Dreamer’s World June 26, 2018 -Where Have The Years Gone?

    I got word from family yesterday that my cousin came through her surgery with flying colors. She will know the results of the biopsy in a few days, and, at the tender young age of 87, she will stay in the hospital for about a week before going home. I hope that there is good news when the lab results come back, but I am a realist, and I know that cancer attacks people who have never been in high-risk groups such as my cousin. It is an evil and indiscriminate killer.
    Thinking about my cousin having surgery days after turning 87 has me thinking about where time goes once we experience it? I can clearly see in my mind the visits to her when I was a child. She is 33 years older than I am, this is the result of being the offspring of the youngest of my Dad’s clan of 11 kids. It seems that an entire generation skipped when it comes to my cousins. All of them are much older than I am.
    I remember getting to know her, and she was already an adult, teaching at an elementary school. We were never close like most cousins due to the age differential, but we shared a bond because Mom and Dad had helped to raise her in the years long before I was born. In fact, Mom and Dad helped her to attend college at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, TN and get a start on her own life. Therefore, she has always seen me as special because of the kindness that my parents showed to her when she was a little girl and a young woman.
    When my Dad died in 1981, she was there to comfort me, but I could see that she was just as upset as I was. We ended up comforting each other. When Mom died in 2001, she was there once again. She feels like a much closer relative than just a cousin who is 33 years older than I am.
    She has her own children and grandchildren now, and they are all wonderful people who care about her more than I can because they are much closer. It doesn’t diminish the bond that we share. My life took me away from western Kentucky many years ago, and I have done well for myself. I still think about her on a regular basis, and she was so relieved when I called her on her birthday.
    I am relieved that the surgery was successful. I will be waiting to hear from her kids about how things turn out and when she might be going home from the hospital. If she indicates that she wants to see me, I will take time off and travel to visit her, but I don’t want to be a burden on her or her family. Her children are all older than I am, and it has been many years since we last saw each other. This is the generational gap that I mentioned before on full display.
    Cancer is a killer, Time is ruthless. Each will have its way, and there isn’t much we can do to change either of them. I will keep her in my thoughts and get on with my life and hope that I will be as well-remembered when I reach the age of 87.

Dreamer’s World April 10 2016 – Siblings Day as an Only Child

I wasn’t aware that there was such a thing as Siblings Day until today when I saw friends posting about it on FaceBook. It seems like a wonderful idea to celebrate one’s siblings so I am surprised that I hadn’t heard of it before. I am sure that I would have remembered this from the past, because it does hold significance for me, although not in the way that it does for most people.
     I am an only child. The reasons are complex, but they center on the fact that my Mother was rather small of stature. I found out when I was a child that my birth, had it occurred naturally, would most likely have killed my Mother and that was why I was born via c-section. Obviously, this led to the decision by my parents that they would not attempt another child at the expense of my Mother’s health and/or life.
     I have always envied those who have siblings. I choose that word carefully because I am NOT jealous of those people, I envy them. The best way to explain that rather deep sentiment is that I can envy someone who is rich, because I have never been rich. I can only be JEALOUS of someone who has something similar to what I have, but which I feel is better than what I have. I hope that clears things up.
     Growing up as an only child was something that I was aware of, but that also involved the realization that there was nothing at all I could ever do about it. I asked that question about why i had no brothers or sisters when I was very young, because all of my friends did. When I was told about the medical issues with my Mother, I understood and never asked again.
     And so, I lived my childhood knowing that I was different to a degree. I was never spoiled, but I was made aware that I was special and unique. I was given a healthy sense of self from both my parents and I am grateful to them for that every day of my life. I learned responsibility by being the one who was responsible for things, not for being one of a group of people. I had no fall-back position if I did something wrong. I could not blame anyone else for my fuck-ups. While this lesson was not particularly pleasant, it was very important as I journeyed through life.
     I found this picture and it does resonate with me as I talk about this. After the death of my parents I am totally alone. There is no other real family left. I have my relationships, and I cherish them, but they are not the deep bond that siblings have. Siblings know that they carry on what was given to them collectively. They remain as sources of support throughout their lives, and that is beautiful. Anyway, back to the picture
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I am the figure on the path. I may be moving towards the viewer, or I may be moving away. It is beautifully indeterminate, just like life itself. For me, as the figure in the picture, my reality is where I am on the path. It is everything else that changes as I move along. As much as I love Hal (person), this path is my own. Only a sibling would have enough of the commonalities to be pictured as walking with me.
     Surprisingly to some, I seldom feel alone. I feel normal, as I always have. My path was always the solo path, fate made it so. To be miserable and feel overwhelmed and alone would mean that I would stop moving altogether. I will never stop moving along my path until I die, there is too much to see. The direction I choose to move in is irrelevant from this picture. If someone sees me moving away from them, then so be it. If they choose to see me moving towards them, then so be that as well.
     I will get to where I am going, through the sun and the shadows. I will not get there by standing still. For those on their own paths who are fortunate enough to have siblings, enjoy the journey together, and may there be as few forks in your path as possible to separate you. My path may have forks in it as well, I have the freedom to take them to see where they lead, knowing that only myself will answer if things go wrong.
     That sense of freedom is exhilarating and scary at the same time. Not having to worry about a family member is a blessing and a curse. In the end, it all evens out, and my Type B personality just tells me to take things at my own pace and enjoy the journey.
     Happy Siblings Day to everyone. Hold them close.

Dreamer’s World February 20-21 2016

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I don’t like spending Saturday morning at the dealership to get my Beetle serviced, but it has to be done. My state inspection is expiring at the end of this month and there is no way I need to get caught violating that. In addition, there is the much-dreaded 90k mile maintenance package that has to be done. Because of a scheduling conflict with Hal (person) I was unable to drop the Beetle off and pick it up later, so I am stuck here in the waiting room. 
     I will take a few walks around the lot to get my steps in while I am here. All the while I’ll be dodging the salespeople and their attempts to make me trade in the Beetle for something else. The Beetle is PAID FOR and I don’t want a car payment weighing on me each month. Just let this place sick me for the money on the Beetle and I’ll be on my way. I don’t have any idea when I would even consider trading the Beetle because it has been the best car I have ever had. 
     The waiting, as Tom Petty sang, is the hardest part of this morning. The waiting room is filled with people who show zero interest in communicating with each other as they wait for what they hope will be good news on their vehicles, just like me. The TV is on, as much to prevent conversation as anything else. I despise TV just about all of the time so it annoys me. Another reason to take a walk around outside as far as I’m concerned. 
     Of course, there is always something extra when the service technicians arrive with the preliminary results. This time the extra is that I need a new battery. Honestly I’m not going to bitch about that because the battery is at least 5 years old so I think I’m getting off lightly this morning. Everything else checks out OK, the safety inspection is complete and the oils change is always complimentary since I got the Beetle here in the first place. Now I am waiting for the Beetle to be ready and to pay the bill and head home. I am thankful that I can pay the bill without any real pain because I have maintained money for things like this. There have been plenty of times in the past where I would have been sweating how to pay for things that happened. 
     I will say that I am happy with the speed of this service visit. I came here expecting to be bored for at least 2 hours but it looks like things will be done in just over an hour. The cost of today’s visit was more than I hoped for, but much less than I feared, so overall I am happy to have it done and over with.
    I am back home now and deciding what to do for lunch. There is no rush about this since I managed to get breakfast before I left for the VW dealership this morning. I am tempted to go to brunch at Shooter McGee’s, but I haven’t fully convinced myself just yet. There will be plenty of time for that as the morning morphs into the afternoon. Hal (person) is at work and won’t be home for a few more hours. The temptation to go tech-shopping is strong and that is another reason I don’t feel the necessity to leave the apartment right now. I was fortunate enough to have the money to pay for the Beetle this morning, but that doesn’t mean that I should run out and spend more money just because the one expense is behind me. There are always a few things that are more necessary to take care of first before going tech-shopping, especially when I have the money to get them done. I think the best thing to do is to relax for a while and regroup my thoughts before making any rash decisions.
     I have managed to make lunch here at home rather than go out. I’m still waiting for Hal (person) to get home from work, but since it is already 1330 he should be home in about 90 minutes or so. Perhaps we will get out later this afternoon if he feels like it. Personally, I do want to go somewhere for a change, but I wasn’t the one who worked today.
    There was one thing that happened yesterday that delayed this post. I heard through FaceBook that my cousin’s husband suffered a heart attack and was in the hospital. He is recovering, thankfully, and with continued progress he will be allowed to go home on Tuesday. I have reached out to my 2nd cousins about their father and I am pleased that this seems to have brought us together although I wish it were under different circumstances. I just heard Sunday morning that Ron continues to improve and that the schedule for his treatment is on track. The doctors have removed the balloon pump and he seems to be responding very well. 
    It is sad that it takes tragedy of bad fortune to bring people back together again. I hope that the beginnings of communication will continue.