Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Do You Like Class Reunions?

I enjoy get-togethers. I even sometimes enjoy parties. Class reunions? Well they can be fun--or not. This past Saturday I attended the main part of a two-day class reunion. 35 years since I graduated high school. It was okay for awhile--at the beginning. But after the dinner and the class photo, I was pretty much finished. It could have been more fun under different circumstances maybe. The biggest issue for me was that I am not much of a mingler nor do I do well with small talk. Add to this the disability so that walking around to even attempt to mingle and fake the small talk was not possible. So while everyone else was up visiting with everyone else, I sat there by myself. They had the dinner at a location which allowed for an outdoor firepit which sounded like fun to me. It required having a lawn chair. I even had my daughter go out and buy one for me which I paid for when she got back. But it stayed in my car unused. It turned out that there was very little outside lighting and the firepit was a good enough distance from the building as to be safe but require a bit of a walk. And other than the light from the building and the fire itself, there was no outside lighting. Nope! Not doing it! Not going to risk falling and doing more damage to myself by walking out there in the dark over who knows what kind of grassy ground. No way! So, I made a mentally healthy decision to go home early. Other classmates had left even before I did, leaving the most popular classmates to stick around and party. It would have been fun, maybe, to reminisce around the fire, but it was much more appealing to me to just come home and get comfortable. Just how dark was it out there? When I started to leave the parking lot, it was so dark I had a difficult time finding the drive out of the parking lot that lead to the road. It made me even more glad that I didn't try to walk out to that firepit. I haven't fallen and sprained my ankle in almost 4 years and I sure don't want to have to deal with something like that again.
The class photo? Well, generally, being tall, I get to stand in the back row and hide almost all parts of myself except my lovely chops. This time, knowing that this could be something requiring indefinite standing, I requested to be in the front row and that the front row all have chairs. They did that for me and we had a good sitting front row with a couple brave souls on the floor in front of us. But, as nice as that was to have the chairs available, there I was in the front row...the full me (not as in the Full Monty, thank you very much). As bad as I look standing up, there I will be on that front row sitting, with all this that is me squished together looking smiley, red headed, and happy, along with my beautiful cane. I didn't even get my camera out of my purse. So many classmates were taking pictures all over the place, and I just didn't feel like I wanted to at that time. I guess I was hoping it would be different, although how different I had no clue. Now the big class photo I would like a copy of. They said it would be on the school alumni website. I am still watching for that. I am not sure how long that will take. Great! Now my mug and everything else will be pasted on the internet. My mug is out there already....shoulders up...so okay...I am not telling anyone what school this is or where to find that picture once it appears! No way! I would lose what readers I have now. LOL

So, tell me. Do you go to your class reunions? It was my 3rd time to go to a reunion. It may have been the last one.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

35 Years Already???

Where did the time go? This weekend is my high school 35 year class reunion! I am going to part of it. Our class always makes it a big weekend with at least 2 days of activities and sometimes things continue going on into the third day just so people who haven't seen each other in years can visit.
I am a little bit nervous about going this time. Being disabled has changed so many things for me. Handicapped parking, walking with a cane, needing to keep close to whereever I may need to walk to or from because my walking is limited these days. Now I need to find a lawn chair because it has been added that we might be able to have a fire pit and have some outdoor activity since the weather is going to be nice this weekend and the area where the main part of the reunion is being held is an indoor/outdoor facility with a big pond and such as that. I don't own a lawn chair. I just hope I can find one on clearance somewhere between now and Saturday.
More than that, I am really hoping that now that all of us have aged a bit (just a bit???) maybe we are all a lot more mature than we were in high school and maybe even some good friendships can emerge. That would be nice. I hope a lot of my classmates are going.
There is at least one who won't be. One of my best friends from high school died last November right after his birthday and Thanksgiving. I heard there might be a few others who have died since our last reunion. I guess we are getting into that age group now. With being disabled myself, and one of those issues being a heart issue, it does put a bit of a strain on how I feel about everything these days.
Anyway, in spite of the nervousness about it all, I am looking forward to seeing everyone and finding out what has been happening in everyone else's lives. Maybe I will have some more to say about that later after the reunion.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Getting A Bit Controversial Today

I am getting a bit on the controversial here today. I am a member at MyLot and I keep what I see there filtered. Someone posted a discussion about abortion there and how she is ashamed that Republican presidential candidates are trying to take the right to choose away from women...and that this should be every woman's right in a country founded on religious freedom. I tried to post my response and it was not allowed...it was classified as too mature for my filters. I did not want to change my filters so I am trying to post it here. Hopefully it will go through here....if not...oh well, I may have to put it on my personal website to make it work. I believe in what I wrote and I do not feel it is dirty or filthy or obscene. So, here goes....

