Lessons Learned From the Death of My Beloved Son


This morning I walked downstairs and into our great room with a heart and body full of emotions.  My husband’s big comfy chair by the window was back in place after a few weeks of being upstairs in a bedroom.  We had become incapable of helping Rich navigate the stairs as he lost more use of his body so had moved first his bed, and then the hospice bed into that corner by the window.

We all lived an extremely intense few weeks and his stay here in our home was such a gift.  With the help of his wife and my husband, I was given the privilege of being with him in our home for the last six weeks of his life, and my sister came for the last week.   What would I ever have done with her too!  I was privileged, as well, to be able to do every single thing that a mother could do to save her son.

I have lived for many years wishing I could have a “do-over” raising my children.   I loved them but looking back, I didn’t know much of anything about love, about being fully aware and truly and consistently cherishing them while they were learning about life.   Fortunately I’ve been blessed with many years to cherish and love them and they clearly know how much they are loved and valued.

My daughter lived with me until she left home as an adult but when the boys were pre-teen, they went to live with their father and although only a few miles away, and back and forth between our homes, I often regretted my allowing them to leave.  I missed so much.  The little things and also some of their life-forming experiences.   I can remember at least once that each of them didn’t want to stay there after they had left and I could see in later years that it had impacted them heavily, the fact that I had allowed them to go – even though they wanted to be with their Dad.   At the time, he and I felt they should be allowed to decide where they wanted to live.   It had a heavy impact on all of us.

Many years ago, Rich and I talked it through and he said he had peace but that didn’t change the scars and fear of being alone and feeling abandoned that he lived with for the rest of his life.  Perhaps those issues had less power over him- I don’t know.  I have lived with a lot of guilt that I didn’t hold on to them tighter and refuse to let them leave.  Who knows what was the best for them.  I still don’t know.  I do know that over the years, I’ve been blessed with a very close and loving relationship with both of them.

I, along with my other son and my daughter, were with Rich in the hospital in the state where he lived when he was given the heart-wrenching diagnosis of glioblastoma multiformae Stage IV.  You can read his story here.   He and his wife had wanted to move back home – here in Washington State- for several years. Now was the time.  They packed what they could carry in their suitcases and 3 days later we were on the plane home for treatment at Oregon Health Sciences University and then to Compass Oncology.  Rich didn’t live long enough to get into treatment.  Maybe a blessing.   We were furiously fighting for his life but the tumor was on a mission of it’s own.  The tumor won.

He passed on Tuesday and this is Thursday.  I was in an abyss of grief and despair until last night.  I was adjusting to the change in my life – going from the intense life we had all been living for six weeks – every thought, prayer, breath, action included Rich and fighting for his life.  When he came home from the Hospital a week ago on Thursday for hospice care, I was challenged to change my focus – from fighting to accepting and simply making him comfortable.  That was a heartbreaking change in every aspect of my care for him.  It brought me once again to my knees emotionally and physically – in grief and prayer.

I’m so grateful that my sister and Rich’s wife were here to share my final experiences with my son. I couldn’t have done it without either of them.   My two remaining sisters are very close to him.  I know how I would feel if this were one of their children and I know how much they both love Rich and that they were experiencing very close to what I was experiencing during his final days.  There is huge comfort in shared experience.   Thank you!  I’m so grateful to you, Lynda, for being here.  I know Carlieta would have been here too if at all possible.

I had incredible joy and many “grateful” opportunities seeing my three children together during these weeks – nurturing, loving, caring for one another.   I know very well who they are but it touched me deeply to see them together.  Their living separately as young children had no impact at this point.  That was one of my concerns and pictures of a fractured family.  But this proved to be family at it’s finest.  I saw healing at a deep level for them and I know it was for me.  I am so blessed.

I have watched Rich go through many years of incredible pain, physically and emotionally.  My other son has navigated authentically and courageously through his life challenges and my daughter is a very courageous colon cancer survivor.  All three of my children are my great role models.  Their outlook on life, the way they navigate and function in life, their deep beliefs – somewhat differing but tolerant and strong, inspire me.  They are truly my greatest teachers, along with their children and grandchildren.  I’m so blessed and grateful to have these people in my life.

