Thursday, September 21, 2017

After all



My son and his girlfriend broke up on Sunday.
Well...SHE broke up with him. And he is pretty broke up about it.
This momma's heart is breaking for him too.
I feel helpless and sad and also I feel like I should be doing...something to ease his pain.
That's the codependent in me...wanting to fix broken things that I have no business fixing.
It's painful to see him so sad.
He and his cat had to move back home here with us.
And it's not that we don't or won't or can't welcome him.
We did, we will, we have.
But it's awfully hard to move back home with your parents when you are nearly 30 years old.
His/their condo was/is spacious and newer and clean and quiet, and decorated like two thirty year old adults lived there that didn't have any kids, with a heated garage and an association that did all snow plowing and lawn care.
They had pets too, her 15 year old cat and a dog named Ralphie who started out being her dog, but after living together for 11 months, the dog became his too.
That is one of the hardest things for him...missing Ralphie.
My son is pretty miserable, more in shock than anything else really.
There were no signs he said. Said she hit him in his blind spot.
He never saw it coming.
She pulled the old It's not you, it's me routine.
We moved him out Monday night, taking everything he owned including his cat sans the litter box. She got to keep the litter box.
After all is said and done, their relationship ends with an agreement about a litter box.
Why this makes me want to cry I cannot say.

The next morning I went out and purchased a new litter box and litter for our new tenant Jackson.
It's been super hot here lately. Hot and humid. My favorite kind of weather.(sarcasm)
Walking into the pet store, I see a man in a heavy, striped T-shirt and jeans sitting on the sidewalk, his back up against the building. At his feet is a white dog with lots of fur, panting in this heat.
There is also a sign made up of cardboard and markers by his feet which says-
Desperate for money. Really need the help. Any amount is appreciated.
As I walk past him and his dog he waves at me.
"Gonna be a hot one he says."
Yes, I murmured and kept walking.
Once in the store I spend $45.00 on pet supplies.
New litter, new litter box, a few cans of cat food, and some enzyme spray that I use for mopping up after our Chihuahua.
He's still sitting there, him and his dog, in this heat when I come out.
While loading my stuff into the car I decide on a whim to give $5.00 to this man.
I walk back to where he is sitting by the side of the building and hand it to him.
"Here ya go. Go get yourself something to eat in someplace that is air conditioned".
He says "Thank you, wanna pet my dog?"
Uh, no.
"No thanks", I say. And I turn my back and walk away.
I feel like I did a good deed. I hope he buys a water for himself and his dog.
I hope he goes into the pizza place around the corner and gets himself a slice and an icy cold coke and eats lunch in the A/C.
I went in to the Dollar store located right next to the pet store for a few minutes.
As I'm leaving, I see Mr. Desperate for Money and his dog get up and walk away.
And I see that Mr. Desperate for Money has a lit cigarette in his mouth.
Do ya'll know what a pack of cigarettes costs???
Around these parts it's almost $7.00 a pack.
I am instantly pissed. For real?? This guy can afford cigarettes??
He is desperate for money? He really needs the help? Any amount is appreciated?
I stand there staring after him wondering if I've just been swindled.
Not really. But still. I am a little miffed to be honest.
I guess a body doesn't get to dictate what someone else buys with donated cash.
But it feels sorta sour now. I don't have that feel good thing going on anymore.
Was my generosity conditional? Maybe.
I will say that next time I see someone with a sign I might not trust their intent.
And that really isn't fair. At least to that next person.
So I'm thinking that I'm just going to let it go.
Gonna bless that man and move on with my day.
After all is said and done I did have the extra $5.00 to give away.
And it certainly won't ever be the last $5.00 I'll ever have.
And maybe, just maybe, it wasn't the man I was helping. Maybe it was the dog.
A change in my perspective can change my day.

Thanks for reading,
Love, Lolly

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Fishing for answers


Image result for many men go fishing all of their lives

I find myself staring off into space when I should be doing something else.
I blame this on the Klonopin. It's got a side effect of tiredness and confusion.
I don't like taking that pill. Wish I didn't need to take it to fall asleep.
Some nights it works others not so much.
Twice now I have found myself wide ass awake at 1:00am and have tossed and turned until 3:00am.
Other times I am awakened at 4:00am  and never do fall back to sleep.
Sometimes at 1:00am when I'm awake, I will lay there real quiet and take slow deep breaths.
Four seconds on the inhale and eight seconds on the exhale. It sorta helps.
My husband says maybe I need to up the dose.
What??   Is he crazy?  Up the dose?  No way.

