Welcome to my blog. Thanks for coming! One day I hope my little piece of internet real estate will be home to lots of family photos, pictures of my scrapbook and card art, with some random thoughts and memories posted on a somewhat regular basis. Mostly my world is very predictable, but occasionally some excitement will find me, so visit often. Who knows what useful (or useless) information you may find here.


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Did President Obama Win The Debate?

The answer to this should be a firm yes.  Whoa – my liberal friends – no, I have not crossed the aisle.  Never fear, my conservative friends – my tent is still set firmly in your camp.

Here’s something I’ve been thinking about, though.  If an incumbent candidate is not able to absolutely mop the floor with a challenger, then… does he really deserve a second term?  Think about it.  (For the sake of simplicity, I’m using *male* as the gender.) It’s not like we’re comparing apples to apples here.  Here is a man, who for the past four years, has been allowed into the innermost circle of classified information, has experienced the daily grind of the job, and has been privy to the experiences and information handed down from the previous administration.  Shouldn’t he be able to swat the challenger like an annoying fly, and slam dunk him at the outset with all the ammunition he possesses? 

The debates of 2008 were a bit more evenly matched.  I’d say McCain probably even had an edge on Obama, because of his years in the military and in the senate.  He just didn’t *show* very well, and didn’t have the stage presence of Obama. The fact that he was FAR more qualified for the job didn't carry much weight in light of the smooth-talking, half-black, handsome man who mesmerized America with his talk of Hope and Change.

I’ve watched all three Presidential Debates as well as the VP Debates.  Here’s my take.  I know very little about foreign policy, how the economic system works, government spending, and even less about the mechanics of how our government operates.  That is a shameful thing to admit.  But, I probably fall into the majority.  I’d bet a good many of the Average Joe Americans know about as much (or little) as me.  So how do we know who is telling the truth?  We don’t.  So, then, on what do we base our decision on who "won" the debates?  Stage presence, charisma, class, and who appears the most “presidential”.  Shallow?  Perhaps.  Somewhat impressive, I'd say, is the ability to answer questions, and go head-to-head with the opponent. The ability for the non-incumbent candidate to know the vast amount of stuff he has to know in order to duke it out with the Commander In Chief, the Leader Of The Free World. Impressive. At least it is to me. 

It’s no secret that I do not care for President Obama.  About the only good thing that I can or will say about him is that he has charisma, a great stage presence, and he knows how to give a speech.  I believe he could sell a cup of water to a drowning man.  That being said – if you know me, or have read other posts related to politics, you will also know that I’m fair.  As best I know how to be.  I listen to both sides.  I want to hear what the liberals say as much as I want to hear what the conservatives say.  I don’t care about race, sexual orientation, or gender.  However, I do care about integrity, both real and perceived.

And I detest arrogance.  In my opinion, President Obama is one of the most arrogant men to walk the planet.  In reality, maybe he’s not. Perhaps I am wrong. I’ve not had the occasion to meet him personally or hang out with him on the weekends.  However – the way he conducts himself exudes arrogance.  I had to refrain myself from slapping my television set during the first debate.  There was a man who was so confident in his position and his assumption that his reelection is a done deal, that he had little regard for what the opposing candidate had to say.  He looked bored, condescending, and appeared as though scooping up his dog’s poop while on an afternoon walk would be more stimulating to him. Don’t believe me?  Go back and watch it again, with the volume turned down.  The words that were spoken said far less (to me) than the demeanor of the men talking. 

Athletics has never been a strong point for me.  I can dribble a basketball, and I can walk or run.  I cannot to both at the same time.  That fact was enough to keep me off the basketball team when I was in (today’s equivalent of) middle school.  But give me some pom-poms and I could rock-n-roll with the best cheerleaders in the county.  At the beginning of my 8th grade year, at the annual cheerleading tryouts, I was dealt a hard blow of reality.  I very distinctly remember the basketball coach and one of my 8th grade teachers, Sammy Wood, greeting me as I walked into the classroom that afternoon after tryouts.  He had an odd look on his face, and I asked him what was wrong.  It was like he was mad at me, or something.  I’ll never forget what he said.  “Cathy, you are so SURE you made the cut.  You need to understand that just because you were a cheerleader in 6th and 7th grade, and just because you think you are so great, does NOT guarantee you a place on the squad this year.”

Wow.  Sounds pretty harsh. You’d never hear a teacher say anything like that nowadays.  Angry parents would have them fired over such a derogatory remark to little Johnny or Suzie.  This was a different time, though, when teachers were allowed to be teachers, and the authority figures that they should be.  We loved and respected our teachers.  What Mr. Wood said to me not only scared the crap out of me, but it broke my heart that he felt that way about me.  It also broke my heart to realize that I had behaved in such a manner.  I vaguely even remember walking off the court thinking “I got this.”  Mr. Wood saw my attitude, and cared enough about me to bring me down a notch.  He followed it up with “I hope you do make it, but you just need not assume you will make it.”  I had not only assumed I would make it, I was absolutely certain of it.  I spent a worried few hours, and was prepared to be humiliated if I didn’t make the cut.

Thankfully – I did make the cheerleading squad that year, and lived to rock the pom-poms one more season, but that encounter with Mr. Wood taught me a valuable lesson that I hope I never forget. 

It seems that President Obama has an “I got this” attitude.  I am afraid that he probably will end up back in the Oval Office again.  But he need not be so cocky.  It doesn’t look good on him.  I'm hoping that he is wrong, and that he will be vacating the White House come January.

And then there’s VP Biden.  His performance during the debate was laughable.  (Pun intended.)  What a joke.  Five minutes into the debate, I posted on FB something to the effect that "Joe’s got his gigglebox turned over."  Even Average Joe Americans like me could see that he viewed Paul Ryan as a gnat in his lemonade on a hot afternoon.  Simply something to be shooed away, and laughed over.  What an arrogant ass.  While I readily admit that there’s more that I don’t understand than I do – does he really think we are that stupid?  He wants to laugh at concerns over Iran’s ability to generate nuclear weapons.  Oh.. sure, they’ve got the stuff to make the bombs, but don't  worry about it!  They don’t have anything to load or carry them on.  Really, Mr. VP?  The fact that they are able to procure the materials needed to build a bomb doesn’t alert you to the fact that they can get their grubby little hands on a missile?  Oh, but let’s just laugh about such a silly concern.  Like he laughed about everything else.  Honestly, Paul Ryan deserves an award for being able to continue the debate without punching that smile right off of VP Biden’s face.  I seriously wanted to punch him my ownself. How the liberal media declared him the “winner” of that debate is beyond my grasp of comprehension. 

But back to my original point. President Obama and VP Biden should have been able to absolutely slaughter Gov Romney and Senator Ryan, considering their positions.   The fact that they didn’t, IMO, would make Romney and Ryan the winners, by default – regardless of whether they won or not on their own merit (which I still think they did!)

I am ready for a president who thinks we are more important, and our nation’s recovery is more important than bowing in deference to a middle-eastern king, or apologizing to Muslim nations because we have been “insensitive”, or “dictatorial”.  That’s a crock.  And a president who knows that we indeed still have lots and lots of bayonets, and that it does matter who has the most battleships in the ocean. 

I am well aware that this election is probably the most hotly-discussed and emotional election in many years - certainly since I have been of voting age.  I hope that YOU have made up YOUR mind which candidate you will support.  This rant of mine is not intended to sway you or change your mind.  (Likewise, don’t bother to try and change mine… you will not succeed.)  I have many friends who feel as strongly supportive of President Obama as I strongly oppose him.  That’s fine.  I love you anyway.  Vote for whomever you please. Just please vote.  But don’t be saying The Democrats won the debate.  Because they didn’t.  They should have blown them out of the water, but they didn’t.   I am Hoping for Change.  I already voted my choice.  Make sure you vote yours!!  

