Patience and Acceptance–A Necessary Formula

The past few days, most likely because of forty-five minutes working in the garden, my side and a line following my breast bone returned to its former paining annoyance, as well as, having my sinus’ flare up at the same time.  My ice pack has again become my close friend .  If I do a little too much the annoying pain drops my energy down and then my sinus’ make sure I trundle off to bed for a nap.  Today, I napped more than the time I have been productive.

Unfortunately, I am not able to finish the lined drapes I am making for someone.  I thought for sure that the project’s end would be one day before the weekend.  Now I hope that I can finish them by the beginning of next week.

Life doesn’t always go the way you want.  My brother-in-law is staying with us for the next ten days.  He no longer wants to live in the assisted living residence he is in.  Unfortunately,  he has Alzheimer’s.   During most of his days he is cherry.  Some days are better and some days confusion is paramount, but he keeps going, looking forward to another hour, or day that will be good to him and filled with the things he can enjoy.  Fortunately, he is well off and home, care now and in the future isn’t a problem.

My condition concerned him today.  While I was in the den he came to chat.  There are days chatting is hard, but today it was good for him and me.  While chatting he simply said to me that he feels one day I will be fine.  He also is quite aware of my monumental weight gain and once again spoke about understanding that to return to what I was will happen, that he, his family and M support me and their only worry is that I want it too fast to happen.  He has known me for forty years and has always been consistent with me, so when he  talked to me I realized that even through the mind of Alzcheimer’s it was important to him to show care and support for me.

Even though I am kind and helpful to him and available if he needs to talk or ask me to do something when he calls, it never occurred to me that regardless of his condition, the confusion in his memory and through the  daily degeneration he experiences, he still has compassion and concern for me and others.  More importantly, he has one of the most debilitating diseases we humans can get, yet he enjoys life and is patient  and accepting of his uncontrollable transformation.

A good example for me and other to see that we have much less to deal with in their lives than he does.

Patience and acceptance are most important in dealing with those pebbles we stumble over or the mountains that may erupt in front of us!  Adjusting ourselves to be patient and accepting is what I need to work on!!

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The days pass, one by one, by one by one—

Each day passes more quickly than I would like.  I wish for the passage of night to be short, but by early morning, before dawn is even awakening, I toss and turn and feel that one more moment or hour in bed will be too much for me.  With each day I worry that I may be returning to old habits and old habits brought me into the depths of sleep deprivation.   So far I still am affected by the accumulation of little sleep, particularly when I get up early……..then I am most aware of how tired I can be.

Yesterday at dusk or during the crepuscular day, while working in my garden,  I wished that the dusk could last longer, but once the greyness sets in, the black surrounds us very quickly in Florida.  I also wished that the dawn of morning could also come earlier so the length of that new day light could last longer.  Within a moment I realized, probably because of  the heat of the day, that I wanted to work within the grey parts of  the day when everything begins to calm and feel more comfortable.    Juxtaposed to my life the real twilights and dawns, the times that signal the most significant changes in my day may be a lesson for me in life.

Rather than wondering and worrying about the days of Crepusculum, maybe I need to just start enjoying this time of my life like I enjoy the twilight and the dawn.  Maybe, being within my Crepusculum  can become as calming to me as the real world’s crepuscular times.

So, instead of worrying about my lack of sleep, my aches and pains, or always hoping for those particular times of the day, and stop always wishing the reality of my life to change, maybe I should take my Mother’s advice and stop evaluating today or yesterday and look toward tomorrow and smile as I anticipate just how wonderful it can be.

A Lesson Gained within My Time

To know what life is all about and
accept that all things may not be good,
paves the day when turmoil begins to disappear.

To know that what I do is for me,
is better than imprudent attempts to do for others,
who rarely understand my fire of intent.

To look toward tomorrow and its sunrise
brings a return of goodness to the soul
and when it comes then I can smile.

To hold on to what  is dearest to me,
to keep the memories locked in my heart each day,
keeps them safe from the will of others.

To speak the truth of what and who I am,
of recognizing and accepting my ups and downs
will make me as I would like to be.

To cry a tear, to laugh out loud, to be quiet as I wish
are choices I decide on and not within the realm
of others to change me as they wish.

To grasp the sunshine as I  can and
splash my  feet within the puddle from the  rain
is on the day can say “I am fine and I will not change!”

 

 

During each of these days–

Continually I am asked by the ones that are closest to me, “Are you fine?”  “What is the matter?” “No I don’t think that is the reason, so what is it?”  If I try to answer the first two questions, most likely I receive the third question in response to my answer.

This brings me to a point in my life where I ask a question, “Why is it when I say what is the problem, I am told that my reason is justified and that I don’t understand the situation.  The situation is mine I think and after all this time of living I should hope that I know what my situation is.  But, there is a difference.  When I was young I would never think of telling someone what was bothering me.  Now I do and I think that is the basic problem.  I was an expert at covering up what I was feeling.  Well, how could I tell them when my self esteem was even lower than it is now.  Back then I felt I could never be truthful because I felt that the truth would hurt me more than them.

Now, it feels more important to me to tell the truth.  Yes I suppose I could sugar-coat it a little, but then usually these same people don’t sugar coat much for me.  One is M. who is so troubled with the way that I am, particularly in my reaction to acquaintances and friends, as well as himself.  Well, as two examples of his worry,  one friend has used up all the care and help that I have for her.  I have helped and helped and been there, and been there for her and what have I gotten in return is a plea for more help.  I just don’t have more to give since now I feel I must take care of me and so I stay away as quietly and politely as I can.  Another is a new acquaintance, who I thought might become a good friend.  When I realized that the “the sale–the job–the inevitable bit of money made” was more important than understanding what I wanted and dealing with it.  Yes I was the client, but it didn’t seem to matter much.  I was quickly told that I should understand that what I wanted to happen, (I had full rights to ask for what I wanted)  went against the grain of the acquaintance.  I understood in a moment that the commission in the sale was the most important.  Well, as I am known to do, the axe fell on this supposed relationship and now I am questioned why I made the decision I did.

I often think that this is the most appropriate time in my life to say what I am, what I want and how I see it.  If I don’t act now on my beliefs what am I going to do during that long journey with in my Crepusculum.  I can just imagine how my care can take quick turns that I don’t believe in.  That fact is catalyst enough for me to know I must grab a hold of my own life and start letting everyone know my wishes.  I just can’t sit in the quiet “corner” any longer.  This is all different to me as it is to the others who question me, but I believe this current life turmoil and questioning must be during my transition  from quiet toad sitting on the side of life, to a new, determination that makes people say, “Guess I can’t run over him any longer!”  Its not easy to change.  If you are  like me then agree  to  take a chance to stake out your independence.  Grab a hold of your wishes and sell them boldly to all you meet.  That little change will make you begin to see that it is possible to journey through Crepusculum with a modicum of respect and enjoyment.

Is it a question of attitude?

 

The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life.  Attitude, to me, is more important than facts.  It is more important than the past, the education, the money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think, say, or do.  It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill.  It will make or break a company… a church… a home.  The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day.  We cannot change our past… we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way.  We cannot change the inevitable.  The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude.  I am convinced that life is 10% of events that happens to me and 90% of how I react to those times!  Therefore, it is with you… we are in charge of our Attitudes.  Charles W. Swindoll

When I first read this quote, I passed right on by it.  A few days later, I came upon it again, reread it, and finally realized what I should have seen before!

I stopped to think about my attitude and how my outlook for the day is formed and if it ever changes during the day, what either format means and if there was anything I should do about making sure I carried with me the best possible reaction to the events in my life.

Usually, I awaken in the morning very early.  This is a hold over from when my Mother was alive, but now I treasure that time because it is my time to think, write or do whatever I like on the computer.  It is a time that is always in the darkened room.  It is always quiet and affords me the ability to write in privacy!  While I am at the computer I have a small cup of coffee and if it is one of the days that sleep has eluded me then the coffee does no good, I still feel like sleeping, I nod often and soon realize the best thing to do is go lay down!

When I first awaken and during this private time, I am one of those that do not wake up to well.  Two hours can pass and I will still be in a cloudy state.  Yes, I can write and develop what I am writing, but if I need to really think, or function, I am not too good at it at this hour.  I have always been like this in the morning, quiet and possibly, you would think I was in a dreamland, which I may be.  Regardless, I feel I am innocent in premeditated actions because I just could not plan a thing until much later.  When I worked, I always responded the same way when I got up.  So often, then, I repeatedly told myself everything would be fine once I got in the car, because I knew I needed to face the day as soon as possible.  After arriving at work I still needed my time…everyone knew that and usually, unless a crisis set in, everyone respected that time.

At home, during my state of reverie I may go about straightening things up a little.  I may move a comb, a knife or a sheet of paper, all in grand innocence, yet those are the things that annoy M the most.  If I do move them, I am chastised and there fore, at that moment, my Attitude is negatively forned for the day.  Possibly, the phone may ring and the caller may also perturb me or even the cat can bring me from cloudy maze to arched eyebrow disdain.  These ill-received words received may cause my attitude to be less than stellar for hours.  I can, unintentionally, brood during that time.

When I finally read Swindoll’s quote I sheepishly thought, yes I do have a choice.  I can allow a sarcastic question/statement to send me lurking about in dark moments or I can tell my self that it is not worth having them affect my attitude for the whole day.  I think he makes sence wben he writes that events happen to you each day but they only comprise a small percentage of your life, as compared to how we react which can be a much higher percentage of getting it wrong.  So if life (my happiness and good will) is 90% of how I react to the events in my life then I had better start making respond positively, rather then letting my attitude travel south into a not so happy place.

