Posted in flowers, Gardening

Saying it with flowers

Starting the week with more beauties from the Fairy Garden and a lovely shade of Lilac.

Have a great week everyone and remember that sometimes you just have to say it with flowers. ❤️

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Posted in Life, Mom

A House but not a Home

I’ve been spending a lot of time with Mom, sometimes seven hours, give or take, more or less. I don’t mind and it’s no longer exhausting like it was in the beginning when everything was a challenge, and she fought me every step of the way. Things have changed a lot since then, and can’t be compared anymore. It’s nothing like it was and I can’t even imagine anymore.

I was tired today and felt that my mind was getting ready for a little break. Maybe my patience was wearing a little thin, but it wasn’t that I would show it. I just think the lack of sleep from prior nights has finally caught up with me. Mom has talked nonstop and she has much to say these days. She has become a friend that shares her memories, thoughts and other stories. It’s all good and we laugh a lot, but I could tell that this empath (me) was ready for some peace and quiet soon. Tomorrow I will take a break and perhaps even take some time for myself. The prior days off, can hardly be labeled as breaks, and there are always plenty of chores that are waiting for a hand to tend to. But tomorrow should be a day for me and if I want to nap in the afternoon, there is a pretty good chance that I will might as well just do so.

Mom seems to be more at peace. She knows that I’m there for her and that she doesn’t have to worry about the house. It’s a huge burden lifted from her shoulders I’m sure. She still wants to come home, but she now doesn’t mind me bringing things to the nursing home. She knows she is not quite ready and needs more healing. The room is slowly getting cozier and is filling with personal artifacts. She even took up knitting again and is on her second pair. I have enough socks that I can wear a different pair each day, for a long long time. I have to say that each pair is special to me as if it was some tremendous treasure. Each pair has memories attached, although I wasn’t here for most of them, although I never knew until now that she made all those pair for me, her daughter who was far, far away. Each pair has been touched by her hands, and I don’t want them disturbed. In a way I feel the same as she must had when it comes to Dad and the memory she has preserved. Leaving everything as it was as to remember and preserve. I have a total new perspective on her reasons and why she did it.

I’m not sure when she stopped knitting and how long it has been that she held her last pair. I decided to bring some yarn a few weeks ago, well, let’s just say that the rest is history. She struggled a bit in the beginning and made a few mistakes, but she is back in pro mode and each pair is turning out beautifully. She has enough yarn in her nightstand to open a little shop hahaha and she never once told me to take it away or home. She could sell them and I thought about doing the same before, (not with the ones she made for me) but much time goes into making them, plus the cost of the yarn, I would have to charge a pretty penny. Yet they are worth every penny I believe, has said every creator or artist before me.

The picture shows Mom wearing the very first pair I ever knitted alone. She taught me how to knit socks several years ago and the pair we made together will never be worn, but remains a keepsake of great value to me. Back in the states I made those socks from the yarn we selected together and thought it was only right that the first pair should be hers. She was so proud of me back then as I learned how to make them. Showing an interest for her craft also played a big role in it. She never wore the pair I gifted her and had them tucked away. I thought it was perfect timing to break them out and took them to the nursing home. To my surprise she let me put them on her feet and has worn them ever since. Proudly she tells the nurses who compliment her on her current knitting endeavor that her daughter knits too while showing off her feet. She says she loves how warm and cozy they keep her feet and it almost moved me to tears, hearing it the first time.

It was tough to leave Mom tonight. It’s my rest day tomorrow and I know I need it, but still. I like to share my time with her, to laugh with her and inspire her. To leave her in awe when I fold an Origami crane, or some other simple craft that she is falling in love with. To expand her mind and get her familiar with things she has never seen before. She is full of wonder, like a child experiencing magic for the first time. It was hard to leave and it’s getting cold outside. There is a chill in the air that bypassed fall all together, and is greeting winter. There is even snow in the forecast, and tonight I turned the heater up to warm the apartment.