Monday, October 22, 2012

And Miles To Go Before I Sleep

Wow.  What a busy start to a busy week.  Grandparents' Breakfast with Leyland and Corey at school today, then a visit to the book fair.  (Well planned, SES... haha!)  My grandchildren are such braniacs - their book choices were Justin Bieber and Batman.  Oh well.  As long as they will "read" them, I'm fine with their selections.  At least I was able to convince Corey he really didn't want the book on zombies and werewolves.  Superheroes trump zombies any day for this Greemaw.  Mary's class has Grandparents' Breakfast and book fair on Wednesday.  Wonder what book she will choose?

Then off to Winder with a long list of places to go and people to see.  First stop was State Farm to report my recent vehicle change (a month ago, I think?) and get coverage changed to the Sportage.  I didn't get the thingy from the car dealership until Thursday to take to the tag office (since my tag expired yesterday - a Sunday).  Thankfully, there was a reminder that I needed proof of insurance to do the tag thing.  Ooops!!  I had forgotten all about making that phone call.  With a limited amount of time this morning, it was crucial to plan my route carefully.  For such a small town, Winder has some big traffic issues, and it can be nightmarish trying to navigate the fair streets of the city.  Next stop was the ATM at the bank in case I needed cash for my next stop -  the courthouse.  That was a good move.  I did need cash for copies.  Good thing I remembered to do the ATM thing, because my own personal superhero, Richard Russell, was not in the courthouse today to spot me some cash, like he did the last time I was there.  Thank you Vicky, for once again, knowing exactly what I needed and getting it for me quickly.  And your kind words are always appreciated.  Then, with proof-of-insurance in hand, it's off to the Tag Office at the annex building, which is also on the way to the Social Security Office, my next planned stop.  I noticed an Early Voting Today sign on the lawn at the annex, so I decided I'd go ahead and get that out of the way while I was out.  I can never remember my name on the voter registration card (Cathy, Catherine, Linda ... ) so I was a bit worried that voting out of my normal voting place would be problematic.  Especially since my current Driver's License has a totally different name and address.  No problems, though, and a wait time of less than ten minutes.  So, it's official!  I've cast my vote!!

In order to change my driver's license, I need my Social Security card, which has been stored in A Safe Place.... (Translation - I will never see it again).  Thinking maybe I had put it back in the safety deposit box, I decided a trip back to the bank could possibly eliminate a trip to the SSA office.  Besides, I've been meaning to surrender the safety deposit box anyway, since last year at a Black Friday sale I bought one of those handy dandy fireproof personal safe  things.  As of today, I've retrieved everything from the SD box, and surrendered my key.  So, there's another task I can mark as complete on my to-do list!! But, alas, the SS card was not inside.  Just a collection of bond certificates, various and sundry divorce papers, a note from my grandmother, and a proof set of coins from the year Whitney was born.

Shoot. That meant I would have to go by the SSA office.  Bleh.  I spent 45 minutes waiting in a room full of all varieties of people.  And there was this one lady who just insisted on getting in my *space* and breathing on me.  I don't even like people I know and love breathing in my face, much less a croupy, raspy-sounding stranger.  Trying not to appear rude or snobbish, I discretely paced the room for a moment and then found a different seat.  To my surprise and delight, the person behind the counter who finally called my number was none other than a childhood friend and classmate, so I retracted my horns and hid my pitchfork, and enjoyed a few minutes of catching up with her. (Trying to be mindful of the other folks waiting with their own horns and pitchforks, and not "visit" too long.) On the way home, just one more quick stop in the Pharmacy to pick up some medication, and now I can check off all the places I needed to go today.  Yes, I really did have a list.  If not, I'd get back home without going everywhere I needed to go.

And now I think I am finally ready to start my work day, which won't end until 11:00 p.m. tonight.  I'm a tad bit upset that someone scheduled a Presidential debate on a Monday night.  Don't these people know that I work Monday nights? (So I can send them some tax dollars!!)  I wonder if it's too late to petition them to change it to Tuesday night.  Hmph. The nerve.

At any rate, it was a busy morning, but I got tons of stuff done.  Even though my impatience was beginning to show a little at the SSA office, it really was a productive few hours.  Now I need to keep the momentum going, get lots of work done *at work*, and then it will be bedtime again.  Though I've already been miles and miles today already, there are still miles to go before I sleep.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Personal Ads

It is simply amazing the things you can find on the internet.  Someone posted a link to this personal ad the other day, and it cracked me up.  

