Kicking Procrastination!

Since I seem to be experiencing many new seasons in my life at this time, I decided to turn a new page.  I am currently taking a course entitled Uninstalling Procrastination (an online course by Shelby-LittleCoffeeFox).  I have been very interested in her story describing how she was able to turn around her life goals and experiences by studying and successfully diminishing the role of procrastination in her life.  I was particularly struck by Shelby suggesting that putting things off only creates constant feelings of impending doom for us and increases  our stress and anxiety about tasks that are expected to be accomplished by a certain date.  I have always been a person who demonstrates great spurts of working effectively and efficiently on tasks and projects, for a specified period of time.  However, I have been known to justify procrastinating on certain “not-so-loved” tasks to the point of increasing my stress levels and ending up ultimately completing the tasks under immense deadline pressures.  Shelby’s course is very worthwhile and I discovered that I am not too old to change my habits.  After completing Module I of the course, I woke up this morning and accomplished four necessary errand/tasks prior to 11:00 a.m.  I rewarded myself with a trip to an antique store open house, followed by attending to two bill challenges I needed to take care of immediately.  A productive, successful day spurred on by Shelby’s course.  Thank you, Shelby.  I am eager to learn more!

International Widow’s Day

I have always had an aversion to the word “widow” based on my previous experiences-associated with “the black widow” or other evil, poisonous associations. But, today, I was taken by an article suddenly appearing for my viewing from CNN, regarding stories expressed today by various “widows” throughout the world, regarding what it means to experience this sudden or forced entrance into the world of “widowry”.

I never had any desire of any sort to be a member of this group. I empathized frequently with friends, neighbors, etc. who were suddenly thrown into this distant group. But, I had never envisioned myself as an actual member.

I read the stories today with great interest. Though each of these ladies’ circumstances were so very different from mine, I did engage in a certain camaraderie with this group of women, who had never planned on partaking of this adventure, and had never envisioned life without their spouses (in my case, the absence of my best friend and partner of my soul).

I was blessed with six months to prepare for Billy’s death, though the unknown of the details of the arrival of “death” throughout those months, resulted in mental anguish and much turmoil, inhibiting our supposed preparation for that dreaded event.

In reading each of the stories of these “hero women” in this article, I realized the blessings of family in my situation, occurring in stark contrast to many of the painful, judgmental experiences of these women within their own cultures across the world. Some of these women experienced cruelty, rejection, and/or humiliation from family members, as a result of becoming a widow. This circumstance appears unimaginable in our culture, but it was a recurrent theme within the stories of the other women throughout the world. Unfortunately, many of us shared the themes of death and cancer in common. But, the reactions of cultural bias painted the darkest contrast in our situations.

I am thankful, that in my situation, I was graced with the enveloping of love from extended family members throughout our difficult journey of illness, comforting me still. However, this article has made me realize the importance and relevance of our reaching out to expand, understand, and assist women throughout the world, regardless of their circumstance, to successfully survive the frightening phenomenon of suddenly being a “widow”.

Therefore, I am attempting to change my perspective on being considered a part of this “widow” group. I find myself, now, being quite proud to join their ranks, being able to say “I was Loved so deeply” by my spouse and my family, and I am now aware of the circumstances of cultural change within the concept of “widow”, that all of us need to address in the future.

Why Didn’t I Know?

For months, you knew you were dying

Why didn’t I know?

For weeks, we were told “eventually, this cancer will kill you”, “You will die from this cancer”.

You wanted to fight for “the more”

You knew you were dying.

Why didn’t I know?

“Eventually” gave me hope, always——-“not yet”

For weeks, I gathered my hope dreams and clung to every word the doctors and nurses said, that suggested in any minute way that you were getting better-“improving”- another flash of hope in my mind

I heard that word rarely-just a word heard one day, and the next day-

GONE

You knew you were dying.

Why didn’t I know?

For days, your sweet, thoughtful words became fewer. I wanted to keep talking, keep living, keep ignoring the approaching storm. Stupid questions rattled you: “How are you feeling today?”  “What hurts?” “What’s wrong?” Pushing you-pushing you-urging you to rally

That elusive hope of fixing things again, kept returning for me

Prayer. Prayer. Prayer. Hope.

Let’s go back:

  • to porch sitting under yellow glow
  • rock waterfall sounds with silent koi weaving
  • long political banter (please, no, but I yearn for experiencing that again with you now)
  • waltzing with you to the sweet accordion melody in the Presidential gardens of Spain
  • listening to your glorious Spanish float off of your tongue
  • loving your deep kisses and daily greetings
  • laughing with you as we conversed with our many pets
  • loving you forever and always.

You knew you were dying.

Why didn’t I know?

For one week, you played and made faces with grandson, Bennett, sitting with you on your bed. He smiled and laughed with you. Bennett was your hope, your goal – being Bennett’s “Au-dad” was everything you always wanted in this life

That day, Hope filled my air Then-encouraging words from doctor
“no evidence of cancer spreading”

One day

Wednesday

You knew you were dying.

Why didn’t I know?

Thursday, you stopped communicating with us, your eyes lost and hazy
Where did you go?

We waited for hope words from your doctor

In the hallway, I get “He’s dying. I can’t fix him.”

I react. How can that be?

Yesterday, so encouraging. Did you do a new test?

How do you know?

“He’s dying”

You knew you were dying.

Why didn’t I know?

Friday, you slowly departed further from us.

We waited; we questioned; we reacted; we soothed each other-loving family

No greater love from a family-for you

You knew you were dying.

Why didn’t I know?

What difference would it have made had I known? We would have lived our “more” – loved more deeply.

More love, more family times, more talks, more moonlit walks, more dailies, more travelling, more love, more forever.

You knew you were dying.

Why didn’t I know?

Friday, your 6-month journey with us ended, with your beloved family surrounding you

You fought; you loved; you rallied

You did all of this for Bennett and family and all of the “more”

We loved you deeply and we love you still

You knew you were dying.

Why didn’t I know?

Terry Grosvenor     June 22, 2017

LIFE CHANGES IN BUT, A MOMENT

37 years

37 abundant moments

37 pauses and reflections of enduring love

37 enriched memories-two, as one

EVERGREEN

Enlightened

Discussions of wisdom and truth

Togetherness

Boys pure and delightful; creations of wonder

Family; four together; never to be separated

Always one for all and all for one

Love conquers all

Love endures

Love seemingly gone in a flash, but etched in our minds and hearts forever.

Love eternal

                                                                                                                     Terry Grosvenor                                                                                                                                      May 15, 2017

Sitting By My Love

My love,

No longer adorned with gentle, green bells ringing in the arrival of brandy-cherry roses,  draped merrily in tiers of fern,                                                                                                          amidst vibrant orange lillies,                                                                                              trumpeting the soul’s rising.

The soft peace of fragrant white roses now masked by raked-over soil and muted grass,  too fast his beauty erased.

No color

Silence

Only the swirling breeze returns the memory of his touch to my tear-worn face.

Faint Spanish guitar dances beside me, as

I lay a small bouquet of daisies sent from a long-ago friend,

On the yellowed grass

While repeating words of love to him, as

The last lovely guitar chord is strummed,

Visions of floating waltzes drift off  in the distance.

Terry Grosvenor                                                                                                                                       May 2, 2017

Missing Billy

Sorrow enfolds me

Weaving within and around my heart

Encapsulating my soul

In Silence

Terry Grosvenor                                                                                                                                       April 14, 2017

Watercolor World

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What do you do on a depressing day, when everything appears dark and gloomy?                   Answer:  Watercolor Away.  Today, I had a little time to play around with my Kuretaki Japanese watercolors, resulting in 12 “Thank you” cards to begin my 2017 365 Cards Project.  I experimented with several interesting techniques, which I plan to use again in the future.  Maybe it is not too late to get some of my delinquent sentiments mailed to friends and family, who have helped us through some very difficult times.   Once again,  the cards are much prettier in “real time”.  Watercoloring definitely perked me up a bit.