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Yesterday's memory run

Sunday, January 27, 2013

I posted on my status that I ran / walked 12.35 miles yesterday, but the numbers only tell such a small fraction of a run. I was running with Carol (my sister in law who passed) on my shoulder. I was talking with her as I ran. And my choices of where to turn and continue were partly guided by the process of dealing with life.

I ended up taking a turn into a neighborhood I hadn't been in to in a long time. Down that street was a house where I babysat as a teen. The mom of that family happened to depart too soon, too. At the end of that same block, the house where a math teacher I had adored had lived. He, too, it turns out, passed way too young.

I kept on running, up toward a Mall, by the site of a church (that is no longer there, neighborhood's changed) that was the place of much of my childhood Sunday School training. Past a nursing home, and into another neighborhood, where one of the church ladies who was widowed the same year as my dad had lived. Then to the gym, and back around the lake one more loop.

It was a memory run. A good opportunity to contemplate, process, assimilate the events swirling around, and for that matter, life in general. Some tears in spots (someone commented yesterday about runs with tears streaming)... not the first such run I've done. But also some smiles as the sun would break through the clouds and warm my back or my face.

Got home, stretched, showered, made the family phone calls appropriate to the day, and chilled 'til bedtime. Funeral is not until Wednesday, it will be touch and go if my son gets home, but he's working with his command chain to get exempted from one mandated class and home a shade early.

In short... took care of my own grieving needs, and made sure others have their "oxygen masks" on, too. It was a good day.

And we shall weather these life events... living them in the moment, and moving onward. Spark on, dear friends. Hug your loved ones. And nurture yourselves.

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CASEYTALK 1/31/2013 10:06AM

    I missed far too many of your blogs and am reading back. You are one of the most emotionally healthy people I've met. This memory run was just what you needed, I'm sure. Your attitude about your ex -- cutting him slack but accepting that he is responsible for his choices which, though they make you sad are not your responsibility -- is healthy, too.

You are such a remarkable woman.

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PATRICIAAK 1/29/2013 1:47AM

    Thanks for sharing the memories.
You and your family have my condolences

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LEANJEAN6 1/28/2013 7:50AM

    Very Thereapeutic Barb--yer run!! emoticon

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MEDDYPEDDY 1/28/2013 12:31AM

    Wise thoughts, liked them!

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EBEAMS 1/27/2013 10:38PM

    I love that running is a way to work through life stuff. So sorry for your loss! Many, many hugs ... emoticon

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OVERWORKEDJANET 1/27/2013 9:04PM

    Thanks.

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ROXYZMOM 1/27/2013 7:26PM

    What a great run!! And totally what a run is intended to do! I love those the best!
I am glad you are taking care of yourself andvthe memories!

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LESLIELENORE 1/27/2013 6:19PM

    emoticon emoticon

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RUN4FOOD 1/27/2013 5:50PM

    Thanks for sharing your memory run.
Hope your week goes well.


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WATERMELLEN 1/27/2013 5:19PM

    Memory run . . . I totally get this. We can process a lot while working out and it's one of the great reasons to work out, actually. You've been dealing with a huge amount of emotion, and it can't be coincidence that your feet took you on that particular journey . . . .

(Not thinking that there's much likelihood of xc skiing in a Nebraska rain . . . but if you get a chance to try this winter, it's all in the kick/glide/pull with the pole synchronization!)

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GABY1948 1/27/2013 5:07PM

    WHAT A GREAT walk/run, trip down memory lane! You did a wonderful job of dealing! emoticon

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KARIDIAN1 1/27/2013 4:55PM

    Sounds like a great run and memory trip. Hope your son can get home ahead of schedule.

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KALIGIRL 1/27/2013 4:31PM

    Wonderful way to deal with your grief and honor you SIL @ the same time - sorry I bagged the walk today - something about the dampness that chills me more than cold temperatures....

Sending peaceful thoughts my friend.

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DALID414 1/27/2013 4:11PM

    emoticon

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DLDMIL 1/27/2013 12:33PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ANDY_54 1/27/2013 11:59AM

    What a wonderful blog to read. And a wonderful way to honor your sister-in-law. I love contemplative runs like that, they seem to mean so much more. Take care, emoticon

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KATHIC2 1/27/2013 11:52AM

  Hang in there. I am dealing with something similiar. Movement quiets the mind and helps healing.

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_LINDA 1/27/2013 11:34AM

    It seems like you were guided during that run, a wonderful way to honor Carol and others who were lost before their time..hope things work out for your son to get there in time.
May you have a calm and peaceful day of rest today..

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1CRAZYDOG 1/27/2013 11:28AM

    Good job, Barb. The only way we can take care of others is to make sure we take care of ourselves first. That's a wise decision.

Sounds like you had a very thoughtful run yesterday. That's such a great way to work through things in life.

I pray your son can come home in time! HUGS Barb. Hang in there. So much to deal with.

