Sunday, April 22, 2007

I Get By With a Little Help From my Friends

I have, as you know, been coming to terms with my son being in Baghdad. God, I think. This is the worst; how can I cope?

My family is reeling now, from news that my sister's cancer has returned. God, I think. That is worse. That burden is definitely worse.

A cousin of mine died suddenly this week, leaving behind a wife and 4 children. He was 39. God, I think. There is nothing—nothing—in my life, that even begins to touch the heartache of those he left behind. I ache for them, and know: Their burden is far, far worse.

Virginia Tech. My son was safer in Baghdad than he would have been on one of our own college campuses last week. How messed up is that?

There are two more women in my family with cancer right now. I lost 2 other friends in the last 10 days.

It's been too much to write, and focusing on the joys interspersed in that time seemed somehow disrespectful in the light of other's troubles. A dissertation or two about basil seed drinks and Clamato were my outlet.

But now I'm back.

To be honest, I'm a little fried. Once again, sleep does not come to me. When it does, it's in short spurts. I awake several times a night, thinking about Brian. All of that bucking up during waking hours haunts me at 2:30 a.m. And 3:38 a.m. And 4:58 a.m....

"You look tired," people are saying to me now, on a regular basis.

I know. I know I do, and I promise you I'm doing double-time to remedy that. Or, at least, to take care of myself. I really am trying to sleep. I'm managing the occasional 20-minute nap when I can squeeze one in. I'm fixing salads. Opting for club soda. Taking a walk every day. I bought vitamins.

I am blessed with wonderful friends and family, and to be living in a great community. You all continue to make me a laugh every day. Your emails, greeting cards, blog comments, and stepping out of your way to say "hey" are all what keeps the scale in my life still tipping in my favor. I'd wager most of you don't even know who you are.

*****

This weekend was the deadline to get in any contributions to the Artists Against Aids show. I promised myself I'd submit this year, for the first time. Ugh. I'm tired. I didn't want to do it. I wasn't pleased with the photos, hypercritical of my work, and depressed and it's all stupid, and who would buy my stuff anyway?!!

But SDF inspired me last week when I read on her blog that she'd preregistered. I did, after all, ask her to join me this year in entering something. How could I wimp out after that?!!

And I picked out 2 or 3 stupid photos that I found tolerable, and I broke down and matted and framed them today. And I set a few more "maybe's" aside.

And Marcy and Mike joined me at the registration table, and while I whined about this one, they acted wow'd. And they helped me change out a few mats, and move a few frames around, and they shined up the glass, and told me to put higher price tags on them.



Thanks to my friends, I contributed 7 photographs, and left feeling good about each of them. If they sell, great. If I bring them back home after the show, that's fine too. Submitting them into a public venue is just one more hurdle cleared, and one more item crossed off of my "things to do before I die" list.


We celebrated with an ice tea at Cafe Kopi, and then went our separate ways, this evening.

*****

And I came home and phone my dear friend Diane, who, as I write, sleeps, along with her two sisters, in their mother's hospice room.

And told her I loved her, and sent hugs to her family.

And I hope to hell that my phone call and short conversation provides her with even a fraction of the comfort that you all have provided me, during tumultuous days.

Because I am learning, people.

I am learning:

We really do make a difference in each other's lives.

16 comments:

  1. It's 7.30am here and I'm welling up! Nothing else to say except to send you a big hug and lots of love x

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  2. you get what you give, girl. Can't prevent difficult things from happening but you've earned the kind of good karma that will save your ship from sinking. You're taking good care of yourself. I'll be thinking of you, sending good vibrations your way. Long distance hugs and kisses.

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  3. I'm so sorry. For me, these horrible times always seem to happen at the same time and, fortunately, those horrible spells are usually years apart. Somehow, you'll get through it and be stronger afterward. You have a lot of friends out here who are mentally and spiritually helping you up that hill.

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  4. I am sorry to read that u have lost your close ones and friends.This is really sad. But I wish that u enjoy the good friendship ties that you still have.

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  5. Things get tough...at some point or another...but it's people like you, who choose to persist that make it through...Hugs!!!

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  6. I love ya. My heart goes out to your sister and all she is going through. And your mama. And you.

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  7. Hang in there, sweetums. My thoughts are with you.

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  8. Take daily moments just for yourself ... breath ... you have many of us here that have you and your family in our prayers.

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  9. And now a stupid song to lift your spirits. In honor of your recent posts:

    Great green gobs of
    greasy, grimy gopher guts,
    Mutilated monkey meat
    Dirty little birdies' feet.
    Great green gobs of
    greasy, grimy gopher guts,
    And me without my spoon!

    Great green gobs of
    greasy, grimy gopher guts,
    Marinated Parakeet
    Scraped up off the street
    Great green gobs of
    greasy, grimy gopher guts,
    And me without my spoon!

    Sorry you're having a crappy time of it. I'm praying for the best for you baby!

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  10. Hey! Chin up. We're thinking of you here in Oz.

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  11. You do get what you give and you give so much to so many. I'm so sorry that you have so much sadness around you.
    Thinking of you...

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  12. sorry for all the loss in your life recently and for the serious situations still going on. Seeing where other people are and what they're going through is one of the best ways for us to see our own situation in a new light. Not that yours is anything to sneeze at, mind you.

    Hang in there!! Get some sleep!! Take care.

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  13. Thank you thank you thank you, you guys.

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  14. Seven framed photos! That's awesome. I only did five: four matted, one matted and framed. Time and money didn't permit much more than that. Like you, I was hypercritical of my own work, only to have some other people be wowed and tell me to price them higher. (I was still too nervous to price them higher, though!) Next year I'll strive for bigger and better things.

    It was a goal to be reached, and I'm glad I did it. Many, many thanks to you for the encouragement. :)

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  15. this was some post (had trouble commenting earlier and didn't have time to mess with it)! another that took my breath away...

    hang in there. i know you have a lot of friends -- both virtual and "non-virtual" -- that have you in their thoughts and prayers (i do!).

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  16. I'm sorry I am so late in saying "hey." I'm also sorry you are under so much stress and in so much pain.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and yours.

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