6 years is a Lifetime, Sometimes
6 years ago today, I was a patient at M.D. Anderson Cancer Hospital in Houston, TX.
It was the scariest time of my life, up to that point.
The diagnosis of the "Big C" came August 9, 2012.
We had spent over 6 weeks filling out the paperwork, begging, pleading, working with my OB/GYN, tears, a multitude of prayers, that I be accepted to M.D. Anderson.
And now ...
I was undergoing the final tests for tomorrow.
I was to have a radical hysterectomy because of uterine cancer.
Once the path reports came back, we were told that it was the most aggressive form.
Stage 1, Grade 2.
Also had it not been caught (by a miracle, thank you Dr. Tobin, Rick's nephrologist) early, then I would have died within 6 months.
My oncologist told me that 99.99% of women with this type of cancer are given 2 weeks – 4 months to live an excruciating life of pain.
An 8 hour radical surgery.
I will not go into the details, suffice it to say that it WAS indeed radical.
I woke up in recovery 1 with my daughter and my husband by my side.
Slept some more.
Woke up in recovery 2 with my doctor kneeling by my bed.
I was in the hospital for almost a week.
We were counseled as a cancer patient and husband.
We were encouraged to be honest and open with one another, and with family & friends.
We returned 6 weeks later for the path report.
The cancer had not invaded my lymph nodes, nor the lining of the uterus.
Dr. Frumovitz told us that he was giving me 95% chance of survival, with only a 5% chance of it returning within 5 years.
Because it had not invaded, there would be no chemo, no radiation. Only monitoring so that if it did return, we would have a better chance of catching it early. However, the grave warning was given - IF it did return, there would be no treatment options, only pain management and comfort care.
I was told that for 18 weeks I would not lift anything heavier than a fork. Along with a whole list of what I could or could not do. Taking a shot every day for 6 weeks in my belly trying to prevent blood clots.
2 weeks after my cancer surgery, Rick had his first surgery on the shoulder. 6 weeks after that surgery, he had the surgery to insert his catheter for home dialysis.
The rest of the story has been told in other blog posts.
In these 6 years, I have been told by “well-meaning” family & friends (not because they talked with the oncologist, not because they had read the path report):
*You did not have cancer, because God didn’t tell me you did.
*You only had the mild form of cancer, not the most aggressive.
*The path reports were wrong.
*You are milking this.
*Grow up and put this behind you.
*You shouldn’t talk about this when so many have died.
*You should be ashamed at being thankful you survived.
*It should have been you that died instead of Ricky Lee.
I have told few people since the original diagnosis of cancer, or since my surgery.
Why tell them when these words are the responses?
Only a handful of people have listened, having anything good or positive to say afterwards.
I do struggle greatly with survivor guilt, not that it matters to anyone.
There are nights where I cannot sleep, wondering why I survived cancer and Rick didn’t survive kidney disease?
Why did I survive cancer when a best friend’s wife didn’t survive?
Why did I survive when so many children do not?
Why did I survive when Rick died and I was left alone?
Why did I survive … and the questions scream at me.
I still do not have the answers.
I wish I did.
If I could change the outcome for others … I would have done it with no hesitation.
Yet, I had no power, then or now.
The best I can do is to press on.
Trying my hardest to live a life that is worth hearing,
“You done good, girl” from the one I have always loved – Rick.
I do all I can to not listen to the negativity, yet there are the moments in the night that words hurt.
There is a part of me that wants to shout from the roof tops that I survived what should have, could have, would have, killed me.
And there is a part of me that feels compelled to fall at the feet of everyone who has lost someone they loved to cancer and apologize for living when their Sweetheart, their Joy, their Life, did not.
These are the things I think about, dream about, stay awake at night because of.
Life goes on for me … albeit alone, and filled with more questions than answers.
I search for all the goodness in people, and in moments.
Treasuring the smallest acts of kindness.
Doing all I can to serve those around me.
Loving, laughing, living.
Hoping with every beat of my heart to be doing the right thing.
Beginning today, I will no longer walk in shame for having had cancer, for having survived it.
I will hold my head, and my heart, up in gratitude and with great thanksgiving.
Yes, I will still wonder.
I will still have the questions, and not have the answers.
I will no longer defend my diagnosis, nor my prognosis. It was what it was.
