Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The roughest time of my life...

I am going to preface this rambling blog with the revelation that Insane Mama and her cathartic blogging and the empathetic listening ear of my cousin (that has just recently re-entered my life), have emboldened me to relate some of my own painful history. Not that I will be able to weave a story in the same fascinating way that IM certainly does, but hopefully, it won't bore you to tears, or at least I hope it doesn't.

The end of August into Labor Day 2002, proved to be a fact-finding week-long medically necessary mission to learn what was causing my mother's ill health. She had had pneumonia two to three times in the previous 12 months and was developing a puny appetite, fatigue, and sallow color. The pulmonologist told her he saw a spot on her lung on x-ray, but didn't think it was anything. She became short of breath and my step-dad took her to the ER where I met up with them. The ER physician did routine blood tests and told her that her enzymes were elevated and because of that and the spot on the lung, he felt her symptoms could be serious. In other words, "The Big C." She was admitted to the hospital and after a lengthy couple of days, finally, an oncologist, Dr. Beck was summoned and informed mother and the family she had terminal, small cell (the lightening quick growing kind) carcinoma of the lower lobe of the left lung which had metasticized to her liver. He recommended chemo. Momma agreed to a round of cancer drugs. I will come back to this part of the story in a while, but first let me enlighten you into the mother/daughter relationship that my momma and I shared.

I don't know how Mother felt when she was told, she never said, but I felt like a ton of bricks had been dropped on my chest. For years, my mother had been my best friend, my confidant, the one I went to for every little thing. I called her three, four, five times a day. She was the one I spilled my guts to about my life with the mentally ill, perverted, lunatic I was married to. I am going to admit to something that some of you may already know, some have guessed at or concluded, and some don't know at all. I was a very selfish, end-all/be-all taker when it came to my mother. She gave and gave and gave of herself to me and I took it all. I soaked her up like a sponge. I wanted everything she touched. Apart from my daughter and my three yorkies, Momma was my life. She made me whole. That information probably sounds like I was co-dependent, but it wasn't like that. It's just because of my non-existent marital relationship, I needed the support that my Momma had always given me. My daughter was growing up and was out of the house more and more with her friends and I was left with "nada" at home.

My mother was "The Rock." Even though her mother had so many mental issues, momma never, not once, showed anyone that she was not in full control. I try to mimic her strong nature and capability, because she always had the stance of "never let 'em see you sweat." All through my growing up years, even after my dad had his stroke, she was "The Rock." Even when she was dying, she was brave and courageous, but I wasn't. I think I sucked some of the remaining strength out of her, just with the realization that I needed her so badly and my time with her was running out. I couldn't get enough time with her, so I quit sleeping pretty much, quit taking my Ambien, so I could sit up with her during the night. I slept fitfully in a recliner in her room and hardly ever left her side.

I don't believe there were/are very many women like my momma. I know I am certainly not as stong and courageous as she. I have failed time and time again to be as brave a woman as she. We are not all meant to be Zena, the Warrior Princess or Wonder Woman. I guess my strength was diluted from genes of my father. He was a good man, but certainly not the stronger of my two parents.

When I divorced my first husband at age 18 (after only 6 months of marriage; he was physically, verbally, and mentally abusive and adulterous), it was very shameful to me that I was the first person in my family to get a divorce, no matter what the reason, I was the first person to ever get a divorce in my family!!! I came home and curled up in a fetal position in my bed and cried every night, not going anywhere except to work for the next four years of my life. Mother would climb up in behind me at night and hold me and rock me, smooth my hair and soothe me with her voice and tell me everything was going to be all right. And she was right, it was.

I remember when the movie "Beaches" came out on television. Mother and I sat on the couch side by side and watched it together holding hands. Even then I took some of her essence into me, as I laid with my head on her shoulder, and cried, but then I realized we were crying together. She told me that I was her best friend and definitely she was mine. When momma died I was reminded somewhat of that movie. I would have done anything for that woman. While she was ill we watched Ya-Ya Sisterhood and I was reminded of how fragile mother/daughter relationships can be and thought about what my momma's childhood must have been like with my grandmother (my grandmother was schizophrenic). My momma was "The Rock," but a Rock that was so gentle, so tender and loving, she took/takes my breath away.

