Thursday, July 28, 2011

Life Goes On, And On, And On....

So here we are, a week from the auction of our home, and what are we doing?  Planning a wedding, looking forward to the (two years in the waiting) delivery of a wheelchair, setting up a "gym" in the sunroom for walking, meeting folks to buy their stuff for the shop and ignoring what lies ahead.  I don't know if it's faith, or hope, or mystery, or belief in the system or simple exhaustion, but we just keep on keeping on and don't really look at the dark side.  We've hired a lawyer, he says he's filed a suit to stop the auction, but, we don't know what lies ahead. 

But today I went to a woman's home who, two years ago, was a blithering mess of pain and nerves and anger.  Today she was confident, beautiful and looking forward to a beautiful new future.  Life goes on and on, and on.  

When Jed and I first started our lives together we spoke of mountain tops and deserts and valleys (all symbolic of life experiences.)  We agreed that we wanted life on a roller coaster not a merry-go-round.  Safe as it is, a merry-go-round is just boring.  So we lived life on the edge.  And we had fun.  Lots and lots of fun.  We took the quick turns and the slow climbs as part of the exciting ride.  When Jed fell, we were at the top of the ride.  We had climbed and climbed and climbed, almost to a stop, but we were there, right at the top, where the ride was to be glorious, and then he fell.  The ride has been trecherous.  Sometimes I think of the merry-go-round with envy.  Safe seems rather nice now, given our pending future.  But, we're not merry-go-round people, so we will prepare ourselves for whatever ride is ahead and in the meantime get on with life. 

My daughter is getting married next month.  My heart is full for them.  She has chosen well.  They will have to decide how they will live their lives, merry-go-round or roller coaster....who's to say? My prayer for them is that whatever the choose, the choose together.  Life will go on and on and on. 

Monday, July 18, 2011

Let Go, Let God

Don't you just hate this title?   Well, I do, but I do...that is, "Let go, let God."  I just have to,  because I've tried to control it, life, without the, " let go,"  theory, but I just get mixed up and messy.  So, here's today. 

I sang at church today.  I can sing and enjoy the experience, so...anyway, Jed decided he didn't want to go.  That was fine and I took off to church to sing. 

Something happens when I go to church.  It's not the cross, or the robes, or the litergy.  It's the people.  I sat there, with a bit of an attitude, (like," life is worse for me, you guys"), but I watched the people.  Gradually they came.

These are people I've known for 23 years.  People I've sang with and laughed with and played with.  But the common element is that I've worshiped with them. 

What I was awed by today it that they were there.  They continue to be there.   Sunday morning.  They are there. 

I looked around and with the exception of maybe one, everyone is in grief.  Everyone has a spouse in ill health, or one that has died, or a pain unrepairable through divorce or children who just didn't cut the mustard. (I've never liked that phrase.)  Then there's the ones who are barely getting by with their health. 

But, they all are dressed up.  They all are there at 9:00 in the morning.  And, they all act like they aren't having any problems.  Shit.  We ask for joys and concerns and everybody is simple.  (A friend has cancer, a mother fell, golly gee, somebody has a birthday, etc.)  Nobody is screaming out, "this is awful, help me!"  We pray a simple prayer and we all go home. 

But, somewhere in the awkwardness of humanity, we become human.   I look at everybody.  They all have amazing trials and they pray for help and guidance.  It's the place where it's okay to silently say, "I can't do this without something bigger than me, and I choose to call it God, and I choose to be here with these people who I feel safe sharing a small part of my life."  That's what makes church good. 

So, skeptic that I am, I say, there are just some times when you have to say, "let go, let God."  The people that I see in chuch know that, and now, so do I.  Sometimes it's just too tough to do it alone, and that is when you just take a deep breath, go into another space and place, and allow the Power that we all know is there to take over.  

I guess I  have to do that tonight, because a possum just walked into our house and I have no idea where it is, so........................

Saturday, July 16, 2011


Finances are tough for us all.  I'm an educated person, but It seems you need a doctorate in finance and work full time on making everything work.  Jed and I have been responsible people our whole lives.  We have extended ourselves financially over and over again for others.  We have been blessed with the opportunity to do just that.  We had good jobs and came from supportive families. 

Now everything is different.  Since the accident the bottom fell out.  We've lost almost everything we had and are looking at loosing more. 

Books and books could be written about these past 27 months, but today I'm going to focus on our home. 

We were fat.  We were risky.  Some would say we were foolish.  What ever we were, we believed in our ability to make right the risks we made.  And then he fell.  We were deep into credit card debt and mortgaged our home to finance a remarkable venture which is now gone along with our credit. 

After the fall and once I got a handle on our new life, I sent hardship letters to all our creditors.  Everyone has worked with us and we are completely out of debt.  Except for the house. 

So here's how it has gone, for 27 months.  After the hardship letter, the mortgage company advised me to not pay for 6 months, and then they could give me a modification.  So I did what they said.  Then they asked me to fax them what ended up about 4 inches of paperwork.  Which I did.  Then I did it again.  Then again.  All because they said they needed to "get it to the right people in their company to help."  Then they told me to pay the mortage for 6 months so they could see good faith.  So I did.  Then they told me they couldn't help me because I didn't make enough money.  And, the mortgage company and I have played this game now for 27 months.  They come back and say they'll try this program or that program and I might qualify if I just fax another pile of paperwork and pay another chunk of money.   Finally we hired a lawyer and gave him $4000 that I would much rather have paid to the mortgage company.  The lawyer gave us some assurance until last week when we got a new notice of doom on its way.  The lawyer says, "relax" we've got time.  Relax. 

In the meantime, I've put out a bunch on money adapting the house so that Jed can take a shower and get in and out of the house in his wheelchair. 

Something is really wrong here.  I'm not expecting miracles, but it's just really hard to, "relax"  when I've had good faith this entire time.  Shit, if I thought they wouldn't help by modifying the loan we would have walked away from this place months ago and put all the money that I've put into adapting the house into a rental that I could afford. 

Does anybody know what I should do?  If you say pray, I'm doing it.  If you say work harder, I'm doing it.  If you say, believe in the system, it's fading.  Let go, let God is about all I can come up with.  

Friday, July 15, 2011

Help Me!

Sometimes we have good days.  Sometimes we don't.  It's the nights that get dark.  Jed gets his pills.  Pills to sleep, pills to manage pain, pills to manage spasms, pills, pills, pills.  They mess with him.  They're supposed to.  They do what they're supposed to, but they do more.  They send him to another world.  Sometimes it's good.  Sometimes it's not. 

Most nights I hear, "help me."  "please, help me."  Shit.  What am I to do.  He is asleep, sort of.  Asleep enough to snore.  But he is miserable.  He wants help.  I massage his head.  Give him cold clothes, turn him over.  Nothing really helps, because the help he wants I can't give.  So, I spend lots of nights just listening and writing. 

Tonight is especially bad.  He can't breathe, he can't move, he can't hear, he can't, he can't, he can't.  But he continues to ask for help. 

When you take the vows, "for better or worse" you don't spend much time thinking about what that really means.  This is worse.  We've had lots and lots of betters, but this is worse.  Our betters have been so good that the bank is full and able to pay out on this. 

My daughter is about to get married.  I am so happy for her and know she has chosen well.  She will stand there in her elegance and agree to, "for better or worse" because she is blinded by love.  Good thing love does that to you.  Worse is pretty unpleasant.  Too bad it's not, "for better or as long as I want to," or "for better or until it gets hard."  But, the truth is, as hard as this is and as much as I would like to complain, I have the easy part.  I get to stand up and walk out if its too tough.  I get to get in the car and go for a drive, I get to go out to the back yard and breathe the evening air.  I don't have it so bad. 

When Jed calls out, "help me, please help me," I die just a little because I can't.  I've tried, believe me, I've tried.  But I just can't. 

We have an amazing friend from church who has seen a side of life that most of us never will and all of us hope we won't.  He is almost 90 and was a prisonor of war.  Now he brings us grapefruits that he picked from his own tree and thanks me for taking care of Jed.  After all he has been through, he has simplified life to, "Jesus loves me."  He asked me to sing just that for his funeral which I have agreed to on the condition that he will sing at mine.   If I can take one thing from his elegant life, it is that when we ask for help, it may or may not come, but the ultimate knowledge of the love of God is ever present. 
So, tonight, I will sleep.  "For better or worse?"  This just might be the better, because life's stuff gets a little bit more clear when it's dark.