After death

Death of a parent can really screw with your life.  For anyone who has had a wonderful, deep, loving relationship with a parent that has died, I know the pain is so great that you really wonder if you will survive.  The immediate overwhelming grief is incompacitating.  Sometimes after a parent has passed, intellectually we can feel relief that it is finally over and I’m speaking of long, painful or difficult illness and dying process.  Somewhere you  grasp the reality that you love them enough that you are thankful they are finally without pain and fear!

But there are others of us out there who do not have the wonderful, deep loving relationship with a parent.  These relationships are colored with many different crayons.  The reasons are many and very personal and obviously painful.  Death in these kind of relationships are difficult because the survivor’s grief is all wrapped up in the fact that this is the end….there is no turning back, or fixing the relationship mixed in with the emotion of not feeling anything at all.  Yet a devastating understanding that this is not how you are supposed to feel…knowing full well that your memories of the life you shared negates any real emotion you have about the death.

……my answer after my mothers death was to dig deep and work and work and work to find some peace within myself…understanding that she did the best she could do with what she had to work with.  Understanding that mental illness is not just an excuse but an actual disease.  Letting go of the painful negative and remembering the positive memories that are now able to be recalled.  8 years ago today, the healing began.  I still don’t feel a lot of grief in her death but I am able to feel some affection for the woman who raised me.  R.I.P. Mom.

Until next time.

A weekend in August…

Sometimes impromptu gatherings are the best.  There’s no time to plan and/or anticipate what you might have forgotten to do.  Brother and sister in law came for a visit from Des Moines.  It had been a couple months since we had seen each other in person…it never feels like it starting with the first hugs.  I messaged our niece …our camping/kayaking niece….that they were coming and wanted her breakfast burrito recipe.  She altered some plans to come also and offered to bunk at our house and make the burritos for her aunts and uncles Saturday morning….seriously!  She’s the best!  Then she asked if our daughter, her cousin might also be available….they said yes….so we ordered tacos and chips and cheese dip from the mex restaurant so we could just visit and no one would be stuck in the kitchen.  At midnight, Christie loaded the aunts and uncles along with blankets in her car and we found a dark drive way to a construction site, layed out our blankets under the stars to watch the meteor shower….ho hum.

After breakfast burrito bunch…we headed downtown KC to visit the World War 1 museum.

Got in some great Italian food and spent the rest of the weekend with some HBO and talk therapy.  I feel love!

Until next time……

On my last nerve….light switches

Or more to the point ….. I question the placement of light switches….or even more to the point…I actually question muscle -memory or, in this case, memory-memory.

Just as a precursor, I have very limited spatial  skills.  This is not new.  I’ve always had an issue with right or left…something that is just instinct for most people.  Anyone that has ever spent any time with me in a car knows to use “your way” or “my way” as a direction….which is odd because I can look at a map and know left or right…this might be a surprising handicap for someone who worked 30 years as a dispatcher.  I also cannot load a car trunk or camping cooler efficiently to save my life.  So I’ve been really questioning myself on light switches…is it me or was it some type of practice joke by the person who placed them.

I give myself the excuse that I’m living in a different house.  I’m used to light switches being in a particular place for a particular use/convenience.  Using this theory, it seems the problem is just that I’ve always considered there is a “standard” placement.  I just now turned on the light in the garage (switch being on the laundry room wall)to throw a box into the recycling bin and kept swiping to shut off the the non existent light switch for the same light on the garage side of the wall.  I do the same thing in the master bedroom bathroom.  The light switch is on the inside wall of the master bath which isnt really a bathroom but more of a transition room with no door…..two sinks and tub with doors to the closet and toilet/shower areas.  Both of which have their own light switches…on the outside wall so you don’t have to reach around to find these switches. I constantly reach for a non existent light switch on the bedroom wall as I walk into the bathroom.

This is starting to mildly irritate me and the fix is either 1)accept that I might just have a short circuit, or 2)in the grand scheme of things is there no standard or 3)is it worth asking him to add more lights switches, or even 4) perhaps motion sensitive lights throughout the house so I can just mindlessly roam without any responsibility?

Until next time……

….learning….the life long process

Feeling vulnerable is a natural emotion.  I believe whether we have the tenacity to fight this emotion or wear it on our sleeve, we all have differing triggers and degrees  of vulnerabilities….I’m not sure if this feeling of being susceptible to being wounded or hurt,  open to moral attack, criticism, temptation, etc. ever goes away.  There is something about that inner voice that is always chatting away inside us.  I believe the vulnerable emotion’s most important job is just an alert for incoming mortar fire.