I’ve learned, on a whole new level, about courage, trust, faith, humor, diversity, loyalty, compassion and truth.

Last night and this morning, I have grief, of course, but that really comes in small waves.  I’ve been given the gift of peace and comfort.  I still don’t know what I believe or how this has come to me.  After the last few days when I’ve felt lost and searching, trying to live what I think is my belief, failing and faltering,  I’m given this incredible peace and feeling of being more deeply grateful than I can ever remember.  And yes even joy!

I still can’t say that I’m able to live my belief but I do know this for sure.  I’m writing it down to remind myself when I need to…we are nothing more than visitors on this earth.  We are gifts and lessons to others.  My children are first and foremost a soul that I’m privileged to know in a special way but they are not mine.  I cannot hold on to them – I simply get to touch them and love them.  And when it’s time for them to move on, I can do nothing but give the best send-off possible and be grateful that I was so privileged.

I’m doin the Grateful Dance.  I was entrusted with that great soul in my life for a little over 54 years.  How deeply blessed am I.

“On the Children” by Khalil Gibran

Your children are not your children.

They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.

They come through you but not from you,

And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts.

For they have their own thoughts.

You may house their bodies but not their souls,

For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.

You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.

For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.

The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.

Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;

For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.

 

 

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My Son – My Prayer


Thanksgiving Day 2015

Rich is still with us and we have that and much more to be grateful for!  He’s having more issues, was in the hospital for 2 days but discharged and was seen at Compass Oncology yesterday.  His daughter and granddaughter arrive today to visit for a few days.  His sons and their families will be here December 3 and we’ll have our Christmas then.  The tree goes up today and we’re looking forward to a precious family day.

I hope that for all of you as well.

Thank you so much for all of your support, prayers, wonderful notes and for sharing the link. We appreciate all of you.

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

Rich, Brooklyn and Silas

Rich, Brooklyn and Silas Please share this link – help make it go viral! Thank you! https://www.gofundme.com/RichardHart

After a sleepless night of praying, sending good energy and healing to my son, vacillating between shock, numbness, deep grief and yes, fear, I’m writing…my therapy and release.

I’ve read Michael Singer’s book, The Surrender Experience and trying to understand and put into practice what I’m learning.   I don’t want this extremely painful lesson in surrender.

For almost 9 years now, my 54-year-old son has been in unrelenting pain in his back and leg from an unfortunate accident when he was in his early 20’s and a back surgery that increased his problems rather  than helping.   He has been on some pretty heavy pain and anti-inflammatory drugs and for most of this time has tried to get off of them, unsuccessfully.

He’s lived 4 years of his greatest happiness – and reason to keep going – with his granddaughter, and a month ago, a precious little grandson, Silas.   Along with the joy of having Brooklyn in his life, he’s lived with the worst stress for the same four years because of an ongoing custody battle in a very corrupt and expensive court system.  It has taken its toll on every level of his life.

Two weeks ago, he called saying he had been in the Emergency Room with stroke symptoms, stroke being a side-effect of two of the medications he is on.    He had lost feeling in his entire right side, from the top of his head to the tips of his toes.  Although he had lost sensation on his right side and the vision in one eye was blurred when he looked to the side, his pain increased.  He had tried to go off one of his meds and when he restarted it, the symptoms decreased somewhat but didn’t disappear.  The exact scenario repeated a week later with another trip to the ER.  CT and other tests ruled out stroke and he was again released.

Yesterday, he called and said he was going to the ER again for an MRI because the symptoms were getting worse.  He said not to worry, it was the same thing as before but his doctor said he needed to be checked. As the afternoon progressed,  I got a call from his son saying that a CT had shown a very large mass on the left lobe of his brain.  Hours later, he was told it is an inoperable brain tumor, fast growing.

