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These kitties don't like flashes and booms...

Friday, May 20, 2011

and we had some largish ones pass through in the night. I gave up the idea of sleeping for an hour or so and came down and watched a mindless something before going back to give sleep another try, so I'm a bit bleary this morning. The grand-kitties have remained fixed in their safe haven under the couch. Water bowl and food dish and litter box appear undisturbed.

I have a few of their toys about, but this is just going to take patience. Neither of them looks like they would starve, even if they went on a 3-day hunger strike, so I'm not really worried about them. And this has to be somewhat better than a cage in a kennel. I have blocked off many of the rooms in the house to get their territory down to a less intimidating size for them. Beyond that, I'm going about my normal life. When they come out, they come out.

They were really adorable as kittens (photo from December, 2009, when they came into our lives).

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_LINDA 5/21/2011 1:55AM

    Don't blame them for being scared of a loud storm
..I hope they eat and drink something soon.
What a sweet photo!

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    How cute they are! They're lucky to have a good grandma. If they haven't eaten by the middle of Day 2, send them "room service" and keep a close eye. I learned from my vet that hunger strikes can be dangerous regardless of weight, because the combo of their high strung flight or fight response plus not eating / not drinking makes their kidneys slow down. It happens fast (as little as 3 days). We had one who went on hunger strikes whenever we redecorated, moved, etc., and was particularly stubborn, and once the poor girl ended up at the vet on IV fluids. emoticon That's when he said, "On the third morning, call me!" Here's wishing you all a storm-free evening!

Comment edited on: 5/20/2011 5:48:55 PM

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KALIGIRL 5/20/2011 1:10PM

    I can relate to felines hiding - ours didn't come out for almost a week...

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SUNNY332 5/20/2011 9:06AM

    My dog, Miss Macki, doesn't like storms either and really paces when we are having thunder storms. My heart goes out to her and I really wish I could tell her it will all be OK. Just being near us does help her. When the storm is over, she lets out a huge sigh. Bless her heart.

The kittens are lovely. I love Siamese Cats and these are very pretty cats.


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WATERMELLEN 5/20/2011 8:19AM

    It's so sad that we cannot explain: it's all ok!!

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FITFABJENN 5/20/2011 8:01AM

    Absolutely adorable! Sweet little grandkitties...

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DEBRA0818 5/20/2011 7:57AM

    They'll be fine, and I hope you will be too! I had a bit of sleepless night myself for no known reason and also feel bleary this morning. I'm hoping the day cures me!

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MSLZZY 5/20/2011 7:15AM

    Poor things but I don't care for the booms either LOL!

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Thursday, May 19, 2011

I'm cat-sitting this weekend. Unlike many times when one goes over to the home the kitties are used to, this time, my son chose to drop the pair off at my house. They are... terrified, I'd say:

Well, we shall see how they warm up to the place when I leave them with the run of it tomorrow and go to work. My son stayed around for a couple of hours to see if they would warm up with his familiar presence around, but right now? They are hiding under the couch. I figure if I ignore them long enough, they will get curious and explore.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

REJ7777 5/20/2011 6:20AM

    Hope they'll soon both feel home and quite safe! emoticon

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_LINDA 5/20/2011 12:28AM

    I know nothing about cats so can't give you any suggestions. Strange, I always thought they were independent creatures and would just do their own thing, ignoring what ever human was present unless it suited them to give them some attention. Did your son bring any of their favorite toys? Scattering them about would give them something familiar at least.
Have fun with your scaredy cats lol.

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ANDI571 5/19/2011 11:47PM

    Cats are funny. They just don't adapt like dogs do. Kel had to bring her cats here overnight one time while her house was being sprayed for spiders. We put them just in one room and closed the door, and they did better than running the house. If they don't settle down, you might think about that.

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MSLZZY 5/19/2011 11:07PM

    Give them time to adjust LOL!

