Come sit with me, let's visit

Come sit with me, let's visit

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Losing one Close to you

Nearly two years ago I lost both my grandparents. To be completely honest I lost them several years ago, but they both died two years ago. 

This is my memory so I shall tell you as I saw them. Ms. Virginia was the lady in any room she entered. She was tall in heels which she used to wear often and she always had some sort of jewelry ensemble on. Complete with broach. I remember playing in her jewelry box as a small girl and putting on so much that my arms were heavy. She said I could as long as I didn't take anything away. Oh, she was lovely and she had these expressive hand gestures that were long and wide and probably very envied by any closet drag queen that knew her. Her white hair was always neat, and she had the greatest cowlick in front that made a elegant Big Boy swirl right in front. She crocheted booties for everyone, every year. She didn't know how to open the hood of a car, let alone what a single thing was called under there. Oh, she knew the words, and how to spell them. But couldn't point at spark plug wire --unless there was a bet involved.

OT was a loud and stoic man. --Let's taste that a minute. Loud. And Stoic. Yup, that was him. From my end of the world, I knew everything he felt, and everything he thought. I somehow thought I had a magic window into his head and heart. He was my MAN. The only perfect man there ever was. Smoking, swearing, martinis, grousing. Perfect. He told dirty jokes and loved to antagonize the quietest person in the room. If there was a 20 something in the vicinity he was not related to, it was his mission to make her blush. And I never saw him fail. He loved a horrid cat that hated being alive and barely like him. He also loved his dogs Didn't care what shape size or color, as long as they followed the man's every word. I only know of one dog to ever ignore him. 

She passed first. At her service, he told me if anything happened to him, I had to take his dog. I had the best behaved dogs he had ever seen. Which, of course, increased my size about 300%. So, I did. I have a poodle. She is blind, deaf and gray. I have seen her startle, literally, at her own shadow more than once. She smells wretched, and she has terrible discipline. When we go somewhere she is 8 inches behind me, if she gets any further, she gets lost.

When I lost her, I held my breath. Because I knew he would go soon. When I lost him, I grieved them both. I wanted to kneel at the grave, and promise to display their strengths, and remember the lessons they taught me. I wanted to absorb them both into me and make sure everyday that I did something that would honor them and what they gave me. 

I guess today, I did.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


I was recently reminded of being thankful for things. Okay, here it goes…

            I am grateful for my home, which I have spent time changing to suit me. I enjoy the yard and the challenges it gives me. I am grateful for my ugly purple sofa which is the most comfortable thing in the living room. I am grateful for the baby that lives in my home and teaches me the RIGHT NOW is important and not to be forgotten.
            I am grateful for both my children; each with their strengths that I see easily, as well as their flaws, which are harder for me to see. Strong, independent and beautiful people that will learn patience as they mature.
            I am grateful for the sound of dog toenails on my floor. The occasional cold nose that grazes my toes, in an effort to make me squeal (it works). I am grateful that they keep me on a schedule of feeding them and scratching them. I am even grateful for the inherited poodle, who comes out of her shell and plays with me once a week.
            I am grateful that, right now, I am healthy. I feel good. I feel that if I put my mind to something, I could do it. If only I could turn down the radio noise in my head. I have found the volume button. It is only a matter of time.
            I am grateful that there is food in the house, clean laundry and stuff to do every day.
            I am grateful that I am not raiding my penny jar for the utilities. But that may not be far off.
            I am grateful for my best friend. He has heard all my foibles, all my adventures, all my conquests. He knows my wicked heart and my selfish side. And still answers my questions before they are asked. Last night, I was mulling over things that were not of immediate importance, but were troublesome to my mind at that moment. I was making dinner, he came into the kitchen, took my hands and asked me why I was so troubled. When I asked how he knew, he said he heard me sigh and knew that I needed a hug, just from that sound. For that I am grateful beyond words.
            I am grateful for my life. I have done many amazing things. 

