Looks Like Summer, but Mother Nature Lies

Here in sunny Southern California, it’s a beautiful sunny day. Actually, it’s been lovely and sunny for the last few days, and although the grassy knoll in front of my patio is soaked through, the sun will quickly see that the grass areas, the bushels, the shrubs and all the trees will soon take to drying. And for what? Useless. There is a storm coming Saturday, Sunday and Monday, as brutal as Californians are prone to believe. Of course, none of our storms are any measure comparable to back east, or the southern states. But for us, it is pretty awesome and a bit frightening; we are just not used to major upheaval. Which segues into my true thoughts.

I’m thinking about major upheavals when everything seems calm and lovely. I am thinking about disaster when nothing seems awry, and all seems so beautiful peaceful. I suppose it is because of the book I read, well….two books to be exact. Well, probably more than that. I am after all, a melancholic heart. And no, I’m not bipolar or schizophrenic, I am simply a very hypersensitive soul. Nothing wrong with that, except around those who don’t even have a soul.

But, getting back to my original thoughts, the novel (a short one at that, may even be called a novelette) of about 246 pages, awoke me back to reality. You see, when things are bright and cheery (like that sun) it can be a ruse; it can be a cloak over the true reality, that the world is a dangerous place, that Mother Nature isn’t as sweet as everyone would like to believe; that Mother Nature enjoys a brief break from what we think is reality and pulls a fast one, like a Tsunami. That is what happened to Somali Deraniyagala, the author of her book, “Wave.”

Now I know there are many stories about Tsunamis, about treaturous ties, storms, mudslides, string accidents, and to include, I must; murders and suicides. All of this is the reality no one wants to face. But it’s there. So Sonali reminds me once again, what it looks like to have a seemingly perfect life, and how it seems at times we do not feel the gratitude we ought.

And then our life shifts before our eyes and we are in a different reality. It’s still reality, but it complexly 180 degrees from what we knew. And it is like starting over in such a way that we try to wiggle our way out but we cannot. We must eventually accept the changes. And that is quite painful and sometimes takes years. This is what her story tells me; it took her years, she went through much rebellion toward this new reality, she tried to erase herself from it. Nothing worked. Eventually, she accepted it with some kind of negotiable end; she visits her past reality now and then, by imagining what it would be if it had continued. I cannot fathom the critical catastrophe she experienced and I don’t want to. Yet, who can say what can happen?

So why am I bringing this melancholic discussion at all? Because. I want to remind myself the urgent need to ALWAYS have gratitude for EVEYTHING. I sometimes want to throw my husband off the highest cliff, wheelchair and all. But then I remember what we had when we first met. I think about his mother who died not being able to have the surety of her son’s well-being after his terrible ordeal. I think about his son, who needs to chat with him often.

No, I am not being funny, although there are constant jokes about spouses killing each other. Statistics show how often spouses do kill each other, as well as their children. Such horrid reality. Do we think about sometimes getting away from our spouses, children, parents? Bumping them off, so we can be free of our responsibilities as we were when we were children? You needn’t tell me, but you do need to see the reality of it. Further, because many people Do feel this way, and since they cannot get away with such a thing (maybe they still have a conscience?) instead they hurt animals. Don’t lie, I work in a room with a very big window to look out at. Sometimes I see people being pretty hostile with their dogs while walking them. I shudder to think what people really do in secret, in their homes, in spaces between them and their charges. But look; look deeply into your own heart, look into your mind and tell yourself the truth. And then imagine all those gone, who you believe to stand in your way. Imagine them gone in a n instant, and then imagine what will you do? And you will find that those selfish, self-seeking feelings are still there. And you will find that you lost everything and had not realized how much those around you–including your pets–meant so much to the comfort and joy of your life. It was YOU who was the sinner, the cruel soul, the dark shadow of your life. You will realize that your reality is not half as bad as someone like, say…Sonali. Sure she’s built her life back up after about 8 years or so. But those wounds on her soul will always be there. She didn’t bring it on either; Mother Nature lied and made her family believe their vacation would be beautiful and safe; Mother Nature lied–she’s not as wonderful as we all think. God forbid you are caught in Mother Nature’s mischievous side, her dark side and uncaringly murders a multitude of souls for fun. It can happen to anyone; in a tsunami, in a car accident, in a fire, in heart attacks, strokes, suffocation, trips and falls. But it can happen, and my biggest point here is to be satisfied with your lot in life. Love the ones you are with, even if you are all homeless, be kind, be grateful, be God-like. We we made in the image of God. Mother Nature was made to keep consistency on earth, but she flares every so often, then returns to her subservient position, obeying God’s rule of consistency. Okay, I’m a bit dramatic.. I’m a writer what do you expect? But seriously, take heart in hand and hold those close who you love. Be grateful you are even alive, it could be you that disappears.