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    LOL! Poor things! Ignoring them may work. Sometimes they can be encouraged if you pretend to ignore them while sitting on the couch and speak in a soothing voice to them...about the weather, what's on the news...anything to get them used to your voice and presence. They just need to know that Grandma loves them and means them no harm, LOL! If they don't come out, send their meals under the couch to them ("room service") and put their litter box where they don't have to venture too far out "in public." Cats are notorious for hunger strikes when they're upset so monitor their food. Generally speaking I find if your manner of treating them is somewhere between your beloved great Aunt Tillie and a noted celebrity they're pretty happy. emoticon

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The commute

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

emoticon Well, I fulfilled my promise to myself to honor our local "Bike to Work Week" by getting on my two wheeler and riding to work. "Just do it once, then you can say you did it," my inner self told me.

I made it. I left the house about 6:35 a.m., and got to work about 7:25. About a 50 minute commute one way. What I learned:

1. Those lovely little biking gloves that protect your palms but leave your fingers open to the air? Not such a great deal when it's 40 degrees Fahrenheit and you are making your own wind chill besides, with the bare fingers on the leading edge of your vehicle. Within 15 minutes I was stopping at a traffic signal and pulling the full gloves out of my pocket, putting them on OVER the half-gloves.

2. What they say about training for specific activities is very true: biking was HARDER for me than walking the same distance. I may have gone faster, but I was using a different set of muscles or the same ones in a different way. Coming home was harder than going out.

3. That said, being fit in general *does* help recovery time when you start a new activity. So, chances are, this is not my last bike ride of the year, but I won't try the bike commute again today... gotta get a little rest time in between.

4. I'm not crazy about commuting in rush hour. This is just a personal preference thing. Our town has great bike trails. But when you get close to downtown, they are right along side some pretty busy arterial streets. It's better than riding ON those streets, but you're still breathing the exhaust, and you still have some risk of something going wrong... those nightmare scenarios played in my head... "what if I were to skid, my brakes failed, etc... where would I end up... what's my alternative path in case of emergency..." Guess that defensive driving habit transfers onto the bike.

5. Oh, and when you ARE dealing with human powered transport, whether you're talking walk or bike, it does take longer to get from point A to point B. And when you work in a job where people grab your arm as you are leaving and delay that departure by 30 minutes with questions? 'nuff said.

I did it! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MEDDYPEDDY 5/19/2011 12:31AM

    Well done - for me the benefit is that I get my exercise without having to organize it...

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SUNNY1432 5/18/2011 9:34PM

    emoticonThat' great that you did it, even for one day!! emoticon
I think that the traffic would freak me out a little bit too. emoticon

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MNTWINSGAL 5/18/2011 8:24PM

    Good for you, Barb. You deserve a few days behind the wheel of a gas-powered vehicle though, before you even think about walking or biking it again!

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SUNNY332 5/18/2011 7:17PM


Keep up the great work.

Thanks for sharing.


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MARVEEME 5/18/2011 5:19PM

You ARE my mentor!

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MSLZZY 5/18/2011 2:52PM

    Sounds like the start of something good! HUGS!

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MICKEYMAX 5/18/2011 12:29PM

    Way to go!!! You did it!

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_LINDA 5/18/2011 12:28PM

    Well done!! High Five!! You are brave going out in city traffic! Nuff said!
Enjoy your rest and recovery!

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TURTLETALK 5/18/2011 11:51AM

    I have not been on a bike in years but you are inspiring me to pull one out and give it a go.

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HOT4FITNESS 5/18/2011 11:24AM

    You did it!!! Now enjoy your rest day and let those muscles recover.

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DEBRA0818 5/18/2011 9:49AM

    If it's going to continue to be 40 degrees in the middle of May, they best be moving Bike to Work Week to June. Just sayin'!


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KALIGIRL 5/18/2011 8:59AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
I chickened out today after looking @ the western sky - so will honor the week later in the year.
You are so right about trying new things. I bought the 'barefoot' running shoes and my heels are so tender...
Interesting to find out I've been walking 'wrong' for all these years and will have to GRADUALLY learn the right way.

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CONCHA77 5/18/2011 8:39AM

    emoticonI really admire you.