What I want are answers. Still.
I want to know why I feel so much anxiety.
I want to know why I can't fall into a deep and restful sleep and remain that way until morning.
I want to know why I wake up at 1:00am feeling scared out of my mind.

The pat answer that others keep giving me-"Some people just have anxiety"
rings untrue in my head.
I know that others suffer from anxiety. I know that I now have anxiety.
But I didn't used to.
And I want to know why.
Why is it so hard to find an answer to my question of WHY?

I find myself staring off into space, not really thinking about anything.
It's like all of a sudden I come to and realize I've been sitting here doing nothing.
I feel tired all of the time. My head aches all the time. I feel grouchy.
I also feel some form of shame for complaining about my insomnia, for taking the Klonopin  and for the symptoms of the side effects.
There is a stigma attached to taking benzodiazepines.
"You're more prone to addiction if you take Klonopin."
"Pretty soon you're going to be dependent on them."
"Can't you just NOT take them?"
"Sit in a Lavender Epsom Salt bath for 20 minutes instead."
"Why don't you drink a glass or two of wine instead?"

Let me tell you this...
I would LOVE to have a glass or two of wine. I miss being able to have a glass of wine while cooking dinner or at the end of the day while watching the sunset, or when we're out to dinner for date night.
I actually miss it very much.
But I am not about to mix alcohol with Klonopin.


At church this past Sunday, our pastors sermon was on mental health.
(Did it feel like he was looking directly at me while he spoke?...yes)
One of the questions he asked the congregation was this-
"What is your bait?"
Meaning what is it that takes you away from Jesus and prayer and serenity and peace.
What is it that grabs you and pulls you under and doesn't let go?
What is it that the devil is using to personally bait you into excessive worrying or paralyzing anxiety or over-eating or over-spending?

I know the answer is fear because that is what it feels like but fear of what?

The pastor tells us to feed our minds constantly with the truth, to think about Jesus.
He says to free our minds from destructive thoughts and not to believe everything you think, because the mind is the battleground for sin.
Well now.
Listen, I don't believe that my anxiety is sin induced.
I don't know where it's coming from but I'm pretty sure it's not onaccounta
any sin.

A few days ago I read this in my Jesus Calling Devotional-
Jesus Calling – September 12th
Receive My Peace. It is My continual gift to you. The best way to receive this gift is to sit quietly in My Presence, trusting Me in every area of your life. Quietness and trust accomplish far more than you can imagine: not only in you, but also on earth and in heaven. When you trust Me in a given area, you release that problem or person into My care.
Spending time alone with Me can be a difficult discipline, because it goes against the activity addiction of this age. You may appear to be doing nothing, but actually you are participating in battles going on within spiritual realms. You are waging war—not with the weapons of the world, but with heavenly weapons, which have divine power to demolish strongholds. Living close to Me is a sure defense against evil.
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
—John 14:27
This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.”
—Isaiah 30:15
The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.
—2 Corinthians 10:4 

Today I read an entry from my Mark Nepo Devotional entitled  The Book of Awakening-


Simple as a Fish
"I've been a fish in search of bottom when I've
surfaced, in search of surface when I've bottomed, and the ribbon of God's sea passing through my gills is what I've felt and thought and spoken."
  1. A simple fish nosing its way along the bottom is in itself a profound teacher, and like the deepest teachers, it doesn't even know it is teaching. Yet in its tiny, efficient gill lives the mystery of how to live as a spirit on Earth.
  2. As we all know, by swimming, the smallest fish takes in water, and its gill turns that water into the air by which it lives. Though there are biological details that explain the mechanics of this, it is, in essence, a mystery.
  3. The question is, What in us is our gill? Our heart, our mind, our spirit, a mix of all three? Whatever it is, like the smallest fish, we must turn water into air in order to live, which for us means turning our experience into something that can sustain us. It means turning pain into wonder, heartache into joy.
  4. Nothing else matters, and just like fish we must keep swimming to stay alive. We must keep swimming through the days. We cannot stop the flow of experience or the need to take it in. Rather, all our efforts must go into learning the secret of the gill, the secret of transforming what we go through into air.
  5. So, what is your gill? For me, it is my heart, and love becomes the unseeable trail I leave behind. But whatever it might be for you, it is more important to swim through the days and honor the gill inside you than to figure out how it all works.
  • Sit quietly and breathe slowly.
  • As you breathe, notice how turning air into breath is what keeps you alive.
  • Keep breathing slowly, and as you breathe, open your heart to the mystery of turning experience into feeling and pain into wonder.
  • Inhale deeply, and let the gill inside you work.


