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', My Grief Challenges

Missin’ The Happy~Clappy June 21, 2017

Back in April I had gone into Target. My grief emotions were slamming me extremely hard, that particular day.  As  I walked through the Target doors, there was cheering and clapping. This caused me to have a chuckle moment. So, I did what anyone else would do. I walked out of the store. I, then,  proceeded back through the entrance doors.   Yep,  just what I needed. I decided to go through the entrance doors one more time, just for fun. How or why did that happy~clappy make me chuckle ? It was almost as if a tiny bright shaft of light came piercing out of a thick black cloud that hung over me.  Around May 6th,  I was at Target. This time there was no cute greeting.   I found myself missin’ the happy~clappy.  I did ask a clerk what happened to the happy~clappy. She said it was stopped a couple days before. Apparently some folks said it was annoying. Go figure. Well, if anyone from Target Corporation sees this: I loved your happy~clappy greeting when I came through your doors !!! Maybe some kind of track that plays extra greetings? Kudos to whomever came up with the idea !!! One never knows what might give another a well needed chuckle moment.

  Such a little stone for such a big bother !!!

     It has been  almost a month since my trying kidney stone episode began. Energy has been at an all time low. Which I do not understand, since this is probably the first time in my life that I  have had 100% oxygen level in my system. I have had an awful back and leg pain. I decided to check in with my acupuncturist. She found that my right kidney is having difficulties functioning. She found that my sciatic nerve on my right side is the cause of my leg pain. I have found that the Yoga Pigeon stretch has been very helpful. This video explains the stretch very well:    Sciatica 101: How and Why Yoga Relieves Sciatica Pain, Justine Shelton:  

My acupuncturist did some research and found a couple of products for me to try, in hopes of dissolving “my little jewel”. I have tried drinking lots of pineapple juice, adding rose water to it. I could not tolerate apple cider vinegar. Magnesium, I was told to take before bed. Oops, here I go, the magnesium kept me awake, apparently most folks find it relaxes them-go figure. I have drunk  A LOT of water !!! Thankfully, most times I am only 13 steps from the bathroom. I have been very nauseated this whole time. It is odd for me to be sick to my stomach. I did get sick to my stomach when I was pregnant and for most of the surgeries I have had, I have gotten very sick to my stomach as the anesthesia is wearing off. Because of these issues, I found work too much. My doctor okay-ed me not to work until this episode is healed.  

Well, my doctor called to check in on me. He had hoped my stone would have passed on its own. He told me that 7 out of 10 folks are able to pass a 3 mm stone with no trouble.  I have until June 22nd, to do due diligence to get this jewel out.  I do not like nor want surgery. To add to the dread, I have been told that the stent is not much fun.  

Oh yes, this tell happened the Thursday I drove after my kidney episode: I do not know how I made it through that day. The pain, nausea and exhaustion were more of a battle than I had expected.  I locked my bus and was walking, slowly, to clock out. A friend was calling my name. She caught up with me. She was wondering where I had been and if I was okay. She commented that I didn’t look so good. I explained. She grabbed me by the arm and jerked me around to look at her. She was laughing while loudly telling me,”Kathy, be glad you are not a horse !”  Wow ! I just didn’t know what to think. She told me that she had seen kidney stones from horses that were the size of a basketball. She told me to be glad I didn’t have to deal with that. Yes, I am very glad I am not a horse. When I told my Aunt about this, we were laughing so hard, tears were rolling down our faces.

Since I have not been able to do a lot, I have been watching tours of gardens.  I re-watched “Rosemary & Thyme”. I have been listening to preaching. I found this message from Rick Warren so encouraging.  “Learn How God’s Goodness Can Restore You” with Rick Warren.   Published on Feb 20, 2017. 




My Grief Challenges

God Loves, Me ??? April 1, 2017



My cold was so awful that I did not do an audio for the post from last week, therefore I did not do any rereading. Before I go any  further, I will  read the last paragraph.

 Maybe next week I can do audio. 