Mom hugged me tight tonight, knowing I won’t be there tomorrow. “Take care of the house” she said like so many times as I turned away. I fought bittersweet tears before I even made it out of her room, and tonight the house feels especially lonely. I see Mom everywhere and she is nowhere. Tonight this is definitely a house, but it is not a home without Mom within these walls.

Posted in Inspiration

Greetings from the Fae

Every time I think that surely all good things must come to an end, the Fairy Garden surprises and proves with a “Not just yet” and with another beauty. I have a few more pictures and this one reminded me of the Fae playground.

It’s where the fairies come to play and if you look closely you surely see their tiny footprints on the mossy ground. Taking shelter from the bright sun, while looking up to the giants that provide cool napping spots. There isn’t a worry in the world because if a trickle falls, the petals will brace their fall.

Oh, what it must be like, life in the Fairy Garden.

Posted in Chronic illness, hope, Inspiration

Short lived Euphoria

Sorry for the poor quality photo shot through a screen and dirty window.

It was my WordPress sister Colette who commented the other day by saying that it seemed like my pain-free euphoria had disappeared completely. She was correct and it’s easy to be motivated and inspired when you are felling half way decent. You think anything is possible, and it is during the dark moments and the pain, when your sanity dwindles away and leaves you in misery.

My life had always been somewhat of a constant rollercoaster. Born on the day of ups and downs, and reminded of it to be normal, more times that I cared for. 2018, for me goes down as one of my most challenging years, as well as one of the most growing, emotional years of my life. There is so much to celebrate and shout from the majestic mountain tops, and yet so much to mourn through The Valley of Loss in general.

Pain had found its way back into my life, and when it comes to the pain management, it did appear as if Euphoria was short-lived. About two weeks ago I went to the doctor and had an Angel take a look and order blood work. I was in so much pain, I couldn’t function anymore. My posts were reflecting my peaks and valleys, one moment euphoric and one moment in tears and downright depressive. I had to overcome the status of my self sufficiency and accept help. Help that was given freely and without any cost to me. It was more of putting myself out there, and to be vulnerable, even though I usually are not afraid of doing so. But I had to realize that I couldn’t fend for myself anymore. I needed help and there have only been a few times that I couldn’t take care of myself. Believe me when I say that it has nothing to do with foolish pride, but everything with learning to be responsible. I always had to be and for me it was a matter of survival. Now it was in the hands of someone else. Scary.

I thought that I was dealing with a rheumatoid Arthritis flare, and after a shot and some meds, I was on my way. Pain that intense had only been experienced during prior flares, an ectopic pregnancy and an infection in my stomach. I ruled out the later, so a flare up it had to be. I could feel the shot working almost immediately and I was flying high above the valleys on my way to the mountain top. Relief was given and the swelling stopped. My hands calmed down and the shaking subsided. Amazing how much your overall well being is affected when you feel good. Good enough to function and enjoy some quality of life. Your posts are positive again, and you finally feel strong enough to master all your chores. It appears to come easy and there is no major struggle. Nothing is weighing you down. You forget about the pain and you breathe deeply. It has been too long when you experienced a pain free day and all you remember is how much the nagging pain is affecting your life. You are grateful for the break and wish it could stay like this forever. What a blessing life used to be. Something so simple and so often overlooked, our health is everything and here is your reminder that it is not a given, not something that is always going to be there.