"To continue to give the so called "right to choose" to women who want an abortion, to me is no different than it would be to give anyone "the right to choose" to take a gun or knife and murder another human being. Giving women the "right to choose" what happens to her own body should happen prior to having intimate relationships. Then there is no problem with whether or not she has the right to choose to murder an unborn child. In all the spin about this right women should have over their own bodies, they have degraded humanity by declaring that this unborn child is not human and is not a child and has no rights to life and has no say of it's own. However, the child IS a child. The unborn baby IS a baby even if it has not fully developed into its final form it would take at birth. People have been so deceived by the agenda of those who want to continue to keep abortion legal that they have come to believe the "big lie" that unborn babies are not really human until birth. It is no different than the "big lie" that Hitler proclaimed to get people to believe that there was a perfect race and anyone not totally white, blue-eyed, etc, was not part of that perfect race, and he was able to cause so much death and destruction during the period of the Holocaust. It is a shame that women who don't seem to care or respect their own bodies prior to having intimate relationships suddenly think they have the right to kill that living child inside them just because they don't want the responsibility of taking care of that child, or it might give them stretch marks, and other physical issues they don't want to deal with,or their boyfriend or husband doesn't want the child. Abortion is a totally selfish ideal that has been made to seem like it is an everyday right for any woman. There are of course some other issues that make abortion more difficult to decide on, such as in the case of rape, or in the case of the health of the mother. But other than that, I can think of no reason to even debate the issue. Plain and simple, life begins at conception. One single celled amoeba is alive. One single celled protozoa is alive. But the deception that allows for abortion to be legal claims that the two living cells that come together to create a new human being is not alive until it is fully formed and born is just crazy to try to believe. It is funny how the double standard exists in this issue. Those two cells are totally alive in the test tube when doctors and scientists are trying to create life outside the womb, or when trying to help infertile couples have children of their own.Then, let's talk about the aftermath. Women everywhere who have had abortions end up living with such guilt because deep down inside they know what they did was kill their child. They are never told they are going to feel that way before they have the abortion. Then they suffer afterwards, sometimes to the point of suicide. Those who have struggled through the aftermath and gone on into ministering to others who are going through it can tell you all about it. Women who choose to keep their babies and have miscarriages know that their child has died. Women who choose to keep their babies and have been attacked and the baby dies know their baby has died. And the person who attacked them goes to prison for murder. Isn't that a hoot? Someone can kill this unborn child if it is an attack against a mother who wants the child. But if the child is aborted by a mother who doesn't want it...it is not killed because it was never alive. Come on....it's about time we get it together and call it what it really is....it is alive. The word fetus does not mean blob of matter. It is Latin for Infant. And Infant is a child, a baby, alive. Double standards. The unborn child is alive when it is wanted, but not alive when it isn't wanted. Afterall, you cannot kill something that isn't alive in the first place. Double standards.What we need to be ashamed of is that we have killed more babies in this country than all the deaths Hitler caused in the holocaust. What we need to be ashamed of is that we have lead women to believe that they don't have to have respect for their own bodies and their own lives so that they choose wisely before having relations and that they don't become pregnant in the first place. Women are not being treated any better because they have the right to choose. They are still being treated like animals...even more so because it is more often the men who don't want to be saddled with the responsibility of a child who will force the women into having the abortion...the right to choose becomes the choice between whether to keep the man or keep the child. We have so much to be ashamed of....but not because we want to take back the child's right to get to survive. We have become a nation of murderers. And no matter what your religious beliefs, God still exists. You cannot believe Him away. And He is the ultimate Judge. I hear people talking all the time about how we cannot legislate morality. And there is this horrible movement to take the Ten Commandments out of our courthouses. Thou shall not kill. Okay, take the Ten Commandments out. Does that mean that we can no longer go by the laws we have that are based on those commandments? Shall we no longer be able to prosecute murderers because that would be legislating morality? I am sorry, but in this case you cannot have your cake and eat it too. It can't be both ways. "

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

If You Don't Know What To Do or Say...

My daughter's blog from her MySpace Profile...

To My Friend

I have lost the one I love, the one I cherish. My lover, my best friend, my whole life.Either you have stumbled across this because you want to find out how to help me, or I have given this to you.

