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  • Well, last year I went out with a bunch of high school chums and reported back on how much fun I had, so I thought I'd report in again. A neighbor here invited me to join their book club and I took the plunge since I read about 4 books a week anyway and figured it's a good way to connect with people. It's about 15 women, ages 30 to 65, varied occupations and marital status. It was really nice to get out, solo!, and meet, eat and have intellectual discorse. And get this, the name of the book club is The Naked Virgins, or eNVee for short! Evidently that cherry CAN grow back! It was a special monthly meeting since it was the summer solstice, with everyone bringing food and there was a ton of wine! What fun! The selection that was discussed was Tobacco Road, annually they pick a classic and for such a short, depressing little book it generated alot of discussion. When asked to tell about myself I said I was an advocate instead of caregiver, I've decided that is my title now! And Jim did fine by himself, isn't that cool? Maybe I should go out more than once a year! And what a great way to eat good food that others make, always nice to taste test before you write down a recipe. I took Chicken Florentine (and vegetarian version) and stuffed myself with Chocolate covered strawberries that went well with the Pinot Grigio, yum. I had started a vegetarian soup cookbook before Jim was injured and am now thinking of getting back to finishing it. Anywho, it was a fun time and was a good reminder that I need to get out more. Course it might get a little chilly being a Naked Virgin once a month in the winter months here in Wisconsin but hell I'm going for it! Deb

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    • I had coffee with a friend from college I hadn't seen in 10 years. She was so in love with her work as a social worker that she was positively glowing. That's when I thought: it is one of the biggest blessings to actually enjoy (let alone love) your job.

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      • Another nightmare, in which we spent the small hours of the night struggling to get his spasming legs to calm down so we could sleep.
        Wow, I remember being tied down in bed to keep me from thrashing about.

        Those early days were king of scary though, a step into the unknown.

        Great thread by the way!

        Simon.

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        • Such a long time since we started this thread

          Our older daughter is leaving for college in a few months. On Thursday night, she and Bruce went to a fundraiser for stem cell research here in Washington. Because of the last 5 years, she's knowledgable and speaks with authority and common sense on the subject of esc. She understood the presentations, felt at home with the crowd, and even. lol, was able to explain to a woman at her table exactly how Parkinson's works, and why esc research might be helpful in curing it.

          This is the girl, who, when the first post of this thread went up, needed me to help her do her 9th-grade algebra. She's going to be a biology major--at this point the plan is to become a PT. I have to remind myself all the time to keep quiet about how proud I am of that choice, because I don't actually care if she changes her mind for some reason . . . the thing today is that she believes she can do 8 more years of school, she believes the work would be worth doing, and she wants to work with injured people.

          That's a lot for someone who is 18--far, far beyond the things I was thinking about at that age. She amazes me.

          At the moment she's up in the living room with her sister watching a world cup game. They're both still in their pajamas--I ought to make them get busy with some project or other, but I can't bring myself to mess with Emily too much. It's her last summer to be just a kid in the house she grew up in.

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          • Ah, Kate, so much time has gone by! Lovely post...enjoy this "last" summer with her.

            I was going through my divorce when we started. Seems light years away, a time I can barely remember and dislike revisiting.

            Thank God for the Dixie Chicks!!!
            ____________________________
            "God warns us not to love any earthly thing above Himself, and yet He sets in a mother's heart such a fierce passion for her babes that I do not comprehend how He can test us so."
            ~Geraldine Brooks, "Year of Wonders"


            "Be kind...for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle."
            ~Philo of Alexandria

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            • This last week, I felt inundated with the news. Sometimes it's good to take a breather from the media...while still keeping your grip on reality.

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              • Just waxing philosophic

                Drinking coffee while sitting across from the Masala Grill at the Student Center gave me some time to reflect. This week marked the first day of school at Rutgers. It is so refreshing to see the campus lively and bustling with students. Watching them, I thought about my own undergraduate experience. The one word that would best describe me at that time: lost. It's been 10 years since I graduated from Rutgers and it took me that long to learn how to be comfortable in my own skin. I guess all that time in meditation actually did work on the "inside". But really, this - being comfortable with who you are - is lifelong work, isn't it? Well, atleast I've made a dent.
                Last edited by roshni; 09-08-2006, 01:10 PM.

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                • Roshni - I wish you continued peace, patience, progress and solace in your quest for inner balance, harmony and contentment.