So.
What is your bait? What is your gill? What is mine?
I like Mark's words-
"Keep breathing slowly, and as you breathe, open your heart to the mystery of turning experience into feeling and pain into wonder."

Like those fish I am going to use my gills and breathe and just keep swimming to stay alive.
Does it matter if I am being baited or if I am at the surface or at the bottom?
No. I don't need to figure out how it all works. I just need to keep swimming.

Thanks for reading,
Love, Lolly

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Miracles

This is an unusually long post. I'd appreciate it if you'd read it to the end.


What constitutes a miracle in your world?

How about fruit seeds, when planted in the dark soil and given water & sunlight, will grow into fruit trees that produce fruit that produces more fruit seed, that you can plant to grow more fruit?

Or flowers that are beautiful and smell great only because of the endless work of the bees and pollination?
Or nuts that grow on trees that produce nuts that we snack on?

Or how about conception? That one time you weren't pissed at him or too damn tired from working all day long and you said yes, just that one time, and the odds that you were ovulating at just that time, and then all the necessary things that had to happen next and then the whole shit and shebang had to "cook" for 9 months and finally you delivered a squalling baby outta your fancy business and it made you tired and grateful at the same time for the next 20  years?
Is that a miracle?

Or was the miracle that you let that screaming beautiful thing that was your newborn child, live past the age of three or four or sixteen or eighteen and when away at college they only called home for money?
That horrible little gutter snipe that wiped their nose on your pant leg and threw up in your bed, and refused to eat or drink anything but hot dogs, cut up into the size of nickels and then quartered, you know so they didn't choke, and drink green Kool-aid?
I think the miracle there is that they lived after drinking all of that awful tasting Kool-aid! Why'd I give that stuff to them ??
I don't know... we were poorer back then and Hey! at least it had vitamin C in it.
(The Kool-aid had vitamin C in it, not the hot dog. Nobody knows what's in a hot dog.)

What about the four seasons?  Winter * Spring *  Summer * Fall
Isn't it a miracle that God made each one necessary and connected to the other? In order for the next season to come about, the previous season has to go through a dying out process and then a new season is born? And the brand new season is always so bright and beautiful and brings us so much happiness and joy, so much to look forward to!  New clothes and new foods and new activities.
Until that season starts to fade and then we get all jazzed up waiting for the next one to come along. Aren't there miracles in seeing the seasons change? The smells, the colors, the change of daylight and darkness?

Works the same for us humans, yes?
When life starts to change as we get older, our seasons of self can become something we dread or something we look forward to.
When life is sad or scary or stressful, maybe it helps to find some way to let your old self pass away, so to speak, and find a new you or a newer version of you.

These past six months have been hard for me.
I've developed a panic/anxiety disorder that is rendering me sort of useless.
It started in March with my very first ever colonoscopy, which was normal.
Then it was doctor appointment after doctor appointment after doctor appointment.
First up my yearly physical, which was normal, blood work, EKG, exam..all normal.
Then a 2-D Echo at the local hospital which was normal.(my last one was in 1987)
Then on to the Dermatologist for a full body scan, which was normal.
Then the ENT (Ear, Nose, Throat) where it was discovered that I had hearing loss in my right ear.
Then back to my regular doctor for a sore throat and achy ears and a pounding heart.
She poo-pooed my symptoms (damn her hide) and I waited in misery with awful symptoms  for 4 more weeks only to go back to her office again, but this time to see her physicians assistant,  (my ENT was booked for 2 solid months)
who by the way, fixed me in a matter of 20 minutes  SIMPLY BY LISTENING TO ME!!
Now I won't say that this PA talked me into taking the anxiety medication, but she did tell me what it would do, and that was that it would help me sleep.
Once I started sleeping better, I started feeling better.
But I also noticed that besides helping me stay asleep at night, the anxiety medication was taking the edge off of my constant worrying throughout the day.
I felt less stressed, less...what's the word here... trip wired?? less likely to go off about something?
I found I wasn't grinding my teeth as much or holding my breath or wringing my hands.
The sky didn't appear to be falling so much. I stopped worrying about some of the little stuff.

I gotta tell ya it's the damnedest thing this anxiety. It has really thrown me for a loop. It has changed the way I view myself and my life and others.

