Tag Archives: childhood memories

Blessings

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This afternoon I had a video call with a childhood friend.  A friend whose life changed drastically after a tragic accident.    As I watched him talk, process, thinking diligently about answers or response, my heart sang with joy that this very kindhearted, intelligent friend of my bro’s is still the same person he was probably 40 years ago now.

I can’t tell you how nice it felt to talk to him, he had me laughing hysterically over things that I “forgot” he knew.  You know, when time divides you from your childhood and life happens, sometimes the hardest part of life, and you hear old stories, or see reactions that you haven’t seen in years, it’s sweet.   It’s nice to know that SOME things, some people do not change.

After we spoke I was smiling, thinking about the kid, the teenager he used to be, and my mom and I started sharing stories, and we laughed to our hearts delight.    I always encouraged my brother to hang onto this guy as a friend.    He was such a decent being way back when.

Most of us are aware of the crudeness, the blatant evil that exists now, how beautiful it is to me that while life dished him out some major hard balls, that he’s still the kind, caring, compassionate and wonderful person he was before life put it’s ugly talon’s into our flesh.

In a world where you only know what someone wants you to know, how refreshing, how sweet it feels to revisit youth, and share a laugh or two regarding things long since forgotten, or buried.

I haven’t had it nearly as hard, nor do I care to compare heartbreak with anyone, but I know for myself, I have tried to always remain kind, to remain uninjured, still “soft”, so as not to harden like leather that many people have had happen.    It happens.  Life is not a picnic for all, and sometimes it’s just damn hard to walk through a day with all the knowledge or what is happening in this world.

But today, tonight, I am smiling that this kind soul, who knew me long before the many depressions or hardships that has occurred in my life, and that he, too, is still “soft”.  What a delightful conversation, and as I watched his eyes move as he was talking, I was reminded, pleasantly of how philosophical he has always been.  Even as a youngster, he really listened, and he answered questions after processing, and in spite of all the hardships we both have encountered, we were still able to conjure up things from our long ago past, and laugh hardy.

What a gift the past week has been for me.   Spending time with good, kind, “real” people, kindred spirits.   I’ve been truly blessed with these experiences.

 

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Acknowledgement

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For those of you who have experienced the loss of someone close to you, you will understand what I am writing about.     It never goes away, at least not for me.

Fourteen years ago today my kid sister died at the young age of 38.   She had been diagnosed just ten months before with Ovarian Cancer.   I’m not sure what hurts the most.   The journey through it, where we did our best to comfort her and bring her to any treatment allowed, or the endless missing.  I think it’s the missing.

Fourteen years and I still cry when I acknowledge this.  But if I don’t, it makes its way through illness or pain, so it’s best to nod to the memory than deny it, at least for me.

At 37 she and her partner had just bought a house and had moved in just two weeks prior to the emergency surgery that was previously scheduled a week or two later.   I remember it all so well, and I’m trying hard to not go there today.  To just honor her, and tell you what a great person she was.

I can tell you that she worked very hard and knew how to play.  She had a boat, snowmobiles, a toy for every season.   She loved to fish, to play sports, and was a natural athlete.   She had an old soul, I think about this often, wondering if this played a part in her short life.  A natural observer, she was always warning me when to shut my big trap, or when I had gone past “obnoxious” she called it.   Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion.  It’s one that I experience a lot when I think about her.

One would think that after fourteen years you wouldn’t on occasion say to yourself “I have to call her, and tell her this!”    It happens less each passing year, but it still happens.

She was my dads bud.  I mean that with every part of my being.  She loved hockey, she loved fishing and shared these things with our dad.   We all share memories of this with her.   It was rather comical last year when my father admitted one day “Okay, Darlene was my favorite”.   The three of us laughed until tears came out of our eyes.  “What?”  “I’m sorry” he said.   “Um dad, we have known this FOREVER!”    I think he really believed it would shock us.   NOT.   I was sitting beside her on her couch the day she learned she was not going to recovery from this, and she called dad to tell him.  “I’m sorry, dad, I’m so sorry”.

So it was on this day that my, our lives changed.  For years I described things as “happened before she died, or happened after she died”.   I didn’t mean to.  It was just a game changer.    My life changed.  I changed.

I remember asking my cousin Marie, who came down to sit with me just hours after I learned she had died “How am I supposed to stop loving her?”   “You never will, Donna” she said.   How did she know?    It was through my sisters death and living life without her that I learned, love doesn’t stop just because someone you love died.   Nor does life stop, as cruel and vulgar as it seems at the time.   “How can the birds still sing?  How can people laugh, how can anything go on when my life has just come to a screaching halt?”   But it does.  But I have learned something beautiful within all the sadness and that is that love doesn’t ever stop, for me it continued and miraculously grew and still does, all these years later.

So on this day, I acknowledge that hope changes.   At first you pray for a cure, you pray for treatment to work, and then when that stops working, you pray for strength and a new doctor, another treatment, and more.   That is until you realize the suffering is going on too long, and you start to pray for God to be merciful with her, with them.  Please, take her soon.   Yes, hope changes.