 I did share last posts happening with my counselor. I was afraid he would say I have gone off the deep end. Instead, he gave examples of similar experiences from other folks.  He told me to look at it as an answer from God, that Shawn is okay. I am to consider it a gift from God. My counselor encouraged me to look at these type of events in a more positive way. Realize God loves me and does answer my prayers, in ways only He knows is best for me. We live in a broken world, with fallen humans. There are realms, here, too great for our understanding, but God is not limited and uses what He chooses.                               My problem is that I have a hyper sense of responsibility, which causes me to see God as always needing to shake His big finger at me for whatever I failed to do properly, or plain didn’t do. I am a fallen human. I need to embrace the depths of Psalm 23. 

  I am stepping back in time. Around 1986 Melissa, Shawn and I lived in Gram & Gramps little house, before it was sold. I cherish this photo.    We had the photo taken because we had finished memorizing 3 things: The Lord’s Prayer,  a different version of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star…it is dark and night is here, but I know that God is near… (it came from Shawn’s Sunday school class. I have not been able to find that version to get all the verses) and Psalm 23.

When God gave me the idea to rebound before work, I had an impression that this would be a good time to listen to sermons. Bob’s mother no longer lives here.  In the past I did not want to listen to anything, in the garage, because her room was on the other side.  I did a listen test to see if the sound would travel up to our room. At a loud volume, even I could not hear it.

I have listened to some of Rick and Kay Warren’s messages about the loss of their son. For whatever reason, when I pulled up YouTube, for my first day rebounding, there was Rick Warren, teaching on Psalm 23: I remember when I chose this passage for Melissa and Shawn to memorize, it was because I wanted them to have it in their hearts, especially for the difficult times. I wanted them to be assured God would take care of them. When Shawn was in the hospital, before he died, many times, Psalm 23 and the Lord’s Prayer were quoted. Those moments were times when Shawn seemed to have peace.


 I dread many occasions, at this time in my life. Even if they are happy moments for others. How awful of me.  Each one that comes and goes, reminds me of each passing moment of Shawn’s goneness, now almost four years. I seem to be struggling a lot with my emotions. If my counselor is right and I am depressed, will the depression ever go away or can I force it away ??? I am so exhausted.  I have learned changes add extra stresses. I am a person who likes constancy. I find myself frustrated with myself for letting myself sink into a depressed state. Plus, I chide myself for being such a wimpy Christian.

 Over Christmas break I had worked so hard to get Shawn’s photos  into one location. Now I need to organize all the pictures, by year.  I am thankful for the memories, but for whatever reason, I cannot look at them-they have become a smashing reality of Shawn’s goneness.                   I have been breaking down projects into doable stages and having goal dates. I have decided, for now, to allow myself to take a couple years for my ornaments.           I try very hard to not allow myself much time to dwell on my woes.  I have tried  to listen to talk radio, but that gets me more depressed. A few weeks ago, my nerves were rubbed raw when replay after replay was done of those protesters:    I find this one so awful. You can tell that the person was looking for the camera placement, and then she did her thing.  Their rantings and ravings. Seriously ???   OH DEAR !!!  I was slammed with a dose of reality. I  must sound like those protesters  when I cry to God about Shawn’s death. What was to be was and is and I cannot change what was meant to be.


 I will end on a positive note. This past week my cold was awful. My ocular rosacea, flared up. It hadn’t been that bad in quite sometime. I went to the Natural Grocers, nearby. Hoping to find something to relieve the inflammation, burning, itching and drainage. The clerk said a new product had come in and folks were pleased with the results. We couldn’t find anything saying I couldn’t put it on my eyelids. I am so glad to have found something that soothes my eyes !!!  Here is the site:

My Grief Challenges

Ease My Grief March 25, 2017


A very bad cold, so no audio.


