Walk This Way

So I am up today and at my desk and feeling a bit lightheaded from all of this activity. I’m sorry that I didn’t hold a meeting over the weekend. I was asked to do a breakout session as well which I normally would have been happy to do but to be honest, I’m just not up to par yet.

Tomorrow I go to the doctor for the first time since surgery. I think they will do x-rays and put on a softer cast and remove the stitches. I’m also going to try to stop in and see my mom on the way back from the visit to the doctor. No, I can’t walk yet. But I am getting used to life as it is. I have lost weight, which is surprising as I haven’t been doing much. Thing is, I haven’t been eating regularly either and for awhile, food didn’t taste right.

Not going to lie. I hit some lows this week. My favorite thing to do when I get depressed is to pull the covers over my head and pretend that I don’t exist. Shut out the rest of the world. Feel sorry for myself. Throw in a couple of thoughts such as….how long does it take to starve yourself to death? Then I realize that takes about three weeks and I’m already feeling light headed and pizza sounds good right about now so screw that. I keep all my dark thoughts under the blanket until I am ready to re-emerge.

Usually what will happen is a thought will come along like…..hey, you know what? I wonder what the kitchen would look like if I painted the cabinets? Or….I’d like to try to learn a new language or bake something fancy or travel somewhere. I’d like to write another book.

So I come up for air. But what causes this depression? I can’t walk? It’s frustrating but it’s not like I ever did marathons. Other people have it worse. There are so many things I could still do. Another thing that could be influencing my mood is that since surgery, I have not taken any of my regular meds. I’m off of all pain meds….not even Tylenol. Am just taking Eliquel and CQ-10. That’s it. My pain is mostly gone in my ankle except for momentary grimace-inducing shooting pain in my ankle and the side of my foot where I think maybe the screws and plates they installed are having a go at it and settling in.

I’m sleeping at all different weird hours. And am getting those nights where….you know how it is after your fever breaks and all of a sudden you have all of this energy because you’ve done nothing but lay there and sleep? Yup. Nights like that. Nights where I feel like sleep is never going to come again.

And so it was like 3pm one afternoon last week and I hadn’t slept in like 36 hours and I asked my friend who has been taking care of me to please go into my room and get something from a stash of rarely used anxiety meds to help me sleep.

Okay, so I take a pill. Not sure how old the pill is so not sure how well it will work. But I begin to doze. About ten minutes in, I hear the phone ring….I continue to snooze….until I hear the answering machine go off. It’s the Life Alert people, telling me that they have received multiple alerts from my mother’s house and are dispatching emergency vehicles to her residence.

Now I’m awake and sitting up, thinking all kinds of horrible things and that here I am, drugged up, exhausted, hobbled, wearing two day old clothes with no underwear (oh, you try to balance on one leg while you get your knickers down to your knees…..let alone having more layers after that to deal with….all the while trying to balance over the toilet so that when you slide down into a sitting position, you’re not half off or worse)……so my mom needs me and I’m in no shape to save her.

I call my brother. He lives next door to our mom. He also likes to take an emergency and hitch it up a notch.

So he’s screaming at my drug addled fuzzy brain from the other end of the line. “I just got home!” So what, you twit, go check on mom. He does. “Her car’s gone”, he reports. “Although they could have killed her and taken it”. Ha-ha. He checks the door. “Front door is wide open”, he says. “I just walked right in”. Great. Good to know security is tight. “Nothing here but the dog….dog’s in the kitchen, wagging his tail at me…..wait….I’ll check the basement. Maybe they tied her up and put her down there before they took her car.”

She’s not home. Car is not there. I’ve gotten her dog food and groceries and she is afraid of Covid-19, so where is she? I call her cell phone. No answer. Why? Because it is turned off and sitting on her kitchen table.

I have to mention here that I have gotten my mother about three cell phones, none of which she wanted to use. I got her Alexa. I got her the Alexa screen device and showed her how to call so she could see me. I have explained what Wi-fi is multiple times. I got her her own Wi-fi so she doesn’t need to get sketchy service from my brother. I set up her computer so all she has to do is turn it on and everything she needs is there. I got her the Life Alert system after my father passed away.

But none of this matters if she does not use the stuff. My mother was lost and she had no GPS tracker. She has an older car. Life Alert said that they traced alerts from within the house. But nobody was home.

I called my son. He started to call grocery stores in the area to see if they had had any recent emergencies.

Finally, after the firetrucks have left and all of us are pretty sure she is in a ditch somewhere…..and hoping she is wearing clean underwear….mom comes home. Seems she needed to go to the bank and get a script at CVS. Had no idea of anything going on. Says she may have hit her call bracelet on the way out of the house while reaching into the cabinet to get some Dove chocolate to take with her on the road. And she left the front door open because she went out that way so the dog would not know she was leaving and get upset.

Heaven forbid the dog get upset. I ended up falling asleep after talking to her.

When I was a kid, I used to love to watch Shirley Temple movies. Even back then, the old black and white movies seemed old fashioned. But I loved the stories and I loved how Shirley’s characters overcame tremendous odds and found happiness. If you are not familiar with Shirley Temple movies, her characters were usually orphans who were picked on by mean older children or the adults in charge. But she would always overcome with her dimples and her singing and tap dancing and her way of speaking directly and honestly to old curmudgeons whose long cold hearts would defrost in her presence.

So when I saw one of her movies was going to be on TCM, I recorded it and watched it one night last week.

There was Shirley. Blonde curls. Dimples. Little orphan girl. Parents both killed tragically. So far, everything was as I remembered. Then it happened. Something so cringe-worthy, it kind of ruined the movie for me.

It seemed this young, handsome millionaire inherited the orphanage. He came to visit to be sure everything was well. And he met Shirley. And he was smitten.

And he went home and he realized how empty his life was and how lonely he was. So he went back to the orphanage and asked to adopt Shirley. In the meantime, before the adoption went through, he was at home, fantasizing about an 8 year old girl. Every time he looked at one of the paintings on the wall, Shirley was in the picture, smiling and waving at him. He was a grown man fantasizing about an 8 year old girl.

Okay, all was innocent back then. Shirley and her older sister went to live with the young millionaire and of course, the older sister….who I assume was old enough…..got engaged. But not before Shirley decided to wake up Uncle millionaire one morning by climbing into bed with him and straddling his stomach and hopping up and down.

You know, there was a time in our life when we were innocent. And there was a time in movies when all of this with a millionaire adopting a young girl with no other motive than to give her a good life….and when roughhousing between a grown man and a young girl was no more than innocent play and to think otherwise meant you had a dirty mind.

And I’m sure as an 8 year old kid, I thought that someday some handsome childless millionaire might like to buy me a pony just because he liked my dimples.

But doesn’t it kind of blow your mind that in 1935 when this film was made, this was considered clean and normal and four years later, in 1939, censors almost blocked “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn” from “Gone With the Wind”?

This is less than 100 years ago. I know that seems like the dark ages, but 100 years is really nothing. But look how much society has changed. I doubt you could make the same movie again in quite the same innocent way as it was done in 1935.

I guess my point here is that the movie has not changed since I was a child, but my views have. My perception has. And I’m sure society has.

I did, of course, also watch some shows about 9/11, but I found that I could not take in too much of it. It seems we get bombarded by so much news and so very little of it is good news. And I think we begin to feel so powerless about all of it and in reality, that is just not true.

Yes, it can make us sad to read about horrible things and to see terrible images, and in our own lives, we can feel like there is so little we can control and it can sometimes make you want to climb under the blanket of non-existence…..when you begin to feel that way….overwhelmed and helpless…..that is when it is a good time to do things that you can control. Silly as it sounds. Paint the kitchen cabinets. Turn off the tv. Put on some music that you love. Do what you can control.

I think what I found difficult this past week….in addition to the images being shown on TV….was that my mom just celebrated her 94th birthday and I know she will not be here forever. And besides my friend who is feeding my dogs and getting me some ice for my soda, my mom is the only person who is asking me what I am eating and if I am in pain and what do I need? And I think about how I am not permanently disabled or really old at this time and….my God….what am I going to do without her when I am old and nobody else cares?

In all fairness, people ask and they care, but nobody else is your mom.

And then I got worried. Obsessed. To the point where I could not sleep. Because my two sons refuse to get vaccinated. And so, just like when my mother was lost for an hour the other day and I was sure she was in a ditch somewhere alone, I can’t stand the thoughts that come to me about my kids and if they get sick and I can’t be there for them.

And somewhere in Colorado, a little baby who I will never know was just born. Because his parents have cut us out of their lives. Why? I have no idea. This past week, I have gone back over my life and questioned…..what if I had zigged instead of zagged? Would that have changed the outcome? And does that really matter now?

Not really. And so I began to turn to what may be considered prayer. Meditation. Not taking life so personally because we are all on our own journey. Turning to my own spirit guides….or what may be called guardian angels….for answers and a sense of peace. For a bit of insight, creativity, an ability to let go, to grow, to not fear what may come. To be able to do what I can to help others on their path and to be able to understand that it is not up to me to put someone else’s path before them.

Be good all. It feels good to be up and at my computer. It feels good to get these words out of my head. Does anyone else ever feel that way? That you have to get the words out? Again, I am sorry that I was not around for the meetings this past weekend. Once I am a little bit more regular with my hours and I’m sure I can sit for two hours and do a meeting, I will send out the notifications.

Please take the survey this week. This site may look a bit different as I just renewed for another year.

2 thoughts on “Walk This Way

  1. I DO like to get my words out. But mine go onto paper, in a notebook. I’m never sure what will come out and I don’t want just anyone seeing just anything.

    I liked reading about Shirley and I liked your observations and thoughts.

    I woke yesterday to the thought of my mortality. I remember being a teen and realizing that there were tiers of people between me and death. Two generations. Well, they have launched and I am next. I am in the next wave to cease and desist…at least with life as I know it. It hurt. And I also know I’ve often wished to just be gone and done from here…it is too unfair, too unjust, too hard. Can I go now?

    It’s hard being human.

    Like that song “should I stay or should I go now?” Remember that? One of my theme songs.

    Im glad you’re healing up. sorry it has been so hard. And I believe you! I do believe it is hard. Most likely in ways that only the person doing the thing can know.

    Missed you at the SNAP Conference this past weekend. I heard some uplifting things. And Truth. And some Progress towards maybe more Justice in our world. Maybe. And I experienced “family” of sorts.

    Hope you heal very nicely and completely and that maybe you’ll forget in a bit of time. Maybe?


  2. It’s good to get words out. Mine tend to build up inside of my head. Oh, yes, the tiers of mortality. How fast life has gone by. I want you to never forget how valuable you are. You doubt yourself. Don’t believe those doubts. I am so honored to know you and I do feel you are family. Do something good for yourself.


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