Friday, September 19, 2008
One Brief Shining Moment
Sorry I've been away so much lately. Maybe this post will explain some of it. Do you think having time on your hands isn't always a good thing, or then perhaps it is. Yesterday I was mulling over, for I don't know how many times, when I can retire. I mean really retire.

I've tried to a few times, which my coworkers must have been convinced of. So far I've had three going away parties, one of which was a huge surprise, but something is wrong with this celebrating, because I'm still working.

The other day, I was feeling the edge of Autumn nudging me toward what will soon follow: coming home on icy, snowbanked roads at midnight or later. Crawling into the car on the passenger side because the door lock froze. Working myself into a nervous fit, worrying if the battery will die, and just plain dreading driving those miles again, not to mention the cost of it.

That's what whirled around and around inside me. So for I don't know how many times, I got out the budget book, and figured dollars and cents again, and wrote it on a sticky note, and put it in front of me. To make sure my numbers were exactly right, I drove to the bank and checked them out. Before going inside, I stayed in the car a moment, and talked it over with God. I said "Dear Lord, if I manage money better, cutting back some here and there, I think this might work, and with your help, it will be alright". Then I hurried inside, and the dollar signs were fine. I can't tell you the freedom I felt as I walked back to the car.

If anyone had seen me close up, muttering to myself, I might be put on the dementia unit, instead of working it. This would be for real, this time for sure, I would retire. The drive home felt like I was in the air. No more halfway doing this, and no more making those long scary drives. It was one of those moments you know you'll never forget, and would love telling somebody, but you're so happy, the words wouldn't make sense.

That's how I was feeling when I walked into the house, threw my purse on a chair, and checked for phone messages. "Judith, this is Director of Nursing --------- at ---------- I've checked your work application, and we have some openings. Please call me so we can set a time for you to come in".

That's how my fourth attempt to retire went up in thin air, like the Magic Dragon, and disappeared. But this one will be hard to ignore. If I get this job it will be only three miles from home.

Life and work will come and sometimes pass us by, but that one brief shining moment, it is mine all mine.

  posted at 1:52 PM  

Thursday, September 11, 2008
Nine Eleven, 2001 to 2008.
I had to play the music of it again. Some of the songs of it, for a moment suggested a faint happy step. Bruce Springsteen can do that to you, and he did, in "the Rising"; His "Lonesome Day" grabs your gut, and doesn't let go until he sings "You're missing", My City of Ruins", and other songs about that day, I hope always haunt me.

Where were you, what were you doing on Nine Eleven? I was sleeping in because I'd worked late, and only faintly heard the phone, but let the recorder take it, When I did get up, the little red light on it led me to a message from my son; something about a plane crashing into something but I would get more information after a bathroom stop, and a first cup of coffee.

After those two simple things we do on ordinary days. although I didn't realize it, I stepped into a shock induced Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that wouldn't turn loose of me for days. I went to work as usual, and somehow got through it, kind of like flying on automatic. But then I'd go home, and see more on TV and be mesmerized by the unbelief of it.

I remember being at a store, and seeing a newspaper headline about another plane crashing somewhere in Pennsylvania, and thinking I should hurry home, and make sure my daughter who lives there is O.K. But my body couldn't keep up with my mind, Horrible things, which the TV kept showing do not happen in America. Not only was I affected by PTSD, I put myself into denial, like perhaps millions of other Americans did that day.

My next thought was that I must have a flag, and a map of the world. because I didn't know exactly where these terrorists who killed thousands of Americans that day were from, but I was pretty sure our government did, and I had this great need to know what would be next. In the meantime I had to wait to find a flag. The stores were sold out.

They practiced flying planes in Florida. Nobody noticed that they only wanted to know how to fly into something, not how to get out. Others sailed right through what we think are safe borders to our country. Whoever gets elected to lead our country needs to take a closer look at that.

These days, even with a presidential election looming, when I drive to the local marketplace, I still don't see many flags. I was encouraged by something my son and his son said this evening. Both of them took time to register to vote. Always, since I was old enough, I do. The terrorists would strip us of that. But I owe so much to those who gained me that right, so I must pay it forward. If I don't get called out to work a nursing shift, I will be at the phonebank making calls tomorrow, and if my wounded knee can, this weekend I will help with door to door canvassing. Whatever I can do, I will dedicate to the three thousand or more who died on that day Springsteen sings about:

"Can't see nothin' in front of me, Can't see nothin' coming up behind. I make my way through this darkness, I can't feel nothing but this chain that binds me.

Lost track of how far I've gone, how high I've climbed,

On my back's a sixty pound stone, on my shoulder a half mile of line,

Come on up for "The Rising".

  posted at 1:35 AM  

About Me
Name: Judith

Location: Colorado

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