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Chips, Balls and Hearts

November 8, 2010
Broken Heart symbol

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I was looking for a password for an online account I couldn’t remember. I hadn’t used it in over a year. I remembered there was a book on a shelf where I had written some notes not long after heart surgery. It was the only book I read any of that first year, something about the heart-break of heart break…how the emotionally broken heart often precedes the physically broken one. Anyway, I pulled that book from the shelf hoping to find that password, and in it was a letter from someone I had considered a dear friend, before my world came together, fell apart and finally came together again. I then remembered that there is a huge stack of cards in a basket by the fireplace. Most of them have at least been opened and read by me, though were I to read them now, I’m quite sure I would not remember a one of them.They wish me well and include prayers for my rapid recovery.

I struggle often with the feeling that I was abandoned and even crucified by many I considered most dear to me. This was not a dream or delusion, but a nightmare I and much of my family lived. My loving Lisa (Lee) was beyond the level of acceptance or love or decorum or something such as that, of most of my then friends. They created whole worlds of fantasy to replace the state of confusion and misunderstanding they obviously could not bear to feel. I suspect that many of those same people feel those same feelings of abandonment when they think of me. One might think that knowing all that, I would need and want to untangle the mess, so to speak. You might think I’d have a compulsion to unravel the truth and set it all straight. Instead, those letters and cards and bits of memory, both tragic and tender serve only to remind me how fleeting today is.

I don’t know if others experience something like this when coming so close to death, but even though I went through a period of short-term memory loss (still have some), a period of cognitive challenge, there was a long period of healing where the most basic and vital of living was all the energy I had enough for.  I also had then and experience still symptoms of post traumatic stress. There was one thing, though I had more of then than I’d ever had before or have felt since. That one thing is clarity.

All the chase was cut through. All the gray disappeared. All the maybe’s and should be’s and might be’s were simply gone. There was no delima to weigh or decision to fret over. As I recall that time and that feeling of clarity, I am covered in a peaceful knowing that though I had to let the chips of my neglect fall where they may, and the abandoned balls in my court remain unplayed, those that really loved me, love me still. Those that do not, never did.

There are some when I think of them, my body responds in panic. I have to trust that, too. For far too long I ignored the wisdom and even genius of my body. I listened for voices from other realms, ignoring the voice literally coming from the heart beating in my chest. There are those, too that when I think of them a feeling of warmth and peace come over me and a smile forms on my face. These I am sometimes tempted to call or write. I love them still, perhaps more now than ever. Some, for sure so. Then, the enormity of this day, and the priceless reality of time itself prevents me from performing more than the most immediate task and of loving the most immediate hearts in my life.

If by chance someday you happen upon this blog and you felt abandoned or unloved by me, know this. If you loved me, I adored you. If I adored you, I loved you with all my heart.

Okay, enough of all that. As for the diet, we continue to succeed and fail on almost a daily basis. We did make a trip to Whole Foods and have vowed to do that often. Instead of being surrounded by foods we cannot have, we were surrounded by choices. We were even able to find a vegetable product with no fat that somehow tasted like the meat in a taco. For Lee, whose very favorite food group is Mexican, finding that product was like finding gold. We bought some Guiltless gourmet Tortilla chips, splurged on some low-fat cheese (that fat-free stuff just doesn’t work for me), opened a can of Rotel and had as fine a plate of nachos as I’ve ever had. The store was out of the chocolate variety of Vitatops, but just knowing what exactly to look for now is an enormous relief.

One thing that occurred to us as we drove home with our two small containers totaling $140, we are eating very green. Our footprint is now considerably smaller. We throw little away. We buy little in a package. We eat almost everything we buy, with few boxes or bags or wrappings to add to a landfill. We bought some barley. It will be our first try of that grain. We found Quinoi half the price at Whole Foods, though the produce was for the most part, more expensive. Neither of us mind paying more for organic or local or fair trade…

Lee took some salmon out of the freezer this morning. so I suppose we’ll splurge on baked salmon tonight. I’m getting better at thinking of what I am eating that is healthier, rather than focusing on what I’m eating that is not.

Tell someone you love them today. Broken hearts hurt more than we realize. They hurt deeper and do more damage than we would have ever thought. Time doesn’t heal it either.  We just somehow learn to live with vital parts broken. Telling you all this, helped my heart. Love on.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Mary permalink
    November 8, 2010 5:08 pm

    Oh, here I am again…the persistent commenter. Smiling so much at this post, even feeling teary. Oh yes, exactly right. All of it.

    I’m excited that you went to Whole Foods and had a good time. You’ll LOVE the barley, especially if you make some kind of soup…like, a veg soup with a little touch of chicken.

    A cooking show on TV said the key to making flavorful chicken soup (without a whole chicken and all that stuff) is to brown a little ground chicken, like 1/4 to 1/2 lb (white meat OK, that is, if you’re deviating..) in the bottom of a pan, before you add the vegetable stock you already made. Did that – after browning a new set of veg (onion, mushrooms, adding celery, carrot) for the “final” soup, then added the previous stock. Added barley and cooked. At the end so it doesn’t fall to mush, I added small diced zuchinni and or chard and or broccoli and or tomatoes, whatever floats the boat. But that little bit of chicken does make a big diff. You CAN live without the chicken just fine, but it helps – and there is less sodium needed – and you get a little protein. Some micro planed parm makes the whole thing taste very good. I’ve considered making a “soupe de poisson” (fish) as an alternative, but I have not done it yet.

    BTW – I ate lots of faux M&Ms yesterday (called sunspires) – which I bought at….Whole Foods, bulk bin. If I kick over, you’ll know why. She went happy. They’re gone now, so perhaps I can just forget about it.

    Maybe there’s a farmer’s market around your neck of woods – it IS cheaper than WF.
    Love ON back, Allie!

    • November 8, 2010 5:38 pm

      Oh I hate I missed the sunspires, but all the more reason to go back regularly. I like the chicken idea…even a bit of chicken broth rather than the veggie maybe…we’ll see. I am eager to try to Barley. I’m actually missing beans and rice having had none for a couple of days. I had salad out the other day that had parm in it…I thought of you and what a huge difference it made. It was like having a glass of wine, a really good wine, instead of water with dinner…and I so seldom drink anything.

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