Missing in Action

I have a confession to make. Our latest trip has worn me out–mentally and physically.

For my mental health, I know writing is the best thing. Try as I might, I could not make any words make any sense yesterday. I was missing in action.

A big part of my exhaustion comes from feeling so helplessness as I witness the losses my fellow Texans are experiencing as a result of Hurricane Harvey. My heart begs to go help. My brain argues, at least for now, there is not a lot I could do. Never to be left out of the debate, my little inner voice reminds me of the good relationship I have with God. She urged me to use that gift and put in some extra prayer time.  So, I took her wise advice and did just that–said many prayers. If you can grab an extra minute here or there, join me. You may be as surprised as I was at how saying those few extra prayers will help you as well.

A follow-up to the refrigerator saga. Our Sears approved service technician, Paul, arrived early this morning to fix our Sears Kenmore Elite. Paul got five stars because he came prepared with a replacement compressor. He dropped down to 4.0 stars because he initially hesitated to replace the compressor due to the fact he was sent to do a diagnostic evaluation. After listening to our story, which was strongly and whole heartedly shared, he agreed to do the replacement IF Michael would help.  An hour and a half later, the new compressor was in and Paul was on his way to his next call.

Some advice for anyone considering a new LG refrigerator. Paul told us that LG compressors do not have a good service history. He has replaced many compressors on new refrigerators. Some units he’s replaced compressors twice with one customer waiting for their third compressor. He confirmed what we had heard from our salesperson at Home Depot–the wait is long because there are very few service people who have the knowledge to do the work needed and of those workers, very few are willing to do the hard work needed to get the job done.

Today is the 54th anniversary of the day my Mom lost her long, hard battle with cancer. Today’s page was supposed to be all about her. Try as I might, I could not pull it together well enough to share.

After this amount of time you’d think it would not be so difficult. Well…it’s not that simple. I’ve learned grief is sneaky tricky. You think you’ve mastered it or at least moved on long and far enough it can no longer create an undercurrent in your life.

Wrong.

I’ve also learned the older I get, the more questions I have about that time in my life. Over the years, I told my stories and believed I understood what had happened during the time of her illness. I now understand I know very little. My memories of that very critical time in my life are all based on observations made by my eight to ten-year-old self.

There has always been an uneasiness, sparked into life on anniversary days like today. I kept that at bay by staying busy. If I was busy, I avoided any discovery that did not match my safe little collection of memories.

It’s now time to put on my detective hat.

As I make my discoveries, I’ll share what I learn. That is the whole point of this blog–sharing my life lessons, in hopes I’ll help someone else along the way.

I am…

B…simply being…

Love and peace, Y’all.

Please keep Texas in your prayers.

 

Sharing

I have been sitting at my desk for sometime trying to corral my whirling thoughts. There is so much running through my mind it is hard to pull it all together into something I can share today.

A couple of things keep repeating themselves. I am discovering that writing is a very positive, healing experience for me. What I need to stress is that I am not writing to elicit sympathy. I am writing to share my experiences with those who may be dealing with some of the same issues–either in their lives now or in their past. I believe we are here to share the lessons we’ve learned. By sharing, two things will happen: I will be able to move on and readers will learn from me, hopefully saving them some time and heartache.

While researching quotes about grief, I came across a paragraph written by Miriam Toews. Finding this was like having that chance encounter at the grocery store when you run into an old friend–that friend who knows exactly what you need to hear as she greets and hugs you warmly.

Writing helps me create order out of chaos and make sense of things. It helps me to understand what I’ve experienced, what I’ve felt and seen, so it becomes easier to handle. On the other hand, I don’t want it to be just a cathartic experience, an outpouring of grief or whatever it is. 

My mind had turned to grief because of the newest terror attacks in Great Britain. Even the words of that sentence strike me as wrong. How could I be talking about an attack that killed many people with the descriptive word, ‘newest?’  We live in a world where tragedy seems to be a daily breaking news event. This morning I realized that terror attacks are becoming so common I am no longer shocked. For me, that thought stirred up a whole new level of grief. The memorial concert for the victims of the Manchester bombings had not yet happened when this new series–yes series–of attacks took place.

How can we find a way to understand any of this when these attacks, involving our brothers and sisters simply out living their lives, happen so quickly?

This quote attributed to Cheryl Strayed, gave me some comfort as it reinforced my belief that we are all in this together.

The healing power of even the most microscopic exchange with someone who knows in a flash precisely what you’re talking about because she has experienced that thing too cannot be over estimated.

If there was ever a time for us to take that extra second for patience and kindness, it is now.

I am…

B…simply being…

I love you.

Peace

 

My Little Sister

This is my story from a year ago–edited so I can share today.

“The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not ‘get over’ the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will heal and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same nor would you want to.” 

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

I lost my little sister eleven years ago today.

Beth Ann Burton was the best person I ever knew. She loved me and most people she met unconditionally.

I love you, Beth Anna, with all my heart. One of the clearest memories I have is hearing her tell me she loved me bunches and bunches.

I miss her every day–Sundays are, by far, the worst–even after all these years. I still find myself looking at the clock around five thinking it’s time to call her. Those Sunday calls began when she moved to Des Moines from Waterloo–I’d call to see how she was doing with her new job in a new city. The calls continued after I moved to Denver. Both our lives were busy–she worked two jobs and my job demanded a lot of my time. Regardless of what was going on in our lives, I don’t think we missed a Sunday call.

“Childhood memories were like airplane luggage; no matter how far you were traveling or how long you needed them to last, you were only ever allowed two bags. And while those bags might hold a few hazy recollections—a diner with a jukebox at the table, being pushed on a swing set, the way it felt to be picked up and spun around—it didn’t seem enough to last a whole lifetime.” 

Jennifer E. Smith, This Is What Happy Looks Like

I am…

B…simply being…

I love and miss you, Bethie.

~Peace~

 

 

 

 

 

 

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