The Blues

Some people hear the blues and the first thing that comes to mind is music. Other people hear the blues and it denotes a feeling. It isn’t a feeling that one can easily explain since it is an emotion I believe from the brain. It isn’t the same as depression for depression one must be lacking the necessary amount of brain chemicals/hormones that control ones thought and/or feelings. I was tested for those and I am lacking the necessary elements that cause physical/mental depression. However, I am definitely among the lucky few who experience the blues quite often as of late.  The Blues are sneaky.  One minute you are going about your day as usual and the next you feel this despondency wash upon you as if “out of the blue” you are shaking to the core on the inside.

Anyone who has experienced this must know exactly what I am talking about.  It is so overwhelming that any plans you have made go flying out the window.  You have no idea what happens.  The Blues come without rhyme or reason.  They have a very controlling way about them.  Used to be they couldn’t get hold of me for long because I would immerse myself in some work project or cook up some elaborate meals while drinking a glass of red wine and dancing to the rhythm of the preparations.  However, those things are not so easy for me anymore because my body lately refuses to coöperate with my best laid plans.  

To borrow some more song lyrics, “baby the rain must fall, baby the wind must blow”, but must it fall so often and be colored blue?  I truly dislike the blues and the uneasiness it causes me to feel.  Who could like feeling confused, no ability to concentrate on any one train of thought, and zapped of energy!  I certainly don’t like it in any way shape or form.  Earlier I mentioned music.  Music, if chosen correctly, is the cure that I found for my blues.  Some songs can reach deep inside my soul and remove this awful sensation that my little world is caving.  I have no explanation for any of this.  I only know it is an absolute truth.  I find that my particular key to unlock good feelings is the music from the 60’s.  Groups like Herman’s Hermits, the Troggs, some of the Beatles, some of the Rolling Stones, Elvis (naturally) and so many others have created tunes that match my inner spirit.  These wonderful sounds can fight my blues for me.  I can feel the struggle inside myself at times.  The blues trying desperately to keep me down, trying their constant trickery of masking a false sense of happy feeling and then coming back “out of the blue” so to speak.  I just turn the volume up and can feel those sounds penetrating deep into my soul pushing those blues right out of my system.   Before long I am back to my best laid plans and life has a new meaning.  My heart grows fonder and my soul reaches levels close to euphoria, well not quite euphoria, but close.  Many times, my granddaughter can cure me of any blues I may be having.  On the days when I get to experience her amazingness (if that is a real word), I can do nothing less than concentrate on her adventures.  She can always bring a smile to my face and my heart even when she prefers her Nonno to me!

I am almost in round fifteen of this battle and I think soon these blues will have turned to a bright shining orange, reminiscent of a beautiful sunset along a quiet shoreline.  At least that is the knockout result I am counting on!

And that is the Way I See It here in Brooklyn,

K

Down Memory Lane

reminisce~verb~indulge in enjoyable recollection of past events.

Sometimes our memories are best forgotten and sometimes they are all we want to remember.  It”s funny how life works at times.  Back before I made mistakes and regrets, there was a time I had innocence and naiveté.  The latter time is the time I am remembering today.  The different way things smelled back then such as cotton candy or Christmas trees at the street vendors.  The games we played in front of our tenements or homes on the side streets.  The people we knew, the stores we went to, our neighbors, our friends.  Pleasant memories are best remembered and can lift our spirits when we are feeling low.  I never thought I would want to go back in time, my life is good.  I have love in my life everyday.  Yet, there is still a part of me that wishes I could go back to that time of innocence and naiveté when life was simply uncomplicated and the only things that mattered were the things you planned solely for yourself that day.  There were no real thoughts about sickness, or death, poverty or wealth.  The world around us was just there and the opportunities were in front of us.  Sure we were always harassed by our parents and perhaps other siblings, but for the most part we were free and young, ready to skip and jump to our next adventure.  Our friends were our lifeline.  We trusted them and hung with them and always wanted to be a part of them.  Funny how life changes much of that and how we lose sight of our friends for so many different reasons.  I’ve been blessed as of late through the wonder of technology.  I became a member of the social phenomenon known as Facebook.  Through this social media I have found friends I thought I had lost forever and friends have found me.  I have been astonished to learn how much we missed each other even though our contact was absent for so many, many years. I have discovered that I was wrong in thinking they forgot about me or I never really touched their lives.  I had always known how they had touched mine, so it is a pleasant feeling to know that I have also made a small impact on them.  Talking to them brings back happy memories and can almost make me feel that I am young once more in the age of innocence and naiveté.  Not a bad place to be in this crazy world of ours.  Remembering, I have come to realize, doesn’t always need to be bad or sad and for me that is a wondrous emotional discovery.  Going back again is sometimes more of a salvation than a heartache and I am really glad that I took a chance and followed that path.  So in the words of Frank Sinatra, “That’s life….regrets I had a few, but then again too few to mention.”

And that is The Way I See It here in Brooklyn,

K

Still Waiting

We still haven’t heard the results of my sister’s test. Normally, I would assume because of that all is probably okay, however, her doctor isn’t that type of doctor. Last time, after her cat scan, we had to wait a whole week before we knew that she needed that pet scan. So I wait with my breath held for news good or bad. Meanwhile, Joey, who was transferred to the nursing home just a few days ago, has once more been rushed to the hospital. It seems he was filled with congestion and water and they attempted to remove the mucus/liquid from his body. By 9pm last night the nursing home staff realized his condition had taken a turn for the worse. It seems they put him in a wheelchair after being in bed for weeks, gave him a shower and then his congestion surfaced.

As of 2am this morning he was still in the critical area of the emergency room and they determined he now has pneumonia and the return of the sepsis. The hospital physicians haven’t said that his organs are failing or if they did, Gerrie hasn’t heard it. He is suffering though and that is so hard for Gerrie and Barbie to bear and like most loving family members they want him to stay with them. I feel so heartily sorry for all of them. Loving my Brother-in-law Joey as I do and knowing him all these years makes me believe that he knows his family well and being unable to communicate the job they have (of deciding the best way to help him) is agonizing. I don’t believe Joey is aware intellectually of anything that is happening to him, but he can still feel pain and he is at the mercy of the medical profession,who rightfully, are looking to preserve his body without regard to his state of mind. I know inside myself that the medical professional, in Joey’s case, is looking for the family to direct them and in this case the family is looking for the medical profession to direct them. I believe it then becomes an extended family matter to look at the situation from all the sides and to support and encourage the family members who need to make this agonizing decision. Joey no longer can manage to do anything at all for himself and unfortunately, ever since his accident he has become extremely ill. With each new ailment that hits him it gets harder and harder to watch him suffering. It literally feels like a dagger in my heart, so I can just imagine how it must feel to his wife and daughter. All I pray for everyday is for Joey to get peace, being treated with the utmost loving care and to be pain free. He deserves no less. I also pray, that my niece Barbie finds the strength she needs to deal with all of this, and her mom’s flip flopping. I know my sister wants Joey to stay here forever and I don’t blame her, but I also think she needs to assess Joey’s true condition and then, with her daughter, make the best choice for Joey and not them. I don’t want to sound callous or indifferent and I apologize if I do. All I want is for my entire family to have a chance to end the waiting that is always a part of our existence.

Whatever happens, whatever decisions are made, I hope and wish for them to be made on the basis of love and mercy. That is all anyone could want in these situations and all that the good Lord could grant with his mercy.

Still waiting, here in Brooklyn,
K

Waiting

I am in the waiting room of a laboratory waiting for my sister Gerrie to finish a pet scan. I was told to wait out here because of the exposure to the radioactive dye they are administering to my sister for her test. The technician said it will take about  three hours for everything  to be done.

It feels as if I have spent most of my life in waiting rooms of hospitals, laboratories and other medical environments. Some families are left legacies of wealth, or perhaps good looks, or perhaps intellectual success. My family’s legacy is a lifetime of health issues. It first started when I was six years old and hospitalized for two months and a day. It seems after numerous tests and five spinal taps they finally realized I had bad tonsils and adenoids and it finally became obvious that  the infection caused me to lose the use of my legs. It didn’t help much that they injected me daily,( with what I have not a clue) but after they removed my tonsils and adenoids I was released and a few weeks later I could walk again.  Soon after that when I was seven my sister Joan passed away at the age of 29 from complications after removing a tumor from her brain. It has just been downhill ever since. I have lost my parents ten years apart from each other from a myriad of illnesses, cancer included;  and two more of my sisters passed at ages 46 and 47 respectively.

My four remaining siblings, two sisters and two brothers all have a long list of health issues that they live with everyday. Being the youngest of eight has placed me in a position that allows me to observe, absorb and live beside every medical issue known to man. Even my own children suffer somewhat and my husband’s family as well. As a matter of fact, if I reflect upon my wealth of knowledge as a designated bystander, my thoughts tell me I could have been either a very informed researcher or a very compassionate doctor. Alas, though, I have missed that boat! Instead I sit here reflecting in my usual waiting position–observing, hoping and praying.  My thoughts  about Gerrie are concentrated on her life at this moment in time and a veil of concern (mixed with sadness) overcomes me.

Gerrie has never been able to accept illness or poor health without fear.  She would much rather remain in her own world where not knowing means everything is good. She has such a disdain for the realities in life that she removes herself from it most of the time by telling carefully woven tales where she is either the heroine or the victim, she does this without any sign of malice and therefore her tales are accepted by most as actual events in her life.  I, on the other hand, am a realist who when faced with problems jump right in and research to find the ins and outs of the event, and more so when it deals with health issues.  For the most part we get along well and understand exactly where to draw the lines with one another so that our sister relationship remains intact for both of us.  We do love one another so it truly isn’t too difficult to manage.  Recently, Gerrie has been dealt some really tough blows to deal with. Her husband, Joe’s Alzheimer’s has reached a pivotal stage, one that Gerrie cannot bring herself to believe because she feels better when she doesn’t And her own health is now being threatened at the same time. She fears that she may have cancer and the doctor isn’t ruling it out until these barrage of tests are completed.  She has been a complete wreck of nerves lately, worrying in my opinion, needlessly or actually before she knows for certain that this dreaded disease has invaded her body.  Naturally, with our gene pool, it is a concern in all of us.  Each of us hoping it ended with the generation before us or at the very least with us.  It isn’t that I don’t empathize, I do very much so, but I see things mostly as facts and not what ifs. This act of waiting is for me a time to reflect and to hope that my sister is nervous and worried for nothing.  At least that way we will be able to joke about it afterward or have another story to listen to from Gerrie.

Guess I’ll just have to wait a little while longer.

And that’s the Way I See It here in Brooklyn.

K

Uneasiness

As much as I want to believe that I can handle almost anything, my mind and heart remind me that I have an emotional mind. I call it that because no matter the amount of logic that I think I have my emotions rule my logic and cause me turmoil and stress.

There are so many things I want to change in my life, or better said, I wish to be different. I find myself thinking too hard being too self-righteous at times and I don’t know how to turn off that part of me. A sadness overwhelms my usual optimistic outlook on life and changes my behavior and my feelings. I know for certain it is not depression. I had an endocrinologist once who tested the hormones associated with depression and I, thank God, had normal results. So I cannot blame my sadness on hormones. I suppose it may be because I have an inner sense of not being happy with the way things are in my life right now. I am surrounded by sickness within my family and a circle of friends. The things I wish to do with my life I cannot do because of physical restraints nowadays. I’m writing my blog but with a troubled mind. I am not seeking sympathy nor empathy. It has always been easier for me to write rather than speak. The words, most times, come out a bit better when I write them. I suppose what I am looking for is release. A way to express what is deep inside myself, without burdening anyone with worry or stress over me, at least to those who truly care about me.

Maybe my emotional mind started as a child. Perhaps between my dysfunctional childhood mixed with being spoiled, the signals that I am supposed to have got crossed somewhere along the line. Perhaps the maturity level I should possess at this stage of my life hasn’t quite developed and so I am unable to unravel the confusion I feel inside my mind and heart. Life is supposed to be better now. It is supposed to be a time when I have finished with mistakes and learned from them. It is supposed to be a time where I listen more than I speak or express my opinion in a self-righteous way much less often than I have expressed that opinion. I should have learned to temper my anxieties, my anger, my frustrations. It seems though that I haven’t accomplished those yet. I don’t like being sad, I’m sure no one does. Yet, I am sad. I am lost in this world of emotional upheaval. It is usually believed that people can change things with mind over matter. I have tried to do that, but I find that when I truly care about something or someone, I cannot find self-control. This uncontrollable need to express myself overwhelms my logic and impulsively I act rather than sit back and wait for problems to resolve themselves. Most people I speak to appear to have an easier time doing that. They just ignore problems or put them aside. I have a tendency to face them head on. I often find myself analysing things that happen and believe they happen for a reason. My problem comes when I get this urge to seek the reason they happen. I can’t explain why. I can’t understand why. All I know is that I either experience anger or sadness from problems. The logic is there and the understanding of that logic is known to me, yet I cannot stop myself from trying to right what I perceive as the wrong. My perception, logic tells me, is not the perception of others, but my instinct tells me the complete opposite of my logic. It is like a complete ball of confusion that consumes me until peace resumes within myself. I really want to be different. I don’t want to experience life like this anymore. I want to bury my head in the sand and pretend that everything is fine and that life is what it is. All I can do is hope that feeling will come sooner than later and this blog, this great form of expression will lead me to that sense of peace once again.

And that is the Way I See It, here in Brooklyn.
K