Being sick opened my eyes…

Image result for having the flu

Kill me now, please…

I am slowly recovering from being sick. Been out of commission for a couple years now. Well it certainly seems like that long.  I’ve lost all concept of time.  I realize I’m not special.  Everyone gets sick.  My husband is sick, or doesn’t feel good, at least five days out of seven dealing with pancreatic cancer.  He can tell you about not feeling good.

Since being sick I have come to realize how strong my husband is.

HERE’S A PRETTY PICTURE

I was dog sick. (poor doggy) I wallowed in the muck of my sick sheets, sick clothes, (changing four or five times a night breaking the fever I had) sick air that I breathed, (dousing the vaporizer with peppermint oil to breathe better; and smell better) matted hair, piles of tissues mounding in the trash, gagging, coughing, hacking, vomiting, vile things coming out of my body…mucking, disgusting ickyness of sick.   Pretty picture huh?

I was delirious for at least two days not remembering conversations I had.  I continued to lie next to my poor husband whose immune system is negative 0; wailing and whining while being a major wuss!  He finally moved down in to the guest room where I should have taken my germy self in the first place.  I cannot explain how much guilt I felt once I collected my senses why I didn’t take better precautions around Dave.

There was a few hours where my fever shot up, my body ached constantly, I coughed so hard my ribs felt like they cracked and I vomited out nothing till the veins in my neck popped and strained so hard. I thought I was dying.  I felt alone and actually wished I could die.  I knew Dave couldn’t help me either.  His poor frail body was fighting his last chemo invasion.  This was “chemo week” which meant three days of chemo infusions and pump, followed by three days of feeling like pure shit for him. How could I depend on him for help?

Image result for having the flu

I was in trouble.  I knew that I was unable to take care of him, let alone myself.

I had to get help.

I GATHERED THE TROOPS

One by one my daughters popped in from their own busy lives, to assist in some small way with meds, finger foods, rubbing my back, bringing essential oils, refilling our drinks…all that good nurturing stuff.  I had dear, sweet friends make a grocery run for Ensure, Pedialytes and Gods gift to every bum in the world – flushable wet wipes!!  At least we were going to have liquid nutrition in our bodies and gently tendered bottoms.  A good, good, beautiful, wonderful friend finally took me to the doctor, helped me do all our laundry and bedding at a mucky laundry mat and vacuumed our carpets.

I cannot tell you what that meant to me.

We have the greatest family and friends in the world.  NO!  I’m sorry.  You may think you do, but I know for a fact that WE DO.  So shut it … now.

I was going to LIVE.  We were going to be alright! This was going to pass.  I am going to get better. I will be able to go to the store, cook, clean, garden, write, care for my grandsons, drink wine, hang with my crazies, –  all the things I love to do –  I will be well enough to do them again.  Soon.  All I had was the flu, an infection and some serious bronchitis.  Totally treatable.  With time all my symptoms will go away if I take care of myself.

But what about Dave?

SOME PEOPLE ARE BRAVE BADASSES!

With my faculties restored to some degree, I reflect upon my own experience and realize that my husband is a mutha-muckin’ badass! 

I endured maybe eight days or so of feeling puny.  My husband endures endless days of feeling puny.  He mires in a muck that none of us can ever imagine.  He knows what’s ahead of him every day that he wakes up.  Perhaps today he will move from the couch to sit in the sunshine for an hour or even feel strong enough to walk around the block. That will challenge him enough for one day.

Tomorrow he may jump in the car, go to the store, bring home coffee creamer and stuff to make “frankenpizzas” because what the hell?  He will then proceed to make “said pizzas” and they are WONDERFUL! 

Other days he will lay on the couch wrapped up in his robe, a blanket over him, snuggling pillows around him to try to stay warm, the familiar pallor to his skin, the sunken jaws, his mouth open, and what makes my heart stop a little every time – the coolness of his skin. Some days words are not needed.  His body, tiny and frail, arms folded tight to his chest, wearing that ole navy blue robe, moves slowly to the bathroom for perhaps the 20th time today.  The pain etched across his forehead is enough to express that this is NOT A GOOD DAY.  This is the fight that he has day in and day out with his illness.

