Is Life Too Easy?


It seems that there is always inventions made for ways to make life easier. I can remember when my husband and I didn’t own a microwave. When it came out my parents gifted us one for Christmas. How in the world did I heat up the babies bottles? I had to do it the old-fashioned way. I used the stove-top burners. I had to get the pan out, put water in it, turn the burner on and hold the crying baby at the same time until the milk was the right temperature. Wow, how that microwave hurried that process along.

I can remember how I had to stay pretty much in place when I talked on the phone. I had to keep my ears and eyes open with the kids. I wanted to talk but at the same time I could barely keep up with the kids. I think kids realize at a very young age that they are not the main attraction when the phone rings. This is when they choose to get into things, whine and cry, demanding I get off the phone and spend time with them. Thank goodness long and longer phone extension cords were invented.

We have advanced so much and so quick sometimes I can barely keep up with life. It was only a few short years ago that reading an article on how senior citizens didn’t know how to turn a computer on was familiar text. Now, seniors are online, playing games, in chat rooms and dating sites.

What can come next? I wrote about the 3-D printing last week where in our near future, doctors will be able to replace about anything wrong in our bodies by growing an exact duplicate. Will we, our future actually be able to live forever and look like we are 21? The possibilities are definitely there.

So scientists and modern-day technology are really moving faster than we are aging. Life is becoming almost too easy. We are so busy being involved with work, and activities along with trying to attend our kids functions that someone has now invented a new way to make life even easier.

I believe it was in Texas, don’t quote me on that state, that I heard on the late-night news last night that the first drive-thru has been invented. You ask me what country I am residing in? You state with an attitude that drive-thru has been around for years. Well wait a minute, I didn’t get to say what kind of drive-thru. Let me be the first to let you know it is a funeral drive-thru.

You drive up to the window. A sensor can tell by the weight of your car that you are there. This process leads to the heavily clad funeral curtains slide open, causing a full coffin to be in plain view. My gosh, you don’t even have to wear your basic black. You could go in your shorts and tee or maybe your swimsuit. You could visit for your time you wish and then drive off.

Wow, the only thing I have to say about this is, yes it is convenient, but what happens to the loss of respect we pay tribute to of the ones left behind. I guess when you drive away from that window you better have at least a store-bought cake or a box of cookies to drop off to the grieving ones so they don’t feel deserted.

drive thru

Writing is Healing


After I wrote my post last night about Erasing the Invisible I felt ashamed. Upset with myself for not being like others who are more tough-skinned than me. I didn’t sleep well at all. In fact I was awake and couldn’t fall back asleep at 4am, so I got up, grabbed a cup of coffee and jumped online.

I read with great intent the answers that I received in my comment section about my latest post. The answers were right there in front of me. I just couldn’t see them because I am the one in the middle surrounded by fog.

I am not saying that I am 100% healed, but I did see the fog lift. I understood my pain and the reason for it. All of us most likely go through doubting periods in our lives. It only becomes serious if we don’t work through it, understand it, and become glued in our spot.

Why didn’t I think of it myself? Who knows and what really matters is that I see the light now, thanks to my blogger friends. I feel like I had my very own private session with a therapist without having to sit face to face spilling my guts.

I guess I really never understood grief and how  it works. How can one word be so big in emotions. I decided to look up what grief really stands for and this is what I found.

 

Here is the grief model we call the 7 Stages of Grief:

  1. SHOCK & DENIAL-
    You will probably react to learning of the loss with numbed disbelief. You may deny the reality of the loss at some level, in order to avoid the pain. Shock provides emotional protection from being overwhelmed all at once. This may last for weeks.
  2. PAIN & GUILT-
    As the shock wears off, it is replaced with the suffering of unbelievable pain. Although excruciating and almost unbearable, it is important that you experience the pain fully, and not hide it, avoid it or escape from it with alcohol or drugs.

