A VISIT WITH GRIEF

Let me begin today’s blog with a poem I have shared with you previously but feel it is currently appropriate and perhaps unread by many who will identify with it.

YOU AND I

I know you are hurting,
I understand, I do.
You see, we walk together,
Because I’m hurting, too.

I don’t have all the answers:
Most days I have so few.
I do have blinding fear,
But is the sky still blue?

Some days I want to escape.
Could I be someone else, don a disguise?
Let me out. I don’t like it in here.
At the dawn will the sun still rise?

By the way, how did we get in this fix?
Was it genes, just bad luck, were we stressed?
I don’t know either, but tell me
Does the sun still set in the west?

We can’t always help it you know,
Feeling the way we do.
The good emotions and bad
Aren’t they all a part of you?

The greatest gift, I think,
Is self-honesty and truth;
Otherwise we’ll harvest self-delusion
And the taste of bitter fruit.

To know WHY is the question we ask.
Eventually, that has to stop
For we find more strength for the fight,
When we finally say, “Why not?”

Were we promised some sort of exemption?
Does one life mean more than another?
Don’t flower strewn paths quickly fade?
Aren’t we each a Mom, Pop, Sis, or brother?

We’re connected in so many ways,
Walking this path called life.
Why do we think we’re alone?
When we should be united by strife?

Is it possible our pain
Can form a bond of the heart?
Then neither of us will be alone,
Isolated, abandoned…apart.

I wrote this poem several years ago out of despair; not only from my own pain and frustration but also for my older sister, Leona. She suffered for many years, since her early forties with the same disease I have which is relapsing polychondritis. Her pain finally came to an end last week when she succumbed to her disease and its treatment. I pray she is now resting peacefully or chattting with my Mom and my eldest sister, Norma who died after years of fighting psoriatic arthritis.

Our disease, relapsing poly, we were told, is not inherited or familial. It occurs only four times in a population of one million. Maybe the doctors need to rethink this one. We also have a second cousin who has been diagnosed with this horrendous disease which causes havoc with cartilage throughout the body; ravaging joints, skin and organs.

Families are made to share but there have been times when I have wished we only shared love, children and the joyful side of life. We also have shared memorable fun times, holidays, weddings and funerals. Like most families we’ve had squabbles and then made up. As girls we shared clothes, giggled about boys and all grew in different directions. We’ve always been independent, opinionated and ornery. We have born and reared families who make us proud. Our husbands have born much from us Falkner girls not only from our personalities and traits but from each of us suffering chronic pain for years and years.

Our Dad who was a darling man full of kindness, humor and love also died after a fierce battle with another rheumatoid disease, giant cell arteritis among other like diseases. When he died, a couple who was close to Mom and Dad sent a sympathy card to my Mom which I still have and cherish for its sentiment. It touched me in my time of grief, so very deeply; I wrote a poem for my Dad, inspired by the art work on the card, after we lost him. Let me close this more somber blog than usual with that poem, if you think you can take two of my poems in one blog.

THE BUTTERFLY

A cocoon is such an ugly thing;
So shriveled and dark, like a tomb.
It looks for all appearances
Like the world’s most absurd little womb.

It’s a morbid appearing package
That strange, obscure tiny shell,
Secretly holding the key to it all
With a secret it holds very well.

Remembering birth was a struggle
We resisted that expulsive move,
We continually do the same
Fearing each little new groove.

Change of any kind we resist,
Be it good or bad while
Wanting and seeking always
That which we wish we had.

When this embryonic stage is over
And it approaches time to move on,
The rhythm of life fades a little
As we cherish each sunset and dawn.

We struggle so often when leaving,
We’re sure there can be nothing more.
We knew the rules very early
Is it the unknown we abhor?

Suddenly when it’s most wretched
Through the isolated darkness of night,
The cocoon expels the eternal,
The bright wings of the soul in flight.

butterfly in the stars

75 thoughts on “A VISIT WITH GRIEF

  1. Thank you Sue. 2 of your poems just make us twice as appreciative. I haven’t been on for a while as the new neurologist I went to put me on a new medication that gave me a very bad reaction. It was to help with the tremors, which I have to admit it did, they went away entirely. Only thing is I dove into the deepest depression I have ever had. I lasted 4 days just getting worse, when I quit taking it. Took another 2 days to crawl back out. I am now back to what passes for normal, but unfortunately the tremors are back too. That’s the trouble with some meds, they work but what comes with them is worse than what they are trying cure.

    I hope things are improving for you. I haven’t caught up with all the comments on the previous blog, so don’t know how all my cyber friends are doing. Know that I am thinking of all of you and sending positive thoughts and energy out to you. Love and gentle hugs from Janet.

    • Janet, I am sorry to hear about the depression brought on by the new drug. As I’ve said so often…medicine is just legalized poison. There should be another to try. Any of the drugs that deal with nerves, spine and therefore the brain can do that to us. I take Zanax to sleep but only two at the most to get through the night. I found any more than that and I was in the “blues” all day long. I used to go to an internist in CA who thought I should take 6 per day. His argument was, what difference did it make if you’re always going to be sick and my reply was always about quality of life. He’s been dead for the last 20 years and here I am.
      Around here, life is far too full for this old girl. I had to be at the hospital at 7 am for an ultrasound. I’ve been having stomach trouble but it came out okay. I was relieved and think it’s simply a matter of me being over my head. As you all know it’s been a wild year for us and for me. Gentle hugs back to you dear girl as you make your way through finding answers…at least you tried. Now, don’t give up. Sue

      • Dear Sue, Thank you for your kind words. I will see the neurologist in May and at that time will probably try another drug. She had said there were 2 others that might work.

        I’m glad your ultrasound came out well, but sorry you still don’t have the answer. You may be right that it has just been too much this last year, I know that stress can really mess with the gut. My very best wishes and positive thoughts for both you and Jim. Janet

  2. Sue~~
    How could someone pour out Heartache, Loss, Sorrow, Childhood Memories, the continual daily grind of Pain that if it could be “Tossed Away”–you would gladly do it, and it hits me~~only you, dear Sue, can do all of this through your writing, as you put all of your heart into these words..

    They say ‘When it Rains, it Pours”—well thats True during a marvelous Spring Thunderstorm as we hear Rolling Thunder and watch with nervous excitement as wild Lightning flashes~~~but when it feels as if LIFE is literally “Tossing/Throwing” all it can in your direction—-its like someone needs to scream
    DUCK!!!! Yet its not that simple–I wish with all my heart that you and your loved ones could have “dodged” these blows of illness and Pain. What I can assure you of is that I keep you in my heart, my prayers and thoughts.

    I thought about how to end my post~~~my heart aching over everything you have faced, and today here in my part of the world, Life offered me some “Humor” to share with you. My husband had to go on a seminar~~as he left, telling me to “be careful” -meaning no falling, breaking any bones, etc… Things were going great~~~~I decided it was time for a To Go Order from one of our local eateries—So I got the keys to our large Truck, being careful to reach in with my “good arm” as it seems the Right Arm hurts more with this Neck issue. As I grabbed the Steering Wheel and started to “stand” on the Running Board, my Weak Legs gave way and there I was—with my old Buttocks slowing swinging in the AIR!

    How I wish somebody would have yelled “DUCK!!!” Love and Hugs Sue.

    • Martha dear, Bottoms up, huh? Hope you weren’t seriously hurt. I suspect you’ll be sore for a few days. Where is a good duck call when you need it? No matter how careful one is…life still happens and let’s gravity win.
      Our little Yorkie keeps me laughing…always. I have so many things hurting and causing trouble right now, I bore myself. If only it was like when you get sick of TV and you can just grab the remote and turn it off! Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a reprieve just for a few days?
      When Jim fell recently and broke his upper arm, the deputies at the jail brought him some funny balloons, a chocolate candy dog in a dog house and a large laminated ad for one of those “Help I can’t get up” companies. I think most of us who have chronic pain should wear them but gosh…I’ve got some much nicer necklaces. Maybe if I could tape one on my body somewhere I’d consider it.
      Isn’t life interesting? Some days that’s all that I can say. Take care of yourself as best you can and as always thank you for your kind words. Fondly, Sue

    • Martha, I got a good chuckle out of your butt story! It’s good when we can laugh at ourselves, instead of getting all stressed at the odd things that happen to us! I’m glad no harm was done. I watch odd shows for an old lady, and I love Supernatural. The two guys who star in it are 6’1 and 6’4. They hit their heads so many times on sets and awnings, the producer bought a bunch of rubber ducks and hung them where ever these guys stood a chance of head banging. Maybe we all need to hang rubber ducks, huh?

  3. Sue
    I can’t think of anything that would cover what I wish i could put into words.i just wish things were so much better for you and your family..your blog was heart rendering and yes with your humour still intact.
    Look after yourself as I know you do,as I said I’m at a loss as to what to say .just the usual WHY?
    Love Chrisx

  4. OH Sue, what a wonderful blog. I didn’t find it so somber. There was hope in the first poem, and a gentle reminder that the world doesn’t revolve around us, no matter what our woes. Life goes on. And we must find a way to go on with it.
    I once read an analogy about a baby being born; to the baby, it’s leaving the way of life as it knows it, in effect dying, and going to a new life. That is what your poem to your Dad said to me. He’s not gone, he’s just emerged into his new life. So, again there is hope. I started with my OA so young, I think I’m long past the “why” stage. “Why” really doesn’t matter. If I knew the answer to that, it would not relieve any pain or make any difference whatsoever in my life.
    I’m sorry for your loses, you know I know your pain and sorrow. My heart is joined with yours at this time. I still mourn for Rosa, but Mom and my other sister I am handling much better now. I’m even handling the non-speaking sister okay now. But, even with all that, my life went on. My attitude is better since the temperatures are rising, and I feel loads better. Sometimes it’s amazing to me how I can let my pain affect my whole attitude. When I feel better, I get a tad angry at myself, I know neither the OA or the Chron’s will cause me to die (the greatest danger for me is with my Chron’s medication). And I feel silly for letting the pain get me so down. This blog is just beautiful, and I thank you for posting it, indeed, even being able to put it together in light of all you’re going through right now.
    My prayers and love go out to you.
    Linda

    • MAY I JOIN MY THOUGHTS TO YOURS LINDA LOVE….I DON’T KNOW HOW SUE GETS THROUGH IT ALL, AND THE LOSS OF HER SISTERS MUST BE HEART WRENCHING………ALL OF YOU ON THIS BLOG ARE SUCH BRAVE LADIES, AND I SALUTE YOU ALL……WITH LOVE…..JENNIE XX

    • Linda, How sweet and thoughtful your remarks are. I know you are still aching from your many losses. I had not seen my sister in quite awhile because neither one of us could travel. Life is so unkind, so often. I hope your DH is still doing better in the communication department. You are a valued member of this clan of ours on here and always wonderful to hear from you. I think each of us know about the “I’ve had enough” affect. We’re only human and we each have our limits. Life is worth it…most of the time, don’t you think? Love ya, Sue

