can’t escape challenges – a Visual Recite

I have added a new category to my blog titled ‘a Visual Recite’.

I have taken many pictures over the years and I share them with you with a recite.

(I disabled comments today, I need more time to respond to Monday’s heartfelt comments that you left me.  I also need time to adjust back home and the changes needed as I continue my heath care here at home.  Thank you my friends for your understanding.)

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can’t escape challenges  –

I feel like life is really short, and it’s important to enjoy yourself and embrace whatever comes your way, whether it’s a challenging day or a great day, just welcome it with open arms. No matter who you are, you can’t escape challenges; they are part of life.

–          Miranda Kerr

Brotherly Transformations

Still more came to visit.

As mentioned in this past weekend’s posts, I had more family visitors.

The trip was planned for some time, and I did not foresee myself being in the hospital.  But there I was and here they came and we made the best of it.  This family visit involved my oldest brother, his wife and their daughter and son.  Gary, the usual host with the most; never skipped a beat and helped make the best of their time here when not visiting me in the hospital.  Really, who wants to go to Florida and spend their time at the hospital?

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Image Provided by: Kyrene Foundation

With the arrival of Monday came my brother and his family’s departure.  We were not able to spend a great deal of time together, but that time together was important for all of us.  They needed to see and visit with me just as much as I needed to see and visit with them.

As with all the previous family visits, there were tears, honestly, openness and the knowing that this time spent together could very well be our last time together.

Monday morning, it was only my brother to come visit me one more time before heading back home to Texas.  This brotherly time together, just us two together and talking about our relationship through the years was important.  This time together to share a hug and say, ‘I love you’ without feeling embarrassed and uneasy is what I believe to be the conclusion of a lifetime brotherly relationships and brotherly transformations.

We both came full circle in this relationship of ours and we departed knowing the love we have for each other is strong, real and sincere.

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Image Provided by: vord.dvrlists.com

The previous years and years of what use to be our brotherly relationship was transformed on Monday.  A new brotherly relationship like none other we had experienced over the years.

Why wait until the last minute for these transformations?

I have no answers; I guess that is just life.

I love you brother and your family and thank you for visiting me.

You are important to me, as is our brotherly transformations.

loved many dogs – a Visual Recite

I have added a new category to my blog titled ‘a Visual Recite’.

I have taken many pictures over the years and I share them with you with a recite.

loved many dogsloved many dogs –

“Dogs come into our lives to teach us about love, they depart to teach us about loss. A new dog never replaces an old dog, it merely expands the heart. If you have loved many dogs your heart is very big.” 

– Erica Jong

Magnifying Glass

I recently finally bought reading glasses.

For a while now, or if I am honest for a very long time now, I have needed reading glasses.  Most of the time when using my computer, I am sitting with my laptop in my lap.  Let’s say my eyes were about 2 feet from the screen.  And let’s say, all words were blurring.  And let’s say, I at times was using a magnifying glass to read the words.

I went to the local Walgreens, bought some reading glasses, came home and voila, I could clearly see the words.  What a difference it makes, I now need to become accustomed to having the glasses on the end of my nose so I see non-reading items clearly when lifting my eyes up – you know, like the TV.

So, I was feeling very excited about my new reading glasses and being able to read words again on my computer and not using the magnifying glass.

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Image Provided by: TurboSquid

About the same time, I read post from fellow blogger and friend Steph over at Bold Blind Beauty.

Steph is blind and her blog’s Welcome page begins with the following words –

An extraordinary online community that encourages beautiful blind women to transcend barriers and walk boldly together with confidence; in style, body, and soul.

If you do not know Steph, please visit her blog site, she is a wonderful lady with a message not just for women, but for us men also.

So, I was feeling very excited about my new reading glasses and I read a post from Steph’s blog site titled ‘Learning To Be Present Through The Loss Of Sight’.

I was feeling guilty reading her post, because here I am excited about my new reading glasses and Steph is writing about losing her sight and being declared legally blind and using a white cane and not knowing what was ahead of her.

I felt selfish and ashamed that I was excited about my new reading glasses when there are others who cannot see things I take for granted seeing.  With my body having cancer and me going through a tough time, I am tired and worn down physically and mentally.  So, the new reading glasses got me excited.

Steph’s post ‘Learning To Be Present Through The Loss Of Sight’, concludes with the following –

Life is way too short to waste it focusing on things we have no control over. Live life now and be in the moment.

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So, Steph, thank you for your wonderful post and reminding me to live life now and be in the moment.  Sometimes I am not, I am down and beaten and feeling sorrow.  But then I open my computer with my new reading glasses and I am reminded how exciting the small things can be.

Those glasses sitting on the edge of my nose is helping me be in the moment and enjoy the words in front of me – I no longer need the magnifying glass.

non-existent meditation

Back in August of last year in my post ‘I started meditating‘, I concluded with the following words –

Meditation once again brought me comfort and brought me back to me.

I asked meditation to join me and help me, to improve me, to take me and bring me to a better place.

I asked meditation to teach me, to build me, to journey with me to a better life.

Mediation has accomplished these and will continue to do so as I proceed forward into my journey.

I started meditating.

In today’s post, I begin with the following words –

I have not written or even mentioned anything about meditation for quite some time.  It once was a daily activity in my life and now is a memory of something I once did.  I enjoyed the time spent meditating and felt I received benefits from it that helped me in my daily life.  I missed it; but used the past 6 month’s events to not be associated with it.  There was the chemotherapy, the CAT Scans, the PET Scans, MRI and then the surgery.  There was the overwhelming tiredness, the severe pains, the difficulty in walking and other problems related to my cancer and my health.

But, I did not use meditation during this time, instead allowing that present situation at times during the past months to take control of my moods and attitude.  I missed it.

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Image Provided by: http://www.menofspirit.com

The non-existent meditation, I want to bring back into my life and be a part of me again.

I ask meditation to join me again and help me again, to improve me again and to take me and bring me to a better place.

I ask meditation to teach me again, to build me again, to journey with me to a better life.

Meditation has accomplished these in the past and I hope again to do so again as I proceed forward into my journey.

Why Not?

When I decided to start blogging, I had no idea what I was doing or where it would lead me.  I just started writing my early life memories, really in hopes my sons would read it someday.  I still have plans to give them this site where they can read about me and my life – but I am not quite ready yet.  So, the writing of blog posts began with those early life memories and few other subjects – and then cancer decided to be a part of my life.  This cancer has become my cancer; it belongs to me and no one else and does what it wants to my body.

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Image Provided by: combiboilersleeds.com

In my post ‘no answers’, I wrote about finally asking the questions.  You know; the ‘why’ questions.

“Why?”, “Why me?”, “What did I do to deserve this?”

I received many supportive, encouraging and beneficial comments.  I feel very grateful of the many wonderful friends I have here on WP, truly I do.

One of those friends Su, responded with the following comment –

As humans we have this overwhelming need to make sense of the world, but the awful reality I think, is that often there is no sense. No reason or logic, and sometimes absolutely no justice — or you would not be going through all this. I think in the end we need to look not for reasons but for useful beliefs — whatever gets us through. Sending love and hugs to you and Gary.

I responded with the following –

Yes, I totally understand where you are coming from. I am getting to that point now – not trying to find the reasons, but what are the useful beliefs and benefits. Thanks Su for an inspiring comment, you are a true friend.

Comments from other friends suggested I not ask “Why?”, but instead ask “Why Not?”

Wow, this got me thinking about, well – everything.

My mind has always believed everything happens for a reason – both good and bad.  Now, with my cancer and the extreme pain I am experiencing, my emotions are asking the “Why?” questions.

And your comments my friends bring me back to thinking about what my mind believes and not what my emotions are asking.

Everything happens for a reason – both good and bad.  So, Why not?

20170416_194313It may be there is something I can learn from this?  My cancer and my extreme pain is a tough lesson to learn something from.  They are both beating me down, draining my energy and trying to break my spirit.  It is difficult, but again I change my question to; Why not?

What am I learning from this horrible experience that is changing my views?  Why not use it to benefit me?

I find myself talking to ‘God’ or the ‘Higher Power’ or the ‘Supreme Being’ more.  I have not spoken or reached out to any of these in a very long time.

I am displaying to Gary more gratitude.  We have been together for over a decade and I took things for granted.  I no longer do this.  Gary, my caretaker is very important to me and I display more gratitude.  I say, ‘Thank you’ more and I let him know I appreciate him and would not be able to do this alone.  And more so than ever I say, ‘I love you’ and follow it with a kiss.

There is a ‘God’ or ‘Higher Power’ or ‘Supreme Being’; there is Gary and Su; there are all of you my friends, my supporters, my cheerleaders and my encouragers.

So, ‘Why not?’

Sphere

My category ‘Pictures & Stories’ are posts with me writing a fictional, creative short story about a picture.

Sphere

Sphere –

It was a hot summer’s day, I think sometime in June.  And I walking along and alone to where no one had been to before.

As I was in progress on my expedition, there in front of me it stood.  What a great wonder it was – I was paralyzed in my tracks.

Was it real or an image from my imagination?  The size of it alone was astonishing.

I stood there in amazement and then the pulling began.  What was taking place?

Was this to be the end of me?  And why me?

The pulling was harsh and I had no control and therefore the wonder it was; was now a threat.

The nearer it pulled me in the less tired I felt and some type of comfort took over.

What was this that was taking place?

The sphere kept the pulling, soon followed by the relief.

I like routines, do you? – A Fresh Perspective

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Image Provided by: TM Forum Inform

I am in year 3 of my blog.

In the early days of this blog, there are posts that received little exposer.

I have a new category ‘Reruns – A Fresh Perspective’.  This category reposts these earlier posts that received little exposer and a fresh perspective on how I feel about them today.

This post was originally posted on May 15, 2015 –

rou·tine

/ro͞oˈtēn/

1. a sequence of actions regularly followed; a fixed program.

“I settled down into a routine of work and sleep”

synonyms: procedure, practice, pattern, drill, regimen;

I like routines, do you?  We all have them in our everyday life; we follow them without even thinking about them.  We have routines in all parts of our lives: personal, work, social, family, relationships.

Think about it, everything we do every day is a routine.  What do you do first thing in the morning upon rising?  How do you dress yourself, left sock first or right sock first?  How do you open your car door and what is the first thing you do in the car, start it first and then put your seat belt on or buckle your seat belt then start the car?  Do you have a routine of what time to eat your meals every day, when to exercise, when to run errands or what day of the week to do laundry?

I like routines, do you?  I like them because for me personally they keep me stable, sane and balanced.  Routines are constant and constant is familiarity: knowing something, feeling close to it and feeling good about it.  Routines that are constant keep us focused and not having to put much effort into them, they are as natural as breathing, sleeping, seeing, hearing and thinking.  They just occur and we let them take us through our day.

I like routines, do you?  Routines can sometimes not be good for us and may even cause harm, pain, heartache, suffering, stagnation and yes even death.  Am I the only one who thinks about these things, about routines and how they control us?  Really think about it.  I have routines I live by every day of my life, both good ones and bad ones.  I allow them to control me to the point, that if one routine changes, it causes me to become disturbed and I let the change in routine ruin my day.  I am trying to change the results I experience due to the changed routines in my life.  Doing things differently is good at times, some routines need to be changed and with that change brings acceptance and freedom.

I like routines, do you?

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Image Provided by: Esl Imaginarium – WordPress.com

A Fresh Perspective –

I still like my routines, but I no longer allow them to control me and ruin my day if they change.  When this post was originally published Gary and I were living in a 4000-sq. ft. home and therefore I had my time and space to myself in the mornings, which I greatly enjoyed.  Today we live in a 300-sq. ft. RV and the morning routine at times changes daily.  And that is okay, I have learned to let go and as they say, ‘Go with the flow’.

no answers

Not yet 2 years; there is still the summer season that is waiting to be enjoyed.

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Image Provided by: Pinterest • The world’s catalog of ideas

But this summer will be different and I am unsure if I will enjoy it.

After the summer, then it will be that day, the 2 years ago that it all changed.  The day my life changed and will never be the same again.

It was about 20 months ago that I noticed a light discoloration in my urine.  I told Gary, that something was wrong; he responded that it looked okay.  I know my body better than anyone else.  And for 20 months I still say that – I know my body better than anyone else.  Along the past 20 months, I have told Gary and my doctors things about my body and I have always been right.

Why am I telling you this?

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Image Provided by: Pinterest

These past 20 months; almost 2 years, I never questioned the reason and I never asked the questions.  I always have felt everything happens for a reason; both good and bad.  ‘That’s Life’ as they say.  I still feel this way – but now with the intense pain I am experiencing, I finally asked the questions.

Currently my typical day is enduring pain and as the day progresses, so does the pain.  My evenings the pain is overwhelming to the point my eyes are filled with tears and I am at my breaking point.  This experience repeats each day and at this point is not getting better – but worse.

The other night, I finally asked the questions.  I was in the bedroom alone ready for bed and experiencing the usual unbearable pain.  I was crying profusely and I lifted my face upward and asked “Why?”, “Why me?”, “What did I do to deserve this?”

I received no answers and I went to bed with the usual pain, knowing what has become the normal routine will happen.  I will lay there in bed and try to find a comfortable position, knowing it is in vain.  Eventually after several hours I will get out of bed and make my way to the other room of the RV and find the recliner and a position that lessons the pain I am feeling.  Eventually a few hours of sleep are obtained and I wake to a new day to do it all over again.

The questions are still on my mind now every day.  “Why?”, “Why me?”, “What did I do to deserve this?”

Still, no answers and I continue to suffer.

20170416_194313 (2)I experience a great deal of pain each day and my cancer is spreading.

“Why?”

“Why me?”

“What did I do to deserve this?”

Still, no answers.

no noise please

Living and Learning –

I have written in past posts the difficulty I had learning as a child.  You can read more about these difficulties in these posts ‘Learning the Hard Way‘, and ‘A Slow Learner am I‘.   I was labeled as a ‘slow learner’ and a child with ‘learning disabilities’.  Per Dictionary.com, certain criteria consider me ‘retarded’.

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Image Provided by: SlideShare

Some of those learning difficulties I had as a child continues today.  The difference is today I understand and accept that which makes it difficult for me to learn.  But, still today at times I become frustrated with the learning process.  The frustration is mainly due to my learning style or method being interrupted and then concentration is lost.  First of all, I am a visual person: I need to see something to learn something.  Me sitting and listening to a lecture is a lost cause – I will receive very little from it.  And if there is a visual portion, I may receive a little more, but I need my own set of visuals to learn.

And for me I learn best by myself; reading, researching, documenting, speaking out loud to myself – this is a great learning method for me.

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Image Provided by: My Favorite Things – blogger

I also need quite time, no noise please.  No TV in the background and sorry Gary – no phone calls with speaker phone – please?

In the last job I held before retiring, I was a IT Quality Assurance Specialist.  This company created software for devices related to delivery of communication.  On the surface of any software; what the end-user sees and uses – we take for granted that it will work.  If it does not work, someone did not do their job, usually that someone is Quality Assurance.  My job was to make sure the software worked per specifications and requirements and it would not break anything else and it would be easy for the end-user to understand and use.

Sounds like an easy job, right?

For me not so easy, but I did find it challenging – and challenging is a good thing.

I would arrive early in the morning; several hours before anyone would else because I needed my quite time, no noise please.

You see, I had much to learn about those specifications and requirements I just mentioned.  They were complicated and I had to know them inside and out; it was my job to ensure the software worked as it should.  So there I was early in the morning with no noise no interruptions with my visuals and I read, researched, documented and spoke out loud to myself.  I learned my way and I was excellent at my job.

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Image Provided by: Sunwood Development

Children and adults learn different ways – there are many different styles and methods to learning.

What about you, how do you like to learn?