    You may have guilty feelings or remorse over things you did or didn’t do with your loved one. Life feels chaotic and scary during this phase.

  3. ANGER & BARGAINING-
    Frustration gives way to anger, and you may lash out and lay unwarranted blame for the death on someone else. Please try to control this, as permanent damage to your relationships may result. This is a time for the release of bottled up emotion.

    You may rail against fate, questioning “Why me?” You may also try to bargain in vain with the powers that be for a way out of your despair (“I will never drink again if you just bring him back”)

  4. “DEPRESSION”, REFLECTION, LONELINESS-
    Just when your friends may think you should be getting on with your life, a long period of sad reflection will likely overtake you. This is a normal stage of grief, so do not be “talked out of it” by well-meaning outsiders. Encouragement from others is not helpful to you during this stage of grieving.

    During this time, you finally realize the true magnitude of your loss, and it depresses you. You may isolate yourself on purpose, reflect on things you did with your lost one, and focus on memories of the past. You may sense feelings of emptiness or despair.

    More 7 stages of grief…

  5. THE UPWARD TURN-
    As you start to adjust to life without your dear one, your life becomes a little calmer and more organized. Your physical symptoms lessen, and your “depression” begins to lift slightly.
  6. RECONSTRUCTION & WORKING THROUGH-
    As you become more functional, your mind starts working again, and you will find yourself seeking realistic solutions to problems posed by life without your loved one. You will start to work on practical and financial problems and reconstructing yourself and your life without him or her.
  7. ACCEPTANCE & HOPE-
    During this, the last of the seven stages in this grief model, you learn to accept and deal with the reality of your situation. Acceptance does not necessarily mean instant happiness. Given the pain and turmoil you have experienced, you can never return to the carefree, untroubled YOU that existed before this tragedy. But you will find a way forward.

    You will start to look forward and actually plan things for the future. Eventually, you will be able to think about your lost loved one without pain; sadness, yes, but the wrenching pain will be gone. You will once again anticipate some good times to come, and yes, even find joy again in the experience of living.

I recognized myself very clear in this list. I am at number 4. I can remember quite well going through number 1, 2 and 3. This seems to be the hardest part I am at right now. I now understand why I get panicky when I leave my house. I get it why I prefer to stay home.

I also know that this is not good for me and for this I am grateful that i still have my senses about me. I didn’t even see that the evil one from below is also having a hay-day with my feelings. He has been taking advantage of me while I have been down and out.

I used to tell myself that I knew my move was a good one because I had prayed and recognized the quick sale of my home and being able to find a new home had to be of God’s doing. Now I know for sure that God knows me so well.

I have to leave here. I do look in the past too much. I do worry about what my family thinks of me and I hate hurting anyone’s feelings, but God knows even more. He knew in order for me to pick myself up and move forward so that he could continue to use me for  his will, I needed to move not only away from this home, but also away from the death that lingers inside these walls.

By moving away from seeing Hospice here, the funeral home people coming to get Al, I will now be able to replace those terrible feelings with new visions, new memories and I will be stronger once again.

What this will do for me in the end is move me through the numbers 5, 6, and 7 gaining more strength and able to recognize how Satan works so easily throughout our bad times. I learned a lot through writing that post and for the friends who commented, I say thank-you. Please accept these beautiful flowers as my appreciation gift for what you have shown me.roses

Erasing the Invisible


A statement was made tonight that left me with nothing to say, which is a rare thing. Perhaps it is because I have never been able to accomplish this my entire life. The topic is LOVE. Not the kind that you feel when you fall in love with your mate; rather the one where you love yourself.

I feel that I am an excellent caregiver. I can wipe away the tears from any patient. I can make each heart feel loved. I can bring comfort and kind words to help ease fears so they may rest as well as they can.

Although I am burnt- out on care giving, my heart still leans towards the one who needs to feel loved. Maybe this is because I am good at giving something I wanted so bad all my life.

Please don’t think for one moment I am wanting your kind words or your pity; I do not. Maybe spilling my guts onto the black and white screen will help me fix what has been broken for so many years.

I know the familiar words. God loves me. He made me the way he wants me to be. He doesn’t make mistakes. The problem is how can I truly believe that when I have been shown or not shown the love that any kid deserves.

Don’t get me wrong. I didn’t go without while growing up. I had nice clothes. I had a beautiful home to live in. I went to good schools. I was never beat. From the time my father and step-mother married, I could not complain and on any smooth surface, I was a happy, healthy child. So what gives? I don’t know.

Maybe I can’t or haven’t found a way to erase the invisible. I am one of those poor saps that lives too much in the past. I know it is wrong, but it seems that is the way I have always been and it could be part of the reason I am compassionate towards others.

No, what I can’t erase is the things that aren’t seen. You can’t touch what isn’t there. You can’t pretend to believe that everything is alright, when deep down inside you always knew you were an added piece to the table. You can’t pretend you didn’t hear what you heard.

I think when my mom died, I felt lost. When dad died, I felt the one person on earth that surely loved me more than anything was forever gone. The thin tether I clung to during my childhood had now frazzled and dissipated.

When my brother passed away I was left backed into a corner. No one to pour out those hidden feelings I desired. I now look at my life as an empty box that I need to fill up in order to live within a peaceful bubble for the remainder of my days.

Since Al has passed I am almost afraid of everything. The dark, going out, the what if’s. Do you have any idea how frustrating that is? I hate it, but can’t seem to burst that bubble that has me cocooned me inside like caged beast.

When I look at the facts in my life I smile, so why isn’t it enough? I know without a doubt my children love me. I am  pretty sure my grandchildren love me too. I have nice friends here. I have no doubt when I move next week I will make new friends. What else could I possibly want?

Who else is so lucky to have family that lead busy, busy lives and yet are spending free time over at my new home making it look pretty? I know I am blessed. Through the mistakes I have made in my own life, I have been forgiven and still remain loved.

I am coming to the end of this post and I still don’t have the answers to fix myself. I have already been to a therapist to learn how to realize that my feelings are validated. I have learned that not all that happens to us is our fault. What I didn’t learn is how to let go of the disappointment of what I thought should be, and to accept that life is what it is.

As I have become older I have forgiven words. I have learned that not all show emotions the same way. I am hoping that living in my new surroundings some of the sadness, depression and death will break the ties that bind me.

I am hoping that I will breathe new air. I will not have to force myself to look out the window for one good thing in my life. I will just see the beauty in who I am on the inside and enjoy every moment I am blessed to still be able to breathe.

Family was and always will remain the most important thing to me under God. It is all I ever wanted, it is all I ever needed. Somehow, some way I just want to erase the invisible and start penciling in all the good around me.

bubbles

 

Overload Alert/ The Daily Post


http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/overload-alert/#like-89961

“Everybody gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense.” — Gertrude Stein
Do you agree?

 

I don’t think it has anything to do with common sense how we each take in so much information. I believe some of it has to do with our heritage. Maybe where we live, big cities or rural areas. What opportunities were available as far as schooling was concerned.

Even our friends and family can determine how we handle information. Do we have someone to discuss it with? Is it like surfing through a magazine; do we see it but do not take it in.

Do we all comprehend at the same pace? I know for me, Al, my brother and I had one thing in common. Comprehension was a terrible area for Al and in some areas for me it is a struggle.

I can not learn anything it seems by reading an instruction book. I could read it over and over and learn very little. Sometimes looking at diagrams can  help me some but, hands on for me is the best way I learn.

I went to college and took some classes. I made good grades but how much better could I have done without the lectures and more physical class time activities. So, I think we as humans get the information that pertains to our interests. The words that perk our ears up. I think we are all capable of handling information, just at different rates of speed and for different reasons. Thank-you for reading my opinion.rubik cube

The Dark Hall


He stood against the sink, blood running down his chin. His eyes were bloodshot. His hands were shaking. How am I going to make it? I can’t go on much longer. Who will help me?

Asleep or awake it followed him every minute. He tried to run away but it chased him down, choking him, and as he gasped for air, he could hear the echos of laughter beyond the room.

Ever since that night, ever since he stood in the dark hallway, he had been a changed man. Always poor, barely able to feed himself, living paycheck week to week, he was never able to move forward from this thing he was forced to call home.

Bad things happened here more often than not. Screams from women being forced to do things they didn’t want to. Gun shots going off when people didn’t get their way. Dirty syringes could be found in the dark hallway.

He grew up with dreams. He never could taste them. Greedy hands reaching out to grab him, leaving him naked for the world to see nothing but the worn clothes he owned. He tried going to church but it never worked. The promises that he heard always seemed empty. His lap felt light, he couldn’t believe.

Sometimes just for the hell of it he would walk the few blocks to the homeless shelter. There he would wear his most ragged and beg for a cot only for the voices he would hear while pretending to go to sleep.

He shared coffee and some cold toast in the mornings and then he would walk the few blocks back to his home. He would then get out his pad and pencils and he would sketch his memories of who he had met on paper.

He would walk over to his closet and opening the door, there he would see the many boxes; neatly lined up one on top of the other. He would pull them out one at a time and open them; reliving the chapters of his life.

One box sat alone. On the top shelf, dust starting to cover, fading out the words on the label. All to clear in his mind he pulled that box down and opened it up. There was only one paper in there.

Proving that his life had stopped before it began. Turning the overhead light over his bed on  he sat down and stared at it. The key to his life, the plug that was pulled, stared back at him as his body began to slump.

Staring at a face with no motion. A beautiful formed body with a tight-fitting dress on. Dark stains covered her breasts. Signs of struggle on the purple marks on her wrists and a worn and threaded mark making its way from side to side of her neck.

That terrible night, the night he wasn’t supposed to be there. He was so restless. He couldn’t take the silence anymore. He hadn’t spoken to anyone all weekend. He sometimes wished he worked seven days a week. At least there were faces to paint, and memories to make. He could fill his boxes.

He was going to visit the homeless shelter. Maybe he would make a friend. Perhaps someone would speak first, maybe want to grab a cup of coffee. He got dressed in the routine shelter clothes. He turned his two lights out and quietly opened the front door.

He stepped out into the dark hall. Starting to walk towards the stairs the door next to his room flew open. Gun shots went off. He disappeared into the shadows and waited for silence.

Hearing scurrying footsteps and then the reward of quiet, he stepped near the open door. He mentally photographed all that he saw and then the quick steps he heard forced him to step back and run.

He was seen. Not his face but the back of his  head. The length of his legs, the color of his coat. Yelling coming towards him. A gun shot goes off but misses him. He disappears into the stairs and scrambled out of the building.

He stares at the painting.  His body begins to shiver. He puts the paper back in the box. He places it back on the top shelf and walks to the tiny bathroom. He vomits, remembering the dark hall.

dark hall

I Think of You


I Think of You

 

When I am all alone

And the world is speeding by

I think of you

Wondering where you are

 

I dream about your face

I can smell your scent

I think of you

Wondering where you are

 

I smile as I see

You walking by my side

I think of you

Wondering where you are

 

Whisk me away my love

Fly me to the moon

I think of you

Wondering where you are

 

When I am awake

I see dark in front of me

I think of you

Wondering where you are

 

I know you are not real

But I can sense you are near

I think of you

Wondering where you are

Written by,

Terry Shepherd

09.14.2014

 

 

 

 

 

Live-your-dreams-my-dream-is-23899888-1025-525

I’m Gonna Get Ya Sucker!


I was invited this early evening  to go to a fish fry given by a local church. I met a few of my friends there. The fish were being fried outdoors in electric fryers and the food and seating were indoors.

Although it is chilly enough I had to wear pants and a long shirt, it was still warm enough to have the double doors open. I ate more fish than I should have considering I had enough fish last night for dinner to last me for several days. The meal consisted of fish, french fries or onion rings, coleslaw and dessert. I knew I did a good job of eating when it was uncomfortable to stand and breathe.

Outside they had one of those air rides for kiddies. There was lots of laughter and the fun kind of screaming going on. A gathering of this kind always brings those uninvited guests and this was no exception.

Nobody wanted to talk to them. In fact, when too many were present, people got up and walked to another spot. I wasn’t sure if there was going to be a physical fight happening as I looked around at the crowd and saw hands fighting the air. I heard some choice words being spoken. I could just tell that people wish these nasty guests would leave. I bet at least 50 or so came together in a crowd. They were determined to take over. I finally got fed up of moving spot to spot  so I said my farewells and headed to my car.

Would you believe they tried to chase me down? They wanted me to stay so they could do their thing. I told them no. I yelled leave me alone, but they ignored me. One of them actually sat on my car. How bold was that?  I hurried and got my camera and took his photo in case I needed evidence later, then I jumped in my car and locked my doors immediately. Calming down and thinking I am safe, I pulled my camera out and looked at the face I had photographed. Do you want to see why these guests were not welcomed? Alright, here is the photo.

bee

 

Printing in 3-D for Body Parts


It always makes me feel a little strange when I read or hear about things that will most likely happen after I am deceased. I was reading this article in yesterday’s newspaper which talked about our future. I wanted to know what your thoughts on this topic were. Not that you will or not be living but the technology of it.

It is titled Printing the Future in 3-D

I have seen puzzles made in 3-D. I am sure if I think hard enough I have seen other things also. Now the scientists are figuring out how to use this knowledge and feed it into medicine. Where would we be without the brains in this world? Maybe not living in the cave days, but most likely not where we are today.

3-D printing is being tested in hundreds of ways the article states.They believe it can heal people. The process could duplicate copies of a damaged arm or leg. It could copy cancer tissues so doctors could figure out the best way to kill it.

Scientists are hoping to someday re-create who organs for people needing a new liver or heart. The 3-D process being used by a computer, receives its commands telling it where to place certain links. One by one, these ink drops create letters or pictures. The materials can be almost anything from plastic, to living cells and even metals. As each layer is built one at a time, the object is built.

Objects can be made in almost any shape. Because the layers are added one at a time this process is called additive manufacturing. With this new and fascinating process being made better and better, artificial body parts, known more as prosthetics is much cheaper.

Right now a prosthetic child’s hand may cost $25,000-$50,000 dollars, and of course as the child grows these parts would need to be replaced over and over. How many of us have these kind of dollars or that excellent of insurance?

With the 3-D process a prosthetic hand may only cost around $5.00. Wow, what a difference in price. Scientists hope to  have this easily available within 10 years. The printer will be able to make precise copies for each person. The body part will work better and last much longer. A part could be built in less than two days.

Already people are using 3-D printed hands, arms, hips, teeth, skulls, knees and ears. Printing live limbs is still many years away they state. The good news is that prosthetic 3-D body parts will move well and be available in a few years.

Isn’t it fantastic news for those who walk with difficulty or have one less arm than we do? Wouldn’t their lives change forever from this new strategy? So what do you think? Do you believe this can actually happen in time? I usually say that I am glad I am the age I am and will not have to see the gross things that will happen in our world; but this is one time I would love to be living and see the wide smiles on those that are made whole again or for the first time. The first photo below is;

The second photo is;

A 3D printer at the university has already built a prototype kidney.

These remarkable images show the groundbreaking advances scientists are making in the field of regenerative medicine, paving the way to print new body parts such as ears and noses.

Here is a video to explain more.

ear 2

ear