Death taints life, or my perspective, anyway. This toy represents my life.            A knock-down, I come back up for another knock-down. This year, my was very depressing.    It was on a Tuesday which meant the first of March was on a Wednesday and  Friday was a 3rd.  So many sames from Shawn’s death. For now, I cannot see any approaching event as one that is truly filled with joy. Maybe I was low on air, but this last knock down was the hardest I have had to date. I did not know if a come back up was doable. I do not understand grief. Will I ever get to the place when I am not so displeased with myself and my role in Shawn’s end ??? Every workday, I put my busdriverness on and get through the days. I am constantly praying that God would see fit to ease my grief, but there seems to be many moments of a total knockdown.  


  I believe it was about March 13. I had unlocked the gate, so I could get to the track. It was probably about 10 minutes before the mechanics would be arriving. As I made my way down the  dreaded hill, a hill I swore I would not endure going up at the end of a work day. It is usual, for me, to look and listen in case something untoward might be  happening. As I was looking at all  the buses, I saw one bus door all the way opened and wondered why the driver would have left it open all weekend. I noticed many bus doors open. Them I saw writing on a couple of bus windows and almost stepped on a pair of glasses which were next to an umbrella. I was wondering if there was anyone on the lot, but I heard nothing. I left everything as it was, as I walked by.

When I arrived at my bus, I saw the tell-tale signs of it having been broken into. I did not touch anything, but headed in the direction of the mechanic, who has just crossed the gate threshold.  I told him something was wrong and that a lot of  bus doors were open. As it turned out, the bus lot video showed the folks who broke in,  they had a key  and drove through at their pleasure. Apparently, they had locked the gate after their business was finished-about 15 minutes before I had unlocked it.

 The Friday night before, I had secured my bus, I had been sure no one would waste their time trying to wreck my locked door. I was wrong. It looked like something had been forced into the lock. The folks who rifled through my bus, were too neat. They took out the neatly stored items from the bag by my bus seat. They did not take my gum, cough drops, inhaler.   What was missing was my blanket I had behind my seat, my thumper and a knee pad.  Okay, no big deal…??? Yes this turned out to be a BIG deal !!!  

After the video was reviewed, it was asked of me not to walk the track in the dark anymore.   I spent a few days struggling with an upset attitude towards our boss and others whom I was sure were trying to take away my way of release and facing life ???  Were folks trying to find ways to make my life more miserable ? What privilege is next to go ? I spent a lot of time begging God to help me find a replacement to my routine. So much of what I have done the  years since Shawn died, have been little helps, but still helps. I miss loopin’.  I loved the quiet mornings. I loved the dark-I don’t have to wear my glasses to block the light. I miss my prayer time. On my first day of no loopin, as I approached my bus, I heard a pleasant greet from Mr. Owl. I spoke back to him.  I will miss his cheers from the trees area of the track.  I  continued asking God to help my attitude towards those who wanted my loopin’ stopped-because of safety issues ???   My mind kept wondering to my rebounder when I would pray about a loopin’ replacement.  Well, I have started  rebounding before I leave for work and listening to sermons. I start my routine with 33 squats. Oh yes, I am trying to figure out how to use my Gwee gym, while rebounding. I get to work early enough to eat and pray, in my car. I am, now, walking up the dreaded hill, 3 times a day~~~go figure. I have, also, increased my daily Fitbit steps goal to 13,333.  So, all in all, I have been able to make lemonade out of very bitter lemons. At least they were very bitter lemons to me.  I still lack trust in most folks-something else to work on.   


 The chorus of this song, fits me:


A strange end to some very frustrating days, since my Yesterday (March 24) I was on my high school  take home run. At one of the stops a huge tree had been taken down. It had  caused rerouting this past week. Friday, I could not see how blocked the road would be, because of various rigs, so I decided to reroute. I had one passenger who needed that stop.  As I was getting ready to close the door, he turned, very quickly and jumped back onto the bus, he had realized he had left his baseball cap, in his seat area. I was speechless. As my passenger came up the stairs and spoke, he was the image and sound of Shawn. I have had this run since December and this guy doesn’t ride very often. How could this person be a living image of Shawn ??? His voice and chemistry towards others, are how Shawn would be. What does this mean ???          

I have begged God to lessen my ?guilt, regret and doubts about my role in Shawn’s end and to ease my pain of how I could have dealt better with All the issues, at that time.     I have been asking God if  Shawn is okay. I do not understand all that is happening. How much longer will this torturer last ???

