Thursday, November 29, 2012


I got to my Tuesday night meeting 20 minutes late. The grand youngin' has a fever and wants his Nanny to stay home. He cries and it breaks my heart to leave him. So I sit with him for a few extra minutes, knowing that I will be forgiven for being late. I am glad to be at this meeting. I had skipped it last week. I so enjoy being with this group. The sharing that is done by all and the friendships that have been formed are soothing to my soul. But because I was so late I had missed the first half of the Lead's speech. I soon realized that it was about Step 10-
Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
We go around the room to share our stories and thoughts and I was going to be at the end of the line so to speak, but I still felt lost. I felt rushed and flummoxed. Started to feel a little panicky because I didn't have anything to add to the conversation. Nothing was coming to my mind. I had nothing to say. Wait. Let me type that again. I. Had. Nothing. To. Say. Boom!
I grabbed my Courage to Change and started flipping through the index looking for a good page about the 10th step. Nuttin'. Crap! What am I gonna do?? I was racking my brain....c'mon, c'mon..... and still I had nothing to add. It was getting closer to my turn. Only 3 more people to share before me, wow, that was quick, now only 2 more to go until it's my turn... I can feel that I am mind has reached a fevered pitch....searching, searching for something, anything to say... now it's Bob's turn.....and he chooses to pass. He passes!!!   And a split second before I open my mouth to say something completely stupid or irrelevant on account of I really hadn't been listening to anybody 'cuz I was so worried about my own thoughts and what I was gonna say, I realize that I too can pass. Just like Bob. Bing! Just like that I realize that I too can pass when it is my turn to share. I don't always have to open my mouth to say something. Which is one of my biggest defects, the feeling like I always gotta add my two cents to the conversation. And you know what?? It was a relief. I felt relieved when I heard myself say that I was gonna pass. I apologized for being late, explained about the sick grandson and the fever and his wanting his Nanny to stay with him and then I passed. And it felt good to do it. Like a cold wash cloth feels on your head when you have a fever; like a sigh of relief.
My only regret of the night was that I hadn't really heard a word of what the others had said about Step 10. So here is my share about Step 10. I'm sorry that I missed all of the shares at my Tuesday night meeting and I promise to be a better listener in the future. I will try to remember that I can learn from listening to you all and I can pass and not share and that that is ok with all of you too.
And with that I'll pass.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Thankful anyway

I believe Ann Voskamp said it.....
"You only know how to give thanks always when you know how to give thanks, anyway".  

Holidays make the Hubs crazy. My guess is that it brings back too many memories for him of what it was like growing up in that crazy atmosphere. Celebrating any holiday, really, makes him edgy and well, sometimes just plain mean. He shuts down and becomes reclusive. Thanksgiving at my sister's house finds him sitting alone in the living room while the rest of us are in the dining room and or kitchen. Sometimes he "hides" in plain sight...standing outside using his I-phone or sitting in her garage smoking cigarettes or reading a magazine or a newspaper that he has brought along. Yes. He brings along something to read or otherwise occupy himself when we go to family parties. That way he can maintain the distance he feels he needs to keep people from getting too close to him. So he can say " See?? No one talks to me. I am always alone at your family's parties. No one cares about me". This used to bother me in past years. Pretty much had myself jumping thru hoops back then trying to insure that he had a nice holiday. Running around like crazy, trying to make everything perfect so he would be happy and not drink but it always ended up with both of us being miserable. Me because I was emotionally exhausted from trying to please a man who was unpleasable. Him because he was just plain miserable without a drink in his hand so he would invent reasons to make his drinking necessary. I would say to him  "Hon, foods done, come and get a plate. Whatcha doin' out here by yourself? Don't you want to watch football with the other guys? Can I get you anything? You feeling ok? Did you eat yet? Whaddya mean did I save you any potatoes? Why didn't you get a plate of food when I told you to? Do you wanna go home?" 

