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 am here to celebrate my life, to uncover my fears, to hold on to love, to grieve my losses, to laugh long and hard, and to learn how to live a full magnificent life with heart failure. I am honoring my creativity, and exploring all of my emotions out loud ...before anyone can say....."Don't talk like that!"



Friday, November 29, 2019


So, here is this: wherever I am in my life, whatever path I am currently on: I write.
I write to leave my future self some messages. I write to give myself a path to my heart. I write to figure out the lessons of the universe. I write to say the things I am afraid to say out loud that might hurt someone's feelings, sound silly or is just something that over the years I have learned is not proper to talk about in public.

I am working so hard to smile and appear to be “over it” while my life is still shifting and changing. It feels like standing at the beach.  Right at the edge where the waves recede and wash the sand from under my feet. The first few waves you feel the sand slipping away.  Then all of the sudden I have to step forward, backwards, or sideways so I do not lose my balance and fall down.  As I shift away from the intensity of the early days, I often feel as though I am failing.  I just do not know which way to step first. I feel like I have to re-enter the minutiae of life and I am failing.
So I write to leave myself a map, or develop a plan, reminding myself of what did not work, and explore what might work, because in the end, I just really don’t know.

"Arms Around my Life"  Janis Ian

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Thanksgiving...and coexisting

This will be my first Thanksgiving after 45 years without you.  There were lots of “Norman Rockwell-ish” Thanksgivings, but there were also a good amount of harrowing, terrifying and looking back, funny Thanksgivings too!    There were years when it was just our little family of 4, years of a full house bursting at the seams with extended family and friends, a year in Philadelphia with 160 teenagers in the high school band performing  in the Thanksgiving Day parade, and when both of our sons were in the service, (Navy & Air Force) stationed far away from home that we shared our Thanksgiving dinner for other young servicemen that were also stationed far away from their own homes and family. Each of these precious memories all had one thing in common…you sitting at the table.  As I enter this unimaginable holiday season without you, I am trying so hard to allow the grateful, happy, funny and loving times to exist between the overwhelming grief of losing you. This Thanksgiving I will be grateful for the wonderful memories and supportive family that I do have, but there will also be unbearable grief that you not here.

"Ghost" Indigo Girls

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

I'll figure it out...

The past few months have been an extraordinary learning experience!  Learning how to incorporate grief and gratitude.  Learning how to be realistic about what I can and cannot do physically and emotionally.  Being honest with myself.  And yes, I do know that I have a terrible time asking for help and I think most people see that as a flaw, but it is how I have been all of my life, it is what is familiar, it is how I have always done it.  I know it may not be the best way, it’s just my way.

"Jagged Little Pills"  "You Live you Learn!"
Alanis Morissette

Monday, November 25, 2019

The Balance

It’s another Monday, and again that miserable memory returns, I have no control of the overwhelming grief that consumes me at every weekly anniversary, but I have to learn to let it wash over me, honor our life together and begin to move forward.  I have to learn to balance gratitude for having him in my life and the grief of living without him in my life.

"The Secret of Life" James Taylor

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Bigger changes....

Well, I certainly have the “messy and complicated” down pat, it is the "show up anyways" that still bites me in the ass.  When I say “show-up” it can mean anything from actually getting out of the house and doing something to just answering a phone call.  

This is the part of grief I was truly unaware of.  This is the part no one ever talks about.  Sometimes my need to squirrel away is not a defect or a symptom of my not recovering from grief, it is just part of the healing and learning who and what I am by myself after 45 years of being half of.   I know there are even bigger changes coming…

"They Know"  Eric Bibb

Thursday, November 21, 2019

..."without someone trying to fix it"

Sometimes I feel like my whining just drags out on the blog.   As I read back through the last few months of posts the whimpering and moaning is overwhelming and I find myself hoping no one is reading any of this.  But then writing has always been one of my ways of healing, maybe I am just telling my story and trying to breathe life back into me.  Still looking for how I live in this new normal.

“To those who grieve, she suggests finding a nondestructive way to express it. “If you can’t tell your story to another human, find another way: journal, paint, make your grief into a graphic novel with a very dark story line. Or go out to the woods and tell the trees. It is an immense relief to be able to tell your story without someone trying to fix it.”  Jane E. Brody, New York Times

"Breath of Your Life"  Hall & Oates

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Muddy Waters

Sometimes I find social interaction exhausting. The effort to join the world again is Herculean and monumental. Those densely scattered grief land mines are hard to face and they jump out at me from everywhere. I watch myself shrink my world down by, refusing invitations to just about anything and everything.  By controlling the size of my world, I keep myself safe. More than 40 years of my life are right here in this little house.  The love, the fights, the children all of those memories are right here. As outgoing as I have always been, I find that I need a lot more time alone and quiet than ever before waiting for the muddy water to clear.

"Alone Again"  Gilbert O'Sullivan

Monday, November 18, 2019

Monday 8:35 AM

 "Monday Monday"  Momas & Papas

"Gratitude and grief don’t cancel each other out."

Gratitude, gratefulness, appreciation, thankfulness…that’s what they tell you will give you a whole new perspective on our problems.  And to be honest with you, for the most part, I think they are right.  So, you can imagine how horrible it was when none of it had any effect on the amount of pain and grief I felt when Skip died and all of that appreciating, I squeezed out between the tears never made me feel the least bit better. Gratitude and grief don’t cancel each other out.  They exist side by side and I am still figuring out how that happens!

"Catch the Wind"  Donavan

Sunday, November 17, 2019

...and covers always make it better!

Cold gray Sunday mornings are precisely why heated vibrating recliners are made…and covers always make it better!  Sometimes spending time alone snuggled in is just what I need.  There are tons of things that need to be done, but right now I think is just wonderful to be here in this amazing chair under my covers with my memories.

"Photogtaphs & Memories"  Jim Croce

Friday, November 15, 2019

Reclaiming little pieces of me...

Somehow, someway it just felt like time to begin sketching for “nude nite” sculpture ideas.  I do not know about real sculptors but I am finding that the “engineering” of the armature and the display are just as important as the actual work…..and for a 2-D person, this is really really a challenge that I need to figure in from the very beginning!  It feels good to reclaim little pieces of me, who I used to be.

"Me"  Paula Cole

Thursday, November 14, 2019

More Than I could have Imagined

Maybe my tears are not a weakness.  I have been conditioned to believe they are a sign of frailty, vulnerability, and instability.  I never would have seen them as sacred and powerful. If measured by my tears, it is quite possible that I am much stronger than even I could have imagined.

"As Tears Go By" Rolling Stones

Wednesday, November 13, 2019


There are days that I adore the company, but still, I am working through a lot of day to day life without him. I want to believe that I am strong and am doing well, it is what I think everyone wants to see, too. But, the process is not fast or easy and it seems to need to be done alone.  It appears that no one can help me through it, truly it is a one-person undertaking.  There are still emotional “triggers” that I am unaware of, that literally will overtake me without my permission.  They are always shocking and overwhelming.  Everything from a simple non-descript sound or smell.  This morning it was the feel and warmth of wrapping the soft wool shawl around my shoulders that he got for me last Christmas before going out to the porch for our coffee. 

"The Way We Were"  Barbara Streisand

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

I know...

Coffee with you every morning on the porch, like we always do.  I know you are here with me!

"There, There and Everywhere" Beatles

No longer and not yet...

Trying so hard to recognize and honor this space.  Realizing that the normal I have known will never be again, Skip is gone and what I blindly accepted as normal can never be again.  Not knowing how my life unfolds from here is overwhelming at times.  Right now, I feel like I am in an extremely frustrating “holding pattern”. Anxious, afraid and just do not know how to create my new normal, but I do know and understand it needs to happen. This quote really appealed to me, maybe I should not try to rush through this period of space "no longer and not yet”.

"Everything I Own" Bread

Friday, November 8, 2019

Hidden under the eggs...

There are so many big things that have changed….grief sucks!  It impacts every single part of life both big and small.  Skip had a huge sweet tooth!  His Chocolate Hershey bar is still “hidden” under the egg carton in the fridge. It is a silly happy daily reminder of him. I just do not have the will to move it, throw it away or God forbid EAT it!  I feel so ashamed that in a world that I am expected to accomplish a multitude of things including his memorial, legal and financial issues (and I have), that I do not have the stamina to throw out a silly candy bar.  Just cannot let go, hard as I try, I am just not ready to let go.

"Catch the Wind"  Donovan

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

An Alteration of my Being...

Yesterday was another month anniversary of your death.  Monday’s are always a bit an emotional reality jerk but the fifth of each month adds to the emotional burden, there is a small victory as I count down the days I have survived, acknowledge the things I have accomplished, but still the feeling overwhelms me and I cannot tell if you died 3 months ago or yesterday, the loss just will not let me go. And I am left with the only choice left…to learn how to incorporate this grief into my life.

"One Day at a Time" Yosuf (Cat Stevens)

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

I feel you....

I know you are still here…I can feel you and last night when I went into your room to say goodnight and turn out the light I could smell your hair.  It was as strong as if you were standing right next to me with your arms around me…It was overwhelming.  I stood there with my eyes closed and breathed you in and then as quickly as it came, it dissipated, I walked around the room searching for that scent, but it was completely gone.

"Where are You Going?"  Dave Matthews Band

Monday, November 4, 2019

....but I still hate Mondays!

Mondays still hurt so badly I can barely function as my head and heart fill up again with the memories of that horrible day.  But today I remind myself that I have survived with dignity in my own way, I have taken care of all of the legal business. I am emotionally scarred, bruised and still grieving the life I imagined but I am learning again how strong I have got to be....but I still hate Mondays!

"Nothing I Can Do"  Ben Taylor