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MIZCATHI 5/18/2011 8:19AM

    Congratulations! You did what you set out to do!

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GRAMMIEOFTWO 5/18/2011 8:12AM

  Good for you.

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Thanks for all the support yesterday!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I do believe in the power of prayer, and I felt it yesterday as I went off to work. As anticipated, having something to do and take my mind off the date and the past steps on the journey helped a good deal. Finding that the soap opera that constitutes the combined lives of my circle of acquaintance helped, too... other people's troubles keep on bubbling along, too. Nothing makes one feel supported as much as paying it forward in the support of others.

After work last night I took another hack at pumping up the bike tires. I had them slimed a couple of years ago. For those of you who may not be aware, there is this substance called "slime" that they sort of feed into your bike tires that makes them semi-self-sealing, in case of incidents on the road. Anyway, slime in the tires has a side effect of making the tires harder to pump up, but the benefit of them retaining the air pressure you *do* get into them.

So, having had the bike shop slime the tires when they fixed my last flat, I ended up leaving the bike sit in the garage... for, like, two years, maybe? Ouch. So, over two years, the tires do lose their air pressure. Over the past week or so, I've been pumping them back up... slowly. And observing whether they hold the pressure. Last night I got to the level of confidence of taking the bike out for the first 2011 spin.

And today it is my intention to give riding to work a shot. It's "Bike to Work" week. And today is the only day left in the work week that they don't have a percentage of chance precipitation listed in the local forecast! Report on how it went and what I learned about the process of bicycle commuting in my own fair city yet to come! emoticon

And the thing that gives me the confidence to do this? Knowing that I am capable and fit enough to walk the bike home if I have a breakdown! emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LEANJEAN6 5/18/2011 7:27PM

    Wow Barb!! Hope you enjoyed the ride!!--- So nice to read yer blog!-Lynda

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BUGGYS 5/18/2011 8:03AM

    Just got my bike back from the shop yesterday so now I can ride up at our cottage on all the back country it! Have a safe ride!

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REJ7777 5/18/2011 6:14AM

    Being fit and strong opens up so many options! emoticon

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ELSEEBEE 5/17/2011 6:56PM

    Hope your ride went well! I so admire you for all you do!

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WILMASOTO 5/17/2011 4:50PM

    hope all went well Barb but with your level of fitness I have no dought you can do it!! Have fun!!

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_LINDA 5/17/2011 2:28PM

    Good luck with your bike ride to work, be very careful and always play it safe!
I must confess I hate the idea of riding a bike in a busy city. I have seen the brave souls out there, and I think they take their lives into their own hands driving on the road with the horrible drivers we have.
Go, Barb, GO!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MSLZZY 5/17/2011 10:14AM

    Always have a backup plan! HUGS!

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FITFABJENN 5/17/2011 8:49AM

    Awesome! I hope you arrived without incidence, but YES, it is good to know you could walk your bike home if you needed to.


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KALIGIRL 5/17/2011 8:41AM

    emoticonon emoticonto work!
The only non-meeting day I have is tomorrow - so rain or shine (pray for sun), I'm biking in. I'll 'make up' the other days next week. Nothing like seeing that eastern Nebraska sky - can't wait to hear about your adventure!

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SUNNY332 5/17/2011 8:40AM

    Oh my - what fun, Barb. Enjoy the ride and don't forget your helmet.

I can't wait to hear about your day.

Hugs, Sunny

Glad you felt the "power of prayer" yesterday. Paying it forward is what Spark People do best - don't you think?

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CONCHA77 5/17/2011 8:20AM

    Sounds like fun! Enjoy!

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DEBRA0818 5/17/2011 7:38AM

    Have a great ride,Barb!

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PARKERB2 5/17/2011 7:15AM

    Good luck with your biking. I sure emoticon

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I can't write today's blog

Monday, May 16, 2011

I started to write about the significance of the date, and I couldn't put it out there. I'm pretty open in my blogging, but this one... oh, gee.

Thirty years ago today, you see, I said my wedding vows. Every year on this date, I am reminded that I only stuck it out for 21 years and 11 months. And it all replays in my head: the ups the downs, the love, the control issues, the final realization that I could not survive this way. And with that comes a deep sense of failure. I know it takes two. But somehow I blame myself for getting out. Not all the time, not every day... just when I think about it too much.

Thirty years should be enough, don't you think? It should be time to let go and move on. I get to about this point and erase the blog entry. It is too raw, and I sound too pathetic. It is its own special form of survivor guilt, I guess. Added to too much listening to Polly Perfectionist.

Sigh. Pray for me today, my Spark friends. I'm feeling fragile.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

REJ7777 5/17/2011 6:58AM

    emoticon emoticon

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DAISY443 5/17/2011 5:46AM

    I have "been there, done that". Even after he remarried 3 more times, I still felt the guilt that I couldn't do the "Till death we part thing!" Just know that you did what you needed to do! Hugs!

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MNTWINSGAL 5/17/2011 1:06AM

    We all have those "down" moments when we feel like we did too little, or did it "all wrong...." it's what makes us human. But in your heart of hearts, you know you did the best you could do with what you were given, and while the ending of that chapter wasn't the way you would have wanted it written, it led you to where you are today - where you were meant to be all along.

It's ok to feel a little sorrow today over what might have been. But never, ever let yourself think you let anybody down. You did what you needed to do, and if you so choose, you can use today to remember the happy times of your marriage. Then remember why it had to cease. NOT your fault!

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MSLZZY 5/16/2011 11:48PM

    So sorry for your pain-hugs! emoticon

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    "ONLY" stuck it out for 21 years and 11 months? You're being way too hard on yourself. That's the lifetime of a child, plus college. As someone who never wants to get married, I can't fathom it. So give yourself some kudos and credit! emoticon

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    you wrote the blog.
I hope you can let it go.

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DEBRITA01 5/16/2011 5:17PM

    Today I read a blog about acceptance and how it is a gift. Sending hugs and prayers that you find acceptance in the fact that you did the best you could at the time....that's all any of us can do. Be gentle with yourself... emoticon

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TURTLETALK 5/16/2011 3:00PM


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_LINDA 5/16/2011 2:27PM

    So very, very sorry :(( Its hearing women's trials like this that makes me happy I am single, never been married or had a boyfriend. I really don't think they are worth all the pain and heartbreak..
My thoughts are with you in deepest sympathy,
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ANDI571 5/16/2011 2:14PM

    I hate you are still blaming yourself and have that feeling of failure. I sometimes wonder where we get those feelings. Is it society that puts it there? Is it our feeling of, what will someone think? All I know, is we are to hard on ourselves sometimes. Our mind can send us into a downward spiral if not careful.

You my friend are not a failure. You are right, it takes two. You can only be in control of your actions. We can't take blame on what others do.

"I cannot relive yesterday, and tomorrow isn't here yet, so I will just deal with today."
Hope your day starts looking up.

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MTULLY 5/16/2011 2:12PM

    You have to ask yourself, if you had stayed in that marriage, do you think you would be better off today or merely regretting that you hadn't left sooner? You tried for 21 years to make it work - that is not being a failure. I think your decision was a courageous one. My heart goes out to you, and I hope that you have a better day tomorrow. emoticon

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KALIGIRL 5/16/2011 12:34PM

    A tough day for you in many ways. Reading your blogs, I believe you to be a truly responsible person and so understand your deep feelings from a societal and personal point of view.
I am not sure the sense of failure will go away just because the years tick on, but I do believe it helps to 'air' the emotion, to put it in perspective and to try to accept it.
Here's to acceptance as soon as you are able.
Namaste my friend.

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JAKEANDNELLIE 5/16/2011 11:15AM

    We've never met here on Spark, but we share a wonderful mutual friend (DEBRA0818). Your response to her blog brought me to yours.
Always remember that you did what needed to be done so that you could continue on in the life you wanted. Leaving an unhappy marriage is not always a failure - sometimes it's a victory - depending on the circumstances.
Stay positive.
Sheila emoticon

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FITGRL124 5/16/2011 10:37AM

    My heart goes out to you! Sending many thoughts and prayers to you today! emoticon emoticon

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SLENDERELLA61 5/16/2011 9:27AM

    Those thing that replay and replay and replay in our heads. And we know we need to let them go. And we let go, or at least we thought. And then we let go again. And again. And again.

It isn't easy. I try not to blame my mother for raising me fat. I let go and let go and let go, but it keeps coming back. There are things I have said and things I have done that I get passed, but then have to get past again. I had an early failed marriage failure failure myself....

I am with you. We know we need to get past it. We know it isn't helpful. You know you did the best you could and the right thing really. You know.

My prayers are with us both and for everyone in their struggle to let go of those things past that still weigh us down.

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BESTSUSIEYET 5/16/2011 9:19AM

    Lord, I pray for Barb today. Please wipe away her tears and remind her how much you love her! You are the Healer of the hurts we can't bear, and I pray that you will wash Barb with your healing forgiveness, grace, and peace today. You know all about the years of her marriage--the joys and the sorrows, the things she did right and the mistakes she made. You know how she wishes it hadn't ended the way it did. Thank you for new beginnings, for fresh starts, for the hope of a better tomorrow! Thank you for the way Barb helps us to move past our mistakes on this journey to health. Help her to remember the same principles as she looks back AND looks forward today. Bless her, Lord!

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MARVEEME 5/16/2011 8:59AM

    My prayers are with you. Yes, 30 years is more than enough, so stop beating yourself up about this. It was what it was, and it will always remain a building block of who you are today, so STOP PICKING AT IT! Leave that brick can do more damage to your current self by loosening that brick, so smile brightly for all of the growth beyond that era of your life, and know that you are LOVED NOW for who you are.


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MIZCATHI 5/16/2011 8:38AM

    I'm glad you didn't delete this blog. Who we are is a sum result of our successes and failures, and some of those failures cause great regret. It doesn't sound like you would have made a different choice given where you were at the time and who you were. Marriage is a weird state of affairs, a joining of two human beings who made a promise. I've been married for almost 34 years, and sometimes I wonder WHY. LOL. We've come pretty close to splitting by agreement, and I'm sure both of us have harbored secret splits from time to time. I don't know who I would have been if he hadn't come into my life, and sometimes I dream about her. Your turn in the road was just that, and it sounds to me that you like who you are!

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FITFABJENN 5/16/2011 8:14AM


Thank you for sharing your fragile moment, even though it was so difficult for you.


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SAMI199 5/16/2011 8:00AM

    emoticon emoticon

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JUST2SWEET 5/16/2011 7:56AM

    Sorry this is such a tough day for you, hope it gets better...

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SUNNY332 5/16/2011 7:51AM

    “My imperfections and failures are as much a blessing from God as my successes and my talents and I lay them both at his feet.”
Mahatma Gandhi

“The only real failure in life is the failure to try.”

It takes two to do the marriage dance and two to turn the music off. I definitely see where you could have some regrets so hang in there and realize that you can not take full responsiblity to the break of the marriage. I would really worry if this day came and went and you had no regrets. You are human and for that we love you.

I will be praying for you as you go through your day. I hope that emoticon comes your way today.

Huggers, Sunny

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DEBRA0818 5/16/2011 7:51AM

    My heart goes out to you Barb and of course you have my prayers, right now, for continued healing and acceptance. There are terrible things that happen to us in this life, what Judith Viorst called "Necessary Losses," and there are hard choices we have to make that put us in the position of choosing the "least worst" option. It is worth it, as painful as it is, to reflect on how the choice you made reflected your best judgment and prayerful consideration. You could do no other which means, at a minimum, that you did not end a marriage, but a destructive relationship. For a marriage to exist, both partners have to be living out their vows to each other, it cannot be unidirectional. Without knowing your circumstances, but having a sense of the kind of person you are, I am quite sure the "uni" in "directional" was you.


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STARCHELSEA 5/16/2011 7:41AM

    I'll be sure to pray for you. emoticon

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