Save it for the Morning After

Electric Counterpart” by Pat Metheny, “Smooth Jazz” by Roy Ayers, and “Everybody’s gotta Learn Sometime” by Beck.

Dedicated to my baby girl, now in Heaven with my Big Sis

November 7, 2010 – October 1, 2022

I awoke this morning with a song in my head, and quickly began singing it to myself. It was the song, “Everybody’s Gotta Learn Sometime” by Beck. For some reason I had a heavy heart, feeling contemplative, yet longing to extricate myself from this sorrow. I realized it was one week since my sister’s (MY) dog, Lela died. How can one miss so much a dog so loved, yet such an annoying little pet. She would plop herself down wherever she wanted, and we would have to say rather loudly, “Excuse me,” and then she would move. No matter where I went, she wanted to follow then plop herself on my feet rendering me frozen, unable to move again, unless I called out, “Lela, I gotta get up!” She would stand and lean on my lap growling at times, and I didn’t quite get it until suddenly I checked her water and she was out! Or if she had to go outdoors to do business, she would do the same… All these things now… I miss terribly. I knew she was getting older, but she was left to me from my eldest sister, who I loved so much and also miss terribly. My sister died the day after Christmas, 2018. Still, I miss her awful. Will I feel the same about Lela every time I remember Saturday, October 1, 2022? I don’t know…probably.

I go to the computer keyboard in my private room, after setting my first words here. I am listening to a lot of my music, and planning—yes, PLANNING. What am I planning? I have yet to discover this subtle manifestation of events crawling out of me, but I sense an upheaval in the dead of night. You would think, at this time in my life, that energetic youth is over, as I am, definitely, at the winter of my years. But after having gone through what most people go through in their mid-years; after losing everything financially, and having to start ALL OVER AGAIN; after suffering such a depression that I don’t know why I’m still standing, there is this resurging of life coming on, and I feel a “do over” creeping up my spine.

I don’t know what that feeling entails. I only know that there is a lot of creative energy in me I have kept quiet for so long, wanting to exercise its power.  I don’t know what to expect just yet, but something—so I contemplate: what is going on inside me? I lose my baby girl, Lela, I cry heavily like a crazy person, and then a week goes by and I’m feeling a resurge of life somehow. Perhaps my sister and HER dog are happy together again, and I can try and be happy too, even though I miss both of them terribly.

Let me assess my inventory.

1) I am writing a few novels which I’ve been writing all my life. I have never been sure enough, however, where they go in the scheme of things, or if I have any skill at all, or if they are worthy of worldly exposure.  Frankly I still don’t know where they will be taken. But they suddenly beckon for me to finish… This is not the problem, though. They beckon me to finish in a way that is foreign to me, and it frightens me to think that my characters know something about me, better than I know about myself, that I MUST do in order to achieve success in this department.

2) I have so many short stories I’ve been wanting to edit and I do a little at a time. Also, my poems. Too many of them are “dark.” I think because I feel everything too deeply, example? Lela. My sister. Frida, my Chihuahua that was hit by a car right in front of me. Edison, my baby Yorkie boy, I bought him when my daughter began her estrangement toward me. There are so many other events and miseries, but I’ll not burden you with them all.

I’ve wanted to add some of those poems I’ve kept inside me that celebrate life–and there are some inside me, believe me. The bottom line here, though, is similar to the novels. All the themes, characters, and allusions and symbols and personifications, et. al, well……like a crowd of teen-agers, they call me out to just let myself go, and fall on them, as they promise to “catch me.”

3) I’ve been becoming more and more aged and physically I am faltering physically on a gradual pace, but assuredly it is showing me signs to the soft end of my existence nonetheless. Yet, there is something in me that tells me that I am in control of this, and I can turn it around if I stop thinking about joining all my family and pets in Heaven, but to stop falling into oblivion, specifically with my old soulful healing power of music and singing. I love music, and I love to sing, or at least I did. I might say, I sense a “power” beckoning once more to me: “Come on, stop holding your breath, stop suffocating yourself, and let out those notes that are uniquely your own sound. Sing-OUT LOUD!

