Grief to Gratitude

Amid grief, it is important to look for things to be grateful for. After losing three friends last year, and four this year (already), we are looking towards our arsenal of memories we are grateful to have. Memories of those friends. And there are so many. So many laughs. So many tears. And so many things to give thanks for.

There are the good-natured jokes people have among friends. The stories shared. The corny punch lines after you take the bait and listen to some long, drawn out set-up. And everyone groans collectively. Good times.

There are the serious, heart-revealing stories told in confidence which aren’t shared with many people. They entrusted you with their secrets. You treasured the secrets and stories. Trust is such an important gift to receive. It says more than many hundreds of words. You are forever the keeper of the secret.

There are thousands of everyday life memories. The trips to the lake or cabin; family trips to Disney World; graduations, weddings, baby showers, births, first steps, and broken hearts. Reading and board games, practical jokes and help to study, playing checkers and puzzle building. Monopoly games, Old Maid, War, Electronic Battleship, and my fave, the Game of Life. Think of all the interactions your family may have had doing those things. More treasures, for sure.

There are some people who have none of those memories. Their homes were not happy, their families were not functional. You can find something that was good. One really nice thing I remember was the Christmas Mom made all the Barbie clothes. She had a blast. I gave them to a friend for her daughter; I wish I still had them. But that’s ok. Someone got use from them. Grandma pitched in and knitted some outfits as well. They were awesome. I was a lucky girl that year. Mom always went all out for Christmas.

Sometimes, we have to dig. Sometimes, we have to add to the story to make it a good one for us. It’s ok. We have comfort in our memories, our recollections of treasured moments. Those are what warms us when we’re chilled to the bone with sadness and loss. We might not want to continue, because, “What’s the use?” Nothing could be further than the truth.

We need to continue living and adding to our own experiences, helping others have moments to draw upon when we are gone. That will broaden our wonderful memories and block out the bad ones. Be selective. It helps. We can put grief in its place, it takes time. Studying about it gave me an idea of what I was experiencing. I know what to do now and what not to do. I feel some comfort with this and use it. Thank you for reading today. Be honest with yourself if you are grieving. It helps a lot. Let’s each other tomorrow. Have a good evening.

Which Would You Want?

We’ve had such a nice day with Gavin. We had lunch with him, he came home with us and played with the dogs until it was time to go to his basketball game at 4 p.m. Gavin asks a million “would you rather” questions. Choices between a million dollars and your family, between immortality and love of your family, between being famous and having your puppy. Things relating to family, love, and kindness are important to Gavin.

He is a little too polite on the basketball court and is gaining confidence in his abilities at the sport. I believe his true love is still baseball. Preliminary practice for spring ball reveals Gavin is hitting the ball much better than last year; the glasses must have done the trick. Getting his confidence back is huge.

It was fun seeing these young fourth graders play basketball. There were some really scrappy boys who weren’t afraid to elbow their way to the ball, even falling to the floor while holding on. It was interesting watching the boys react to directions from their dads on the sidelines. Sometimes the Dad sounded upset, sometimes the boy seemed embarrassed. It was a time for families today, and we certainly enjoyed the time. People should have a nearly ten-year-old with them to help them remember what’s important in life.

Almost time for Gavin to be picked up, it’s time to make sure he has all his things collected. Tomorrow will be another sunny day, another day for working on getting more organized. Let’s plan to see each other tomorrow. Be safe out there.

Lots of Progress Today!

After a day with not much going on, I’ve made a bunch of progress so far today. The rest did me a lot of good. Thank goodness! The human body amazes me. When I think of all the things happening every second of every day, all happening at once in the human body, I’m just blown away. The possibilities are endless, aren’t they?

I was able to design an invitation for the Babe to send for his Honor Guard’s banquet in March, I sent some photos and descriptions to my new illustrator, and started designing a program for the banquet. I have a few ideas for other things and am making furious progress on my life dreams. I love when this all comes together. This type of energy is rare for me, since I have chronic pain and have it down to a roar, not under control. I can manage it, as long as I don’t over-do. When I give up, I always pray it’s a minor setback, and hope it’s not a permanent slide downhill. I’ve done this for the past 25 years, since a terrible tumor-like cyst changed my life and health forever. The fact I’m still walking around on my own, with a cane for more than a block walk, is a tribute to the miracles of medicine.

I have seen a trend, about every five years or so, I can do less than before. It’s a decline I’m noticing more now that I’m older, for awhile it was hard to figure what these declines are caused by – aging, the tumor, or arthritis, the scoliosis, fibromyalgia, or the neuropathy I’ve developed in my legs. It’s not unable to to feel or diabetic in origin. It’s sharp, stabbing pain periodically. Chronic back pain is the cause. I can live with it, in gratitude

The Internet is pretty spotty now, so I need to close and hope this isn’t lost. I finished half an hour ago, and I lost three more paragraphs. Lost forever! Have a nice evening, and we’ll see each other tomorrow.

Tuesday, The 14th

What a day! It’s been a little crazy. Lots going on. Meeting at the Post this morning, stopped at the printer’s (not for me, for the Post), stopped at the Humane Society for verification of Lexie’s Rabies Shots for her new license. Then, a stop at JoAnn’s Craft and Fabric store. It’s been forever since I’ve been there. Totally remodeled, I felt like a fish out of water. The Humane Society was all remodeled, too.

I felt like I was a visitor from a strange land. I’ve come to realize in the last few days I might need to get out more. Seriously. I need to leave the house more and mix with people. Have I become an introvert? I’m not sure about that. I’m just so contented at home. Are you? Or would you rather be out and about?

Another weird thing that happened twice today. Since before Christmas, the Babe and I switched vehicles. I previously drove the Passport, he drove the Ridgeline Truck. He has too many miles on the Ridgeline, so he’s driving my car, since it has low miles on it, and 5K more allowed per year. Turning in the truck could be very costly when the lease ends. I don’t like some of the things about the truck, it’s harder for me to get the depth perception straight, but it takes practice.

As I went into the fabric store, a man standing outside asked me how I liked the Ridgeline. What?? That’s a new on. What’s the opposite of a chick magnet? Maybe it’s the new way to meet people. Huh. But wait, there’s more! I went to top off the gas before it gets colder again, and a man came up to me, asking me if I was an Army Veteran? The Babe has Veterans license Plates, so it was a valid question. He was a Marine for 12 years, and a nice man. People really are basically good, and they are neighborly. I need to get out more.

The Christmas tree is officially down, tomorrow I will finish putting things in their proper places and be finished for last year. More necessary papers for filing Income Tax, that will be the next big thing for our household.

I have a new illustrator who I’m sure will do just fine. She’s a busy young woman, and I can’t wait to see what she can do. A soft target date to publish my first kid book is May 22. I’ll explain more as we go along. In the next few weeks, I’ll unveil new business cards, an additional page on my website, and maybe an additional FB page for kid books. Stay tuned! Progress!

Thanks for checking in today, we’ll see you tomorrow!