Diagnoses

“A diagnosis doesn’t define me.” A liberating statement, indeed. However, there are times one can not just “speak away” once ailments. We are all different. There is not a one size fits all remedy. Trial and error, and try again is the name of the game. A cooking cutter mentality is not a healthy approach.

In 2002 I ended up in a fetal position, seemingly out of the blue, unable to function. Tests, tests, and more tests, with frustration and annoyance as part of the ride. The end result a diagnosis of Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. Meds, home remedies, etc., etc., trying everything to beat these ailments. Yup, even got the typical “it’s all in your head. Just push through.” I’ve learned that it’s chronic. Sometimes I know exactly what brings on a flare up and sometimes I have no clue.

Then there was the time I was diagnosed with degenerative osteoarthritis. No, this diagnosis didn’t define me, but it sure did change the way I do things. Amazing doctors and physical therapists have educated me on what to do to keep myself mobile and what not to do to aggravate things.

Now I’m faced with debilitating anxiety and depression. With the help of my medical doctor we decided it was time to see a therapist. With the support and guidance of my medical team and my family we are exploring ways to help me deal with and cope with these new companions. Will they come and go? Will they stay for a season or will they be with me for the rest of my life? These and other questions are on the table.

My diagnoses don’t define me, but they are part of me. They don’t undo me, but, at times, they do cause me to be laid out. I find accepting this is easier on my physical and mental health than trying to “push through”.

Learning is liberating. Fighting is exhausting.

Birth Date

There are records in a village of Mexico that state that a girl was born. A home birth, common to the land. No gender reveal, no birth announcement, no baby shower, no pictures on social media or elsewhere. Oh, how things have changed.

“Back in the day” is now part of my vocabulary. Who would have thought I would still be here today, 53 years later.

As Job, I have thought, “I should have never been born” or “what is the point”. Crazy brain! You know, for such a mess up like me, I like to think I did something “right”. Yes, I’m learning to shift through the crazy muck in my chaotic brain…an ongoing process. In the midst of it all I have had the privilege and joy of being a Mom. Four humans that lived, some for a very short time, in my womb. A miracle indeed!

Last year my son and his girlfriend treated my hubby and I to a fancy dinner overlooking the ocean. The sunset took my breath away. For a moment “everything” was alright. The vastness and beauty of the ocean reminds me of God’s amazing mercy and grace. Beauty in the midst of gutting pain.

After dinner we took a stroll down the malencon of La Paz, Baja…so refreshing. We ended the evening laughing and dancing under the stars. For a moment “everything” was normal, although one is deeply aware it’s a new normal. And, somewhere in it all, it feels perfect. A beautiful evening etched on my heart. Beauty for ashes, indeed.

So TODAY I am grateful that:

  • My husband doesn’t know the pain of widowhood
  • My son doesn’t know the pain of being an orphan

AND, somewhere amidst the thick fog, together, we will find a “lantern” to light up another moment in time.

A hug, a smile…laughter.

Listening to the beat of their heart

 

Birthdays

“Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday to you…” I better stop singing before I mess it up. Yes, it’s happened! Yes, I cried. End of story…oh, wait, I’m just getting started. Anywho, birthdays…goodness, how could such a subject conjure up all sorts of reactions and emotions? I tell ya, there’s nothing light and simple anymore…or has there ever been?

Can I just express my opinion about birthdays? Yes! I’m glad you approve…haha! What in the world has happened to birthday parties, people?!?! The venue, the entertainment, the decor…omygoodness gracious, one would have to sell their first born to afford such a feat. Wait, what if your first born is the birthday celebrated? Well, never mind. Let’s get back to the story. Quinceañeras are no longer a little girl with a simple white dress at a mass y una comida. Oh no, it’s a huge production. You’d think it’s the royal wedding. And, them cakes! Seriously?!?! Are they even eatable? I’d take a Betty Crocker, moist devils food cake with milk chocolate frosting ANY DAY over some of these “plastic” pieces of art. Ah, my Angie would always bake me a cake 😦

My “happy” birthday memory bank is, well, not very active. I do remember my Mom would always be the first to wish me happy birthday. And, I remember turning 15, which for some reason is a “magical” number in my culture. However, I had already managed to mess things up bringing shame to the family. The Runaway had begrudgingly been accepted back. Shunned because her innocence had been lost. Funny thing is that her innocence had been long gone. Taken in their own home by one of their own. I guess it was easier to blame a stranger…I guess. Let’s just say it wasn’t The Waltons. There was an attempt to celebrate this “magical” age in a girls life. Still not sure why? Cause it was anything but a “happy birthday”. Yup, Porcelain Doll was in full attire. A picture with a cake is cause for a flood of memories, a deluge of triggers which should be avoided.

There is that 50th birthday, though. Quite the marker, so I decided to celebrate. It was GOOD. Then there was my last birthday with my beautiful girl. She was nearing her end. Being who she was, she “decided” that she would fight to stay awake all day so that she could spend it celebrating me. Her eating was almost at a stand still, yet, she sat up and had a piece of pie with us. It was her Momma’s birthday and she would do all in her power to make it a special one, and SHE DID!

“Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday to you…”

maybe, just maybe, birthdays aren’t that bad after all…

Good Friday✝️

You don’t know my son. He is a fighter…” (queue the dramatic music) “There’s a heart beat!” gasp! The kid lives. Another miracle for the books. Prayers answered. They walk into the sunset. And live happily ever after…

S — C — R — E — E — C — H ⇒⇒⇒

What if “the kid” dies? Yeah, mayor GASP! That would be a different kinda finale. No best seller. No stellar premier. No front page news. Just a total dud…a flop.

Spoiler Alert – EVERYBODY DIES. No magical kiss to revive the “sleeper”. No mantra or prayer or magic juice can raise the dead. The fat lady has sung, gone home and is not coming back – EVER! Yes, indeed, reality sucks!

If – – – – – – that is all there was, then I’d numb myself with a substance and throw caution to the wind, cause it doesn’t matter anyway.

Ah, but, let me tell you about a “man” who came down and dwelt among us. Who was killed and buried. No happily ever after in the land of the temporal. However, that was not The End. No! No fairy-tale-ending here, cause those endings don’t bring hope beyond the grave. This Man did what no one else has done, nor will do. He conquered our last enemy – DEATH!

The Grave is Empty

One day all sorrow and pain will be done away. My tears will be wiped away by the One who will carry me to the end. I’d say that’s a very GOOD FRIDAY✝️🖤🌼

Mourning

Mourning began the day of your diagnosis, and so it went…

your body, your face…changing before my eyes. somber faces all around, unable to tell me what I “knew” was coming…BUT had no idea the train wreck it would be.

oh, there was laughter and glimmers of hope, BUT  sorrow and grief were waiting at the door. Ah, the tsunami that would soon engulf me…no way to prepare.

your body, a shell of what it had been. your face, tiny, ashy. your eyes, sunken, shut. your mouth…no more sounds. how? why? ugh!!!

Mourning continued…BUT, oh what awaited, who can prepare?!?!

cold, horridly cold…a shiver shaking my body…that hasn’t stopped

relentless reel playing over and over…your little body placed in a bag. a dark, cold van. a white box – why?!?! how is this even possible?

AND then the inevitable. You know it’s coming, BUT…

the white box, that contains your earthly shell – so precious – is lowered, covered AND you are forever GONE!!!

Unraveled! Undone! Short Circuited! Forever Changed!

Almost twenty-three months…mourning continues…

it will continue until the day we are together, AGAIN ❤

Regular Routine

Yes! A full week of regular routine. My whole being is so giddy 😀

If I ever doubt or question that caring for my whole person is beneficial, going off routine proves the opposite. However, being too rigid about routine can cause extra turmoil in my scrambled brain. Flexibility is essential.

This Frail Frame needs to be cared for Spiritually with good Nutrition cause let’s face it We Need Food to fuel, and to keep this achy-breaky-body-moving with some form of exercise. So Let’s get Physical!

The weekend is here. Go do something fun, new and exciting or sit, relax and enjoy a good cup of coffee. Get refreshed, renewed, re-energized. Get lost in a good book or write a piece from the inner most part of your soul or watch a good movie. Remember TODAY is a Gift! Tomorrow is not here yet. What will be etched in your memory from TODAY?

Symbolism’s

Events. Markers. Symbols ~ Etched. Created. Memorialized ~ Planned. Unplanned. With a plan and a purpose. The depth of their meaning incalculable. Transcending time and space. Creating an intricate canopy by the Master’s Hand. The mystery and beauty of it all.

The appointment abruptly set. A good thing given the instability of the mind. Yet, the symbolism of it all did not escape her mind. This long awaited event was happening on the very next day of A Step Forward.

Surrounded by love and support she walked into a place she had never dreamed. The appointment. The artist. The design. All pre-ordained. No vacillating. Resolved. Secure. Surreal.

In a cloud the process began. The gentle hand of the artist inflicting a welcomed pain at every stroke. Her mind swimming in beautiful memories of her beautiful girl. Oh, how she loved her! The searing pain of her absence always present. Awakened from her trance by the words, “all done”.

Gasp! It’s done! The sense that “this” has been there all along. Now visible to the naked eye.

A Butterfly ♥ the earth bound worm unraveled, transformed, set free. Able to fly, to soar on heights beyond human reach. New creation. Metamorphosis. Shedding mortality, to be clothed in immortality. Freedom. Life. Hope. Fullness of Joy.

Music Notes ♥ her love of music. her beautiful voice. her love to worship her King. her last melodies and us singing together as her final day drew near.

Angie ♥ her name!!!!!!!!!!!!

♥A wrist marked by love ~ Depth beyond the grave♥

Spring is here! There are signs of re-birth all around. Birds fill the air with their melodious songs. Life. Hope. Fullness of Joy.