Wednesday, August 8, 2012

A Second Chance at Life


Sometimes one of the worst two week periods of your life can be the start of a new beginning or a second chance at life.  It is very hard to end a marriage, no matter whether you are the ender or the endie, it can be devastating.  Add to that another bout of insomnia, a car accident, a journey through the wilderness of the both the mind and the upstate NY landscape and that is where I sit today. 
It started with the indecision of whether to linger over the bad feelings divorce inevitably leads to or to just move on.  I think we have opted to just move on and I am hoping that by the time of my son’s graduation from college next year we will be friendly enough to sit in the same row and celebrate together. 

About 10 days ago, I was lost in the wilderness of Upstate NY and found the house I had seen in the dream that made me move to upstate NY 10 years ago. The house was run down and overgrown, but it made my creative juices flow and gave me at least another dream to think about.  I realized during that journey, that sometimes being lost can be filled with ideas on how to be found.  I’ll write more about that dream when I have more time to sleep and plan it.

A day later there was a car accident that might have killed me that I walked away from without a scratch.  I thought the car was totaled but luckily it wasn’t although it will be driven by my son and I will get his truck which works just fine for me.  At the time the sight of airbags and my car facing the wrong way seemed pretty devastatingly miraculous
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A day after that, there was the trip to the Glens Falls BHU. It was a trip I didn’t want to take but turned out being what I hope is a turning point in my life and my story.  While there, I met the most remarkably dedicated health care professionals trying to do the best they could with the resources they had.  I also met an incredible mix of people who ended up making such an impact on my life that it has kind of propelled me in a way nothing before ever has.  I can’t really talk too much about the patients but their kindness and the system leave me with long memories of just how hard it is some time for people to make their way through life unscathed by mental illness.  I can say I will remember the laughter, the tears and the poignancy of a snapshot in time. I am thankful for hand embroidery which has to be the most meditative hobby on earth and how it is one that saved me from a never ending revolving door.  I am so grateful for the people and gifts and life that I have.  If you have the ability to donate money please donate to the fine folks at Glens Falls BHU as they could use more occupational therapy time, more nurses, art and music therapy, and just more of the wonderfulness they brought to work every day for the week I was there.

While there I realized I can play the piano,write a pretty interesting essay, draw much better than I previously thought and that I can just delight in people some days.  I hope to put all those pieces and perspective together in the upcoming days and intend to write a blog post for Left of Center about the plight of the mentally ill and homeless when it comes to health care. It is amazing and frightful just how many people can get lost in the system from so many different perspectives.  Thanks to my friends and family who really came through for me at a time when it seemed like the end of the world, I’ll never forget your phone calls and your visits

The week also awakened a purpose to help people, to attend church more, volunteer and find more faith.  The week also had a profound effect on my outlook on faith.  I can say I’m a born again Christian who believes that there is room at God’s table for good people of every faith and even those without any.  I also was reminded of the grace of God’s goodness by the sweet birds, the swaying tree, the flowers and the people walking around below my window the last few days at the hospital.
So while it was a very trying couple of weeks ending the life I used to live, I am looking forward to the future with an optimistic attitude and a sense of confidence that comes from the realization of the important stuff of life, the ability to dream and to take action in a purposeful way.




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