Lies of Depression

 

I have been reading this book, in part because he was the ninth Doctor and I am a huge Doctor Who fan, and second because of the story of his father.

The irony is that while reading, when I came to the part where he wrote of his depression and hospitalization and treatment for said depression, was at the same time  the news of Naomi Judd’s suicide from mental illness.

The sadness he expressed moved me so much, especially when he shared the lies this disease told him about himself, I found a certain clarity of understanding in the actions depression triggers. From what I learned about Naomi’s experiences it seemed to be consistent between the two people.

Your mind starts telling you: others don’t really care about you – that you are not worth love and respect – it’s not important to others if you are not there – that it would be better if you were dead – your disease is a curse on your family – and finally that you should just take care of your own dying! This spiraling cycle of thought, belief in the lies of a damaged conscious, and the struggle of your physical body, betrays the moments of lucidity.

It is heart breaking, especially when we hear of young people who see suicide as a way of escape. It reminds me when my son was in elementary and middle school dealing with extreme bullying. My guilt at not putting everything else aside to fight a battle he couldn’t, confronts me regularly. I was finally able to quit my full-time job and take him out of public school. Then we were able to start building up his non-existent self-esteem obliterated by the actions and words of kids he couldn’t escape. As I’ve said, and I don’t care what anyone else says, it was best for him to learn in a loving and accepting environment at home.

After four years at a private Christian high school, where he found friends, his skill in art and singing was discovered, developed and acknowledged that he became a full personality again.

Don’t ignore the signs, observe and be diligent in getting help for yourself or your loved one.

I plan to get a copy of Naomi’s book.

Cheers!

-N

Right Place, Right Time

Two round trips: between Phoenix and Orlando. Sometimes it is apparent you are in the right place at the right time.

We were scheduled to leave Phoenix, our departure time 5:55pm, however, to our dismay, the flight was delayed to an 8:15pm departure. This meant an arrival in Florida of 2:00am! We were not the only group of inconvenienced passengers. There were 22 who had a delayed flight from San Diego into Phoenix so they missed their connection. Consequently they were put on our flight.

One of the passengers from San Diego was Paul. He was a nice man, very interesting and as he told us of his travels around the world I found myself thinking of another very interesting man I met years ago while I worked at the Retail Center at the University of Arizona – John Peterman.

J. Peterman

Now some of you might remember this name if you watched Seinfeld years back. Not this man but an actor played the character. The real J. Peterman was fascinating, just like Paul. When we arrived in Orlando I gave him my card and hoped to hear from him since his farewell included a “come to SD and stay at my place at the beach” OK.

We had an outstanding visit with my son, his wife and our

Three generations

handsome, brilliant and fantastic youngest grandson.

Our flight back was Orlando to Chicago to Phoenix. The Orlando to Chicago-Midway flight was packed and there were at least a dozen kids – I didn’t know what to expect but to my surprise it was a calm flight. The Chicago to Phoenix trip included another fortuitous human connection – Max.

Max was 85 years old, with a gorgeous white goatee and a full head of white hair. He was right out of a movie – a very handsome man (wish I had gotten a photo.) He was traveling alone.

Max was having a bit of a cough, he seemed uncomfortable so I grabbed a cough drop I had in my bag and gave it to him, he was glad to take it and I assured him it was sugar free and he responded “That’s good for my diabetes,” and smiled at me. I went back to the movie I was watching on my phone. After a while I noticed he was clearing his through and coughing (differently than the first) so I asked him if he was okay. He said he just needed a drink. I had an empty plastic cup and we had a bottle of water so I filled it and handed it to him. Again a thankful smile and he took a drink. He told me the cough drop had cleared his head a bit.

He started to talk. About the lights in the darkness outside, his family, his house in Buckeye AZ, that he travels between Chicago and Phoenix by himself since his wife didn’t travel, and he always traveled Southwest Airlines. One more fill of water and by the time the flight was over he was relaxed and I felt like we were meant to sit with him.

Max, I hope you are doing well.

Cheers!

-N

My Boys

I’m sitting here at my desk looking at the screen of my phone which has a picture of my two grandsons. Sometimes I cannot believe how much I love theses two boys. They both were two  months old, the first time I met them and I can say my affection was instantaneous for both.

The circumstances of their appearance in our family is as follows.

Charlie is seven and was a foster to adopt situation for my daughter. In our family there is a culture of adoption. Truly when someone was adopted they were immediately merged into us. By the time Charlie was adopted he was so ingrained into the family there was no question he was one of us. My sister Mary said “He’s the Charlie that got the golden ticket!” I thought that was perfect. When we were in the California court for the adoption I was recording it for my son and daughter-in-law who were in Florida. You can hear me crying in the video. I was so overjoyed that Charlie now belonged to me 💖

Now Jackson was a different situation. My son and his wife had been trying for a while with no success, had even talked about adoption which was cool. During this process her OB found some issues which were corrected but still no success. The OB suggested trying IUI and it took! He came in late 2021. Now we have the gorgeous little man who has filled us with such love. It’s hard since he is in Florida but we plan to make trips every few months out there. Jackson has made my daughter an aunt and Charlie has his very own cousin.

