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About "The Space Between" Tab
The personal chatter space of this blog. Part 1 - get started here....
Greetings! & Hi There!
These are two common ways I tend to greet friends old and new. I hope you will identify as one or the other! There are many things I passionately love to talk about. I have tried to separate them on this blog into tabbed categories to help you easily navigate my chats and find the ones that interest or help you the most.
Anyone who knows very much at all about me knows I have a long standing passion for aromatherapy, natural skin care, herbs, natural medicine, natural health and general chemical-free living and I enjoy encouraging you to DIY projects on these subjects. Those topics are super easy for me to chat enthusiastically about, anytime, anywhere, for as long as you are interested.
Ask my kids and they’ll quickly tell you that I can easily and completely get caught up talking with any adult into what when they were little they called a “talk-trap”. The other tabs here (aka categories or newsletters on this blog) are intended to become filled with posts generally dedicated to those topics.
This tab is intended to be a place to share my thoughts in a more general and candid way. My life has so far, contained a large variety of experiences on a wide range of topics. I will try to share a window into some of those areas and add in here the stuff that doesn’t fit in the other tabs.
For those who don’t yet know me well, let me introduce myself a bit.
I was born in a good sized mid-west city as the firstborn to my mom (a public school teacher) and the second born to my dad (a journeyman carpenter). His firstborn didn’t live with us and so I was raised as a firstborn in most respects (for those who follow traits of birth-order). We lived in a lower middle class inner-city house until I was 5 years old, when they decided they didn’t want to raise children in the city. They bought a rundown, non-functioning, 36 acre farmstead that was rural enough to farm, but close enough to continue to commute to his work in the city for awhile yet. It was all they could afford and they worked hard to finance it. They had big dreams of restoring it, and turning it into a thriving, functioning dairy farm full of children both biological and foster/adopted. But dreams don’t always come true the way we expect.
Back up a 4 years….. I was 11 months old, my mom was 5 months pregnant for her second child, and only 2 weeks away from her 2nd wedding anniversary, when their world of dreams had it’s first big fork in the road. My dad frequently rode a motorcycle as his work transportation. On his way home, one Tuesday afternoon, he was going full speed thru an intersection under a green light when a car driver, not noticing the motorcycle, turned left in front of him. His motorcycle collided with the car and he flew 30 feet thru the air and landed on his helmet. The helmet was severely cracked, but my dad’s head was not. Had it not been for that helmet, he would have been doa on the pavement. He was ambulanced off to the hospital in a coma and it took over a week before he was alert and longer before he could remember anything.
It took the next several years and several surgeries for him to recover almost full function in his arms and legs from that accident. However, the brain trauma would change his life and last a lifetime. Brain injuries in the 70s were not well understood and his went mostly ignored once the initial swelling was gone. Now it’s called Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), and the lasting impacts and character changes are better known but still not fully understood. The impacts to his character and psyche were rarely discussed. Having no memory of him before the accident, I only knew the man who coped with an undiagnosed, untreated, unmedicated TBI. The term manic depression was not in my childhood vocabulary, but looking back now, I believe that definition fits well.
The trauma incurred when a spouse has a severe and life threatening injury is quite significant and should be more acknowledged and assisted as it’s own level of injury. In the 70s, it was ignored. Remember those were the years when a woman had to have a man’s co-signature to even open a bank account. Women were still considered “the Mrs” to the Mr and not so much an individual on her own. Consider the significant emotional difficulty in coping with a 1 year old, while 5 to 6 months pregnant, and holding down a full time public middle school teaching position, with a husband in a coma and unknown future function abilities, a mortgaged house and car, and in an era when single parenting was far from an accepted norm. Her plate was full. She ended up quitting her teaching position after the baby was born, and they lived on a tightly budgeted disability income while he recovered from arm and leg surgeries.
Now go back forward 4 years to buying that farm with those big dreams of leaving the city and becoming farming foster parents. The rundown farm was chosen because it fit the budget and allowed them to move. He was a carpenter and had hopes of living soon with less work hours and more farming hours to do all the restoration it needed. The next 5 years were spent doing the most basic restorations of the house to living status, including a full kitchen tear-out and redo, all floors tear-out and redo, and some structural shoring and beam restoration. Plus a pole barn shell. Along the way, they acquired several head of cattle, a few goats, a couple dogs, and a variety of rabbits, chickens, and cats. There are many entertaining stories that can be told of how the city raised dreamers navigated the run down farm and acquired a hodge-podged barn of critters. But the dreamers felt like their dream was being restored and reframed!
Until one day, the doctor called back with test results. My mom had had a mammogram. She had a breast spot she thought felt different. A mammogram was supposed to bring peace of mind. Instead it brought a phone call with a request for a biopsy. An outpatient biopsy became an inpatient surgery. And in the space of less than a month, she went from thinking “this spot might feel a little odd” to a complete mastectomy and a terminal stage 4 diagnosis with immediate chemotherapy. Again, life would never be the same. There are many stories that can be told here about how life with cancer changed us all. The retired public school teacher who was dreaming of helping struggling foster kids, now had to teach her own children to be able to be adults before chronology said they were. The Dr. told dad she had 3 months maybe. Her goal said there was 9 years to go before her youngest would be 18, and she wanted to be there or make sure we were at least prepared! And that is when our home education journey started. At a time when most people had no idea what the word homeschool meant and they thought it weird or bad and were negative instead of the positive responses our culture and even the colleges have now. Another story topic.
Oh God! Forgive me when I whine, I am blessed indeed, the world is mine. With feet to take me where I’d go, with eyes to see the sunset’s glow, with ears to hear what I should know. Oh, God, forgive me when I whine, I’m blessed indeed, the world is mine. That’s the repeated moral refrain from a longer story poem that I memorized and recited as a participant on the Children’s Bible Hour (a radio program for kids that ran from the 40’s to the 90s I believe). Yes, that’s another part of my story. An about 12 year service time in a traveling performing children’s group with a weekly broadcast on several hundred radio stations in the USA and translated into several languages for world wide distribution via missionary ministries. My mom believed that poem’s message and she lived it daily. She defeated that Dr’s sentence and accomplished her 9 year goal. Although it was a difficult road especially the last year. In that 9 years she endured several major surgeries, 3 rounds of difficult chemotherapy, some painful radiation, and an assortment of drugs to help quell the toxic effects of it all. She used as much natural health options as she could find (which was far less than we have now with the www at our fingertips), and her stubbornly optimistic goals.
Today I know that stress and illness go hand in hand and that illness often follows emotional traumas. I also know that mental attitude is way more important than we are typically taught. Oh, there are many other stories I could tell about how things work together to create the path we travel. And how the choices our ancestors made shape our paths more often than we realize. I’ve learned to seek answers. My shelves are full of books on many subjects related to the things mentioned here. I’ll share some with you as the posts here unfold.
I went on as an adult, to create my own life full of it’s own challenges and stories that have shaped me into the passionately chatting person I am today. I will attempt to relay many more life lessons wrapped in stories here, because as the header for this tab describes:
“Life is a learning experience. Sadly, we don't have enough time to learn it all first hand. It's better to collect and contemplate as much info as we can to make the most of the time we have! After all, time IS your most valuable and only irreplaceable asset. Come sit, chat, share, collect, & enjoy!”
And that my friend, is a few words more than our “5 minute chat time”.
So I will bid you ado for this round of tea, with a virtual hug, I will ask you to,
Come Back Soon! As Always, Thanks for taking the time to read!
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