Friday, May 11, 2018

My Two Books (so far)

My site isn't up and running yet, so for now it's just going to link to this blog post about two books I've done.  You can get to Amazon by clicking on the colorful links or the cover graphics.

Thoughts and quotes by me about moms (good moms).

In Praise of Mom: Thoughts of Love and Gratitude

Cat humor and cuteness, courtesy of Zorro.

Live in the Meow

If you buy either them, I hope you like them!


Tuesday, January 30, 2018

I Love Bobby Banas, The Nitty Gritty, and Chanzie & Stephen, too!

I'm always looking for ways to feel happier and to cheer up.  A couple of months ago I came across this video, and I've watched it so many times, and I just love it!

Shirley Ellis : The Nitty Gritty 1963 HD

The main guy in the front is the one that I can't stop watching.  His movements are so wild and fun.  His partner is good, too, and sometimes I watch her, but he (Bobby Banas or Robert Banas) just mesmerizes me.

link:  Bobby Banas on Wikipedia

On Wikipedia it said:

Banas said he began to dance at age five. “I would immediately run and stand in a doorway pretending it was a frame for a small stage. I then would jive, moving my body to and fro, trying to keep up with the beat of the music, knowing that when the music would crescendo I’d leap in the air defying gravity, only to land in a heap. I’d pick myself up and start it all over again. I just couldn’t sit still when I’d hear those big bands: Tommy DorseyRay AnthonyCount BasieLes Brown and Stan Kenton.”[1]

Then, some time after I kept watching this older video (from the Judy Garland show), I came across this newer one, and it's a really good one, too.

RTSF 2016 - The Nitty Gritty - Chanzie & Stephen

In that video, she's the one that I can't stop watching, though both are great dancers.  

Just check out either of the two YouTube links if you need to be in a better mood.  That is, if you like the song, which I do.  Enjoy!

Still Wanting to Find More Joy Again

funny moments

My husband found this the other day when going through some papers.  This is just a photo that I took the other day of a photo printed on our printer with a note that I wrote years ago. 

Somewhere there is a better copy of that photo, of course, but the important thing is the note that I wrote on it.  For five years I've been mis-remembering what the moment was of that photo.  I kept saying that that photo where Ethan (our nephew) and I were laughing so hard that we cried was when we were playing a Mario game where we kept knocking each other off a vine.

Now I see this note and realize that we were probably watching Ninjago and Ethan made that joke.  Back when he was five, we joked a lot about farts and burping, and it was great, silly fun.  

wanting more joy

I know that all of us who are grieving do have moments somewhat like this, at times, even since Ethan's mom (our sister) passed away over five years ago, but it's still hard to create moments of pure silliness and joy these days.  I wonder what the secret is to getting it back.  Our hearts were more pure, joyful, and less broken back then.  Can they be healed?

I keep feeling like it's my fault that I can't find ways to be happier.  We've had multiple important losses in recent years, and they've affected us.  We do all feel grateful about the loved ones we still have, keep trying to be busy, find things that bring us joy, and do work that is important to us.  But still, it's not the same, you know?

My First Selfie

Okay, I took this a year or more ago, but I just came across it again and it cracked me up.  That was me trying to take a photo of me and my nephew Ethan.

Since I don't have a real smartphone, where you can see on a screen what you are taking a photo of, this is what I ended up with.  I think I was just using our digital camera anyway, which also would only show the view on the back.

Great shot, eh?  So silly.  It keeps making me laugh.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

To My Sister Kim - Five Years Have Gone By

[I know that I shouldn't post pics of other people's children (my nephew), but this is five years old, so maybe it's okay, and Kim looks so great that I just had to use it.]


Our wonderful sister, five years have passed and I still can't even believe that you are gone.  It feels like a bad dream, the time when you were sick and leaving us and the times since, and now, without you.  It can't be true.

My heart keeps breaking, over and over.  We all miss your laugh, your smile, your positivity, the enjoyment you got out of life.  We miss your knowledge, your expertise, your help with our health problems.  

Ethan misses you.  Of course he would miss his wonderful, loving mom.  He tries so hard to escape (with video games (me, too)) and he tries to be okay, but he will never have what he once did - the security of your love, your embrace, and all of the fun you and he had together.

Mum is the most brokenhearted of us all.  She is a strong woman, but this absolutely breaks her into pieces, forever.  You were her favorite, as we all knew.  It's very hard for her to go on, but she does it to help your son and others, and to honor your memory (because she knows you would want her to be okay, as much as possible).

Many people miss you.  You had a lot of friends.  So many people loved you, and still do.

I just don't know what to say other than it still hurts so, so much that you are gone.  Some of us are forever changed, forever grieving.  We know you wouldn't want that, but we can't help it.  We try to move on and be okay, but it doesn't ever completely happen.  I don't think it ever will.

Please send us some strength, so we can be okay.


Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Happy Birthday Kim - Missing You Still

This is our late sister Kim, filled with joy about the snow when she came home for a visit one time.  I wish I could feel like that.

I keep feeling shocked that she is gone.  People would be surprised that you can still feel shock about losing someone, even though next month it will be 5 years that she has been gone.  Mum isn't surprised that I feel this way, because she said she feels the same way.

I sometimes let my guard down, like when getting up in the middle of the night or just turning off all sound or devices during the afternoon, and I find myself in complete shock when I realize that she is gone.  I guess it will never stop shocking me, because she was so full of life and loving life.

I wanted to write more today, but I don't have time.  I just wanted to say - Happy Birthday, Kim - we love you!

Monday, July 10, 2017

Can We Find Joy Again?

I have no pictures of anyone up in our apartment.  I know that is strange, but it's only because I care too much.  If I see photos of loved ones we've lost (people or cats), I feel even sadder than I normally do.  If I see photos of loved ones who are still with us, I just worry about them and/or miss them.  I feel too much all the time, so I'm always trying to avoid feeling even more.  I avoid most dramas (TV or movies), too, for the same reason.  I'd rather watch something incredibly stupid than watch something that makes me feel more.

Sorry, I went off on a tangent.  Seeing my late sister Kim in the photos above just made me think about that whole topic.  

What I wanted to write about was a really good and joyful day that I had about a month ago.  I wish I could buy that joy in a bottle, and also I wish that it was not a harmful substance to ingest.  I'd pay whatever I could afford if I could feel that way again.

If a pill was not available, then I wish I could re-create whatever occurred in my body and mind that day in order for me to feel such joy.  I was out with my husband (which is always great) and we were picking up a few presents to give to Mum for a belated Mother's Day get-together.  I don't know what exactly it was about that day, but I truly haven't felt joy like that in quite a long time.  I felt silly, happy, and fun.  It was a really good few hours, while it lasted.

Joy has been fairly elusive for some of us since Kim passed away.  It's almost five years ago now.  It still hurts just as much.  We've also lost other important people and gone through other serious things.  All of these have put a damper on our ability to feel joy.  We talk about joy, long for it, and try to create it, but for the most part, it eludes us.

Maybe we are doing something wrong.  I don't know.  Maybe we just care too much about those we've lost.  We do try to enjoy life and do things we like to do, but life does feel flatter and more empty with them gone.

Don't get me wrong.  We have people we care about, and my husband and I are so grateful to have each other.  We love each other more and more as the years go by, and we do realize that we are lucky to have that.  Still, it doesn't erase our pain.

I guess I just wish that there was more of an answer to this whole grief thing, but like my husband said a few years ago, "I don't think there is an answer."  I think he is right.  It is just something you live with.  You try to work on doing things you feel passionate about, and enjoy the people who are here, but truly you are forever changed by the losses.

Maybe not everyone is like this.  We know some people who seem to have gone back to "normal" after losing Kim, but not me, my mum, my husband, and Kim's son.

I hope that talking about these things helps anyone who would read them someday.  Maybe if you feel the same types of things you can realize you are not alone.  When you have everyone telling you to "get on with your life," and you try, but the pain still lingers on, you will know there are others out here feeling the same way.

Survivor's Guilt

[My blog posts aren't perfect.  I know that.  But if I try to be perfect, I will never do anything at all.]

It's a strange thing, to feel guilty for being happy or enjoying things.  It happened again to me today.  I was playing a YouTube video of a full B-52's album (easier than popping in my CD, plus it shows lyrics, etc.).

I put this video on...

[click image to go to video] order to get some energy to do some work around the house.  I was enjoying it until I thought about how my late sister Kim also liked the B-52's.  Then I felt guilty for being alive, for dancing around, for enjoying the music at all, when she so obviously couldn't do the same.

Kim wasn't the kind of person who would ever want anyone to feel bad about anything, or to not enjoy their life, yet I still feel this guilt about being happy.  I feel this guilt regarding everyone we've lost, but of course especially when it comes to Kim, because she was my youngest sister and I'll always believe that she should still be here.  I mean, I wish that the older people we've lost could be here, too, but Kim should be with her son.  

I have to keep telling myself that Kim wouldn't want me to feel this way.  Maybe one of these days that truth will get through to me, but for now it's still this way.

Monday, April 24, 2017

The Pain Lingers On

Had to cut our stepdad Mark out of this photo because he was making a goofball face, and it wasn't pretty.  Photo from about 14 years ago, maybe.  

My youngest sister Kim has been gone for a few years (4 1/2?) and it's still just as hard.  We miss other loved ones we've lost in recent years, and cats, too, but this loss hits us the most because she was so young and vibrant and lovely until she got very sick, and because her son was left behind (and our mom, too).

Every time that we go to the health food store she used to go to, and pass the place where she lived, it's always hard.  I come close to crying, or actually do cry, just seeing organic vegetables and other things she would've bought.

Yesterday we were at that store, me almost crying, trying not to, and then this morning I am crying.  It's all too much to bear, sometimes.  I know that anyone who has lost someone very precious to them will understand what I am saying.

I wish I could tell you anything at all to heal the pain, but there really is no remedy.  It's just pain that will linger, I'm sorry to say.  We just try to "keep calm and carry on."  It's the life that we now know.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Sadly, Grief Has No Real Solution or Remedy

My late sister Kim, in December 2005, with her dog Fenny (Fenster).

I normally don't post photos of anyone's kids, but this has already been put on Facebook, so...

It's just a photo of a photo.  Kim and her son Ethan.  He's an amazing kid, and she should be here with him, but she can't be, except in spirit.

I think about my late sister Kim almost every day, and about other important people (and cats) that we've lost, too.  I don't seem to be getting any better at dealing with grief.  Seriously, I'm not trying to dwell on it.  I'm just sharing my struggles, hoping that other people who are having the same trouble will realize that they are not alone.

I do keep finding out, in these recent years, that grief doesn't go away.  It's just something that we live with.  

Life will never be the same, and we have no choice but to go on as best we can.  There is no solution or remedy for the pain.  It's just always there.

One thing I know is that we need to find ways to keep busy.  It's especially good if we can find things to do that are meaningful and have a good purpose, though I admit that many times I just want distractions, like playing video games.

Another thing to do is to turn to those you love, though if they've suffered the same loss, or other deep and profound losses of their own, they have their own pain to deal with.  Sometimes we are all in such pain from our grief or other problems that we don't seem to be able to do much to help each other.  

I always want to help my loved ones, both older and younger, with their emotional pain, but usually the only thing I can do is to be there for them.  I guess that has to be enough, when there is nothing else to do.