Will You Wear Purple For Me?

Every year at this time, I reach out to my friends and family in hopes that support will show for not only myself, but for others who face the challenges of Epilepsy.

 

This is an important week for us, in that today, March 22nd, is a National March for Epilepsy in Washington DC. Unfortunately, I cannot be there with my friends who also have epilepsy, but my heart and thoughts are with them as they open the eyes of those around them. Kudos to those who are there.

 

This coming Wednesday, March 26th is Purple Day, on which we reach out to our friends and families to wear purple in support of our cause. It can be a piece of clothing, a pin, a ribbon, anything purple.  Purple Day was founded by a nine year old in Nova Scotia in 2008. She wanted to help extend the knowledge of epilepsy around the world. You can find more information about her and the background of Purple day on the website www.purpleday.org

 

Please, if you will, join us on Wednesday with something purple. We would appreciate that, and most of all, I appreciate YOU!!

Heart to heart

Yesterday was a very trying day. I had been experiencing some slight chest pain the last few days, thinking nothing of it, as pain all over my body is normal with injuries I’ve sustained over the years. Yesterday was the worst. I felt as though my ribs were being squeezed together, and my upper arms were feeling weird sensations, for a lack of a better term. I closed my office early and had my husband take me up to the emergency room. Immediately, an EKG was performed along with some blood tests, and I was diagnosed as being fine, but some xrays were taken just to be sure.  Again, the word was that I was fine. The only thing they were concerned about was my blood pressure, as it was a bit high.

Sure, I was pleased to know that I’m fine, but then again, I hate not knowing where this pain is coming from. What I’m feeling today isn’t as bad as it was yesterday, but still, it’s there.  All we can guess is that I may have strained a nerve somewhere with heavy lifting or an odd movement of some kind, and I’ve been told to take it easy for a little while, to let myself heal a bit before doing anything strenuous. And, in basically the same sentence, to take a stress test within the next couple of weeks to be sure. But, with the pain I’m feeling, I am thinking I wouldn’t make it through the test. It would just make my body feel worse. So, I think I’ll wait on that one, just to give this pain a chance to heal itself first.

I must admit, it’s hard to keep myself down. Even my husband laughed when the doctor told me to take it easy, but I think this time, I’m going to try my damnedest to do so, even if I have to tie myself to the chair!!

 

Concept of Time

The last few weeks, I have felt stressed, rushed, running out of time. Then when I look at my calendar,, I realize that it’s only February. Yet, still, I’m running out of time.  Time for what? I just don’t know.  With business picking up, I feel I have very little time to write. I’ll start a poem or a new chapter in my book, and I feel I don’t have time to finish it, so I just pack it up and put my notebook back in my bag. I try to make a pattern, but am unable to finish it, as my time runs out at the end of the day. I sit while waiting for my dinner, but then I don’t get to finish my current stitch as the food arrives. I visit with a friend, but I have no time to really enjoy his company. I have a seizure, which takes away from my energy, and by the time I’m feeling better, it’s taken up the time I could have used to finish the books. And now, I learn I have high blood pressure, and suddenly, I don’t feel I have the time to finish my goals in life. I’m about to have another grandson, will I have time to see him grow? Time…I’m losing time. But what is time? The seconds of the clock? The hours of the day? The days of the year? The years of our lives?  I want more time…

(I’m sorry, I just needed to vent a little…back to work)

Four a.m. thoughts

Four in the morning, as I am wide awake, flooded with memories of Kai walking into the costume room. “How do I look?” He asks in a soft voice. “You look stunning, but you’re missing a button off your uniform.” I look through my huge box of buttons, quickly looking for an olive green button that will at least somewhat match the others in his USO costume. I find one that is slightly off, but will do. He takes off his shirt and hands it to me, as I thread a needle and sit down next to the sewing machine. I quickly fix his shirt and drape it over his shoulders and button up his shirt. “You are a life saver, he says. “No,” I replied, “you saved my life.” He looks at me and pulls me close to hold me. How good it felt to be in his arms… The music for his song and dance number begins as he runs up the stairs and onto the stage, leaving me with a kiss on my forehead and tears in my eyes…