When my daughter was just 3 months old, my ex had his 1st bi-polar episode, my Momma begged me to divorce him. I believe she was afraid he would do something to my daughter and/or myself. I just wouldn't believe it. Over the years she would ask me to divorce him, but for the last five years of her life, she would beg me everyday to divorce him. She knew what he was doing to my psyche and to my soul with his perverted nature and emotional neglect. I wish I had listened to her sooner. I just didn't want another divorce under my belt (still felt shameful, still do to this day).

I apologize for the digression, but you have to understand our relationship before you can ever understand the depth of my grief. I am not trying to say that the depth of my grief is any deeper a sadness than other's who have lost parents/loved ones. I am just eschewing my misfortune of pain and loss. Also remember, in my preface, I did mention a tendency for rambling. Anyway, the beginning of September 2002, began a very arduous, saddening, four month long sojourn, that I am just now beginning to bring out of my subconsciouness and let ping around in my memory bank. This story has to be told over several posts (sorry), way too lengthy for just one, as I have to let my thoughts catch up to my until next time.

Monday, July 28, 2008

How do you get back that which is lost?

How do you get back that which is lost? I don't think you can! It's amazing what the human mind forgets, but I am afraid that the heart doesn't. I think that you can only go forward and hopefully the changes will be very miniscule and not affect how you view the world as a whole.

Some things are so traumatic they are never forgotten, the loss of a loved one, for example, is a painful experience you never forget. I have suffered the loss of both my parents and I miss them terribly. Lately, I am experiencing a renewed sense of grief for my mother as I go through a little crisis. I need her to talk to. She would help me see what I cannot. She was my sounding board. Her advice was always right on the mark. I treasured her friendship, she grounded me and kept me sane as no one else ever has. I had to deal with a few crisis during her illness and since she passed and they were doozies. It would be nice to have her here with me again, but only if she did not have cancer and not in any pain.

My dear, sweet hubby is a love and is there for me to lean on, but he only sees how the crisis affects me and cannot see through my pain to the other side of time any more than I can. I can only ride this out and see what the future will bring.

I keep having to be knocked in the head to remember that I am not in control of anything in this life and have to "Let Go and Let God." It is not in my capacity to change the world or anything/anyone in it. I just keep surfing the waves of my emotions. I wish my momma was still here to help see me through.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Lies can hurt, but only if they are believed. Do you always believe?

Lies can hurt, but only if they are believed.
The liar tells all; their conscience relieved,
But what about the one the lie was foiled upon?
The "once-was" honesty of the relationship is now all gone!
The innocent one is left weary, battered and heart-broken.
What remains is shattering betrayal and thoughts left unspoken.
There is so much pain, anger, frustration, and tears;
When will I trust you again? It may take years!

I am left to question everything that you do and say!
What price is it, I will ultimately be asked to pay;
For all of the lying and your consummate deceit?
In my mind's eye, I am sadly forced to retreat
Into myself I flee to escape and hide;
Not as a matter of principal or pride,
But to shield away from anymore reigning blows!
When can I trust you again? Who knows!

I have always believed in you, but I cannot afford to anymore.
Your lies have bewildered me; quaked me to the very core.
I cannot withstand another onslaught of your forked tongue.
One day when you too are old; not so tender, fresh and young;
It is with ferverence that I pray you will not have to contend with such,
Because even though I cannot trust you; I love you so very much!

I believe that it is not just the first cut that is the deepest; although the first stab can produce the mortal wound, all the subsequent thrusts can cause the victim to bleed just as much, if not more.

Don't ask for an interpretation of the above printed material, as I am truly unable to interpret my heart, mind and soul with an explanation to anyone else. I feel that is why I am writing prose in the first place. Just know that it is an attempt at cathartic writing and the ramblings of a wounded spirit. Please try to love me just as I am even if that has to include all my inevitable flaws.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I have a story to tell...

