Friday, January 30, 2009
Surgery, More Than The Incision and The Sutures.
I've been home three days since the surgery, and I want to thank you for leaving so many get well notes for me. My first day back I didn't feel up to posting, but checked for messages, and was quite surprised at such a long list of them. Thanks for your cares and for your prayers for me.

The surgery was suppose to be at 9:30 a.m., but having done this before, I knew the timing depended on lots of things, but I was there as scheduled, just in case, Some doctors and other members of the operating team explained that schedules, including my doctor's, were all messed up, for various reasons. But I'd dealt with this before, so just laid back, and tried to relax.

Nursing staff had me ready and waiting, in a holding place. The first person I saw when they wheeled me in there was a nurse's aide, a male aide I worked with long ago, His friendly, almost oversized smile was good to see, until he explained that he now worked in pre and post Op, and was suppose to make sure all details were done, before the operating room called for me. I still had my undies on, and knew that knee surgery does not require NOT wearing them. So we got that straightened out. I kept my undies on, and settled back, thankful the surgery would soon be done.

I am lying there dreading it a little, when I hear a friendly voice calling my name.
My pastor took time to be with me until they wheeled me off to surgery. Talk about a morale booster. Someone needed more medical information about me, and asked if it was alright for my pastor to hear it. I told them I don't keep many secrets from him.

Soon a friendly nurse with operating room cap on, and some other muscles wheel me through flapping doors, and I know this knee pain will soon be gone. Somebody inserts something in my IV site, and my next recollection is waking up in a room reserved for me. A very nice room.

Years ago I had surgery here, but it wasn't like this. The room is huge! It has lots of strange looking equipment, and a computer screen. A very big window faces West. I am not thinking about mountains this moment, but the two days I stayed there, one could imagine deep luxury, just looking through those windows, at Colorado's mountain peaks.

With the nursing staff, I am almost in orbit. They love working with a patient who knows why they do what they do. We exchange nursing and medical stories. Anything I can do for myself, I do, instead of calling them. They are very surprised how many patients nurses take care of in nursing homes, and other trademarks of the work we do.

The surgery went very well, and the care could not be better. A friend I already love so much, I now appreciate more. She is my pastor's mother, a lady who always has much to do, especially for the sick and the poor. Whatever is needed, she is on it. Takes people to doctor appointments, runs errands for medicine, groceries, anything. She tools around all over this place, in her little Neon. If I were wealthy, I would buy her a brand new car. That first day afrer surgery, she came early, and stayed all day. My pastor came back too. My friend fed me ice chips. When I was nausieated she held the bedside pan for me.

I consider myself so fortunate, but I do have something heavy on my heart. The day before my surgery my grandson, who wasn't headed in a good direction with his life, before making a big improvement in it, had finished his first week of college classes, and was partying, maybe celebrating this accomplishment, by hanging out with some buddies. All of this is moving too fast to understand yet.

Several guys started beating up his friend, and he went to his defence, and ended up with his jaw severely broken, and other injuries, and had to have emergency surgery. To his credit, this grandson only missed one scheduled class, and his instructor helped him work out how to keep up with it. This week he was promoted to a higher level in another subject. He shows up for his classes, with his bruises and broken jaw, and a huge shiner. I see that as a very good sign. The day I was admitted for this surgery, my son took me to that part of the hospital, then went up a few floors to take his son home from there.

But back to my healing time. I am up and down the hospital halls, gaining strength every moment I can. Medical insurance no longer covers as much of my needed care, as they did long ago. Every day I am here costs me two hundred dollars more. I make sure my doctor knows how well I'm doing, and he lets me come home two days after surgery. Pre-op instructions said not to bring valuables with me, so I assumed that included credit card, and brought only identification.

We live not so far away, so zip back home for check or cards, and then are at WalMart, because they give a good cost break on most prescriptions I need filing.

In trying to help me with getting to their pharmacy, my son gets one of those dangerous looking carts people tool around in the store, and helps me get in it. I am afraid I'll run over somebody. With typical male thinking, my son just shows me how to warn them by tooting a horn, and assumes that takes care of it. I'm about as afraid of tapping that horn, as I am of having to spend time in a nursing home for my leg to heal.

Two customers are looking at items in a lane I need to go down. I'm about to go to another aisle, when the first person I asked to let me go by trys to get the customer ahead of her, who is in the middle of that aisle to move over, and he takes offence at being disturbed, I guess, and loudly tells me what he thinks about it.

Even sitting down, I am not real up to this. and I sure don't want conflict. I could have let my son come in for the meds, but if the doctor ordered expensive ones I might get cheaper, or maybe stuff I don't even need, I wanted to be there to take care of that. I'm about to look for a different way to get to the pharmacy window. I still have trouble trying to drive that thing, and don't speak at all, so I don't upset the man any more. He kind of flaps around me with a big flourish, saying things like, "You had enough room to get by. I am not that big" "Is this enough room for you, Honey? He really emphasizes Honey, in an ugly kind of way. and I am glad that my son, my six foot four inches tall son, is a few aisles away, not seeing this, or it might have been worse. and more trips to ER, to fix the damage. I will not mention this to him. He has more than enough to deal with. taking care of my grandson, who cannot have regular foods, only liquuids. I am so relieved when that ugly man walks away from the area.

Turns out the meds are a very good price. It is nice to learn something good. Between the pain, and being upset about the man being so rude, I don't think to ask the pharmisist to give me bottle caps that are not child proof. You'd be surprised how difficult it is to open those kid proof ones.

My second day at home the visiting nurse person is here, with reams of technical papers to deal with. The next day a woman from Physical Therapy arrives, and procedes to tell me equipment I should run right out and get. but does not help me with that.

I try to tell her that the exercises she recommends are exactly the same as the hospital PT dpt. taught, to be sure I know how to do them. After all, I am eager to get well. I show her the sheet of exercises are the very same as the hospital sent me home with. I try to tell her I've also had a total knee replacement. and understand the need for PT. I try to tell her that I've done nursing for twenty seven years, and know how to take care of a patient like me. She does not seem to hear. Is not interested in anything I say.

She may as well be working an assembly line. Everything she says has to be in a certain order. She is so stuck in monologue mode, I cannot communicate with her. If the hospital or someone at the doctor's office can't help me find better physical therapy care, I will do the exercises by myself. The man who was so ugly at Wal Mart is only a sad ship that sometimes passes in our life. These past few days have thrown me into overload. But love and loving care keep me afloat. I am hanging on to the happiness and tender care people, like so many of you, bring; and look forward to the hope in our tomorrows.

  posted at 8:53 PM  

Tuesday, January 27, 2009
An Update on Judith
For any of you who follow Mom's blog, you can go here for an update on how she's doing. I'm sure she'd love to hear from everyone. I'll try to keep you posted on how she's doing til she makes it back home in a few days.

  posted at 6:05 AM  

Sunday, January 25, 2009
More Pre-Op Activities.
My to-do list grew shorter when I cleaned the bathroom, and set out fresh towels. The Christmas tree in the living room still needed taking down, but I'd had enough of domestic cleaning today, and walked right by it, and out the door. To give myself a reason for ignoring the tree again, I rationalized that since colder weather's coming, I should finish some errands today.

My first stop was Wal Mart, to see if more TV converter boxes arrived, and they had, so that task is done. Some day soon, when it isn't so cold outside, and if a change is needed about the antenna, my son will install it for me.

Since I was still in the store, I shopped for new undies, and wouldn't you know, that department's clerk was clearing and rearranging displays right where I needed to check which kind to get, and this irked me a little because it's hard enough to choose which kind to get with most of them more suitable for guys than for girls, unless you include some advertized as String Bikinis, and that's irritating, too.

I made a sneering comment to the busy clerk that if they keep making them more skimpy, pretty soon we will all be walking around almost naked, when you consider how low females' necklines have dropped. But she didn't seem to be very interested in my comment, nor my next one, when I kind of snarled, "Don't they have anything an old woman can wear?"

Almost all of them were loud jazzy colors, and I didn't plan on worrying about them showing through other clothes. Even a grouchy woman has some dignity. Hanging onto modesty is not easy in this outrageous outpouring of "style". I attributed being less than Miss Congeniality to the pains in my knee and leg, and settled for some solid color Hanes Low Rise Briefs.

Before leaving this aggravating array of next to nothing kinds of underwear, I check nearby rows of pj's, and notice they're looking more masculine too. After digging for sizes, and not finding any I think would fit better than my favorite pair at home, I gave up on trying to decide, and got checked out, and left.

Next stop is the grocery store, and my timing is great, except other customers, some of them, take forever to pick out certain items, leaving their carts blocking reasonable people like me from getting through. Couldn't be me or my attitude, would you think? I throw a few Lean Cusine frozen dinners for only $1.88 each in the cart, and get fresh milk and a few other things.

At home again, I walk past that worn out looking tree I'm so tired of looking at, and know that before this day's over it will be ready to be out of there. I don't even try wrapping and boxing the ornaments tonight, just set them carefully, where they can wait til sometime Sunday.

Even in good things, sometimes lessons can be learned. Lessons like not holding on to how you did things long ago. Just because you feel sentimental about it. When my children were little, and not much money was spent on decorations, I hit on the idea of getting each of them a full box of icecicles to put on our Christmas tree, and they liked having their very own box of them.

When I saw some in the stores this time, because it brought back such good memories, I got a box, and showered the tree with them, and ever since, have been picking them up, and out of the carpet, and still more were hanging on the tree. By the time I got rid of all of them I could, I knew I'd never need to make a mess with icecicles again, to relive my children's early Christmas times.

As I fold up the rest of what's left of this day, I am glad that even though I was irritated in the stores, I didn't throw my grouchiness at others in a mean kind of way. This was only one day, and better ones are coming.

  posted at 1:36 AM  

Thursday, January 22, 2009
Ten, Nine, Eight, And Counting.
The inauguration ceremonies lasted most of the day, and far into the night. Two days later, our new President seems to be settling in without many troublesome hitches, except for that misstep of the swearing in being broadcast to the world, and a hurried plea for modern equipment to be brought to his new office.

At least for now, he has things pretty much under control there, including getting the executive basket ball court backboard replaced. I can relax, knowing our 44th president is already fulfilling noted campaign promises to us.

If I could check off my to do list around here, as quickly and efficiently as he does, there wouldn't be nearly as many tasks to deal with, in this countdown mode. For almost a month I've counted days off, one by one, til this troublesome knee gets replaced. If good intentions counted even some, my house would be immaculate, with everything so clean, and in its perfect place.

But my Christmas tree still waits for its trek to the storage house out back, and I can't quite recall the last time I mopped the kitchen floor. I did vacuum the carpet before putting up the tree, but that was early December. The boxes of papers I began sorting? they're right where they were, not far from my new Yoga mat, yeah, that's right, in its still unopened box.

But this frantic countdown I'm feeling got me going, and today I surprised most everything in the fridge. Rearranged lots of it, and threw out older stuff.

Laundry is all caught up, and a quick swipe at dust here and there will suffice. My utmost goal in the morning will be to clean a bathroom very well, and put away all those pretty tree decorations I'm never in a hurry to set aside for another year. Sometimes, to lessen the shock of the house suddenly looking so stripped, and a little drab, I put away only parts of the decorations for a few days. I suppose that might seem nerdy, but I think it's out of balance, enjoying the beauty of Christmas for such a short time of the year.

There's a good supply of easy to fix meals in the freezer of the fridge, and healthy other foods. My bag I'll be taking with me will be easy to pack. I'm not big on makeup, and stuff like that. When I hit about sixty I decided, from now on, what you see is what you get, and we're not suppose to wear nail polish and perfume while in the hospital anyway. I considered using Multi-Faceted Shimmering Colour Loreal on my hair, but it doesn't quite seem worth the trouble, and in this economic crisis, I am not about to spend fifty dollars to pay someone to do it.

I've been working on being more positive. Paying closer attention to what I say and think. I usually begin my days with hopeful affirmations, and when I do sink back into negative habits, Philippians 4, over and over, if I need to, comes in handy. Listening to upbeat music helps, too, and having an appreciating heart.

Next thing I notice, I sometimes start humming. Not that I get it all right each and every time, but I can see an improvement in my attitude, and when it needs a little working, I try to get out of myself, by doing something for somebody else.

In my last post I mentioned a neighbor boy being so proud of getting a Bible. He hurried over to show it to me, and the next day I surprised his family with a children's Bible that's easier to read, a used one in good condition I got cheaply at a thrift store. I saw the kids again today outside, and the boy surprised me by calling out a big loud "Thank you for the Bible". Not that what I did was so big, I just thought it would help them learn more about Jesus, and I'm kind of convinced they don't get a lot of unexpected surprises. Almost always when we give of ourselves, instead of being so engrossed in Me, Me, Me, the good feeling that results may well be much bigger for us, than the receiver. I think I'll not bother myself about whether my house is in order before the surgery. Everything, from the presidency to my Christmas tree, is how it needs to be.

  posted at 9:17 PM  

Tuesday, January 20, 2009
More Than A Change In Command
Steady streams of sunlight curled through the blinds to where I lay, reminding me to get out of bed, and turn on the TV. This is America's Inauguration Day, and I do not want to miss any of it.You may not be as happy as I am about who our new president will be , and who is leaving Washington, D.C. , but this post is not intended to create a political tug of war between us. I would like to share with you some perspectives about this day, and some other recent days.

For a month I've waited for needed sugery, and have another week to go. This morning, while I was turning on the T V, my phone rang, and a voice said it was my insurance company. Not wanting to miss any of the Inauguration, at first I wanted to ask if I could call her back, but decided that might get complicated. Have you tried getting through to your insurance place? Not a good idea, so I let the caller speak. She said my surgery is approved, but I may have to pay twenty percent of the surgeon's charges, and knee replacement requires two of them. That amount, plus other expenses, and sizeable co-payments will take a hefty chomp from my savings, and that is scary but I must have the surgery. Before we end the call, the young sounding woman said if she didn't have to be at work, she would be home watching the inauguration, too.

I am grateful such outstanding medical people will take care of me, in a state of the art growing medical facility that is already a trauma center. I feel special appreciation for nursing staff, for I know the work loads they carry, and I understand shortages of nurses and doctors are growing. But before I become so engrossed with my particular case, I would like to take you back to some other days before the changing of our president.

At church last week, as people gathered a little early to allow for visiting, a daughter of a couple sat close by, holding pages of slightly wrinkled homework, and a pen or two. I love hearing their answers and explanations of things, and asked her what she is studying. "Latin", she said quite matter of factly, as she used the blunt end of a pen to push her glasses higher above her nose. A slight movement of her hair that spilled onto her shoulders just exuded convinced confidence. "So what do you do with this Latin?" I asked this third grader.,and she showed me her word practice. Jumped right in to details of how it works. Used words I hadn't heard of, words like "derivative", and quickly explained their meanings, as I wondered why schools I was in never taught me some Latin.

This little girl, who cares so much about learning she brings homework to church, is one of the many I believe President Obama wants to make certain has quality teachers and classrooms, with small enough numbers of students so that her fresh zeal to learn is not squelched. She, and generations following her deserve this, and our generation doing what we can to pay this forward for them, is the least we can do to make sure it is done.

A close neighbor's husband died a few days before Christmas. Every now and then since, I've made it a point to take something over, even if it was a small something. The lady came to the door with a small blanket around her shoulders, so I thought maybe she was just fighting off sadness, or maybe feeling ill.

She told me she's o.k., but also said they are losing their house, and will move soon. While she seemed brave about it, and emphasized how much less houses cost where she's going, I noticed a quiet helplessness in her voice. I believe she's the first on this block to lose her home. The chilling feeling across my own back when she told me, makes me wonder whose may be next.

A few nights ago I had just come home, and was walking from my car, when this neighbor's grandson called out and hurried over. He was holding something in his hands that he quickly showed me, a Bible he tried to describe while struggling with words. I didn't try pronouncing them for him. Pronunciation was not what he needed. He wanted to tell someone about gettinh his very own Bible, and what that means, and I think he described it greatly. He almost stuttered, then started again, saying "God Is, God is" "You know". er, God is above everything." I would not think of changing his words.

The next day I was still awed about the the neighbor's grandson, and remembered his saying people from a church somewhere were visiting regularly with his Grandma and Grandpa, and suddenly I knew why I had bought an old fashioned Childrens Bible a few years ago, and kept it. Sometimes we may not know for certain why we do something at the time, but I'm pretty sure God planned it long ago. I took the Children's Bible that's loaded with pictures, and easy to read, to my neighbor, for the children, and she seemed to appreciate getting it. I figure, if I can't do a great big something to lighten someone's day, I can at least offer a small one.

Often I'd see my neighbor and all their family members load into the car on Sundays, and assumed they went to church somewhere, but I never asked. The next time I have a new neighbor, I think I will.

But back to the matter of our getting a new president, and the history of it spilling from the T.V., and my not thinking about surgery, or our national economy as the grandeur of today increased.

I was thinking of the money aspect of now, while in Walmart last evening, to get a prescription the doctor called in related to the surgery, and of things I want a supply of for afterwards, like coffee. I am standing before the Folger display, carefully comparing several choices, to find the one that makes the most cups of it. A kind sounding voice asks if I need help, and I'm not sure if it's because of my limp, or about which kind of coffee to get. The helpful customer talks about when she and her mom lived together, and liked different coffees, and since I'm not going anywhere anyway, I listen to her, feeling a little silly that I'm making such a production out of trying to save on the cost of it.

I choose a can and thank the kind lady, and make my way back to the pharmacy to check on the prescription, and learn they don't have what the doctor ordered, and am relieved that I don't have to spend thirty dollars for it.

Today was not only a triumph for our new president. It is also my grandson's (whose future looked really bleak a few years ago) first day of classes at a local college, a time to head his life and his future in better directions, but this probably would not have come about, had there not been a serious rehabilitation program available to help him with much of it. As I hope for my grandson to do well with his studies, I consider how our new president might have felt, even worried about how he would do in college when he started. But the results of his believing he could stands before us today, today, and because of that, other young students may also believe they can achieve great things.

During the inauguration a news person quoted Franklin D. Roosevelt's quotation about the only thing we need to fear in the Great Depression, was fear itself. I am trying hard to stay away from the negativity of the one we are in, and have a plan of how to do this. I believe, like Shakespeare, that we can make ourselves a Heaven or a Hell by what we say and what we think, and that includes the music we choose to listen to. I've taped two awesome hymns, two tapes, one for the car and another for the house. The first one I mentioned recently, after a special blogger pointed it out, titled elegantly, I think; "Give Thanks". Something about being grateful dissipates our fears. I listen to "Give Thanks" again and again and again.

The other hymn I first heard on my daughter's blog, Christian music I don't think you can hear and not be moved by. In the post that included it, my daughter, Bev, at "Scratchin' The Surface", or her new blog: "Life Of Grits" figuratively kicks off her shoes and is running as fast as she could, to meet our Lord as this hymn plays louder and louder.

This song rivals even our President's March. I wish I knew how to include the sound of it here. The size of the title doesn't indicate how great it is. As I end this post, here are some lines from it which Nicole C. Mullin so eloquently sang on the CD of "Redeemer":

Who told the sun to stand in the morning?
Who told the ocean you can only come this far?
Who showed the moon where to hide til evening?
Whose words alone can catch a falling star?
(and then the chorus)
Well, I know my Redeemer lives, my Redeemer lives.
All of creation testifies; this life within me cries,
I know my Redeemer lives.

  posted at 3:26 PM  

Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Where To Go, And What to Do, The Dilemma Continues.
Last week I bought a travel bag, just right for my trip to the hospital soon. Then I thought it would make a good carry on bag when I fly to my daughter's new home down in Texas. But those plans were before a telephone call telling me someone I knew, who suffered long from MS had died.

I pulled the dark dress from my closet, and gently folded it, though it's great for travel. Running my hands across it was not for smoothing wrinkles. The last time I wore it was at my son's funeral. And now I was headed to one where a man's life was shortened by an insidious disease, and/or the complications of it.

A son who was going came by for me, and soon we headed across a prairie stretching a long way from Denver. A few hours later we were there, and would spend a night or two with my childrens' father, the man who had been my husband, and a long time ago, my world. Feelings ranged up and down the scale.

Remembering my son's awful death, and being with someone who had been such a huge chunk of my life, encouraged memories I did not quite know what to do with. But this trip wasn't about either of us, or our memories. At one point it was a little like in his Indian ancestery, with each of us giving thoughtful gifts to the other. He is long retired, and very happy with how his life is, with the dying man's family claiming him as their own, and he has full run of a golf course with unlimited golfing. When Saint Peter calls for him, I can just imagine his insisting he has to finish however many more holes need playing.

The funeral showed what a fine man had died, with many tear soaked accolades given about him. In Denver it is not unusual for the mourners to not go to the grave site, so I didn't think about taking a jacket or a coat, and it got very windy and cold, and after we all huddled under a canopy that seemed to sway a little, the funeral home people shoved warm blankets into our arms. Big cities and towns move more quickly than quiet country places, but it was good to go back in time where they don't hurry dying or living.

It is always good to return to your own little part of this big world, though I'm not in a hurry for some of what lies ahead. Last week I began sorting and
rearranging personal papers. Started, then set it down, where it reminds me every day, I need to finish.

While Christmas shopping I found a good buy on a Yoga pad. I intended getting started with it again, but the box with the pad is near the TV, still unopened.

This week there will be a pre-op appointment. I know it is necessary, but I'm dreading not being mobile for a while. My son and grandson will do whatever I need. While I was gone they washed my car, even cleaned the inside, and when we get snow, one of them clears off the car, and all my walkways.

That book I wrote about in my last post, Melody Beattie's "The Language of Letting GO" is really coming in handy. Reminds me I don't need a certified guarantee that everything will be like I want it, and how and when, and where, and so I think I'll sort those old papers, and prepare a few things here, put gas in the car, buy some coffe and maybe write more posts. I got some old movies at the thrift store. It is fun sometimes to see them again, and at a dollar a piece, what a deal. I can take care of those details, but the big stuff, I'll leave to my Lord.

Please pray for the family of the man who died. His going leaves big holes in their lives, and it's gonna take some time to fill them.

Because he asked, we stayed an extra night, and enjoyed a terrific steak dinner with him, then hurried so he could watch a favorite religious program. Such a contrast to how our life was so long ago, but that was then, and here we are, still trying to figure out what to do, and where to go.

  posted at 9:05 PM  

Tuesday, January 06, 2009
Life Is A Test, It Is Only A Test, If It Had Been The Real World, You Would Have Been Told Where To Go, And What to Do..
Some years ago, when I was recovering from still another ill-advised relationship, I purchased a little book, titled "The Language of Letting Go", and even read a few of its pages. Then tucked it away with many other written treasures.

Since then I have moved six times, or more, and in the process parted with items I sometimes wished I'd kept. This favored little book, I believe, clearly points out that in life, there are no accidental happenings, and this is the reason I call this post: "Life Is A Test, It is only A Test. If It Had Been The Real World, We Would Have Been Told Where To go, And What To Do".

The title I'm writing about is: "The Language of Letting Go", from Hazelden Meditation Series, by Meolody Beattie. It is sectioned into every day of the year, and in this publication includes the leap year day.

The Hazelden Fountation's mission is to improve the quality of life for individuals and families on their personal journey, away from being affected by alcoholism and other destructive addictions.

Here are some of the helps I found in this book I begin, and sometimes end my days with.

It teaches that our boundaries emerge from deep within us, and are connected to letting go of guilt and shame, and to changing our beliefs about what we deserve. It points out things change, not because we're controlling others, but because we've changed.

