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Home and Beat

Monday, January 30, 2012

January has been way more challenging than I had ever anticipated back when I was thinking of 2012 resolution possibilities. I didn't expect to watch my little brother die on 1/11. I didn't expect my 97 year old mom to dive so quickly and completely into missing him - he had lived in her house the previous 17 months since splitting from his wife of 22 years. Life is so strange and unpredictable. Still, I've been s blessed through all of this. I came home a couple weeks ago and am trying to catch up with some rest, doctor appointments and tests, and just being present for my husband and for my daughter's family. There is little real time for me. I'm preparing for another two week trip to help my mother and I kind of doubt she will still be alive by this time next year. We'll see. Meanwhile, I need to make time for my exercise time, healthy eating, enough rest. Those are my new resolutions. Maybe they are a little late in making an appearance, but I know with all that is going on around me, I need to take good care of me to be there for everyone else. Blessings on each of you out there who also need to and are trying to make space in your lives for yourselves! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MEADSBAY 2/3/2012 10:35PM

    You absolutely must make/take the time to nurture yourself, my friend.

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JENNIW70 1/30/2012 11:53PM

    emoticon emoticon

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NURSNANA 1/30/2012 4:05PM

    Hey Barbara, I am so sorry you have had so much to deal with this month. Sounds like you have managed to get through this time of sorrow quite well. And, now it is time to focus on taking good care of yourself. I understand this completely. I have to do this too when I have been doing way too much, and end up exhausted and in pain. I push myself to the limit, and my body starts screaming for me to slow down and rest! I feel so sorry for your mother. I can only imagine how deeply sad she is feeling now. I have always thought the loss a child must be the worst kind of loss. I agree sadly, your mother may not be here next year. I have seen this happen many times in my nursing career. The loss of a spouse or a child sometimes throws someone who is elderly into a downward spiral. It will be a great comfort for your mother to have you with her for a couple of weeks. I will lift you and your mother up in my prayers to the throne of grace and mercy. What a blessing it is to know that our God is faithful to hear and answer our prayers. Press on my friend. ~hugs~ Nancy

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BONDMANUS2002 1/30/2012 3:36PM

  yes you do

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Sunday, January 15, 2012

I just made arrangements at a mortuary for my brother who died 1/11 of multiple organ failure due to a lifetime of alcoholism. I will miss him so much. Part of me is very sad. Part is very angry. He was awake and aware right up to the moment of death and squeezed my hand just before he took his last breath. It was a blessing to me to be able to be with him at that moment as well as during the 15 days and nights prior as he lay in that hospital bed.
We all make bad choices and sometimes we keep making them. That's why we are here to support one another as we try to learn to make better, healthier choices. Alcohol was his drug of choice. Food is mine. If I cannot make better choices and sustain that behavior I know it could mean bad things for this body of mine.
Today I chose to have just one slice of pizza at my husband's birthday party and chose to have just three bites of his cake. I had two eggs cooked with only cooking spray for breakfast and a little Greek yogurt with cinnamon before leaving for the airport to finally come home. I also had a few unsalted dry roasted peanuts with me to snack on the plane. I know it wasn't a balanced day, but it is the most I've eaten in two weeks. Tomorrow I so look forward to having fresh fruit and veggies again and cook my steel cut oats and add the berries and cinnamon. I've missed my kitchen where I've been trying hard to concoct spinach smoothies and put together tasty suppers for us that are healthy. Can I sustain this? I hope so. I also yearn to get back to exercise after so many days at a hospital bedside. And I hope and pray that all my Spark friends can feel good about themselves one choice at a time.
Have a great day everyone! emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JENNIW70 1/17/2012 12:39AM

    Barbara, I know it meant a lot to your brother to have you there with him until the last. It sounds like the whole experience has been a learning one for you, and you are ready to tackle all the healthy living goals again. I commend you and pray that the Lord will comfort you during the grieving time.