Ugh!!! All those years of trying to read his mind and  anticipate what he wanted or needed when all he wanted was to feel sorry himself. When all he really wanted was a damn drink. He would cause just enough of a rift between us with his attitude or his nasty comments that he would have his drink and have an excuse and a reason and a person to blame it on, so that when his drink became drinks and he became drunk it was never his fault. Does that make any sense to you ??  It does to me. And it makes me cringe thinking back on all those years of being so miserable and not knowing what was wrong with him or me or how to fix it or us. Thank God for Alanon. Saved me from myself if nothing else. Saved me from wearing myself out trying to please him when in truth nothing was going to do that. So these past 2 Thanksgivings have been pretty good for me at least. I'm not sure if he has had a good time or not. I know that I did and in the end that 's all I can ask for. I am responsible for my happiness and I am not at fault or going to take the blame if he is still unhappy or feeling reclusive at our family gatherings. I am thankful for him and my family and our kids and grand kids and for being healthy and having a home and a car and groceries.....etc. I have learned to be thankful anyways, no matter what's happening in our lives. 
Christmas will be here before we know it and I have been bitten by the Christmas spirit. So I'm off to get my house decorated. I'll check back in later. Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

May we, please?

Here's hoping that you and yours have a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends. And in regards to the prayer below, can I just say Amen??   Amen.
May we be the blessing today and not the curse.
May we encourage one another towards an abundant life.
May we seek peace and reconciliation in our own hearts and with the hearts of those around us.
May we live humbly.
May we give people, all people; our family, our friends, our neighbors, our communities and our leaders, the benefit of the doubt.
May we let LOVE lead us.
May we let generosity guide our actions.
May we stand for what Christ stood for or rather stand with those whom Christ stands with. ALL.
May we get down off our fences and high posts and come down into the level ground, into the open space where all truly live.
May we dwell in this fertile ground where our lives WILL eventually turn outward toward others.
May we allow our focus to turn from me to them to you and finally to us.
May we live united.
May we seek SHALOM.
May we be reminded of the image of God in all of our lives.
May we seek communion with all.
May we be the blessing not the curse.
 Melissa Greene 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Samson and Delilah

Two weeks ago Friday, I had typed the first paragraph of a post about my new hair cut. I really thought that I had something to say about the way it made me feel. Strong, powerful, fifty and fabulous! Was even gonna try and somehow compare my lobbed off tresses to the biblical story of Samson and Delilah. I bet it would have been a great post. But I'll never know. Cuz right then, real life stepped in. Our beautiful gray cat, Baby, started to look sickly. Started acting strange. And I knew, within a matter of minutes what was happening or rather what was going to happen fairly soon.
 Baby started acting sick. She sort of stumbled when she walked. She wasn't eating. She was gasping for air. And I remembered that she was 13 years old. The same age our other cat Fluffy had been. And since the poor baby hated going to the Vet, my daughter and I decided to let her pass on at home so she wouldn't be traumatized by the car ride. We tried to feed her all her favorite things....bacon, potato chips, a saucer of milk. She wanted nothing but to be left alone. And that was something that we just couldn't do. Leave her alone. We could tell that she was uncomfortable, that she couldn't find a position that allowed her to lay down and breathe at the same time. And we felt so helpless.  We took turns being with all day long. Petting her, crooning nonsense words to her, trying to make her feel better when actually it was ourselves that needed the comforting. Finally after 8 hours of watching her struggle she laid herself down and breathed her last. I ugly cried after that. Felt to me like I was howling. Probably wasn't actually howling tho it felt like it at the time. Losing an animal is always so hard for me. I hate the hole that their absence leaves behind. And sometimes I hate that Rainbow Bridge. Well meaning friends have in the past, sent me copies of it or have posted on my Facebook page the Rainbow Bridge poem and I know that they mean well, but I am usually so upset and sad about my pet's passing that reading this poem doesn't comfort me in the least. In fact it usually makes me cry harder. So with that being said, I have not read that poem nor have I watched the video that I linked to this post. I've watched it in the past and I bawled the whole time. So life goes on and my house is a little quieter now. Baby was a vocal cat...always meowing and chirping at us. I will miss the sound of her voice and the sound of her squeaky purring. I will miss her one gray toe and her beautiful green expressive eyes. I will miss her dander but I won't miss the sneezing. I will miss calling her name and having her respond by peaking her head around the corner as if to say "Did you call for me"?  God Speed to that Rainbow Bridge Baby. Tell Mojo and Fluffy that I said hi and that I think of them and miss them every single day. Gonna go ugly cry now. I'll be back later.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

The ABC's of me

Found this on the internet so I did it just for fun. What about you? Wanna play?