Audio is Available, Just Sharin', My Grief Challenges

A Unique Gift January 22, 2017


Once in a while, I am able to surprise someone with something special. Several weeks ago, a friend told me he was selling tickets to a Southern Gospel concert. I didn’t need to hear anymore. My Aunt Alice loves those  kind of concerts. I was so excited.

I told her what we were going to be doing on January 21st, a few weeks prior. She wanted to know what group. I hadn’t even asked. I was just so excited to come up with a unique gift. She had a listing of all the local events. As she was scanning through the dates, she let out a pleasant cheer. Turns out, The Booth Brothers are her favorite southern gospel group.20170122_103004.jpg Her joy was worth more than any “thank you”.  My aunt was thrilled to learn that ehss_logowere going to be performing, as well.

20170121_171621.jpgMy friend was at work, Friday. He is a trip driver. He asked if I was going to make the concert. Oh my word !!! It had been such a stressful week I hadn’t looked at my calendar.   I called my aunt to make sure she had kept that day open. Turns out, she had other activities she was going to add into our day. We had a blast. We had lunch. We talked for quite some time. We arrived at the church, in time to get a parking spot, in view of the entrance. It was chilly and rainy and I did not want my aunt getting sick from our adventure. When it was time, I made sure my aunt hurried to pick out where she wanted to sit~there were A LOT of us ready to invade the sanctuary !!! 

I loved all the talent. It is so fun to attend these concerts with my aunt !!! She claps and sings and gets so excited at the various songs she loves.  So often it is hard to know what gift to give someone who doesn’t need or want anything. When the precious reactions happen, like my aunt had, words cannot express how happy my heart was.


For whatever reason, lately, I have been having an extra extremely hard time, with Shawn’s goneness. I do not understand why I cannot handle things. An example would be in intense movies:  emotional hardships, meanness towards others, just plain ungodliness.   I was worried my emotions would invade our fun time. Oh and, quite often, a word~a sound~an action, will cause a flurry of emotions, making the reality of Shawn’s goneness ever so pungent. I try to hide when the emotions brew over, but, sometimes it is hard to escape quick enough.

Thus far, I was pleased with my emotions, but something was brewing. The Booth Brothers were on stage. Michael started singing: “I know you’re hurt”. Well, that was that. I needed to escape. Here is a sample of the song: Yep, God had to do that, have them sing a song that…hit ???   The only part I heard, as I made a quick exit, was:   “He heals
Broken hearts, broken bodies, broken minds
He heals
By His love, by His blood, and in His time”.

Here I go again. Does God really heal ??? Cause He didn’t heal Shawn. My mind and heart are broken because I cannot bear the weight of the decision I had to make regarding Shawn’s end. The torment is so exhausting.  I really do try to hide most of this anguish. The last phrase, “and in His time”. Can a person endure the turmoil, doubting and painful ache of a life taken too soon ???

AND when one finds a way to push forward, how does that person know how God wants to use them ???

I have seen many walk this path ahead of me. In fact, my dear aunt, is one of them. My Uncle John, her husband, died several years ago and she has survived.   So,  for now, I will let, whatever song God brings my way, be a type of balm. I will wait for my brokenness to be healed, someday, somehow.


 I have learned that when I am at a concert, I tend to not clap, sing or do a jig. I am watching every movement and listening to everyone-on stage, causing me to not want to break the delightfulness.

I was thrilled to be able to sort-of see the drums being played, a few times. I loved how easy he, Michael from the Booth Brothers, played. It looked like the more he had to do, the more he enjoyed it. He put a lot of power in each beat. It allowed me to move beyond my aching beat.

Audio is Available, Blotto, Endearingly Remembering Shawn, Memories To View, My Grief Challenges

Several Hallmark Movies January 14, 2017



I reread the post for Shawn’s  My apologies for being so glum. This was just a very tough Christmas season-the reality of Shawn’s goneness has been extremely piercing.

I watched several Hallmark movies, very few ended sadly. I do not know why I kept hoping I would find some hope,  for my situation, in their messages. None was to be found. I know my hope is in the Lord, it’s just that sometimes, when my heart is ripping,  I need some kind of salve. 


   I seem to miss the Christmas window display shows~or maybe those are not made anymore ??? I loved watching the creative detailing !!! It was my delight when I came across several Christmas light shows, on Discovery Family-dish #179. I was late in finding these shows. I recorded as many as possible.  I love all the ideas the folks have in mind. I found one I hadn’t deleted, “Extreme Christmas Lights Across Europe”. Mind you, all lights in the house, must be off~the effect is so much prettier. Hopefully, I will remember to check ahead of time and record ALL shows about Christmas light/decorating, next fall.







I left for Rockaway, January 1, at 1 0 AM.         I figured most folks would be sleeping after bringing in the new year.  As I made my way towards the zoo, the road seemed slick and the left side was not safe to drive in-for me. I made my way to the right, as soon as I did, a car zoomed past me on my left.

I took the road towards Tillamook, off to my left a car had gone off the road into a ditch. I was determined to drive extra careful. As I approached the Pacific Coast Range, the road seemed to be worsening. It wasn’t long until I saw a line of cars heading west, ahead of me. There must have been about 20 of us. We were averaging 20 mph. I was grateful for the snow plow rig, at the front of the line.  I looked to my left, the east bound road looked awful.   All along the road was evidence of work that had been done quite a lot earlier that morning.   I was glad I was not car #1, I was the last one.  Then, a big pick-up came behind me. My drive became stressy. The pick-up driver was very antsy.  When we were at the top of the range, the snow plow rig pulled over~bummer !!!  


  I had gotten to Rockaway too early to check in. surfside I decided to check the shore. It amazes me how different the beach looks at each visit. I was trying to figure where I would be doing my beach decorations. The water was almost to the stairs and was very robust. So, I decided to take Blotto and get a cute photo of a Christmas decoration in Garibaldi.


A crab cage Christmas tree, with lights, in Garibaldi


Blotto is on the Crab Cage Christmas tree.

 My main goal, while at the beach, was to get Shawn’s hospital photos off my phone.       cbaa0f59f5d08a1dd418b904d05a15b7


Every photo I viewed, I remembered clearly the moment it was taken. I was shocked as each image revealed the severity of Shawn’s situation. Up until then, a fact I could not give into. Shawn did not look like Shawn. I do not say this to be mean.  It was very difficult to look at each photo. When it came time to delete a Shawn photo, off my phone, my gut wrinkled. Each delete was another punch of reality regarding Shawn’s goneness~~~how I hate this grief journey !!!        Needless to say, it took me a long time to get through the photos. I thought I had gotten most photos, off my phone and  transferred to my laptop. When I checked my phone, several hours later,  all the photos I had deleted, were still on my phone. I decided to see if Bob could help me, when I got back home.


Frustrated with my problems transferring photos, somehow, I landed on some  I had totally forgotten:

Dad was showing Melissa all of his wonderful items. It was fun listening to them talking about everything !!!

I found a cow in Dad’s barn !!! This one needs no milking !!! Cute !!!




Tiger & Tuffy having a fun time exploring in this curious place.


On one of our no drive days, I looked up Facebook posts from Shawn’s Harborview days, I copied and moved them to a place they would be safe (?).


I think all the computer smart people (Microsoft, Apple, Google, etc.) who implement updates, do not get it: updates may be fine, but do not change my writings, calendars, phone lists, precious photos, etc. !!! If I want my stuff changed or deleted, I will do it !!! You techies need to learn how to not change my personal stuff when you are updating system workings !!!


   We have had some unexpected days off, because of bad weather. Just a side note. I have gotten tired of hearing how Oregonians are bad drivers in bad weather. Here’s the thing: we get freezing rain here, driving on ice is difficult !!!

So, all you drive-it-alls, lay off !!!

I have been grateful to not have to worry about my passengers being safe while waiting for the bus !!!