A Week Later…

It’s been exactly a week since I got the news of Shirley’s death. I’m still kind of numb. Shirley has been gone for over a month and though I’ve only just found out she wasn’t physically among us. From the time of her death until I was notified she was still alive to me – Which is how I have to go on – Like she is still here…

I spent Monday morning by the water at Colt State Park, where Sai and I would go and talk (she would talk I would listen) those many mornings after work. Shirl would wrap her arm around my shoulder to get me to look her in the eye – Those crystal blue eyes filled with wisdom and compassion. I always felt like she could look right through me. Never being anyone to hold her tongue she would say” bubbie you need to face facts life is hard, no one gets a free ride.” You’re right Sai no free ride. I thought about that just as two gulls where flying by, one gull veered off and flew higher and the second one landed on a rock. I have no doubt Sai staged this as her goodbye…

One week down and a lifetime left without Sai, but she is still here – I just wish I could see her eyes one more time…

Ginnie

Life Without SAI…

It’s pouring rain, it seems the heavens are crying right along with me…

I went to the mailbox to retrieve my mail (something I often forget to do) among the AARP notices, and grocery flyers was a small white envelope with familiar or what I thought was familiar handwriting. The return address on the envelope was from a friend’s daughter in San Diego Ca. My first thought was, why is Shirley writing me from Jill’s? Eager to see what was going on with my friend, I opened the note a small card fell to the ground. I picked it up quickly and pulled out the note that was enclosed and read it – I froze reading the few simple lines over and over again but not being able to grasp what I was reading. Dear Ginny, So sorry to inform you of Shirley’s death. Our hearts are heavy. Jill

I don’t recall how long I stood in the parking lot feeling detached from the universe – I walked back to my condo numb, opened the door and cried. I cried the tears that only loss can bring the never-ending well of tears… Not only did Sai die, she died a month ago, her service was on July 5th! Where was I?  What was I doing? How could I be so oblivious? Why didn’t anyone inform me? Questions always follow loss, I wonder why? My next thought  was this would be a good breakfast discussion with Sai, only there aren’t going to be anymore breakfasts…

To write about our relationship would be akin to Tuesdays with Maury … Shirley and I met in 1978. I was a snot nosed new nursing grad working nights in a nursing home, for the summer. I decided to stay in RI and not move to New Orleans so I was working at the nursing home until I got a position at a hospital. It was a tumultuous time for me, I was twenty-one and unsure of everything…  Shirley took me under her wing she gave me the confidence to be the nurse I never thought I could become.

Shirley also taught me to love myself. She told me not be afraid to try things, to be an explorer. She gave me the gift of wonder-lust. I craved adventures and  I travelled and sought out new experiences.

When I started taking pictures with a small insta-matic, she encouraged me to pursue photography.  I bought my first 35mm Minolta and took thousands of slides. Then she introduced me to Stieglitz, Adams, artists like Wyeth and O’Keeffe. Shirley awakened my creative soul.

Sai loved I was in martial arts, she was one of the few people who championed my decision to leave nursing to open my own school. “Follow your heart love.”

Thirty four years of friendship – It was more than that. I recall her laughing when our paths crossed at a high school fashion show, because I introduced her to another friend of mine as my mentor. “Well, no one has ever called me that before!”  Not only was Sai my mentor she was a confidant, a kindred soul, an agony aunt, a friend… She got me through the first steps of real adulthood and took me to the precipice of middle age. Hugging, laughing, sharing books, adventures, solving the world’s problems over breakfasts… So how do I get from middle age to the golden years without her? I don’t know, but I think she’s passed  me some sort of torch. I need to be the kind of friend to my friends that Sai was to me…

Our last breakfast ended the way they always did, hugs at her car with goodbye and I love you…

So goodbye, my friend, I love you.

Ginnie

Been There

Got my hair cut today – That in itself is not a major revelation but the long history of my hairdresser and me, that is a different story.

I’ve been going to Joan since 1980! Yikes! Talk about a constant presence in your life! We’ve been through deaths, births, good economies and bad – New business locations – We share mutual friends and have seen everything from mullets to reality TV! Joan’s  been there –  Every six weeks for thirty or ninety minutes we come together and review everything that’s gone on in our lives.

Through thirty-one years of living Joan has Been There, a  constant presence and a friend. It’s amazing how some of the spear carriers in our mini dramas become major contributors.

Namaste,

Ginnie

Being There…

These past few days have been fairly good for me, except for some sad news. Two people have passed away too young and a dear member of my karate family received some difficult news…

So what can I do? What we all need to and can do: Be there. Let those you love know that you can be counted on to be leaned upon. We all need to take turns with the good and bad of the universe. We need to share our good fortune and help ease the pain of those suffering misfortune. Because they’d do the same for you.

 

That’s why we are here to look after each other…

Ginnie

Friendships…

Today’s run was postponed to spend time with friends – Here are a few thoughts on friends and friendship. First I wonder where I would be if it weren’t for my friends? Who would I complain to about my family? Who would I share books, coffee, tears, adventures and laughs with?

I have such a diverse group of friends. Some I’ve had since kindergarden while some have come along in these past few years. My friends vary in talents, demeanors, interests, age and in gender. There are friends to run with, discuss sports, cars, television, and books with. I have my outdoor friends my indoor friends. You get the drift! I’ve met some wonderful people along my path. Some have been there briefly and some have been there the whole way.

It amazes me how so many different happenstance meetings turned into life long friendships.How blessed I’ve been to have the pleasure of their company. It’s been lovely and I’m looking forward to more adventures, tears, coffee and most importantly time shared with the people I call friends…

 

Ginnie

Kind of Thinking – Kind of…

Rifling through some of my friends facebook posts I noticed one friend encouraged kindness for today. At first I thought that’s nice, then it occurred to me kindness should be expected, not  suggested.

This thought stuck with me throughout the morning as I reflected my actions of the day. Wondering if I needed a prompt or two or was being kind a natural part of my day. These are the results; I was kind to my cats this morning, I was unkind to the stuck clothes hanger in my closet. I was kind to my neighbor and brought in her newspaper, I flipped off a fellow driver. I was kind to a friend and lent a hand, I was unkind to my ailing shoulder.

My conclusions; I have a tendency to be kinder to those I know than I don’t know. I’m willing to extend kindness to a friend even if it hurts me and I have very little respect for things that just hang around!

Proceed with kindness,

 

Ginnie

 

Old Friends…

I had lunch today with two of my old friends from nursing school. It never ceases to amaze me even after not seeing each other for  a year we  can pick up right where we left off. The rhythm of our conversations are the same, though the subject matter is vastly different. We’re no longer obsessing over having to perform a dry sterol dressing. Asking if the other could switch a baby sitting job or who’s up for pizza at A1? Now we truly are “old friends.”  We complain about the aches and pains that being fifty something bring. Our concerns over aging parents and the uncertainty of managing the crazy lives we lead.  There are more wrinkles and we look and act more like our mothers than we dare to admit. Yet, in someways its 1975-78 and we are Deb, Coll and Ginnie, missing Karen, Joanne and Pat. There are giggles,hugs and the subtle humor only the closest of friends can share and understand.

We spent twenty-four hours a day for three years together. I may have friends whom I’ve known longer or see more often. None of these friends share the bond that living, studying and working together brings. For three years we lived like sisters, we were a family.

I always think of the quote from Jonathan Livingston Seagull after every time I see  one of these amazing woman; “And in the middle of Here and Now, don’t you think that we might see each other once or twice?”  I guess its because these are not just friends for life, but Lifetimes…

 

Ginnie

 

Believing We’re Deserving…

We don’t get what we deserve – We get what we believe we deserve… Understanding that I’m using deserve in the context of things we have control over attaining. Many of us so called together people usually have one or two areas of “deserving disbelief”. For what ever reasons we believe we don’t deserve success, love, friendship, a good body, money or any number of attainable goals we deny ourselves. Why? The answers are as numerous as those afflicted with this form of self sabotage. Millions of dollars have been spent and made in the Self-Help movement addressing this issue. Yet we still continue with the same behaviors that deny ourselves what we desire. I don’t have any answers for the rest of you but I will share what I’m going to do for myself, and my students.

First I have to realize what I perceive is missing, love, money , an object it doesn’t matter. What matters is I realize my “deserving disbelief” is blocking ME from moving forward. Not to be confused with sitting there and saying I deserve a million dollars and expecting  Ed McMahon at your door the next day. We need to realize we are in our own way, and figure out why we are blocking ourselves. After you’ve figured out why you do it, now write a plan of action to move yourself forward. The next part is the most important TELL PEOPLE, make your self accountable… I’m going to lose X number of Lbs, because I DESERVE A Great Body… or X Dollars or whatever… Do the same for friends pat each other on the back. Heck it worked for McDonald’s how many people went there because, They Deserved A Break Today?  Imagine if we all helped each other out this way?

I’m going to initiate this experiment with a few close friends and staff . I’m going to share my big block, and ask them to share their block with me. It’s worth a shot if anything we will all be getting much deserved help, love and friendship. Not a bad place to start.

 

Ginnie

 

Moment Perspective…

Sorry I didn’t have a post for yesterday but I took the day off to enjoy some time with some very special people. What a wonderful day, one I hope my companions will remember as fondly as I will. It didn’t hurt we all took in a Red Sox game and that it was against the Yankees. The best part was the time and the adventure shared. Experiences that the four of us will recall and retell for a long time. Moments like this give me perspective on the ordinary everyday adventures. They teach me to appreciate time well spent no matter where I’m spending my time. This was re-enforced today after sharing Sunday lunch at my mom’s.

After enjoying another delicious meal prepared by my mom I was informed my uncle had just been in an accident and was hospitalized with a concussion. My stepfather also relayed to me that my mother has been experiencing health issues. Mom then tattled on my stepdad. All this may seem rather personal and unnecessary in the telling. It isn’t. Time is ticking away and if we don’t pay attention to and enjoy the simple moments we will regret the moments lost. Parents are aging, children are growing up and leaving everything changes… so should our perspective, take a moment and enjoy it.

 

Ginnie

Stalled Out…

I’ve noticed a theme to a lot of the conversations I’ve had with friends, seems delays, or unexpected stoppages or just lack of time, energy or discipline has us “Stalled Out”… I’m thinking we somehow are all sharing the same issues, since we’re pretty much in the same age category known as the”Oreos”sandwiched between raising families and caring for aging parents.  There are minor repairs to be made on the house or car, closets to  sort, bills to pay and not much money to pay them with!  There are friends we mean to call, family we should visit, functions we’d love to attend, but we somehow can’t get our acts together!  We feel like we’re walking in molasses! Bogged down by careers and families we love, but unable to find time to enjoy being with them –  Seems like we’re always caring for them! Is it any wonder that a recent study shows that the people between the ages of 45 and 64 have the least satisfying quality of life!

Solutions anyone? I’m not sure there are any, but I do know when I’ve stalled out my car I call for assistance. Funny that’s another thing my friends and I have in common we never ask for help! I propose we Oreos form our own “Road Side Assistance” . Let’s offer each other a push or a jump start and more importantly ACCEPT one when offered…

Need a Tow?

Ginnie