How I am Feeling
• I am numb. I am in shock. I am emotionally exhausted.
• I am in pain. A horrible, gut-wrenching, intense, unimaginable, and indescribable pain.
• My mind is totally occupied with processing my loss. I am trying to understand what has happened. I am attempting to make sense of it all. I am trying to comprehend the incomprehensible.
• I can't sleep. I want to sleep all day. I am physically exhausted.
• I can't eat. I can't stop eating.
• I can't be bothered cooking. I can't be bothered cleaning. I don't want to go shopping.
• Everything is overwhelming. Small tasks are overwhelming. Small details are overwhelming. I just don't want to know about it right now.
• Nothing sticks in my mind. I walk out the door without my keys. I forget what I was going to do. I forget everything except that my love has gone.
• I am going through tidal waves of emotion. One minute I might be laughing, the next I may be in tears.
• Sometimes I want to talk. Sometimes I need to be alone. Sometimes I need silent company. Sometimes I need all of these things in the space of 5 minutes.
• Some days I just want to curl up in bed and do nothing. Some days I will keep myself totally occupied in an attempt to escape.
• Sometimes I will be intense. Sometimes I will be irrational. Sometimes I will be snappy, and often I will be totally lost in myself.
• Often I may not have a clue as to what I want, but it only takes a moment for me to realize what I don't want.
• I am hypersensitive and will often be offended by things you say to try and make me feel better.
• I want to wail. I want to scream. I want to cry. I want to just sit.
• I have no choice how I react. This is coming from deep inside me and intelligence and self control have no effect. It comes from the basal self.
• Sometimes it so hard for me to respond to phone calls or letters or emails, but I truly appreciate that you are doing it, so please don't stop just because I don't respond.
• I still want to laugh. I need to laugh. I may suddenly go quiet mid-laugh, when hit by a sudden reminder, but I desperately need to continue to laugh.

Emotional Things You Can Do
• Let me talk about him. I want to talk about our love. I want to tell you how we met, our last days, and everything in between. I want to show you his picture, tell you how wonderful he was.
• Let me cry. Your acceptance that I need to cry and your permission to allow me to is one of the best gifts you can give me. Hand me a tissue, and do your best to sit quietly and let me cry.
• Once you have allowed me to open up or cry, please don't change the subject or try to stop me. I know you feel uncomfortable that I am in pain. Don't. Changing the subject, trying to stop me crying just makes me hold everything inside, and eats away at me.
• Tell me all your stories of when my love was sweet, courageous, rotten or funny. I need to hear everything about him. If you don't know many, find out some from those who are too scared to approach me now.
• Let me try to tell you what is going on inside me. I won't succeed, but I need to try. You don't have to do anything. Just allowing me to do it, and allowing me to feel what I need to feel means so much.
• It is really hard for me to tell other people about my loss. I'm working full time to deal with my emotions. Trying to deal with someone else's reaction or discomfort is the last thing I need, so if someone needs to know it would be good if you could explain it to them.

What Not To Do
• Don't tell me you understand how I feel, or that you can imagine the pain I am going through, unless you have lost the love of your life. Trust me, you can't. If I can't, and I am going through it, trust me, you can't – your mind will just not let you voluntarily imagine this much pain.
• Don't try to compare my loss to the loss of a parent, or a friend, or an acquaintance or pet, it's not the same. I understand that all of these things are painful, but it is not the same.
• Don't ask how I'm doing unless you really want to know. I am assuming that as you know, and as you have asked, you truly want to know.
• Don't try to save me from my feelings or make me feel better. I know you can't bear to see me in so much pain, but I need to go through all of these feelings whether I want to or not.
• Once you have "given me permission" to talk or cry, please don't try and distract me with small talk. I know it makes you feel better if I appear happy, but my pain is ever-present and it makes me feel like you don't care.
• Don't tell me everything will be okay.
• Don't tell me "he's always with you".
• Don't tell me "he's looking down on you from heaven".
• Don't tell me "you're lucky that you had such love, some people don't".
• Don't tell me "he's in a better place".
• Don't however be surprised however if I say these things…
• Don't ever tell me "you must be strong". If ever there's a time I should be permitted to be weak, this is it. What's more, if I only "need to talk" to you once every few weeks, chances are I have been strong and right now I really need you to understand that I am exhausted and need help.
• Whatever you do don't tell me "If I were you I'd…." Until you are in the same situation, you have absolutely no idea what you will do. Your logical brain has absolutely no control.
• Never try telling me "life goes on", or "he wouldn't want you to cry", or "God will never give you more than you can handle" or any other meaningless platitudes.
• Don't try to solve my "problem". Unless you can bring him back, it can't be "solved".
• Don't feel the need to fill in silences. I know the silences are hard for you, but if you can accept them, you are helping me immensely.
• Please don't try and help me find "closure", or tell me I need to find "closure". Closure is an obscene word for me right now, as is "moving .. on".