Those of us who have been damaged or emotionally injured early in life, perhaps, are more susceptible to understanding we have to take in the information, understand what is happening and learn how to fight these assaults on our well being.  Others may be stronger and don’t knowingly listen to the voice while there are those who give into the feelings which brings them to their knees.

I wonder if aggressive personalities, fighters, angry people are just fighting their feelings of vulnerability on the front line.  It is often a painful feeling and for self preservation these people feel they are saving themselves…..and on the other end, there is either no fight left or  skills have not been honed in order to even understand this emotion and they just give in to being a victim?

Until next time….

Figuring out who we are….

Some people are just angry….and we encounter them everyday.  Some people wouldn’t show anger if you set their hair on fire…..they would forgive you….or so it seems.  Some people, which I believe are the majority fall right in the center…these people are forgiving but given the correct amount of flame can explode…even to the point of irrational anger.  As a lifelong armchair psychologist, I’m fascinated with what makes people tick….and generally I make a human evaluation when I encounter someone who fits on either end of the arc, I wonder if they are happy and peaceful and satisfied with their life or are they screaming in their head on a daily basis?  DO folks who live their lives red hot not understand there are ways to cool their emotions, perhaps the idea of self discovery and self evaluation never enters their mind….perhaps they are just who they are and have no desire to change.  Maybe there was a particular time in their early life where they faced cruelty or violence and/or perhaps they could just have a mental health diagnosis.

……and with a lighter touch.  There are people who have a free spirit…their life interaction with others manifests in peace and acceptance and tend to be positive and loving.  Others have a deep groove of personal insecurity and must degrade and negatively bash others to make themselves feel secure.  Do these personality types inwardly reflect and understand the hateful thread that ties their thoughts and life together?

Until next time…..

……and on the topic of traveling alone

On my trip to Des Moines on Tuesday, I was in a really strange place.  My spirit felt free yet I was letting fear seep in about the upcoming chest X-ray.  I always listen to my music playlist when I’m in the car alone so I decided to crank it up and and fly.  THIS was the first song to come up in my shuffle.  Re-affirming that we all should be living like we are dying!

I, actually, love a solo road trip.  My energy has to take a backseat to no one.  I can listen to all of my own music and I can listen to it loud.   So I can sing along loud!   I think it is important to have a playlist of your very favorite songs and they should include songs that make you want to dance, songs that make you cry, songs that bring back happy memories and songs that bring back memories of someone and always, always some type of anthem songs.  I include Rachel Platten and Katy Perry.

I love to drive fast….ahem….always using the speed limit as a “guideline”.  I always get attached to a car ahead of me that is going the exact same speed I am.  I always wonder if they know I’m back there and if they know we are connected.  

Traveling solo gives me the freedom to think.  Thoughts that are often lost in the hussle of daily life….and clarity to let your subconcious mind figure things out.

But the best is coming home to where I belong!

I encourage you to listen to this Tim McGraw song….even if country is not your style….listen to the words!

Until next time…..

Traveling I-35

When I was attending college in Joplin and actually even before that….when the youth group made visits to Ozark Bible College, just over the Iowa State line is Bethany, Missouri and  always seemed to be a stopping point.  They used to have an awesome Ice Cream shop there with multiple flavors….before Baskin Robbins!  Probably because that was my history, as a family traveling between our home on various vacations, Bethany was always a stopping point.  During our transition, traveling and now visits back home, we have a couple of “dives”  we enjoy.  One in Eagleville, MO and one in Cameron, MO as well as the Toot Toot Restaurant in Bethany.

But….when I’m traveling alone, I stop at the #4 exit at Lamoni, Iowa…the Maid Rite and Amish store.  It’s not unusual to share a parking space with one of the black Amish buggies and horses.

Southbound from DES Moines today, I was hoping for hunger…trying to talk myself into being hungry….then finally as I got closer about an hour later,  I decided …..I’m stopping whether I’m hungry or not because of this

Maid-Rites are an Iowa staple….also known as loose meat burgers made famous by The Rosanne show.  The Amish store Maid-Rites are very large, very satisfying….perfection!  They also have very tasty meal-on-their-own shakes and malts.

I bought some Amish garlic sweet pickles and corn relish.  They carry a little bit of everything …many things are Amish made….including rugs, quilts and wooden items.

And FRESH baked goods!