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Some days he is in the present and tossing “Chanoisms” at me, venting about our government and excited like a kid at Toys R Us about his latest vinyl treasure he is going to digitize.  Other days, I barely recognize the fella with the sultry green eyes that rocked my socks with his “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” drum solo.

Dave w_Chiefs hat

This may be hard to read for some, but this is our reality.  The gift of being sick gave ME a chance to reflect on how brave and strong my Dave is.

He is Brave. He is my Braveheart.  He is like The Brave Little Toaster. I live with him in our Home of the Brave. He is always Running Brave.  He is None but the Brave.  You see, The Brave Don’t Cry, even though there is No Rest for the Brave.  He will always be The Brave One.

HE IS The Brave.

WHAT MAKES YOU SO TOUGH?

What makes a person continue to endure the most unpleasant physicality knowing that they are going to feel just plain, ole shitty no matter what?  Where does this courage come from?  Dave will probably tell you it came from his Mom.  I don’t doubt that a second.  I would like to think my own mother as a courageous, brave woman who has withstood a plethora of painful maladies to her body.

Some folks are loaded up with Jesus and good ole God-fearing FAITH.  They believe that their faith allows them to go through physical ailments because they are promised a path of light and love in exchange for the pain.  After all, Jesus sustained the ultimate in physical pain.  Experiencing pain by calling upon your faith might be considered facing the pain with dignity.  (probably right here is where I might lose a lot of ya)

Perhaps knowing the pain will eventually go away makes a person forge through till they get to the other side.  Armed with knowledge, a time-stamp and a proposed plan could make even the wimpiest of wimps become a mutha-muckin’ badass as long as they knew what was going to happen.

Wounded soldiers and injured athletes; birthing mothers; tortured prisoners – how does one deal with that sort of pain?  Everybody’s brain works differently.  Everybody’s mental state is affected differently.  The pain that is introduced varies in levels.  That threshold could be way down here or catapulted through the roof.  I don’t know damn it! What? Do I look like a scientist?  All I know is that I experienced some physical pain temporarily.  This made me appreciate and honor my Darling man for everything that he goes through on a daily basis to fight this mucking cancer that continues to meander through his body.

As long as I have breath in my bones, I will help him kick CANCER’s ass.  I will try to take better care of myself and value even more the days that I get to share with him.  Always.

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http://www.ranker.com/list/the-best-movies-with-brave-in-the-title/reference

http://www.rd.com/true-stories/survival/what-makes-people-brave/

http://www.prevention.com/health/top-painful-medical-conditions

 

 

 

 

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Meandering in the Mattress

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Laying in bed depression

There’s an old saying: ”when Momma’s not happy, ain’t nobody happy.”  Embarrassingly I carried this anthem into two households.  I don’t know why my unhappiness affected the rest of my family when I was married; and now affects my current household, but I am beginning to discover many things about myself that I would love to share, if you have some time to kill.

I think I have always been the kind of person that loves really hard, takes things really hard and finally falls face mucking first really hard into the muckedy muck muck of my muck.

Therefore, I will get real ooey gooey honest and tell it like it is.  Those that judge or wanna be peeping into someone else’s crisis can mosey and meander on down the road.  This is real life, no-joke, mental health issues that I am discovering doesn’t just affect LIL OLE ME; there are thousands of people that suffer from this condition too.

DEPRESSION SESSION

Yep, depression is completely debilitating and can impact even the smallest pleasures in life.

My bout of living in the darkness occurred recently. Usually I have a one day ‘stay-in-bed-watching-crap-and-eating-crap’ session about once a month.  If I have to be honest, something almost always triggers it, but at the time, I don’t really know what it is. I find myself completely devoid of any emotions and motivation.  There’s always tons of stuff that I need to do, but I cannot find a way through the density of gloom to do anything. If by chance I allow the cork to pop and the floodgates to open, then I’m in trouble. When these incidents happen, God Bless the men and children in my life, as they just meander on through their daily routine and hope that I come out of the shrouded mist and ascend into the light again. And I always do – where tasks get done, food is cooked, hugs and smiles are distributed and everyone sighs with relief.  Momma is back!

