Monday, August 25, 2008

A Summer of Acceptance

What a beautiful break this has been. Dave had a wonderful birthday and a bountiful veggie garden. He grew all the goodies for homemade salsa and peach pie, among others. The apples and grapes will be here soon. His salmon Begonias have arrived in all their splendor, just as most of the garden is nearing its end. September will be full of visitors, along with a speech pathologist to help me "bank my voice." This software will eventually also type with my eye, using a laser, when my typing finger calls it a day. Right now I need to spend about 10hrs recording phrases in my voice for the future, like "you wanna fool around?" and "I love you."

I've been writing poetry when I should be editing my older stuff. Dave and my buddy Pam, aka Batman, had birthdays so I wrote them each a poem. I've chatted with many blog buddies on the phone, like the birthday girl Lucy, Nancy, Robbin, Pam and Annie. I have also enjoyed emails from Julie, AKA Star, and viewing Tara's wedding photos from Georgia. Robbin is handling her chemo like a warrior and Pam took a girls road trip in her new van to Maine. Her community had an ALS fundraiser so she could get a van. She is FREE! I've carried you all with me on my break and I'm anxious to return. I've read all of your post's on bloglines so I feel in the loop.

I will be taking a memoir writing course at after I've paid the repairs on the old house. The many writing courses are not cheap but they are taught by reputable writers, thanks Nina. Poetry classes must wait but I don't see why I can't practice here. ;) I bet you all thought I was vegging out here. ;)

I now do Facebook but I'm still quite the novice. I have also become more active on the site "PatientsLikeMe." I've learned through this site to lose my survivor's guilt and finally accept my ALS DX. I no longer feel like an outsider because I now have more knowledge and knowledge is power. I have had things explained by other patients in ways that not one doctor has even tried to explain in my 17yrs with ALS.

I'm still swimming without that TIGHT wetsuit, but now I'm giving swim lessons. Thighs appear larger in water, I swear! Those are my wetsuit booties with weights wrapped around my ankles. Nikki had no idea where she was headed. :)

Tammy with NO make-up and looking mighty happy.

Journey of Acceptance

One day it had finally sunk in
what I had to accept, and name,
though I fought not to settle
on Lou Gehrig’s
for I felt it never fit
though my body
knew the secret
and locked it deep within
my future’s hope chest.

I knew I had to unlock it
though a storm blew
with its dark clouds
at the center of my being,
even though time became
my safe harbor
a fear was forever lurking
in the thickening mist.

It had been too long
and a hard time
with pieces of debris
scattered on the shore.
But piece by piece,
as I gathered time’s knowledge,
the sun began to shine
through parting grey clouds,
and there came a resolve
which had a name
though it is not who I am,
but only a piece of me
as I walk along the shore
stronger in knowing.

By Tammy for Tammy

1 in 1000 will get ALS , please find a "Walk to Defeat ALS" in your community.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Wish You Were Here!

Stepping back from blogging was a very liberating experience. I've gained perspective on the realities of blogging and my writing. I discovered that my personality lead me up an insurmountable hill of being a diligent commenter and a good writer. Now, I'm sleeping over 10hrs a night and love the freedom of my day this break has given me. I've gone back to 2005 and have re-worked 19 poems so far. It was amazing to see my progress but I have a lot of room for improvement. I'm grateful for the encouraging comments and wonderful poetry I've been exposed to but I need classes in English, poetry and creative writing.

My back deck is where I go to think after reading my past posts and comments. I've discovered that I'm a storyteller first and foremost. I am enjoying playing with my poetry and I will get them bound for Dave before I move on to my story. My story is for TK and since he is just 2 years old I have plenty of time. I'm not finding the online only courses I want yet but I'm not giving up. I'm guessing my college transcripts won't hold up as a prerequisite from 1981. lol

Dave and I have been creating a beautiful garden. Every morning I have my coffee and cereal looking out at our flowers before I sit in front of my computer. I have a blogroll of 52 bloggers that I read each day and feel like I'm still connected to. I have to smack my own hand to keep from sending a comment. ;) I will probably edit my bloglines before fall because this break has allowed me to get a good perspective on my blog connections. Going back over posts gave me a more objective view on what I like to write, what interests readers and who reads whatever I write regardless of comment etiquette. I can honestly say that I don't write just for me and my grandson, because if I did I would not have a blog out there for all to read. These truths and connections are important to me in re-evaluating how I will blog in the future.

I have a new garden toy that makes me squeal like a child. It's a copper sprinkler with two circles and a beautiful butterfly inside the smaller circle. The sprinkler circles move in opposite directions with water reaching out to 30ft. Each circle has holes all the way around them. When the sun hits it the yard becomes magical. $25 at Home Depot and worth every dime! Dave's gardening is infectious.

We did go visit TK and our old house. Did I mention being a landlord STINKS! Everything in that house is crapping out. Oven, electrical, plumbing and heating/air unit. We have put out more in repairs than we've received in rent, almost. Poor Dave will never see retirement at this rate but at least it's all a tax write off.

Dave's mom was able to come and spend an evening at our home due to a family wedding in Tahoe. She was so proud of Dave and his hard work that he smiled her whole visit. We had to go to the north shore of lake Tahoe for the wedding. We drove right past Emerald Bay which is my favorite spot. It was so beautiful that I made poor Dave risk life and limb for this shot. The white dots are boats so click to get a better look.

This is us waiting for the food as the night wore on with temperatures dropping. Tahoe can go from 80 to 65 in a few hours. The chipmonks were every where and came right up to us. The wedding was beautiful, right on the shore of lake Tahoe at 5:30pm with candlelight dinning. I was so cold by dark we had to leave before cake, my favorite part.

Writing, gardening and a wedding has made this a great vacation so far. Dave has a birthday on the 13th and that is the day he goes back to working nights. I'm still sorting out my fall/winter goals for my writing and blogging. But I will not stop blogging no matter what even if I have to use my homework as a post. ;)

Hugs to all of you who are struggling right now and kudos to you amazing writers/poets. Miss you!