Growing up

holding hands and creating a community

(Photo credit: aarongilsonh

Things you need to make it:

  • Parents (obviously, at least one)
  • Food
  • Clothes and a place to live
  • Challenges and stimuli
  • Trust
  • Love

Easy? And before you are fully aware of the content of this simple list, you might be a parent yourself…

Waiting finally over :)

We are happy 🙂 My daughter came up from the OT grinning and giving me thumbs up. It seems the cardiologists have managed to fix the two most serious arytmi errors in her heart. She will have to use medication to stabilize it, maybe for a long time, but compared to how her life has been for the last year, that is nothing. Not important at all.
It’s like a new aera begins. She’ll have her life back, it seems. Hopefully, no more complications. 🙂

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Living life inside a bubble

Bubbles.

Bubbles. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have been humming the Coldplay song for some days now. I guess that what is to come now, for the next few days, are so weird and strange that living in a bubble suits me just fine. An I certainly hope that bubble-life ends, on Tuesday night. When everything is ok, my daughter is well and happy, and I can breathe again and feel ok.

The more you have to wait, the worse? I think that is the case. My daughter has been waiting for more than a year for this procedure. Her life has been on hold. Instead of being a happy young girl, her life has been controlled to every last bit by pain, by weakness and by all the consequences of her situation as a whole. And I have been on the same wave, in a way. We are so close, so everything I feel, she feels, and when she is tired or in pain, I feel it too. If not, I certainly feel that she is feeling like this.

Deep down, I wish that after this, she can go back and be a normal (whatever that is) young woman, studying, working, partying, dancing. Worrying about what to wear or makeup or something girlish like that. But she has been through so much, that the whole perspective on her life has changed. Her experiences has made her a very compassionate and caring person. She has a level of insight both to her medical condition, and to the mental challenges that follows it (and all other stuff related to growing up) that I can only admire. So “normal” will never apply to her.

In so many ways, that is good. At the same time, it is so complicated.

Hopefully all bubbles will burst for both of us on Tuesday. Hopefully, life on hold, waiting, will be over, and she will have a heart that works like mine. Cured. Well. Healthy.

Totally new perspectives!

#thatfeeling

Green Heart (And the Green Grass Grows All Aro...

Green Heart (CarbonNYC)


Ok, I sat out this week too with high ambitions. So many thing are happening just now, so I can’t seem to get to where I want to be. That must be ok for now.

The only important thing, is that my daughter is having a complicated heart procedure, it takes many hours, and many doctors, and is really just overwhelming. I am sure she will be ok, afterwards, we just have to believe that. Even though she wasn’t after last time they tried. Now she has been off from work, and hardly studied this last year. Waiting. All of us.

We are leaving tomorrow night, and she will have the operation on Tuesday. It is in another city, 5 hours drive from here.

A real #thatfeeling downer. Hopefully, on Tuesday evening, it will be different.

Lazy Sunday

A black Roomba Robot.

I love my Roomba Robot. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I admire my excellent attitude towards house work.

Every weekend I set out to do at least some things. Do the bathrooms, wash some clothes, AND get them back in the cupboards (an operation that easily takes months).Start the vacuum cleaner robot, wash the kitchen properly. Some weeks I set out to buy new clothes, socks and underwear, because it seems to be empty. Other weekends, like this one, I suddenly discover I have 30 pair of socks waiting.

As I woke up this morning, I thought about the weekend, that it is just like three steps down. Fridays are high high up, Saturdays are something in between, and Sundays are getting things together for a new hard work week. Last chance for housework, only then it feels like trying to finish a marathon. For me, it usually breaks down to what I am going to wear tomorrow. What I need for work, and is my gym bag packed. Right now it is, because I haven’t had the time to use it…

I live alone most of the week, the girls have moved out, my husband works in a city one hour away, by air. He leaves monday mornings, and returns Thursday or Friday. And the house is not a disaster, yet. It’s basically me and the cat. We’ll manage another week, but next Friday, I will make a list, a plan. So that Sunday appears with a shiny living room, detergent smelling bathrooms, clean sheets and soft towels. :))

Good :)

English: A mink on Lower Saranac Lake. Taken b...

The one we saw was all black, and very beautiful! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I had a real good day yesterday 🙂 My daughter and I went out paddling, for two and a half hours. She loves it too! We went around this island, I didn’t think it was going to be so hard… When we got back, we checked the GPS, to find we paddled 10 kilometers… Last bit was by will, and only that. We had quite a few laughs though, and wildlife was nice to us as well. We saw seals, large birds, mink and some fish jumping. Mind resting experiences. Helps insomnia!

