You’ve seen the Sisters video by now by the Kloons, if not, click on it at the end of this blog. Funny stuff. And if you are a sister of a sister of a certain age you will love it even more.
Recently, I went to have an eye exam, and to purchase new glasses and contacts. Twinsie met me there to help me choose the right frames, but my exam took longer than expected. The following is the discussion to the best of my “Still Alice-esque” recall:
Twinsie: Oh, hey! Look at all these frames we picked out!
Me: The doc says I have the beginnings of glaucoma. Shitsky.
What? No way. Try these on. Okay, those look awesome.
What? Nope, I look like a McCoy in these, not that it’s a bad thing, but…think auntie old.
How about these? What did he say exactly.
That I have something going on with my pressure, and you know how when they take a picture of your eye and it looks like a red sunset with a bright yellow sun in it?
No. Sunset? Those look too safe on you. Too same old same old.
Yah, forget these. Well, anyway, he says that the sun part is slightly larger in the left eye than the right and there’s some “cupping” going on. Oooh, okay, I’m liking these.
Oh yah, those look awesome, I love them. But, you have to try on all of these, okay? Don’t buy the first pair you like. Cupping? What does that mean?
I have no idea, Beck. Just dang it, you know? Like, glaucoma, that’s an old person’s disease. An old person like these glasses make me look.
Well, you are gonna be a Nonnie (twinsie’s daughter Jay is having a baby girl in August, be still an old Auntie’s, I mean Nonnie’s heart.) True, but I don’t need to look the part. Oh God, what if I lose my sight and can’t see my great nieces and nephews and my grandchildren?
Stop that! Is that what he said? Try these.
Dear Lord, they are gigantic black and white checkered, hello? I look like the lady on the Old Navy commercials. do you want that? No, he said, not to worry. What the heck? I told him he was a total downer, I mean, I just need new glasses and contacts, you know? Oh, and my eyes are still dry. Whatev.
Try these. Hmmm, now these look interesting.
They sit on my cheeks, see? They move up when I smile, and so then the progressive part comes up and that’s so annoying. Aside from the fact that they will slide down my ski slope of a nose.
Stop! So, what’s the next step? Try these.
Seriously? Those are horrendous. Pass.
Whatever. Geez. These then.
Hey, did you ask BIL (code name for my brother-in-law, her husband) about going to see dad with Rick and me? Was he okay with it?
Oh yah, but I asked him this morning when he was still sort of sleeping. Oh, I love those. Let me take a picture and send them to him and Rick. Smile! What’s your access code for your phone, again?
The kids’ birth years. Well, you really need to make absolutely sure all is okay.
It’ll be okay. He wants me to see dad, too. This is our time, he knows that. I love those on you, Bon. Seriously. But, try on these.
Oh. My. God. Beckie, I look like someone with glaucoma in these. Geez. We are going to have so much fun driving with Rick! Yay!
I know! Well, I think we have a keeper, let’s see. Yikes, four hundred and ninety eight dollars for the frames alone.
Well, I’ve got glaucoma, so I’m thinking I deserve these.
Now, did he say you for sure had it? What’s the next step?
He said, I have the beginnings of it, and that it’s a wait and see thing. Another test in a couple weeks when my glasses come in.
One more pair.
No. I’m done now. I like these, what did BIL say?
Well, I wrote, “You like?” and he said, “Yes, but you and I are both taken.”
Haaaaaaaa! He cracks me UP! Ugh, Glaucoma. Whoda thought that?
It’ll be okay. Those look so good on you. You look beautiful, Bon. You really do. You don’t look like someone with glaucoma.
One of the most beautiful things about living in the midwest, where all four seasons are duly represented, is the rebirth of the earth. To me, winter is a time of rest, not that this past winter was very restful, but like the earth around me, I normally feel less urgency, I refill my expended energy, I am quiet and thoughtful.
When a taste of spring comes, like the buds of the trees warmed by the sun, I feel an awakening in my psyche, my pulse quickens and my step is lighter and there is hope in my heart.
My first robin sighting — which I have not yet seen on this day, March 11, 2015 — brings the knowledge that the earth is soft enough to yield enough food, and that nests are being fussed over, and our mailbox post will soon get its unique patina from our robin’s morning droppings.
