My Week: Happy Birthday to Me

The week got off to a not so rousing start. Since I was sick, I didn’t stick with going to bed and getting up at reasonable hours—I have gotten in the habit of sleeping in. Consequently, I didn’t get up until late. Then, when DD called and left voice mail, I was on my way to the neighbors’ to work on their computer. I figured I’d call DD back for our weekly visit when I got home but she had somewhere to go and had left by the time I got around to it. My birthday was Tuesday so I knew we’d be talking then if not any other time.

Monday was pretty much shot with trying to get some business taken care of. I was on the phone off and on all day and didn’t do much else but eat.

Then, Tuesday was the Big Day. I’d thought I’d make a raw vegan cheesecake by Shari’s recipe but I really didn’t have the urge. The ingredients are still waiting for another time. Actually, I didn’t have the urge to do anything at all so I set about being lazy the whole livelong day. I didn’t even walk. Now, that’s getting bad. UPS left two packages on the deck. They were opened without fanfare. One was extremely light and the other extremely heavy. I couldn’t imagine what was in either one even though I had a wish list on Amazon and had sent the link to my children.

Here’s what I found:

Birthday Presents

On the left is Teavana Blueberry Bliss tea. I have a lifetime supply of tea what with the Youthberry I got at Christmas and the Rose Garden tea DD and merm gave me several years ago. I’m not a big tea drinker but I do brew a cup now and then. On the right is the Himalayan Salt Lamp I had on my wish list for forever. I’d given up on ever getting it which is why it was a complete surprise. I’m going to leave it on the list because I need a couple or three more.

My sister saw this picture on Facebook and wanted to know if the lamp gives off heat. It does get warm but it isn’t a heater. It looks like a bowl of fire but those are salt chunks. It’s the natural color of the salt with the light glowing through it. It generates negative ions and is a stress reducer. I can attest to the latter because it makes me feel happy just to look at it.

I talked to both DS1 and DD before the day was over. DS1 sang to me but DD just wished me a happy one. I spent a lot of time on Facebook fielding birthday wishes, too. My North Carolina sisters and Shari sent me e-cards, several of the forum members posted birthday wishes and all of it together was my big celebration.

Wednesday came and it was SHOPPING day or, as my mother would have said, my day to Go Trade. I hadn’t been to Wally World for a long time. Since my toilet tissue supply was down to three full rolls and two partial ones, things were getting critical. I’d been making my list over several days so I was ready to roll.

When I got out of the shower, the phone rang. I grabbed a towel and dashed to answer it. It was my niece. She agreed that I should probably put on some clothes and I was to call her back. I got dressed, did my hair, and dialed her phone. She was on hold with the bank and she would call ME back. I was going to town?

Finally, after several false starts, we got together and she was able to tell me her news. My sister in the Great Northwest needs more care than the regular home health nurses can give so they were planning to call in hospice. It didn’t mean that she’s terminal. It’s just a different level of care. What bothers me is the fact that she was once such a vivacious person with a zest for life and now she’s an invalid. AND only seven years older than me. And, to add insult to injury, there’s no way to communicate with her directly. She’s completely deaf and has lost the ability to even email. It’s a sad state of affairs.

Long story short, I got to town and back and thought I’d gotten everything on my list but I hadn’t. My neighbor picked up the missing item for me yesterday and wouldn’t let me pay for it. One of these days, I’m going to give ’em a big list of stuff and see if they want to foot the bill!

There have been a couple of nice days this week when I was able to get some sun but it was blue cold when I got up this morning with snow on the ground (not much) and more coming down (not much). I’d miscalculated and had to warm the car up when I was supposed to be already on my way to church. The pianist was visibly relieved when I walked in.

The pastor spoke on grief and the way we should react to it. He had an acronym, “SAFFERR” and he explained it this way.

  • S=See the loss (don’t try to hide from it)
  • A=Accept the loss (acknowledge it)
  • F=Feel the loss (don’t try to deny the grief)
  • F=Find the lie (others will try to tell you it isn’t so bad)
  • E=Embrace new realities or deeper truths
  • R=Reject the lie (don’t let people try to tell you to get on with your life)
  • R=Reach out to God and others
  • It really was an excellent sermon and I can’t do it justice here. He said that there can be any number of things that can bring a fresh wave of grief—a smell, a taste, seeing something. I know that’s true because the closing song did it for me. When DD and I had moved back to Tennessee, we’d been here only a short time. One of the men at church asked me to sing for special music the next Sabbath and requested “Does Jesus Care?” DH had been gone for a few months and I thought I was coping pretty well. When I got up to sing, I made it through the first two verses and choruses okay but when it came to

    Does Jesus care when I’ve said “goodbye”
    To the dearest on earth to me,
    And my sad heart aches till it nearly breaks—
    Is it aught to Him? Does He see?

    I knew I couldn’t do it. I asked the congregation to sing the last verse and chorus with me. As they sang, I backed away from the microphone and just mouthed the words. I couldn’t trust myself to sing.

    Today, I had tears in my eyes as I played.

    This was fellowship dinner Sabbath but I didn’t stay. There was a memorial service for the father of several of my friends and I’d asked to go with my neighbor. I got home and scarfed down some lunch and we left. We got to the church in plenty of time. The service lasted quite a while and there was a meal after which we elected not to attend. When we got back, I ate more when I really didn’t need to. At this rate, I’ll gain back all the lubs I lost.

    So…that’s been my week. How about yours?

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