4) The hardest thing to let go is the need to get away from it all. It isn’t anyone’s fault. They love me as a particular person whom they have known all of their lives. But events have changed me inside, ever since I’ve gone through so many losses. All people go through losses, but it occurs to me that I become more and more wounded by the loss of yet one more person or animal I love. It is this phenomenon that has wreaked havoc on my confidence and identity that I held to most of my life because I can not trust when or where I might break down in sorrow; I cannot trust myself not to lash out at innocent bystanders because I feel a sense of anger for those people and because of my loss of them.

So. I’ve changed and I need to test who this “different person” is. Needless to say, I am here, thinking aloud on the BLOG, wondering how all of this will occur. But…What stops me is always the same thing…. I mentioned “the winter of my years,” right?

Well, I keep attempting to find work, since I have lost all my property, and it may be a product of traumatic  guilt and stress for losing everything I hoped to leave to my children. I am no longer capable of telling you what kind of “retirement” I ever will have, as I lost my real estate to the banks, and those two houses were my retirement and my childrens’ estate. I’ve exhausted everything….I’m in limbo at present.

So again, isn’t this the best time for me to finish the writing I’ve accumulated? Well, yes, but….You see, with all that has happened in the past two and a half years I am somewhat in a psychological slump that feels like a concrete tomb. I think it is called “depression.” I had been unable to believe I could rise from this concrete of depression, and it seemed to be hardening each day as I drew a shallow breath within it. I think THIS is the “THING” that is happening. I am going to be “breaking out” of this cement soon. How, I’m not yet sure.

I feel it must be done soon, for I really don’t know how long I will be around. If you pray, save a prayer for me(https://youtu.be/6Uxc9eFcZyM). It’s overwhelming to imagine the job ahead of me, my novel(s), and the many, many things I have to leave behind before I go, for this now is what I leave for my children as my only estate. And as the poet whispers in my ear: I have miles and miles to go before I sleep (Robert Frost, June 1922).

Three Reasons for Falling Short

by Lydia Nolan

Lately I have lost motivation for everything I had desire for or to do, or any journey to take. I had plans to carry out various goals and strategies someday. I am no longer interested in going forward at all. Something is amiss.

I have read enough psychological articles, books, biographies to know there are a myriad of reasons why I’ve come to a plateau such as this. I would venture to stake my life on a particular one, but for clarification, I shall post more than one. Shall we say, three?

First of all, there is the concept of being stymied. Something is in the way of proceeding that causes one to stop due to the obstruction or whatever the obstacle may be.

It could be a physical obstruction, like a surgery that has got you laid up on a bed for six months forfeiting your plans for that cruise. Maybe a loss of a job has posed a problem for you to obtain Christmas gifts for your seven little children, or it could be your car has been stolen just before you were to pick up your date for the first time after her turning you down five times.

Or maybe it’s a spiritual or emotional obstruction, like you were going to be a new recruit in Chile, but all flights were frozen for three weeks making it impossible for you to be sworn in at the mandatory meeting. Or it could be that you were going away to college on a scholarship but your mother is dying of a terminal disease and she is at the moment of transition from life to death; it may take a few days–or a few months, making you second guess your leaving altogether.

Being stymied is like having a big boulder sitting in front of you. This boulder creates in you a sense of lock down or freeze and causes to wonder if the choice or method you were about to embark upon may not be the one for you, so you become unable to go forward. You are intimidated because you cannot move it, but it has managed to manipulate your ability to move forward; you are at a loss for decision-making, movement, or qualifying an earlier choice. So, you are stymied.

Another reason for making one fall short is self-sabotage. You have a personality; everyone does. Within this personality you have some contradictions made by nature and nurture. Everyone has that too. But what if your nurture contradicts your nature, yet is there within you for a reason of guilt, a sense of loyalty, or sentimentality. Maybe your mother died while you were studying abroad in Spain, and since you are guilt-ridden that you were not near to comfort her you quit school. Or maybe your spouse has decided he/she wants a divorce and since you lost that sense of loyalty you begin your road to alcoholism which takes you into a spiral and you are no longer able to run your professional position as CEO of a million dollar trust fund. Or God forbid, as a child you were so abuses mentally that you can never believe you are good at anything, so every time an opportunity comes up you either don’t show up because your excuses is your car didn’t start, or you wake up late for that special interview, or you introduce your best friend to the man or woman you are secretly in love with, knowing they will fall for each other. You never admit these things, you sabotage yourself, most of the time, in a sub-conscious level.

