Saturday, February 23, 2008

My hero

I've been thinking about my Great grandmother quite a bit lately. She is 101 and will be 102 in October of this year. This is a picture of her on her 100th birthday (and a gratuitous shot of my hunky cousin Jeremy hugging her).

She does quite well, lives alone but has either my great aunt Sylvia (Granny's younger daughter) or my grandmother, whom we call Mamaw who is the elder of the two daughters.

Anyway, Granny usually has either one of them stay with her or she stays at their homes.

Granny is quite independent, even being blind from macular degeneration and having a bad knee, she still gets around well enough to be able to cook, garden, and care for herself. Her mind is as sharp as ever and I miss her terribly.

The reason she is my hero is because of the incredible life she's lead. She was sort of engaged to a young man who never asked her to marry they didn't marry, and instead she married my great grandfather, Levi. I'm told it was a whirlwind romance of 3 days - though this story varies depending on who is telling it.

Being born in 1906, she didn't have the benefit of modern conveniences, clothes washed by hand and all those other things we take for granted. At one point she and granddaddy owned a gas station, then granddaddy worked for the railroad and Granny went to work at Belk's department store. I believe she was there over 30 years.

After she retired, she went to work for my uncle washing dishes at his restaurant....I think she did this until she was in her mid 80's, perhaps even later. I'll have to ask her when I call her this weekend. She kept driving until she was about 95 when her macular degeneration got too bad, though she'd only driven during the day for many many years - I think she had trouble seeing at night due to cataracts that were of course removed in her 70's giving her 20/20 vision!

She dealt with a hard drinking husband who passed away in 1976, she bore 2 daughters, has 6 grand children, 16 great-grand children, and there are somewhere around 10 or 12 great-great-grandchildren, once's way too many to keep count since I'm not very close to a few of my cousins and don't know exactly how many children they there might be a step-child or two involved as well.

Granny is amazing! The most amazing thing though is that just before I moved here, my Aunt Sylvia took me aside and told me that if I didn't already know it then she figured she should tell me how hard it was going to be on Granny for me to leave...because I was her favorite.

Whaaaaaa??????? Ok, I've come to terms with it now, but talk about shock! I've never been anyone's favorite anything. But knowing I was Granny's favorite great-grandchild made me feel something special. It's not a thing I can describe. It isn't tangible. It's just there.

If from this point on in life I was alone, I would still know that I'm loved by the one person who has had the most impact on my life. Heck, this is the lady that taught me that "you KNOW collard greens are done 'cuz they look slick".

Ok, so that doesn't mean much to most people, but when one's Granny teaches you to cook by taste, touch, smell, and sight it means a hell of a lot.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Exploring my inner kitten

Ok, get your mind out of the gutter people!

Today I saw my new therapist for the first time. We seemed to hit it off quite well and talked for well over an hour and a half. He didn't suggest I journal or anything but gave me some things to think about until our next visit in 3 weeks.

So, I figured I would do my exploring here. It's as good a place as any and I can certainly type much faster than I write.

I expect some things to be a little painful, some to be disconcerting and others to probably be kind of funny. I also expect that going through the memories may make me feel a bit angry, sad or frustrated at times. But as I've said before, I'm going to keep at it. Hopefully I will be able to finally come to terms with a few things. My Therapist, lets give him a cool about Freud? Ok Freud it is. He said that he feels he can help to change some of my perceptions about certain events or actions of others. If nothing else, give me things to think about in between sessions.

So far, I feel slightly more energetic...I'm hoping it will stay this way or even get a little better, if not I may suggest trying one of the new SNRI's instead of the SSRI I'm on at the moment. The problem with that is that since this is Australia certain ones aren't available here yet. Anywho, the only reason I bring that up is that I'd forgotten that some SSRI's (which I'm on one of them now) cause anxiety and, don't' really like prescribing a whole bunch of Valium and I also don't like taking it on a regular basis. I mean hell, it's GREAT for when I fly on planes and when I'm pretty highly stressed (ie, not very damn often) and need to relax a bunch before I get a massage but I don't really want to take it every day. So, we'll see what we shall see.

I'm keeping on keeping on.

Ta ta till later,

keep rooting, errrr I mean cheering for me. In case you aren't sure why I changed that from rooting to cheering, check Aussie slang for root :P

Sunday, February 17, 2008

On the mend

It's Sunday night here and the weekend has gone well so far. Each day is a little better. I'm not sure if it's the medicines or just the attitude. As if something inside snapped when I broke down and cried and from there it's just going to slowly get better.

I've had times like this in the past, times I can look back on and think Yep, THAT was the turning point. I'll never forget one of the most poignant was back in 97, when I discovered the ex was cheating on me. I remember looking in the mirror and what I saw scared the hell out of me... my eyes looked dead, just totally lifeless and I thought to myself, "This is the beginning of the end", and it was. How weird it it that I can remember the exact thoughts that ran through my mind at the time?

Anyway, back to this weekend. I've kept busy, cooked a bit. Made chicken and dumplings yesterday - home made dumplings with my own herbs... sage, basil, and chives that I grew here this year for the first time. Couldn't grow tomatoes for shit but the herbs came out great! I made a pan of lasagna tonight... C~ has never had lasagna made with ricotta cheese before. Here I guess everyone uses a bechamel sauce. It isn't that I don't like bechamel sauce but I prefer ricotta in lasagna, the way it was made when I was growing up.

As for sleep, I'm doing well considering I'm off the sleeping tablets - for the first time in 2 yrs. Back home I just took Melatonin tabs, but they aren't available in Oz (except in homeopathic strength which do nothing for me) so I'd been taking a Tricyclic antidepressant which has been used for ages as a sleep aid, and it also helps with back pain...but not so much here lately. So I've swapped to OTC Unisom tabs which are basically benadryl to see how I go with that since taking the TCA isn't recommended with Prozac - yup I'm taking Prozac. I've taken it before with good success and my only side effect was slightly elevated cholesterol, so we'll see how I go this time. I also start seeing a therapist this week.

Yes, I have issues. Don't we all? I think my issues have just come back to haunt me for a little while, at least I hope so...the little while bit, I don't like being haunted by anything LOL! Haven't had anymore nightmares since Thursday - Thank God! Those puppies were getting a tad too disturbing for my taste. Heck ANY dream with my ex in it is a nightmare, but when it gets to the point I'm dreaming he's holding me hostage and I'm trying to kill him with my bare hands....well enough already.

Yeah the dreams were so bad I wasn't getting more than 2 hours sleep at a time , my IBS kicked up full throttle - which it hasn't done in nearly 5 years - and on top of everything I got my period!!!! FRACKIN HELLFIRE!!!!!!! Can you say, "Straw that broke the camel's back?"

So anywho, I'm taking the tiger by the tail...and NO not MY Tiger silly goose, THE tiger and I swear I can see a little light at the end of the tunnel....errrr maybe that's a speck of dust? Not sure, but Imma keep going anyway.