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Ten minutes of exercise a day - my lesson in scoffing

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Spring 5% Challenge Commitment - the basics of what works for me

Nobody knows how much I really NEED this challenge right now in my life! I was once an active Sparker and since Christmas I have been going downhill at an alarming rate. Unfortunately, my downhill progress was a lot faster than my uphill progress but isn't that always the way.

I've had some physical and mental challenges to contend with (the latter I am still dealing with but such is life when you have depression) so I am trying right now to keep my head above water.

For my own sanity I have to return to the basics that work for me. I know a lot of you out there are far more active than I am and I know a lot of you have your tracking down pat and your nutritional intake is fantastic. But that is not where I am starting over from.

I am starting over from 220 pounds! Yep, I regained all that I had lost!

I am starting over by trying to eat nutritionally sound food 80% of the time

I am starting over by committing to 10 minutes of exercise a day

I am starting over by resuming drinking my 8 glasses of water a day

The one that really gets to me is the 10 minutes of exercise a day! I used to scoff at that idea because how in the world is 10 minutes of exercise going to help you when if you did 30 minutes you would get to your goal that much quicker. Well, I'm here to tell you if you set a small goal (one that is almost ridiculously easy right now) and you consistently aim for that each day, it will become a habit. BUT if you strive for 60 minutes of exercise each day, there will come a time when the novelty wears off (and believe me the enthusiasm wanes in the best of us) and you will miss a day. Then that day will be followed by another day until you get to the point when you are looking at your week ahead and wondering how you are going to fit 3 exercise sessions in with a sense of dread!

How do I know this? Because I fell for the "sure 10 minutes is not even worth doing" school of thinking. And you know where I am now? On my couch looking back over my fitness minutes for the past months and seeing a lot of zeros!

So, while I wait for the Spring 5% challenge to start up I have to get myself ready both mentally and physically. First I am going to get my gym stuff washed and packed in my gym bag, Find my gym membership (blow the dust off of it) and add it to the gym bag.

I have to tell myself that I can do this...I did it before so I am going to do it again.

I have to get back into meal planning so not only is my life a little easier but my fridge will be filled with healthy choices

And most importantly, I have to stop scoffing at

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LIBBYG7 3/14/2012 8:43PM

    Susan....this is a GOOD realistic list of goals. I've seen a great result of consistent! exercise.....not necessarily strenuous, or bunchesof minutes....but consistent! I've even blogged about it today.
Good luck, sweetie. We're all in your corner!!

Hugs, Libby emoticon

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ANNCHER 3/12/2012 3:25PM

    Seems like I do really good then, I slip a little & it is hard for me to get back on track with exercise or eating right. Have a great day! Big Hugs your way! emoticon

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SPARKLISE 3/12/2012 9:54AM

    Being honest to where you are right now is the step in the right direction.
I had regained all of it too but no matter how hard it was I changed my ticker every time I gained(when I finally weighed myself because it was too painful to do it every week emoticon)and I'm happy to say that the scale is going down again!
So you can do it also!
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BOVEY63 3/11/2012 4:08PM

    Great way to challenge yourself.
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HOPESINGH 3/11/2012 6:09AM

    emoticon Sometimes you just need to start over, and that's fine. You already know that comparing yourself to others isn't very useful, so just look at yourself and at the progress you're about to make. even making this decision is progress.
I'll be participating in the spring 5% challenge as well!

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Q8PRINCESS 3/10/2012 11:36PM

    Small steps still get you there! Glad to see you back. i like 10 minutes walks with Lucy.
BTW - love your new wallpaper!

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LUVMYCRAZYKIDS 3/10/2012 10:27PM

    The exercise is my major weakness as well...I'll start the 10 minute goal with you...let's do it!!

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_JODI404 3/10/2012 9:52PM

    I LOVE my 10 minute daily exercise streak!!! It is one of the best tools I have going!

Today is day # 131 for me. emoticon

There have been several times due to illness or knee pain that I have opted for only 10 minutes... but it felt good to do that and know it is a part of my daily life no matter what (barring true emergency!). Most days, I get 45 minutes, but it's nice to know I have met goal with 10. I always do all that I can on a given day.

I track with post it notes and also on my Spark page I have a Spark Streak counting up the days. I would encourage you to add it to your page... it is very motivating to see the number going higher. And the higher it gets, the worse you do NOT want to break it!

Your plan for getting back on track sounds great. Doing the basics are exactly what you need to succeed. Rinse. Repeat. Success!

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PONYFARMER 3/10/2012 8:06PM

    Yep, I am a firm believer in the 10 min exercise. It is both a mental thing as well as physical thing. My knees cannot take more than 10 mins at a time.

Good for you, that you have a plan. I am so happy for you.

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JLITT62 3/10/2012 4:30PM

    10 minutes can make a HUGE difference. I always promise myself I can stop after 10 minutes, but I rarely do - because I feel so much better!

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POPSY190 3/10/2012 3:47PM

    You hit the nail on the head as usual! I've lapsed these last few weeks just because we've been thrown out of our usual routine. So I'm going to follow your exercise advice to get myself going again. All the best for your restart.

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LALASLAND 3/10/2012 3:13PM

    Susan, you are truly a treasure! What a beautiful, real person you are! Thank you! emoticon

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KAYDE53 3/10/2012 2:39PM

    Susan, I always love your honesty & positive outlook!!! I know you can do it!!! emoticon

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CHUBRUB3 3/10/2012 1:56PM

    Susan you can do this. I love that you have set it small so you can do it. Consistency pays off!
Hugs my friend.
Angela

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_LINDA 3/10/2012 1:39PM

    So very sorry you are struggling and have had to start all over again :(( From the Queen of starting over at the bottom, I can tell you ten minutes is quite the achievement! And absolutely, the proper way to do it too. Mini goals is what its all about. Make the most of those ten minutes, change it up and make sure you are having fun with them!
The great thing for you to know is that you have shown you are capable of doing this, you have done it before. Once you get going, there will be no stopping you!
All the best Susan! I will always be right here cheering you on. Can you feel that boost coming??
Go, Susan, GO!
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HEATHERNL 3/10/2012 1:16PM

    I am so happy for you!
I joined the challenge too and hope that we can meet up there once and awhile.
Your goals sound great and you are SO RIGHT about the 10 minutes. I know you can do it!!!

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CODEMAULER 3/10/2012 12:06PM

    You can do anything you set your mind to... especially when something feels so good (once it's done)!

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JOANNANOW 3/10/2012 10:49AM

    Sounds exactly right! One step at a time.

I heard there was a huge storm on the rock. Hope you weren't hit too hard. It isn't very spring like here ... the snow is still falling however time marches on and the clocks spring ahead tonight.

