Another Birthday This Week!

My author friend James R. Lawrence informed me I share my birthday with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle on May 22. How cool is that! Of course, I suppose that means I was born on Doyle’s birthday. He died in 1930, long before I was a twinkle in Dad’s eye. In fact, Dad would have been six years old in 1930.

It tickled me to death about sharing a birthday with someone who was such a genius writer. It’s nearly as good as my daughter sharing her birthday with Paul Newman. If they only knew what wonderful, strong women shared their days of birth.

So, the Babe is celebrating his 73rd birthday this day, May 24. We’re just puttering around at home. I finally feel calm after two days of craziness. Yes, any elderly person is a handful as they are closer to the end of their lives than the beginning. I suppose we could say the same for any of us. If you throw cancer in on top of the normal issues, you’ve got a situation needing a lot of management and intervention, while helping them keep their dignity. A tall order for four healthy people in their 60s and 70s.

Sometimes, you just need to melt down. Even those of us who are the strong ones in the family. It comes with good mental health. If we don’t/can’t keep it together and relieve the stress productively. I’ve learned healthy ways of doing that, from people respected experts in their field.

Centering Corporation in Omaha, NE, is the first place I look for; printed information and handouts for any stage of grief and mental health. Personal guidance to select those resources for civilians and veterans alike is available. I’ve learned so much from them. Just give Janet a call.

I’ve never been one who says, “I need a drink,” while getting through strife. If anything, I feel it is the worst thing you could do. I still feel that way. Yes, I drink. Yes, I have, at times had one too many. Not so much lately. It’s there, but not a primary focus in my life. I’ve escaped the family curse from generations ago. It is truly not going to solve anything. Please remember that.

When you think about all a human needs to do while navigating through this thing called life, it can be overwhelming. We all need to remember it does not mean for us to go through things alone. If they blessed us enough to have a partner through all of this, it’s great. If you don’t have one, you can select someone to be that go to for you. Yes, it takes getting outside of ourselves. It takes risking rejection. Just do it. After practice, it becomes second nature. Your perspective changes with your attitude does. You can do it.

Hope you get to enjoy this day and we’ll see each other tomorrow.

Happy Birthday, Part 2

Here is a photo of Mom yesterday, last evening to be specific, enjoying the spoils of the day. It was really neat, many of our childhood neighbor kids commented on my post and wished her happy birthday. Thank you all, that was cool!

Today was very busy, I cut and glued two more quilt blocks, hope to do another two tomorrow. I need to step it up to make sure those darling grandkids of mine have their quilts for Christmas. Lots of time, and we’ll get that book laid out, too. I’ll be so glad for fall to arrive. I’m ready for it.

I’m deeper into the Gary Sinise novel “Grateful American.” I think he is a good story teller. He describes the feelings surrounding September 11, 2001, the uncertainty, and the appreciation most had for First Responders and the Military. He actually called the USO many times to see if he could go on a show tour. Finally, they agreed, and there he went.

He describes the sounds, the smell, the feeling of sand pelting you from every direction, and what it was like to see the troops, the lines of men and women surrounding them when they walked from the cargo plane or helicopter to the building where they would meet and greet or perform. It was truly heart warming. It was full of respect, honor, and gratitude. I would suggest we all read this sooner than later.

In addition to the usual juggling of two careers, three kids, and traveling actors, Sinise also discussed his wife’s alcoholism and what it did to their family. He described the in and out of treatments centers dance they did, and the broken promises, the peaks and valleys of the relationship, and finally, the plea of the oldest little girl to “please, just let me be a kid.” It took every bit of tough love he could muster, and finally, finally it began a new life for them. Every day is still up for grabs, there are no guaranteed once a person quits drinking.

Much of life is unpredictable. From day to day, no one really knows what they may face ball tomorrow. We all have to try our best, be good citizens, and hold on to our convictions. We have to be resilient, should our situations change through no fault of our own, we need to be able to execute Plan B. Sometimes in my life, I’ve been down to Plan ZZ! It becomes laughable when I recall some of the outlandish things the kids and I worked through. And that’s a whole different blog.

