Lapses

It’s interesting to go back and reread one’s own writing after a lapse of time has…well, elapsed. The previous post was written two days before my Dad was “rescued from cancer” as Jill Kelly recently posted on her Facebook page about a young man they had encountered. What a difference a year and a few months make.

“The first year is the toughest.” “The loss of the first parent is hard.” “The first holidays and occasions without your loved one will be difficult.” These are things I’ve heard before and even said to others.  But, until you’ve actually lived it…there’s no comparison.

The hurt does dim a bit and the fond memories come floating back as opposed to flooding back alongside the searing pain of loss.  I have felt a bit guilty about how much I miss him because he was 84, lived a full life (in so many senses of the word) and knew this was a possibility before going in for surgery.  I kept trying to wrangle my emotions by thinking, “Knock it off, it’s not like he was taken from you in a car crash at 50″ or similar thoughts.  But, then, I realized, I’m grateful he has been “rescued from cancer” and is at peace without pain, cares or worries.  He is resting peacefully, God willing.

His bride, my mother, on the other hand, still breaks down in tears when she speaks of him.  But, ironically, dementia, Alzheimer’s, whatever you want to call it, has been a merciful companion for her in that she would be missing him all the more dreadfully and frequently if she didn’t have impaired memory capacity.

This dementia thing is positively remarkable.  You think, again, that you understand it, and you do, in theory, but when a close family member gets it whoa, stop the presses…whole.different.story, man.

I find that gallows humor comes in handy in dealing with it.  Because, in reality, we’re the ones dealing with it.  Because my mom has already gotten mostly past the point of realizing she doesn’t remember, which is a blessing.  So, she’ll rewrite some event in our collective history and my sisters and I laugh that she is now a fiction writer in her twilight years.

All this, I’m sure, is God’s way of making me realize the only certainty is Him.

Fitting and proper, I’d say, as Easter is about to dawn.  Happy Easter, everyone!

H is for Hospice

You hear about hospice in your adult life and you may even, in passing, mention it when an elderly parent is faced with a cancer diagnosis, but you never really expect or plan for the fact that you may actually be dealing with or talking to the hospice aides, nurses and volunteers who are trying to teach us a) how to watch my father die and b) how to help him transition from the present to the next “act”.

It’s an incredible program which when mentioned in mixed company brings raves and many different peoples’ experiences start oozing out. It’s one of those private moments that sometimes feels anything but and yet at the same time universal.

This part of watching and trying to figure out how much time we have left with him is…excruciating and yet, we still have the capacity to hear his voice and when near enough touch him.

I keep saying that I’d like to see God’s planner to see what it is He thinks He’s doing, but I think He is being terribly kind and not granting me my wish knowing full well I would be unable to face it all (regardless of the particulars).

And so, the journey continues.

Not waiting until Candlemas here

Never published this in 2011, but evidently underrating is a constant battle…especially when we’re staring down the barrel of another move!

I swore I was going to take the Christmas decorations down early this year. Just wanted to get into the swing of 2011 and all. Yeah, well … best laid plans and all.

Had plans today to help a friend, have a playdate scheduled for tomorrow. So, it’s looking like I may be a strict observer of the 12 Days of Christmas, after all!

For those not living in Europe, Candlemas is observed 40 days after Christmas (Groundhog Day for those who don’t wish to strain their brain!).  Perhaps the 10 Lords a leaping can vacuum while the 8 maids a milking can help with boxing up the ornaments?!

Why ask why?

Memories and emotions can be potent things. One can trigger the other…in both directions. Sometimes, when something occurs that you weren’t expecting you can be taken off guard and those ugly emotions (the ones that make you not look “camera-ready”) can rear their heads.

It’s easy to ask “why” when things are not going the way we would have choreographed them, but how many of us ask that very same question when the blessings are showering down?

It would be easy to understand the wounded warrior asking “why” when he goes home with a purple heart, yet without a limb(or four). However, do we often hear the couple with fertility issues ask “why” us when blessed with a healthy baby?

Sometimes when we’re in the throes of a “crisis” it’s easy to get impatient with God as to why a loved one or dear friend is suffering, but often times the answer is clear and present. The response is often, “wait”. Granted, at that moment it’s not the most satisfying answer ever, but on occasion, the reason for this particular answer becomes more clear.

Then again, sometimes you just feel guilty for whatever you pray for. And that’s okay, too.

Baffled

Call me baffled, but as I sit here listening to the recording of Taps that is played nightly, I wonder why it is that the messages about the sacrifices our military men and women (and even their families) make daily are typically targeted to the…wait for it….military.

I am reminded of the terribly cloying song that used to play while shopping in my parents’ local grocery store that would solicit shoppers. I was already shopping inside the store while receiving this sales pitch. Now if that’s not preaching to the converted I’m not sure what is.

I just wish that the 99% of the population not affiliated with the military would be targeted by the Madison Avenue advertising moguls about the 1% which is.

My name is Sarah…and I AM a Grammar Geek.

I have always found grammar rules interesting because…Yes, I am one of those people who corrects grammar on hotel and store signs while on vacation. Visits to foreign countries can be a real…well, trip. Even reading a novel is interrupted when I stumble onto a typo. It’s like a Stephen King novel. Everything gets all warm and creepy and the only word I see on the page is the wrong one.

So, when the 13 Trickiest Grammar Hang-ups email appeared in my inbox I couldn’t help but open it. It discusses do’s and dont’s for those of us living here on earth.

Are you a geek? What are some of your punctuation pet peeves? Grammar gone-wrongs? Please share!

Hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to revise I go…

 

I’ve been trying to find the Mecca of revision advice for the past several days/weeks/months/years/millenia and have come up empty. That is, until now.

I stumbled onto a plethora of information via Susan Dennard and her writing posse.  She was even kind enough to hold a Revision Workshop of sorts in May 2011.  She has worksheets, practical, applicable advice which may work for some of us.  It begins with the overview of what she’s going to cover and continues with the lessons.

I’ve been printing out her pdf and worksheets this morning and can’t wait to get my colored markers on my MS!

How do you tackle revision?  Do you have a guru whose advice you follow?  Have you come up with some of your own ideas?  Please feel free to share in the comments section.