The other night I took my medicine before bed just like always, but for some reason the Ambien kicked in, but didn't cause me to fall directly asleep. I was whining about wanting something to eat. Eddie said I was acting just like I was "snockered." He said I was begging him just like a little kid for him to get up and make me some graham crackers and cream cheese, yeccchh! I've never eaten that in my life and don't think that would be very tasty mixed together. He said he kissed me and tried to distract me with romance, but I was not to be distracted. He then said that if he got up and started making them, I would be asleep by the time he came back to bed and told me to just, "Go to sleep." I then started begging him to at least bring me some Cheerios. He got up and brought a box to me, but they were stale. I told him there was a new box on top of the fridge, not opened, and he very sweetly got up again and brought me the new box. He said I was eating them, but some were rolling out of my hand onto the bed and he laughingly suggested that I should stop. Trying to get him to hush, I shoved a few of them in his mouth, while he was talking and he had a hard time trying to keep from laughing at me. I finally had eaten enough and I pushed the box at him and proceeded to roll over and start snoring (very femininely, no doubt). He told me about it when we woke up, but I only vaguely remember some of it. I know my stomach felt full the next morning. Since I have had GBS surgery, I don't think this is a good thing. I told him he had permission to turn me down flat if I did this sort of thing again and he should try and keep me from eating when I am in an altered state of mind. Not to mention, what about all those stray Cheerios in the bed.

Stole this Survey Questionnaire from IM

1. Where is your cell phone? Don’t have one
2. Your significant other? Is my hubby whom I love to distraction
3. Your hair? Thinning badly
4. Your mother? Deceased in 2003, she was my best friend
5. Your father? Deceased in 1996, after suffering a stroke in 1982
6. Your favorite thing? reading
7. Your dream last night? Unusual, but I slept like the dead and didn’t dream at all or I don’t remember what I dreamed
8. Your favorite drink? Water now, Coca-Cola then
9. Your dream/goal? Financially solvent, retired, and lazing on the pontoon boat with Eddie on the river or we pack up the whole kaboodle and move to Wyoming
10. The room you’re in? Living Room where the computer and television are, the brain of the house actually, the bedroom is the heart and the kitchen is the stomach
11. Your friends? Always there for me
12. Your fear? Fears…have already happened
13. Where do you want to be in 6 years? With Eddie anywhere
14. Where were you last night? At a funeral visitation
15. What you’re not? stupid
16. Muffins? I used to love banana nut muffins
17. One of your wish list items? The tummy tuck
18. Where you grew up? Alabama
19. The last thing you did? Made protein sugar-free ice cream
20. What are you wishing? Unmentionable
21. Your TV? Is on constantly
22. Your pets? Dogs
23. Your computer? Dell and I would like to at least upgrade the monitor to a flat screen
24. Your life? In some respects wonderful
25. Your mood? spent
26. Missing someone? momma
27. Your car? I have a truck (Toyota Tacoma) My ToyTaco
28. Something you’re not wearing? Shoes, my wedding ring, make-up
29. Favorite store? Any book store
30. Your summer? Hot
31. Loves? Eddie, I love my daughter, reading, photography
32. Your favorite word? maybe kaboodle or “Ointment”(don’t know if it is my favorite, but I find it unusual)
33. Last time you laughed? Seems like ages ago
34. Last time you cried? I cried last night with my sister-in-law over the death of her dad, but Sunday was the kicker for me

Sunday, July 20, 2008

More from Koontz...For my friend, Shae in memory of her beloved husband Mike and for others who also have suffered loss and profound grief.

From Odd Hours, page 219:

"Grief can destroy you--or focus you. You can decide a relationship was all for nothing if it had to end in death, and you alone. Or you can realize that every moment of it had more meaning than you dared to recognize at the time, so much meaning it scared you, so you just lived, just took for granted the love and laughter of each day, and didn't allow yourself to consider the sacredness of it. But when it's over and you're alone, you begin to see it wasn't just a movie and a dinner together, not just watching sunsets together, not just scrubbing a floor or washing dishes together or worrying over a high electric bill. It was everything, it was the why of life, every event and precious moment of it. The answer to the mystery of existence is the love you shared sometimes so imperfectly, and when the loss wakes you to the deeper beauty of it, to the sanctity of it, you can't get off your knees for a long time, you're driven to your knees not by the weight of the loss but by gratitude for what preceded the loss. And the ache is always there, but one day not the emptiness, because to nurture the emptiness, to take solace in it, is to disrespect the gift of life."

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

New pics of me (a GBS update)

I now weigh 183. I am only 3 pounds away from my next mini goal at 180. Then, when I hit 178.9, I will have lost 100 pounds. Woo-hoo, I am looking forward to those two mini-goals. Tomorrow will be eight months since my surgery date. Below are a trio of shots of me from today. I am a little more wrinkly and maybe a little more bald, but boy do I feel so much better.

Monday, July 14, 2008

My great niece, Zoie and my great nephew, Connor. They are great!

My adorable Connor, is just so squeezable. I could hug him bunches.

Zoie girl, reminds me of my momma. I know she looks a lot like her dad, but every time I see her, I see my momma in her eyes. Her sweet smile and sparkling eyes just say "Anita" to me.

Words of Dean Koontz...

I find his words fascinating. I can't put his books down once I start.

Koontz wrote in Odd Hours (page 105), "In the movies, when a character in a pitch-black place strikes a match and finds himself face to face with someone or something that is grinning at him, the someone or something is going to tear off his head.

Of course, movies bear virtually no resemblance to real life, not even the kind that pile up awards. In movies, the world is either full of fantastic adventure and exhilarating heroism--or it's a place so bleak, so cruel, so full of treachery and vicious competition and hopelessness that you want to kill yourself halfway through a box of Reese's miniature peanut-butter cups.

There's no middle ground in modern movies; you either save a kingdom and marry a princess or you are shot to death by assassins hired by the evil corporation that you are trying to bring to justice in the courtroom of a corrupt judge."

Uh-oh, I just realized I am halfway through my miniature peanut-butter cups. Not really, but I wanted to create a little suspense in your lives. Have a peanut-butter cup kind of day. Not in the Koontz-movie version, but in a sweet, gooey, treat-filled kind of way.

I got an award...

I got this award (Arte Y Pico award) from
  • insane mama

  • This woman is the bomb. You just have to read her blog and get into the life and mind of this extraordinary female. She has inspired me to begin a series of cathartic blogging, I just haven't gotten up the nerve to post them yet. But, as I continue to read her loves, losses, bleeds, and needs, as well as, her ramblings regarding her life as a mom of teenagers, I think I will be more apt and willing to lay my guts out there for all the world to see, Maybe!

    This is my first award and I want to personally thank Insane Mama for the kudos (figs rule, inside joke). I want to also thank all the little people that helped to make this happen (LOL). My platform is and always has been for "Whirled Peas." Seriously though, World Peace would be a grand thing, but let's face it, it's never gonna happen, at least not until Jesus returns. Since the Tower of Babel there has not been a time in history that religious wars have not destroyed kingdoms, lands, people, etc. and I personally don't see an end to that in sight, but it is my belief that it will happen when the Prince of Peace returns. Wow, where did that come from. I am glad I got that off my chest.

    Upon receipt of this award, I am charged with the responsibility of "paying it forward," so to speak. I have to send it to five others that I feel worthy of awards.

    And the winners are:

  • Velta

  • Simply put this woman makes my life a better place. She is a wonderful person and someone I call a dear friend. She is so talented and creative. We make a great team.

  • Renee

  • This lady inspires me to be a better scrapper, photographer, mother, and a better person in so many ways. It's nice to have her in my world.