The reason I am writing this is that I hope I allow others to recognize that this ‘phenomenon’ happens to many, many people.  I believed for years that it was my cross to bear, my mucked up genes, traveling back to at least three generations.  I felt alone and very messed up.  Am I really this flawed that I cannot even manage to brush my teeth or shower?  Here comes some real muck…this last time, I went from late Saturday evening, to Tuesday morning where I didn’t shower or brush my teeth.  YES. Gross! Gag!  I know.  Right?  Pretty bad, except there are others that have gone longer without performing basic hygiene, ON PURPOSE, because they just can’t!  It’s devastating to think about it.

Well, we are NOT alone.  I recently had conversations with two of my closest friends who admitted that they had been doing the very same thing.  WHAT?  For real?

We are all drowning in our beds, developing gingivitis, chomping on crap and feeling as blue and faded as your Daddy’s best jeans, Denim blue fading up to the sky. And the patches make the goodbye harder still. Ah Cat!

I digress.

When I learned that these women whom I love deeply were experiencing the same damn blackness that I was, I knew I had to find out if this really is a ‘thing’.

If you search phrases like:

  • laying in bed all day
  • staying in bed all day depression
  • why do we lay around in bed when we are depressed?

You will find a treasure of advice, testimonies, forums, support, and psychological jargon to explain away all the nuances of experiencing depression.

I was floored to discover hundreds of people take to bed for a myriad of reasons, but only one common denominator – DEPRESSION.  It’s such an overused clinical word that packs a huge wallop.

IT’S NOT OUR FAULT

We might feel like we are broken because of this malady, but it doesn’t just get fixed in a day like a car repair.  I found an article in Huffington Post where Dr. John F. Greden, the executive director of the University of Michigan Comprehensive Depression Center explained it like this: “Depression can make people feel like their minds have completely rebelled against them. The hard truth is, depression is not the sort of thing you can just wake up and be over one morning.” He explains about it being cyclical similar to lunar cycles, menstrual cycles and motorcycles.  Particularly Harleys!  HAH!

Each person cycles through their days and nights grinding through work, kids, school, social life and doing pretty darn ok with life on life’s terms.  And then KA-POW.  The bed becomes the refuge against the big, bad world.

The good doctor furthers encourages, “It’s not a moral shortcoming. It’s not something people brought on themselves. And understanding that is a pretty powerful beginning to helping a loved one with depression. At the end of the day we have to decide if we are going to let this nasty illness beat us and take over our lives, yes we have some good days and lots of bad days, but stay strong and don’t let anxiety win.”

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/26/depression-frustrations_n_5692649.html

Easier said than done huh?

MOODS, GOALS, EFFORTS – OH MY!

Some of us handle depression OUT of the bed.  We drink. We smoke. We eat. We have lots of sex. We pop pills. We yell at people. We enable people. We are co-dependent.  We never relax. We go, go, GO.  We DENY.  Pick one.  Sometimes we are so overwhelmed by how underwhelming we feel as a person, the bed beckons us, guiding us towards the reefs and rocks like Calypso’s sirens.  Rather than navigate through the rough waters of our lives, we find that we must crash.

So I dug even deeper and found another article that focused on different aspects of why people hunker down under blankets.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/charting-the-depths/201106/why-do-depressed-people-lie-in-bed

Reading this article got me asking questions. How do we lose that desire to pursue goals in the first place?  What about moods?  Again isn’t moodiness kind of cyclic too? High moods keep the wheels churning.  Low moods slow down the progress. What happens when we hit a wall towards that goal?  A big fat obstacle smacks us down.  But we’re tough bitches, right? We keep pluggin’ away.  We re-route, redirect, reevaluate and try again.  But damn it to hell, that muckin’ goal is still out of reach. Uh oh, here comes a low mood because the effort has drained the batteries of our energies and once again, the bed gestures to us like a ripple in the wind. Or like the ripples of Joe Manganiello’s abs. Well perhaps not THAT inviting. I’m too depressed to even enjoy Joe at this point.  Go away Joe!

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Even Joe can’t get me out of bed

Needless to say, moods, goals and efforts do align with whether we end up mattress-bound or not.

Another smart dude, Jonathan Rottenberg, an Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of South Florida, where he directs the Mood and Emotion Laboratory, summed up this whole theory that had me saying ‘ah hah’. According to Rottenberg, “depressed people don’t end up lying in bed because they are under-committed to goals. They end up lying in bed because they are overcommitted to goals that are failing badly. The idea that depressed people cannot disengage efforts from failure is a relatively new theory.”

This next quote hit home for me.  “It [this theory] fits well clinically with the kinds of situations that often precipitate serious depression — the battered wife who cannot bring herself to leave her troubled marriage, the seriously injured athlete who cannot bring himself to retire, the laid off employee who cannot bring herself to abandon her chosen career despite a lack of positions in her line of work. Seeing these depressions in terms of unreachable goals may be useful clinically, and may help us better understand how ordinary low moods can escalate into incapacitating bouts of depression.”

Yessir.  I’m one of those people. The employee.  The over-weight, middle-aged, out-of-work woman whose Love and Soulmate is battling cancer.  Of course I’m depressed. DUH! And ya know what?  This ain’t my first rodeo.  I’ve carried this around like a precious brooch heirloom.  I pin it on the underside of my lapel so it’s not exposed to the public but it’s presence nags at me and reminds me that I am a Ponton woman.  I love how one gal explained how her depression is a family thing: “And it’s just the way it is with me. My family tree is poisoned with melancholy right down to the roots. Some of us manage our depression through alcohol or pot. Some of us don’t manage it at all, just wallow in it while simultaneously denying its existence.” http://www.xojane.com/healthy/depressed

COPING SKILLS

I do the best I can with what I have to work with.  I do small projects around my house that actually gives me joy and purpose.  I hang with Dave and laugh at all his silly Chano-isms because I do love him. I go to doctor appointments because I know it makes him feel like he’s not alone.  I make sure that I keep in contact with my daughters.  I have regular Meema time with my grandsons.  I started walking (FINALLY). As I mention this, I realize that I didn’t feel like walking for a long time because I was depressed.  So there ya go…cycle. I make sure that I spend time with friends and plan small outings when I can. I try to keep up with my aging parents and make memories with them that will last me through when their time comes to dance off this Earth.  I listen to music, watch movies, read, blog, drive, meander around in my garden…  Hmm.  I guess I’m doing ok.  Today I can say that. Last week I couldn’t even form the words to express how I felt.  One person said in the research I did, “My depression doesn’t feel like sadness, anyway; it feels like a void, an absence of emotion. I don’t feel joyful or devastated. I feel nothing, except maybe exhausted.”  Wow!  That also rang crisp and clear in my heart, because sometimes I do have a dull, sad ache in my heart; but other times I feel absolutely nothing and completely spent.

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Serenity is just a backyard away

LET’S TEXT

If you have read this all the way through … congratulations and THANK YOU … I hope this helps.  I want people to know that YOU ARE NOT ALONE.  We will hunt you down and kick your ass.  Well the depression will.  But don’t kick your own ass for doing this.  Allow yourself a day here or there.  If you’re coming up on the third day of wedded bliss with your bed, well then I might have to hunt you down and kick your ass.

In the meantime, I say to my sister friends, text me!  Let me text you!  When the blues begin to consume us, we need to send out an S.O.S… Take a minute from marinating in the mattress and simply say, “I’m in bed. I’m ok, but I feel crippled.”  That’s it.  We aren’t asking help to get us out of there so much as merely taking some ownership of our situation and letting someone else know that we are not alone in this.  That gets us out of the basement of our soul knowing that the sunlight will once again warm us back into the world.

No one should ever have to meander through their muck alone.

Love and Light

OTHER INFORMATIVE LINKS (and one not so informative, but rather funny)

https://www.reddit.com/r/depression/comments/1t03m6/does_anyone_else_lay_in_bed_all_day_mostly_every/

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/26/depression-frustrations_n_5692649.html

 

http://www.theonion.com/blogpost/son-wed-all-like-to-lie-around-all-day-being-clini-11095

 

https://www.drugs.com/answers/lay-bed-day-sleep-night-motivation-suggestions-815982.html

 

Whatever gets ya thru the Muck…. An Ode to my Friends

This is an homage to my friendships and a celebration of ALL friendships in kind

We get by with a little help from our friends!  There’s nothing more apropos than this Beatles omen.  Since the challenge that our “new” life has taken on, I will swear by that statement.  Family and Friends.  That’s where’s it at.  Without them, we are sunk!  I wonder in fact, since we began traversing this recent sludgy new muck, that the main reason for WHY we have to trudge it at all is because it has made me become acutely aware of the pure authenticity of my friendships.  These gals (and a couple guys) genuinely care about me (oh yeh, and that other guy).  I think it has also made me aware that I’m not quite as much of an asshole as I thought I was!  I mean after all, if I was truly an asshole and wicked a-ww-ful bitch (in my best “Townie” accent) would I be able to experience the warm embrace of love and support that my/our peeps have shown us?  Without each of you,  I would be fetal everyday, all day!  I pay HOMAGE to you.  It’s my best way of showing you how grateful I am.

Ab Fab

A friendship that has no boundaries… I mean absolutely no boundaries and has “barely” passed the test of time.

 

JO-JO

I have a friend named Jo-Jo.  We’ve known each other for 26 years now.  Our friendship is one of those kinds that endures because we’ve traveled together.  You know how well you get to know another female when you share a bathroom and a bed together?  Yup that’s our friendship.  And she’s seen my vagina!  So there’s that too.  Oh come on!  Get your head out of the muck!  She was there when I gave birth to my youngest, SareyBelle!  She saw me “really open up”!

Jo-Jo calls me or texts me every week to see how I’m doing.  She encourages me to take on little do-it-yourself projects that I never felt I was capable of!  She asks about my kids!  Actually interested in their well-being even though she has kids and g-kids of her own. She has never made me feel like I was less than what I was.  She doesn’t ever judge me, but quietly assesses my dumb choices through shaking her damn head and supporting me.  I feel her love for me and my fella when we are together.  Spending a day sorting through her mothers old clothes and things, or hanging out in her glorious backyard for hours are treasured merely because I got to spend it with her. It feels natural and comfortable to be with her; that’s how warm our friendship is to me. Her Southern roots have opened me up to a whole culture that I have come to understand better through her cherished memories of family and friends and just her damn charm and accent. She has made Dave’s cancer more bearable for me!  I love her.  I want her to know that I can endure things better knowing that she is my best friend AND ALWAYS WILL BE.

KORI

Kori is my newest friendship – January 2012 at work.  It has been a giggle-fest ever since. They made the mistake of putting our cubes near each other!  Even though both of us gals have had a long history of life events and friendships before we met, there seemed to be a connection that came as natural as breathing for us.  I think what really bonded us was me passively, aggressively inviting myself over to her house after work one Friday evening. We proceeded to sip our vodkas out on her patio and became “vulnerable” with each other.  Now I don’t know how most women feel about allowing the floodgates to trickle through, but apparently it was just what we both needed.  Maybe it was the “new blood, new ears” approach of telling our tales of woe to each other; whatever it was, it felt great.

I think I really took a chance with Kori.  Once you reach a certain age, forming new female friendships seems to be harder.  I think it has to do with trust issues and all the mucking garbage that has been dumpster-dived in our lives already.  At least that’s how it was for me.  I approached, she responded.  It’s been bliss ever since.  She is my voice of reason. Sometimes the brilliance of her coo-coo mind makes me take a moment and realize that I still have some living to do and not to give up.  I have allowed Kori to know and see me at my ugliest…that is in thoughts and emotions…and although I at times have concerned her, I know that she wants me to “SNAP OUT OF IT” and be the better Sue that I am.  Going to Kori’s house is like a mini-vacation for me.  I breathe again.  I just am again.  Heck I’ve even taken a bath at her house and know where shit is!  Now that’s something.  She also texts me often.  Sometimes its wacky; but most times it’s making sure that I’m ok.  She even wants my future to be ok.  She’s not gonna give up on me.  I know that.  And every month when the moon is full, I think of her.  Somehow we have become Moon Sisters and honored that she loves me.  I love her too!

LUCY

Lucy should be spelled A-N-G-E-L.  That’s what Lucy has been to me.  We met working out at a gym some 20 years ago here in Wichita.  Our youngest daughters nearly share the same birthday. I brag that I have a British friend and her name is Xena!  Actually she looks a little bit like Xena.  Certainly tries to act like Xena.  In fact, her heart is as big and as cool as Xenas.  She’s an Amazonian Warrior Goddess that is altogether beautiful, ballsy and blimey at once!  She knows some dark history about me that I feel pretty confident she hasn’t shared with anyone, unless it was with that dote of a hubby of hers -Martyn.  In that case, it’s ok.   I just know that Lucy was there for me during an especially dumb time in my life, sans judgment but bearing compassion.  We shared some extremely goofy times together usually involving either laughing at our children, getting slobbered on by huge dogs, or consuming alcohol.  Even though she has lived in Bristol, England for quite some time now, I feel a deep bond to her even today.  She has helped Dave and I understand some of the interwoven mesh that involves bone marrow transplantation and I’ve currently consulted her on the mucky pancreatic cancer that Dave is going through now.  Lucy tells me like it is, but softly envelops it with love and kindness. The way she treats me may NOT be extraordinary to those who also know and love her, because Lucy has this uncanny way of treating EVERYONE with love, compassion and zaniness.  But I FEEL special when she showers her love on me! It is common knowledge that the cancer patient usually is the one that gets the most deserved attention.  Lucy reminded me that sometimes the caregiver needs a little TLC too by surprising me with a glorious care package of “bits and bobs” that she so lovingly sent to just lil ole me!  That’s Lucy.  In a package.

Lucy and I live worlds apart.  She is globally connected, well-traveled and a mega-ton more experienced in EVERYTHING than I am. I’m virtually – globally connected, North American traveled and probably more Jimi Hendrix experienced than she is.  Somehow though, our friendship has endured 4,424 miles (that’s 7119.738 kilometers for our dear Brits calculations) PLUS 20 years.  I know one day I will hop that pond and stay with her for a short time.  It will be like just like the day we were standing on the outside of the gym’s childcare window…I asked her which child was hers.  She replied in her fast, delightful accent, “the one with the green snot standing next to yours.”  I love Lucy!

MERNIE (Marilyn)

Mernie,  who doesn’t like Bernie…hee hee is another very long time friend whom I met back in 1983!  The very first female friend that I met on my own volition while doing ab crunches at the old YWCA.  She quickly became not only an excellent partying buddy, but a confidante too.  We have so much “interesting” history together,  that we could easily blackmail each other if we were desperate.  Of course that will never happen.  She’s been a soft voice in my life when I felt like I was really going to lose it. One time while we were sitting out by her pool and partaking in some delectable herbs I became emotional. Some of this reaction was in part due to my system not being used to the delicacy.  I told her I was afraid of being alone in my old age and didn’t know what I would do. (This came at a time when our future looked rather bleak.)  Without hesitation she said in that sweet Barbie-Doll voice of hers “oh Susie, I’ll take care of you!” Chokes me up to this day when I repeat that!

She has put me in my place a couple times – both incidents over a man.  It was much needed discipline for me, but of course, I didn’t realize it at the time.  When I think about this, I now know that she truly cared about me and wanted me to be alright and see the err of my ways.  Mernie made my first baby crib set for my little Katy  – completely hand sewn! I was totally in awe of someone doing something that special for me.  I still have that quilt, pillow, diaper bag and bumper pads and will always, always treasure it.  Through all of Mernie’s travels with railroader hubby, we never once lost touch.  Somehow we managed to converse semi-regularly no matter where she lived.  I think I have visited her in at least 4 different cities. And when I need a last minute lift from the airport in DFW because of stupid airlines…she doesn’t hesitate!  Or needing a house to stay in because airline services cancelled flights because of snow storms…her house was available.  I love my Mernie and I will need some of that fine Texas hospitality soon again.

COUSINS

I have been fortunate enough to have some girl cousins that I grew up with who were like the best playmates a kid could have.  And then divorce happened!  Both of our parents destroyed our lives!  (that statement was more for dramatic effect).  In a sense though, when both our folks divorced, the kids ended up dispersing to other parts of the country.  Hence,  almost 40 years of distance took us apart. Thank the Gods for Facebook!  Finding my cousins through first FB and then a family reunion made me understand who I was.  I was a part of this big, wacky, loving family that had all kinds of ideas and opinions and cultures and ways of life converging all under one family name – PONTON.  Ancestry.com has got nuthin’ on us.  We already know that many beautiful leaves have become us from this very tree.  I can’t say enough how much my cousins nurturing words of strength and understanding have done for me.  I want all  of them to know how truly how blessed I feel to have you as REAL family, my cousins. I love you Ladies.  You mean more to me than you know.  And not to slight the menfolk and men cousins that are attached to you,  – please know that if I mentioned one of you ladies…then your mate or brother means that much to me too.

