After many months of a blog hiatus, I found myself lost for something to write about.
So lost that I googled what to write a blog about? A site that promised: 101 Blog Post Ideas That Will Make Your Blog “HOT” popped up.
Hot isn’t exactly what I’m after though.
I don’t envision my audience clicking into Shellsween blogs expecting hot stuff.
But I checked the suggestions out any way because “hot” is click bate and I took it.
A lot of the topics were intriguing and others, not so much.
Write where you’d like to travel.
Where someone did travel sounds interesting, but where they want to go? There are plenty of good ideas on the site though.
You decide if they’re hot, or not.
I settled for #80:
Abandon your blog for a week and make others think “what happened to you” – It’s pretty risky, but if you are a famous blogger – this will get you a lot of buzz.
Well, I’m not a famous blogger, but I chose it any way.
Go for it, I heard…from…God…who considers me famous all the same.
Maybe there’s a single soul out there who actually does wonder what happened to me.
After all, it only takes one to wonder.
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“Abandon your blog for a week.”
A year was more like it.
Why does a hobby-blogger disappear from their favorite pastime for a whole year?
Thank you for asking. Depression is the answer.
I never would have thought in a million years that the mysterious “something” that often people can’t pin down as to what, why, how or even if something really is wrong, and if it is, what the heck is it, where did it come from, and how the hell can you get rid of it, would visit me.
Why am I not hungry?
Why is it hard to get out of bed?
Why do I have odd injuries?
Why can’t I focus?
Then, the day comes when you’re so sad there’s no denying it.
Holy ****: I’m depressed.
If you haven’t been there, there’s no way to know what it’s like.
Don’t be curious or wish you knew because it’s not fun.
If you know what I’m talking about, I’m sorry, I feel your pain.
It’s not fun writing about either.
But, it’s a way to dig out of it — get going again – a cathartic SOS rope of sorts.
On March 29, 2017, my dear dad (88) lost control of his car and drove into shrubbery outside his dentist’s office.
Thank God no one was seriously injured.
He had minor injuries but that was all.
It was alarming, mostly because I’d asked him to stop driving six months prior.
Clearly, he didn’t listen to me.
Four months later to the day, July 29, he rose to heaven at age 89.
His passing had nothing to do with driving.
It was his time to go.
I fought hard — the desire to go with him.
He was a kind-hearted, good man.
I spent a week with him in the hospital before he went home for only a couple, cherished final days.
Our last hours on earth together are intense memories.
Though he wasn’t conscious, I played Amazing Grace for him; I laid beside him; I told him I loved him; I said I knew he was already some where I could only imagine; I said I looked forward to joining him one day.
While in the hospital, he accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior.
I knew he was in good hands.
He could let go.
I told him that too.
Diana in Monte Carlo
One month before he passed, June 3, our dear friends/business partners were in a Puerto Rican plane crash.My last blog was about it:
Needless to say, when dad began his decline I/we weren’t even close to comprehending the plane crash.
During this time, my youngest was gallivanting around Europe for three months.
Actually she was studying.
But, if you kept up with her via Facebook it looked more like gallivanting than book emersion.
Diana was in Budapest when her Papa died.
It was sad but I’m kind of glad she missed the live sorrow.
A small renovation of our home began shortly after dad’s passing. We’d been through bigger and better makeovers so I wasn’t too worried about it.
Most of the work was slated for outdoors (driveway, painting, windows, etc.).
This was good news because interior renovations aren’t my cup-of-comfort tea.
What should have been an easy, no-thrills home improvement project, dragged on for months.
The paint job was so bad the entire trim portion had to be redone.
Contractors stopping by for this, that, or the other, became an agitating routine.
It began in October and should have ended in October but it didn’t wrap up until mid January when I was jet-lagged from a second European trip within six months.
Jeff traveled to Asia in November.
Rather than sit home alone, I decided it was the perfect time to “get away.”
