The Meaning of Memorial Dayย 

For as many lies as there were surrounding the Vietnam War, it was the last honest war in this country. We saw the bodies come home, and ate body counts with our dinner every night. I saw an article today that said “Is Memorial Day losing its meaning?” Well, of course it is. When you make an edict that the media may not show the bodies of returning soldiers, as George W. Bush did, of course it’s going to lose its meaning. It’s like “look over here at these mattress sales and cookouts and parades that we don’t understand”, but you can’t blame the people for that. They’ve been deliberately led away from the consequences of war, so if they don’t understand the significance of Memorial Day you can’t turn around and say “Oh people are terrible. They don’t remember Memorial Day and what it’s supposed to mean. They just want to have a day off, a long weekend, and open the cottage and get the boat in the water.” Well that’s true, but it’s not their fault that they don’t understand. 

You have the people who think that it’s Veterans Day, and they thank veterans for their service when they’re actually thanking them for dying. Which is really twisted, but people get it confused. Civics is not taught in school. Nothing is left to show people what this holiday is really about. If you take away all the social involvement in the wars and you deliberately distract people from their results, you can’t then turn around and say people are awful because they don’t understand the holiday. For those of us who do understand the meaning of this day, we pause and remember everyone who has given their life in service to this country. 

Gastroparesis and Gratitudeย 

I always go to my zebra friends when I need solace. I’m just having a miserable 24 hour (I hope) GP attack for no apparent reason. Yet I’m feeling very good about life and grateful. We just lost another GP sister, and I hate this miserable condition, but I’m lucky that laundry and a little embarrassment of wearing a diaper is all I’m having to cope with today. Having all the energy sucked out of my body isn’t nice, especially since the sun is trying to come out but I can’t move beyond the bed/bathroom area yet. I’m still trying to stay thankful. My CRPS is flaring like crazy since my boots broke. I’m dealing with so much pain, but that is the point- I’m still here to deal with it. My zebra daughter turned 29 yesterday. I’m so proud of her. My granddaughter is the anchor of my life. I’m very lucky to have a family and amazing friends to help me keep going every day. I’m chipping away at cleaning my side of the bedroom, just doing bits as I feel like it but I’m starting to see progress and it feels great to see what I’ve done so far. Living in bed, stuff has just accumulated on my side because I still don’t have a good way of dealing with it, so that’s my goal. I hope that all of my beautiful friends have an amazing weekend and remember to be thankful for life, no matter what challenges we have to face. We’re still here to face them. ๐Ÿ’š Fly high, beloved GP sister. Your pain is over. 

Mourning on Mother’s Day.ย 

   Mother’s Day is always a sore spot for me. I’m an “angel Mom”, having lost two of my three pregnancies very late-term. I’m incredibly grateful to have a living daughter and granddaughter on this day.

   My girls are off together, adventuring on this yucky rainy day. They plan on going shoe shopping for my daughter (waiting for the drumbeats)- she needs new running shoes. Then having luncheon somewhere in Plymouth and hanging out with their friends at the record shop!

    I’m having a perfect day- no stress on myself to do anything. I’m feeling physically very lousy, lots of pain and fatigue, but I’m going to forget about it and try to enjoy the day as well as I can. 
   My mother is still living, but unfortunately we are no-contact because she is a toxic person. So I have to mourn the mother I never had, while the one who tortured me still lives. I’d like a holiday off from cognitive dissonance, but I don’t get one. It’s fine. I’m used to it. 

   Mother’s Day didn’t make sense to me. What exactly were we celebrating? I’m the tie-dyed sheep of the family for questioning anything. I questioned everything. I questioned celebrating my mother and grandmother for being the spiteful, hateful, narcissistic cows that they were. I questioned celebrating my Father’s mother, if she were even included, gracefully staying out of the lines of fire. 

   Without my Father’s mother to show me by her example and her careful teaching, I wouldn’t be much of a decent person today, much less a mother who is worthy of celebrating. I’m lucky that I had her nearby to show me what unconditional love meant. 

   I’m one of the luckiest Moms I know. I have my fabulous daughter and her friends. I have my miracle granddaughter and her boundless love for her “GoGo”. 

   I had my Grandma Sylvia. 