Sending hugs to you ... love all the pups in your backdrop.
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LESLIES537 3/10/2012 10:35AM

    Awesome plan!! That's exactly what I need to do, too! Thanks for always inspiring me, gosh I've missed you!!! emoticon

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EJOY-EVELYN 3/10/2012 10:22AM

    Research now gives ten minutes of exercise a whole lot more credit. I strive for three ten-minute segments a day and happily end up going over most of the time. \These are now AS GOOD as one thirty-minute segment. WooHoo! My brain does much better when I exceed my goals for healthy living.

Welcome back to the 5% . . . being accountable to a team really does help bring on the success and you're due!

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GOANNA2 3/10/2012 10:20AM

    emoticonGreat start. I am thinking of you
and I know that slowly but surely the black dog
will take a hike. 10 minutes is a great start.
emoticonAnna

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Please excuse my excuses and some doggie fun for my animal loving friends out there

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Hi,

Okay, I've enjoyed my pity party and I'm back. I have learned so much about myself over the past weeks and especially from all of your very kind comments. Not one of you told me to "grow up" although I'm sure some of you must have been thinking it as I beleaguered the point of my dysfunctional family.

So, where am I right now. Well, besides sitting on my duff in my easy chair ( emoticon I am ready to resume my healthy lifestyle that I put on hold over the past month or so. I went for a walk yesterday and the day before and felt great with the fresh air on my face and filling my lungs. I am getting rid of the junk food in the house and concentrating on re-establishing my healthy habits.

This is a non-scale victory for you. I went to my family doctor last week (he was also Nan's doctor) and he had received the results of my annual blood work. A year ago there were a few areas of concern so I was eager to see whether the changes I made would show up. He was really pleased....I have the lowest risk of developing cardio vascular disease....and he claims he sees a big difference in my shape. I mentioned that I am still technically obese by the scale and he said there is a big difference in me from last year and he is sure the weight will come if I keep it up.

Okay, enough blowing my own horn. Several days ago we took the dogs with us for a long walk but on our way stopped into Tim Hortons so John could grab a coffee. We were parked right in front of the big window when Maddy and Lou started barking wildly at the car next to us. They barked so much that people inside the building could hear (never get a Pomeranian if you like the quiet!) and when I looked over they were barking at two "dogs" in the next car. Turns out they were barking at their own reflections and when they would jump into the back seat and peek out the dogs were gone from the next car. It was hilarious! Unfortunately it did get a bit loud especially when Lou jumped on the car horn and set off the alarm system! emoticon

Here is a picture I snapped of Maddy on Sunday:

and here is what my husband did to it!!!

Louisa was taking all this in and being an "angel" by destroying every stick in sight!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHRISTINA791 3/8/2012 5:21PM

    I am in love with that picture emoticon

That's great news from the doctor! I love seeing my doc, because she sees the truth. I was never able to hide the bad stuff from her (she has a fantastic eyebrow raise and "really?" when you're fudging things), but she's also been my biggest cheerleader, especially when the biggest changes show up as numbers on labwork.

Congrats on the good results - you've earned them!

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CALGARYNEWF 3/7/2012 11:08AM

    So happy to hear that you are getting back on track!!!!! Congrats on the Dr's report. Weight loss is awesome but non-scale victories are just as important, because after all, isn't getting healthier the end result we all strive. The actual weight loss is just a by-product of that process...

Love the pictures. Hilarious way to end your blog and I needed it because I have also been struggling and needed a little pick-me-up today. Thanks!!!!!! emoticon

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PONYFARMER 3/7/2012 1:07AM

    So, Pom/ROCK STAR going on there. LOL!

And what GREAT news, emoticon that your Dr. believes that you have made great, health related changes to your body. That is just emoticon

As for the dysfunctional family, been there and done that and you have every right to whine about what you were put through. So do not even worry about that. Glad you are back to business with getting healthy.


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_LINDA 3/7/2012 12:50AM

    Well done Susan!! Welcome back!!
LOVE the doggie tales and photos!!
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KAYDE53 3/6/2012 10:48PM

    Loved the picture & comparison, dog's way cuter than ZZ top though!!! lol That's wonderful news on your blood work!! Glad you're feeling better too!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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GLORYANDME 3/6/2012 10:35PM

    Great story about the pups barking at their own reflections. Thanks for sharing! If that doesn't put a smile on your face. emoticon
Happy for you the doc appointment went well! Keep up the good work!

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POPSY190 3/6/2012 7:58PM

    Great that you are connecting again with dogs and other pleasures after a very difficult time. The doctor's news must have given you a well-deserved boost and motivation. emoticonLove the photographs.

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CODEMAULER 3/6/2012 7:13PM

    Love the good news from the Doctor!

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LIBBYG7 3/6/2012 5:47PM

    emoticon
It's so good to hear the lightheartedness in your 'voice',Susan.

Loved your dog story. For some reason, Lucy refuses to recognize her reflection. It's like she doesn't see it.

You made me laugh...on a stressful day. Thanks a bunch!!

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JOANNANOW 3/6/2012 3:43PM

    You're back! You're terrific! You're still the Queen of positive thinking!
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EJOY-EVELYN 3/6/2012 1:59PM

    So funny. Before I scrolled down to the second photo, I immediately found myself groping for the name of Angelaís father from the television show, Bones. Then I saw your husbandís play. Angelaís father is Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top so we were on the same wave length! Fun! Great to hear your medical stats are making such great improvements.

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BOVEY63 3/6/2012 1:38PM

    Congrats on the great report from the doc!
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Love the dog story and the pictures are hilarious!
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JLITT62 3/6/2012 1:24PM

    Glad to see you back! That drs report is a major NSV! And the photo is hilarious. I think even non-dog-loving people will ge a chuckle.

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Q8PRINCESS 3/6/2012 1:12PM

    So funny! Lucy Bella could give them a run for their money on barking - hers is not only a high decimal reading but super high pitch. Can you say ear plugs? I also like any walks that take one to Tim Hortons!

emoticon emoticon emoticon on your medical results.

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HOPESINGH 3/6/2012 12:53PM

    Cute story about the dogs!
And emoticon success with the blood tests. Your health is what matters.
Keep up this good mood and the renewed healthy habits

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CHUBRUB3 3/6/2012 12:41PM

    Awesome!
Glad to have you back Susan!!Hugs,
Angela

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LALASLAND 3/6/2012 12:31PM

    Oh, Susan! PRICELESS! I loved your blog! Thanks for the smile of the day! emoticon

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KANSASROSE67 3/6/2012 12:04PM

    LOL at the story and ZZ Top! Love it!!!