                  Yes, I agree, it is a life-long process.

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                  • Originally posted by roshni
                    Drinking coffee while sitting across from the Masala Grill at the Student Center gave me some time to reflect. This week marked the first day of school at Rutgers. It is so refreshing to see the campus lively and bustling with students. Watching them, I thought about my own undergraduate experience. The one word that would best describe me at that time: lost. It's been 10 years since I graduated from Rutgers and it took me that long to learn how to be comfortable in my own skin. I guess all that time in meditation actually did work on the "inside". But really, this - being comfortable with who you are - is lifelong work, isn't it? Well, atleast I've made a dent.
                    Roshni ..... I concur with your musings .. being comfortable in our own skin absolutely is life long work! Since Bill's injury I've learned things about myself I'm not too proud of and found a strength I never knew I had. Now facing some health issues of my own I have gained a new respect for all that he has endured while at the same time recognizing I need to take better care of myself if I'm going to be any good to anyone else. Menopause, knee surgery (finally) and the almost empty nest (except for our youngest Laure-Jane) has left me reeling and I find myself entering a new phase of my life I'm embarassed to say I'm not handling very well ... thank god for this place ...

                    Your comments about the media too I would agree with wholeheartedly! .... particularily on the eve of the 5th anniversay of 9/11. We indeed have been inundated with story after story .... a zillion different persepectives on terrorism ... its easy to forget there are good people in the world and that we really do care about each other .... I take regular news holidays myself simply to stay sane! Like you I too indulge in regular meditation ....... and of course the very occasional glass of chardonnay I may have mentioned that in the past !!

                    It would be nice to share a cup of coffee with you someday ..... one never knows ..

                    Hope everyone is hangin' in there!
                    Obieone
                    ~ Be the change you wish to see in the world ~ Mahatma Gandi


                    " calling all Angels ...... calling all Angels ....walk me through this one .. don't leave me alone .... calling all Angels .... calling all Angels .... we're tryin' and we're hopin' cause we're not sure how ....... this .... goes ..."
                    Jane Siberry

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                    • So, where were you on 9/11?

                      I heard about the attacks over the radio. I always wake up to a thermos of black coffee (made the night before) and a hot shower. In those days the radio would be tuned to NPR's Morning Edition, and so it was the voice of Scott Simon that brought me the news.

                      Bruce was only 6 months post, and it happened to be the day he was scheduled to go to Harborview to get the hated Foley taken out and see if he could pee on his own. That's what I was thinking about until the radio got my attention.

                      I remember Scott saying that now there was new information . . . apparently a plane had also crashed into the Pentagon . . . I'm thinking "also???", and he goes on to say it's impossible to believe that the twin towers are just--gone.

                      It had all happened, in other words, before I was even dressed that day. By the time I turned on the television, they were already showing the video of the towers crashing, again and again.

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                      • I was at work. I too listen to Morning Edition. However, I had gone to the Post Office at 6 AM and so was listening as the mystery and misery unfolded. By 7AM, I called Marilyn at home and told her the news. I had to convince her to awaken our two sons who were 21 and 19 at the time.

                        Noah's injury would not occur for another year and three months. In fact, he had returned home from Mexico City the night previous, following a summer Spanish Immersion Program in Queretaro, Mexico. A fellow student postponed his flight for a day to hang with a friend in Mexico City. After the Twin Towers came down, that young man spent an extra week in the Mexico City airport!

                        Anyway, after much wheedling, Marilyn did get the boys out of bed to witness this terrible event. I did not think anything could be worse until Noah broke his neck in 2002.

                        It's been a fricking bummer digesting the knowledge that the incompetent leader who has so bungled the aftermath of 9/11 is the same one who cut the heart out of hope for millions of individuals with disabilities and terrible diseases with a regressive science policy.

                        John
                        "Hope is like a road in the country; there was never a road, but when many people walk on it, the road comes into existence." Lin Yutang

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                        • A ghost from the past................

                          I haven't been on CareCure for a long time, frankly because it was just too painful. For some reason, last night I felt a strong pull to crawl out from under the rock and come back for a visit to the cave. Depsite not being "here", not a day goes by that I don't think of all of you, hope that you're doing well and desperately hope for a cure to end your struggles.

                          It's nice to see so many new faces and wonderful to see some of the original cave-dwellers! This was always such a place of safety and sanctuary and one of the few places in the world to be able to commune with others who understand what we're each going through. I'm glad to see that it has continued to be so. You're each so special and such an inspiration in the way you handle your personal trials with strength, grace and dignity. I wish I had learned some of that grace and dignity from you!