Life is what I have now.
Even if alone.
I love my children & my grandchildren.
For you, I fight on still.
For you, I will live this life with as much dignity & class as I can.
A Buffet of Thoughts for Monday
I believe it to be the hardest thing a parent / grandparent, a husband / wife, a friend, a family member, ever has to do. Tough Love.
When someone becomes so stubborn and intent on having their own way, and literally every thing you say or do is wrong on some level, when the one will not listen to reason or explanation ... Tough Love.
I have had to implement this on several occasions thru the years.
Always breaks my heart and takes me to my knees.
I can do it. I can appear to be cold hearted and uncaring. Guess I am really good at it, too. Been told many times just how "rude", "hateful", "bitter", "cold", "uncaring", "unloving", etc ... that I am.
I smile. I walk away. I find an alone spot (usually the bathroom), and I cry until I lose my breath, until the tears just won't run down the cheeks any more. Wash my face. Take a deep breath and face life yet again.
Waiting. Tough Love.
Every time I tell myself that this is not about "me", this is not about this moment in time. This is about life lessons that need to be learned, even in the most difficult of ways. Life lessons that will serve a person well later in life, even tho they hurt like hell while getting them.
More times than not, I have been told (long after the lesson) - "Thank you. For standing firm. For being strong. For forcing me to face this. You helped me to become the man (woman) that I am today. Thank you. I know now what it cost you to make that decision to practice Tough Love with me."
There is a risk always when exercising Tough Love. The risk of losing that person from my life is what causes me to suffer more than I should ... causes me to lose hours upon hours of sleep wrestling with the should I do Tough Love, or should I simply continue the way we are? Sigh.
I wonder sometimes if you truly can care too much? Can you care too deeply?
Life is tough.
Every day seems to bring new challenges.
Even a strong woman gets tired & heart weary.
It's hard not to wonder what I have done so wrong that it makes me deserve this punishment that life has become.
More of the days that feel like 1 step forward & 3 back.
Nights that are increasingly difficult.
Loneliness that is almost too much to bear.
Questions without answers, questions upon questions.
Tears of frustration that want to fall, yet are misunderstood when they do - so, holding them in to the point of physical pain.
It's human nature to wonder "why me", we all fall to it.
Many years ago, Rick and I were talking about this, and he stopped suddenly and said, "Why not me? Why not us?"
I just looked at him and waited, knowing he was thinking out loud.
He continued, "Who do I think I am, or who do we think we are, that we would go thru life escaping the pain, troubles & grief, that others have to endure? So, why not me? Why not us? If we weren't strong enough for the battle, we wouldn't be sent in."
We didn't always live those words out loud, but we tried.
He died trying.
I am living still trying.
That's about all I can say right now ... I'm trying.
The losses of life are overwhelming.
I breathe. I do my best to move forward in this "new" life I have been given.
I know that more changes are coming. I can feel those winds of change beginning to blow. Wondering if they will blow up a storm in the process. Sigh. Change doesn't come easy to me. Never has. I seem to get caught up in the vortex of it all, and it takes a while to stop the spinning out of control.
There are so many things I miss. I know everyone is tired of hearing me talk about them, or write about them. But that is part of this life now - missing what was, missing what I had. Realizing the emptiness of it all today.
Rick was my anchor in the storms. I miss the stability he gave. Of loving me. Of always accepting me, no matter what.
I also miss having a vehicle. That is really beginning to irritate me, annoy me, keep me awake at night. I miss the freedom and independence it brings. I miss knowing that if I want to go somewhere, or if I need to go, that I have a way - without having to wait on someone, without having to borrow a vehicle, without even having to rent one. What so many take for granted ... and many even complain about. Having a vehicle. I miss that - intensely. Working on changing it. Having a most difficult time finding anyone that will offer a hand up. Not asking, nor expecting, a hand out. Big difference. Did you know that in order to get a vehicle financed you have to have a "permanent residence"? That makes sense, right? Until you find out what having a "permanent residence" means. It means having at least one major utility bill in your name. That's it. It would not matter if I owned a large mansion, or a small cabin in the woods. Would not make a difference if I was renting a 2-bit apartment, or a swanky place on 5th Avenue. If there is not ONE utility bill in my name? NO LOAN. Sigh. I haven't had a utility bill in my name, in let's see ... EVER! All the bills were in Rick's name. And now? Since I have been staying with my kids and friends? Yeah ... not happening now either. Sigh.
Being a widow sucks in more ways than one. Sigh.
I think what I miss the most is being a part of something that is greater than just me. A home. A family. Thoughts and plans for the future. I am not afraid of being alone, now or for the rest of my life. (Even tho I have been accused of being afraid multiple times these last 3 years.) I can do alone. Simply? I just don't want to. But I also don't want to be where I am not wanted, where I don't belong. I think being alone would be better.
Never has the old saying, "If it is to be, it is up to me", been more true than at this point in my life.
I have been working on some things ... and will continue to do so.
Thoughts and prayers are appreciated.
Judgments and negative comments are not.
Everyone has their opinion, I get that.
But until you are actually living MY life? You don't have a say in how I live it.
I am not seeking sympathy (I know where to find it in the dictionary, thank you).
I am not asking for someone to swoop in and rescue me.
I am sharing my thoughts & struggles, because more and more I find ... it is a universal language that many widows and widowers speak.
Sharing a few of these images from this week that really spoke to my heart, about my heart, and from my heart.
Shared from Facebook
Having endured a lifetime of being told that I was "too much" (that I cry too much, laugh too much, talk too much, think too much, share too much, write too much, too much on my butt, too much on my boobs, too much on my body at all, too much ... too much ... too much), I love, love, LOVE this! Just had to share it - -
There she is. . . the “too much” woman. The one who loves too hard, feels too deeply, asks too often, desires too much.
There she is taking up too much space, with her laughter, her curves, her honesty, her sexuality. Her presence is as tall as a tree, as wide as a mountain. Her energy occupies every crevice of the room. Too much space she takes.
There she is causing a ruckus with her persistent wanting, too much wanting. She desires a lot, wants everything—too much happiness, too much alone time, too much pleasure. She’ll go through brimstone, murky river, and hellfire to get it. She’ll risk all to quell the longings of her heart and body. This makes her dangerous.
She is dangerous.
And there she goes, that “too much” woman, making people think too much, feel too much, swoon too much. She with her authentic prose and a self-assuredness in the way she carries herself. She with her belly laughs and her insatiable appetite and her proneness to fiery passion. All eyes on her, thinking she’s hot shit.
Oh, that “too much” woman. . . too loud, too vibrant, too honest, too emotional, too smart, too intense, too pretty, too difficult, too sensitive, too wild, too intimidating, too successful, too fat, too strong, too political, too joyous, too needy—too much.
She should simmer down a bit, be taken down a couple notches.
Someone should put her back in a more respectable place. Someone should tell her.
Here I am. . . the Too Much Woman, with my too-tender heart and my too-much emotions.
A hedonist, feminist, pleasure seeker, empath. I want a lot—justice, sincerity, spaciousness, ease, intimacy, actualization, respect, to be seen, to be understood, your undivided attention, and all of your promises to be kept.
I’ve been called high maintenance because I want what I want, and intimidating because of the space I occupy. I’ve been called selfish because I am self-loving. I’ve been called a witch because
I know how to heal myself.
And still. . . I rise. Still, I want and feel and ask and risk and take up space.
Us Too Much Women have been facing extermination for centuries—we are so afraid of her, terrified of her big presence, of the way she commands respect and wields the truth of her feelings. We’ve been trying to stifle the Too Much Woman for eons
—in our sisters, in our wives, in our daughters. And even now, even today, we shame the Too Much Woman for her bigness, for her wanting, for her passionate nature.
And still. . . she thrives.
In my own world and before my very eyes, I am witnessing the reclamation and rising up of the Too Much Woman. That Too Much Woman is also known to some as Wild Woman or the Divine Feminine. In any case, she is me, she is you, and she is loving that she’s finally, finally getting some airtime.
If you’ve ever been called “too much,” or “overly emotional,” or “bitchy,” or “stuck up,” you are likely a Too Much Woman.
And if you are. . . I implore you to embrace all that you are—all of your depth, all of your vastness; to not hold yourself in, and to never abandon yourself, your bigness, your radiance.