When the goldfinch sheds its drab, olive winter coat, we shed ours, announcing, if the goldfinch can, then we can, too, and promptly store our winter jackets, and tuck our woolen mittens away, and pull out our sweaters and let them warm us when the cold wind blows even in springtime. Because the hope of spring doesn’t mean that cold winds won’t blow, just that they won’t last forever, and get this, we are strong enough to withstand those cold days. We’ve seen it happen year after year, struggle after struggle — life renewed.
I love Bernie Siegel’s analogy, because, renewal of spirit and overcoming adversity goes hand in hand. And seeing how our earth renews itself through the unique genius of our Creator, is a message of hope from God. We learn from the daffodil and the lilacs bushes that there is always hope in tomorrow — there will be warm days, love can blossom, our health can be renewed through the care of the Great Physician.
From a long winter’s sleep will come blooms stretching and yawning in the morning light, alive in the presence of the sun.
My motto has always been “Time’s gonna pass, may as well pass it writing…” In my early years I lived by that motto, writing when I wasn’t working or carting kids around. I published a few things which was an awesome rush, let me tell you. But then my father-in-law got very sick, and my writing began to fill a journal–a communication journal for Rick’s sister and for the hospice nurses, and then a few personal journals came out,19 cent spirals, and the writing flowed on the pages about our life with two kids and “grandpa dying in my brother’s bedroom” as our 12 year old daughter put it to a social worker who asked her how she was one day.
Somehow that stopped the momentum of my writer’s brain, though, I did take those journals and spent 2 years, 7 months, and 11 days to write The Everyday of Him a book for my husband and our family about the time we had with dad.
And then college came with it all the costs, and my work became more demanding of my time, because I had more time to give it, and needed what I earned, and let’s face it, even with the few things I published, it wasn’t going to pay for the books or backpacks or dorm room stuff.
I felt a need in me not being met, but I didn’t have the energy to try and meet it, I was caught up in life and peanut butter jars and laundry and work and church and family, and making the bed and putting away the shoes, and… Well, you’re getting the drift.
A couple years ago, several losses of beloved friends and even my dog, Brinkley, left the heaviest burden I’d ever felt upon my heart. I worked, I looked happy, I was productive, I came home and I retreated into the dark space in my heart. I was a working depressive (coined here), but it really wasn’t working so great at home. When the darkness became too black, I finally headed into my doctor’s office, I needed to tell him about the crushing sadness, but I thought if I started, I would begin crying and never stop and maybe drown in it.
I was prepared to write it down instead of saying the words, but somehow I was able to say it and I was given a prescription for medicine and therapy. I was scared, but so numb that I just took my medicine and went back to work.
In all of that, as I worked long hours during the holidays, and as the numbness began to fade, I started to think that little need in me that I had not met had impacted the way I felt about myself in a deeply powerful way. I neglected a very important part of myself by not writing, and that was a true revelation. That part of me was dying away and with it a lot of my personal happiness. I know that this is, again, very dramatic, but it was dramatic, it was troubling and it was illuminating all at the same time.
March 2 of last year, son Ricky MFA said out of the blue, “Mom, you should start a blog, it’s the future of writing.” The second he said that, something inside me clicked, I swear I heard it.
The next day, I looked up blogging, found wordpress.com, saw that it was free, and launched my very first blog out into blogland of which I knew very little. I wasn’t afraid, I wasn’t numb, I was happy, excited, interested, and maybe a little cautious. I had no idea what it meant or what would happen, it was like launching a balloon with my writing in it and watching it float away high in the sky with absolutely no idea where it would land, and in whose hands and what they would think of what was written there.
A couple months later I went off my depression meds, not to say that the blues don’t strike, they do, but there is a balm in doing my life’s work, fulfilling my purpose, and how curative that is to my psyche. Like I’ve said before, I’m a writer and I just don’t want to die with all that I was supposed to write still inside me.
So, on this day, March 3, 2015, I say “Happy Birthday, Harmony’s Pearls!” You’ve survived your infancy with 9,610 views from 41 countries (I swear before I started writing this, I didn’t know the names of some of them). I’ve met good friends, and I’ve been inspired by other bloggers, who, get this, are inspired by me. How’s that for the unexpected?
Seek the place in you that needs nurturing, quit saying you don’t have enough time, or energy. Excuses don’t provide much comfort, but honoring your spirit and special gifts do.