I said goodbye, but he’s not gone

September 21, 2020

I came home today and my fur baby Skylar wasn’t at the front door sunning himself like he usually does. You see, he crossed over Rainbow Bridge today. Skylar had enough and didn’t even want me to hold on to him this morning. I knew when I awoke that today was the day that I had to help me… cross over that is. How does one make the decision to end a life that one has tried to prolong for so many years? The decision haunts me. Should he have just a few more days? Was there even one more thing that I could do to help him?

I got out of bed and went downstairs hoping that there would be less food in his bowl showing me that he had eaten during the night, but it was not to be. In fact, there were only two small urine balls in his box indicating that he hadn’t even been drinking water. Normally, I had to scoop his box a lot in the morning due to the many times he’d used it during the night. This morning, it was different. I knew he’d not eaten and not drunk water. He was done.

With a resolve that can only come from an inner knowing, I called his veterinary’s office and through tears made a 12:30 pm appointment to put him down. Then I tried to give him some of the meds I had in his little box I kept for such things; I tried a pain pill but it only made him wince. I kept hoping that I’d find something that would encourage him to eat and I’d be able to call the Vet back and say that I was mistaken and he was alright. But it was not to be. It was going to be the end.

I took a walk and asked guidance for confirmation and the same answer came back, “you’ve done all you can. It’s time to let go”. When it was time to put Skylar in his carrier, he was already in there. He had used it for comfort. I had come to leave it on the level by the front door so that he could feel secure. It was kind of cute how he’d sun himself on the pad with the carrier open and then go inside when he’d had enough of the sun. It was a condo with multiple options. Lately, he’d spent a lot of time inside this carrier. It was where he felt safe. His hearing was gone yet he could feel when someone would come into the house as the door opened. Sometimes, as I opened the door, he wouldn’t want to move. I had to laugh as he had his little personality. Yet, too he was always happy to see me when I came home. Now I was ending the life of my little boy that I had come to love and who had become as much a companion to me as I had to him.

And so we left for his last ride in the car. We arrived at the Vet and had 30 minutes together before Dr. Chau came into the room. Again, I asked if there was anything else we could do, to which she reconfirmed what she’d told me the week before; he was in end stage renal failure and had given up eating. He most likely had stomach bleeding, had thickening of the spine, could hardly walk, had bronchitis, as well as the pancreatitis that plagued him his entire life. All around me as well as my own inner guidance had confirmed that it was time yet I still was crying so hard at the thought of ending his life. Yet, I had to. I knew it.

 Then the needles came as well as the dreaded end. Once I saw the life leave Skylar’s little body, I realized that I had been in denial. He probably had been trying to tell me that he wanted to leave for a while. He’d been on appetite stimulate for several years, yet I persisted in keeping him alive. He’d been slowly losing weight over the last couple of years.

The pandemic was a bit of a blessing in that I hadn’t traveled in these last six months giving Skylar and I more time together. For several months, I only went out of the house for one hour per day and was available to him when he needed or wanted me. Sometimes he’d come upstairs to my study and just sit near me as I worked. I’d turn around and he’d be there, sitting so quietly. Sometimes I‘d find him in my study when I returned from being downstairs; the little guy knew that at some point he would meet me there. In this sense, he was very patient. I can remember times when I’d be searching the house for him to make sure he hadn’t gotten closed inside a closet or in the garage accidentally only to find that he’d been waiting for me in my study all along. Other times, he would realize that I was on the sofa in my family room watching tv and he’d join me there. When he was awake, which weren’t many hours of the day, he liked to be near me. That is, until the end.

The week before he died, he looked at me like, “help me”, so I took him in to the Vet to find out all the issues that were going on. Whereas he had been holding steady with his renal failure (at Stage 2), he’d risen to Stage 4. Where his weight had held steady at 10 pounds, then down to 8 pounds, he’d fallen down to 7.1 pounds. So in the last 9 months, there had been a huge decline. The 6 months of the pandemic had been his worst period, yet it was the time when I hadn’t traveled and had more time for him. The universe has a way of organizing things for the best.

The last few months I’d been busier with on-line classes and walking outside giving me a more positive attitude, yet I was getting very tired of all the care I had to provide. I was getting caretaker’s burnout. I missed some of his medications. He would come to me and cry – it was time for his fluids. He knew it. He could feel it and so reminded me. It wasn’t that I wanted him to die; I was experiencing adrenal exhaustion and weight gain due to the stress of an almost dying cat, an aging Mom and a brother with cancer. I had done my best, yet I’m second guessing myself now – was there one more pill that I could have given him that would have made a difference. Once I come back into my body I realize that, no, it isn’t possible to play God. The end is the end and all living things have one.

