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Perhaps the Mayans were right. Is this the last year for us? :::shrugs::: Who knows...

January has not been an auspicious beginning to the year. My good friend Claudia suffered a brain bleed and on New Year's Day, her life support was removed. With my sister Julie, and another friend, we dressed Claudia's body for the last time. I've dressed the deceased before, including my mother. Perhaps nothing brings me closer to the knowledge that the body is simply a vessel for the spirit and the 'real' person, than handling their remains and feeling the emptiness that pervades their mortal coil. Claudia was not there, it was simply what she left behind when she passed over.

I was also asked to speak at her service. Crying before things began, I went to a quiet place and said a prayer for strength. I could not stop my tears and I did not wish to cry as I spoke of my friend. My prayer was answered and I was given a calm and a peacefulness to fill my heart.

The gathering after her service was pure Claudia. She'd planned her special day and asked that maple bars and candy bars, cookies, rootbeer floats and comfort food to be served. Balloons and confetti at each table. Claudia wanted a party and a party was had. Before they closed her coffin, I placed a tiny seashell in her hand. As they lowered her coffin, I had my husband place a larger shell on top.

Claudia loved the beach and had just recently come back to her Pacific Northwest from Arizona.She is not here....

As much as her passing caused heartache, it also reinforced to me of the truthfulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We do live on. We do not end at the death of our physical body. I'm incredibly thankful for the gift of the resurrection and the knowledge that we will see each other again.

Then my father's beloved dog passed away. I think that even as an adult, it's very difficult to see a parent cry. My father has always been a rock. When I was younger, he was superman to me. In fact it never occurred to me that he could feel pain. Ever. Aren't all daddies that to their daughters? Unfortunately it's not so....

Thankfully my father has two wonderful son-in-laws who dug the grave for him....

Our doggie Cassie became ill and we were told it might be cancer. Three days later we were told it's not. We're incredibly grateful.

We've had a great deal of snow and an entire week off of school and work. Well, work for me at least. Lance had to keep working, poor guy. Now it's raining and we're expecting flooding. Thankfully we only lost power one day.

This hibernation of sorts has caused me to bake. I think it's something imprinted in my DNA. Cold=Need To Bake. I've not heard my family complaining.


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A Poem to an Abusive Man

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Did you know that emotional abuse is as detrimental as physical abuse? And that most emotional abusers continue on to become physical abusers? I didn't. I do now. I found a site where formerly abused women, on the path to recovery from their abusers, have written poems. This one below is one that haunted me.

Thank You

You wooed me with poetry
I bit on the hook
Had I only first read
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I would have avoided
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The ride was a bash
But I rode with my eyes closed
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I knew it would come soon
But I never knew when
The rage and the leaving
And the path to the end

You had to control things
Determined you would
Emotionally destroying me
Every way that you could

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