But the worst reason I believe for falling short is this: burnout. If one has experienced a lot of all the things mentioned above or similar events under the labels of stymied or selfsabotaged and battled to win over those issues only to be faced with yet another wave to swim actively or float over, well… it’s much like that of paddling desperately in the ocean and waiting for someone to rescue you; and finally, you realize no one is coming and at that point you give up wading, swimming, paddling, and holding yourself up and you become a slab of meat ready for sharks to enjoy dinner; you no longer care…

There it is. Three major reasons for falling short. All of them works against the grain; against the waves that consistently roll over all of us, while we struggle to get through them.

Many of us consistently continue; we call those strong-willed and that’s good, more power to them. But for those who are not so strong in the will, we need a rescuer; someone that will allow us to cast your cares upon him. I did that. I USED TO BE strong-willed, but even that kind of character can get tired of wading in the chaotic and unknowable future (the wave).

Our Theory of Friendship

by Lydia Nolan

© October 31, 2022

“A friend sticks to, through thick or thin,

If they don’t, then, they don’t understand the true meaning of a friend.”

~Lydia Nolan

Families usually do not encompass friendship. Being raised with a number of family members, especially if we are raised in a dysfunctional family, they do not usually want to be reminded of the many little hurts and pains experienced in that segment of growing up. So we turn to friends we meet, in school, church, groups of similar interests, and to a certain extent they become our new family. It's much easier to extricate ourselves from them (we think), if we have a fallout with them. It is easier to just stop talking to those "friends" that were a surrogate family, and who now become nothing to us. But is that really true? Are there no scars from those fallouts? Are there reminders within those fallouts of the original family fallouts that led to what we call carrying baggage or leading to being jaded?
Oddly, we don't usually remember the positive experiences we have had when we were being raised in our family setting. Oddly, we are unable to forgive too, our family members for wrongs, even though we forgive lovers, some friends, and even strangers we read about or watch on TV, for something they have done or neglected to do. 
But we have trouble remembering good in family, and we have trouble forgiving our family members as easily as we do those outside of our family dynamics. If we don't forgive we cannot ignore that there is something inside ourselves that have problematic areas in our human compartments that affect our future behaviors, endeavors, relationships. Oh, we can ignore in ourselves yet point out critically in others, those unforgiving behaviors, critical Judgments. We are human, which means we fall short of, or are sinful and erroneous in our thinking, even in our emotional and intellectual perspectives because sin is forever before us, whether ourselves or others we encounter. It's not your fault, it's not my fault, but it is a true fact, that human flesh is a sinful being itself, and while we walk in this world, with these bodies, we will encounter trouble. 
I learned through coming to faith in Jesus Christ how beautiful it is to forgive, and how beautiful it is not only to forgive others, but forgive ourselves for all the public and secret things we may have done or had done to us. So when I say a friend is one who sticks to you through thick as well as thin, or they are not a friend, it is very true. But do not take it wrong. It doesn't mean we should hate those who can't support us as we need. It doesn't mean we should forgive only those who ask for it, and not those who don't. It doesn't mean if we ourselves can't make it through a friendship, that we are unforgivable. What it does mean is we have diluted the true meaning of friendship. This concept applies to marriage as well. I might venture to say, especially marriage.
True friendship is an unconditional love we ourselves cannot do, nor do we have it ourselves. But only through a greater source can we transcend our own weak flesh. Only through a greater source can we transcend ANYthing or ANYome's weaknesses or troubles. We cannot do it ourselves, no matter how much you say you can, you cannot. There will be someplace in your memory or experiences where someone else touches that hurt and you will hate them for it. But don't be dismayed. God is love, and love was born on earth to show us how to love like God. And if we cannot do it, just remember Jesus did it by forgiving every one of those humans that didn’t understand him, that used him only for his fame or food, or to gain prestige, and finally those he loved and taught who murdered him. He forgave every one of those types of humans, and then He showed the the way to an everlasting body that will not falter. Jesus is SUPERMAN in reality, born on a day we celebrate as Christmas Day, to bring us the example of a perfect person in flesh, breathed into flesh from the creator God, and can transform us through his Holy Spirit. Only Jesus can give you that perfectness, but you will never have it without holding on to this Man/God, Jesus Christ.

