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 ❤

Gym Swell

The first “regular” Monday of the year brings an onslaught of new people desiring to begin afresh their work-out routine. The crowds are coming in causing the place to swell up with energetic resolutions. I foresee Gym Rant after Another Gym Rant in my future.

I’m not sure if I’m ready for more Putrid Smell, but, this time I think I’m ready, peppermint in hand. As for The Sauna, well, I’ve already been tested:

Two young girls, cussing like sailors. Speaking about things I, nor anyone, need to hear. Do they think they are cool? Do they think they sound interesting? Big, bad…whatever!

A guy with blasting music. As a woman, I hate being called a b**ch. Every reference to a woman in those sexually-laced lyrics…really?! What was being done to the woman, was explicit and vile. Is there no respect? Can the bedroom be a sanctuary for two? I was disgusted and he was oblivious. Gentleman know how to treat a lady.

On another note – just my two cents on a topic that is close to my heart. If you are new to exercising or the gym routine, get yourself a buddy or someone that knows what they are doing. I remember walking into a gym for the first time and how overwhelming and intimidating it was. The only reason I walked in was because I was there to support my daughter, which really worked out for both of us. Then I met an amazing woman, who happened to be a personal trainer. She took us under her wing and showed us the ropes. In February it will be 3 years that I’m a “regular” in the gym scene. The benefits of working out are numerous. One being my mental health.

So, let’s move it, move it! Otherwise we lose it 😉

Birthday Month

The year, 1984. Me, on my third pregnancy. Blissful, was not part of my experience. Having had two miscarriages, we didn’t dare get excited. Complications, loss of weight, barely keeping YOU “safe” inside my womb to continue to grow strong.

December 3, at my regular doctor check up. Seven months along, cheering for the finish line. Nope! Not going to make it! Your heartbeat was barely audible. And, unbeknownst to me, the fluid that I was losing was not pee, but embryonic fluid. Crazy, I know!

Rush! Rush! Rush! Here you were, a healthy baby boy! Making your entrance with a loud cry and peeing all over the nurses. Definitely all boy! Who knew, then, what lay ahead.

Today the roles have changed ⇒⇒⇒

  • The day we received that final “no”, and knew that the inevitable was so close. In the back yard I screamed, and hit (literally) the block wall. There you were, your hand on my shoulder holding me in your arms. I sobbed!
  • The day Angie took her last breath. As a zombie, I walked out to her memory garden, stooping down, I wrote “this date”. My knees gave way. There you were, holding me up.
  • As that van drove away with her little body. There you were, to scrape me off the driveway.
  • As her shell was being lowered into the grave. There you were, your arm around me.

⇒⇒⇒I could go on and on…

How is it that such a mess of a human would birth such amazing human beings? God has been so good to me! He gave me YOU🖤

This year, we have danced together; we have sang together; we have laughed together; and, yes, we have shed tears together. You have given me the gift of allowing me to be me; of walking toward the mess and not away from it.

34 years and counting! May God, in His grace, give us many more years together.

I love you so very much, Son🖤

Short Circuit

~⊗~Beautiful morning walk with the family. Brisk pace, chatting away. All is good in the neighborhood. The trail is between two streets, but it’s not that busy, so it’s a quiet morning. The feeling of being “normal”, until a siren blares – short circuit:

>all goes blank. ears ring. blasting noise. head spins. legs become as noodles. I need to sit down. I need to run. escape. what happened? somehow I’m sitting. nauseated. breathe. put head between legs. rock…rock. get grounded. I can’t. scream. nothing comes out. cold sweat. I can’t breathe. breathe. what happened? it’s so loud. I can’t hear. wasn’t I walking? how did I sit down? what happened? b-r-e-a-t-h-e!

~⊗~Headed to church. Something feels “off”, but lately, everything feels off. Do some of my breathing exercises. We park. Here we go, let’s do this. Walking toward the building holding my hubby’s hand. Keep telling myself, “I can do this.” Wait?!?! There’s lots of people by the entrance. I hear a “loud” laugh – short circuit:

>in a bubble. disconnected. I need to run. escape. hide. why is it so noisy? this crowd. books in hand. what do I do. more crowds. someone hugged me. I’m talking. what am I saying? are you ok? no! escape. run. I’m suffocating. my husband. grab. I can’t. shut up! why are they laughing? in the car. at home. b-r-e-a-t-h-e!

Just two incidents of this horrible disconnect that happens out of nowhere, with no rhyme or reason. It frustrates me, aggravates me an makes me feel so out of control. How do I plan for the unpredictable? How do I explain the unexplainable?

When I come back “into orbit”, I’m spacey and out of sorts. What happens to my body? What happens to my mind? Will this ever get better or will it get worse?

AND so I continue to learn. I continue to shed the mask of “everything is good”, and am learning to ask for help. I am learning to communicate with my safe-people, even when I know I’m repeating myself. By the way, my safe people are AMAZING!!! And, I am learning that NOT everybody will understand, and…that…is…ok!

Stones

Stones come in many shapes and sizes. Some might be the shape of a heart, so they say. I had a friend that collected “heart-shaped-stones”. To be honest, some had absolutely no shape, but she swore they looked like a heart.

Stones can be rare and expensive; some simply used to hold something up. Who hasn’t etched their name on one or two? Who hasn’t received a stone from a child as a token of a valuable find?

I remember my brother’s grave-stone being placed. His picture was on it. As a young girl, I wasn’t really sure what I was feeling. The “first” big loss in our family…how to handle it? My voice had been muffled already, so I didn’t dare put my two-cents in the matter. Besides, his wife was making all the decisions in a way that spoke louder than words.

Now, it was me, making decisions…fast, furious, with no time to think; with every part of my being desiring to be far, far away from this place. BUT, the burial needed to take place AND the proper “embellishments” had to be ordered. The “cash-register” ringing, ringing, ringing. Every little detail had a price. Goodness, how taxing to an already heinous journey. In the fog of it all, one makes the best decisions attempting to not listen to the sales-pitches and the playing of ones emotions.

Nobody told me that a flat stone would be open to tractor tracks and scrapes. Nobody told me that it would be covered in dirt and mud, more often than I can to think. Nobody told me that the passing of time would make it sink deeper and deeper. NOBODY told me that the sight of this would make my heart hurt, if it were possible, even more than it already hurt.

Somewhere along the way, I decided that Angie’s flat grave-stone had to change. My already taxed emotions just couldn’t handle digging it out, one more time. We looked into a different kind of stone. “Well, of course we can change it – AT A PRICE!” was the response.

Yesterday, her new above-ground-stone was placed! AND this one has a picture on it.

Things that I never thought would be part of my life, are. Things that I would have never thought would bother me, do. Things that I never thought would make it a little easier, exist.

We are a Miracle

The day began in it’s normal way, nothing different about it. The seventeen year old moved around in a daze. This was the day. It didn’t feel different. It didn’t have all the pomp and circumstance she had seen or heard of. No saying, “yes to the dress.” No talks with mom in preparation of the big day. Nothing! Just a day in the life of this broken girl. Such a short life, yet so much had already transpired.

Having miscarried her second child, just a month before, she didn’t realize that she was still grieving her loses, and that her body was not yet healed. But, here it was…no turning back.

The escape plan in place, so she thought. The release from the physical, verbal and mental abuse was what was expected. Little did she know that she would enter into another form of abuse.

The “happy couple” drove themselves to the justice of the peace. She wore dark purple, because it was the closest she had to black. No rings, no flowers. Just them. Their two witnesses met them there, and so the stale ceremony took place.

~ 🌺 ~ 🌺 ~ 🌺 ~

Today – 35 years later – a miracle! My husband and I are still together. God’s grace abundantly being poured onto us, individually, and as a couple. Many, many things and circumstances have threatened to tears us apart, and some have nearly succeeded. Yet, today, I can say that we “walk-together”. We continue to learn the “dance” of life. And, by God’s grace we will continue until death do us part.