Saturday, March 30, 2013

Easter and Family

Most people will gather with family tomorrow. I think of mine this time of year and miss them so much. It has been 28 years since my mother died, 19 years since my only brother died, and 17 years since my dad died.

It has always been a tradition with me of putting flowers on their graves before Thanksgiving and Easter. I miss doing this. However, my best friend in all the world, Sandy, has taken up the tradition for me. She drove to Old Center grave yard on Thursday afternoon to put out flowers. She called on her way there and "included me" as she put them out. I could almost feel the cool breeze that blows on that old hill.

My mother always made ham and homemade potato salad on Easter. My brother and I went to church together before coming home to dinner. We always had Sunday dinner together. No matter how many years pass, I can close my eyes and remember the smells of that kitchen.

I miss them so much. There is no one left now. Just me. Holidays are the hardest times to be alone. The sadness just magnifies. But I have those fragments of memories to hold onto and cherish.

I will sit down to dinner with someone Else's family tomorrow, but my heart will go back to years past when my family gathered on Easter Sunday.

Friday, March 29, 2013

New Medication

I took a new medication for the spinal stenosis and neuropathy pain last night. He was right about the "loopy" side affect. If you have systemic lupus and are having severe pain, if you are given neurotin, be warned. This med has a lot of side affects. The bottle had a ton of labels on it. To me the worse one said "weight gain."

Today's side affect I'm trying to overcome is being loopy and having a hard time keeping my balance. Will take a couple of days to adjust to this one.

A Day to Remember

It is Good Friday, the day Jesus was condemned to the cross for our sins. Our chance for salvation. Sunday is a reminder of his resurrection. Churches are having Good Friday services to remember this day. Many who do not go to church tend to go this time of year.

I heard several of the ladies at my morning Bible study laughing at the fact many only go certain times of the year. Made me sad. To take an opportunity for someone who rarely hears the gospel and turn it into a joke! If you want to run someone away from church, just say that to the wrong person.

There are many reasons people do not go to church. Some have been deeply hurt. Some have been extremely active in the past only to be hurt so deeply they are tired of leaving church in tears every Sunday. It is easier to worship God at home and not have to recover from the hurt people cause.

Many people find it easy to pass judgement on those who have chosen to worship God at home. It brings two thoughts to my mind:

1. God is the only judge. People aren't. God knows the heart. People don't. God knows the circumstance. People can't. Enough said.

2. Faith isn't in people. Faith is in GOD. Too many people put faith in pastors, teachers, and people. Misplaced faith. Their focus is skewed.

Wouldn't it be so much easier if we could put on blinders like horses wear? Then we would only see what's ahead. Our focus would only be on God, not man and not pleasing man.

Living in a "Christian" town can be difficult at times. If you're not involved in a church, there must be something wrong with you. So they pass judgement. The ones who pass judgement have forgotten God is the only judge and only He can see the heart of those who worship Him.

Through all of the pain and suffering I've been through, emotional and physical, my faith has grown ever stronger. Without Him, I would not make it through to see another day. It does not matter what other people think. It only matters what God thinks. Having a chronic illness, being unable to function like healthy people, do so many things in a day, etc. limits my involvement. And when it rains, it puts me in bed with pain. Most people don't understand this. Most don't try to understand. Most don't care.

I'm thankful my faith is in the right place. I don't have to walk into a church building to confirm this. I spend time with God every day.

I'm thankful He never changes. His word remains the same. All you have to do is read it, ask Him for wisdom, and He will give it to you. This world is so busy trying to avoid offending someone's beliefs that they bend to them instead of standing up to what they believe. Personally, I believe in what the Bible says. I stand up to God's word. It never changes.

Today is a good reminder of His love. How many people would give their child to die for so many?

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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Pain and Medications



A trip to the doctor today confirmed the facts that nothing else can be done to restore the feeling to my feet and legs. Neuropathy will continue to spread to the top of my thighs. The severe pain I have in my spine and back will continue to get worse. As it is now, I can only sit for short periods of time, lie down for short periods of time, rest a few hours at a time. The pain has become unbearable.
The damage is irreversible. The doctor put me on a new medication today to help me endure the pain in my spine and back. Neurotin. Unfortunately, the side affect is weight gain. Just add it to the other 90% of the meds I already take that has the same side affect.
Unfortunately, it is one more medication to pay for every month. But if this medication can ease the pain I suffer with every month, I want to give it a try. The pain has become so unbearable.
I pulled out the remaining funds I had after refilling all the other meds this month, paid off medical bills, etc., and used the rest to fill this prescription. The doctor said it would take awhile for me to adjust to it so tonight I'll try the first one.
If only there was a miracle pill that would take away all the pain! If only!

It's Doctor Day

Not what I planned to do today. I was awakened with a phone call this morning.

"The doctor will not be here for your appointment next Friday. Can you come today at 1:30?"

"HMMMMM....do you have another day???"

"Yes, but it will be in May."

"Let me think a minute. Okay. I'll take the time. If I can't come, I'll call you back."

So I called my friend and set the time. Luckily it is in town, but still too far for me to walk. She's behind the doctor's office so I can walk over when my appointment is done.

When you have a chronic illness like systemic lupus, you need to know ahead of time what your day will look like. You need to be able to plan your time so that you can have enough energy to do what you can for the important things. Had I known ahead of time, I would have gone to bed early, slept better (hopefully), taken a shower at night to save energy for today.

Instead, I'm wiped out already and it is just 11:00 a.m. I'm not even dressed yet. I'm exhausted. Pain set in yesterday. I could barely walk, sit up, lie down for long period of times. My hands are swollen. My hands are so painful I can barely use them. Yes, a flare has set in.

When a flare sets in, all I want to do is crawl under the blanket and pray it goes away soon. I pray for sleep so that I don't have to live in the horrible daily pain I feel when I'm awake.

When I go to the doctor, I sit for hours waiting. Then comes the questions, blood tests, etc. By the time the doctor comes in, I can't think clearly anymore. Pain has overcome my body so much that all I want to do is go home. After all, there is nothing he can do to stop it. There is nothing he can do to cure the disease. The appointment is just to check on my progress and to keep a record. The appointment is to see if I need to renew any prescriptions.

But the appointment does more damage than help. I am in more pain when I leave than before I arrive. The pushing on joints, extreme exhaustion from the disease, blood test, waiting, waiting, waiting, etc. I cannot function for the rest of the day. I truly hate it.

I have to go to several doctors because of my illnesses. Next month I'll have to see two more. Expensive financially. Expensive physically.

Time to push myself again and get dressed. Will be a slow process today because I am in so much pain.