Frogs Galore

Part of the reason I haven’t picked up the pen lately is because I’ve had a needle in my hand, and a quilt in my lap. I have been making a frog quilt for a dear friend of mine who has given me the use of his apartment while he is gone. He works on a cruise ship about 40 weeks out of our 52 week year, and at first asked me to take care of his cat while he is gone.  After his cat passed away, he asked that I continue staying at his place, as he liked the idea of having someone there so it doesn’t look so empty. I was happy to do so, as I have no home of my own, so it’s nice to have a real bed to sleep in during that time.

He has a studio sized apartment in which his kitchen and living room are within one area, and the bedroom in the other, with a small bathroom. One wall in his bedroom is full of books from floor to ceiling, and the walls in his living room are full of special knick knacks from other parts of the world in which the ship he works on visits. And, hanging in a few areas are sketched pictures of frogs. I had found out that his college thesis was about frogs, and talking to a few people, I learned that it’s one of his favorite subjects, along with other small amphibian like animals. He is a ‘naturalist’ on the ship that he works on, and is the person to go to if you have any questions about the plants and animals in the areas that you visit.

So, in appreciation for allowing the use of his apartment while he’s gone, and because he is a good friend, I make him a frog quilt. It will be on his bed when he comes home next week from his current trip. 

The six outer squares are pieced together with different fabrics and embroidery, while the two center pieces are from a frog printed fabric. I did a little embroider around the frogs and dragonflies on those two just to give them a little bit of depth.

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Silence…

Very rarely is it quiet around my home, but this week, compared to others, it has been. I haven’t even had the energy or motivation to sit and write. Sometimes I guess my brain and heart just need that break, and believe me, it’s difficult for me to just sit around and do nothing.  So, I’ve been working on the last steps of a quilt that I am making for a friend. And, I have started another one. At least to keep my hands busy.    I figured I’d better check in, though, just so those who know me don’t worry. You know who you are. Just know that I’m okay.  My silence is just my resting my mind. My heart. My soul.  xoxo

My birthday, 2014

For one who makes a point of not celebrating her birthday, yesterday was a pretty good day. I usually have my husband work for me, so I don’t have to deal with anyone that day, but I decided to trade him for Super Bowl Sunday instead. Very few people even know when my birthday is, so I figured the day would be quiet anyway.

The day stared out in a very difficult sense. I woke up expecting a text from a life time best friend. Every year, he would text me, wishing me a happy birthday. He would also tell me how beautiful I am, how much I meant to him, and he’d remind me how much he loved me. This year, the message never arrived. At first I was hurt, and began wondering if he forgot. But then I realized that he is no longer here and that those texts no longer existed. They were just a memory. I cried.

Throughout the day, I had a couple of customers come in to try on their Drysuits. Something we do before starting all the final finishing and waterproofing if all the seams, in case I need to do any alterations. The first customer who came in knew that it was my birthday and also knew how I’ve been feeling. So, he walked in with a beautiful bouquet of flowers and a hug. He has been a very regular customer of ours for 25 years, and a dear friend with knowledge of my health, physical and emotional, and he calls regularly just to check up on me. He’s one of the very few who has a special place in my heart on a personal level.
All went well with his fitting. And his hugs were more than welcome and appreciated!!

The second Drysuit fitting also went well. This guy didn’t know about it being my birthday, but he brought me a gift as well. It is a cricket that his mom had in her kitchen for decades before she passed away. About two and a half inches long and about an inch and a half tall. His best guess is that it is made of brass or copper. With its age, it is now a green color and fits in perfectly with the other little statues I have around my office. As I thanked him I jokingly asked him “how did you know it was my birthday?” He laughed and said, “A little cricket told me!” For those who don’t know, my nickname is Cricket, which is what prompted his thinking that I’d have the appropriate home for his moms treasure.