There is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother ~Proverbs 18:24

No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you. ~ (said Jesus) John 15:15


Being a writer isn’t always glamorous. In fact, it’s not glamorous at all, at least not while you are actually writing. There are many components to writing besides the actual narrative you write. I call these components peripherals, and they are just as necessary as your written works, not very unlike the peripheral vision one has in the eyes; that part of your vision that sees things coming, of which you now have warning and instantaneous defense because of its view to the sides of your direct focus. To name a few here, let me explain how a few of three components are as necessary as writing and must be honed as well.

  1. Strategic planning Your writing, whether a series of, or one novel, a lecture, or whatever it may be, must be finished at some point. It should be laid out in such a way as to be deadlined and ordered, however, if for no other reason than you decide to create timeframes for which you have set yourself, for future projects. This means intricate planning, yes, meticulous, yes. Some may say this is the hardest part before the actual written work. I might agree, except, I enjoy planning and plotting, and utilizing those plans and plots to create a masterpiece well written.
  2. Without distraction. Depending upon the deadline or timeframe by which you have set for yourself, you must keep distractions at bay. For example, if you plan on writing a novel, and it must be done within six months, figure out how many pages (or words) you will be writing (according to your strategic plan), the content of your work and the research time it will take to employ verisimilitude to your fiction, and your own known energy output before waning into non-creative rhetoric, add up your pages and/or words a day you must create then plow through.
  3. Financial Support. There is that… the physical (financial) and emotional support, (not to ignore the spiritual) yes, all this must be harmonious, or at least kept from chaos until you are able to finish that tsunami of creativity that must be expelled, for the most part, all at once. For many, maybe most, writers, creativity comes in tsunamis, like while washing the car, or waiting in line for a meal, or taking your pet for a walk . For someone to be able to CREATE a work of art, life around that someone must be at peace and without the stress or anxiety of a loved one or bill collector breathing down the neck. If you have a significant other, they must have known what living with a writer would be like; they will (hopefully) be willing to be of help (dinner, dishes, pets, etc.) when you are in the middle of a plot block or climactic finish.

These three little points seem trivial, but they are not. They are so important to a novelist, an author or writer of any kind of work that must be impeccable to be submitted with the writer’s own integrity. A good work of art takes true focus and energy to the task. Only a true believer in the writer/artist will understand what I have just said.

The Zombie Phenomena

This morning I had all intentions of writing something of artistic, creative & loving value. And then came the computer, Silicon Valley’s Satan. Its developers’ dossier: techie squeelers, billing trailers, secret gateway soldiers, identity shifters, and all sorts of negative technical TRICKS in which they are capable of keeping themselves masked and anonymous while robbing us all blind, are alive and well–horned and forked.

These obstacles online are what writers have to contend with just to try and lay out something beautiful, creative, artistic, loving, to someone out there who needs a little hope in humanity, through the World Wide Web (archaic term, now, is it not?).

I would much rather write letters but, who reads letters anymore? The left says we are killing trees (but it’s okay to kill people with their rhetoric). So we ALL must turn “GREEN,” must we? Okay, sounds like they are doing good, but Satan spoke a good lie to Eve, too.

By the time I use the new “green” way of life; to pay bills online, play “fix-it” with the calendars’ erroneous alerts, uploading software apps, hardware extensions, plowing a multitude of passwords into my brain, receiving account errors and having to call phone numbers and wait to talk to someone for help, about–yes that’s right–about half an hour or more, forcing me to initiate add-ons, a million new emails from people, companies, & institutions I have never subscribed to, but who got my info. from “trusted” registrations… I am in such a fowl mood it is unbelievable how these annoying constants change my joy to misery so quickly, and…but, is it so quickly? Noooooooo.

In fact, I set out to write at 8:30 am and ended up finished with all the computer crap that I am now at the 2:00 pm hour, having written nothing but angry statements like this and the post before this one!! And now, my time is up, I must do OTHER incidental things like walking the dogs, washing breakfast dishes, cleaning, preparation for tonight’s dinner, making sure of hampers not being overloaded & if they are, to wash clothes, then, out of exhaustion–both emotionally and physically (but really emotionally from the morning’s techie activities) I begin to eat junk, drink junk, watch tv empty-headed and in a vegetative state, and what is it you say?

I should take hold of all this nonsense and be a warrior in my own right? Come, come. That only works if one is already on the top of the pile, not those of us who are stabling the ground with our hard-earned dollars to keep those Silicon spoiled-rotten techies on top; richer than rich and having more pleasurable toys to alleviate their own pressures and stresses. No, that is not for the lower classmen, who once were called “middle-class”, and who are now joining the smaller population of lower classmen, to find that the lower class level has increased so greatly as to exonerate blame to the upper classmen who are called … I think … the … 1%?

What I’m getting at is this. We need to somehow STOP THE NONSENSE WITH THE MONEY HUNGRY GRUBBERS WHO ARE DRENCHING THE REST OF THE POPULATION TO NOTHINGNESS. I am tired, I am anxious, I am angry, and I am at my wit’s end.

I CAN’T EVEN. I think you all know what that means, and if you are there too, let’s do something about it. BUT! How? I dare you, or pray you, or whatever it is that will make you TALK TO ME ABOUT THIS!!!!

Give me some ideas by a response. If I get nothing, that means no one’s out there any longer, we’re all already turned into zombies.

Today is One of those Days…

I don’t care what the medical institute says, I don’t believe in BiPolar illness, why? I will tell you. It contradicts Hypersensitive Personality, How? I will tell you.

Hypersensitivity is supposedly a natural phenomenon and is found in 20% of the world population (just reiterating what I read). Hypersensitivity is a personality kind, a way of being, naturally embedded into one’s DNA. The triggers for its heightened activity are: 1) loud noises, 2) crowds, 3) insightful dilemma either in the one or another close to, 4) sense of anything that is either negative or positive, but in heightened emotional intent, 5) … do you get this? It means if you react (or respond, whichever you so choose to call it) to an action, it will be much greater than the average (and other) 80% of the population. Needless to say, the 80% of the population sees the 20% as overreacts, drama kings & queens, neurotic, and so forth. While, the 20% population see the 80% as crass, shallow, demeaning, insensitive, and so forth. Now, let’s throw a wrench in this hurricane, shall we?

To be bipolar is to be mentally ill. Studies have shown there may be a correlation between bipolar illness and trauma in early years or some type of traumatic onset. Thus, whenever any kind of activity occurs that may send them off, the bipolar person is dramatically (either or) depressed or elated. That sounds to me curiously like the persons in the 20%, because these persons, too, have mood swings that occur from outside stimuli.

In fact, both bipolar and hypersensitive persons are affected either negatively or positively by outside influences. And in fact, some doctors of psychology even relate immaturity to those persons who have difficulty controlling their emotions (as these two categories seem to do), making them appear co-dependent as well as bipolar or hypersensitive. or whatever else label you want to call them.

Funny: the labelers are found to be in the persons of the 80%-ers: the shallow, insensitive, devoid of warmth, apathetic, in compassionate persons….Maybe THEY should be labeled as Desensitivers, or DevoidEmotioners, or DeadHeads or something that identifies they have no soul…perhaps Soul-less would be a good name for those persons.

What am I getting at? I am sick to death of the dominate population that has stolen everything from kind, sensitive, emotional-loving people–like art, music, theater, anything that is acutely emotional–and labeled those sweet souls as though something was wrong with them. THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH BEING SENSITIVE OR MOODY in a world filled with licenscious, backbiting, hypocritical, hateful, people who have no integrity, who steal from the kinder souls, and then go about acting like they are normal. I would say the 80% of the population are NARCISSTIC, EGOTISTICAL SOCIO-PATHS, TECKIES that are good at destroying and murdering kind, artistic, and creative souls. This is my story and I AM sticking to it. I would rather be a hypersensitive soul or moody person any day than be a soul-less monster.

[mic dropped]

…And Just like That…

by Lydia Nolan

 January 18, 2021

...And just like that… our lives were sealed.

We would not make it out of this one. Sure, we all have to die someday. But how many of us really live before we die? I sure haven’t. You might say, I did it to myself. We all do it to ourselves. We jump at the present pleasure, rather than see the future outcome in mind and refrain from the Wrong direction. That’s what I did. I never considered the observations of my parents being “unequally yoked.” I should have learned from it, but I did not. Instead, I’ve been dreaming of so many avenues to derail upon from the definite disillusionment I’ve been actually living in the past few months, which, in reality began many, many years ago.

