Struggles Surround Us

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Everyone has something they struggle with be it large or small. For me, I have many small things which amount to very little in the grand scheme of things and a few larger issues that do matter more.  The point is that when you look around, there isn’t a single person that isn’t struggling with something in their life at this very minute.

When we go to the store, we may have great service or we may have very poor service. My advice to you is to see things the way I do if you get the very poor service. Let’s say you are met by a cashier with a sour expression who speaks no more than absolutely necessary.

Most of you will be very put off by her/his behaviour. In my mind, I imagine what might have brought that cashier to have such a sour demeanor. Perhaps, his/her mother died recently. Perhaps her father was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Whatever I imagine, it explains their demeanor and causes me to consider how I might bring a smile to their face and brighten up there day.

The power of touch and a smile cans help any person feel much better overall and like their job is actually meaningful. Isn’t that what we all want in our life? To have fewer struggles and feel more meaningful. If we view people in a positive light, they will emit positivity and begin to think and feel better. No one knows the struggles another person is going through, but if we stay positive and complain less, the struggles will lessen.

The News is So…

You know, normally I participate in Finish the Sentence Friday from Thursday nights so it’s available to read all weekend long.  This week, my heart and my body weren’t cooperating with me.  I couldn’t stay awake enough to write anything substantial for one thing.  My heart was torn as to what to write about on this subject.  This is a Finish the Sentence Friday hosted by the wonderfully magnificent, Kristi. The sentence this week is “When it comes to the news…”

I’ve given this subject great thought over the last few days and really, the only thought that comes back to me again and again, is that I have learned to hate the news.  There are no feel good stories.  There are no stories of triumphs over the odds.  There is only sadness, tragedy and how screwed up our country has become.

As a small child, I watched the news with my parents at dinner and again at 10 PM if I was still up.  The news was always on.  My parents got the newspaper and I read it.  I doubt I’d read it now.  For one thing, the paper is half as thick and doesn’t cover things well, at least not in our area.  It also costs $300 to put a standard obituary in the newspaper here. What a crock! It was only $50 to put my wedding in 23 years ago.

These days, if by chance I turn on the news, I am bombarded with tragedy all over the world, sadness at home, and politicians enough to kick me in the butt and knock me into next Tuesday.  I can read the news at my leisure on the internet, at my choosing.  My husband, on the other hand, is a news junkie.  He can never get enough news.  He loves politics which I feel are like watching trained baboons speaking from teleprompters and hating each other.  They change their minds like a fashionista changes her shoes.

So, there is my take on the news.  I loathe watching it anymore.  Just today, another horrible shooting that leaves 50 dead and 53 injured last I checked.  Just for being gay.  They couldn’t help being gay anymore than I can help the fact that I have blue eyes.  Hate, Religion, it’s all intolerance and stupidity and downright hatred of humanity.  That’s why I don’t want to watch the news.  I’ll hear about it anyway whether I want to or not.  I can’t live in a glass bubble either.  It surrounds us all.  Isn’t there anything that is positive in this world anymore?  There used to be.

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Thank you!

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I am so grateful to all of you. I had my most successful day so far blogging with 117 views! Wow! I’m at a loss for words. Usually I have 40 to 60 views. My highest number previously was 95! Thank you for your continued support in my endeavor to share my heart with the world. You made this happen. Bless you for making me so happy and making Deirdre’s Daily Dose a success!

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Blank Looks

Image result for blank looksShe stared at the plate set before her.  It was the weirdest conglomeration of food she’d ever seen.  The blank look on Kate’s face must have elicited the response of giggles from her husband.  He had done this on purpose, but she really would never know.  The kids were to have chosen the meal for Mother’s Day breakfast, but little did Kate know that her darling husband, Ryan had assisted them in the choosing. The girls were elated to have made mommy breakfast in bed.

As she choked down chocolate cake, scrambled eggs, some fruit salad consisting of strawberries and bananas, and some leftover pork chop from the night before with peach compote, Kate thought of how lucky she was to have such a beautiful family.  She relished the thought of this happening every year, but knew this may be the last year.  She had been diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer and had just undergone her bilateral mastectomy 2 weeks before.  She couldn’t think of her little girls growing up without her.  She had a will to live that was fiercely strong.

Her girls, Ella, aged 4 and Emma, aged 2, were her life.  She was so blessed to have them as well as having the most loving and supportive husband.  Ryan worked so hard so she could stay at home with the girls.  How had she not felt the lump? Why did she stop doing the stupid monthly self breast exams?

