Category Archives: Grief

Smelling The Roses For Her

“This is heavy…” He was right.  

“Yeah.”  The flowers helped me concentrate on something else. Her death was heavy.  His perspective was ..”death is final. That’s it.”  I didn’t see it that way.   

The curtains to the “other” side was torn down for her.  Windows were opened when she took her last breath. My view is my friend’s death was a setting free. Not an end, but a new beginning. 

There is no forgetting her. Family will not. Nor will friends. Nature will keep her alive in my mind.  My concentration is on God’s natural beauty while I remember. Released from the earthly pain, I catch my breath.

Today is all I have and will make it count.  Ready for a day for God to show me the sun as I walk and smell the roses for her. 
 

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She

She looked down.  Not much reason to look up. 

Resigned to the fact nothing would change her circumstances, she only looked to the ground.  She did not expect to see victory in her despondent state. Dispirited and without much strength to try and change her circumstances, her eyes only stared at what was easy to look at in her moment of despair.  Ants.

They were carrying a load. Was it true ants could carry 20 times their own weight?  They had to be definitely female.  She also remembered the male ant’s primary job was mating and then it died off .  She chuckled. 

Looking back up, her mind was suddenly hit by the shocking truth yet again. This time with a smile on her face.  She was revitalized. Believing in herself with the ability like an ant, she gained the title of “strong woman.”  

Photos captured by Alesiablogs. Randomly selected. May not be related to writing, but intended to inspire. 
 
 

Every Morning

Photo taken on the farm of my husband's parents. Nature is so beautiful here.

Photo taken on the farm of my husband’s parents. Nature is so beautiful here.

Every morning I get up out of bed, I look out the window. Most mornings it is pitch black because I am with my kids as they get ready for school. On the weekend, I have the luxury of sleeping in. As I awake, my first glimpses may be the beginning of light from a distant, the softness of the grass in the yard, or baby birds eyeing my feeders. It is in this I reflect on God’s creation. This week as I prepare for my women’s group, the subject is on God’s presence.
In one of the most well-known stories of the Bible in the book of Job, we learn of a man who loved God. Despite all this love he has for God, God allows Job to lose absolutely everything. I can not even imagine what he must have felt like. I have lost many things, but not everything like him. Job is left miserable with the loss of his children, money, and his health. Despite it all, Job wonders why me but he never curses God. Finally God responds to Job through nature itself.
If you have time to read Job 38, it is here that God engages Job to look to the night sky and the clouds of a summer’s day. He than takes him on a wonderful adventure of nature itself and its animals. It is in God’s safari that Job is refreshed in his belief. Can you imagine being lifted up and allowed to see all things created through the wonder of God’s eyes? There is so much more to God than only nature, but it was the way HE chose to show Himself to Job.
Thanks to all of you that write and bring to life a bit of yourself through your stories and photography. I do believe their is the divine in all of this we call life. God chose the Bible to tell us so much. It is through pain and hardship, nature beckons us back to Him. By the way everything was restored to Job. I suppose God could have put on a professor’s cap to teach Job, but He chose to teach through his own Handiwork. I like those kind of lessons myself. I don’t have to take notes.

Redefining Mental Illness

When I was growing up, mental illness was shunned.  We did not talk about it in my household.  The first time I really heard much about mentally ill people was from my two aunts. They were nurses in a mental hospital for chronic patients in Kentucky.  As a young girl of 16, I was immediately drawn into the strangeness of this new world.  I went up to visit my aunts when they were working and I was able to actually walk the halls with the patients.  I was not scared, but what impressed me most about these sick folks was how they mostly kept to themselves. They talked to themselves and did not seem to notice the world around them.  One man did come up to me saying some jibberish that had to do with eatting Ronald Reagan’s liver for lunch and I said, “I hope it tasted good.”  I did not know what to say and as many of you know I do have a strange sense of humor.

When I became a Registered Nurse, I left the crazy world my aunts loved to concentrate most of my nursing in critical care or post operative surgery.  I thought this kind of nursing was a much safer world for me.  I guess I was fooled. However, the world of Mental Health never left my personal life.  In 1993, I welcomed  a beautiful baby boy named Luke.  He would be diagnosed with PDD-NOS or Pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified.  Later this was just noted as Autism.  My world as I knew it was shaken to its core.

You see a panel of experts in 1994 had completed a new revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) that would be used by the medical community to identify and diagnose children like mine with Autism.  They say 20% of the population has some form of mental illness.  I think it is higher, but what do I know.

This year a revised version of the DSM ( ONLY fifth revision since its creation in 1952) came out. Many folks in the medical community are up in arms about it.  Change is not easy.   My concern is more that we do not let the new DSM take away the much needed health care  for individuals who need it to function in everyday life.  Globally this book will be used to diagnose, but in America this book is hugely significant to the ordinary person because if a person is not diagnosed, one does not get the dollars from their health insurance.  This concerns me.  I think time will tell how all this plays out especially with Obamacare taking root in the next year or so. In general I applaud the mental health community for updating the book.  It needed to be done.

I also want to mention that I fear for the over diagnosing of individuals with mental illness.  A word of advice:  Do not take a pill for every whim and especially do not put a child on a pill to mask symptoms until you really understand what is going on.  Patience is needed .  Do not be in a rush.  Where the heck you going anyway?  It has taken many years of finding the right medication for Luke.  He is on two main meds right now and is functioning fairly well on them.  He is monitored very closely by doctors we have found in our community we trust in Seattle.

Luke and Linus enjoying some much needed rest time.

Luke and Linus enjoying some much needed rest time.