Posted in Blogging, Feelings, Writing

Happy Birthday Dad

May 1st – the day my father was born many eons ago….at least that’s what I would rib him about were he here to celebrate it. I’m pretty sure that if my dad were still alive, we’d be celebrating his 82nd birthday with a day riddled with old-people jokes, laughter and something yummy to eat.

I’m not really sad, but it’s days like this that I do indeed miss him more. My dad was pretty awesome….yeah, I know…daughters tend to have inflated opinions of their dads, but I believe mine was justified.  He really was awesome and had an amazing strength.

In the short 18 years I had him, he taught me many life lessons….most of which didn’t hit home until later (of course). Most of all, he taught me about looking at life with the glass full no matter what is happening.

Dad had diabetes and lived with many side effects (normally you’d say suffered from here – but we never witnessed that). He went blind a few months before I was born, but that never stopped him from working, having hobbies, and helping around the house. When he had to have part of his leg amputated, we started calling him Peggy. He would come home from his job at the factory and ask “is your mother nearby?” When I responded that she wasn’t, he’d reply “Good! I got this great joke at work today” and launch some dirty joke.

At 82, chances are, he wouldn’t be in great health which may be why he didn’t live past 55. I’d like to imagine that if he were here…he would still be cracking jokes, listening to music, talking on the CB radio, and asking my mom every morning if he was in the obituary yet….only his head would be full of white hair!

Happy Birthday Dad – I miss you and I love you.

❤ Katydid

Posted in Blogging, Feelings, Hope & Inspiration, Writing

Music and Grief unite to create Joy

Last week my husband Dwayne and I were on a road trip from Sundance, WY to Albuquerque, NM for our Amateur Radio convention for our area of the country. It’s a long trip, but we don’t mind road trips periodically, especially when we have our SiriusXM to listen to Radio Margaritaville. Singing along in the car is a great way to pass the time and miles. 

My turn to drive usually arrives after lunch in order to provide a rest break for Dwayne, who always loses his steam mid-afternoon. As I listened to his light snores, I decided I needed something new so I hit channel 8 for the “80’s on 8” station. As I drove through Colorado, I sang along to many of my favorites from the “good ole’ days” until one particular song came on and I suddenly felt as though I was in a sci-Fi movie where I was sucked through a whirlpool and immediately transported back in time. I was suddenly in the back seat of my sister’s car, on our way to the hospital the night my dad died. I was driving while simultaneously  I was again that scared teenager, numb with grief in the dark of the evening hours, in the back seat of my brother-in-law’s Crown Vic. I could see the road ahead of me that I was driving on, all while being in that car in 1988 again…all at the same time.

The experience was surreal as hot tears trickled down my face.  I didn’t understand what was happening until my ears recognized the music. It was then I realized….I was hearing the song on the radio that was playing as we drove to the emergency room that night, nearly 26 years ago.

The grief of that night returned like a shock of thunder, racketing my body and soul. I was short of breath, I felt numb and confused. I was that 18 year old once again. I reached over and gently hit button 1 to return to Radio Margaritaville. When Dwayne asked why I changed the music, I caught my breathe and told him simply, “that song was playing on the radio the night my dad died.” 

After all this time, I find it hard to believe I’ve not come across this song. I don’t believe it showed up in order for me to relive the grief, that doesn’t make sense. The sting of the grief was temporary and my composure returned in about an hour. However, what I believe the song did do, was light the proverbial fire in my belly to write again. I’ve been craving time to write, I’ve missed it. For some reason I’ve let life get in the way which is stupid, because in effect I’ve been denying a part of me.  My brain immediately began crafting up what to write about this experience. I knew this was just the whomp on the head from the Universe I’d been waiting for. 

 I guess the periodic moments of pain are okay, as long as they are periodic. Memories are there, they don’t go away. The secret is not to dwell in them or live in them. You can’t change the past by living in it, which is why I know this reminder from the Universe wasn’t about going backwards. It was about moving forward. For that, I thank you Universe and I thank you Dad. Thank you for the reminder to get back to doing what I love in the present and doing what brings me joy.

Posted in Feelings, Hope & Inspiration, Living with Pain, Nature, Photography

Sunset and…

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Living in northeast Wyoming where the sky is endless, the sunsets magnificent and the air clean, I find deep peace.

Last night the western sky put on this magnificent show, so I ran out to the back yard with my camera. Taking a series of photos to capture the various hues as the sun settled, my cats wandered the yard with me (mostly between my feet). While aiming for the shot in this post, my cat Pooh launched herself up and on to my side climbing up to my shoulders. I can’t recall that she had ever done that before, so needless to say I was surprised…and a little sore from the claw marks. But I didn’t mind, she was purring and I could feel her happiness. I let her perch like a bird while taking another shot, until I needed better focus and let her back down.

Sunset is my favorite time of the day. It gives me a chance to be outdoors to breathe in the last of the day. The deer are usually grazing out in the ranch, waiting for me to go in the house so they can come in the yard looking for any scrap veggies I may have tossed out for them. I feel a quiet contentment inside, a moment of peace. It is my time of the day when I give thanks to the Universe for helping me find myself. It is my time when I have no pain. Sunset is the time of the day when I feel the most At One with the world and am grateful.

Posted in Ankylosing Spondylitis, Crohn's Disease, Crohns, Feelings, Hope & Inspiration, Living with Pain, Writing

Who said farts aren’t funny?

I’m at the point in my book where I’m writing about the times I nearly died from my disease. My background in the book is particularly on Inflammatory Bowel Disease; Nerve Pain; Ankylosing Spondylitis; and the depression that comes along with living with those diseases. I know, totally sounds like a bummer of a book, doesn’t it? Well, that’s just a small part of it, but necessary. The good stuff comes after that ugly stuff!  The whole point is that where I am today is because of all the shitty stuff I’ve lived through – literally! As you come to the topic of shitty stuff, inevitably it all comes back to gas. In my family, that means fart jokes.

Seriously….you can’t tell me that people in your circle of friends or family don’t make fart jokes. I mean, farts are funny after all. How in the hell does our body manage to digest our food and then squeak out gas in such a myriad of tunes? They have to be funny to enough people because you can download fart apps for your smart phone (admit it, you’ve either done it, thought about doing it, or know someone who has). You can also buy props like The Pooter.

the-pooter

 The Pooter is a handy little device you hold in the palm of your hand and at just the right moment you give it a squeeze and voila!! Fart = laughter. These items of course are all the modern day version of the whoopie cushion.  We had a lot of fun with the pooter at a convention once…we even had someone take the blame for the “fart.”

When you live with Ulcerative Colitis, Crohn’s Disease or any of the other digestive disorders and diseases, farts no longer are funny. They don’t exist anymore for fun, they are just part of the disorder. As I sit here writing about the time I came very close to death because of my Crohn’s Disease I am having a difficult time focusing. So much of that time period was buried in my subconscious, layered in between copious amounts of narcotic pain medications. I’m reliving the really shitty parts of this disease, when my body seemingly turned against me. It’s not easy to think about, and definitely not easy to write about. It was two years of my life that I have varied memories, many of them humorous in spite of the awful stuff happening.  So in the midst of the ugliness that I’m writing about today, I am taking a little break to share some humor.

Remembering and sharing are ways to let others know they aren’t alone. I know I’m not the only person that has ever dealt with this, and unfortunately I won’t be the last. What I do hope is that people will learn that life is tenuous, short and full of surprises. Sometimes those surprises come in the form of a little toot from the nether-region. So next time, go ahead and laugh about it, you have my permission.  Seriously, farts are funny.

warning-you-are-entering-a-fart-zone