Tuesday, February 28, 2012


I'd like to pour out my heart.  I'd like to say how hard this is.  I am in a bit of denial.  Thinking this is somehow normal and I'll get through it all unscathed and without scars.  But it's unlikely.  Because my emotions and spirit are being trampled upon and nothing will ever be totally right about any of this.  I am going with the flow.  It can't be changed.  It can't be healed.  It can't be made right, so the only alternative is to ride it.  Go with it.  And try not to be taken under with it.

But remember....

If he could tell me.  If he really was able to... I know he'd tell me these things....

Kathi, you are doing okay and you are so loved.  You are doing the best you can, I feel your love, and I utterly trust you to do the right things.  You are the love of my life and I don't want you to hurt.  I know this is hard and I am so sorry you have to go through this with me.  I knew I would break your heart and wish so much I didn't have to.  But you are strong.  And you will be okay.  Just remember all the things we talked about.. all we discussed and decided...  and be careful not to be overly concerned what others think because we are in this together.  Be patient with yourself.  Take care of yourself.  I love you.  You know my deepest thoughts.  And they are for your good.  Stay strong.  

I'll try.

Monday, February 27, 2012

my little girl self

The more experiences I have and the more time that passes I find I am even more thankful for the parents I was given.  They taught me to be independent and to stand on my own.  They choose to think the best of me and don't get overly in my face making me feel their way is the only way.  We are able to be honest and share our thoughts freely without the fear of being ostracized or judged or looked down on for having our own ideas.   I hope I can be this kind of supportive parent as well.  It has shaped me and made me who I am.

A friend told me today that I should consider the spiritual and emotional damage that cancer does (or can do) to me while it does physical damage to Edd, and forgive myself when I'm less than perfect even if others will ... either now or later ... be judgmental or critical.  I'm such an honest and open person and I'm finding out I can't always be that way with some... because they easily misunderstand... It's made me sad to realize that again.  That I can't trust everyone... You'd think I would have learned that by now... 

Words can help and words can hurt.  I am very grateful for the people in my life who use their words and spiritual depth to pull me out of wrong perspectives. 

There are many things I am telling my "little girl self" today.  The little girl that needs to be reminded she is doing right.  She is giving her all and even when it's not acknowledged or understood and her heart aches and feels trampled on, she can learn and grow and find rest and perspective and the peace that passes all understanding...... She needs to trust God more ... and herself.

Me with my brother
One year old

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

through the camera's lens....

Life is  full of the unexpected.  I guess it would be boring if it wasn't.

This week the grandmother clock, that hasn't chimed in many years, began chiming its little heart out at 12:30 in the morning!  I had to unplug it till I was awake enough in the morning to start it up again.  It was nice to hear that familiar noise that I used to listen to as a little girl in my childhood home... but not continuously in the middle of the night!  Kind of fun though.

I've always been able to grow healthy African Violets when it seemed few others could.  But the last couple of years there have been no flowers.  This last week they decided to bloom again.  And it's full of buds.   Nice unexpected surprise.

I went out in the back yard garden and saw other treats of nature.

A hyacinth sprung up.

Flowers blooming in the garden

A dandelion before the breeze blew it away and it was gone.

Awww... Cooper visited.....

Just some happy photos from today.....

Sunday, February 19, 2012


From time to time someone has told me I am brave.  From time to time I have thought someone else brave.

But recently someone told me that I make them brave.

I thought about that some and it humbled me.   The things we go though, our experiences,  can someday actually benefit someone else.   When I'm going through trials though, the rough patches that life can bring, I sure don't dwell on how my experience can help someone else.  I'm IN it and trying to find my way around... but it may come later ... after the lessons have sunk in and we've had time... lots of time if we are granted it ... to process them.  In some crazy way it gives the pain purpose... just a little more meaning to the seemingly meaningless...  

It made me think of those who have made ME feel brave too.  Given me courage.  Often it's those who have already walked the path I am traveling and have made it.  They've survived somehow and now have a testimony.  A story that it'll be okay.  Somehow, it'll be okay... and I can make it too.

