Monthly Archives: March 2013

MOST FRIGHTENING MOVIE I EVER SAW

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I love horror films. I love to sit in a dark house all alone and watch movies that make me have to leave the lights on when I go to bed. I love a good scare. Tonight I watched a movie that no light could ever erase the terror of seeing it. I am forever changed by viewing it. What could be so frightening you ask? Was it a slasher movie or a ghost/zombie/vampire gore fest? Was it a movie based on a true story murder or abduction? Nay, nay, my friends it was much worse….it was a movie that will chill you to the bone, make you wish you could go back to the innocence you had before watching it. The scariest part of this movie is that this could happen to you, to me, to our loved ones. It happens to thousands of people every day….some of us may even think it is happening right now to a person we know….or even to ourselves….be afraid, readers, be very afraid.

The movie was made in 2006 and stars Julie Christie as a 60something woman who starts to lose her memory and the journey she takes in that process. What scares the bejeepers  out of me is that I have walked that journey with a woman who began it in her mid-fifties. (The posts titled, “Oh Death Where is Thy Sting”, “The Empty Purse”, and “Bittersweet” are about her journey. Take the time to read them if you haven’t already. Some of us will be talking that road in the years to come.)  What I saw could be my story or yours and it truly scares me.  In my line of work I have intimate access to assisted living/nursing facilities and every time I go into one of these places, I pray, “Oh Lord, let me die before I have to go to a place like this”.   Not that they are bad but I don’t want to end up old and alone and sharing a room with a stranger.   Walking down the halls talking to myself (bad example as I already do this) or sitting in a chair with a blank look (ok, another bad example as I often walk into a room and have that look when I try to remember just what I came into the room for) or dropping food into my lap as I eat (ummmm, ya that’s happening now, too).   Going to bed at 6:30pm not because I want to but because the staff has to get everyone to bed before their shift ends and there are only two people working a floor.

I could go on and on but if I do, you won’t be able to sleep tonight.   I have seen movies like this before but never has one affected me so badly.  Maybe because the main character reminded me so much of my friend.  Smart, talented, beautiful, fit, educated,  she had it all.  I have it all.  You have it all.  We are no different from this character, from my friend.  If it can happen to them, why not us?

Becoming feeble and dependent scares the crap out of me because unlike zombies eating me or men in hockey masks coming for me on Halloween, this is real.  This might actually happen.  And it could start anyday, maybe it already has.  Maybe my “Senior moments” are really the start of this awful, awful journey.   And it chills me to my very core to think about it.   And nothing can stop it.

What I really found so disturbing in this movie was how the staff at the “home” was so unaware of the person each patient used to be.   What ever distingushed us from one another was gone and they couldn’t even keep the residents from taking each other’s clothing and so they all ended up wearing each other’s clothes.   They became a blended mass of broken humanity.  It reminded me of a once vivid photograph that is left out in the sun and each day the brightness fades away until there is nothing left but a shadow.  I don’t want to be a shadow.  I don’t want to lose my vividness.  My quirkiness.  My uniqueness.   What if my grandchildren never know how funky and eclectic I am.  Who will color my hair purple and teal and blue?   Will I be allowed my collection of mannequins and body parts?   Who will remember the REAL ME?   Who remembers the REAL people in all of those places?    I want to be remembered as I AM, not as how I might end up.

Watch the movie if you dare.  It’s called, “AWAY FROM HER”.  But remember, you were warned……..

LOOKING GOOD

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I am currently reading a book on blogging so I can make this site more interesting.
(You are asking yourself, “How could the most interesting person on earth make this site even better?”) I am going to learn how to put photos up as visual exclamation marks in my posts. If you haven’t noticed, I LOVE EXCLAMATION MARKS!!!! My speech is very animated (or so I have been told on more than one occasion….not sure if it is a compliment or not…) and so to get my vocal “vibe” I use many exclamation marks. Probably too many. Had I ever fathomed I would ever be writing for anyone to see, I would have listened better in English class and remembered the rules of punctuation. Oh well, what you see is what you get.

So do you like the new format? I feel very techie right now. I am usually very afraid to mess with this site as I have no idea what I am doing and I have visions of deleting everything (some folks would probably be very happy should that happen!). But heck, the sun is out and I don’t have to work tonight so I went a little bit wild and took a chance on change. It reflects “me” better. Love the colors.

Speaking of colors, my kid did my hair yesterday. It is now royal blue, purple, teal and red and as soon as I can get someone to do the bottom of my head, it will all sit on a black base. (Kid is with child #3 and is leery of real hair dye fumes so I will either have to wait a bit or find someone else to do it as it is so short that I need someone with a steady hand to “paint” the black dye on it. ) I also had her buzz cut it with a couple of weird little arcs around the nape. I do so wish I could do it myself as I have such great ideas but can’t seem to translate them to others. I love the double take looks I get. I went into the postoffice today and when the clerk came around the corner she literally stepped back a step when she saw me. She did say, tho, that she loved my hair so that was nice. I haven’t quite gotten used to it as I still scare myself when I get a glimpse of me in the mirror (no comments from the peanut gallery please).

So I am going back to reading my book and who knows, maybe the next post will actually have some pictures. Can you stand it?

THE EYES HAVE IT

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I have been trying to tap into my inner artist (I say “inner” because so far it hasn’t gotten to the outside yet!) and this morning I was reading about making a self-portrait and my brain came up with thoughts for a new post.  That is how I write.  I may go for days and days without any promptings to post and then something will trigger the idea for a post and no matter what I am doing, I  HAVE to write.  Man, I wish I could say the same for exercise…..

self-por-trait:  NOUN: A pictorial or literary portrait of oneself, created by oneself.

What is the first thought that comes to your mind when you think of making a self-portrait?  For me it is the fear of having to look into my own eyes.  I may complain and bemoan my facial flaws but for the most part (and in candlelight and with my glasses off) I can live with what I see.  But I cannot look into my eyes.  What’s with that?  I know it’s not because I am ashamed of who I am or who I was (I have been forgiven by the blood of Jesus for my past, present and future sins) but I am terrified of looking into them and seeing the pain of a fearful, little girl.  Now, please understand I was not beaten or molested or any other of those horrid, horrid, things.  I did have a very strict and quick tempered dad (whom I loved) and you never knew what might set him off and I was very afraid of him when he was angry but I was also terrified of just about everything in life.

I hated playing outside because I was so afraid of bugs.  Any kind.  Ants, flies, moths, bees and God help us if we got a woodtick on us!  My mom would have to call in help as she was beyond terrified of them herself and could not take one off of us.  Back in those days the way to get a tick off was to take a cigarette or a match and hold the hot end near the tick so it would pull its head out and you could grab it because Lord only knew what fatal disease you would get if the head was left in!  (I now have had so much experience with them that if I feel one crawling on me when I am in bed, I figure I will find it in the morning somewhere and don’t give them a second thought.  Joys of living in the woods. So not only did we fear having a tick stuck to us, we also had the fear of being burnt in the process of getting it off!

I was terrified of the dark.  I had to have the hall light on and our bedroom door opened a crack so I could see the light.  I think there must have been a time when our door had to be closed because my sister would yell out to my dad (if she was mad at me) that I had opened the door and he would tell me to shut the door and it was always a toss up as to which was the worse of two evils…the dark or my dad’s anger!

I was afraid of eating.  Ya, I know.  You are all thinking, “Well she certainly got over that fear”!  Mealtimes were shall we say, “stressful”.  My parents believed that there were starving children over in China and it was their responsibility to make sure we ate everything on our plates because of that fact.  I, on the other hand, only could eat a few select foods without the abject fear of gagging which would lead to the BIGGEST FEAR OF ALL….VOMITTING.  So you can see how mealtimes at our house were awful.  Very awful.  Extremely awful.

I was also very, very, very, afraid to go to birthday parties because what if they had food that I didn’t like (unless it was peanutbutter and jelly sandwiches I probably couldn’t eat it and those dang Chinese kids had infiltrated all the minds of the parents of the 1950’s so we were required to eat what was put in front of us no matter who’s house we were at!) and what if I felt sick?  (Can you see an agoraphobic in the making?)

I could go on and on and on with my fears, but you get the picture.  Fear ruled my life.  Absolutely.  100 percent.  All the time.  In every area.  I could never get away from it.

When I look into my eyes, I see the child who would lay in bed at night and pray to die.

“Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray The Lord my soul to keep, If I should die before I wake, I pray The Lord my soul to take”.

I understand how little kids can take their own lives.  Please, please don’t think it was because of how “bad” my parents were because they were just typical parents of the 1950’s.   The pain came from the FEARS.  The FEARS were my demons.  THEY were in every cell of my body.  THEY followed me everywhere.  THEY were even in my dreams.  I could not escape THEM.

Eventually I outgrew some of THEM but OTHERS took THEIR place.  Today, 58 years later, most of them are gone.  Most.  Someday I will tell you about the ONES that remain.  Not today.

So when I do actually make my self-portrait, I have decided to put mirrors in the space where my eyes should be.  Why?  I’m not sure.  It just seems right.

“The eyes are the windows to the soul”.

Maybe I don’t want to see my soul?  Maybe I don’t want you to see my soul?

What will your eyes reveal in your self-portrait?  Go and look in the mirror.  Look deeply into your eyes.  What do you see?  What do your eyes tell me about your life’s journey?  Will you put in mirrors where your eyes should go or will you be able to paint your eyes in but maybe you will leave your mouth blank.   How many of us have self-portraits that will not be able to be complete?

I would like to know what your portrait looks like.  Will you be brave enough to share with me?

 

 

I ASK, GOD ANSWERS #1

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Many years ago a dear friend of mine had four miscarriages in a row and was lamenting how alone she felt.  All she ever wanted to be was a wife and mama.  Her friends had been avoiding her because they knew not what to say to comfort her.  I felt so sorry for her.

Soon after hearing about her last miscarriage, I was driving to do some thrifting and I was thinking about her and asked the Lord if there was anything I could do for her and I got this “voice” in my head that said’ “Make her a doll for each baby she lost”.  “What”?  I had never heard of such a thing.  She would think I was nuts (ya, ok…as a good friend she already knew that, but I mean really whacko).  But I couldn’t shake that voice in my head and so being the trusting soul I am, I said to the Lord, “Ok, I’ll do it IF when I go to the thrift store I find the perfect pattern!”   I mean, what are the chances?  So I get to the store and go in and check out the magazines and there was a Country Woman magazine and in it was a pattern for an Amish doll….exactly the pattern I needed….I kid you not!  I could not believe it and to top that miracle off, they had a bunch of soft flannel receiving blankets  perfect for the little bonnet and dress.  Talk about God calling and leaving a message!  So I went home and sewed up four little dolls (they are flat…kinda like pillows…perfect for hugging).   When I gave them to my friend, I was worried how she would react to them for I left the faces blank (seemed like the right thing to do since most miscarried babies are not “seen”) and the outfits were gender neutral.   I was not prepared for the outburst of tears and thought to myself, “Way to go, pour salt in the wounds” but they were tears of utter joy.  She said she had prayed, “God do you see my pain?”  “Does anyone care what I am going through?”    I was her answer to her prayer.  Because I had listened to that “still, small voice”,  I had blessed someone immeasurably.

It was a double blessing because it started a ministry for me.  I have made “Memorial Babies” for countless women all over the US.  I know the pain of being pregnant and then all of a sudden losing that little life.  Your arms ache for that life even if you never even felt it move within you.  Once you knew it was there, you loved it.  And then it’s gone and you have nothing to remember them by.  So that’s where the Babies help.  You have something that you can hold and cry into and sleep with and since it is built like a pillow, it’s soft and comforting.  My heart breaks for the mamas who grieve alone since so many people don’t realize the pain they are experiencing.  “Oh you will have another baby” is what they always hear but they want to scream out, “NO, I WANTED THIS BABY AND NOW IT’S GONE AND NOBODY UNDERSTANDS MY PAIN”.   Only if you have suffered this silent burden can you understand and so I just want to help them somehow.

Always remember ONE PERSON CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE.  You can be that person.  For those who have a belief in God, just ask Him to show you how you can be of service and I know He will show you….I am living proof.  You just have to be willing.  The best example of that was shown to me as my beautiful friend, Lisa, was dying of cancer and was so upset that she couldn’t be out serving God as she would have like to be.  Every morning she would literally hold out her hands, palms up, and say to The Lord, “Use me today, Father, just as I am” and many a day she would be unable to get up off the couch and yet He would bring people to her via the phone or in person for her to minister to or to pray for.  Even dying we can be of use if we are only willing.  BE WILLING TODAY and watch your life change.

“One person may not be able to change the world but one person can change the world of one person”