Saturday, May 1, 2010

" In a State as of Late "

As with most times here at my place, I find myself often times bearing my soul. I rarely hold back how I am really feeling. With that said the truth is that I have found myself feeling quite down all week. 

I don't like to use the word depressed. I consider myself to be a generally happy person even when the walls are falling down around me. Optimistic is the word most use. But that is not how I've been feeling at all.

My poor husband seems so confused when I don't feel like talking. This week I just haven't felt like talking. To anyone.

I have found myself in a state of quite loneliness. A state of exhaustion. A state of unknown and confusing sadness. Often wondering if there is anything that I can feel excited about anymore.

I don't know what to blame it on. My first thought was age. You know, you've done so many things in life. Is there any excitement left anywhere, anymore?

I've worked very hard this week on my decorating project and while it's almost complete and I am very pleased with the results I somehow thought that I would be a bit more excited about it. Wrong.

Now I will tell you that I already know the answer to my problem. Against my own knowledge and instincts, I have in truth not given my worry to God. While I do realize that I am far from a highly educated and intelligent woman, I do know that I need to hand my feelings over to our Lord.

Last night my granddaughter Sarah spent the night with me. It was just us "Gals". Just like it was with my own grandmother years ago. I always try to make these "Overnights" as special as my grandmother made them for me.

This was good medicine for me as I know that I have been spending far too much time alone lately without any desire to be around people. I've been told that this is grief. I suppose it can be or it is. All I know is that I've been feeling painfully alone since my mother passed away. Truthfully the only time I haven't felt like this is when my husband is home. And that, if I'm lucky, is five days a month.

My fifteen year old daughter Kate doesn't seem to care and I certainly understand why. She's fifteen, enough said! I am certain that she notices my sadness but I am sure that it confuses her to the point that she ignores it for lack of knowing what else to do. 

I don't care to burden my family as I don't believe there is anymore that they can do. 

Having Sarah over last night snapped me out of this feeling a bit. I was bound and determined to live up to my own grandmothers standards. So after having an afternoon snack of unhealthy pizza rolls, off we went to town.

I realized that I don't even leave the house anymore unless I absolutely have to. I know this isn't good. 

Our first stop was the ATM to get some cash to spend. And spend we did. We stopped at Walgreens to buy candy. Are you keeping track of the food? You should. Three large boxes of "Dots", "Snowcaps" and "Nerds".
Check.

Next stop, Burger King. I told my eight year old granddaughter that we could eat anywhere. I was sort of thinking Applebee's or Chili's. Too bad for me, as Junie B. Jones would say. Burger King it was.

We went to the Burger King that has a play area and ordered our semi warm dinner of cheeseburgers and fries. Should I have complained? Your darned right I should have but for some reason, my brain didn't let me know this.

It all worked out though as when we entered the filthy and extremely hot play area, the only other person there was Amanda and her two young children. Both close to Sarahs age. 


Amanda went to school and was friends with my now nearly twenty-nine year old daughter Ginny. She, her husband and children are now members of my church.


This was great for Sarah. She had someone to play with and the three of them got alone well. This gave Amanda and I time to talk. She is a very sweet woman and since I haven't seen her but a few times since she was in grade school, it was fun catching up with her life and family.


We talked about the time that she and her husband had to live with her parents for a short while as there house was being built with their two young children. The conversation revolved around the old saying "You can never go home again".


The conversation led , somehow , to one day shortly after my oldest daughter received her masters degree. It would be the last day that I would see her in our home state as she was headed for the Carolina's for her first "real" job. She started in South Carolina and ended up, for now, settling in North Carolina.


As I explained our goodbye that day to Amanda, I felt the tears welling up in my eyes at the thought of that hug and all of the sobs Ginny and I had for each other.


That was it. She was her own woman and it went by in the blink of an eye.


I suppose for a moment I felt a bit embarrassed that I was starting to cry. But then I remembered the type of person that Ginny's friend was. I just wiped away the tears and we continued to have a very nice conversation.

About an hour went by and I knew it was time for Sarah and I to leave. We were now headed for the theater to see " Furry Revenge ". 


Sarah and I have wonderful conversations. She is an excellent talker! I was instructed to ask her questions about school on the drive to the theater. She also has an excellent memory as I do believe she has nearly every child in her classes birthdays memorized. In the order of there births?!


We arrived at the theater in plenty of time to order our popcorn and sodas, and to also watch the previews. Previews are important so that we can plan the next movie that we will go see together.


She was not happy. The next one that she wanted to see doesn't come out until next summer. She was not happy. But I'm sure that we will figure something else out.


The movie wasn't quite as funny as I thought it would be but Sarah loved it and the candy and the popcorn and the soda. And so did I.


Storms were headed our way. Thankfully they held off. We were on our way home. On the way to the theater we noticed a carnival in town. A large Ferris Wheel was spotted. Sarah mentioned to me that she had never been on a Ferris wheel that big. 

My wheels started spinning which was a bit of a surprise considering the way that I have been feeling as of late. So on the way home from the theater, grandma whipped her car into the parking lot of the carnival. Sarah said "What?". 


I asked her if she would like to ride the giant Ferris Wheel with the understanding that grandma couldn't afford more than that ride. She is such a smart and sweet girl. She agreed. 


It cost $8.00 for her and I to go on one ride. It's no wonder there weren't many people there. It may not seem like a lot to some but after dinner and the theater well, it was a lot for me.


Sarah was very willing as she tightly held my hand. Although I did sense a bit of nervousness. We had to walk a long way to get there which wasn't easy for me but I didn't care. I wanted to experience a first with her.


The weather was warm, humid and windy as we approached the Ferris Wheel. When it was time for us to board she was a trooper, while tightly clutching my hand. We sat down and were strapped in.


This brought back a scary yet fond memory for me. When I was about five years old, my mother took me on a Ferris Wheel ride and it broke down while we were on the very top. All I remember was that it took a long time for the fire department to show up and fix whatever the problem was. I have no idea. It was in the sixties and I was very young. I only remember Mom comforting me all the while. Today I have no fear of heights so I guess she did a good job.

Sarah was still a bit nervous as we took off into the sky. I, like my mother pointed out all of the places that you can see from way up high in the sky. Her grip did relax during our five minute ride. There was a smile on her face and I do believe that I was able to get her to enjoy the wind and the lights and the tiny cars.

Grandma did good. Leaving the ride she was smiling when I noticed a fishing game. Before she could ask I knew that I would offer for her to play. 


Her Daddy, my son, has taught her how to fish. She's good at it. This is where I start to think about my waning faith as of late. 

I had to let her fish. Money be damned. 


She caught two fish and won a giant green monkey that she decided to name "Mrs. Green".


We were good now. She was happy. I couldn't help but wonder if I was happy. I was happy that she was happy.


So in this confusing state we drove home. After walking the dogs and changing into our p.j.'s we went upstairs to my apartment. The whole upstairs is my apartment. We sat in the living room for a long time while watching the Disney channel.


Soon the storm warnings started. Tornado warnings. Great. We were talking about school when I suggested that we go to bed and watch t.v. there. Oh I forgot. We had more pizza rolls too.


It was around midnight when the sirens started to blare. O.K. you have to know two important things. 


#1 whomever is in charge of the sirens in our town is so extreme that no one pays attention to them any more. This is not a good thing. They set them off at a drop of the hat at they go on and on.

#2 I am not afraid of storms at all. This is not good. My older daughter Ginny, called my younger daughter Kate, at her friends house to tell her to call me and warn me that we may be in a tornado zone.


The reason for the call is a funny story that I will elaborate on at another time.


It's going on midnight now and as I looked out of my bedroom window, I thought it wise that we move downstairs while my granddaughter was clutching her body to mine!


We have a basement to which I assured Sarah we had a safe place to go in case of an emergency. I turned the weather channel on, watched the pouring rain and river run down our street as Sarah wrapped herself in a blanket on the sofa.


Ten minutes and the storm was over. We headed back up to bed where she read a Junie B. Jones book to me. I think we fell asleep around 1:00a.m.


This morning my state of mind has improved. We had breakfast, read some more and then I had to take my sweet granddaughter home as she was to have an overnight guest.


On my way home I realized that I have been shutting myself away from people, life and activities that involve others. While I am still capable of making others happy, I have been ignoring myself.

This is easy to do. We all do it.

The following is Martin Luther's take on Ecclesiastes, which struck a chord in me.