As we got back, we could hardly move, soar muscles all over. But today it’s ok again. Pain is not too bad either, just a slight headache, not devastating. Got the results from the MR and X-ray today, there are some slight damage to one of the joints in the neck, but nothing that should cause my severe pain. So I guess I will let the (former gorgeous, but now only evil) physiotherapist to beat me up once a week.

Today is just lazy. We’ve been evacuated from work because of a huge fire in a building close to ours, so I have been working at home. I find that so much more efficient. I can do stuff without being interrupted, answer e-mails, cross out some to-do’s. Hardly any phone calls, or corridor talks. Good!

Dreams

sleep

Dreaming (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

I have had so many strange dreams lately, which is quite unusual for me. I hope it means that my sleeping pattern is changing, after cutting back on sleeping meds. I don’t really believe that dreams are all that important, or that there is a meaning to all of these strange things that gets into my head while I am sleeping. That would make life VERY complicated. 🙂
My dreams tend to be quite chaotic, and sometimes I wake up, just knowing that I dreamt something upsetting, without remembering what it was. I haven’t had any flashbacks or flashback-“dreams” for weeks and the last ones hasn’t been all that disturbing.

I think my sub-conscience is trying to figure out something. It’s been about a car accident that happened when I was a child. I don’t know exactly where it was. I just remember the car going off the road, and downhill very fast. There is a wood, many trees, and it is quite bumpy. This was long before there were seat belts, and I am on the floor between the front and back seat. My mother is driving. My brother is also in the car. I’m afraid, of course. That’s all that I remember. I tried once to ask my brother what had happened, but he won’t talk about it. Even if I asked him quite late, after he had a few beers… He said that we spent the night in a house next to where it happened. I don’t remember any of that. I don’t know if anyone got hurt, maybe I remember some pain in my head. But I’m not sure. Other than this, my flashbacks seem to have taken a break, it seems. I hope they are gone for good 🙂

But just this other night, I dreamt, we were running a petrol station, some of my friends, my youngest daughter, one work colleague and me. It was really very busy, and everything that could go wrong did. We ran out of diesel, people stole chocolate from the store, many were mad because they couldn’t fill up their cars, the queue of angry customers went all the way through the front door. We didn’t handle the situation very well. It was like when you have four people in the kitchen trying to do the same thing at the same time. When it finally calmed down, we went to sleep on the floor. It was like NOW I am going to sleep for SO long! I was just so tired, after working for days. And as I came to that conclusion and kind of felt the sleep coming, the alarm on my iPhone set off. I woke up angry…
Didn’t last for long though.

Improving?

Sunshine Coast

More of this please?? (Photo credit: semuthutan)


Today I have answered e-mails like if I was something extra-terrestrial… Though, I did get to work an hour and a half late.

I can’t seem to get into the habit of getting up at six, like I used to.  However, that means that I am sleeping well!

How long will it take to get into the habit of work again? I read, last year I think, that if you’ve been away for four weeks, it will take just as long (four weeks) to get into the routines again. That’s quite long… But maybe true!

This is my second week back, and I must admit, last week I had so many things to check online before I could get any of my items in my to-do done. I thought like this: If I answer this e-mail, than she will answer me back and maybe have another question for me, so I will have to write yet another e-mail…

Seriously, I really like my job. I just miss 32 degrees, sunshine and lazy days.

Yesterday I saw my therapist again. This time of year is usually very difficult for me, and I am happy she will see me every week for a while, at least. I think things have changed since last year though. But maybe as some things improve, others appear. To sum up, it goes like this:

I sleep better, and haven’t had any flashbacks since I came home.
Although struggling, I have done some workout; the kayak is my best friend for the time being.
I have a feeling of coping, instead of chaos. (Crossing fingers that it lasts).
I managed to talk about my husband yesterday; he’s been acting like he’s having PMS or something lately, a real bitch… and I am not sure what it is, or what to do, so it worries me.
I find it difficult to think “mindful” and meditate, both work and family are a bit overwhelming just now.
I need time for myself. Not sure why that is such a big thing right now, but I really do.
The pain in my neck is really really BAD. I saw my physiotherapist yesterday, it is his fault. He worked at all the muscles in my neck, head and face, which surely has made the back of my head black and blue, my neck feels twice the ordinary size and I have a terrible headache. I hope what he’s at will help, the reason for this is of course my bicycle crash last year.

Today, I am spending some time with the girls, again. Tired.

Gone fishing…

Guess I’m still suffering from kind of post-vacation-depression… Don’t really understand why this is always so hard! I mean, usually, I love my job, (or like very much at least). I have busy days after work as well, some of the stuff I have to do is good, some is tiring. I try to work out, so I need time to do that too, but right now, it seems like plunging into everyday life is something that requires a life west. I guess that after a couple of more weeks, everything will be back to normal. But right now, the thought of that is kind of awful.
Is life meant to be work, obligations, and stuff you don’t have the conscience to NOT do? I need to work to earn money, and I like solving problems like I do at work. Like my colleagues too. I have a family that I love, but now they were just waiting for me to come home to grab hold of me and my time… I love my husband, but can’t wait for him to get back to work, so that I have evenings on my own (he works in another city, one hour flight away).
Guess basically it is the ME-time I miss, all ordinary things overwhelms me.

Before we went away, I said I’d focus on these things, here’s how it went:

  1. Sleep routines. Not lack of it. Follow my attack plan on sleep meds. /Yes, did that. 
  2. Live here and now. Enjoy what happens. Take ALL the good photos. /Hmm… been a bit busy, and don’t know about the photos yet…
  3. Plan what and where we eat, I feel so much better without bread and fast carbs. /Lost cause…
  4. Get on the bike for at least 30 k a day, that’s just one hour (well, when it is flat)! /No, didn’t happen, but my bike has travelled most of Europe… 
  5. Don’t hurry (except downhill on the bike)/To little downhill on bike, a bit hurried in between
  6. Stretch my neck four times a day. Breathe… /Well… I guess no…

I made the sleep thing anyway, which is very good.

This week I bought a small kayak, and went fishing (the plastic bag is for the fish!). Didn’t get any, sea is full of stingy jellyfish that always get into the line and tip off the real fish down there. Good recreation, and good training for any muscle above the knee, it seems…  Weather sucks though. But this is going to be my new excuse, gone fishing! Me-time…

I am really happy to life a place where this is possible 🙂
Wishing you a lovely weekend!

Acnowledgment, sort of…

Sometimes, if something very bad has happened, people just hide it away. I did that too. As I have written about earlier, I started remembering after he died. I don’t know how many years it took for me to understand that all these horrible things actually did happen. Still, if a flashback has sort of new content, I doubt that it is true. I think it just can’t be…
I have been very open about everything with my youngest daughter, and she discussed this with her cousin, my niece. Both of them are grown up. My niece then told my daughter about anmemory she has, of him, my father. Nothing very bad, really, but an incident when she as a child (she was seven when he died) had THAT feeling. That one, when even as a small child she knew, that this is uncomfortable, intrusive, wrong.
I am so sorry she had to have this memory. But it is also a relief for me.
It’s not me.
It happened. My story is true, my feelings are not crazy, there is logic.

The funeral

English: Red roses

Red roses, her favourites (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

All those things to remember. We had a visit from the funeral home last Wednesday. He took us through all the details. What kind of coffin, what clothes we wanted her to wear, the flower arrangements, the psalms, advertisement, forms, costs, inheritance, testament… My brother and sister were there, and my other old aunt. (The one with a taste for red wine, who got the fresh caught fish on the summer party last Saturday). She is the sister of the very old aunt who died.

We all thought we remembered what songs and singers we used for the last funeral. We didn’t. It was the same man from the funeral home, who came to see us then, who we met again now. He had some of our funeral history on his computer. Goes to show that it’s not just me who goes “blank” in situations like these. We also had to talk to the priest, who gazed at my “Om”-pendant… Don’t think he is of the most tolerant ones. Anyway, we talked about the very old aunt for a while, for him to have enough information to put together a memorial speech.

I have no idea how many will come to the service, she outlived all her friends. The family comes of course, the same 20 something that came at the summer party. Some family from other parts of the country is also coming. And there must be some cousins, and maybe old colleagues. Though, who would you expect to remember you, when it’s 30 years since you retired?

We ordered red roses to decorate the coffin. They were her favourites. The coffin is white, I like better the oak ones.y

I hope the day goes by without me coming out of my state of indifference. I think it’s strange, but also a bit good, to see that my brother and sister feel awkvard. It sort of tells me that I can’t be alone with my experiences from my childhood. It tells me that it’s true, things were bad. I don’t feel any need to mourn. I know that our story keep us closer together than most people, only it doesn’t, really. Anyone who loses their mother as a child has a story. Not sure if I can explain this properly, but it is nothing but an act. We do what is expected. We act as if we have great affection for each other, but hardly ever meet, other than Christmas, or my summer party. The dialogue is nothing to be proud of, bad actors…

I don’t want to do very much about this. And right now, I just hope this day goes into history with nothing to remember.

No, not very mindful today. I’ll visit my feelings tomorrow.

Death as routine?

Gravestone of William Butler Yeats, Poet and S...

Yeats, Poet and Statesman, at Drumcliffe, County Sligo. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We had a discussion about family and stuff last night, my youngest daughter (she’s 21) and me. Our family has had so many funerals to go to. We talked about how this one is just another one to be arranged. And that’s it, sort of.

She made a list.
Grandma
Uncle H
Grand uncle R
Grand aunt A
Step grandma
One friend
Friend of boyfriend
Best friends mother
Step-grandma #2

My list:
Aunt H
Mum
Grandpa
Grandma
Grandpa (mums side of the family)
Grandma (mums side of the family)
My father
Uncle S
Father-in-law
Aunt A
Brother in law H (we never had much contact though)
Good friend O
Mother –in- law
Uncle R
Step mother
Mother-in-law #2
Aunt M

That’s 17 during my 48 years. No wonder funerals are getting to be routine.

We do remember them, all of us who are still here.

I feel just empty inside, thinking about it. And the pain  I  endured, sort of makes it impossible to grieve. Or maybe it is something else. It might be that it has never been good, my family. It has been hurt, pain, loss, and so many other of those bad bad feelings. Have I ever felt loved by the ones in the generation before me? I don’t know, I won’t dwell on it right now anyway.

Here’s to them all. Honour, respect, acknowledgement. You probably did your best, and if you didn’t, well, you might not have known better. I hope you live life to the fullest. All of you but one.

Those dancing days are over
Come, let me sing into your ear;
Those dancing days are gone,
All that silk and satin gear;
Crouch upon a stone,
Wrapping that foul body up
In as foul a rag:
I carry the sun in a golden cup.
The moon in a silver bag.

Curse as you may I sing it through;
What matter if the knave
That the most could pleasure you,
The children that he gave,
Are somewhere sleeping like a top
Under a marble flag?
I carry the sun in a golden cup.
The moon in a silver bag.

I thought it out this very day.
Noon upon the clock,
A man may put pretence away
Who leans upon a stick,
May sing, and sing until he drop,
Whether to maid or hag:
I carry the sun in a golden cup,
The moon in a silver bag.

William Butler Yeats

Another death in the family

She was old, my aunt, she was  94. Born in the last year of WW1. Second oldest of seven, four girls and three boys. Every one of them went away to study, engineering, chemistry, this one, she studied to be a teacher. Later on she got to be a special eds teacher, one of few. She worked at the same school for more than 40 years.

She never married, and she lived in the house next door. She looked after her old parents, they lived there too.

Yesterday she died, she had been in and out since the weekend, and there was no drama.

I am not sure when I saw her last. For the last ten years, she’s been demented, talking about the war… Mixing our names together, and been ill, so many times.

I don’t really feel anything.

Its not like I am suppressing any feelings, and there is no shock. No loss, no sorrow. A bit relieved, she was tired. I remember her talking about dying, I guess tomorrow, when we get together to plan the funeral, we will find that she probably made plans. Twenty years ago…

I don’t look forward to the funeral, the family (again) and all the stuff we have to do. It is me and my brother and sister who has to do it all. We just did this… four years ago. There has been so many deaths in my family, we are used to it. That sounds terrible. I know.

Some colour to brighten up your day?

Can you remember opening a brand new box of crayons? I can. I would just look at them, see how the different shades of red shifted into pink or orange, and then to yellow. My brother would just throw them all in a big cake tin we had. Mix the old ones together with the new ones. I could never do that. I would keep them in the exact same place in the original box, and open and close carefully, so that it wouldn’t get torn.

If it was a big box, I would perhaps make a small dot, marking the specific spot for each of the crayons. So that they would get back where they belong.

Amazing how colours can affect your mood. Black is for sorrow, white means clean, orange (my favourite) is energy, red is both love and affection, blue… well blue.

Don’t know why yellow got such a bad rumour, at least in my country, it means cowards, and green is new. Sometimes in a negative context.

I had to think about colours today… Feeling a bit down, as one of my aunts are very poorly. There are only two of my father’s siblings left, living here in my town. This is not the one who attended the summer party, though considering the amount of wine an 89 year old women can pour down, she probably felt rather… blue… the day after. This is about the oldest one, and the way it looks now, she won’t see much of the summer coming up. They told me she might die anytime. But they have said that before… So I don’t know. She is 94. We haven’t spoken for years, I have some problems dealing with his family, and so I just don’t. This is where I should probably investigate my feelings on forgiveness. Someone did know, maybe not to what extent wrong things happened in the old house with the large garden, but I can’t help thinking that someone could have done something. She was the next door neighbour.

My youngest daughter told me that when they were kids, I had a really large box with crayons, watercolours, felt tip pens and colour pencils. She remembered it as a lovely childhood memory. She might be a bit like me, that one!

Update:
Just as I was publishing this, my old aunt died. How strange is that?

A bit surprised

Discovered that some 40 sleeping pills are missing after yesterdays party. They were in my bedroom, on the second floor, where only a few people went…
Obviously, I should have locked them in somewhere, but I am not used to not trusting people… Someone else has problems sleeping! I wonder who?
Maybe I should post it on the invite on facebook… Could the person who stole my most needed sleeping pills please return them to me?