I have thought that there were many years prior to 2020 that were the worst of all years, but 2020 takes the cake of it all.

October 23, 2020:

My husband had been complaining recently about some pains he had in his foot, behind his right knee, and his calf. Nonetheless, he managed to smoke out his pack and a half while working and driving all day on his installation jobs. On October 23rd though, we had checked his blood pressure which had gone sky high. As ignorant as I was about that, I mentioned it to my neighbor upstairs, who is a head nurse.

“Lydia! You’d better get him to emergency, that is WAY TOO HIGH! He could drop from a heart attack or stroke with that kind of pressure.”

“He’s at work, as usual.” I said.

“Call him, get him home and to a doctor.” She said.

She scared me. I called him and demanded he come home immediately. Now, if anyone of you knows me, I am not a demanding person when it comes to my husband, especially since he has conditioned me to give in, as he is a passive-aggressive person when it comes to me. All this is old hash. So I called him and I became more demanding than I ever have.

“Jim, you need to come home right now!”

“What? I can’t, I’m working.”

“I don’t care. If you don’t come home right now, You will be dead or you will have a stroke. [Our neighbor] told me this, and you know she knows what she’s talking about. If you don’t come home right now, I’m leaving you for good. Think about your family for once!” 

Naturally, that didn’t scare him, I’ve been leaving him for the thirty-two years of our thirty-five year marriage. What did scare him is that he did not feel good and his blood pressure was so high, and our neighbor got involved. So, he came home.

Shortly after he got home, I called emergency. They checked his blood pressure and reaffirmed what our neighbor told us

“He should be going to the hospital right away. But he doesn’t want to go with us. Of course, you can drive him if you want, it’s not like our driving him is going to make it any easier to get him in. The simple fact that it is his blood pressure will hurry him through.” Glad they were so confident his life was in my hands safely.

So, we went, and from there it was downhill:

  1. kept him in hospital for the day, brought his blood pressure down. That night he was prescribed blood pressure medicine, and the emergency doctor referred him to his primary doctor.
  2. Next day, he went to the primary doctor who took immediate measures: blood tests, sonogram, found artery blockages behind his right knee and his foot, referring him immediately to a vascular surgeon.
  3. Next day, the vascular surgeon insisted he was pretty far into losing blood flow in his right leg, so immediately did an angiogram to attempt to open up the artery. It did not work.
  4. My husband’s foot got worse and his toes began to change color. Another angioplasty now, but scheduled to go into the hospital just after Thanksgiving.
  5. The next step was the killer.

It was Thanksgiving morning when I took him to emergency. He was admitted for surgery the next day. My husband; my tall, 6’4″ bountiful handsome husband lost his right leg to amputation.

We—he and I—were living a nightmare. It did not seem true. It is a completely different life now. He cannot work. He is disabled in a wheelchair, and neither of us can work out of household because I am taking care of him 24/7. The nightmare continues.

By far, 2020 has been the worst year yet. I’ve lost family members, pets, jobs, hopes in many things. But this was so sobering and frightening, I am still reeling from it. It is the future outlook being driven to its worst yet. I have nearly all our years together been anxious due to my husband’s unambitious, languid way of living throughout his life. While I saw us heading downhill financially, year after year, I kept nagging him, and he kept promising me, and we kept on together that way. 

I complained about his smoking nearly all the time, having quit when I became pregnant 2 years after we married, and not smoking for nearly 21 years until I stupidly began again in retaliation for my son starting smoking along with his father. 

In looking back, I see so many of my mistakes I cannot even tell you how I mismanaged myself throughout this journey. But now, I really am in a blind spot to our future because I love my husband still, he needs and will need forever more, help with this new way of life, and I am automatically inclined to care for him. The fact of the matter is this: I am 70 years old. I am getting too old to continue the exercise of multi-tasking—physically, emotionally, and mentally—and I am barely surviving as my health has dwindled gradually for years now.

I tell you the truth. If you notice something is amiss, you cannot ignore it, or be afraid to ‘make waves” about your concerns or discomforts. Better to hit the climax sooner in your story, than late. Because the later you wait, the greater the climax, and perhaps a truly surprising end. 

You must act on your best reasoning; do what you know you should do, no matter what your hopes and dreams tell you. Things come upon you like lightening striking you, and it will then be too late…. the plot thickens…

Native Roots are Sometimes not Healthy

People are always talking about “remember where you came from” on the one hand. On the other hand people are always reprimanding “don’t live in the past, but stay present.”