I flew to Oregon and holed up in The Heathman Hotel with my iPad and journaled away.
When my fingers weren’t madly keyboard pecking, I walked to Powell’s, the food trucks, Nordstrom, Pioneer Square, The Pearl District, etc.
I hoped to get into the big Wordstock event at Portland State, which was right around the corner, but the line to get a ticket stretched to Tijuana and the line after that, to actually get in, went up to Canada.
My sister and I managed to sneak into a Michael Jackson tribute concert in the old Paramount Theatre though.
The guy performing sounded just like Michael. Good ‘ol Portland.
When I arrived home in Atlanta from that trip, I got sick.
A few weeks later, in early December, our dog, Gus, had his second ACL surgery.
This is how I looked and felt too
It’s a 16-week recovery process.
We were sick and trying to recover together.
Our second Europe trip was right after Christmas.
I was barely recovered from the Portland trip but anxious all the same to split from ATL again.
Seeing the pain of my father’s passing through my mother’s eyes was worse than my own. I hated to leave her but I also hated to stay…more.
The day we left for Amsterdam (12.27), I went to the doctor because my wrist was in agony.
I sprained it shoveling snow and ice from mother’s driveway and carrying far-too-heavy firewood, on Christmas day, to the fireplace and then ramming and jamming the logs as though doing so would bring dad back.
I gave myself a TFCC tear.
The doctor put me in a brace that made sleeping on the aircraft and traveling with in general, miserable for other muscles.
Muscles on the right side of my body wound and knotted as tight as humanly possible.
I love Europe and most places I’ve been, but coming back to the United States has always been a favorite part.
I was happy to land at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport on January 6, 2018.
On January 12, I tested positive for the flu.
I thought my wrist was on the mend, but the flu attacked me like a mean monster and made it worse. Chills, fever, weakness and suppressed grief whacked me on my arse. If you had the flu this past season, you know what I’m talking about.
If you were depressed and had the flu this past season, you wish you didn’t know what I was talking about.
If you were depressed, had the flu, a sprained wrist and messed up muscles you thought (or wished?) your end was imminent.
On February 8, I got tendonitis in the other wrist while pulling Gus.
On February 12, my mother tripped on an ATT cable that was negligently left draped in front of her driveway.
She was badly injured and rushed to the ER.
Immediately after her accident she came to my house because there was no way she could care for her injuries alone.
I loved having her and wanted desperately to cook and care for her but I had two lame hands.
In March, I learned a childhood friend would spend the next five and a half years in prison.
Everyone’s journey with bad luck blues is different.
Mine happened because issues weren’t properly dealt with and, unfortunately, more issues piled on top of those.
Tip number one to anyone suffering with loss, fear, or pain: don’t turn away.
Don’t run like I did because it’s always right where you are.
Face it, don’t deny it.
Ask for help from friends, doctors, anyone you feel comfortable with.
Don’t let other things pile on.
One catastrophe is scary by itself — several are devastating.
Rest, physical therapy, counseling, friends, exercise, spa visits, supplements, love, time, and Jesus helped me.
All these things help on Recovery Road!
It’s a loong road – I’m not at the end of mine, but very close.
There were times when I thought I’d never be the same. Thank God that’s not the case.
And speaking of God…nothing helps more than a personal relationship with Him.
He was and is a constant, faithful companion — never further than a thought or Word away.
* * * * * *
It’s Easter Sunday, April 1, 2018.
New hope, New life!
1 Peter 5:6-7
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.
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I vacillated about whether or not to share this. Is it TMI, what will people think, etc.? What it is, I concluded, is the truth. The truth will set you free. If more people posted the truth, there might be more understanding. The world needs more understanding, IMHO. Sometimes the flip side to happiness is more interesting, meaningful. To me it is. Everyone has a flip side.
“I do suffer from depression, I suppose.
Which isn’t that unusual.
You know, a lot of people do.” –Amy Winehouse
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Thanks for stopping by