Sometimes it's just someone going through a particularly difficult situation totally unrelated to mine. They've gone through the fire and been tested and have stood firm even though it would be so easy to give up.  They make me feel brave too.... and give me courage and love to face today.  

Sometimes it's someone who loves me with an unconditional love.  Like Jesus.  Who has scars to prove it.


Courage is fear holding on a minute longer.  ~George Smith Patton

Courage is never to let your actions be influenced by your fears.  ~Arthur Koestler

Saturday, February 18, 2012


Sometimes the memory and mental challenges can be frustrating.  Sometimes they display themselves in a comical way.  This morning the latter was the case.
Him:  I’m  so glad I have you.  Without you life wouldn’t be very good.  If you do nothing else but take care of me you’ve made a difference in the world.  I know I’m just one person .. but.... it means a lot.
Me:  Aww...  You are so worth it.  I am glad I can give back to you for all you’ve given to me.  That was such a wonderfully sweet thing to say.
Him:  Well.... Don’t ask me to repeat it because I don’t think I could.  
Sometimes I quickly go from the depths of emotion to peeks in the time it would take a bipolar person to say “Boo”....
My life is such a complicated mixture of tender moments, deep sentiment, worried brows, and even anxiety ... but there is also laughter to sweep away some of the intensity.  

I had a good talk with one of his sons today.  We all know others who often play the victim even though they have little to complain about.  We talked about how spending time with Edd gives us little luxury to feel sorry for ourselves and challenges our perspective on our problems.  He never complains.  Good even comes out of bad situations.  It made me happy he is able to acknowledge even a little of that.

Life has lessons to teach us.

Who then can so softly bind up the wound of another as he who has felt the same wound himself.  ~Thomas Jefferson

A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.  ~Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr

Experience teaches only the teachable.  ~Aldous Huxley 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

valentine's day musings

Eight years ago I got a beautiful bouquet of red roses delivered to my house.  I think it was a Sunday.  We would spend every other weekend together and this one just didn't fall our way.  For some reason Valentine's Day has always been a day he has made special.  Said it's a day for girls and never wanted me to get him anything.  

Card that came with flowers eight years ago....

This Valentine's day I'm thinking of all the things I have.  So many blessings.  It's better than thinking of what I don't have.  I would miss so much ... 

Recently we ventured out to the grocery store together and I told him sadly that I didn't get him a card or a gift yet.  He said, "Don't get me anything.  Just be nice to me"... He said it kind of loud and I looked around and saw a woman grinning as if maybe I wasn't nice to him very often!!  It made me smile and laugh at the time and still does as I think about it..... I can just imagine what the woman thought of me!

A couple of weeks ago I saw him struggling to text someone on his phone.  This worried me some because he was at it for quite some time.  When I finally questioned him he said, "You're awfully nosy..." and then got sad when he saw the surprised look on my face....  He then told me he had been trying to text my daughter to help him get me a gift for Valentine's Day.... I told him I didn't need anything... all I wanted was HIM.... 

He called her later anyway.... and they made a plan...

A pearl ring to complete a set he began for me

Tahitian Cultured Pearl necklace

Turned out he did tell me something he really liked... and I had fun scrounging up the ingredients to make it today.   Seems the mind issues and memory problems aren't all that bad when it comes to desserts!!

Fresh Baked Apple Crisp

with ice-cream...

special today....
It was a nice day.  Not because there were gifts and "stuff", but because more memories were made on our ninth Valentine's Day.

