I didn’t have any close friends turn 50 in November, but I did hear an interesting comment last night.
I was visiting with Kitty and her very good friend Theresa. We were talking about age, aging, and all that. Theresa is in her late 50’s. At one point in the conversation, she said with a sparkle in her eye, “Oh, what I wouldn’t give to be 50 again!!!”.
Funny how at any one given moment, we are all at so many different places in our lives.
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
I'm sitting here on this Thanksgiving Eve, drinking coffee, watching snow flurries haphazardly fly through the air on a very cold, 28° morning. I was just thinking how those snow flurries remind me of the thoughts in my head sometimes. They are flying in all different directions. Some of them even seem to be going up. No purpose, no direction, just whirling through the air out of control. Funny thing is, if I take a photograph of them, they look normal, because they are still. It's only when you see them in motion you are able to recognize how anxious they seem.
Tomorrow I will have about 20 family members at my home. Only 11 will be eating dinner. Normally, my brain would feel just like those crazy snowflakes. But as I sit here today, I feel very calm. I feel excited that I will get to see my two little great-nephews from Minnesota. I feel happy that my daughter will put on her "Diva In Training" apron and make dumplings.
I am thankful for the peace I have this morning, and hope it can somehow last throughout this hectic holiday season.
To all my friends and readers, I wish you Happy Thanksgiving. No matter how unfair or crazy our lives seem, no matter how out-of-control, we really must focus on the positive. Our blessings, and all the things we have to be thankful for.
Monday, November 25, 2013
I found this to be interesting.
A favorite playwright to Scarlet and myself, and self proclaimed fellow codependent, Del Shores recently posted on his Facebook page, that while he loves to be interviewed, he gets tired of the same old questions. However, an interviewer recently asked him some insightful questions, such as "If you could go back and give your 19 year old self a wise piece of advice, what would it be?". Del was very intrigued by this question. That made me feel pretty good since I had written an entire series about this topic a while back. Most of you contributed letters to your younger selves. It was a fun and enlightening exercise.
Just goes to show you, all of us here at "Detach" are surely ahead of our time! Congratulations!
Sunday, November 24, 2013
My first day of employment was in January, 1984. I had just turned 20 years old and was as green as the spring grass. They set me at a desk, my own desk with my own phone, my own typewriter, and a lot of papers. I was excited and scared. The first person I met was the lady who sat at the desk next to mine. Her name was Nancy. She seemed very motherly, and had a nice smile. She welcomed me and told me that if I needed anything she would be glad to help. Instantly, I felt a little better.
It turned out Nancy and I had the same lunch hour. Often we would go out together, or sometimes just sit at a table in the lunch room and talk. We quickly became friends.
About a year into my employment, my mother suffered her first brain aneurysm. I was very young, and the thought of losing my mother was unthinkable. Nancy helped me through that time. I will always remember that she gave me a little card; it had a picture of Jesus on the front, and on the back was a saying that assured me nothing would happen to me in my life that God would not help me handle. For months I slept with that card under my pillow. It helped me through a very rough time. As the years went on I would pull it out anytime I had a stressful situation in my life and tuck it under my pillow until I felt better--until the situation passed. Several years later I gave the tattered card to a friend who was going through something very devastating in her life. I told her the story of the card and how much it had helped me. It was hard to let go, but at the time the friend needed it more than I did.
Nancy and I decided to form a bunco group. It would turn out to be something we did each month for 22 years. Nancy was a second mother to all of us, not only in the bunco group, but at work, and essentially, to everyone who knew her. Over the years I visited her home dozens of times. I got to know her children, and then her grandchildren. She was a devoted wife. She and her husband laughed, and showed love to everyone. They had a dedication you rarely see in couples, no matter how long they have been together.
Nancy announced her retirement from our organization about five years ago. Shortly after she retired she found out she had lung cancer. Nancy was not a smoker, but always suffered from recurring bronchitis. She began treatment, and beat the cancer. During the period where she was cancer free she, her husband, and all the children and grandchildren went on a cruise together. A fabulous and memorable experience for everyone.
In August of this year, Nancy attended a retirement party for a former coworker. She looked great and felt great. She had just had a check up, and reiterated that she was cancer free. Shortly after that, she began to notice a problem with her legs. They didn't want to do what she commanded them to do. After a series of tests it was determined Nancy had a very large brain tumor. Apparently during follow-ups, they never scanned her brain. Only her lungs. The cancerous tumor was inoperable and there was nothing they could do. The doctors attempted radiation to shrink the tumor but to no avail. Within a couple of weeks Nancy started having trouble recognizing people. A few weeks later, in October, she was dead.
Nancy's death has affected me deeply. Yet another mother figure to me is gone. My dear friend Mary, my own mother, and now Nancy.
I will never forget Nancy. She's the type of person you may meet once or twice in your life, if you're lucky. She was a good woman and she touched many lives. She died too young, but the impact she had in 69 years is greater than the footprint most people would leave if they lived to be 100.
Nancy, I will never forget the dozens of hysterical stories you told. Many times when we were all together, we would beg you to tell those same stories again. I will never forget the many adventures we had together, and the thousands of laughs we shared. I will never forget your smile, your kindness, and the lessons you taught me. I will miss you.
Friday, November 22, 2013
There seems to be a popular new trend for pregnant women to refer to their babies as "baby bump", "the bump" or simply "bump". And it's not young girls, it seems to be most popular with women in their 30s.
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
The other day my daughter was at my dad's house and was going through some things in an old closet. She found two old cameras that she became interested in. My dad doesn't use them anymore and told her she could have them. After she brought them home I noticed something. My dad's Social Security number was engraved on the outside of one of the cameras.
I remember very well when this was done. In the 1970s our Police Department devised a program where you could borrow an engraver from them, then mark all your belongings with your Social Security number. The idea behind this was that if someone stole the item and tried to sell it, anyone could figure out who it belongs to. My mother went around the house putting my dad's Social Security number on everything of value that we owned!
How ironic is this? Now we protect our Social Security number like it is gold. Those same thieves can use it to steal your identity. They can apply for credit in your name. A lot of damage can be done with this information. But back in those days you were encouraged to share that number with the world, courtesy of your local police department.
Funny how things change.
Monday, November 18, 2013
When I was a little girl I had two grandmas. I called both of them Grandma.
Today it occurred to me I rarely ever hear anyone refer to their grandmother as Grandma. It's Mimi, Grammy, Yaya, Gigi, Nana, and a host of other words. I started to think about this, and I guess the answer is pretty easy. My grandmas were old with white hair in a bun. They looked like grandmas. Today grandmas are still wearing jeans and acting young.
Ironically, I think women are older today when they first become grandmothers. They are waiting later in life to have children, thus becoming grandmothers at 60 instead of 40.
Whatever you call them, grandmothers are great.
Sunday, November 17, 2013
Yes, I'm still alive.
Let me attempt to catch you up.
I'm eating too much again, but not drinking so much.
I continue to suffer from writer's block, even though I think of interesting things to write about all the time.
Sometimes I feel I am the most hated person I know. Other times, the most loved.
Nothing ever seems crystal clear to me. Ever. Things are always grey, and it's very hard for me to trust myself and my decisions.
I feel my 20 year roller coaster ride has now entered a tunnel. I'm whizzing through it at lightning speed, and I'm fucking terrified. I'm not sure how long the tunnel might be, or what is waiting at the other end. Maybe the end of the ride. Maybe not. I'm not really sure who gets to decide that.