Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Christmas Scale

    As I am saddened by the death of a very dear uncle, whose wit and wisdom will be missed dearly, I am thankful for any, "good news" I hear!  Of course, my uncle is no longer suffering after a very courageous, and brave four year battle with cancer.  He was a believer who knew his sins were covered by the blood of Christ so, there is the assurance his soul is now in heaven!  This too is good news, but there will still forever be a hole in all our earthly lives as we will miss his amazing sense of humor!  Even through the struggle, he made us laugh and smile every time he was with us! He was also the same man who took in two preteen/teen girls for a week every summer and spoiled them rotten! Those girls are my sister and me! Those moments with my aunt and uncle are locked forever in my broken, blood seared brain! Thank you Lord for my uncle and his wife, my amazing aunt, whose laugh always added to the humor of my uncle's wit!  Thank you Lord for joy among deep sorrow. Thank you that in the basic "scales of life" there are strategic pauses. They are not mistakes but they make it beautiful and meaningful even when it is hard to appreciate them and difficult to wait. I don't know about you but I am a rather impatient creature. I hate waiting. There I said it, waiting for a call, waiting for results, waiting for food to cook/bake, waiting for a red light. I am so fixed on the steps to the process  following the wait, that it makes me anxious.Sometimes I even look around me and it seems everyone else is just playing away, their scales are fluid and smooth. I get frustrated and even angry that I have to pause. I have to relax, recover, unwind my tired brain. I can't play my scale from beginning to end without pausing or I miss notes all together! Sometimes I even need to be forced to pause, without looking around me or expecting it to be the exact same scale it used to be.  I hear this still small voice tell me, that my scale is different it is a minor one and sometimes sounds and acts out of tune! It even frustrates me that I can't be at all the services/family time this weekend. I have to pause, wait, take a couple "bars to rest"(my best musical comparison) if you will.  You can only imagine how much I hated the "pause" in 2005 when life stopped with a ruptured aneurysm. No more searching for a teaching job, no more graduate school, instead it was rehab and relearning how to live. And learning how to "pause" and be okay with the memory of functioning without the capacity to do it! PAUSE, it is time to take a deep breath before continuing on! This current, sad "pause" here and now is hard to take, but the Lord has a purpose in the big picture to make it more beautiful! Christ even "paused" from heavenly dwelling to live a perfect life on earth because we couldn't. He "paused" to hang on a cross, shed his blood to cover our sins. These "pauses" are the reason I have the assurance of seeing my Uncle T, Grammy O and other dear ones who share this faith! So, don't forget to "pause" this busy Christmas season (even if you don't have a Brain Injury) because "Joy to the world, the Lord is come!"

Monday, December 15, 2014

oh Christmas..................

So, I had written a post a few days ago to "vent" about my day so I could then......"LET IT GO." My sister teases me that she is going to buy me the "singing Elsa gloves" from the movie Frozen. The idea is you put them on, hit a button and they sing the "let it go" song. We laugh and laugh over this!  Guess, you'd have to be there or spend time with me to truly get it! I will share my day with you briefly......I broke my own strict rule about avoiding all stores at ALL costs in the month of December.  I pick up the basics at Stewart's and try to just do without the "non essentials."  Don't worry I "hoard"  toilet paper and such things from BJs before Thanksgiving! So, long story shorter, after days of snow I was out and about and decided it didn't look insanely busy, I'd just stop quick for whatever I happened to be fixated on that day, it was something silly like hair dye.  I survived the store and even made it through checkout then bolted out the door!  When I got home, I began looking for the bag I had just bought, I did buy it right (it's Christmas time, this is not a silly question)???  I had a receipt in my hand so I called said store and indeed my bag was still there. Great, this means the next day I will obsess about getting my bag . I decide to break my rule again and retrieve the lost bag.  I am too frugal to let $5.00 worth of hair dye go unclaimed! I also have to drive right past said store to pick up my engagement ring which was having new prongs put on it to replace worn ones. I get to that store, get into an inanely long Customer service line but then talk a cashier into just grabbing the bag for me. I went to pull out my phone to stay on track with my phone?????? NO phone! My phone is my life line and security blanket.  My real concern, in all of it, was if hubby tried to call me and I didn't answer for hours.  I decided it was best to just go back home and grab my phone which also had my "to do" list for the day.  Otherwise, I may get distracted and end up looking at 'who knows what' for 'way too long!' I get home and sure enough hubby did try to call  me, text me, and was beginning to get really nervous about my lack of response! With a heart attack averted, I determined that I always underestimate my need forgoing back to basic memory strategies during the Christmas/stressful season/s. Back to checklists before leaving my house, it is!!!! I then carried on with my day and was reunited with my engagement ring so, the day was starting to shape up! Not pushing my luck I just went home to take a much needed nap! But, the heavy snow made me nervous we might not have power for long so I took a shower, just in case, since I admittedly just threw a hat on and didn't bother that morning!! After a shower and a nap I decided to tackle taking pictures of my dogs wrapped in Christmas lights! Not my "brightest" idea! I moved the tree ever so slightly (and gently, of course) for a better view out the snow covered window!  There was a slight, okay, definite cracking noise!  Yup, the leg, okay entire base, of my fake,  pre-lit tree (it's all I can tolerate in the crazy season people, don't judge) cracked right off.  I tried to redeem myself hoping it could be rigged together until hubby got home to "deal" with it! Now, mind you, my left hand has never regained full mobility!

thankfully, married "Mr Fix-it"

the day ended like this..................NAILED IT!

But seriously, this is the house I come home is good!

The following day was miraculously a good one and all of the Christmas busy was too much!  I suddenly needed ORDER again.  I sorted out my entire desk drawer and then attacked the "junk drawer." I could simply no longer live and function with their daily chaos. I was ruthless and it felt good! Thank you Christmas for my "greater than usual inability to tolerate disorganization." My hubby was nervous about what  of his he would find missing......hehehe! Still having a good day, hubby too me out to eat so I didn't have to think about cooking.  The evening ended with Christmas lights and a stop at a bakery I had never been to, but now that I know it is life just got so much better!
And, there is nothing like a day to change your whole self centered perspective on how you are already over crazy Christmas! I have a very, very dear uncle who has bravely and courageously been fighting cancer, with humor and grace! The cancer is progressing rapidly now and my heart is heavy; very, very heavy on this temporary earth. And, then comes the moments we all dread. As survivors, this hits home differently perhaps!  There is also the struggle of "wanting to be there" for and with your dear family while still living with a broken limited brain (different limits than most people your age have.) I'll always be at high risk for everything.  I will always need to respect those limits and pray for avoiding migraines, which only up these risks!  There is the ever present reality that I don't simply "bounce back" and it is physically/mentally impossible to just push through it like I used to! This is an ever present struggle for me with often "self imposed guilt" as I perceive disappointing my family, the family whom I love dearly and would do anything for! I am blessed that they have all graciously walked this journey with me and are quick to forgive and understand!! But struggle, I still do!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Christmas baby steps!

    So, last year I tried to create some "Christmas cheer" by making hubby his favorite sugar cookies! This year we put the tree up together (yes, still fake) AND instead of my 'boring, 75% off, coordinated red and silver bulbs' we dug out all our "old ones" from childhood through the last 12 years of marriage.  This is the first year since my aneurysm, they came out and were put on the tree.  It just seemed too overwhelming in recent years.  All these 'orderless' ornaments and the decisions, oh the decisions.  Which ones do we put on? Where should they go on the tree??? Is it too heavy for that branch?? the list is endless so I just didn't bother.  Pulling out my red and silver bulbs was so much easier!  Each one was the same so all I had to do was space out the colors evenly (hahaha, why even bother with that, silver, red, silver, red, repeat, done.)This year after a glorious, quiet day at home, hubby made me pull out the "memories." Probably, truthfully part of the overwhelming part was the fear of "not remembering" when I pulled them out. Then I would have to deal with that all over. As it turns out, I do remember most of them and the others, hubby didn't either, so we just guessed where they came from based on who it 'looked like' from gift giving past! Baby steps still.................
Fancy Lenox wedding gift! It goes perfectly with the tree skirt and matching stockings, lovingly made for us as a wedding gift too!!!

Dogs under the tree never gets old to me!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Auditory Processing Disorder (APD)

Welcome to a simulation of my world. It is exhausting isn't it?? Yes, having a conversation is truly like this because seriously, when are we ever just in a quiet room with nothing else going on or nothing else in our heads that we know we have to do???? So, if I snap at you or seem irritated please don't take it personally, I just can't sort it all out like I know I used to. I am still on an acceptance journey, all my own :-) Yes, I am slow but, it is well!!