Monday, February 13, 2012

hold tight

The days move along.  There are bipolar-esque moments.  There is sameness and ordinariness and then the moments come that startle me back to reality.
It is us alone in the early morning hour drinking coffee in quietness when over to me he walks with the coffee pot.  “I’m going to finish this and then make a new pot, OK?”
“Well I think that would be too much caffeine... too much coffee, don’t you think, honey?”
“Aren’t there more people here that will be drinking it when they get up?”
“No, it’s just us... just us”... 
The look on his face is what gets me.  Breaks my heart every time.  He was just being kind.  Being helpful.  Thinking of others.  Wanting to do what he can.
I walk over and hold tight... just hold... tight... willing so hard that my embrace will just take away the pain.  Take away the confusion.  Please. PLEASE let the love transfer from my embrace so it’s felt. Really felt.  And God, fill me with the love needed to give.
There are days and moments of our life that seem to make little sense... yet that may be when growth can occur.  When the material world has little to offer and satisfaction doesn’t come from stuff.  Years ago I used to pray that God would do whatever it took to build in me depth... I kind of wish He forgot that prayer sometimes, but maybe He hasn’t forgotten and maybe I’m not forgotten.
It’s going to be a good day. 

Sunday, February 12, 2012

some things...

It was a good weekend.  Because I found the time to do some of the things I love to do.  Things that fill me up and feed my soul.

Read.  I just can't quite read from my iPad or other book-downloading device.  I've done it and just don't enjoy it as much. I love to feel a book in my hands and turn real paper pages... I also like to underline things I read that I especially like...  and I can't get used to highlighting the words on a screen.  But I got a book that I'm loving and curled up on the sofa with a blanket and ... mmmmm.......

It was a cold weekend.  It even snowed some....  The fireplace was especially cozy.  Add to that a cup of honey vanilla camomile tea and it was all I needed to feel at peace.  Yeah, I have pretty simple desires these days!

I took a walk or two .. and dusted off our elliptical and made it a priority to exercise first thing in the morning.  I can't do everything these days that I'd like to do...  but I can do SOME things.  And it's the SOME things that can make all the difference.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

55 years

This week my parents celebrated their 55th anniversary. If that's not something to celebrate I don't know what is.  I talked to them on the phone. I found out where they were going to dinner and called the restaurant to give them a gift card.

Mom and Dad - February 9, 1957  (Aren't they both beautiful?)

Because I wished so much I could be there to celebrate with them.
I talked to them on the phone.  My mom is the sweetest person in the world.  My dad is such a card.  I told him, "wow, you've had it rough. You've had to live with mom for 55 years!"  He replied, "yeah, it's been easy for HER.  She just had ME to live with!" They both make me laugh.  Before we hung up Dad said he thinks they'll stay together for 56.  They are a gift.
I've forgiven myself (mostly) for my failings in that department.  My first marriage lasted 20 years but ended in sad defeat and pain.   It produced two beautiful daughters that I wouldn't trade for anything, but as I tried to grasp a secure place, one was inevitably taken away from them.  That's what I'm sorry about.   I felt a disconnectedness that tends to transfer down the line too.  We are desperate for connectedness.  We are desperate to matter.  I didn't feel like I did. 
I do wish I could have given them the gift my parents have given me. Their commitment to each other.  Their commitment to a life together. I know times were often hard. Life has struggles but they held together.  It is something of great value in a world that seems to walk away too quickly from promises.  
I now have a husband for whom I feel physical pain if I think I've hurt... and he for me.  It's a good combination.  For my daughters though....  I pray they will see the value of sticking it out, even when, especially when, times are less than easy.  And I hope they know I'll always be there for them to help them feel connected again... I wish them joy... always joy...and lots of love... oh, and abundant grace.

The Happy Couple 55 years ago

Thursday, February 9, 2012

mornings past

There’s something about the morning that brings me back to thousands of mornings gone by.  Nostalgia at its best.  