The ABC’s of me:
Age:  50
Bed Size:  Queen
Chore I Hate:  Folding socks
Dogs:  Chihuahua’s. We have 2. Chico and Makena
Essential to start my day:  Coffee and Devotional readings
Favorite Color:  Chocolate Brown
Gold or Silver:  Gold
Height:  5’3”
Instrumental to have in my life: God's grace
Job Title:  Grandma
Kids:  2 daughters living, 1 daughter deceased, 1 son
Live:  Illinois
Month I was born:  September
Nicknames:  He calls me Babe
Overnight hospital stays:  6
Pet Peeves: Lying and public drunkeness
Quote from a movie:  Gustav! You horrible little snipe! From Ever After
Right or Left Handed:  Right
Siblings:  2 sisters living, 1 sister deceased, 1 brother
Time it takes me to get ready:  About an hour. Start to finish.
Ultimate Vacation:  Italy
Vegetable I hate:  Artichokes. And Tomatoes. I know that they're a fruit, but whatever.
What makes me run late: Having a bad hair day. And him. He always runs late.
X-rays I’ve had:  Dental and a chest x-ray once. Oh and mammograms.
Yummy food that I make: Roasted Pork and Apples and a warm Cherry Crisp to die for!
Zoo animal:  Polar bears. Especially baby ones.

Friday, November 2, 2012

When the words won't come

What do you do when the words won't come? How do you pray for people in the midst of a storm when you've never been through that kind of a storm before? What do you pray for when you hear of the horrific things that have happened to people in the middle of that storm? Are my words, thoughts and prayers enough? Is anything I ever pray for really going to be enough of a balm to someone else's injured spirit? Can I really pray long enough and hard enough to ease someone's sorrow?? This morning I heard on the news that 2 small children, ages 2 and 4, had died during Hurricane Sandy. Their mother had been driving with them in the family minivan through flooded streets when the van stalled. As she exited the car both boys were swept out of her arms by rushing flood water. I cannot imagine her horror. I cannot wrap my brain around the enormity of what that did to her. I can imagine the keening howl of a mother, and I can imagine that that keening howl would have rivaled the howling sound of a hurricanes wind. I usually don't watch the news so I have to wonder what it is that God wants me to learn from this, since He showed me this and since today is one of the few days that I did turn the news on.  What's the lesson? What is He trying to show me? What does He want me to use this for?? Why show me something so gut wrenching??  I have buried a child. I know how that part feels. I know how it feels to have those dreams about what she would have been like as an adult, or who she would have looked like, Mom or Dad? or what her first word might have been. My child never looked at me or her Daddy. Never uttered a sound or got to cry for her Mama because she was scared or tired or hungry or lonely. She never got to walk or have a first tooth or even take her first breath. But my child wasn't washed away in flood waters. My full term child died 12 hours before she was born. My child died in her own amniotic waters. So what is the question that He is  trying to get me to think about? Is the question which situation is worse?? A child dying before they were born or a child dying before their 5th birthday? Is it worse never knowing the color of their eyes or the sound of their voice or the smell of their hair ? Or perhaps it would be worse not being able to forget the color of their eyes or hearing their voice or smelling their hair? I only lost one child. She lost two. At the same time. Neither one of us had a choice in the matter. And I can tell you that in my case, praying did nothing to rid me of my anguish. I begged. I pleaded, I keened. Maybe there is no comparison. Maybe I should just pray for that Mama. But the words won't come. And all I want to do is cry. For her. For her and her unbearable loss. Lord....please........Give me the words.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Grace and Light

I light a candle everyday during my morning prayer time. Usually it is a scented candle that matches the decor in my living room and has something to do with the season we're in or an upcoming holiday. Lighting a candle also helps to dispense with the darkness that this time of year brings and makes the room feel warmer and somehow more cozy. Somewhere I heard that the candles flame signifies the light of God. So I also light my candle as a way of reminding myself to let the Light of God into my home.  And each time a lit candle catches your eye, you are supposed to say a prayer for peace in your home. I love this idea. Kinda like asking for God's grace and light to shine down on me and mine. And if God's grace and light comes with the added bonus of smelling like Pumpkin Spice or Autumn Leaves well then I consider myself twice blessed!
(I know the picture is blurry. It was the best that I could do.)