Forget everything you’ve heard—your too muchness is a gift; oh yes, one that can heal, incite, liberate, and cut straight to the heart of things.
Do not be afraid of this gift, and let no one shy you away from it. Your too muchness is magic, is medicine. It can change the world.
So please, Too Much Woman: Ask. Seek. Desire. Expand. Move. Feel. Be.
Make your waves, fan your flames, give your chills.
~~~ Ev'yan Whitney
A Song ...
Years ago when this song came out, I knew in my heart that it was MY song.
For all time.
It has carried me thru many hard days and long nights.
As Rick and I moved for jobs.
As we traveled the roads in the big truck.
As we moved away from our hometown, family and friends.
As I drove away from the Post Office that day I sent his ashes to Oregon.
As I have woken up every day since April 23, 2015 - trying to find my way in this widow's life.
It is still MY song.
Now I have 2 MY songs.
This one blew my mind when I heard it this morning.
If ever there was a song that spoke truth and hope into my being --
Anniversary Week Thoughts
This will be a longer blog post.
But this has been a longer week.
If not in hours and days, in my mind and heart.
The week started off spending time with friends for Labor Day.
I enjoyed the time with them, even while my heart was aching for my children and grandchildren.
It has been long, too long.
The week ended with my body exhausted, my mind rambling, my heart broken in pieces, and with those pieces slowly thawing and coming back to life.
I have spent many hours, both in the days and nights, thinking about Rick, about the life we had together, about all that I miss.
A river of tears has poured from my heart this week, with a few escaping down my cheeks.
Thoughts and heart tugs as I walked thru the hours before what would have been our 38th Wedding Anniversary.
I want to share a couple of those with you now - - (I apologize to anyone reading this who has been reading my posts on Facebook, because some of this has been taken from there for this blog.)
**I loved Rick with every fiber of my being, I could not have loved him more.
I worked hard with the doctors and nurses, with dietitians and nutritionists, from 1995 when he was first diagnosed with diabetes and high blood pressure until that fateful morning when he took his last breath, with my hand on his chest, to help him live the longest quantity of life possible, and the greatest quality of life available.
We saw some times of measured success.
Never enough to say that he was "cured".
Then, his body began to fail, and I felt like I had failed.
When he died, I took the guilt.
As I watched others grieve for him, the guilt within me grew by leaps & bounds.
I should have been able to save him.
But I couldn't - or rather in my mind, I didn't.
Since that morning of April 23, 2015, when my world broke and I didn't die (even tho I have been told it should have been me ... and I have felt that, thought that, even looked in the mirror and agreed with those words said) - -
I felt like I needed to "save" others - physically, emotionally, mentally.
Almost like in some backwards way I was paying Rick back for not saving him.
Now, after 3 years, I get it .. it wasn't my fault.
Sometimes life just happens.
Sometimes it is the result of bad choices and decisions.
But whatever it was - It was NOT my fault.
I have chosen to let go of the guilt.
Perhaps there will come a day, somewhere down this road, that guilt will let go of my heart, my mind, me.
Rick always said there was a difference in knowing with the mind and knowing with the heart.
I am a helper by nature - but I now know that I do not have the power or control to save anyone.
I can only advise, share wisdom and experiences, and step away.
Each person must make choices and decisions that will affect them (and their loved ones) in the short term of life ... as well as in the long term.
And then - -
There are times that no matter what - LIFE happens.
Sadly, that also includes death.
**September 5 was one of the toughest for me in a long time.
It was my 4th one without him.
No matter how much I tried to push away the memories (trying to still the tears, and quiet the aching within me), they came.
The hardest ones came at the worst time, each time.
I wonder, with every fiber of my being, if there will come a day when the memories will bring smiles, just smiles.
I miss him with all that is yet within me.
I miss the life that we lived.
And as petty as it may sound, I miss (as she says on "The Quiet Man") "me things about me".
There is a certain familiarity and even serenity when you can touch something that he touched.
And without that?
Just adds to the emptiness and loneliness.
But today is a new day.
I will always love him.
I will forever grieve the loss of him, of our life together.
Life goes on.
Even when we don't want it to.
The days come.
The nights go.
And still I breathe in and I breathe out.
Following the tradition of the heart that started 38 years ago, this September 6, 2018, is the first day of the new year for me.