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LINDAKAY228 1/27/2013 11:18AM

    That was a wonderful way to honor those who have passed on and to work on your own grief. Each of us works through grief in different ways. Yours is a great way for you to do it, based on your lifestyle and who you are. Running sometimes is the way I deal with thinks but more often hiking. And being outside helps us too. Hope your son can make it. Prayers for you and your family and her family.

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LJCANNON 1/27/2013 10:58AM

    emoticon That seems a Fabulous Memory Run and a Wonderful Way to Remember/Honor your Sister In Law and Others who have Passed Too Soon!!
emoticon Nurturing Yourself and then helping Others with their own "Oxygen Masks" is such a Beautiful Image!! And Very Good Advice!!

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MNTWINSGAL 1/27/2013 10:42AM

    This was a wonderful idea. Sometimes I like to go back into my old neighborhood and just walk the streets that I habited as a child and teenager, my schools, etc. So many of those things are gone now. It's sad to see the changes in some ways...but also, change is good.

What a great reason to do a memory run -- and I'm sure are right....your dear SIL was there with you every step of the way.

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MEXGAL1 1/27/2013 10:29AM

    what a wonderful way to honor their memories. Good for you. And so good that you are taking care of yourself so you can be strong to help others.
Have a good day today.
Sallie

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4DOGNIGHT 1/27/2013 10:11AM

    Hugs to you! Are you running in NW FLorida? emoticon

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MIRAGE727 1/27/2013 9:03AM

    What a concept! A memory run! Awesome, Barb! Reflection is a beautiful thing as we embrace the moment and what we've learned from it. Thanks for sharing.
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DOGLADY13 1/27/2013 8:38AM

    Sounds like you had an excellent run and lots of company, too.

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WARMSPRINGDAY 1/27/2013 8:34AM

    Beautiful
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SLENDERELLA61 1/27/2013 8:29AM

    Thanks, Barb. I definitely will hug the loved ones. I admire your memory run very much. The grieving process is really quite beautiful and there are so many ways. Thanks for sharing some of your way. Very beautiful.

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DEBRITA01 1/27/2013 8:11AM

    What a touching memory run. Life is way too short but our memories last forever. I'm praying that your son will be home with you by Wed. emoticon

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HEALTHY4ME 1/27/2013 8:05AM

    What a great blog, sitting here with tears. HUGs and a great memory walk. I am looking over at my mums urn and thinking gee wish I could have her here just one more time.
HUGS

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MSLZZY 1/27/2013 7:53AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MAGGIE101857 1/27/2013 7:19AM

    Sending you emoticon emoticon and more emoticon . This is a beautiful walk down memory lane (the word blog doesn't do it justice). Thank you for sharing it - although it is your story, we can walk it with you and bring to mind our own loved ones. Treasure the memories always.

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LEANJEAN6 1/27/2013 7:14AM

    Oh Barb! That probably was a good memory run!!! I do hope yer soon makes it home for yu!-Lynda emoticon

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Motivation transition

Saturday, January 26, 2013

For all of 2012, as I did event after event, I invoked two names at the starting lines. One was my sister in law's, the other my son's. Son is now safely stateside. Sister in law has passed at long last, peacefully with her daughter by her side.

This morning, when I leave the front door for my long run, my training run... it will be with her on my mind. The workout today, is in her honor and memory.

A strange transition has happened for me mentally in these, the Spark years. Some "bad things" have happened around me, I won't repeat them or count them, over these years.

In some years (my youth and young adulthood) I let bad things that happened paralyze me... I sank into myself, with the food, felt bad for those who were affected, but used this odd form of self-punishment as my way to feel a common bond, I guess. Because I felt bad that the bad thing happened to someone else, and guilty that it was them and not me. Warped, yeah.

Some people learn this lesson early, and it is a natural part of them. For me, it had to happen after age 50. We learn our lessons in our own order. Lesson one is the recognition that I can't wish bad things away. They are a part of life. I can't undo bad things that have happened. Lesson two is the "what can I do?" part: I can go forward to honor those who have suffered or are suffering. I can't live their lives for them. But I can hold them in my heart and do the things I can.

I need to take care of myself to do those things. And in the end, I run because I can. But I can run *for* those who cannot. Whole different mind set.

And it honors both that life is good, and that the bad is mixed in, and it's OK. Spark on, dear friends. Take care of yourselves, and honor LIFE! Namaste.

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CONCHA77 1/28/2013 8:43PM

    Wonderful blog, Barb. Thank You. Know I am thinking of you and rooting you on. Hugs emoticon .

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MEDDYPEDDY 1/28/2013 12:33AM

    I am still in the state where I feel ashamed for surviving while other suffers...great blog!

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KALIGIRL 1/27/2013 4:47PM

    Here's to running because you can - I can't think of a better reason!

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KARIDIAN1 1/26/2013 10:05PM

    What a nice way to honor your family and loved ones.