August 15th I had a mammogram done. It was not normal.
They called and said I needed to schedule additional views with a possible ultra-sound to follow.
I was nervous only for a few minutes after speaking to the nurse, then I made the appointment and told my husband that I wasn't going to worry about it. I didn't want to dwell on the appointment looming on the horizon ten days from now.

I told no one but my husband. Not my sisters, not my grown kids, not my mother, not my best friend.
I think I might have mentioned it on here, I'll have to check ;)

Truly I just didn't want to think about it. I didn't want people calling and asking me questions.
I didn't want to be reminded about it. I didn't want to be spooked about it.
So the day before my appointment, I realize that I'm going to need a sitter for my 4 year old granddaughter; my grandson would be in school.
I called my daughter, told her and she said she would come over and watch Fiona.

Once at the mammography office, I'm given that warmed shawl/hospital gown/type thing.
I'd like to ask them for a cold one. I certainly do not need a heated hospital gown at my age.
I get the additional views done and the tech says "I'll be right back".
Ten minutes later she comes back and says "Yeah, um, we're gonna need to do the ultra-sound".
She brings me down the hallway to a room she calls the "Library".
Please wait here, she says.
It is dimly lit. There are comfy over stuffed chairs in a mauve color, pink walls, a box of tissue on the table.
There are positive, upbeat signs placed strategically around the room like....
LIVE NOW!
DREAM BIG!
YOU ONLY GET THIS ONE LIFE.
They all piss me off at that moment.
I grab a tissue off the table cuz now I do want to cry.  Now I'm nervous.
It's the last tissue in the box and I think to myself Great! Now I can't even bawl cuz there aren't anymore tissues in this room!
I decided to do some deep breathing to calm me down and in between breaths I whispered the word YAHWEH to myself.
Ten minutes later when they come to get me, I must have whispered that word about 20 times.

The ultra-sound room is also dark and calm and again I am asked if I would like a warm blanket.
Good Lord NO! I replied. I am 54 years old. I do not need another warm anything right now.
(Is it just me, ladies?? Am I the only one who is still able to melt what's left of the polar ice caps simply by raising my arms?)
She says "Let's begin" and her words feels ominous to me.
She applies warm gel..... and starts with the wand, sliding it back and forth.
Back and forth. Back and forth.
20 minutes of back and forth with the occasional loop of all the way around my right breast.
I hear her clicking the machine, taking notes??, freezing the frame and slowing down to click the machine for what I guess is a picture.
In my mind I am still whispering YAHWEH, I am trying to feel His hand in mine but I don't and I am still deep breathing, slowly and calmly.
I feel myself jolt awake while at the same time the tech asks "Are you ok? Need to change position's? I felt you flinch."
No, I tell her. I just fell asleep. That was me jerking in my sleep.
She mentions that this is a first for her, me falling asleep.
She says most other women do not fall asleep during this test.
I apologize cuz I'm awkward like that and don't know what else to say.
She says  "Let me go show this to the radiologist. I'll be right back."
And I go back to searching for Jesus' hand in mine. Why can't I feel Him here with me?
With nothing to do but wait, I look around the room I'm in for the first time.
And on the wall to my left is a painting of a Lighthouse, with the light shining bright for all to see.
The lyrics to the song My Lighthouse by Rend Collective start running thru my head-

In my wrestling and in my doubts
In my failures You won't walk out
Your great love will lead me through
You are the peace in my troubled sea
You are the peace in my troubled sea
In the silence, You won't let go
In the questions, Your truth will hold
Your great love will lead me through
You are the peace in my troubled sea
You are the peace in my troubled sea
My lighthouse, my lighthouse
Shining in the darkness. I will follow You
My lighthouse, my lighthouse
I will trust the promise
You will carry me safe to shore (oh-oh-oh-oh-oh)
Safe to shore (oh-oh-oh-oh-oh)
Safe to shore (oh-oh-oh-oh-oh)
Safe to shore
I won't fear what tomorrow brings
With each morning I'll rise and sing
My God's love will lead me through
You are the peace in my troubled sea
You are

The tech comes back and brings the radiologist with her and my heart plummets to the floor.
Hi, I'm Dr. Guido he says. Let's have a look see here.
The two of them, the Dr. and the tech both start looking at the machine, while the Dr. himself  wields the wand.
At a certain point in their search, at the exact same moment they both say "THERE! Right there!"
I hear them concurring, talking, advising each other-
Yep, Uh-huh, Ok, Can you get me back to that exact location? There. Stop right there. There, see??

"You see that little black C shape on the screen he asks me?"  No.
 "Do you see that dark area there and the way that it is being fed by a little supply of blood?"  No.
"What we have here is a benign little lymph node. It lives way in the back near your chest wall. That's where they like to hang out.
All is well. We will see you in a year."
Dr. Guido shakes my hand, tells me to have a good day, and tells me I am free to go.
I thank everybody I see on my way out the door of the clinic and text my husband and daughter the news from my car before I even start driving.

I don't start crying until I am already driving and 5 blocks away from home.
I am so flooded with relief that I cannot stop crying. I am beyond relieved.
I don't have a word for how I feel. Euphoric maybe? Happy at the very least.
I'm wiping my tears so I don't walk in the house looking like I've just cried all the way home.
At a stop sign I turn on the radio and a song comes on.
I'd like to be able to tell you that it was My Lighthouse by Rend Collective but it wasn't.
It was The Revelation Song by Phillips, Craig and Dean.

Worthy is the Lamb who was slain
Holy, holy is Thee
Sing a new song to Him who sits on
Heaven's mercy seat
Worthy is the Lamb who was slain
Holy, holy is He
Sing a new song to Him who sits on
Heaven's mercy seat
Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty
Who was and is and is to come
With all creation I sing praise to the King of kings
You are my everything and I will adore You
Clothed in rainbows of living color
Flashes of lighting rolls of thunder
Blessing and honor strength and glory and power be
To You the only one who's King
Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty
Who was and is and is to come
With all creation I sing praise to the King of kings
You are my everything and I will adore You
Filled with wonder awestruck wonder
At the mention of Your name
Jesus Your name is power, breath and living water
Such a marvelous mystery
Oh, You're worthy, mystery
You are worthy
Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty
Who was and is and is to come
With all creation I sing praise to the King of kings
You are my everything and I will adore You, I will adore You


Today I feel as if I received a miracle. Whether it was the doctor, or the test results or that picture of a lighthouse hanging on the wall as a reminder,
I feel like HE gifted me with something.
HE may not have held my hand but HE was there with me.
I just didn't know it until afterwards when I started crying.
Whenever Jesus is near me I always cry, I just do. That's how I know HE's close by.

Thanks for reading all the way to the bottom of this post.
I'm going to go find something wonderful to do today.
I don't know what just yet, but I'll find something.
I am thankful and grateful and filled with awestruck wonder today friends,

Love, Lolly




Friday, August 25, 2017

Ohhh. You meant THAT kind of sorrow.



*Not getting the chance to say good-bye to my sister before she died. Not being able to talk to her anymore.  Lord, but I miss the sound of her voice.

*Missing my dad and remembering how awful the end of his life was and how my moms grief and panic made it so much worse on everyone.
She was particularly vicious and vindictive to me.
My two sisters and I could not for the life of us figure out why. She even went so far as to tell a family member (my absentee brother) to call the hospital security staff to have me removed from my dads hospital room as he lay dying. She had accused me of making fun of him and I told her to stop saying that.
How much I'd love to be able to talk to that calm, and caring man today.

*Never knowing the sound of my daughters voice or the color of her eyes or seeing her first tooth come in or watching her take her first steps or running through the yard and laughing while daddy chased and tickled her.

*The 28 years of hard drinking that wrecked the both of us. We were both so damn mean to each other. I'd love to go back and start again. But we don't get that chance, do we?
Yeah yeah, I know Alanon gives us some semblance of repair. But I want to know what him and I would be like if none of that damage had ever happened.

*My brother walking away from the family 34 years ago and never coming back. Except for the funerals of my sister and my dad. Fat lot of good that did anybody. Why only then??

*The horrific gift of animal euthanasia. And the hole in my life and heart that each of those beautiful souls have left behind.
Mojo, Fluffy, Baby, Junior, and Pup-pup.

*Syria and the choices the people on the round have had to make in order to survive. Where is God in this?

Where was God in ANY of this??

I lay and have laid all of this at the feet of Jesus. I've relinquished my pain and my anger and my dashed hopes.
We all have only done what we were capable of doing at the time.
I offer grace and forgiveness to my family, my friends, my husband.
But mostly I offer it up to myself.
Jesus doesn't want me to live a sorrow filled life.
And when you really think about it, most of those things on my sorrowful list are about death and dying, and what exactly is death and dying??
Isn't it really just moving from one place to another? Isn't it about going to our true home?
 It's about going home to live with Jesus. And again I ask, how can that be sorrow filled?
So I will take each day as at comes. Forgiving when necessary.
Loving others as I can.
Offering up peace, hope, grace and mercy to everyone I see.
Especially to myself.

