SisterRain.net

Look At It This Way

I woke up blind without warning at 47, at the point where getting older had started to change the way I looked at life. It was a double-whammy of sorts but in retrospect, what better time to have your world turned upside down than when you have just begun to stand on your head?

 

Self Serve

If you could easily obtain one of the following, which would you choose? Which one do you need more than the others?

Love
Forgiveness
Faith
Patience
Freedom
Peace
Strength
Inspiration
Understanding
Confidence
Healing

We are all struggling with something. I certainly am. As I look over the list to consider what I most require, I realize that it is ever-changing. Yesterday I was desperate for strength, today patience. I can’t predict what my supply and demand will be tomorrow but I do know this. Whatever it turns out to be, I’m going to have to get it myself. Sure, we receive support from others, but no one but us can provide them for us. The only place to look is inside yourself, the most difficult spot of them all anytime, but when you are desperate for relief, turning inward for the result is like doing a google search with most of the keys missing.

I know this is how we grow but I would have no problem downloading “Inspiration” from Amazon like a Kindle book or picking up “Confidence” at the grocery store along with milk and bread. I’m pretty every single one of the above words would be found in the ice cream aisle. I’d sure risk the brain freeze, how about you?

 

My Spirit Animal

Piper went through a lot in his first six years, at one point he was part of a family with three other parrots, then surrendered to a bird rescue caring for over 200 birds. He was hatched in Florida and lived in New Jersey and New York, and these are just the locations we know about. 

As is to be expected, there was an adjustment period for all of us when he adopted my husband and I and, quite honestly, it took more time than I expected for trust to be gained. But as with all healing and recovery, it took as long as it took and could not be rushed. 

Piper has been with us now longer than he hasn’t and has us trained to his whim and his will. Yesterday, he bit me. The chomp was not the chomp of years ago when he was unsure of yet another new environment and unfamiliar people. I was insisting he “step up” onto my finger and, well, he didn’t want to. In his defense, I surprised him and sometimes his flight or bite instinct causes a lunge. I should know better than to have startled him. After all, our relationship is a two-way perch.

Piper is sweet and cuddly. He will sit on my finger or shoulder for long periods of time, preening his feathers or my hair, purring contentedly, eyes heavy with sleep. But he is also a spitfire; his spirit has not been broken by the upheavals of his life. As he perched on my hand only seconds after the nip, cleaning himself, I admired his spunk. He is, for all intents and purposes, who he always was, with the soft edges only love and security can bring about.

I have been struggling emotionally these last few months, feeling unmoored and sad for the majority of 2019. My therapist, friends and husband have been there for me, offering support and understanding. And with the minor sting of a beak, I had a major realization. If I am looking for an inspiring example of strength and resilience, I need not look further than my stinging finger.

 

 

*** Photo credit: Auntie D

 

Location, Location

My husband and I watch House Hunters International together and always try to guess which house the buyers will choose of the three they are shown. In a recent episode, the husband wanted the property on Mars, the wife preferring the one on Venus. My Martian and I were in agreement that one of them was going to have to compromise in a big way but our perspective on how that would occur pspeaks volumes.

My husband: “He may cave.”

Me: “She may bend him to her will.”

In real estate and relationships, it’s all about where you’re coming from.

 

Four Score, Seven Years And Two Great-Uncles Ago

I recently discovered that my great-great-grandfather served in the Civil War and although he was not at Gettysburg, his brother was. My two-times-great-uncle’s name is listed on a plaque affixed to the base of the Pennsylvania monument located on the Gettysburg battlefield, along with his regiment and all the men from the state who fought there in those early days of July 1863.

Road trip.

My husband and I went to Gettysburg, and as my finger traced the letters of my relative’s name, I felt like I was on an episode of Who Do You Think You Are? I teared up, I felt proud and as I had been doing all day since we arrived at the National Park, I imagined what it was like for him and the other 165,000+ men on the very ground where I stood. One of the most surprising things I learned that day was that the fighting went on in the dark, soldiers shooting and stabbing at each other blindly, the north and the south indistinguishable.

It was a beautiful day after a long winter and cars were continually pulling to the side of the road, their passengers getting out and climbing the steps to take a closer look at the impressive structure. As I slowly walked past the 34,530 names listed on the bronze tablets, I realized if the other visitors had an ancestor who fought here, their soldier had survived the horrific battle. If they hadn’t, there would be no future generations on their family tree. I have always loved history and in that moment, it came alive for me in a new way. Our country was forever changed in all the ways that only a war can, and I’m not referring to the outcome, who won, who lost. If you are reading this, your great-great direct lineage made it through all the struggles and strife that grew this country. And that is pretty sobering to comprehend.

In the coming weeks I will visit the graves of my great-great-grandfather and his brother. I will pay my respects, think about the days and nights they spent fighting for my life, and leave a small American flag by their headstones. And the pointer finger of my right hand will once again follow the letters of their names, with great revereance, appreciation and yes, love, for two men I never met but got to know on a battlefield called Gettysburg.

 

I Fell For Good

Ladies, have you ever had a tender spot for a guy your parents would hate, a rule breaker, perhaps wearing a leather jacket, smoking a cig, hair greased back, riding a motorcycle? I entered the dating world in the 80’s but obviously I’ve seen Grease one too many times. Whatever your description of a rebel is, in theory, girls all love a bad boy. It’s fun and exciting to be with someone who doesn’t care about convention and does what he wants. I have had a few of them in my life, a long time ago. And then . . .

I fell for a good boy.

I met my husband on a blind date thirty years ago next year. He was kind, thoughtful, loyal, honest, funny, not a mean bone in his body. Like any relationship, we have had our struggles, and his laid back approach to life rubs my Type A-ness the wrong way most days, and vice versa. He is even-keeled, steady and calm and I am the up and down ride in the dark.

As we ran errands on Saturday, we listened to CDs of a band we were devoted to 20+ years ago and recently saw in concert. I was finding it hard to believe that so much time had passed since my husband and I travelled all over to attend this group’s shows in the early years of our marriage. So many wonderful and difficult times have come and gone since then. Spring had arrived this weekend, the car windows were rolled down and the sound of motorcycles’ tailpipes blowing out the last five months of winter competed with the music. The “Vrooom! Vrooom!” of a Harley can still cause my heart to skip a beat but I know I have been right where I belong all these years. Our mid-size SUV is faster than a motorcycle but it really doesn’t matter. Girls who fall for a good boy always finish first.

 

Ride Or Die

“While it’s true there are things
you never forget how to do,
learning how to do them in a whole new way
can be daunting and exhausting.
But once you figure it out,
the freedom
and feeling of the wind in your hair
is worth it.”

—- Sister Rain

 

Not Left To My Old Devices

For as long as there’s been daily life technology, computers and other devices, every software update can make you feel like you’re learning a new language when only hours before you were fluent. And getting a new cell phone or tablet, the transfer of power, and let’s make no mistake about where the power lies, can be terrifying. Did my photos come over? Are my apps in the same order as they were on my old device? Have my settings all returned to factory default? Upgrading is a necessary evil that can turn us all into procrastinators. Especially those of us with little sight.

As I have shared with you in previous posts, my iPad Pro is my lifeline to the world. Using a laptop or desktop computer is difficult for me, the font needing to be so large on the screen it is, for now, more trouble than it’s worth. With a tablet, I can bring it close to my face which helps me to see things, easily pinch to enlarge and zoom. So when my beloved iPad began showing signs of end of life, I figured out ways to work around the issues, a proverbial roll of duct tape at the ready for each new symptom. Finally, my husband wore me down and I admitted to him and myself that it was time for a new tablet.

Fortunately, these days, if you have everything backed up on the cloud, all your bits and pieces should transfer seamlessly to your new device and in my case, that was the case. When they handed me the new iPad at the Verizon store, there was Pioer as my wallpaper, just as he appeared on my previous tablet. I let out my held breath and like my husband and the blind date where we met, we’ve been together ever since.

I now realize the time and effort I was exerting working with the problems of an aging iPad, but I stand by my conviction that I didn’t really mind. That tablet was my first after my vision loss and it brought me back to my technology-loving, Internet-junkie, writer-self. Just like the apps on my new device, I was right there, where I belong.

 

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