I have decisions to make.
Changes to accept.
I know in my heart what I want next year at this time ...
so today I start working towards that.
There is no one that is going to swoop in and "save the day" for me.
My hero is resting high on that mountain, Mt. Hood Oregon.
I must become my own hero.
Many years ago there was a quote, I do not remember who said it, "If it is to be, it is up to me."
Never has it had more meaning than what it has now.
**I don't know for sure where life is going to take me.
I don't know when.
Nor do I know how.
Not even with whom.
Or if alone.
But I do know without question, that life goes on.
It is a moment by moment choice that I must make to go on with it.
That doesn't mean that I turn my back on my past, nor on my Love and Sweetheart.
Nothing removes him from my heart.
Nothing changes the past.
(Something so many these days would do good to simply "get" ... sigh.)
It simply means that I am choosing not to stay locked in a past that I cannot change.
Life goes on.
Life is for the living.
**I can honestly say that I have more peace in my mind and heart than what I have had since April 23, 2015. Still dealing with more questions than answers.
But there is a clarity beginning to seep into my heart and mind - slowly, little by little.
I refuse to rush it.
I push away the panic.
It's what I have now.
Louis L'Amour said in one of his books, "If you fight against the desert, you will die. If you learn its ways, and you live with it - then you will."
I am choosing this day, moment by moment, to learn the ways of grief and aloneness ... and LIVE with it.
**I shared a letter this week, written by Chris Kyle's wife to the Nike corporation on the subject of kneeling during the national anthem, and their choice of the "Face of Freedom".
Many re-shared this story on Facebook, and to each one who did - Thank You.
Several commented on my posting in agreement.
However, there was one.
One that I have known thru Facebook, thru texts and chats, for many years, who did not agree with the post.
Aren't we adults so that we can agree to disagree?
I thought so.
But I was wrong. :(
In the comments of her disagreement with me over it all, the words became angry.
The words became of a more personal nature, attacking me, questioning my honesty, my integrity, my character.
I tried to discuss the subject in an intelligent (not angry) fashion.
Just more of the anger, the attacking.
I had had enough.
After all, this took place on September 5.
What would have been our 38th Anniversary.
She had asked, condescendingly, if I even knew what "her generation" was, or what they were all about.
This is my final answer:
And now, for my definition of your generation.
(My disclaimer: Not spoken to you, nor about you, in specific. But rather about your "generation". Facts, as well as personal experience, outweigh my opinion, by the way.)
You asked if I even knew what "my generation" was?
Yes, I do.
There is a spirited debate about whether Millennials are self-entitled narcissists or open-minded do-gooders; surely the truth lies somewhere in-between.
I would hope so, at least.
I do not now, nor have I ever, generalized or stereotyped, people into classes based on age, religion, sex, relationship status, color of the skin, the house they live in, the car they drive, where they work, or any of the other myriad columns that are used to stereotype and generalize.
I detest that with a passion.
I have fought my entire life against generalizations and stereotyping.
If you knew me, and after 18 years you should, you would know this.
So therefore, this should not even be in this discussion.
However, whether it is because you refuse to acknowledge the truth of who I am, or perhaps you are simply one of those who are angry at the "system" and you choose to take it out on me, on what is THE hardest day of the year for me, I do not honestly know.
I have relationships with many Millennials who are fair, open-minded, respectful, thankful, honoring, and loving people - towards me, towards our military, towards our country and our flag, and towards all people of all color.
Then, I also have personal knowledge of those who are the absolute, total, opposite.
Self centered, claiming to be champions of the cause (whatever the cause is that particular day and situation), and yet they won't show respect and honor to the very ones who gave them the freedom to be the snot-nosed, division creating, war mongers, back biting, liberals drinking the kool-aid, tide pod eating, condom snorting, assholes that they are!
I know what YOUR generation is.
Just for the record, I haven't heard anything else from her ... or from anyone of that generation.
Did I hit the nail on the head?
Seems so many of that generation are more than willing to shout and scream, rant and rave, at us "older people" with all their ideologies, their opinions, their perceptions & perspectives ...
However, let someone make a VALID statement, one of TRUTH and REALITY - and where are they?
They simply HUSH.
And now for something a little more "fun", I needed a break from all the seriousness of this week - -
▪️Favorite Smell: I have more than one, but a few of mine - - coffee brewing, coffee in my cup, morning breath of the ones I love (you will understand if you ever have to survive a great loss), bacon sizzling in the kitchen, rain on a freshly mowed lawn, a car garage, a tire shop ... and the list goes on
▪️First Real Job: Cashier at Howard's Discount Store
▪️Dream Job: To be a writer
▪️Favorite Dog Breed: Yellow Lab, or Blue / Red heeler
▪️Favorite Foot Attire: barefoot
▪️Favorite Candy Bar: 3 Musketeers
▪️Favorite Ice Cream: Vanilla
▪Favorite Cake: Tiramasu
▪️Favorite Food: Mexican, or just plain home cooking
▪️Favorite Thing To Hear: A child's laughter, birds singing in the morning, coffee brewing when I'm sleepy
▪Favorite TV show: Forensic Files
▪Favorite Holiday: At this time? None
▪️Night or Day person: Day, I guess. Not sleeping much, but still like to :)
▪️Favorite Day of the Week: Sunday
▪️Tattoos: 0, going to get one soon
▪️Like to Cook: Love to cook
▪️Beer or Wine? Wine or Apple beer
▪️Can you drive a manual transmission?: Yes
▪Skate Backwards: Nope
▪️Favorite color: Green, blue, pink
▪️Favorite Veggie: tomatoes
▪️Glasses or Contacts: glasses
▪️Favorite Season: Fall
A Blank Page
I sit here this morning, September 3, 2018, with a full cup of coffee and a heart that is overflowing with thoughts and emotions.
I sat here several times yesterday to write, but the words just wouldn't come.
I thought about writing earlier this morning, and I couldn't face the page.
So here I am now.
Struggling with the emotions, with the words.
Day after tomorrow will be 38 years since I became Mrs. Ricky Lee McCoy.
The greatest joy of my life.
I stood in the shower yesterday morning with more tears flowing than the water that washed them down the drain.
Crying from the heart, "I want to go home. I don't want to do this life alone anymore. I miss too much. Dammit."
I struggle greatly with the tears as I sit here now.
My eyes are already so weak and swollen from the tears cried thru the night as I slept.
I know I did, my eyelashes are sticky and there is a dryness around my eyes.
I miss Ricky Lee.
Everything about him.
His morning breath.
His stumbling thru the kitchen.
His hair sticking up in all the adorable places.
The way he would wrap me in his arms and just hold my head against his chest.
I can still hear his heart beat, and feel his breath on the top of my head.
His mumbling as he said, "I love you. Good morning me Lady."
I could continue to write about all that I miss - Ricky Lee, our home, our life.
What good will that do?
It will not bring all that back to me.
Those days are past.
That life is gone.
I am focusing my heart and my mind on the life I have been given now to live.
I will remember with love and adoration the man I married 38 years ago.
The life we lived together for 34 years, 7 months, 17 days and 11 hours.
The love we shared - that we lived out loud and that we showed to one another.
But no matter how much I miss him, or our life ...
nothing is going to change that he is gone forever from my eyes,
and life as I knew it is a chapter in my book that has ended.
So life goes on.
Even in those quiet moments when I don't want it to anymore.
Life goes on.
I choose to go on with it.
Moment by moment.
Breathing in and breathing out.
I do not care what others think of me.
I've never overly cared.
I care less today than ever before.
There comes a point in life, I suppose, that one just says, "No longer does it matter what anyone thinks, says, or does. This is MY life and I will live it to the best of my ability."
I realize that I will never please all the people all the time, and now?
I don't give a rat's ass whether I please any of the people any of the time.
The song that Ricky Van Shelton sang years ago comes to mind: "Life Turned Her That Way".
Just weary of having my heart stepped on at the whims of others.
Tired of being a mental, emotional or verbal punching bag where others can take out their frustrations, irritabilities, and disappointments.
*Just this week I have heard that I share too much about grief and loss.
Use that amazing feature on Facebook called "SCROLL THE HELL ON BY".
I am not asking one person to read what I write on Facebook, Twitter, or here.
Writing for me is my therapy.
It is my window for the past and for the future.
It is the whisper of hope for today.
So, if you don't like what you read - simple ... DON'T READ IT!
