life, love,art. heart failure and assorted ramblings

life, love,art. heart failure and assorted ramblings

Don't Talk Like That...

I write to find out what my heart thinks....
I write to expose and work through the ugly parts of this disease, open heart surgery that was less than successful and more recently an S-ICD (internal cardiac defibrillator) implanted in my chest that will hopefully restore my heart beat in case of sudden cardiac death. I am here to celebrate my life, to uncover my fears, to hold on to love, to learn how to live a full life with heart failure, to honor my creativity, and to explore all of my emotions out loud ...before anyone can say
"Don't talk like that!"


.

.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Breaking my promise....

In the act of symbolically letting go of Mother I realized I need to let go, too.
I am breaking my promise, I have to let go now.




"Watching Over You"  Ann Reed

Friday, October 24, 2014

A relationship with death....



Perhaps this is why I feel so empowered about life. NOW….

No tomorrows, no what if’s,
overwhelmingly grateful for today.

No one, no thing can take this peace from me.
 No….death is not the worst thing that can happen,

If you will open up and really look at it, you can feel the gift.


"You Have Lived"  Don McLean

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Some Changes...

I would begin by never allowing old men in Home Depot to call anyone…”little darlin’”  Not little, and certainly not his darling….and if I had a home depot hammer in my hand I would have smashed his finger.
Male children should always respond to their mother’s phone calls, texts, IMs immediately….no questions asked!  Period!
50 Cent beer night should be on Friday or Saturday or any day I do not have to get up and do anything that resembles work.   Tuesday 50 cent beer night is just not working for me.
And if I could go back in time and do this all over again, I would know what to do differently!
"She's Not Afraid"  One Direction

Monday, October 20, 2014

It did not work then...


I am still learning the hard way and maybe it is just too late.   Have there been too many years, have we all grown just too far apart, are we too different?  I have no idea how to do this, and I am stuck between doing what is good for me and or wasting time being what someone else thinks I should be and not be honest with myself. I have wasted so much of my life trying to be what others wanted me to be.  It did not work, then...what makes me think it will work now?


"Love Me or Not" Micheal Franti

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Happy Heart Day #5! Every Year I celebrate my heart and paint my chest!

Every heart attack anniversary, I paint my chest
 to celebrate my incredible, amazing strong heart
This year has had more than it's share of ups and downs, but today I am celebrating no change. Mid-way through my 4th year, my Ejection Fraction slipped from an unheard of and an amazing 40% (which the doctors and nurses have told me is close to miraculous given the amount of heart damage I have) to 30%.  The mitral valve is failing, and the rest of my valves are now being examined for signs of failure also.  The very kind, but no nonsense echo tech was not allowed to give me any results but as I was getting dressed she asked what was my last EF back in May….I responded 30%.  A few moments later as she opened the door to let me out of the lab, she covertly whispered in my ear….it is still 30%.  That means 6 full months of no change, and I am taking this as spectacular exciting happy heart day news.  To celebrate this year’s Happy
Heart Day, I painted 30 happy hearts on mychest.  Happy Anniversary my heart, I am celebrating, dancing and painting. I am so incredibly grateful for how you continue to support my amazing life.


"I Just Want to Celebrate"  Rare Earth
Backing up, and setting the record straight, which I would have been most happy to leave at 30% when the doctor got a hold of it, I was down graded to 25%.  Apparently this is a subjective call.  Who knew?  So if it is subjective, I think I will stick with my original 30%, After all I have already painted 30 hearts...yep....I am sticking to 30!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

I miss you so much....



I wish there were words for how much my heart hurts.
I wish I had told you more how much I loved you.
I thought this pain would start going away, but I miss you more today than I thought possible, our Wednesdays, your fearlessness when you were so scared, white wines, your amazing stories, you gave me the visions of the art I love in Italy and New York, the marathon phone calls and having your arms around me.
Always my champion, how do I do this without you?
I just had no idea, how much I was going to miss you.



"You'll be in my Heart"  Phil Collins

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Not...MY favorite things but....


BUT...very fun to explore different images and mediums for an upcoming exhibition!  Lyrics from the song "My Favorite Things" is the title of the exhibition. It is in conjunction with the play, "The Sound of Music".  I have to confess that the chicken wire dress is not original, but fun to try.  I am finding that my creativity is becoming more about trying new things, and I admit that
instead of risking failure of a new medium, I repeated an idea that I felt I could execute.  I just needed to grieve and "practice" creativity.
It was just what I needed when I needed it.
So it may not be my favorite thing, but it filled the empty space in my heart.

"My Favorite Things"  Jody Gnant
Sorry Julie Andrews but you just gotta hear this one!

Observation is the First Step in Healing



There are experiences that every human being must live through, and losing your mother is one of them.  Some of the grief I choose how and when it will be expressed, and there is another kind that comes in waves of sorrow that I have no control over.  In the car stopped at a red light, in the lounge of a car repair shop or in line at the grocery store tears well up and run down  my cheek.  I know this will get better in time but it is far worse and far greater than I could have ever imagined.  I am aware.


"Heal Yourself"  Ruthie Foster

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Some Things Never Change!

A week ago today I was at my Mother’s home taking turns with siblings, sitting at her bedside, she died the following day.   My younger sister began to write her obituary and the cell phone blew up with questions.  Some I had the answers for, others I had known the answer and had chosen to forget, but most  of her questions brought about feelings of hurt and pain I thought I had let go of long ago.  But here they are again, this time swirled around and mixed in with grief.  Then I found this photo, going through old albums and records, and all of the sudden laughter became a part of this toxic mixture of grief, hurt and pain.

She is dead,  And although I am 60  years old the thought of living the rest of my life without her still makes me feel stripped, naked and vulnerable. But now a little smile will slip through, remembering how I laughed hysterically when I found this picture she took. A reminder that that life is about birth, death and changes, but at the same time I realized some things will never change. I would like to believe that 57 or so years ago, she knew one day, when I most needed it, I would absolutely roar laughing at this picture.
Thank you Mother, I needed this today. Thank you!
"Thank You"  Dido

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

My Brothers and Sisters in Me

One of the things I have seen time and time again, was reinforced over the past few of days.Everyone grieves differently.

Over the past few days I have seen my family take such different approaches to grief. It is difficult to watch yourself grieve, but easy to recognize other familiar patterns of grief manifest. The really strong ones will never let you see any emotion. They are experts at compartmentalizing. They will weigh the pros and cons and are able to set emotion aside to make the correct decision. Then the exact opposite is those that cannot cope, but struggle to prove that they can. The constant fight within themselves manifests itself as physical ailments. And somewhere in the middle.....
I have all my brothers and sisters in me.                     
"Have a Little Faith" Micheal Franti and the Spearheads

Mother I promised you I would try...and I am, but oh my I am just now beginning to understand what you went through.