Thanks for reading,
Love, Lolly

Thursday, August 24, 2017

What sorrow?

What sorrow can I cast on Him?


I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry
Hank Williams

Hear that lonesome whippoorwill
He sounds too blue to fly
That means he's lost the will to live
I'm so lonesome I could cry
Did you ever see a night so slow
As time goes draggin' by
The moon just went behind the clouds
To hide its face and cry
The silence of a falling star
Lights up a purple sky
And as I wonder where you are
I'm so lonesome I could cry


I'm lonely. I haven't lost the will to live, but I am lonely.
I'm lonely for girlfriends. I'm lonely for neighbors over the back fence, chatting as we rake our leaves or needing a cup of sugar, or hey do you have an onion I can borrow?
I'm lonely for couples friends.
We have seating for 16 on our back patio and the only thing occupying any of those seats are Squirrels, birds and spiders.
I'd like to be friends with some of the mothers at my grandsons school for play dates and all that rot.
When school ended last May, I gave out my name, address and cell phone # to two of the mothers that would stand near me in the pick up line after school. Both of their boys had been in my grandsons class. I approached them and said that I would love to get the boys together over the Summer. I offered to meet with them at the school playground to give the boys a chance to play.
They did not offer me their addresses or phone numbers but still I was hopeful that they would call, since they had my number.

We (I) waited all Summer for the phone to ring. It didn't. The grand kids and I took a long walk around the neighborhood several times, trying to spot where some of the kids might live.
Now, mind you, I didn't do this in a creeping stalker kind of way.
I (we) simply walked the neighborhood looking at the houses and yards whilst listening for the sound of children laughing or splashing or playing ball or even talking. We heard nothing.
It was as if our entire neighborhood had turned into an old folks community.
Where were all the people? Where were all the kids? Why was there no noise?
We saw no bike riders, no kids splashing each other with the hose, nobody drawing chalk on the driveway, no hide-n-seekers, nobody running to meet the ice cream truck. No little kids in blow-up pools or hopping scotch or roller skating or skate boarding.
The houses were all quiet and the gardens were all well tended.
But there wasn't a shred of evidence that any children lived in these neighborhoods.
Where is everybody? What are they doing? Why do I not hear or see a soul?

I started to entertain the idea that perhaps our community had decided to hire someone like the Child Catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
I waited to hear an elder yell at me from a shuttered window-
"Fraulein! Schnell schnell bitte, hide zee kinder"!

So we remained by ourselves all Summer. We went to the beach and the water park, the dollar store, McDonald's, the local ice cream shop, my daughters house to play with their cousins and marvel at her Koi pond, went boating with Uncle Matt, fishing with grandpa, swimming in my sisters pool. They were taken tent camping and to carnivals and to fireworks. I signed them up for the Summer Reading Club at our local library. We went to our local Nature Center and saw Butterfly's, and a live working beehive, frogs and Humming Birds, Hawks and Chipmunks and painted turtles.
It rained a ton in the beginning of Summer so we stayed inside and played board games, read books and played with dolls and played restaurant with the play food, made Matchbox race track courses and built ginormous train tracks for Thomas and his friends.
When the mosquito's grew to the size of pterodactyls, we again stayed in and turned on Netflix.
I made them picnic lunches and they ate with their eyes glued to the TV screen watching Moana, Finding Dory, and The Secret Life of Pets.
Summer break seemed to go by in a flash. It always does, doesn't it?
School started up again yesterday.

Today Fiona and I rode our bikes to get Patrick at the end of the school day.
And there they were...these two women, standing together again in the pick up line at school, waiting to get their boys.
One smiled at me and said "Hi, how was your Summer?" The other one ignored me.
She. Ignored. Me.    On purpose.
How do I know that? Please. We all know when it's being done on purpose.
We just do.

I wanted to feel sorry for myself. I tried. I initially wanted to be friendly with these women so the boys could play together but also so I could find some friends that I could do things with.
I find myself in a strange position of being the Nanny Granny and I feel my age keeps me from fitting in. I'm not a young, hip, cute mom, and I'm not the age of a high school babysitter either.
I find myself in lonely territory. It feels like a no-mans land. Nothing in common with the young moms. But still too young for the geriatric generation that likes to get the early bird special at 4:30 and be home before dark.

