Losses

Today you are having breakfast with your daughter,

while I eat alone with only memories of mine.

Today you will talk & pray & help your daughter with her wedding attire,

while that desire sharply stings in my empty arms.

Today you will kiss your daughter as you enter the sanctuary to witness her vows,

while I envy the sound of that voice.

Today will be a fairy-tale wedding with sights of flowing gown and veil,

while the sight of a white casket lingers in my eyes.

Yes, it is a joyful day – for you!

As I am sorely reminded and grieve what will never be – for me!

Unpredictable Waves

~ wave after ~ wave ~ after wave

how to prepare? how to brace?

unpredictable, unseen, unexpected

laid out, crumbled…yet, fighting to breathe

screaming, punching, tearing at my flesh

numb yet fully engaged…quiet yet horribly loud

the spirals that comes from nowhere

the feelings that are everywhere

once again, it hits…AND there’s nothing to do, but…

Just Breathe…

Let’s get Physical

The title alone brings memories a Richard Simmons workout to music by Olivia Newton John. Yes, I’m ancient…haha! There’s a love hate relationship with exercise. You have those obsessed by it and those that curl up like a bath-hating-cat. Then there’s the pressure to “be-like-whoever”. For example, that person who loves running and wants you to love it; or that person that gets pumped by competitions and wants you to join in; or loves “whatever” and wants you to come along.

LEARN what you enjoy (at least a little bit), and if you have underlying health issues take those into consideration. Learn your body needs and capacity, remember my Frail Frame? Try everything. Have a routine, but don’t be rigid. Be fluid. Be coachable. Be consistent. Remember your Nutrition. If your body is depleted of nutrients, you’ll have no fuel.

I’ve tried classes. Watched videos. Ask my son for help and advise. Met a trainer and asked her for advise. My medical doctor is amazing. Lots and lots of my physical therapy sessions. In fact, at their recommendation I tried water classes.

Always learning. And, even on “off-days” I do a little something, because for me the benefits far out-weigh “no-movement” at all. My time at the gym is very therapeutic (unless I’m having people-issues, but, hey, they serve as writing material…haha!)

“No pain, no gain” is not for me. For me pain = check my form, modify, or stop. Stretching before and after my workout is not an options, it’s a necessity. My core is the most important part of my body. Everything stems from it. So, I am purposeful to work on it everyday. I’m not fast and furious; I’m slow and purposeful, always mindful of my form.

My routine: 1) Free Weights, 2) Bike, rowing machine or skiing machine, 3) water, 4) TRX or medicine ball or kettlebells, 5) water, 6) a fusion of pilates, yoga, physical therapy or salsa dancing or smooth jazz, 7) flexible day — depending on my body/can be water or mat work on my core. I also go in the sauna or steam room or jacuzzi – depending on the needs of my body. And this is where I, at times, do my meditation (Spiritually).

Hope this helps. Let’s keep walking together on this life journey. Glad to have you along.

Body ~ Mind ~ Soul ~ Spirit

Caring for the Whole Person

The Lego Effect

Have you ever stepped on a Lego? Walking into a room, minding your own business, when WAMMO! The pain, the agony, jerk, the bouncing on one leg…did I mention the pain?

Yup, I’ve hit a wall! I’ve “stepped” on a gazillion legos. Grief is such an intricate beast.

This month has been filled with Baby Showers, Bridal Showers, Birth Announcements, Wedding Invitations, and on and on. I have been purposeful about making decisions to attend or not to attend without feeling guilty or like I “have-to-be-there” (therapy is helping). Can I just pat myself on the back, cause, I believe I’ve done well, thank you!

BUT it hit! And, it hit hard! Horrid panic/anxiety attack. Anger. Screaming. Stomach knots. Difficulty breathing.

I’ll never see my daughter in a wedding dress…I’ll never hold her child….I’ll never celebrate with her a birth announcement….I’ll never…I’ll never…I’ll never…SCREAM!!!!!!!!!!

~ Sigh ~

When my brain quiets down, I KNOW my daughter is not missing out on anything. She is whole and complete. I have peace and assurance that I will hold her in my arms again. Then, and only then, will this assault of my mind and emotions will be over.

In the meantime, I hunker down and allow the waves to come. I don’t fight my feelings and emotions or condemn myself for feeling this way. I’m learning to ride them out. And, as I step on them “legos”, I’ll jump and scream and writhe in pain. It won’t be forever, cause there’s no legos in heaven 😉

Nutrition

We love our food. Heck, I think everybody loves Mexican food (🐿 How did Taco Bell get them votes? Fake-news!!!). Once upon a time I was seeing a Nutritionist. When it came to food choices I told him, “Dr. T, my problem is not fast food. My problem is my own food.” One tostada or taco just won’t do. Portion control was the plan.

Ideally, your nutrition should be provided by your food. However, it is not a one-size-fits-all. There can be varying illnesses, digestive issues, aging, etc. that can hamper this process. It’s a constant learning and relearning. Learn to know and listen to your body. Be open to change. There are no fad-diets, magic juices or fat-blasting-pills that work as magical as it is advertised. Your eating may change or be adjusted accordingly. I remember, I long, long time ago, I tried these pills. I was so excited that I had finally found “the-cure-all”. Picture the energizer bunny on speed. The good thing is that it was “legal” speed(haha!). Then there was this “miracle-juice” that my budget just couldn’t keep up. I’ve also tried, all raw; juicing, all salads, etc., etc. OMG, I remember even trying this magical-lose-10lbs-in-3-days-diet. I gag just thinking about it. My husband and I did it together. He lost 15lbs., I lost 5lbs. I was angry. He was oblivious.

learn what YOUR body needs

Take into consideration your likes and dislikes; your budget; your family dynamics. Can you maintain it? Do you need to tweek it? It’s a lifetime decision. Don’t set yourself up for failure.

Feed it wisely. Feed it like you like it. Feed it like you want it to last. Feed it like you care. Balance is key. Starvation and/or Gluttony is mistreatment of the gift you have been given.

My Frail Frame needs to be cared for Spiritually and with the nutrition it needs.

Body ~ Mind ~ Soul ~ Spirit

Caring for the Whole Person

Spiritually

Yikes, yes, I am venturing into an area that can be extremely touchy. However, it is needed. My Frail Frame is made up of many components. I am a whole person. Therefore, self-care needs to be exercised in all areas. If my vertical relationship is off, my horizontal relationships are off as well. If I believe that I’ve been entrusted with a precious gift (my body) then, I will be motivated to care for it. If I value what I’ve been given, then I will do my best to take care of it – consistency, NOT perfection.

For me, the “core” of my being is my relationship with God. Everything else hinges on this. So, before I venture into my exercise (physical) routine (future post), I will tell you what I do to “maintain” my spirit and soul.

I read. My Bible and all kinds of books, from all over the place. Since my daughter went to heaven, I’ve been reading books written by bereaved parents and books on pain and suffering. My brain can get chaotic at times, so I’ve incorporated audio books.

I pray. I meditate. I might fall asleep, I might space out, I might be all over the place, but I “purposely” set aside time for this. For meditation, I’ve incorporated guided meditations I found on the internet. The place varies, because I’m just all over the place lately. I also found a “show” (not sure how to call it), that plays soft music as I watch beautiful scenic pictures. I have found this incredibly soothing.

I go to church. My husband and I attend church on Sundays (sometimes we miss, that’s just life). For us, it feels like a “reset button” on the week.

I listen to music. At home or at the gym. Sometimes, I need to hear music that gives me hope and centers my attention on things above. Sometimes, I simply need soothing instrumental music to wash over me.

I journal. A thought. A reminder. Something to “meditate”. A promise. Pouring out my thoughts. Pouring out my laments. Pouring out my joys.

Things change. Schedule varies. Mind goes bonkers. Whatever…nothing is set in stone. Change is inevitable. Not a checklist, just what helps me.

Body ~ Mind ~ Soul ~ Spirit

⇒Caring for the Whole Person⇐

Frail Frame

I have always been sickly. I remember “joking” with my mom saying, “Hey, Mom, the reason I’ve always been sick is because you and Dad made me out of scraps.” She didn’t find the humor in this, but I thought it was hilarious. You see, I was pregnancy number 15.

female issues since I can remember, which ended in a hysterectomy at 21, which plummeted me into hormonal hell. migraines. fibromyalgia. chronic pain. chronic fatigue syndrome. degenerative osteoarthritis in my spine. sports injuries and falls, which have made for horrid arthritis in and around my coccyx. planters fasciitis with bone spurs in my heels. uncooperative, painful knees – I’ll stop cause I’m getting depressed typing this list :-/

Physical activity is not foreign to me, and, I actually enjoy it. But as I was facing one physical ailment after another, well, I was discouraged and, quite honestly, I thought I was doomed to a couch for the rest of my life. I continued my walking and attempted some jogging, but I would end up laid out for the rest of the day, and at times weeks.

As fate would have it, one of my daughter’s therapist recommended that she join a full service gym. He explained the benefits, and well, we budgeted and joined together. My daughter was autistic, and although she was high-functioning, I was her “security-blanket”. So there I was venturing into a huge-gym with my “shadow”. Supposedly, I was there for her, but little did she know that she helped me conquer so many fears. I felt like I was in high-school again (cringe). Here I was with my K-mart outfit and all around me were the fashionable-gym-bunnies. But the fact that I was there “for” my daughter, well, it just didn’t matter. Goodness, in February it will be 3 years that we took that plunge. So much has happened since, but I digress.

I’ve had to “rethink” physical activity. I’ve had to “regroup” over and over again. I’ve had to “revamp” a work out routine. And, modify, modify, modify. And, I’d venture to say “modification” will be my friend for the rest of my life. However, LORD willing, I will continue to “move”, even if it is at the pace of a turtle.

“Stop treating fitness like it’s a punishment. You can choose to eat and exercise in a way that significantly improves the way you look and feel. That’s not a punishment. That’s a privilege.” – cartergood

I’ll share my present exercise routine on a future post. Hope this encourages you to do something…anything…for the benefit of “the gift” you’ve been given ❤