Monday, May 30, 2016

Keeping it simple

There was early morning stillness
and birdsong;
the leaves stirring 
ever so slightly
in a passing breeze.
It never gets less poignant.
It never makes more sense;
how frequently
how easily
how carelessly
we send our children off to fight 
and die.
I needed to remember the enormity of the freedoms we have in this country;
that even the privilege of being disgusted by politicians 
with puffed up hair and egos to match
is the direct result of the sacrifice others have made;
made so we can live under a system of government 
where differences of opinions can exist
and are expressed...
and expressed...
and expressed.
 Of course there's a shadow side.
there always is.

No country,
no system of government,
no way of life
is perfect.
 We're born.

We 'become'
conservative, liberal,
Democrat, Republican,
Christian, Atheist ...
and, as much as we're each unique,
 can you tell who was what?
We die.
I'm amazed at how complicated we try to make everything in between.
Memorial Day 2016

Sunday, May 29, 2016

New realities

Artist, Maggie Meiners, recently used my family members 
in a photo for her latest series 
re-visioning the work of Norman Rockwell.
New takes on current American issues which
Norman probably never envisioned.
Here's what she said on Facebook.
I feel the need to share my photograph titled "Cock, Bang and Repeat" 
as today's headlines read that Chicago tallies it's 1,000th shooting. 
This image is part of my "Revisiting Rockwell" series 
and is based on his painting, "Freedom from Fear". 
 I am not sure what the solution is, 
but I am sure that if we embrace the idea of humanity, 
foster discussions about our similarities and differences, 
and listen to one another's personal stories, 
perhaps we can find a way to respect the lives of one another 
despite resentments, anger, stress and misunderstanding.

The families of this senseless violence 
in this great city 
are in my thoughts and prayers 
as they continue to live in fear. 

May Peace be upon you soon.

 Prayers for all of us trying to keep our balance 
in a world that is seriously off kilter!

Sunday, May 22, 2016


Despite how relaxed and laid back we look over here,
we've been busy.
The guest room has been used
which came as rude awakening for 'the girls'
who consider it theirs.
When not busy exploring new careers,
the cousins visited old favorites
and new houses. 
Friends from CA visited too
bringing their sweet baby and news of my son.

There's been a trip out of town 
to a home where the door is always open
 and 'the Zen room' is waiting.
There were celebratory flowers
 and 'fine art"that made me smile
and gave me ideas.

 There's been no part of the past few days
I haven't enjoyed.
Summer is off to a terrific start!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016


Thanks to all those who have written and asked for an update on my health.

To sum up...
it's as good as it's gonna get! 

I am fully cognizant of the fact that 
at my age 
I won't be getting healthier
more fit
less stiff, crunchy 
or stronger.

So I've learned to appreciate the days when I'm relatively pain free,
can move through all my obligations and make it home 
before I take off my bra, collapse in a heap 
and rot my mind while watching TLC
or fall asleep during Masterpiece - 

clearly I still aspire to be smarter!
I continue to make the rounds every two months 
of my Internist, Rheumatologist and Oncologist.

I get monthly blood work (vials and vials worth);
now that I think of it, 
maybe that's why I'm tired!
The diagnosis the docs have settled on is that I have
severe Rheumatoid arthritis and smoldering myeloma -
who knew 'smoldering' anything
was even a legitimate thing?

It means I have a malignant process going on in my bone marrow,
the manufacturing of an extra type of protein,
but I have none of the end stage organ failure that goes along with multiple myeloma.

All multiple myelomas begin as smoldering myeloma
but not all smoldering myelomas go on to develop to multiple myeloma;
does that make sense?

If you're from St Louis, 
the analogy that fits best is that I'm the human equivalent of

You know there's dangerous shit going on just below the surface,
so you constantly monitor everything you can
 in order to try to predict when all hell's going to break loose -
while you figure out how to head it off if and when it does.

Chances are good nothing will ever come of all the smoldering; 
that I'll die while on a Mission trip or coming home from Schnucks...

and that's when it hit me.

This diagnosis doesn't mean anything - 
except that it makes me exactly like everyone else.

All kinds of dangerous, life threatening stuff could happen
without warning.

No amount of monitoring 
or self care
 is going to change the outcome.
There's no supplement that can prevent our inevitable end.

Yet I take some supplements that can't hurt
and the medication the doctors say WILL help

I'm living each day as fully as I can.
Laughing, loving, working, worrying, 
looking forward to future travels, new family members,
exciting changes in the lives of people I love 
and in the communities to which I belong.

Despite what the arrow says on the diagram above,
I'm here,
right here,
right now,
actively looking for
and finding 
every day.
Life is good.