Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Depression Depot...All Aboard!

My post about depression brought in the greatest numbers of readers I have ever seen.  I don't feel so all alone now.  I am not riding solo on this crazy train, which is comforting at the same time it is sobering.  I am disheartened that so many others suffer from the ultimate sadness ever known.

This is an update to my mind's working as I type.

I am far better. 

I look out and see blue skies instead of seeing skies the color of old black and white movies.  I see the sun shining and appreciate the bright yellow of it's warming glow.  I no longer want to run and hide like Count Dracula when Sol makes his appearance in the early morn.

I can take a deep breath and exhale and not regret it.

I don't weep at every little thing and I can now arise from my bed with purpose (when my muscles allow). 

Food has flavor once more, my children's laughter is even more contagious that it ever has been.

I did not get this way alone.  I sought help.  I take medicine. 

Please don't say to your dear ones, "Snap out of it!"  Time does not heal everything.  There are moments in our lives where we are not strong enough to go it without professional help.  Would you tell someone with a ruptured appendix to snap out of it?  Depression is a medical condition AND a life threatening one if not treated.

Thank God I had a great support system and the knowledge to do what had to be done.  Damn the stigma!  Who cares what people think when it comes to your physical and mental health.  You must take care of yourself, no one will do it for you.

Again, I beseech you, if you know of some one suffering, talk to them.

If you feel like they are a danger to themselves then call National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Life is worth living, trust me.


Monday, November 12, 2012

The Spider and the Chief

  As I have said in the past, my writing sometimes comes in the form of dreams.  I dreamt of a fable, so bear with me.  I have never written a fable before, but the dream was clearly one.  I am no Aesop, just a tiny warning.

The Spider and the Chief

In a tiny village there lived a great Chief and his loyal tribe.  They were a peaceful race, full of love and happiness.  Despite their shortage of food, they thrived with smiles on their faces and minds filled with stories of the Great Spirits.  They had only one enemy, the Queen spider and her army of workers.  One bite would take the life of his precious kinsmen, and send them on a journey to meet with the Old Ones.

Summer was nearly over and it was time for the tribe to start storing food.  The scarce supply they had would last only a week, maybe two.  It was time to go out in to the deep forest to see if they could reach the berries. 

The purple and blue berries carried a magnificent perfume and their taste was other-worldly.  The Chief said they were the "ambrosia of the Great Spirits".   They were high in the tree tops and it was very rare when one would drop and be retrieved by a tribe member, for the forest they were in was spider territory.  The Queen was not one to share her special treasure of the berries, they were hers and hers alone.  She would send her army out to bite any human that dare attempt to steal her fruit. 

One day, as the spiders were gathering the berries, they were attacked.  High in the canopies of the trees lived the Great Bird.  He had been watching the spiders for weeks and decided he would now make his move.  He picked off several of her little soldiers and happily snacked on them, screeching out his pride to his flock.  They too, moved in to feast with him, smiling as they devoured their prey.

The Queen was outraged!  They were too fast to bite, too strong to fight and could fly away so very easily.  She had to think of something to save her family.

As the moon opened it's eyes upon the land, the Chief heard a very small voice.  "Oh, wise Chief, please hear and honor my request."   The chief looked around and could not see what was speaking to him.  "Down here, on the floor before you!"  The chief looked down and before him were 20 spiders, with the Queen in the front.  "Dear Chief, I feel we have been wrong to your clan.  My army has bitten many of your men and I have come to ask for forgiveness."  The chief gazed down upon the tiny spiders, unsure of the menacing creatures.  The medicine man would not be fooled by such trickery.  "Do not listen to evil tongues, Mighty Chief!  She is surely lying!"  The chief held his hand out to the medicine man and looked at the Queen and spoke, "What is it you want from us, tiny ruler?"

The Queen stepped aside as part of her army brought forth three very small pies.  "Dear Chief, I have brought you lovely pies of berries as a peace offering.  I only ask that you help rid us of our enemies, the Great Bird and his people."