My mantra is – where there’s a will there’s a way.  He lives in another State and I’ll be traveling to be with him.  Rationally I know it’s not possible for me to fix this one but my heart says I must try.  Our family first-line remedies are food and prayer.  I’ve prayed all night.  If I believe what I say I believe – every thought is a prayer, I feel the need to stay positive and send only good energy.  I want to jump in the car and drive but it would take longer to get there than to fly out tomorrow.  I can hardly wait to be with him, make bone broth and green veggie smoothies for him….fill him with organic greens, grass-fed meats, free range eggs….. and on the other hand, I almost cannot stand the thought of seeing him in fear, pain, and knowing that without a miracle, his beautiful soul will be shedding this battered body.  I am struggling…really struggling.

My mind says this is happening and I can choose how I want to be, so be grateful and joyful that I’ve had all of my years with him.  But right now I feel helpless and what in the world can I do to help him and whatever will I do without his phone calls and texts, his wonderful love notes…..my heart is aching.  I think of several close friends and family who have lost children, a 3-year-old niece included, and wonder how their families survived.

I’ve had emotional conversations with my husband, my two sisters and with my other son and daughter who live near me. My daughter and I talked into the late evening hours,  a wonderful conversation, making decisions about how we want to navigate our part in Rich’s journey.  If this is truly happening,  if we’re going to lose Rich, we want to respect and support him in his transition back to God, be joyful and grateful, loving and appreciative of having his important soul in our lives for all of these years.

Right now those are just words that we’re trying desperately to connect to and believe – and live.

Right now, I’m in anguish and resistance and look forward to some respite – some moments of feeling numb and not comprehending that this is really happening to my precious son.

I’m still hoping there has been a mistake and this is just a bad dream…..

Please pray for us…and all who are going thru this and worse.  Please send strength, guidance, peace and healing to all who are in need.

God, please help me know what to say and do, how to make it through this….I want to truly trust, be able to love and support him through his last adventure here on earth.  I held my son when he entered this world and I will be honored to hold him when he transitions.  Just like when he was a kid and got scrapes on his knees..I will hug him and tell him he is OK…all is well…you are loved deeply…We’re here with you, Son…God is with you.  We won’t forget you.  You’ll be so deeply missed.  I’m so blessed to have you in my life and you will continue to be for as long as I live.

Thank you, God, that we have your peace and your comforting presence throughout his transition.

Morning is finally here!  Somehow things seem a little easier with morning light.  For a few moments at least…

I’m sending this out in hopes that collective good energy in thoughts and prayers from so many will help during this time.  Thank you!!

 

11/6/15 Update

Seems like another life ago since my life was normal and it has only been about 3 weeks.  After a week with him in the Hospital, I brought he and  his wife home with me to Washington State and we’re on a new adventure.  He was diagnosed with Stage IV Glioblastoma multiformae.  We are still trying to comprehend the speed of this aggressive nasty cancer.   He’s being seen at OHSU in Portland, by a Naturopathic Oncologist and a Nutritionist in Texas, Nutritional Solutions, who specializes in brain tumors.  We’re doing all we can and very hopeful to prolong his life and make it best quality possible.

Thank you so much for your continued prayers and thoughts!

Sharon

Please share the link below – help make it go viral.  Thanks!

https://www.gofundme.com/RichardHart

 

11/16/15 Update

This is a precious time with my son.  He went to live with his father when he was early teens and I missed him so much.  We lived near each other and he was back and forth but I missed the constancy and the little things that happen each day.

Today while he was sleeping, I was sitting nearby and sending love and healing, visualizing the tumor being eaten away by big mouths, visualizing a healthy brain free of cancer, a healing light aimed at the tumor and shrinking it.

It brought back precious memories of when he was a sleeping baby, toddler, and seeing him in his little league baseball uniform.  He made the All-Star Team and really was a little star.  Visions rush through my mind.  I loved to smell his head, his neck, his pillow. I still do.

His right side is now useless and my husband, his wife and I help him up and down the stairs each day – he’s still able to make it.  His son, Calvin, was here for a few days to visit with him and it was difficult on Rich seeing him leave – and difficult for Calvin to leave his Dad.

FullSizeRender

Rich  had a very low energy day but we’re so grateful for today.  Thank all of you for your wonderful notes, prayers, healing thoughts and support.  Every day that we have him with us is a wonderful day!

 

 

 

 

Welcome to your Family, Silas Nathaniel!


Gramps and Silas Nathaniel 8/29/15

Gramps and Silas Nathaniel
8/29/15

You are my first great-grandson! I’m so very thankful that I have lived to see your arrival, that I can hold you and shower you with love and blessings.

You are surrounded with love and prayer, Little Soul!  What a joyous day… you have already made our lives even more wonderful with your presence.

We’ve waited, excited and so looking forward to meeting you.  I got a text from your Gramps at 5:26 this morning telling me you were almost here.   I could hear the excitement in his words.  Your Daddy called him earlier and he jumped in the car to be at the hospital for your arrival.  And then another text shortly after your birth.  This was his message…

“Silas Nathaniel was born at 6:08 am today. Weighed in at 8 lbs 3 oz, stretching out at 19” long.  Healthy, all the fingers and toes.”

 And he held you and blessed you.

Your Mommy and Daddy have eagerly waited for you.  They lovingly prepared your bedroom,  stocked and full of everything to make your world as comfortable as possible.

You have a large family who is here for you.  You will have a lot of love, guidance and support as you grow and learn your way in this world.   You have our hearts, Sweet Baby.

You represent a little person who is completely original and unique, there has never been, and never will be anyone exactly like you.  You have a purpose in life that comes with you into this world that you will find fulfilling while giving what only you can give, in the way only you can contribute to the world.  Follow your passions, listen and follow your heart.  When you are older, do something kind for someone else every day.

You are loved deeply!

GG

Since you have a Native American heritage, I found these for you…xoxo

“Prayer for a Newborn

May your eyes see the beauty of Mother Earth
May your ears hear the music of life and the sounds of laughter.
May your mouth always speak truth, presented with a kind heart.
May your heart always be full of joy
May your hands one day grasp the hands of your own grandchildren.
May your arms always welcome friends and family.
May your feet always walk a straight path.
And if your feet should ever stray from your path,
may Creator always lead you home.

© Carolyne Gould–All Rights Reserved”

 

 

 

 

 

Uh…Hello….On Aging…A letter to my children, grandchildren and great-granchildren


Hi Ya’ll,

I’ve always felt that I was vital to our family.   Suddenly I feel that I’m on my way out.  I feel kind of grieve-y.  But only for a moment…    I’ve decided that I’m not ready to be “relegated”… and I’m going to stay as involved with you as you’ll let me.   The thought occurred to me that maybe with my “labels’ of Mom, Grandma and Great-grandma, that you’re judging what I’d like and not like because of your preconceived ideas of age – I’m here to tell you – NOT!… please keep an open mind about age and check with me before you decide?

So here are some of my thoughts…no one ever talked to me about aging but I feel that I’d be cheating all of us out of many good times and memories if I fade out gracefully.  I’m not very excited about that option.  So here goes…

Maybe this is simply a cycle of life – in fact I’m sure it can be – for some people.  Not us.  It’s not in my frame of reference…

Do you know that even though I have white hair and more than a few wrinkles, I have a sharp mind and a loving heart.  Still.    That hasn’t changed.  My appearance is not in agreement with how I feel inside.  If I had no mirror, I’d totally believe that I’m still in my late 30’s – well maybe early 40’s.  I feel the same now as when you grandchildren were born.

Even though I’m a GG now – a great-grandmother, my energy and interest in life is still as intense as it has always been (other than being slowed temporarily with my darn broken foot!).    The day may come when I don’t have as much energy and am a little slower but I hope you remember that I waited for you when you were a little slower and needed a little more care and attention.

I’m finding I have mixed feelings about the labels of Mom, Grandma and Great-Grandma.  On one hand, I love the memories of the little voices calling me, and the same voices as they became adult sounds and still calling me.  On the other hand, they are labels and labels are distancers….and I’m feeling a distance that jolts me.

Some of you have wanted to change your names as you found new identities.  Now it’s my turn.  I want to have no other label than my name.  Some of you are already calling me GG – and that’s great.  Or you can call me Sharon or MiMi- I’ll answer to any of them.  This may be temporary and maybe not.  Could it be a phase?  We’ll see…

I don’t need guilt, hurt feelings and please, no gifts.  You’re my gift.  Unless you see something that you just HAVE to get for me – to fill your own need.  Just know that the best gift you can give me is an occasional phone call to tell me about a funny memory, your latest news or just that you’re thinking of me and love me.  I love your old notes, I’ve saved all of them – and would love more.  I would like for your note to tell me that you’re so glad that I’m your Sharon, MiMi or GG.   Just joking…well, no I’m not….I’d just love that.  You know the adage..”it’s the thought that counts”?  Those thoughts are my gifts and when you write them, I treasure them and can re-read them when I need you and you’re busy with your life.   I love it when you text me a random picture of where you are or what you’re doing.  It lets me know you’re thinking of me at important times in your life.

I know and love that you all get together and have wonderful times.  But when it’s appropriate, please remember to invite me – remember that I’d love to be there with you.  I just love watching you, laughing with you, eating with you, remembering with you…just being.   Making a few more memories.

I’d really like to say that I don’t get my feelings hurt – but I do.  I’d like to say that I don’t feel alone sometimes – I do.  I’d like to be strong and mean it when I say that my memories are enough to get me by – but they’re not…I want more, more, more…

I love you,

Sharon, aka GG, MiMi

Thoughts on Mother’s Day


I’ve read a few blogs about Mother’s Day and they’ve brought up a lot of memories.  My experience was so different – and undoubtedly deficient (0n my part) – but with a good “rest of the story”.   When I read about the immediate connection of mothers with their babies when they first see them, their pride, their deep, heart-wrenching feelings of love….well, it sounds like a fairy tale – a wonderful fairy tale.  But not my experience.

I was barely 18 when my first son was born and I was clueless.  About love, about mothering, about life!  I vividly remember the mother of a girl in the other bed in my room showing her daughter how to nurse her baby.  I tried to pretend that I wasn’t listening and clumsily tried to follow.   Luckily my son was – and is – a fast learner…

That was in 1958 and the world was different then.  Being unmarried (although engaged and then married before my son’s birth) and pregnant was not ok.   My Dad was a minister for Pete’s sake.  I should have known better – right?   There was a lot of shaming going on – both from within me and around me.   Needless to say, it was not a happy time.  Three years later I had another son.  I had not matured much, sorry to say.  And five years later, my daughter arrived.  Still pretty clueless.

For most of my childhood, my  parents were in turmoil and ultimately divorced.  Another story.  Suffice it to say, neither was very “present” in most ways, during my early years.  I think I was born without the “mothering” chip, no adequate role model and had huge lessons to learn.  An older sister took me under her wing and taught me some basics about baby care.  Another sister considered me a real challenge in dressing my son – and I admit, I’d leave the house when it was warm and forget to take warm clothing for later (in the Pacific Northwest no less!).  He was often bundled in anything I could find until we’d get back home.   Basically, I didn’t know how to take care of myself – let alone a helpless little baby.  I loved him but yes…was clueless.   But he survived.  So did the other two.

They’re now all established, loving adults with families.  And they love and respect me.   Miracles happen.  They are all excellent parents and grandparents.  In fact, they amaze me.  I’ve lived the “fairy tale” while watching them love and talk to the children in their bellies….eagerly awaiting births of my grandchildren.  I’ve experienced my grandchildren doing the same with my great-granddaughters.

I’m so grateful that God protected them.  Grateful that God entrusted these three great souls to me.    This morning, my middle son called from another state to tell me how glad he is that he was born my son.  Can you imagine the joy in my heart?  I’m blessed!

My daughter is going through a very painful time in her 25 year marriage and she finds comfort in being with me sometimes.  She knows that she has my undying love and support.   We go for long drives up the Gorge or to the beach and find comfort in being together – sometimes talking, sometimes silent.  Just being together is a special time to me.  I loved her husband as my son and I miss him too.  As adults, we are close friends as well as mother and daughter.  I’m blessed!

I stopped by my oldest son’s home last night to return some fishing line that I had borrowed.  He told me stories, updated me on his projects (he always has one going), joked and looked into my eyes – and held the moment – that look of knowing and understanding.   A look of love.     He’s a quiet man who enjoys time alone – fishing, hiking, being with nature.  I don’t get to see him as often as I would like so these are special times to me.  He stops by with freshly caught salmon, smoked salmon, a gift certificate for a massage…. occasionally…. and that’s enough for me to know…I’m blessed!

This all reminds me of where I was and where I am  now in my mothering.  I had a poignant realization that sometime over the years, I had developed the “fairy tale” feelings.   I also have feelings of love and thankfulness for my “Nother Mother”, Ethel, for my sisters who have taught me so much about mothering over the years.  I have a mother’s love for a young girl that I mentored at one time in my life who never forgets me.  I’m grateful for my daughter’s high school friends who considered me a mother figure at times in their lives.  I learn from them as well.  And I’m so grateful for all of the information available to us through television, books and classes…and God!

Yes, I’m a happy mother.  Not just on Mother’s Day.  That’s nice and I always love hearing from my children  on that day.  I told them long ago that I don’t need – or want a gift.  They are my gifts.  I love hearing their voices and their knock on my door…any day.  I love seeing them happy and healthy.  I always appreciate acknowledgment and expressions of the love between us.   I need it.  I need to know all is well between us.

And because I truly think I have good answers…I love when they ask what I think.  Once in awhile they do.  Hmmm…maybe they do it because they know I like it so much?

I’m so blessed!

Best Friends


I don’t often experience envy but I admit to this one…

There are some couples that just love each other – deeply and honestly.  And I just love being with them.  This is a rare experience for me but I’m fortunate to have two such couples in my life.  One couple are former clients – RC and CC.  We had an almost immediate connection when I picked them up at their hotel and over the years it has grown into  a dear friendship.    The other two are close relatives of my husband, GG,  and her husband, DW.

I was single for almost 20 years and very ambivalent about remarrying – until I met RC and CC.  I acknowledged to myself that I had often pictured marrying my true best friend – spending my retirement years traveling, laughing, reading, exercising, sharing.   The more I got to know RC and CC, the more firm my resolution became to be open to a committed relationship.   I saw that what I pictured could actually be a reality.

DW and GG, RC and CC, all live my dream.  Of course, they have their issues and problems too, but there is an underlying friendship and respect that prevails.  I spent some time with RC and CC a few weeks ago, and for the last few weeks, have been with DW and GG almost every day.

Being around all of them over the last month,  I’m finding myself nurtured and renewed and in an effort to hold on to my feelings, I’m identifying words to express what I experience when I’m with them.  For the most part, I find myself feeling comfort, joy, peace, hope and admiration.

I know about many of their struggles and triumphs, the heartaches and joys of their relationships.  I’ve listened to their stories, shared some experiences with them.  I know their lives have not been without pain, death of a child, infidelities,  serious health issues, long separations while serving in the Military, the stresses of being married to an obstetrician/surgeon – experiences that have torn many couples apart.  But they managed to reach the other side and become even closer.   I’ve watched them handle differences with respect, acceptance, a lot of listening, and humor.   They have a gentleness, even when they’re irritated with each other, have  shown courage to let the other be unhappy or gritchy, sad or happy.  They’re all individuals and seem to know their boundaries.   And they respect those boundaries.

Some words I might use  to describe what I see and feel between them is acceptance, loyalty, safety, generosity, comfort, admiration, respect, gentleness, a deep caring.  A joy in being with each other.  They are truly best friends.    They express differences easily.  They share some activities, tolerating others  just because they prefer to spend time with each other and share a memory.   They both have friends and outside activities but it’s clear that they prefer each other and their time together.   They are present for each other.  They have differences but have learned, over many years, how to express themselves respectfully.   They know that absolutely their partner has their back.  No matter what or who…  And they have traditions – with their families but also between themselves.   Little things.  Some are daily rituals.  DW brings coffee – every morning! – to GG in bed.   He always pulls her car out of the garage and has it ready for her when she’s ready to leave.  She rewards him with a lot of praise and admiration. Every time.  Just like it’s the first time.  She never seems to take him for granted.  All four of them express abundant appreciation for their partners.  Consistently.   When I hear them criticize, when they’ve done something wrong, there’s still a sense in speech and attitude that they’re on that person’s side.   I also know that they’ve hurt each other deeply at times and I’d really love to see how they handle it in private.  Is it the same?  They’ve all just said they try to stay respectful.

Both couples have been together since high school.   They have told me that early years together were not without hurdles and huge adjustments – there were some very difficult times.  Communicating well was not an easy thing to learn.   They all feel that they worked very hard to create their present relationship.  Part of it just evolved as their friendships grew over the years.  They were deeply committed to being best friends and treating each other with respect.   At times, their only expectation was – and is – that they protect their friendship as they would with any other dear friend.

I now realize that when I married, I had some pretty unrealistic expectations.  You’d think that in the time it took to get all of this gray hair, I’d have learned more!  My husband and I  are in the early years of our relationship and I’m discovering that just because we are older – and more experienced in relationships – it doesn’t mean that we can bypass adjustments and difficult times.   We both now have more tools to work with – and we use them a lot!  We are still learning our life lessons.  And that sometimes means double the lesson – we are there for each other while we get through our individual lessons as well.   The single life was so much simpler in many ways – not as rewarding in other ways.  I just believe that a relationship takes us places that we simply can’t get to on our own.   And that’s where I want to be.

My husband and I have been together for almost five years, in our 70’s.  I treasure our relationship and friendship.   We came together with our pasts – our longest history and memories are with others.  We just simply don’t have a lot of time left to create a long history together.    No time to waste on wishing that I had what my friends have but it is a great goal.  I’m busy working on getting as far as possible with that one….  And I will be gentle, appreciate, respect, be grateful.

I will be grateful for the time and progress we have – and will make in our relationship.   We have some great role models.  I want to be that for our children….

A Sentence… A Journey


The Story Teller - Images available at sharonabbottfinearts.com

I need it today – right now – a major attitude adjustment!

I woke up this morning full of frustration, wanting to blame (and that’s a joke – who would that be?), feeling sorry for myself.

No jumping in the car to run errands, drive up the gorge, meet friends and family!

No quick return trips upstairs to grab my earphones – and anything else that I forgot to bring down with me  this morning

No running to the kitchen to grab a snack – now it’s a time-consuming, uncomfortable trip.

After only a few days of this Stay-Off-My -Broken-Foot sentence, I’ve gained even more compassion for those who are immobilized, or restrained – for any reason.  I used to take an elderly woman for rides and errands and you can bet I’m going to again find someone  that I can help.  As soon as I can drive again.

Yes, I have crutches and use them when I have to move.  Coordinated and comfortable with them yet?  Not!   After losing my balance a couple of times – fortunately catching myself with a wall, our bed…  I’m not very confident about navigating.  Especially when I’m by myself.  But when I see this in writing,  I hear “The Whisper” in my ear – how can you whine?   At least you can move!

I woke up feeling very gritchy this morning.  I keep telling myself… “It is what it is and, Grasshopper, you can choose whether you want to  fight your circumstances or relax, accept and go with it”.  Easier said than done!

Many times I  enjoy an entire day writing, reading,  playing computer games, being very sedentary.  My recorder is full of my favorite shows.  In fact I need to delete some so that I can record more!   I even forget that many times I ignore what I need to do so that I can do the very things that I can now do!  Unlimited time.  No demands.  But when  I have limitations, I rebel.

Yes!  Now I have time.  Lots of it.  My daughter reminded me that maybe this is God saying Stop!  Take a rest, Sharon!  (I might have said that to her a couple of times in the past:)

I just love blogging!  My mood is shifting as I write.  I can clearly see that it’s pretty easy to share my good moods, attitudes, observations.  Not so easy to share the less positive me.   It’s really no fun living with a negative me.

It’s magic – this writing!   It’s raining outside.  The fireplace is keeping me warm, physically and emotionally.  I am kind of excited about feeling cozy, snuggling up and reading my Oprah Magazines (I have an entire year of unread O mags!) .  I’ve been wanting to re-read “Death Comes To The Archbishop” by  Willa Cather.  I’ll watch a Netflix movie on my computer while my husband watches yet another golf game on TV (do they EVER get to the 18th hole?), I’ll sketch my next painting, I’ll meditate.   I’ll eventually get upstairs and paint.

I’ll be grateful…Yes, I am!