      • Sue, he is still communicating, although sometimes he’s a bit grumpy. I’ll take grumpy over silent any day! He had to go to the podiatrist last week and even wanted to stop at our favorite diner to eat! At last, something other than a sub! Now that his nails are fixed, he has a lot less pain walking, and he even seems much steadier on his feet. He wants me to do his nails, but I guess it’s too bred into me not to touch a diabetics toenails. At no place I ever worked were we allowed to touch a diabetics toenails.
        Yes, I agree that life is worth it. Cranky days I may not admit that, but I do believe it. I thank God every morning that he gave me yet another day. I am trying to push myself to walk more without my walker, at least in the house. I think it needs to be adjusted taller, for my lower back has been hurting something awful when I use it. I’ve been doing some core exercises to get more strength there, and forcing myself to stand more upright. But with my walker, I tend to lean over to use it, and I think that’s causing my problem. Always something, huh?
        It’s 3 am here and still 54 degrees. Yet the weather service still says we’ll have 3 inches of snow this morning. I can’t see how it could possibly stick. The temp has been in the 60’s all week, and the ground can’t possibly be cold enough for any accumulation. I’m beginning to think like the weather cartoon Toni posted on FB…..they don’t know.
        Hugs to everyone. I love you all. And I keep you all in my prayers. Nights like this, when I can’t sleep and it’s quiet, I’ll come here and read every single line again. It makes me feel so much closer to you all, even if I don’t feel well enough to comment. .
        Linda

  5. I HARDLY KNOW WHAT TO SAY SUE…..BEEN A WEEPY STATE SINCE READING THIS BLOG, FOR ALL KINDS OF DIFFERENT REASONS, SO MUCH SADNESS IN THE BLOG THIS TIME, BUT IN A GOOD WAY, IF THAT MAKES SENSE……WE ARE ALL FIGHTING OUR OWN BATTLES ANY WAY WE CAN, LOOKING FOR NEW THINGS TO TRY WHICH MIGHT BRING A BETTER QUALITY OF LIFE SOMEWHERE OR OTHER. I THINK MOST OF US WILL CONTINUE TO SEARCH FOR BETTER HEALTH, BUT IT ALL COMES DOWN TO ONE THING IN THE END,,,,KEEP FIGHTING AND REMEMBERING THE BRAVERY OF THOSE WHO HAVE SUFFERED BEFORE US……………………..NOTHING MORE TO SAY REALLY EXCEPT, BLESS YOU ALL, AND LOVE YOU VERY MUCH…………………LATER…….JENNIE XXXX

    • Jennie, as I wrote to you in a message yesterday, I am sorry if I depressed you. That was not my intention, at all. Each of us our burdens to bear and joys to be found. Life is so multifaceted we just, sometimes, have to hang onto that old rope and go for the ride and wait for it to end. We are still able to have good times and I suspect when spring arrives..finally..we’ll appreciate it more than ever. You are dearly loved by many. That’s a fine thing in this world, don’t you think? Much love and a special hug, Sue

  6. Hey all:
    Sue, was a wonderful and to me, uplifting blog. The hope we all have of life after death and your beuatiufl analogy to the cocoon, well it was awesome. I love the beautiful picture that our online editor picked. I saw more of these and love them. They are from deep space, and one of them I saw, said it was “God showing off”. Wonderful and so many prayers for you and Jim and all of us on here who always have problems and pain.
    I am so enjoying the water exercises. I hate getting out though, cause the pain comes back. Wonder if I could just live in the pool ??? Hmm, Mermaid maybe ?? LOL !! Oh well. Was just a thought.
    I have been watching some online tv. Old things like QUINCY and last night MAGNUM ! What great tv that was , and how gorgeous was Mr TOm, wonder if his legs are still that nice ?? LOL I will leave you with that thought !
    Love to all
    Tonie
    PS Janet, prayers that they will find another med that has no side effects ,

      • Janet:
        I am just set on doing as much as I can while I can. REally I don’t feel like I do enough. I feel so lazy just sitting around, Yet I also know when I push myself, I pay. So guess I will have to deal with the guilt. If I have to have rotator cuff surgery it will definitely slow me down a lot for a while. But I will find that out next Fri. Take care lady !
        Love
        Tonie

    • Tonie, thanks for your kind words about my thoughts and writing. I know the pool is helping enormously and am so happy for you. I think you’d probably get webbed feet or at the very least, a bit of fungus between your toes if you lived there.I’m pleased to see you are getting your Tom fix via TV via computer. His legs indeed…the rest of him isn’t bad, either. Do take care and we’ll wait to hear about your shoulders. May need the help a surgeon can give. It will be..that which is intended..right? Your faith and strength will see you through and we both are assured of that. Much love, Sue

      • Toni, I fell when I had a stroke and tore my rotator cuff. They decided to go the PT route. I hated it, and it hurt, but I read the surgery is much worse, and takes a long time to recuperate. I pray you don’t need it. Either way, I pray for a speedy recovery for you. I used to go to water aerobics and it did feel wonderful. But, every time I went, I would get a bladder infection. I don’ t know if it was poor care of the pool, or that I had just started on remicade then and had such a low immune system. I have never been prone to UTI’s, and it was very irritating. Aren’t I a ray of sunshine???? I’m glad it’s helping you. And, like Sue, I think you would shrivel up if you stayed in the pool all the time! I do understand the urge to do so! I may try it again at another place, and see how that goes.
        How is your brother doing now? I’ve been praying for him.
        Love you gal.
        Linda

  7. Sue, thank you for sharing your thoughts in these beautiful poems. As you know I am also grieving for an aunt and her husband, and my extended family of aunts and uncles has grown very small and it has made me contemplate the circle of life and my position in it. At one point on this journey my goal was to get better so I could help my mother who was needing my support, but she was taken from us suddenly and I never even had the chance to say goodbye. DH at the time told me that my family needed me and I should get better for tem! They didn’t seem to need me very much at that time, but life has changed, and now with their own families, my support is needed and once again, I wish I could do more!
    This past winter has been rough and I’m beginning to think the Orencia is no longer working and I know there are new drugs, but I believe they suppress the immune system at an earlier point, so I have been told the potential for very serious side effects is greater! DH recently told me I have been very angry lately and I didn’t realize I had but I think he is right. I am very concerned about my little grandson and what lies ahead for him, because life (and other children) can be cruel and I often think “why him”, but my cousin who is battling breast cancer told me recently she finally told herself “why not me” and I guess she s right! I also worry about my son’s health and as I shared at the end of the last blog, he is concerned that he might have RA, and I also worry about all the other burdens they are carrying and the stress on their marriage … so we help the best we can, but at times we feel over burdened ourselves. The very first thing our son and DIL were told when GS was diagnosed with autism, was that the divorce rate was much higher than average, but the burden must be so much greater if you don’t have a spouse for support.
    On a lighter note, I have bought Nordic walking poles and I hope with support in both hands I will feel safe to try to go for walks this spring, if my pain allows. Using a cane or walker is too hard for my back, wrists, and shoulders, but I hope this movement will be easier for me. I place foam pipe insulation on many things I use, making them softer (and hopefully less rheumatoid nodules) and also thicker and easier to grasp. It would be awesome if little Granddolly could come with me for a walk. Last summer she thought I should pull her in the wagon and it was so hard to say no, but hopefully as the grands get older, they will understand better. At the very end of the last blog I shared that PT had told me about the new Liquid Gym, where all the exercise equipment is immersed in water, and she felt I might be interested as I had told her I was concerned about how weak I had become the last few months. On searching I found it is the only one of its’ kind in North America, and it is 20 minutes from our home, and a PT assists those with a medical referral and a personal trainer is available to establish a program for others who come on their own. Senior membership is only $20. and there is a free half hour orientation to the hydro therapy equipment, and as with any other physio, costs are covered by health care insurance. If anyone is interested search HYDROGYM to see pictures.
    Must go as GS has arrived for the afternoon. Hope everyone has an enjoyable weekend! Gentle Hugs …..Brenda

    • Nana B ! That Liquid Gym sounds wonderful !! I wish I had to money to open something like that here. So many people could benefit from it. You must try to not worry so much about GS. There are many ways he can be helped, and you know what ?? Kids are cruel even if you don’t have problems. You will be surprised how much that they are NOT cruel also. We have had such goodness with my GS. Of course there are those instances and those kids, but it is to be expected. It hurt me also> But my goal was to help him feel as happy as he could be. Give him that love and that base to build on, and you will be so happy to see how he turns out.
      I need to find me a steering wheel cover like Fran has on her vehicle. It is a thick plush fur and gives such a depth to the steering wheel . Take care
      Love y
      Tonie

    • Brenda, Pommum, I think the water therapy sounds wonderful. We may not have the British made Hydrogym but we do have various water therapy pools, in water treadmills etc. scattered throughout the states. We even use them for dogs and horses. It’s great for a horse who has been injured. I think it sounds wonderful for you and your particular problems.
      I love the way you so beautifully put the modern/chronic pain circle of life. That is so true. It works out so much better when our kids know our limits and respect them. That was hard for me in the early years of my disease when my older grands were small. I used to try to babysit my son’s boys, when they were an infant, a toddler and a first grader. That proved to be impossible. I felt such guilt and I know the kids, their parents, didn’t understand. All you can do is what you can do and that’s the limit. I sometimes think it is the litle things that get to us the most like not being able to pull Dolly’s wagon. I missed two school assemblies so far this year because I couldn’t sit on a folding chair or bleachers. The little things…
      The driving to and fro sounds like a lot for your dear man to take on. Your new walking sticks sound wonderful. Let’s hope they work well for you with the new shoulders, also. We each need exercise and I sometimes have this picture of each of us with one moving arm with a shoe on the end of it making our way across the room. We’re a bunch of hang in there type folks. Much love to you my brave girl…Sue

    • Brenda, that liquid gym sounds wonderful! Please keep us informed about it if you decide to use it. If it works out well there, I’m sure they’ll be opening everywhere! I know it’s hard to have to tell the babies “no” when they want you to play with them. Your walking poles sound like a great idea. I hadn’t thought about using the foam, I really need to try that on my walker. Thanks for the idea! Lots of love to you.
      Linda

  8. Great exercise news, Brenda! I understand your concern for your son and GS all too well. Prayers for you and them. But I’ll bet they are going to be just fine. Your son has already proven he is a man of strength and perseverance, and there are new strides and therapies every day in both autism and even RA over the years. Gentle hugs!

  9. Hi Sue and all, I haven’t been on for awhile as dh is in and out of hospital and I am still in a cast for the foot I broke on Christmas{ driving foot of course}. Great grandson will be born on Monday and I can’t be there but my daughter { the new grandma } and my other daughter that has been taken care of me, will be there for the birth. what they don’t know is I had a mammo on Thursday and the hospital and Dr. office called and said there are more lumps under my arm. I guess I won’t be celebrating my 2 yr. remmision next month.I can not let them know and spoil the birth happiness that will make everyone so happy.Sure can’t depend on Hitler!! My best friend died several months ago of cancer and I miss her so much. But I will not give up the fight with God on my side. Sorry this is a downer but I will be a great Grandmother for the first time and I need to be around for him. Love ^j^ Barb

    • Barb, Indeed wonderful news about your new great grand. Our family can bring us such joy and often sorrow. I do hate to hear your news so please keep me informed about what is going on. I know you have strong faith and it will see you through this. I will join you in trusting God for the outcome. Just be sure you have the best oncologist you can find and get the latest. It is so important with and most diseases but for this, a must. I am sorry you’ve had so much duty at the hospital with your DH. So, How is Blu? Can’t talk to you without finding out about that adorable pooch. Our little George is such a joy…most of the time. Ornery as they come but then so cuddly.
      Dear friend, know you have my prayers and many others here. Forget Hitler..sounds like she hasn’t changed one bit. I’m here Barb. Love you, Sue

      • Barb, so sorry to hear this news and that you have been so busy with DH too. Prayers from me also! How exciting that you will be a great grandmother! have often thought it would be so wonderful to see my five precious grands grown up, but time will tell cause the oldest are only junior kindergarten age, but you dear friend have lived to see a great grandchild! Congratulations. As Sue said, find the best doctor there is and please stay in touch! Love and hugs … PM (you my remember me as the former Nana Brenda … that’s a long story, lol!)

      • Barb, One thing I forgot to add is: grands and great grands I would guess, don’t have any yet, but do have grands, are the best medicine I know for any and all conditions. Love, Sue

    • Barb, congrats, great-grandma!! All the more reason to find the best oncologist and fight the monster. Prayers for you, DH, and that dear little great-grand soon to arrive! Sending light, love, and gentle hugs.

    • Barb: Congratulations on the new baby !! How wonderful for you ! and for your daughter. But most of all congratulations for not giving up on God. He will see you thru this after all. Prayer for you and your family.
      Love
      Tonie

    • Barb, I’m so happy for you (and jealous!) 🙂 of your new arrival. I’m praying for God to take care of you and those lumps in your armpit. How sweet of you to wait to tell your children. I think a new baby brings so much joy and hope for the future. I’m confident God will take care of you.
      Linda

  10. The blog and posts this week has shown such courage with all that life chucks at us.how we all encourage each other and how we take courage from that human touch, so evident on this blog .it has actually rendered me silent and unable to put what I feel into words, but I match all the other thoughts on here.
    Barb
    You have such determination let that push you through this time. My thoughts are for you
    Sue
    How is it all?
    Brenda
    Wise words from our Tonie ,can’t add to that

    Jen
    Well got that saved on google maps
    For you all ..Jen and I were discussing me going to where Jen used to go to a lot. So I have now got on google maps a house with the leaded windows her DH done in an Elizabethan house and the owners wanted him to scroll his initials and date on one in the corner…..so I’m planning on taking a photo after knocking on the door and having a chat to the owners….all good fun . As they will remember him
    Plan on doing it next week sometime. Well taking into account weather and health.its only about 1 1/2 hrs away but see how we go with my back etc….its a small old market town just full of buildings from even the 14thC And you knw me and history! And Jens DH knows such a lot about the town and its past ,so I knw what to look out for
    Ok then folks gotta get lunch done. Fish in a mushroom sauce with cauliflower and sautéed leeks with jacket pot …only a little of each. Diet!!
    Chris

  11. Hello, friends, while changing into warm clothes after church, I pulled out my sweatshirt from the tour of Scotland and England in 1997 that I mentioned. I couldn’t remember where all we had been but jotted it down today to share with you. Our itinerary: Stifling, St. Andrews, Edinburgh, York, Stratford, Cheltenham, Coventry, Warwick, Oxford, Bristol, Bath, ad London. 🙂
    We are preparing for a storm set to bring us sleet and 4-8″ of snow tonight into tomorrow. Much downgraded from the possibility of 10-16″ when it first appeared to be in the offing. Much more manageable amount of snow, but messy now with sleet mixed in. It’s been cold lately, although warmer today, but damp. I’m sure my southern sisters are also being affected y this one, although I’ve not looked at the latest projected path. Long time at church today, I’m ready to settle down with a book for a little while – and a blanket. 🙂

    • Lyn, oh my. More sleet and snow…bad combination. Just thinking of everyone in your family traveling in it. We’re just wet and windy here in soggy old Oregon. Some encouraging signs of spring popping up. So very welcome right now.
      Your tour of the Isles sounds like it was marvelous. Did you make it over to Ireland? Rosamund Pilcher always wrote such beautifully descriptive stories in Scotland I always have wanted to go there. Hope that you personally are doing as well as possible with your pain management. Still on the newish meds? Love ya, Sue

      • Sue, we did not make it to Ireland that trip. It was a whirlwind as it was! It was with the group I sing with and our first tour. We had singing performances every day but one, I think. We learned our lesson the hard way. Needless to say it was wonderful, but exhausting. There is a lot I don’t recall as a result. Thankfully, it was before my arthritises reared their heads again.

        That nasty storm swung more south, so all we got was a dusting of snow, but whoa Nelly did it get cold! I’m trying to keep warm to keep the aches and pains down. 😉

  12. Bit upset,my dad had a bad nite.couldnt reach loo in time.mess all over floor and trod on his catheter and pulled it out .he called the nurse who came out and she stayed with him an hour but left him in chair with no clothes on .he rang me this morning. A very good neighbour had cleaned him up.but it was all so bad,the place smells and he is just sitting there ,can’t move ,hardly speak one word
    Dr calling to see him today.he bled a lot too
    I just don’t know what to do, bought him some squares to sit on and some food. Upset sad to see him dribbling and in a state.he has a cleaner due in at lunch ,but I want to call a steam cleaner person to do it all
    Chris

  13. Morning all (well almost afternoon):
    Linda, it is still just raining here and too warm to snow and I pray that it stays that way. However, the temps are supposed to plummet !
    My brother is doing great ! God is truly wonderful. If surgery will help this pain and enable me to do more, then I welcome it ! I can’t do much of anything unless I am propped up with pillows. I have too much to do to stay unable to do it if it can be changed. I do therapy on myself, especially in the water, so don’t think that will help. However, it is in His hands and He will make the decision for me 🙂

    Chris, it sounds like your Dad needs someone to sit with him, Can you get an organization to help with this ?? Especially with him being a Veteran. I know over here there are several options for that along with what we call “Home Health” Praying you find the answer.

    I made me a great late breakfast. Fresh cooked apples with some cinnamon, nutmeg and a touch of honey to sweeten. And a biscuit with butter and some coffee. Yummeee !! I have leftover apples for later. It is now snowing and sleeting…yuk ! I am glad I didn’t try to go and workout today, I would have been on the roads which haven’t been treated. I just talked with Sis Faye(my pastor) and she is doing well. She has to have chemo and radiation. But they are going to wait until she heals and is strong enough. Her sister has come to stay until she is well enough to be alone, so that is good.

    Well, off here and see if I can do something productive. So tired of all this cold and yuk, so ready for spring. I have seen some green stuff coming up and the heads of a few flowers poking up as well, hope they don’t freeze.
    Love to all
    Tonie

    • Tonie, good to hear about your cooking. It always sounds so good. It’s good Faye’s sister is there for her. I do hope they speak to her informatively about the damage radiation can do to the skin. I can only assume she has a good doctor. Sounds like they are tackling her with guns blazing so it must be very extensive and I’m so sorry for that.
      I would be surprised if they little flowers that are poking their heads up made it this far to freeze. Spring will arrive, won’t it? Still lots of rain and wind here over the weekend. Do take care dear girl. Love, Sue

  14. Tonie
    My dad has a friendly lady who lives next door who now goes in and see him a lot and makes a drink and does all his meals. And even does some washing.she is a godsend but it seems now to need more than that. But I suppose it needs a wife really ,don’t know how else to describe it.its in the middle of the nite when all he can do is call a nurse,but they don’t do mess cleaning and leave him as he is.dr saw him and says to keep taking the tablets and sending a nurse in without him calling one….but he will still have to in the nite
    Got someone to go in and steamclean carpets and mattress
    Glad you didn’t go out today with that weather
    I do hope you get some relief from the arm soon ..anyway it decides to come!
    Brekky sounds good…with those biscuits too!
    Be back chris

    • Chris dear, I feel so sorrowful for your dear Dad. Can’t he enter a long term care home? He could have hurt himself so badly slipping and just the thought of him not getting care to stay clean is so pitiful. I don’t blame you for wanting to get it cleaned and smelling better. That’s awful. Over here you can get 24 hour care at home. I know we got help in for Jim’s Mom her last year or so. Home health aides are trained to clean and will do sheets, simple laundry, run a vacuum, etc.
      Thanks for your prayers for me. Just another problem to be knocked down but I am tired of it. Jim’s broken shoulder seems to be mending well. Xrays this Friday for him. Take care dear lady, Sue

      • Sue:
        Dear heart, you know my prayers are with you at this time (and always) . God said He would not put more on us than we could bear. But sometimes it don’t seem that way huh ? I had a good talk with Him yesterday. Jesus said to Give all our burdens to him, and “take my yoke upon you for it is easy and my burdens light” So I gave Him all my troubles and asked Him for His yoke !! Gave me a good lift and ease of worries. We are not supposed to worry , but let Him do it for us. You reminded me of this the other day and it was so timely. Times are so rough right now, but I know He will make a way.
        Okay ya’all end of todays sermon !!!
        Love
        Tonie

    • Oh, Chris, I agree with Sue, is there some type of long term or 24 hour home care your Dad can take advantage of? Prayers will be coming your and his way. Poor dears.

  15. HI MY DEAR FRIENDS, JUST A QUICK NOTE TO ADD ME TO YOUR THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS. FOUND TWO LUMPS IN THE BREAST WILL HAVE AN ULTRASOUND ON FRIDAY. SAW DOCTOR TODAY AND SHE AGREED WITH ME IT IS PROBABLY JUST CYSTS BUT STILL WORRISOME. IT JUST KEEPS COMING, YOU KNOW? LOVE TO EACH OF YOU AND NOW TO YOUR COMMENTS TO PLAY CATCH UP. LOVE, SUE

  16. Oh Sue
    What a thing to happen with all else you have,but as you say it looks like cysts..but you could do without it
    Of course prayers for you.and thinking of you
    Chris

  17. Lyn
    You certainly did travel .you must have been exhausted after
    It was probably Stirling that you went to first. It does sound as tho it was a wonderful trip
    Chris

  18. SUE FEEL DEVASTATED FOR YOU, I PRAY ALL WILL BE WELL….GOT TO FACE SIMILAR THIS MONTH, AND WE HAVE JUST HAD A DEATH IN THE FAMILY, PLUS NO RESULTS ON TIM YET….ALL BEEN BUILDING UP, AND HAVEN’T FELT UP TO MUCH……BUT I NEVER STOP PRAYING FOR YOU……LET US KNOW HOW IT GOES. MY LOVE TO EVERYONE ELSE……JENNIE X

  19. Sue, I’m praying for just cysts. I don’t think you need any more on your plate. Chris, Hon, can’t you hire what we call a “sitter” just for the nights. I can’t image any human leaving another to sit naked for the night. And in stinking circumstances, too. Seems to be so little milk of human kindness left.
    We did get that snow, and it’s still here, with a lot of ice.
    I fell yesterday, no, not out in the snow, but inside. I’m not sure what happened to me; I don’t remember actually falling. I went to the bathroom and I don’t know if I fell trying to stand up or if I fell off the commode. My first memory is of the vent burning my ear, then thinking “oh, my Lord, I’ll never get them to hear me.” But, seems they both heard me fall and the dogs went for them, too. Thank God for my big bruiser of a son, he picked me up off the floor and carried me to bed. Nothing seems to be broken, although my entire right side is aching.. One of my fingers hurts like a break, but there is neither swelling nor bruising, and I have full range of motion with it. So, most likely, just a hard lick that left it sore. With the osteoporosis, I have a horrid fear of breaking a hip, but other than soreness, nothing seems to be damaged. I do wish I could remember how I fell so I can prevent it next time.
    I had an appointment in Roanoke today to renew my DEERS card (military dependent), but even though the roads look clear, I’m not willing to try to walk in driveways. We changed it to April, when I’m sure the weather will be better for a quick trip. My card has expired, but so long as they keep getting my meds and paying doctor bills, it doesn’t matter.
    Hope all are well, hope meds are straightened out, test tell us something, and God has mercy on us through this last bit of cold weather.
    Love to you all,
    Linda
    ps, Janet, just scroll down and delete your last name if you don’t want it posted. (need to do it when you’re posting a reply)

    • Thanks for the hint Linda, but I wasn’t objecting just explaining that it was me not a newcomer. My name is already on facebook and twitter, so one more place isn’t going to change things.

      So sorry you fell, hope you feel better soon. It would be good to know why though. take care. Janet

    • Oh, dear, Linda, Please keep tabs on yourself after that fall. I know you know what to look for. I’m concerned you don’t remember falling, but understand that sometimes you don’t. Please take care!

