A Very Early Morning

Yesterday morning I woke at 4:45 A.M. After attempting to return to sleep, I gave up and laid in bed and listened to the quiet. On a Saturday morning it is so quiet that, even though the ocean is about a mile or two away, I could hear the breakers. What a peaceful and relaxing sound.

There are times I really don’t mind waking up in the wee hours. There is a peacefulness to those hours. It is  time to contemplate and maybe, just maybe, be.

I find that these times are when I feel the most relaxed and comfortable in myself. I am not fighting with thoughts or feelings. Most of my aches and pains (from current accidents) are absent and I can rest. Miss Elsie the cat comes and lays on my tummy. Mmmm, such a special moment with her.

I especially love to hear the ocean as it breaks on the shore. The waves sound giant although they are only 3-4 feet this morning. I imagine a big ocean with great swells, even though it is quiet and the break is good. I love the ocean at it’s wildest moments.

When I was in my OB/GYN rotation, in my nursing program – many, many years ago – I followed a woman through the end of her pregnancy and birth. My mother gave birth in the very early hours of the morning. I remember sitting outside the hospital in Providence, RI just before dawn, smoking a cigarette (yes I did do this) and feeling content, happy, exhilarated and pleased with the whole world around me. Pleased with my self, pleased for a happy mom and dad and content. I listened as the city came alive on another normal day that was magical for a few of us.

The early wakeful morning hours are when magic comes alive for me. I am grateful to be here, relatively in tact and know I have time to stretch into my day a little bit at a time. I have time to read, to play games on my tablet and sometimes just lay there and be content. I like the content part most of all.

I can then stretch into my day at leisure. If I am not too lazy I can get up and catch the sunrise. If I am too lazy I can slowly get the day together. Elsie gets her leash on and goes outside. I have time to contemplate what might be on my agenda for the day. And then the day begins.

Today I will try to remember my sleepless nights and be grateful for the gift it gives.

 

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o-ORIGIN-OF-OK-facebookEverything is OK!!!! I decided to make sure you all know this before I go further into this post.

Two weeks ago I had an appointment with my dental hygienist. I always tell her she better not find anything, when she does a thorough inspection of my mouth. This time, however, she found something on the back of my throat that was enough of a concern that she had the dentist come in and look at it.

I immediately felt a wave of disbelief and fear run through me. Jim died of complications from salivary gland cancer. Even though I would like to believe that would not affect me, well it does. The dentist suggested I watch it. Immediately I called my primary physician. After a visit with this doctor I had to make an appointment with the ENT (ears, nose and throat) doctor.

My appointment was for May 10th. Oh great, I began to have sleepless nights worrying about what this might be. With the help of my psychiatrist, (yes I am on an antidepressant), my appointment was moved up to this past Wednesday.

The ENT Dr told me that he was almost 100% sure that it was tonsil stones but he could not give me  a total thumbs up. I had them biopsy it, painful but doable. Yesterday, Saturday, he called to tell me that the biopsy was all clear. It was a regrowth of tonsil tissue. YAY!!!!!!!!! I am so relieved.

ENT chair

ENT chair

It is interesting to see my reactions to this whole and thankfully short episode in my life. I think I am doing much better with coping and dealing with the grief that surrounds Jim’s death. When I walked into the ENT office and saw the chair in the middle of the room it immediately reminded me of the many times Jim, my husband, sat in that chair. I burst into tears, looked at my friend Phyllis, and said “I don’t want to do this”. I did not expect this reaction from myself. I was surprised at my reaction and relieved that I had a good friend with me to give me a hug when I most needed it.

I hope that the crying effect of Jim’s death will lessen over time. I am always caught by surprise when it happens. Don’t get me wrong, I do not spend my days sobbing in my house, yet in the moments such as this one, when it happens, well it just catches me without warning and I am surprised. I know is part of grief but I really hope it continues to lessen over time.

People are kind. The nurse, patiently waited while I had my few second episode. Then she went on to brief me on the upcoming visit with the doctor. I appreciate that kind act of waiting, because that is what it is. I have experienced this many times since my diagnosis with breast cancer, to Jim’s cancer and then death. That few moments of waiting while I pull myself together is a blessing and a kindness and I appreciate it. Waiting feels like a kind hug or pat on the back and is filled with respect.

 

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Waiting

My last post also addressed the issue of waiting. It is a waiting of another sort. Waiting for my leg to heal, waiting to put the house on the market, waiting until I can figure out my life without Jim and waiting some more. I think this kind of waiting is also a kindness that I can give myself. It too can be a waiting filled with caring. Caring for myself, caring for my situation and being patient until I am fully back up to speed with life. Once I am fully recovered, which gets closer each day, I hope I will continue to carry this lesson in waiting forward with me.

Today I am thankful. Thankful for my health. Thankful for others that continue to love and support me. Thankful for good friends. Thankful for those professionals who support and help me along this path in my life’s journey. And…because it is Mother’s Day, thankful for all the mothers out there in the world who help their children to wait with grace and be thankful.

Today I am so very thankful for my state of health.

 

 

Waiting

images-1I have been asked by a few friends when I am going to post on my blog. Oops, I realize it has been a while since I have posted. I think I have been waiting. Waiting to get out of my cast (remember the fateful fall in the desert), waiting for the next step, waiting to finish the house. Well it certainly looks like I have been waiting.

The work on my house is finished. I have a newly painted interior of my house. My sidewalk and yard drainage is complete and I have a new driveway. Everything that was taken down is back up and the house looks fresh and pretty. Next step is to get my friend and realtor, Barbara, out here to help stage it. Then when I can walk, it goes on the market. Finally. I will continue to wait to see when this all happens.

