Wednesday, April 16, 2014

New Shoes

A week and a half ago I ordered eight pairs of shoes. Yes, eight. It seemed such an extravagant thing to do considering the amount of walking I'm actually doing. But I needed to face reality and I only had four pair that I was able to wear. Two of them sandals which I haven't worn a lot lately, one pair of dirty tennis shoes and one pair of black flats. New shoes would help me not feel so shabby or so I hoped.

Seven of the eight pair were delivered yesterday which was ironic because I was at a low for most of the day. The delivery did nothing to pick me up. It was rather like a slap in the face. Why bother to open up the boxes? What was the point? All night long, the boxes sat untouched, like an unwelcome visitor. 

Mom talked me into opening one of the the boxes this morning. I still didn't have the desire to look open the box, but I didn't want to make her feel bad. Inside was a cute pair of clean blue tennis looking just like the picture I saw on-line. I could wear them tomorrow, she said cheerfully, for chemo. I nodded in agreement.

After Brie got up, I asked her to open the rest of the boxes for me. One after another, cute shoes came out of hiding. And then my tears began again. The night before I had slept poorly again, the pain in my legs crying worse than a newborn baby. What was the point? Why did I go and buy so many stupid pairs of shoes?

Is this really my life?  

The answer was so clear. Yes, Debra, it is! 

So what are you going to do with it? 

After lunch, I cried some more, calling out to God, my healer. I know he has the power. I know. I know without a doubt he can heal. I know without a doubt he can heal me. Please do it Lord, please. At least let me walk again without pain. At least let me sleep tonight without pain. I have given up so much. I held nothing back from my prayers, Why should I? He knows me like no other so no point in pretending. 

And then I slept for thirty minutes. Since that time, the ache has subsided. The ache in my leg and the ache in my heart. 

Things for which I am thankful for
1. A God who listens to my cries and comforts me
2. Friends and family who care for me and about me
3. A delicious meal my mom so lovingly prepared the night before
4. Brie for helping me so much this morning
5. A medication to help with the nerve damage that seems to be working (thanks be to God!)
6. A day of work
7. New shoes...eight pairs of them

Monday, April 14, 2014

Tired of the Pain

After days of positive thinking, of saying, at least, mentally I feel strong, of pushing past the pain, I took a step backwards. I could feel it coming all day yesterday as I did little to move off my recliner, pretending that I needed a Sunday of rest. As I pulled myself off the recliner this morning, anxious to get the morning started, apprehensive that with each step I took, the pain would commence. The truth is, I've gotten to the point where I want to move as little as possible so tired of the pain that I'm in.

At lunchtime, I tried to pull myself out of my funk by writing in my daily journal of gratitude. It wasn't working. I tried harder by moving myself to the patio. It made me feel a little better, but not enough. I tried even harder by walking one and a half times around the patio.

By the end of lunch, I was back on my recliner, my legs aching, crying out loud. The pain, I can take. The self-pity, not so much. Still, I pray for a reprieve from the pain. I am praying, pleading, begging the Lord that the new medication I'm taking will give me relief.

I was reading something today that someone wrote about waiting and how waiting for the unknown was the hardest. I get it. I think about one of my biggest fears, paralysis. It may come tomorrow, it may never come. Today, it was foremost on my mind. I can't sit forever, it's not good for compression, yet I don't know what else to do, standing is virtually impossible, walking not much better.

A thought struck my mind. I'm afraid of paralysis and yet, here I am, spending most of my time doing what I'm most afraid a chair. Yes, I can still get up, take a shower, get my food, dress myself, but even that I'm not doing much of. I haven't taken a shower since Friday...yuck! I know, it makes me feel even worse.

In some ways I felt an amount of relief. If that would be my lot in life, well, then, I could handle it. In some ways, perhaps the pain would be limited, I don't know. I hope so.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

What Would You Bring?

We added a new supervisor to our department last month. She's been killing it. I love it when a new employee isn't afraid to speak up and bring positive change. In an effort to get to know her team better, she invited them this week to a breakfast potluck in which she asked them to bring something that showed who they are. Who doesn't love a breakfast potluck? I'd choose them over a lunch/dinner potluck anytime.

I wanted to attend the meeting just to see what everyone brought as their one thing and so I could share what I would bring. What would I bring? The answer wasn't that hard. It's probably not what other's would think. No, not one of my camera's nor a cup of coffee. If I had to bring the one thing that shows who I am, it would have been my charm bracelet.

I say would have been, because in the last year I either misplaced it or someone stole it. While it makes me feel bad, I'm surprisingly not as heart-broken as I thought I would have been, but that's another post.

One spring, my family took a short trip to San Francisco. It was memorable for many reasons. One of which, while on the streets of the city, we found our way into a random souvenir shop. As we looked around for cheap treasures that would mark our visit, dad took Eliz and I up to the front of the store and there beneath a glass case were silver sterling charm bracelets and charms galore.

I don't know that I even know what they were before that moment but I was amazed when dad asked if Eliz and I would like to have one. Yes, absolutely, before he changed his mind, yes! Thus begun decades of collecting charms from our moves and our travels.

Whenever we found ourselves in a new place, the hunt for our silver loot would begin. I had charms from Delaware (a silver piece in the shape of the state), the Franklin Mint, Italy (the Colosseum), Spain (a fan), Greece (the acropolis), Indonesia (a puppet), Hong Kong (a bicycle car) , Singapore (another bicycle car) , Germany (a beer stein), Alaska (a totem pole), Texas (a cowboy boot), Sacramento (a gold mining car), France (the Eiffel Tower, of course!), just to name a few.

In time, my charm bracelet became full with almost every other link taken by some silver trinket. I loved the little jingling sound that was heard each time I moved my arm as the charms clinked against one another. The charms represented where I've been and who I've become. I've left part of myself in each place and have taken a part of each place with me, forever in my heart. Still there are some places that I've not been able to come back with a shiny treasure. Florida is one of them. I've been to the state, at least half a dozen times and I've yet been able to find a charm.

My charm bracelet has been so special that when Brie was about the same age as I was when I got mine, I bought her one and little by little, she has been slowly been building up the number of charms hanging on the links. It's one of the things from my youth that she just gets.

With so many charms, some still not even attached to the bracelet, it was my plan to purchase another bracelet, put half my charms on one bracelet, half my charms on another and give one to Matthew and one to Brienne for them to give to their daughters. So why aren't I heartbroken that I no longer have my bracelet in my possession? I still don't believe it's missing forever. I have hope I will find it. It's either in my car or my room. I'm not sure where, but I will find it. I must find it. It's not lost forever, it can't be.

If you had to bring one thing to a potluck that represented who you are...what would you bring?

Monday, April 7, 2014

On the Cusp

I may not be able to do all the things I used to be able to do or do all the things I want to do, but somehow I have the strength to do the things that are really important. At the end of the month, I was able to go to my nephew's web exhibit at the LA Art Institute.

It's so exciting to witness someone on the cusp of living their dream.

I think it doesn't matter the age that you are once you figure out what your dreams are, I think it matters that you follow them.

I love the courage he has shown in following his dreams. I believe in all of us lives some form of creativity. I believe those who tap into it either as a form recreation or as a job live much more fulfilled lives.

After the exhibition, we went to a most fabulous place called The Counter for lunch. I wasn't sure what to expect. Man oh man, it was delicious. You could order your own burger or select from one of their recommendations.

Mine was so amazing that I salivate every time I look at the picture I took of my burger.

Cooking, to me, is a form of creativity. Which is why I enjoy taking pictures of food that I feel is well prepared.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

I Love You Bro!

We made a pact that started after Elizabeth turned 50. We would all get together for a mini-vacay at the place of the birthday sibling's choice (within reason). In someway it wasn't really fair to Eliz because she didn't pick San Francisco, Angela and I did. It was somewhat of a compromise because I wanted to have an Extreme Makeover/Home Edition for her and Angela thought a weekend in San Francisco was in order. We managed to pull both off.

A year and a half, my choice was Monterey, California where we stayed at Asilomar, which allowed us the opportunity to gather together in the lobby for games and pool. I enjoyed every moment of our vacation, especially Sunday morning when everyone met down by the beach for communion and family fun time.

Two years later, it's Victor's turn to hit the magic number. His request was to meet in Phoenix so we could go to a few Dodger spring training game. With so many Dodger fans in our family, it wasn't hard to get everyone to say yes.

This is my family.

The ones that I love.

We aren't perfect, but we are there for one another.

And in case you didn't know it, we're Dodger fans (and some are Angel's fans too).

Happy birthday, my dear brother! And many, many more!

I love you Bro!