Little Things

     I think I’m getting my mojo back.  I’m inspired to write more and more.  Time does heal along with knowing that Michelle is in a better place.  I do believe that. 

     My husband just brought me a cup of coffee.  Rudy knows I usually write in the mornings after he leaves for work.  I don’t know how he knew I was getting ready to write now.  It’s something I usually do for him in the mornings to help him get up for work and now he’s brought me a cup of deliciousness that I didn’t even know I needed until it was in my hands.  A small thing, I know but that’s what love is to me.

     We’re going to have the next five days together, celebrating family and the gifts that God has given us and that’s no small thing.  I’m feeling better this week than last and I don’t feel like a trip to the hospital is imminent, and that’s no small thing.  My heart feels full of love and gratitude for the many gifts I’ve been given including the gift of more life to live and believe me, that’s no small thing either.

     We’re living in uncertain times these days, isn’t there a quote that says “May you live in interesting times?”  We certainly are and through it all I can’t help but feel we’re going to be ok come what may.  Challenges ahead, for certain but I have faith in my Lord, and in my small corner of the world.

     I’m seeing the surgeon on the 13th.  This one scares me, but I’m praying for peace of mind, comfort, and the wisdom of the surgeon, that should cover me.

     My daughter Heather is graduating from nursing college soon, with her second bachelors degree.  I’m so proud of her.  Tommy is back in college and working  along with Joey.  Sarah is also in college and working.  Little Rudy is taking a tech class and working really hard to support his family.  I don’t take credit for the success of our children instead I’m humbly grateful for it.


The Loss of My Best Friend

     I know it’s been a while since I’ve been here, much has happened this past month.  First and foremost I’ve lost my very best friend in the world.  She was only 46 and I feel lost without her.  I ended up going straight from her funeral to the hospital and I’ve only been home a couple of days.  I haven’t much felt like writing.  I’m completely uninspired.  I wrote the eulogy for her funeral and I’m going to reprint it here.  As always thank you for reading and comments are welcome.

    My name is Lynda, but you wouldn’t recognize it if you ever heard Michelle talk about me, you would know me as Queenie, the name she gave me.  I’d like to tell you about my friend.  She was my sister, not by blood, but by our hearts and souls.

     We couldn’t have been more different her and I.  She was a low maintenance woman, and me, well let’s just say not so much.  I am the picture of a high maintenance woman at least that’s what I’m told.  Evidently, I couldn’t pass for low maintenance if I tried.  In fact the people that know me tell me not to even bother.  Let’s face it, she called me the queen for a reason.  I think that’s why we were destined to be friends, we balanced each other.  I’ll always have her with me, because of Michelle I’m a better wife to my husband, a better mother to my children, and a better friend.  I have certain people in my life because of Michelle, her friends became my friends.

      I thought she was a complete flake, but something kept drawing me to her, and the more I got to know her the more I realized how intelligent she was.  Not just intelligent, she had wisdom, the kind of wisdom that comes from living life in a way that’s honest and true.

     I learned so much from her, when Michelle loved you, she loved you for life, and I never knew anyone more open to giving her love, and it didn’t stop there.  If she loved you she took care of you.  She loved my entire family and when I was in the hospital and couldn’t take care of them myself, she stepped in.  My family was her family and they came to love her too.  She was generous with her time and attention always putting other’s needs a head of her own.

     In the short time we had together, I was in and out of the hospital, mostly in.  She was there for every surgery, and every illness.  When I was in a coma, she was in the ER with me, holding my hand.  She was in my home making dinner for my family, because of her I am a better more generous person.   Not 4 months after the coma I was told I had a tumor in my pancreas’s that was undoubtedly cancer.  It was 2 weeks before I could get to the surgeon in Indianapolis.  She called or came by every day, and before too long she took the crucifix from around her neck and put it on mine.  When I protested that she loved it too much to loan it to me she simply said that she loved me more. I’ll always believe that it was Michelle that started the prayer chain that made the surgeon unable to find the tumor to biopsy that he had so clearly seen on the cat scan the day before.  Last year I was sick with a life-threatening infection in my blood stream that required me to be transferred to a hospital in Indianapolis for a week that required yet more surgery and Michelle never left my side.

      I learned humility from Michelle.  Material things simply didn’t matter to her; she was just as content washing the dishes in the bathtub as she was in the kitchen sink.  I, on the other hand required a dishwasher.  If she had a book and her guitar that was all she needed to be happy, that and the many friends and family that she loved so dearly. She had her own room in my house and yet more often than not she would find her in bed with me, up all night laughing and talking and giggling like a couple of teenagers, usually with my husband begging for quiet so he could sleep.

     We spent a day in Chicago at the International Housewares Show.  We figured we walked 20 miles that day, I finally had something I could do for her.  We met our favorite celebrity chefs, they were like rock stars for us.  When we got off the train in Indiana, muscles we didn’t know we had were begging for mercy yet it was one of the best days either one of us ever had,  I can’t tell you what a privilege it was to be a part of “one of her best days ever.”

     In this past year I’d never seen her happier or look more beautiful.  She was living close to her children and spending more time with her mom and was more content than I’d ever known her to be.  All of this is the legacy she left and I, for one will always honor that.  I’ll leave you with this quote about friendship, author unknown:

“Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Others stay awhile, make footprints on our hearts and we are never, ever the same.”

What am I Worth

      Since I’ve come home from Texas I’ve tried to think about how I was going to write this post.  Every year I come home with lessons learned about myself. 

    As someone with multiple chronic illnesses, it can be tempting to succumb to the notion that you no longer have anything to offer to anyone anymore.  It’s easy to feel sorry for yourself, yet I’m constantly reminded there are so many worse off than I am, and ultimately how lucky I am.  

     My adult children in Texas have friends that have embraced me and welcomed me as part of their family and make me feel so loved.  One in particular lives with my son, another roommate, and her mother who is living with stage 4 colon cancer.  This is a women caring for her mother and doing it with grace and dignity beyond her 24 years, and her mother is a remarkable woman I’m lucky to have met.

     My oldest daughter in Texas calls me anytime she’s troubled and tells me that she always benefits from my experiences.  I’ve found my value and worth in helping and advising the many people in my life who call me mom.  There are far more than I’ve given birth to, but I consider my children none the less.  A single mother stressed to her breaking point, I was able to tell her that I’ve been there and I know how hard it is.

      There are days when I’ve felt that I’m just taking up space and not contributing as a human being to the greater good.  I’m at peace realizing that’s not the case.  It bears repeating, I still have value and worth, I can still love, and give love and make my little corner of the world a better place just by being here.

What’s Been Going On

     My family and I are going through some really challenging issues for the past couple of months.  I don’t know how much I want to post about it and have it out there, so I’m just going to write and see where it goes.

     My husband went into a business partnership with his father several years ago and the consequences of that decision are still haunting us on a very personal level.  My father in law is a classic malignant narcissist personality disorder and a host of who knows what other cluster B personality disorders.  This man has robbed us of so much money and is trying his best to drive us out of our home.  I’ve been married to Rudy for 15 years and I’ve always been treated as an outsider.  My husband has already mourned and grieved the loss of his father and as far as he’s concerned, the man is dead to him.

     He’s writing anonymous letters to the Sheriff claiming that we have loud obnoxious drinking parties all the time, and really when he called me (the sheriff is a friend of ours) he thought it was hysterical that the police have never been called to our house.  They write that we have no carpet on our floors,  the wife doesn’t work (that’s me) I only go outside at night and the neighbors are selling me drugs.  Rudy and I have made a point of trying to be positive people who have a positive influence on the people in our lives.  We try to be good, kind and giving people.  We have moments of pure joy in each other’s company, and we really like each other.  His granddaughter that he raised, my niece is staying with us because he beat the shit out of her said she has never see a couple who really liked each other before.  Every relationship that she bas borne witness to is a couple willing to fight to the death about any and every topic.  It is so hard to explain the dysfunction in this family, I only know that my own seems like the Brady Bunch by comparison.

     I try very hard to not care what this man’s opinion of me is and for the most part I succeed at that.  I always brought pies to their home on holidays and I didn’t know that as soon as we left he would throw my pies in the garbage claiming I was so riddled with STD’s that he didn’t want his grandchildren getting sick.  Oddly he always at my ham but he told the kids that my hands didn’t touch it so it was okay to eat.  I don’t know how he thought the thing got in the baking dish.  I must have waved a wand and it sprouted wings and flew in.  I’ve never been the object of such bitter, vile and focused hatred before.  I’m not in a position that I can afford to expend any energy on it.  One of the things Rudy and I figured out is that I get sicker when I’m stressed.

     Such vile things are being said about me and my family that it sickens me.  In the end my husband and our wonderful friends keep telling me that the people who know and love me know that we’re dealing with an evil man that’s full of shit and why should I care about the people who don’t know us.

     Now, I think I’ve said too much, but I want this blog to be real, and honest.  I want it to be about who I am and sometimes that means being vulnerable and opening yourself up.  On my last blog, my evil in-laws posted some horrific things about me culminating in their last post before I shut it down.  They said I should do my husband and his family a favor and swallow a bullet.  Kind of hard not to take that shit personally.  I’m determined to take the high road and be a better person.  Thanks for reading and comments are always appreciated.