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NURSNANA 1/15/2012 3:13PM

    Thank you for your comments on my Spark page Barbara. I am so sorry for the loss of your beloved brother. What a blessing that you could be there with him till his last breath. I can understand why you feel angry. You are so right, we all make our choices. I have often felt my addiction to food was similar to having an addiction to alcohol. Both are certainly harmful to our bodies, and can lead to premature death. How sad that some of us abuse the body God gave us with too much food or alcohol, or drugs. One day at a time, we all can make better choices, eat healthy and treat our bodies with kindness. You are in my thoughts and prayers my friend. I pray you can get rested up now that you are back home. And, enjoy all the wonderfully healthy fruits and veggies! Take good care. ~hugs& prayers~ Nancy

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DEBBIEDAY 1/15/2012 3:11PM

    emoticon Sorry for your loss, hugs and prayers for you and your family!

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1_AMAZING_WOMAN 1/15/2012 8:16AM

    Iím glad you were there with your brother at the end. Iím sure that was hard as well as a blessing to be there for him. In time the anger will go as the pain lingers, and then time will dull the pain. Special events will cause the pain to resurface but on a milder level than you have now.

Also. excess food Ďcaní cause multiple organ failure in anyone, but those with weakened systems are especially prone.

I so wish you the best as time moves forward.


Comment edited on: 1/18/2012 7:17:47 PM

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NCSUE0514 1/15/2012 6:47AM

    Your brother died of alcoholism, and my sister of a lifetime of self-destructive behavior due to mental illness. It's sometimes difficult to really grasp that alcoholism and the behaviors stemming from mental illness are outside of a person's control. It took me quite some time to get over feeling angry about my sister's choices and guilty about my initial reaction when I learned of her death. Those feelings are gone, but years later I still miss her. I don't think I'll ever get over missing her.

When a sibling dies, a part of his(her) siblings dies as well, because shared history seems lost. I've lost all my grandparents, my parents, and my only sister, and the pain of losing her is different from all the rest. I think I can understand some of the feelings you're experiencing.

I won't give you cheery platitudes about "time healing all". Some losses leave a scar even after they stop acutely bleeding. But I do believe that in time, you'll be able to put some of the feelings you now experience to rest. In the meanwhile, if you need to "talk", feel free to write.

God bless you.


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Thank you friends

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

I am so blessed by you who sent encouraging words in response to my last blog. With blood pressure at 51/29 and respirations of about 6, I know the end is near for my brother. Now, at the end I've seen glimpses of that sweet little boy who was adopted into our family when he was 13 months old. So cute! I was 4 1/2 at the time and loved to mother him. I pray that what he is going through can touch others who may yet escape the dark downward spiral of alcoholism. Meanwhile, our mom is so stressed that she has had to use quite a few of her nitro tablets under her tongue the past few days.
On a lighter note, I tasted some of the hospital food and then decided not to push it onto Chris. One could certainly lose weight on this stuff! Have a great day everyone, and thank you so much. emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BETHJRN 1/14/2012 8:21AM

    Dear Barbara, I am so sorry to hear of the sad time you are going through. My prayers are with you, your poor brother, his wife, your mother, and the entire family. God is with you during this horrible time. Lean on Him, let Him be your strength.

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JENNIW70 1/12/2012 12:37AM

    Prayers and hugs for you Barbara!

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NURSNANA 1/10/2012 8:10PM

    Barbara, I am so sorry to hear about your brother. I know from experience as a nurse that liver failure is a miserable way to die. I pray he doesn't have to suffer much longer.

I hope you are doing well. I will be praying for your brother and all of you at this sad time.


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Sad outcome coming!

Monday, January 09, 2012

Why do we so often persist in doing things to ourselves that can't possibly have good outcomes? My 'baby' brother's drug of choice has been alcohol for over 35 years. Now he is soon to succumb to liver failure, renal failure a d blood that no longer clots properly. As I helped him get more comfortable at the hospital for the umpteenth time today I prayed and wondered why he had come down this road. Helping him through this has presented me with an odd sort of diet. It has made me desire less of my drug of choice - food. perhaps I will meet a goal or two as we travel together down this difficult path. Disappointment and sadness are tempered by love, but any hope for a different outcome has flown away. I pray this will remind me often that we have just this one body and it is up to us to treat it as the temple it was intended to be. I wish us all much success in our own personal journeys of 2012!
Blessings and hugs to you all!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

1_AMAZING_WOMAN 1/13/2012 5:47PM

    I am so sorry about your brother. My brother died at 38 years old from alcoholic cardiomyopathy. He killed himself with alcohol as many of my relatives have done. It's really sad that people do this because they are in so much emotional pain they feel the need to dull the pain with something.

Some of us do it with food. Food seems 'the socially acceptable addiction', yet it is just as deadly and toxic as alchohol. I get so disappointed in myself cause I try so hard to stop my food addiction and over and over again find myself turning right back to it. I so hope both you and I can succeed in managing our food addiction in a healthy, constructive manner and make all our goals.


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SARAHTAIT 1/12/2012 10:28AM

    I'm so sorry to hear about your brother. I totally understand how addictions, alcohol, drugs, sex, etc. So many of us have an addiction to something.
I'm glad to know that seeing his struggle with his addiction has helped make you aware of yours. I think food is the sneakiest addiction of have to eat to live and can't give it up all together like you can drugs or alcohol.
Your brother is blessed to have you there to help him!
God Bless you!

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BAMAJAM 1/10/2012 11:26AM

  In terrible adversity, there can be valuable lessons learned. I too have seen "demons" destroy my family members. With unwise choices, our lives can be ruined. Physical and emotional health can be wrecked--- and loved ones suffer the severe consequences. No love can "fix" the damage, so the family pain is just heartwrenching! I have watched the program, "intervention"-- and the family of the "diseased" person, are innocent victims!

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MJ7DM33 1/9/2012 10:32PM

  You and your family are in my prayers!!! emoticon

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LITTLEBO 1/9/2012 10:23PM

    Thank you for sharing your story.

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MEADSBAY 1/9/2012 8:04PM

    I am so sorry to hear about your brother, my friend.
He has a disease and, imho, he lost the ability to make it a choice long ago.
He must be in so much pain.
I lost a sister, 54, mother of 5, grandmother of 3, and a brother, 40, father of 4, to alcoholism.


Comment edited on: 1/9/2012 8:06:29 PM

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LITTLELENNA 1/9/2012 7:32PM

    So sorry to hear about the heartache you are dealing with. I guess out of every bad thing, something good is supposed to come. It sounds like you are handling things very well. I pray for you and your family. emoticon emoticon

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Too Much Weekend!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Today I have lots of cleaning up to do ... I also need to res a bit from a really full weekend. It was such fun. Friday was a lot of racing around to plan a birthday party for our two year old grand daughter. Decided on Dora the Explorer and fond all sorts of decor, puzzles, blanket, pjs, socks, panties, toys and dolls. I'd already gotten her too many presents so this was a bit insane, but it all made for an amazing sight when she arrived for dinner party. I also did a cute cake all about Dora using bath toys, adding some cupcakes, candles and the actual cake was not too big. I cooked tur-duck-hen for the first time and filled out the meal with broccoli, green salad, sugar free jello with berries, mashed potatoes, pumpkin rolls, cranberry sauce and choices of light ice cream. Yum! Saturday I went to 2 basketball games to watch grandsons play, went to dojo to watch their tae qwon do class, and shopped for a fridge for our house that our daughter's family is living. Though not very old, the other one died on Friday ... Ouch! After that it was party time and so much fun. Ziva loved that it was all for her! Late that night we had bed and breakfast guests arrive after a wedding. I was so tired, but managed to be sociable and visit with the lovely couple before we all crashed. The money paid for this goes to scholarships tha a women's group I'm part of helps fund. Sunday morning I had to be up before our guests to get offe going and a nic breakfast prepared. The timing was such that I had to midd worship which felt like such a loss. I rested a little by starting a Christmas jigsaw puzzle while watching football with my dh. But the quiet didn't last as we had committed to babysitting 3 grandkids for the evening. We never expected that we would be stuck there until nearly 3:00a.m. Dh had to arrange to take the morning off from work to sleep. He is very unhappy with our daughter and son-in-law right now. Oh well, it was a fun weekend. Now it's onwards to Christmas ... Party and dinner here on Friday and a late flight out that night to spend a week with more family. Can't wait! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MEADSBAY 12/20/2011 10:34PM

    Well, I hope you have rested up from your fun but busy weekend, Barbabra, and are feeling up-and-at-tem again.
Merry Christmas!
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