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Posts tagged ‘travel’

Say Hello to Grandma For Me

My mom is leaving in the morning for a trip to Denver, Co. For 26 years of my life I would travel with my parents to see my 2 grandmas and my various aunts and uncles and cousins for approximately 2 weeks. We would trade time between my dad’s mom and my mom’s mom, Grandma Waggoner/Summers and Grandma Shirley respectively. It was always a great time. Grandma Summers had a great tv and video collection and an amazing culinary skill. She made the best cookies and meals I have ever had, although most of what she made I cannot eat today.

Grandma Shirley had the amazing pool and all the little debbie’s you could eat. My grandfather, a man I never got the chance to meet, built the house and the indoor pool with his bare hands. It is a house full of memories and history and it means absolutely nothing without Grandma Shirley in it.

When we traveled to my Grandma Summers funeral in May we went to see Grandma Shirley at the home and to visit the house my grandfather built.  It was an empty experience. The first day we visited Grandma Shirley in the home she wasn’t herself. She didn’t make any sense and she kept playing with a doll. It was so hard to see. It is so hard to remember. It was really hard because even though she had no idea who we were there were still attributes that I recognized. When she was talking she used the same hand gestures and when she was trying to think of something, something none of us could comprehend she looked down and focused like she used to when telling a story.

The second day we visited her was a little better. When we got there she was lethargic which in my mind was better than the playing with the doll day we had experienced the day earlier. We were quite a bigger group so we went out into another area and after Grandma had a little nap she came to join us. She was so much better. She wasn’t completely there but she was more in the room than she had been previously. She and I had a conversation that I could follow and she asked my older sister why she was so sad. It was a great little moment and a truly saddening moment as well. Grandma’s here but she’s not and the moments that she’s here makes up for the moments when she’s not but it makes the moments that she’s not even harder to deal with.

After we saw Grandma at the home we went back to the house where I spent so many summers playing games, and talking with Grandma and walking around the lake across the street. The house was empty without her. Most of her things were still there but she wasn’t. It was the shell of what it used to be, just like she is.

My mother is leaving in the morning for a short trip to see her mom, a trip that will be gut wrenching, a trip that might not be any fun at all. As I hugged her good-bye (because she’s leaving before I get up) I wanted to say, “Say hello to Grandma for me” but then I rethought it. My Grandma may not even recognize her own daughter let alone remember who I am.

I try not to hate anything in this world but I HATE ALZHEIMER’S! I hate it with everything that is inside of me. Alzheimer’s has stolen my grandmother, a woman I love with my whole heart.

So I’m weeping again, what a joy (sarcasm). There are times when I live in denial about my grandma being for all intents and purposes gone. I live in that place and then reality slams into me like a bus and I have no choice but to stare into it and deal with it. I have no choice but to sit in the pain and let it wash over me. If I ignore it now, it will only get harder to deal with.

I learned that lesson the hard way. If you stuff your feelings, your realities, your emotions and never deal with it, it will explode all over you. So you have to deal with it when it comes up. I wasn’t going to write this post because I feel like I have written it so many times over the last few months but I decided that my need to process was more important than my need to write something interesting for my readers to partake.

Deal with your stuff when it happens because stuffing it doesn’t make it go away, it just makes it harder to deal with in the end.

So I’m sitting in my room, listening to a Third Day CD and weeping. I’ll live through this pain which is the triumph I give to you today. 8 years ago I never would have allowed myself cry. I would have had an anxiety attack, lying on the ground not being able to breathe, not feeling safe and all because I believed that if I started crying or if I sat in the pain I would never get out of it. The truth is that is not true. If you deal with pain it cannot overcome you. If you allow yourself to deal with the sadness or disappointment when it comes or anger when it hits or whatever emotion you shy away from, if you allow yourself to deal with it when it happens it cannot overcome you.

8 years ago I was on the highest level of depression meds you can be on and I decided to stop taking them. I decided that not feeling anything was not okay and I started a journey of feeling things when they happen and not being afraid of emotions.

Right now my heart hurts but I am dealing with it and not allowing it to overcome me. That is the good news. The situation sucks but it is not overpowering me. I am sad but I know that I will not stay sad forever.

The Decision to Move

People have been asking me for days what has triggered my decision to move to Kansas. Do I have a job lined up? No but I’m looking. What is my plan? My plan is to do CPE, try to do some ministry either part-time or on a volunteer basis, and work part-time.

I am moving home, to my parents’ house. With that comes the stigma that all 30 somethings have to deal with when moving back in with their parents. Am I a failure? No, I’ve tried really hard to find a job with no luck so that lie will not reign in me.

In essence my parents are my new roommates. It’s funny to think of it like that but they are. I’m not the same girl who was living there ages ago. I’m different. They’re different.

I’m returning home, but it’s different. I’m not returning to a child’s room nor am I returning as a child. I will always be their daughter but I’m not in my 20s or my teens any more.

When I think about moving back in with my parents I think about how I will decorate my room. I think about how I will add my art and where I will put my things. When I lived with my parents before they owned all the things that were in that room. They paid for each piece of it but now I will be bringing things I made or purchased. I don’t know if I am explaining this correctly but it will be different.

I asked my father if I could move in with them and he said yes. My mom has been offering for months but I needed to ask, I needed to make the decision. I needed to let them know that I wanted this and that I am not coming back with shame in my heart but with thanksgiving for all the things they have done for me.

I’m actually looking forward to that return as well. I’m looking forward to rediscovering what Kansas City has to offer. I’m looking forward to seeing things there with new eyes. I’m no longer a tourist or someone visiting on vacation but a resident, even if it is just for a little while.

When I left Kansas, I left to go to Seminary and to really figure out who I was. I know who I am now. I know what I like and what I don’t like. I know how strong I am. I know my insides and my outsides. I know how amazing I am and what a trailblazer I am in my field. I know that I am unique and I know that I still have lots of growing to do. I am returning as a strong woman who desires to get closer to her family and to explore what Kansas City has to offer me.

When I made this decision I had to think about everything I would have to give up and everything I would gain. I had to consider the friends I would leave behind.

I was having dinner with my friend Betsy the other day and I told her that I couldn’t choose to stay because of the friendships I have made. Some of my friends are married and some are single but my friends are not going to choose to stay in a city because I’m there and I can’t do that either.

I have loved living in Pasadena and I will surely miss all my friends and the amazing weather. I think this year we have had more rain than ever (it’s even raining now) and we have had more storms this year than ever and I have loved every minute of it. I love storms. I love listening to rain and hearing thunder. I know some people hate storms but I love them. I’m not a fan of snow but you live with what you have to.

I’m not saying that Kansas will be my permanent residence, it may be my home base or it may not. If I’m willing to follow God wherever he leads I have to be willing to leave my comfort zone, I have to be willing to leave the safety of my home and go somewhere new, somewhere different.

I’m excited to go and see what life will be like for a while. The future is wide open and I don’t know what is out there but I am excited to give it a try. I want to try to see what ministry opportunites are available in my old church or churches in the Kansas City area. I want to see what kind of fun things I can do.

I have felt God saying for a long time that I’m not meant to stay in one church. I’m meant to reach the lost and they are located everywhere. I’ve done two internships in two different churches and I loved both of them.

I’m excited to see what God will do with me in Kansas. I am sad to leave my roommate and my friends but I’m looking forward to the unknown.

I’m truly at peace with this decision. It feels like the right thing to do and the right moment to do it.

A recurring dream has me asking: Why?

I keep having this dream that is full of anxiety and angst. I’m running around trying to get everything together for a flight to a foreign land. This time I was going to Germany but I don’t remember where I was going last time.

The first time I had this dream my aunt Cindy was trying to get me to the airport so we had to go pick up my laundry and then I didn’t have a ticket and the last thing that keeps happening in these trip dreams is that I realize I don’t have my passport.

Now what’s interesting is that I actually don’t have a passport so in the dream it’s not like I left it at home, it’s more like I forgot to get one so there is no way in hell I can get on that plane and leave the country.

Last night’s dream I was stuck with lunatics, one where they threw a party for me for my birthday and they let a girl get alcohol poisoning upstairs so I kick them out but on the way out they all stop to read me a poem they had written about me even though I know none of these people. Then I somehow escape the party only to go to a rummage sale where I am kidnapped and then I try to escape a kidnapping ring (some of this could be the suspense TV show I watched before sleep). Then I end up at my parents’ house and they give me refuge and hide me from the ring. My sister also gives me all of my stuff that I will need: suitcase filled with my clothes and a packet that she swears holds everything I need for my trip.

Just as I’m about to ask if my passport is in there because Tammy’s about to be conscious and awake Tammy knows she doesn’t have her passport, I wake myself up.

Because this type of dream has happened twice and because the anxiety of the dream is so palpable and because I wasn’t able to change the dream I decided to figure out what this dream is about. I can usually change a detail in a dream if I don’t like it or if it produces anxiety but for some reason I can never change this dream.

The previous time I had this dream my aunt was taking care of things but my mother came to the rescue. This time I was lost in a world that was inhospitable but my sister came to the rescue.

In my time of trying to figure out where to go next I have been kind of stuck. I don’t want to leave my life here in California. I like my friends and my support system and the WEATHER and the location and it seems so perfect. But what has kept me here the most, and I am sorry to say it is the lie I believe that: No one wants me.

That no one will indeed come to my rescue. Now the truth of the matter is that my entire time in California my mother has come to my rescue. She has saved me from a bind more than once and she has done so out of love.

This week I was talking with my therapist about my options. It’s been a while now and I still have no job that can support me and it seems as if that won’t be changing anytime soon. I have tried hard to get jobs I want and jobs I don’t want and nothing is happening. The one job I was close to getting just turned me down and the job that might have been a shoe-in was not as it seemed. So my question has been: What now? Should I just go home, try to move in with a cousin, couch surf, or what? When is the time to say enough is enough? Am I just prolonging the inevitable?

All of these questions stem from the hardest part of it all: Am I just a burden?

I don’t want to be a burden but I realize that I am. My therapist tried to get me to see that every interaction with all people makes me a burden. But I don’t like thinking of my interactions with my friends as burdensome. Does that mean that when I hang out with Betsy over tea or dinner that I am burdening her? Does that mean that hanging out with friends is a burden to them? Does that mean being with my family, all I am is a burden?

I can’t think of my life like that. I cherish each interaction that I have with those that I love which includes family and friends.

I think he was just trying to get me to see that we all burden each other in one way or another and no matter if I move home, move in with a cousin or a grandparent, just my presence will be a burden let alone my rent free existence.

Even though I can see his method I still find it harsh.

Anyway I guess what I’m trying to say is that in this dream both my sister and my mother come to my rescue without grudge, without upset and do so because they love me.

So will someone let me live with them rent free, with the knowledge that I will be burden because they love me?

Will love be the overriding factor? …….

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