 

On the day of Christmas Eve

I have been reluctant to post this writing.  Later, I decided I would simply because I feel, you my devoted reader, will understand.  This originally was written on Christmas Eve.


Today is Christmas Eve, a day of magic, a day of happiness. As a little boy I always was anxious for night time to arrive to open the presents. The grown up in me, greeted the day joyously and anticipated the family being together, particularly since it made my Mother the happiest. Out of all the holidays in the year, my Mother loved the Christmas season. All the rooms in the farmhouse were decorated when I was a small child. Then after retirement, when my parents lived in town, the house was equally decorated. In Arizona, I knew that I needed to have the Christmas decorations up early for Momma and they needed to be more spectacular each year. On Christmas eve, Momma always came to my house and stayed through the holidays. There, I also knew I should have the house cheerful and twinkling. And for the past six years in our present house I have decorated the house inside and out. Last year was significant in the amount of decorations I put up and their locations. Momma was so happy. She could see them all from where she stayed in our big Family room.  This year, Momma will not be here. This year I am letting Christmas go by.

And then at night, on Christmas Eve, an unforgettable gift arrived:

The Christmas Gift, The Gift I Need to Remember
Today, quietly the eve of Christmas goes by,
it passes from gray at dawn to brilliant blue and white by noon.
And then this evening the night brings its chilly breath
to rustle through its darkened veil, whose stars glimmer upon my head.

On the eve of this Christmas, a voice whispered in my ear
from a luminescent cloud of red and blue drifting over my head.
To my ears came the same voice, the one locked in my heart
and now it comes to me from far above the blanket’s glow.

With heart beating, I question through a tightened throat,
“Momma, is that you?, are you all right?”
In return I’m asked why I am sad, where is my Christmas cheer?
“To soon when grief is with my heart, as it yearns for a yesteryear!

Momma tells me to look to my tomorrow and not for yesteryear,
“I’m fine,” she says, “Now you be fine, no longer should you worry.”
And then I realize no longer are there the colors of red and blue,
softly lighting the darkness of the room, the place that had just held joy.

To find the spell, to hear the voice I sit so quiet,
and I realize why, for that fleeting moment, why a visit came to me.
Where once tonight we opened presents and loved each other,

Momma came on Christmas Eve with a gift for me: Her voice, Her Love and My Tomorrow.

This isn’t a fictional poem, you may feel that it is, yet this is how it happened. I must now try to allow my gift to become more of a reality. It is a gift that is the most important that my Mother has ever given me. Her voice has eluded me now for weeks and now I remember how she spoke. I also need to move forward in life as my Mother would have. I can not stop the continual waves of memories I have, nor can I ignore the loss I feel. Momma was someone who could forge foward with an exuberant anticipation of tomorrow. I must attempt to do the same.

Now I Know

When I wrote my first poem, I didn’t realize how cathartic they could be.  By the time I wrote the third one I became aware  of how easily I could express my emotions.  Most all the poems I have written deal with the grief that I feel within, but as time continues to move forward I realize they also allow me to understand more of life and to look beyond my own back yard.  The poems merge with the expressions of help in your responses and the combination becomes a salve that within time cause new thoughts that become stronger building blocks for my own wisdom.

The emotions I write about opens my heart and as I look out into a new day I feel a little better and if need be I could be more compassionate to someone else who is hurting and understand when it is time to lock the door and get tough.

Life is a precious commodity and we each have our own discoveries.  When we share them we learn from each other, or give the support that I have been shown through the kindness of your heart.  If I had not had to experience the unknown circumstances of my Mothers passing I would be a little less able to help someone else, but Now I Know

Now I know, Now I know what it is
that before I could never understand.

Now I know what that time is like
and understand what has been known forever.

How many times did I wonder, worry and fret over what I didn’t know.
Did I guess at any time the full extent of what it would really be like?

Oh no, never in my wildest imagination could I know,
Could I have known pain as I know now,
could I feel loneliness that wraps my throat and chokes me from the air.

Would I have thought the days and the nights become one,
would I guess how little I  would not understand once it happened.

And could I ever have know what it is like to have panic hitting the heart,
or know that, possibly one tear can turn a person toward uncontrollable agony.

Would I have ever guessed what this time is like,
or would I have thought that there was no need, if I was prepared.
Can you ever guess right about being  prepared correctly?
Ah, yes if you go to a luncheon you will have been given the time and the place.

This day and future days come regardless of any preparation…..
your memories  sting and gouge and make new thoughts to surprise and cause you pain.

They lap at your tears and delight  in making you distraught.
It is a day without caring for you and the days to follow, well there is an unknown plan for them.

Then without expectation there comes a day–

with first light I look out of the window, then into the room and for the first time I understand.