Monthly Archives: August 2017

Friend Collector

Someone I knew suddenly died last weekend. She was a co-worker, an acquaintance, a friend to all. She collected friends like squirrels hoard nuts for winter. And not just for the quantity of friends. They were all about quality, every single one. She remembered things like birthdays and work milestones. She loved to talk to them, inviting them into her life which was an open book. If you spoke of trying to find something or do something, she was hot on the trail on your behalf. These are the memories she has sown.
You may wonder why I don’t call her my friend. That’s because I don’t collect friends, I collect acquaintances. I get that about myself. I am not warm and fuzzy, nor prone to sudden hugs. I have given more hugs this week than I have in months, and those were primarily spent on my daughter who sensed the ripples from this tragedy.
This week has had the effect of throwing a full box of hearts up in the air and watching them fall, redistributed in a vastly different pattern. Some are angry at her and at the world. Some are sad and inconsolable. All are following the process towards healing in their own way. I am introspective, taking out my customary method of attachment and turning it over, revising and reflecting on changing how I inscribe actors into my life’s story. It could be part age along with this traumatic moment in time that has me opening and renewing a part of myself, although I have never been one for regret and I don’t think that will change. But I do believe this is a pivotal moment for me, shifting my nature to change the angle of my perspective
I won’t be someone who will, for example, research and churn out almond milk for a co-worker who mentioned her anxiety about her son who is lactose intolerant. I applaud and cherish those that can go that deep. But I will be someone who has lunch with a friend just to talk, help out when one needs to move, and not pass up those invitations to get together.
Now is the time for me to collect some friends. It’s never too late for personal change and that is her legacy to me.

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A Happy Trigger

I am only 1% through Tyler Henry’s Between Two Worlds: Lessons From The Other Side and a moment from his narrative mirrors one of mine. I haven’t gotten any farther as I had to stop and write.

My taste in books is best described as eclectic and, although I lean heavily toward nonfiction, Clive Cussler’s Dirk Pitt is my guilty pleasure. I started Tyler’s book, a memoir of his young life as a medium, because I was intrigued by snippets of videos of his abilities and, before cutting the cord, occasionally saw other individuals with similar talents. If you have read my previous entry A Good Day, you know already that I am drawn to the subject. So what slice from Tyler’s ten year-old’s memory drove me from my Kindle and onto the keyboard?

The day after his grandmother died, Tyler was just falling asleep and “…noticed a sweet fragrance wafting into the room.” He recognized it as his grandmother’s. Immediately, my own memory popped into my head and halted all reading. My mind’s eye was in a moment of time in my bedroom just about a year before. I was beginning to doze and a sudden odor forced me back to the shallows. I say odor since I couldn’t place it. I just knew it wasn’t normal for my bedroom. I sat up and actually looked over each side of the bed, which now makes me smile. I listened for sounds of my daughter moving around and, hearing none, I laid back down. I was at ease because it didn’t smell like smoke so I could rule out fire, or possibly a stroke. The entire time I tried to place it, the fragrance remained and didn’t begin to dissipate until I nailed it. It was Chantilly Lace, my grandmother’s favorite and a touchstone of my youth. Nana, my dad’s mother and the one in the photo on my dresser, had come to say hello. We were very close, me being the only girl grandchild in the area, and my grade school memories are filled with games of Canasta, tea parties with cream cheese and jelly sandwiches, multiple viewings of The Mike Douglas show and, of course, her signature Chantilly Lace.

The fragrance was gone as I said goodbye and thanked her for coming. Is that strange? Not to me. And, now that I’ve cleared my head, I can return to Tyler Henry’s fascinating gift.



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Just Breathe

I am told I have mild sleep apnea. I don’t understand where they get that. I don’t snore and my daughter on the other side of the wall from my bed never hears anything. But I am fatigued, bone tired, and more exhausted when I wake up than when I went to bed. Depression doesn’t fit my numbers or the way I live my life. Except for a couple of minor age related issues (oh joy) no other issue seems to be affecting me. So my doctor ordered a sleep study.

Terrified that I might have to be locked into an office building overnight – the stuff of horror flicks – I am given the option of wearing a recording device on my head overnight and then returning it for analysis. I picked the thing up near my doctor’s office where I was also instructed on its use.

Device is a loose term. It is really a collection of straps, tubes, and electronic chips which, when secured later that evening, gave my daughter a bout of hysterics and hiccups. Although it looked strange, it wasn’t terrible to sleep with so I had high hopes of an accurate read; that is, if I didn’t keep sneezing out the little nasal tubes.

Fast forward to the sleep study I receive in the mail. At least 2 apnea episodes lead to my diagnosis and to a new challenge of sleeping with tubes, machines, and assorted accessories. It’s now been a week since I began using my air machine and I have had some good days, some not so good ones, and one truly surreal experience.

I opted for the “pillows” style mask, a somewhat misleading term for something that sounds fairy-like yet plugs into your nose. It isn’t terrible but it’s not a spa experience, either. And don’t open your mouth or it will blow in your nose and out with your words. It is the voice of nightmares.

Then there’s the ramp. It is the system by which the air coming into your body gradually increases through the night, adjusting higher as it senses the pushback from the apnea. Mine is set between 4 and 20. The first days I would wake up and feel like a giant wind was taking my breath away. Thank goodness for that reset switch. I have gotten more tolerant to it in a week. Just this morning, I was taking my time, slowly waking to the rhythmic breathing which showed the ramp at almost 9.

Along with these different adjustments I’ve had to make came one of the creepiest experiences ever. On morning, I woke up at 3:45 am unable to speak. I was Wade Wilson in X-Men: Wolverine, wild eyed and mouth sewn shut. I must have fallen asleep with my mouth open and been dried out by the great north wind screaming from the depths of my nasal passage. I grabbed my water cup and managed to slide the straw through my tight lips, only to realize I couldn’t suck. Everything was stuck together and nothing would work. After several attempts, I finally got enough moisture in to create a wave of saliva which (too slowly) freed up my membranes. The humidifier comes out tonight because I refuse to use the face mask option. I am not Bane – I’m one of the good guys, Batman.


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