Saturday, March 27, 2010


Ever thought about how many times during the course of your normal daily routine you must make a decision?

What am I going to wear today?
Which shoes?
Purse or no?
Where did I leave my car keys?
What am I cooking for dinner?
Can we afford to eat out tonight?

Then of course, there's my all-time favorite - real sugar or artificial sweetener?

That's extremely helpful to know when it involves making lemonade from those lemons life hands you.

My own answer to that decision is always an easy one.  Real sugar.  Why?  Because nothing is colder on a long hot summer day than a cold beer.  But I don't drink beer, so for me, it's lemonade or nothing. That means real sugar because it makes more sense to me to put something real into my body rather than something artificial.

Too many calories?  Too much fat?  So?  What else is new?  You didn't worry about too much fat when you ate that brownie at work, did you?  Or how about when you went to lunch and had a nice diet-friendly salad?  How much salad dressing did you use?  How many crackers did you eat with those croutons?

I've been fat most of my life, and you know what?  I don't really care.  I've tried all sorts of diets and nothing worked.  I'm 60 now, and there are other more important things than losing weight.

Go ahead and eat that piece of chocolate cake.  Just don't eat the whole cake at one time.

Everything in moderation.

Okay... next decision.  Turn the dishwasher on or wait for a few more items to go in? 

Thursday, March 18, 2010

My Thanks to All of You

I have returned from an event I never guessed I would ever have to attend - Sara's funeral.  It was very sad watching her husband, children and extended family hurting because there was absolutely nothing I could do to make that pain go away.  We leaned on each other for support and it felt good to laugh a little about some of the fun times we all remembered between outbreaks of tears.

One of the things I remember was the Christmas Gingerbread House we made.  A little piece of advice for you - don't ask a 15-year-old girl what she would like to do unless you are fully prepared to do it.  Have you ever laid thinly-sliced almonds across the roof of a gingerbread house?  A very tedious task, I can assure you.  Almost as bad as putting red hots on bushes made of green-tinted frosting to simulate the berries on a holly bush.  It turned out to be a work of art of which we were both very proud.  The memory is priceless to me.

At times like these we become even more thankful for our friends.  I am more blessed than I realized.  I have received many emails, sympathy cards and phone calls.  I can't tell you how much it has warmed my heart to feel your comfort.  Some of the people I have heard from since I've been home are people I haven't heard from for quite a while.  I have even heard from people through other people rather than directly.  A couple of these people for whatever reason haven't spoken to me for six months.  I appreciate their expressions of sympathy.

Many of you know that Sara was a registered nurse.  Like all the nurses I know, she had a heart for giving to other people, and this was her way of doing it.  She was a very good nurse, so I am told.  Quite obviously she was loved and appreciated by her co-workers who filled almost one half of the funeral chapel.

Our lives were enriched probably more than we realized because Sara was part of us, and it will be a hard adjustment for all of us in our own ways to pick up the pieces of what seems like an impossible-to-overcome tragedy, but with time, we will be able to accept our loss and remember the good that was Sara.

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers.  They have helped and will continue to help me as I work through my own grieving process.  God bless each of you.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

My Own Obituary for My Daughter

In 1975, I met a wonderful - not perfect - man.  We were eventually married in 1979.  He had two beautiful daughters from a previous marriage.  I have never had children of my own.  It didn't take long for his two daughters to twine their fingers around my heart.  I grew to love those two girls as though they were my own. 

They knew how I felt.  I never tried to hide from either of them that I thought of them as my own daughters.  Even after their father's drinking brought about our divorce in 1990, the girls were still a part of my heart.  Thanks to them, I have 5 wonderful beautiful grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren. 

Through the years, we didn't visit each other very often because I did not want them to feel as though I was trying to put myself into a position where I didn't belong - between them and their father.  The older daughter and I lost touch with each other, and I have missed so very much sharing the times of her life.

The younger one, Sara, and I talked on the phone relatively often between her busy life as a registered nurse, doting mother and grandmother and wife and my own weird lifestyle.  I have never been one to go to bed early, get up early, and eat my meals at a certain time every day, and with the time difference between where we live, it wasn't always conducive to talking on the phone as often as we would both have liked.

Oh, how I will miss those telephone conversations.

My granddaughter-in-law called me tonight to tell me that there has been an accident and Sara, my beautiful daughter, has died.  I don't have any life-experience to fall back on here.  I don't know how I am to  handle all this.  All I know is that they want me there, so I must go.  And I have to rely on God to give me the strength to do the things I will need to do for them once I am there.

I know what Sara's children, Kacey and Coleman, are going through because I have lost my mother to death as well. I know just a touch of what Max, Sara's husband, is going though because when Sara's father died two years ago, she wanted me to be there for her, so there I was.  Even then, I couldn't deny that I still had feelings for him, so his death was not as difficult an adjustment as Max will have to go through, but still it wasn't as easy as one would have thought.

Even loving Sara as my own daughter, I know that she isn't.  I am not her mother.  Just her favorite ex-step-mother.  I have no idea what Sara's mother must be feeling right now.  I hope she will be able to rely on her faith and her husband for the comfort she will need.

Sara was 46 and very beautiful.  She knew I love her very much.  And somehow, I think she knows that I am grieving now.  I have already been able to thank God for the joy of her life, but even knowing that my faith in God is strong and will see me through this trying time isn't going to remove the grief of her loss.  It will temper it with the times we shared; our talks, our laughter, our sharing of ourselves.

I'm thankful to God for having placed her in my life.  And I'm thankful to God for welcoming her home now.

I hope by writing this I will begin to feel an acceptance of this tragedy that I know must surely come.  There have been times in my life when I have asked God to go through something for me because I knew I wasn't capable of going through it myself.  He always did and allowed me to follow Him  This is another one of those times when I need Him to go through this for me and let me follow Him.  I know I can't do this on my own.