Archive for October, 2010

September 1, 2004

// October 27th, 2010 // No Comments » // From the forthcoming book "Losing Steve: One Mother's Journey Through Grief"

Yesterday and today I’ve been able to sit down for some quiet meditation time. It’s so hard to calm my busy mind but when I get into a comforting rhythm repeating the phrase in my mind, I see before me a long, path through a thick forest. The path is almost straight and it’s as narrow as a deer trail. On each side evergreen trees tower over my head blocking the sun’s light.

Today as I walked along the path I came to a barrier. I couldn’t see it. I only know it’s there because I felt myself bump into it. In my mind it seems to be a clear glass wall ~ as thick and as high and as deep as forever. I cannot go around or over this wall because I can’t see the end of it in any direction. The wall is so perfectly transparent I can’t even see it as I look straight ahead. I only know it’s there because I keep bumping into it during my meditation.

But I know that I live by and in God’s grace, and it is time to give my grief to Him who, as impossible as it seems, heals ALL.

August 31, 2004 10:45 PM

// October 19th, 2010 // No Comments » // From the forthcoming book "Losing Steve: One Mother's Journey Through Grief"

I just fully realized that I haven’t felt deeply connected to people or activities like I used to. I feel superimposed onto a screen playing the movie of my life. I care, I care for, I participate, but not with the enthusiasm and joy of life that I used to feel. It’s so hard to explain. I’m not uncaring about my loved ones. I care. I hurt with them when they hurt. And I can be deeply hurt by them. But something is grossly different. I feel detached from everyone and everything around me. I don’t even feel connected to me lately.

I’m not sure when this started or how long I’ve felt this way. After Steve died there was a long time of deep intertwining with all of our family. I remember feeling connected to them at my marrow. I don’t think pinpointing the onset of this disconnection matters but I do think integrating the “two Debbies” will help solve this inconsistency. We both need to feel the same thing at the same time. I cannot fully live while depending on another entity, even though it’s just another me, to carry my difficult emotions for me. I have to do the feeling of the bad stuff myself or I may never be able to feel the good stuff either.

August 31, 2004 3:00 PM

// October 15th, 2010 // No Comments » // From the forthcoming book "Losing Steve: One Mother's Journey Through Grief"

I thought I was going in for a nice relaxing massage today as I redeemed the gift certificate I received for my birthday. Instead it turned out to be a therapeutic massage addressing my grief.
When I was all settled onto the table the therapist asked if there was anything she should be aware of. I know she meant things like aches and pains, but I told her “I’m still struggling with unresolved grief since the death of my son more than a year ago.”
She pulled a stool to the head of the table and sat down. “We can work on this if you’re ready.”
“Of course I’m ready. I’m so tired of constantly feeling like I’m drowning.”
How can I not be ready to get through this?

As she found the most painful areas on my back with her strong hands the therapist gave me a phrase to repeat. She asked me to say it aloud a few times before I started repeating it silently in my mind.
“With confidence and grace I step boldly into my future for I am a woman of strength. I release the need to hold on to pain and grief for I trust God’s universal perfection. All is well in my world.”
The first few times, the words felt hollow as they fell from my lips. Tears began to seep from my closed eyes as I forced myself to repeat the phrase because I do not feel confident and I do not feel strong.
After three repetitions I took a deep breath and said it like I meant it, bringing a moment of clarity that took my breath away.
I have not yet stepped into my future. I have simply allowed the tide of time to carry me along as I cling to the past. I have been half-heartedly trying to move forward without actually taking that step into my future.
I don’t think I can take that step until I integrate my two selves, the grieving me and the work-a-day me. I have believed that we could live side by side but now I know that only one of us can step into MY future. In order to make that step we need to become one.
Only as one, complete person can I take that bold step into my future.

I came home feeling battered and drained but with a slightly altered view of my future…..

August 20, 2004

// October 12th, 2010 // No Comments » // From the forthcoming book "Losing Steve: One Mother's Journey Through Grief"

I’m 51 today and feeling better than ever. That little screamer still resides within me, but it’s getting easier to smile and feel honestly happy and content.

For my birthday I received an armload of flowers from my family! The house is full of the fragrances of roses and carnations. They also gave me a gift certificate for a massage at Bewell’s, with a stern command to schedule an appointment soon. I can really use that about now so I’ll call tomorrow.

One more treat was lunch out with my girls to IHOP. This time they weren’t crowded and we spent about an hour and a half hanging out over our beaskfast-for-lunch.
What a blessing it is that I not only love my kids but I also like spending time with them!

Looking forward to that massage…..

August 19, 2004

// October 8th, 2010 // No Comments » // From the forthcoming book "Losing Steve: One Mother's Journey Through Grief"

A few days ago I noticed that there are only a few blank pages left in my journal. It’s time to start a new one.
But this idea is somewhat troubling. This book has seen me through so much ~ my first airplane flight, a wonderful vacation to the Caribbean with Dave, Janiece, and Robyn, and then the terror and grief of losing Steve. I have poured so much of myself into these pages, it feels like I am losing another friend.
But today Kaiser was hosting a book fair and I found the perfect journal to stand in for my exhausted friend.

This impending change makes me wonder ~ where do I want to be as I fill in the last pages of this next journal? Fit, trim and uber organized! OK, that’s quite a stretch but I can dream!
I can certainly hope that our patios and garden areas are finished. That the front bathroom is finished and that the new kitchen floor and counters have been installed.

I can’t really ask for more than I already have but I can surely ask to be more than I am….especially spiritually. I know I need to energize my prayer and study life.

Physically I want to weigh 135 pounds and get my blood pressure within normal limits, without medication. I want to be able to run during part of my 3.5 mile daily walk, and be able to breathe deeply and comfortably when I exercise or, dare I say….climb at Solid Rock Gym? Sure! Why not??

I want to be more active in my friendships. I am so tired of all the losing of the last few years. So many of my close friends have moved to other states. But I need to stay focused on what is still here around me. I want to plan some outings, morning dates, or maybe even exercise together.

In my family, I want to see us remain close in these tumultuous times. To hold my dear grandchildren and read to them from their parents’ favorite story books. I want to help Robyn through her first year of high school.
There’s so much more on my boy-do-I-need-changing list but I am truly looking forward to the future!

From 2010 ~
Well, as usual, I bit off more than I could chew in my hopes and dreams! But some things have been accomplished….

The patios are finished, but the gardens still need work.
The front bath room has been finished for a long time now, a remarkable improvement over the 1970s décor that was in there!
In the kitchen, the floors and counters have been replaced, but there is still much to do before the room is complete.

My health goals are slowly being met. I’m surely not 135, and wonder if I ever will be. But I’m not 185 anymore either! I am smack dab in the middle. I can walk five miles fairly comfortably and breathe deeply…..aaaaah!

In the realm of family and friends, the year 2006 was a rough one for us. Those entries will come and will likely be painful to write. But it was what it was and we are good now….better than before, with deeper connections and stronger hearts. I am grateful for my family every day and am blessed to say….I not only love my children but I also like them and spending time with them enriches my life!

My friendships, however, have not fared as well. There are still a few people that I can call on for anything and who can call me. But when it comes to that face to face time, we are sorely lacking. I know God still has lessons for me to learn. I am a willing, if sometimes dense student and look forward to finally grasping the lesson and moving forward.
I am thankful for the friends that have stood by my side and not let me completely hide myself away in my pain!

Peace be with you….

August 18, 2004

// October 5th, 2010 // No Comments » // From the forthcoming book "Losing Steve: One Mother's Journey Through Grief"

Nett called today to ask if Splicer can live with us. This month she is being transferred to Las Vegas and will be moving in with her Dad and Marcy. They already have a dog and they have a new baby. Adding another dog into the mix will be hectic. They are also a bit concerned of the reputation that Pit Bulls have, even though they know that Splicer is a sweet natured dog. They also know she has a healthy protective streak. Annette doesn’t want to abandon her dog in Tennessee. Splicer started out as Steve’s dog and Nett feels like she’s taking care of her for him.

When Steve started spending the week working with Nick in the bay area he wanted to get a dog to leave at home to help protect Nett and their new little Christopher. Steve and his young family went to the local animal shelter. As soon as they saw the little black and white pit bull puppy romping up to the fence to see them, Steve knew this was his new dog. He has always had a fondness for pit bulls (even going as far as “rescuing” one from an acquaintance that had been abusing her). He named this new member of the family “Splicer” because he had just learned to splice cable as part of his job with his brother.

After spending the weekend with her in the condo, seeing that she barked at every knock or opening of the door, he left home for work the next week feeling better because the puppy was there. When he got home late the next Friday night, Splicer saw him as an intruder, hackles raised and ready to remove Steve’s leg, until he firmly stated her name and told her to shut up. Steve had no doubt then that they had made the right choice for the family’s protection.

After talking it over with Dave, and hearing Robyn’s plaintive pleas, I called Annette to tell her, yes, we would be happy to take care of Splicer for her ….and Steve.


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Splicer, and the laundry baskets we put on the sofa & chairs at night to keep her off!

// October 5th, 2010 // No Comments » // Uncategorized


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August 16, 2004

// October 1st, 2010 // No Comments » // Uncategorized

August 16, 2004
Today I cleaned out my day planner for the first time in at least six years. Tucked into one of the side pockets along with a newspaper picture of Karla Faye Tucker I keep for inspiration, three medical appointment reminder cards from 1998, and a sheet of stickers, I found a picture of Steve.
I remember the night it was taken, but I can’t remember how old he was at the time. He could have been 16 or 18, I just don’t know. It was a cold night and Steve needed a jacket because he was going out with some friends. The only thing I could find for him was an old jacket that had belonged to one of my uncles many years before. Needless to say, it was not a fashionable jacket for a young man to be seen in. But Steve had a little fun with it and slipped into the jacket, put on a pair of sun glasses cock-eyed, and turned the brim of his cap sideways.
In this snapshot he looks (besides dorky) so healthy—good skin color, no big sores or blemishes on his face, a wisp of blond hair escaping from the cap—just a healthy young man.
So often when my eyes fall on one of the many pictures of him we have around the house I glance away quickly to avoid the pain. Especially the ones Morgan took about a year before Steve died. We are sitting outside on the swing that Steve and Robyn put together. In these he is already starting to look frail.

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Although he is smiling and enjoying the day, he seems to be holding himself slightly away from his brother and sisters, like he is inching away. I wonder ~ when did he start to feel that he was on his way out?
But I like this picture I just found. It’s a picture of the real Steve. It makes me smile.


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5 on swing

// October 1st, 2010 // No Comments » // Uncategorized


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// October 1st, 2010 // No Comments » // Uncategorized


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