After Skylar expired, the nurse wrapped him in a towel like a mummy but made sure to leave his little head clear. What difference did it make as he was already dead? In my grief, I was thinking that he’d be afraid as he didn’t see well in the dark. One doesn’t think straight at such moments, yet I’m obviously not the only one since this Vet tech knew to do it this way. He was laid in his beloved carrier that had become his safety net, put in my car and then taken to a crematorium nearby. Driving home with the carrier empty, crying the whole way, was very difficult.

Once home, I began the task of cleaning up the house. It isn’t that it was necessary right at that point in time; it was more a way to busy myself to not think so much. Looking at his bowls, his litter boxes and all his toys on the floor were too painful. Cleaning it all up took time and gave me a chance to zone out. Then I went to bed early sure that I could hear him walking around the house.

The next days and weeks will be mourning his loss and remembering all the cute things he did when he was feeling better. I began to realize that when one sees a loved one on a daily basis, the declining health they experience isn’t always seen by the caretaker. I hadn’t realized how much Skylar had declined. I had been in denial.

How will I remember Skylar? When my other cats died back in 2011-2012, I hadn’t planned to get another cat. I felt a pull to look online at rescue cats and found Skylar. He was a big guy at 12.6 pounds and had been told that he was an over eater. I ignored the naysayers and adopted him anyway stating that he just needed to be loved. And love him I did. Within six months, by following me around my three-level townhouse, he was a more normal 10.5 pounds. I feel that he’d been mis-treated when young since he had trouble trusting me for the first year or so. Eventually, he came to sit with me on the sofa and our love affair began.

Skylar had a very sweet nature and loved anyone who would pet him. He was crazy about his pet sitters, which helped me a lot as I travelled several times per year.  Once he fell ill with renal failure and pancreatitis about three years after he came to live with me, (now five years ago), my caretaking began. I went to heroic measures to compound medications for him as the standard dose overwhelmed his sensitive body. His Vet was always amazed at what I was doing. I have been recording videos over the last year of just what I did for him and plan to put together a You Tube Channel  to help other pet owners in Skylar’s memory. I had gotten five years out of a cat that was only supposed to live for two after falling ill.

For now, this is what I have to say about Skylar’s passing. Over the next few days, I will pick up his ashes, write and carry out a fitting funeral for a wonderful guy. He was my little fur baby. I miss him so much and feel his energy around the house. Am I crazy to hear, “Mommy, don’t cry. I’m ok. I can play with other cats here. “I hope he’s at Rainbow Bridge and maybe, just maybe he’d found my other cats and now enjoying activities that he was never able to do here. He was never able to play outside.

“Skylar, Mommy loves you. I hope you’re ok. I hope you’re no longer in pain; that you can run and play and have fun”.

P.S. If you have a cat with Chronic Renal Failure and Pancreatitis, stay tuned for the Skylar Channel on You Tube which I will be creating in the near future.


Aspects in Balance

September 21, 2020

Every quality, like most things in life, has a good aspect and if extended into extremes, a negative one. Even something like being a nurturing person which is normally considered to be a desirable quality, can be negative if done to excess leaving the nurturer over-extended. It is always important to consider the balance point for everything in life, even our personal qualities. Today, I’d like to address some examples of qualities and the full spectrum of how they can be represented as in balance or out of balance.

As a great man once said, let’s look at the man in the mirror first, so I’ll start with myself.  I was born an Aires, with natural qualities of leadership and organization. During my working career, I used my natural tendency to lead and organize to great success for my professional duties; however, when I transferred those same skills to personal relationships it didn’t go so well. As I was to learn, people don’t like to be managed, overly organized and led outside of the work place. Apparently, it feels too much like “mothering” from someone who is not their “mother”. Certainly, it didn’t go well in my dating life for obviously reasons. My awakening moment was during a dance lesson when my instructor told me, “Joanne, you have to let the guy lead!” I was to learn to not only let go to allow someone else lead me, but to do so with complete trust with my eyes closed. I suppose my love of dancing was a way of balancing this natural quality of leadership for me. I also know now that one is left brain while the other is right brain; again, one balancing out the other.

