Share Your World

What do you consider is the most perfect food for you? (It can be your favorite food to something extremely healthy.)

I am gluten intolerant and stopped eating sugar for health reasons. No carbs, no sugar, what’s perfect?  My favorite go to meal is a salad with strawberries and almonds in it topped with a piece of grilled salmon.

Are you focused on today or tomorrow?

Both. I’m always looking ahead, I wouldn’t say focused, but planning ahead in terms of appointments and if something special is coming up. As I am getting older I do find I am thinking more about the tomorrows- and the lack of any guarantee of them-especially since friends have died suddenly and have lost their tomorrows, bringing it to the forefront of my mind.

If you could interview one of your great-great-great grandparents, who would it be (if you know their name) and what would you ask?

My maternal great grandmother was a seamstress and pattern maker. We do not know who came before her, it was said she was an orphan, so I would be interested in meeting her to find out. She died at the age of 54 from undiagnosed and untreated diabetes.

What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination.

I appreciated being off from school and seeing the sunrise instead of missing it because I needed to rush to get ready.

Share Your World

 

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Tombstones or Cemeteries

I love walking around cemeteries and reading the inscriptions on the headstones. I have written about some of my visits, here and here.

Here are some of the interesting headstones I have seen

A cousin of mine died at the age of 50, 10 years ago, and I often go to his grave to visit. This is his headstone- he chose the spot himself, under the trees, alongside the forest. A quiet place to visit- where I sit and think of him.

Cemeteries & Tombstones

 

Acceptance

The following post was written two years ago, when I learned that a close friend of mine was dying. I still struggle with accepting the fact that she is gone, that I can’t hear her laugh and take in the calm she always brought with her when she walked into a room. Acceptance of losing friends is something new to me, I suppose as we age it is to be expected, but she was only 66. A year later I lost another friend suddenly- also 67 years old. Her refrain whenever I would see her was  “it’s all good”- we’re here aren’t we?” I am but it it is not the same here without you. We are forced to accept, there is no choice, but it changes us, leaves us with an empty place that can’t be filled. 

Last Thursday my friend was told by her Doctor, “there is nothing more we can do.” She had been in remission for three years, her recurrence happening just 6 months ago. Her descent into this new reality quicker than any of us, me, her friends, her family, could believe. I am fortunate to never have lost a friend up until now, but am finding I am still in a state of disbelief. It is impossible for me to think that this person whom I have known for ten years, who I see on a regular basis, play Mah Jongg with every week, share in her joys with, who is calm of nature, who lets things roll of her back and doesn’t sweat the small stuff, who is sensitive and kind, who is my friend, will no longer be here. Her laughter silenced, her singing during our Mah Jongg games, her easy laugh no longer heard.

We sat together yesterday, me and three other friends, leaving her room after she fell asleep, to talk and remember happier times together. The trips abroad, grandchildren being born, her love of hiking. The conversation turned to gravesites and headstones, as if we were talking about some abstract concept, not our friend’s impending death. All part of the process I suppose, of acceptance of something none of us want to have to accept. Of something thrust upon us, being forced on us to have to face. Unwilling to have to accept, but left with no other choice.

Acceptance

Thursday’s Special: Traces of the Past

Paula has asked us to find traces of the past in whatever form we choose, saying it does not have to be a distant one, or rich in history; it can be something personal, or it can even have a human form. I have chosen the personal. The photos are old, and not taken by me, but Paula’s theme lit a spark and I wanted to share my traces of the past through her prompt, I hope she won’t mind.

My mother in laws birthday is coming up shortly, she died in 1998 at the age of 79. I had only known her for seven years, but in that time we became close. She had two sons and no daughters, so I chose to be not just a daughter in law, but in some ways a daughter. I called her everyday, some days it was a quick hello and “check in” other times it was a half an hour or more. She lived alone and often spent her days alone. Occasionally she would meet a few of her close girlfriends for lunch, but as the years wore on there was less of that. I remember joining her at one of those lunches, four elegant European ladies, who without even realizing it lapsed into German, their native language, as the lunch wore on. I didn’t say anything until she turned to me and asked what I thought, at which point I burst out laughing and said I hadn’t understood a word for the past ten minutes!

Her life had not been easy. She fled Germany in 1938, making it out on one of the last boats to leave. She was widowed suddenly at the age of 36, when my husband was 10. She remarried 4 years later, but was widowed again at the age of 60. When I met her she had been fighting Ovarian cancer for 5 years, and continued to do so for 7 more. It took me a long time to get used to not picking up the phone to call her after she died, often wanting to share something with her, missing having the opportunity to. Traces of the past, my past, her past.

Traces of the Past

It’s Still Your Birthday, Even if You’re Gone

Today is my brother’s birthday. Or it would have been his birthday were he still alive, though I feel that just because he is gone does not make August 6th no longer his birthday. His age will forever remain at 54, but the date will forever be his birth date. He died by his own hand in February of 2015. I wrote about him on the first anniversary of his death here.He wasn’t married, had no children, and struggled so the last years of his life. Today I choose to remember him before all that, to think of him long ago before the demons set in. To remember him with rose colored glasses on, filtering out the sadness and anger. Remembering him with a smile.82802100-SLD-001-0015

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cousins1986redo

Cemetery Visit

I went to visit the grave of a cousin last week- he is buried a short drive from where I live, unlike the rest of his family, including his parents, who live hours away.  He died 9 years ago, at the age of 50- I wrote about him, his life and death previous visit here

The cemetery is situated very high up on a hill and this time before I left I decided to drive up to highest point to take in the view.view

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It was so peaceful and quiet, I got out of my car to walk among the headstones. I stopped to read many of them, wondering about the lives of the people buried there. Some of the headstones did  tell me a bit about the person. It is not unusual to see inscriptions that read “Beloved mother or father”, but I found some had more than the customary inscriptions.

This woman had been a teacher and it must have been so much a part of her life it was also included.20160720_125606

This woman was not just a mother, but in the eyes of those who loved her the best one
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This man had not been married I guessed, as there was no inscription for husband. “A Mensch” was written there, its meaning from Yiddish “a person of integrity and honor.”20160720_125753

How wonderful to be remembered as “strong yet gentle”20160720_130536

This headstone held an inscription I had never seen before. Not only was she a wife, mother and grandmother, the Yiddish term for mother in law-shvigger- was also inscribed. What a compliment, since we all know the old jokes about mother in laws and they are usually not so complimentary.20160720_125330

I came to this bench where I sat for a bit, taking in the surroundings and feeling the warm breeze washing over me as I looked out to the mountains in the distance. Thinking of my cousin and remembering him with a smile.20160720_130749

Daily Prompt: Shadow

Shadow: a dark area or shape produced by a body coming between rays of light and a surface. silhouette, outline, shape, contour, profile.

Shadows can be fun, stretching our bodies into something they are not depending upon where the sun is in the sky.

My body is  sooooo long. 20150329_081726

My head is so small…..132

Shadow: Also used in reference to ominous oppressiveness, or sadness and gloom.

Sometimes it feels like shadows creeping in and around when I think of people who are no longer here. Their shadows haunt, lingering in the corners of my mind, I see their faces, but know they are just shadows, not real.