"Do not eat these pies, Mighty Chief!" spoke the medicine man.  "She has obviously put her venom in them and is trying to send us to the Old Ones!"  The chief picked up a pie and took a small bite.  A smile crossed his lips, "These are very delicious.  I once had a berry when I was a child and I had forgotten how wonderful they were."  The medicine man cried out "NO! What have you done?  You have now just committed yourself to a life with the Old Ones!" 

"Old friend", said the chief, "The Queen is a wise one.  If she were to poison me, no doubt you and the other men would have stepped on her and her army, killing them instantly.  I have no fear of poison being in these pies.  She is truthful.  How may we be of service, tiny ruler?"

"I have a proposition, Dear Chief, bring your men to the forest so that they may protect my workers as we gather berries.  You will have plenty to eat as the Great Bird and his people are large and juicy.  You will not only have the tender meat of the birds, but we can never eat the amount of berries we harvest before the next bloom, so we will share those with you also."  The Mighty Chief pondered this request of the Queen. "You will no longer bite my people?"  "Oh no, Dear Chief, your people and my people will work in harmony from this day forward, so that we may also thrive as well as you."

The chief nodded in agreement.  The very next day, the tribesmen were off to the deep part of the forest.  The Great Bird and his family were no match for the skill in which the natives used their arrows.  They fell easily and the spiders rejoiced.  They were able to work at such a great speed without having to worry about being gobbled up, that they gathered much more berries than they could carry.  Berries were raining down upon the chief's tribe like the Great Spirits were blessing them.  The spiders happily crawled home and the tribe gathered up the birds and berries and were prepared for the winter, both having achieved their goals.  They lived in harmony together for many, many years, each giving and taking to make life pleasurable.

Even mortal enemies can come together, for the greater good of all.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Green Eggs and Ham

  Welcome to the 1st annual Green Eggs and Ham awards!

Why are they called this?  Well, they represent me!  My green, chemo eggs and my hammy personality, my dad was Sam and my twins were born on Dr. Seuss' birthday.  Now you are catching on!

These awards are to honor those people in my life that have supported, helped, inspired and impacted my life from diagnoses to this last year of remission. IF you were not mentioned, you have just been over-looked by mistake.  Send me a message like, "Dammit Wendy, remember how I did.... "  and I will edit this award show. Don't mince words, don't be offended, just message or call.  No one is INTENTIONALLY left out. 

Best All Around Support System-  Damon Stickney, Barb Chandler and Stacey Mabry.  Thank you for constantly being there not only for me, but for the children as well.  It doesn't matter what the request is, if you can honor it, you will, no questions asked.  You are the most giving and loyal friends and I greatly appreciate all of you.  I just don't say it enough and I really should.  I love you all.

Best in Inspiration- three-way tie!  Bruce C. Rosenberg, Renee Heidtman, and Kristen Johnston.  Bruce, you inspired me to continue the fight and to enjoy every moment life has to offer, and for that sir, I honor you daily.  You amazed me and your memory will last for all eternity.  Rest in Peace sweet friend.  Renee Heidtman, you inspire me daily.  Your fight and strength, grace and enthusiasm during a dark time is mesmerizing.  Kristen, you have saved so many with your book, GUTS and continue to inspire by example.  You lit a fire under my butt, with your words, so that I may share my darkness and try to follow in your foot-steps.  You start charities that are so very important (SLAM), and tell it like it is.  What an honorable trait!  Helping people is so gratifying and I thank you.  You all are loved by this girl.

Best in Humor and Support-  Reina Phillips.  Thank you Reina, for showing me what a pair of nuts we are in this pea-pod built for two.  You are my sista from another mista and I love you.  Thank you for taking care of my family when I couldn't. 

Best in Strength- Julie Rosenberg.  Lady, you never cease to amaze me.  You 'Berg women certainly know how to get up and out during the most difficult of times.  I so admire you for standing tall despite what you have gone through.  I draw from that strength and hope I can be as strong as you one day.  Love you.

Best in Love- 5 way tie!  This award is shared among Scott, Seth, Tabitha, Addison and Serenity.  My love for you and your love in return has been just the medicine I really needed.  Never forget how much I love and appreciate all you do for you mother.  I treasure every second we have together.

Best Entertainment-  The Pit Crew.  Thank you for all the laughter.  It was all of you that made me giggle through tears, laugh through pain and remain strong in our bond for one very special man.  What an amazing group of people you are and I am truly honored to have been a part of this with you.  Much love and Unicorn farts.

Best in Long Distance Support-  Sheelagh Smyth. I have never quite told you how much you have meant to this family.  You totally saved this family when we were desperate and saw no hope in sight.  You are there with your humor, hope, friendship and french fry penises and we love you.  May the Money Fairy rain constant showers of money and good fortune upon your head.

Best in Guidance- Claudia Armstrong.  My sister, my friend and my own personal "Dear Abby".  Her advice and wisdom comforted me and led me to a better place in life.  I love you, big sister.  I wouldn't trade you for all the world.  I am so glad and proud to call you sister, but even more proud to say you are my friend as well.  We stand tall together, defend each other and if I was given a choice for a sister, I would have picked you.

Best in Food and Drinks-  2 way tie!  Lee Bacon and Jill Timmerman.  Lee and Jill, I will never forget our adventure with fried pickles and crab legs!  I still laugh at that time and it's a favorite memory.  I love you guys dearly and love our Starbucks time together as well, Jilly.  Best friends come and go, but you have been a constant since high school and are more like a sister to me.  Lee... what can I say?  Thanks for the hilarity and loyalty.  The emotional support was amazing and I thank you for that also.

Honorable Mentions- Jimmy Page, Beth and Curtis Nice, Kimberly Rutter Weld, Dacia Houser, April Bradley, Janus Haeussler, Leigh Morphies, Christine Nutile, Sonja Elliott, Crystal Elliott, Desiree Elliott, Tiffany Elliott, Doug Elliott, Wayne and Barb Elliott, Matthew and Nicole Elliott, Gary Elliott, Dale Elliott, Carla Hiltunen, and Cara Shuerman.  I love you all for everything you did, be it support, surprising me before surgery, texts, phone calls, letters, it mattered. YOU mattered.

Thank you to every body listed and many more not listed.  It's been one year since I was diagnosed as "in remission" and I couldn't have reached that point without any of you! 

Monday, November 5, 2012

In the Closet

Bare with me for a few moments and deal with the first paragraph. 

I am a closeted Twilight fan.  Okay, so not too much in the closet as my friends and family know I love it.  I know, I just dropped like a hundred cool points with you, right?  Okay, again, bare with me as to why and continue reading.  Thank you.

Stephanie Meyer took vampirism to a whole new level.  The "sparkling" gimmick that has so many hating these movies is what endears me to them.  She went in a different direction with the vampire legend and for that I respect her.  She's showing individualism.  Good job!  Here's where I get to my mind-blowing thoughts:

How many OTHER legends have been changed over the hundreds of years that we've had the written word? 

Mind blown now?  Mine was.  As I sat and thought about this, my book-loving mind shot to history lessons and classic legends.  Let's say that Homer, while writing The Iliad, changed it up.  Are we sure it was a Trojan HORSE?  What if Homer was sitting there, quill in hand (or scribe in seat next to him) and was like, "No way!  I can't tell this tale the way it went.  Trojan Duck's just aren't cool!  Who sends a duck full of soldiers,anyway?  Egad, I must make this better than real.  HORSES!  YES! Women LOVE horses!"  Thus began the legend as we know it, the Trojan Horse.  What about Paul Bunyan and Babe, the big blue ox?  What if he was a real man?  He could have been larger than the average size of ,men at the time, inspiring someone to write about a giant!  Babe could have been so black that she appeared blue, promoting her popular color. 

People change stories all the time to make them their own, to elaborate on them. What we hold to be facts or legend isn't necessarily so and Stephanie Meyers just proves that.  A few hundred years from now, generations will be wondering what is truly fact or fiction about vampires (even though they truly don't exist) just based on one small change made in our time period. If you recall, vampires couldn't cross running water, yet so many books and movies have removed that big piece of information. 

Writers embellish!  They make all topics sound glamorous or exciting.  They write to keep you reading.  Would you really read a story about a Trojan Duck or a story about an above average height man with his black ox that couldn't carry a whole tree on his shoulder?  Neither would I....