Welcome to Following the Whispers blog

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Hope you enjoy your stay. I blog here whenever I feel the need. This blog was created at the time my memoir came out, in February, 2009. Its motto was: creating a life of inner peace and self-acceptance from the depths of despair. Now, my focus is sharing this journey we call life.

“Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth, and that is not speaking it.” Naomi Wolf

“We are called human beings, not human doings.” Wes Nisker, Buddhist teacher

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs…(And) if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” Theodore Roosevelt

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Back in the saddle again

I'm better. Not all better, but so much better. I even got out of my jammies. Maybe today I'll make it out of the house. Once the sinus pressure began to ease and my brain could function without pain, I was able to think through some things that have been swirling around in there.

I'd signed up to attend the Story Circle Network conference being held in Austin, Texas the first week in February. But as the time to go drew closer and closer, I felt less inclined to go. As I listed the pros and cons, contemplated the priorities, what's getting done, what's not, I made a decision to cancel my registration. I am sorry I won't get to meet some of the friends I've made on line in person, but it feels right not to go.

The other issue is my dear friend M.A. She is eighty-eight years old. And until two weeks ago, she was still cleaning her own house, driving, taking trips, etc. For those of you who haven't read my memoir, she is the person whose house I stayed in when I left Portland Oregon in 1994. I'd packed all my belongings in my Toyota and came to New Mexico to start my life over.

I came to call her my guardian angel, because by allowing me to stay with her without having to pay for accommodations, and by offering moral, spiritual and practical support, I found sanctuary. 

Two weeks ago, she fell. Had a concussion, but didn't know it for two days. Didn't call me, so I didn't find out till after the fact. After a week on anti-seizure meds, she fell again. This time, I was down with my upper respiratory thingie and couldn't be there for her. Now she is in a skilled nursing facility where she is to have physical therapy to help prevent future falls.

This is a fiercely independent woman. Won't ask for help. I'm not her blood relative, but we are very close. She doesn't have family here. Her daughter lives in Oregon, but even if she lived here, she wouldn't be much help. She's a brittle diabetic and has epilepsy. She's totally dependent on M.A. for financial support.

What is my role here? How much can I step in and advocate for her? What are the boundaries? My heart tells me there are none. I wouldn't have the life I now have if it weren't for her generosity and open heart. Now I need to open mine for her in whatever way I can.



Crystal Clear Proofing said...

I'm sincerely sorry to hear about your friend. It's so difficult seeing someone you care for lose a little of that independence, not be able to do certain things...whatever the case may be.

As far as your role, it's whatever you want it to be —– and you're right. There are no boundaries. None whatsoever. Follow your heart and do everything and anything you want to do for her!

Blessings to M.A. and to you, Karen. Please be sure to let us know how she's doing.

Cyndi said...

The only boundaries that need to be considered here are your own. If you want to jump in with both feet and take over for your friend, then that's what you need to do. If anyone feels you have stepped on their toes, I'm sure they'll let you know but it doesn't sound like that's very likely.

Joanne said...

I'm sorry to hear about your friend, especially being that she is someone who's presence in your life made such a vast difference. Follow your heart, it never steers your wrong.

Donna M. Kohlstrom said...

I'm with Joanne on this one.

I know it sounds selfish, but you have to take care of yourself first before you can take care of anyone else.

Praying you will find direction and peace in this matter.

Mason Canyon said...

So sorry to hear about your friend. When it comes to helping her - do what your heart says. Follow your own instinct and do what you think is best. Don't worry about what others might think is too little or too much. She was there for you, if you want to be there for her, I'd say go for it. I pray she continues to improve.

The Old Silly said...

That's really rough. I feel for your friend AND you. Follow your heart, those "whispers" will take you down the right way in dealing with this.

Marvin D Wilson

Elspeth Antonelli said...

Some people have said 'follow your heart', I call it 'listen to the little voice'. Who cares if you're blood family? Love is love.


Patricia Stoltey said...

There will be legal boundaries that prevent you from doing certain things for your friend. In a way, this is a blessing. If you can hold her hand, sit with her from time to time, or run errands, you are doing good. If you try to take on too much, you'll wear yourself out.

Simona44 said...

May I suggest: Go and see her. Get the lay of the land, then do what seems right from there on.