Tag Archives: Love

Cords

 

This morning I came to work and unloaded all my paraphernalia out of my bags that I carry to and from work and I had to untangle all of my cords. Then it hit me: my life is all about cords and how tangled they are sometimes and how connected I am to them.

Sometimes they are really tangled and it takes a little longer to untangle them. Sometimes they are really twisted and you have to straighten them out and sometimes they are perfectly wound up correctly until you make the mistake of plugging them in and they just seem to fall into a heap and you wonder how they can get that messed up so quickly.

The thing about this is that each and every cord is very important in my life and I should spend the extra time making sure that each and every cord is taken care of correctly.

I love all my cords, they come in all shapes, sizes and lengths. Some are extremely important and some are for work only, but without my cords I wouldn’t be the person I am today.

I remember actually that it started out with a TV. cord connecting me to the rest of the world. Then I got a cable cord and I could choose what I wanted to be connected to. Then came a VCR cord which helped me to stay home. Then a computer cord and a cell phone cord and my ipad cord and my family of cords just keeps growing.

It’s sad when one of your cords no longer works. First you are in shock, then you feel guilty that maybe you did something wrong, then anger sets in and you try to bargain to get your cord back. As time goes on your start to accept that you can’t get your cord back.

And of course there are days when you just hate all your cords or you are disappointed in how your cords are working. But amazingly you wake up the next day and all the cords are fine! That is when I realize that I was probably the reason why my cords were acting up. If I just treat them a little nicer then they just snap right out of it!

So here are to all the cords in my life! I wish each of them a wonderful long life with very few kinks!

Julie

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Moments

Terry and Julie Golfcart

The other day my older Granddaughter was staring at a photo of Terry and I that was taken on our younger daughter’s wedding day. She turned and looked at me and asked, “Do you love Papa Terry?” I looked up at the photo and said, “What do you think?” She turned back to the photo and said “Yes you love Papa Terry.”

As I stare at this photo, I see love and comfort screaming out from the picture. The photographer caught a moment in our lives that shares with the world how we felt toward each other. The way I am looking at him, the way his knee is bent toward me, the way my body is melting into the curve of his body. It’s a comfortable safe place where love has known no boundaries; where this kind of love has taken years to build. It was just a moment in time, but for me I see years of tenderness and contentment.

And somehow my 5 year old wise soul granddaughter saw that also.

It’s been over a year and a half and I still have moments where I just want to crawl into bed and pretend that he didn’t die, but I can’t. I look at my grand babies and my daughters and I am so grateful that they keep me going on days when I don’t want to. I am grateful for the wise words I hear from them and my sisters. I am grateful that a brief moment of my life was caught on a camera for me to look at and remember the love.

I also know that every day has become easier. Time heals all wounds but it’s the moments and memories that keep me grounded with love, making each day more comfortable in my mind and my heart.

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Forgiveness

I was just reading an email from marc and angel.com and it was entitled “3 Wake-up Calls You Need to Receive”. I just want to touch on the story that was told at the beginning of the email. A young woman received four flannel shirts from her grandfather as a birthday present. They came from his closet, but they were in great shape, hardly worn and he felt they would look nice on her. She thought it was such an odd gift and didn’t really acknowledge the present. He died two days later and she didn’t say thank you.

Although what she received really was an odd gift, we all have moments like that. Things we should have said, hugs we should have given, notes that should have been written and apologies that should have been made. But this blog post is not about regret, but forgiveness.

At Christmas many, many years ago when I was 10 or 12, my grandmother gave me a two foot tall cabinet to display my pewter figurines. I was so pissed off. Who knows what I wanted but that wasn’t it! My Mom yelled at me, my Dad yelled at me, I am sure my Grandmother was hurt and I was sent to my room on Christmas day.

Honestly I don’t know if I ever thanked my Grandmother for the gift and fortunately she didn’t die until I had time to grow up and show her that I really wasn’t a spoiled brat; but that moment has stuck with me. I have long since forgiven myself, but the lesson I learned from that minute in time has made me a better person.

I am still very insensitive at times and probably will continue to be so for the rest of my life, but I did learn that no matter what gift was given, your response is invaluable to the person who gave the present and when we or someone we love makes a mistake, forgiveness is in order even if “I am sorry” is never spoken.

It may be something that someone said to you or did to you, or something that you did to another, but forgiveness needs to be granted. Even something horrendous needs to be acknowledged and forgiven.  I have seen people on TV forgive another for murdering their child and if that is possible, then the rest of us can forgive others for petty things that were said or done.

I feel for the young woman who received the flannel shirts because she is going to feel that pain for years to come and she really needs to forgive herself for her lack of action, but I am also sure it will shape her behavior as an adult.