Deb, Michelle (Mickey) w/Mike, Co -w/Cousin Dan; Stacey, Amy & Nikki – w/your fellas & bros; Anto w/Cousin Andy; Elaine w/Cousin Mark and Mary – all little leaves and sprouts from the Ponton clan.  

THE CHURCH LADIES – well isn’t that special?

Regardless of where my faith has taken me, some of the most solid and endearing friendships that I have encountered has to be the Church Ladies that I have met.  Our friendships have withstood the test of time, changing ministers, Youth groups, sanctimonious sanctuary sluts, and the common awe we feel watching each others kids have kids creating lives of their own.  I may not always be around these ladies.  I might not even talk to them for weeks, MONTHS even; but it doesn’t matter, they are there always with a hug, a smile, a familiarity that they know ME and my cray-cray ways and they still love me.  In fact these are the ladies that I will ALWAYS include when I’m wanting to have a ladies night out.  Yup the old Church broads that have known me and my girls since Jesus was a kid!  Some of your children babysat my children.  I love them and there’s no part of me that wouldn’t be ME if I hadn’t formed these bonds with these gals oh so many years ago.  I love these ladies and I know they love and adore me and my Dave. I have experienced this first hand in so many ways through cash, (yes showing up at my doorstep with cash for me) wine, food, wine, hugs, prayers,  – oh and wine!  One day I will truly need them and their unwavering faith and strength to see me through maybe even rougher days ahead.  This doesn’t scare me so much knowing that they already have my back.

All my LOVE…

Cheers Dana, Cindi, Clairissa, BrendaPam and Linda. And I miss you Darcy – still all the time!

CHILDHOOD, HIGH SCHOOL, COLLEGE & SINGLE LADY DAYS

Fact! Facebook finds friends!  That’s a triple muckin’ “F”!  I don’t know who hasn’t benefited from Facebook when finding long-lost somebodys.  Personally, I have reconnected with childhood besties, high school girlfriends, college roomies and young adult gal pals.  I can’t thank Mark Zuckerberg enough for his concept that virtually brought old memories to the forefront of our hearts and our minds. It has been one of my greatest joys to re-live those old times when we were all very different people and then connect and bond all over again some gazillion years later!  I feel especially lucky to know that as adults – some of these women have truly become loving, great people.  At first I was a little intimidated reconnecting with some of these gals.  I mean look at their life compared to mine!  Right? Oh she has had an incredible life.  I can’t even relate!  Bullshit!

The gals that I have been able to reconnect with after many, many years apart have made my life so much more complete.  Not only have we had some small history together, but we are able to carry our love connection into this century again through good ole FB!  I’ve shared some tears with you as of recently my dears, followed up by some life-energizing hugs. You have given me such joyful thoughts with your love.

to name a few…old childhood,  high school buds, former roomies and young adult pals…Becky S-H, Laurie N, Lori C and Lori M, Julie J, Teri C-O, Kathy L, Kate D-J, Janis D, Katy B-H, Nancy L-J, Kris R S, Barb Z, Tracey C T and Tracy B, Rene B-K, Cindy, and the fellas – Skip H, Jeff P, Dave F, Kelley P and Mark W…

Thank you FACEBOOK FRIENDS

And now a word about the Facebook friends I’ve made…YOU genuinely have continued to send positive thoughts, solid prayerful wishes and just simple loving conversations to me and Dave on a regular basis.  In my daily life, checking Facebook often is the source of sustenance for me. (on the flipside, it can also send me plunging into the darkness of despair, frustration or disgust too. – but that’s another blog post for another time.)  I feel at that moment that you are really thinking of me; truly showing concern and lifting me up even if I never lay eyes on you at any time in the near future.  I know who YOU are. I know that YOU care.  I need YOU maybe more than YOU need me.

I would love to begin listing names here, and give proper due, but I know that my good intentions and my shriveled up brain might forget someone.  I would never want to hurt anyone because I forgot a name.  I have confidence in YOU  because you are great peoples with integrity and YOU know who YOU are.  YOU are the ones that took a moment to tell us that YOU love us.  YOU laughed at one of our jokes.  YOU shared something with us that YOU knew would make us laugh (not just a general share, but a more personal share). YOU asked us if we needed something.  YOU personal messaged us just to see how we are doing.  YOU offered to let us stay at YOUR house.  YOU offered a shoulder to cry on if we ever needed. YOU said YOU were praying for us, NOT just flippantly saying “praying for you” (I believe YOU when YOU say YOU are.) And YOU didn’t care what we posted, YOU were still our friends, even if we said something YOU didn’t agree with. We are connected either through another friend, an organization, work or the wind!  I thank you for your continuing support.

To all my Facebook friends, newly friended and “golden”  – I love you all.  With your help both Dave and I keep plugging away trying to stay strong and mostly positive; accept your most gracious gifts and be good stewards of the support you have given us. We do want to be an inspiration to any who want to learn about us.  We want all to know that there is no way in this gargantuan Earth of ours could we ever have made it this far if it wasn’t for the help of our friends.

Yes, we’ll get by with a little help from our friends.  

 

Meandering thru the Muck

Gasp! My first blog:

Hello Blogging Buddies and Curious Creatures:

Brezhnev-y Brows

men can grow some amazing brows

Posting my first blog.  Nervous.  Excited.  Overwhelmed.  VULNERABLE.

The longing to blog about my heart’s desires has been a process in the making, but mostly in my own mind.  I’ve realized smack dab in the middle of my life – I have come to some realizations about the muck of life… so emphatic that I felt it was necessary to share.

For instance, did you know that as men age they truly do get handsomer.  No fair.  But they also grow hair where there wasn’t much before i.e their ears, their nose, their necks, their Brezhnev-y like eyebrows. Women on the other hand, tend to look a bit more – well, OLDER.  But the benefit we experience on the aging process is that we barely have to shave anymore.  I shave once a week now.  And that’s only because of an obligation to my female self to be hairless where we’ve been indoctrinated to be.  So my younger, hairier sisters, do not despair.  One day you too will be able to give up the razor and spend more time not giving a damn!

Other meanderings of my mind:

Muck is such a great word!  It is also synonymous with dung, manure, mire, mud, waste, trash and so on.  Although I would prefer to listen to the more perkier side of my mind…I find myself meandering through the muck of life.  My blog will be an attempt to share some tidbits that I find amusing while fulfilling that part of me that still thinks she’s a writer.  I also believe that blogging is a positive way to journal what ails ya!   I’ll cover personal struggles such as my eternal quest to find serenity within my self.  I’ll likely discuss often my chronic crusade to  lose this excess weight that tends to envelop me like a soft, fluffy comforter.  My fat – at times a comfort to me because it’s all I know; other times – too much and too warm.  Hmm.  Reminds me of some people I know who are wonderful to be around for a while, but wear out their welcome if they stay too long.  Yup, that’s my fat-an endearing old aunt that you love but don’t want to visit for more than a day or two.  Other personal topics will be wind driven  whatever blows in to this brain of mine from the land of the Southwind.  Topics: Middle-age women who think they are still 30 in their mind but don’t look it or act like it; Beautiful, accomplished daughters who are growing up to be exactly what you have prepared them in life for, but you don’t like it…not one damn bit; Unemployed past 50 – are there really that many of us; Battling the bitch syndrome; and finally no blog can be complete without the articulation of a recovering drug addict, yes that is me. Discuss amongst yourselves.  I’ll get more coffee.!

sometimes I feel like this

"hey I need to axe you a question"

Topic closest to my heart:

I share my life with a wonderful man named David.  He was recently diagnosed with myelofibrosis-a conniving, rare disease that has reared its ugly head upon our lives.  The disease is a bone marrow deficiency in that Dave doesn’t produce enough strong, numerous red blood cells in his marrow to allow him to function like us ‘abnormal’ folks do.  Therefore,  he is pin-cushioned twice weekly to monitor his RBC’s, hemoglobin, WBC’s, and platelets checking the levels so that he doesn’t go anemic on me or god forbid cut himself and bleed like a stuck… [insert object here]!!  Henceforth, my man is sporting a beard now.  “Shaving is a no-no when your platelets are too low”.  Chicca chicca boom!  Dave will be a recipient soon for a bone marrow transplant.  God willing and the creek don’t rise…

So thanks for tuning it.  I’ll write often and love you longer.

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