Remember to be kind to each person you meet today. You don't know the road they've traveled.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Lack of Perfection

I finally finished my quilt last night. It isn't perfect. Squares don't match at corners. Stitches are wrong. Binding isn't even. Has so many flaws. Since my sewing machine died a few months ago, I decided to stagger ties throughout different squares.

It has taken me five years to finish this quilt. I'd sew squares together and put it all away. Pull it out months later and do some more sewing. Life would get in the way and I'd forget about it. Store it away again. Illness would prevent me from holding a needle. Store it away. Would be so sick I couldn't get out of bed. Lupus flares would last for weeks. Would forget about the quilt altogether.

While packing for my move to KY, I just stuffed the quilt into my vintage cotton picking basket and piled other things on top. Had forgotten all about it until a week or so ago when I went through the basket to clean it out. There was the quilt - pins and all. Still waiting for the binding to be put on.

I didn't know how to put on a binding so I searched the internet for a tutorial on how to do one. Picked up a new ironing board at an estate sale, pulled out my iron, some fabric, and made a binding for this quilt. It was time to finish what I had started five years before.

I struggled. Hard. My hands swollen with pain from lupus flares. Hard to hold a needle, but I did it. I knew I couldn't "quilt" the quilt, so ties would have to do. At any rate, I finished the quilt.

Flaws and all, I am happy with it. There entwined in every square, in every thread, in every hour spent are memories of painful memories, sickness, loss. All of them have come together to create a quilt. It is warm and comfortable.

Today at my Bible study, a discussion was started about what we could pass down to our families that would show our faith. So many talked about their children and grandchildren. I sat silent. I don't have any children. I don't have any family at all. I don't know what will happen to my belonging when I die. It made me sad because I was the only person who sat silently.

I don't have anyone to pass belonging on to when I die, but it doesn't matter. After all, they are just things. What we do now is what matters. We're like the quilt I made - full of flaws. We don't match at the corners, imperfect, showing mix matched threads. But we all have a purpose in life. Just because I don't have a family doesn't mean I am any less special than those ladies who have grandchildren or great-grandchildren.

It is hard enough sometimes for me to accept my position in life. How I wish other people wouldn't add to that burden. There are far too many people walking around with magnifying glasses passing judgement on every flaw we have.

Perhaps we should stand at a distance and see the whole person instead of looking for the nit picking flaws.

 

He's Singing in the Snow!

While I'm writing this post, Rascal is beating on the back door and "singing" his "Let me out!" song. I let him out earlier when I cleaned out the bird feeder from snow. He wasn't happy that the white stuff was still falling. So he yelled at me again.

"Turn it off! Make it go away!"

Of course, I couldn't turn it off. I couldn't make it go away. Nor would I want to. Snow is my favorite!

But he doesn't understand. He just wants it to go away. He wants to go outside and eat grass. He wants what he wants. Don't we all!  I want to be healthy again. I want my pain to go away. I want to feel my feet and legs again! Sometimes you just don't get what you want.

Rascal reminds me of a two year old spoiled rotten child trapped in a furry body. He throws tantrums. He screams and cries until he wears himself out. If you get loud, he gets loud. Then when you get up and make him walk away from the door, he stops. He realizes he won't get his way today.

Sometimes we have to "hit the wall" so to speak before we learn we're not going to get our way. We run and run and run before that wall jumps in front of us. Bam! Lying on the ground, we wonder how on earth we ended up there.

Maybe we should have realized somewhere earlier in the journey we took a turn down the "I want it my way or else" road. We refused to look any other way but our way. When we do this, we tend to run in the dark. When we run in the dark, we hit a brick wall.

I've hit many in my life. Unfortunately, I've hit the same brick walls over and over again before I finally learned the necessary lessons. Each day is filled with new lessons to learn. I just seem to learn them the hard way. I have the bumps and bruises to show for it.

Poor Rascal! He's stuck in his terrible twos. He will never understand. He will always keep beating on the door and demanding to get out when it rains or snows.

 Some people are stuck the same way. They never learn the lessons they need to in order to progress to the next stage. I wonder if that is why this world is filled with so many who blame others for their own actions instead of taking responsibility for them.

Rascal is a cat. He has no excuse. He will always repeat the same actions. That's just the way he is. I'll love him no matter how much he drives me crazy at times. 

As for people, we have to answer for what we do or don't do for each day we are granted.  A thought that has wandered through my mind has been this: What must God think when we know someone is in need and we don't do anything to help them?

It is is easy to explain away how that person is probably using the help for something else like alcohol or drugs, but we don't know what is going on in his/her life. You can come up with hundreds of reasons not to help, but won't you be held accountable for what you didn't do for someone in time of need? What if that role were switched. Would you want someone judging you in the same way?

 Once you help someone, it becomes their responsibility with what they do with it. It isn't our job to judge anyone. We are suppose to love them. With love comes help in time of need. I can't see Jesus going down a checklist to see if a person qualified for help if they were hungry or need of shelter. We shouldn't be this way either. It is bad enough churches do this.

Snow showers are still coming in waves. So beautiful and still. With them the cold temperatures are dropping again. Will be 29 degrees tonight. It will be in the 50's by Easter Sunday. I've not experienced a cold start to Spring since my college days in the early 80's. It is nice yet physically painful.

As I sat in my Tuesday morning Bible study this morning, I looked out the window watching the snow showers remembering how still and quiet the world can be. One year ago I was living in a stressful, harassing situation. I had a hard time just finding the will to live.

Even though the pain is extreme today from systemic lupus, it has been very hard to walk, to sit up, to hold a pen, my heart is at peace. Even though I am still having a hard time making ends meet, I live in a quiet apartment. I am thankful.








 

Monday, March 25, 2013

Spring Snow

Awoke to a beautiful snowfall this morning. Still snowing! Yes, it is the last week of March, but I'm enjoying every moment of the end of snow for the season.

Of course it will keep me inside since my walking ability is unstable. It would only take one fall to send me straight to the hospital, a place I've been avoiding for quite a while now.

So I'll admire it from the window or a short trip to the front porch.

You can enjoy it from here.





 




 

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Two Sides to a Story

I started thinking about the old saying, "There are two sides to every story." Even though I believe it to be true, it hasn't applied to me in a very long time until now. Just a group of words tucked back in my mind.

Then I found a friend, one I thought I could trust. She opened up and told me about herself. She shared deep memories and thought we were just alike. I thought maybe God answered a prayer.

But something kept digging deep inside my heart. Something kept telling me there was two sides to this story. The more sharing came, the more judgement followed. The more judgement came, the more pain followed. The more pain came, the more silence followed on my part.