“Mother’s Day” Giftsย 

   We are not a “Hallmark Holiday” kind of family. I called my Mom on Mother’s Day, because I don’t get to see her very often due to my being bedridden with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome and Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. She is 81 and is waiting for me to have a really good day so she can pick me up and we can go out for lunch! My daughter, on the other hand, is my PCA. I see her every day. She is the Mom of my beautiful 7 year old granddaughter. So Mother’s Day this year was about her, as it should be. She went out with her husband, her best friend, and her daughter, to a record store and then out for burgers. 

   My counselor mentioned yesterday that it was too bad that my daughter didn’t call me on The Day. Even after all our time together, she’s not convinced that I don’t care about those things. I said that I know that my daughter loves me. She shows it every day. Monday she did my hair for me, as my roots were getting about 4 inches long, before she helped me with my shower. Yes, she’s my paid PCA, but nowhere in there does it list any time for special treats! That was my spa day part one. 

   Today was my spa day part two. She put in the burgundy peekaboo lowlights in the back of my blonde hair. I’ve been deciding what I wanted to do to add a little fun back to my appearance, and that was the winner. I’m an old hippie, and I have always had a very individual style. Living in pajamas and in bed, and only going out to doctors’ offices in a power wheelchair, it’s too easy to forget that I used to be a vibrant and stylish person. I’m trying to get that person back. 

   Sure, it was a bit poignant last Sunday, watching all the posts going by on Facebook about Moms being taken out for brunch or mani-pedis. I’m happy for my friends who get to do that. However, even if I were well, we wouldn’t be doing that. We’d do something goofy on a different day. I have now had my Mother’s Day Gifts, and they are priceless. My daughter is not demonstrative, but she shows her affection in a much more true way than with overpriced flowers. She helps me remember who I am under all the medical issues. She does everything she can to help me retain any vestige of independence. She helps me feel young and pretty instead of old and blah. 

   Thank you, daughter, for the gifts you give me. Thank you for my granddaughter, and making sure that we have sleepovers and that I get to enjoy her. Joy. That’s the true gift. You give me that, as much and as often as you can. I’m heartsick that you have Ehlers Danlos too, but I know that my granddaughter is growing up with your wonderful example of living on your own terms. We are a long line of strong, independent women, and I know that you are raising the next one while you take care of me and help my mother too! 

   You’ll be embarrassed by this. Too bad, kiddo. I’m proud of you and I’m grateful for you every day, not just when the calendar says I’m supposed to be. I feel appreciated by you every day, not just when the card companies dictate. I’m going to Boston to see my shoulder surgeon tomorrow, and thanks to you I’ll feel better about myself, despite the cervical collar and the braces and the wheelchair. I’ll be the coolest GoGo in town!

Tough week for this zebra

Friends, I messed up. I forgot to ask my happy thoughts club for happy thoughts today. Boo. I made it to the allergist and home, and we straightened out my meds I hope. I had the worst driver though. I’m upstairs chillin’ with a muscle relaxer because he slammed into every start and stop. Loved that brake pedal and aimed for the potholes. The whole back of my body from head to feet is spasming ๐Ÿ˜ข

However, my daughter gave me my Mother’s Day “spa treatment” this morning ๐Ÿ˜ So nothing will ruin this day. A shower and going out locally is a lot for one day. ๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿผ OKAY, I need happy thoughts this week please, if you’re so inclined ๐Ÿ’– Tomorrow I go to Boston for an MRI of my right shoulder. Wednesday, counseling locally. Thursday off, so far. Friday back to Boston to the shoulder surgeon, and next Monday to Boston to see my physiatrist, whom I adore. Dr. Anthony Lee at Beth Israel in the Spine Center ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜

I do still feel like I got hit by a bus, but I AM doing better. The bruises are finally turning pretty colors and fading, but the bones are still bruised and the “soft tissue injuries” will take a long time to heal. I’m grateful that I didn’t fracture anything, especially my neck which was the main concern and the reason I was admitted. I’m so thankful for you, my friends near and far. You are always hitching a ride in my Trapper John messenger bag ๐Ÿ˜œ when I have to navigate the American health care system ๐Ÿ˜ก I am humbled and enriched by your love and support every day ๐Ÿค—โ˜บ๏ธ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜ป๐Ÿ˜˜. ๐ŸŒท๐ŸŒน๐Ÿ„๐ŸŒบ๐Ÿ€๐Ÿ’