Lately, I have been upset with myself. Plus, on Wednesday, during my elementary stops, it hit. My head was flooded with wondering if Shawn understood what was happening those last 3 days. I hadn’t thought of it in a way that shook me to the core. More guilt ??? So, Now What ??? What am I doing wrong ? Can’t I just let go and move forward ? Why do I dread sleep, which in turn, leaves me exhausted ? What does God want from me, now ? I keep repenting, in case I am grieving wrong; for being a Gloomy Gus, and for not liking this me, now, and for plumb not liking this journey. Why can’t I just put on a happy face and be more positive, in spite of this life changing event ? Will I ever be able to look past the sadness of Shawn’s dying process ? Maybe I am just afraid of what is next ? Why does it seem I am handling this so badly ? Can’t I just buck up ? So, I did some searching with Dogpile, on pity, grieving, getting over grief, life support decisions. I read several posts from other grievers. Uh oh, turns out the things I am upset at myself about, are the very things other grievers are dealing with. I was shocked . I even learned that there are others struggling with the guilt decisions-having life support discontinued-and or letting the doctors decide. I have been berating myself up one side and down the other for being such a wimp—when it turns out, I am missing / hurting / sad, because of the death of a precious person. So, now what ??? How do I put one foot in front of the other ? I would rather stay here, in kind-of a safe zone, and not have anything else happen. Folks have said it is good to help others, then one isn’t dwelling on them self. I don’t know how folks have the energy. A typical week for me is, being gone from home: M-F 5A-5P. When I get home, I exercise, sauna and suches, and then get ready for the next day. Saturdays, I catch up and prepare for the next week. Sundays belong to God, with the finish of sauna time. I have grandchildren I need to connect with. I truly do not know how to do more, I am so tired. Most of this week, Proverbs 3:5-6 kept running through my head. It is another scripture God had me memorize as a teen. This past week, the wind dried the air and the fuzzy white seeds from the cottonwood trees, were blowing, all over. I try to breath through my nose-to filter the air. Well, the other day, a fuzzy white seed went right up my nose. I did not like the feeling and my lungs rebelled. For some reason it made me think back on my short time at Northwest Nazarene College. My asthma had been very bad-my lungs had not gotten the message that drier climate was suppose to be great for folks with asthma. Eventually, I gave in and went to a doctor, for some relief. He tried various medications-nothing worked. I don’t know what made him think of this, but he started giving me cortisone shots, near the shoulder blade. Oh man !!! The pain was awful. The doctor told me that once the medicine kicked in, the pain would be less and my lungs would feel better. He was right. It didn’t take long before my lungs would flare up again. I learned that cortisone shots had to be spaced out, and even though I was not feeling well, I had to wait a few weeks. I told the doctor that when I was growing up and these episodes happened, I would be given a shot of ??? (I do not know what it was). Let me tell you what, it was the most wonderful shot, before the cool liquid had emptied from the syringe, my lung pain had eased and breathing was a wonderful experience, although, short lived. For whatever reason, I started swimming to see if I could make my lungs stronger. Asthma and swimming……..so, I decided to try running. Hoping it would help my weight, also. I remember my 1st 1/4 of the 1st lap of the 1st mile, and the weather was hhhooottt. What was I thinking ??? Stubbornness, being one of my characteristics, I kept it up. There was a brief time when the track was being resurfaced, so I ran around Nampa. I would run very early, in the mornings. The stores I ran past, not open, but the owners were there to wave. My favorite place to run past-slowly, was where pastries were being prepared…….the fragrance in the air was so nummy. When the track was finished, it was so wonderful to run on. I believe recycled rubber from tires was used. I remember looping. 3 being my number, I had gotten up to 3 miles. One of my friends on the basketball team, ran with me to give me some helpful ideas. He told me to not run on the balls of my feet, but heel to toe—rounded, not flat footed. My shin splints went away. He then told me keep my shoulders back and elbows in at my sides and let my forearms move up and down freely, with hands open. It did make it easier to not be so tense. We worked on my breathing. in through my nose, out the mouth, but not with every stride. I worked hard to follow the tips he had given me. I remember when track started. The female couch had been out watching me for several days. When it was time to get the team a runnin’, she asked me if I would keep running , helping set the pace. After some time, 2 coaches spoke with me. They liked the way I ran, the consistency, and that I had worked so hard to try and overcome my lung issues. I was asked to be on some long distance running team. I thought they were not serious. I knew who I was, so, I told them I wasn’t good enough and competing against others— I never like to make others feel bad, for whatever reason. The weather was changing. Time for loopin’ in the gym and up and down stairs. It was fun having the basketball team cheer me on as they passed me by. I should explain, I am 5 feet and 1/2 an inch, they were all pretty much taller than me. I had a blast when the wrestling team started training. The track folks would run inside, periodically. They couldn’t believe how many laps I did-I have forgotten the number. I remember loop’in and sweatin’, when one of my friends asked what the smell was. I laughed. They asked again if I knew who was wearing that wonderful perfume. Then they asked to smell my hair. They said they only smelled that fragrance in the vicinity I was in. They wanted to know what perfume I had on. I didn’t. At that time I was not allergic to Flex. Guess what they started using. Funny. So, now what ??? Why in the world did I write this long recall about running to beat my asthma ? Well, I did end up learning a lot about myself. Things that I would applaud to another person, but not myself. It is that recall of the 1st 1/4th of the 1st lap of the 1st mile. It was not easy. It was not fun. No one else could run for me. I had to be coached. Because of my low opinion of myself, I turned down a neat opportunity. I conquered my asthma-for a few months. My reason for running had encouraged others-their tellings remain precious to me. There were moments of joy, a lot of sweat, a lot of pain that had to be pushed through The desire to “Press On”. Actually, so many similar issues I face today, although, back then, I was not dealing with the heart wrenching ache of loss. Oh yes, I did a lot of scripture memorizing then, and index card studying-while loopin’. If you don’t mind me sayin’, it was great for me to take this trip down memory lane, kind of encouraging. How strange that events of mine, 30 some years ago, could actually lighten my spirit.