Now, these two phrases seem contradictory don’t they? They could become combative at some point in time, as well. For example, as one gets older one begins to lose family to old age and death. Soon, the family history starts to fade. If that history reveals a different culture than that which the one lives in now, it becomes sad memories, so one chooses to either stay in the past or remain in the present.

The present starts to feel foreign because it does not incorporate the past cultural difference. This can be a time of traumatic displacement. Don’t even mention the fact that being older is a displacement of its own. Along with age, joint pain, limitations and loss, one is tempted to lose oneself in native roots.

But truly, is it good for you? Betty White might agree with me, it’s better to let go of the past, whether culturally different or not, and embrace where you are now–albeit a newer conglomerate of a culture. Yes, incorporate the two; make something new, but live now. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve got a slew of limitations, don’t let them bog you down.

I learned this the hard way. I tried to hold on to the past instructions in a marriage, but it only served to make me gradually insane. I let go of the old Latin moniker “housewife” and began to see me more as a single independent thinking woman. Yes, I’m still married legally, but I’m not married emotionally in the way I was taught: a woman who belongs to a man, waits for her man, has no identity unless her man gives her the one he wants her to have.

Let me make a point here. It isn’t the man that does this to a woman, it’s the old voices and the cultural past that keeps a woman [miserably] obedient to it. Further, it’s the old instructions, badly interpreted–or wrongly understood. Whichever it was, it is not supposed to mean a woman is supposed to be stepped on for convenience of her husband, no. It means there are roles to fill, and as the world recognizes the strength of the man, it is more constructed for him to represent the family publicly. Whereas a woman is much better at organization in the home, having the attention of the children and the husband when it comes to structural dictates of the home, she is better qualified to run it. There is no shame in running a home, and maybe this structure doesn’t work for everyone. Perhaps a woman is better prepared and already in position of representing the family because she married and did not THINK to make sure he was qualified for the above mentioned job: her fault. She can go to work. He can stay and watch the children, and you better HOPE he was gifted with structuring the household. Okay, enough of that. It hurts everyone at first, to figure our everyone’s role, but soon, if they work at it, they can become a single exceptional unit called the FAMILY–Everyone still together, but separate in emotions, intellect, and personality. After all, when we die, we can’t take all our loved ones with us, can we.

How to Warm Up a Cold Brain

Often I awake feeling numb as a sheet of paper awaiting its creator for form, content–just anything.  But its context first, or is it content first? Now is my time to wet the sheet with words; instructions and inhalation’s of my surroundings, as evidence of life yesterday and the day before–and today of course.

I know I’m here because I sense I am alive. I am breathing, though much more shallow in the morning when I first rise. But I look around as though I am trying to put together what I am here for.

“How did I get here? And where am I? Who is that man next to me, oh yeah…”

So I sit at the edge of the bed, listless and ill-removed from enthusiasm and elation; at least not yet. Give me a chance to start the coffee.  Once coffee is made, I have to take out the dogs. Once that’s accomplished I have to feed the dogs and cat. Once THAT is accomplished I am beginning to feel alive, get my coffee and come over to the tech-box and spout my thoughts. Best activity to wake me up is to warm up a cold brain with words on the screen to prove I am thinking.

I have to turn on the burners of my consciousness. I have to remember what day it is and what I had planned yesterday for today. It takes me longer now in my older age than it did when I was younger. But I can still do it, and as long as I can still do it, I will do it! So then, how to warm up a cold brain? Just like your car; start it up, let it rev a bit, then put it in drive and make your way out to the highway. Do not park in the freeway, do not stop when it’s “go.” But move with the other vehicles in brain-land, take your place among the living and keep going until your car (brain) breaks down and dies.

When I was younger I was like a bullet. I’d wake up talking! I’d run to the nearest open closet, gather up my day’s wares, jump into the shower, go to work. I’d grab a cup of coffee there at the office kitchen and attend immediately to my desk and its loads of cases for various kinds of implementations. Okay, so I am slower–so what. I can still do all those things, but now I do it as though I am a model and a diva: slow and sexy. Yes, you heard me right. You have to play with your brain sometimes, make it believe what you tell it, and how do y ou tell it? Why your Will, of course. It’s the will that is the fire under the brain, so start exercising it.


%d bloggers like this: