Friday, February 25, 2011

unfiltered thoughts

I sit now in the waiting room of the radiation department where the love of my life is receiving full radiation on his brain. The cancer has spread there. The news was devastating. One might think we would be used to horrid news by now but no, we are not. It still feels like a freight train hits us emotionally every time. Hard.

Even in the midst of great suffering there are moments of joy. Of understanding. Of peace. As Edd and I sat stunned, broken, and overwhelmed this week... we expressed our deepest thoughts, words we didn't want left unsaid. Love.

He knows this is hard on me and even in his pain he thinks of me. If the roles were reversed he knows he'd be in agony watching me go through treatments, bad news, and pain.  He wants to simplify our lives so we can spend more time together just enjoying one another. He got handed the "cancer card" one year into our marriage. Even though I am strong for him he knows my heart is breaking. I sometimes wonder how many times a heart can break and go on beating. Unfair.

I told him this morning that one of the most tragic outcomes from this experience would be if I lost my faith in God. At times I have felt all of this is senseless. That there is no purpose whatsoever except to break us down and torment us in some way. Because Edd loves me he has always taken my words seriously and he wants us to talk more about spiritual things together. Oneness.

He said for some reason he isn't afraid of losing his life. He said, "I believe there is an afterlife and I believe in Jesus and I believe that I will see my dad again".  I told him that because of his faith and words I believe I would also see him again if something were to happen to him. Joy.

Suffering. Maybe God has a reason for our suffering. Maybe one of his reasons is to purify us and make us more like Jesus....make us more fit for heaven. Burn up the  impurities in us and leave the gold. The pain in the process can be severe and I hope what is left has worth and a purpose...  and some peace and understanding... could He possibly be giving us a gift? One that has eternal significance and value? More than an easy life could give or teach us? Oh gosh, I don't know... How can I understand the purposes and mind of God? But I sure would like to think so... Faith.

Friday, February 18, 2011

animal lover? ... or not

I am an animal lover, but I'm now thinking maybe my love doesn't run too deep. I prefer animals, wild ones anyway, to live OUTSIDE of my house! And even then I'd rather they don't linger too long in the back yard!

To be more specific. Raccoons. After some observation, discussion, and research on the Internet, we've come to the conclusion that the scratching, heavy scurrying, and thumping noises above our heads at night belong to a raccoon who is trying to make our attic his (or probably her) new home! Well let me tell you, THAT IS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN!

Having heard the raccoon the night before, we prepared the next evening to have a radio playing in the attic tuned to "talk radio" to keep him away. Since that would keep ME away I figured it might keep away the raccoon! Well, it didn't. Apparently he was sleeping all day in the comfy attic and was already there... so the radio wasn't going to keep him out. Darn.

We hadn't laid down more than ten minutes when we began to hear scratchy moving-around sounds. Knowing we couldn't sleep with that going on over our heads we reluctantly retreated to another bedroom upstairs to sleep. And let me tell you WE LOVE OUR COMFORTABLE LUXURIOUS KING-SIZED BED! Having to leave it was not making me happy! But we did... and we still heard the noises! (that raccoon was getting around).... so we moved again out into the family room with blankets and pillows! I think I may now have become a strong death- penalty advocate!!! This morning I have three beds and two couches to straighten up!!! And I'm pretty sure that raccoon is sleeping peacefully after his nocturnal roaming! BUT HIS DAYS ARE NUMBERED!!

My wonderful husband wouldn't bat an eye at calling a professional and paying them to get rid of this pesky critter, but I on the other hand (being the insane, do-it-yourself-and-save-a-buck type) went to Cabela's today to get a raccoon trap to try to catch him. If we do (AND WE WILL) we'll then put him in the back of the Tahoe and let him loose at least 20 miles in another direction....Or call animal control to take him away... At least that's the plan. Unfortunately experience tells me that hmm... plans can change.

Ha! We shall see what the day and night will bring!!


Thursday, February 17, 2011

a few morning thoughts

Some recent thoughts...

**** I think I'm finally allowing myself to be human and imperfect. I am enjoying looking at life more simply and allowing myself to be in the NOW... not be so "caught up" in things that don't really matter. Edd told me years ago to let stress just flow over me like the waves of the ocean and let it go... Now there are certainly gigantic stresses that come... but I suppose I'll learn in time how to deal with them too.

**** I've decided all my hope needs to be in the LORD. And believe me I do a LOT of hoping. Hope my husband's cancer stays under control (or how about GOES AWAY?!) Hope the people I love stay well and safe. Hope, hope, hope. Hope is a wonderful thing. But it occurred to me that it should be in God... so now when I feel scared or anxious about anything I pray "My hope is in the Lord"... and that seems to help.. because (alas) I am NOT in control of everything. God is. And I must place my hope in Him. I believe it's the right place for my hope to be.

Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. Ps. 62:5

We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield. Ps. 33:20

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Rom. 15:13

**** Drinking coffee is sure to give me a hot flash. Damn. I love coffee. Oh, and wine too... Sheesh!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Handbook for a Happy Life

Sometimes you read something that really clicks with you and you want to shout YES!! This did it for me today and I just want to post it and have it saved and ... remember...

Handbook for a Happy Life

1. Drink plenty of water.

2. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar.

3. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured.

4. Live with the 3 E's -- Energy, Enthusiasm and Empathy

5. Make time to pray.

6. Play more games

7. Read more books than you did last year.

8. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day

9. Sleep for 7 hours.

10. Take a 10-30 minute walk daily. And while you walk, smile.


11. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

12. Don't have negative thoughts or worry about things you cannot control.

13. Don't over do it. Know your limits.

14. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

15. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip.

16. Dream more while you are awake.

17. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

18. Forget issues of the past. Don't remind or be reminded. That will ruin the present.

19. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Don't hate others.

20. Make peace with your past so it won't spoil the present.

21. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.

22. Life is a school and you are here to learn lessons that last a lifetime.

23. Smile and laugh more.

24. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree...

25. You don't have to attend every argument that you are invited to...


25. Call your family often.

26. Each day give something good to others.

27. Forgive everyone for everything.

28. Spend time with people over the age of 70 & under the age of 6.

29. Try to make at least three people smile each day.

30. What other people think of you is none of your business.

31. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will.. Stay in touch.


32. Do the right thing!

33. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.

34. GOD heals everything.

35. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

36. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

37. The best is yet to come.

38. When you awake alive in the morning, realize God is not finished with you.


Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Doing some of my favorite things this afternoon...

Enjoying the warm fireplace on a cold day
Sipping coffee and a homemade blueberry muffin
Simple things, huh?

The morning found me back at my physical therapy appointment. Although the heat, ultrasound, massage, stretching and well-trained techniques of the therapist are HEAVENLY, they really aren't healing me thoroughly... meaning.. I still have pain. The pain and limited movement of my neck remains. My doctor demonstrated by just a light touch on an area of my neck that the joint is also damaged. Exercise can help train the joint to move and wear in the right ways. My next session will be deeper and more painful but also touch those small muscles around the joint that need to be worked.


Goes to show you that stress has to go somewhere. I seem to handle my stress well on the outside, but the tension no one can see is accumulating in my neck! Between learning how to handle stress, physical therapy, and exercise I should get relief from this nagging problem, but it's not going to happen over night.

My doctor today was talking to me about releasing grief and the big stresses of life. We all have them from time to time. I was glad to know there are people in the world who understand. Having the tools and techniques needed during stressful times is valuable. The better I take care of myself, the better I can help take care of others too. Sheesh... you live and learn. I know I am never going to stop learning as long as I'm alive.

Today I am feeling the luxury of being home after confronting the cold and windy morning. My doctor also suggested I wear a neck warmer when I can... so I am. It is filled with natural grain and lavender oil. Mmmm....

I don't know what tomorrow will bring, but TODAY is a day of exhaling and breathing, and peace.

