In 2002 we ran away from Illinois where we were born and raised, and started a new life in SW Florida. This blog is about me (an eccentric old artist), ROM (my Real Old Man), Isabella (our neurotic Standard Poodle) and Emmy (our crazy snake killing Jack Russell Terrier). Oh- and the neighborhood old people. Life is good in Florida!

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Friday, July 20, 2012

Those Life Changing Moments...

Like most of you, I awoke to the news about the 71 people who were shot and the 12 that have died in the attack early Friday morning at a midnight showing of "The Dark Knight Rises" in Aurora, Colorado. So many lives forever changed in a matter of minutes. When people entered the theater last night they had no clue their lives were about to change. For 12 people it would mean the end of their lives and over whelming grief for their families. For those that survived their wounds and even those spared physical harm, life will never be the same for them.   No one can go through an horrific experience like that without it having a lasting impact. 

I think most of us who are older have had life altering moments, of course nothing as horrific as the Aurora, Colorado victims, but life changing never the less. One that stands out in my memory is from my early 30's. I was newly married and my husband came down with a cold he couldn't shake. He stopped by the E.R, where a close friend of ours was a doctor. Our friend checked him over and decided to do a chest xray to see if he had pneumonia, gave him some meds and sent him home. Several days later our friend called to tell my husband that a spot had showed up on the xray and it looked serious, possibly lung cancer. More tests were done and we waited for results. The night before we were to get the results I remember we went to the movies to see E.T. to get our minds off what we might face the next day. 

The following day we sat in the doctor's office listening to him tell us that my husband had advanced lung cancer that had already metastasized to his brain and was terminal. In those few minutes our lives changed forever. He died before the end of the year, a few months shy of our first anniversary. In time I adjusted and built a new life, but it made me aware of how precious each minute is and how quickly our lives can change.

Now that we live in a senior community I see my neighbors go through these life changing moments. There was a gentleman down the street that took great pride in his yard and worked on it daily. One night after planting some new plants and appearing to feel fine, he quietly died in his sleep. He had no clue that day as he planted the bright red geraniums that he wouldn't live long enough to enjoy them. 

Then there was the darling couple that I would chat with daily when they took their evening golf cart rides around the community. He was frail, on constant oxygen and she was devoted to caring for him. The deep love between them could be seen by anyone. Then one day after not feeling well and having some tests done, she was told she had Lou Gehrig disease, not only changing her life but that of her husband, too.  She died at home in less than year after her diagnosis. She said her biggest regret was not being able to care for her beloved husband until his passing as she had planned. 

So what should we do- live in fear and dread of one of those life changing moments that can happen at any moment, those things we have no control over? Of course not! What we should do is appreciate and savor each moment, ignore the trivial irritations of daily life, and enjoy all the good things we have in our lives at this very moment. 



Don't over look the flowers in your life...  







...And take the time to pick up that interesting shell and appreciate it's unique beauty


30 comments:

  1. You made me think about the life changing moments in my life. Life is so fragile and unpredictable, isn't it ROH? Why do we let ourselves get worked up over little things that don't really matter? Love today's blog, but sorry to hear you've had so much sadness in your life. xoxoxo

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  2. Thanks Anonymous. I think we all have times in our lives that are incrediably sad and difficult, and experiences that change us forever. Tragedies like in Aurora reminds me not to take for granted the little things in each day that can bring us joy if we only recogonize and embrace them.

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  3. Very nice post tonight ROH. Some of us has had some heart ache and interesting how we develop coping skills to manage it. I think its almost worse to develop the skills for others who suffer than yourself. Or now that I think about it maybe not. But having a very close immediately family suffer a death is excruciating where you are not be able to make it all better somehow. Cooking meals for the masses and cleaning their home is the most you can do or stay by their side. The horror of not being able to remove the pain in your loved ones heart plagues me more than my own personal pain. This experience was the most profound of my life and one that still remains with me.

    My heart truly goes out to the families who have be the rock to the victims families. Its a never ending job but an important one.

    ROH.. losing a husband must certainly of been life changing. I cant imagine what that short year was like. The older we get, its becomes amazing with life experiences and the knowledge it brings.

    P.S. I cant imagine you at 30. ;-)

    The flowers are beautiful as usual.

    SO! What I have learned..

    I have been harping at my oldest son to bring out the 20 bowls, 50 pieces of utensils, 5 plates and 40 cups which are part plastic and glass for the third day in a row.

    I am assuming I should just buy new silverware, dishes and cups before I decide to mame the kid or blow a gasket and die of a brain aneurysm.

    XXOO

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    1. Ima, I know you've been through some heart breaking events. I have so much respect for how you've not only survived but have continued to give your heart to your family and friends- and kept your wicked sense of humor. Love you, woman! I suggest you only let the kid use disposable plates, glasses and eating utensils

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  4. What a beautiful post, ROH, and so true. Had one of those moments just a month ago actually. Losing people you love or dealing with your own health issue can cause a lot of reactions. It is best if you come out the other side appreciating life and beauty more acutely than you did before. I've seen people choose self-pity and bitterness too often. But, if you do that, you wind up ruining your own existence and what is the point of that?

    Growing older should teach us a lot of things and the ability to enjoy what we have lends a richness to our lives that youth simply can't provide. That's why youth truly is wasted on the young! LOL!