  • Michelle

  • I adore this woman and since I found her blog, she has been a GBS inspiration to me. Her blogs and recipes have hit a nerve and made me even more determined in getting to my goal weight. I want to incorporate her "mantra" for life into mine and establish a more healthy way of eating and living for myself and my family.

  • Beth

  • This woman is hilarious. I read her blog and I laugh out loud. What a wonderful way to start the day with a giggle. She has two of the most absolutely beautiful children imaginable.

  • gingerjar

  • I can't say anymore than that this woman is a NURSE AND SAVES LIVES. What an awesome profession! What a great inspiration to us all! She also loves to read Dean Koontz almost as much as I do. She's got it all going for her!
    On another note, I have been asked to post Michelle's (Shelley's, a.k.a. Eggface) recipe for the chocolate yummies I made yesterday. So here 'tis.

    Shelly's Chocolate Peanut Butter Bites

    24 baked mini Almond Crusts (see below)

    1/2 cup Ricotta (I used reduced fat)
    1/2 cup Creamy Peanut Butter (I used reduced fat)
    2 oz. Cream Cheese (I used fat free)
    1 Tablespoon DaVinci's Sugar Free Caramel Syrup (Find this on your Wal-Mart coffee aisle)
    1 Tablespoon Sugar Free Chocolate Pudding Mix, dry


    1 Tablespoon Sugar Free Hot Fudge Sauce, nuked (I used Smucker's)
    1/4 cup Peanuts

    Mix first 5 ingredients together till well combined. Spread over cooled Mini Almond Crusts.

    Microwave Fudge Sauce for 10 seconds. Drizzle over bites. Sprinkle with nuts. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.

    Shelly's Almond Pie Crust

    3/4 cup Almond Meal or Flour, ground (you can grind your own)
    1 1/2 scoops Vanilla Protein Powder (I used Edge Soy Protein)
    1 Tablespoon Butter, melted (I used I can't believe it's not butter, light)
    1 Tablespoon DaVinci's Sugar Free Syrup (I used SF Vanilla)

    Make 24 mini crusts by pressing the mixture firmly and evenly mini muffin paper lined mini muffin tin (about 1/4 full.) Bake at 350 for 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove the crust from the oven and let it cool before adding the filling.

    Stats (24 bites): 95 cals, 5 grams protein.

    Sunday, July 13, 2008

    I made these...

    Shelley's Chocolate Peanut Butter Bites! Yummy! WLS Friendly, Low Fat, Sugar Free, and packed with protein. Eddie liked them too!

    Monday, July 07, 2008

    Sunday, July 06, 2008

    I am a sunflower.

    You Are a Sunflower
    "When your friends think smile, they think of you. There is not a day that goes by that you can't find something good about the world and your fellow human."

    Let everyone know what kind of flower you are!

    My brown-headed daughter

    Wow, doesn't this new color make her eyes really blue? Almost like you can swim in them.

    Vegging out...

    I am literally vegging out...Eddie and I had boiled cabbage, corn-on-the-cob, tomatoes, onions, string beans, and cornbread for supper last night and it has made me feel so lethargic. I guess I should have eaten some protein with my veggies. Why does really good southern cooking make you feel like a blob? It wasn't fried. It wasn't really fattening foods. I guess it was full of carbs, though, and that's why I am still feeling the effects. I'm totally useless this morning. Eddie would say, "What's your excuse every other morning?" How rude! Other considerations for my malaise may include possible side effects of chronic constipation. Since surgery my inner workings have completely reversed and I am plagued with the opposite of before. I swear I am more irritable this way. My dearly departed, Great Aunt Gladys would have told me I need some Gas-X. I have never suffered from this form of torture before, 'N let me tell ya, it's a doozey, very unpleasant, worse than PMS.