So…here are my little men at 2 months old.

Jackson
Charlie

My boys.

Cheers,

-N

Two Weeks of Love and a conflict

I had a two week trip to Apopka FL (near Orlando) in January to meet my second grandson.

Nannie and Jackson

Let me say I am in love.

He was two months old and just yummy. He is a sweetheart and I spent every chance I got holding him, feeding him, and doing all the other baby things. It was my pleasure to help my son and daughter-in-law with the multiple tasks, giving them a well deserve break. I remember one afternoon saying, “Why don’t you guys have a date night?” which was met with enthusiasm. Anytime there was a comment about running to the store or going for coffee I piped up with a “go ahead I’ve got him,” with a big smile on my face. I loved my solo time with my wee fella.

Well, we are going back next month – lets just say I am ready to snuggle that boy again. This time he will get to meet his Poppa (grandfather) since hubby was sick and had to cancel last time. I am excited to see hubby with the baby grandson.

Now I come to the conflict referenced above. My kids have managed to live across the country from each other! One is in Phoenix, one is in Orlando. Could they have made it any harder on me? Although I will say my daughter moving from So Cal to Phoenix helped the dilemma a bit. Still it’s 2000+ miles to the others.

I told hubby when he retires I want to move halfway between them, which according to google maps is Rexville TX. Ready…its a ghost town! A crossroads location with about four houses.

Uh, no.

Charlie dressed to dance

So I’m here and keeping the credit cards paid off so I can travel, and taking every opportunity to see my Phoenix grandson. Yep, two grandsons.

Cheers!

-N

Christmas Decorations and Cooking

I’m not decorating for the holidays as I have in the past. It’s not because I have lost my Christmas spirit, but because it will be just hubby and I here, and our Christmas Eve and Christmas Day will be spent at my daughter’s place in Phoenix. Our grandson is there and the celebrating will go on in her house.

My son and his wife are in Florida so they are also doing their own thing as they wait for the arrival of my second grandson.

“A Christmas Carol”

If we were going to host a gathering I would jump on the decorating bandwagon, but it’s just not worth it to me. I have a few special things I love that I will set up: my Byers Choice “A Christmas Carol” carolers. I asked hubby to put up a few lights around the front porch, and I put out my holiday dishware and serving ware.

The Family Tree

Since I wrote the previous, my husband found a few boxes of Christmas decorations that belonged to his parents. After their passing we went to Reno and cleared out a storage area of things of theirs. This Christmas tree and these decorations were part of it. We now have a precious little tree decorated with ornaments gathered over their 50+ year marriage.

An important part of the holidays of southern Arizona is the making of tamales. One thing to note about Mexican food is the food is distinct to the region. It is my personal opinion – but there is no better Mexican food than Sonoran. You may have a different opinion but you are wrong.

REAL food doesn’t have orange cheese, it is only white crumbled cows cheese that comes from Sonora, Mexico. It is always fresh, and the ingredients blend well, not disguised by cumin and chili powder! Also our Christmas tamales have a green pimento olive inside that represent the baby Jesus.

So, when you enter a grocery store anywhere in southern Arizona at Christmas you will find a display like this:

Cheers!

-N

 

Missing Dad

This day is hard. My dad and I had a close, wonderful relationship.

ME AND DAD 1 YEAR BEFORE HE PASSED

I tell people, when I get to heaven all I want is to climb up in God’s lap and rest my head on His shoulder, the same way I used to do with my dad.

ME AND DAD

Today would have been dad’s 96th birthday. He passed away in 2002 after suffering the first of several strokes that took out his right side, on mother’s day of 1998, at my house. After surgery to remove the blockage he could no longer walk or speak.

It makes me sad that the youngest members of our family do not know him, or in the case of those who were born after the stroke and before he passed away, they have no memories of him.

DAD AND TEDY BRUSCHI

Dad used to volunteer with the University of Arizona football team during the time of Coach Smith and Coach Tomey. Dad had a great time being part of the team and was interviewed a couple of times by the local TV stations. I have a VHS tape with those interviews so I can hear his voice. I cry every time, but I treasure those few minutes of memories. I got choked up writing those last two sentences.

Dad was a handsome, gregarious man. He was full of laughter and loved riding motorcycles, the Dallas Cowboys, and adored my mother. He survived a difficult childhood that could have made him bitter but he had us, we were his, and he made sure

MOTORCYCLE JACK
DAD

we knew how important we were to him.

So here’s a toast to my dad, Jack Turner.

Cheers!

-N

Charlie’s Hands

My six year old grandson spent the night with us this past Sunday night and we took him home Monday afternoon. He and his Poppa had a great time in the pool that night

GLOW SWIMMING

doing a glow swim which is swimming wearing glow stick necklaces.

Besides just hanging out with him and having fun laughing and talking I noticed something about his hands. They captivated me. Watching him do things using those precious hands was fascinating. The way he holds out his pinky when he drinks from his water bottle and the way his fingers move so quickly when he is playing Minecraft on my phone kept my attention.