One Bedroom Apartment Plus Boyfriend

I have a sunny bedroom in Noe Valley.  I also have really cute legs.  This will make sense in a second.  I decided this place was feeling just too big, so I thought I would look for a roommate, and then I remembered that I was looking for a girlfriend too, so why don’t I just throw all my eggs in one basket and go for the whole Shibang.  Kittenkaboodle.  Ball of wax.  Whatever.  This might sound nuts, but I bet there is some lovely woman out there saying to herself, “GOD, I wish I could find a good man … with a full size refrigerator and new tile in the bathroom.”  So here is the deal:  You have a great smile and a heart of gold.  And you also have curtain rods and hopefully a good floor lamp.  I am 35, physically fit, have a good job, and the apartment has a living room and a good sized kitchen.  I have an unusually high IQ, interesting sense of humor, and there is plenty of cabinet space in the pantry and good water pressure in the shower head.  I am looking for someone who is sweet and honest and earnest (like me) and who likes to have presents made for her and have her pillow fluffed, and also would not mind making me a ham sandwich now and again.  NOT because she HAS TO, but because she LOVES me.  Like I love her.  Which is why I would sit there and hold her hand while she cried for an hour about something that made absolutely no sense.  And then I would get up and make HER a ham sandwich.  And some soup.  Then I would fix the water heater.  Because I love her.  Anyway, the apartment is close to shops.  My best qualities are my exuberance for life, one-of-a-kind personality and kindness and compassion for others.  I retain a certain cheerfulness and hopeful disposition, and I am even romantic like people were back in the days before the sexes weren't afraid to interact with each other – like when they would actually smile and say hi to each other – like in the 50s.  Upon completion of a successful interview, please be prepared to provide a nominal deposit.  You also have to sleep with me.  Utilities included.  Did I mention I like animals?


Haha!  Sounds like a REAL CATCH, huh?

I've been Single Again for almost a week now.  Five days. Well, in all the ways that count, for 89 days, and living alone for 73 days. But who's counting? It's about time to find myself a new man.  Doncha think?  After all, I'm a girl.  I need a man to look out for me, right?  Somebody to move the furniture so I can vacuum behind the sofa.  (Oh wait, I can do that myself.)  Someone to clean out my gutters.  (Nah, I paid someone to do that.)   Somebody to do my yard work.  (Nope, I got that covered too.)  Someone to keep my car in good running order.  (No - I have a car with a 5/10 year warranty now.)  Somebody to get my Christmas tree out of the attic.  (I always did that myself anyhow.)  Somebody to      fill in the blank/whatever    .  Oh wait.  I can probably do that myself too, call my daddy or my neighbors, or if all else fails, hire it done.

But then there's the part that I can't manage myself, or call on my daddy or the neighbors to do, or hire someone to do.  (Arguably, I suppose I could hire it done, but I'm talking real stuff here, not the kind for hire.)  There's the Emotional Stuff.  The Companionship.  The "Belonging".  The Intimacy.  The Love.  

No matter how independent I am, or am learning again to be, there's nothing that quite takes the place of belonging with someone, and all that It entails. I do truly miss That.  Quite frankly, it pisses me off that I no longer have It.  I didn't even know I was missing It, or that I wanted It, until I found It again at fifty-something years old.  And now I don't have It.  And most likely won't ever have It again.   

I wasn't in the market for a companion before he came along.  Then like the kiss of Prince Charming that awakened Snow White, everything changed, and I realized I did want It. And now that The Prince bailed on me, and having It with him is no longer possible, yeah, I'm just pretty much pissed about it all.  

I've tried this marriage thing three times now.  Is there an unwritten law somewhere that says three strikes and you're out?  No more wedded bliss? Well, no, I don't guess so.  But I already felt kind of weird about being married a third time... much less DIVORCED a third time!  So, while there's no written law that I can't be married a fourth time, for my own personal self, it just seems a ludicrous concept that I will not allow myself to even remotely entertain.  