Obviously, I highly recommend…Iowa Chiefs and Royals fans…you owe yourself a stop here.

Until next time…..

I have been hesitant to talk about this

Mainly because in the past, I have had no faith in the the stories about psychics.  I am sharing this story because it has been an overwhelming event in my life and I’m sharing it in my blog for my personal documentation of the event.  Here is the condensed version.

On June 27th, he and I did some trail walking at Burr Oak conservation area north of us in Blue Springs.  As we ambled along the trails, we came to a wooden viewing area over a creek bed.  As I stood at the railing taking in nature, I was gripped by an extremely weird feeling….a chilling feeling that someone had died there.  At first, I turned to him and said, I think someone committed suicide here.  I was convinced that if I looked down, I would see a body.  When we turned away from the area and continued on our walk, the feeling left me…physically…but I have been haunted? with the memory every day since it happened.

It was so real to me that when we got home, I began an extensive google search to see if I could find anything in the news.

In the next few days, I shared my experience with a couple of people I trust who I know are Intuitives…I needed someone to give me a rationale to what I couldn’t seems to remove from my thoughts.

3 days ago during meditation, I had a fleeting image of a man laying on his side.  The image was not so much the body but the head with a cap on.  I felt like it was a soldier.  It did not bother me other than where did that come from.

Yesterday following my meditation, I was compelled to google civil war Blue Springs.

I became very emotional when I read this

The Morgan Walker Farm is now Pink Hill Park

I, of course, will have no way of knowing if this has anything to do with my experience, but I am content in my beliefs.

….and that’s my story.

Plant marigolds, they said

  • My first follow up short rant will be on oak mites.  These insidious little microscopic …..well, mites….fall from the trees landing on their new host for a short amount of time…sometimes they eat you alive leaving extremely itchy red spots…they are so small, a new lunch wagon victim can’t see them.  What’s more appalling they blow freely in a breeze and can enter your house through the screens which actually is suicide because they don’t survive if they can’t get to their oak leaf galls.  The takeaway here is the recommended shower and immediately washing clothes after being outside…do you know how many times the screen door in our house is opened and shut in a day?  I can’t afford the water bill.
  • I have recently learned about cicada killers.  These wasp like killers apparently feed on cicadas.  They actually drag the cicada to a hole they dig and feast upon them,  I, personally, have no issue with this.  My issue is with the cicada…17 year cicada, my a$$.  One slipped in the door when I took Frannie out for a walk the other night. 15 minutes after returning, it started buzzing around the room and then disappeared.  thankfully, Truman (our biggin’ feline) came out from behind the couch growling with it between his lips with a 3 other feline posse. The subsequent bite through the shell sent shivers through my body.
  • And then there are Japanese beetles.  I heard years ago that marigolds are natural insect repellent so I always have several pots of marigolds growing on the deck.  Approaching the marigolds with a watering can this morning, I counted 6 Japanese beetles showing no fear munching on the marigolds.

The good news?  Our mosquito population seems to be very low this year.  This concerns me.

Until next time….

Cancer insomnia

My friend, Tracy, who writes “Is Anybody Here?” is obviously sharing my brain.  I’m sleepless tonight or should say I’ve been sleepless this week and have been taking melatonin in an effort to sleep through the night.  It’s time for my kidney cancer yearly checkup and here’s the paragraph in her blog I just read.

“For most people, I would never presume to speak for all, but for most thinking people, once you have cancer, you have it for life. It is always in your thoughts somewhere. Some days it is closer to your forehead, some days the thought is far back in your mind. Some days it’s shooting the word cancer out of your eyeballs like the Bat Signal.”

Spot on!

Two years ago March on my 59th birthday, I was diagnosed with kidney cancer while in the E.R. for a particularly bad case of diverticulitis.  Kidney removed the following June after the diverticulitis was  finally healed.  I’ve heard so many times that if you are going to have cancer, kidney cancer is the one to have because once the kidney is removed so is the cancer.  BUT…I have a chest x Ray once a year because I’ve been told if the cancer is going to return, it likely returns in the lungs.  For the past two years it’s frequently in the back of my mind but  the days before actually coming face to face with the reality of the cancer check, the word shoots out of my eyeballs like the Bat signal.  It’s also something my family and I don’t discuss.  I tell them that I have the doctor appointment and that’s the end of it.  I realize it is hard for them to think about too….and quite honestly what is there to talk about?  It’s probably mentally healthier all the way around.  So here I sit at 3 AM.

Until next time….