Posted in Freedom, Holidays

The sweet smell of freedom

It is Independence Day in Amerika. Today we celebrate this holiday for the ones that gave some, and the ones that gave all. It is a reminder of our independence and the sweet smell of freedom that often takes great sacrifices and often requires a fight or war.

Independence Day has an added meaning for me this year and it is more than just celebrating the history and the anniversary of our freedom. It’s more than BBQ’s and gatherings with friends and family. It’s more than fireworks and smoke filled air. And while this holiday celebration affects us all and our way of life today, I was thinking of our current, individual fights for freedom and independence. I don’t know why, but I was thinking of the various struggles each one of us faces to attain such precious freedom.

I was thinking of Mom, alive and well now, but not really free in a place she doesn’t want to be. Nor is she independent any longer and requires help. She will never enjoy that privilege ever again. This so called help comes at a price, and is in exchange for money and not voluntarily given.

I don’t mean this to turn out to be a sad and depressive post, as clearly this is a day of celebration, but for me it was a mere reality check. Taking a look around at what was happening. How many people I know that were truly happy, independent and free. It was an eye opener as I couldn’t name many at all. Most were stuck in unhealthy jobs, a slave to make ends meet with no freedom in sight. Others were in unhealthy and oppressive marriages, unable to move on by themselves, and made dependent. Others were sick and their dreams were cut short, having to fight unimaginable battles and wars against pain each and every day. Others simply had bad luck and got dealt a poor hand to deal with. And what about the ones stuck in their own hell, the ones that crumble from the pressures of society and believe that they are not good enough? The ones with anxiety, fighting for acceptance each day, just trying to find a place to belong. The ones that try to beat drugs and are made prisoners to their own addictions. The list goes on and on and doesn’t stop here. Even the ones that did defend us and came back as survivors continue to fight their battles each and every day.

So what is the point I’m trying to make here! What I’m saying is that today is an important anniversary in history, a crucial turning point that allowed many people to escape the claws of war, while others never made it and paid the ultimate prize for what we enjoy as our freedom today. A freedom that should never be taken for granted. And yet the fight for freedom and independence continues as each of us carries out their own battle. World peace, independence and freedom may look the same for all of us, but our individual freedom can have many different faces and is never free. There is always some prize to be paid, some struggle to be endured, some war and battle to be fought. May you never give up the fight, for it is always worth it and united we are strong and united we stand.

Happy Independence Day America and to all of you. Bless each and everyone of you ❤️

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Posted in Holidays, Valdntine’s Day

Valentine’s Day the most romantic holiday

Valentine’s Day, holiday of lovers. Each year many countries observe and celebrate Valentine’s Day to make their loved one feel a little extra appreciated and loved. Candy, flowers and gifts are exchanged between loved ones, all in the name of St. Valentine. The history of Valentine’s Day is shrouded in mystery. What we know is that February has long been celebrated as a month of romance, and that St. Valentine’s Day, as we know it today, contains vestiges of both Christian and ancient Roman tradition.

As a hopeless romantic and believer in love as the universal language of the world, it is important to me to live and breathe love for the remaining 364 days. Not always through gifts and traditions, but in many other ways we can make others feel just a little extra special. What about a random act of kindness? Paying it forward. A compliment to light up someone’s face? What about a secret note for a stranger? What about going the extra mile? The smallest efforts can have the biggest impact.

So whether you celebrate Valentine’s Day or not, whether you have a significant other or find yourself single, there are always ways to give and receive love. Today and always I want to remind you how near and dear, how special you have been to me and how much you have touched my life for the better. Today I say “Here is to you Valentine” wishing you a day filled of love and that you may know how special and appreciated you are.

Posted in Holidays

Christmas Fun

Some game populated this to be my naughty Christmas name. Haha….sweet.

Merry Christmas to all the special people out here. Thank you for making my year so much brighter. Best wishes for 2019. Hugs

The time has come and I am flying back to the states today, so there might be an extra sleigh in the sky today. It is bittersweet and I am lost for words at the moment.

Posted in Europe, Holidays

Christmas memories

Last trip to the year round Christmas village in Rothenburg ob the Tauber with my cousins Moni and Michaela.

Michaela gifted me a pickle ornament from that store. Did you know that it is German tradition to hang a pickle on the Christmas tree? Whoever spots the pickle ornament first on Christmas is the one to unwrap the first present.

Merry Christmas everybody. Wishing you all the magic and warmth of the season.

Posted in Family, Holidays

German Christmas 🎄

I got to visit a few Christmas markets over the weekend and it’s been something I always fondly thought of in the states. There is nothing like it, and it’s fun to mingle amongst people from near and far. Stands line the street filled with homemade goods and rare gift ideas, in addition to all the food vendors.

The top picture showcases my nieces Leni & Emily in front of the famous Käthe Wohlfahrt Store in Rothenburg. It’s a Christmas store that is open year round and usually is packed with tourists. It is a tradition to pose in front of the giant Christmas vehicle and I usually get a picture sent from my cousin. This time was there myself to take the picture.

Emi in front of one of the many magical stalls. The spirit is high at the Christmas markets, and neat things can be found even for the pickiest of recipients.

The family…Moms sister, my cousin and nieces and me enjoying a glass of Glühwein, Children’s punch and a tasty waffle.

Posted in Christmas, Europe, Holidays

Christmas spirit

It’s been ages since I spent Christmas in Germany, and I have always dreamed of being here for the holidays. Although my favorite time of year, it was a time that made me homesick and sad while in the states. And now that I’m here things once again have turned out a lot different as imagined. We change and so do our life’s. We don’t stay the same, our experiences change, although our memories from times past may always stay the same. This Christmas is different as the ones I remember from my childhood. Mom is at a nursing home and we haven’t baked any cookies together. We haven’t gone sledding down the hill with our dog chasing after us. There haven’t been any cozy evenings of crafting straw stars and ornaments, while drinking spiced cider and Glühwein. Times have changed and what I held onto all these years were the memories of the past. We all have them, and not all are bad, some actually warm our hearts.

Life always has a few curveballs in store for us and things seldom go smooth. Perhaps sometimes it’s best not to imagine or expect anything at all. It might sound negative, but by nature I am an optimist, and still can’t help but wonder if the perfect scenarios even exist. Would we learn something if they did? More times then none we have to roll with the punches and our successes and challenges lie in learning to do it well. And to learn not to resist, I think is an additional asset that will assure success.

I am here for Christmas this year, and despite the pros and cons, it is nice to re-emerge into some of our German cultures. I am exited to visit the Christmas markets and catch the spirit admiring the lit up booths, lining up the old inner cities. Many handmade items will be on display and I’m sure that I won’t be able to resist a little souvenir. I am looking forward to taking some picture and watch people mingle.

The picture above showcases the lit up Christmas tree in my village and a little red ginger that has taken refuge under the tree.

Posted in Holidays, Inspiration

Gratitude

As we celebrate Thanksgiving today, quite a few things come to mind this year for me.

Each day I am thankful for nights that turned into morning,

Friends that turned into family ,

Dreams that turned into reality,

Likes that turned into love .

To all my family and dear friends that I am honored and blessed to have in my life. May this holiday season bring you love to your heart, health to your body, and peace and joy to your home throughout the new year.

Today I celebrate YOU, who always make a difference in my life, for it would not be the same without you. I am thankful and grateful and remember that it is gratitude that turns what we have into enough.

Happy Thanksgiving 🦃

Posted in Holidays, Life, Mom

Set-backs

Today could easily be declared as one of those days. I thought I go see Mom for a few hours, which is not all that unusual, as I do most every day. The day started with my cousins car not starting and I felt awful, knowing that I rode it last. It appears to be the battery as one single “Klack” noise came from turning the key and nothing else. I hope it’s not the starter or the alternator, as it would certainly be more expensive. It drove fine yesterday and no lights were left on that could have drained the battery. To this minute I don’t know what happened. What a nice welcome home present for her when she gets back from her trip to Switzerland tonight. My aunt ended up driving me to see Mom and would pick me up after a few hours. I was glad that I still got to go despite the car which bothered me all day.

Mom was quiet again and it seems like she has little to say to me these days. It started on the 20th of this month which was her wedding anniversary and the road has been rocky ever since. Not all days are equal anymore and since she’s been getting better, she has also grown increasingly dissatisfied. “I want to go home” she said again, while directing all her frustration towards me, as if I’m the reason she is there. As if I’m responsible for her wounds and her current situation. When I ask her how we are going to manage, she never has an answer other than denial or blame that I have no patience or that I don’t want her at home. She is starting to believe her nonsense. Today she stated that she wasn’t going to stay in the senior home and that this was not the deal she made. She didn’t make any deal but had no clue what her power of attorney means. Her handicapped identification card came in the mail, declaring her 100% handicapped, she denies it is true. She doesn’t need a walker and always makes it to the bathroom in time. She now thinks that she is at the senior home because there was no other room for her in the hospital. The catheter is there so she doesn’t have to get up too many times she says. She hasn’t gotten up once since I got here and is not capable of walking. Her pampers are there because the staff is worried that she will soil the mattress and if an accident happens it is due to somebody not getting her to the bathroom in time. That someone was me yesterday and it was impossible to get her out of bed, into the wheelchair and to the bathroom all in five seconds. Her urges come quickly and she deflected the aftermath. She still has an open sore on her buttocks and her foot with the amputated big toe is not healing and bloody again. No rehabilitation exercises until those wounds are closed. I only share those things to paint an accurate picture for you about her condition. To understand my situation and what is happening. I’m not even venting right now, although I could have reason to. She wants to come home. Today she wished that the roles were reversed and that it was me lying there. I told her that I had my own battle with the RA and constant chronic pain, that it was painful to feel this way and debilitating. She believed it wasn’t severe enough yet, and that I should be punished more to be bound to the bed, perhaps to understand her situation!!!! I said that I couldn’t believe for her to wish something like this upon me and that nothing would make me happier as to see her healthy. Nothing, no signs of regret on her face or any other remarks for the words she had spoken. It’s moments like those that I attempt wanting to care less for her, but I can’t. I wouldn’t be any better and she is damn lucky I’d say that I feel this way. She doesn’t even know, nor does she appreciate it. Most would have walked away already and maybe I’m too stupid to do so. But my love for her is unconditional, no matter how many times she kicks me to the curb. I do have the patience of a saint for her, even though she is not deserving of it at times. Certain things have changed as well and of which I can no longer accept. I felt sad and hurt, yet strangely calm. I missed that beautiful smile on her face. The moments we shared that were genuine and a breakthrough between mother and daughter. The moments that I had longed for all my life, that I begged for and that mainly fell onto deaf ears. I didn’t want it to end and I wished I got to experience more of it. Was it a glimpse into what could have been, a goodby present, her way of rubbing my face into the anger and contempt she had built against me over the years? Was this her way of pushing me away?

My time was nearly up and in a few minutes my aunt was coming to pick me up. The room door opened and a few staff members entered, while mentioning that the doctor was here to look at Moms wounds again. Last week he had prescribed different bandages but apparently the staff called him back because no visible progress was noticed. The wound was getting worse and kept bleeding. I never knew until yesterday. This in itself has been strange as well. Everything was fine, wow what an amazing wound recovery you have, you are my number wound healing patient, to oops your wound doesn’t look all that great the next day. I get it and the diabetes plays a big part in it, but it was ironic that this happened while her wound manager was on vacation for two weeks and the care facility took over. Of course nobody would want to accept any responsibility and I had a few instances of feeling enraged when I got there and saw Mom like a question mark in bed with her toes hitting the footboard. Pressure will cause open wounds for her, which is dangerous. She has one of the highest grades as far as care requirements. She is getting support but not all and it roughly costs close to €4000 to care for Mom per month. Despite of her increased requirements things like that happen frequently. Courtesy of being short staffed. Perhaps it is not the way to go and she should come home. She would have to accept someone living with her 100%. She would have to listen and not know everything better, she would have to adjust. I’m not sure she could and I don’t foresee either way as the solution. I just don’t know anymore. Not tonight and maybe by morning things will look better. I wished I could have waited, but I had no clue where the doctor was (not in the room yet) and I had to go.

Later on at home the senior center called. A ambulance transport has been ordered for tomorrow morning to transport Mom to the hospital. The forecast: Potential surgery and I can’t even think about the possibility of her losing her leg. I’m not sure she’d have the will to continue living. No matter how she feels about me, I wished that I could be with her tonight. To hold her hand, to have her say whatever it is she wants to say, even if she wants to continue in silence and say nothing at all, but to let her know that she is not alone. I can only hope that she can feel that I’m with her and that I worry alongside with her.

Sorry for the net like quality of this picture, I installed mosquito netting on my window this afternoon. I’ve been sitting at the window writing and listening to the rain. My cat spirit is here and I have never seen her Meow and beg for attention so much as tonight. She is literally trying to figure out how to reach my window. Her behavior is urgent and she has been persistent with her calls. Cat symbolism urges me to “Just be”, but is this possible in a time like this?

Posted in Holidays, Inspiration, Life, Mom

Mother’s Day

Wishing everybody a wonderful Mother’s Day filled with many special moments and memories. May you always know how loved you are, and what a difference you make, human and fur baby alike. Your love is unconditional and never ending. Day after day you brighten our days through your unselfish commitment and care. We could never thank you enough, and our bond gets stronger with each passing year.

I am grateful to spend the day with Mom, and make her laugh here and there. Mostly I am happy that she is not alone today, and that a couple of gifts could bring her joy. Mom’s pandora bracelet is slowly filling up and I picked the “The tree of Life” for her new charm. It spoke to me and I found it fitting for this point of her life story.

Here is the symbolic meaning of it and today I would like to dedicate it to all of you, and all the mothers in the world. Thank you for all that you do.

“May the tree of life bring peace your way, many blessings and endless love. May it continue to grow within your heart, through the chapters of your life, and keep you safe and protected from all harm”.

Posted in Art, Holidays

A special Easter gift

I received a special Easter gift this year that touched my heart very deeply. It’s a painting my niece Emily did while spending time with some friends. For some reason she decided to gift it to me and at first I was truly speechless. From the painting, to the thought, and the gesture itself, i thought it was very thoughtful and I felt very special. So special that it is sitting next to my bed where I can see it first thing in the morning and last thing at night.

Hoping everyone’s Easter was special and meaningful.