Crazy as a Loom

Wednesday, February 21, 2018


Birthdays are funny things.  

It's just a day, isn't it?

For some reason though, it gets my brain cranking.  Yes, even more than usual.

I wonder that I got to be this old, and I find myself evaluating my life.

At the same time, because my first cousin's birthday was the day before mine, I mourn the loss of him, 14 years ago.
We grew up together, I called him my brother.  He was my protector right to the end.
He was always concerned for  my well being.
He was robbed of his retirement, seeing his grandchildren, finally enjoying the fruits of a long working life.  At 57, it was over.
Because of him, I retired from nursing in a maximum security prison right then, at 20 years.   He wanted me to, and I knew he was right.  I knew I had to grab my life back from it.

His sister, who was 4 years older than us, dropped dead on her kitchen floor, when she was 30.  Her children were there, one doing homework at the kitchen table, the other playing with his cars.
She was robbed of even more.   She never got to see her children grow up.  She never got to grow old.

Her children's lives were changed forever.

So here I am, 71 years old today, thinking about how fortunate I am to even be here.
The odds haven't been with me at times, but here I am.

Sometimes, not understanding life one bit.  Other times, thinking maybe I do get it after all.

Loving my family, my friends, this old house, my life most of the time.

Yet still feeling that there is something I need to do. That there is something else.  Calling to me.

Is it that way for everyone??

That suspicion that something is left undone?  Or is that just me, thinking the grass is greener over there.

This has been a very tough winter.  The flu at the beginning of December UNDID me.   I haven't felt myself since.  Then the headache, just generally not feeling that great.
And the snow.  And the ice.  And the cold.
It has really gotten to me this time around.

Maybe spring will make that feeling of something undone go away.

Or maybe not.

I wish I had a crystal ball sometimes.  

Why do I feel like I am waiting for the other shoe to drop????


Peg Cherre said...

The weather yesterday and today - high 60s and sun!!!! - bring light and hope. Spring is absolutely my favorite season, and seeing the little noses of the daffodils makes me smile. I know it will get cold again - by tonight, actually - but I also know those daffodils will make it through without any apparent harm.

I lost my husband suddenly during our 25th year of marriage. He was only 55, so his life was cut short indeed. While I still have rough moments, sometimes hours, without him, most days are sweet and life kind. That's more than I often feel entitled to. I look at some of my friends and relatives, and am filled with gratitude on so many levels. What more could I ask?

Still Learning said...

Your post touches my heart. Loss is a part of life, and we are expected to "get over it" in some "reasonable" length of time, but grief does not resolve so much as it scabs over and sometimes leaves a scar. I recently lost my father, who was 97 years old. I didn't grieve for him, however, as he had so effectively grieved for himself for several years before he died. His gaze was always inward, reflecting on what he had lost: his mobility, his wife, his health, his independence. Some years ago, I lost a friend from my church. He was 95. I still miss him. His gaze was outward. He never stopped learning and growing. He wanted to know about my life, my thoughts. We discussed all manner of things, and he taught me so much. You were so fortunate to have had family members who were also friends, and it is totally understandable that you would miss them and grieve for them still. They were a great blessing to you. There is no greater testament we can give to a life well lived than that our life was a blessing to someone else. Happy birthday! Your blog is a blessing to many of us, and the joy of craft that you share here is a pleasure and inspiration to me. May you have many more years to share with us. I truly enjoy what you write, and I look forward to more pictures of your projects and beautiful surroundings. My daffodils are up; spring is just around the corner!

LA said...

Happy Birthday, Hilary! I think it's normal to reflect on our lives as we start another journey around the sun. You have been a mentor to many weavers in this universe, and you continue to inspire. Take time today to CELEBRATE!!!

Denise at Autumn Sky said...

First of all, Happy Birthday! Have you considered, or are you able, to spend some of the cold months in a warmer climate? I know you'd have to find someone to take care of the hens and cats, but it seems Naya would be a terrific travel partner. My body could not take the kind of Winter you have there for I am a fair weather gal.
You really are blessed with your girls and those beautiful grandchildren. I'm sure they will all make you feel special today.

Linda said...

Happy birthday! Hoping you get to do something special and something you love!

claudia said...

We haven't had half the winter you have been having and I am so over it!

I just feel blessed because my youngest daughter and her little family have joined me here on the farm. If I was alone this winter, I don't know how it would have gone. We are putting a manufactured home on my property so they can have their own home and still be near me. They will be buying it from me, so I have that income and someone to help me take care of the whole property. Everybody has a positive!

I think there is something I need to be doing all the time, it's that one thought that I can't quite put my finger on what it is. Some days it drives me nuts, other days, it doesn't cross my mind, but I know what you mean.

Happy Birthday to you! I know you will have a wonderful day with your beautiful family!!!

Vicky said...

Pondering can certainly bring about a change if you would like it to. Is there some activity, or trip, or experience that you are missing? Or is it something in the day to day that should be different? So many questions, it can sure be tough to discern an answer. I know that when I attend my stage 4 support group, I get so much individual therapy out of it- more like counseling. I think having the experience I do now, I'd go into counseling for help with answers to the very ponderings you have. Otherwise that feeling may simmer down with a change in the season and how much more there is to do, but it might not go away entirely. I wish you well in figuring this all out!

Karen said...

Ask me how much I love seeing Vicky's comments above....

As for you, my friend - never stop looking outward - always be aware that there are possibilities and be open to them, whatever inspires you, calls you, never stop learning, absorbing... and enjoy the quiet time too, I know you do already.

70 degrees here today, it's a beautiful thing!

Deb said...

I have been MIA from blogging for almost a month but today for some reason I wanted to catch up. I'm glad I did. "Happy Birthday to you, Hilary." I wish you a year ahead filled with hope, love, energy and a few lovely surprises. You deserve it all. I always look forward to your posts and went back on yours to catch up. I am happy to see Naya has moved right in and stole your heart. She looks like a lovely dog and I just know she will be a treasure of a companion for you. Give her and the kitties a big hug for me. Enjoy what is left of YOUR day and I do hope you had some cake. ;-)
Big hug, Deb

DJan said...

Happy birthday, Hilary. I know that feeling of something important left undone and no idea what it might be. I am sending you lots of love along with birthday wishes. We are all in the same boat, and we each have an oar in the water, going around in circles mostly. But at least we're together. :-)

MarthaVA said...

Happy Birthday! Celebrate every single one!

I am ALWAYS thinking that something is missing. It's not that I'm not happy - I get itchy feet and want to go traveling, but then I think, I'll miss what's going on here. I live in VA but grew up in NY and want to live north of the Mason-Dixon line - then I see the snow and ice and the longer winters and I really want to deal with that??? (it was 80 degrees here today in VA - total insanity). I want to move to Maine, where my family is from, but then I think how far away it is from my 2 grand daughters - not that we see them very much - maybe a few times a year - and they only live an hour from us.

Losing those you love way too early is SO hard.

Hope you had a very good day. Just remember - those we love and lose would never want us mourning them. They would want us to enjoy our lives!

deodar said...

Birthdays are funny, we had such a lot of fun last July celebrating my husband's 75th, lots of laughter and teasing. Today I am wondering if he'll be with me to see in my 65th next months. I am losing him, a little more each day to a rare cancer. I never knew your heart could break over and over again. So for me this winter is speeding by much too quickly. There is a feeling now of so many things undone. I will weather this, I will try to keep looking outward but it is so very hard.

KarenInTheWoods said...

I think each time we enter another decade, we kinda "redefine" what and who we are.... to ourselves. Is that what you are feeling?

I think I am.

Suddenly the words are popping into my head: "I am almost SIXTY!" I don't know why, because I am really only 57 and not 58 until October. But I keep thinking of myself as compared to my Grandma at 60. She was OLD! She wore old housedresses, had a dowagers hump, wore support hose and her feet were huge from swelling. She worked hard and was up early and stayed up late. We counted on her for sooo much.

But, I am not like her, am I? I sit crossed legged on the floor, I run with the grandkids (a little bit) and tackle house repair and building projects with Steve with gusto. Am I old?

I don't know.

I think inside I feel 36.

I should settle on that, 36.

It sounds good to me!

Anonymous said...

First and foremost, a late Happy Birthday!!! I don't have any sage words but here is what I think...No, you are not alone in your thinking. Evaluation of our lives on the other side of sixty and beyond seems to be a natural process for most of us. I just turned 63, I know, I know it's not 71 but because I have been ill (fibromyalgia) for quite a few years now it seems older, physically at least.

It becomes a little scary on this side of life, mortality and all but I think we must work at not being consumed by the fears (I know easier said than done) and rather, work at living life to its fullest and to the best of our abilities each and every day. Of course some days are better than others but forward momentum is the key...(I think).

Afterall you said it yourself, not everyone is granted the gift of this age so we must live life to its fullest extent for those that didn't receive this gift. Of course I don't know you beyond your blog but personally I think you are doing a fabulous job of living life fully and with great purpose!

Your weaving, your generous heart and most certainly your blog are huge gifts to this ailing world we live in today! I love seeing your looms and your weaving projects and your puppy dog and stuff about your life as it is now. You help inspire me to keep moving forward, that it is possible to keep moving forward... and to me that is a huge gift!


eeyore said...

Happy Birthday, Hilary!! I love your writing here and the question niggling at you inside your brain, I love that you are listening to that voice, so curious to hear the answer/answers....{that little voice is niggling in my brain too!} Please keep us posted with its answers??!!

Devon said...

Very thought provoking post, and comments. I understand that feeling of things left undone... If only I knew what they were. Maybe it just means our time on earth is not yet complete and we have more learning left.
Like you, I'm an RN working in a clinic. I have helped my sister through her 1 1/2 year battle with cancer. She died six months ago just after turning 55. I just quit my job a few weeks ago... life is short sometimes. We all just try to find our way, live well and be a blessing to those around us.

Daryl said...

i turned 70 3 weeks ago and i feel the same ...

oldgreymareprimitives said...

I glanced over while visiting Karen Ann and saw your blog listed and I just popped in. Well I've been here for quite some time and just kept clicking older post and then I had to go see what happened in Aug 2011 and now I'm tired and need some lunch. I signed up to keep visiting you as I thoroughly enjoyed myself and recognized many of the same feelings. My last 6 months have been rough and I keep trying to regroup and jog forward but I'm not allowed to jog. Better days ahead I'm sure but and then the blues hover at the corners. I really enjoyed the last 40 minutes or so. I'll be back : D

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