Humor in the Midst of Death

In the past three years I have lost 7 members of my family, uncles, aunts and a cousin. Extended family is not so hard to deal with, but these were close. The latest was my mom’s baby brother. He was 60 years young. My age. We were raised together. My mom and dad are losing younger siblings, but they are still going strong at 80 and 81. Which brings me to my story.

My dad, at 81, is more active than I am. He is stubborn and very set in his ways. The night of my uncle’s viewing he decided that he was not sitting with mom. In fact, he decided to sit on the opposite side of the room with my uncle’s wife, children and grandchildren. I tried to get him to let me move his chair, but he refused to be moved again. Therefore, the family was crowded together.

My dad is a member of the Advent Christian denomination. They believe that when a person dies, they are dead. That man is unconscious until the resurrection. For them, death is the final curtain on the play of life unless there is to be a resurrection from the dead. For more information see HISTORY AND TEACHINGS OF THE ADVENT CHRISTIAN CHURCH By Lee E. Baker, D.D.

My night was definitely not boring. Daddy is a social person and talks to everyone. He started out telling the grandchildren that they could sit on the arm of his chair if they got tired. When people started asking why he wasn’t sitting with mom, he told them that I would not let them sit together. That changed after a while. He thought it would be fun to say that there were too many sisters on the other side of the room. There were 6 of them, I could see his point.

My uncle was a very outgoing and religious man. He loved God and talked about him and lived his life for him. His friends from church started coming through the line. They would say how loved he was and that he surely was in heaven with God walking those streets of gold. Someone made the mistake of saying to daddy that we all know where Larry is now. Daddy looked at them and told them that yes, he knew where Larry was. Larry was lying in that box at the front of the room and he guessed he was still there because he had not seen him walk off. It was so hard to keep a straight face. The man looked at daddy like he was crazy and said that Larry was in heaven with God. Daddy looked at me and said that he must have missed Larry walking out of the room. I spent the rest of the night trying to steer people that mentioned heaven away from daddy, but it didn’t always work.

I love my daddy and I know that one day he will be in that box at he front of the room. I hope that when I say that he is in heaven with God, watching over me and his grandchildren, he doesn’t come back to haunt me.

Disability

What do you think of when you see the word disability? Most people think of someone in a wheelchair or at least a very noticeable physical deformity. My disabilities are hidden. I don’t have just one, but multiples.

Mine include acute asthma, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), fibromyalgia, PTSD (Post-traumatic stress disorder), social anxiety, major depressive disorder and diabetes. I also have arthritis in my feet, knees and back.

The fibro causes daily pain, which I try to tolerate as best I can. I’m in pain every minute of every day, but very seldom does anyone hear me complain. Because of the COPD, asthma and arthritis, I’m unable to walk more than 15 minutes. Right now the PTSD and depression are controlled by drugs, but the triggers are still around and I fight them daily. I guess the social anxiety has been the hardest for others around me to learn to deal with. This disability makes me want to hide from the world. I’m comfortable being alone.

My computer is my social network. Facebook is my contact with friends, family and complete strangers that feel like family. I can laugh, joke, cry and complain. You will find out more about me here than you would from meeting me. If I’m mad, I vent and all my friends cheer me on. If I’m sad, I cry, and all my friends are there with me.

I’ve had people say that I need to get a job. Others say I need to just suck it up and adjust. Many have said that they don’t see anything wrong with me. Shut your mouth and listen. That small wheeze means I will be gasping for air soon because I got too close to someone with perfume/cologne on. Those flowers look and smell beautiful, but I can only look. Please don’t shove them in my face. Aerosol cans can be deadly for me. If you want to know what that air freshener smells like, warn me in advance or take it outside.

I move slowly. If you can’t wait, don’t shove, just say “excuse me” and I will move over. If I’m having a super bad day with pain or breathing and I use a motorized cart don’t give me your opinion. I will not do pain pills and when you can perform decently in my condition then you can voice your opinion.

Just because you can’t see the disability does not mean it does not exist.

Angels in our Hearts

The hardest grief for a woman to ever bear is the loss of a child. Unborn, stillborn or infant, the pain is still the same. Your life is spent thinking as the years go by. This year you would have started school and this year you would have graduated. What color is your hair now and are your eyes still blue. Are you a daddy’s girl or maybe mama’s boy. Are you daddy’s little shadow or mama’s little helper.

Life goes on, but on your day of birth, or death, or the day your heart stopped beating. Those days are unbearable for a mother. Her heart aches to hear this child say mama and her arms ache to hold an angel. 39 years ago last August I lost my angel. 34 years ago last May I lost my angel. 24 years ago last November I lost my angel. Along the way I’ve had 4 more that lived. People say I’m blessed, but I will always grieve for the ones that are gone.