I miss you every day.  There hasn’t been a day in fourteen years you’ve been gone that I don’t think of you.  You are part of me, you always will be.    I can still close my eyes and see your face, the little tiny mole above your eyebrow, and see that beautiful smile that radiated wherever it was shown.

Time does teach us how to coexist with such loss, but it doesn’t heal the broken heart.  I think because even when you pray for an end to the pain, and there is relief when that happens, the missing?  It never stops.

 

(end note:  I wrote this and posted it on 4/8 but for some reason it’s showing the 9th which I find interesting, because I actually found out about it just minutes after midnight on the 9th)

 

 

Memory Lane

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A particularly quiet therapy session early this afternoon had my therapist ask “Are you quiet because you are tired from not sleeping?”  Apparently I’m normally a chatter box!   Truth is, I have not been sleeping.   This is not unfamiliar territory for me, though it is distressing.    I am taking my meds, I am trying to get to bed at a reasonable time each night, but sleep doesn’t come knocking til 6, 7 or 8am.  A couple years ago when I was going through a particularly hard time mentally, nights filled with insomnia, a friend said to me “Fatigue makes cowards out of all of us”.    I am revisiting that statement today, nodding my head in agreement.   I made it to therapy today, did some important errands and now going to pay a few bills…  This is all I am expecting of myself today.  Hopefully I will be able to retire early tonight with heavy eyes and an ability to sleep.    I think insomnia is why I like being knocked out with anesthesia so much.   Count backwards from 100….by the time you hit 98, 97, GONEZO!

Contended with some unexpected traffic jams resulting in a longer trip home, through the small town, communities where I grew up.    Looking through the memories of a child, but eyes of an adult.   I shared my memories with Lilly, as she sat in the back of the jeep looking like she was listening.  The fields which once spanned my comprehension now seem small, quaint.  The names of childhood friends popped up without effort as we passed the homes where they once lived.  How can I remember these things, and forget what I had for breakfast, or if I had breakfast?

I attach feelings to music, to places, not particularly to things, and smells, smells are an immediate recognition of whatever it served to remind me of.    Feeling lately like I’m failing cognitively, it was just what I needed to give myself some reassurance that I have not lost it all …. completely!    Yep, this was a ride down memory lane.   I am a country girl, middle child of 5, who grew up in a small town in New Hampshire.   My world is not merely as small as it once was, larger from the observation of a youngster.  Life seemed so much simpler.  Good God, I’m sounding like “We walked 5 miles home, without shoes”….  The appreciation and gratitude encouragement speech which sadly, was true and more sad, that we needed reminding of our luxuries.

I cannot watch the commercials on television about starving children, or abused animals.   It keeps me up at night.  When they come on I mute the television and go in the other room.   Sarah McClaughlin offered a song years ago to the cause and to this day I still cannot listen to the song.    I cannot watch the news, and certainly not in the evening, if I am looking to get some shut eye.     I wonder what my grandparents would say if they were to hear the commercials now, or the programs, or see all the violence that the news dispels to us.   Yesterday, as I was shoveling, I was thinking about the one popular and repetitive ad for Viagra “If you have an errection for longer than 4 hours…”, yesterday I filled in the blanks with “Go to the emergency room immediately, and if you can shovel snow, come see me!”   Not sure the correlation there, but I found it comical.

How about the commercials that depict a perfect family, or happy couples who fill the Christmas tree with gold, diamonds and more?    Sorry, no one has the perfect family, and happy couples are a minority these days.   It is so nice to see happy people together, it is contagious and reminds me of times in my life when alone time was something that happened every few weeks.   Now, single, self employed, and struggling with isolation, the beginning of the three headed beast of depression, I do get lonely, I do long for touch, but I’m not willing to do anything to change my situation.

“A course in miracles”, Marianne Williamson “Return to Love”, so many self help, recovery books I have read simplify and identify the two directions (choices) we have that can change our entire life……. Either you are walking towards fear, or walking towards love.   When it comes to relationships, I defensively, once unconsciously clung tight to Fear Avenue.   I still do, today, but I am edging closer and closer to the embassy to love.   At 52 I realize, boring is good.   Boring means consistency, accountability, dependability.    There is much truth in women liking “bad boys”, at least for me.   I have nothing left in ambition, desire to travel this road anymore.   Fear of being hurt has me wear a cloak of armoire which is slowly being dismantled.    I want to be in a relationship, I want to feel safe, thus willing to trust another with my heart.   I know it will take one very patient special man.   I love the song by Train “Bruises”….. ‘we’ve all got bruises’.  

I guess I’ve rambled on enough for this one post.  I am grateful to have learned, through travesties, self preservation.    I share only what I want others to know, only those things that I am comfortable sharing.   A natural survivor mode that came late in life for me.    “You wear your heart on your sleeve”, something that I heard over and over in my life.  I guess I still do, but no where near the depth that I once did.   I am grateful for maturity, I am grateful for growth.  I am grateful for my ability to be alone, one with myself, I am good company.  I am also grateful for the desire, and inching towards Love.    Fear sucks.

In honesty, I have offered you this part of me….  in hopes that my sharing will help another….   xo!