Unforgettable, Part II

We’re continuing with the Unforgettable Friends theme from yesterday. A good friend suggested we talk about the grief that can accompany the loss of those Unforgettable Friends.

Some are friends for certain times in our lives. They are with us for a season, for a reason, and they do not stay in our lives. We learn lessons, both good and bad, from having them in our lives. How do we deal with that?

Oh gosh, those who are friends for even a period of years, can have a positive effect on us, even sharing valuable life hacks with you when you need them. You can be friends for thirty years, Things can often change dramatically and you are no longer friends. You’re grateful for them when you were friends. The time is no longer right for you to be friends. You go your separate ways, and have no further contact. It happens, and usually it’s for the best.

We made room for other relationships. Sometimes the new people you meet are the ones you need right now in your life. You learn and grow further. God puts them there sometimes. Show your gratitude to them, to your higher power or God, and recognize the gift they are. You come to recognize those chance meetings are really part of a big picture.

Of course, we have lifelong friends. Those are hard to lose. Death, the final goodbye, is such a thief. Stolen from our lives and our hearts, grief from these losses can be crippling. The Babe and I have had substantial losses in the past three years. All ages, walks of life, and beliefs. Our veteran friends Nugent, Danny, Jay, Lenny, and Kenny. Our songwriting friend Rick Tiger. Our lifelong friends Lou, Janet and Patty. And work friends Gary, and Tony.

They have all left our lives and we miss the places they were filling. We cannot fill the emptiness they leave. Excesses does not fill the voids; alcohol, gambling, overeating, random encounters, etc. Some folks become angry, negative, and act out. There is no shame in needing to talk with someone. Many people claim talk doesn’t help. It does. Sharing helps us give voice to what we need, what we fear, and what we need to heal. If we don’t, we can cause lots of damage to others.

The damage can affect our children, our jobs, our personal lives, and our future happiness. After our dad died, I withdrew. I held back even from my kids. That was damaging to my daughter, who was the youngest. Losing my dad was so enormous, I wanted nothing else to hurt that bad. My grieving was not healthy. Since then, I’ve learned a lot about loss, grief, and going on. For my future, I hope knowledge will help me cope when I think I cannot. I learned the hard way, withdrawing is not a healthy way to deal with grief, no matter how big it is. It’s also part of why I became a Peer Support Specialist. I hope to be a listening ear for folks who need to talk. I’m available.

Katina, thank you for suggesting we write about this part of Unforgettable friends. We have wonderful memories of friends, relatives, neighbors, and colleagues. Those keep us, along with our faith we will all be together again. If you need help with grief, contact our friends at the Centering Corporation in Omaha, Nebraska. They are the oldest grief organization in the United States. They have been present with Gold Star Families, survivors of 9/11, Oklahoma City Bombing, and many other terrible disasters, losses, and attacks.

Have a beautiful Sunday. More quilting in my future today. Tomorrow, I’ll tell you what I did while quilting. I’ve never done it in over 50 years of using a sewing machine. Such a deal! See you tomorrow! Thanks for being here. I appreciate all #1067 of you.

Monday, Momentarily

The night was pretty wild. The windows were open as it was warm, and the wind was blowing like crazy. The more the wind blew, the more I coughed. That led to little sleep. Hard to believe, but if I faced the window, even though I was five feet away from it, my hair blew around and got messed up. Seriously. I wouldn’t joke.

So, I thought I’d be cured this morning, but not so lucky. I can’t even tell you what I did today, either. It wasn’t write. Except for now. I am nearly finished with “More Busting Bad Guys,” though. It’s interesting recalling some of the awful crimes in Omaha’s past. And people seem to always thing they’re smarter than the law. Guess again!

I didn’t watch “Price is Right,” today, but watched old reruns of “Chicago PD,” which I really like. No real nap today, so maybe I’ll sleep a long time tonight. I’ll maybe go for some ice cream later, too. It’s a required food when you’re sick. Even with congestion. It’s a law somewhere, or it should be. Ice cream makes everything better. Even viral infections.

*Actually, I’m sure the medical folks will tell you no, clear juices and frozen pops are better, but I’m talking emotional feeling better. LOL.

I did email the doctor, they said with no fever, it’s probably viral, so just drink plenty of fluids, blah, blah, blah. At least I didn’t have to pay for a visit. Hoping tomorrow will see the end of this stuff, whatever it is.

What do you remember when you were home sick from school as a kid? I don’t recall staying home sick after my two younger brothers were born. I think I got sick with all the kid stuff of the 50s and 60s before third grade. We had sinus infections, but the folks called them “colds” and we’d still go to school and Dad would work. We did not use tissues, but handkerchiefs. We all had a stack of them, one for every day. Mom washed them; I had to iron them all. Yes, iron them. All.

It was good teaching about ironing small things, before she let me do my blouses, etc. The boys didn’t have to iron, but I think they learned eventually.

Mom’s hard and fast rule was if you were home sick, you were Home; Sick. In bed. In your pajamas. No TV. I remember being very lonely. I was the kind of kid who wanted someone with them. Mom wasn’t too in favor of that when there was nothing wrong. Usually she sent Dad in to talk to me. He’d play checkers with me. In fact, he taught me to play. I loved playing checkers with him. I made sure to teach Addison. We still do that sometimes, it’s fun.

I remember taking the note back to school from Mom telling the teacher I was well. I guess it wasn’t necessary, but it was a rule. I always wondered who’s Mom would not know they went back to school? Very few Mom’s worked back then. I had no idea.

In high school, I had perfect attendance, until senior year. Our mom was in the hospital, and my older brother was supposed to take me to school after I got my little brothers off to school. My older brother became ill, went to the hospital, and I had no way to get to school. Go figure. I hated that I got that far, and missed out on a major award, as they say.

All that is in the distant past now. All that matters is we take each day as it comes and make the most of it. My ex-husband’s family has lost another extended member; Dean Hascall, former husband of Jeannie Tomasek Hascall, has passed away. He will be missed by his wife, and children. Life is indeed very short. Hug your loved ones every day you can. You never know.

Have a beautiful evening. I’m finishing reading my book and hoping for a full, good night of sleep. No wind. No issues. No anything. See you tomorrow.

Thursday Thinking

It’s just the 27th day of the first month of the year. We already know of two people, lifelong friends, who will not be with us at the end of the year. It’s hard to learn that so early into this new year, especially after four significant losses last year.

The advantage to such advance notice is you get to say your good byes. You get to make visits and let them know what they mean to us. Sometimes, you see your loved ones health and body diminishes before your eyes. They are still there. Their minds are still as active as ever. They certainly deserve the respect you’ve always given them. And their spirits hopefully stay as vigorous as ever. They’re entitled to be sad, to be angry, and to be a little grumpy from time to time.

We are all going to meet our endings sometime. Some sooner than later. Others will be here a long time. It’s always too soon. Even when you expect the loss, it’s still a shock when it actually happens. Only God knows when our time on earth is up. There is an old Tim McGraw song, “Live Like You Were Dying.” We should all do that every day.

Why? We would enjoy ourselves much more while truly living. I have a friend who is turning 50 this year. She has vowed to do something different every month for the year. Different things she’s always been interested in doing, but has never tried. How fun! It’s great to try new things; keeping an open mind will help keep the mind working. Your world is bigger. Life is more interesting.

I’m lost in thought about our friends, and wondering about our other friend who just passed away; his remains are coming to Omaha for burial, I’m wondering when that may be. We are hoping for closure. Meantime, just keep this in mind:

Six Ethics of Life

Before you Pray – Believe

Before you Speak – Listen

Before you Spend – Earn

Before you Write – Think

Before you Quit – Try

Before you Die – Live

Make sure you hold your people close. Be careful out there, and we’ll see each other tomorrow.

Sunny Saturday

It’s a cold but beautiful sunny day in Gretna, Nebraska today. The Home Office has sunlight streaming through the entire house. It also smells like delicious home made chocolate chip cookies and brownies, our contribution to a birthday party later for our friend, Lou Riedmann. His daughters and son are celebrating large this year, with the family welcoming all of us.

We found out early this morning our other friend, Jay Donoho passed away in Oklahoma. He was a friend through the VFW. He moved away after his wife Teri died, and we’ve kept in touch with him through messaging, FB, and phone calls. We were hopeful he would move back to Omaha someday, and he would have made a good Post Commander. He will be buried in Omaha with his wife, Teri, at the Omaha National Cemetery. She was young and passed from cancer, Jay did, too. Complications were too much for him. Sad to know he is gone, too.

In reading back on some postings Jay did over the years, it tells me we didn’t know our friend well enough. His wife was ill during most of the time he lived in Omaha, and most of the conversation was driven by how we could help support Teri and him, and recently by his health. He loved scuba diving; he and Teri made many trips and had beautiful photos. He loved his mom, kids, Jesus, and the Air Force (in any order). He will be missed by many. It’s just sad, the more we lose, the harder it is some days. It happens as we get older. Part of life.

I broke many Keto rules early today, by eating cookie dough but it was so worth it. I can start again. Weight was gained over December and is stable, those 10 pounds are now 7, and we’re going in the right direction. We are having a variety of soups, appetizers, desserts, etc. tonight. It should be a good time. What do you have planned for the rest of the day? I hope you enjoy your people today and tomorrow. Be safe out there, and we’ll see each other tomorrow.