In the middle of doing …

24 03 2013

and not had time nor energy to post.  I’m tired but dang its a good tired.  It is wonderful to make progress and to see something your working for begin to take shape.  I don’t want to slow up on the doing yet but as soon as I do will take stock and let you know where everything stands.  

My dreams are showing promise and sucking me into their draft!  For now all I can say is WHEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!


Sometimes all it takes…

11 03 2013

is a nudge from a good friend.  She showed up and kidnapped me this morning and we mapped out a 30 mile route.  We road our bikes for a while and walked it off, then enjoyed the peace of the front porch.  It was a great way to start the day and get me back on track.  Thank You Mary.  Will see you again soon!

Love, living and death…

9 03 2013

I have spent my life caring for people who were at the end of theirs.  I have held their hand while they were passing and once even held them in my arms as the life left their body.  Once you have actually witnessed it, there really isn’t a question; you know that they are just not in that body anymore.  It’s only a wax shell.  For me death isn’t frightening, It isn’t beautiful, it just is.

When your dealing with death, People you don’t even know think that it’s their job to pass on their perspective of the meaning of life and what you should be doing with your’s.  This last week we have kind of lost our sense of humor.   I have refused to live medicated, but I do know what works for me, and going to church isn’t it.

I don’t know how it will be when it comes my time to stare death in the face, but I do know how hard it is watching those I love do it.  I sometimes wonder why I chose a life doing it.

Part of what allows me to go on doing it is my belief system. One of the things that I KNOW is true, is that if you change your beliefs, you change your life.  When it comes to death and dying I cling with teeth to the ones I have.  A few things I have experienced have influenced those beliefs.

Not the least of which is my beloved Aunt. When She Lost the love her life, She went right on having coffee with her every morning.  She would pour them both a cup; set them on the table by the chairs they always sat in, and talk to her about her life.

It was not long after her death that Bunny started finding hearts in the cup.  Every day she would make the coffee and day after day there would be the heart.  My aunt took tons of pictures and showed them to everyone who would listen.

I myself witnessed those hearts; some were clear, strong, and boldly centered and others were lacy around the edges or seem to curl sweetly around the side, but there were clearly recognizable hearts in those cups.

She was going to write a book and publish all those shots so people would know that love lives on even after you lose someone, and I truly believe it does.

When Bunny herself passed, She had been told she had cancer and only had a short time to live so I had been going up every day I had off to see her.  That last day as I drove into Portland it was covered over in a rainbows.

I had never seen more than two in the sky in all my life, but on this day they were everywhere;  Hundreds of them!  One came arching down from the sky and touched the front of my car!  I was so excited thinking that I would be blessed with good fortune and rushed to tell her what I had seen but she was gone.

Every fiber of my being believes it was her way of kissing me goodbye.  I think of her often and when I do I wrap my arms around her and give her a big squeeze and feel loved, just as I always did when she shared this earth with me.

I got the biggest complement of my whole life last night. “you are the only person I know that doesn’t add stress to my life.”   Wow, I couldn’t have thought of a better goal if I spent months trying.

I am no longer the seeker of truth that I was then.  To quote billy…”if you get the answer you’re looking for, hang up”.   For me this conversation is over.


I have been stuck

9 03 2013

in what I thought was a place of nothing; no pain or feeling or need.  I have been angry at myself feeling it was just total lack of motivation.  A pitiful excuse of a life wasted.  I keep finding myself crying and feeling how stupid it is; I AM, for doing it.  I have no reason to be sad. I quip that we are all dying, everybody dies.

Part of me feels that it is a gift.  Death puts an end to this terminal pain we are sentenced to at birth.  I try to make myself stop typing her name.  Stop making everything in my life revolve around her.  She is gone!  It is done, over, I can move on: I can’t.

Val used to hate how people would make those who died into saints.  It is OK to speak ill of the dead, she would say. “If they were an asshole in life they are no better than what they were because they are dead.”  When I speak of her I can feel me doing that.  Sticking her up on that pedestal that she hated.  She was human and she was flawed, and I miss her.

There were a few times she told me she didn’t want me to stay.  She said I know you did this for others and it was OK, but they weren’t me.  “This will hurt too much, You should go”.  You don’t know me, I would tell her, I don’t think of death the way you all do.  I will be fine.

I feel guilty because my family wants me back.  I have truly missed them.  I honestly grieve the time I have missed with that precious new baby girl, and the equally beloved older grandchildren as well.

I feel guilty for every day of progress I haven’t made.  For as many days as God has granted me that I have wasted.  For all the beautiful moments and gifts that I refuse to notice while I am stuck here depressed.

I have felt that guilt weighing me down just adding to the pain I already carry and yet deny.

Val was right it is different.  The pain I felt when I lost my Aunt, Father, and Mother to Cancer, was different, then the pain I feel for her.  I miss her in a much more personal way. It is major denial to say she isn’t gone from my life because she is still in my heart.  There is nothing new she can give me from there.

It doesn’t seem right that I haven’t wanted to live the life God gave me and I am still here:  Yet she loved living and she is gone.  I need her to tell me its OK to move forward without her, that she won’t feel that I loved her less if I do.

Val loved life.  She was never like me.  Cancer robbed her of years that she wanted to spend with her children.  She still had things she wanted to do and see.

Cancer even robbed her of so much of the enjoyment she should have had of the years Chemo gave her.  It was an endurance contest and in the end it beat her.  She was tired and ready to let go.

I thought I was at peace with her passing.  That I shouldn’t feel pain.  This place of denial is the nothing that I have been stuck in.  I have refused to just feel the loss and pain.   I have feared posting anything like this as I really didn’t want to add anything to the pain of others but I realize now that it wouldn’t.

Pain expressed isn’t added to the pain in the world, it was already there.  If others read this and feel pain, it is only pain they already have and have found no way to express either.  Maybe it isn’t a horrible thing if we cry.  Maybe it isn’t a horrible thing if I do nothing for a while and grieve.  Letting it hurt may be the only way I have of letting go.   Perhaps it honors us both that I should do so.



8 03 2013

I hate being in this place of not doing!  I have a to do list a mile long and when I chip one thing off it that is a good day anymore.  I don’t paint or craft or clean or do any productive thing.  Before I was feeling lousy because I didn’t exercise.  Now bathing and brushing my teeth are on the list of things I can’t make myself do.

Hours and hours of wasted nothing.  The things I can’t seem to do are things that would help pull me out of this.  Is this grief?  Maybe if I could label it … and understand I could work it through.  Instead it feels like I am just frozen unable to move forward.  I hate this and I hate me for doing it.  I am useless, of no value to anyone, wasting what is precious and irretrievable.  I know better.  I KNOW BETTER.  Do Better!  Do something even if its wrong!


My own bucket list.

4 03 2013


walletsDo 54 new things before my next birthday.  Yesterday Alex taught me to make a wallet from duck tape and I made 2 for gifts.  Thank you Alex.  I have lamented for a while that I had nothing personal on my list of things I make, for the men in my life.  I love this!

Today I realized that I can’t really claim that as a new thing as Khi really did show me how to do them over 2 years ago, but I just never finished the one I started there, and quickly forgot all about them.

This isn’t going to be easy.  I am 54.  I have done a lot.  OK…This is the first time I have finished a duck tape wallet.  I am putting it on the done list anyway.


I have been wrapping myself in depression…

3 03 2013

curled in a ball unable to do even the simplest things that I KNOW pull me out.  I have been here so many times before that I knew this was coming!  I tried not to predict its path.  I knew what I needed and because I felt what was best for me was bad for others and I waited till I am stuck in the mist of it.   I have been here before.

I keep trying to grab onto the positive.  Keep looking forward.  Keep holding on to some thread of a dream that might draw me back into this life.

This last week I have done not one good thing!  NOTHING!  I have to work to keep the pain of just that from overwhelming me.  I am fighting back the fear that says I am nothing… just like my Aunt and my Father used to say, “You are trash like your mother”,  “You will never be anything, you will never have anything.” This morning I was thinking “All this crap swimming around in my head!” and you know what that got me???

Dory!  God knows that I have been beaten with HIS Bible so he speaks to me in the silliest things.  He sent me Dory.

I watch that stupid video and know God is speaking to me and as the tears are flowing I feel not so alone anymore.  Not so afraid to move forward with faith and watch what HE can do with what others have discarded!

I am not an artist; I am not beautiful, or creative, or strong, and I don’t feel capable of big things, but God knows I need to be.  God YOU make wonderful things!  Make something of ME!  Please don’t leave me this pile of trash that so many see so clearly!  I know that’s why you brought me here to be with Val.

Val never preached.  She never judged.  She never told me of her faith but she lived it every day.  She isn’t the only one.  Why Carla?  Why would you send me Carla to lift me up and tell me of your love when I abandoned her child, my Grandchild, and made a life without them?

I see them contrasted with the Christians in my life and I see, really see, that the hurt that robbed me of being able to wrap myself in the label, hasn’t robbed me of YOUR love.

Today I am Grateful.  I will swim, even though I am afraid; even though I feel wrapped in darkness without any sense of direction or peace, even though I don’t feel like I have the strength to move forward anymore.  I will just keep moving, because I know that is what your telling me to do.

I am following YOU.


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