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RUN4FOOD 1/26/2013 7:14PM

    Running helps to deal with the challenges life throws at us. We can choose to eat, get depressed or run with joy. I choose run with joy. Running for me is usually a spiritual time.

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SLENDERELLA61 1/26/2013 7:02PM

    Honor life!! Love your message, Barb! Yes, we honor life by living it for those who can't; by running for those who can't. So glad you are running. It is such a freeing and glorious thing to run in your 6th decade. It makes me laugh and gives me great joy; and you, too, I suspect.

There have been times that bad things have overwhelmed me and I have fallen into food without thinking, and looking for a way not to think, looking for comfort. I have not been tested like you have since adopting my healthy lifestyle. I think and hope I've found better ways of coping that will get me though those inevitable tough times. I'm sure time will tell and I'll think of you, coming through, in victory!



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LINDAKAY228 1/26/2013 6:17PM

    I didn't learn some of this until late 40's/ and 50's. Sometimes I have to stop and relearn.

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DLDMIL 1/26/2013 3:52PM

    Namaste. emoticon emoticon

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LESLIELENORE 1/26/2013 3:13PM

    Hope you had a good run. emoticon

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HEALTHY4ME 1/26/2013 3:10PM

    What great analogy and true too. Takes us all diff times and ways to learn lifes lessons. I was going to explain something I used to do but don't know how to write it. LOL oh well not important.
Hope you had a great run and good memories to go along with it.
HUGS

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DALID414 1/26/2013 2:34PM

    Namaste emoticon

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GABY1948 1/26/2013 1:11PM

    What a beautiful and heartfelt blog, Barb. THANKS!

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WARMSPRINGDAY 1/26/2013 12:03PM

    Wow, you have sparked me!
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DOGLADY13 1/26/2013 11:53AM

    I hope your run was fruitful: both physically and spiritually. For me, those are the best ones. I can recall more than a few with tears streaming down my face, feeling grateful for the time alone to sort out the stuff. The run becomes the conduit for something more powerful.

All the same, I will think of you often, today, and that beautiful picture that you posted of your sister and sister-in-law and your nieces. The world is a giant, mystical net and I will do my best to send loving, powerful signals your way.

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KASEYCOFF 1/26/2013 10:40AM

    To stop learning is to stop living - your star shines, Barb...
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WATERMELLEN 1/26/2013 10:37AM

    Life is joy and pain . . . and we honour those we love most who are experiencing pain by living our lives with the joy they once had. Because otherwise life has no meaning.

So glad your son is safe. So glad you have your motivation back in hand . . . that motivation thing is always in transition!!

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MEXGAL1 1/26/2013 10:15AM

    I am so sorry or your loss but good that she is no longer suffering. Thoughts and prayers.

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MIRAGE727 1/26/2013 10:07AM

    G'Morning Barb! Interesting that I posted that photo sign on my last blog. I've always embraced that sentiment. Thanks for sharing. I truly believe that we realize a healthy body, mind, and spirit when we embrace our Journey's lifestyle! You also show that we inspire and motivate others as well. D & I are so happy we had the opportunity to meet you in real time. Hope to see you soon. Namaste.
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ANDI571 1/26/2013 9:47AM

    We never get to old to learn, do we? I have often said, if anything happens to me, live the life I no longer can. Go for it, and have a great run!

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_LINDA 1/26/2013 8:52AM

    So very sorry for your loss, but relieved her suffering is over. You do honor her memory By living your life the healthiest you can and taking advantage of using a body that is working fine, nourishing it well and challenging it with feats of fitness to ensure you will have healthy bones and a healthy heart and will live a long time!
Enjoy your run and enjoy that body that works so beautifully and carries you to wherever you want to go without pain, discomfort or any issues. Yes, you do run for those that can't and inspire those of us that can't to make our own fitness goals a reality within the sphere of what we can do!
Spark On!
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OVERWORKEDJANET 1/26/2013 8:28AM

    Nice to know I have friends with similar lives.
Vicariously yours,
Janet emoticon

Comment edited on: 1/26/2013 8:28:41 AM

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DEBRITA01 1/26/2013 8:27AM

    Learning comes when we are ready to receive the lesson (for me, many of them came after age 50, also). It's what we do with the learning that counts...Namaste emoticon

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ALOHAEV1 1/26/2013 8:12AM

    Another wonderful and enlightening visit!

Wonderful news that your son is stateside...the waiting never gets easier but we will all celebrate with you as he hits your front door emoticon emoticon

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1CRAZYDOG 1/26/2013 8:03AM

    You are so right Barb! In everyone's life, there are the good, the bad and even the ugly things that happen, but we have to learn that life is about moving forward, as you have learned. It is NOT easy, because sometimes our brains get "stuck" when those bad or ugly things happen.

As Depak Choppra teaches, if we let those things get the better of us, it's like not breathing and we end up suffocating!

Great blog and your SIL would be proud of you. I know your son is for sure!

I am so happy for you that he's stateside. The waiting is endless I am sure, but hang in there.

HUGS!

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SWEDE_SU 1/26/2013 7:56AM

    you teach, you inspire... namaste!

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MSLZZY 1/26/2013 7:43AM

    Your blog is filled with wisdom and truth! Thanks for sharing! HUGS!

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LEANJEAN6 1/26/2013 7:40AM

    Hi Barb---Himself did a bad thing this morning--He WATERED down my coffee!!! Now I pretty much only have 1 cuppa coffee a day and lately, Ive been telling him, the coffee has no flavour--Well!! Guess what??_-I caught him putting water in my cup----""Thems"" grounds for divorce!!!!!---His reasoning was--""the cup wasn't full enough""-----I'm telling you Barb, life is a bit tough at times and completely bewildering-----specially as one ages--as he has (NOT ME!_LOL)-----Lordy be!!!!--So-----the day has begun and I'm trying to tell myself to carry on--LOL--=but--I sure yelled and screamed at him!--Marriage isn't all it's cracked up to be------Lord Love a Duck!!!--For such a smart man--it makes me wonder!!=--Lynda emoticon

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Once upon a time

Friday, January 25, 2013



Once upon a time, we were all young. In this photo are two young moms and their dressed up little ones. It was taken at my wedding reception in 1981, by my dad. In it you see on the left, my sister and her daughter, on the right, my groom's sister and her daughter. I always thought of those two babies as two standards of beauty, and I have always loved this picture.

Overnight Wednesday, the mom on the right hugged her now grown, strong woman of a daughter good-bye for the last time, and continued on her journey spiritward. My niece called first my ex, yesterday morning, and a while later me.

As I have observed in the past, my first reaction to huge news is "I can keep working"... I'll just drive on. Five or ten minutes later, it becomes the to-do list... who I need to call. What I should do about relatives who may not be on my niece's first-call list... etc. I had trouble contacting my son right away, and finally accepted that no, this is not something I want to do here... and left work for the day.

I ended up having a long conversation with my ex, remembering his sister as a young, vibrant, capable single mom, courageous and strong. Remembering her as a grandmother, me tagging along as she took her granddaughter to the symphony kids' concert, or out to our local broadway musical in the park in Summertime. He reminisced on a trip they took together in 1999 back to some places of special meaning to them as children, in upper Michigan.

Later, as I was climbing into bed, my son was able to call and we chatted. While he's sorry he won't make it in time for a service (kind of hard to speed up military de-mobilization, and they likely would not for other than a parent, spouse or child), we knew this day would come a long time in advance and made sure he visited his aunt before he left. What he really would like right now is to get home to hug his cousin, and that will happen in its own good time.

So, as he told me, he'll be OK, I should take care of the others.

Anyway, on the Spark front, believe it or not, all that food tantrum stuff that went on for a couple of weeks? Kind of got the tar slapped out of it and I've been back on track for three full days, today would be the fourth. Exercise / training got really dialed back to the line in the sand, but I'm holding that line.

We shall see where I end up in a week or so, motivationally. 2013 could end up looking quite different from 2012... but, you know what? That's OK. This is LIFE. And life is good.

Spark on my friends, I'll be OK. Really. emoticon emoticon emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BARBARAJ73 1/27/2013 3:06PM

    Thinking of you emoticon

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DOGLADY13 1/26/2013 11:48AM

    I am truly sorry for your sadness and grief. I hope you continue to find comfort in your memories and family.

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KASEYCOFF 1/26/2013 10:43AM

    One day at a time, sweetie... That's a truly lovely picture.
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_LINDA 1/26/2013 10:05AM

    That is a wonderful photo and a great way to remember her. Wise choice to take off work, something you need is your privacy at a time like that.Its so very sad when a person dies before their time :(
Thinking of you as you deal with the emotional after effects in the coming weeks, months and years..
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OVERWORKEDJANET 1/26/2013 8:25AM

    I'll be thinking of you the next few days.
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KARIDIAN1 1/25/2013 10:15PM

    Sorry for your loss, my thoughts are with you.

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PATRICIAAK 1/25/2013 8:55PM

    My condolences

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LADYBUG1943 1/25/2013 8:10PM

    What a nice way to honor your sister in law. I loved the picture, too. The ease and suddenness in which a person leaves this life is astonishing. My mother died Valentines Day, 2012, and just the other day I was thinking something and my first instinct was to call and ask Mother (she didn't like being called "Mom"). She's just gone. Hard to understand for your sister in law, too, expected or not.