I started questioning whether I was a bad person to feel this way. What did I do to bring this on? Was I all those things this judgement showed in her words? Where did it come from all of a sudden? I heard my mother in every word and could not take the pain coming up from the wounds so deep inside.

So I went to God in prayer and asked Him. It was there the old saying came to mind.

 "There are two sides to every story, Mary."

I listened to who was saying those words to her and how she was hitting me with the same words. I had become the punching bag from someone who was punching her. Then I listened to her pain from an event that had happened in her life. It was her side.

The event was devastating. I couldn't understand how someone could do that to her. But then God said, "There are two sides to every story."

So I listened to the "other side." There I heard the devastation of loss and grief. There had to be another side. Even though I would not be able to know the answer from the other side, I knew it had to be bad for the person to pull away so abruptly.

I came to Wilmore in pieces. So many scars and wounds to heal. The last thing God intended was to put someone in my life who would tear down what He had already built up. Sometimes people walk into our lives for selfish reasons. Sometimes they come in to control, build themselves up, fill their own empty lives. It doesn't matter if they leave hurt behind.

As time passed, I realized this person didn't listen to anything I shared. There was no compassion to my illness, only me defending myself. There was no understanding or wanting to know me, only wanting to have someone listen to her. 
 

I will be more careful the next time I open my heart to the next person I meet. Emotional upset causes more scars that I don't need. They also cause lupus flares I'd like to avoid.

It is hard for me to let go and give it to God. Always has been. But in this case I think it best to give the other side of the story over to Him. There is also another saying I've learned to apply to my life.

"Consider the source."

A Cold Rainy Day

It is a cold, rainy Sunday in Wilmore, KY. With the weather comes painful, swollen joints thanks to systemic lupus. Before the worst of the weather set in, I was able to get some good sleep in this morning. Much needed since insomnia has been a bad side affect from two weeks of flares.

I am amazed at how one day can be so different from another. Yesterday was warmer with sunshine. I was able to wear a long sleeve shirt and feel comfortable outside. Today it is cold and miserable. We're due to get snow tonight and tomorrow. A few moments ago there was a loud clap of thunder and bright flash of lightening.

Spring is hidden in there somewhere. Flowers are blooming. Rain is falling. Thunder and lightening are making their presence known with a vengeance. Just because we cannot see it day to day just yet doesn't mean it isn't there. The same goes with God. Just because we cannot see Him doesn't mean He isn't there. He is.

Poor Rascal. He hates loud noises. Bad weather. Before we moved to Wilmore, he would hide under the bed when it rained. And if it thundered, you wouldn't see him for hours. Since the area where we lived was so obnoxiously loud with booming cars, rude people, loud stereos, etc., we were both sensitive to our surroundings. I found out that having systemic lupus made me more sensitive to the noises which, in turn, made me physically ill from them.

Since we've be in Wilmore, the sound of rain doesn't both Rascal. Only the sound of thunder. Today's melody sent him scurrying as close to me as he could get. He's still attached to my right side as I type this entry. He knows I'll protect him first before protecting myself.

Same way with God. He loves us so much that He will protect and love us the same way if we ask Him to do so. Many times we just don't ask.

So many people ask why God allow people to die or have bad things happen to them. The truth is we can thank Adam and Eve for choosing to sin in the garden of Eden. Satan gained a foothold on earth and now our earth is not the paradise God designed it to be. When He sent Jesus to earth to be our "second chance," Satan lost some power. We have a choice.

Did you know God created this earth as a paradise and then put Adam and Eve in it to live forever? All of their descendants were to live in a perfect world. Their choice to sin brought death and evil into it. It wasn't God. Thank Satan. That horrible fallen self absorbed Angel who wanted to be as powerful as God and got his butt kicked out of Heaven along with his followers.

We now live in a fractured world. All because of choices. Our society teaches no matter what you do, it isn't your fault. The truth is your choices are important. If you want to know what happens at the end, read Revelation. It isn't the end of the world. It is the beginning of a new one.

The government is now trying to spend more tax dollars to "control the environment." Good luck. They say we are destroying the world. The truth is we live in a fractured world. Thank sin. In the end, the government cannot save you. They are not responsible for your choices. They will not stand between you and the storms. But God will.

I can only imagine what that Garden must have looked like, what it was like for God to come down on the Sabbath and walk with Adam and Eve and enjoy their time together face to face. Heaven is only a fraction of that Garden.

We all suffer loss in our lives. We all suffer physically, financially, emotionally. I'm thankful to have peace in my heart, the peace that truly does go beyond all understanding in this world. Without it, I would not be here.

 

Friday, March 22, 2013

Old Things

Went on a new adventure with my friend, Julie, today. She has a favorite place where she shops for jams and jellies. The name of the place was Marksbury Farm Market in Lancaster, KY.

It was fun driving down the old winding Kentucky back roads today. Reminded me of college days once again. They are just as beautiful as I remembered, untouched nature, flowing streams, tall trees. I miss the country. KY country must be what Heaven looks like.

When we arrived at our destination, I pulled out the camera Sandy gave me and took some pictures of some great old buildings on their property. A delivery van had just arrived. One of the men asked me an odd question.

 "Are you on vacation?"
"No. I just like old buildings."

He seemed okay with that response and went about his business. So did I as I entered the old place and shopped with my friend.

When I loaded the photos onto my computer, it started me to thinking about old things today. So much of our society has become disposable. We have lost respect in "old" things. We are the "I want it now" society. "Use it and throw it away."

Few people respect buildings, furniture, tools, etc that was used before high tech took over. Sad isn't it?

Last night I overheard a student telling a story that involved a trip he took during spring break. He approached a cross walk and had to stop when a woman with a walker was crossing. His impatience caused him to approach the walk and lady in the walker a bit too close causing her to fear for her life enough she moved faster across the walk. He was laughing about the tennis balls on the front of the walker. It angered me to hear someone talk like this, especially an Asburian. Then I thought of him as such a jerk and I remember several jerks at Asbury when I was a student.

Our society doesn't respect old people either. I wanted to turn to him and say "Your day will come. It may come sooner than you think. You have no idea what is ahead of you once you leave the protection of this college." But I knew I would be wasting my breath. I wanted to show him my cane and remind him not every one who had to use a cane or walker was old, but disabled and we did not plan to be in the position we are in. What he sees on the outside is not what is going on inside.

Respect for old things is rare these days. I am drawn to old things. I have the bed frame my parents bought when they were first married. I have a table my dad made from 2x4's he used to scale fish on in the yard when I was growing up (not an antique but made by his hands), I have his old tools. I even use some of my mother's old dishes.

