Slowly, Then All At Once

“I fell in love the way you fall asleep, slowly, and then all at once.” John Grien.
.
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This is true, mostly. I knew almost from the moment I met George that I would marry him, although that was intuition, not love. Still, from our first date on, we were almost inseparable, and by the end of our first week of dating I think we both knew we had found something qualitatively different than anything either of us had had before. So yeah, it took me a week—slowly, and then all at once—to fall head over ears in love.

How about you? Did you fall slowly, all at once, or both?

Lay Me Down to Sleep

We had to put our beloved 15 year-old cocker spaniel Fiona down last Wednesday, and our hearts are broken. She was my darling baby girl and the light of my days. The house is so empty now.

We who choose to surround ourselves with lives even more temporary than our own live within a fragile circle, easily and often breached. Unable to accept its awful gaps, we still would live no other way. (Irving Townsend)

A to Z Blogging Challenge: F is for Family

WHEN EVERYTHING GOES TO HELL, THE PEOPLE WHO STAND BY YOU WITHOUT FLINCHING–THEY ARE YOUR FAMILY (JIM BUTCHER)

So here they are…just some of the people who have always been there, no matter what:

 

 

A to Z Challenge

 

 

I think my migraines have totally addled my brain. I’ve had them all week, just when the A to Blogging Challenge began. I couldn’t find my blog on their Linky list, so I think I might have been removed for not posting. I DID post briefly yesterday about the Challenge, then removed my post because I thought I’d been taken off of the list; I just happened to look at my stats today, however, and I had five visits to that post yesterday. So. I will do the Challenge, starting today. I have to post every day this month except Sundays. So I will post today, starting with “E” and my theme is Healing.

I plan to recount my journey, post about where I am now, and add photos, other images, and quotes (I love quotes, especially poetry) along with a heavy dose of spirituality, the occasional prayer, some tips and tricks I have found that help. I should note here that I am writing about healing in general but also specifically about my struggles with severe PTSD and major depression, along with back surgeries, cervical spine disease, infertility, chronic migraine, and last but not least, fibromyalgia.I also hope to begin a resource list.

I am going to go ahead and post the badge and links to the Challenge even though I might not be officially a part of it. I am looking forward to discovering new bloggy friends from the list (the one I don’t think I am on anymore, lol). I also hope to post a couple of times the first few days to add posts from letters A to D. And next year, hopefully I will be more together and start blogging with “A” on April 1st!

And hopefully, even if I’m not officially part of the Challenge, my posts might help some of my friends out there who are going through a rough stretch.

my favorite little things


These are some of my favorite little things!

Fiona a a newborn puppy
Fiona a a newborn puppy

Mom and me (age 4) pickniking at Minnehaha Falls
Mom and me (age 4 ) on a picnic at Minnehaha Falls

My dad's WWII memorabilia
My dad’s WWII memorabilia

10th wedding anniversary flowers from George
10th wedding anniversary flowers from George

Hot coffee on a cold January afternoon!
Hot coffee on a cold January afternoon!

The stark beauty of Lake Superior in winter
The stark beauty of Lake Superior in winter

New books--Xmas gift from George
New books–Xmas gift from George

Fiona dozing on a winter afternoon
Fiona dozing on a winter afternoon

Four generations of Resch kids at the family reunion
Four generations of Resch kids at the family reunion

Daddy and me (1 year) "sledding" in the backyard
Daddy and me (1 year) “sledding” in the backyard

Party at Camp da Sabas
Party at Camp da Sabas

twins game with my nieces
twins game with my nieces

Meeting my new cousin Elissa
Meeting my new cousin Elissa

Dinner with Tom and Kristine
Dinner with Tom and Kristine

Fiona taking time to sniff the flowers...
Fiona taking time to sniff the flowers…

Memories of my mom and dad
Memories of my mom and dad

George and me on a Sunday afternoon at Kieran's
George and me on a Sunday afternoon at Kieran’s

final friday five for 2012

As usual, credit for everything below–except my answers, that is–goes to the wonderful gals over at RevGalBlogPals. And I owe them a hearty “thank you” for giving me a some much-needed writing inspiration!