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DLDMIL 1/25/2013 5:03PM

    Prayers for you, your sister-in-law and the entire extended family. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ANDI571 1/25/2013 3:03PM

    Lots of hugs my dear spark friend emoticon emoticon

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SLENDERELLA61 1/25/2013 1:30PM

    So sorry for your loss. Glad you got off work and took some time -- to think and memorialize and appreciate and process. The picture is lovely and memories are cherished, so rightlly. In a way it is too bad that the emotions of this gloriously happy time of your son's return is mixed with this difficult loss. Your attitude about it being life is right and good. Life is good. So glad you'll be okay. Glad you are back on track, too. With your encouragement and support, and your modeling handling the really tough stuff, I Spark On!! -Marsha

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LJCANNON 1/25/2013 1:27PM

    emoticon emoticon Sending Extra Hugs and Prayers to You & Your Family. So glad that you were able to talk to Your Son, I know that was a Comfort.
emoticon Some parts of this Good Life still Stink! and losing Loved Ones is one of those Stinky Times - even though it may be a Blessing for her, and we do know Good-Bye is Not Forever.

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LESLIELENORE 1/25/2013 1:19PM

    emoticon

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MNTWINSGAL 1/25/2013 10:59AM

    Loved ones passing is always heartbreaking. Thank you so much for sharing this amazing woman's story. Prayers for the family.

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MEXGAL1 1/25/2013 10:23AM

    many thoughts and prayers. I love the photo as well and a great way to remember her.

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KALIGIRL 1/25/2013 9:40AM

    This is not only life - as you've told me time and again - this is GOOD life!
emoticon Suncday?

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GABY1948 1/25/2013 9:32AM

    I am so sorry for your loss, but I truly believe that God can make GOOD things come from bad! Have a blessed weekend, Barb

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DALID414 1/25/2013 9:29AM

    emoticon

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 1/25/2013 9:17AM

    My condolences to you and yours, Barb. You wrote a touching blog and gave us a small glimpse into her/your lives "once upon a time."

Glad to hear you're back on track and doing well. One day at a time, right? Here' to a different (but exciting!) adventure in 2013!

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CELIAMINER 1/25/2013 9:15AM

    What a beautiful tribute to a woman who meant so much to you! I am saddened by your loss but heartened by the way you choose to remember.
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FROMNDTOGA 1/25/2013 8:54AM

    Prayers for you and your family.
clm

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DEBRA0818 1/25/2013 8:42AM

    A light has gone out of the world and extinguished in a very difficult way. It is a testimony to love and the human spirit that plans are being made to share memories and exchange love and the light that was your sister-in-law gets rekindled in others.

God bless, her, you, your family and her family and all whose lives are touched by illness, sadness and loss today.

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1CRAZYDOG 1/25/2013 8:40AM

    Awwww, Barb. I am so sorry to hear of your loss. It is so hard -- beyond words.

I am so glad that you got to talk w/your son, and that he got to see his Aunt before he left. Even more happy that he'll be home. **SIGH** Yup, the wheels of the military turn s-l-o-w-l-y.

Wrapping my arms around you and giving you a huge hug. It's not much, I know, but hope it helps.



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ROXYZMOM 1/25/2013 8:10AM

    What a beautiful picture and memory! I love how you were able to share some memories with you ex that day. It makes one realize how important family time is. I am happy that you have so many of your sister-n-law. I will keep your family in my prayers.

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KANOE10 1/25/2013 8:04AM

    I am so sorry to hear about your loss. She sounded like a wonderful person. You were wise to leave work. Take care of your self while you are helping others. Life is good and we should appreciate all of our precious moments.

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MIRAGE727 1/25/2013 7:52AM

    It's times like these, when all we can do is stay strong and focused. We also celebrate life for those who no longer can't. And we look for comfort spiritually. I try to draw strength from it all. You are in my prayers, Barb.
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DEBRITA01 1/25/2013 7:39AM

    So sorry for your loss. While you're taking care of others, please remember to take care of your needs, too. emoticon

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HEALTHY4ME 1/25/2013 7:31AM

    Sorry about your loss and hugs to all the family and especially your niece and her family. HUGS

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RUN4FOOD 1/25/2013 7:16AM

    Sorry to hear about your loss.
Keep taking that one step forward and you'll be okay.

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MSLZZY 1/25/2013 7:12AM

    My sympathy to you and the family. You are doing
everything you can to help your niece and I am sure
she appreciates your efforts.
Life always changes and we need to change with it.
Have a great day. HUGS!

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BLUENOSE63 1/25/2013 7:09AM

  Expected or not, death of a loved one is always a shock. Sorry for your loss and congrats for staying on track during this time of turmoil

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KATHIC2 1/25/2013 7:07AM

  So sorry about your loss. Grief is a very personal thing.