  20. Oh, Toni,
    I know how you feel. When my shoulder was so bad, I would have agreed to surgery, amputation, or a hard lick with a hammer. I never dreamed a torn muscle could hurt like that. Do what you need to do. I didn’t mean to sound discouraging. Was a tad on the blue side when I posted that. I’m sorry to share my misery, and need to remember it’s mine (my misery) , and I need to take care of it as you need to take care of you. So Sorry.
    Linda

    • Linda, you didn’t bother me. We are each in our own area of schtuff and what we do for it. I do understand, no offense taken 🙂

    • Dear Jennie, So sad about little Harry, my prayers for him and all his family and those who care about him. To lose a child is one of the worst things I can imagine. Prayers for the second child. Take care Jennie, I know you are going thru a real bad patch right now and I want you to know that I think of you often and send a prayer whenever I do. Gentle hugs, Janet

      • God bless his parents and the sibling. Lord have mercy on their hearts and let him go easily I pray !!
        God bless all of us. We have all had a really rough winter, I pray for each of us that we will have renewed strength and hope in our lives. Healing for us all, and peace for the heartaches.
        Love to all of you !!
        Tonie

  21. MAY I ASK YOU ALL WOULD YOU PRAY FOR MY JO AND HER FAMILY, JO’S DAD DIED LAST NIGHT. SUPPORTING HER AS BEST I CAN, BUT I KNOW YOUR PRAYERS WILL HELP HER THROUGH THIS………………..PLEASE GOD SHE WILL RECOVER FROM THIS BLOW THAT HAS KNOCKED HER SIDEWAYS……..THANK YOU……..JENNIE X

    • Jennie:
      I will surely be praying for Jo. GOd be with her and her family at this time. Bless her so. THanks for telling us
      Love you
      Tonie

    • Jennie, I contacted her this morning via email. I know. Just getting over a vicious bout with shingles and now this. I know from the way she talked about her Dad he was a terrific father. I don’t think we’re every ready for that kind of loss, you know? Prayers of comfort for that sweet girl and her family. Sue

  22. My heart goes out to Jo and to little Harry. I pray for God’s blessing on them all.
    Love to you all,
    Linda

  23. My dear regular readers, none of whom are ordinary…whatever that means. I love your consistency and you each mean so much to me. Just a brief update for you as to what we are experiencing. Jim’s Do leshoulder is, we trust, stabilizing and he’ll have X-rays on Friday. On that same day I will be having a diagnostic mammogram with ultrasound. Let’s all trust that we are both to be okay. Jim is quite naturally bored with this whole bit and I took him today to get a haircut and to go by the jail and pick up his paycheck. It’s raining like mad here with wind. Found a gathering of daffodils popping up in the yard yesterday so spring is going to arrive…it must.

    Dear Jennie, little Harry’s passing is such a sad event for his parents and about the sibling, oh my. I thought it was cancer. Is it a type that goes into the genes? How awful. Hope your spirits are holding because I know this winter has been a hard one for you. I hope your son has more information by now and they have found the source of his bleeding. I truly think we can take our own health problems more easily than we can those of our kids. Hope the signs of spring you’re seeing are giving you a burst of joy. Love…

    Linda, oh dear, I agree with others who have said falling without knowing why is scary. Lord knows the pavement of floor loves to jump us to kiss us all enough without something as worrisome as that. Good thing you have a big strong son to lift you. Do let us know if you have any other symptoms or get thee to a doctor, girl. Stay safe.

    Lyn, Oh my. Thank goodness you have your kitties to keep you warm. Oh my dear, what temps you have had. I always seeing you in my mind in a neat home, wonderful food being prepared with that special air that young people bring to a home. Hope the joints are responding to help and warmth. Love..

    Janet, stay safe in that unpredictable weather of yours. Hope you recovered from the “helpful” meds and are going to be finding another possible answer to your tremors very soon. Thinking of you fondly.

    Chris, I pray your Dad’s home got cleaned up and you have been able to find him someone to watch and care for him. Old age is so very frightening and naturally you want dignity and good care for him..Sometimes that’s all we can allow or do for an aging parent. When my Dad was dying I know I was not always pleasant to some of the nurses working on the unit where he was in our hospital in CA> I was their boss and if they left him in any soil at all…oh my it got to me. Thinking of you dear..

    Annie, pray you are feeling better after a rough week.

    Well, I must close and get to tomorrow’s blog but need to rest my eyes which are still being troublesome. Still on the drops. Love to all, those who write in and those who don’t. Sue

  24. Everyone, all continue in my prayers. I started to list and realized SO MANY are in need of prayer right now. I couldn’t bear to leave anyone out, and so I won’t. All will be included. God be with you. Sending blessings your way, from my lips (or fingers) to God’s ears and understanding.

  25. I HAVE BEEN ASKED BY JO TO CONVEY HER DEEPEST GRATITUDE FOR ALL THE KIND THINGS YOU HAVE SAID AND THE PRAYERS……I AM TALKING TO HER CONSTANTLY UNTIL SHE FLIES TO CHICAGO LATER TODAY TO JOIN HER FAMILY, AND WILL CONTINUE TO TALK TO HER THERE……………AND HOPEFULLY SOON THE WORST WILL BE OVER, ITS BECAUSE SHE IS SICK AND THIS JOURNEY WILL TAX HER STRENGTH, THAT WORRIES ME, BUT I KNOW SHE WILL BE TAKING WITH HER ALL OUR LOVE.
    SUE DARLING…….IF I GAVE THE IMPRESSION THAT LITTLE HARRY IS NO LONGER WITH US, MY APOLOGIES, NO, HE IS IN A HOSPICE FOR THE TERMINALLY ILL, AND ITS JUST A MATTER OF TIME……REGARDING THE OTHER CHILD, YES I THINK YOU ARE RIGHT, THE GENE COULD POSSIBLY AFFECT THE BROTHER, AND FOR THAT REASON ALSO, THEY ARE AFRAID TO HAVE ANOTHER CHILD…..THE GRANDPARENTS ARE IN BITS, THEY NOT ONLY HAVE TO WATCH THE DECLINE OF THEIR LITTLE GRANDSON, BUT ALSO OF THE SUFFERING OF THEIR OWN CHILDREN, SO ADOUBLE WHAMMIE FOR THEM….LIFE CAN BE CRUEL AS WELL AS WONDEROUS CAN’T IT. I AM PRAYING FOR RELIEF FOR YOUR EYES SUE, IT MUST BE SO DIFFICULT FOR YOU TO WRITE THE BLOG, WHICH IS WHY WE ALL APPRECIATE IT SO MUCH……MUCH LOVE TO ALL…………..JENNIE XX