I hope you all have a good rest of the evening, maybe with a dish or bowl of ice cream. It’s a favorite dessert, perfect for a humid summer night. Tomorrow is another Saturday but a special one – a Nebraska Cornhusker football game in Ireland, against Northwestern. It should make for some good TV. A lot of fans from Nebraska traveled to the Emerald Isle. I bet it’s beautiful.

Read a book this weekend, watch a Netflix series with a good storyline. Make sure you pay attention to character development and plot twists. It’s fun to have a different way to look at a movie, tv show, or Netflix series. I will see you tomorrow.

Footprints on the Sands of Time

Every day, I start my morning reading the Daily Meditations for Adult Children of Alcoholics. I have used this for forty plus years. When I don’t, my thinking gets off track. My mom and two brothers are the alcoholics. Until I began writing, I didn’t realize how their habits affected my life and interactions with people. Addiction hurts more than the user, folks. It hurts everyone in their path.

Somehow, I escaped the family curse. I drink, yes. But I can just as easily live without it. I needed help with understanding my worth, my value, my right to respect. The more I learn, I want to help other people learn this earlier in their lives. It certainly can’t hurt.

Today’s meditation hit home for me. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote:

Lives of great men all remind us

We can make our lives sublime

And, departing, leave behind us

Footprints on the sands of time.

Some day, we will all leave this earth. What will your time on this earth reflect? Have you done your best to live a good life? Have you helped your fellow humans? Have you instilled God’s love in others by your presence?

What we say and do affects other people. What do your children overhear? Are you in a difficult situation that could harm you or them? Can you find help? Sadly, many never ask. We cannot be too embarrassed to ask for help, especially where lives are concerned. Despite what your abuser tells you to control you, YOU ARE WORTH IT! Every bit of you. Believe it. Live it.

Until I learned my truth, after a near paralyzing tumor in my spinal column, I accepted being “put in my place.” I could be cut down by words, a look, and especially by being ignored. Somehow, I learned I was worth better treatment. I was 43 years old before I learned I was worth it. Instead of “Here Goes Nothing,” I can now say, “Here Comes Something!” I’m proud of the woman I’ve fought hard to become. It’s hard for me sometimes to say that. It’s conditioning. I’ve been living the lie that no longer controls me. I have a second chance at life and happiness. The last 25 years have been how I’ve always imagined life should be.

I want to be an encourager. I want to be a good friend. I want to have a positive outlook and enjoy what God has graced me with. Some days I’m “off.” Not sure why, except that I’m human. That’s a fact of our lives. We fail sometimes. We can correct ourselves gently and act better. It’s all we can do. Encourage, don’t discourage.

I’ve been looking back at where my footsteps have taken me. A lot of crazy places with some crazy people. I learned what I didn’t want. That made my quest for a different life and future more important to me. I believe I was made differently so I could change myself and my life to love it instead of being angry, sad, feeling left out, and isolated. A neighbor noticed and once told me, “You never smiled before. Now you smile all the time.” I hadn’t realized how feeling stuck affected me.

Our actions and words do matter. We cannot hide everything from some people. They can see through facades. I learned to drop mine, they really didn’t offer much protection except in my mind. The Babe saw through my hurt. He helped me learn many things. To trust. To love fully. To be a partner, not a slave. To remember I’m important, too. To reach for my stars. And he is cheering me on. Thanks, Babe! I thank God every day and night for you.

It’s never too late to change direction in life. We have the freedom to do so. We need to make possibilities choices when changing direction. It will affect other people. Choose wisely. Leave footprints of encouraging example. Let’s all try together!

Thanks for reading today, I appreciate it. We will see each other tomorrow! Enjoy the beautiful day if you’re here in eastern Nebraska. It’s lovely outside! Be Kind. Be Courteous, too.