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MAGGIE101857 1/25/2013 6:59AM

    Barb, I'm saddened to hear our your family's loss; she sounds like she was a wonderful person; she left this earth knowing she was loved dearly. emoticon

On the Spark front, glad to hear that you back on track, and perhaps in your spare time, you could slap the tar out of me??? emoticon emoticon

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LEANJEAN6 1/25/2013 6:59AM

    Congrats Barb for getting back on track--Life is short----We are reminded daily of this--Nice picture! ------Families are so important eh?------as is healthy eating and exercise--and falling off the track sometimes!---The number of times you fall down is irrelevant. The number of times you have the courage to get back up is what matters!
Spark said that! emoticon Lynda

Comment edited on: 1/25/2013 6:59:32 AM

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JGRAY76 1/25/2013 6:57AM

    So sorry to hear of your loss but it sounds like you are doing OK. You are right, this is life.

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Humanity

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Human life is a jumble. Happy things. Sad things. Exciting things. Boring things. Pleasant emotions, and unpleasant ones.

Yesterday while joyously anticipating my son's return, I heard from his cousin, his dad's niece. Her mom is not doing well. This is the sister in law I've written about before, the one I run for, who has been robbed of so much of her life by ALS. She has contracted pneumonia. And they made the decision to stop feeding her by tube. She still gets water (kidneys are still working), and meds, of course.

But it is only a matter of time. I went over to spend a few moments, just standing there holding her hand, talking of little, encouraging her to rest. I did share that my son's out of harms way and on the way home. Her gaze would wander to the photograph of her own son, who passed away almost two years ago now.

Having read some of the near death literature, I wondered whether she could now see and commune with him... she seems quite at peace. She can still hear us, but now even her breathing is mechanically assisted. She can squeeze hands a little bit.

And what struck me yesterday is that despite all the disease has done to her body... she is still a beautiful woman. Love brings out beauty, you see. This photo is from a younger time, of course, but I can still see this woman.



At one a.m. or thereabouts I got the boots Stateside phone call. In about a week, I'll get my mom hugs. I'm praying also for hers, from a daughter before, from a son at her destination.

Life can be sad even while it is happy... but it is precious in all its moments. Take care of yourself today... so you will be there for your loved ones to share these moments.

Life is good. Spark on. emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

4DOGNIGHT 1/26/2013 12:44PM

    My MIL is in a nursing home nearing death. Everytime she has an "episode" we wonder if this is it but she always seems to rally. We have been talking with her about death and heaven and we hope she is at peace with it and is able to see what awaits her. Peace.

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KANOE10 1/25/2013 8:00AM

    emoticon I am glad she seems at peace and has her family around her.

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SPARKLISE 1/24/2013 1:11PM

    emoticon

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WATERMELLEN 1/23/2013 8:10PM

    What an extremely moving blog. It's so true that while one of us is experiencing the greatest joy, another the greatest trauma. That intense desire to will outcomes into existence . . . yeah. I recognize it, and it seldom works for me either.

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JANEMARIE77 1/23/2013 10:37AM

    emoticon beautiful sad and inspiring thought with you and your family

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MEXGAL1 1/23/2013 9:55AM

    many thoughts and prayers.

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LEANJEAN6 1/23/2013 7:40AM

    OMG BARB-such a beautiful girl!!! Life is short!!------I shall pray for her also!----Theresa (on TV)- has convinced me that relatives are around us--Hopefully it is true!----Nice to read about your feelings--Lynda emoticon

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BUGGYS 1/23/2013 6:52AM

    Having had a nephew pass from ALS at age 22, I know what a hideous disease it can be and am praying for your beautiful SIL and family. emoticon

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OVERWORKEDJANET 1/23/2013 5:28AM

    You've done what you can. She heard you, knows she is loved and will be loved.
That's all there can be.


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_LINDA 1/23/2013 1:48AM

    Just so very sad, but maybe relief she didn't have to suffer right to the end stage of that horrible disease -seeing her son on the other side, yes, a very peaceful way to go and be welcomed into the light..
So glad your son has made it home safely and that you can finally have peace.
Such a turmoil of emotions here. Only you could write about it in such an eloquent way.
Sending thoughts of peace and tranquility,
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SHARON10002 1/22/2013 10:25PM

    Barb, I'm sorry to heat about your SIL and ALS. It it an insidious disease. One of my therapeutic water exercise students had it. I watched him over a period of four years decline. But do you know, he was the most positive, and was there for every class unless he had a doctor's appointment. He was truly a gift to all of us. . .

So very glad to read that your son is closer to home!! I'm sharing your joy and anticipation, too. Homecomings, no matter who they are for, known or stranger, are emotional. Makes me choke up cause all those memories and feeling come flooding to the surface again . . . I'm sure you can't wait for those mom hugs, and he is going to be so surprised and proud when he lays eyes on you! Think of all you'll have to share from this past year!

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LJR4HEALTH 1/22/2013 7:54PM

    Sorry BArb to hear what the family is going through right now emoticon

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LINDAKAY228 1/22/2013 7:24PM

    I'm so sorry for what she and your family is going through. that's so tough. Glad she seems to be at peace.