                          Kate, your writings continue to make me think I'm sitting at your kitchen table, sharing a cup of coffee and chatting with a dear friend. I hope you and your Projector Guy are doing well. It's amazing to read how the kids have grown up in what seems such a short time and I know you're incredibly proud of them, as you should be. It sounds as if they've handled the challenges of this life with the same grace and dignity, which can't be easy for children.

                          Obie, I could same the same for you. You've persevered under extremely difficult circumstances out on your prairie and you've always shown remarkable strength, wit and again, that grace I keep coming back too. I hope Bill's health issues improve. Again, it's so hard to believe your children are virtually grown now and I would repeat what I said above to Kate. As hard as it is for us as adults, it must be more of a challenge for the kids.

                          Cheese, you continue to do amazing work with the Reeve Foundation and honestly I don't know how you do it. You're an inspiration indeed.

                          Marm, I hope that you're all doing well and that Matt has continued to improve. You're another inspiration.

                          Dogger, mere words can't say enough. You already know how I feel and how much I value your wit and insight.

                          Vicky, I hope Brie is doing well and that you and Steve are enjoying your life on the mountaintop. Heaven knows you both deserve that happiness together. And I hope that his back issues haven't caused him more problems.

                          Russ, are you still here or are you MIA? I hope Steve is doing well and that you too are still enjoying your new home. Drop me a line sometime!

                          Kath, are you still around? I've e-mailed a few times, but not heard back so don't know if your e-mail has changed or if you're just busy or just under your rock. Whatever the case, I wish you the best life has to offer and I'd love to hear from you. I will forever be thankful and in your debt for that all-night session back in '01.

                          Lil Sis, It sounds like you and Jim are doing well. I was thrilled to read that you've joined the book club and wholeheartedly agree that you should get that night out every month! It sounded like a great time. I don't think anyone could find a more devoted sister -- your love for your brother shines through in every post. You're amazing. I'm so glad that you two are enjoying your new home and "new life" -- I just wish I could sample something from that kitchen of yours!

                          Chris, I wish the same for you -- all the best that life has to offer. The work you've done for the cause is tremendous and you showed me the error of my thinking more than once. Thank you.

                          If I've forgotten to mention anyone, it wasn't intentional. Write it off to not enough coffee yet this morning!

                          As for me, I'm very happy in my new life and marriage, though I continue to miss my Julian very much. I've compartmentalized those two things in my tiny brain so that they don't intrude on each other too often, but it's strange to feel mostly whole again in one life while still knowing that there is a big hole left from another. Maybe it's just mental illness! I'm ashamed that I haven't done more for the cure effort, but I do continue to regularly petition my state and federal legislators on every issue that I can find, pushing for research that I think will eventually lead to a cure.

                          And finally, I want to sincerely thank each of you for the support, friendship and love that I undeservedly received from you. I'd like to think that had I known it would be for such a short time, I wouldn't have bitched and moaned so much about the SCI life, but would have embraced each moment more lovingly. But, knowing me, that probably wouldn't have been the case anyway -- just a wish. Thanks for always being there for me and for listening without judgment (or at least without voicing that judgment!).

                          I love you all,
                          martha
                          Last edited by martha; 09-15-2006, 09:01 AM.

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                          • martha,
                            it is good to hear you are doing well and happy.
                            I think your spirit has always remained alive here, in the friends you've made and the many others who you've intimately touched through your own experience... your own story. Your spirit lives through this Journal every day and continues to be one of the few constants here on CareCure, as a wonderful source of inspiration, support and friendship.

                            I can't imagine any life with SCI, no matter how short, would be so transient an existence that it would not remain a part of you in some way. I think that we are lucky to have you come out from under your rock to look into this cave every now and then.

                            Be well.

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                            • Chick! I knew I was forgetting someone(s)! Thanks for your kind words. I well remember that you came to my aid many times when my mouth got me hung out on a limb! I hope things are going well for you. I guess I need to read more to catch up on everyone -- I just came to Journal and didn't visit any of the other forums or threads. So how are you and what's happening in your world?

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                              • Martha - Great to hear from you! (And thanks for the kind words) Glad that you are well and I wish you all the best that your new marriage and life has to offer.

                                Take care,

                                Chris

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