The Bible says this:

"In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you."  John 14:2

"And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am." John 14:3.

I have had many talks with Jesus about the "mansions." I will not be a happy camper unless mine is a log cabin with a front porch, big fireplace,  sitting in the wooded side of Heaven where the snow falls and the animals come to feed. That, my friend, is Heaven.

Passing of Time





 

"MUSIC MAN" - Nostalgia - Pictures Included

Last night I attended a musical at my alma mater, Asbury University, with some friends.  The Sophomore class did "Music Man" and did a great job. The house was packed. Then again, it was a Thursday night on campus, kids had nowhere to go, free play. And even though it was opening night, there were very few errors.

The night brought back many memories for me. I was involved in theater when I was a student. Loved every minute of it! Working backstage, painting, helping with costumes, learning my lines, even falling on the stage during dress rehearsal with my leg swelling twice its size. I remember Philip P being so concerned that he insisted I should go to the ER. I insisted that I was fine. His concern was so touching. The next day my swelling wasn't so bad, but the pain was horrible. I went on with the show.

I watched those kids last night wondering where did all of those years go for me? How did I go from that stage to this one?" How did I get so old? My journey in life has never been an easy one. Even in college, I carried a heavy burden with a sick mother at home. I could never be care free and fully happy for that burden hung heavy around my heart. My main worry should have been grades and dating. Instead my worries were grades and illness. My mother's illness. And little did  I know, her death was coming sooner than I knew.

When most kids were graduating to start a new life as husband and wife, start graduate school or a new career, I went home the same day to be a full time caregiver. I walked away from my opportunity for a wonderful relationship and possible marriage because of the burden at home. He didn't understand why I pushed him away and I could never tell him. I was ashamed of my family, their life, the horrible way they treated me. And now I would have to go home and care for a mother who hated me. How do you explain that to anyone?

As I looked at those kids tonight, I could not believe I was around their age when I took on the hardest job of my life. But I didn't have a choice. The family couldn't afford to hire anyone to care for her. Nursing home was out of the question. It was me or no one. For twenty four hours a day I took care of a bedridden mother. I couldn't go outside until my brother returned home from work at night. My dad wasn't a good caregiver. He worked all day, too, but when he returned from work, he just plopped down in front of the tv.

When my mother died, I came close to a nervous breakdown. I spent my 24th birthday at the funeral home for her viewing. Not much older than the kids I saw on stage tonight. Way too young to do what I had to do all those years ago. It is no wonder I long for my youth again.

As for the young man I cared so deeply for, the one I pushed away, he found a suitable replacement in a hurry. They married and had several children. I am assuming they are happy. A few years ago he had a stroke and has been recovering over the years. From what I hear he is doing much better and I'm glad.

How I wish my life had been different. He was the most wonderful, kindest, most gentlemanly boy I ever knew! I will never forget him.

It has been thirty years since I've graduated from Asbury University. My reunion is this summer. When I was a student, it was Asbury College so to me it will always be Asbury College. It may be more modern and up to day with air conditioned dorms, more buildings, wi-fi equipped, etc., but Asbury's heart is still the same.

When I was a student, I was blessed with the most wonderful friends in the world. We would always be close. We would be friends for a lifetime. But as years have passed, that has not held true. I can now count those friends who have stood by me on one hand. How thankful I am for the true friends! I hope those students, who have not been beaten up by the world yet, will learn the most precious friends they find here will stand by them. They will have to sift them through the fire and pain of the world as the years pass. Those will be the friends who will last a lifetime.

I have learned you cannot go home. Even though Wilmore is not my home so to speak, it has been the one place where I felt loved.
So different being on the other side of the college walls! Living in town is harder. People judge you if you're not married, wonder what's wrong with you, why you moved here, why you don't have a regular church. They grab something odd about you and gossip it through the small town ruining your chance of ever making friends. This already happened to me. Thankfully I know God is greater than gossip. He protects against the worst of the worst. I've lived inthe worst - Dothan. Wilmore may have their gossips - those who want to destroy, but there are those rare golden people who want to life up and love. I have been blessed with those people, too.

As I sat in the new theater last night watching the play, I tried to put myself into memories of my time at Asbury. It was hard. The memories fuzzy. I wanted to see "George" the rubber chicken taped underneath a table. George made an appearance somewhere on opening night in every play at Asbury when I was a student. I wanted to remember laughing at Mr. Albright when he would get so angry and we would crack a joke to lighten the mood. How we loved him so! I wanted to remember being so energetic like those kids were. I wanted to remember walking across campus and being bombed by water balloons from third floor Zoo by Frisky and his friends. I wanted to remember Frisky and his friends sitting on the bench outside Glide-Crawford dorm after the first real snow in January waiting to tackle and roll the first victim in the snow. It was a full Saturday affair for them. They would come in the Student Grille to get hot chocolate to warm up. I wanted to remember the greatest birthday parties ever. I wanted to remember the time we all climbed the tree outside the cafeteria, the President of the college walks by, doesn't look up but says, "Must be spring. All the nuts are out." I wanted to remember piling into Phil's car heading to Lexington and breaking down in front of the liquor store, having to call the office for someone to pick us up, and then the Dean of Students announcing to the entire cafeteria where we were picked up. I wanted to remember exercising in the basement of Glide-Crawford while Amy brought Pizza and had dinner. So many wonderful memories.

All of those memories are there, but they are weighed down from life's beatings. So many of those memories my friends have let go of and replaced with complaints they held onto from bad experiences.

I listened to a guy complain at intermission last night. He is so naive. Just wait, my friend, just wait.


 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Yipee!

It doesn't take much to make me smile! While checking Facebook, I saw a post from my friend, Katherine. She said something about snow. Where??? Did I miss it? So I walked outside just in time to see the most beautiful flakes falling. It WAS snowing!! Of course, it didn't last but for a moment it was snowing. The sun's in and out appearance ended the beautiful flakes, but their surprise appearance just made me smile.

I LOVE snow! Someone asked if I'm the one who ordered this. Yep, that's me. The transplanted Alabama girl who will take snow anytime she can get it. Woo hoo! Will it stick? Probably not. But it was snowing!

 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Happy Spring!

It is 30 degrees right now. Listening to the local weather report tonight, they predict the temps in the teens Thursday night. Next week the rain will return with a chance of snow mid week.

And where is Rascal? Stuck to my leg. He has been in my lap, attached to one leg, sleeping as closely as he can get for body heat today. We walked outside to feed the birds today and the crazy cat liked eating grass. I didn't mind him enjoying the grass. I did, however, hate the cold wind cutting through my painful body. Didn't seem to bother him.

The weather sent me into a very bad systemic lupus flare last week. I started to feel better yesterday, but the cold air blew back in and pulled the rug out from under me. Today has been a very bad day. My health has gone downhill so fast.

Hate I still have to use the heat. It is always a juggle where finances are concerned: food, medicine or heat. I never wore sweatshirts in Dothan because we barely got that cold very often. I did wear sweatpants more. Here in Wilmore I find myself wearing sweats and sweaters more. If I had sweatshirts, I'd wear them, too.

Speaking of Dothan, my best friend told me the Azalea Trail is this weekend. They usually plan it about the time the azaleas fall off the bushes and the dogwood trees lose their blossoms. Well the azaleas are blooming, but the dogwoods have no blooms. They are due to have rain for the next few days so there is still time for the blooms to fall from the bushes. Tradition is everything. I once lived on the trail. Hated it. Had to rake all of the fallen leaves from the fall and winter, clean the front yard from the old townhouse, and make sure the front porch (et) was in place. When my health started to decline, I had to beg for help because I couldn't afford to hire someone. Then on Sunday a trail of cars would drive by for over two hours blocking the in and out of getting home. The cats loved it. They would sit in the upstairs window and watch the cars drive by.

Azalea trail is more entertainment for the rich and affluent.

Speaking of Dothan, a well known citizen and businessman in Dothan was arrested for prostitution today. He is also a member of the church I attended. His parents are, too. This is the same church that accepts and honors people for what role they serve in society. If you did not come from an affluent family, are not wealthy, not prominent citizen, etc., you are a nobody and treated as such. This was my experience when I worked there and as a member. One of their prominent, affluent, wealthy members was arrested today for prostitution. I guess their scale of judgement doesn't matter after all.

I'm still trying to recover from all the scars I received from this place - town, churches, etc. I'm so glad my faith is not in people, but is in the one true God.

Rambling.....Better go check on Buddy. It is going to be very cold tonight. I washed his blankets yesterday and he isn't quite sure about sleeping on them yet. Sprinkled some catnip on them awhile ago and hope that helps him snuggle back into his little hideaway. Wish I could afford to get him an enclosed house instead of that old box.





 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Spring



Stuck Among the Muck

So many days I feel stuck among the muck. Wading through the day to day chores of life only to slam into a brick wall when I run out of steam. With lupus, you only have so much strength in a day. Mine is very limited. Haven't seen a lot of steam in a very long time.

But today I pushed hard. Got up. Got dressed and waited to be picked up for Bible study. Time passed. Passed some more. No one came. I realized by 9:30 no one was coming. I don't know what happened in the passing on of information, but I knew my efforts of pushing forward was futile today. So I put myself back to bed to rest.

After a couple of hours, I realized how much I needed the extra rest. Some of the extreme pain I felt in the morning had subsided. Having to save this ill planned day, I decided to do chores I could not do last week due to being so sick. Laundry - and lots of it. Tent city in the kitchen and bathroom again as it dried. Dishes that had piled up in the sink. Vacuuming the floors.

Tomorrow is recycle day. So I carted the recycle can and broken down boxes to the road. Now I can't move a muscle - mentally or physically. UPDATE: Wilmore Recycle decided to pick what they wanted to recycle and left a mess beside the road. I had to go out this morning and pick up stray boxes they didn't take. They didn't bother to empty my recycle can. So I parked it by the apartment and there it will sit. This isn't the first time they didn't empty it. I just don't have the strength to cart it out every other week for them to decide how they feel that day. The mailman and I had a discussion about why they didn't take the stray boxes. We both came to the conclusion that there was NO excuse.

And the phone rings. It is the nurse/wife of my rheumatologist who has a question about my prescriptions for the local pharmacy and the name of my primary physician. My mind is blank. I have to dig for the information through the jungle which is my purse. Her questions are confusing so the conversation takes awhile. Lupus brain - lupus fog.

I have opened the front door so that I can look out the storm door. Birds are everywhere. It is still cold here. Spring may be tomorrow, but the temperatures here are still freezing at night. Today is 48 degrees. I'd rather have cooler temps than sweat in the heat. Not a summer fan.

Rascal gave up on me hours ago. He is snuggled on top of the electric blanket on my bed. Smart cat. Buddy is rambling somewhere in the neighborhood. A friend saw him chasing a squirrel the other day. I found the remains of a bird near the trash can. I'm sure it was his handywork.

I started a patchwork quilt five years ago. Have been trying to finish it ever since. All I have to do now is to finish the binding (by hand) and put in the ties throughout the blocks. My sewing machine has died so it may be my last one until I am able to get another one. I worked on the binding last night. Two more sides to go. It isn't perfect at all, but I like it. I guess that is all that matters.

Next project is to finish embroidery on two curtain panels I started last July. Would like to hang them on the back door window. Would let in more light. So hard to sew by hand when you have lupus and osteoarthritis. But I love to sew.

My body still feels like it is stuck among the muck today. I feel like I am wading through mud. At least I'm not "one step forward and ten steps back."

 I've made a "to do" list for this apartment. Since I've moved, I've just relocated stuff from one room to another. With the Wilmore yard sale coming in June, I've started a yard sale box. When I see something I won't use, it goes into the box. Slow go, but progress.

Right now I think the "Muck" has gotten the best of me. It will be an early night. My gas gauge hit empty several hours ago.

Monday, March 18, 2013

It Was A Dark And Stormy Night...

I picture Snoopy sitting on top of his dog house typing the start of a sentence, "It was a dark and stormy night..." But that is exactly what it was in Wilmore last night and earlier today. We had almost three inches of rain in less than twenty four hours.

I was awoken this morning when small pellets of hail hit my bedroom window. Thinking of poor Buddy outside in his make shift house on the front porch, I pulled myself up to check on him. He had already abandoned ship and was sitting as close to the front door as he could get. I opened the door, grabbed him and put him inside. Of course, he hated every minute of it, but at least he was inside away from the lightening and hail. He pulled a Rascal through it all by sitting on his hind legs and beating on the storm door yelling "let me out!"

And I did as soon as the worst of the storm had passed. I just couldn't bear allowing him to be torchered in that weather. This sweet cat who has been more of a neighbor to me than most neighbors I've had in many years, this loving cat who has shown me more affection than most people during my times of illness and loneliness, this creature of God who has brought me so much joy left outside mostly by his own choice, no, I couldn't do it. Of course, he preferred being outside. I just couldn't do it.

As soon as the hail had stopped, lightening had subsided and the rain had lightened, I opened the door to free the prisoner. He sat on the front porch and breathed in a sigh of relief. He did stop to eat a bite before venturing out into the wet world ahead. I don't know the "cat trail" he travels every day, but I'm glad he ends his adventure with me. He knows there is a box outside with warm, dry blankets in it and food for his belly. The next time you come across a stray, remember Buddy and the joy he has brought me.

The rain has stopped for today. My hands have returned to being useful again. There is still pain in the joints, but not so much that I cannot hold objects without wrenching in agony. I am still having problems with walking. My spinal stenosis is squeezing hard from the rain. And again, rain is pain in my world.





 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Inbetween the Rain Showers

Came the birds



And the Rains Came...


I knew the rain was coming due to the pain setting in my lupus destroyed body. By Friday, I was in so much pain that it hurt to chew. But I enjoyed going out with my friends and the fellowship we shared together. It was far better medicine than those horrible pills I have to take on a daily basis.

Even though the sun was shining and the temps warmed up on Saturday, the lupus flare had already set in for me. Actually, it had set in earlier in the week and by Saturday it had grown worse. Fevers rose to 102 degrees, broke and rose again. The most horrible pain has set into my right hand and wrist. Nothing has subsided this pain, not even Bengay's instant pain relief!

Today I wish I was left handed. Everything I pick up feels like I'm lifting a barbell. My hand buckles and the item falls to the floor. Even when I'm resting, the pain aches in my hand and wrist as a reminder of the odd places lupus attacks.

Earlier in the week the old dreaded monster attacked my body with lupus sores. They seem to be healing some. Now fevers, body pain, swelling, and reminders of how bad it feels to be sick.

The northern part of the state is due to have snow. I'd rather have the snow. It doesn't hurt as much as the rain. Spring officially starts this week. With it comes more rain. For me this means more lupus flares and more pain.

I couldn't move well yesterday. Today I can sit up on the sofa. I can type one handed (left handed) one key at a time. Progress! In a few moments I'll pull out my shower chair and sit underneath the embrace of a warm shower.

Small miracles for me. I'm thankful for them.

 

Friday, March 15, 2013

A Long Lonely Week

It has been a long lonely week. I've spent most of it inside just trying to accomplish one task a day. Lupus has been very active this week. The pain has been terrible.

I want to go outside! I want to walk down to the college library! I want to get out and enjoy fresh air! But the rain is coming back in and pain sits on my body like an elephant crushing the breath out of me. I can't function mentally or physically. It hurts so badly I want to unzip my body and put it beside the road for trash pick up.

Most people can take a nap and be renewed. Doesn't work that way for me. If I'm blessed to get any sleep, I am not renewed. The pain is still there and the "rung out like a wet rag" exhaustion is overwhelming. The cold temps have made it worse. Although it is warmer outside, it is still very cold inside my apartment. Can my body tolerate another winter in this cold, drafty place?

When it is cold inside my apartment, my body freezes up in pain. When my body is in pain, I cannot clean, pick up after myself, or function in normal ways. It has been a long winter of not being able to function.

It is a cloudy day. Rain is coming in for the weekend - a lot of rain. So tired of being in pain.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

A Writer's Blog

If you're wondering why my print is so large, it is because my vision is so bad! Lupus has destroyed so much of my body that it also includes my sight. Even with glasses, I see everything through a blurred cloud. So the purpose of large print is for me to be able to see what I'm writing.

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Today I went to the Writer's group. There was a mixture of written stories today from funny anecdotes to heart wrenching memories. One lady brought props for her story. Actually they were chocolate covered strawberries - SO GOOD!

The more I attend this class, the more I realize how inadequate my writing has become over the years. I know some of it is due to not writing in general. A great deal of it is due to the affect of the medication I take for systemic lupus. And then there's the disease itself - both medication and illness have robbed me of so much concentration and creativity.

These ladies write about happy childhood memories, detailed articles they researched, grief they are still wading through. They are so articulate and open. I don't have happy childhood memories, am not interested in research, and my whole life has been a combination of grief. I just don't know how to share it openly with a group of people without fear of being judged. There are just too many deep wounds.

They write about their children, grandchildren and husbands. I don't have any of those. Today they wrote about how being loved gives hope and can change a life from an endless situation of bad to a future of good. I agree completely. But I realized at that moment I have not been loved.

My mother never wanted a second child. She told me on a daily basis she didn't want me. "You're an ugly child. No man will ever want you. I hate you. I wish you'd never been born." Those are the words of the woman who should have been loving and encouraging.

My father was hard working, but not affectionate. He did not make up for the lack of love from my mother. I was told he was very doting when I was a baby, but those doting years were gone after I reached school age. I have no memory of the doting years.

My brother was 13 years older than me. He was never taught to be loving so he was not loving or encouragin either. If I heard anything good he said, someone else had to tell me.

I never married. No children. No grandchildren. I took care of my family members until they died. I have lived 18 years with a disease that has prevented me from so much of life. It also cost me an engagement. He didn't want to deal with a sick wife.

Today I realized I have never been loved. Should I hope God will provide that love in my life before I die or should I just accept the fact I'm destined to be void of someone's love, encouragement and security for as long as my body draws breath?

Someone told me today that I'm not alone, that I have the "Family of God." I know this, but I would still love to have a real family like they do. Sometimes you just need a person to hold you.

 I wondered if she could accept having only the family of God in her life.

It has been a hard week physically. The weather has gone up and down so much that it threw me into a horrible flare on Monday. Swollen joints, massive pain, no comfort. By Wednesday I was covered in lupus sores and had developed a fever of 102.  It didn't help having an emotional upset last week. That always causes illness.

But today I forced myself to get dressed and go to Writer's group. While hoping for inspiration and encouragement, I walked away with a heavy heart. Truth is there is nothing they could have done to change it. It is just my reality. I have accepted this. Sometimes I just wish there would be a sign of hope for change.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Lupus Sores (lesions)

Whenever I have a lot of stress or am emotionally upset, I have a flare. The past two weeks I have been emotionally upset. My flares have manifested into lupus sores or lesions. They have appeared on the back of my neck, in my scalp, down my back and a very painful one has appeared on my neck for all the world to see.

For those of you who don't know what a systemic lupus sore or lesion looks like, I'm sharing a photo. Will be so happy when these horrible things subside and heal.


 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Laundry, Bad Bed, and Just Venting !

Since my move to Wilmore, I've had problems with my washer and dryer. On Monday my apartment looked like a tent city! (Yes I have a clothesline. It was raining on Monday. It is also very difficult to take all of the laundry to the yard when one hand controls and cane and two legs don't work).The washing machine wouldn't wring out the wash no matter how many times I ran it through and when it came time to put it through the dryer, well, let's just say the dryer decided to laugh at me when I opened the door.

The washing machine has been showing signs of slow death for awhile now. A friend "fixed" it a few months ago but said it may not last. What he didn't know was the problem was contagious and the dryer was waiting for its turn to crash as well.

I've seen those commercials for the "add this attachment to your vacuum cleaner and suck out the lint. Your dryer will work better!" I also read the feedback where it doesn't work. Someone suggested taking a paper towel roll and attaching it to the end of your dryer and using it the same way. It seemed to work well. I washed the link filter. Yet that evil dryer laughed at me under its cold dry breath.

So every inch of my livingroom, kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom had clothing hanging from it. It looked like a bad episode of "I Love Lucy!"

While I'm "VENTING," let's vent about my bad mattress. It was so wonderful when I picked it out. Best back support. Didn't think I'd ever have to get another mattress again. Then during my move, one of the side springs sprung and now sticks out so badly I can barely walk around it. There are so many dips in the mattress I find myself falling into wells of unwanted territory or sliding on the edge of disaster. Early one morning I almost hit the floor before I caught myself from falling. You can only turn it so many times.



I am certain this torcher chamber has not helped in the further damage of my spine and back. Your bed can help or hurt you - this is for sure. You find that out when yours "goes south for the winter."

I have a spare bed. It was dad's bed. The mattress and box spring are twenty one years old. I've tried several times sleeping on it, but the weakness of the mattress does not support the pain I find myself in now that my spine has more damage.

So if I can "Vent," I'm allowed to dream, too.

If I won Publisher's Clearing House, these are the first things I'd purchase. They are not frivilous, they are needs. And yes, it would take me winning this dumb contest to be able to get them. Until then, I will be thankful for the washing machine I have, the dryer that laughs at me, and the fact I DO have a bed to sleep on. Many do not have any of these things.


A Stack Washer and Dryer - I don't have much room

http://www.sears.com/whirlpool-27inch-laundry-center-w-electric-dryer/p-02662742000P?prdNo=15#ReviewsSection

And a GOOD FIRM Mattress and box spring:

http://www.sears.com/serta-karlie-firm-full-mattress-set/p-082CO49655501B?prdNo=2&blockNo=2&blockType=G2

With a frame to put it on:
http://www.sears.com/hollywood-bedframe-twin-full-size-supreme-atlas/p-SPM4498661601?prdNo=1&blockNo=1&blockType=G1

 

Timing is Everything

"Timing is everything."  This is my best friend's favorite saying. Today it held true and I thanked God for HIS most perfect timing.

Last week, I decided to push myself so that I could pick up some things at the grocery store I needed. I got up, took a shower, got dressed, and was so wiped out (thank you systemic lupus!) that I couldn't go passed the door. This is the story of my life thanks to years of damage due to this horrible disease plus others it has spawned.

So I put it off to the next day. It rained. My spine swelled so badly I could barely walk across the floor because of the pain. "Not today," I told myself. Packed my low spirits and tucked myself back in bed.

By this week I HAD to get Rascal some food. Sunday night I decided Monday would be the day I walked down to the Dollar Store to pick up enough food for him (and me) that I could carry home. It is quite a walk, especially for someone who can't feel anything past their knees and the pain in my spine is so bad I have to stop several times along the way.

Monday - it rained. ARRGGG! Pain put me back in bed after I endured the horrible cost of medication refills and attitude of the doctor's office when I rescheduled an appointment.

So Tuesday morning, I had no choice.

At 9:00 a.m, the phone rang. It was a lady from my Tuesday morning Bible study. She had an appointment in Nicholasville after lunch and wanted to know if I would have lunch with her and go shopping afterwards. GOD'S TIMING! I didn't have to walk all the way down town and carry back several bags. Instead He sent one of His children to provide a way for me, share a time of joy and fellowship with a good lunch, and took the worry off me to feed my cat for awhile. Since I didn't have to walk, I was able to pick up enough food that would last longer for him and for me.

When will I learn, Lord? Your timing really is everything!

Monday, March 11, 2013

STRESS!!!

Less stress is best! I remember this from my rheumatologist when I was first diagnosed. I have learned this the hard way over the past now eighteen years. Today I am STRESSED! I had to order medication refills and the cost was astronomical! GEESH!

Instead of Obama wanting to take money away from Medicare and putting it toward Obamacare (as was reported today in the news) causing more stress, why doesn't he pass a law that regulates the cost of medications keeping people alive! He and all of Congress will never know how extremely hard it is to struggle with this dilemma each and every month. They will never have to make a choice: food, utilities, medication. I had no choice today. I HAD to fill my meds because I neglected them far too long. I cut pills in half for a long time now. I couldn't cut anymore.

Sometimes I'd like to send all of my medical bills, prescription bills, refills, etc. to the President and every congressman and tell them if they really cared, DO something so that I could LIVE instead of worry myself to death - LITERALLY!

I fear the day when I cannot think and act for myself and that day is coming. Who will make decisions for me then? I have no family. Where will I live? What will happen to me? I worry just like any other person in this world. I just don't have that security of knowing there is someone to fall back on in times of dire need.

In April, I have three doctor's appointments - THREE!! I just hope medicare will cover most of them and the percentage that won't be covered won't push me over the edge once more.

Tonight I am tired, stressed, can't sleep and worried. I know worry is a waste of time and energy because God always takes care of me. But today I am weak and worn.

And I need to know someone cares....

Doctors- Again!

Forgive me for venting. If I had the choice of isolating myself from the attitudes of the medical profession, I'd be the happiest person in the world! Today I had to call and reschedule an appointment. That was simple enough. Just change the date from one to another.

The receptionist assumed I would just take what date she had available. When I told her what date I would have available, she came across stunned that I would have a problem.

"I can come the 19th, 25th or 26th," I said.

"We only give this test on Thursdays and Fridays. Besides, you have to see the doctor and he is only here on certain days. YOU have to take the day I have to give you. I have April 4th or 19th."

"Since I have a doctor's appointment on the 19th, I guess I'll have to take the 4th."

She was so put out with me she gave me the one opening she had for the day - 1:00 p.m. She didn't say thank you before she hung up, but I did.

This is the same office where the Fellowship student treated me so coldly. Now I have to go back and repeat that experience again. This time I plan to stand up for myself. He will not get away with treating me like something under his microscope. This man will learn to treat this person as a person. The doctor himself is very nice and compassionate. The problem is wading through the jungle of cold, uncaring souls to reach him. 

If I didn't HAVE to go to this doctor twice a year due to the medication I take for systemic lupus, I wouldn't go back. It tends to deposit on the back of my retina and can cause permanent blindness.

Just think - I didn't have to leave my home to get a world of cold dumped on me today. I should have taken a walk in the rain after all.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Laughing with Kevin Spacey

Sometimes laughing truly is the best medicine. When you have to take so much medicine just to stay alive as I do (20 different meds), you need to keep favorite movies and internet clips on hand for days when you feel your lowest. Since Kevin is one

of my favorite people, I chose to keep the following clip. I hope you enjoy it, too.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bKKDKAKNH-k


 

Miracles

***This is a new addition to this post: I remembered another miracle. It is taking care of my mama from the day I graduated college until the day she died Jan.18, 1985, taking care of my only brother while he died of cancer at age 46, and taking care of my dad while he died of emphesemia, and coming through it all mentally, somewhat physically, and emotionally on my feet. That is a miracle! Even though I did this without in home care help ( in other words I did not have people coming in to stay to help me - just hospice stopping by now and then for my brother), I had God's divine help. If my faith had been misplaced and put into people, I would not have made it through. During all of these times I learned people let you down, talk is cheap, but if you put your faith in God, He won't let you down.

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Miracles have always fascinated me. We read about so many in the Bible and somehow question whether God performs them today. Unfortunately, we limit His miracles into categories: healing of health, financial issues, and dying loved ones. I've been in all three (am still in two of the categories).

Through the deaths of my entire family, struggling with the loss and grief even today when I am alone and the apartment is so silent, when my thoughts drift to that ache of missing them so very much, I look back at the anger I felt when God "took" them away from me when I was only 35.

My health started failing at 37. I've been grieving over it since because I've lost so many working parts already. Believe me, people can be so cruel when you are disabled that it doesn't help having an illness (or two or three or four) that progresses when you're under stress. I've been to healing services and seen only shows. Have not experienced God's healing in them. I learned a long time ago God does not need help from a group of people to heal me if He so chooses. When and if He does, I'll shout and run up and down the road! If He chooses to use my illnesses to bless others in some way, I'm here for Him to do so. He shone so brightly through my brother's cancer struggle. If only I could be such an example  as he was!

Miracles come every day of our lives. The sun rises to a beautiful day filled with birds singing. Each season brings its own beauty. Flowers paint their own canvas. Snow stills the landscape. Falling leaves and cool air reminds us of fresh change coming. Every morning I can get out of bed and walk is a miracle. If I can stand in the shower, it is a miracle. If I can do anything else but spend the day in bed with extreme pain, it is a miracle!

I am more aware of the miracles of God around me as each day passes. For every friend He blesses me with, also a beautiful miracle, I am so thankful! Still learning the hard way not every person you meet is a blessing from God and you should guard your heart. For every one of the painful scars they leave behind, He blesses me with someone else who brings acceptance.

Yesterday I received a wonderful miracle from my friend, Liz. She knew how hard it was for me to sit in a chair and use my desktop computer. The longer I sit, the more stress it puts on my back, the more pain in my spine and flare of spinal stenosis. I found it much harder to sit at the computer and would avoid going near it.

Liz found a laptop computer that was perfect for me to use for writing. She gave it to me as a gift. THANK YOU LIZ! As I sit here with support behind my back, no pain, writing this entry, I am so thankful to be blessed with a laptop I can use to write again. I am also so very thankful God put Liz in my life. He has a big blessing ahead in her life! She's been through so much!

Please take time today to be thankful for the small miracles God has put in this world.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Writer's Group Story -2

This is the second story I wrote in my ten minute writing session. Again, this has nothing to do with systemic lupus except for therapy for myself.

The starter sentence was "The minutes blurred into eternity..."

The minutes blurred into eternity as we waited for the doctor's report from my brother's surgery. It was just a simple removal of a kidney stone. Why was it taking so long? Two hours had passed and no doctor, no kidney stone and no report.

His trouble started when he could not pass a kidney stone naturally. The doctor decided going in surgically was the only way to remove it. The date was set and here we sat - waiting.

No reports - no doctor - minutes added up to hours which felt like eternity. When the doctor finally appeared into the waiting room, his grim look shook my heart to the floor.

"We found something else when we opened him up," he said. "It was cancer."

But we came in for a kidney stone. HOW can it be cancer? Little did we know at that exact moment my brother's eternity would come faster than any of us realized.

The doctor removed a stone and found a killer. He lived one year from the date of discovery and dying at the age of 46.

Every minute of our lives count - they add up to eternity.

Writer's Group Story 1

I started attending a writer's group on Thursday afternoons in hopes to of getting inspiration back into my life. Writing has always been my greatest love, biggest release, and closest friend in times of trouble. At times I've felt encouraged. At others I've felt intimidated.

We always start with a ten minute writing exercise. A
sentence is given. I wanted to share two stories tonight I wrote in two different classes. PLEASE NOTE: these have nothing to do with systemic lupus except maybe for peace of mind and therapy for me.

The starting sentence is "I woke up to a gray, soggy day."

I woke up to a gray, soggy day. Knowing I had to get dressed and head to work. I put my mind in "go motion" knowing there would be better days to come. Heading out the front door, I put on my dime store hair bonnet to keep my hair dry. Far be it from me to enter that office with the Queen Bee herself nitpicking every detail of my being from soggy head to toe!

Entering the office and removing the bonnet to shake off the soggy day, I realized I had stepped into a room filled with models. Models? Had I walked into the wrong office? Worse yet, had I walked into my nightmare?

No, the Queen Bee was standing at attention waving me down ready to pounce. There she was, not one hair out of place. She was aving me down ready to pounce.

After her critique of my "poorly dressed" attire, she sent me to the dungeon of my office to begin proof reading for the day. The office of Jones Publications, now turned into Model Central, would soon be in my rear view mirror, or so I hoped.

Joe called out my name.

"Did you hear the news?"

"What news?"

"He's asked her to marry him."

"WHY? He doesn't love her!"

"Beats me. You passed the parade of wedding dress models this morning. She's not waiting for him to change his mind."

My heart stopped beating. He was the only reason I endured her harsh criticism. Just to be in his presence every day gave me hope. WHY?

As soon as I reached my desk, I called Sue and reached her voice mail.

"Sue, the offer you gave me for copy editor. I'll take it ASAP."

I wrote my resignation letter. Knowing they owed me two weeks vacation, I left it on the desk and walked out.