Yesterday my cast finally came off. Yes!!!! I am in a boot, definitely not as pretty as my casts have been. I am able to practice partial weight bearing for a week and then progress. It was good to see my leg. It has gotten thin. Where did all that Scottish Dance muscle go? I have been promised it will come back.  The first thing I did when I got home was to get a bucket of water and soak that right foot. I have missed it, so I am planning to treat it real nice. It felt good, first time it has had a bath since I was in the desert.

What does one do while one is waiting.

  • Read
  • Discover Lyft. I can go to the local coffeehouses when I get bored at home.
  • Watch good movies.images
  • Read
  • Muck around on the internet.
  • Take photos. I really like this one.
  • Breath and Meditate and do chair yoga.
  • Read
  • Rely on the goodness of friends to get me out of the house once in a while.
  • Watch the finches at the feeder-take pics.
  • Read
  • Contemplate life and other profound questions.
  • Enjoy spring in my yard.
  • Read
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Spring in the Yard, Finch

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Spring in the Yard


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Spring in the Yard

Well, you can get a good idea. It is a good thing I like to read. It has helped to have such good friends close by. Phyllis, Dee and I worked well as a team getting the blinds, mirror and shades back up. Phyllis has been so instrumental in helping me move forward with house preparation. I would not be this far along without her. Thank you Phyllis.

Having only one leg and being unable to drive, has made me revisit the fact that it is OK to rely on other people. I don’t have to do everything myself. There are other ways to approach a project and all of them are good. I tend to want to be extremely self sufficient. It is hard for me to be patient and let others complete a project in their own way and on their own time. I have been learning to sit back and graciously accept help. It helps me to remember to breath and remind myself that I really cannot get up on that ladder right now. My main job is to heal.

I am grateful for all the help others have offered. Whatever the activity, it may seem small to the person offering, to me it is huge and I am warmed to the core of my being by the simple acts of kindness of others.

Excuse but, now I have to get back to waiting. 😏 sad-waiting-for-you-quotes-for-google-plus-2-5990c8cd

 

I Am Still Here

Janet in The Slot Ready for desert season

Janet in The Slot
Ready for desert season

Wow. I just realized how long it has been since I have posted. Where does the time go? Well we all know where it goes. Life is busy and sometimes I procrastinate. there always seems like there is something that needs to be done first. I am back and my journey continues.

I made it through the holidays. I don’t do much celebrating and haven’t for years. I like the holiday lights and the music. Many years ago I gave up  giving gifts. It certainly took some of the stress away. I have to admit I am glad that the holidays are behind me.

Oak Creek Canyon, Sedona

Oak Creek Canyon, Sedona

Christmas found me traveling with a group to Sedona and the Grand Canyon. I love to drive distance. I find it a great time to be reflective let my imagination run wild. Riding for 13 hours across the California desert with a group of people was a whole different story. Our morning started early and we got to Sedona around 8:30 in the evening. Whew, long day. The saving grace was that we stayed in the same hotel for the whole 4 nights we were there. It was fun to spend Christmas day on the south rim of the Grand Canyon. At the end it was again a long drive back to southern California.

Here is what I learned from this trip. Even though I have enjoyed the last 13 years of travel, I am done. I am done with stressing about these trips. I am done being tired and not sleeping during the trip. I am truly done with people evaluating me. What does this mean…well, I retired from AFC Vacations last Friday. If I make a commitment to do an over-the road trip now it will be because I really love where I will be going with each company that asks me to do a trip. Change continues to be the theme of my life.

I am still working locally as a tour guide. I love doing the close-to-home work. After 6 hours I can go home to my quiet house and yard. Miss Elsie is waiting. I can get a good night sleep. Life is good.

one of my accomplishments, a new berry lattice

one of my accomplishments, a new berry lattice

For the last few days I have been thinking about the phrase “random acts of kindness”. I love reading about people who give unselfishly, often at a moments notice, frequently without waiting for thanks or acknowledgement. Not only do the recipients feel good and special but so does the giver. I also feel good after hearing of these moments in time. Then I began to wonder about why we can’t give ourselves those special moments. Would it feel the same? Sometimes I feel like I want to thank myself or acknowledge my own job well done. It is good to take the time for each of us to feel good about ourselves by acknowledging ourselves. I know that each time I accomplish something around the house that Jim would have done, I feel so warm and special and happy. Usually there is no one around to say good job well done, so I say it to myself and I allow myself to feel warm, proud and happy. Even months later when I remember that moment it still feels good. It is a little harder, I feel, to figure out how to give myself a random act of kindness. Even as I write this I am not sure how to do that. This will require a little more thought. What a fun thing to think about.

Sharon & David with David Jr, Judith and Taylor. September 2014

Sharon & David with David Jr, Judith and Taylor. September 2014

For those of you who have been following me I want to end this post by giving you an update on my friends in Southern Utah, Sharon and David. At the first of the year my long time friend, David finished this earthly journey. He had been sick for some time and after a short time on hospice he moved on. It has been a unique and hard experience for all of us who loved him so. He lived a long and good life and was a mentor to many, including myself. I am so glad that I had a good visit with him when I visited in September. I value him in so many ways and he will be missed. Sharon is doing OK. She has a very strong community of friends to support and love her. And her adult children are amazing. I have been honored to know him for more years than I can count. I ask you to wish him well wherever he is now. Soon it will be time for me too load up the Roadtrek and go visit Sharon.

Happy New Year Everyone.