Practical Things You Can Do
I understand that a lot of you find it hard to cope with my emotional pain. Hate to see me hurting so. If you can't help me emotionally, you can help me practically.
• Don't ask me what you can do to help. I have no idea, I am overwhelmed.
• Bring me some meals that I can just put in the microwave.
• Find out what sort of bread, milk, toilet paper, etc I use and bring me them to me. I have no idea I need them until I run out, so don't bother asking me if I need anything.
• If you are an organized person offer to manage my bills. Collect the bills as they come in and let me know when they need to be paid, and make sure I do. Time has no meaning for me right now. It's only when the cut-off notices come that I realize I need to do something.
• Get copies of photos I don't have from family and friends and put them in an album for me. It will be one of the most precious gifts you could give me.

Practical Things I Need To Do
• I need to surround myself with beauty.
• Sit in the sun and just soak it up.
• Enjoy nature. Look at the majesty of mountains, and enjoy the miracle of a blade of grass.
• Cry when I need to. Tears are a release.
• Not make any big decisions for a while. A big enough life change has already taken place.

RememberGrief is an emotional injury that requires time to heal. Not a week, not a month, not even a year, it takes as long as it takes. It is similar to major physical injury. You may not be able to see the wounds on the inside, but they are there.Real-life is nothing like TV.I will not "get over it" - I will learn to live with my loss and incorporate the lessons into my life.I will get better over time, but I will never forget him. The pain ebbs and flows, but never goes completely.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Why Is It.....? Another Life In The Call Center Entry

Why is it that people will talk on the phone in the bathroom and flush their toilets while they are on the phone? Do they think that the person on the other end cannot hear the toilet flushing or do they just not care? I get so many calls throughout my shift in the call center where people will be flushing the toilet at the same time as they are saying hello and starting to tell me what they called about. Sure, everybody does it...uses the toilet that is. But have good manners eluded us with the use of cell phones and cordless phones? Are we that insensitive to what people are able to hear on the other end of the line?
Personally, I don't want to hear these kinds of sounds when I am talking to someone on the phone. Why would anyone want to? It is almost like being invited into the privacy of someone else's bathroom while it is in use...not even someone in your own household...but someone who is a perfect stranger! But I am on the receiving end of this phone call and have to put up with whatever is going on on the other end. Thankfully I haven't heard anything more personal than the flushing of the toilet.

There are other sounds that can be distracting when you are on the phone. One of those is the running of water into the sink. Busy women who are washing dishes maybe, and making the phone call at the same time, so they are "multitasking". Others may be cooking something and the sizzle of the food in the pans seems amplified when heard over the phone.

What kinds of sounds do you hate hearing on the other end of the phone line?

Friday, September 5, 2008

Got Moved, But Still Working On It!

Hey folks, I finally found an apartment that pretty much meets my needs for more healthy living. It has a/c. It has laundry facilities. It is comfy and cozy and has windows that actually work and will keep out the cold in the winter as well as allow the fresh air breezes in during the cooler fall days ahead. I have a lot of work ahead of me. In some ways the apartment is smaller than what I had before and in other ways it is larger. Strange paradox, huh? Well, in the process, the smaller features forced me to get rid of my couch (or sofa if you must)...and my only other overstuffed chair I had is going in the little makeshift toyroom for my grandkids after I remove the legs from it. It was long overdue for having the legs removed. The grandkids love the chair so I have to keep it for them. So now I need new living room furniture. I am looking for a nice loveseat and a couple nice chairs to match. I still have my huge recliner that I love and my contraption with my computer attached. Sorry friends and family...if you visit me now, you must either sit on the dining chairs, or on the floor or stand up...those are the only options I have for you right now.
I don't have a real dining area. I only have a kitchenette with a small breakfast bar. That was the biggest thing I gave up to move here and gain the a/c and laundry and windows. My dining table which is big and my drop leaf craft table are both in my large bedroom. I have enough room there to make a craft area where both tables will be used. The large dining table will multitask for cooking purposes, jigsaw puzzles, and cutting out fabric for when I make my clothes. The other table will be for the actual sewing machine and such as that. I need shelves to put all my stuff on. I have been carrying around boxes for the last 9 years because I haven't had the propper shelf space to put the items. It is time I get rid of the boxes and get the shelves.
My daughter did almost all of the moving by herself. She got a couple friends to help with the big furniture, but the rest she did alone. I took care of Grandson during all that time.
After a month free of any a-fib episodes, I have had 2 of the "normal" style episodes...and a couple short short episodes during this moving process. It is such a pain! I still have a lot of work to do such as moving things from one room to the other so that when I do get the shelves, everything will be in the right rooms to put them away. And one leg on my big dining table cracked into two...split actually, so I have to glue it back together so it will hold the weight of the table. That is in my plans for tomorrow after I get off work...that along with doing some of the cooking I haven't been able to enjoy at the other place because it was just too hot to use the stove.
Oh yeh...and the microwave is in my bedroom! How funky is that? Anyone needs to microwave anything just has to go in there and have a seat on my bed while the microwave cooks. Good thing I am a friendly sort, huh?