But as I was typing this post I re-saw all of the activities me and these two grandchildren of mine had done all Summer and it made me realize that we had had a pretty darn good time this Summer.
The only activity we missed was playing at that school playground.
So how can I feel sorrow over that?

Jesus shows up in so many different ways in my life.
I see his fingerprints all over these Summer activities I did with my grand kids.
Thank You for that Jesus, Thanks for everything.



This song!! I love it! Just goes to show that it is always about perspective. And gratitude.

Thanks for reading,
Love, Lolly



Tuesday, August 22, 2017

What prayers can I pray?

This is the next question from my list-

What prayers can I pray?

Yesterday I prayed that the whole damn world didn't go crazy watching the Eclipse.
Up here at the top of Illinois it was cloudy. Nothing much happened in our sky.
I had a pair of NASA approved glasses and when I put them on to look at the barely visible Sun all I saw was a small blurry orange ball in the sky.
There was no day turning to night, there was no black hole sun, no large looming and moving shadows, no screaming...
(Well, ok there was a little bit of screaming yesterday- the grandkids were here)
I have to say that I was disappointed. I wanted to see and feel that weird negative-like,  silvery feeling everybody was experiencing.
I wanted to scream in glory at what I was witnessing.
(Wait. I think I did that. I did tell ya that the grandkids were here yesterday,
didn't I?) lol
Already I am sick of looking at everybody else's solar eclipse pictures but honestly I think that's just jealousy talking.
So, Yay! I pray you all had a good time watching that miracle.

Ahem.

Somehow I threw my back out. On Saturday I cleaned the house.
Mopping floors, vacuuming rugs and carpets, changing sheets, 4 loads of laundry, the bathroom, the kitchen.
By that afternoon I was walking slow but it just felt strained and sore.
I never felt a pop or a pull. Never felt a defining moment that I had injured myself.
But on Sunday I had to leave church half way through. I couldn't stand the pain of sitting anymore.
I took it easy the rest of Sunday (kinda like you're supposed to!) and took Advil and napped.
Yesterday it felt a little better.
In the morning I took the grandkids out to our tomato patch to collect more tomatoes.
As I bent over to grab a few that were close to the ground I felt a zing.
Not a zing... a ZING.
I could barely stand back up. It took me a second to catch my breath and get my bearings and then the grandkids and I headed back into the house.
I put my husbands TENS unit on, took 3 Advil, laid on the couch with my knees elevated and told the grandkids to read books or watch a movie or play trains.
Two hours later I felt pretty good again.
I had a haircut appointment at 11:30 so I told these two to start picking up the toys.
When I bent over to pick up a box of toy trains (that my grandson can lift!!) it zinged again.
Only this time the zing made me drop that box of trains and it dropped me to my knees.
Granny said a lot of bad words right then I can tell you. A lot.
The pain was excruciating for a few seconds. Once I could stand I found I needed to walk a bit slower than normal.
Didn't stop me from driving to get my hair cut although it hurt like hell getting in and out of the car.
Hair cut is cute. She did a good job.
After we got home I laid back down and babied my back for the rest of the day.
I only hobbled outside that one time to look at that blurry orange solar eclipse.
Ice isn't helping but the TENS unit does as does Advil and taking it easy and not moving too much.
Today I am praying for the pain to not be as intense and I am praying for relief of my symptoms.

Last week I had my mammogram done.
They called 6 hours later and told me that they see something unusual and I need additional views and need to have an Ultrasound scheduled. I have an appointment for August 31.
Surprisingly that news did not send me over the edge. And I don't know why.
I worry about everything else under the Sun but I am not worried about this.
Still...I will be saying my prayers of protection and healing anyway.

My mother-in-law (who I detest) got stung by a bee and had a severe throat closing reaction.
I prayed for God to ease her pain and give her comfort.
That's it.
Dusted off my hands and moved on with my day.
God understands the history we have with each other.

And last but not least, I pray for DJT to be removed from office.
In any way possible.
And I know that might make you think of me as a horrible person.
And maybe I am.
But the fear he instills in this country, in the world, the fear he instills in me needs to be dealt with.

Don't hate me for that.
Pray for me instead.

Thanks for reading,
Love, Lolly







Wednesday, August 9, 2017

What Grace can I share?

I've been sick with an upper respiratory illness since July 6th.
And panic stricken with anxiety for a while before that.
My blood pressure has also been on the rise.
I'm sleep deprived from waking in terror, at God knows what, 
at 3:00am every night.
I'm short tempered... more so than usual, due to that deprivation.
The grand kids, the lord bless them, have felt it more than anyone.