All that being said, it would appear that I have limited my options to just getting myself a boyfriend.  A funny book I once read said that there are five kinds of men that every woman needs and wants.  Finding all these qualities in one man is pretty rare.  But you can't blame a girl for trying.  Here's our dream man:

1. A man who can fix things
2. A man who can pay for things
3. A man you can dance with
4. A man you can talk to
5. (My blog is rated G, so I won't quote her directly on this last one, but you can probably figure it out on your own.)

Trouble is, there's slim pickins out there these days, and I'm not so sure there's one guy who has even two or three of these qualities, much less all five. At my age, I've added a 6th:  Breathing.

I suppose I'll just wait for the invention of The Perfect, Programmable Boyfriend. The Clap-On / Clap-Off version would be even better. 

But in the meantime, maybe I need to check out the guy who posted the ad.  A tad young for me, but I do love a good ham sandwich!!

(Disclaimer for my mama:  Seriously just kidding about the boyfriend thing!!!!)

Monday, October 15, 2012

Birthday Calories Don't Count. Right??!??

Well, that's my story, and I'm stickin' to it..  If they do, then they shouldn't.  Birthdays are for celebrating, and though it was a low-key weekend, I did my share of celebrating calorie-wise.  My mom took me to Outback for lunch on Saturday, and best I can calculate (which explains WHY I am insisting that the calories don't count) just my lunch and sharing a dessert with my mom came in at a whopping 1478 calories.  YIKES!!  Since I was pretty stuffed, I opted for a lighter fare for dinner.  A few tortilla chips and salsa was plenty enough to tide me over.  I didn't even bother to count those few silly calories.  

My friend Jeremy and I are of the opinion that birthday celebrations aren't limited to just one day.  We milk it for all it's worth.  (He had so many celebrations, he's on a first-name basis with the Bakery Lady at Publix!00) With that in mind, I gladly accepted the invitation to dine with the Huths on Sunday night.  I think someone forgot to tell them that it was still October, and not Thanksgiving!  Wow, what a spread!!  Ham, beans, homemade potato salad, broccoli casserole, garlic/cheese biscuits, and sweet potatoes!!  Oh my.  I am surprised my britches didn't just bust a seam right there at the table..  I got up from my chair to go inside for a refill of tea, then said "who am I kidding", and grabbed my plate for a refill as well. Much smaller portions, this time, of course.  That was a seriously delicious meal.  Not even counting dessert, I probably consumed several thousand creamy, syrupy, crunchy, delicious and nutritious calories.  I consumed so much food that little calorie birds, moons, suns, stars, and tiny little calorie leprechauns were oozing from my pores and seeping from my ears.  I was in serious overload.  Heaven.

And I enjoyed every calorie-laden, heavenly moment. 

The Berniuses usually dine with the Huths on Sunday evenings, and now that I no longer work Sundays, I will occasionally join in the family tradition.  This was a GREAT Sunday to go!  Jeremy made a birthday card for me with Cooper's picture on the front (so sweet).  After dinner we had a lively discussion on politics and religion, two of my very favorite subjects to discuss!!  (Such a great discussion that I was almost late getting home in time to watch Revenge!)  

At some point during the conversation, the candles were lit, the birthday song was sung, and I blew out the candles. Only three candles, though.  After all that eating, I wouldn't have had the breath to extinguish 54 of them.  Cake.  Glorious Cake With Chocolate Icing.  Yum.  And the calories just kept piling on.  

As if that wasn't enough, there were doggie bags involved!  I can hardly wait for dinner tonight to do it all over again.  My take-home portions are quite a bit smaller than last night's feast, so the caloric intake will be significantly less.  I guess I need to be a little conscious of that, since my birthday weekend has come and gone.   

But I'm hanging on to the theory that Birthday Calories Don't Count.  

Saturday, October 13, 2012

A Tale Of Two Cities

Literature.  A word that strikes fear in the hearts of many.  I personally happened to enjoy my lit classes in high school.  I remember my teachers:  Ms. Reynolds, Ms. Fragopoulos, and Ms. Anderson.  Some authors were more intriguing than others.  Dickens was kind of on the fence for me.  Didn't love him, didn't hate him. One of the most classic lines of his that I remember was "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times."

If asked to summarize the 53rd year of my life, that quotation pretty much covers it.  It was a great year.  I was married to my best friend, and we shared an amazing life and love story.  My sweet grandchildren brought me great joy.  My family and friends surrounded me with love and good times.  Life was great!  It Was The Best Of Times.

Until it wasn't.  My husband chose the Road Not Taken (and surely 'it did all the difference make'!),  and left my life feeling much like an off-balanced washing machine with a heavy wet rug trying to go through the spin cycle. It Was The Worst Of Times. We didn't survive it, and I spent my 54th birthday without my husband, fresh out of an impersonal courtroom where marriages are dissolved by strangers in black robes.

It was a great year.  It was a crappy year.

For those who have walked with me down the happy paths as well the sad, lonely, and dark paths - thank you.  I couldn't have survived The Worst Of Times without you.

Today begins a new (birthday anniversary) year of my life.  I don't know what the year will bring.  Hopefully it will be a healthy mix of joy, challenges, growth, and change.  I'd like to avoid as much of the icky stuff as possible, but then so would we all.

I'm looking forward to a year of The Best Of Times.  So... Where shall we begin?

Monday, October 8, 2012

Dr. Ross, I Presume?

When I was in Tech School, one of our resources was a book titled On Death and Dying by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, MD.  The blurb for the book reads:  “One of the most important psychological studies of the late twentieth century, On Death and Dying grew out of Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross's famous interdisciplinary seminar on death, life, and transition. In this remarkable book, Dr. Kübler-Ross first explored the now-famous five stages of death: denial and isolation, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Through sample interviews and conversations, she gives the reader a better understanding of how imminent death affects the patient, the professionals who serve that patient, and the patient's family, bringing hope to all who are involved.

This book was written, and has for years been required reading for nursing students. Everyone experiences loss.  Every day, somewhere, people are saying goodbye to someone they love.  As healthcare providers, we not only have to go through our own personal losses, but we must deal with patients who are dying, and their families.  Granted – my career path has removed me from direct patient care, and thankfully, from the aspect of caring for the dying or bereaved.  I have always admired hospice workers, and Hem/Onc physicians and nurses.  I know my strengths – and they definitely do not lie there.

There are other losses that we suffer in life as well.  The loss of dreams, the loss of friends or family because of disagreements, the loss of jobs, homes, and tangible things.  These can be equally as devastating. 

And then there’s divorce.  Often the loss through divorce ranks with death. Sometimes maybe even worse.  Folks don’t usually choose to die, but in divorce, someone makes a choice. 

If my husband had died, there would have been flowers, fried chicken and chocolate cake, friends surrounding me for two or three days, a casket and a funeral.  And I would be without my husband.

As it is, there is no funeral food, no flowers, no BeBomb, and no preacher to read the 23rd Psalm.  Yet I am without my husband. Don’t get me wrong.  I don’t want my husband to be dead.  It’s just hard, because with a divorce, there is no closure.  No grave. The person is still “out there”.   Instead of a eulogy and reading of the 23rd Psalm, the final sound of my marriage will be that of a gavel echoing from the cold walls of a courtroom. 

When someone dies, the spouse is given a wide berth for grief, with no expectations of how long is “proper” to embrace the grief.  We tell them “time heals all pain”… even though it really doesn’t.  It just lessens it a little bit, and the person simply learns to live without the person they loved.  Weeks, months, and years will pass, and at times grief will fall on them like a ton of bricks, and the pain is as raw as it ever was.  And that’s okay.  We allow them that.

When someone is divorced, it is at times awkward to know the right words to say.  I have been blessed with the most awesome friends and family – and I do feel the love.  Yet, when someone is divorced, the hurting spouse isn’t necessarily granted the same “privileges” to grieve.  People expect you to get over it right away.  Especially if the offending party “did you wrong”, or behaved in a despicable manner.  “You’re better off without him.”  That’s something I hear often. And while I don’t disagree with the statement, it makes it no less painful to deal with the loss.  

Even so - I don’t want him back - regardless of how often he would tell me it was a mistake, and that he still loved me. Even a child understands that actions speak louder than words.  I’m better off alone than with someone who has such little regard for me and the heart that I so freely entrusted to him.  So, no, I don’t want him back.  I won't be a side dish for him, either.  He chose a different path, and regardless of how badly he wanted it to, it doesn't include me.  I think he finally understands that. 

But that doesn’t mean that I don’t miss the good times.  And there were good times.  I read something once that said “Just because the flower has died, doesn’t mean it didn’t smell sweet while it bloomed.”  Yes – that sums it up nicely.

And now that I’m feeling better emotionally, I find that I miss the physical presence – the companionship.  I had been single for 19 years, and was perfectly fine being the odd man out at couples parties, going to the movies or out to eat alone, etc.  I like my company (ha) and I was good with that.  Then along came my prince charming, and rocked my world – and I LOVED IT!  I loved the feeling of belonging with someone (note- not TO someone, but WITH someone) - the feeling of shared hopes, dreams, and secrets – someone to scratch my back at night and tell me funny stories and sing silly songs-  I LOVED IT!!  And I realized what I had been missing for 19 years. 

I had to kiss a lot of frogs over the years to find my prince.  I just didn’t know the spell worked in reverse, and that my prince could turn into a toad. 

Yet still I grieve.  And I need for people to allow me to grieve.  The moments of deep despair are mostly gone.  But my heart still bleeds.  Not for the loss of the toad.  I don't want that man. I’m done with frogs.  But the loss of my prince along with the hopes and dreams for our future, the tattered shreds of my heart, and the loss of my best friend, still cuts deep, and the wounds are slow to heal. 

Dr. Ross got it right in her book.  There are stages of grief.  I do feel like I have reached the final stage – acceptance – but just because you make it to that stage, it doesn’t mean you close the door on it and the pain goes away.  Ask anyone who has lost someone they love. 

For those closest to me, I know it is difficult to watch.  I try to be strong.  And I truly am getting stronger.  Death is part of life.  Unfortunately, in our society, divorce becomes a reality in many marriages.  And you grieve when it’s over.  There’s nothing anyone can do to take the pain away from me. You can walk the road with me, but you can’t walk it for me.  Walking it with me makes it easier, but don’t try to rush me.  I do see the light, and all is not dark like it was at first.  That is progress. Times will be better.  Of this, I am absolutely certain.  

Just remember – when your friend or family member goes through the painful breakup of a marriage, give them room.. and plenty of time to grieve.  Sometimes it’s okay to say “you’re better off without them”, but that doesn’t bring much comfort to the one suffering. Even if he/she knows it to be the truth.  The absolute best thing you can do for your hurting friend is listen.  Even if they say the same thing over and over again.  A thousand times.  Just listen.  If they don’t want to talk about it, then talk about something else.  Lots of times, that’s the last thing they want to discuss.  But then again, sometimes it’s all they can talk about.  DJ has listened to me so much I can’t believe her ears don't start bleeding at the sight of me. 

Writing about it is huge.  Matter of fact, by the time you read this, I’ll be feeling much better.  So don’t be freaking out thinking I’m about to jump off a cliff or something.  No. I’m just venting. The past few days have left me feeling a little shaky, and I just needed to work it out in my mind and my heart - and putting it on *paper* is how I do that.  Lucky you - if you choose to read, then I'm the patient, you’re the psychologist.  The only difference is, I’m not lying on a couch talking to you, and you’re not charging me $125.00 per session.  Are you?

If you made it this far, just say a little prayer for me and try to remember some of the things I’ve said that might help you when someone you care about goes through it.  Because chances are, either someone already is, or will be soon.
Death sucks.  Divorce sucks.  Bleh.  

Sunday, October 7, 2012


A good devotional book is a treasure.  I pray often throughout my day.  I read and often recite from memory the Scriptures I have learned as well.  But I love the focus of a devotional book.  I have an old one called "Daily Light", a compilation of Bible verses by Anne Graham Lotz.  There is no commentary, just a hodge-podge of verses that kind of interrelate with each other.  Nothing wrong with it - and it contains some of my favorite verses - but I rather like the devotionals that are written to inspire me to think, and encourage me for the day at hand.  

My friend, Cathy Sells, often puts excerpts of her daily devotional reading on her FB wall, and I've enjoyed reading those.  They're from a book called Jesus Calling.  After my granddaughter Mary got saved, I was looking for a kid-appropriate devotional book, and was delighted to find that Jesus Calling has a kid-friendly version, and got that for her.  She loved it - and hopefully is still reading from it.

The last few days have found me feeling a little weird about some things, and a couple of coincidental things have happened.  The little cloud that sometimes hovers over me has blown my way a few times over the past couple of days, and I've felt a little weak at times.  Though for the most part I have been feeling stronger, and encouraged, I also know that I'm not out of the woods yet.  You just don't get over something like this in two  or three months.  When your world is flung from its axis, hurdling through time and space, crashing into things, it takes a while to harness it again, and secure order.  For the most part, things are settling in and the surface waters have calmed.  Every now and then, though, a volcano will erupt, lightning will strike, or an earthquake threatens to tip the balance of the universe.  The cursed black cloud is never completely out of sight... and relentlessly pursues me. Thankfully, with my umbrella of faith and friends, it hovers over me less and less often.  

Recently, though, one such lightning bolt struck on the first day of September when I opened my book of daily devotions to find that the theme for the month was The Joy Of Marriage.  Seriously?  What a sad irony.  I decided it was time to find a new book of devotions.  Until such time as I found one, I revisited my old Daily Light book.  

Today I was out running some errands, minding my own business - and the faint rumble I had been noticing kept creeping closer and growing louder, until I recognized it for what it was - thunder - and that relentless black cloud engulfed me again.  When these moments arise, there's nothing to do but face them head on, and pray they pass quickly.  Deep breathing, prayers, and thoughts of affirmation help me get through.  Once the moment passed, though I was a bit shaken, I continued my errands, determined to complete my tasks.  

As often seems to happen, a really great song came on the radio - right at the moment I needed to hear it.  I'm sure I had heard it before, but this time it spoke to me: 

"Our God" by Chris Tomlin

Our God is greater, our God is stronger
God You are higher than any other
Our God is Healer, awesome and power
And if Our God is for us, then who could ever stop us
And if our God is with us, then what can stand against?

The song spoke to me as a reminder that God is Strong, and a Healer, Awesome in Power, and This Black Cloud (et al), while it may follow me for years, and rain on me often, will not defeat me.  As I was sitting in the parking lot listening to the song, I thought of Cathy's book, and decided I'd see if Wal Mart carried it.  I headed straight for the Books section..  Lo and behold, there on the top shelf, partially obscured by other books, I saw it.  Only one copy.  A very nicely bound book - so nicely bound, in fact, that it was priced a little more than I had expected to pay.  It fit perfectly in my hands, though, and the soft leather felt just right.  I thumbed through the book to find today's reading.  What I read spoke far louder than the rumble of thunder that had been nipping at me all day, and I knew this was the perfect book for me.  

Today - October 7th 
In order to hear My voice, you must release all your worries into My care.  Entrust to Me everything that concerns you.  This clears the way for you to seek My face unhindered.  Let Me free you from fear that is hiding deep inside you.  Sit quietly in My presence, allowing My light to soak into you and drive out any darkness lodged within you.

Accept each day just as it comes to you, remembering that I am sovereign over your life.  Rejoice in this day that I have made, trusting that I am abundantly present in it.  Instead of regretting or resenting the way things are, thank Me in all circumstances.  Trust Me, and don't be fearful; thank Me and rest in My sovereignty.  

Oh. My.  

I bought the book.  

Thank you, God, for being more greater, and more powerful than the storm.   I pray for deliverance from the rumbling of the volcanoes, earthquakes, and storms - but until such time that I am delivered from them, I know that I don't have to face them alone.