Archive | February, 2012

Swinging Low

17 Feb

I have lost one of my blog readers.  She was a faithful friend to each of us Bents.  Fern, though we always called her “Fernie”.  A vibrant woman, she was a continual example of charity, fortitude, love, generosity, laughter, and so much more.  She was one of my cheerleaders in life.  She was also Cole’s, Brian’s, and Esther’s cheerleader.  She gave us a sense of family, right here on our block.  I would, occasionally, take my afternoon cup of joe and walk to Fernies house to sit in her beautifully kept living room or sunshiny, avian friendly backyard.  And just like that, a few days before we head to Sacramento for my grandmother Ella’s funeral, Fernie herself traipsed to Heaven.

I know in my head that living until you die is a true gift.  I have seen life taken from the body one function at a time until the angel of light finally emerges.  My grandmother, like Fern, was an avid quilter.  Having the ability to use her fingers and hands removed from her was a great hardship she bore.  Fern didn’t have time to bear those type of physical inconveniences.  Her time to be with our heavenly father came very quickly.  And though I understand she is the lucky one, I am so broken up about her being gone.  Brian is broken up, Cole is broken up, and Esther is as well.  And today our rental van awaits our departure to Sacto…

Swinging low feels bad.  I began this 2012 so hopeful that the emotional burdens of 2011 would fall off my shoulders and I would find a new spring in my step.  Instead, I have unleashed an ability to curse that is new to me (yes Stacey, your debt is now paid in full).  Instead of smiling at offending drivers and blowing them kisses, I’m daydreaming of bashing in their windshields with a sledgehammer, or having my neighbor Mark (the laser engineer), devise a watch-like device that shoots tranquilizing darts at people who display inconsiderate arrogance.  Not to mention I actually let Betty Cranker out of her cage this week…and though Brian has only heard me use the “F-word” once or twice in our 24 something years together, in one hour–a couple of days ago–he could have sworn in court the word was a common place adjective.  In essence, swinging low is not so great.

And as I think of why I am so emotionally depleted, I think of the women I mourn and the losses they have suffered and the joy they continued to emanate.  Their very manner reminds me I don’t want to turn into the crotchety woman who, like the old man yesterday with scrunched face–big black eyebrows smuushed almost on top of his lips– yelled at me from his open car window, “IDIOT”, because I didn’t move fast enough out of his way in my newly acquired minivan rental, sees life through a negative lens and terrorizes those around her.  No, I want to “lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help” (Psalm 121:1).  I want to smile in hardship and I don’t want to take on the mouth of a sailor.  I once was going to write a saying on the wall above our kitchen table.  I wanted it to subliminally ingrain itself into Cole’s adolescent mind.  I never did get the verbiage on the wall, but I have memorized it; and apparently I am the one who needed it engrained in my mind (for you word aficionados, engrained and ingrained are both correct spellings):

“Be careful what you think, for your thoughts become your words. (True, I used to only think cuss words…now they’re audible).  Your words become your actions.  Your actions become your character…and character is everything.”  Thankfully, I don’t carry a sledgehammer in my car!

I know it is a part of life to mourn.  All I ask, dear Lord, is to please give us a break for a while.  Let us mourn but please let joy fill our hearts and may your peace be in us.

Chronic Plague

14 Feb

Did you know that another word for chronic is ‘inveterate’?  Yet just as twins share many of the same distinguishing marks, they invariably are two separate individuals.  And while you might entice me to conjecture that the three words, ‘chronic, inveterate, and invariable’ are synonymous to each other, I will hold firm in my opposed view.  True, each word pays reference to a continuum, however, inveterate leans more heavily in the negative connotation of its definition than that of chronic, and invariably shows itself more like a cousin to the other two adjectives and less like the triplet I suggested it to be.

Why even allow myself this inconsequential diatribe?  Because, words are important.  And choosing them wisely is a tricky practice.  Right now I am hung up on ‘chronic’.  Let me explain…

I have not written a new post since last Monday.  It was titled, “Telegrafico, Western Union”, and it was very short.  Yes I put up a link to a song on Wednesday but I couldn’t write.  I was plagued.  I have been suffering with a horrendous headache since January.  Now granted I am given a day or two or maybe even three of a reprieve, but I can tell it is the same headache holding its place in my physique because even on the days of rest, its presence winks at me.  My worst day of suffering was on January 27th, the day before hosting an open house birthday party for my son, Cole.  Thankfully I have amazing friends who pinch-hit for me and who stepped in to take on the pre-party chores, being I was rendered useless and connected to my icepack.  And unfortunately for me, the acupuncture treatment I received on that Friday the 27th offered me not one ounce of relief from the migraine.  Hither there to (sounds better than “needless to say”, though completely lacks sense), I have been on sporadic computer function for quite some time.

So last Thursday evening I played out the, all too familiar, scenario…me prone on the living room couch, an icepack wrapped around my eyes and forehead, the lights out, and all noise makers off–with the exception of one.  A knock at the front door.  A knock that aroused the instinctual sirens of alert which presently live in my home…the dogs lying on the floor next to me.  It was our dear friend from England.  He was in town for the weekend and had hoped to see Cole and offer him his good wishes in person.  Now isn’t that a good dose of irony…he from out of the country, now in the country to see Cole only to find Cole out of the country…too situationally funny for words, though I try!  Even funnier is that Cole happened to call right before the spontaneous arrival of our guest, so I was on the line with Cole when he came through our door.  And the mere fact that Cole was finding respite outside our USA walls was encouraging news to our concerned Brit.

At any rate, I had no idea he was coming by, but as is customary with our ‘open door policy’, he knew he would be welcome.  What he didn’t know is that he would be welcomed to me lying down in the dark with two very suspicious dogs at his ankles (well one really as the Piper dog wouldn’t get that close).  Thankfully (for the both of us) Brian came home shortly after, allowing my return to the migraine regimen.  However, upon his departure to the land of “Brian Bent” (aka the garage), he offered his condolences to me as he felt very sorry I had to suffer a “chronic condition”.  There it is, the word…chronic.  Up until he said that particular word, I merely dealt with the many headaches as a plague.  You know, something that hits and then subsides.  But chronic I hadn’t considered and the reality of that word being applied to my situation really stinks.  Which is why I carry on and write nonsensical verbiage about word synonyms.  I mean who wants to carry the label of “chronic illness”?  Certainly not me, though sadly it is appearing to be more of the truth.

Alas, I have had to pull out of the acupuncture adventure due to an insurance loss, though I honestly feel I have pulled out too soon to render an opinion of its effectiveness (for my case).  I remain sold on the effectiveness for my son, it has been miraculous in his recovery.  And I had hoped, a little too much, that it would as quickly resolve my own inveterate condition.

Chronic, inveterate, invariable.  Choose whichever one you want, for they are all riding my tail.  It’s the eleventh plague.  Perhaps I look Egyptian!

P.s. An addendum will come to this subject regarding methods of solving the migraine issue, for I have applied many.  I don’t write them just yet as I am hoping to hear back from you, the reader, in the case a new possibility remains available.  …a heart full of hope and a head full of pain, that’s me! 🙂

Hard Times Come Again No More

8 Feb
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