Saturday, July 29, 2017

I knew it had been a while, I didn't realize how long it's been since I visited my old friend.
So much has happened, is happening; grab some coffee, sit a spell.

It has taken time to find my way out of the darkness. There's more light days than dark now. I'm glad I held on to hope when it was the other way around.

I'm often asked how I did it, how I got through the hard times. I wish there was a check list of things to help others get through their darkness, but there's not. Sometimes you have to shuffle your feet to keep your balance. Sometimes you have to take bold steps to get over a crevasse. Sometimes you just have to stand still and let the raging water pass in front of you. There's not a right answer, or even one answer. Just keep moving forward to find your light.

Recently, I was given $5. There was a tie in a raffle and I picked a hand to choose a winner. The winner was so pleased, he gave me $5 of the winnings. My first reaction was that I couldn't take it. He was a young student, certainly he needed it more than I did. Then I realized that I would be stealing his joy if I didn't accept it.  So I thanked him and got to enjoy his beaming smile. I remember being in a spot of not being able to bless the people who blessed me. Now I was in the place of giving, but not knowing how to receive without it being in humiliation. So I am learning to be honored by the gifts I receive. Honored that someone thinks enough of me to give me a gift of time, craft, or even money.

Darkness may not always be evident, but it doesn't mean it's not there. But there is, also, still hope to shed light on those places.

I am very happy to tell you I had another poem published. This one is in the June 2017 issue of Peeking Cat Poetry Magazine. http://peekingcatpoetrymagazine.blogspot.com/ I hope you'll go download it and enjoy the words.

It was recently discovered that I have an extremely low B12 store. It seems that if there is a kind of anemia, I'm going to experience it. The weariness and depression associated with this ailment sent me into a dark place that it took happenstance to get me out of. Sometimes you have to stand still and hope for a lifeline. Mine came in the form of checking for one ailment and finding another. With the B12 shot on board, I'm good to go spread light to the world.

Which brought me back to this old friend. I promise I won't wait another year to come around. I hope you'll share this light and you'll leave a comment. I love hearing from you.

Hold on to where you are, hope is there, even when you can't see it.

Peace, Love, and Peanut Butter cookies for everyone.

Laura


Sunday, October 30, 2016

Mountain Peak

Climbing to a peak takes training and hard work before the actual climb. There are a scrapes and slides along the way to success. When the time comes for the actual climb, each day is it's own success. It's been a long time coming up to this moment, this first camp on the bigger climb.
    It is with great excitement I announce that for the first time I have had a poem accepted for publication in a national magazine.
    My poem, "Needlepoint" will be in the Fall 2016 issue of Westward Quarterly Magazine.
   
   It is available at www.wwquarterly.com .

   I hope you enjoy the poem. I hope you find your own hope for whatever mountain you're climbing. Thanks for sticking with me this far, on to the next summit.


   

Thursday, August 4, 2016

If you can't be nice, go to your room until you can

I grew up being told everyone puts their pants on one leg at a time. Treat everyone the same. Respect everyone. Don't be mean to anyone. You never know what someone is going through until you've walked in their shoes. And to do unto others what you wanted done unto you, not that would be done unto you.

I try to practice this philosophy towards all people. This can make me a bit of an odd duck. I work in a hospital. I treat the environmental services people the same as the surgeons. Everyone gets a smile, a kind word, a pat on the back, or a kick in the pants; whatever they need that moment.

If I could be called insensitive to anything, it would be that I believe if we would all work harder to simply treat everyone with kindness the media wouldn't be able to manipulate situations. I'm kinda naïve in thinking we all really can get a long.

Recently a new employee came into my work space and I was nice. Shocking, I know. We exchanged what I have always known as niceties. What's your name, where you from, etc. In the coming weeks, I did what I always do; got to know more about the person. One day someone else was in front of that employee and I did what I do, "How's your summer going? Kids ready for school yet?" Simple niceties. The new person stepped up, I asked a question and he stopped, looked at me for a moment, and smiled and answered.

You see, I'm a 50 year old, white woman standing behind a lunch counter and he's a younger, black man earning an advanced degree. He was a hard shell to crack, but it finally happened. He realized that I wasn't afraid of him. I wasn't patronizing him. I wasn't trying to have a token black friend. Our worlds grew a little better.

I have lived places where black lives didn't matter. I have lived places where poor lives didn't matter. I have lived places where military lives didn't matter. 

Those places will never live in me.

Dr. King said he wanted his children to be judged by the content of their character. That is the standard I live by. He did not say he did not want his children to be judged. An important reminder that there must be a standard of excellence.

Muhammad Ali said, "I pity the poor fool", so do I.
Okay, out of context, but it works so well!
Respect the quality of character, pity the fool.

1 Corinthians 10: 23-33 Tells us that all things are lawful, but not all things are helpful. It reminds us that sometimes it is better to put ourselves aside.


There are a lot of "I's" in this blog. My hope is that my experience will remind people that you just don't have to work so hard. Be nice to people. All people.


When a child is bored, read them a book about far away places. Plant a dream of a peace filled world.

Peace, Love and peanut butter cookies for everyone!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Thankfully exhausted

You don't have to hate your job
to wish you didn't have to go to work.
To want to go home,
Having someone to go home to
A home to go to
To love your life
More than your paycheck
To be responsible is right
Wanting to bound out the door
Doesn't mean you hate what you do
Enjoy your life, without guilt
You don't have to hate your job
To wish you didn't have to work.

 

Monday, April 4, 2016

Trying

   Trying is, well, trying.
    It's easy to say things like "don't change for anyone" and "you're true voice is important" to someone else. When I have to convince myself, it's another matter all together.
    I have a goal that I have come to realize can't be achieved from my current position. So I have to change myself to achieve my goal. But then I risk losing my true voice. Which could be a better voice or not. So do I keep putting myself, as I am, who I am, out there? Do I continue to risk rejection? Or do I change to fit in to get in? Or do I buck the whole system, and do the whole thing independently?
    Is anyone else confused?
    Am I bitter? Bitterness is a petty emotion, based on things being decided by others that cause a less than positive outcome for one. Hmmm, nope, not bitter. Not angry.
   Maybe disappointed, I could work with that one. Confused, okay, not so much. I knew I was going up against an established practice that is not accustom to being, well, ordinary.
   Pissed off, yup. At who? Oh, well, hmmm. Myself, I guess. Why? For being so naïve to think that I could be enough. But that's what hope is, right? Fine, my own theme bites me in the backside.
 
    So ends my pity party. Besides, the popcorn's almost gone.

  There are so many disappointments to face. Some are huge, some are small, some are what they are.
Some are deep wounds that change the course of your life. They become the scar that everyone sees, no matter how much you try to hide it. Some are so small, there's no understanding why we give them any time at all, but we keep giving them center stage. Some are disappointing. We accept them for what they are and hope good comes out it. Once the ice cream hits the pavement, all we can do is hope the ants enjoy the treat.

    I don't know what I'm going to do next. But there are a few things I am sure about.
1) I am good enough for this moment. I can improve, as a mater of fact, I hope I never stop growing and improving.
2) There are options, so this is not a dead end street. And if it were, I'd just have to back track to a cross road.
3) The expiration date on microwave popcorn is a real thing to be paid attention to.

   What I'm trying to say. What I'm trying to show. What I'm trying to tell you is, well,

Trying is trying, so keep trying
   
Peace, Love and Peanut butter cookies for everyone (because stale popcorn is not good)

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Don't wait to be your truest you


Sometimes I think about burning my old journals

So that when I die no one has to deal with them

And so no one will read my truest thoughts
Perhaps thinking less of me

When they thought I was so strong and good

Then I realized that those words are, in fact,

My truest feelings and actions

At the best and the worst moments of my living

They show that I was struggling

When people thought I was fine

They show that I was humbled

When people thought I was proud

They show that I was broken hearted

When they thought I was healed

And I wondered

Why hide those words from them

When I die

Perhaps those words will inspire them

To get through the next struggle

They will see that I laughed

When there was much to cry about

They will see that I was proud

When there was still much to be humbled by

They will see that will see my healing

When there was so much breaking my heart

Then I wondered,

Why am I waiting to die

For people to know my truest self

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

What's the word for the caretaker at the end of life?

 When a person is put in the position of taking a young human, be it by birth; adoption; or life circumstances, to raise to self sustainability it's called parenting. What is it called when a person is put in the position of taking an old human to care for until they come to the end of their days? I can't find one word that sums that up to say what this process is the way "I am a parent" does for the opposite process. There ought to be a word for that.
   
 I have found myself in a position that I didn't think I would ever be in, caring for an elderly parent. My parents have both passed away.
     When my mother was ill, I lived several states away and was raising children. When I would talk about going to her and helping to take care of her, she and family members would say they had it under control and would let me know if they needed me. Mom would tell me to take care of my family.
     When my dad was ill, I was on the other side of the country. My family would say that they would let me know when they needed me to come. To wait until I was really needed. Then he was gone.
     I have described myself as "the bad child" for not taking care of my parents. I don't, honestly, believe that my parents would say that about me. It does show the guilt I feel for not being there for them when they needed care.
     My three, wonderful, sisters did a magnificent job of caring for our parents. The sacrifices they made will never be lost to me.
    
    Then, a couple of weeks ago, the tables turned. My partner's mother had a heart attack. Suddenly we were in the chaos of ER's; cardiologists; hospitalists; stents; pharmacies; and cardio rehab.
     We are thankful that she recognized the symptoms and called for help quickly. We are also thankful that we had just moved into our new home together and we have a place for her to stay until she stabilized.
     I never thought I would be pacing the ER floor over a parent. It is a strange place for me. While it certainly isn't what it would have been for my own parents; it has given me a stronger appreciation for my sisters support system. Husband, boyfriend, friends that rallied behind them and propped them up when they couldn't stand any more.
    As many people as we have helping us move into this next phase is phenomenal. We are learning the language of this new world and figuring out what works for our circumstances. There is an understanding of what this turn means. There have been discussions of last wishes and what to do when she's gone. It's a phase of life that I thought I was done with, I'm glad to be here in a support position. Still, there ought to be one word.

Then this:


I turned my head
For just a moment
A blink of the eye, really
An instant

I don't know how it happened
Seems that it was quick
Life being full of
Work, bills, days, holidays

I am not entirely sure,
Just that it took me by surprise
To turn around to find
You had gotten old

Not in numbers of years
That I understood,
In the person before me
That is you

Marking the occasions
Of first times once again.
Fear in your eyes, where
determination once lived

I knew it would happen
Someday had shown up
Caught us both unready
My heart begins to ache

You have turned down
The last road of life
I can only help you
Stay safe as you travel

Taking the car keys
Holding the bicycle seat
Grasping your hand
Supporting your head

The backward steps of dependence,
Of the end resembling the beginning,
Pretending you aren't dependent
Until we can't pretend any more

To say the child
Becomes the parent
Is not entirely true,
Parents get to keep their work