Tomorrow she would start the radiation and next week her chemo would begin.  She knew how sick she would be from both.  She didn’t like to think about it, but she did think about it.  Of course she thought about it.  She was normal, for God’s sake.  And she prayed every day.  She prayed for healing.  She wasn’t sure how her girls were going to handle all this change.  She looked up at her husband.  Now it was his face that was blank.

“Honey, what’s the matter?” she asked him gently reaching for his hand.

“It’s just that I could tell by looking at your lovely face what you were thinking about.  You are so beautiful.  I want you to know that I will always love you.  I will always be here for you and we will get through this.  I love you, honey.  I love you with all my heart.  I know that you are scared and I’d be lying if I told you I wasn’t, but honestly, you’re going to make it.”

“Thank you,” was all she could manage to say between the tears streaming down her face.  The blank look was gone between both of them.  There love had lasted through these last 20 years of high school, college and the rest.  Their’s was a love that would stand the test of time.  If time was what God and medicine would give them.

Being Connected

Image result for when your mobile phone not workingWhile I love technology for the most part, there is part of me that also loathes it when it decides to take a flying leap into the dark abyss and ceases to function.  This happened this weekend.  My cell phone decided to act strangely while I was using it on Saturday.  I was looking at the screen and trying to do something when, Voila! the darn screen sort of flashed black and went dim.  I could hear the sounds and all, but the screen remained black.  Not good for someone who was getting phone calls and text messages.  Ugh!  What now!

I tried to turn it off, but my phone has a touch screen which requires me to be able to see it to turn it off.  No luck.  I took out the battery.  I let it rest for a bit and tried again.  It came on for a moment before going black again.  I tried again several times, but no success.  I called my provider after starting an insurance form to get a replacement phone.  I’m so glad I did.  I was able to take the phone in to the store!  Unfortunately, I have lost a bunch of pictures stored on that phone, but otherwise, my world is still somewhat intact and my connection to the outside world via mobile phone remains secured. It only took about an hour.  Thank God for the technician who was able to fix my other phone which needed to be wiped clean, as it had issues too. My black screen phone is most definitely a deceased phone.

How did we become such a society that relies on our electronic devices so much?  My greatest concern was being connected.  It was being able to text and talk on the phone, as this phone is my primary phone.  It was also about reaching my calendar.  All my appointments are on there.  My work schedule is on there.  My manager at work texts me on there.  Never before have I been that attached to a phone, but here I am, completely tethered to my phone.  You’d swear I was 17 years old!

I’m not one who can’t put my phone down, but I’ll admit, I have it in my hands most of the time.  I have that very bad habit.  I play my word games on it.  I love Words With Friends, WordOx, Word Search, AlphaBetty, as well as several puzzle games, but I also like to feel connected to everyone.  I love feeling connected to WordPress.  I want to check my stats and write posts as they enter into my head instead of later, or at least jot my ideas down if I’m not in a situation where I can write about them.

Have mobile phones and technology helped or hindered our memories?  That’s what I’m thinking about as I write this.  Is it great to be able to connect so easily, but I was raised in a generation that didn’t have anything like this.  Now, I see my children drawn to their phones as if their very lives depended on them.  What the heck is wrong with these kids?  They can’t even talk to  you and keep their eyes on you instead of their phone.

Life was so much simpler without technology. We talked to each other more.  I’m making the effort to get back to that in my life and it has been so wonderful.  I love my family so much more than ever.  Without having a screen to look into, I see the lives of my loved ones.  I see faces with expressions looking back at me.  Real conversations do happen.  Don’t lose yourself in technology.  It just will do what my phone did.  It will break down and give you the dreaded black screen of death one day without any remorse.  It has no feelings.  It is just an electronic.  The faces of your family though, will love you and appreciate the time spent with them.  They will chat with you, cry with you and most of all, they will laugh with you.  They have life in them and won’t give up on you when you most need them.

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The Lavender Dress

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She loved storms and this was a beautiful one in her eyes.  The sky was dark, so dark almost as dark as if it were night.  The brilliant flashes of lightning shattered the sky every few minutes and the thrashing rain pelted the windows as if they were going to break it at any second, an invader into her house, yet not so much.  Yes, this was a beautiful storm for sure.  Karri was hoping this one would last for a good long while so she could use it as an excuse not to meet him.  She really didn’t have any good reason not to meet Claude, other than she agreed to, one last time.