I should mention that I did have my neck surgery last week and the surgeon said the procedure went “swimmingly.” I find this reassuring because those raw and burnt nerve endings feel, well, raw and burnt. Not a pleasant sensation. My usual brilliance is most likely lacking today since I’m on pain killers and muscle relaxers, so bear with me. 

 

The FINAL Friday Five for 2012: Recycle, Re-Gift, Reflect

As we take a breather from the busy weekend of Sunday/Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, it’s time to reflect on the past year. It’s hard to move out of this holiday season with its delights and celebrations. Here at our home, we’ve barely finished the eggnog. The tree is still up and our cats delight in knocking off the lower (unbreakable) ornaments. As we are rounding the final turn on the year 2012, I hope you’ll play along with these questions. 🙂
RECYCLE:
1. What is some “old news” this year that you’d like to repeat for 2013?
Saturday lunches and outings with my birthmom, Judy. We try to do this on a fairly regular basis, although it has been difficult to get together for much of this year because of her hip surgery and my neck surgery. My lack of a car doesn’t help, either. But we have a lot of fun spending time together. Plus, I finally know where most of my idiosyncrasies originate! Here I though I was eccentric all by my lonesome, only to discover that I inherited most of them from the Lubys! (The others come from growing up a Resch of course.)
2. What “new thing” have you started that you want to keep going in 2013?
Not having neck surgery!  Making an effort, through journaling, meditation, prayer, reflection, and reading, to really observe Advent, as a season of waiting and preparation for the gift of the Incarnation.
RE-GIFT:
3. What event, experience or gift would you just as soon “Return to Sender”? Maybe it was a disastrous sermon, a congregational kerfuffle, a vacation nightmare, or your own mis-step. It can be funny or sad.
I would gladly surrender the experience of running a stop sign and crashing into another car this past June! The gentleman driving the other car, luckily, wasn’t hurt, but I would up with whiplash and neck surgery. And my darling little GEO Metro was totaled! It wasn’t damaged that badly, but the repairs would have cost more than my 16 year-old baby was worth. Monetarily, anyway, disregarding my love for my first car. So we are in the market for a new car, but all we can get for our money is junk. But I can’t drive now anyway, temporarily at least!
REFLECT:
4. Share the brightest bit of joy that was a part of your year.
George and I celebrated our ninth anniversary this October. I think the joy comes from the reassurance of being loved, truly loved, for myself, along with the realization that in nine years we have been through more than many couples endure in a lifetime, and we are still together. And I love him more with each anniversary that goes by. When we got married, I thought I could not possibly love him more than I did, but as time goes by, I find that my love for him grows and evolves, teaching me to appreciate the feeling of contentment that washes over me before I go to sleep, when I see him and Fiona (our dog, naturally) sleeping beside me. Or the simple pleasure of playing frisbee in our backyard together on lovely summer afternoon.
5. Share a picture that says far more than words. (You can use it to illustrate one of the above.)
George and me at Kieran’s Irish Pub after I lectored at the 4:30 Mass at The Basilica of St. Mary
BONUS:

Share a recipe! I’m in the doldrums and need some healthy eating options for my menu planning. Soup, stew, main dish, side dish or a healthy dessert – any and all are welcome!

This is where I need help, too, desperately! I’m hoping a reader will come to my rescue with a nice slow-cooker recipe, perhaps? Please?!

o tannenbaum

In happier news, the house is (mostly) decorated for Christmas! We finally got a pre-lit tree so poor George didn’t have to get tangled in the lights, swearing and cursing. Although watching him was one of the highlights of my holidays every year since we got married (nine years in October!!) I don’t think George particularly enjoyed it. So we went with the easier solution for him, bless his heart.

Here are my not-so-fab instagram pictures:

I bought this at a little German imports Christmas shop in Stillwater with my birthday money from my SIL Beth. It’s an angel (not so easy to see from the picture!) saying “Happy Christmas (Frohe Weinachten) in German.
The new tree, shown here in all its glory. Except that you can’t see the star on top, or the bottom. Better luck next batch of pictures!

look back at summer 2012

It was the best of times, it was (not quite) the worst of times…

Among the best were our annual Resch Family Reunion, held at my cousin Verlys’ farm up in Pine City (she was living w/mom and dad and was the first Resch to see me!), a Sabas family picnic/Olympics at Resort da Sabas, which doubles as my Aunt Sheila’s place, a Fourth of July picnic on Lake Minnetonka, hosted by my Aunt Toddie and Uncle Bob, and sweet summer afternoons sitting out in our backyard with George and Fiona. Also, I got two unbelievably amazing Twins tickets from my friends Gary and Mary Margaret Hoden, so my pal Patti and I went and sat in THE LEGENDS CLUB. Really, I could get used to living like this!

There were only two things to make my summer less than happy: my birthmom had hip surgery (she’s doing great now, in the hospital they called her a rock star), and I sort of totaled my car and wound up with a very nasty, mean case of whiplash. So I have no car, plus I’m having neck pain and headaches; however, I’ve started physical therapy and my doctor is being very kind about muscle relaxers, so I am hanging in there, albeit not at top speed. Well, there was a third–namely, a huge PTSD flare when some new memories surfaced. I was tormented by flashbacks and nightmares for a while, but thanks to the help of God and my beloved therapist, I’m doing much better now. As usual, I can’t say enough about the support and love of all my family, especially George.

Oh yes, one other highlight of my summer was the opportunity to have dinner at Bulldog NE with my two stepbrothers, Alex and Kelley, and George was even able to join us! Kelley lives in Tokyo so I only get to see him a few times a year, and Alex keeps incredibly busy with his band Deadweight (he is the drummer–and an awesome one too in my totally unbiased opinion) and school, PLUS an August trip to Vietnam with his lovely (fiancée?) Tee (Tina). So it was extra special for the four of us to get to spend some time together–every time I see either of my brothers, I like them more! It’s beyond cool to grow up an only child and suddenly gain a couple of little brothers.

When I look back at my summer, I have to admit that despite the PTSD and car accident, it was a blessed time of love and laughter. I’m attempting to upload a bunch of pictures on my mobile, so we will see how the Great Photo experiment goes!

The Resch Reunion
Me with lovely Sabas cousins Elissa and Deanna
Sandi Sybrandt and family at Resch Reunion
My poor Metro!!
Instagram version, Elissa, Deanna, and me
Sabas gals!!
Kelita and Levi Robertson at Resch Reunion
Mari-Lea and Kathy Oberg and Aunt Jo, Resch Reunion
Resch cousins come all the way from Montana!
Me with Auntie Sheila (Sabas)
My sleepy Fiona (with her favorite toy)
Joe and Nancy Mallery, Linda and Breanna Cook, Resch Reunion
Sabas Olympics!! (Bocce Ball)
Fiona snoozing
Naptime for George and Fiona
Patti and me with Kirby Puckett!
Me with Harmon “The Killer” Killebrew!!!!
George and me enjoying a drink at Kieran’s after mass at the Basilica
A truly awful picture of me with my beloved aunties Marie, Jo, and Julie, Resch Reunion
Aunt Marie, Aunt Jo, Aunt Julie, Resch Reunion
My sleepy baby!
Joni-lea and Faith at Sabas picnic
Wildflowers finally bloom in August, turn out to be Goldenrod (relative of the Evil Ragweed)

friday five…a day late (well, a few minutes late!)

Emptiness Friday Five…..

 
 

This Friday five comes courtesy of Sally over at RevGalBlogPals! (You don’t think I could come up with something like this myself, do you?)

