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A bit more focus!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticonI've been so scattered lately that I feel I'm doing nothing well. As I hope to be a comfort to my mom after I watched my brother die, I realize that is a hard thing to do from 750 miles away. Since she refuses to get new hearing aids it is really difficult to communicate with her by phone. Since she is blind, letters are out of the picture these days. She had her 98th birthday a few days ago. Seems such an unlikely event with so many systems not working well in her body and mind. I also try to support our daughter's family that is living in our house for a few years during a critical caree fellowship for our son-in-law who is a neurologist. I never expected a big mortgage at this point in my life, but since we still have the big house anad have downsized to a small condo in the city, here we go again. Their youngest, a darling two year old girl is such a joy. She has been so shy, but this week she finally warmed up to me again. So I babysat one day, took her to Build A Bear workshop another, and played with her at my condo on another. We supported her brothers by cheering them at tae qwon do half the day today. And the list of stuff goes on and on and on. This afternoon my dh and I got down to our gym for a good workout. That was the first time all week that I felt that me focus propelled me towards goals I keep telling myself are I'm portent. Hmmm... Actually, rewind - all of those things that are part of my life ... Bills, babies, shopping, reading, cooking, marriage, study, church family, illnesses and even death ... Every one of them deserve my time, attention, focus. A road trip with our son's family in August is something to look forward to, but not something to consume a huge part of me rit now. All in due time. I will turn 60 late this year, but that isn't something to waste time and energy on just now. I do hope to be stronger, lighter, more energetic by then, but to get there I must focus on the details before me today and all the todays yet to come between now and then. Life is an adventure and I want to experience all of it to the fullest, whatever that means. My Irish heritage today reminds me to notice the four leaf clovers, enjoy the rainbows and use my small pot of gold wisely. Have a most blessed St. Patrick's Day everyone! emoticon emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SARAHTAIT 3/19/2012 10:12AM

    Be thankful that you have so many people to help...God is surely using you to a great extent. You are taking the best approach....take good care of yourself so you can be well enough to help those you love. Praying for our Father to give you the strength you need to deal with each day.

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MEADSBAY 3/17/2012 9:16PM

    I know exactly what you mean!
I am WAY too busy and wish life would be more peaceful but at the same time there is nothing on my to-do list that I would wish to give up!
Take care of yourself, Barbara.
Find the moments of quiet and peace and solitude whenever you can.

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NURSNANA 3/17/2012 8:48PM

    Hey Barbara, Good to read a blog from you again. I have missed your blogs. I know you have been through so much my friend. I will pray for you, and your mother. I know how hard it is to not live close enough to help her on a regular basis. Just take life one day at a time. God has a plan for you. May He hold you in the palm of His hand.
emoticon emoticon

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Another loss

Monday, February 13, 2012

I came to help my nearly 98 yo mom as she struggles with the death of my younger brother in January. No sooner had I gotten here than an email arrived letting me know my birth father had just died. I had planned to go visit him this week. Now I know I dare not even attend his memorial as it would be upsetting to his widow. So sad. I spent 6 hours in the er yesterday due to some issues relating to gastritis and costochondritis that made my usually very low bp soar to 207/133...yikes! Thanks to some meds for the problems I actually got a decent amount of sleep for the first time in over a month. I'll still need some follow-up when I get home later this month, but for now I think things are under control more or less. Weight loss? We'll have to see how it goes. I have some struggles staying on track when I'm cooking for my mom. Also, I have trouble getting in all the exercise I want. Hopefully I can at least maintain. Stress is not my friend. emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BETHJRN 2/19/2012 8:09AM

    So sad to hear of this loss. You are going through such a difficult time. My prayers are with you.

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JENNIW70 2/18/2012 11:40PM

    Oh my! You are going through so much! I pray for the Lord to give you the strength you need for each and every day. Cling to Him! emoticon

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SARAHTAIT 2/14/2012 11:12AM

    I'm sure stress helped play a BIg part in your trip to the ER. Bless your heart...sounds like you are having a really rough time right now. Praying for you!

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NICU-RN 2/13/2012 8:45PM

  So sorry to hear about what you are going through. Will be praying for you and yours.

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MARGIE4230 2/13/2012 7:17PM

    emoticon I am so sorry for your loss.

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MEADSBAY 2/13/2012 6:21PM

    Oh, my- how much stress can one little lady bear?
I am so sorry.

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Google shock

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

After reading what some of my Spark friends had to say about locating pages via google or other means, I decided to edit my own page. I also edited one of my blogs to protect a family member's privacy just in case someone still could get in there. I did not realize how exposed we can be. I love my Spark friends and felt safe here. Now I've limited access just to friends and when I googled this morning I didn't find my page so readily accessible. I hated having to make a change, but I'd promised to keep grandbaby photos private and I never wanted to share info broadly about health scares of others when that info was not made public by the family member. So I'll try it this way for awhile and see how it goes. The internet is certainly both friend and foe. I so appreciate all my Spark friends out there and pray this change won't interfere with our interaction. Have a blessed day everyone. emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MEADSBAY 2/3/2012 10:36PM

    I was shocked, too, and will be more careful about what I reveal.

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JTREMBATH 1/31/2012 1:10PM

    It does make you wonder just how venerable we really are.

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MRSJERRYBUSH 1/31/2012 11:24AM

    Too bad we have to do this!

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KAILIIA 1/31/2012 11:12AM

    A sensible idea in this day and age.

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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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