brought up that my son had to do community service at the same age as her son and that he got into drugs, etc.  She then broke down and told me all about her boy and how she was at the end of her rope, etc. etc.  The agony in her voice was something so many of us have felt.  I gave her my best "hope" talk but am going to call her back tomorrow and offer to be there for her if she needs a friend.  No one should have to go through this alone, and it sounded like she and her husband felt alone.

Next we got a call at the office that our dear, sweet, wonderful 97 year old volunteer, Dr. R, had suffered a stroke.  The doctors are treating him as if he's 20 years younger than his true age because he's in perfect health other than this "set back".  I hope he bounces back.  He rides this little cart to our office every Friday to stuff bulletins with three of his lady friends.  I bring him a half cup of black coffee and he calls me Sweetheart.

Lastly, I visited someone with Alzheimer's on Saturday.  It was my first time ever being around it.  I was with a friend visiting his aunt.  She's been in a home for years, she has absolutley no recollection of anything.  I knew her over 30 years ago when she was vibrant and young and happy.  To see her Saturday was disturbing to say the least.  Yet, she seemed happy.  She grabbed my hand and smiled up at me from her wheelchair.  I told her that her ring was pretty and she giggled like a little girl.  Then she wanted me to swing her hand in mine and she loved that.  Her first language is Dutch and about a year ago she stopped speaking English.  No one at the home knows Dutch but my friend is fluent so he spoke to her.  I saw her eyes light up when she heard her languge but she was confused when we named her sons, and tried to tell her who we were.  She just stared at us blankly.  To anyone out there that has a family member with this cruel disease - bless you.  It has to be the most difficult thing to experience.  Your loved one is there, seemingly healthy, but they have no idea who you are and they live in their own little world.  Heartbreaking.

So the point of this post is:  ????  I don't know.  I just felt like sharing all this.  Life has so many challenges and struggles.  No one is immune from heartbreak and sadness.  We just have to appreciate the good things and somehow get through the bad.  Sometimes it seems the bad is so much more in our faces.



Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara

Monday, January 28, 2013

Discomfort can be a good thing

I often read Zenhabits by Leo Babauta.

The other day he talked about "Discomfort Zone - How to Master the Universe" and it fits so well with what I am trying to do in my life:  change bad habits, develop new ones. For me, setting healthy boundaries is still one of my most challenging "good habits" so this helped me in terms of thinking about that very uncomfortable feeling that comes over me sometimes when I want to say NO but its easier to say YES.

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Today something that is making me smile:  Thinking of a friend who has recently re-united with her daughter and met her grandchildren after a five year separation.  Never give up hope in anything.

Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara

Friday, January 25, 2013

Writing Again, I hope

I haven't had the desire to write much lately, but every now and then it hits me so I come to my blog.  Then I hesitate.  I think because I feel the need to change my blog as my life changes and "Back to Being Me" not longer suited me.  So....tada, another new blog name.

I started blogging way back in 2005 when you had to know html to format!  Very few people knew what a blog was, and many who did know, thought it was a fad.  Here is a history of some of the blogs I've had:

Ramble On (about whatever)
Prodigal Daughter (about me leaving my faith behind)
Writing from the Inside Out (this one I had the longest and had a lot of followers and comments and great, lively discussions in the comments, I still miss a lot of those people)
The Needle and the Damage Done
Recovery Happens
My Life His Addiction
Back to Being Me
(all four of those were about my son's addiction to heroin and the nightmare that came along with it)

I also have two music blogs, Layla's Classic Rock, and Gone But Not Forgotten, which have gone by the wayside and are collecting dust in the blogosphere.  They both get hits daily but I lost my passion for them years ago which is pretty sad since MUSIC was a huge part of my life.

Who know how often I will show up here to write.  But at least I have a place that feels more like home again.  Lately my life has been about yoga, clean eating, managing pain through bodywork, enjoying a sober son, and trying to not feel guilty for _____________ (fill in the blank, lol).  I'm also working through a very odd relationship that gives me plenty of opportunities to practice patience, forgiveness and applying my life philosophies to every day life - which sucks, cause sometimes its more fun to bitch about shit and get all pissed off :)

I care so much about the people who've been reading my blogs, but have a hard time reading all the blogs that make my empathy go into overload and my awareness that "any day I could be back in their shoes" fight to steal my present serenity.

I'm not sitting around in the Lotus position saying "OM" and being all peaceful 24.7, but I do feel way better than when my son was using.  One day at a time, right?

So, if you keep reading here, thanks.  :)


Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara