Life, Death and Italian Red Peppers

dalai lama My husband Eric was diagnosed with a disease in October of 2013.  Never mind what it was.   Certain stories don’t bear repeating. I remember the day vividly because I sing for a choir — Womansong of Asheville.  A couple days after he was pronounced pretty much “outta here” by a local medical messenger of doom and gloom, I was scheduled to sing in a Womansong Concert (and I had a solo) and I remember praying that I would be able to sing like I cared about being there.  And I also prayed that I could sing knowing that the Universe is always helping me, even if I can’t see it.  I did fine and the concert was really great — the whole choir was elated about the success of the performance. Despite the discouraging news about his health, Eric’s will to live was strong.  Picture a team of ten wild horses on firm dry ground pulling a tiny ant on a little bitty sled.  It was like that.  Eric simply scoffed at the idea of dying.  It was not a concern for him. But his health seemed to deteriorate steadily, and Eric was placed in hospice. And then!  Eric turned a miraculous and unexplainable corner!  He started getting better. I’ll never forget the day he said words no one ever expected him to say again, “I’m hungry. Can you bring me some food?” The nurse looked shocked, followed quickly by delight and amazement.  She didn’t know what in the world to think!  But she brought him a tray — pronto! — and he consumed it. Then he asked for tubes to be removed.  And of course they were removed, because it is the job of hospice to grant final wishes. Nobody could figure out these stunning new developments which defied all logic and reason,  leaving hospice doctors and nurses shaking their heads.  Nobody knew what to say.  Or think.  But it made everybody really, really happy.  It made all of us re-think our beliefs system, that’s for sure! That’s the short story. Then, after days and days of certified blue ribbon well-being, and living in total appreciation, a couple weeks ago, Eric encountered a sudden change for the worse. It arrived in the form of strong back and hip pain and nausea.  A relapse? Nope, not good. The symptoms threw him completely off the merry-go-round.  He took it hard.  Emotionally speaking, he fell down and couldn’t get up.   The change was shocking to him, a devastating left jab he didn’t expect.  Understandably, his mind went into a spin.  In the middle of all of this, mine started to do the same.  It was clear that some form of relief was in order!  And since it’s not my job to control his mind, I thought I’d get to work on my own mind. So I did something that works for me.  What I actually did will sound insignificant.  I distracted myself with something I like to do.sweet Italian red peppers Yes, it’s counter-intuitive to ignore a big hairy problem.  It seems practically wrong.  Irresponsible.  Unkind.  Uncaring.  Thoughtless.  Selfish. But I did it anyway. Because I knew that changing my focus would help me.  And I needed that.  A lot. I planted something. I put on my garden pants, my gloves, and in the heat of the afternoon, I dug little baby holes for my little baby heirloom Italian Red Pepper plants.   I put them in the ground.  I gave them water.  They were happy.  I was happy. These peppers are such funny characters.   They have been in little starter pots, but not growing much.   Maybe they didn’t like the potting mix. After all the planting was done, Eric  and I talked into the wee hours that night.  I am not sure how either of us finally fell asleep. The next morning we both woke up in a better place.  Sleep is a dalai lama umbrellavery good thing. Now, as I write this,  I can’t say I really know what’s happening, and nobody can. So I am turning to this quote for help and relief. “If a problem is fixable, if a situation is such that you can do something about it, then there is no need to worry.  If it’s not fixable, then there is no help in worrying. There is no benefit in worrying whatsoever.” ― Dalai Lama XIV  

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Comments and thoughts welcome — scroll down to the comment boxes.  I will approve your comment and you’ll see it posted a little later.  The approval process is an interim step which helps to avoid spam. In Care of Relationships with Terri Crosby– Tools For Creating Positive Momentum.  http://incareofrelationships.com.  Terri is a relationship mentor.  She helps create life-affirming, ever-evolving, happier relationships with those you love. If you are ready to take your relationship to the next level, you can sign up to be on the mailing list HERE.  To subscribe to her blog, hit the subscribe button on this page and add your email address.    

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Terri Crosby

Helping you create life-affirming, ever-evolving, happier relationships with those you love. Follow me on twitter at@TerriCrosby or read myblog.

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  • Avatar

    Holly Simms

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    I worry. I try not to. Thank you for this blog and this quote. I’ll be keeping you two in my prayers.

    Reply

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        Vicki Rowe-Currence

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        When I read your story about planting Italian red peppers, I think of that old Dean Martin song “When the moon in the sky is a big pizza pie, that’s amore!” So perhaps you are planting “amore”. Vicki

        Reply

        • Avatar

          Terri Crosby

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          I’m sure you’re right! That’s what I’m doin’!!! :–) Terri

          Reply

  • Avatar

    shiner

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    This is such a good quote!, I am copying it to remember for myself. And when I see my little heirloom Italian Red Peppers, I am going to remember the Dalai Lama’s words, and of course I always think of you!

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Terri Crosby

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      Bless you, Shiner! I love you and I love that we share flowers and red peppers!

      Reply

  • Avatar

    dorothy

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    wonderful writing. a wise and deep journey you are on! two other worry quotes come to mind: ” worry is a negative prayer” and ” worry is like getting on a rocking horse and galloping nowhere.” love, d

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Terri Crosby

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      I especially like the one about worry being a negative prayer. Like — in this now moment, we are creating our future, so how do we really want things to be? Hmmmmm….. thanks, Dorothy. love, T

      Reply

  • Avatar

    Elle

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    Love the significance of the insignificant moment to come simply to Presence and your humanly wry explanation of how to do that.

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Terri Crosby

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      yes, as I was putting those little peppers in the ground and giving them water, I thought about how I always have the chance to plant something I want, or something I don’t. It gets really really clear in these simple moments. I can have a “garden of life” by default — see what the wind brings — or deliberately plant what I want to grow. It’s simple, but it requires really being awake, which I am learning more about every day. Love you, Elle.

      Reply

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Rise Up by Andra Day

What a great set of words for these oncoming days.

Rise Up

 
You’re broken down and tired
Of living life on a merry go round
And you can’t find the fighter
But I see it in you so we gonna walk it out
And move mountains
We gonna walk it out
And move mountains
And I’ll rise up
I’ll rise like the day
I’ll rise up
I’ll rise unafraid
I’ll rise up
And I’ll do it a thousand times again
And I’ll rise up
High like the waves
I’ll rise up
In spite of the ache
I’ll rise up
And I’ll do it a thousand times again
For you
For you
For you
For you
When the silence isn’t quiet
And it feels like it’s getting hard to breathe
And I know you feel like dying
But I promise we’ll take the world to its feet
And move mountains
Bring it to its feet
And move mountains
And I’ll rise up
I’ll rise like the day
I’ll rise up
I’ll rise unafraid
I’ll rise up
And I’ll do it a thousand times again
For you
For you
For you
For you
All we need, all we need is hope
And for that we have each other
And for that we have each other
And we will rise
We will rise
We’ll rise, oh, oh
We’ll rise
I’ll rise up
Rise like the day
I’ll rise up
In spite of the ache
I will rise a thousand times again
And we’ll rise up
High like the waves
We’ll rise up
In spite of the ache
We’ll rise up
And we’ll do it a thousand times again
For you
For you
For you
For you
Ah, ah, ah, ah
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Cassandra Monique Batie / Jennifer Decilveo
Rise Up lyrics © BMG Rights Management

Terri’s book of photography combined with poetry is here! 100 Words: Small Servings of Whimsy and Wisdom to Calm the Mind and Nourish the Heart.

Read more

Rippling Abs, Anyone?

Rippling Abs, Anyone?

During this strange time in history, I noticed y’all were tackling all sorts of interesting projects. I decided I needed one, too—something positive to remember the pandemic of 2020 by.
 
I decided to pay attention to something I had abandoned…
 
Nope, I’m not cleaning my garage. I am not organizing one single thing. I’m not planting a garden or cleaning up my yard.
 
Instead, I decided to take care of myself better. This, folks, has made all the difference for me.
 
With relatively little time and effort on my part, I feel so much better than I did a month ago.
 
On March 30, I got on the exercise bike and the yoga mat for the first time in a long time, and did 30 minutes each. I liked it so much that I decided to do it every day. But I fell short of that, and changed my commitment to every other day, which felt more manageable, reasonable, and doable.
 
I also get off the bike after every song, take a couple of sips of water, shake out my legs and arms for a few seconds, and get back on. This makes the bike project a reasonable proposition, too.
 
Daily walks of any length—by myself, or with my little guy, Jackson—are a fresh air bonus.
 
My recumbent exercise bike has pulleys to work my upper body while I pedal, which gets my heart rate up fast, and also helps my whole-body strength. It feels good to get up from writing, or doing a consulting session with a client, to do something physically challenging while listening to good music.
 
After only a month, I feel a sheet of muscles on the front of me I haven’t felt for a very, very long time. Goodness gracious. Who knew they were there. I’ll be posting rippling ab photos soon, I’m sure.
 
I have no idea what the scales have to say about my bike/yoga project—I don’t care. Paying attention to scales tends to send me sideways, and therefore, I’m ignoring them completely.
 
But—I LOVE the way I feel! Hang in there, everyone.
 

Terri’s book of photography combined with poetry is here! 100 Words: Small Servings of Whimsy and Wisdom to Calm the Mind and Nourish the Heart.

Read more

Check Out This Troublemaker in Relationships

Check Out This Troublemaker in Relationships

Sometimes we ask intimate partners to do for us what is actually ours to do.

We ask our partner to give us the reassurance, love or appreciation we feel is missing in ourselves, with the hope that they will give us what we’re asking for—and then we’ll feel better. They’ll take care of our problem.

But when they do give us what we’re asking for, it can never be enough, because we have insufficient context for what they’ve given. We haven’t build the inner foundation to receive it, hear it, welcome it, believe it. They try to help, but their love for us falls into our void, our black hole, our love bucket with no bottom.

As always, there’s hope. Check out the video below.

Terri Crosby. http://www.incareofrelationships.com/.

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

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Terri Crosby

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