MY COOL CHARLIE

He is very dexterous with holding things, carrying several things at a time and using his camera. His fingers are long and his palms are wide. His little fingernails are perfect.

It made me think of how amazing our hands really are. We can pick up a handful of items and balance them in our hands then reach over and open a drawer while not losing a thing. Just fascinating how our bodies are made. We can communicate with our hands by doing what I am doing right now – typing on my computer, or with American Sign Language we can have conversations.

Not sure there’s a cooler kid than him. Agree?

Cheers!

-N

Humans 😠

This story moved me because I remember my brave, blessed, beautiful father sharing with me some of his experiences in Vietnam where my dad related a similar experience while stationed at Phan Rang, Vietnam. He was in the USAF and took care of the B57 that were running bombing sorties over North Vietnam. Years later dad and I shared stories of his tour in Vietnam and my experiences as a young teen in the Philippines during the same time.

He told me about an order they had gotten telling them not to approach any Vietnamese children who might be alone walking across the base. It was because the Viet Cong (VC, North Vietnamese) would wrap the children in explosives and once a soft hearted American would come up to one of these little children to find out how to take care of them and the child was instructed to trigger the explosive when this happened.

He said that often these were 2-3 year old females. He was the father of three girls.

If you can handle it, look into the atrocities the Japanese committed against the Chinese in Nanking. The mind of a human who can do this to another human must be a repulsively, nasty, dark, dirty place.

My dad, a man who loved to laugh and took you for face value, suffered from his experiences and knowledge of the hell one human can put another human through.

If you want to support Ephraim and join their army check out their link:

https://strongholdrescue.org/support

Cheers!

-N

Our Cool Yearly Visitor

We’ve had a teenage girl living with us for five days. I can honestly say it is a different world!

First of all she is the kind of teenager you want every teen to be like. She is kind, interested, funny, and respectful. She is affectionate and she figures out the dynamics of living with us and being with us. This is amazing since we are her great Aunt and great Uncle, so our age difference is considerable.

She has confidence in herself and yet she has a charming shyness that her uncle and I adore, and want to protect. She challenges without being rude or disrespectful. What I truly appreciate about her is her lack of interest in being a Kardashian which is so typical of most girls her age (13). She would rather smell like horses than perfume. I have to get on her case a bit to brush her hair or get a shower. Don’t get me wrong, she isn’t sloppy or dirty. She just doesn’t think about it.

So refreshing.

She has goals, and plenty of interests, and during the various trips we’ve taken during her visits with us, she has put her best into learning and discovering each destination. For example this year seeing her reactions to things she encountered in Tucson visitor staples like the Flandrau Planetarium, Pima Air and Space Museum, Titan Missile Historic Site and Sabino Canyon Recreation Area shows she is open to learn. Rather than showing boredom with these locations, she absorbed the knowledge available.

Our sweet niece.

She visits us for about a week at the end of each school year. This is our 4th year hosting her and I love that she still wants to hang out with us. It may not last much longer. So we are taking advantage of the opportunities.

So… I just gave her a bowl of homemade whipped cream and a bottle of chocolate syrup! What can I say, she deserves it and earned it. We got hugs and so did she.

She loves hugs!

Cheers!

-N

A wonderful visit, a perfect guest

Last Wednesday through Saturday I had a very special guest in my home. My sweet friend Kristen, long time BFF, keeper of secrets, Mexico travel buddy, she and I have been friends since 1989.

She left Tucson five years ago after huge life changes and moved to the St. Louis area to help with the care of her aging parents. Though we go long spells without contact, once we are together again it’s as though we hadn’t been apart a day. We laughed a lot, drank wine, chatted for hours, and I introduced her to my new besties. It was a joy to have her here.

Kristen is an easy guest to have for a visit. Not much cleaning up after her. She keeps her space clean, she helps around the house, she was always stopping by the store and bringing fruit and munchies (always black olives,) she shared with us. But most of all, hubby and I know she cares deeply for us, as we do for her.

An animal lover, Kristen fell in love with our Millie. Kristen’s mother always had German Shepherds (or German shedders as she called them) so she was more than comfy with our sweet girl. She didn’t hesitate to scold when Millie misbehaved which I appreciate and knew it was because she was comfortable in our home. It’s such a great feeling about a close friend.

She helped me see my home, inside and outside with new eyes. She loved the way our house had evolved since her last visit, especially the paint and new book shelves as well as my office space. We spent time outside, in the breezy cooler days, enjoying the honeysuckle and roses, the grassy yard and trees. I hope these mild temps last through May. Her room has a porch surrounded with trees that the morning chorus of birds, resting in the branches, woke her.

The oddest thing about this whole visit is neither one of us took any pictures. I realized it after she left Saturday morning. How did that happen?

So, I hope to have the chance to return the visit with my own trip to her home.

Cheers!

-N

Kristen

Here is a picture of my friend, with a typical bowl of black olives we always had.