    Thanks for the reminder of the things that make this human journey worthwhile. I pray that the Aurora victims and their families can eventually come to peace and appreciation again someday.

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    1. You've had more than your share of sudden life changing moments, Bobbi. And I've never seen one hint of self pity or bitterness in you. Love you oodles, my friend.

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  5. What a great blog, I have to say a couple things, first, I miss you on Twitter, and am sorry it has been rough for you. Secondly, you always have a friend here. I learned many years ago, while visiting a friend in Liberia just how quickly it can be all taken away. One day we were having dinner with his family and the next day a military junta had begun its assault on the capital of Monrovia, and started killing the current governments personnel. It was just that quick. My friend lost his father and two brothers.

    It was sitting in the embassy and waiting transport out the country that violence can so randomly come into and affect our lives. We have to take every moments and truly live, feel and embrace everyone as if we may die at any moment. I have lived that way every since.

    I pray for anyone who has lost a person that knew or cared for. Whether it was from natural causes or violence. I hope that from such a tragedy we can learn that to love, be tolerant and compassionate is really the only way to truly be alive. Again, Great blog and hope to see you on twitter soon. @mintedroyalty

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    1. Lucien wow- what a terrifying experience that must have been! I'm so glad you made it out of there, but I'm sure your heart ached for your friends. We get up each morning assuming the day is going to be just like every other day, and then that unexpected life changing moment happens. So many things are out of our control, but we do have a choice as to how we react and deal with these moments that turn our world upside down. Thank you for sharing your story, and for your kind words for me!

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  6. Beautifully written, ROH

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    1. Thank you, Bea. Hope you have fun on your csmping trip this weekend

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  7. Camping trip post-poned - going over friend's place for grilling & trying out a couple recipes from Summer Cookbook.

    Made @2TiredForThis's Corn, Tomato & Black Bean Salad - taste tasted it and its delish!!

    And making Jeana's Crispy Edemame ... Love edemame ;-)

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    1. Bummer... and here I thought you'd be spending the weekend in a tent climbing Mt. Dude and protecting him from skunks. The only recipe I've tried so far was your strawberry cream cheese one which is to die for! Made ROM very happy

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    2. I still climbed Mt. Dude ;-)

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  8. LOL you're silly ROH, we saw something about it being an aphrodisiac for ROM.

    Speaking of life it too short..

    Why not come back to twitter? Just ignore the people that you know..
    People miss you and you are loved. If people can't accept who you talk to because you have a mind of your own then that is their loss.

    We Miss You.

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    1. Hey Anonymous- That Bea needs to put warnings on her recipes ;)LOL
      I miss you all too.

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  9. Beautifully written ROH. Had I known the day my daughter drove back to school in a snowstorm would be her last.....I never would have let her go. My son now knows he gets a tight hug and kiss everytime he walks out the door.
    Haven't been on Twitter for a while and am sad to read that you've left. Hope it's only temporary and that you are well. :-)

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    1. Oh Whitney- what a heart breaking loss for you and your family. What a tragic life changing event. Big hugs to you.

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  10. Always enjoy reading your blog. Every day is a gift. Thanks for reminding me!!! :) I have been somber about those lost in Co thinking of their families & how they will never reach their goals because of one lunatic. From 6 yr old to 51 were the ages of deceased. Its senseless & could have been any of us. Ive been to midnight showings of the Harry Potter franchise movies with my teen. Shakes me up a bit. At the end of the day we cant live in fear.

    I for one will look forward to my long life with God willing to bless me with the days with my true gems...my family. ( Seashells would be a bonus! ) ;)

    XO AsianPosh1

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    1. Posh, I think the randomness of the Auroa tragedy is unnerving for all of us. Talk about wrong place at wrong time!

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  11. Thank you ROH for the beautiful and touching post. It is so true. There is much to bear in life and we have to appreciate the beauty and gifts we find or grief can overwhelm. Thank you for the beautiful pictures and the perspective reminder. Sharing your story of such hardship when so young was inspiring. Tuz

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  12. Hi Tuz! Thank you. I guess I was young, but at the time I felt very old. Little did I know then that there was much joy and happiness ahead for me.

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    1. I agree with Tuz and xoxo to you ROH.

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  13. Sweet Lady Thank you for this beautiful yet sobering & thought provoking post. It made me think of the Life Changing moments I've experienced. Some were joyous, some were sorrowful but they were all Life Changing. I truly admire you. I can't imagine losing my husband or my child. I'm afraid to even utter the words.
    It really puts things in perspective & I appreciate you. Thank you once again for touching my life xxoo
    Kathie (Judo4me)

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  14. Hi Kathie! I've made ROM promise me that I get to die first-LOL But seriously, I can't imagine life without him. Thank you for your kind words, my friend. Big hugs to you...

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  15. Wonderful blog. You just never know what someone is pulling in their little red wagon, we all have one. It's just that some are more full than others.

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  16. Hello Sweet Lady! I miss reading your tweets. You always make me smile, quite often LOL. I have had many life changing events, but I could never imagine losing my husband or child.
    Come back to twitter and ignore the crank pots. Life is too short to miss you. Love you sweet lady!

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    1. So good to see you, Memy! I miss you too, I'll mosey back to Twitter in time ;) Hope your having a great summer. Love you, too xoxoxo

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  17. What a beautiful post. Apropos for this time in my life. I miss your tweets on my timeline. Hugs to the girls from Lu and the fame whore poodles.

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