Glad you're feeling better and heard such good things from your doctor.

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Me : Exposed

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Hi!

emoticon right here if you are reading this for entertainment value because this is being written for me and some of it will shock you.

The goings on over the past few weeks in my family life have taken its expected toll and I can feel wisps of the ghostly depression that lurks in my life reaching out further and further until its tentacles arrive at their destination...my heart and soul.

Depression to me comes in many forms and shows its face in many ways. Some are expected and others are not expected. I don't want to care for myself, I don't enjoy my dogs, I am full of self pity, I don't want to exercise and sometimes I wonder what life would be without me in it.

I am normally a person who is pretty upbeat and who is very compassionate about reaching out to others. In fact, one gift that depression has given me is to be open and free with my emotions. When Nan was dying I wasn't afraid to tell her that I loved her and we did share a few funny last minutes. I let my feelings of "rejection" by her go by the wayside because in death it was all about her and so it should have been. I am proud that I was strong enough to be with her when her time was up. I held her hand as she took her last breath so for that I had complete closure for which I am very thankful.

Why, then do I feel so bloody low? I have discovered that my uncle and my cousins left every responsibility to me because they couldn't do it. Okay, I don't feel victorious but I do feel thankful that I have been given that kind of personality. Why then as soon as it was over was I cut out of everything again? I found out on facebook when the funeral was going to be, I wasn't asked to participate, at the funeral home not one of my family spoke to me, (they didn't speak to John or my mom either!) and the funeral itself was a weird affair in which they all bawled their eyes out and I kept looking at nan's picture and remembering the good times. For despite everything the very gift of being able to know your grandmother for 55 years is a blessing!

Oh, dear, this is a struggle. I thought I was doing so well (thanks to my venting blogs and your wonderful support) but my body is betraying me. I can't sleep without seeing Nan over and over again in the hospital, I am weak physically (John took me out to supper a few nights ago and I had to be led outside as I thought I was going to faint), I don't want to talk to anybody, I don't want to go to work, and what pains me the most is that my beloved dogs try to get my attention and I turn them away.

Here is my action plan:

1. Take another week off from work
2. Make sure that when I do eat it is of benefit to me and not junk food
3. Exercise in some form for 10 minutes a day
4. As the weather permits gets outside
5. Be kind to myself
6. Drink my water
7. Connect with my SparkFriends
8. Let the anger and depression ebb and flow and accept it but don't encourage it
9. Call my doctor
10. Smile more at my dog's antics

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LUVMYCRAZYKIDS 3/6/2012 10:52AM

    You are a strong woman. You've coped, not only with the loss of your granmother, but the relationship you weren't able to have with her. In spite of behaviors toward you, you did everything selflessly. It's understandable that depression has reared it's ugly head. I think having a game plan in place to LOVE and care for yourself is perfect. Seeing your doctor is an important piece of that. Sometimes we need a little boost to help lift the spirits. I wish you the best & please know that there is much support here to tap into whenever you need. These folks are sincere.

God Bless and keep you...hug your puppies, that does always help!

Dawn

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IMIN2GENES 3/6/2012 9:51AM

    Susan, I'm so sorry! I read and commented on your last blog before reading this one. I'm very sorry for your loss. Your families behaviour is just plain insane (for lack of a better word, I do have a few...). I'm so sorry that they are making a painful situation even worse.

Your action plan is great! I'm sure your dogs will be happy with it too. My thoughts are with you.
Chris
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SANDEEB7 3/5/2012 11:02PM

    Susan, your own action plan is great, and here's hoping you'll stick with it. You are a beautiful person, you've had a trying time. Give your four-legged-friends a hug and cuddle, and be kind to yourself. Say the right things to yourself - your mind will think them, your ears will hear them, and your heart will feast on them. Capture each thought, dear Susan, and chuck out the one's that are from the enemy of depression. emoticon

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BOVEY63 3/5/2012 9:16PM

    After all the stress you have been through it's no wonder your emotions and body are reacting the way they are. Take the time you need to take care of you; and know that you have so many of us praying for you and sending lots of positive vibes your way.
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LALASLAND 3/5/2012 4:35PM

    Susan, I can feel your pain all the way down here to TX, and I sure wish I could erase it! How I know what it's like to have family that makes not a lick of sense! What gets into some people, I just don't understand! Please be sure that you realize that YOU are worth more than gold or silver, more than anything, and what others think or say about you has NO affect on who you really are. I know that when you're in the depths of depression, stuff like that isn't something you really hear, but it's still true. You are PRICELESS! How I wish I would hear it myself!

Love you, my friend! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KANSASROSE67 3/5/2012 2:08PM

    Just read this...I've been out of touch because of cleaning up tornado damage here...our house is still standing, thank God, in spite of lots of damage to our property.

Your plan sounds perfect and I know the sunshine will come back for you again. I'm sorry your family is so difficult. You, at least, can feel peace about being with your grandmother at the end.

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SPARKLISE 3/5/2012 7:23AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
You will get through this!
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Q8PRINCESS 3/5/2012 2:24AM

    especially like action number 5 - Be kind to yourself. Grieving is a funny thing sometimes.

As for the rest of the family, well weddings and funerals can be quite strange affairs. Aren't you glad you can pick your friends? Okay that's a bit naughty of me.

I'm really happy to see you back online.
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PONYFARMER 3/5/2012 1:57AM

    Oh my sweet, sweet friend. I so know your pain as I have been in the big D myself this week and did all of the same things that you spoke of with one exception. I still took my 91 pound dog out for her run. She just needs at as her body now 9 is starting to fail her and everyday she does not exercise and use the muscles means that she will be that much closer to not being able to get up and down.

My heart breaks for you, but I love your action plan.

My depression really broke today, while at church I could not stop crying during the Lord's table. The Pastor noticed and found a Deacon husband and wife to pray with me. Right in the middle of the prayer I felt the Holy Spirit take away some of the sadness and from that point on I began to feel better. I too made an action plan for tomorrow and like you I think it is important to force myself to do more, move a bit more, get outside and don't feed the feelings.

Love you and have you on my prayer list.

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_LINDA 3/5/2012 1:36AM

    I liked the quote I saw once -we can't choose our relatives, but we can choose our dogs..they will love you unconditionally -let them into your heart and help you fight the darkness. You were there for your Nan, they weren't, you are one awesome, strong lady. Its their loss they won't have anything to do with you. So glad you are seeing the Dr.
My thoughts are with you.
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EJOY-EVELYN 3/5/2012 12:44AM

    How unfortunate that you canít count on your family, yet they can count on you. Iíd like to think there is only one concern that should be on your mind to influence future action Ė and that would be God. You can rest assured that God is smiling every time you feel like doing the wrong thing and you choose to do the right thing. You were there for your Nan Ė Praise God!