Don't let your mind bully your body into believing it must carry the burden of its worries. ~Astrid Alauda

There must be quite a few things that a hot bath won't cure, but I don't know many of them. ~Sylvia Plath


Sunday, February 6, 2011

kindness and tears

This morning it occurred to me that what brings me to tears most often are acts of kindness. Kind acts above all touch my heart and cause the waterworks to flow. I was feeling anxious about wanting to get to the hospital to be with Edd and knowing I had other things to do too, things I needed to do, things that make ME feel healthy and alive... and he told me to stay home, putz around the house, do what I need to...and take care of myself... Just his kind words made me cry. Here is this man that I love fighting an infection that quite frankly could be life threatening considering his health situation... and he thinks of me... he always has. He's always been very unselfish when considering me.

I remember another very vulnerable time two years ago when Edd was fighting an infection and we didn't even know it. We just didn't know why he wasn't getting better. On the outside I would appear strong, but inside I was fragile and ready to break. A nurse put her arm around me. She saw through the cracks in my armour and showed compassion... and I broke down in tears.

I cry in parts of movies where there is a deep human connection that I can relate to.

I think tears are a gift from God. When our emotions get too strong and powerful it's important to let them spill out. We can cry with someone or we can cry alone, but we should cry when we need to.

Jesus wept. He wept when he saw human suffering. He wept when he saw the deep love and pain others felt when they were separated from one other.

"....knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance" ... words in the Bible that indicate that God's kindness has the power to change our lives for the better. Makes us WANT to do the right thing. Kindness inspires kindness.

Being in a hospital situation is pretty enlightening. I see people who should never have gone into the medical profession... and I see others who touch hurting people every day with a care and compassion that is blow-your-mind overwhelming in its power to nurture another human being.

I had to throw away two flower arrangements today that were sent to the house to cheer us and show love and care. The flowers fade and die, but the kind deeds are lasting memories that live on and never fade. They won't be thrown away. Other kindnesses shown hold fast in my mind and heart too.

There are a million things I could write about all of this, but I want to keep it simple right now. I am just thankful for those who show kindness and want to be one of those who can make a difference in the life of another.

Friday, February 4, 2011


It was kind of fun to wake up to snow this morning. The weather has been cold all week. The weathermen were predicting snow last night but you never really believe it until you see it coming down!

My northern friends would think this snowfall insignificant compared to the many inches, feet actually, they have gotten this winter... but here in Austin we have ice storms with no sand, salt or snowplow infrastructure so that makes for very dangerous driving. We are such a green city that we can't even use chemical de-icers on the roads due to environmental concerns! Austin isn't designed for any of this. The city pretty much closed down.

Nicky hated it! He's not a young pup anymore so he showed no interest. He's an old dog and wants nothing to do with anything except his own warmth and comfort!!

When I visited Edd in the hospital I drove the big clunky Tahoe with 200,000 miles on it! I felt pretty safe but still took it slow over some of the roads that looked a little slick.

Now... it's nice to be home on a cold night but wish Edd could be here too. He was feeling better today and hopefully that infection will now be under control and never come back.

It was a good day.

There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort. ~Jane Austen


Thursday, February 3, 2011

one of those days

Maybe I'll use my blog to jot down a few morning thoughts ... or end-of-the-day thoughts. Today has been "one of those days". I'd like to feel more hopeful and encouraged but concern and worry are crowding out the optimism. I took a walk down the hill from the hospital to get lunch from a popular sandwich shop. The weather was very cold today. I enjoyed the walk in the crisp air and thought of all the walks Edd and I have been on together. Walks on trails near my old home in San Antonio, trails near his old condo in Lakeway, walks around our present neighborhood here in Austin, walks along the Las Vegas strip exploring place after place, looking for the best restaurant choice ....walking along the beach in Hawaii...

I think couples should never stop taking walks together... or holding hands....

When there is illness life in some ways becomes simpler. Insignificant distractions are gone and only the things that mean the most remain. Reminds me of a large sieve that only lets through the smallest, most valuable particles.

Even though today was "one of those days" tomorrow may be brighter. There is always hope. Things change. Days are not always the same. I'll still try to begin tomorrow fresh ... and hope and pray for good things to come.