  26. Well it certainly has been a sad blog this week.prayers for all. It is all too much and so sad

    You know I had trouble with my iPad a time ago…..well it got worse no internet.but could get mail yesterday then nowt…then DH iPad went same way after about 4hrs.at this time desktop ok…but further into day that went too
    It turns out we had the moon worm or virus.in the router itself,which is unusual
    So had to clear desk top of virus and get a new router as it was infected and would have caused it all again,then ipads were ok….bl..dy nusience
    So been off air for a day
    Be back Chris

  27. Well, March has certainly came in “like a lion” now I pray it goes out like a Lamb !! We are due for another wintry mix today, then rain then lots of sun !! Can’t wait for the sun. The kids are in from Boston to work with us here in the mtns. I was supposed to get a couple today to help me put down flooring, but not the way my back has been the last couple of days. I had to haul out a high power muscle relaxer to get it calmed down and couldn’t get awake this am 😦 I have to bake a red velvet cake today for the kids bday party tomorrow night, then tomorrow off to the dr’s. See my rheumy in the am and the orthopod in the pm. I saw my MRI results and there is a tear in my shoulder, so it will mean surgery. I hope he can do it right away, that way I will be well on the road back when Fran and mom gets back the first of April. I can’t afford to be out of work and she wants me for an extra day. I guess all this one on one with mom has her needing a break 🙂 better for me, that extra day will help me financially so much more. I wrote my Representative in the House and asked for help. I remember my Dad had them to help him with his disability thru the VA, I am praying he can help me with mine. He is newly elected so that is a plus, they want to make themselves look good.
    Prayers for Sue and Jim tomorrow , pray all is well with you two.
    Love to you all. I relly have to shake off this fuge and get something done instead of sitting around in my jammies, it is almot 1 pm !!!
    Tonie

  28. TONIE MY LOVE, SO SORRY YOU HAVE TO HAVE THE SURGERY, WHAT A BUMMER, BUT AT LEAST IT CAN BE FIXED, AND HOPEFULLY YOU WON’T HAVE TO WAIT TOO LONG, AND WILL HEAL QUICKLY. SUCCESS WITH YOUR REPRESENTATIVE, I HOPE THEY COME THROUGH FOR YOU, ITS LONG OVERDUE, AND WOULD MAKE SUCH A DIFFERENCE, FINGERS AND TOES CROSSED FOR THAT………LOVE YOU MATE……JENNIE X

  29. My prayers are going out for all. Such sadness and hardships. So many aching hearts.
    Toni, I can’t believe my area is in for another wintery mix, but we are. This is so odd for us. They’re saying ice first, then snow and sleet. Lord, what awful roads we will have. Ice always makes me fearful of the power going out, although I have never had trouble here. Not in the 18 years I have lived here.
    I’m still sore, I have a small bruise on the head of my right ulna, and a bruise on my right femur. Had it been a tad higher, I think my hip would have broken. Osteoporosis makes it all so much more fun, doesn’t it?
    Sue, hope the x-rays and the ultra sound all go well. Toni, hope you have good news from both your doctors. I think it was a smart move to contact your representative; very often they’re eager to help, just for the good will of it. It took me a full 2 years to get mine through.I went for a final hearing and he turned me down. When I went to get up from my seat, Ed had to help me. He said “wait a minute, if you can’t get up without help, you can’t work”. That was truly the only way I would have got it at that point. He had said he knew I couldn’t do the job I was trained to do, but I could do some job. I think it’s just often hard to impress on them just what shape we are in. A well person just doesn’t understand chronic illness, I think. A man was there who was turned down yet again, and this man had a withered right arm–his dominate arm. I’m not sure of the alternate job they thought he could do??? The one good thing about waiting 2 years, my medicare kicked in right away, and I did get back pay. No, that’s two good things, isn’t it?
    I pray Jo doesn’t find the trip too painful. She’s in my prayers, as is Harry’s family. As is everyone. I pray when I read the post, and if I can’t remember names later, I know He knows who I’m talking about. That’s one of the great things about God, it’s okay when I talk to him that I’m forgetful.
    Toni, when will you know about your surgery? I know you know by now how to advocate for yourself; just insist they get it done and out of your way. The sooner it’s done, the sooner you’ll be healed, right? I hope you’re able to get your flooring laid today. It’s so good of the kids who go out and help like that. You please be careful in this weather. I know you have your critters to tend to, but please take care.
    I love you all,
    Linda

  30. I forgot to say my dad was taken to hosp.fell over on toilet taken by amb after999 call
    He had been loosing black blood from bowel
    Well at 3am we got to hosp.and he had blood count(UK) of 6 normal is 12
    And camera scope down tomorrow
    Had 2 bags of blood by this afternoon and still looks white
    But this morning he was singing Gilbert and Sullivan whilst dr there and talking to my mums pic he has in his wallet
    Upsetting. He also has a water infection .im glad he is in hosp to get sorted and looked after
    Anyway dr for me tomorrow and steam cleaners over dads tomorrow for carpets then visiting dad at hosp

    Tonie
    Hope you get that shoulder done like now!
    Chris

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