Why I'm here....

Since I've always been quick with an opinion an old friend once lost and again found suggested that perhaps I should share with more people my commentary. Never being one to pass on a challenge I thought I'd give it a whirl.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Torture Never Felt So Good

So Sunday when I went to try to do my workout routine I found it extremely painful. I didn’t understand why because even though I knew I was sore from previous days working out I knew it shouldn’t be as hard and as painful as it was. I felt a little beat and like what the heck, but I tried to do them and sweated profusely and got through it. I push myself. Lately I am thinking I need to push myself even harder, although some people would disagree with me, like my parents. I have a goal in sight and it’s so frustrating knowing I am getting so close yet still not there. I had a lady ask me in the locker room last week if I ever feel like giving up. I simply said, “Everyday”. I mean who wants to push themselves so hard that they cry? Who do you know that enjoys pain? For me it’s simply that I want my life back and I want to be healthy and the best I can be, so I don’t give up. I’ve come so far, but sometimes the journey seems so long. I’m very appreciative of a couple of friends that push me harder than I push myself and give me advice to keep me going and help me get the most out of my work outs. Although I understand my mom and family and friends may mean well when they tell me to take a day off or missing just one day can’t hurt, for me it’s kind of like telling a drunk that just one drink won’t kill them. I need to keep pushing myself until I hit my goal. I need to keep going daily and working at it to keep myself motivated. I know once I hit my goal I can go to a maintenance routine but for now I need to go. I also understand it doesn’t leave me with a lot of spare time, but it’s my choice. Anyway turns out I had a fever and was passing kidney stones on Sunday night. I spent four hours with the porcelain thrown on Sunday night before finally deciding I needed sleep so badly that I popped a couple of Vicodan and went to sleep. Then I went to my doctor on Monday who told me that is what had happened and I might be passing more. A few medications later and I was back home, warn and tired. I slept the better part of the next sixteen hours. By Tuesday evening I was still in pain somewhat, but it was subsiding. I still have an infection and I’m taking antibiotics for it, but I think and hope and pray the worst of it is over. I wouldn’t wish that experience on anyone. I’m use to pain though. This is probably why I didn’t think much of it at the gym. I’ve endured a lot of pain in my life so it’s easy for me to dismiss as this or that. Yesterday I was back at the gym in full force. I forced myself through a routine I find pure hell at the moment, but I did each and every exercise that I was shown and did all my reps and didn’t complain. I hurt though like you wouldn’t believe when I left the health club yesterday, but the fact that I had done it and that I am still not one hundred percent made me feel great. I am going back for more tonight because achieving my goals are my driving force and some how torture has just never felt so good. Join me?

Friday, April 16, 2010

Sometimes All You Taste Is The Lemons...

I am forever more an optimistic pessimist. Yeah I know... how can one be both. I go into relationships, no matter work or friendship with the best of hopes and the belief that everything is going to be great. Yet in the back of my mind is this little voice that tells me that once again I am putting way too much faith in my fellow mankind. This week has been hard on my heart and my soul in many ways, but it's just another stop along a bumpy road. Not that anything tragic or awful has happened. I just hate when people try to berate people I care about to me and it seems it was coming out of every corner or the universe at me this week. I also hate when people try to make me feel guilty because I am taking care of me and don't have enough time to spend every waking moment with them anymore. I know I don't have a lot of time, but I try to make the time I do have quality. This week I am tired emotionally and physically. I fight for my friendships until I feel that I've had to fight to hard and that the work is taking more out of me than I can handle. I had that happen this past week too. I tried three different times over the week to make plans with someone I consider a friend. They blew me off all three times and I didn't text them or call them all week. I never heard from them. I do care about them, but i just don't feel I should have to fight that hard to get to be around them so I have basically taken out the shovel and dug a six by six... question is will the casket get lowered and covered or will they come through for me eventually. Who knows... I know we all go through these things and I know I have friends that care a great deal about me. I do, but sometimes when someone disappoints you it's hard to remember that. Sometimes no matter how sweet the lemonade you still taste the lemons. The bitterness bites at your taste buds. If you like things bitter I guess that isn't bad, but me I'm still looking for the fairy tale life where people remember you have feelings and care enough not to tramp on them. To my friends that are there to support me, I love you dearly and I do appreciate each and everyone of you... Every once in a while life just deals us lemons, and sometimes you have to use the whole bag of sugar when making lemonade.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

What Does One Really Say…

It’s been a little over a decade since I met Mr. Wall. Sometimes it’s hard to believe how fast time flies by. I remember the first time I met him and his wife as if it were yesterday. I had just moved into the house I live in now and a major storm blew through Fort Wayne. His wife and he were out trying to clean up all the limbs and branches out of their yard. Our power was out and my dad and I were walking around the neighborhood canvassing the damage. His wife was quick to let us know that she was a go getter and that she should be in a wheel chair, but she wasn’t about to see that happen. She never did either, not even up to the day she died. She had issues with keeping on her feet, but her spirit to remain out of that wheel chair and independent rose to the top. Her illness also kept her indoors much of the time so I never really had the opportunity to get to know her. I remember talking to Mr. Wall a lot that spring and summer she was dying. He loved her more than anything. He loved her enough to let her go. That is true love if you ask me. He wanted her there but she was suffering and he was angry because the hospital kept bringing her back to life through machines. He wanted her at peace. In September of 2008 she succumbed to her illness and passed on. After she died I spoke to Mr. Wall of how she was in a better place. He said he hoped so but he wasn’t religious. He was a man of science and didn’t really believe, but his wife did. She had told him many times she had faith enough for both of them. He planted flowers in his yard, not because he cared, but because she had made him promise he would and he always did what she wanted. He told me that in life to make a happy marriage one has to make sacrifices, but that if you love someone they really aren’t sacrifices in the end at all. He said most people forgot that when you love you have to stop being selfish. He had many women who attempted to gain his interest that summer after his wife died. I always smiled as he talked of them. He said he didn’t’ want another woman. His wife had been the only woman he would ever want and another one would just be trouble and work. I spent a lot of time last summer talking to Mr. Wall as well. I always enjoyed my conversations with him. He had lots of stories to tell and not a one of them left you anything but wanting for more. After his wife died he had basically no one. I find that sad. No children left alive, no brothers and sisters, and no family to speak of. His wife had a couple of friends still living that checked on him. He had a couple of neighbors in our neighborhood that would look in on him from time to time. Our family would take him holiday meals, which he seemed to enjoy and look forward to, but other than that he was completely alone. One thing he had always had until this past year was antique cars. He worked on them and took them to the shows in Auburn. I think they were his pride and joy. He sold his off last year. As with that he started giving neighbors little pieces of his life. To me he gave me a complete silver set in a beautiful wooden box that had belonged to his wife. I shall always treasure it. I know it meant the world to his wife because he told me so and for him to have given it to me makes it so very special indeed. There was also one point last summer where he had found their camcorder and he wanted me to show him how to play the tape that was in it. The tape was a tape of his wife from a year previous to the last one. It showed her laughing and smiling at him as he took the video. I have no doubt he played it many times over the last year. It was plain to see that Mr. Wall was preparing for his departure from this world. Another thing was also plain as time went by this past year and that was Mr. Wall had found religion. He took out his FIOS TV, not because he hated Verizon, but because television had too man vulgarities on it. He said there were too many things that were not pleasing to God. He chose not to watch it. Again, he was preparing to leave this world and he was making his peace before he left. A few weeks ago he told my mother he’d been having chest pain. He said he just wasn’t doing well at all. He had told us on several occasions that he didn’t’ believe in doctors and he didn’t go to them. That is right the man never went to see a doctor in his entire life. He lived a healthy life and I can still see him in my mind those first six or so years I lived there coming out of his house. This little old man in his 70’s coming out in jeans and a leather jacket and getting on his Harley and riding off. Yes he lived life. I believe he loved life, up to the day his wife died. That is when the light went out of his eyes. I know he was elderly, but I think without her here with him, he saw no reason to be here. There is a song that reminds me of this…It’s a song I love. “The Smile Has Left Your Eyes” by Asia - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLqz_wl0dak --- I know the song is of another kind of loss of relationship, but somehow just the refrain says it all. The smile had left Mr. Wall’s eyes the day his wife died. So this morning I looked for that familiar light in his living room to tell me he was up to start his day, as he had been every day since I could remember. There was no light. There were no lights on last night either. My mother tried to call him about 9:30AM and called me to say she had no luck, so I called the desk sergeant at the police department and spoke with Jodie. She said they would have someone go out and check on him. My mind was screaming at me for what they would find. It also made it extremely hard to concentrate on work as a swell of tears for a man who meant so much is such little, but important ways to my life. So here is where you think the story has that sad ending don’t you… well no. The police called me as they left Mr. Wall’s house. The lady officer was laughing and talking about what a great guy Mr. Wall is. He really is a character and a little feisty the woman said. They had the paramedics check Mr. Wall out and found that he has two broken ribs and is having heart issues. They tried their best to get him to let them take him to the hospital, but he wouldn’t go. He told them the same thing he’s always told us, that he’s never been to a doctor and he doesn’t plan to start going now. The lady said she would set him up with hot meal delivery and check into getting free aid to work on his house and his yard. She also said she would set up for hospice to start dropping by and checking on him. She asked if I thought he’d let them in, that he’d agreed to it, but she wasn’t sure. I told her if it was someone willing to listen to his stories he’d open the door with a smile. She did say his life is winding down and it probably won’t be that long, but for today he is full of life and feisty and she thanked me for caring enough to call them and for the opportunity to meet him. You see that truly is the kind of man he is. So for today he still lives and I still have opportunity to speak with him again. It’s a life I admire and one long lived and lived well. So today he’s still here, but I’m still sad at the thought that he won’t be here much longer. Death is a part of our lives. It’s something I will never get use to, even though I understand it finds us all. So of a man like Mr. Wall, what does one really say?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A Final Kiss

It was an exceptionally cold January. Icicles had formed on the window panes and a cold chill had settled in her very bones that she couldn’t quiet shake. Normally a hot shower would knock the chill right out of her, but it wasn’t working. She also noticed that her energy just seemed to be depleted. Shaking her head she slowly forced herself up off the sofa. She’d have to be to work in a couple of short hours and she had a lot she needed to get done before leaving. She was sure it was nothing more than the winter dreary’s. The fact that the sun hadn’t shown itself in almost a month was enough to depress anyone’s body and mind. In the pit of her stomach there was a gnawing hunger. That also was out of place for her. She normally didn’t even get the first pang of hunger until the late afternoon. The fleeting thought that it must be an emotionally charged hunger swept through her mind. At work that evening she found she was feeling dizzy and even more tired. She also noticed a slight tingle of a headache that lurked in the background of her mind. Although she was still hungry even after having eaten several things, there was also a feeling of nausea that was sweeping over her. She was still so cold even though the thermometer read seventy-six degrees in her building. It must be mental crossed her mind yet again. She muddled through the rest of the day and was extremely glad when it was time to go home. At home she kissed her husband as he was all ready there when she got there. She smiled at him and told him she was going to lie down for a few minutes prior to fixing their evening meal. He jokingly told her he didn’t know if he could wait that long, but then gave her a soft and gentle kiss on the lips and told her to get some rest, that he would make the evening meal and wake her when it was done. She sighed and walked off to the bedroom. She still didn’t feel quiet right. Great she thought, now my right arm is also aching. Damn arthritis. Getting older just isn’t fun and again she blamed the weather for making her miserable. No wonder people move to Florida when they get older she thought. As she lay down on the bed she smiled at the thoughtfulness of her husband and that soft and gentle kiss that he had given her just a few short minutes ago. Two hours later her husband came to wake her. He walked into the room and panic struck his eyes. Why did he look so distraught? She watched as he walked across the room to where her now icy body lay. Understanding now dawned on her own expression. Andrea had a heart attack shortly after lying down for her nap. She wasn’t going to be enjoying that dinner that her husband had so thoughtfully made her. She wasn’t going to have to worry about the winter cold any longer. Andrea had died in her bedroom shortly after lying down for a nap. That last gentle kiss was her final one. So what is this story about? It’s actually based on a true story of someone I knew. Not someone I knew very well, but someone I knew none the less. It’s the story of how a woman had symptoms of a heart attack all day and didn’t give it a second thought. It’s the story of how if she had not made an excuse for all that her body was trying to tell her she might have realized what was going on. Any one symptom by itself might have been something she could have passed by, but she had multiple symptoms. Women don’t usually have the same symptoms as men when they are having a heart attack. The most common symptoms for women are unusual fatigue, sleeping disturbances, shortness of breath, indigestion and anxiety. Most don’t ever have chest pain. As women or I suppose even men, we need to know our bodies and listen to what they are telling us. They do let us know. As in today I was craving eggs. Was it really eggs I needed? No, yesterday I gave blood at the doctors for tests. My body was just letting me know it was low on iron and needed proteins and other vitamins to build it back up. After I ate some shaved beef and some nuts and crackers the craving for eggs went away. Learn to listen to what your body tells you. It could possibly save your life. For more information on women and heart diseases check out this web page:


The final kiss in this story probably didn't have to be her final one... will you let it be yours?

Monday, April 12, 2010

It Has A Name...

Urticaria Idopathic Angioedema Pruritis - I know bless you for sneezing right? I mean what a long long name to mean simply that my body has built up an IgE antibody that periodically decides my body is under attack from foreign matter when in actuality nothing is unfamiliar in my body at all. Let me break it down for you... Urticaria is a skin rash often known as hives that is accompanied by severe itching and swelling. Idopathic means to rise spontaneously from an unknown cause. Angioedema means Swelling in the deep tissue layers caused by a build up of fluid that leaks from thin walled blood vessels. Pruritis is severe, usually chronic itching of skin that appears otherwise healthy. What the specialist told me is that there are a percentage of people, that as they age for whatever reason build up this IgE antibody in their system. The majority of these are women over the age of forty. Wow... Guess I qualify there too. He said they are not sure why this occurs but they do know how to treat it to make the likely hood that I will have another outbreak slim to none. I have a new medication, which is going to sink me about $35 a month. It's called XYZAL (pronounced SiZall). Starting tomorrow I am to take it every morning and my Zyrtec every night. I am to carry the Benedryl strips so that I can get quick relief in my purse and I go back to the specialist in three months. There is no specific item causing my episodes, just my lucky nature that I am one of the percentage of women who has built up this antibody in my system which causes histamines to get released periodically. Once the histamines are released they start attacking everything in my body... Fun Fun Fun. Yippee Lucky me, but at least we know and as Dorthy once said on Golden Girls, I'm just glad to know I have a real disease and it has a name.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Change is Part of Life

I understand people’s nostalgia for times gone by. Really I do, but change is a part of life. It seems more than a few people are upset by the closing of my old high school, Elmhurst. All they talk about is stopping the closure of the school. Part of me can understand that, but I’m also somewhat of a realist. I realize that the building is old and in need of a lot of repair. I realize that even when I went to school there it got extremely hot and uncomfortable in the classrooms in May and the first part of June until school was out. The building has no air conditioning. I also realize that the building would literally shake when they were blasting at the gravel pit and must admit that on more than one occasion it caused alarm to encompass my very being while trying to listen to a lecture. I have a tendency to have a little more compassion for the people who don’t want the school gone for reasons that their children will have farther to go to school than I do for the ones who just want to keep it around because it’s where they went to school. It’s OK to have fond memories, but we shouldn’t hold onto or try to live in the past. Right now there is a group that gathers monthly of old Elmhurst, Wayne, and whatever other school out there. That is fun. It’s remembering the past and relishing in the friends we have made along the way, the ones we could make again and just a few good times, but it has nothing to do with a building. The spirit that belonged to those kids that graduated from that school will live on whether the building is there or not. The memories will be with us and some of the memories will be good and some will be bad. I say again that it is just part of life. The older I get the more I realize you don’t need material objects to have memories. I don’t need a picture to recall my grandmother standing on the porch waving to us as we would leave from visiting with her. I can still recall it in my mind as if it were yesterday. I don’t need the doll my parents bought me when I was eight years old to remember how much I loved that doll and the memory of them giving it to me. The possessions may be nice and sometimes having them is a fond way to recall, but the memories linger in each of us. If they tear down Elmhurst tomorrow and build something else there, it still will not take away the memory of hours spent with friends and teachers in that place. The decision to close Elmhurst is one that is emotional to many, but it is economically a sound choice made by the school board we elected to watch out for our children and for our financial needs to see that the educational system does not fail us. I am sure that none of those board members were aiming for Elmhurst based solely on the premise that they didn’t like the school itself, so if you see them out there please be nice to them. They are given a budget and there is only so much they can do with it. I would much rather they close schools than some other options. The bad part though is we are probably losing some outstanding teachers at those schools that are closing. It’s too bad they can’t keep the teachers and just place them at new schools. Once again, I understand the sentimentality. I understand even better those parents who don’t want their kids shipped off or who moved to the neighborhood so their children could go there. I’m also really more inclined to have major sympathy for those teachers and employees who will find themselves unemployed. I am not trying to be heartless. I am just being practical. Life is about change and this is just another one unfortunately that we’ll have to adjust to.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

J. Devon Mathias

J. DEVON MATHIAS, 81, of Warren, passed away on Wednesday, March 24, 2010, at Heritage Pointe. He was born Nov. 21, 1928, in South Whitley, and taught and served as an administrator in the Lagrange, Pleasant Township and Fort Wayne Community Schools public school systems for 39 years. Mr. Mathias was a member of Waynedale United Methodist Church and served there in many capacities for over 50 years. He was past President of the Southside Optimist Club, Sertoma, the Retired Teachers Association and Sigma Phi Epsilon. He was also a member of the Summit City Barbershop Chorus and organized the We the People civic education program in northeast Indiana for many years. He deeply loved gardening and was a longtime certified Master Gardener and docent at the Botannical Conservatory. Surviving are his two sons, Paul (Carlabeth) Mathias of Fishers and Mark (Debra) Mathias of Irvine, Calif.; sister, Shirley Sylvester of Dahlonega, Ga.; grandsons, Ethan and Corbin Mathias; and granddaughters, Caitlin and Marissa Mathias. Preceding Mr. Mathias in passing are his parents, Homer and Audra (Gerkin) Mathias; and his wife Amaryllis (Moore) Mathias. Service is 3 p.m. Friday, April 9, 2010, at Waynedale United Methodist Church, 2501 Church Street, Fort Wayne, with calling two hours prior to service at the church. Burial in Lakeview Cemetery, Larwill, Ind. Preferred memorials to Waynedale United Methodist Church, the Friends of Epworth Forest or Alzheimer's Association at http://www.alz.org/ - To leave condolences please visit http://www.elzey-patterson-rodakfuneralhome.com/
What can someone say about someone as special as Devon Mathias. He walked tall among men. He loved people and he loved life. His joy seemed to be in helping the young and impressionable find their way in life and to know their worth. He was kind and compassionate and always had a welcoming smile when you would meet him out and about. Mr. Mathias was one of my seventh grade teachers, but to tell you the truth I really don't recall much about what he was like in the class room. I worked for him and his wife, Amy, after school and on weekends as did my brother. Looking back I know that their goal was to help mentor and teach us about the working world and the worth of a hard earned dollar. Amy was a bit of a health food fanatic though and young teenage kids most often are not that into the health foods, or the claim chowder that she would prepare for lunch. I rarely enjoyed the meals she would fix, but I always appreciated the effort that went into them. One very fond memory I have of Mr. Mathias was that when Amy would go out for the day as she often did, usually to go to her school to prepare lessons and such, she would leave pre-cooked meals for Devon to heat up for us at lunch time. He loved his wife very much, but was a practical man who knew children did not enjoy these meals so looking back it makes me smile to remember how he would throw out whatever she had made and either order a pizza, go get fast food or make hot dogs for us to eat. He would always wink and say "Don't tell Mrs. Mathias, lets keep this to ourselves." I don't think he meant her any disrespect as I have said the love he held for her was more than apparent. He was a good man who everyone who knew him was blessed to have known him. I wish his family peace in knowing he's gone on to be with his beloved Amy and my heart goes out to each and every one of you.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Emotional needs count too…

Seems to me our government has its sticky little hands/paws in about everything we do or try to do these days. They tell us it’s not okay to spank our children, even though the Bible says “spare the rod, spoil the child”. (NO, I’m not advocating child abuse, but a little rump roast every once in the while with no bruising really doesn’t hurt anyone) They tell us that we have to have their permission to add onto our homes and even pay them for the privilege. They tell us even who we can love if you stop and think about it. All the while they are controlling every aspect of our life and they say they are doing it for the “greater good”. They are doing this to protect the innocent. Where are they with laws that really should be put in place to protect the innocent? It seems to me that on most things our government has it pretty much backwards. Not to mention that most things that are governed appear to be in protection of the few and not the many. The one that has me going and is driving me insane these days has to do with parental rights and a child's mental well being. Did you realize that in this great state of Indiana all our government cares about is that a parent provide sufficient food, an adequate roof over the child's head, clothes and see that they get to school. That is it. It doesn't matter if the child suffers mental anguish or abuse. No one cares in our child protective services, governmental blunder ship here in this great state. OK, maybe someone cares, but there are no laws to help it or so it would seem. The laws also seem unfair to me when they favor a woman simply because she's female and appear to believe that because she has a womb she's automatically the more nurturing and better parent. I don't get it. I think that the laws should take into consideration whether or not children are thriving in the environment in which they are in. I mean a child that goes from doing well in school to all of a sudden doing poorly, getting in trouble and being put on mental medications should be investigated as to what is going on in the home. Children are not as resilient as our government seems to feel and instead of checking it out they often just assume the child has problems and that it couldn't be associated with home life. I had a good upbringing for the most part, but I do have some mental scars from growing up and I can tell you not one spanking left any type of permanent mark, but some of the emotional ones I've fought my entire life. I believe emotional is worse. I also feel that if people have children that their children should come first at least until they are 18. I hear people argue they should get to have a life. They chose to have children. Their children should be their life. I don't mean they can't have a little time every once in a while to themselves. Everyone needs that. How I see it is that a divorced parent has every other weekend to do whatever they want. The weekends they have their children should be about their children. If they don't like having to devote all week and every other weekend to their children then perhaps they should not be the custodial parent. If you love your children and you can't devote yourself to them then it's the loving thing to do to give them to the parent that can. Don't you think so? It's not a failure to know ones own limitations. I spent a lot of time with my parents growing up. My parents allowed me time to be a kid and always made sure I knew they were here for me. There are so many things I could write in here and regardless of what someone may think this isn't meant to be directed at anyone in particular. I just think times have changed. I think laws need to change too. I know several single dads that want to be a part of their children's lives. They want to make active decisions. They want to spend as much time as they can with their children. Yet it seems the laws are all on the sides of the mom's. They give her full say in almost everything and limit the dads rolls. I know if people would be mature adults there would be no reason for the government to even need to be involved. I mean is it really that hard for parents to realize their children need both their mom and their dad and that time should be freely given without stipulations between both? Is it hard to understand that a child is a thinking being and can give you some insights into how they feel about the things that go on inside the home? No matter what our government thinks I'm here to tell you that I know emotional needs count too.... it's not enough to supply some sort of food, clothing and a roof. Time, love and devotion go into making a healthy and stable child that will grow into a well rounded adult. I'm just saying.... it's only my opinion but emotional needs count too.