But faith teaches him that God has ordered all things according to his own purposes (3:1-15;5:19;6:1-2;9:1) and that man's role is to accept these, including his own limitations, as Gods appointments. Man, therefore,should be patient and enjoy life as God gives it. He should know his own limitations and not vex himself with unrealistic expectations. He should be prudent in everything, living carefully before God and the King and, above all, fearing God and keeping his commandments (12:13).


I think that I put too much pressure on myself to be all and do all for all. I know that I am not the only woman, wife and mother to feel this.


So I am going to try, just for tonight to follow Luther's advice. 


This is not easy for me as of late. I have been in a state. A state of sadness, insecurity, pain, sadness, loneliness, and fear.


Isn't this what we all feel? Surely I am not alone. This much I know. 


Yet I realize that I am truly an amazing person. At least that's what God thinks. 


I am so different from you and my individuality makes me amazing. Just as yours does you. 

So you see, I can't be down for long. I will rise above this awful feeling. And if I don't , well , at the very least I was able to experience " The Big Ferris Wheel " with my beautiful granddaughter for her very first time.
 

22 comments:

Gail said...

Hi DIANA

Oh my, this is a wonderful, deep, profound post. The tears are just falling. I knew right away that your grief over your Mom is at the root - after all, Mother's Day is a week from Sunday. So, of course your pain and loss are magnified tremendously. I am so sorry.

I love EVERAYTHING you did with Sarah - wonderful memories being created.
ANd DI? Ya, it is SO okay to take care of yourself and honor your grief - you will be "back out with people" soon enough...meanwhile your awareness that you are grieving and honoring that is first, just for now. At least through the first year AND perhaps up to the first three years....

YOU are amazingly string and SO true. I am thrilled that we found one another.

Love to you
Gail
peace.....

Barb said...

Hi Di,
Many months after my Mother died - when I thought I should be getting on with life - I was a wreck! While you are unique in what you are feeling (as we are all unique), perhaps your grief is weighing even more heavily because the initial shock has worn off and you're feeling the full weight of the loss and sadness. Sharing time with Sarah was special for you both. As you remember your Grandma so fondly, she'll remember you. Take time to cry when you need to - you'll begin socializing again when the time is right. Take care of YOU, Di!

Ginnie said...

I have to be very careful not to isolate. Being alone is one thing but when it turns in to isolation it's time to force myself to get out of it.
I'm glad you could work through it and grief is hard to control.

Bonny said...

That is wonderful that you are making memories with your granddaughter. They are ones she will never forget and cherish as she gets older. I have a wonderful relationship with my MaMaw and cherish the time I have with her still.
I think that we all get into these kind of funks. I myself have been back and forth so much lately, like a nasty rollercaoster you want off of. I too feel like I have not just gave it up to God. It just seems easier to say that sometimes than to actually do it and keep going. You are not alone.
Love to you<3 and many blessings
Bonny

Robynn's Ravings said...

Hi Friend - I don't think grief can operate on a time continuum. It just is. Yep, life goes on as you experienced in all your fun with your granddaughter. But you still ache for your mom. I still ache for my sister and it's been 40years. Be as kind to yourself as you would be to any of us. And with your husband gone so much that's VERY hard, too.

Thankfully, you have a wonderful relationship with our heavenly Father who is our wonderful comforter. Have you ever read the book, Traveling Lightly, by Max Lucado? The chapter on grief spoke to me like nothing else ever has.

Love and hugs to you and prayer that God will heal you and send you many happy days.

Robynn

Rebecca said...

Don't you find there is healing in writing out our feelings - putting them on paper where we can own, embrace, and accept ourselves? I believe you stumbled on many answers to your loneliness/grief/depression - ALL of which are part of life. Life is NOT always "up".

Would you believe I'm teaching a ladies' Sunday School class on the book of Ecclesiastes? We're on chapter 3 this morning! Answers to the meaningless and monotony of life! Well, not "answers" exactly, but insight!

Your reflections here ring SO consistent with those of Solomon (and actually every honest heart of all ages & all times).

Your time with Sarah was God-ordained. I have no question about it!

One day at a time. One MINUTE at a time. I've been in a similar place you are describing - often! Actually, sort of in in right now.

Love & prayers. God reigns and He's as close as the mention of His Name.

Anvilcloud said...

I think that ups and downs are natural. Downs can be related to health, time of life, stress, and no doubt other things. If you're a reader, you could try getting lost in a really good book or two. It can be an escape from yourself and your troubles. If it goes on very long, however, do seek medical help.

Maria said...

Hi Diana!
Oh everyone's comments here are so healing and wonderfully written...

Not a day goes by {all these 30+ years} that I don't think of my mother. With each season of life, I miss her for a new reason.
The women who commented here do speak truth... the shock is gone, but the "missing" of that person in our lives goes on.
I am so very grateful for my sister who is such a dear person in my life... and for friends and the dear people I have found here in blogland ~ to make the world friendlier and sweeter.
I think you gave yourself the right 'medicine' for how you were feeling. A child is so very 'fresh from God.' They bring us close to His heart...as Sarah did for you. Children give lots of really great hugs too... that physical comfort is so important ♥

I love the spirit of this blogger:
Julie Harward
http://circlecliffviews.blogspot.com/
In her sidebar she has written something that I love to read again and again about how connected we all are.

... as Rebecca wrote, He is as close to us as His name ~
I wish you lots of SONshine ♥ Maria

Wanda said...

Di, you are a woman's woman! You have such insight of yourelf, that's what keeps the sadness of life from taking over. I was so concerned for your state of mind, at first, Diana, but saw you gently and intelligently come to acknowledge the source of your pain and loss of joy. Losing your mom, seeing the 'empty nest' looming, health issues, our age, etc....I've been there, but there is contentment, afterwards! As women and mothers, our 'self' loses it's familiar identity and purpose along the way sometimes, but change can be good. I'm more of a grandmother than mother now, if that makes sense...it brings a feeling of freedom I believe and a newer sense of self!

You have a gift for writing, Di!
...Wanda♥

Lois Evensen said...

Hello Diana,

What a beautiful post from beginning to end. We can all identify with so much if not all of it.

My Mother died in 1985; my father died in 1998. I cared for both of them before their deaths and we were very close. I still "talk" with both of them, especially when I am doing things that we did together and I know they enjoyed. I can't pass an Iris in the garden without thinking of my mother; I can't take a photograph without thinking of my father.

The heartache pain of my parents' deaths has eased and now the wonderful, happy times are often in my mind. I enjoy those thoughts and have been known to be working in the garden now and talking aloud to my mother. And, I can't tell you how many times I have said aloud, "Oh, Daddy, I miss you so. I wish you could see...." These are not sad feelings, they are more properly described and "fond remembrances."

And, so, Dear Diana, know that you are a beautiful, normal (important to know about ourselves), thoughtful, woman. By sharing our experiences, we all grow stronger.

Hugs and love,
Lois

Jenny said...

Di, I'm so glad you wrote all this.

Don't you think it's OK to feel this way? You have had so much change and loss over the past year...

Why isn't it OK to let this be the "season" you are in.

I think we always feel the need to put on a stiff upper lip and act like we're all together when we are, indeed, hurting and lonely and confused inside.

Be kind to yourself, Di.

It looks like you are doing some wonderful happy things...

But the tears and the sad are OK, too.

This too shall pass.

Hugs and hugs and HUGS to you this Sunday morning!

Teresa said...

Hi Di,
It touches my heart to know how sad you are feeling...I know sad well. I was thinking about one of your comments about your dreams, and how you did not think they would ever come true. Oh Di, don't ever stop dreaming, I honestly think you are a writer...I am not sure if you dream of being one, but you have an amazing talent.

You are strong, you are unique, and you have so much to give from all that uniqueness...you have a story to tell...I just know it!!! (((HUGS))) TT

linda said...

Diana,

This was such a touching post and so beautifully written. Thank you for sharing your heart with us and reminding us that we need to connect with people and loved ones regularly.

It's easy for women to isolate themselves from the world and it's often hard to find the way back. We've all been there. I know I have.

So glad that time with your granddaughter helped with your sadness and loniness. Nothing like being with a child to make you feel like one! I love that you took her for the ferris wheel ride! If that didn't lift your spirits, nothing will! It sounds like you gave yourself and your granddaughter an amaging day!

Teacher's Pet said...

Di..you are not alone, my friend. I read your post and will re-read it...and something stands out throughout the post...love. Love for your Mom...your granddaughter...your husband...your family. Love does carry us through. Love never fails.
I'm so glad that you were able to spend time with your granddaughter...quality time, too.
I smiled at the fun things you did together...right down to ending the evening with Junie B. Jones...what a great day for you both. I hug you, Di.
Love to you,
Jackie

Dee said...

Hugs to you Diana...it is amazing how a night with a grandchild can make the world a little happier of a place to be. At the art show my first doodle to sell was grief. It is a powerful emotion that is subtle but cutting. From the time I found out my dear Frank needs a heart transplant the sky does not seem as blue and the sun does not shine as bright for me but the Lord has a hold of my hand and keeps leading me on and I find peace and joy with him just as long as I do not let go of his hand!

Bill ~ {The Old Fart} said...

Di, God knew you needed him, this is why he sent Sarah to you then you had the chance meeting with Amanda.

I felt good as I read this, I am sure things will be good for you now.

I also believe that our Loved Ones can look down from Heaven and see us I am sure that Your Mum knew you were hurting and asked God to watch over you.

Blessings my friend.

All Dolled Up Doll Clothes said...

Diana, You are right, YOU are an amazing person. I loved hearing about your "gals night out" with Sarah again. In fact, you have inspired me to do the same with my granddaughter. Every day you are an inspiration to many who read your blog. I do understand how you can feel sadness and lonliness and it's a hard thing to pull yourself out of but just know that we are all here for you and love you too. Thanks for sharing some of your most personal, heartfelt thoughts with me. I sometimes feel like you are just telling my own story.

Hugs to you
Terrie

Mary Ann said...

The only thing that I can think to add is "sleep, lots of it" can't hurt. Between the grief and the painting project, you could be wearing yourself out. Take care of you.

Bernie said...

Oh my sweet friend, I have experienced these feelings many times and my heart aches for you. I think the timing is everything and it being Mother's Day, as well (this is huge).....your role in this world is changing, you will continue seeing major changes sweetie for the next few years then comes an awesome time and feeling...you will feel confident, secure and accepting.
Everything will work out for you Di as you are on top of it, be patient and gentle with yourself. It is impossible to be all things to all people all the time but you can be all things to yourself for a few minutes each day, it will make such a difference. Love you my friend always......:-) Hugs

Eileen said...

Oh, Di, I think so many, many things play into our feelings, and you've had a few 'life altering' experiences lately. It's natural to feel such sadness. And I don't think it's depression, it's just being sad for valid reasons.
And I think we all go through periods in our lives when our lives are so changed, and not always for the better, so of course we are going to feel that life will never be good again.
But I assure you, it will never be the same again, but it will be good.
And in the meantime, be good to yourself, give yourself that breathing room to be sad, to feel a little sorry for yourself.
You're doing fine, Di. You've lost a lot, and you have to work through that, but you also know you have much to be grateful for, and you do appreciate it, Di. I can see that with the beautiful time you spent with your granddaughter.
That really was beautiful, Di. You and Sarah are a Blessing to each other.

So wish we could do a face-to-face chat!
I have a zillion crazy situations going on here too, but, what are going to do? Life goes on, and, like you, I choose to dwell on the GOOD!
I always say, "Let's enjoy the good moments in between all the crap that life throws at us!"

Love and Prayers,
Eileen

arlee bird said...

At first when I started reading I was thinking that, oh no, here's another one of these woe is me doesn't everyone feel sorry for me stories. But as I continued I started thinking that I too have felt this sometimes. I could see you were not just trudging through a feeling sorry for yourself state of being, but you have the same ups and downs, doubts and fears that we all have from time to time. I was living your experience and understanding the times when I have felt much the same way.

You expressed your thoughts beautifully and told your story in an engaging manner. Well done, my lady.

Lee
Tossing It Out

Linda Higgins said...

Wow Di! this is an amazing post. It must be the weather. I too have been feeling very down lately. When you body gives out on you and you are miserable, it just seems to allow you to feel sorry for yourself. I so needed to read this post today! I love you for it. It has helped me soooo much to realize I am not alone. Of course I am never alone and I know that, because the Lord is always with me...just seems like sometime he makes me go through stuff that I don't think I should....cause I can never figure out why I have to. Not sure if I ever really learn anything from it. But again....thanks. Yes, you are an amazing woman...