Friday, August 31, 2007


One of the things I'm grateful for is all the talented people that live in Tulsa. I've had the opportunity to see singers, musicians of all kinds, actors and other artists over the years. I guess I thought that the only REALLY talented folks were in the movies, on t.v. or made recordings. Well, that's not true. Lots of REALLY talented people live here - and probably a lot of other places too. They just haven't had the luck or whatever to make it to the big time. Which is why I love the new reality shows that show off talent that probably wouldn't make it to the big time otherwise. I used to say that they should make t.v. shows that just gave artists no one ever heard of, the opportunity to be seen. Well, see there, they stole my idea and are making millions! (ha)

Sunday, August 19, 2007


I feel like complaining today.

I've read a lot of books about grief over the years and, of course, more of them lately. And then I've also had a lot of advice about it. Some of the books have been very helpful. Some haven't. In fact, there's just a lot of crap out there about grief. "He's in a better place" is one of the things people used to say. Another one is "time heals all wounds." He may be in a better place and if so, that's good. But he's still gone from me. And "time heals all wounds" may be partially true but so what. If I'm in agony right now, the future doesn't comfort me one bit.

A couple of years ago I read a book about grief that was written by a spiritual teacher I really respect. Unfortunately his book about grief was total crap as far as I was concerned. He said his mother still existed in the universe in the form of energy so she wasn't really totally gone. That one is akin to stuff I've read more recently that people live on in the memories of the people who knew and loved them. Also, I've read that your relationship with the person just changes - you can still communicate with them - write them a letter. I'm sorry but it's just crap. Doesn't make me feel better at all!

The person I loved is not here and pretending that the energy that remains or the memories or the one-sided conversations are actually going to help is just nonsense. I can't touch the person; I can't kiss and hug the person; he or she doesn't answer when I call; he or she doesn't respond to my communication; I can't call him when I have a flat tire in another town and hear "hang on baby - papa's coming to the rescue." What has helped me in the books I've read and the people who have talked to me is the acknowledgement of the amazing pain that grief brings and the better it's described so that I can identify with it, the more it helps.

I read in one book that the agony of the longing for the other person can be just slightly alleviated by sending them your love and blessings wherever they are. That one turns out to be true for me. It doesn't take away the longing but it gives me some place to send the energy of the love I have for that person. It seems to me that a great deal of my pain consists of the inability to actively love the person I've lost. The day to day loving gestures and words have nowhere to go. Of course, I also miss the loving words and gestures that I received every day, but it is actually more painful to think of the person with love a million times a day and have no way to express it.

As I'm learning to survive the grief, I notice that I'm learning a new skill - living without someone I thought was vital to my happiness. As it turns out, the more I practice, the more I see it is possible to live without him happily - most of the time. It's like learning any new skill - hard in the beginning, easier with practice and time. One of the barriers, though, is the feeling that comes over me sometimes, that if I'm happy it means I love him less. Not true, of course, but I still have the feeling and have to talk myself out of it.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


Having decided not to join in the cultural race to look younger via various procedures, and therefore, won't be pretending to be 50, I have to ask myself what to do with myself. It doesn't seem to me that there are many role models. I've always heard that Native Americans and Asians respect elders for their wisdom. But that doesn't seem to be true of our culture. I think that elders are considered to be out of touch and old fashioned. It would be nice to sit around and give advice and be honored for it, but I don't think that's on the menu for my cronehood.

Of course, there's the story I've heard about how Eskimos used to put their old people on ice floes to float to their deaths since they were no longer useful and still had to be fed. I worry some about this one. As we all start to live longer and longer, and our kids have to take care of us to the detriment of their kids and lives...Well, I guess they really wouldn't put us on ice floes but they might want to.

So, I will try to be as useful as I can and will keep trying until I fall over from croneness. For one thing, it's fun. Just sitting around resting is sooo boring. In my work I've had occasion to visit quite a few nursing homes where people are sitting around. It always occurs to me that these folks surely must have some skills they could use. Couldn't they fold towels, sort silverware, hang a picture or something? They would be a lot happier, the people in their lives would respect them more, and they could lighten the load for the grossly underpaid and overworked staff of nursing homes.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


I can't help but wonder about this and it's another thing I see nothing about in the media. I know fast food is partly responsible for the obesity epidemic but the thing is - everybody used to smoke! I was a 5 pack a day smoker and never weighed more than 105 lbs. When I quit, I quickly went to 160 lbs. Hmmm. Wonder how many other people had the same experience. I know, I know - there are plenty of exceptions. My mother was very overweight and she was a heavy smoker too. But still...

Sunday, August 12, 2007


I'm on the other side of some of the worst of the grief, thank God. While I was in it I was so overwhelmed I couldn't put words to it. Now it seems important to try to describe what was happening to me.

First there was the constant realization - over and over- that he was gone. Not gone like he was out of town, but totally and forever gone. I would be thinking like I always did about things I wanted to tell him when he got home, and then realize that he wasn't coming home, and I wasn't going to get to tell him. It was as if I was storing up stories to tell. The were piling up and piling up until the weight of them was crushing me. Telling someone else wouldn't work because they were stories I could only tell him. I wanted to know what he would say; what he would think. There were more than 20 years of history that the stories fit in to. No one else knew the history.

Saturday, August 11, 2007


I believe "crone" is the correct word for the stage of life I'm in. I'm certainly not a child. I'm not in my childbearing years. I'm not even postmenopausal since that happened about 20 years ago. Being a crone wasn't on my list of things I wanted to be when I grew up. I've been in this stage of life for over 6 years (since age 60), and I can't figure out what to do with it.

In this culture I think what I'm supposed to do is pretend I'm around 45 or 50 and get a lot of skin treatments, maybe even plastic surgery, liposuction, and hair dye. I do have the hair dye and I've given a few hours of thought to those other things. But since I'm limited on funds I have to ask myself, "what would I actually gain if I looked 15 years younger?" "Would it be worth the investment in $ and time and pain?" So....I guess that when I looked in the mirror I would see a younger-looking person. So what? Would I feel better about myself? Why? I know I'm 66. Looking younger wouldn't make me feel different. Or at least I don't think so. So... the change must be for other people. So... what if people thought I was 50? Well, that would only be people who don't know me because people who know me know I'm 66. I guess that looking 50 might be a good thing if I was looking for a job. But I already have a job.

Or, of course, there's the obvious: MEN would find me more attractive. Or they would until I took off my clothes or got under a bright light. It's kind of like wearing what we used to call "falsies." If a guy thinks you have big boobs and that's one of the reasons he was attracted to you, what happens when you take them off in his presence? Have you had a little conversation beforehand? "By the way, honey...." Or do you just let him find out on his own? Scary. I thought about that one a lot when my mother bought me my first padded bra because she felt sorry for my flatchestedness.

Okay. Am I looking for a man? No. When I think about this question, I think "what would I do with one?" We could have fun doing things together. It would be lovely to have sex enter my life again. But then there's all the rest of it. Would he expect me to do things with him that he likes but I hate? Would he expect me to sew on buttons, pick up his socks, fix his meals, change the toilet paper rolls, like his dog, etc.? I barely can do those things for myself in the condition I'm in. He might not like what I like and then I'd have to limit myself on those things - if I didn't want to annoy him. I don't know. Would I want someone who wanted me because I looked 50 instead of 66? Very scary.

Being a crone is very confusing. More on this later.

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