Less then a week later the shot was wearing off and I could feel the pain return. Little by little, more and more intense it crept back in. Saturday and Sunday night were the worst days, and I’d be back to cringing and crying, sleepless nights and screaming in pain. I still believed that I had a flare, that what I ate caused the inflammation, toppled with the allergies that were present in my body. Monday I went back to the doctor to go over my blood work once more. I learned that the inflammation is from the RA in part but not from a flare up. Diet and stress are also key players, but finding out what I was allergic to didn’t seem to be on top of the agenda. Especially since I don’t have any symptoms such as itchy eyes etc. Perhaps mine came in the form of inflammation that translated to pain. I got some medication to calm my mind, antidepressants if you will to help me sleep. I tried the first night and it was awful. While it did knock me out more, it also caused more pain and longer periods of not moving my muscles, which I really shouldn’t have to while I sleep, but I do. I was rusting away while I was resting. There was no healing lotion other then to keep in motion. I wasn’t depressed and it wasn’t that I couldn’t sleep, facing insomnia. It was the pain that didn’t let me come to rest. It was manageable throughout the day, but the nights were something else. I’d cry before bed, afraid to lay down, being so tired and wanting nothing more then a good nights rest. Was this a thing of the past…history? It would barely be light outside and I would get up, just to get out of bed and to move a little to ease the pain.

It was Monday after the doctor and while visiting Mom. I felt overwhelmed and could hardly hold back the tears looking at Mom. Sunday night had been the worst. She was just sitting there and I felt vulnerable, hurt, sad, emotional, and everything else under the sky. For sure signs of someone entering depression. At one point I truly thought that I had arrived at the gates of uncertainty, perhaps Hell. Another soul fighting depression, feeling lost. Mom knew that something was wrong and she could barely look at me. I know she knew that I struggled, but she was afraid to ask what was wrong. Surely it would involve her and I knew she was scared. That itself caused more tears wanting to come forward, and more sadness pumped through my veins. I didn’t hold it against her not to ask me and I knew it wasn’t a matter because she didn’t care. She remained silent and so did I. I carried her pain that day and mine. I choose not to talk about having to go back to the states to take care of things. I choose not to tell her that my rent had increased yet again. I choose to deal with it alone. How much more could I carry on these shoulders, what else could I deal with? No wonder I was in so much pain. I was carrying the world and my knees were buckling.

Through the pain and tear filled eyes, I looked outside. Waiving my short lived euphoria goodbye and missing it already. Shortly after that, the sky literally opened up and showed me a tiny window where the sun was shining. Through it were the colors of a rainbow reminding me that beautiful things are born out of darkness and hardship.

Rainbow….A symbol of magical blessings. The promise that the troubles of today will surely come to pass. Hold strong in your faith and vision and the rainbow will bring fresh beginnings and prosperity. The celts also associated the meaning of the rainbow with the promise of new life provided by the divine feminine. In Christianity it is no different. A symbol of promise, we see evidence in Genesis, 9:13 “I have set my (rain)bow in the clouds, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth.” Lastly I love that rainbow is also a extraordinary symbol of following our hearts desire and purpose…to get to the end of the rainbow is a symbol for the celebration of that fulfillment. The end of the rainbow signifies a pot of gold and the magic that surrounds your dreams coming true.

Sometimes we need something, anything, to believe and to motivate ourselves. It could be anything, and for me it was a sign. I needed to see it right then and there. A little magic from the divine to stay the course, to trust that all will find it’s way. I hope that when pain gets unbearable and strikes again, that I will remember that moment of hope in the sky. That I can remember the promise of a new life, and be courageous to fight another day.

Posted in Inspiration

Pssssst………this is for YOU!

I like dirty minds and restful hearts. The ones that fought to get here, who can look past the past and leave it there, who have learned to laugh over and over again, and the ones that because of “IT” have a story to tell.

I love the old souls that have known hard lives; the ones that seen a struggle or two. The impatiently patient that know what they want, and who don’t accept anything less. My heart beats for the imperfectly perfect who have learned to see their opportunities as strengths and who show us that it can be done. The world doesn’t need perfect, but it needs passion. The ones full of inspiration that are doing it while others say that it can’t be done.

The warriors in pursuit of whatever sets their soul on fire, even if it means to stand alone and break convention. I admire the brave that have fallen but don’t stay down for long. Courageously they stand again, straighten their crown and move on.

My soul embraces the misfits, the ones that don’t belong, and the ones that find their way anyway. The artists and free spirits, the wanderers and fairies. The shamans that recognize their inner healing power and the empaths that share love and kindness to make the world a better place. The unique and different, the painters and lovers. The gypsies and young at heart that nurture our inner child.

It is those with the darkest and most difficult of life’s who cast the most beautiful shine.

Posted in Human spirit, Inspiration, Strength

Battle-Mode

  • All my life there has always been a battle or two that was waiting to be fought. No wonder that I feel so tired sometimes. I battled most of the famous ones and most came down to principle, jealousy and plain survival.
  • I can smell a few new ones coming on. Battles that are long overdue and battles that need my attention. It’s no time to be weak and take a break. I need to pick up my weapons and make a stand once more. Perhaps the last time, at least I hope so when this is all over. I’ve procrastinated with some and don’t know why some of us always have to fight more than others. Because we are strong enough that we can? Because the toughest battles are given to the strongest soldiers? Because we know that we are never given more than we can handle? Most likely all of the above.
  • Pain changes a person they say. Well, I stumbled and sobbed for a moment, but I straightened my crown and stood up once more. I’m ready.
  • “There are two types of pain, the one that hurts you and the other that changes you.”

    The pain is hurting and changing me as I type this, but bitterness is not in my future, nor is defeat. I have come too far for it, and for the moment these words are spoken, even if they merely stand to cheer myself on. Perhaps tomorrow I stumble and fall again and it’s not a matter of how many times I do, but a matter of getting back up, each time. I can and I know I will is my mantra. Pain that is destructive is not welcome here and shall not falter my path.

    My intentions are clear. So mote it be.

    Picture: From a jousting match in the medieval settings of Lichtenau earlier this year.

    Posted in Inspiration, Life, Mom

    Things are not always perfect

    Just two short days after visiting Colmberg castle, we were on the move again. I pushed Mom in the wheelchair to the nearby Brothaus, (Breadhouse) for another outing. She enjoyed her time at the castle so much, that she made references about it on the next day. It was so much better then the current day she’d state. The Brothaus trip had been in the plans awhile back, and so it was decided that it would be the perfect time to go. A distraction was needed, to take her mind off, reward her for her hard work, but also grow her weary as I would learn later on.

    The trip with the wheelchair was a little distance to go, and luckily we could use the pedestrian/bicycle path next to the road to get away from the passing cars. Again Mom was very observant as if she saw the world with new eyes. I wondered if her current condition and her near death experience earlier this year had given her a new perspective. Was she seeing the world for the very first time? I mean really seeing it. She was so much more in tune with her surroundings and her eyes were wide open. She commented on everything, the leaves and their color, a raptor sitting on a lamppost, peering down in anticipation to hunt it’s next meal, to collecting a few fallen pinecones. Life overall was pretty good. Maybe her change in behavior didn’t require the near death experience all together, maybe it was just a matter of getting out and seeing the world.

    I think Mom has grown curios to see how I can transform these found nature objects such as the pinecones into crafts that bring a smile to her face. Seeing the world differently includes that Mom no longer minds having her picture taken. Perhaps she has become less self critical, or perhaps she doesn’t care anymore, and maybe just maybe it helps to only show her the most flattering shots. I’m not sure but I like that I don’t have to beg for each shot, and that she allows these moments we share to be memorized. Although from time to time she does shake her head and I know it’s from the sight of her in the wheelchair.

    The Breadhouse was fun and the weather was so warm that we thought we might get a sunburn in October. We stayed for awhile and vowed to come back soon.

    It was the day after the Breadhouse and we stayed in again. I noticed Mom weariness, and her feeling slightly restless. She wasn’t content and I braced for what surely would follow. “I want to go home”. It came eventually and I nodded to let her know that I knew and understood. I distracted her a few times and took her mind back off the best I could, but I lost the fight when a nurse came and shot it all to hell. Moms been sitting a lot which creates pressure points. Earlier in the year she had a huge hole on her buttocks that finally closed but is very sensitive. There is scar tissue and the skin gets irritated easily and red. Plus it doesn’t help that the staff keeps putting the wrong lotion on it despite of the note I wrote and the instructions from her wound manager. It’s so chaotic sometimes it truly is frightening. How can you leave and be assured that she is in good hands? What a mess.

    So said nurse came to measure Mom’s glucose and she is always rushed. She is always late and you’d think she’d missed an important meeting, a train, overslept or something like that. The negative energy she brings into the room gets me rallied up, and despite that I can stand it, but not let it spill over to me, it worries me more-so on Mom’s behalf. Attitude is contagious and it just sets the pace. You can escape it only so many times before it leaves it’s marks on your mood, no matter how positive and determined you are. Today was just like the last four times as Mom’s little gadget to prick her finger flies on the floor from her haste, and it had to be reassembled again. The fourth time this has happened now, day after day. You’d think she would get a clue. No way and it will happen again tomorrow, the same way it has for the past four days.

    Still that’s not what broke the final straw. Mom had to use the restroom and the nurse discovered Mom’s bottom red from sitting too much. “OMG I don’t like that at all, that is noooooot good, we have to figure out how to move her every two hours, or else is going to happen” she frantically exclaims in her rushed and nervous manner. Not exactly a calming way for Mom and I can tell that her mood is shifting. Who wouldn’t be worried? She talks to me as if Mom is a child, unable to comprehend anything, like she is not even in the room. Great, I think to myself, just what we needed. She leaves behind Mom and me, who is now rallied up, worried and scared. I bring her to bed and Mom loses it. For the first time in fifty four years I see Mom cry and plead. The usually strong and reserved woman when it comes to feelings is saying that she doesn’t want to stay here, and that she can’t get healthy in these surroundings. I’m caught off guard that she has lowered her wall to let me in, and like an idiot stumbling anything, I’m trying to remind her of how far she has come already. That she defied the odds already and that she needs to get healthy in order to come home. She sobs, and we both cry while I rub her back, hold her, and allow her to get her composure back.

    Later on while walking home I almost panic, knowing that time will run out eventually. That I can’t forever financially sustain month after month without income, but tons of expenses. I think that this scenario could have been easily avoided, and that the nurse over reacted. It’s the same as if you went to the hospital, scared and somebody freaked out, obviously letting you know that it is hopeless and how bad everything is. Not the most calming situation for sure, probably not what you need to hear to be at ease, and definitely not how I wanted the week to end. Mom was so high on emotions and on life during our outings. Although she didn’t complain about going back to the nursing home, I knew that our trips left her hungry for more. For life outside of the place where the “Old ones” live, how she refers to everybody in the nursing home. I left with a heavy heart tonight and thought of how stupid I must have sounded to answer her with that she had to get healthy in order to come home. How shallow of me, words spoken with a hollow meaning. “You need to get healthy”. It sounded conditional and even if so and she needs to walk, did she choose to be sick, to not walk? Did I choose to be sick? What was denied to me because I wasn’t healthy or couldn’t get healthy? I really didn’t liked what I said to her and instead I should have said “Let’s see what we need to do to get you healthy”. It would have sounded so much more like a team effort instead of just pushing the ball into her court and letting her figure it out and struggle alone. It sounded like it wasn’t any of my business. Oh well if you can’t get healthy, then you can’t get home. I hated it and I learned a valuable lesson although I always knew that I had the best intentions and meant well. If I left the ball in her court, unwilling to help, I would have written her off or left a long time ago. I didn’t and I was still here.

    Tomorrow was going to be a off day for me, but I think that I will walk to see Mom to make sure she is ok. I have to do it for her and me as I won’t be ok until I know. Things are not always perfect, but at least they still are.