Monday, January 24, 2011


Sleep. Something I have not had a great deal of lately. Many years ago I learned lots of interesting things about sleep.  For instance, do you know about Circadian rhythms? It’s the internal clock you run by. Sleep at this time, be awake at that time. Everyday you wake naturally at a certain time, and everyday, certain parts of your brain shut down for rest-whether you sleep or not. But, if you don’t sleep, ever, your body will die. It needs that reset time to function. When you are tired you begin to get cranky, or clumsy or just plain horrible to be around. Your body needs sleep.
            Since my job, often, requires me to forgo sleep, I went through the process of creating a luxurious place to put my body when it does get to recharge. The room is fairly peaceful. It was important to create symmetry there. The bed is expensive (I found a “going-out-of-business” sale, and still spent a great deal of money). The sheets are either high thread count, or heavy weight flannel. Soft, supportive and safe. I used to love going there. Sleep and sleep and sleep. Now, I have nightmares. Images that horrify me and change from casual to – well, nightmarish – with absolutely no notice whatsoever.
            Yes, I have a doctor, and a shrink. Yes, they have addressed this. I do get sleep every day now. A few weeks ago, there would be one or two nights a week where I would stay up and watch movies or surf the internet wherever my dreaming mind took me. But the quality isn’t that great, and the nightmares still come. Sometimes the images are dim and the volume is LOUD. I wake up thinking I’ve been to an Ozzy concert, my ears ringing and my head a little light. Comfy haven or not, my bed can’t cure insomnia.
            You know you spend a third of your life there, asleep. I may have spent much less than that. Between the job and now, I may have only spent about a fourth of my life there. I nap, and I sleep when I can, for as long as I can. But there is this scary thing in there, and sometimes it feels like it wants to eat me, like a Stephen King monster. Something as mundane as sleep can kill you if you don’t do it enough, but if you go to sleep, something with long dark shiny fingers, and not quite human fingernails will start to reach for you, in the dark. The only thing that can save you- and eider down silk comforter.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Addressing the Dead

Addressing the dead. I have done so many times. Those who have family around and the death came as a surprise (he just came back from a run!). I have been with those that knew death was coming and had made many arrangements for the deceased months ago (I am just there to embrace the bereaved and make sure that their support system is on the way to aide). And those that died alone, with no family, their family having given up on them long ago (I never care why, alcohol, mental illness, or just plan mean spiritedness). Sometimes, they go unnoticed for days, and the only reason I went was because some saw or smelled something ‘for a day or two’ that caused them to call the cops (who call me, cause they think its gross).
            No death is dignified and no matter how many folks we have around, we each face our death alone. There is nothing dignified about losing control of your bodily functions and soiling yourself (isn’t that why mom always said to wear clean underwear?). I have looked into the eyes of the dying while doing my job, and there is a moment that they ‘know’. Sometimes it’s within 60 seconds of leaving, sometimes less. At that moment, I work as hard as I can. And I tell them, ‘I am here, you are not alone’. When there is nothing to do, I hold his or her hand, if no one else is there. I have had spiritual experiences more than once at these times. Hard to explain and sound sane.
            The most profound event was a gentleman I was working very hard on, I was sweating and my hands were doing many things at once. The place I was in became very bright, like right before a light bulb burns out. So bright, I had to squint. I looked at the lights to see if there was an impending danger that needed to be avoided, and then I felt warm all over. I was pretty sure that was due to the electrical problem too. Then, I just calmed. I felt warm and safe, embraced by the dead on his way by. This has happened more than once to me. I would hate to discover it was only my imagination.
            I believe in Hereafter. I don’t know who is in charge. Buddha, God, Yahweh, Gaia, or She-Ra. I don’t actually care. I believe that doing bad things will get you in trouble. I believe penance is important, and redemption. I believe there is a Divine Plan, and that Free Will can alter that spontaneously. But I think that is something you face alone too. Just like when the house is empty, and your mind starts to wander, YOU know YOUR truth. And so does the Deity. 

Saturday, January 22, 2011


            Can we discuss anger for a second? I am not sure what it is. Don’t get me wrong, I have lost my temper, got mad at other drivers and slammed a door or two. What is anger? Is it chemical? Ethereal? Does it turn my skin green? I have been told, on more than one occasion that my eyes flash emerald when I am furious. I would like to see this phenomenon.
            Let’s not get off track. Anger is our topic. Is it physiological? Are there neurotransmitters that race around? Is it necessary to cry? Sweat? How come there are times when something happens I should be mad about, and I don’t get mad at all?  Like when my mailbox had a M80 shoved inside it, leaving devastation and plastic shards all around. My green reflective sign sitting officiously on top of a piece of black jagged edged plastic about 5 inches across. I was expecting money that day. Instead-I was the victim of collateral damage from a random stranger with fireworks. I laughed. I thought it was funny. I actually had a mental image of an Arthur Fonzerelli with fast hands opening and closing my mailbox out a car window. The car black and shiny despite the dust cloud surrounding it, speeding down my road, growling like a thing from a Stephen King novel. The Fonz, is head out the car window, howling at the moon, his DA perfectly shiny and also untouched by dust.
            Apparently, I got off the topic again. I have a tendency to do that. Anger? What could that be? I have no idea. I don’t want to know. Flip off the other driver, yell at the windshield. After all, he can’t hear me, and I get to yell a primal yell. I have gotten so mad, and tried to stuff it so deep and stay in control, that I cry. And then I am mad because I am crying, but that’s okay, I am mad at me that way. Getting mad at someone else, and telling them I am angry is not a feminine thing to do. And when I get mad, I am a little girl, in a dress, being laughed at for looking like an awkward little girl in a dress.
            Perhaps Control is what we should be discussing…or, maybe we should revisit anger. What is Anger?


From time to time I will mention a patient, or two or ten. Please be aware that it would be illegal for me to mention any particular patient. I could be sued and be poor and then be in an even worse place.  But I do need to vent the information in my head. What I have done is write for me, and I will share some of that here now.

No patient is one whole patient, they are a conglomeration of patients. If you think you know who I am talking about, or you think it one of your family, it is not- it is many people and places all jumbled into one scene.

With that said, here is the first of the Doodles:

            It’s my favorite time of day. Pre-dawn. The sky slowly lightening, the birds are not quite awake, the only sound a few quizzical calls back and forth between them: are you up? Is it daytime? Is it safe? It is at this time of day that with the smell of fresh hot coffee, clasped in both hands, and a blanket wrapped around me, I sit on the back porch, watching my dogs slowly make the rounds, checking for intruders, reestablishing their territory, giving me the enthusiastic morning greeting I get every day. Yes, good morning to you too.
            The light slowly becoming brighter, dimming the stars first one by one, then by the dozens. I hear the rustle of dog feet whispering of contentment and the promise of surprise to the dry and tired winter grass. The trees, devoid of a single sprig of foliage, trace lacy shadows on the ground. I dip my face into the fragrant coffee cup, close my eyes, and sip at the still slightly too hot contents, enjoying the steamy warmth on my face. Winters chill sending tendrils of icy needles to the least protected areas the soft blanket just doesn’t cover. I slowly open my eyes to continue to take in the deep serenity I so thoroughly enjoy.
            There is a 42-year-old Hispanic male hanging in my tree. Dead as disco. His hair fairly is unwashed and sticking stiffly in many directions. Where the rope has been rubbing the back of his head in the gentle swinging motion he has adopted, his hair is rubbed flat. His dark brown eyes are half open, dry and gazing in slightly different directions. His tongue, barely visible between swollen lips, is purple, dry and swollen too. His clothes are that of a mechanic, once dark blue saturated in engine fluids for years. They could be clean or just lightly dirty. His hands are heavily muscled and have dirty stains around the nails from years of hard labor. A pair of heavy-duty work boots on his feet, feet that seem dainty for man. The boots are also the nondescript color that engine fluids can generously provide to leather and fabric equally. Family photos are scattered like leaves at his feet. People on mountaintops, in large groups, and at play. I can see a graduation, a Christmas tree with lots of presents and an older woman standing next to what I think is salmon nearly as large as her. Each person in each of the photos smiling out from the safety of their flat photograph world, smiling up at the bottoms of his gently swinging shoes. Among these items is a bright yellow piece of paper with the words “I am sorry” written in marker.
            Well, it was a nice morning. 


At the moment I am not entirely sure what I am going to do with this blog. I am a Healer, and for reasons that seem important to me right now, I will not tell you what capacity. I have also had a very traumatic experience related to work that now has me sitting around, finding things to do. Soooo.... I have decided to take my baby steps right here.

The problem, it seems is nightmares. And I don't sleep, I wake standing in the middle of my room charged full of adrenaline and ready to battle Sparta. At the that moment of half dream/wake, I saw a cruel and calculating face over me-terrifying me out of sleep. I wanted to swing and fight and scream. But I counted to 10 and I breathed. 1-2-3-4-don't scream-5-6-7-don't run-8-9-10. Breathe slowly.

I have multiple interests, most of them, at this moment geared toward making me a member of society that doesn't have a panic attack in the grocery store or visions of suicides from my own professional past-hanging from every tree, clear as day to me-as real as Harvey the Rabbit to the rest of the world.