As the day progressed, I got some nice messages from others who happened to know just what day it was. I also got a surprise text from someone I hadn’t heard from in a while. He didn’t know, but he knew that I’d be thinking about him as we have been instrumental parts of each other’s healing. He was thinking of me strongly the last few days and finally decided to text me to see how I was doing and to update me on his progress.

I also got a nice message from my son, and spoke with my mom in the evening. And I had the chance to communicate with my best friend throughout the day.

All in all, a good day, with some nice surprises.

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My Son is Home

A wonderful surprise walked into my office door today as my son came to greet me. I knew he was coming home, I just wasn’t sure when I was actually going to be able to lay my eyes on him. There’s so much to say, I’m just in awe with a loss of how I feel right now. It just felt good to wrap my arms around him…finally.  So, I’ll leave it at that for now, and let it all sink in.  The perfect Christmas, New Years, birthday present all wrapped up into one!!  Welcome home, sweetheart!!

Holiday Feast

The holidays are usually very quiet here on the home front. Again, I was unable to send my husband snowboarding on Christmas Day as we don’t yet have snow.  Times are definitely changing, no only for us, but for the planet as well. This is the third year in a row we’ve had no snow in our hills, and our days have been warm and sunny.  Our waters full of whales and dolphins, and our divers  being treated to phenomenal conditions, instead of the storms and rough waters that we are so used to seeing.

This year, my husband decided to do something different. Like our Thanksgiving employee party at the bar, we decided to have one for Christmas as well. A few of those who work there are college students who can’t afford the trip back home. They have no real family here, just friends like us who have opened our hearts and welcomed them in.   My husband loves to cook, especially when it’s for numbers, and he had full run of the kitchen, which of course, is like a palace to him. He cooked a full course turkey meal for about 20 of us. Employees and friends. The day was filled with watching football, playing pool & darts, a few scrabble games, and of course, good food.

As I sat there, glancing at everyone there, I was reminded of what family really is.  These people I see every day, even if for minutes as we cross paths. Or for hours as we sit at the bar and chat, or concentrate on our games. These are my friends, this is my family, and I couldn’t be more grateful for that. I am looking forward to spending another year with these people. I know my husband is looking forward to cooking for them again.  Hopefully, it doesn’t have to take just a holiday to give him the opportunity.

Christmas 2013

Christmas this year will be a little different for me. Normally, I send my husband off to the slopes on Christmas day, while I stay home and enjoy the quiet. This year, there is not enough snow yet for snowboarding, so he will be cooking a turkey at our favorite bar for those there who are staying in town for the holidays. It is also a special day for me, as it marks the anniversary of my reunion with a dear friend I thought I’d never see again.  On Christmas day last year, he had responded to a poem I had written for a friend who had just passed away a few months earlier. I had posted the poem on Craigslist a couple of weeks previous, and he responded on Christmas day. We didn’t realize just who we were talking to until a couple of days later. Now, it’s almost as though those years without him never existed. It’s good to have him as a friend again and to be able to spend the hoiidays with him. 

Here is the poem that brought us back together:

I’ll never forget those eyes

His eyes so blue, so deep and so tender. The way he looked at me when my tears fell. He could see the sadness and the fear within me as he reached out to touch me.

I so wanted to feel his hand upon my cheek, but I was still shaken and terrified by the painful experience I’d just had only months before. He somehow knew how I was feeling and the last thing he wanted to do was hurt me and bring back those horrifying moments. So, he pulled back.

Our eyes still locked together. I could see that he felt my pain and my anger, my sadness and my fear.

The way those eyes looked at me was soothing. They spoke to me, telling me that I would be alright, even though he didn’t say a word. I could hear them as they whispered at me. His eyes told me that he would never hurt me. That he would protect me.

I’ll never forget those eyes, so deep and so blue.
I’ll never forget those eyes, so loving and so true.
I’ll never forget those eyes, as they haunt me still today.
I’ll never forget those eyes, though gone, they still look my way.

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas.