For those who use Google Photos and don’t know about a couple of features that make sorting photos into albums easier, let me tell you. There is a feature that lets you name every face that Google finds in your collection, and then Google will sort all the matching faces into their own Album by name. If you have a family where people have very similar features rest assured they’ll all be thrown into the other’s albums. My father and his brothers have really, REALLY confused Google a lot! LOL. Another thing you can do is start an album throw a photo into, then name the photo and again, it will sort by features and try to get the right photos in the album. In this way, you can sort through people and ‘pets’. It hasn’t done a great job of sorting our pets by face yet. hahaha!! Google also sorts by places, things, posters, dates, months, cities, and about anything else it can stick a name to. I saw a search for ‘dogs’ that was built into the Animals album. After searching for dogs, the algorithm came up with photos I had taken of deer, bulls, cats (calico & tabby), and of course, the dog! I don’t think Sadie would appreciate being mistaken for Jake. LOL, she’d be even more miffed at being confused for a Malamute! hahahaha!!! For what the service does do, it does save a LOT of time in sorting things for the sake of Albums… Just don’t expect perfection. You won’t get it!
When I was watching the Curlews on the beach the other day, and taking pictures of their wonderful selves…. I remembered a show I saw as a kid, “The last of the Curlews”. And I kind of brushed off the memory. Mostly because I did not believe that I was remembering anything right, and because I did not think I was looking at real Curlews. I really did not think that I was looking at Curlews.
Well, tonight, I remembered the show again, so I typed the title that I remembered (which was exactly correct) into Google. I found that those birds on the beach are called Curlews. I also found that I remembered the detail of there being an After School Special, was correct. It was the very first after-school special ever and showed in October of 1972. I was all of ten years old when the show aired. The story was about a sub-species of Curlew called an Eskimo Curlew.
I thought about it some more after all remember a story from when you are ten years old. What was it that made the memory stick all these years. After some thought, I know why the memory stuck with me so long. The story caused me to cry…. I cried hard over those little birds and how they were going extinct. A little girls tender heart even at 10 years old showed some compassion for another being. If I were my daughter, I’d been proud that she was capable of such feeling.
The birds on the beach and the birds in the story are probably not the exact same subspecies of Curlews, but obviously, they looked close enough alike to jog my memory. I did not know until I looked it up tonight, that it was a work of fiction, based on what the author thought was happening in the world in his time. I might not have cried so hard had I known it was ‘just a story’. But, then…on the other hand, I cried when Dumbo was being rocked by his momma, and I cried over several of the Lassie shows, so maybe not. 🙂
More photos will be available in the ‘gallery’ under the ‘photography’ link in the menu. From there just click “Photography 2019”
This past week has been very, very busy. On the 18th, I saw my cardiologist who looked at my MRI Scan of my heart results and declared that I probably have not had a heart attack or else my ejection rate would not be back at a normal rate (with help of medications). I now own NO dead heart muscle and I am allowed to do anything I want/can physically. So my main goal is to work my health back up to as good as it can be. I found it interesting that he did not even change my medications, though I have the beginnings of Cardiac Artery Disease (CAD). I guess I am not far enough in for the change he thought I might have needed in an earlier appointment. This is all GREAT news!!!
Two days later, as if on cue, my husband said,”Honey, I think I need to go to the hospital.”His chest hurt mildly, and he did his home EKG and found that the pattern matched the picture that the cardiologist (same as mine, Dr. Fred VanDis, Roseburg –we both highly recommend him, get there before he retires!) drew for him so he’d know what Afib looked like. So, I drove him to the hospital around 6:30ish. The intake crew immediately confirmed Afib. Blood was drawn pretty quickly. And in the long run, it came back normal. So there was no heart attack in the making, just Afib. Now, don’t think that I am taking Afib lightly, I am very aware that it can cause life-ending blood clots that lead to stroke. In those moments, I was pretty damn scared, but, you know, you have to be strong for the one actually going through the actual problem. Of course, he was very full of humor. If he was scared, he sure wasn’t letting on.
He got his very first ever, shock. You know, you see it on TV, with the paddles and all. It was determined that he’d caught the Afib and got himself into the emergency room fast enough that shocking the heart was actually an option. If he’d been in Afib for days (as he was the first time) then a shock to the heart is out of the question because there is a good chance that a blood clot has formed and a shock could help it circulate through the system and create a stroke. He consented and signed his life away. The crew knocked him out, and the crew noted how ‘entertaining’ he was while he was on the way out. Then they shocked him.
In the meantime, I very willingly, stepped out as asked. I do believe that would have been too hard for me to watch in all honesty. I got to the waiting room. I used the girls’ room, and I played one game of solitaire. Then Kyle (part of the intake crew, and expert blood drawer) came out to get me and let me know they were done, and that it was a success. They then began to let him know that as he was able he’d be ready to go home. He was still somewhat groggy. But, his heart tried to go into Afib again, so they decided he had to stay and be watched for 30 more minutes after he was given metoprolol in his IV. Probably an hour later, after his heart had finally settled down for a full 30 minutes, he got to go home. We were home and in by 3:35 am.
While there…we talked about what might have triggered the Afib, as apparently it can be triggered by outside things like stress, exercise, etc. We decided it was probably the physical stress of taking out a mature butterfly bush. Our oldest bush, at least 10 years old, was showing signs of considerable decay— aka rot! He was able to just push branches off with his foot. But, that was foot, leg muscles (the strongest in the body) and quite a bit of effort. OF course, there is also the underlying stress of his bankruptcy. But, we think ultimately, it was the butterfly bush.
But, you know the very next morning (er, same morning) we were both up doing what we had to do. He fixed our push weed wacker and started the lawn mower for me. I finished the front yard, and he started working on the very back which was knee deep in grass and weeds. I pushed the lawn mower to the place that I was afraid I was too weak to do, and the truth is I had to stop once and just breathe. I am not as strong as I was, but I can see now that as long as I have my medications (until my heart gets stronger) that I should be able to do whatever I did before. Good news!! And he got all of the inside of the back yard done. What he did was really no big deal back in the old days, but now, knowing that I didn’t even want him out there, well, I was happy he made it and did not go into AFib. He’s been told he can no longer participate in strenuous exercise. Of course, the joke is…what in the world will you do when sex becomes strenuous. His answer is that he’s going to die a very happy man. LOL
And two days after this round of Afib, and getting put to sleep, and then being shocked to reset the heart’s electrical signal, it was my 57th birthday. He offered me a day trip, which I gratefully accepted. We made a huge circle. And made it to the Oregon coast. He drove the whole way and never once even looked tired. He’s an amazing man. And though, I know he was not trying to prove anything, on our trip, we stopped in Port Orford at Battle Rock to walk on the beach. The man can’t see a rock that he isn’t trying to climb them. Up and over he went, two days after an episode of Afib. Indeed, life goes on…
Note All images copyright April 23, 2019, Peggy A. Rowe-Snyder. Do not use without prior written permission. These and other High-Resolution shots from this day are available for purchase.
Not quite sure just why I am so worn out at the end of each day. I am not liking that I can not accomplish all that I want each day. LOL, I am not used to being slowed down. I wanted to write what is below last night and did not have the energy.
Yesterday’s class about ‘purpose’ confirmed for me that which I knew. I’ve known my purpose, such as it is, for a long, long time. We were given a shortened version of the workshop that the Blue Zone’s project workshop. If you live in Douglas County, then you qualify to take the workshop. (google: blue zones, Umpqua).
I am a person who has made for myself, many purposes. But, the end game for me has been for a long, long time – – expressing why (the argument), (especially) women and children need protection from abusive behaviors that are for the most part still condoned by society at large. Our country does a lot of lip service about protecting women and children. And there are a lot of compassionate, and honorable people out there trying to make a difference. But, there are just as many more willing to turn their heads, sweep under the rug, and deny what really goes on in the world, in their families, and to their children and grandchildren.
The trigger that led to this purpose was having a child hurt by my stepfather. I choose my child over everyone/anyone else in the family. I have been accused of betrayal because I chose my child. Hence, I have lost family to what I felt, and still, feel is right. It is a mighty painful price to pay, and having said that, the ‘pain’ from the situation keeps me writing about my situation, and what I learn from it. (The truth is all my children were touched in one way or another by this horrendous crime)
Of course, I have realized over the years, after years and years of education and picking up of the pieces, that domestic violence in my primary family played into and set us (kids) up for what happened in our family life as adults. And having said that the study of history and genealogy has led me to the conclusion that it is all generational — in other words, it is what we grow up knowing. Unless we educate ourselves about it, we are doomed to repeat it. George Bernard Shaw said that men are basically too stupid to learn from history. I beg to differ. All of us are capable of learning. Hence, my purpose.
I am one of many, many voices trying to change the future for women, children, men….. everyone and anyone who has felt the sting of a backhand, or the belittlement of a cruel statement, a threat of bodily harm, and the bruises from hands that one can not keep off another. Sexual abuse of any form. Everything I have done in my life since 1991 when I found out that MY child was hurt has come back down to this. Whether it is working to heal myself and my family, working to keep my children safe and healthy, writing for publications, including my own blog, studying history (all of it), or loving my genealogy. No one will ever silence me. Because it is increasingly apparent to me that it is going to take EVERY VOICE OF EVERY PERSON who is willing to make the changes in our culture that are needed.
I understand that friends and family (some of them) wish that I would shut up. Just know that I can not and will not. It is a drive and passion that, I think, only one that fills my particular shoes can know. I am the mother of a person(s) who was hurt for a lifetime. I am the daughter of a person who considers themselves the biggest victim in the whole situation. I am a friend to many who simply do not understand the enormous consequences (i.e. mental and physical health) of generation after generation of violence in the family. The sad part is that I am nowhere near unique.
I am planting seeds. And I know it. I have known it for a long, long time. Everything else is an end to a means. All else helps to support the main purpose one way or another. My life has been a participant based, customized, education-that leads this person who is meant to make a difference at some point for someone. I’ve gotten practice in writing, public speaking, and just plain making my point. It all comes down to that. The only thing that will ever stop me, is when my life stops. And I hope when that comes, I will have said enough to someone(s) to have made a difference – for at least one abused child, or one abused wife / husband. Nuff said.
I have been reading. It turns out that 1 in 10 families live with one sort of parent/child estrangement or another. People stay silent about it due to shame, guilt, and other reasons. I myself have kept reasonably silent about it. Only people closest to me know about what is going on in my life, at least with my kids. I am not at all quiet about the fact that I’ve not spoken to my mother in about 25 years now. That is a story that legally I should not share. But, suffice it to say that her side is that I betrayed her. My side is that I choose my seven-year-old daughter. It is impossible to betray a person who SAID, “I had to protect myself from ***** because I was afraid that he would divorce me and marry her.” ***** was a total of seven years old when the statement was made. My stepfather was 57 years old, and my mother was in her early 50’s. In her very sick thought process, though she probably never saw it in concrete terms (due to denial) she made my daughter the ‘other woman.’ This made a seven-year-old a threat to a 50 something-year-old. There was no comparison, and there was never an excuse for any kind of thought process that came to a deduction such as this. I could never in a million years betray that sickness. Not that I am incapable of the behavior, but that it is impossible for a daughter to betray a mother whose thought processes are so sick that she blames a child for behaviors that she can only honestly, blame on her husband who was a predator. It is impossible, betrayal is not possible–when you are placing the blame for a lost cause marriage on a seven-year-old child. So, this particular estrangement, while it is sad, and I have cried a lot over the years, is probably something for the better. We are at such an impasse, and she denies that she ever said the things she said. Emotionally, it is obvious that my mother is every bit as emotionally abusive as my father, and stepfather ever were.
I have kept quiet about the issues with the kids exactly because of guilt and shame. Even though, I know I did not do anything major wrong. In fact, even one of the daughters sent me a text and told me that no matter what happens, it’s not my fault. No explanations as to why I am being treated as I am. That is what is going on between ourselves and our 2nd oldest.
Let me just say now, before I move on, that I am sorry for the way things worked out. I would have approached the situation differently if I had to do it all over again. But, the end result would have probably been the same. As keeping a child away from an abusive mouth was the goal. Moving on….
With our oldest, the story is quite different. She said some things that caused red flags to fly. I decided to try and protect a child as best I could, and it bit me in the butt. I knew it would. I did not know what else to do. She is a confrontational type, and can have a mean mouth, and an attitude that if she’s right and angry then anyone else is in the room better sit down, shut up and listen. That attitude may work with others but it does not work with me. In fact, with me, that attitude has created a chasm. It has kept me at arm’s length (and others, including her newly adopted father) from her for years and years. Further, if I let the attitude stand in her treatment of me, then as I age, and become more vulnerable, then I dare say I don’t want to be under her care. We, I, love her with all our hearts, but when angered, which can be triggered easily, we avoid it at all costs, including changing our behavior in her presence and not talking about or saying things that might normally be said elsewhere.
The truth is, I’ve been afraid of her for years, because of her rough, tough, macho attitude. As I age, I’ve protected myself more and more by wrapping myself up with tools such as never being alone with the said child. The bottom line here is that I’ve seen this train wreck coming for years. In the long run, I do not harbor a lot of guilt about this other than perhaps, I could have chosen a better father for my children. And I wish I had known what domestic violence was when I was young. So much of this could have been avoided had I only had the education.
You know, I never considered myself a perfect mom. Just never happened. Never will. One sees what they see, they hear what they hear, they mull the situation over and contemplate what the best way forward is. I have pretty much consistently done the best I could in each situation. My daughter knows that I put children’s safety first and foremost and if she’d think about it, considering that I was trying to protect a child from that harsh and angry mouth. (and only from that mouth). A mouth that had already done damage (according to what she told me, she did not realize it, else she’d never shared). No child deserves to be confused or manipulated (intended or not). So, my imperfect ways created a rift that will probably be life long.
Hence, a mourning process. One does not estrange themselves (purposely or accidentally) without emotional pain. When it comes to children, regardless of the reason for the estrangement the pain is in the extreme. Nothing in this life has ever hurt me more. And I’ll tell you, my father left our family when I was 16, and then he died when I was 21. As stated earlier my mother and I quit speaking 25 years ago, and my eldest daughter had already divorced me once before when she was around 12 years old. Emotionally, I’ve been through the wringer. But, nothing, and I mean NOTHING hurts as much as losing two kids to estrangement.
It took quite some time of mourning. This has been going on for about three years, perhaps longer. I have purposely not been timing it all, I don’t want to know. It just hurts too much. The mourning process has gone through the normal phases several times: 1. Denial and isolation; 2. Anger; 3. Bargaining; 4. Depression; 5. Acceptance.
The kids themselves may read this and laugh at the isolation part, but the truth is, when you do not share with others because of guilt and shame that makes it so that you are indeed, isolated. And while my husband has known since day one, and been very, very supportive–the isolation is still there. No one and I mean NO ONE, can feel the pain but me. And considering I am the one who has spent years and years with these kids (present husband is my 2nd and not the bio. father of the kids)—in my pain, I am utterly alone. I have been in and out of the anger part, too. Including the indignant, “how can they treat me this way?” That was an emotionally necessary phase to go through, but also a perfectly good waste of time. It doesn’t change anything, and the energy used could have been put to so much more efficient use. I’ve tried to bargain (and beg, and plead) with the kids, with the devil, with God, with my husband…. all to no effect. Another emotional necessity, total waste of time. Depression and me, well it just happens. This situation along with health issues that crept up on me have led me to drive away expecting to never come back alive. That was at the worst of it. I have dealt with long term depression over the kids. I believe that at the height of it, the struggle was in learning to finally let go. But, before I could do that, I had to return to mourning in a sort of way, this time as if they were dead. My children no longer walk in my world. They do not exist. They are no longer part of my thought process in terms of planning for the future– I have chosen to move forward without taking them into account for any part of my future. Firstly, they inherit nothing. When on my deathbed, they need not appear, for it would only torture me, and at that point, I’ll just want peace. Eventually, if I have my way we’ll sell our house and move far away, and they will not be informed where we (or I) will go. I do not want to be under their care when am old and fragile. And yes, husband is very aware of this attitude and agrees. I guess this whole process ended up with an acceptance in that there is nothing I can do about the situation, and nothing is going to change (ever as far as I can see), and so I might as well quit punishing myself, as it is not all my fault. In fact, most of it, if not all of it, is not my fault. I have children who need to grow up, and learn to communicate — depending on the child either they just need to learn new communication skills, or they need to think about what they say, and not say it out loud again, because if they are not going to change their ways, then they at least need to not admit to their mother what they said to the small child. It puts their mother in a very bad, bad spot–in that I will always choose the safety of a child, ANY child.
The last time I was estranged from my oldest, I waited until she was around 16 years old, and it then dawned on me that, I’d purposely chosen to stay in the same town so that when she was ready and able she could find me. I’d made a website dedicated specifically to her, a communication and invitation to come home. I went through all the same stages, in that I thought it through, and tried to figure out why, and I tried to bargain, beg and plead. I even legally tried to get her back. But at a point, I realized she was old enough to get what she wanted, and if she wanted me in her life she could choose to make contact. At that point, I lit a candle, and I said goodbye. I choose to move on.
Today, I have yet to light the candle, which I think will finalize the situation in my mind. This time, I will light three. One for my mother, one for both daughters. In fact, maybe I will light six. Two others for other family members who are deceased, or that I am just not on good terms with because of the stress of these situations over the years. One for my own heart, and it’s healing, and a conscious renewal of health.
I’ll light these candles because emotionally it’s just time. But, I’ll also light those candles because of the physical toll this has taken on my body. One heart attack later, which was due specifically to the mourning process. I think this speaks volumes about how serious I have taken these situations, and also speaks to the very real and deep pain, I just need to let this go. For me to heal from this heart attack, I need to let go, and let myself live the most fully that I can with no more guilt, no more shame. It is time for me to stop the punishment and be best that I can be.
In a final note, to all the parents in similar situations, know… I feel your pain. There are websites (I very recently discovered) that are there for the specific reasons of supporting you. They have things for sale (if you wish) including self help books, and even memberships to supportive forums where you can talk to others in the same boat. But, there are even more FREE resources to help you through. In fact, it was through these free resources that I discovered that I was truly not alone, and that we parents who are estranged are a major portion of the population at large. Do not remain silent. Share your pain with others. Let go of the guilt and pain. Look for concrete ways to overcome and get on with your life. Light a candle, let it go, and move on before it kills you. Live your best life. If there is ever to be a reconciliation it will happen in it’s own time, when all parties are emotionally ready, and not before. Go outside and play!
Some search terms you may wish to put into any search engine (each is a link that will go through Google):
I have been given the diagnosis that most people just don’t want to hear. My heart is in such good shape after having a heart attack, that I can drop dead at any moment. The heart doctor said he could not believe how good I look considering how sick I am. The only treatment known to work for what I have is losing the weight, and exercise. Of course, I’ll be medicated and medicated. Right now, I’d be happy to be rid of the constant chest pain, and pain in my shoulders and arms (angina).
Genetics plays into this. Stress from family members (i.e. KIDS, now), Childhood Abuse (ACE – 7+) all play into this. I’ve told more than one person that this is all a result of a broken heart, and I’ll tell you what, I kid you not.
But what makes me unhappy is not the situation in and of itself, I knew it was coming eventually. But, I do not consider myself old, and I have tried to take care of myself including going mostly vegan over three years ago. I just don’t understand why, no matter what I have done to protect myself (No smoking ever, No drinking, No wild life, No drug abuse history) I have not managed to protect myself. I’ve been taking statins since the day they hit the market. I started taking Metformin before I went Diabetic. I went Diabetic after a neighbor from hell stalked me enough that I became a prisoner in my own home. I could not work in the yard anymore. I quit moving. Some of this IS on him. He a drug addict and mostly broke, or I’d sue the shit out of him. (Kelly Roper, Myrtle Creek)
This is basically a rant. I got a diagnosis that I do not want, and that I will fight until I can’t fight anymore. No one wants to live more than I. My life is not miserable much. LOL.
OK, I’m done. For now… Diagnosis, Class I (can go up to Class III) Ventricular something or other. I’ll probably be looking at cardiac rehab really soon. I need to move closer to the hospital.
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