in need of a cupful of saving graces

Constantly regard the universe as one living being, having one substance and one soul; and observe how all things have reference to one perception, the perception of this one living being; and how all things act with one movement; and how all things are the cooperating causes of all things that exist; observe too the continuous spinning of the thread and the structure of the web.

—Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, iv. 40.

You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then – to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting. Learning is the thing for you.

—T.H. White

Happiness is not the absence of problems but the ability to deal with them

—H. Jackson Brown

Someone was hurt before you, wronged before you, hungry before you, frightened before you, beaten before you, humiliated before you, raped before you…yet, someone survived…You can do anything you choose to do.

— Maya Angelou

You all know that I have been sustained throughout my life by three saving graces – my family, my friends, and a faith in the power of resilience and hope. These graces have carried me through difficult times and they have brought more joy to the good times than I ever could have imagined.

—  Elizabeth Edwards

Mr FD’s mother was told by her doctor yesterday, some very unexpected news. She has acute renal failure and has “weeks, if not months” to live.

MIL is 88 and though suffering with a variety of chronic age related ailments we all considered that her general condition meant that she would be with us for another couple of years, so this news has come as rather a shock.

She has now accepted that she needs to stay in care!

And after Mr FD dealing with his parents issues all day yesterday, he came home, clicked open his email and found an email informing him that someone he had worked closely with for years had died. We knew he had bowel cancer, but his death was not expected so suddenly. He was only 63.

In the year 2000 I was diagnosed with an early stage cancer, and my Dad suffered though the last stages of dementia which resulted in his death in the November of that year. Mr FD was also made redundant from a long held position. That year we just reeled from stress to sorrow. 2011 is certainly shaping to revival that for trauma, stress and anxiety. Such is life.

 Hey, Big Whatever – ENOUGH ALREADY! Consider our parade flooded!

35 thoughts on “in need of a cupful of saving graces

  1. First of all, my thoughts are with you and your family. You seem to be very wise and capable of handling what will come.
    Those are some marvelous quotes. I especially liked Aurelius and Angelou. Thank you.


    • Thank you. Poor Mr FD is trying to spend time with both his parents, not sure which day may be the last for either of them, now. The circle of life and it is our turn for the generations to change…


  2. agree with kimkminy – you sound like you will handle what will come.

    “observe too the continuous spinning of the thread and the structure of the web”


  3. Oh boy. Life hits again hard…
    Sometimes I wonder which would be the better: Having it happen little by little over time and kind of having the feeling, the pain and sorrow never ends. Or having it all come over you at the same time, that all you can do is hold your breath and close you eyes until the wave is gone – and then clean up the aftermath.
    Being that I have experienced the second (not as severe as you do right now and have had in the past) I think I stick to that. I like having calm parts in between.
    Lots of good thoughts to you and your family.


  4. Big hugs FD, big hugs and strength to you.
    You’ll know the road through a truly horrible year from back in 2000, somehow pains aren’t as bad when you know them, as when they are new ones you’ve never met before… at least you know you’ll get through to the other end of the year and still be alright.
    …but, why isn’t MIL getting dialysis if she has acute renal failure? I’ve had friends who lived for years with dialysis after a near deadly crisis with totally failed kidneys. My friends were both young(ish) and strong otherwise though.. maybe MIL is too frail?


    • She is not getting dialysis, against our entreaties, because she is 88 and doesn’t won’t to go through the discomfort! I did not say MIL was ever a reasonable woman! The question begs – is dying not uncomfortable? She has a number of issues such as osteoporosis, memory loss, arthritis, but otherwise appeared to be what one would expect for 88. I suspect that she will give up the fight to live very quickly, more so than FIL who keeps fighting back.


  5. Oh Wow. I went through this a while back with my Grandparents…and recently as my parents are starting to seemingly suffer from a variety of age related illnesses and occupation related illnesses…I see where I am headed in the future.
    I certainly wish for the flood of the situations to dry out and for an improved 2011….


  6. My thoughts are with you and you family. The stage of life we reach when our parents’ lives are ending, and then we begin losing friends and coworkers is so hard to deal with and it seems that they come in groups. I hope their suffering is not too prolonged. I know my husband and I found strength in each other and in our children.


    • Yes, we are in that time of generational change. I am not sure we want to become the elder generation! My Mum had better look after herself and maintain her position for years and years to come!


  7. It never just rains does it! Things do seem to happen in cycles like this and just when you think the cycle is broken something else comes along to further test us. It’s amazing how strong we can be given some of the challenges thrown at us.


    • We are just trying to stay calm in our daily lives and devote energies where they are most needed. In some ways the fact I haven’t been working has been a help as I am here to take up the slack with different things and Mr FD’s work. But then the lack of income is a worry. Catch 22!


  8. There are times that no matter who prepared or philosophical you reach for being, it is simply Enough, Already!
    I’m so sorry this is being one of them.


    • We know that so many people in the world are suffering so much more than our family. Every time we turn on the news we see so much suffering – I guess we don’t have to feel so much guilt for our good life as we have our own hardships at the moment, but thankfully not as bad as others around us! We tell ourselves over and over, that things could be worse, I mean it is natural for old people to die, it would be devastating if it was a child…one day at a time.


  9. There are times that no matter how prepared or philosophical you reach for being, it is simply Enough, Already!
    I’m so sorry this is being one of them.


  10. FD. I am sorry for your losses that keep piling up. My mother outlived three husbands, her parents, brother, and all her many many friends. She said that without a sense of humor she wouldn’t have made it. Her ability to remain upbeat in face of life’s losses was inspiring. May you have the same resilience and good humor. I think you do, but it’s hard. My thoughts are with you.


    • I think what makes it hard is the resistance that comes from other family members. SIL ruminates and makes decisions by not making decisions but she insists on being the one with the power. Mr FD knows that she is unstable at times, so is going with the flow as much as possible, but it is like walking on egg shells. We normally keep our distance, but in this instance can’t. I just act as his support as much as I can.


  11. Wow, what a lot to have to deal with at one time. Life needs a “reset” button sometimes. 😐

    Somehow, though, you’ll find the strength to get through.

    (((((hugs))))) to you and Mr. FD.


    • This year, starting with the floods and death of relatives has just been dreadful. We tell ourselves it could be worse, and really, it could, we are still luckier than most people and so we try to remember that gratitude as we work through this. We are also mindful that we are setting an example for the next generation for when our time comes.

      This year will end…


  12. FD, I am so sorry to hear that news! This has really been an interesting year so far for you and your family. While I know you have the strength to persevere I know that this doesn’t make it any easier. I am thinking good thoughts for you and your family today. Hang in there. {{{hugs}}}


    • We will survive. It is a comfort to have so many lovely blog friends too!

      I have taken to saying “this year will end”, but someone replied “yeah, but next year is 2012 and that is suppose to be the end of the world!” Happy thoughts!


  13. Sorry for your unexpected bad news… thoughts also with both you and Mr FD during what will be a difficult period ahead. Both my parents are now gone, and on each occasion I was unprepared…..just gritted my teeth with the understanding that life sometimes involves sadness.
    Take care of each other.


    • We speak of the cycle of life, and that is how we are approaching it. Makes one contemplate one’s own mortality though – once they are all gone (and hopefully my Mum not for long time yet) we are the elder generation! Of course I was born to be the matriarch!


  14. “Happiness is not the absence of problems but the ability to deal with them.”
    ~ H. Jackson Brown
    Took two years of therapy for me to finally understand this!

    You have my sincere sympathy, Flamingo Dancer. Sometimes it seems like we have a dark cloud over our heads – for us it’s been many years of slow deaths from cancer and the unbearably long good-byes of dementia. With hubby having a nearly fatal heart attack in the middle of it all. Sometimes we just have to muddle through, and then muddle some more. (((hugs)))

    “It’s the laughter that keeps us coming back for more…” ~ Dave Matthews


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