The above example can be applied to many other qualities. How many women, and perhaps some men, over nurture? At home with children, this is a good quality, certainly when the kids are young. That said, as they grow us, even children want more autonomy. If one doesn’t learn to allow space for mistakes so that the kids learn to fend for themselves, then they will be in trouble when they get into the real world on their own. In the worst case scenario, we see grown men and women, totally dependent on a parent (whether mother or father) because they never separated out; they never developed their own identity because of over-nurturing by the parent. It’s very important for kids to have a chance to make mistakes and not be scolded (too much) so that they don’t develop fear of being wrong; otherwise, when they get into the workplace they turn into adults who have to be perfect. Since there is no such thing as perfection, the pursuit of same causes extreme stress and uncertainty. Thus overly nurturing mothers, who are well-intentioned, can raise kids who become neurotic adults. Again, every quality has a full spectrum from the positive to the negative.

Another example is a guy friend who is a good analyst. He was born with an ability to pay attention and hyper focus (perhaps a bit ADHD) on the details of life. In his work life, he’s learned to apply this ability as a detail-oriented person to an analyst position, one for which he is accurately suited. In addition, he has moved on to a managerial job wherein the details are also extremely important. However, when it comes to managing people, he tries to use this same skill of being in the details and it doesn’t always go so well. He tends to reflect back to people what he believes they want him to say rather than intuitively (right brain) ascertains what is needed to mentor them into productivity. When I’ve heard him discuss the issues he has with certain individuals at his workplace, I can only imagine that these are the people that don’t want to be managed; or perhaps even manipulated as it might feel. Perhaps they would prefer for him to just ask how he can be of service to them or inquiry as to the source of their issue. In other words, he should treat his subordinates as adults rather than as children to be managed. I have tried to explain this to him but he gets locked up in his left brain and has difficultly moving into the right brain to grasp the concept. Although he is perfect for this position from the standpoint of attention to details to manage his day, the routine it requires and the constant checking to make sure that everyone has completed their tasks, I feel that he is lacking in real people skills. If it were me in there, I would empower my people to feel a part of the organization, give them a sense of pride in their work and not micro-manage them. It’s been proven that when one treats people like children (micro-managing ) them, that’s how they behave (not performing unless told to do so).

Unfortunately, this same guy tries to handle his personal life in the same way – with an extreme hyper focus to the details and an unwavering plan that doesn’t adjust for changes as they are required. I watched it happen last week and was horrified at how each challenge messed him up. Things that I accept as normal bumps in the road were major hurdles for him – like traffic, rain and a tire getting a nail. My approach was to deal with the traffic, make adjustments in the plan for the day based on the rain and stop to get the tired plugged so as not to ruin the entire day. But that’s not what happened. As each challenged appeared, he repeated it over and over – this horrible traffic; OMG it’s raining. Now there are two things so he repeated the two things until there were three things and he repeated them. Until he had himself convinced that the day was ruined so we had to return home.

 I’m so used to putting out fires and keep going that none of it would have stopped me. It’s all a matter of perspective. Life is life and we have to stay in balance in order to be resilient. Otherwise, everything and anything will throw us off and life will become horrible. Why do that to yourself?  Comments are always welcome.


Discernment from guidance

July 30, 2020

As a spiritual person, one can be called by our guides and angels to assist others – whether as an individual or a group to move towards the light. I recently had experiences representing both of these types of “SOS assistance calls” to which I responded. Although I feel good that I did respond, I also learned my own lesson of discernment. Discernment is ascertaining just when to start trusting, assisting while maintaining one’s own boundaries, in any type of relationship.

My first personal lesson of discernment concerns a spiritual group to which I belong; in fact, it is the group from which I was ordained 11 years ago. My favorite saying is that some spiritual people are not so spiritual. The reason I say this is that the human ego is present in all of us on this physical dimension, and even those souls who profess to be spiritual can have an overactive sense of self-importance. Case in point is the various leaders of this particular group who have taken over after the original self-less leader led the way for over 30 years. I give people who are dedicated to a cause much credit, so don’t get me wrong, I do appreciate the role that they play. It’s just that when they ask me for help and I comply, they have tended to give me a really hard time.  

 The most recent situation that has me rather irked is where I spent time developing a meditation for their Friday night service. The program that I developed was well received by this particular leader. I was then informed of the date when it would be aired on Facebook live. I did the work on my own in order to help the organization promote their spiritual message. That said, it is common practice to provide creators of programs credit for their work. My bio and hi resolution photo had been requested but it was never posted on the website. Although their website did note a program to be held that evening, there was no mention of my meditation. I tuned in that evening to hear the pastor give her talk and then my meditation came on. Unless one was online and just listened there would be no way for anyone to find it on the website later. This is contrasted to other visiting people doing programs and being very much recognized. Just to make the point that I don’t develop these programs for personal gain nor recognition, but it’s only right to give someone credit.

I did send a note to the leader indicating what I thought was a mistake and asking for it to be corrected. I never got a thank you for the program nor did I receive any indication that my concern would be acknowledged. I made a tough decision not to make further contributions for this group. I didn’t call and complain. I just will step back. If I decide to develop other programs, I will post them here for my readers to see. So my discernment is that this type of unrecognized behavior is only using me and does not serve me to do anymore for them. It’s a basic rule of the universe that when we give out we should get something back, not necessarily money, but some exchange of energy to preserve the balance of nature. Apparently, the so-called spiritual people involved are not so spiritual.

The second example involved an individual that I felt called to help. A few weeks ago I came into contact with a man who was had recently separated from his marriage. Normally, I stay clear of this type of situation knowing from past experience that it doesn’t go well. Newly separated people have so much baggage to process, yet in this case I felt that guidance wanted me to assist him. Our initial contacts were cordial but after a couple weeks it became clear that he wanted to go out. I agreed to meet for dinner thinking that he just wanted a friend with whom to hang out.

Unfortunately, after just a couple weeks of interactions, he became controlling, manipulative and although I could see it coming, he had some endearing qualities which were engulfing me. I was in a quandary. I knew better than get involved, yet I felt myself slipping. My desire to help him, after so many years of life coaching this is a trait that is hard to leave behind, yet he was attaching to me very quickly. He was an energy vampire and it was taking its toll on me. Everything that happened to him was a major drama and as I tried to help him sort it out, I was getting more sucked in. I didn’t want to be his life coach, nor his therapist so my comments stopped at suggestions that I would make to any friend. Still I could feel my own energy draining.

Finally, this past weekend, my angels gave me the signal. It was time for it all to end. The balance point had been tipped. He was really wound and did some things that I couldn’t stand for which gave me cause to be snippy to him. My goal was to give him reason to end it with me so that he could save face. It worked since by the end of the day he was upset. That evening, he sent me a “good-bye” text. I was very happy. My plan had worked. I had been concerned that he would disintegrate if I walked away from him. Sometimes this approach is necessary. The very next day he tried to communicate with me but I didn’t respond. I now feel better. Whatever help I was supposed to provide, I did so until the balance point was reached. This is discernment in action. It’s good to help others but we must watch out for ourselves. I’ve also let my guides know that I’m done with this type of assistance in the future!

 Comments are always welcome.


Making way for the new (appliances)

June 25, 2020

Normally, when one speaks of letting go of the old to make way for the new, there is something really important at hand – like cleaning out closets or learning a new language to open up brain cells. This is a story of making way for new appliances after well, yes, 22 years. The old ones served me well and I’ve been holding on to them for just that reason. But that little voice inside has been pestering me to change them out in the kitchen for the last few months before my freezer full of meats (due to the meat scare of a few weeks ago causing me to run out and buy more chicken and other meats than I normally would have just like most other people – On occasion, although I try not to be, I can be a product of my environment – guilty as charged!). So I finally started to listen with my search in earnest beginning about 5 weeks ago.

Normally, when one speaks of letting go of the old to make way for the new, there is something really important at hand – like cleaning out closets or learning a new language to open up brain cells. This is a story of making way for new appliances after well, yes, 22 years. The old ones served me well and I’ve been holding on to them for just that reason. But that little voice inside has been pestering me to change them out in the kitchen for the last few months before my freezer full of meats (due to the meat scare of a few weeks ago causing me to run out and buy more chicken and other meats than I normally would have just like most other people – On occasion, although I try not to be, I can be a product of my environment – guilty as charged!). So I finally started to listen with my search in earnest beginning about 5 weeks ago.

The actually story of my search and final selection is captured in a separate article because it involved a few really cool interactions with highly motivated light workers who happened to cross my path. Now for those new here, I don’t believe in just happened – so these people were divinely guided to help me even when I really wasn’t in the mood to listen. Sometimes we are so busy being ourselves that we have to get out of our own way, as the renowned psychic Edgar Cayce used to say, to hear the still small voice inside. I’m sure that some angel assigned to help me sent these people to keep me from making a huge mistake by spending lots of money on the wrong products at the wrong stores. I mean places that wouldn’t support me when things went wrong or products that wouldn’t hold up either. In the end, I do feel that I’ve purchased from a reputable, family owned business in Woodbridge, VA (local to my area of DC) and from a store manager who seems to really care.

Now here’s the point for today. I totally cleaned out the refrigerator. One could ask why would I clean a frig that’s to be given away?  I did call Habitat for Humanity and told them that they could come and get it from me or from the appliance distributor’s place and who wants to have others get a grungy frig? It wasn’t that bad, but really it isn’t nice to give something away that’s dirty. I guess I was just brought up that way. So am I being self-centered to worry about what other’s think over a material item or is there another reason for my actions?

The answer is kind of deep. I feel like I’m saying good-bye to old friends who have served me well. Yes, it’s time to let go of the old and welcome in the new.  Am I concerned about what people will think of me as a housekeeper or am I performing a ritual like burying the dead? I’ve been thinking about it. For real, it wasn’t that dirty, but I feel just like when I gave my other cat a bath after she died but before she was cremated – it’s just respect for a creature that’s served me – in the case of my cat, with love. In the case of my appliances, it has to do with loyalty. And that’s my story. I will say good-bye to my frig, stove and microwave tomorrow. Then I will not only welcome in to the newer version of these same appliances, I will have to learn how to use them.

Comments are always welcome.


Obsession with the Absurd

June 5, 2020

During the current Covid-19 pandemic everyone is rather on edge and often little things become blown out of proportion.  In this environment, perspectives on what’s important sometimes get off as well. Here’s my story of what happened with a next door neighbor over a small planting bed in the front area between our two townhouses. To me, it’s an example of how one’s mind focuses on the absurd when it doesn’t have anything else more constructive to capture the attention.  

Late one Saturday night a few weeks ago, my next door neighbor, also a single older woman sent me an email asking me to trim my bush. Her request seemed really out of left field as it was spring time and my bush had been in the ground for 23 years without it bothering any of my prior neighbors having also resided in the same house next door. Why suddenly did she worry about this bush? In her email, again late at night, she stated that she was concerned that my bush would harm her plants newly placed in the “flower bed” between our two homes.

As a point of reference, I’ve always maintained this area 75% because I’ve lived there longest and have paid for whatever was necessary. A couple years ago, suddenly the tree died and as it was deemed “my tree” by the neighborhood I was required to pay for the removal and replanting of another tree which set me back $1000. Her predecessor neighbor disavowed any responsibility for the tree stating that the trunk of the tree was technically on my side of the planting area thus my problem. This was her view even though the tree was clearly providing beauty and shade for the two homes. I graciously accepted the responsibility and when the bed had to be redone I didn’t tell the gardener to stop at my half, I had the entire bed redone without expense to the neighbor. I felt like I was doing the right thing.

My late night response to this neighbor’s bush trimming request was that I’d take care of it in the fall. Receiving my email only made her more determined to stand up for what she wanted and I got more emails demanding action. I was really having a hard time taking her seriously. We were in the middle of the pandemic, I was going out once a week for food and for a daily walk, and really didn’t want to think about trimming a bush. To me, it seemed so ridiculous.

The emails began to fly back and forth with me stating that I’d take care of it and her stating that she’d take matters into her own hands. Really? It was a bush and 6 inches away from her plants. What could happen to them? At one point I even told her that she needed a new hobby, and pointed out for example that I was learning to make masks to donate to the Million Mask Challenge. Well, this only made her angrier and she assumed I was saying that she wasn’t doing anything to help with the pandemic. In response, she told me that her daughter was a nurse in NYC on the front lines of things. Great, what are you doing? But this is really not the point. I didn’t want any trouble. I was minding my own business and she was making an issue about a bush that grew an inch in a year or two suddenly creeping up on her plants.

As far as this new neighbor of about 1.5 years was concerned, learning about how the tree was planted held no interest for her. She proceeded to send me nasty emails about how awful I was and how I didn’t greet her properly when she moved in. I’m not sure what she expected, but in my neighborhood people move in and out without much fuss. I never did anything to hurt her and was cooperative when she had work done on her roof and her contractor needed access from my roof to do his work.

About two weeks after the email barrage, I asked a friend to come over with a chain saw and trimmer to take care of the bush, obviously sooner than the “fall” that I had promised her. When we went outside to begin the work, I bent down and realized that she’d already taken pruners and cut some of the branches out of the bush. I couldn’t believe it!!! Talk about obsessing over a bush. My friend and I took a huge amount off the bush figuring that we’d do a really good job. But our efforts were not rewarded. Within hours I got another email from the same neighbor asking to meet me in the morning regarding my plants close to the street. My response was a negative. I held my boundaries and ended communication not responding. She needed to find something else to obsess about because I realized it was her mind that was the problem; nothing I did would ever satisfy her.


Creating a loving reality

May 19, 2020

If you ask someone what is missing in their life, many will respond that they’d like more love. The younger generation might feel that they didn’t get enough love from their parents, whereas the older generation might feel forgotten by their kids. Or, the working class might feel that they’re not appreciated at work. Those of one belief system may feel those of other beliefs (whether religious, organizational or political) are against them. And even there are those that judge themselves unworthy of even being loved.

Wow, with all this unloving going on it’s amazing that anyone is happily in love! But of course, there are many people that walk around with smiles on their faces while in relationships, having wonderful children, and happy at their jobs. So what creates loving vs. unloving situations? The question is an age old one of how can one be happy because in actuality, we create our situations (most of the time).

According to brain research as well as ancients religious texts, we create our world one thought at a time. I recently watched a great video on GAIA, the spiritual equivalent of AMAZON PRIME VIDEO Channel, which explained how the brain is wired. This video went on to explain how our thought patterns create new neural networks almost like beating a path to a door from constantly going there.

The result of constantly re-hashing how others were mean, angry, abusive or otherwise non- appreciative of us, is creating a mental state where we begin to believe that we are only deserving of abusive behavior. In other words, by thinking negatively about ourselves we begin to believe the negatively about ourselves which in turn becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy. This was a scientifically based video. The other end of the spectrum is the spiritual view where Edgar Cayce, the sleeping prophet and great psychic of the 20th century, promoted the idea that thoughts become actions become our world; or, as we think so we become. So here we have a case of science meeting spirituality; both systems giving support to the idea that thinking negatively is counter-productive to create anything positive.

Now my own universal law appropriate here is that nothing positive comes from a negative. In the case of love, if you don’t love yourself, how can anyone else do so? It also follows that if you want to be loved you need to be more loving yourself, as like attracts like. This is also promoted by many spiritual beliefs as well as the work of Edgar Cayce.

If we create our world one thought at a time and we need to be loving in order to be loved, what is the best way to create a loving reality? I believe the answer is clear! Be positive with your self-talk, have compassion with those around you, think before you speak working towards being the best version of yourself that you can be avoiding throwing stones at others for holding a contrary viewpoint; everyone deserves a place in the world and to express  their reality even if you don’t agree. Hold love in your heart for your fellow humans; one day we might need each other. There are many challenges at hand. No one knows for sure what will happen in the future. Have empathy. Stay in the light and be positive. These are all loving qualities to nurture and behold the love that returns. Voila, you’ve created a loving reality! (Granted, this may not be a perfect solution, but give it a try and see how life improves!!)

Comments are always welcome..


Positivism promotes health

May 1, 2020

We’re all in this isolation situation together. Sounds kind of funny doesn’t it?  Billions of people around the world are all stressed due to the Covid-19 corona virus pandemic yet it may be for slightly differing reasons. I feel like I get paralyzed some days and just plain overcome with inertia to be able to get anything done. I’ve heard other people express similar sentiments on zoom chat calls when they talk about how they are doing. Initially, I thought it was just me. Now I feel that we’re experiencing a new kind of stress that I’ll called COVID-19 PTSD. The answer is to stay positive, reduce this stress and promote a healthy immune system.

Just what is the undertone of this COVID-19 PTSD? Some of us are more concerned for our financial situations due to job loss or the state of the economy in general than for their health. As I’m in the high risk category, my health is my primary concern. I’m not working as I’m already in retirement; yet, I still have concerns for the economy because my income comes from investments which are currently in a volatile state making withdrawals from my account extremely expensive (taking the money and tax out at a 25% loss equals 40% in actual dollars!). Others may be concerned for their relatives going to work in high risk environments like first responders, medical professionals and those working in the delivery services as well as in stores still open.

The bottom line is that we’re all feeling Covid-19 stress, a new kind of PTSD from being isolated, shell shocked, having to live in a new reality not of our own making as well as dealing with everyday situations like going out into the “jungle” to get food or supplies. Where will it lead? No one really knows at this point. So what can we do about it? Well, some people are doing a lot of complaining about how the whole situation is being mismanaged so they think. Apparently, they would open the economy and allow people to move about. Others are saying that no, that would only contribute to more people getting sick and possibly dying. Well then, just keep the elderly and those with underlying medical conditions under wraps! I’m not proposing this; I’m merely stating what I’m hearing online and in the news. My personal opinion is of no consequence since I can’t affect the outcome of a virulent disease.    

So what’s my point and why am I writing this article? I do believe that we must stay positive. What does that look like in this volatile environment? It looks like not discussing how wrong all the government and bureaucratic decisions are, constantly looking at how many people are sick, how many have died and listening to the news all day. Yes, be informed but don’t let it all overwhelm you. Allow a certain reasonable amount of time daily to keep up to date on best practices, what one is supposed to do at the moment and stay calm about it. Getting hysterical, rioting and going against best practices is not the answer. Leave it up to the experts – anyway, the experts can’t decide what’s best – only God knows what will happen. It’s a virus and it doesn’t follow any rules. If we stay in now it may just delay the inevitable until later. But maybe later we’ll be more prepared. I certainly don’t want to have the lives of millions of people in my hands, do you? So leave it up to them and stay in your own body (or frequency).

Understand that everything that happens, even when someone dies, while others live is all part of the divine plan. We do our best every day, keep our minds positive, think the best of people, situations we find ourselves in and don’t allow our minds to be dissuaded by negative people. Don’t get on phone calls and listen to people go on about how bad everything is. It isn’t good for you and certainly not for them. We need to stay positive. It’s proven that staying positive keeps the immune system up and this is the best thing we can do for ourselves right now (that and eating healthy, getting daily exercise and drinking fresh water of course).  Know that you aren’t going crazy you’re dealing with Covid-19 PTSD. Stay positive!


Sewing skills come in handy during a pandemic

April 24, 2020

I learned to sew in High School home economics class, where in I learned how to make very simple items. At the time, I never dreamed that these skills, somewhat more developed as I grew up and needed to alter dance dresses and make pillows to decorate my home, would help me get through the worst pandemic in my lifetime. As of late, I’m learning to make face masks for protection while going out into the public during this difficult period.

My first fore into making face masks didn’t go very well. Although I selected what appeared to be a straight forward pattern, complete with a how to video, I still didn’t get the final result correct. The finished product just didn’t look like the example in the video; it was too small. Taking a step back, I realized that my estimating wasn’t working; I was going to have to really measure and be accurate. Ok, so eyeballing it was the way I’d done things most of my life and this simple face mask just seemed too easy. Then again, during this trying time, my brain wasn’t working at full capacity. I guess when one is stressed the mind is so distracted that it’s harder to focus.

Home made facemask

As it was time for me to venture out for a weekly grocery run, I decided to take the masks with me. I put the five masks in the zip lock bags in my car and went off to the store. Waves of emotion came over me from embarrassment to suggest that someone take a handmade mask from me to pride that I was trying to help people who didn’t have protective gear. It made sense to me to bypass those customers already wearing masks moving on to those customers not wearing one. I asked one lady if she needed one for a family member and she refused, not even very politely. At this point I felt like she thought I had put the virus in the bag instead of a mask. Didn’t she get I was doing a good deed? Oh well, some people don’t understand the concept of helping others. Ok, keeping at it meant overcoming my own fear of rejection. On to the next person who was a lady not wearing a mask. I called out to her, “Excuse me, but would you like a mask? I’m making them” This time, the woman took it and commented that it looked very nice. Her response and acceptance made me sigh with relief both for her and for me that my efforts were ok. By the end of my grocery run I had given away four of the five masks. I took my groceries and my pride home.

I knew that my attempt to make the masks was not perfect but they actually looked pretty good. The first batch was pink, pretty much limiting my offer to women. In any case, the next day I was in the drug store and a woman actually came in looking to buy masks. I overheard her request and the clerk’s negative response, so I chimed in that I had one to give her. She initially thought that I wanted to sell it for money and I just shook my head and walked her to my car, keeping our distance. I reached into my car grabbing the last mask, handed it to her and was relieved to see her smile when she saw it. Ok, yes, it’s external gratification but sometimes it’s ok.

I’m continuing to make the masks with the material that I have and a bit more that my neighbor gave to me for this purpose. I expect that I can make 6-7 more masks which will not save lives nor make a difference in the overall death count of the country but it will keep me somewhat busy here and there. In addition, it might help a few people have some additional protection than they would have and if no more than comply with the current legal requirements for facemasks in public settings. In the end, it did make me feel like I was helping. Now I know how the women who worked in the factories during World War II felt each day as they came home. Everyone should do their part, even if it’s really small.

As always, comments are welcome.


Destiny or Blind Luck?

April 10, 2020

I’ve been thinking about how the events of late regarding the Covid-19 virus reminds me of a movie. Was it ordained by God or rather by some hate monger? What are we meant to learn from it? I see both sides of nature with some people being evil hoarding goods for themselves while others try to share in any way they can. One thing that I know for sure is that we will not be the same, nor will the world ever again. Is this the Apocalypse we are living through? Is it the new world on the other side?

It’s said that when the 10 lost tribes of Israel are found the Apocalypse will begin. They have been found by an Israeli historian. The story is on Amazon and is a great video. But according to the Jewish religious beliefs, it’s not the end but the beginning of the new age. (Check out Amazon for the back story).

Just last month, when I was leaving Buenos Aires 3 days early from my vacation, just hours before the Argentine government closed the borders; hundreds of people were in line many hours early for the last flight back to the US – the one I was on to DC. Many people were then making connections to other parts of the country. There were 12 airports doing testing prior to allowing entry – I had selected routing through Houston – the only airport, as it turned out, that was not doing testing. Those other airports had lines many hours long. I went through quickly. After a 17 hour journey, it would have been horrible to wait in line for hours. Was I lucky or was it ordained?

While I was in the check in line in BA, people were in panic mode. They weren’t thinking straight. I found out I could print my luggage tags at a kiosk rather than wait so long in the main line. So someone watched my bags while I went over to the kiosk and printed my baggage tags. Putting them on is pretty simple. One merely peels the paper strip apart, put one end through the handle and stick the two pieces together. Several groups of elderly people were holding the tags in their hands with empty looks on their faces. As I gazed at these people who clearly needed help, I began to ask if they’d like me to assist in putting the tags on to speed things up. Their empty looks turned into big smiles as I was handed their luggage tags as this single gesture became an act of service. In turn, I was given a rare opportunity to feel good in the midst of a crisis situation. In addition, as I periodically looked up, I could tell that my efforts were being noticed by the United Airlines staff who, with their eyes told me that they appreciated the support too.

I did get home and have been doing safe distancing for these last four weeks. I do appreciate having food and enough money to pay my bills. I know that it could be months that we need to stay inside. I plan to organize my day to do what I can by dividing my time between being active and resting, talking and writing. The hours will go by. At least men are not shooting at us. We are not going to gas chambers. But I’m in the high risk category by virtue of my age. My wish is to live through it, to stay busy, and be of service where I can.

 What do you hope for? Comments are always welcome.


Don't cry for me

March 23, 2020

My dear friend Teresa died yesterday from complications of a rare form of cancer. She knew she was dying and totally prepared for the event. I was fortunate in being able to see her before I left on my trip to South America in early March.  I was one of the few of her friends that saw her in her last days before her doctor prohibited such visits due to her weakened condition. Our friendship was unusual in that we rarely saw each other but for some reason that I can’t explain, there was just this underlying like and appreciation for each other. Unlike myself, her life path had included a very healthy marriage with children and grandchildren that loved her very much.

During my visit with Teresa, she recounted a near-death experience she’d had several years ago, where, during a heart attack and treatment in the hospital she essentially died on the operating table. During this episode, she sensed her soul floating up to the ceiling of the operating room, hovering over her body where she could see the doctors and nurses working to revive her. She was aware of what they were saying as well. I could appreciate what she was telling me, although never experiencing an out of body experience, I have spoken to souls after they’ve passed on. So there was no issue in my believing her story. She also told me about seeing the most magnificent light as she travelled very fast through a tunnel of time and experienced what she believed was God. She was told that it was not her time and she needed to return to the Earthly plane.

When she returned to her body, the doctors had no rational explanation. Her heart seemed fine and she fully recovered. But Teresa knew in her heart, excuse the expression that she was merely being given time to prepare her family for her eventual passing. However, she was also angry with God for sending her back. She felt such love that she really wanted to stay in that other spiritual dimension. For the last two years she’s really been in a preparation mode planning her funeral her last days being happy with her family knowing full well that she would leave. Thus, when the diagnosis came of cancer it came quickly without much warning but she was ready.

Teresa and her husband had gone on trips that had many happy days and she was ready; so, in her words “Don’t Cry For Me because I’m going to be okay as I know what it looks like on the other side and my departed family are there and I am looking forward to being there too. I know my family will be okay here; they will miss me but they will be okay.”  So when the call came last night from the rabbi’s wife that my dear friend had departed yesterday morning, part of me was glad that her suffering was over.

I will try not to cry for you. You were a good friend and I will miss you.


%d bloggers like this: