Would I If I Could?

I’ve been reflecting on my Life Choices lately; wondering if I would change things if I could, and my answer is YES! I’d keep my eyes intact (take that macular degeneration), and all my family would be living down South, happy and healthy, instead of scattered all over. I’d be traveling instead of paying bills and then scraping up the leftover money to buy Dollar Tree “groceries” and other stuff.

My Tanya Puppy (who’d be in her ’30s by now) would still be with me and not just alive in my heart, but it’s time to stop reminiscing and get back to Life. After all I see a Dollar Tree trip in my future. Onward…

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Get Ready To Talk

Sis called me last week to tell me that my niece wanted to know about macular degeneration since she’s gonna be heading down that dang path too and had questions; so Sis gave her my phone number and was calling to say, “Please don’t be mad, but…” After I was able to “process” my initial reaction I was able to talk and we had an hour’s worth of chit chat skirting the issue of If I could get my hands on you, I’d… That’s what happens with a family; they try to help whether you want them to or not.

During our conversation Sis told me that my niece would be sending an email asking if she could call me which is very sweet considering Sis had given her my number. I read the email later that evening and then spent days preparing for our conversation.

I don’t mean to sound callous, but I needed to prepare to face my fears again. Remembering the pain of eye shots and the fear that’s often immobilized me can be stifling unless I’m prepared; so I took a few days before answering the email, and apologized for taking so long to do it. I told my niece to leave a voicemail because I rarely answer unrecognized phone numbers. (I have to be in emotional control to keep my stress in check or my eyes hurt like hell; so controlling the calls is one of the tricks I use, as is ignoring the noise around me though sometimes my neighbors drop something or the child next door sneaks over and bangs on my door; that little scamp.)

Anyway we had a nice conversation and I answered all of my niece’s questions. I also told her to check my blog for posts on my eye shots and told her about stem cell trials. If her eyes are bad enough, she might be a good candidate. (Talk about an oxymoron if I ever heard one.) Onward for us both…

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A Little Dissension, Please

This is the card of a Census Agent who “visited” me when I didn’t fill out the Ozark Community Survey I received. To be fair, I received the mailed notice to go online and fill out the anonymous survey November, 2015 (I think). The notice also said to wait for a paper form if you couldn’t go online; so I opted to wait… indefinitely.

I was going to write about this sooner, but Sis said that was a bad idea. You know, “Big Brother watching,” etc. So, I waited to see what would happen. Over the months, a few more notices arrived and then one February day (while the landlord was replacing my water heater) a knock on my door revealed the Census Agent.

He was very nice and explained why he was there and that answering his questions should only take about 20 minutes. He asked to come in and I said “Not Today.” I could see his shocked looked as he rummaged for his card and told me to call him to set up a convenient time for us to answer the survey.

After he and the landlord left I forgot about his visit. (Sometimes forgetfulness is good.) A few days later someone tried calling me and when I looked at the number I realized it was the Census Agent. (So much for anonymity.)

This is the text message I sent to the agent after he tried calling me.

“I got your message. I found the paper copy of the survey and filled it out and mailed it after speaking with you last week so there’s no need for you to contact me again.”

His reply was “Who is this?” Meanwhile I feel it’s a win/win because They got their census survey which asked things like: How many tvs do you have, How many computers and cell phones, How many bedrooms in your apartment (2, but I ain’t sharing ’em). And I kept him out of my apartment. Onward…

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Dreams vs Reality

Once upon a time I had a dream to become a great writer; to have a movie that I had written screened in theaters every where; to be immortal. (Yes I know, but we all have dreams and let’s face it, if you’re gonna dream Really Dream)!

Well I’ve never had a script optioned let alone made into a movie, but I do have all you wonderful readers following my blog and I want to thank you all so much for that. I thank you now because my limited vision makes it harder for me to do the things I want to do; so I have to be more selective with straining my eyes. (Translation: I must choose how much and when to endure the eye pain.)

I’m not writing for sympathy (I got past that finally).  I’m just merely explaining why I sometimes seem so lax when blogging.

I have y’all to share my life and secrets with; my immortality comes from some of the things I’ve written (like my haiku that’s enroute to Mars thanks to the MAVEN project and good ol’ Facebook). So thank you again and remember, our dreams may not come true the way we want, but keep trying and you just may surprise yourself. Onward…

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Yes Virginia, I Done Good

There are times in life when we all have doubts, and no one really can predict when that will happen. They can be little, like whether or not it will rain or catastrophic, like whether or not our sons and daughters are growing up to be leaders or minions. Every once in awhile if we’re lucky we get a glimpse of who our children will become.

Mother’s Day 2016 uneventfully came and went, but I didn’t mind because my wonderful son had called me May 6 to wish me a Happy Mother’s Day. Besides that, if I got too sentimental I could always peruse the photos of us taken over the years and the new photos he and his wonderful wife Alexa would take when they returned to Panama City Beach, FL the following weekend. 

I did spend Mother’s Day reminiscing, and yes teary-eyed. I always get this way when I think of Mom, and yes the “good mother” doubts creep into my mind and cause even more raw emotion. And let’s face it, you can only use so many tissues on your eyes and nose before your body says “Enough already!”

The Kids returned to PC Beach for their weekend camping trip May 19 and did take some beautiful photos which made me all teary-eyed again. (I’m such a sentimental softee; or to quote Terry Moore from  her movie Second Chances, “You’re just a cactus covered marshmallow.”) 

Well yesterday I finally checked my mail (yes I really do need to check it more often) and discovered the most beautiful Mother’s Day Card with such a cherished, heartfelt note from Bernard Jr that I cried for a half hour! Yes my friends, sometimes if we’re lucky and live long enough we get to witness our little Phoenixs morph into the work ethic driven, honest, dependable guardians they have become thanks to you. Can Life really get any better than that?

Me, Bernard and Alexa boarding The Sea Screamer at Panama City Beach, FL April 23 (Alexa’s birthday).

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Sam Elliott?

Is that Sam Elliott I see

On this Gulf Coast Cruise with me?

The Sea Screamer bucks and rocks

As we struggle to stay upright.

“Sam” almost fell into my lap

But was able to adjust.

No one knew if I sniffled at my “loss”

Because of all the water spray.

Oh what a lovely day we had

As the dolphins swam and played.

Me and “Sam Elliott”

Together on this day.

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True Friendship’s Price

True Friendship is priceless, you think, but if you look closely, you’ll realize that’s not so… Take my childhood friend, Barb Gambill (The Gad About) and me. Our friendship has lasted over 55 years; through long term separations (this last one since 2005 when I moved to Alabama).

We’ve had our trials of chauffeuring each other around: for KMart diapers for her son Ricky (the only ones that would fit him) and KMart cream rinse for her poodles who were hyperallergic, to her picking me up at the St Louis Airport when I pulled my back in Las Vegas, and babysitting Bernard Jr when he had pneumonia so I could work. And the list goes on and on (as the cliche goes)…

Recently Barb and her son, Ricky have found themselves in a battle they may never win: the money battle. Like so many of us who keep stretching our dollars, trying to make them last (and realizing it ain’t gonna happen) they need $3000.00 to save Ricky’s sight.

When Barb first PM’d me about this I cried. I cried because I already knew the “vision loss” fear because of wet macular degeneration I’ve been battling since 2010. I cried because I already knew how helpless she’s felt knowing her only child was hurting and she couldn’t help him. I cried because I wondered how I could scrounge up $3000.00 so Ricky could have eye surgery that WILL save his sight (which alas I cannot have).

Once the emotional roller coaster past and I began to think, I started asking Barb questions and was told they’d already tried getting a $3000.00 loan (which is pretty impossible without collateral and on a limited income). I asked if they’d tried GoFund Me and she said no; so Barb and a friend back in St Louis set up an account for Barbara Gambill to save Ricky’s sight.

So far only 2 people have contributed and once again I’m fighting back tears; feeling helpless and frustrated as my best friend and her son worry and suffer. Ricky’s surgery has been postponed, but not cancelled, so there’s still hope that his eyesight can be saved.

The fact that the GoFund Me idea was mine haunts me and I feel so guilty. I have no idea how much money Barb’s gotten. I know some people like Sis mailed her checks and money orders, but I know it’s not enough. If I had $3000.00 I’d give it to Barb because she’s my “family” and I hate to see her in pain.

I was the first one to contribute to her account and I debated about just mailing her a check, but how could I when using GoFund Me was my idea? I thought Facebook would rally around her, but… I shared on FB and prayed along with her and her friends, and at least we still have a chance because the surgery’s been postponed. It’s not the doctor, but her insurance that’s causing the problem. They want the money upfront. The sheisters won’t even let her make payments and the doctor’s already waived his fee. (I wish she’d tell me which insurance company it is; I’d plaster their name all over my blog “#scheister.”)

Here is the link to Barb’s GoFund Me account. I hope that you can help — even if it’s just to share this. Perhaps we will succeed after all and finally find just what True Friendship’s cost is. Thank you.


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