Throughout a year of days in it, affirmations abound, for our benefit. I'm pretty sure most mental health therapists agree that we don't have to feel guilty about finding happiness, and a life that works. This is a giant step in any kind of recovery. One of many quotes here is that "We do not have to take on our families' issues as our own, to be loyal to them, and show that we love them."

Our freedom starts when we stop denying their issues, and politely, but assertively hand their stuff back to them. or, as my little Korean grand daughter loudly proclaims in self esteem school training: "That is not my responsibility!"

This book warns us to not become caretakers- to not take responsibility for others, while neglecting ourselves, and hampering them from learning to be responsible for themselves.

Many of us, especially women, learned that it is not socially acceptable to express our anger. But anger is an emotion we were born with, just as is our happiness, or fear. This book warns us that we will feel anger when it comes our way, or else we repress it.

When I had a life changing relationship wear me into folding up from Life for a while, when I struggled for months with the anger of it, before it all came storming down on me, me, I was amazed to realize I'd let it control me for years. I never even considered that I might be self righteous. After all, I'd been terribly wronged. Didn't I deserve to be indignant for a while. But for years! It took a huge check of reality to understand that this soft spoken woman of the South could hold onto that much rage. Only when I was willing to let go of it, did God's Loving Grace fill the empty places in me.

This book maintains that prayer is the only thing that changes our character, so of course, prayer is highly recommended. Acting as if, mentally pretending, is another tool we can use to grow. "Make believe thinking can set the stage for our new and needed behaviors". "This opens us up to the positive posibilities of the future", instead of letting today's feelings and circumstances limit us.

What comes to mind while writing this, I learned from a dear friend blogger named Mary, in a far away place of our world, Mary started the absolute delight of giving gratitude, spilling it over, like beauty, in a hymn simply titled "Give Thanks". This came about near when Christmas was arriving, so I found the song on an old CD, and made a tape of it to play in my car.

When some unkind or preoccupied person would cut me off in traffic while I was in a hurry, I'd slow myself down with a long deep breath, and enjoy the song's praises.

This little book that is becoming such a treasure, says "Gratitude helps us stop trying to control outcomes of our lives, and unlocks the positivity we all so need". With a grateful attitude and heart, we are admonished to not get comfortable with feeling victimized, and warned of the danger of its fallout.

Again, the author especially points out that feeling helpless, rageful, and powerless and frustrated, any or all of these extreme emotions can point us toward addictive or compulsive behaviors that are dangerous to acquire.

But this book is not all about seriousness. Encouragement is offered in the words titled: "New energy is coming": Short little prayers, dispersed throughout it do encourage, i.e., "I can accept with gratitude, all that has brought me to today".

What a freedom we can claim for ourselves, when we recognize shame, and refuse to let others use it to control us, to keep us living out a part of a disfunctional family. We also need to know when we may be forcing it on ourselves.

Except for my Bible, this storehouse of wisdom and advice directs my almost every morning. Sounding like a leading melody from Josh Groban's CD, "awake", it keeps telling me (and you, if you listen), "We are lovable, we are loved, and worthy of it".

Page after page of it I've read, and repeated. Strands throughout often sound brand new. Immagine starting a day with "We are the greatest thing that will ever happen to us". and then the book adds: "Believe it! It makes life easier."

The serious minded people of the world are remembered by this book's author. too. Over and over, she exhorts us to lighten up, and not take life so seriously.

Toward the end of the book, the question is asked ---why do we use only negatives to describe ourselves? What if, instead, we said "What's right with me? What are my strengths?" It reminds us that Recovery from a debilitating life is not about eliminating our personality. It is about dealing differently with our negatives, and building on our positivities.

Because these words are so helpful to me, I'd like repeating some here. Some of my favorites of it are: "Fun becomes fun. Love becomes love. Life becomes worth living, and we become grateful", Beyond Codependency.

For more information about the Hazelden Foundation, the phone number is:
1-800-257-7800, or you may access their World Wide Webb Site on the internet at

"Give Thanks with a grateful heart, Give thanks......."

  posted at 9:16 PM  

About Me
Name: Judith

Location: Colorado

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