For my Grandmother and me; she continued to give me gifts and I loved every one of them after that traumatic day, but none are cherished the way I cherish my little cabinet. It sits proudly in my office and is a reminder of how much my Grandmother really did love me and how forgiveness is at the heart of life.

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20 Year Anniversary of a Heart Transplant

Yesterday was the anniversary of my deceased husband’s heart transplant. I went through the day very quietly without really wanting to think about his life. It’s still really difficult on special days and I just wanted to get through the day. But I did do one thing; I said a prayer for the family who gave up their son’s heart so that Terry could go on to live an incredible life.

This past year and almost a half since Terry died, I think about his donor family a lot. I think about the fact that someone had to come to them and ask for his organs and how difficult that must have been. To know that there was no chance for their son to live, but they could give up organs and others could live because of their son. I still find this thought overwhelming and humbling.

When Terry died I asked if there were any organs that we could donate and the only thing they could use were his beautiful eyes. I was disappointed because I wanted to be able to give more, but two people somewhere have the ability to see because of Terry Rose.

On the day Terry received his heart I remember thinking that it was like a gift from God because there wasn’t any time left and his life was essentially over. I can’t ever begin to express my gratitude for what the donor family did for us. They gave Terry a second chance at life so that his daughters could grow up with him in their lives.

The donor was 18 when he died and Terry’s heart was 18 when he died. Ironic, maybe but that heart was loved equally from two families that are complete strangers but were brought together by a tragedy. March 11th will always be a day to be celebrated in our lives because we had 18 more years with Terry that we wouldn’t have had without his donor family. My heart goes out to them and I still wish for them the peace they deserve and I hope you will also keep them in your thoughts and say a prayer for their family.

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Falling out of Love

First of all if you are expecting something happy and upbeat, don’t read this!!!! This is truly about death and most of all loving someone who is no longer alive.

I realized the other day that the worst part about the death of a spouse is that you can’t fall out of love with them. Your love will slowly diminish (or at least I think it will) and then I suppose you then have the capability of loving someone else, but you just can’t stop the feeling of love.

It’s because they are suddenly placed on a pedestal for the rest of your life. They just can’t do anything wrong ever again and in your mind even if there was something that irked the hell out of you, you would still take that nasty little irritation over their death.

Try as I might, I keep trying to remember the things that bugged me about my husband and we all know there had to be something or for that matter many things that drove me crazy. But they are just not there in my mind. So I am having this fairy tale love affair with a man that isn’t alive and I know that although he was my Prince Charming he also came with some blemishes, I just can’t find them!

If he was alive today, I am a hundred percent sure I could say “he drives me crazy because . . .”  So I am going to ride out this stupid fabrication and wait patiently for my brain to catch up to the truth and enjoy the last idyllic romance that I will ever have and pretend that my husband had no faults for as long as my mind wants me to achieve this ridiculous state and then I am sure one day I will remember his faults and when I do I will let you know because then and only then will I be able to move on with my life.

I have to say this isn’t really a bad thing. I know you are saying to yourself, “she is losing her mind” but really for right now, I don’t want to move forward (as long as it isn’t for the next 30 years of my life) but what’s a couple more months in the scheme or things. And if it makes me happy for just a brief moment in time then I am so grateful for that! Let me pretend for just a little longer and then I will get back to the realization that he isn’t here anymore, but for today, he’s just gone fishing.

 

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Taking the time to see people

When I realized that I would be off work for 10 weeks with my wrist I thought “Good grief what will I do with myself”. Well surprisingly I have kept very busy. I sat down and wrote down all the people that I have missed seeing this last year and I have intentionally made it a quest of mine to stop by to see all of them!

I have spent a ton of time with my daughters and my grandchildren. I have seen 4 of my 5 siblings; hopefully I can get to the last one soon. I have gone out to dinner and lunch with a number of people that I love. I have delivered cookies to dear friends. I have traveled to nursing homes to see older friends that can’t get out to see me.

And now it’s crunch time. I have a little over one week before I am supposed to go back to work and I still have 6 people that I need to see.

The problem is not that we get so busy that we don’t have time, although that is the excuse that I and everyone will use. But it’s that we forget what is important in life and what makes us happy. I am 100% positive that seeing my friends made them just as happy as it did me.

About 4 years ago I started adding two goals to my list and that was to spend 4 weekends with my children and meet quarterly with friends. I always write this in on my calendar so that when I turn over to the next month, there is my reminder to get together. I immediately pick up the phone and invite them to do something. I also would schedule date nights with my husband so he didn’t feel left out!

Well last year I didn’t write on a calendar because I just didn’t care. This year I am going back to my scheduled life and remember to see my friends and family.

Time flies by so quickly that one day you wake up and realize years have gone by. If you don’t take the time to plan these activities then someday might be too late.

So today, just take out your new calendar and think about whom you would like to see this year and write it down. You will be so grateful that you did!

 

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Reason over Emotions

So it’s 5:00 am on January 1, 2014 and I was thinking of last night. Friends who I have known since Terry and I started dating wanted me to come to their house and join them for their annual New Year’s Eve Party. Something that Terry and I had done for years and years.  The couple hosting the party were really good friends of ours. They even got married on Terry and my anniversary. Plus Terry was his best man and I was her matron of honor and our older daughter Amanda was their flower girl. To say that we are the best of friends is an understatement.

I really had been looking forward to it. All our friends would be there, I would get to see everyone. Really it sounded wonderful. At about 3 in the afternoon I started having doubts about the evening. At 4 I lay down on the couch and took an hour long nap. At 5 I went in and took a bath. And then it happened: I started crying. I cried for about 20 minutes and thought I can’t go there; I will make everyone else miserable. I just sat on my bed, immobilized.

And then it hit me. These people love me, they loved Terry. They want me there. They are the best of my best friends! They would be more upset if I didn’t come.

I write this blog not to make you feel sorry for me, but to make you understand that the things that you really, really dread in life, usually just mean that they are very, very important. I would have been a wreck if I stayed home last night, feeling sorry for myself and starting the New Year that way. Ick!

I went and had a wonderful time as I knew I would. We laughed, we ate, we toasted, we reminisced and then midnight came and I was amongst my friends. I just think it is so funny how our mind tries to re-evaluate what we should and shouldn’t do and dread the things that are most important in life. I would have missed a moment with my friends that I could never get back. I am so glad somewhere in my brain reason won over emotions and I created a new memory.

So here’s to 2014. I christen it the year of old traditions and new beginnings. Happy New Year!

 

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Calling a Friend After a Death of Their Loved One

I recently had an epiphany about surviving spouses. People will say “Hey is there anything I can do for you” and everyone replies “No I’m fine but thank you”. I am sure this is true of most people who have lost a love one, not just a spouse.
“I am fine” is a really dumb statement because we don’t know what we need. We don’t know that we are in shock or horribly depressed. But we have nothing to compare it to and for some odd reason we don’t want to burden anyone with our troubles.
When did we become a society of individuals where we think that we are weak to ask for help or say “I am not fine”? I deny how I feel all the time; I hear it come out of my mouth on a daily basis.
About a month after my husband died a friend that I have known for years and also a widow called to say, “we need to go to dinner next month” and she pressed me for a day that I could go and we have been going out for dinner every month for a year now.
Last night was our dinner date and I told her that had she not called me I wouldn’t have called her or anyone else. Death sends most people into hiding and that is where I was headed. I didn’t want to talk to my family, friends; even the checkout person at the grocery store. I was a zombie. But she made that phone call and got me out of the house and it has helped me tremendously. Not only because she is also a widow and she gave me some great insight as to what lay ahead for me, but really she has helped me in the grieving process. I am still in stationary mode where I can’t move forward in my life but I know that she is helping me every time I see her and I hope that I am also helping her move forward in her life also.
What I really want you to take away from this long rambling blog is that someone needs you right now. Pick up the phone and call. Life is so short to think “I wished I would have but I didn’t know what to say”. No one knows what to say, but by seeing your friend you will help that person get though a very difficult time in their lives. I am told that “year 2” after the death of a loved one is harder that the first because “it’s more real” and friends forget because you have already been though all the “First’s”. So it doesn’t matter if you didn’t get together the first year, call and see each other during the second.
I am approaching my “2nd” Christmas without my husband and although I am not down on the ground sobbing my eyes out, it is still very emotional and heart wrenching. I need my friends this year as much as last year, maybe even more. So, I want you to pick up the phone and call someone and go out for lunch, movie or dinner. It doesn’t matter what you do, just call them. They need you. And they are not going to call even though you said “Call me if you need anything”, they just won’t.
I am so very grateful my friend Angela called me.

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Almost 6 months

I hadn’t looked at my blog since December 10th. And I just noticed that I have two posts that are called Death. You can tell where my mind was and probably still is!

I went to Grief Counseling. I had a client suggest it and at the time I thought “no that isn’t for me” but I went and the first night was horrendous! I couldn’t even talk. Making the step to go meant that I was taking a step towards reality which is accepting that my husband is really dead.

For months I have been in a fog. Telling myself that I was facing the situation and that it would be better one day and guess what!? It isn’t. We are coming upon the six month point of him dying and I am worse now than I was then. I am amazed that while I was in grief counseling everything was fine and dandy and then it proceeded to spin out of control again. But I have decided that I will quit crying and move on with my life. It’s not that I don’t wish he was with me every day, it’s just that I have to let go of my control issues and let life be life.

I have been very blessed to have lived my life to the fullest every moment, good moments and bad and I wouldn’t go back and change a thing and I have accepted that my husband was very, very sick and he was tired of his body. But I have no regrets, only love.

 

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