---Alice Abrams

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Echoes of Summer

I'm having a self-pity kind of day today. It's 110, humid and my plants look scorched. I've lost several new ones I just planted. No one's made any offers on our house after two weeks and I'm feeling stressed and depressed.

Looking at the paper, I saw the temperature of Baghdad yesterday: 119. Our soldiers are carrying packs that weigh 40-50 lbs., plus flak jackets/body armor. I should really stop my moaning and complaining.

The heat breaks my spirit and seems unbearable. As I went outside to water, it seemed like a physical slap in the face. And there are people who enjoy living in the desert! Why? Scorpions and snakes are NOT my friends! I'd much rather live in the luxury of ferns and waterfalls.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Echoes of Oops...and Thanks!

I added the last three entries from a previous journal so they'd all be on one page but I've gotten everything out of chronological order. Moving on from here...going forward from July '06.

I needed to carry those entries with me because of the emotion they still evoke in me and also to understand that I am learning to move out of grief and embrace life again.

I want to thank some special souls here who have helped me - in no particular order:

Lynne - My precious cousin who's my soulmate. Where would I be without your ears to listen and arms to comfort? You give me the gift of "space" but you never let me take advantage of it. You help me face my demons. You always make it better...
Corinne - it's through your loss and experiences of faith and hope that I realize how blessed we are to have a father who loves us . You have carried Doug's loss on your tiny but oh, so strong shoulders and have done so well.
Leah - You have teaching me perseverence and determination. You are a caring sister and daughter. You are dealing with difficulties in a wise and mature manner. Congratulations on earning your degree. You go, girl!
Erin - You have helped me cross some bridges I would've rather not gone over! We have touched hearts and learned a lot about appreciation! Life on the Sixth floor was a lot more pleasant with your presence.
Faye - You bring laughter and lightheartedness into my life! When life totally sucks, we watch Survivor and Big Brother and escape from "the idiot," "Madame X," and all the others who would steal our joy!!!
Jan - For all the times you could've thrown up your hands and walked away, but you've chosen to stay - for all the times I just didn't have the words and you still tried to listen...
Judy - You've gone through a very difficult past few years and you haven't lost your faith. I'm hanging on by a thread but as Winston Churchill said, "Never, never, never give up!"

Echoes of Death and Loss From August, 2005

August 05, 2005

Missing Him

I have a new image in my mind - one that will always be there; of my daughter on her knees in her closet, holding her husband's baseball cap tightly to her chest, sobbing because his scent still lingers on it, three months after his sudden death. Her 14 year-old son discovers her like that and without a word, wraps his arms around her and tells her it'll be okay.

This is just one of many images that have worked their way into my mind unbidden these past few months since Doug left us. We were in the hospital that horrible night when the doctors, all specialists in their fields, came one at a time to assure us that everything was being done but they had absolutely no idea what was happening but he was crashing and crashing fast. Then they came to tell us he had arrested - then again, then again. It was 5:30 AM Wednesday, April 13th. It would be eight weeks before they could tell us that no, it wasn't the leukemia they thought it was; no, it wasn't bone marrow cancer; no, it wasn't the myriad other diseases they had thought it might have been: it was acute acetaminaphine toxemia. Simply put, he died from too many painkillers.

He was only in his early 30's when he had the first of three hip replacements due to a car accident which caused necrosis in the bone. He lived in a chronic state of pain which led to over-medicating. I see him in the casket - it was a nightmare. This was not was a stranger with the wrong hair style and awful yellow skin. We were all heart sick when we saw him.

But I have another image in my mind: Doug laughing and smiling, joking and making everyone around him want to be with him. I see him snorkeling in Hawaii, taking off camera in hand, identifying all of the fish for us and showing us novices how to keep the masks on. The image that must stay in my mind is Doug out of pain, in Heaven with his Lord. It's the only thing that keeps me sane. Amazing grace, indeed...

Echoes from December 6, 2005

Sleep the Blues Away

Fear, anger and self-doubt, loathing. Thoughts bouncing in and out like dandelions on the wind. Constant worry and anxiety about anything and everything. Doctors, psychiatrists, counselors. Multiple bottles of medications.
I have difficulty sleeping even with all the pharmachology coursing through my bloodstream. My pastor tells me to read the Bible more then I'll feel better. Would he say that to a parishoner with diabetes? I think not!

I fell asleep sometime in February and awoke in April, only to have my strength drained again when Douglas died. I fell asleep again sometime in June, unable to work, sleeping all the way through fall and early winter. My body is unable to function as well as my brain. I have succeeded in isolating myself from all those who care about me. What have I gained?

Echoes of the New Year

Echoes from another journal...

A New Beginning? 2006

The new year came in with wonderful, beautiful, refreshing rain - lots of it. I kept going outside, sitting on the winter-time patio which is dishevelved and untidy, just like I've been feeling inside. I kept having visions of the rain washing away the cobwebs that have taken up residence in my soul.

Resolutions? Not really. They'd be too many to list, anyway. I feel as though I'm starting to get a handle on the dreaded depression that has totally overwhelmed me this year. Getting outside of myself would definitely be beneficial. Living in the sunshine and moving out of the shadows and skipping in the rain; laughing more often, loving more deeply and living more successfully. Now, that's realistic.
The Lord is in His holy temple. What can go wrong?

Echos From Hawai'i

I talked to my daughters today. They were lounging on the beach in Hawai'i, drinking Mai Tai's, watching the boys scuba through the bay. Technology is incredible! Thousands of miles away - they're sunbathing and I'm able to experience with

them, the sights and sounds of the ocean. The boys found some giant sea turtles and swam alongside with them. Kyle was able to take hold of one's shell and allow it to propel him along.

They ventured out on the lava fields last night, flash lights in hand, following the guide over cravasses and over steaming lava beds. They watched the red hot lava churn out over the sea and sizzle as it falls into the water and steam. Corinne and Kyle ruined their shoes; Matt fell and hovered over a cravasse; Bob hurt his knee. It wouldn't have been a good trek for me to try! They had so much fun in spite of the mishaps. The boys thought it was something, out walking on hot lava.

During the day, they hiked up the paths of waterfalls, finding pools where people were swimming languidly. I love the tropical waterfalls. The mist is refreshing as it falls on your skin. The smell of the air, pumped full of oxygen from the plant life, cools your lungs and revitalizes you.

Oh, do I love the islands!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Echos from Bali Hai

The echos have bounced off the cliffs of the Napali Coast and are lingering in my ears. It's been two years since we were there but I can still see it in my mind's eye. We sailed by this spot by boat and then took the helicopter overhead. Breathtaking...

My kids are over on the big island of Hawai'i this week and I am full of envy but am thrilled they're able to return again. We mainlanders would all pack up in a heartbeat and move lock, stock and barrel if we could. It was 110 degrees here, according to our themometer and that's too hot for man nor beast. I drink my iced tea, turn the fan on higher, dribble ice down my face and pretend it's mist from a waterfall.

First Echo

This is just a brief echo to see if it bounces off the wall and can be heard. When I get my echos in line, I'll be back....