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DEBRITA01 1/22/2013 7:13PM

    'Tis the ebb and flow of life. Prayers for your SIL and family for comfort and peace...her photo is beautiful. Prayers for you as you await the mom hugs and the sweet reunion. emoticon

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ANDI571 1/22/2013 5:57PM

    emoticon emoticon

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DLDMIL 1/22/2013 2:40PM

    Prayers for you, your sister in law and the entire family.

Hugs and joy for the boots on USA soil. I remember that call from my son.

emoticon emoticon

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DALID414 1/22/2013 1:26PM

    Wow, so many different emotions.

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ALOHAEV1 1/22/2013 11:49AM

    Tissue alert...smiles, hugs and love to you through the tears.

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MNTWINSGAL 1/22/2013 11:44AM

    Well said, Barb. Thoughts and prayers (both joyful and sad) are with you today.

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 1/22/2013 10:59AM

    Very touching.

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LESLIELENORE 1/22/2013 9:53AM

    emoticon

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KASEYCOFF 1/22/2013 9:27AM

    emoticon

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SLENDERELLA61 1/22/2013 9:01AM

    Can't wait for you to get your mom hugs!! He's safe and on his way home. Life is good.

So good of you to be there for your sister-in-law. Those visits can't be easy; they have to take a lot out of you. So tough. So emotional. Your perspective about life has to be sharpened by this experience. You write beautifully about it. Thanks you for sharing your wisdom.

Take care of yourself. I know you have to be so very, very excited about your son. Hang on. He's on his way! I'm even dreaming of your mom hugs!! -Marsha



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KALIGIRL 1/22/2013 8:48AM

    So glad he's 'home' and you were able to share precious moments with your SIL and assist her on her journey.
Namaste my friend.

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AMSPARKER 1/22/2013 8:32AM

    Barb, hugs and prayers for you and your beloved SIL. God bless. tears, both sad and also happy to enjoy MY life, for who truly knows what the future holds for any of us.

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HEALTHY4ME 1/22/2013 8:20AM

    So sad for you sister in law and family. I have cared for 2 diff patients with AlS and it is a rotten disease, but aren't they all in some way.

SO very very happy that your son has gotten this much closer to home!!! Glad it will be soon now. HUGS

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1CRAZYDOG 1/22/2013 8:10AM

    Tears flowing, Barb. ALS is such a mean disease. But from all you've written about your SIL, she has handled it all with grace and dignity and faith. I am glad you got time to spend with her and encouraged her to rest. Indeed, despite everything, the last thing to go is the hearing, so definitely, she can hear you. I am so sorry.

I am soooooooooo celebrating for you that your DS is stateside!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh Barb, that is absolutely wonderful. I truly sjare you joy and hope your Mom hugs can be given sooner rather than later! And I KNOW you aren't going to let go of him for a LLLLLOOOONNNNNG time!

HUGS my dear Barb. Prayers

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ROXYZMOM 1/22/2013 8:07AM

    I am glad she is not in pain, sad for your family to have to go through it. My mom volunteered for hospice for 5 years. She would sit with patients until they passed away in a hospice home. Several did not have family or waited until the family went to get coffee, bathroom, etc . to pass away. She was always amazed how they could hold on until their family left. She said it was such a spiritual, peaceful experience.

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GABY1948 1/22/2013 8:06AM

    I am SO sorry. But what a wonderful and heartfelt blog! Blessings to you all, Barb! emoticon

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DOGLADY13 1/22/2013 8:00AM

    I keep thinking of your sister in law. I will pray for her. ALS is a hideous disease. I hope she is well medicated so she can rest and not feel anxious.

You have given me a lot to think about today, Barb. FWIW, your blog has been my morning meditation.

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PATRICIAAK 1/22/2013 7:49AM

    Praying

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MSLZZY 1/22/2013 7:45AM

    Mixed emotions for sure. I will pray for you and the family. HUGS!

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KATHIC2 1/22/2013 7:35AM

  You write beautifully about crucial life issues and events. It is a comfort.

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DOGLADY13 1/22/2013 7:19AM

    I agree that love brings out beauty. Christians are taught that God is Love. Therefore, we, as creations of God's love can only be more beautiful as we are loved and as we love others. Your SIL is returning to the source of all love. She will become radiant even as her earthly body fails. It is a profound mystery.

Frankly, this is a bit much for spark, but I think you get the gist of what I am trying to say.

Meanwhile your son is returning home! Happy days!

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RUN4FOOD 1/22/2013 7:13AM

    Very emotional day.
Hope you have a good week of anticipation.

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BROOKLYN_BORN 1/22/2013 7:08AM

    A beautiful blog. It reminds me of a similar time at my mom's bedside exactly 2 years ago. Although Mom was in a comatose state at the end, my daughter heard her talking to her deceased sisters and calling them by name. So yes, I believe she can communicate with her son.

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The Rescuers

Monday, January 21, 2013

Wasn't that a movie title with mice in it? Go Disney!

Anyway, a threesome of rescuers showed up at my door yesterday afternoon. Becky (Kaligirl) and "the Pointer Sisters", Rose and Liz, two absolutely adorable German Shorthair Pointers. Liz was cool with my holding her leash while we tramped out in the January normal temperatures (no snow, thank goodness), for 4.34 miles, according to RunKeeper. We went down and beside the nearby lake, past the dog run (very exciting for the canine ladies).

It was just what the doctor ordered: activity and conversation, catching up with a friend on the good things that are happening in our lives... can't wait to hear the next chapter of hers, which involves some planning and preparing for years ahead. As for mine, just getting out there walking reminds me of what I most want out of all this: good health and being ABLE to keep on walking for many years to come.

I feel VERY fortunate to be surrounded (virtually) by Spark friends and family who truly do want to see me weather the storms of the phases and come out healthy and strong. They do not have unrealistic expectations of perfection in me... and if I remind myself NOT to, and remind myself over and over again if need be of what I REALLY want in life (to live healthy, as best I can), I shall get there.

Alongside all of YOU. emoticon emoticon emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CONCHA77 1/24/2013 11:58AM

    Spark On! emoticon

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JANEMARIE77 1/23/2013 10:34AM

    emoticon we are blessed

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KALIGIRL 1/22/2013 9:03AM

    Love the comments and can't wait to tell the girls they are rescuers - they curled up by the fire and might have stayed there all night if their hunger didn't kick in...
emoticon
It was SO good to see you. After all...

Life is GOOD!

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LEANJEAN6 1/22/2013 6:47AM

    so nice to hear pou love 4 legged friends Barb!--Thanls for getting to know dson#2 the Pilot too--Lynda emoticon

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OVERWORKEDJANET 1/22/2013 5:49AM

    Nothing like happy dogs to get people happy!

See Kaligirl and Barb walk.

See happy tails and tongues wag.

Go dogs, go!

Go girls, go!

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WATERMELLEN 1/21/2013 8:31PM

    Yes we do; and yes you will.

And: you provide the same caring support for so many of us in turn!

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LESLIELENORE 1/21/2013 8:29PM

    emoticon emoticon

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1CRAZYDOG 1/21/2013 8:10PM

    Awesome!!!

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RUN4FOOD 1/21/2013 7:33PM

    Walking and talking, what more an you ask for?

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KARIDIAN1 1/21/2013 7:27PM

    No walks for Maggie now- way too cold for her little bare greyhound butt.

We did a mall walk indoors tonight. Just too damn cold!

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DLDMIL 1/21/2013 7:08PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LJCANNON 1/21/2013 6:57PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Angels/Rescuers come in many Disguises. It takes a Wise Woman to recognize one (or 3) when they show up on the doorstep!

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ROXYZMOM 1/21/2013 6:37PM

    Sounds like such a nice day! Those doggies went really far!!

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DEBRA0818 1/21/2013 5:18PM

    Glad you got out a good friend and had canine love too (nothing like it) -- just a little bit of grace showing up in your life so that you can be loved into going on.

emoticon

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EBEAMS 1/21/2013 4:04PM

    I never had a doubt. We can stumble, we can even sit down on the job for a few minutes but deep down there is no containing that much awesomeness! You go, girl!

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DOGLADY13 1/21/2013 3:10PM

    It sounds like a terrific day. Friends with dogs are a treasure. Friends with dogs who help you out of the pit of sadness and doubt are double treasures.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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GABY1948 1/21/2013 2:11PM

    SO very glad you are back on the right road! We all have to go THROUGH these hard time to get PAST them, and each time we do it, it becomes PART of us and eventually our NORMAL way of doing it. Blessings to you Barb!

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DALID414 1/21/2013 1:58PM

    emoticon

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MSLZZY 1/21/2013 12:53PM

    Fresh air does wonders for the spirit and body. So glad you had helpful friends to walk with you and that you had a wonderful time. Do it again soon! HUGS!

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DEBRITA01 1/21/2013 12:48PM

    Being outside in the fresh air with friends (human & canine) can make a world of difference. What a blessing for you to be able to enjoy that... emoticon

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PATRICIAAK 1/21/2013 12:32PM

    super

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SLENDERELLA61 1/21/2013 12:27PM

    So glad these angels came to lead you where you truly wanted to go!! Wish I could be there, too. Take care. You are on the right path in so many ways. -Marsha

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MOBYCARP 1/21/2013 12:21PM

    I'm glad you found the face to face support you needed. Hope you can stay healthy and able to move for years to come, as I selfishly anticipate enjoying some of that quality healthy time with you!

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KASEYCOFF 1/21/2013 12:19PM

    emoticon

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HEALTHY4ME 1/21/2013 12:02PM

    So nice to get out and walk with someone and have a chat. I have one sparker that lives here that I have met and we get along great. 2 others live a bit better than an hr away. There are more but these are the ones I have met.
Glad you had a good time. HUGS

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