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Happy Easter-- A time for reflection


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Today we celebrate the beginning of a new life, the resurection of Christ. This is a good time for me to say hello again and if you all don't mind I will share a few of my reflections. I don't come here often any more, not because you all mean any less to me but because I have had to start living acording to priorities. It is unbelieveable how much I have slowed down in the last few years especially this last year. I can't work full steam ahead like I used to do. My mind and heart are willing but my body protests. So I have to work on the things that take priority, my job, my family and church and last but not least my health that has taught me recently that you can't just keep pushing yourself past exhaustion forever without paying a price.

Seven years ago my world started falling apart. Two special prayers, mine and Johnny's, lead to a dream that would change my life and lead me to a new beginning, not once but many times. In May it will be 5 years sense I left Louisiana for a new start in California. It was both heart breaking and frightening but also a time of promise. In July it will be 5 years sense the day I set out to join my first love and again start a new life full of promise. A life that was a dream come true but also a life that pulled the world out from under me. It is so hard to believe it will be 5 years in December sense that terrible morning that I held my Johnny's hand as he left this world for a better place. Just a few days ago it was 4 years sense the day I left Washington with my dreams and my hopes as dead as my Johnny. Sense that time I have come a long way thanks to many of you here on this board and many other very special people I have met along my Journey.

I have come to accept that in God's plan there is a reason for everything, even the most painfull things and events in our lives. I also know that we may never understand the "whys" or "how comes". I have learned to live by Faith. I welcome each day and take joy from every season. When I think about all of the loses in my life I think too of how blessed I have been to have known so much love. There could never be such pain without love coming first. We only grieve for people because we love them and have been loved by them. As much as the loss hurts I would never have wanted to miss the love that made the pain of loss so deep.

There are more aniversary dates coming up soon and another that passed just a little over a month ago. On February 23rd it was one year sense my ex husband died. On April 18th it will be a year sense a lady who became very special to me passed on. I will never forget Clair and the almost childish smile that greeted me when I arrived at her house to care for her. April 22nd will be two aniversaries. That was the day our Pastor's wife passed. She was such a special person and a very dear friend. She went to meet Christ with her arms wide open. She never lost her faith and was an inspiration to all of us.

As I said April 22nd is also another aniversary. Last year on the night of April 22nd I smoked my last cigarette. It wasn't easy for me to quit. I tried so many times and failed. I watched my Mother die of LC and then I lost my Johnny to LC still I had to fight myself for a very long time to quit. I am very glad that I quit. I know how bad it was for me though now I see that other things can be just about as bad for you. I didn't really notice that I was gaining weight until I ordered some new pants. I was shocked when I couldnt't get into them! I ran to the scale only to learn that I had gained 30 pound without realizing it. I started a walking program and dug out my old Weight Watchers books only to learn that instead of losing what I had gained I had added another 10 pounds. It has been a constant struggle sense then that has gotten me nowhere. I have changed my eating habits. I eat a lot less and much better food for my health like fruits and vegetables. I still eat the other thing I like in smaller portions but all to no avail. I can't get the weight off. I am now on two medications for my blood pressure and all of the little aches and pains that I held off for so long seem to take pleasure in tormenting my old body.

I know that is not the best insentive for those of you who are thinking about quiting the smokes so before you use me and my story as an excuse (believe me I know how that is I used anything for a reason te keep smoking) I have to tell you there are other factors that play into my situation. Last year I turned 62. I started drawing my Social Security, about the time I became elegable my ex husband died so I get much more than I would have. Instead of working 6 or 7 days a week and 2 or three over nights I now work only about 15 hours a week. Not only have my hours changed but the kind of work I do. I don't do the heavy house work any more. Most of my jobs are for companionship or transportation or both. One job for 3 and a half hours is house work. Also I can afford to eat better because every penny doesn't go to bills and smoikes! I am also a lot more relaxed and sure of myself. Those things all make my life easier but added to the weight gain. The aches and pains and blood pressure are from the weight gain. I'm sure too that is part of the reason I just can't work as much and as hard as I did. So all in all I am much better off but would feel better if I could get my weight under control.

Now onto another change. A couple of weeks ago I started putting my name on the waiting list for Senior housing. The rent goes according to your income and the utilities cost is almost nothing. When my name comes up I will move down to Redding and then I will be able to retire. As it is it hardly pays me to work because the price of gas is so high and I live so far from most of my jobs. My rent and utilities keep going up so I can't quit working entirely while I live here. Once in Redding I won't fear driving at night like I do this dark mountain road. I'll be able to go to concerts and plays and bingo. I am really looking forward to those things and more time for my sewing hobbies. I will miss my yard and all of my flowers but they are becomming too much for me to keep up. Our water price has sky rocketed and with the lack of rain this year I'm sure it will be very hard to keep things growing without spending a fortune on water. I'll also miss all of my friends and neighbors.I have had several holidays encluding today that make you remember why we celebrate these days and that all holidays were not created so we can eat and drink and have a lot of noise.

I want to thank Randy for writing and checking on me.I do miss all of you but there is just so much going on all of the time that I have had to stay away. There just aren't enough hours in the day. It would also take me a year of reading to try and catch up. So I will just drop in once in a while and say hello. I am writing this and will paste it. I wanted to write my thoughts before I go to the board to read. I didn't want my thoughts to be interrupted. To all of you past and present I send a heartfelt Happy Easter and wishes for New beginnings. For all of those we have lost along the way I send up a special prayer of thanks for having known them. How little I knew just 7 short years ago how different my life would be than I ever imagined :!:

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