Sunday, January 15, 2012


The new year always seems to bring reflection - and I'm at a place in my life right now where I think I will benefit from that. I'm still not doing the things I think I should be doing, but I do feel I've made some progress and just need to start 'doing' rather than 'thinking' about all of it. I guess recognizing that is an important step.

I watched the premiere of Tom Shadyac's documentary "I am" New Year's morning on Oprah's Super Soul Sunday. It helped to show me where I want to go, what I want to be in this world, what is important.  Simplicity. Love. Kindness. Connection. Happiness.  Quite inspirational.

And he also asked the question: How much is enough and what do we need to live a purposeful life? It's something I've been thinking about lately and I'm trying to use this question as a way to get started with cleaning out some of the stuff I've accumulated over the years. And I also need to use this as a push to finally pass along some of Vern's things, the medical supplies and remnants of his illness that still occupy space in our bedroom, his clothes, the wheelchair van. I know it's not healthy to be holding on to those things. I can't tell you why they are still there. It's not like I pull them out or even spend any time looking at them. They are just there. Perhaps it's my fear that getting rid of those things will mean I'm letting Vern go. Even typing those words brings tears to my eyes. No - I'm not ready for that. But I think I can convince myself that those physical things are in no way related to my connection to Vern.

St. Augustine said,
"Determine what God has given you, and take from it what you need; 
the remainder is needed by others."


Anonymous said...

Dianne, I think this is the most thought provoking and challenging blog that you have written so far. Thank you for the prod in the right direction.
Warmly, Darlene Duttlinger

Barbara said...

Dianne, I am so much in the same place as you.
I did get rid of the medical supply things over the summer, they made me nauseous every time I looked at them because I could only think of Mark in painful state. But the things that Mark loved, like wearing his Red Sox shirts or just the clothes he tinkered around the house with are dearest.. I have written about his green jacket which I still wear often. Pick and chose, letting some things go is OK, but keep the cherished ones.. make them your special go to things. I am going through such a terribly hard time, Mark's anniversary is next week.. I really can not believe it. Vern and Mark had such similar journies. I only wish I took the hospice path that you did, I think that would have given me more peace of mind in his passing. Be well sweet Dianne, you are in my heart and prayers.. be well

G.C. McKinney said...

In a way, the things our loved one used in life are our only physical connection to them now that their physical body is gone. You are brave for giving up your connection to them so that they may help enhance another's life. Thx for posting Dianne.

Lori said...

I know you think you should be further along or doing more, but I think you are doing just fine. You are doing, you are moving along, and you are asking more of yourself. Someone will come along that will be in need and you will gift them with these things you no longer need and feel good about it. Keeping your eyes open for those folks. Hugs!!!

PS I do the exact same thing. I think and ponder a lot about stuff I need to handle and resolve before it actually begins to happen. I beat myself up about it too. I've been trying not to do that and then try to think less and do more. Its a constant evolution. :)

Ellen said...

For the first time in 9 years, I am writing online about my Experience as a wife and caregiver. My husband of 36 years passed away from Kidney Cancer after 3 long years of trials including an allogenic ST.
A day does not pass that I do not think of him.
I never thought my life would change like it has.
I have a significant other of 6 years who was diagnosed with MM stage 3 last fall. I feel like this is DeJa Vu all over again. I am his primary caregiver and will be by his side throughout, including his AutoST in March.
Throughout the last nine years I have cared for my
daughter who had three brain tumor surgeries and cared
for my Mom who died of bladder cancer.
Somedays I wonder how I will continue to handle what life has ahead for me.
It has been a bumpy road and it took me a long time to Get through every day after my husband died. I truly live one day at a time and remember all the wonderful memories I have of those 36 years.

jaloysisus said...

Dianne, I was lucky/unlucky. Three weeks after Gwen died our two daughters got my brother and me tickets to a UM game, and while they were there they got of all of Gwen's clothing, shoes, etc. I feel kind of ambivalent about that. I would never want the girls to think I don't appreciate what they did. I kick myself because I knew what they were going to do, and it never occurred to me to go through Gwen's things first and save some things that had great personal meaning for me--a negligee, a pair of shoes, a blouse. . .

I heard this from a friend once, and have never forgotten it. When we give away things that seem valuable to us, we can focus on what we've lost, or we can rejoice that they will make someone deserving happy. I think of that every time I drive past the St. Vinnie's Store where all of Gwen's things were taken.

It's tough call, Dianne, your heart will tell you when it's time. Soon after Gwen's death I got rid of all her medical supplies (She was diabetic, and her doctor took all of her insulin, needles, etc.) I donated her walkers, wheel chair and other mobility devices to a local charity that benefits veterans. Again, when I am reminded of the good that is being done for others because things were donated it takes the sting out of it. It doesn't mean you are letting go of Vern if you choose to see it as honoring him.

Anonymous said...

I have not visited your site since just before Christmas and I feel a little quilty that after over two years of always checking in.Do not think I have forgotten you and Vern. Always in my prayers.

I was so thrilled that the gift of Sparkles we given with love , to you again.

I am not sure why you think that it is a requirement that you move through life at a more efficiant pace than you think you are. What if.....just what if, you left everything in your home exactly the way it it is until the day that you get up and say to yourself "OH, I know who I would like to give that to. I will donate this to a Vet, I will give this to the Salvation army.....' Everything is fine the way it is. One day when you least expect it, you will overhear a conversation or see someone on the street and you will know what you need to do. Until then, it's Ok. God just hasn't told you where it is needed the most yet. You are very perseptive and you will recognise the sign when it is given to you.

I moved my fathers chair from Michigan, after he passed and it sits in my living room with his reading glasses on the little table next to it, along with a carved duck that he always had on his night stand. No one knows why the glasses are there and I don't go into any explaination. We all find a way to keep those we love close. You will find yours, of that I am sure.

You always share so much of yourself and for those who feel the same but can't find the words to say it find comfort in your journal of life.

rutha said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


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