She continued getting herself ready.  She put on the short, lavender dress.  The one that went with her auburn hair so well.  People always gave her compliments and told her it brought out the color of her eyes when she wore it.  “What did they know?” she thought. She was in the mood to tell him off.  How dare he call her after not even calling her for over a week.  She had texted him everyday to see if everything was alright.  She hadn’t heard one word.  She was done.  She would tell him it was over. Karri wasn’t someone who put up with excuses.  She had done it before, but that was the old Karri.

Claude had gone to Syracuse to see his ailing mother, or so he said.  Why would he not text back, unless he chose not to. Well, Karri had decided after the 3rd or 4th day that it was really quite simple.  Claude was seeing an old girlfriend.  She knew who it was.  It had to be that one. The one who broke his heart years ago.  Cheryl or Carol.  Whatever her name was.  It really didn’t matter.  Whatever the excuse was, Karri wasn’t going to hear it.  Not this time.  She really didn’t care what he said.  All she could think was, “Oh no, not again.”  It was like that with her in relationships.  This one was just like Ricky.

Ricky had been her previous boyfriend, but he cheated on her several times.  When she found out, she broke it off and never looked back.  But she really thought Claude was different.  Claude was sophisticated.  He was more complex than Ricky.  Maybe she was wrong.  Maybe something more happened at home in Syracuse.  Maybe his mom was seriously sick.  Ricky was carefree and in a band.  He was no businessman like Claude.  Claude usually called every day.  She started to rethink things.  Maybe she was wrong about him.  He was a good man.  She really had no reason to believe that he had done anything wrong.

When the phone rang, her heart stopped.  She picked it up slowly.  “Hello?”

“Hi, Babe.” Claude sounded soft and rather sensual.  He did melt her heart when he spoke in that deep, soft voice.

“Hi!” Karri could hear herself sounding a little more excitable than she meant to. “How are you?  When did you get back?  Are you okay?  I haven’t heard from you in a week.  I’ve been so worried.”

“Babe, my mom…” he trailed away.  “She.. she’s dead.  She had a massive stroke and there was nothing that they could do.” She heard the anguish in his voice.  She knew she had been wrong, but felt so bad in how she had been so quick to judge.

“Oh my God! Honey, I’m so, so sorry. Is there anything…” Now it was her voice trailing off.  “Are you even back from Syracuse?”

“Babe, I need you.  I’m back, but I just came back to get a few things.  I have to fly out tomorrow again for the funeral and to get mom’s affairs in order.  It’s going to take some time.  I wanted to know…  Well, I wanted to know if you would come with me.  She would have loved you.  Like I do.  I just wish she could have met you.”

Karri sat down at her kitchen table trying to keep her emotions from getting the best of her.  She took a deep breath.  Her heart was doing a happy dance because she did really love Claude.  She hadn’t really realized it until this moment.  They had been seeing each other for 5 months and yet, she had such a difficult time embracing love and being in love much less the man of her dreams declaring his love for her.  Yet, he just did.  Was it the fact that his mother just died or that he truly did love her?  What should she say?

“Karri? Are you still there?”

“Yes, Claude, I’m here.  I’m just a bit overwhelmed.  You’ve just told me  your mom died and that you love me in the same breath.  I, I…”

“It’s okay, Karri. If this is too soon, or too much, I understand.”

“No, Claude, I do love you.  I love you so much! I want to be with you and I just feel guilty for thinking you were ignoring me over the last week.  I just thought maybe you didn’t want me, or maybe you had found someone else.  Now, I find out it’s all this.   Are you sure you want me?”

“Yes, Babe, I want you for the rest of my life.  When mom died, I realized that I love you more than I love the air that I breathe.  If I don’t have you by my side, I have no purpose.”

“When can I see you?”

“I’m right outside your door, Karri. Open the door.”

As she opened the door, she found Claude on one knee, red roses in one hand, 1 carat diamond ring in the other.  On his shirt, a sign saying “will you spend the rest of your life with me?”

“Yes, Yes! Oh my darling man, yes.”

This has been a fictional story created for The Blog Propellant which is awesomeness at it’s best!  My number that I have chosen at random is 27! I chose to  use all 3 prompts, because it’s so much fun!  I hope you enjoy this story as much as I have enjoyed writing it.  It took me about 25 minutes to write.  The hardest part was finding a picture to go with it!

 

Chaos vs. Order, the House I Love

Who doesn’t like life in an orderly manner?  I would love my house to be orderly, but that never lasts very long.  I guess it is just meant to be a bit disorderly in this stage of my life.  I have my husband, my children and my zoo.  I sure wouldn’t change any of those things now that I have them.  My life wouldn’t be the same and I enjoy having all those people and pets in my life.  Just the same, when my family asks me what I would like for my birthday, Mother’s Day, Christmas, and my Anniversary, the answer is always the same.  It’s to have the house clean.  I love order.

At my old office, I had a desk.  In my desk, I had order.  Yes, lovely order.  Then, we moved offices and suddenly, we found ourselves having to share a desk with someone else.  This was a huge change because everything I once had in one desk now had to fit in 1 and 1/2 drawers and 1/2 of the top.  I never did get that half the way I liked it, but we also never spent that much time there.  You also need to understand that we were not there very often.  We had that space, but spent most of our time in the car traveling from one patient to the next.  We worked out of our cars and out of bags kept in the boot of the car.  My order there would start off great, but over time would digress into disorder.  Every few months, the task of reorganization would ensue and once complete, I always had this sense of peace and tranquility opening up my equipment bags.  I loved cleaning those out as well as my paperwork bag.  So cathartic!

My house is another story.  I think it stems from the fact that I am not the only one living there and therefore I am not the only keeper of the cheese, so to speak.  As such, when I clean my bedroom, which I just did Friday, I find so much stuff that belongs to the rest of the household.  I hate that everyone else seems to think it’s okay to leave everything from shoes and clothes to makeup and book bags in mom and dad’s room.  It just drives me bananas!  Seriously, the kids do this all over the house no matter what we try to implement.  It’s like tiny bombs of kid stuff exploded everywhere.  I can’t tell you that my husband and I are the tidiest people in the world, but at least we don’t leave things everywhere.  We do pick up after ourselves.  My kitchen is the other place that is a catch-all for everyone’s junk. Purses, artwork, coats, papers, mail, dishes.

My husband is a lover of flat surfaces.  We have to have flat surface interventions occasionally.  It entails me going through all the receipts, coins, papers and other stuff he’s taken out of his pockets and placed on some flat surface for going through later.  He makes piles on flat surfaces when he doesn’t know what to do with something.  He always has the intention of going through them later, but his procrastination kicks in and takes over.  His later could be sometime in the next 20 years.  Not a good plan for the man to have a flat surface.

I love to have clear flat surfaces.  I love to have order.  If I had my way, I would have the house as neat and tidy as my mother kept her home.  She always went through things everyday.  She never put things off until later.  The house was clean and orderly, the way I like it.  She had a routine and knew how long it had been since the hardwood floor had been polished.  I, unfortunately couldn’t tell you the last time my hardwood floors were polished, but I know they are due.  I procrastinate more than I should.

I can tell you that my house may not be the way I’d like it, but someday it will be.  When my kids are grown and I no longer have a zoo, I will have a clean home.  It will be orderly and I will miss the chaos.  I will suffer from the empty nest syndrome.  I will be down to 2 kids at home and let me tell you, they are not going to make it cleaner this fall.  They are not neat and tidy humans!  They leave things around, so order will have to take a place on the back burner for the time being.  That is okay with me.  It will come someday.  Someday I will also have grandchildren and life in my house but I will have to give those kiddos back to my own children.  That will be okay too.  I couldn’t do the whole baby thing over again at this stage, I don’t think.  I rather enjoy sleep and independence.

Yes, I love order in my life, but I’ve learned to make things work with the chaos that is my life.  I love my life and wouldn’t change a thing.  I do enjoy those quiet moments stolen for short periods of time, but I’m always have the chaos back.  A houseful of chaos is a houseful of love.  I have a houseful of love plus some.

Countless Blessings

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We are all given something which we can be grateful for.  For me, well, I have many.  I feel very blessed.  I have had a wonderful life so far.  I won’t say that it’s been a bed of roses, but I’m choosing not to dwell on the negatives in my past because it doesn’t do anyone any good.  It certainly won’t do me any good to think about those things that caused me pain or stress.  I have learned over the last six months, in particular, that I must be grateful for the many blessings that have bestowed on my family and on me.

