Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Dealing with a terminally ill spouse (or parent or whomever)

MacLeans Magazine, Dec 2011 Issue, has an article by Julia McKinnell on how to deal with your terminally ill husband called Rage against the dying of the light.  The title is a reference to the Dylan Thomas poem which implores the listener not to give up easily to death.  In the article it is more of a reference to the feelings of the caregiver, who may be struggling under many conflicting emotions. One example McKinnell cites is the wife of a cancer patient. Her husband was a smoker and she may be angry that he 'caused his own cancer'. Did those words ever jump off the page to me!

My husband is a smoker and, thank God, has not been given a cancer diagnosis.  I am already angry that he continues to smoke and continues to smoke near me.  Is this going to be a nicotine murder-suicide?  Yes, I smoked. We both smoked when we were dating, so I can't say I didn't know about it.  I continued to smoke and to want to smoke for many years after people said it was dangerous.  Then I had an epiphany. I am so grateful for the moment when I realized that the tobacco companies KNOW they are killing you, they don't care, and they are coming for your children.  Suddenly I was free. I didn't even WANT to smoke anymore.

Now I need my husband to have his own epiphany.  I don't know what it will take, but I know your prayers will help.  I have asked God to deliver him from his addiction, to give him the courage to let go, and the strength to get through it; and I know that God will do what I have asked.  The prayers are for me: that I will not nag him, that I will love him unconditionally, that I will not be fretful, but simply state when the smoke is preventing me from breathing.  That I will remember to tell him how much I love him and need him.  We're almost at 30 years, and I'd kinda like to see 50 or even 60!

Thank You, God, for such a wonderful, considerate, punctual, funny/punny, romantic husband. <3 <3 <3

Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas- presents, overkill, depression, recentering

If you're like me, and sometimes I really pray that you are not!, holidays can be a vicious cycle of emotional turmoil. From intense excitement, to its polar opposite, depression, the holidays dredge up a lot of emotional baggage as well as old Christmas ornaments and dusty fake trees.  

You get out the tree and set everything up, run out to the store and buy all kinds of presents, and then wonder what the heck you've been doing!  Depression sets in. You wonder if anyone will like/need what you bought. (Personally I hate buying stuff just because it's a certain date.)

That's when I start snapping out on my husband.  :(  That's when I have to seriously chill out. I know it's a lot of emotional baggage from my childhood. I know it has nothing (or almost nothing) to do with the actual people involved today, but I have to walk myself through the process of letting it all go. I have to tell myself (out loud!) that it doesn't really matter what I look like or what I bought (comparatively), but that I cared enough to be there and brought a gift.  Obviously, I hope the gift will be relevant, but you can't always get it spot on, so forgive yourself already (says my mindspeak).

Then the cleaning and baking start, and I haven't even started getting any Christmas groceries in the house!  This is a crazy time of year. From now on, I am going to try to enjoy it. If I ever finish those Christmas cards. If you didn't get one, it's cuz they're still on my table...

Friday, December 9, 2011

Washington Post funny

Washington Post NOEL funnies...

In honour of the season, a link to one of the Washington Post contests. Merry Christmas!

Now, who has their Christmas shopping done, who waits til the last minute, and who is completely exasperated by the forced purchasing of gifts just because it's Dec 25??? (or Dec 24 if you're Jewish)

Tra la la la la, I'm off to wrap something.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Blogging Ketchup, er.. Catch up!

Everybody's posting, I figured I better get my butt in gear and get something up here as well.

My house is a cloud of dust at the moment.  Husband suggested ( for the 47th time since Thanksgiving -Oct 10th) that we get out the Christmas decorations.  He is a bit like Ernest from the movie. He would do Christmas all year long if you let him.  I was brought up that decorations go up the 24th of December and come down by the 6th of January. No fooling around with extensions and no early birds!  So every  year there is a bit of a cold war because he doesn't know where the stuff is hiding, and I'm not going to bestir myself early.  Around the first week of December I usually cave.  It's worked for thirty years, people - don't knock it.

Before any decorations go up or presents enter the house, there must be a massive purge.  Yes, I watch Hoarders and Consumed, and it terrifies me.  I am the knickknack queen! I am also a paper hoarder.  Part of it is scrapbooking - not the fancy kind neither. I mean saving newspaper articles with my kids' friends and my friends' kids, programs from concerts, and official announcements like obits of my favourite famous people. Sometimes I throw in a whole section of newspaper for posterity.  Ten years later I take it out and read it. Tip of the day: never blow the dust off anything!

In life it is also necessary to purge the things that have been holding us up, holding us down, and holding us back.  This is an excellent time of year to dredge your memory for petty things you've been holding against people and forgive them.  That's right.  They were in the wrong, they hurt your feelings, they're an insensitive cad and don't deserve it.  Guess what? Let it go.  It's only hurting you, and the ones that don't deserve forgiveness need it the most. Ask me how I know that.

Hope all your holiday preparations are wonderful.  Check in on a lonely person and have them over for tea or invite them to your Christmas dinner (or whatever holiday you are celebrating).

I thank you all for reading.