Iím hopeful that someday you may have a Prodigal Son (or in this case Prodigal Family) story, when they come around to right thinking . . . hopefully it will come at a time youíre also ready to provide a spirit of open arms. What can I say, Iím the eternal optimist and love when the story ends with, ď. . . and they all lived happily ever after.Ē I pray that this happens sooner, rather than later.
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GLORYANDME 3/5/2012 12:01AM

    Sending (((((hugs))))) across the miles. Your spark family loves you! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KAYDE53 3/4/2012 7:57PM

    Please don't let your family's actions & attitudes dictate who you are, Susan!! You had every right to be there at that funeral with the rest of them. Don't let them make you less than who you are!! You did a great job caring for her!!!

Your plan is a good one and we're all here for you!! Stay involved with others, here or at home, I try to do that when I get depressed; it helps!! Dogs are great too!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LIBBYG7 3/4/2012 6:21PM

    Susan, dear.
I agree with the others who say that families can suck!! And they can also suck the life out of you - if you LET THEM!! I, too, was the strongest and most able of my siblings (1sister+1brother=both much older.....) when it came to family crises. And because I was the just 'get it done' type, they were all too glad to let me. And, I think they despised me for doing what they were incapable of doing. Think about it....you accomplished something they were not able to accomplish -- and you made your Nan's final days so much more loving and comfortable than they would have been otherwise.And you have those memories...they are yours and yours alone. You needn't share.

Rise above it, Susan. Be glad you are who you are - and be glad you are not who THEY are!! It took me many years to realize this - and it cost me a brother and a sister. But in retrospect, I never really had them in the first place. I have no guilt - and neither should YOU!

Lastly....love your dogs. They need you and they want to bring you a little comfort. Let them. They are the best medicine for depression.
.....and oh yes....do see your doctor. There are meds to ease you through a crisis.

All best love,
Libby emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BETHJRN 3/4/2012 6:18PM

    Sounds like a wonderful plan, my dear. You have been through a very difficult time, so allow yourself time to heal. I krow that better times are ahead for you, and I'm praying that they start soon!

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MILLIE5522 3/4/2012 6:13PM

    I am glad you are going to contact your doctor. You have been through so much these past few weeks and now its your turn to get support. I also suffer from depression which I know can take everything away from you but if you can hang onto the fact that it will pass with the right kind of help.
Have you tried Cognitive Behaviour Therapy? This addresses the thought patterns that can lead to depression. It helps me to stop my negative thinking before I am overwhelmed by it.
Best wishes and hugs. emoticon

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GEORGIAK25 3/4/2012 4:07PM

    The true attitudes of families turn out at a death and defineitely at funerals. You did all the right things, were there for Nan and you have no need to worry about these people. They do not deserve such a good person in their lives. Find the strength to Let Go and Let God take care of things in your life. Nan kinew you were there and were taking care of her. That was all that was of importance. Let them live with their warped sense of lives. It will take a few months not to see or think of nan constantly but I believe with your usual positive attitude you will overcome. I still miss my grandparents and it has been 33 and 28 years respectively since they left this world.

Here for you anytime.

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CHUBRUB3 3/4/2012 4:05PM

    Dear Susan,
Please accept my condolences, love and prayers on the passing of your Nan. You are a wonderful woman; a joy and kindness in all things. It is ok for you to grieve. It is also ok to get angry at your self posturing; selfish relatives. How unkind of them not to acknowledge your own greif. I would like to tell them what for.
Anyhow, your plan sounds good. You may even want to go back to work sooner so as to keep busy and get your mind on other things.
Hugs and love,
Angela


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HOPESINGH 3/4/2012 4:02PM

    It is good to know that you kept by your grandma all the way, and that you guard dear memories from her. Can't say I understand the behaviour of your relatives, not talking to you or not calling you to inform about the funeral. Pretty ugly of them, I think, but that just says a lot about them, not about you. You did what you could, the best way you could.
Please don't succumb to this depression (BTW, have you considered medication? I personally have had good experience). Do what you can to push it away, and congratulate yourself for every little step you take in the right direction.
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POPSY190 3/4/2012 1:53PM

    You will get through this with the support of those who care about you. The others are peripheral and will go their own way regardless of anyone else. It is unfortunate but you can do nothing about this: people change only if THEY want to make the effort to do so. That is what you have to bring yourself to believe. It took me a long time to come to terms with the idea that whatever I did it would not change someone else's attitudes and approach to me. You are feeling a natural grief for the loss of a loved person (even if she did not reciprocate as you would wish, you loved her) and for a relationship that might have been. Your plan for the next few days is a good one, especially re dr and dogs - call on those you can trust to help at this difficult time. Kia Kaha. Xx

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CRAZYDOGLADYBO 3/4/2012 1:42PM

    That is a good plan! I truly think you know yourself very well and you will get back on track. I have to say that the dogs might be more of a help if you let them.

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HEATHERNL 3/4/2012 1:21PM

    I hope that you know that you have friends here always. They don't care if you are fat or thin, they do not judge you on good days or bad, they do not expect perfection. So come here and share like you just did.
It takes a lot of courage to be so honest and open. My thoughts are with you.

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GOANNA2 3/4/2012 12:44PM

    I am so sorry that you are going through a bad time.
The family's behaviour towards you is appalling but at
least you have the memory of remembering your gran
as she was and in your own mind you were the one that
was there for her in the end. That is so admirable.
The depression that comes and goes is like a wave -
that is how it was described to me by my psychologist.
When you go down, then the only way is back up. I totally
understand where you are coming from. Just hang in there-
emoticonand positive thoughts will get you through this.
Your plan sounds wonderful and you can do this. Just vent
away to us here as we all understand. Take care and you will
soon be able to start with baby steps at a time by taking a bit
of time with your beloved dogs. emoticon emoticon

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JLITT62 3/4/2012 12:42PM

    All I can say is your family will reap the rewards of their behavior.

Maybe being at work would actually help? Take you out if yourself? No matter what, we are here.

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CODEMAULER 3/4/2012 12:27PM

    Family sucks sometimes; the funerals in my husband's family are some of the lowest examples of human behavior. Granted, my family is far from perfect, but at least they know how to conduct themselves in the public eye.

Keep your memories and experiences with Nan (good, bad and otherwise) close, as no one can take those away from you. This is what defines your relationship. Everyone else can take a flying leap off someplace high.

Talk to your dogs, too. They'll appreciate the attention and you know you'll feel better.

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JOANNANOW 3/4/2012 11:30AM

    Your plan for the next week seems wise. I think I told you this before but I will tell it again. When I was 17 my therapist wrote me a letter (he moved to the USA) in it he said "We live between islets of perfection". That stayed with me for the rest of my life. In the dark times when life was flat and meaningless that statement was there in my mind. I say" oh yes ... this is a between time". Working through those times becomes the work of a lifetime. Sometimes after a crisis there is a low period when you rise to meet a crisis like you did for your grandmother the sense of purpose and focus is crystal clear. It seems natural for things to collapse when the need has been met and the crisis recedes.
Oh boy I go on and on ... I hope you are feeling whole again soon. Give those pups an extra tickle from me. Sending hugs I know pretty soon you will romping with the dogs because you have a good plan and good habits that will prevail.
Sending hugs emoticon

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Lots of questions but I don't expect answers!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Hi,

Again, many thanks to all of you who have carried me through the past few weeks. I haven't been much of a Sparker to anybody (especially to myself) since Christmas due to a variety of excuses. Yes, for that is what they are "excuses"...legitimate or not.

Right now I am beyond caring for my weight or my health. Wow, that is shocking to even write! Okay, let's revise that sentence....things are so haywire in my life right now that I am not making the best nutrition choices nor am I doing any form of exercise. Why? Because I am so busy putting one foot in front of the other that I cannot bear to have to focus on one more thing.

I know, I know! I can hear you all but right now as obstinate and as stupid as this sounds, I cannot focus on me. If I thought Nan was going to live another month I think I would cut myself some slack but things are not looking good and I am either sleeping, going to work, or I am at the hospital.

Why can I not give myself a break? Darned if I know! I know if any one of you were in my shoes right not I would be the first one to give supportive advice such as "you have to take care of yourself first", "make sure you bring along some healthy snacks", or "make sure you are getting your rest". Bah-ha!

Today, even the nurses suggested I go home as I had such a migraine developing that my right eye was affected. Now that I am home and I have taken my migraine medication I feel the need to return to the hospital despite the nurses promising me to call me if there was any change in Nan.

Okay, I don't know why I even bothered writing this blog but it somehow seems more manageable on "paper".....err...the computer screen. I am promising myself that I will not go back to the hospital tonight and I definitely have to make some plans to organize myself better so I can take care of both me and Nan. Jeepers, imagine how dedicated I would try to be if the woman actually liked me?! emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IMIN2GENES 3/6/2012 9:45AM

    Hang in there my friend! Take care of both of you. It's all about finding some balance. I'm glad the nurses convinced you to take a break. Sounds like you really needed it. Watching a family member fall ill is never easy. My prayers are with you both!
Chris
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GOANNA2 2/29/2012 12:35PM

    emoticon

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BOVEY63 2/27/2012 1:29PM

    You really do need to take care of yourself an trust that the nurses will call you. I know this is easier said than done and I would most likely do the same if I were in your shoes; and would need you to tell me to take care of me.

Prayers and hugs for you and your Nan.
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Q8PRINCESS 2/27/2012 1:02AM

    REMEMBER TO TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF FIRST - THAT'S FIRST - FIRST MEANS YOU FIRST.

Just thought `i'd nagged but it is true. My MIL was taking care of her mother and she ended up in the hospital because she stretched herself too far.

so take care of yourself FIRST

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BETHJRN 2/26/2012 5:19PM

    Susan, pleaase take care of yourself. I'm sorry your grandmother is in such a state, but she truly is not your responsibility. While it's good of you to visit her so much, she certainly doesn't seem to appreciate it. I know that's not why your doing it, but you are causing yourself so much stress and pain. I'm not saying you should stop visiting, but perhaps you could keep them short. (Personally, I'd probably cut out after the first insult and tell her I'd had more that enough of her rude behavior, thank you very much!)

I understand that you don't want her to die alone, and that is admirable. However, you must realize that she is alone because of her own bitterness, and sadly enough, she will probably die alone even if you are right by her side.

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HOPESINGH 2/26/2012 6:20AM

    I think Linda is right - try not to run yourself down. It's painful to read how much you can forget yourself right now. Try to do just one small thing for yourself, like bring one apple or take a short nap when at the hospital.
Your situation is understandable, just be a little nicer to yourself - you deserve it. emoticon

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POPSY190 2/26/2012 2:08AM

    I agree with JLITT62. Sad though it is, your time and care are unlikely to change things. Try to think of what you HAVE done and given rather than what you think would be total perfection. You can't do the latter, no-one could. emoticon

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_LINDA 2/26/2012 1:01AM

    The mental and emotional stress of being there for your Nan is really pushing you over the edge. You have a wonderful, sweet heart of gold that is being slowly broken :(( Those horrible migraines are the warning signs and the nurses are seeing it. It is hard to think of yourself at a time like this, but you must try so you don't run yourself down and get sick. Do that and you won't be able to be there for her :((
Please try your best to take care of yourself. We are all concerned for you..
emoticon emoticon

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LIBBYFITZ 2/26/2012 12:08AM

    emoticon emoticon

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TEMPEST272002 2/25/2012 11:42PM

    This is a crazy stressful time & you can only do what you can do. I understand what it's like to know that making healthy choices will make you feel better... but still choose otherwise. We're only human. Just do the best you can for yourself, ok? Hugs to you.

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JOANNANOW 2/25/2012 9:56PM

    Hearing you say that you can't focus on yourself is like listening to me right now! Strange that we are both in that same space this last couple of months. Having said that I don't really have anything to say that would help since I can't seem to help myself either. All I really know is that this too shall pass and we will be back on track when our crisis situations normalize.
You are doing such a difficult thing. End of life care is the hardest thing I have ever done and I remember that there is nothing that could stop me or deter me in any way. I had to be there and that's all there was to it.
My heart is with you Susan. Be good to yourself try to rest and eat properly. Sending hugs and love to you

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MAGGIE101857 2/25/2012 8:37PM

    It's so hard to do it all - you are both mentally and physically exhausted. When my Mom was in her final weeks, my sister and I spent nights drinking wine, eating licorice, Riesen's and those candies with the sugary center..I can't think what they are called. I gained weight, needless to say, but....in retrospect, it was just where I needed to be at that time. You will get back on track, so if I could give you any advice, just take a moment to write down your thoughts as you go through this difficult time. Sending you prayers....and lots of emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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HEATHERNL 2/25/2012 7:19PM

    You already know what you need to do. Take better care of yourself AND be nicer to yourself.
Let yourself off the hook girl! No one is perfect. I have met a few people who were close to perfect and they annoyed the heck out of me!!!
Take care of yourself my friend and WONDERFUL Sparker!


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CHUBRUB3 2/25/2012 7:14PM

    Hugs Susan.
You are taking on a huge role, that of guardian; granddaughter most loyal; companion; nurse; and occaionally the scapegoat (because your there and easily hurt).
No wonder you are getting migraines. No wonder you are letting yourself slip in the caring of self.
It is ok Susan to take a break. I know you know this and if something were to happen when you were not there, know that that may be God's way of showing you a kindness.
I hope you don't take this the wrong way, i am only showing my concern for you dear friend.
Hugs and love,
Angela


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JLITT62 2/25/2012 6:17PM

    I think you are thinking that if you do everything "right", then she will change her mind & love you. I think you know this; you're a smart person. I think you also know it's highly unlikely to happen.

You really do need to take care of yourself. You will never regret the time you spent with your Nan, but that doesn't mean you can't take a break & go for a walk. And Lou & Maddy need you, too, of course.

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SHEILA-45 2/25/2012 6:13PM

    It will all work out. Do what you can to take care of yourself and Nan. emoticon Try to find some balance

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No title - a blog from my gut

Monday, February 20, 2012

Good Day -

This blog is about self-discovery and about a wonderful gift I was given yesterday that means the world to me. You see, as much as I say Nan means a lot to me I have always had a very complex relationship with her. I knew I wasn't in the "favourite" category but that didn't really bother me because I am a people pleaser. I kept going back in the hopes she would like me.

Needless to say, therefore, this past week or so has been one of extreme inner turmoil. From the day I was born Nan told my mother that she would not make anything of me. Why? Because she had always wanted girls and went on to have four boys, and then the first three grandchildren were boys. I was the first granddaughter but I was also a redhead. Strike two. Yep, all of my life Nan has told everyone in hearing distance that she hates red hair and that if she had been cursed to have one she would have poured black shoe polish over their heads.

Oddly, enough my redhair came from her husband's sister. Poppy had a reddish cast to his hair and the freckles but she made no secret of not really liking him either.

To say Nan is a stubborn old lady is an understatement. She is a stubborn person and has been all of her life. Like the time as a child she was wrongly accused of drinking the jug of fresh milk so she vowed then and there never again to let milk cross her lips. Mind you, she never let her boys drink it either and they all lost their adult teeth by the time they were teenagers.

She either loves or hates. She hates my husband...he is Roman Catholic. He hates everyone who married into the family. I have a cousin who was adopted and Nan made her life miserable! But yet everyone loved Nan. She had favourites and I couldn't understand why she didn't' seem to like me even though I spent a lot of time with her. I donned on me yesterday, I am a redhead and remind her of the people she despised.

So, in her dying days I am the one who is back and forth to visit her and everyday she makes sly comments about me which I try to brush off but which make me break down when I come home. Like I don't know how to make a proper cup of coffee, I am being sly if I step out to use the washroom and she thinks I am talking about her. Despite this I keep going back with a smile on my face and cry when she can't see the hurt she causes. The ones she loves and love her (they were in the favourite lot) flit in and out and make her smile and then leave again.

Now, I am not trying to get anybody to feel sorry for me. I am doing my visiting regardless and very few will ever know the inner pain she causes me. My mother knows and refuses to visit Nan (her mother-in-law) at all. I guess I am too much of a pushover because I wouldn't want to die alone so I figured others wouldn't. Also I feel like I am letting Dad's memory down if I don't visit.

Which brings me to yesterday. A new woman was brought in and in a moment of true irony she is the granddaughter of my grandfather's sister. We were never encouraged to know that part of the family and Newfoundland being so remote families didn't visit.

Anyway, I strolled in and the woman in the bed gasped. She apologized and said, "I thought you were my grandmother's ghost walking in because I have never, ever seen anybody who looked so much like her." Apparently, I look exactly like Poppy's beloved sister Louisa who also had fiery redhair and blue eyes!

From the bed Nan snorted and piped up how much she hates redhair! Then the woman joked and said well you must have liked them at one time because you married one and Nan piped up and said, "I shouldn't have".

As this woman's visitors came in they all exclaimed how much I looked like their beloved grandmother. John was with me and I almost cried because I never saw Aunt Louie but it is such an honour to have somebody say that to you. Especially when your own grandmother won't let a day go by without saying how ugly it is.

So, even in death my grandmother continues to be nasty but I keep going back for more. I don't know why but meeting those relatives gave me such a beautiful gift yesterday. We have vowed to stay in touch and Aunt Louie's eldest daughter (85) has invited John and I to visit over the summer and she will take me around to see Poppy's birthplace, etc. They have also vowed to send me a picture of Aunt Louie so I can see how much we looked alike! I finally fit in somewhere as I am the only redhead in all of my relatives up until now!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GOANNA2 2/29/2012 12:27PM

    You are such a good person. It is too bad your grandmother
doesn't see it. I am so happy that you have met some family
now that genuinely cares. I hope you get to visit. emoticon

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SPARKLISE 2/25/2012 10:24AM

    I wanted my children to have red hair!
My daughter has a tint of red in her blond hair but keeps on coloring it to hide it. Shame.
I guess your goodness is paying off(by finding some family).
We do what we do even if other people don't understand. Doing what is right for you will help you have no regrets when she's gone.
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IMIN2GENES 2/22/2012 8:12PM

    You are beautiful inside and out my friend! Don't let anyone tell you anything different and DON'T let yourself believe that you aren't. I think it's amazing that you care enough to keep visiting at all. I'm not so sure I would have the strength to keep going.

I'm so glad you found some wonderful relatives! That is awesome!
Chris
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YIWEN39 2/22/2012 8:08PM

    Susan, how great for you that have met new relatives!!! Ones that are ready to accept you and welcome you and want to know you! What a blessing, coming out of difficult circumstances :-) I'm happy for you.
And sorry too, that your Nan is so hard on you. As the other Sparkies said, it reflects on her, not on you. You are a great person, Susan, and you are proving that everyday!
Take care! emoticon

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CRAZYDOGLADYBO 2/22/2012 1:40PM

    emoticon

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LUVMYCRAZYKIDS 2/22/2012 11:43AM

    Let me begin by saying you are beautiful! Red hair is not common and you should feel lucky to be different!! I think it makes you stand out in a GREAT way! You are a wonderful person to be standing by your grandmother's side as she is in her dying days. I send prayers your way that you and she may be at peace once day. God Bless!

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LALASLAND 2/22/2012 9:26AM

    Susan, I just do not have time to post all that I'd like to say, and that is so frustrating! I have such a similar situation, and I understand your pain! I just want to get in my Jetson's spaceship and go see my dear Newfie friend and bombard you with hugs! Love you, Susan! Lori emoticon emoticon

oh... and POO on that old bitty! emoticon

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LIBBYG7 2/21/2012 7:18PM

    Oh Susan.....
I agree with those who say you should stand up for yourself and tell Nan how you feel about her insults and slights. That doesn't mean you have to stop seeing her....but do it on your terms. No-one can wipe the floor with another human being, and get away with it!!

Coming from a dysfunctional family - I, all too well, recognize the signs and signals in a play for power. Don't fall for it. Stand up for yourself.

BTW....There were only two redheads in my very large extended family - my dad (red hair and freckles) and one of his many nieces (my first cousin). I've always wished I'd inherited my dad's coloring - I LOVE redheads!!! They are rare - as you are.

Big hugs.
Libby emoticon

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KANSASROSE67 2/21/2012 6:04PM

    I see you've already gotten wonderful advice so I won't add to it. But I do want to say that I LOVE red hair and always wished to have it myself! My DD had a reddish tint to her blond when she was a baby and I was sad that she outgrew it. I hope you have lots of fun with your new-found family members...they sound delightful!

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SANDEEB7 2/21/2012 9:44AM

    Susan...now YOU need to start believing that you are beautiful and special. Hold your head up high girl, and just continue to be the lovely person you are!! Good has come from difficulty. Glad you found your family! :D

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TEMPEST272002 2/21/2012 9:25AM

    I feel sorry for your grandmother. To be blinded to your beauty, to cut herself off from the opportunity to truly know you, to be so hard at the end of her life. So very sad. I agree with another poster - those things she says, they have nothing to do with *you* and everything to do with her & people she may have been jealous of or disliked in the past.
I'm glad you were given this gift of getting to know more of your family. I hope you take them up on their offer to visit. BTW, ever since I read Anne of Green Gables at 9 years old I have been sooooo jealous of people with red hair.

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HOPEFULANGE 2/21/2012 6:48AM

    So glad to hear you've found your family! emoticon

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CHLOE453 2/20/2012 9:10PM

    emoticonOh dearest Susan...YOU are a beautiful person inside and out!! I am so proud to call you my friend. emoticon

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KAYDE53 2/20/2012 6:33PM

    Perhaps your Nan had problems at one time with your grandfather or her sister, but who knows, and then again, perhaps she's just cantankerous! I had a grandma who made harsh comments like this & played favorites too. I finally figured out she was the one with the problem, not me. It's sad, but some people are just that way. I loved her because she was my grandma, but I didn't really like her that well. I did feel sorry for her.

Comment edited on: 2/20/2012 6:34:17 PM

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GEORGIAK25 2/20/2012 2:55PM

    You know Susan I think your grnadmother may have been jealous of your beauty. I also think that she really preferred the booys in her family to you. Do not take it to heart. You are you and a wonderful person you are too. How apt that fate should put them in the same room. Enjoy this wonderful side of the family.
Be yourself, visit for your conscious sake and let grandma be grandma. Too late at this age to change her personality. I had a similar experience with my father. The sun shone out of my brothers .....you know whats yet I was the one who took him to drs, appts, and i worked full time. Still my conscious is clear.

You are a wonderful person and that is why you visit all the time. Blessing to you.



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NEWFIEGIRLHERE 2/20/2012 2:31PM

    Susan, my darling Susan. You are the sweetest soul I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. You have got to be one of the kindest people that I have ever come across and no matter you hair color, your skin color or what side of the family you came from or who you turn after you are her sons daughter no matter if she like it or not. It does not mean a roll of beans if she appreciates all that you do or not because it is you, yourself, that you have to answer to at the end of the day and when you can look at yourself in the mirror and feel good about the choices you have made then you can sleep good at the end of the day. I tell my mom all the time when she talks about "having" to go visit her 99 year old mother.....you can't do it for them, you do it for yourself. God Bless you Susan for being so kind to someone who has not been so kind to you.
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oh, and for the record, I happen to love your red hair....just saying

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Comment edited on: 2/20/2012 2:33:28 PM

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GRAMLORI 2/20/2012 12:44PM

    Ohhhh, the hurts we hold inside and never tell anyone about...and what a blessing to come out of these difficult visits that you have been doing for this season in your life! I'll echo what everyone else thinks....your hair is gorgeous!! I have two redheads....one homegrown and one readymade (to be adopted!)....the first one, I swear, was because his father once said, "I'll never have a red-headed kid!!" LOL

More importantly, Susan, you are beautiful on the inside, where it counts.

Hugs to you, my friend!
Lori

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POPSY190 2/20/2012 12:41PM

    Your Nan obviously is very controlling and loves the power being so unpleasant brings. So she is being kept happy by your long visits. But can you sustain the appalling cost to yourself by continuing this for any length of time? Perhaps you should start to curtail the duration of your visits. We tend to think that everyone feels as we do, but I was with my mother when she died and I don't think she cared whether I was there or not. She had a difficult personality too and I still, at 66, sometimes struggle with the damage done to my self confidence.
Like you, I was kept from my mother's only sister and her family. I have recently contacted my 2 cousins and photographs of Lynne are like looking at a slightly different version of myself! For an only child this is a strange, but lovely, experience. I have also found and met an elderly cousin of my mother who had also been eliminated from her life. He was welcoming and I immediately felt at home with his family. I'm sure you will enjoy your "new" family. So that is something very positive to come out of all this.
That connection with the past and your inheritance from Louisa is priceless; it reinforces your true nature to be identified by others with someone who was so loved - I suspect that is the source of your Nan's bitterness: jealousy of two people who had/have all the thoughtfulness, compassion and generosity of spirit that she lacks.
Love and best wishes from another blue-eyed redhead (alas, no more!).

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_LINDA 2/20/2012 12:35PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
You are a special soul. That is wonderful of you to put up with the abuse to make sure your Nan doesn't die alone. I know all too well the stigma of being a red head, that was one of the many reasons the kids chose to bully me in school, or at least gave them more than one option of what name to call me on any given day.
I am so glad you met the side of the family that can really appreciate you and what a wonderful contact! That will be so interesting to see how much you resemble your Aunt Louisa!
I am almost happy I don't have many relatives. Only ever knew my Mom's Mom and she was a sweetie (Mom was an only child). The grandfathers died before we were born and all my dad's relatives live in Germany, both his parents dead.
Try everything in your power not to let Nan upset you. They win that way. She is just an over grown bully.
My thoughts are with you..

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MELAINAMM 2/20/2012 12:21PM

    What a beautiful gift it can be to be RECOGNIZED!

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CHUBRUB3 2/20/2012 12:09PM

    Hugs Susan.
Words from our loved ones can be very hurtful.
Know that you are a beautful, kind woman inside and out.
You are a special wonderful friend and GD.
It is wonderful to know you are a gift and now have found people who also think so.
Hugs,
Angela

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BOVEY63 2/20/2012 12:00PM

    That is an amazing gift and a well deserved one for all the giving you do.

As a child I didn't know a lot of my paternal grandmother's family. Toward the end of her life we learned this was due to the fact that she was the result of an affair between her mother and a married man, and was adopted by an aunt and uncle. She didn't want us to know her secret. We have now met relatives we never knew (some living within 40 miles) and it has been wonderful. Enjoy getting to know yours.
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By the way, I love redheads and changed mine to red when I needed to jump-start my life a few years ago!

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DOTMUL 2/20/2012 11:53AM

    Hi Susan, First of all, what good fortune to be blessed with red hair and blue eyes. What a beautiful person you are!! Both inside and outside!! I recognize your Nan..... My mother was b3@#hy and feisty. How many times she hurt are uncountable, but I realized very late in life that it was this side of her that kept her going to live independently until her 94th year. For some people, it is how they survive. Doesn't make it right or easier to bear, but it's their way to survive.
How fortunate you are and how appropriate to meet your Poppy's relatives there in the hospital and how nice to receive their approbation for your beautiful red hair and blue eyes and your resemblance to Poppy's beloved sister Aunt Lousa.
Just keep doing what your are doing, visiting and keeping Nan company and biting your tongue after her hurtful words. Isn't it possible that somewhere along the line, she was very jealous of Louisa's beautiful hair and eyes, and felt she fell short in looks and therefore was jealous of Louisa. Who knows??
Hugs
Dotmul

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JLITT62 2/20/2012 11:41AM

    A big hug for such emotional turmoil. You really are just the sweetest person & I think red hair is beautiful - when I was still coloring my hair it was always a reddish brunette.

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HEALTHYBARB1 2/20/2012 11:41AM

    Thanks for sharing this life event...it always amazes me how one event can change our whole perspective. I love redheads and have always thought red hair was beautiful. Some times dealing with difficult people in our lives...especially in our own family is the most trying and having a servants heart and willingness to love them when they are being unloving to us our greatest challenge. I enjoyed you sharing the gift God gave you in sending a family member who could tell you who you really look like and give you a new perspective. Made me smile and reminded me to look each day for those unexpected gifts that happen just because God loves us. Your Nan's attitude about red hair will not be the one you will keep forever now but you will see your hair through the eyes of others who loved your look a like Great Aunt and want to share her story with you...hope you can find joy in learning more about her. Loving your Nan with unconditional love though challenging has brought you a blessing and that is pretty amazing!!! Take care. Hugs Barb

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JOANNANOW 2/20/2012 10:27AM

    Hi Susan with the beautiful hair. Your grandmother sounds like a real handful! You are so sweet to tolerate all that nonsense. You never know what's going to happen... to find a new branch of the family during such trying times seems so unlikely! It sounds like your kindness to your Nan has been rewarded in some way. Life is full of mysterious turns in the path.
Take a deep breath and remember to take a little time for you. Even a 10 minute walk can help keep you healthy and focused. Baby steps. Your caring and compassion are a great blessing for your grandmother and to all of us that you share it with. emoticon

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HOPESINGH 2/20/2012 9:37AM

    I think I partly understand how you feel about visiting your Nan. You feel it's your obligation, it's the right thing to do, and you are willing to take the pain and hurt it comes with. You know what, maybe you are doing the right thing. Leaving someone to spend her last days alone is not going to educate her now. It reminds me of the Hindu idea of Dharma - which is a word not only for religion but also for your duties, for what-you-have-to-do. It is not your responsibility if it succeeds or not, you just have to do it.
And I'm happy for you that you got something in return - relatives who somehow put you back to your place in the puzzle.
I was born with deep red hair but it turned dark blond after 1-2 years. Wish I still had it!
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HEATHERNL 2/20/2012 9:33AM

    I am so glad that you got such a gift yesterday! you deserve it so dearly.
Your Nan is one very lucky woman that you have stood by her all these years despite her completely b**chy attitude that you DO NOT DESERVE!
I really hope you do make that trip this summer and go find where your roots came from. Family roots and red head roots.
Being a redhead myself, I'll tell you first hand that your hair is GORGEOUS and anyone that tells you differently is not worth listening to. Love who you are my friend.

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NIKIBOBIKI 2/20/2012 9:32AM

    I have read your other blogs, I know she is sick. But, you really should get it off your chest. Maybe her feisty personality is actually looking for a bit of a fight? A bit of a debate? She might like it! I know a little lady at my Nan's home who loves a good argument. Makes her feel alive I think.

Good luck with it. Sorry for getting so up in arms in my other post. I have an old boyfriend who's nan was the SAME WAY. And it exhausted the whole family.

All the best emoticon

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Q8PRINCESS 2/20/2012 9:27AM

    FIrst I LOVE RED HAIR and am totally jealous of yours!

Too bad for you Nan is like that, she probably lost out of a lot of fun with you. She's poorer for it. People with that kind of bitterness lose out on so much of life.

You must realize that you are not "bad" but really great to still go back with love in your heart to see her. Remember that you first must look after yourself before your Nan, so take time for yourself! (Lots of nagging here)

The silver lining is that you meet some new relatives, like Aunt Louie's daughter. Should be a great summer getting to know her and find out about that side of the family. Maybe they have a photo of the Grandma you look like.

emoticon

Comment edited on: 2/20/2012 9:30:46 AM

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NIKIBOBIKI 2/20/2012 9:26AM

    I'm sorry, but why don't you just talk back to your nan? Tell her like it is? You don't deserve to be treated like that.

There is no reason that anyone, dying or not, should be allowed to just be a hateful person and get away with it. NO reason. Have you ever told her "You have hated me your entire life and certainly let me know it. Yet here I am, still here for you. That means that I AM THE BETTER PERSON, and you will face your judgment in due time".

Seriously. Don't do this to yourself. Just don't. Family or not, elderly or not, if someone has been horrid to you their whole life, they do NOT deserve your kindness. Where are her "favorites", why aren't they there with her every day? Next time she comments on your red hair, tell her that everyone else in your life LOVES your hair, and that's all that matters. Tell her, you don't care that she hates your hair, it's not hers to hate. See how she looks at you then.

I think you NEED to take a stand. You father would understand. He knew her too. I doubt he would blame you for not subjecting yourself to any more cruelty. This is draining you emotionally, and damaging your spirit. If she doesn't learn her lesson now, then what was the point of her life? she will die never knowing that she could have been a better person.


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