First and foremost, massive hugs and love to all of you for your many emails, flowers and other goodies you sent to the hospital to cheer me up and the tons of prayers that most certainly kept me alive these last 4 1/2 months.
Also, thanks to the good Lord above for blessing me with a second set of doctors and surgeons who, quite literally, saved my life. I will forever be thankful to God and to them for their gifts of skill and determination to keep me alive.
While the last 47 years have been full of joy and laughter, love and lust, peace and grace, they’ve also been quite full of pain–both of body and mind. I sometimes startle when I think of it. And I think that’s the greatest blessing of all…that the bad hasn’t overcome the good and made my life one of sadness and fear. That I still am a bit shocked when I think of all the trials I’ve been through shows me that it’s not those trials that define who I am, but it’s those trials from which I’ve learned to be who I am.
Since January and the medical issues I went through and am still going through, I’ve endured more physical pain than I ever thought possible. And the emotional toll has been devastating. The fear. No. The terror of everyday life over the last 140 days has been stunning in its endurance. But, even with all that, and what continues to happen as a result of that, I know I’m blessed. And here’s why:
- My husband not only tells me he loves me multiple times each day, but he shows me. What’s he’s had to endure watching me go through this mess would have broken a weaker man. Instead, he tells me it’s his privilege and honor to take care of me. I didn’t know love that like existed. A person’s true character shines brightest not in the light, but in the dark. He lit up my entire world and continues to do so.
- My sister flew out and took care of me for almost 3 weeks. She made damn sure the doctors, nurses and everyone else that had to do with my care did everything that was required to keep me alive. Her dedication to my health, both physical and mental, was beautiful and more than I ever could have asked for. She was, and continues to be, such an amazing support and shoulder. I don’t know what I’d have done without her.
- My mom, God bless her, who is 78 and seen more pain in her life than 10 other people combined, managed to survive all of what has and is happening and not snap or give in to despair. She even makes me a batch of homemade spaghetti sauce every week to cheer me up and make meals easy for me as I’m getting back on my feet.
- My 2nd set of doctors and nurses did their damnedest to keep my ass alive. My nurses showed me so much love it overwhelmed my heart. I had one doctor in particular who made me feel safe every time he walked through the door. When you are living in non-stop terror and pain, that reprieve is more valuable than anything on earth.
- My home nursing staff breathed love all over me with every visit. I’ll never be able to thank my sweet nurse who managed my care enough. I think of her so often and how her tenderness, love, support and understanding helped me through one of the truly darkest times of my life. I’d never before been so sad and so frozen in fear, but she held my hand and told me I was going to make it through. On her last visit, we both got emotional for we’d forged a bond through pain and understanding that doesn’t go away overnight.
- My friends rallied like never before to pray for me, support me and send me love on a continual basis. My sister kept everyone informed over Facebook as to what was going on and the outpouring of tenderness still warms my heart. I still cannot believe the cards, flowers, blankets, teddies and other wonderful tokens of love that my friends sent me to cheer me up. And I still feel bad that somehow all the wonderful notes that came with the heart-felt gifts have vanished. I would love to have been able to reach out to every kind person that sent me a card or gift and thank them profusely–alas, I was very drugged and while I was overwhelmed with thankfulness when my husband read me the cards when delivered, for the life of me I can’t recall about 80% of who sent what–but a HUGE thanks to those of you who sent me reminders that I wasn’t going through this alone. And a HUGE thanks to all of you who reached out virtually to let me know you were praying for me. Those prayers made all the difference.
- My ability to forgive hasn’t weakened. For that I’m eternally thankful. Sometimes, the rage and the heartache and the sense of betrayal can be so overwhelming it feels like I’m sinking into a hole from which there is no escape. But before I get to the bottom of it, I remember to forgive. And that pulls me up out of it. Though sometimes that dark hole tugs back, I won’t let it gain purchase for that is place I never want to live.
- I’m still alive. Dammit! I’m forever thankful for that. I still get the privilege of loving my husband, my family and my friends. I still get to do my best to bring joy (often through sarcasm!!) to those around me. I still get the pleasure of petting my kitties and taking care of the chickens, hamster and hedgehog. I still get to go to Starbucks and chat with all the wonderful friends I have there (I drink way too many frapps!). I still get to giggle with my hubby about silly things and make my teddy bears have conversations of a most inappropriate sort. I still get to love all the things I loved before…that is truly a blessing. And, most importantly, I didn’t die and leave my family bereaved. The thought of hurting them even more than the last 4 1/2 months already have just tears out my heart. So, I’m forever thankful that they didn’t have to plan a funeral, decide what to do with my stuff, have holidays without me and mourn my loss. The feeling of pain for those I love is always more important to me than my own pain, and I’m blessed to have kept them from that particular kind of anguish.
For those people who’ve been around me, most of you likely think that all is good as I’m still cheerful, quick to giggle and have done everything in my power to stay strong and be thankful for the good things that remain. All of that is true. It’s not a façade. At the same time though, way down deep where fear is a living and breathing thing, I’m truly terrified of the upcoming tests I still have to face and what the results of those may be. I’m very lucky to have a brain that compartmentalizes very well…it lets me get on with life while wrapping up all the pain and fear into a little box that I only let see the light on rare occasions. If you are so inclined, I’d be ever so grateful for continued prayers and healthy vibes. I still have some icky things coming up that scare the ever-loving fuck out of me, so your positive thoughts are so very appreciated. 🙂
I know this hasn’t been my typical post, and I know it’s been a long time since most of you have heard from me at all, but I’ve tried to spend these last months focusing on getting better, reducing my constant fear, learning to live with unexpected consequences, and being thankful that I’m even here to write this.
After 47 years of life I know that the most important things have nothing to do with money, possessions, looks, position, power or any of that other superficial bullshit. What I do know is that allowing people to love you and loving them back with your whole heart is the greatest gift in the world. For that knowledge, I’m forever thankful and blessed.
May you all have a wonderful life and know that I’m always praying for you to be happy, healthy and safe.
As always, I am truly amazed and thankful to have such a blessed life.
That I’ve reached 46 (WHAT THE FUCK??? HOW AM I NOT STILL 22???) and am, for the most part, healthy, and for the full part, happy, is simply incredible and I don’t take a moment of it for granted.
When I think back on my life, where I’ve been, am, and will be, it feels like every single thing has led me to this wonderful place where I smile every day.
It hasn’t been easy over the years. It’s been pretty damn hard a lot of the time. But my 40s have taught me so much about what is truly important in life that I’m forever grateful for every wrinkle, scar and extra pound on my ass because each of them brought me to where I am.
Yeah, yeah, I know. I sound like a fuckin’ Hallmark card…but I’m allowed. 😉 It’s my birthday, dangit (well, this is getting posted a day late, so I have all the extra wisdom that one extra day has brought me).
So, in the tradition of my other birthday posts, I’m going to list things that I’ve learned this year and things for which I’m thankful.
Things I’ve Learned:
- Being patient, even when pushed to the brink of homicide, is a gift that should be used often.
- Some people just don’t listen and/or have any sense of recall. While it drives me absolutely bonkers when I’ve said something 4600 times and then hear “No, you never mentioned that before,” people are who they are and no amount of trying to make them remember shit will help. So, I’ve learned to just live with it or write stuff down for them so there can be no confusion.
- This is not a new piece of learning, but I was sorely tested to keep this in mind over the past year: Some people that you are forced to deal with are just total fuckheads and there’s nothing you can do about it. I got so mad the other week I threw my phone across the room and sat there fuming for 5 minutes while the conversation carried on without me. It was either be off the phone for a few or say things I wouldn’t regret, but would get me in trouble anyway. So, I guess I did learn that a good phone throw can, at least, be temporarily satisfying.
- Not listening to the advice of people who dislike you for their own stupid reasons is the very best thing you can do. Like my mom always said, “Consider the source.” If someone’s an asshat or a bitch and they tell you how YOU need to change so that they can be happier, tell them to go eat a bag dicks.
- Never, ever, ever, ever, and I do mean NEVER talk politics with anyone you aren’t willing to fight with. It’s so stupid, as everyone is welcome to their opinion, but people go bat shit crazy with politics and it just isn’t worth it (in my book at least). You go on with your bad self if you like to talk politics, but count my ass OUT. 😉
- Swimming with otters is the best damn pastime on earth and there is no doubt that one day I need to move further north to a state with green everywhere and bunnies, squirrels and deer roaming freely in my backyard.
- There are few better things you can do to create a happy life than be kind to others.
- I love my sister more and more every year. She and I may have had a few tiffs over the last 5 decades, but I don’t know what I would do without her.
Things For Which I’m Thankful:
- I am so deeply thankful for the way my mom raised me. I know I’m a mouthy broad, but she raised me to be kind, and not judge people, and always think of what someone may be going through and how that might affect them and their actions before responding in any given way to their behavior. She raised me to be polite, but say what I think in a tactful way (most of the time!). She raised me to have deep faith in God, and I’m so happy for that, as it brings me peace every day of my life…every moment.
- I’m thankful that I’m still around to write this post. As many of you know, I’ve been dead, like actually dead dead, more than once. And to be here, happy, mostly healthy, and in such a wonderful place in my life, thrills me to my toes.
- I’m thankful for the family I was born into and wouldn’t trade them for the world.
- I’m thankful for the wonderful friends I’ve made over the years and feel truly blessed that so many of them are still in my life.
- I’m thankful that I have a great job where I get to use my brain (sometimes too much!) to help make little kids have a better education. That helps me sleep better at night knowing that I’m giving a little back to a world that has given me so much.
- I’m thankful that I have a “If they don’t like me, they can bite me” attitude. 🙂 It took me a lot of years to get there, but there is nothing better than removing that stress from my life. Total bliss.
- I’m thankful I had otter paws in my mouth!!!! 🙂
- While my hubby has always been the most kind, generous, loving and thoughtful man, over the last year he’s made it even more clear that he really, truly loves me as I am and wants nothing more than for me to be happy. If that doesn’t make a girl thankful every minute of every day, I don’t know what does.
- And last but not least (as this list could go on for 300 items, so I’m trying to keep it short), I’m thankful for my new HEDGEHOG!!!! The hubby got this precious little guy for me for my birthday and I’M IN LOVE!!!!!!
(These pics are screenshots from a video, so they are for shit quality-wise, but he’s too cute not to share!)
Isn’t he precious??!!! I’m in love!!
Well, in closing, thanks for putting up with me for another year. You guys rule and I hope that each of you has a life and a birthday that brings you nothing but joy.
So, I just wanted to reach out to everyone and wish you a most wonderful Holiday Season.
Whether you are a Christmas maniac like me or celebrate something else that brings you joy, I hope your lives are filled with wonder and happiness, good food and great family.
You guys know I prepare for Christmas all year long. I think I started buying Christmas presents the day after last Christmas. I know, I’m nutso cuckoo, but I have a tremendous amount of fun buying presents. I do hate wrapping them though. Next year I’m hoping to hire someone to come wrap them. (I’m only half kidding!) 😉
But more than Santa and presents, cheesy taters, ham and Mom’s macaroni salad (drool!). More than taking TWO ENTIRE FUCKING WEEKS OFF WORK WOO HOO YAY HALLELUJAH! I also wanted to share with you what Christmas really means to me.
I know that I’m a sass-mouth. I know I curse a lot (see above paragraph!). I know I can be raunchy. I know that I wouldn’t know a filter if someone stuck one on my mouth and held a gun to my head.
I also know that I almost never go to a four-walled church and haven’t since I was 18.
I know that of the two men I’ve married in my life, neither one of them were Christian. More Buddhist/Wiccan/Pagan than anything, the both of them.
I know I rarely, if at all, talk about religion here on my blog–there are plenty of other blogs dedicated to that–I typically keep mine light, smart-assy, or ranty.
But during Christmastime, when the celebrations are at an all-time high and the world is swirling with garland and eggnog, I just wanted to take a minute to share with you the two sentences that, to me, have brought me the most wonderful peace in my life.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
For God so loved the world he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.
Though this may surprise you, I have a deep faith in God and Jesus. To me, church is EVERYwhere, not just the building down the street with the steeple.
I thank God all the time for the wonders of my life. I know I’m blessed. And while of the last 45 years, a great many of them held infinite-seeming pain, both physical and emotional, I’ve always considered myself very blessed to have the Grace of God in my heart.
I don’t know what I would have done all these years without the faith I carry inside me each and every moment of my life.
I wish for all of you this Christmas a life filled with blessings and love and joy and strength.
And, while I think I may have posted this little video last year, I’m posting it again because every time I watch it, it makes me happy.
Oh! I mean part trois! As in 3, since this is my 3rd birthday post. 😉
How on God’s green earth can it be my birthday again?
Wasn’t it just yesterday that I turned 24? Lie to me. Tell me it was yesterday! 🙂
Kidding. I actually don’t mind growing older so much.
Yeah, my back hurts more often, but the upshot is that my boobs are longer. OH! I mean bigger. Yeah, that’s what I meant. Bigger and juicier and more bodacious! Uh huh, let’s stick with that.. 😉
And sometimes I think I want a job that is stress-free. You know, like getting paid to pet kitty cats…or something just as delicious and peaceful.
But beyond all of that, growing older has its perks.
Perk 1: Being surrounded only by people that I truly love (cause fuck all those drama-causing mo fos!).
Perk 2: Being happy with who I am.
Perk 3: Having adventures like getting SCUBA certified (and actually being able to afford it finally!).
Perk a: Realizing that having a car that you don’t fret about parking (because you know every dumb asshat on earth is going to ding it with their door) is the best thing ever. Don’t get me wrong, I want a Dodge Challenger so bad that I could explode, but I’m content with my Flintstone claptrap car.
Perk d: Realizing that having just a few close friends is so much more valuable than trying to spread myself thin and then not giving enough to anyone.
Perk 5d: Understanding that people who are shitbags live shitty lives and lay in the bed of their making nightly. One fuckhat I can think of in particular is about a decade older than me so I take comfort in the fact that he’ll probably die before I do (or at least go bald before me). 😉 This is how I picture him when he’s in Nasty Fucker mode and it helps me from grabbing the closest hatchet and laying him to waste:
Perk 9: Learning that while I’m a grammar nazi, sometimes I gotta just stp teh fuk bck and spall shit rong nd bee okey wif it. (Yes, that includes having a crazy numbering system for these very perks and just running with it. I kept reordering them and the renumbering just got stupid annoying…so it is what it is.) 🙂
All in all, it’s been a great year.
I have a wonderful hubby, a loving family, friends I adore, kitties that love me, a crazy hamster that entertains me to no end, adorable chicken butt chickens that give me eggs, a house that’s getting close to being done with remodeling, a job I mostly enjoy and only 4 gray hairs–including the one I just plucked out of my eyebrow.
I’m thankful every day for the wonderful life I have. And a big thanks to all of you who put up with my dirty potty mouth and smart ass ways. Bless you for coming back for more punishment.
Happy birthday to all the Geminis out there! Keep torturing those you love with your multiple personalities (as I do daily!).