Saturday, January 29, 2011

My Shepherd

This is going to be sung on Tuesday at my dad's funeral.
It is one of my all time favorite songs.
Just found this video.
Love it.
Enjoy.

May your cup runneth over,
Merry ME

Word of the Day

For Saturday, January 29, 2011

cacoethes \kak-oh-EE-theez\, noun:

An irresistible urge; mania.


My genetic cacoethes to run far away has kicked in.

Lacing up my shoes.

Not sure what direction to go.

Anywhere but here.


not so merry me



Thursday, January 27, 2011

Boo Hoo!

When I peek my eyes open in the morning to see if it's a new day, I instantly become aware of no sounds from across the hall for the entire night. Then I remember. It all happens in a second's time but sets the tone of the day.

Oh yeh, now I remember. My father is gone. And with him all my excuses for why the things around me are in such a state of disarray. I want to be up and moving, cleaning, organizing, getting things - anything - done. I roll over and go back to sleep.

I know. I know. There are no shoulds. Give it time. This is grief.
LaLaLaLa

What do I do now that the focus of my life is no longer around?
Where do I look for me?
If I go into his room and tear it all apart, go through drawers and move furniture, give stuff to the Goodwill and load a trash truck with the crap that's left over, will I feel better? Or should I turn the pile of papers on his desk into a shrine? I could spray paint it gold and add some incense.

A dove sits on the telephone pole outside my window. Her mournful cry is the soundtrack of my day. No Willie Nelson or Tennessee Ernie, just the dove singing a funeral dirge. It fits I think.

Sorry to be so melancholy. Its just that I'm feeling kind of lost and alone. Now that's funny, because the truth is I am right here, where I've always been - not lost at all. And I'm surrounded by more love than a girl deserves.

Wondering what my future will be like.

Wishing for you a day full of joys you take note of.
Merry ME

P.S. Please keep Patty M and her husband in your prayers. His tumors have returned and growing fast. They are running out of options. Please send some of your radiant healing energy to them.

Monday, January 24, 2011

And just like that, it's over.

It's kind of like waiting for Christmas to come if you're a kid. Once all the presents are opened and colored paper covers the floor and you discover Santa forgot to put batteries in your stocking there is a natural melt down period. Nobody can keep that state of excitement for long. Or if you're the mom, aka one of Santa's elves, after all the shopping, wrapping, and assembling, there is still the colored paper all over the floor to clean up and a festive dinner to prepare.

It's not that the waiting was awful (though it can be hard work) or the object of the waiting not what you expected. It's just that when it happens it sort of feels like "okay, that's done, now what's next."

Well, for me, the what next is a funeral, the sorting, the cleaning, the packing up, the giving away, the busy-ness of the days to come so I don't have to think about life as I've known it for 15 years. I know there is grieving and planning ahead, but for now I've got things to keep me occupied. I would like, at some point, to be able to compile my experience as a caregiver into a book. And there's that "Freedom" word that keeps coming up.

Tonight freedom means going to bed and sleeping for as long as I want. It means taking caring for myself by living a "should-free" life. It means giving up my sense of responsibility by letting someone else handle the details of the day. It means letting myself feel that I've done a good job, and accept others' praises without minimizing the work I've done. It means killing time, getting a pedicure, taking a walk, visiting friends, joining the Y and getting lost in a good book for no other reason than I can.

Thanks to all of you for your kind words and loving hearts,
Merry ME

Sunday, January 23, 2011

A Quiet Day

"To bring the sublime into the mundane is the greatest challenge there is."

Pir vilayat Inayat Khan


I lie in the cot beside his bed and listening to my dad - grateful for the rhythmic breathing.
He was restless this morning with some bouts of apnea. A couple of times I had to sit up to see over the bed rail and check the movement of his chest. I figured out a way I could hold his hand through the bar. I wanted to crawl into bed with him. I wanted to hold his head in my lap and rock him. I decided it was better to let him find whatever comfort he could in the bed by himself as I'm just not sure there is enough room for both of us. Didn't know how I'd explain to the nurse that I dropped my father on the floor.

A great doctor came by today. She put dad on a morphine pump so he gets medicated on a more equal basis over the course of 24 hours - no ups and downs as the meds are injected. I think this was a good plan. He's been very comfortable.

I've been thinking a lot today about how the Divine One works miracles right in front of you but if you're not looking you might miss them. I'm not really talking about trees, or the sunrise or snow covered wonderlands though every day nature provides beautiful miracles for the taking. I'm more thinking about how you're going in one direction and suddenly there's a fork in the road and you think you're deciding which path to take, but really it's the Divine GPS that is showing you the way to go.

On Thursday when I asked for a consultation with the Hospice team doc and nurse, I kind of thought I'd need some outside help - a sitter, or nurse - to spell me. Didn't really consider inpatient as an option. I can see now why they wanted Dad to come here. He needed much more help than I could provide. I know people die at home, and I that was our intent all along. But coming here was such a blessing. Everyone is kind, gentle, compassionate and willing to take whatever measure they need to provide Dad, and me, with the comfort we seek. The cocktail of narcotics he's on seemed extreme in the beginning. But I see how peacefully Dad slumbers and I find my heart full of gratitude not regret. God knew this was where we should be. I'm really, really glad I didn't try to go my own way.

Wishing for you everyday miracles,
Merry ME

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Rambling THoughts

Disclaimer: I haven't had much to say lately that didn't involve my dad's dying somehow. I guess this is as good a place to journal the journey as any. If you think it's too depressing it's okay to move on to another fun blog and maybe come back later. Have you been to 1000 Awesome things? It's, um ... awesome.

My fear of Dad coming down with the pneumonia bug was not unwarranted. As I began to recover his throat started hurting. Followed by a cough, which was followed by a chest wracking, wheezing that was hard to stop. Things began to go downhill from there. Dad hasn't eaten anything of substance since Friday. He takes in very little liquid. He continues to pee with surprising regularity. He's also been quite restless though not in an excessive amount of pain.

It all makes for long days and nights for both Dad and I. Since Dad is the one whose body is shutting down I dare not make this about me. But it's really the only point of view I have. As a caregiver I swing from compassionate and kind to frustrated and angry. Some times I understand what he wants/needs and other times I'm on the phone with triage playing a guessing game of matching up Dad's symptoms with suggested remedies. Many has been the night when I've poured out my heart to a person on the other end of the line, only to find out it is the answering service. That's a complaint, but a slight one. Most every Hospice person I have talked to has angel wings of one size or another.

Yet as the week progressed I've seen Dad begin to wither away. I've read Crossing the Creek and the Butterfly Book enough times to see that he is moving closer to the "process" though I've never been sure how you know where the demarcation line is. Not eating is getting pretty close.

Finally I got to the place where I had to ask for help. I knew there was a good chance I was going to wear out and didn't want it to be before he did. After a guarded assessment this afternoon, with knowing looks passing between the doctor and the nurse we decided to move Dad to an inpatient facility to maybe rebuild his strength and to give me a chance to take off my caregiver hat and put on the daughter hat again. It sounded good in theory.

Dad half-heartedly agreed. Maybe more for me than for him. An ambulance drove up to the house, two men put my fragile father on a stretcher and took him away. I pray, earnestly pray, that my failing short term memory will kick in and I will forget the look of fear that filled his eyes as they began their retreat.

Sweetie and I followed a short time later. By the time I was got to the facility, Dad was in a bed, propped up with pillows. Not the kind of propping up where you are surrounded by plump feather pillows and covered by 600 thread count sheets, while you wait for room service to bring you some kind of treat. No this is a hospital room, and even though it is dressed up to look like a Holiday Inn Express to make you feel good, everyone knows you aren't going to feel good or you wouldn't be here.

I got a tour of the hallways. The vending machine stocked kitchen, the "family room" with a TV and computer to use, the patio. All very nice, but it didn't take away the knot in my gut. The knot that continued to grow as Dad began to get restless. The nurses call button/hand and foot raising device looks oddly like a video game control. Dad's engineer brain kicked in and he spent several minutes "seeing how it works." He never quite got it which is an indicator in itself how he failing.

After the thrill of the gadgets wore off he asked "can we go home now?" in a plaintive voice that broke my heart He repeated the request a few more times as he grew more restless. When the nurse came in to inject him with some medication (nothing by mouth as the risk of aspirating is high), he almost vetoed the procedure which was totally within his rights. The old lion tried to roar but it didn't have much umphf in it. Finally he agreed, asked where I was going to sleep and the day's toll started leaking out of my eyes and doesn't want to stop.

I sit in the chair next to his bed, close enough to reach out should he wake up and assure him that he is not alone. The cot where I am to sleep and get the much needed rest I was promised is folded in half by the door, waiting for me to put it to use. Looking at it, I'm asking myself can we go home now?

I feel both relieved and guilty at the same time. I feel like I've made a good decision and I feel like a big fat wimpy baby. They are going to have to prove to me that this is for the best or we'll be back home where I will complain about the hour long trips to the toilet but at least feel comfortable in our own surroundings.

I'm not saying anything bad about hospice or this facility. I imagine it is as good as it can be. Still, like the Hotel California, people come in and never leave. Well, they leave, but not through the front door.

How is it that this whole dying thing has been on the playbill for almost two years and now when the dress rehearsals are over and we're actually in the wings peaking around the curtain, I've got stage fright? I can't have stage fright. I have to be strong. I know my lines, they are fine tuned. I've told Dad it's okay to leave. I've painted a picture of Mom and Black Beauty standing at the Pearly Gates waiting for Dad to cross over. Trouble is the word "goodbye" sticks in my throat and doesn't want to come out.

I've been writing for an hour. The meds kicked in and Dad is sleeping soundly. I guess it's time to open up that really comfortable looking cot and try to sleep. Who knows what tomorrow will bring? Sorry for the rambling. I've got to get the words out of my head.

Wishing for you a sweet goodnight,
Not so Merry ME


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Waiting







"Dying is one thing.
Knowing you're dying and having to sit there and wait on it is another.
And having to sit there and watch someone who's
having to sit there and wait on it is yet another."*
Charles Martin


I just discovered this local author. He writes a pretty good story. This quote said what I've thought of saying but couldn't find the words.

My Boy Cat has been spending a lot of time with me next to Dad's bed. He's no Oscar the Cat of nursing home fame, but this morning he wouldn't let us alone. Do you think he knew Dad and I were having trouble communicating so he just plopped himself down so we could both pet him while he purred the purr of quiet contentment? Whether he knew or not, it worked.

May you be calmed by the warmth of a four-footed friend,
Merry ME


*Where the River Ends, Broadway Books, NY, P. 310

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

On Worry

Some boys pointed out the box floating out on the water, then left me to satisfy my curiosity by getting closer. Inside the box was a big feathered something. A bird? A duck? A swan? It was hard to tell because it was kind of in a ball, wrapped around itself in a defensive, protective posture. It appeared to be hurt, but I couldn't tell where or how. It looked up at me, with sad eyes. Eyes that asked for help. I must have left for something, maybe to get help.
When I got back there were small white eggs hatching. Little baby puff balls huddled up close to mom. Some lay still, not moving or breathing. I moved in for a closer look, stuck my hand in the box. The mama bird that had looked near death sprang into action with a high pitched cry and a beak that was made for hurting things. I was stunned by the strength she possessed, but knew that's how a parent reacts when its children appear to be in danger.

I awoke from the dream, with the weight of worry on my heart. Like the bird when my maternal instinct kicks in I'm ready and willing to attack.

It seems lately there has been a lot of worry going on in the lives of parents I know. Some of it is the hand-wringing, floor pacing kind of anxiety that gnaws at your gut. Some of it is the general malaise that comes from knowing there's nothing much that can done but you're uncomfortable just waiting. For me, worry is what fills up the waiting spaces.

I recently got an email that had undoubtedly been around the world a couple thousand times. It asked the question, how long do you worry about your kids? From the moment our children are born, to the time they first teeter on their own two feet, the world is theirs just begging to be explored. From learning how to ride a bike, being a school patrol person, figuring out the principles of geometry, getting a driver's license, going away to college, having their heart broken to signing a lease of their first apartment, a parent must develop a sixth (7th, 8th, 9th?) sense about how far to let go and how long to hold on. More than one child? Double or triple the ability to fly into action if needed. I'm not saying parenting is all about seeing boogy men behind every corner, or dreading every minute your child is out of your sight. If excitement and pride at seeing your child grow and succeed in life is like the salt in parenthood stew, then concern/worry is the pepper.

Then come grandchildren. And reports of cyber bullying, texting while driving, teen pregnancy on the rise, school shootings and ..... The only thing worse than seeing your child in trouble is seeing your child's child with a hands off posture getting ready to jump of a cliff. Learning to fly solo is an individual job. Like the Arctic Falcon I saw on a Nature show last week, all Grammy can do is stand nearby and squawk encouragement (and prayers).

Then, if you are lucky, comes the time when the child/parent roles are reversed. The baton is passed backward instead of forward. When your mother or father becomes weakened by age or illness (or both) and you suddenly realize (s)he is no longer invincible. Fear of losing the one who has always been there no matter what becomes a constant companion. Concern for their well-being is tinged with the unpleasant idea of becoming an orphan. Will this be the day becomes a silent mantra as you go about the busy-ness of caregiving.

Long gone are the days of living in a fight or flight state. There are no saber-tooth tigers to fend off. We don't have to live in a state of fear. We have to learn to trust in ourselves, in those entrusted to our care and to a higher power. To live in a stress-filled world, we must develop an attitude of gratitude for the joys that each day brings to combat a fear of the unknown and just waiting to happen. We must nurture ourselves the way we would care for others. Like the sequined lady on the high wire we must set an example of courage, putting one foot gingerly in front of the other, all the time looking forward, not down. For me that's easier said than done.

Wishing for you enough bubble wrap to surround the ones you love,
Merry ME, aka The Worry Wort

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Toot! Toot!

At the risk of tooting my own horn AND being redundant, I would like to say I was quite pleasantly surprised to turn on my computer this morning to find that I am this week's winner of a $50.00 prize in the Eldercare Share Your Story contest. I think everyone who has voted probably already knows this - thus the redundancy!

It's quite nice to be singled out among some many really touching stories. I am grateful.
BUT ....
(Sweetie hates it when I say that) I must say a great big thank you to all my voting public. You guys, known and unknown, have done your job repeatedly and well. It makes my heart feel good to have so many people rooting for me!

That said, it looks like I'm staying steady in 6th place. If I'm going to catch up with or pass by the leaders, I might have to stand out on the street corner and wave at people as they drive by. On second thought, I'll just ask that you keep on voting for the next week. Please know that I really appreciate it.

I didn't even have to think about what I'd do with the $50 prize. There is a lady in town who gives the most divine facials and I haven't seen her in ages. Dad thinks he should be given half the prize which is something I hadn't really considered. I asked if he wanted to come with me for a facial and he expressed interest in a "butt-al!" I guess if I'd been through what he's been through for the past few days, I might enjoy a nice hot, peppermint scented towel on my rear end too.

I hope when you go to vote you spend some time reading the other entries. Each and every one of them is pretty touching in its own way. I'd like to believe that caregivers are a rare breed, yet the truth is the number of people needing fulltime care is reaching almost epidemic proportions. Sons and daughters, husbands and wives, loved ones and strangers who might never have thought about it are learning how to do the hands on work of caregiving. Most of us have probably taken care of babies, which is, in it's own way, hard work. Caregiving at the other end of the spectrum is very similar. The exception is you are dealing with a person who has had a lifetime of experiences, formed his/her own personality, and even in the throes of dementia has a set pattern of behavior. It's not so easy to put your mom or dad in a play pen and tell them to stay or throw them over your shoulder for a pat on the back.

If you read the other entries you find that caregiving is a rewarding job. It's also stressful, heartbreaking and exhausting. Bravo to Eldercare for giving caregivers a place to tell their story. If there is someone you know who is doing this job why not give them a call and offer a helping hand. It's hard to know what kind of help a caregiver needs. It could be a few minutes of rest for a cup of tea, or a sympathetic ear, or an offer of a grocery store run. A small bokay of flowers, a new cd, or piece of chocolate cake can go a long way in lifting a caregiver's spirits. But mostly it's the gift of your time and a listening ear that helps to make a caregiver feel loved and appreciated.

For all of you out there who faithfully visit my blog, each of you is a winner in my book,
Merry ME

Monday, January 10, 2011

Dirty Jobs

I love my Sweetie like nothing else. He is my day and night and everything in between. I'd be lost and unhappy without him.

That said, I also have an almost uncontrollable crush on Mike Rowe of Dirty Jobs fame. For some reason the dirtier he gets the more I swoon. Sweetie knows that if Mr. Rowe ever drives into my driveway in a Ford pick-up truck, wearing blue jeans and that cutie pie smile of his, I'd be gone in a heartbeat. Oh, for sure I'd come back, but to spend time getting dirty with Mr. Rowe is right up there at the top of my fantasy list.

So where, oh where, was the Dirty Jobs man when I needed him?

As distasteful as the subject matter might be, when I write my book about the life of a caregiver, it is going to have to have a chapter on "Poop Control ... or lack of."

Yesterday was just plain nasty. There's no one to be blame or be angry at, one just has to put on her industrial strength rubber gloves and deal with it. But first, 0f course, I have to panic a little bit. I made a series of phone calls to hospice, a doctor I know, the non-emergency Rescue Squad and back to hospice. Each time I got a voice mail I got a little more anxious. Dad's drug box was looking pretty good to me! The more Dad hurt because he couldn't go, the more I worried about how to get him to go. Taking him to the ER was getting closer to the top of the list. I just couldn't figure out how we would get him there. I figured we'd have to take a number and wait so I opted to wait in our own surroundings.

Finally an angel dressed in purple knocked on the door. Don't you know she was excited to be called out on a cold Sunday to deal with what she was about to face? Like almost every Hospice nurse who has come here, day or night, this one came in with a smile. She had a take charge attitude yet never let go of her southern charm. There is something calming about a sweet Southern drawl. It kind of puts you at ease without knowing it. She went right to work doing what she had to do to get things moving. Before she left she gave a list of instructions and hints about how to keep this from happening again. Which of course is almost impossible. Besides the fact that my Dad's digestive tract, from his swallowing muscles to his bottom, is old and tired, it is under the influence of drugs that slow it down. Not to mention he's dehydrated and moves very little. There is a fine line between not enough and too much when working with fiber drinks, stool softeners, and laxatives. Like a see-saw we're at a stage where we are either up or down, uncomfortable for both the patient and the caregiver(s).

After the nurse left, Dad began the trips to and from the bed side commode. It's nothing more than a step, but that step is fraught with peril. By the end of the night it took both my sister and I to hold him up, sit him down, clean him up, and get him back to bed. And for some reason known only to the man who must have felt like a human poo machine, he refused any medication to relieve his discomfort. Even though he hurt - duh! - he would not even let me squirt some medicine in his mouth. "I'll spit it at you," he said through tight lips. He glared at me in that defiant 2 year old way that let me know if I forced the issue I'd be wearing purple grape smelling syrup. Instead, I did what any caregiver at the end of her rope would do, I offered him a Manhattan, his drink of choice, and dumped the pills in that. I admit I worried that Ten High Bourbon and Schedule I narcotics could be a deadly combination, but not so much that I didn't think it worth a try. Besides the drink was only one part booze, one part pills, and several parts ice water. He took one sip and refused the rest. He told us goodbye as he did not expect to be here in the morning. He was going to be with my mother. I held his hand and tried to comfort his stubborn, hurting self.

Then my post-pneumonia stamina gave out. I had to go to bed and leave Dad in the capable hands of my sister. It was a l-o-n-g night. Just when she though there couldn't possible be anything left inside the man, he needed to go again. When I got up, Dad was in the recliner and Linda was on the bed. Both looked worn out.

What a difference a day makes.
Dad asked for pain meds, drank them right down. Crawled into bed and went to sleep. That was about 2 and a half hours ago. He sleeps the blessed sleep of exhaustion. As the day has progressed his trips to the toilet have been many but less intense. He's spent time talking to my mother and reciting poetry. It's hard to tell where he hurts more, his bottom or his heart.

One think I've learned from this experience is that when one opts for hospice at home, one learns a lot of things she never expected she would need to know.

Wishing for you a day spent surrounded by the sweet smell of roses,
Merry ME

P.S. Sweetie, I'm just kidding.
If Mike Rowe knocked on the door, of course I'd ask him in and offer him a drink, but I'd never really consider driving off with him. Now throwing a dishtowel into the commode so he'd have to whisk off his shirt and lay down on the floor to fix the plumbing, well, that's a different story all together.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Being sick is no fun

How do you spell when it rains it pours?
Walking Pneumonia.

The good news: The cough held off until my sister arrived to help with my dad. Since the doctor said I was highly contagious until the antibiotics kicked in, I donned my paper mask, closed my bedroom door and went to sleep. Sleep is a good thing. Sleep is my friend. Just wish I didn't have to be sick to refuel my tank.

Thanking God today for my sisters and Sweetie who came to my rescue.

Wishing for you good health,
Merry ME

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Public Service Announcement



I got this email today from Women for Women International. I'm doing what they asked, passing along this information and asking you to pass it on too.

This weekend Sudan faces the possibility of a historic transformation, when southern Sudanese will vote in a referendum on whether or not to split their nation into two separate countries. In our latest video our Sudan Country Director Karak Mayik explains what this vote means for the country and the women survivors of war we serve.

Our hope is that the vote will be a peaceful process, but sadly Sudan has known little but violence, displacement and loss of lives for the last 40 years. The women of Sudan are strong, but they need our support. We invite you to watch our video (see the web page) and share it with your friends and family. As the vote moves closer visit our webpage dedicated to standing with our Sudanese sisters for ways that you can help and for updates on the situation. This is your chance to use your voice and be a part of the movement that believes that women are important in building peaceful societies.

Your support gives our sisters – not only in Sudan but in all of the countries where we work - the ability to hope, dream, and stand up for themselves. Join us today in standing with our Sudanese sisters.

On behalf of the women we serve,
All of us at
Women for Women International


I really and truly believe that if all the women of the world were to stand together there would be peace in this world. Maybe the Sudan is the place to start.

Wishing for you and your children and your children's children,
Merry ME

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Freedom

"Freedom is nothing but a chance to be better."

Albert Camus


Instead of making resolutions (and not keeping them) some bloggers that I follow have a New Year's tradition of picking a word to guide them into the year ahead. I believe it is a way to set an intention for the kind of year they want to have instead of just letting fate take over.


With all the words in the world it must be kind of hard to pick just one. I guess that is where spending some quiet time meditating about the last year, what changes you'd like to see or what joys you'd like to continue. I barely find time to bathe or brush my teeth, so even though meditating is probably the best thing I could do for myself, it is also the last thing I think of. I pour myself into bed, begin a prayer of thanks for another day and fall into a coma-like sleep. Plus I've never been very good at meditating, although I have found peace in guided meditations that take me to a deserted beach on the Hawaiian island of Kauai.


I read others' intentions and envy their ability to nurture themselves. I toy with words but get lost in the what ifs. However, one word keeps working its way unbidden into my consciousness. At different times of the day, there it is tickling my thoughts, like a 2 year old tugging at the hem of your dress. "Hey," it says, " I'm here. Look at me." I guess I should be honest and say I've been kind of afraid to say the word out loud. But that's the whole point of the exercise isn't it. Not just to think it and forget it, but to say it, write it, believe it, live it.


So, here is my word. Freedom.


Freedom from what, you might ask. Well, that would be my first question also. I'm not locked in a jail cell. I'm not living in a theocratic society wearing wearing a black burka so men can’t see me. I am not enslaved by people trying to exploit me by paying me 3 cents an hour. I have the ability to come and go when I want (sort of). So why would freedom have such an appeal for me?


I decided to look up the definition and see it that would help shed some light. Dictionary.com gives gives several definitions - 17 to be exact - but not applied. I did find a few that appealed to me. #3 is “the power to determine action without restraint.” I have been kind of restrained for the last few years. Restraint, perhaps, of my own choosing, but tied to my commitment to my father nonetheless. #6 is “exemption from the presence of anything specified” i.e. fear, resentment, anger, debt .... anything specified covers a lot of ground. And #8, “ease or facility of movement or action:” feeds into my growing sense of wanderlust. I have an almost uncontrollable desire to set out for parts unknown in a motorhome with my Sweetie behind the wheel, my two black kitties asleep in the back. I’m not sure, but maybe that’s what my great great grandparents felt when they crossed the mountains from North Carolina into Tennessee. Or maybe it’s what a cow sees from when she looks at the grass on the other side of the fence. It’s not the grass that’s so enticing, it’s getting past the fence. The final definition that seemed to describe my idea of freedom is #17, “the power to exercise choice and make decisions without constraint from within or without;autonomy; self-determination.”


Yup, I think that would be the real reason the word “freedom” keeps knocking at my door. Without constraint from within or without.


Well now, I’ve not only picked a word, I’ve defined it and put it out into the universe. I guess the next step is to embrace it. All you word pickers out there, got any suggestions about how to do that?


Wishing for you freedom and choice,

Merry ME


Contest

Well, I've done it. I've gone and entered a contest. It's not really a writing contest, though it did make me tweak my writing muscles as it limited my entry to 300 words. I've been known to write sentences with more than 300 words. I stretched myself for the writing experience as well the possibility of winning a day at a spa. I don't think there is a caregiver alive who wouldn't give their right arm for a day away.

So here's the deal. In order to win, I have to get the most votes. And in order to get votes I have to ask you, my friends and family, to go to this site and vote for my story. Actually I think you go here, then hit the share why you care header and that brings up a place to vote. You will notice that as of this moment I have one vote. I decided it was okay to vote for myself even though it feels a little cheating. Apparently you can vote once a day. I think the contest is over near the end of the month, so every day when you turn your computer on, or are about to turn it off, will you go to the site and vote for me? And I don't mind if you spread the news, tell all your friends, to tell their friends.

All this assumes, of course, that you feel like I am worthy of your vote. It looks like there are already a lot of deserving caregiving stories. The fact is, even if I don't win, someone really, really devoted to the care and keeping of another person will and that is okay by me.

Wishing for you a limb to climb out on to see a new view of the things,
Merry ME

P.S. Patty M. FYI: It took me about 5 times to get the preview button to work, but then it was biff, bam, boom my story was accepted. I hope you'll enter too. Let me know and I'll add a shout out for you here on my blog.