Archive for the ‘friends’ Tag

OPENING   Leave a comment

Have you been opening your gifts this month?  The gifts that God is waiting to give you, that He has all ready and wrapped for you?

I had a small gift opening last week. I have a friend, a former co-worker.  She is out on disability, which is a long story I won’t get into.  She was raised Catholic but rejected that once she became an adult.  Now in her 60’s I’m not sure what she believes, but she has stated clearly that she thinks people who go to church are stupid.

And yet she does not object to my asking her if I can pray for her, or telling her I prayed for her.  She admits she prays.  At any rate, we recently had a bad wind and rain storm and during the course of about an hour and a half the power went out and came back on several times.  The longest time was about 25 minutes.

I realized how grateful I was that Randy was not there.  My dear husband, the past few years of his life, was on supplemental oxygen.  When he was in the house we had an oxygen concentrator and a long tube (really, a series of tubes) that connected to his cannula and he could be on the oxygen anywhere in the house.  When he had to leave the house, he used portable tanks.  He could last about 45 minutes without oxygen, but that would be cutting it close.  It was always very, very stressful and frightening when he ran out of oxygen when we were going somewhere and we had to switch tanks.  And ditto for when the power went out, or the concentrator died for other reasons.

And now I don’t have that worry.   Now my stress and anxiety don’t spike when the power goes out.  I shared this with my friend, and I told her that it was a little funny to me that after almost 10 months of him being gone, I could find something to be grateful for that he was not there.

She wrote back and thanked me for sharing that, and told me it gave her a new outlook on her own situation with work and being on disability.  I really felt that was a gift from God.  Out of my pain and loss, I was able to help someone else.  It blessed my heart.

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Posted January 18, 2017 by Maureen in Christian, Stories

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DIVORCE and FRIENDS   Leave a comment

When I got divorced, I received advice from friends and family.  Things like “You will grieve”, “You are fortunate your son is so young”,  “Wait at least a year before dating”, “Date a lot before getting married again.”    

I saw one of those “10 things” articles on divorce recently and it got me thinking about the changes in my life since I’ve been divorced.  You know the articles I’m talking about – they are all over the internet.  “10 things cat owners love”, “10 things you can do when you have kids”, “10 things you can’t do when you have kids”, “10 differences between dog owners and cat owners”, “10 things ladies wished guys knew”.  The lists are endless. 

I got divorced in 1984, so it has been a while.  At the time my former husband was very, very angry at me. (He actually stayed angry and blamed me for everything for many years after, but that is another story.  We are now cordial and even friendly.) 

Changes in my life after divorce included a huge drop in income and all the things that went with that, shouldering all decisions, no long-term planning, and feeling “labeled or a “stigma” from being a divorced single parent.  One other thing I noticed right away after my divorce was that my social life went to zero.  Because we had gotten married three years after I had moved to the state where he had lived all his life, all our friends were his friends.  They “sided” with him.  My family lived in another state and his family lived nearby, and he didn’t want me to have any contact with his family.  It left a big hole in my life. 

I had no support system nearby.  I had no one that could come over with short notice and lend a shoulder or a listening ear, or just go out walking with me while I processed.  Even though I was young – mid 20’s – it seemed that everyone I knew already had a group of friends.  And despite my best efforts, no one seemed to want to add another into their social circle.  I did end up making several close friends from ladies I met at work, who I have remained friends with through the years.

Of all the changes that happened in my life after I got divorced, I think the loss of friendships had the biggest negative impact, and also the longest impact.  It was many, many years before I was able to build up a group of friends made up of singles, married ladies, and couples that didn’t mind being friends with a single lady.

Do you know someone who is divorced?  Don’t shun them.  Don’t exclude them.  They have experienced a loss, and have a hole in their lives.  Nevermind the circumstances that caused it. If you have a chance to help lessen that loss or fill that hole, even a little bit – you should take it if you can.  I’m talking to myself when I say that, too.  Divorced people need friendships with other singles, married friends, and couples.  They need the example of married people, and being included in family things is important to a lot of singles.  There are people like me who did not have family nearby that so appreciated being included in holiday meals, family movie nights, picnics, or outings.  Are there single or divorced people in your life that you can make a difference in? 

 

Posted June 20, 2014 by Maureen in Uncategorized

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Of Bullying and Forgiving   Leave a comment

Have you ever been bullied?  I was bullied, in Junior High School.  By two different girls who would boss me around, call me names, shove me.  I remember at one point we were playing a kick ball game (my whole class) and one of the girls started yelling at me, and then telling me what to do and not to do.  The other kids looked at her with a puzzled look while I just ignored her, secure in my safety in the big crowd.  One of my classmates finally said to her, “Why don’t you leave her alone?  She’s not doing anything to you.”

Which was true.  I had four older brothers and three older sisters, and I knew the best defense was to ignore the person giving you a bad time.  All they wanted was to get a reaction from me, and if I failed in that they would leave me alone.  Eventually.  Sometimes that took a long time, which is the problem with using that method.

The girls shortly started to ignore me as much as I ignored them.  I remember one of them, in my Junior year at High School, tried to strike up a conversation with me while we both happened to be walking out of school at the same time.  I told her I was flying to Washington State for the Easter holiday to go house hunting with my parents, as we were moving up there in the summer.  She stopped and looked surprised, and I remember glancing back at her, puzzled.  I thought she had tripped or hurt herself or something.  “Well,” she said almost in wonder, “We’ll miss you around here.”  I just smiled and walked away.  It felt like a victory, but later I thought that maybe she had wanted to be friends with me?  I was in no way going to befriend someone who had deliberately treated me so horribly for several years.  I truly can’t remember the names of either of the girls.  It has been many years and I forgave them long ago.  It just is not important enough to me now.

Which brings me to the next thing.  Have you forgiven people who have wronged you?  Who have hurt you?  Mistreated you?  I had a friend who I got along with great.  We would talk on the phone several times a week and get together a couple of times a week.  Then, she asked a lady from church to move in with her.  She needed help with her mortgage payment.  But what hurt was that suddenly I was no longer invited when she did things.  See, the other lady had a boyfriend, and my friend soon had a boyfriend.  And I didn’t.  They both ended up getting married, and I was invited to both weddings, but did not see them or talk to them afterwards.  It really hurt to be dropped like that.  Just recently that lady found me on Facebook and sent me a friend request.  I thought about it.  And then I decided not to accept.

Not because I hadn’t forgiven her.  I truly had.  But, after being betrayed and dropped as a friend I couldn’t trust her to not do it again. I wish her well and not harm – but I don’t want to see her or talk to her.

Does that make sense?  What about you?  Were you bullied?  Did you bully?  How have you resolved that?  Or have you?  Have you forgiven?  Do you need to forgive?

 

Posted October 21, 2013 by Maureen in Randomness, Stories

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Memory Lane   Leave a comment

I recently received my High School yearbook, which had been missing for 30+ years.  It’s a long story, but I believe my former husband ditched it, with some other personal things, then denied doing so.  I gave up hope of ever seeing it again long, long ago.  But it found its way back.

And I’ve been walkin’ down memory lane.  Looking at old photographs.  (My!  We were certainly young then!)  Looking again at boys I had been attracted to.  Ok, I had terrible crushes on.  I still think they are cute!

And I’ve enjoyed reading what people wrote in this book.  I had forgotten how funny some of these folks were.  And how sweet and kind.  “I sure am going to miss you”  “To a really sweet person” “Glad I met you three years ago because you are a very sweet person”  “You’re a great friend and will be missed a lot!!”  “You are one of my best friends and I’ll never forget you”  “You’re an outstanding person”.

Overall, I really had some good memories from High School.  I wish I had tried harder in all my classes, but since I made up for that later on when I went to college I guess it all evened out.  I feel very fortunate to have gotten this book back, and also to know that I can look back on my High School days with fondness and good memories.

And no, I am not about to post a picture of me from back then!

Posted February 12, 2011 by Maureen in Musings, Randomness

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