My Grief Challenges, Just Sharin'

Kidney Stone Situation August 19, 2017


Oh my gracious !!!  I had 3 posts ready, but last week I posted #2 instead of #1. Oh well !!!

During my kidney stone situation, I felt awful for being mopey, for having no energy, but mostly, for letting my self-imposed  guilt bother me the whole time.  I did not want to complain or even silently moan about my aches when I witnessed what Shawn had to endure ???  My 3 millimeter stone was nothing compared to Shawn’s deep tissue burns. Why did this little jewel knock me down, so much so that I could not finish the school year ???

I could sit in my recliner or curl up in my bed, everything else caused more pain.  I was so frustrated that I could not win over the pain.                                 Years ago, when I was dealing with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue, I had been told to make sure there was no television is my bedroom, no phone~~~nothing that would make my mind think instead of sleep. In-fact, I was told that the only place I should allow myself to rest, was my bed. No napping in my chair.

How glad I was during my kidney situation for my comfortable recliner. I did not feel like working on Christmas ornaments, so I watched shows on you-tube about: castle building, the monk lifestyle, various mysteries.

On one show  a comment was made that struck me. Truth be told, I have no idea what type of show it was. The words that struck a raw nerve: “…that appalling desperation of wanting to keep the dying/dead person with you”        Those words were exactly the issue that had been piercing my heart.

It is a strange feeling as time moves forward and relationships change,     that wanting of the dead person to not be forgotten,             another type of letting go,  facing the loss, again, all the while watching as others move forward, past me. What is my problem ???

 A question that was asked to me, “Was Shawn in misery ?” This person commented that Shawn must have been exhausted. She told me to think of Shawn in heaven. He gets to sing in God’s choir, he is not hurting anymore. Be happy for him.

 Moment after moment, during my kidney stone situation, my mind  flashed back with self imposed guilt, about Shawn’s last days and the decisions I was involved in.  Will I ever get to the point where I do not hate myself for my part in Shawn’s last days ???  My counselor has had to re-explained my strong sense of responsibility, that is why I have such a hard time working through issues.

On the day of my kidney stone removal surgery: I was given a knotted glove that had been filled with hot water.                                               This brought back memories about what I had done with the gloves during Shawn’s hospital days. You see, Shawn’s body would get very hot. It was difficult using the ice packs from the hospital, on Shawn’s head. Somehow, I figured out that ice fit neatly into hospital gloves. I could place a glove carefully on Shawn’s head, and it would stay, giving him some cool relief. When Shawn went in for surgeries, I would write notes, to the medical team, on the gloves and ice packs.  I am thankful for the cute photos I had taken, at those difficult moments.                        So when I was given a warm glove to get my veins ready for the IV, it made for a strange Shawn connection.   

Before my surgery, I had given Bob “the” note of what to do if things did not go well. I believe I told Mom and Melissa what to do. I wanted all 3 on the same page.  I also informed my doctor that I wanted some piece of the kidney stone, if not the whole thing, or at-least a photo of it.                                             I made sure the anesthesiologist knew I did not want to wake up during surgery. I still remember, vividly, the details of waking up during my broncoscopy.

 It was time to be rolled to surgery. For some reason as I was being rolled down the hall, I was remembering when Shawn’s body was being rolled  down the long corridor, away from me forever~~~I started crying. I told the anesthesiologist I was getting too sad, missing my son. I asked if he would just let me go to sleep. I just wanted relief from my grief agony.  

 I remember my doctor waking me up and telling me there was no stone. I fr*eaked !!! I was worried no one would believe me, and what would I tell work ? My doctor reminded me that the ultra sound showed the stone. He did give me a photo, it showed the damaged tissue of where the stone had been stuck. A stent was put in place, as a precaution. I believe the stent must have been on the damaged tissue, the pain those 7 days was, aaawful !!!

You may find yourself wondering what  in the world is this a photo of ? My cup and strainer, I used for 33 days, during my kidney stone situation. The flowers were added for prettiness.     The green thing is the stent that was put in place, for a week, even though the stone was gone.                                When the doctor was removing the stent, I asked if I could have it. He said, ” sure.”  The nurse had to pick herself up off the floor. She was rather perturbed at my request. Her breathing noises made that ever so clear.    As a matter of fact,   I have learned that not many folks know what this type stent looks like.       AND a funny thing:  I was the first to ask for the stent, according to the disgruntled nurse.  Go figure.

For quite some time, I have been stymied as to how much water to drink; with so many opinions ?  My doctor was explaining to me that since there was no stone to test, being over 50 and this was my first kidney stone, he was not worried about the why or how it happened. He just wanted me to make sure to drink plenty of water. I asked how much water is enough ? He said that any time my urine is darken than the color of straw, I need more water, plain and simple.

I know I have been pretty blunt in this post, but maybe someone learned something new ???




Precious Cuddlz !!!





Just Sharin'

Chandler & Jessica August 19, 2017

   Chandler & Jessica,

First, please forgive me for the forum I used. I just didn’t know what would be the best way to pass along my blessing. Please believe me when I say this is not meant to cause any extra stress.

I wanted both of you to know that I have been praying for this special day for many, many, many months.


What an amazing privilege God has placed into your care.  I pray your love for Jessica will grow with each passing day. I hope that in the unsure moments, low energy days and times of life frustrations, that you will take a deep breath, find the calm and soldier on. I pray for you to desire to stay committed and face each challenge boldly. My hope for you is that you will experience many new joys as you build this new family. I pray for your love, wisdom and patience to grow as you seek to meet the needs of these special children God has seen fit to give you. I will continue to be a committed prayer warrior for your new and dear family.


It is important for me to express to you my unending love and care for you. I am thankful God has given you a new opportunity to be loved and cherished. I do pray for you to have peace, comfort and other blessings as you and Chandler journey together. I pray for energy, strength and unwavering commitment as your new family is joined together. I pray for wisdom to be your guide. I hope you will have many moments of lasting joy. I pray you and Chandler will endearingly, patiently and selflessly work through the challenges that will come your way. I want you to know, I committed to pray for your dear family.

Lainey, Kaiden and Ella:

Today is a very special day for the 3 of you. Each of you is very special to me. In time I will be better at communicating that to you.  I pray for each of you to show love and care and respect for all in your new family. Seek out ways to be helpful. Be happy for this new opportunity of having committed parents. Trust the parents God is giving you. Help them to know you are glad to have them as your parents. And, know this, I will continue to pray for each of you, often.

 I will close with this: 

23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; 25 whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed;26 for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.           Romans 3:23-26  

I love you and  I will continue to pray for you.



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“Prayer/Care Cards” August 12, 2017

        A sunset at Seaside !!!

My family had rented a house in Seaside, for a week. So on July 9th, I had decided to head to Seaside, after church, by way of Rockaway beach. My plans were changed when I saw a lot of traffic, in both directions. Any spot that could be parked in, was filled.   I drove through Rockaway figuring on coming back in a day or so. As I was driving, I was making new plans. You see, I was going to take photos of decorations for my “Prayer/Care Cards” and take photos for my “Remembering Shawn” time. 

For many years I have been frustrated that I could not find the right card to send out to various folks going through difficulties. I call these cards my “Prayer/Care Cards”. I want to remind folks that someone cares and is praying for them, as they muddle through a difficult time.  In years past, I  bought many discounted cards, none of which I really liked. I like the personal touch.   I have come up with my own phrases. I hope to make the photos into cards.

Here is an example:  P.S. I have several colors, not just blue !!!

As I continued my drive towards Seaside, my disappointment lightened.   I asked God to help me figure out how I could use all my prayer/care decorations?  I had decided I was going to get up extra early in the mornings, walk to the beach and get photos finished before the sun would cast too many shadows to work around. Then my mind started to wander as I recalled the many sand sayings  I had made for Shawn, since he died. In time I started making sayings for others, who wanted their precious person remembered. I love making sand sayings.  I hope to get to make more sand sayings, for others not just myself. Mind you, it takes quite a bit of time. I hope to  make my new sand sayings  into cards to send out to those facing difficult times. Oh yes,  I had brought Blotto on this beach trip, in hopes of getting more photos of her at various locations, if time allowed.

 Bob came to Seaside, the following Monday afternoon. He knew how bummed I was to not get my various photos taken.             During my kidney episode I was watching a movie. I do not know the title or what it was about. Only one small phrase: “that  appalling desperation of wanting to keep  the dying person with you.”   I think that is why going to Rockaway is still so important. It is my special remembering place for Shawn. A lot of folks go to a cemetery.    Bob gave me the idea of leaving very early Saturday morning and getting to Rockaway before car and people traffic picked up. What a great idea ! I was sure I could pull out some of my prayer/care suches to make more photos.

Just a few samples: 










Here is something neat. I figured out what I can can do to contribute when with others. You see, I love washing dishes and doing laundry.  So, while at Seaside with my family, I suggested they let me be the official dish washer and take care of the towels and wash cloths. I just wanted to find a way to lighten their load. And, guess what ? They let me !!!     For me, it was easy to do those tasks with joy !!!  


I must admit, there are times (many) when it seems God & I are not on the same page.

Friday evening before Bob left, it was noticed that my car had a  flat front tire. Les Schwab was closed. The donut spare was put on. There was such a difference in size that I was not going to attempt driving to Rockaway. I would need to get my tire fixed Saturday morning, changing my plans, again, for a remembering Shawn photo. My brother-in-law said there must be a reason, trust God. As reality set in, the emotion pressures were weakening the doors that do a fair job of restraining my tear flows. Without warning the tears burst out. I was, so, ashamed. I’m sure it is hard for most to understand my need for remembering Shawn.  

***Les Schwab, You Rock !!!***

I am kind-of struggling. I cannot see how God can use my strange life. I do not want folks wondering why Kathy shares everything. I believe I have mentioned before that I am using this platform so my family and friends can have a place to check in to see how I am doing~that way they don’t have to deal with my grief stuff   ??? Also, maybe my sharing will help someone know they are not alone. Maybe (?) all my different ideas or things I learn along the way can be an encouragement to someone ?

The other day, I typed in on YouTube: sermons on moving through grief.   Here is a message I found helpful:  Joel Osteen, :Don’t Waste Your Pain:  It is well worth listening to.

 At 16:59 Joel mentioned “puzzle”, which reminded me of a project I wanted to try. I took a children’s puzzle and painted over it. I chose a scripture that I need reminding of, often, and penned it the best I could.  It did not turn out perfect, in-fact, it looked so much nicer before I cut the pieces apart. BUT, the words are pure comfort !!!  


Just Sharin'

A Game Plan !!! August 5, 2017


Well hello folks, I am trying to get back into doings.  I am so behind and have been trying to catch up on: home projects, ornaments, organizings, PorQ clips and hopefully weight issues. I guess I need to make a game plan !!! The past 6 months have been very difficult. I think I am kind-of feeling a-self-imposed pressure.  You see, my counselor gave me 5 years  from Shawn’s death, to be dealing better with my grief. This is year 4…                 The gloom has been so thick over me.  I was watching a program about Charles Spurgeon. More than once Charles faced the difficulties of despair. All the while, God’s mission, plan or calling, was unwinding for Charles, in-spite of his ups and downs.  I know there are folks in the Bible who seemed to have quite a bit of sad moments in their lives, yet God used them.

I do not know if many of you out there are in the deeps of despair ??? I do not know if any of  you understand what it is like to dread every moment whilst trying to come to grips with loss. I do not know if any of you struggle with the torments of depression or grief.  I do not know if any of you struggle wondering what your purpose is or what gifts God has given you or how God can use you for His glory ???    Like this tiny pansy, growing through a crack in the pavement and up close to a building.  How and why did it grow there ??? Yet, the several times I walked past this flower, clocking in & out for work, it blessed my heart.  I wonder how many of you know someone who is doubting their worth, while you the onlooker, can see clearly how God is using said person ? Just recently, for me, I was sharing with a new friend that her attitude, her persistence and her acceptance of her situation have been such a blessing to me. She shocked me when she said the same about me.  How could she say that about me ??? You see, my new friend has suffered with Cerebral Palsy, for 70 years. She is reliant on a special lift to get out of bed. She gets tired, easily. She has other health issues that make her life more complicated. To go anywhere, she has to use special transportation. The home she lives in, is lonely. Most of the other folks have some level of Alzheimer’s, or just plain don’t care to be friends. She used to enjoy her 10 year old Apple laptop, until it broke. Her resources are nil, so she cannot afford to get it fixed.  She sighs, yet is grateful for God’s love, care and peace. The many moments she is alone or unable to sleep, being a prayer warrior, she uses those many moments to pray for those God  brings her way. I am earnestly praying that somehow God would send someone her way that could fix her laptop. At-least she would be able to connect with others.

I really  thought I was doing better, until “my little jewel” episode happened.  I have been told happiness is a choice. Don’t think for a moment that I have not given myself  “a here to what for” about trusting God’s moving in my life.

Now, here is where I am most bothered by my kidney stone episode. Not working gave me time to remember a lot of Shawn’s  hospital moments and the many decisions that had to be made, and the regrets or doubts regarding those decisions.

I must admit that the nausea, pain and weakness for 33 days was tiring, but nothing like my friend who has suffered for 70  years with her Cerebral Palsy.  My hope is to find ways to, somehow, encourage my new friend.









Just Sharin'

Well, Hello Folks !!! July 29, 2017


Well, hello folks. I am actually feeling better,  from my kidney stone episode, so much so that I have been working super hard on our very tiny yard. If you saw our yard, you would find yourself wondering how I could spend so much time working on it. Fact is I had over done my efforts and my doctor told me to ease up. She was right, Wednesday night I was hurting so badly that I could not sleep. Nothing was interesting on the television and I knew my least liked emotion was brewing~I was missing Shawn, extremely. I decided to do some surfing from my recliner.            

The past several days, I have had several songs repeat many times. These songs I have liked from the early 90’s, when our family was going through some very difficult times. The last song I listened to was: “The Anchor Holds” with Ray Boltz singing. I had noticed another title selection: The Story Behind – “The Anchor Holds” written and performed by Lawrence Chewning.  For some reason the words Lawrence spoke made my emotional flood waters spew forth.  So, instead of posting 1 of the 3 posts I had ready, I am just sharing what I found on YouTube. I will leave it at that. Take care now. K