It’s hard to believe another year has passed or that its been that long since my last blog. I wish I could say time flies when you’re having fun but the truth be told it was one of the roughest years of my life on so many levels.
You remember Murphy’s law? Anything that can wrong will at the worst possible moment! Well I’ve often felt like Murphy’s personal Bitch this year. He cracked that whip and pushed all my buttons hoping I’d crack.
I didn’t. But there were times I felt like I might. In one of my earlier blogs I shared an Ice Storm that wiped out mine and mom’s home and personal belongings. Shortly thereafter I nursed my daughter for nearly a year as she fought a very brave battle with cervical cancer. Unfortunately she won the battles but not the war.
My father followed her to heaven some six months later, also diagnosed with cancer. Mom and I ended up staying in Crystal’s little rental trailer house. I’ve been here five years and in that time the floor tiles and carpet have all peeled up or been taken up due to black mold or the unleveling of the house as its shifted.
I did manage to paint the walls three years ago but they look pretty dingy now too. The roof leaks, the walls are molded inside and you can smell it no matter how much you clean or spray sweet smellem.
We have never had the money to recoup our losses so each of us have an antiquated mattress and box spring that hurts our backs and makeshift night stands with a lamp. I painted the floors brown but that paint has long since worn off. If you don’t walk in shoes across the floors you have a heel full of splinters. Yes, it like baking in an oven in the summer and being in a freezer in the winter. But its a roof over our heads and its the last place my daughter was alive and the only place where I have any roots in this world to sustain me as a mother who has lost the one person in the world who made any sense in this world.
To make this situation even harder, everyone from near and far seem to dump their newborn kittens on our front door. They would die if we didn’t take them in and I love animals, ALL animals too much to let one starve to death or be alone at the mercy of the elements and other wild animals who would harm them, crying to me for help with terror in its eyes.
Its not the life I chose…but its the one I have and I do my best to keep a sense of humor and to give all I have to make it work for everyone concerned. So we have a house full of purry furry’s. What little income we have goes to pay the bills, a little food for us and a lot of food and kitty litter for them. (not to mention being spayed or neutered, odomite ear drops and dewormer and those who are dying are put to sleep so they don’t suffer) Some of the cats we have are over thirteen years old. Four of them I inherited from my Dad and Daughter. I am qualified to write a book about cats but you wouldn’t believe me if I told you all the things they do. 🙂 We DO have cats that call us Meowrrrmy and say NO! and mean it! ha…ha… They think they are human and I sometimes forget they are not just hairy little two year olds. I find myself talking to them like humans and they go and do something so animatistic they put me in my place in a hurry! 😀
Animals are not a plant that you can water and walk away from. They are not for a season and then you free them and let them go in to the wild. They are a LIFEtime committment. They are domesticated, fragile, feeling creatures with distinct personalities and needs and no two are alike. They get sick, they feel loved, happy, jealous, sad, lonely, social, hungry, sleepy, angry, territorial, well you get the idea.
They are not my only babies. Mom is totally a cat person. I’m not. I love every living creature which is why I moved away from the city to the country. Daily I feed Herman the gopher, (he likes to pose for the camera and look at him smiling at me) eight red bird couple and too many to name doves, blue jays, brown and woodpeckers who live in the trees behind us, green scratch. If you have never heard of green scratch its chicken feed and it looks like barley and corn with tons of other little seeds. You can buy a forty pound bag for ten bucks at the feed store. I put out a cup of it a day right in front of my window and by nightfall there isn’t a speck of it to be seen.Herman has hibernated for the winter and I can tell you right now that his tunnel is under my bedroom and he has a mountain of green scratch to keep from starving while the rest of us are iced and snowed in. I can’t wait to see him again in the spring. He might be cozy in his little cave but the rest of the wildlife is suffering Old Man Winter noisily. They don’t like it when the water fountain is a block of ice. I go out with boiling water to thaw it and on the days its freezing it last for a few hours before they are chirping angrily wanting more water. Poor babies!
Redbirds, the Cardinals as mom calls them, love the cold. The more snow the better or so it seems. They thrive in the cold months and semi disappear during the summer only coming out to eat a little here and there.
There are black cows in the pasture just about ten foot from my window. Last week they ran bellowing in horror with snow on their backs from thirty mile an hour winds in subzero weather. It was so pitiful I stood there staring out the window crying, feeling helpless to save them. There was nothing for them to eat and they were so scared. I finally called the farmer who owns them and he laughed and said he was about to come and put them in the barn with some hay. But if he didn’t let them out now and then they’d go stir crazy.
I know exactly how that feels. My car, which I inherited from my daughter four years ago, is sixteen years old and on and has been on its last wheezing, gasping, sputtering lag for over a year barely getting us to town once or twice a month to do a little grocery shopping and see the doctor. It finally sputtered out, gasped black smoke and died back in late november and living rurally we have no taxis, buses and only one nearby friend to get us where we need to go. She is in town a few miles away. But she is 83 years old and terrified to slip and fall in the ice so she can’t come and give us a ride very often.
I don’t have the credit to finance a new vehicle or the income to pay for it. I have been working on selling my jewelry in Dallas at a friend’s estate sales but people want to pay yard sale prices for new sets of it and I can’t make a profit that way. I’ve written two novels which I’ve promoted on Amazon and Twitter but I don’t have the internet capacity to do either on a consistent basis. So they too have only made a few dollars. Even though the people who have read them gave them great reviews for the most part. Especially my latest novel SAM. The last review for it was exactly how I felt as I wrote. I laughed and cried and felt something almost spiritual as I reread and edited it. If you’d like to check it out it’s at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00E0AWMDY
I don’t write for fame or fortune. I love-making colorful quilts. Sketching people in charcoal. Singing and playing guitar and piano. It’s all erupts from in the same place in my soul. Ways to express my thoughts and feelings and perhaps when I leave this world, since both of my children have preceded me to heaven and I have no grands…some little part of me will live on, even if only in words instead of dna. A little piece of my heart that will connect to other hearts. That is why I write. I know my books will never go viral. I still have many to write. But as Emily Dickenson wrote and I share her sentiment, “If I can I touch one heart and ease the pain, I shall not live in vain” That feeling of connection when you write and the reader is aroused emotionally and grows mentally from what you’ve shared…well thats the part of me that I want to remembered for. The part that was real and mattered. Not just a storyteller but a real person whose life experiences and/or vivid imagination, helped others see life in new ways.
It amazing how much you run out of when your on a fixed income and can’t get to town to buy what you need but once a month. We cut up old clothes we no longer wear for rags when we run out of toilet paper. Make our own detergent. I’ll give you the recipe sometime. Necessity is the mother of invention and I have quite a few home remedies and survival tactics to keep us going around here. Things that perhaps influence the era I always write in. Late 1800’s. 😀 I a true southern belle with that pioneer spirit!
In the past few months seems like everything we did manage to replace since that ice storm six years ago has worn out. From the electric can opener and microwave to the clothes dryer. The list is endless. You name it and it no longer works. Even my tv died. Fortunately one of my neighbors bought a new flat screen tv at Xmas and gave me their old tv. It doesn’t have a hookup for anything but the outdoor antenna coax cable line. I pick up about six channels.
But I am grateful. I didn’t have that for four months. There is nothing more lonely and boring than to have nothing at all from the outside world. During that time did I mention my laptop also died and I have resurrected it again, now I’m using a mouse and off-board keyboard and the screen has to be propped up. Still, If I were to have to pick one word out of all the words in the world to describe what I’m feeling right now in this moment. I’d have to say GRATEFUL. Because when you keep losing everything that makes life bearable and doing without even the necessities, when you do get a few things, even antiquated and patched up, you know what TRUE Gratitude really is.
I am still alive. In the past ten years everyone I’ve ever loved and been close to has died or moved long distance out of my life, except for my mother. I wish I could say that she and I are close and are happy as roommates but you know better. ha…ha…
You always end up with the person you have the least in common with. I love my mother but we are not best friends. We don’t even like the same foods or tv shows or anything that makes people compatible and peaceful together. The only thing we really have in common is having known each other 56 years. I have had to just shut my mouth and let her have everything in the house her way and not to talk back when she treats me like a two-year old even though I have more silver threading my hair than she does. 🙂
I respect my mother and I’m GRATEFUL to still have her in my life when so many other are gone and I know she appreciates me too. My birthday was in November and she gave me a homemade card that was so touching and she is not a writer but she wrote something that I will treasure forever.
To my Creative, Go Getter, ONLY Daughter Darlene, who ALWAYS finds a way! I’m so blessed we are sharing the rest of the rest with each other! Love always, Momma.
I cried when I opened that card. We have been so poor this year that we have not celebrated any of the holidays and she wanted to bake me a cake for my birthday but the car was broke down and we didn’t have a way to go get eggs. So instead she made me this card and we spent the day outdoors with a weed eater and a rake getting rid of the leaves and trimming it for the winter. (she had to do the weed eating but I can still rake even on a walker. It just takes a bit longer) Yes, our lawnmower died too…When I look at the endless fields and think how much I hated living in the city all those years, I am grateful for the weed eater and the view. Sometimes you work harder than you want to or feel like. But when you feel that sense of achievement and reap the rewards of your labor, it all worth it.
Nuff said. I consciously choose not to be Murphy’s Bitch THIS year (2014).I realize God has his own plans for us and I am not really sure why he wants me to be on foot and unable to get to my medical appointments. I am ever grateful that he saw to it that I got a disability this year and was diagnosed for the agonizing pain that has crippled me. I am not happy to be on a walker or in a wheelchair by the end of each day. I am blessed not to be totally incapacitated like so many other are and to still have some mobility and a stubborn will to do the things that are most important to me. That is more than some people ever get the privilege of.
I have a specialist waiting to see me. I was supposed to have three spinal infusions three weeks apart starting on Dec 26th. After that to begin physical therapy. I have a spinal degenerative disease accompanied by scoliosis and osteo arthritis of the spine from neck to tailbone. I also need a hip replacement. This is not a temporary condition. I’ve lost three inches this year. I don’t miss it that much. I’m still tall even at that. The pain is so debilitating and I don’t like to be out of it so I use natural methods to relieve it instead of pain pills. Finally I have some hope to have some relief and to be able to function more normally even though as time passes this will increase. For now I could get so much accomplished if I could have these treatments. Do things to prepare for the time ahead when I can no longer do anything but lay in my bed and wait to join my loved ones in heaven.
I couldn’t get there without a car. Its 129 miles away round trip. I need a truck. One that won’t break down, to haul things I need across the miles including my wheelchair and groceries and etc. I don’t know how many times I’ve needed a truck. So I am praying for one, I’ve went online to a fundraising site and put myself out there. Only two people have responded and it’s so humiliating to tell your story and then no one cares. While I was there I actually contributed the last two dollars I had to another person whose child is battling cancer. I know how much those two dollars mean. I felt so powerless, cried while I was reading their heartache as they are struggling to make the last year of their baby’s life the best of his life. I have been there. Every moment is etched in my heart and memory forever. I clung to every last second until the moment that my precious daughter took her last breath and there is not a day that goes by this world doesn’t feel empty without her in it to share everything. Everything reminds me of her.
So even though I know what they are going through and there is nothing I can do to help ease their agony, I know those two dollars will mean more to them than to me at this moment in time and I guess I was hoping that someone out there would read my story and feel that same tug. That I’d have a miracle so I can move on this year and go forward. Have the medical treatments I’ve needed for twenty years and make our lives better.
I keep praying every night I’ll wake up and there will be a wonderful miracle. Every day I wake up to a cold splintered floor, with a troop of furry babies guiding me to their bowl letting me know that so and so ate the last morsels and drank the last drop while I slept and they will surely starve before I can feed them…. 🙂 I pray for the house to be warm in the winter and cool in the summer. To not have to be a burden to anyone for anything. I long for my books to go viral so I could let go of my disability and work like I have all my life. Earning a fair wage for hard work. Feeling proud to be an American and giving to the rest of the world, rather than have to beg for what we need.
I want to be “me” again. That starts with financial independence and then the restoration of my health. I have so many dreams that I still dream and goals that I am working for even from my bed. Until I take my last breath I will continue doing everything I can to better our lives and to be there for my mother who is at an age when she deserves to live in comfort not in squalor at the mercy of. That breaks my heart most of all. It takes the two of us to do anything anymore and we used to be superwomen who could do anything with nothing.
I am grateful. I am still here. For every step forward I may take several back, but I will not quit moving in the direction that means so much to me. For US! For Momma, for my friend who needs me even though I’m crippled, for the beautiful little creatures indoors and out who depend on me to love them and help them survive. Mostly, everything I do, I do in loving memory of my darling daughter Crystal, who believe as my mother does, that I that I could find a WAY…no matter what the odds…
I will praying and doing my part…and there is not much else I can do. This is my new blog for this year…its been a year since I was here…but hopefully it won’t be another before I can come back. Whatever you are doing with your new year, I sincerely wish it will be, despite all the obstacles we each are facing in this ever-changing world, global warming and depressed economy, the best of your life. Because truth be told, today is the only day any of us have and we should enjoy it, not agonize over the things we cannot change and be happy in the ways we can be. For me so often, simply laying looking out my window is so inspiring and it keeps me in touch with what is most important. The gift of life!