Back to the winter mornings when I was ten years old and the blizzard the night before cancelled school in New Jersey.  As I sleep in my warm bed my mom shares the news she heard on the radio. The darkness is still spread out before me and the hallway ends in the light that sneaks out of the kitchen and living room.  But I am cozy in my downstairs room... I could sleep, but, NO, I have to check out the snow!  Bliss.
Back to running down the hill so I won’t miss the school bus.  Seeing the grandmother clock's hands pointing at 8:10.  Gotta go!
Back to the sleepy mornings with a newborn.  Stumbling out of bed to meet the needs of a little life that needs me.  In every way.  Tired.  And yet the vulnerable, helpless, greedy gulps make the sleepy journey to the crib fade into pure joy as a need met was so easily fulfilled.  Love.
Back to two little girls at the kitchen table.  The warmth of the oven pushing out the sweet aroma of french toast sticks, the stove sizzling with bacon ... smiling, happy, giggly faces.... a favorite doll or blanket or stuffed toy in hand.  Sesame Street flickering in the background.  Warm hugs and snuggles abound.
Back to a spunky young dachshund making his way from the kitchen to the bedroom racing full speed and landing on my bed... burrowing under the blankets for fifteen more minutes of comfort.
Back to Easter mornings with baskets of treats, and Christmases with piles of presents.  Back to countless days of coffee brewing and the sun rising and spreading across the lawn and streaming through the windows.
Back to morning talks about everything and anything.  Sitting up in bed with coffee discussing the news of the day, the news of yesterday.  Children.  Love.  Silly dreams or deadly serious realities.  

Back to mornings meeting my sweetie come from Austin to share times that involved no one and nothing but us for a while.  How wonderful that it WAS.  Building something more precious than we knew or understood at the time.  Lasting.
I felt it once again.  Even in the midst of grief and the hard realities of life I felt it.  The joy of a new day dawning.  The peace in its beginning.
“Who would ever know the greater graces of comfort and perseverance, mercy and forgiveness, patience and courage, if no shadows fell over a life?” 
- Ann Voskamp


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

a week gone by

Some pictures from the week past....

  It's always nice to have family visit.

pic taken with Jenni's iPhone

Jenni brought her doggie children over too! ... Gracie adores Edd.  He got lots of kisses and nibbles from her.. . She's part pit bull, so he didn't dare object! (no, actually she is a sweetie)

She also came over during the week and made us a wonderfully awesome lunch.  A delicious Parmesan Basil soup ... and ham and mozzarella with avocado grilled sandwiches...  

Amazing how satisfying a meal can be when made by someone else!  Someone who wants to serve and love us.


What can you do but live it?  Whatever it may look like.  

I cried with my mom.  I poured out my heart to her.  The women in my family.  Good women.  Strong.  Compassionate.  Open.  Teachable.  Present.  Dependable.  Makes me proud of where I'm from.

The winds of change come.  And we love anyway.  Sometimes we limp a bit, broken by the storms that hit.  And sometimes you wonder where your prayers have landed.  Were they even heard?   Your best intentions, plans, and dreams slip through your fingers ...  anyway.   I'm still choosing to trust.  I'm still choosing to look intently into the here and now and do what it takes to try and smooth out the rough edges that life can bring.

Later.  Much later I will find a way to smooth out and heal my own.

Thursday, February 2, 2012


I'm definitely one of those people who can be fiercely independent.  Someone who doesn't often let people "do" for me.  Who rarely asks for help.  Actually, I don't even think of it.  I just think it's my responsibility to carry the burden or do what needs to be done whatever the job before me is.  Good trait?  Um... mostly.

Sometimes that works.  Sometimes it doesn't.  Lately it doesn't.

And I've been accepting the help...

Talked to a lady today... Jessica... who is a sweet person and told me I was on track...well-grounded and seemed to have a good handle on things.  Yes.  Mostly again.  But I did something for me yesterday that I am still enjoying today.... It felt OH SO GOOD.  I HIRED A CLEANING SERVICE TO CLEAN MY HOUSE!

It's amazing how much that encouraged me.   Poor Edd.  I kept telling him things (the three hours they were at our house) like "They are cleaning the ceiling fans!!"  and "Now they are wiping down the kitchen cabinets!"  and "They cleaned the coffee pot!" and "They mopped the kitchen floor three times!" and "They are dusting and cleaning ALL the blinds!"  It actually gave him great joy to see me grateful for the help....  so it made us both happy!

Anyway.  I'm sold.  I will get them to come back every three weeks... because I love a clean house.  And I love to spend the time with my husband and see things through... and be less stressed and enjoy our home.  

Blessings..... Getting help enabled me to spend time loving just a little bit more... and a little bit better.