    So here's another touchy subject for you to contemplate. Age! Growing Old! Getting on up there! Over the Hill! 50-something and I have found, from experience, with age comes other horrors. I can remember (but I'm sure my memory will go soon, I hear it fades with age), when I was very young (just a tenderling at the time) sitting transfixed on my Grandmother Clark's bathroom floor watching and observing her as she plucked chin hairs and shaved (no lie, SHAVED!) her moustache hairs. I was appalled even at that young of an age, thinking girls just shouldn't have facial hair. Am I right or am I right? Girls are not supposed to have facial hair. I hate hormones! So when did I grow up to be my Grandmother Clark????? I now have to stand just inside of my bathroom window with the sun just right, leaned up on my tiptoes in an unbalanced stance with my face plastered into a 10X magnifying Beauty (HAH!) mirror with tweezers in one hand and mini-scissors in the other in order to snatch, pluck, tug, snip, and cajole all the hairs off my chinny, chin-chin. Not to mention all the ones above my upper lip. Okay, when did all these wrinkles and imperfections (some people call them age-spots) pop out all over my face (I thought only Leopards have spots). They weren't there yesterday. I swear they weren't, honest! Don't you believe me? and where did all these gray hairs come from (and now I have the ability to count all the hairs on my head, cause there are so few of them)? I have even started talking to and complimenting my hair in the shower, hoping the hair follicles will stay planted within their individual root shafts. Hey, I have to do something! What does it hurt, if I've gone completely insane and started talking to my hair? Would it be to nutty to even wish they might multiply? Actually, I think I know where the gray hairs came from and Shannon should be ashamed of herself for causing each and every one of them, LOL! Nah, her daddy may have caused a few. Ya, think? I want to know who came up with the saying, "With age comes wisdom?" I have decided I don't want to be wise! I want to be young and beautiful. Where is that "Fountain of Youth?" Let me at it!

    I am glad I got that off my chest, and no, I don't have any chest hairs, thank you very much! No back hair either, Thank Heavens! I really shouldn't complain, should I? I'm alive and in love with my newlywed (almost five years now) husband. I have a wonderful family and a beautiful, loving daughter. That should be enough and it is. Really, it is, at this moment, I am truly happy with my bald-headed, wrinkly, hairy-faced, flabby-skinned, constipated, thinner, (and it appears, totally self-absorbed), useless self.

    And how is your day?

    Saturday, July 05, 2008

    I have sat too long in this chair in front of the 'puter

    This morning I have taken some pics and posted them. I have had nothing better to do on this Saturday other than make Eddie some boiled cabbage and wash some clothes (no I didn't take pics of the folded towels. I thought about it).

    I think I am going to get up and go plant myself in another chair and do some scrapbooking of all these photos that I have been taking.

    So, South Alabama's SweetLady sighs Sayonara to this Saturday.

    More pics

    A baggy full of roasted peanuts (shelled) to use in a kickin' sugar-free chocolate peanut dessert, compliments of Eggface (Michelle/Shelly)

    The Perfect Tomato


    Cold, juicy, sweet, red, ripe, delicious homegrown watermelon (enough with the adjectives, already!)

    Green apples and cucumbers, the only thing they have in common is their color.

    Boiled cabbage in a pot for Eddie.

    Random pics

    Two of me. I think I look kinda rough. I hope I don't continue this trend as I get thinner. I guess I am just vain. I made the earrings I have on to match my blouse, in case you are one of the few who didn't know I do that sort of thing.

    A couple of the Mandavilla (Eddie's 4th of July present to me). Look at the water droplets on the second pic, ahhhhh!

    Fledgling purple martins (learning to fly) resting in the pecan tree above our house. We think they are getting ready to fly south. They usually do in early July.

    Tuesday, July 01, 2008

    I heard...

    The local news channel is reporting that in the middle of a construction zone on I-65N in Montgomery, AL there is a major traffic snafu with cars backed up for miiiiiles because a chicken sh*t truck overturned. I laughed out loud when I heard that one.

    I wish I had my camera. Ooooh, I bet it stinks. I hope a news helicopter makes a video for the six and/or 10 O'clock report.

    Eddie says that the median and the shoulders of the road will be "green" next year with all the fertilizer. He proposes to plant a corn field on the side of the highway. Auburn University could use the area as a test site for growth of their bio-diesel fuel and Ethanol.