I grew up with two parents that loved me very much.  I was adopted by strict, Roman Catholic parents from Ireland but they knew how to laugh and have a good time all the same.  My big brother was always there for me. In 1st or 2nd grade, in the good old days, I knew 3+2 but not 2+3 and my brother, who is 6 years older than me, let me ride piggyback on him until I got it!  How many older brothers do you know that would do that!

My brother always let me come into his room to listen to his room and dance.  He didn’t mind if I sang to the music either.  He would take me to the movies and I would pretend that I was his age.  We went for ice cream at our favorite ice cream shoppe.  It was amazing to have an older brother who loved his little sister so much.  I am so glad he still loves me!

My parents adopted me, so another blessing.  Raising someone else’s baby when you know nothing about the back round must be a little scary, but mom said that as soon as she saw me, I was hers.  How many countless blessings I have had just because I was their child.

Now, I’m all grown up.  Since growing up, I now have a family that I love with all my heart of my very own.  Such countless blessings I have been given. I have 4 wonderful kids, and a husband who loves me and would do anything for me.  I can’t repay my husband for all of the wonderful things he does for me, and I can’t tell him enough how grateful I am either!  We don’t have a perfect marriage, but who does.  I still wouldn’t trade him for any other man in world.

Yes, I have been given so many countless blessings in my life and tonight, I wanted to share just these few.  I hope you’ve enjoyed my memories.  What blessings have you been given in life?

And I’m Off…

I don’t have to awake yet. Why am I not asleep! It’s nerves again. I’m nervous that I’m having pain again and surgery isn’t until 6/3! Somehow I’ll manage but why do I have to wait so long, I ask myself.

I also, finally have my computer class today and tomorrow for work. I’ve been waiting for nearly a month! Yes, an entire long and arduous month of waiting for results. A month! If I had opted to have them repeat testing and monitoring the damn thing, It would be time to repeat the follow up on the esophageal ultrasound and biopsy practically after this cyst.

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I’m in the middle of my computer class and it’s hard to stay awake. Its fast-paced and yet a bit boring. Well, not really boring it’s more trying to follow along and less hands on. My old eyes have a hard time adjusting from the screen of the computer to the large screen at the front of the room! It’s early and it’s dark in this room. Help!

I’m excited to have this class at last! It opens up so much more for me and allows me to feel useful at work at last. That is a wonderful feeling! The problem is that there’s so much to learn! Well I have to learn it. I want to learn the software quickly.

I’m such a worrier it drives me crazy. I worry all the time what others will think. I wonder constantly about what people of any influence think of me. I am trying to change this about myself but it’s difficult.

I know this stems from my own self doubt. My low self esteem. That’s where the majority of my issues come from, although I’ve made strides thanks to self kindness and my family. My family helps me face my flaws and I’m learning to be accountable for me. I’m a work in progress but I’m getting there. I’m a much different person than I was this time last year. Thank God for miracles and understanding families!

If We Were Having Coffee

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If we were having our weekend coffee today, I’d tell you this has been an eventful week! I had my meeting with my surgeon regarding my pancreatic cyst.  I finally got the results from my biopsy that was taken on April 19th!  Yes, almost a month later!  Can you believe it took that long?  Me either!  The initial results took only a week and they wanted to do more testing.  They called and told me I had many atypical cells which means my cyst was precancerous.  The best means to take care of this is to surgically remove it.  It’s a big cyst.  I’m ready.  Bring it on!

My week was also filled with working with wonderful people in another department of my new place of employment.  As many of you know, I’m a nurse and this past week was nurse’s week.  As this department is very generous, we were fed all week!  This was not so good for my diet, but my belly was kept full and let me tell you, it was very tasty! We had pasta, salad, fruit, baked potatoes,  cookies, doughnuts, sandwiches, breakfast sandwiches, cinnamon rolls, and more!  These people know how to feed their employees well!

I would tell you that it was my son’s last hockey game of this session and my daughter’s last high school Spring Show.  It’s hard knowing that next year, I’ll only have 2 children at home, but also kind of exciting at the same time.  I love knowing that my 2 oldest girls will be pursuing their dreams in college.  Knowing that I have 2 birds that have flown the coop and 2 that are still in the nest is a comforting thought.  I must be doing something right.  I’m proud of my 2 oldest girls.

For now, let’s just sit back and enjoy our Colombian blend coffee with our Creme Brulee creamer.  It’s delicious.  I’ve eaten so much.  I’ll stick to my small omelet for breakfast.  What will you have?