I have been pondering this Friday Five over and over in my mind, but I am coming up with nothing, so I am wondering; what do you do when you feel empty of all creativity and unable to make/do anything? This is a completely open question, the only rule is name 5 things that fill/ inspire you:

Well, this is a tough question for me to answer, given the way I’ve been feeling physically/emotionally/ spiritually these last few months, so perhaps this is just the time for me to give this a whirl.

1. Being surrounded by my family. Although I’m an only child, my dad was the third eldest of eleven children, so I grew up surrounded by aunts, uncles, cousins, second cousins, great-aunts, great-uncles, and at the center of it all, my grandmother, the most warm, generous, and loving woman I’ve ever known. So then I wound up marrying a man who, amongst his other stellar qualities, just happens to have almost as many cousins as I do! (I have 44.) Not to mention he’s the baby of six siblings. Our wedding was huge. and, incidentally, I’m a proud great-auntie myself now, several times over. And now I’m in contact with both sides of my birthparents’ families, who, yes, are also part of large extended families. Naturally. I have more family than I know what to do with! And I love it, especially now that my folks are gone, because to me, family is home and love and laughter.

2. Walking, sitting, gazing out on the water of the North Shore of Lake Superior. It soothes me, slows down my mind and body, and fills me with the presence of God.

3. Feeling forgiven, truly forgiven, whether by another human being or by God. It is the only thing that heals the brokenness I feel inside when I know I have wronged someone, whether it be by “what I have done or by what I have failed to do.”

4. Going through my parents’ old pictures, letters, etc. It never fails to bring back floods of memories, some sad, some happy, most of which make me laugh until I cry. Which reminds me that I HAVE to get my hands on that new set of Laurel and Hardy movies, even if it is astronomically expensive. After all of the hours the three of us spent watching those movies…

5. Doing something for someone else. During the Depression, my Grandma Resch never, ever turned a hobo away when they came by asking for food, despite the family’s poverty and all the mouths she had to feed. She always found something to fix for them, and even something extra to make the plate look nice. My parents carried on this tradition, and one of my biggest frustrations of my current run of migraines is that I’m stuck at home all of the time, which keeps me from doing any of the things I’d normally do to pay it forward, so to speak. After all, I didn’t choose the Prayer of St. Francis for both of my parents’ remembrance cards for nothing. I chose it as words to live by.

the red thread

The Little Red-Haired Girl as seen in the tele...
The Little Red-Haired Girl as seen in the television special It’s Your First Kiss, Charlie Brown. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is a short post, just an update on our baby situation.

To make a long story short, we are no longer trying to get pregnant. As it turned out, I simply couldn’t handle being off of my fibromyalgia medications. My muscle relaxers, Advil, Excedrin, and trazedone (a sleeping medication commonly used to treat fibromyalgia) are all, without question, definitely verboten for anyone trying to get pregnant. And without them, I’ve wound up in one of the worst fibromyalgia flares in years. I’ve been in too much pain to function: unable to dress myself, drive the car, cook, get myself to class, type on the computer. So, after talking it over with my husband and my physician, the three of us decided that, for me, pregnancy is simply not an option. (If anyone has any doubts about whether fibromyalgia is a real, debilitating chronic pain syndrome, check out the Mayo Clinic website or Web Md.)

I feel as though I have lost an actual baby, not just the hope of one. I loved this sweet, precious little child, our little red-haired girl; she dwelt firmly in my heart and mind, in my very being, and the grief of knowing that she will never come to exist is overwhelming now.

But I know that I will survive this. And George and I KNOW that there is a child out there, waiting for us, waiting to become part of our family. In a funny way, being adopted myself, adoption, rather than pregnancy, seems like a normal way of becoming a family. So that is the plan.

I’m going to close with a quote I have propped up against my keyboard as I write; it is from a good friend when she and her husband adopted a little honey from China, and I have a feeling it’s going to be my mantra for some time.

“An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet, regardless of time, place, or circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle, but will never break.”
–An ancient Chinese belief

Please keep us in your prayers, if you are so inclined.

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