sick


Some people in life are like the Rock of Gibraltar. It is a reference used for hundreds of years in varying settings, gibraltarbasically thinking of them as a place one can rely on for support, providing confidence, never faltering.

And when that Rock isn’t feeling 100%, it is like the universe is not aligned.

My mom was like that, the dependable person, always supporting, never showing signs of weakness, or inability to perform at her best. Like an ever-ready bunny. On those few occasions when she just was not at 100%, I felt like nothing was for certain if that makes sense. Also, I felt like I wanted to help her, but since she didn’t really let anyone know how they could help her, I would do little things to appear like I was making a difference, but maybe I wasn’t.

I kinda do the same thing that mom did,. I rarely ask for help, and I have the infamous to do list, I just keep ticking along, step after step. and I get things done.

Well, this week has not been that way.

person using mop on floor

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I have been battling a lot of upper head congestion, and an annoying as all get out cough, and just not feeling right. It is an effort to do things that normally just get done. Mark is offering to help where he can, – the God, but I just want to feel better.

Ya know I am sick if I sleep in- or go to take a nap. Yesterday I got up at 1PM. And I have gone to bed at 11PM the night before. That is totally not me. Nope, I am a 5-6 hr sleep is enough person.

Today though I worked on the taxes, Mark helped, and we got through them. Damn- THANK GOD for ONLINE ability- and THANK GOD for TURBOTAX !!!! I can not even imagine being half as smart as turbo tax is !

Now that is done , it is one thing off the TODO list that was like a staple line on each of my to-do lists since 1-1-19. So I am giving into this crappy last few weeks, and not going to do more than necessary- hopefully tomorrow will be me— back to being me. I hope this finds you as strong as the Rock of Gibraltar… I will look forward to that strength, that shield of indestructible armor tomorrow.

Until later— Mrs justa alias CIndy

 

 

We live life sometimes feeling like we know exactly the next step. Our alarm clock will go off, we will get up, we brush our teeth, do whatever routine in the morning we do, and move to the next part of our day. However when the alarm clock does not go off, or there is no water pressure, or maybe we fall out of bed instead of getting up the usual way, well it kinda puts our synched life out of order.

We trust everything will go as planned, and yet there are the things that don’t.

It gets even trickier when we take the next step, drive the car, reach for something, heck even getting something from a cupboard. Everything we do we trust will end the same way.

Now we can try to protect ourselves from areas where things can’t go wrong, but we become people in bubbles. Less can go wrong, but things happen.

I was thinking about trust and faith to extend beyond flyingthe simpler bullet points of a day. I was reminded in my thoughts of this day, this fall day when this never could have been, had life been kept inside the bubble. I took this at an angle to show the freedom, the joy of the moment. Jeff trusted he would get caught, and he loved the feeling of freedom. The look on his face, the total relaxation of his body, he trusted thigs will be okay, and without that trust, the picture would have been totally different- it might have been a terrified face and fingers clutching so tight to the neck of his dad- like please don’t make me do this. But no– he totally trusted and because of that experienced something way out of the ordinary.

As we get older and heavier, that opportunity – that specific scenario – could not be, or would probably not end in a laugh. However, as we age, gliderinventors have created ways to get that feeling and beyond. I takes a lot more effort from the person achieving the liftoff, however, it needs to be accompanied by trust. Trust that the winds are right, trust your legs are ready for a rather fast run, trust the equipment was not faulty. If however, you have the trust, that sense of freedom can be yours. This person was on an elevated area, beyond the takeoff fallarea was an incredible valley, miles of land colored with the brilliance of fall.

Life has been full of trusting, we trust in relationships, we trust in our day to day activities, our jobs, our everything……and yes we also trust we will be cleaning the bruises- whether inside or outside, and some scars that show the roadmap of my life. I want to always feel that feeling that life is going to be okay, that feeling I get every time I remember that fall day with Jeff. I never ever want to stop trusting that even when things don’t go quite as planned, the trust and faith are so important.

Until later,  Mrs Justa alias Cindy

 

I was listening to music in my mind, it is like I have a jukebox ready to play a song, no one else hears it, so anywhere I am, a melody, lyrics, a place in my past comes to life. This one song seems to come back over and over again.

“Cause who’s gonna know but me
Who’ll help me recall those small memories
When I’m all that’s left of this family of three
Who’s gonna know but me” Kathy Mattea

As it played I had looked up on a shelf, IMG_3644and so quietly sits this little doll. She has quietly sat in places I have been since I was 9 years old.

No one knows or even asks why, and she sits there doing what she has been doing for many many years.

This little braided blond-haired doll was a gift to me. I received it at a very scary time in my life.

When I was 9, I was admitted for simple tonsillectomy. It was in June, I remember the excitement of being able to be through with school early because of my surgery. It was also a time of anxiousness and chaos because we were about to move from Skaneateles to Bayberry, into our very first new house and not a rental.

The hospital had a ward for all the kids getting the surgery. It was little an assembly line that day. When I arrived with mom and dad it was surreal in a way, the kids were all in stages of the procedure day. Some scared and waiting their turn, some sleeping after they had had their surgery, some getting sips of cool drinks, and some- yeah they hit the top and got a little dixie cup of ice cream. Dad saw me looking around at the “unknown what next expressions” and he said in a little while I will be able to drink and get ice cream.

Off to surgery, I remember my trembling on the stretcher from being scare. My mom and dad tried to tuck the blanket (it looked like a large receiving blanket ) and talking so softly to try to help me calm down.

The operating room was huge, and this man put on my face a clear mask, the stuff tasted like something I will never forget, aether. Next thing I know, I am back in the ward. As I became aware of the room and my parents, I also became aware of my sore throat. I felt super sick, and they kept telling me to not throw up. However, there was an emesis basin ready if I did.

And low and behold, I needed it, and the was lots of red blood … the cold drinks and ice cream rewards changed to a rush return to a procedure area because my surgery had torn an area and they had to work to stop the bleeding. It was terrifying, I felt alone,  and the man doing the procedures did not speak English very well, and kept saying to me “one more time” as he held these long cotton covered type rolls and pushed them in the back of my throat using his very large gloved finger. It hurt, it was awful, each gauze roll tasted like crap, I was not supposed to swallow as he did this ( but I did swallow one in the process) After the 6th one more time, that huge finger came into my throat and a clamped my teeth down and literally bit through the latex. He was dancing around and saying ouch… and that was his last “one more time.

They took these swabs and somehow ties them together – one tight against the outside or my nostrils, string thru my nostrils and another was attached at the back of my throat. I was not going home, I had to stay overnight.

When I got back to the ward, dad had this doll sitting on my nightstand. He said she would watch over me when he wasn’t going to be there. See mom was pregnant for Martha, and there were 4 kids at home – 11,6,5,2,.. we were in moving mode, and plans just took a turn because I could not come home.

All night long though, this little doll became my comfort, she watched over me that night and still has, all these years later. IMG_3644She has been everywhere I have lived since I was 9. She has gone through the moments of sadness and joy, the various events of my life. She has been comforting, encouraging, and show patience. But most of all, she represents the love of a parent a love that lives on long after their earthly bodies have not. And not once has she let me down… she always has the angelic look that everything is going to be ok.

I wanted to share her with you.

Until later, Mrs Justa alias Cindy

 

 

Winter time in upstate NY is like other areas in the country, we all have our special unique situations. Some have more rain then not, some have hurricanes, some have ice, some have tornados. We, well we are among the many folks with snow. IMG_3250

Somehow, a very long time ago, I started counting the actual days per winter that driving was beyond horrendous when the wind was whipping the snow around so bad that visibility is zero,. My in my brain counting is 7 really super bad days a winter. I mean really bad. I have experienced some drives where you are driving along and POOF all of the sudden you can only see your windshield. Some days it is snowing 2-3 inches an hr. Those are the days that I am telling myself- “One day closer to Spring”

Often though, in our winter months, the road is snow covered and you just have to drive carefully. Anticipate stops from way back, don’t make sharp turns, and hold the wheel with both hands, and focus. Lake-Effect-Storm-1-16-2011-001_thumb.jpg

In the fall I would choose designated roads, and those I would look for any type of landscape or landmarks that could help me know where I am. Often a straight road, ( but those aren’t always possible, but whatever road it was, as soon as I knew I was on it, I felt like I was home. Like one road has different areas with large pine trees, and just after them a curve. I would carefully look for those trees when the roads were not plowed or visibility lousy, and know what to expect as far as the layout of the road.

Another thing I would do is keep the radio off, and hum “The Lord’s Prayer” if it was really bad the humming went to a more vocal version.

image.pngThe other thing I would do is not travel the interstates if I did not have to. I knew ways to and from home that I felt comfortable on, and no matter what- the speed limit on dry roads is 30 or 40, so I knew I would not have any idiots driving 65 mph, like they do on the interstate. Some people think because they have 4 wheel drive that they are indestructible, and they do not seem to care about who they are pushing out of the way. And not that I wish anyone bad fortune, but I more than once mumbled “KARMA” as I went by them as they were off in the median or snow bank.

Yeah, the winters bring on steel nerves, a tad anxiety, and a major appreciation of Spring.

So for those in the upper snow areas, be careful, and remember ” One Day Closer to Spring”

Until later, Mrs Justa alias Cindy

 

Whoa, this is a tough concept to grasp. Personally, I am surprised I have any teeth left after the times’ life has kicked me in them. I would think it is safe to say that by the time we reach even 20-30 years old, we have had some not so good times happen. If I listed all of mine, well it would be a tad longer than the novel Moby Dick. For today I am going to reminisce on one.

First I have to admit as the bad moments seem to engulf my life, there is absolutely no one or any way I can think of, see, or believe that there is anything good from it.

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Life is like pebbles on the shore, some pretty some jaded

It may take years or decades to even have the courage to look at those times from afar. However, personally, I have been able to see the whole picture the further and further away I get from it.

There are times I do not know the whole picture, components I should not know, will never know, and that too is intended to be. Sometimes I just have to step back and comfort my pain with, the thought there was a reason. No one has the answers, and none of us can know why God’s plan hurts at times.

This particular realization I am looking at today, it took me 40 + years to look in the tapestry of my life and see some light in the dark colors.

For the first 10 yrs of my life, my family continued to grow in numbers ( a new child every 1 1/2 to 2 yrs )and we lived in rental places. I had 4 yrs of life in an upper flat in Bridgeport Cn, that followed with 3 different home in the Skaneateles NY area.

Four months before I turned 10, my parents found and bought a home in Bayberry. This was such an amazing event, it was fairly new, in a suburban neighborhood, we could walk to school, to church and stores, we were safe playing kickball in the street, we had lots of other kids, places to ride our bikes for hours without ever leaving the community, a great place to raise children, and mom could be a stay at home mom, comfortable with the safety of her more dependent children as we frolicked outside like happy puppies.

And then 4 months into this life, we were blessed to be in , boom….  the month of my 10th birthday, our dad was in the hospital he had had a heart attack. Mom had told us when dad came home he would be in a wheelchair at least until he regained his strength, we knew life was going to be way different.

Well, he never left that hospital, my mom at that time was 9 months very pregnant with her 6th child. Mom went into labor on the night before dad was to come home, a neighbor took her to the hospital, and the next morning VERY early… dad had died and mom gave birth.

I gotta tell you that moment in our lives was hard to figure out the whys. It was a time when it would be easy to not believe in anything. We had the cutest new sister, and dad never came home to enjoy the new addition to our family. Plus our “stay at home mom,” could no longer be. Mom went to college got her bachelors degree as she worked as a teaching assistant during the day at the local school district. Pam and I ( 11 and 10) became the child care in the after school/ evening times.

For years it was not easy, but looking back now… had we not had that bought home, where would our family have ended up?  We owned no residence before that time, I think in the plan of life, coloring in the grays with brighter colors, the move to Bayberry was one of those times when the bad, really also was a blessing for our future after dads death.

We were safe, we had a precious bundle of joy to help ease the pain, we  had neighbors helping neighbors, people helped us without ever being asked, so even as heartwrenching, as deep the hurt was, as scary, and as dark as those moments were, we were in the best place considering the whole picture.

Once I really looked beyond the pain, I was reminded once again, that life was never meant to be easy, but life is a blessing every single day I see the sun rise and set.

Until later, my love to all… Cindy, alias  Mrs. Justa

OK… I am trying to focus on writing and the wind is blowing so hard..I thought our furnace was malfunctioning and blowing super forced air through the vent. Our house is normally pretty quiet… do not hear wind… but tonight… holy shmolly… it is blowing big time. Just started—all of the sudden..The dog is pacing… and the wind smacking against the house.

So as I proceed..let’s hope the power and internet stay on. I was thinking about mental illness, and how many people suffer from it. Heck I look at this poor dog and see she even has a tad bit of mental illness . I had tried to tape a video of us trying to coax her in her crate..when she heard us say on the video to get in her house, she started trembling in here… oh I hope we can find things to work amd Oct 2011 055calm her down. This wind reminds me of what it is like to see a person ( or the dog !!) go through acute episodes of depression, anxiety or mania. It comes over them like a gust of wind, like huge waves… beating on their souls and emotions –like the wind is beating against the house.

Anxiety is a tough disorder, so is depression and mania. They all are real, and when they hit, the person going through it usually recognizes the problem and becomes more symptomatic realizing they can not stop it. It is like watching a person be a prisoner in their own body. I have taken care of patients and have been personally exposed to individuals who suffer from all of some of these illnesses. And there is nothing I can do to help when a full blown attack happens.

Oh I can try to stay calm, I can look for the sun ray through the dark cloud… but I feel inadequate, because I can not help to make to acute episodes subside. I can recognize when they are about to happen. But depending on the level of intensity they have..they can be like a tornado—taking down anything in their path.

For Riley… in the crate..when anxiety hits… NOTHING I can say or do will stop her from panting, trembling and bending the cage.

It is so opposite of her when she is not having an anxiety episode.

When I watch Mark deal with his high levels of anxiety, depression , mania—man again it hurts to watch, because there can be a path of destruction… he said the other day that it wears him out.. wears him down.

People I have met in life who have had similar disorders..they too felt at times that they were losing a grip at times.

So as the night hours begin to pass…africam 1-24-2012 011 I want to send a cyber hug out to all who suffer from mental illness…and to all who know someone with mental illness. Support them, never ever give up on them, and know that when an acute episode happens..that is when they need you most.

I learned a long time ago… that when an acute episode happens..that is when you find out who your friends are… and also who are not your friends .

I love you Mark… through your highs and your lows… you are a good man… a man passionate about your beliefs…. –It is a ride sometime s!!.

Love to all, Mrs justa alias Cindy…..

6-8-2012 Jeff and Amanda's 001Preston is home, he is not feeling 100%, still seemed kinda tired, but at least he is home. We got to spend some time watching the boys last night, it is always fun. Initially we thought ( before the hospital issues this week) to have them here for the night –but I can totally understand why his parents preferred to have them home. Man—how scary to have your little kid admitted to the hospital!

We had a fun time with the little fellows, but as I was there, watching them interact and have the ability to roam around their home where they want, I was taken back to life a few days prior when Preston, his dad and mom were in a hospital room for 2 1/2 days. 6-6-2012 day 2 Preston in hospital 022

Fortunately Amanda and Jeff were able to take a few days from work to be there..But what if you could not do that? A 2 yr old can not just be told to stay in a hospital room and do not leave it

So would the hospital have to have a nurse in the room with him at all times? And then would that mean that he would have had to get used to 3 different nurses each day.

Heck, it broke my heart 6-6-2012 day 2 Preston in hospital 019seeing him peering out of the glass door at the nurses walking by, looking for his parents to come back, and to just see the world moving around some.

We were in the room with him, so he and we knew he was safe… but what about all those kids who are in the hospital without that support of family.

I was thrilled he was discharged on Thursday…and I was thankful to have experienced the compassion , the professionalism, the patience of the entire staff we were exposed to there.

What an awesome place. I had never been in a Children’s Hospital before—only worked on the peds, neonate and maternity floors—that is different than this experience was.

Thanks to all who kept him in your prayers… and let’s keep praying for wisdom of doctors and nurses as they care for other sick children ….

Love to all, Mrs. justa…alias Cindy

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