Oh, and for all the naysayers that feel they must criticize what I share, what I write ...
a well known author and public speaker sent me a message this week about the last blog post I wrote:
"Hi Margaret. Thanks for this post! And about writing - go for it. Hemingway said, "Write stuff that matters." When we do that, it inevitably upsets some people." Another writer said, "When I tick someone off, I'm encouraged. It means I got to their heart." Just a few thoughts..."
So, I bask, yes I bask, in his encouraging words this week.
*This week I have also heard that I was writing angry.
My answer to this?
There is a part of me that is angry.
And I damn well deserve to be angry.
I had my childhood stolen by a dad who molested and raped me.
The man who was supposed to be my guardian and protector, abused me.
Stole my childhood innocence.
So, yes, I am angry about that - I will always be angry.
But I have allowed that anger to work good within me.
Allowed it to create within me a 6th sense about people, and I have allowed the advocate for children to come from deep within my heart.
I had my "golden years" stolen by disease and death that claimed the life of the one that loved me without question, without judgement, without criticism.
He loved me just as I was.
No, I am not the only widow or widower who had their golden years stolen, but I am one!
So, yes, I am angry about that.
But I refuse to be defined by that anger.
Let that anger make the warrior in me rise up!
I am a widow, and I will wear that mantle proudly - because I was loved and cherished, because I love him still (and I will always love him).
Angry with doctors who don't care about the person and life they have to live - they only care about padding their own pocketbook with money from the pharmaceutical companies.
Which is why they prescribe medicines that have more death effects than life giving qualities.
Which is exactly what happened to my husband.
Long story that perhaps it is getting close to sharing, perhaps when I do it will help someone not make the same mistakes.
Frustrated, even angry at times, that so much was taken away from me when Rick died.
My home (and I still don't have a home, I have a suitcase.)
My car (the only car I have now sits in the yard of a friend, broke down for over a year, weeds growing around it almost to the point of hiding it completely, being used only as a storage compartment for a few personal items).
99% of our / my possessions. What few things I have left are at my kids' homes, tucked away in a tote sitting in a garage or storage building.
The definition of Angry: Inflamed, sore, exhibiting inflammation.
Yes, my heart is angry.
My mind is angry.
Sometimes, my words are angry as I talk about life - past, present, future.
But there is a difference in being angry ... and in acting angry.
I refuse to allow myself those temper tantrums.
If ever I act angry?
You can be damn sure there is a good reason beyond myself for the anger!
*And this week I have been accused, more than once, of being grouchy and in a foul mood.
In a text message.
Thru a Facebook chat window.
Via a phone call.
Even face to face.
What did I say?
What did I do?
I haven't raised my voice.
I haven't made any disparaging remarks.
I haven't even used an over abundance of "by-words".
No threats of what I should do, nor open regrets of what I should not have done.
I haven't slammed a door.
Nor have I thrown anything - except for throwing a hateful shirt away this morning.
I haven't even stomped across the floor.
I haven't spoken sharply to anyone on the phone.
So many things I haven't done that are indicative of a foul mood, or a grouchiness.
I was quiet.
I admit that.
There is a lot going on in my heart and mind, without time to write them out.
There has been a lot going on in my body this week as well.
But none of that seems to matter.
Nor does it matter that others are allowed, tolerated, and even expected, to be either quiet or grouchy if they have a lot going on in their minds/hearts/lives/bodies.
I learned long ago to breathe in and breathe out when things don't go well for the day.
As Rick would say, "We don't sweat the small stuff ... and most of it all is small stuff."
I also learned long ago to be careful of words when emotions are running high.
Words HURT LIKE HELL.
Words cannot be unheard.
"Sticks and stones may break the bones, but words can never hurt me."
A cute child's rhyme that I have said a jillion times to myself, and even repeated to my children and grandchildren trying to ease their pains of cruel kids.
And now, I apologize to my children and grandchildren for ever having used those hateful words.
Oh, and just to be clear - - Adults use words to cut like a knife into a caring heart.
So, it isn't just cruel kids.
Such is life.
Life goes on - remember?
Even when we don't want it to.
So this day, and the rest of my life, is a blank page that I stare at.
Wondering what to write.
So why "Scattered Feathers" ? ? ?
You can read it here