I don't like being sick. It worries me. Why am I always sick? Am I always sick?
Am I being overly dramatic and simply being a hypochondriac?
I post a lot about feeling unwell on this blog.
Write what you live...Live what you write...is this true?
What about this one ...What you think about is what you live with?
Or What your thoughts dwell on is what you will experience in your life?
Am I causing my own misery?

Here's the thing-
I don't like appearing weak. Or needy. Or depressed. 
Or dumb or stupid or lazy or wrong.
Or having anxiety.
I have had issues with anxiety most of my married life. 
I would like to place some of the blame for that on him.
We lived a volatile existence for nearly 28 years, him and I.
Too much alcohol and not enough talking or praying or trusting from either of us.
I did the best I could with what I had to work with at the time.
I will say the same goes for him.

But he got well...ahem..."We" got well, and my anxiety has remained.
I just worry about different things now.
Grand kids becoming ill or dying. Car accidents or maybe a relative getting murdered. Tornado's or house fires or dropping dead from a heart attack. 

What is this madness???

Friday at my doctor appointment I was offered an olive branch by the Nurse Practitioner.

I told ya'll about feeling dismissed by my doctor a couple of weeks ago.
How she only wanted to prescribe me anti-anxiety meds...how she said that some people just have anxiety, and how I didn't really agree with her statement. 
I wanted a diagnosis; a reason FOR the anxiety.
Plus, I was too afraid to tell her that I am afraid of anxiety meds.
How's that for a statement?? I have anxiety over anxiety medication.

Anyway the Nurse Practitioner sat with me and listened to me. 
I told her about the rushing sound in my ears. I told her that the sound of my own heartbeat in my ears is starting to drive me mad...like the story of the Tell-Tale Heart. 
I told her about my headaches and my sleepless nights and gasp! I even told her about my 3:00am anxiety attacks.

When she touches my overheated skin with her icy cold hands I feel relief.
I feel a healing element pulsing beneath the touch of her fingers.
And it feels like compassion. It feels like grace. And it feels like I want to cry.

She discovers both eardrums filled to the brim with a thick glue like fluid.
"Have you had this since July?" she asks me
"Well it's no wonder you can't hear anything besides your heartbeat. It's also why you're not sleeping. The fact that you have an infection in your ears from this fluid plus the aggravation from the noise of that fluid pounding against your ear drums is causing you to lose sleep.
You need to sleep" she tells me. "Not sleeping is also causing your blood pressure to rise."

She prescribes a strong antibiotic, and also Mucinex to thin the fluid in my ears and....klonipin.
Klonipin....the dreaded anti-anxiety medication.
"Try it" she tells me. "Just take one. I'm giving you a very low dose. 
And I'm only giving you ten pills.
See if it doesn't at the very least help you stay asleep so we can address this blood pressure issue." 

I stare at that bottle of pills for an hour after I get home before I crack it open.
Down at the bottom are 10 yellow pills staring right back up at me.

"Take one", he says from behind me.
But I'm afraid to, I tell him.
"Nothings going to happen except you will fall asleep" he says.
But what if I feel weird after I take it? I ask him.

It feels like a weakness to me having to rely on anxiety medication.
I'm stronger than this, aren't I??
Anxiety, the wretch, always has to have its say, doesn't it?

I take one with a full glass of water and try to convince myself that I will still be alive in the morning.
I am hopeful that I won't wet the bed due to my euphoric stupor of taking this anxiety pill and then finding myself too paralyzed by the side effects to walk and too drugged to do anything but lay there and drool.

Good Lord but I am a head case, right??

Want to know what really happened after I took that pill??
I went to sleep. And slept all night. For 8 straight hours.
No drooling. No paralysis. No wetting the bed. No dying. No anxiety.

So today when I had to go back for a recheck she asked me how was I doing.
My ears are much better! No more heart pounding! No more headaches. 
And the blood pressure is almost back to normal...readings are much lower.
"How's the sleeping?" she asked.
The Klonipin worked wonderfully I admitted. Would it be alright if I got a 30 day prescription?
And just like that I offered up grace to myself.
I decided that it doesn't make me weak or wrong or dumb or lazy or stupid or anything else, to need that medication. It also didn't make me feel wonky so there is that.

I'm not sure why I insist on judging myself so harshly over this issue.
But for the time being I am allowing myself to just take it one day at a time.
Hmmm....Where have I heard that saying before?

So. What grace can I share?
How about this?


Thanks for reading,
Love, Lolly