Today is a hard day for a very special friend. Today I grieve with her for I know how hard it is. I’ve researched some of these quotes and some were given to me by friends who care.

“Tiny angel rest your wings sit with me for awhile. How I long to hold your hand and see your tender smile. Tiny angel, look at me I want this image clear…That I’ll forget your precious face that is my biggest fear. Tiny Angel, can you tell me why you have gone away? You weren’t here for very long… why is it you couldn’t stay?”
Tiny Angel shook his head: “These things I do not know… But I do know that you love me, and that I love you so.”
Author Unknown

heaven-quotes

What we have once enjoyed and deeply loved we can never lose, for all that we love deeply becomes a part of us.
Helen Keller
If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever.
Author Unknown

Listen for my footfall in your heart.
I am not gone but merely walk within you.
Nicholas Evans

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How very softly you tiptoed into our world, almost silently, only a moment you stayed. But what an imprint your footsteps have left upon our hearts.
Dorothy Ferguson

“Do not judge the bereaved mother. She comes in many forms.
She is breathing, but she is dying.
She may look young, but inside she has become ancient.
She smiles, but her heart sobs.
She walks, she talks, she cooks, she cleans, she works, she IS, but she is not, all at once.
She is here, but part of her is elsewhere for eternity.”
Author unknown

 

God bless you Red and all the other mommies that are missing their angels.

Life

Most people believe that life starts when you are born. I have decided that my life is just beginning. Before this I was just existing in a world others controlled as a daughter, sister, niece and cousin. Later I existed as a wife, mother, aunt, grandmother and greataunt. Let’s not forget sister-in-law and mother-in-law. I am slowly leaving all this behind. The only part that hurts is leaving my grandchildren behind, but they have parents that still control their world.

Because I decided to leave behind anyone that appeared to be causing me depression, anxiety and hatred of self, I was called stupid and was told I needed an attitude adjustment. Because I gained weight when I decided to stop smoking so I would be allowed to see my grandson, I was called fat and out of control. After watching said grandson for 6 months and gaining more weight because of the stress of worrying that I would say or do something to piss my daughter off, I had a female friend of 18 years, in her house without her permission. I have not watched him since and have only seen him once in the past 8 months.

I Respect me quotes

Now I begin my life. I will not stress about what others think or say about me. I go where I want, when I want. My life now belongs to only me for the first time in 58 1/2 years. My dream is to move away from everyone. God is my support and my comfort. Next is my baby brother, Grant and his amazing girlfriend, Red. Thanks for being there for me. My life is waking up. Hope to see you as I continue on my journey.

My brain has come alive.

brain

Fat or More to Love

I was reading another bloggers post about this article in Cosmopolitan on “What being a fat woman is really like”. She urged other fat bloggers to try the questions also. Normally, this is a subject I avoid, but this bloggers words caught my attention. What I really like is her motto, “Living With Fattitude”.

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How do you feel when other women around you complain about feeling/being fat?  That is something that has always angered me. In case you never thought about it, the women that complain about being or feeling fat, are not fat. You will never hear a fat woman, talking to her friends, say she is fat. Unless you are the fattest woman in hearing distance, and that could be an entire room. don’t call yourself fat.

How has your body image changed since high school? College?  I haven’t been smaller than a size 12 since puberty. Now at age 58, I have had 4 children and have added many pounds and inches. I had one husband call me fat at a size 14 and married the last one at a size 20, so I guess it really was in the eyes of the beholder.

Have you tried dieting? What happened?  Over the years I have tried many diets. Even now I still say I’m going on that proverbial diet. A year ago I was in a very stressful situation and gained 60 pounds. Now that the stress is gone from my life the weight is still there, but I’m no longer gaining. My doctor wants me on a diet.

Do you think in your case your weight is partly or entirely genetic?  I guess you could say it’s partly genetic. But a majority is stress related. When I get stressed, I eat. I admit that I am addicted to food. Once I start eating I don’t want to stop. Portion control is not in my vocabulary. I stopped smoking 18 months ago and I now have switched food for cigarettes.

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Do you consider yourself healthy? Have there been instances where people assumed you were unhealthy?  I think I would have to consider myself as unhealthy. I’m diabetic and just take my meds and continue eating as I want. I have asthma and weakened lungs from smoking, but my weight has made my breathing uncontrollable. Walking brings on asthma attacks, so I sit….and eat some more.

Are your parents both supportive of you at the weight you’re at? Have they always been?  My mom has been very negative lately. She keeps calling me fat and saying negative things. My dad doesn’t mention it. I think it worries him because of the health aspect and the fact that he has lived with mom’s fat comments for many years.

How do you think retailers can improve clothes for plus-size people?  I’m happy with my shift dresses and have never liked anything that clung to my body. Mass merchandiser, such as Wal-Mart, Target, etc. could find a way to carry a larger size of plus-size clothing. Many of us cannot afford to go to a specialty store.

Do you think plus-size women are judged differently than plus-sized men are? How?  I think the main place you find women being treated differently is in relationships. The males are more likely to be hurtful when it comes to a spouse being overweight.

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Do you think there’s an assumption made/stereotype that exists about plus-size people? How would you respond to it?  Of course there is. Fat people are considered lazy, ugly and gluttonous. Cartoons show them waddling, and I have never seen the crack of a skinny man’s ass in pictures. I think a lot of stereotyping is caused by fat women trying to shove their size 24 ass into a size 16 pair of pants. I’ve had people tell me that if I lost some weight I wouldn’t have to wear my shift dresses all the time. My dresses are a choice. They are comfortable and cover me. You would not like the results without them.

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Do you think there’s ever a right way or time to express concern about someone’s weight?  I think that it is okay for a friend or family member to express concern as long as it healthy, respectful and caring. My mom did it the wrong way by just calling me fat. My roommate challenges me about portion control, with love and kindness.

 What are the worst things people have said to you about your body?  I been called fat, stupid and ugly. One ex told me that the reason I needed to stay with him was because I was so fat that no one else would want me.

How did you respond?  Generally I ignore those people. You notice I said ex.

What have people said (or do you wish they’d say) that would compliment your body or appearance?  My favorite compliment came from a 12 year old. I was told that I was not fat or ugly. I was just myself.

Do you find yourself hanging out with women who are closer to your size?  No, most of my friends are smaller than I am. I have all sizes of friends. I pick my friends based on how they treat me and interact with me, not on size, age or color.

How has your weight affected your sex life, if at all?  Never has affected it. Have always been very active sexually, until recently. Now I’m taking a break, my choice.

When you’ve been single, has your weight affected your dating life?  Never affected mine. Have noticed in the last 10 years that men on dating sites are preferencing petite women. And some of them are far from petite.

Wow. This has sure been a mouthful and then some. I used to call myself ugly and fat, but  that is wrong. I’m beautiful, sexy and blessed with some amazing curves. There is much more of me to love and I have a heart as big as the state of Texas. I will not be remembered for my size, but for all the love and care you got from me. It’s time for me to celebrate the new me. The one that loves herself for what she is. Fat and beautiful. I’ve learned to “Live with Fattitude”.

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Sexuality–When Did You Choose?

Anyone that knows me, knows that I usually keep silent on the topic of sexuality. There was a question posed on a video I watched that touched something in me and my mind keeps telling me to talk about it. This is my way of talking.

I myself have never had the thought or urge to engage in a sexual act with another female. I have been heterosexual my whole life and have enjoyed it immensely. A good satisfying sex life is vitally important to living your life. As a Christian, I do not believe that God condones the homosexual lifestyle. There are different passages that speak about homosexuals and sodomites (male homosexuals) and the fact that it is a sin. But, there are also many passages that talk about adultery and sexual sin. According to the Bible I have committed adultery most of my adult life because I have been divorced 3 times and have lived with some out of wedlock. Before condemning someone, remember, the Bible also says, in a lot of places, that we have a forgiving God. God has not given you the right to condemn others just because you do not agree with their lifestyle.

The question posed to people was, “Do you think homosexuality is a choice or did it just happen?” After they told what they thought they were asked, “When did you choose to be straight?” Before condemning someone in the future about being homosexual, you need to first point the finger at yourself and ask, “Am I free from any sin?” As I said in an earlier blog, even gossip is a sin, in the same category with murder. I never chose to be straight and of the many gay people I have known in my life, none ever said it was a choice they made. One called it a conscious decision.

God isn’t finished with me yet. His forgiveness will span our lifetime.

Plane

Joe loved planes. Every weekend and holiday would find him at the airfield. He thought the world of the Blue Angels.  They were the ultimate pilots in Joe’s opinion. One Saturday Joe arrived at the airfield and was greeting all his pilot friends. Even the mechanics thought dearly of Old Joe, as everyone fondly called him. According to some he had been at the airfield forever. Today was a special day. The Blue Angels were going to land to refuel. Old Joe was so excited. After they had landed he was running around talking to each of them. To hear him talk, that was the most excitement he had ever had. The next day Old Joe never showed up, but his son did. Old Joe had died during the night. After his cremation the Blue Angels came back and took Old Joe for his first plane ride ever. 

 

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Allowed 150 Words. Used 149.

 

To read more shorts written by other authors stop by The M3 Blog. Come join us and add your creativity to the rest. “Flash in the Pan” are very short stories written for a single word topic with a limited number of words allowed.

 

Blab Blab Blab

Gossip happens every day. Some of it may be good, but a majority is considered bullying, inappropriate and an act of sinful nature. Nowadays with phones, computers and technology, a rumor (gossip) can spread instantly.

The earliest known use of gossip was by Shakespeare. In a quote he stated,  “Upon my tongue continual slanders ride, The which in every language I pronounce, Stuffing the ears of man with false reports.”   Many of us need to memorize this quote and learn the old adage, “think before you speak”.

I never thought about gossip being a sin until a former pastor did a sermon on the word. In Proverbs 18:8, ” The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to the inmost parts”. In Romans 1:29 and 30, 29 “They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful;”.  That passage really made me think. Gossip is just as bad as murder in God’s eyes. 2 Corinthians 12:20, ” For I am afraid that when I come I may not find you as I want you to be, and you may not find me as you want me to be. I fear that there may be discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition,slander, gossip, arrogance and disorder.”  I see each of these sins almost daily. It is heartbreaking to me knowing that even though God has deemed these sins, many so called Christians will do some of these acts daily. 1 Timothy 5:13, ” Besides, they get into the habit of being idle and going about from house to house. And not only do they become idlers, but also busybodies who talk nonsense, saying things they ought not to.”  3 John 1:10, “So when I come, I will call attention to what he is doing, spreading malicious nonsense about us. Not satisfied with that, he even refuses to welcome other believers. He also stops those who want to do so and puts them out of the church.”

When we choose to gossip or listen to gossip we are demeaning the product of our gossip. Even if the gossip started out mild, as it gets spread, so does its meaning. Nothing ever gets told the same way twice. Someone has to embellish the tale, thereby changing it’s meaning.

This Soviet war poster conveys the message: “Don’t chatter! Gossiping borders on treason” (1941).

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Gossip is wrong. This is a simple lesson to learn. I know I’m trying to learn this lesson. Even if the facts are true, it is still gossip. Most of all, try and desist talking about someone unless you have all the facts and this person has given you permission to discuss them. Case in point, I have a friend who is dying of cancer. She has asked me to get her story out so she can generate more prayers. Not prayers for continuation of her life, but prayers for some measure of relief from pain as her time to die draws near. Her faith in God grows stronger as he leads her on this path.

Researching all of this has put gossip on a new level for me. This is one place where being a Christian in today’s society can be challenging. I want to challenge you to make this walk of change with me.

Blocks

“Ouch,” I exclaimed as I walked to the kitchen. “One of the days I’m going to throw every lego in this house into the garbage.” Still mumbling to myself, I made a pot of coffee. Turning to empty the dishwasher I found three wooden blocks in the silverware tray. “I wonder which of the boys did this,” I muttered. On the table were blocks resembling a train. In the refrigerator I found yellow legos in  the butter dish. There were other blocks in the egg tray. In a glass on the counter were white legos. I supposed it was milk. At least one of the boys has my imagination I thought. At this point, my anger was subsiding and pride was setting in. Hearing the patter of little feet, I turned. My only daughter, Lucy, stood there with a pout on her face. “Mommy, why you mess my blocks up?”

Allowed 150 words. Used 150.

To read more shorts written by other authors stop by The M3 Blog. Come join us and add your creativity to the rest. “Flash in the Pan” are very short stories written for a single word topic with a limited number of words allowed.

Models

Jacob has spent many hours working on his models. He has cars and trucks sitting everywhere and planes suspended from the ceiling. His room is his sanctuary. As the only boy in the family he is allowed his own room. He laughs when his sisters start fighting over things in their room. The older sister likes to put together jigsaw puzzles, the younger sister tears them up.

At age 13 everything changes for Jacob. His brother George is born. Jacob is not worried. His models look so great and George is going to love looking at them also. So he thought. At age two it was discovered that George liked to take things apart. Jacob just moved his models higher. Problem solved for a bit. George started climbing and none of the models were safe from that day on. Jacob realized what his sister had been complaining about for years.

Allowed 150 words. Used 150.

To read more shorts written by other authors stop by The M3 Blog. Come join us and add your creativity to the rest. “Flash in the Pan” are very short stories written for a single word topic with a limited number of words allowed.