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!


Saturday, February 1, 2020


12:30 PM
Saturday, February 1, 2020 (EST)
Time in Bayshore Gardens, FL

When you are given a few days to a few months to live, time takes on an entirely new importance. When I saw today's time banner, I felt a wave of anxiety crash down on top of me. I thought I had accepted my diagnosis, but what I was feeling was not acceptance. I felt panic- January was gone. How much time was left? I felt myself slipping into a cycle of anxiety-driven thoughts. Time to put the brakes on... consciously slow my breathing and tap into my personal bag of tricks. Here's what works for me...

Brew a pot of fresh coffee... something about the ritual of making coffee helps me relax and focus on the moment. While the coffee brews, I dig out all my old Jimmy Buffett CDs and stack them in the player. I know you youngins laugh at all us Boomers and our CDs, and lord knows how you must laugh at the sight of aging Parrot Heads. That's okay, someday your kids and grandkids will laugh at you.

Okay, I now have a steaming cup of coffee, Jimmy singing to me in the background, a couple cookies to nibble on, my blog open and ready for my ramblings. Have I blocked out all those uncomfortable thoughts and feelings? No, that's not my intention. I know from experience I can't just make feelings go away, they will hunker down and wait to ambush me again. As Kimberly "Sweet Brown" Wilkins would say "Ain't nobody got time for that". 

So what the hell is going on with me? I thought I had accepted what was coming, or rather what wasn't coming. There have been other little clues that I'm struggling with acceptance thing more than I wanted to admit. I'll catch myself thinking I'm going to do this or do that when I feel better. I forgot I wasn't going to get better. Or I'll get an email ad from one of my favorite online shops, and quickly click the link to see if they have new colors (oh, how I love color, dontcha' know?)  or styles I must have. I have no need for new clothes. I recently bought 2 dozen pairs of panties when there was a great sale. Now I'm wondering if I'll have enough time to wear them all. Anyway, you get the point. 

Now back to looking at the fear and anxiety the time banner set off this morning. Though the rational part of my mind understands and accepts I will die soon, the emotional part of my mind is having some difficulties with it. I think it's important that I acknowledge my moments of fear and panic, not give in to them but recognize it's normal and to be expected from time to time. This dying ritual is a process that won't always move calmly forward. I believe this last walk still has surprises for me, and some may even be remarkable. I'm open to it! Now back to staying in the moment... 

With that settled in my mind, I often seek Mike out and share with him what's going on. Then ask him if he is struggling with the same thing or something new. Anything I share with him, suddenly becomes lighter, as I hope it does for him when he shares with me, too. 


  1. Throughout the day my thoughts turn to you. Marked your blogspot in favorites. May need it someday if I find myself in your current situation and need reminders of wisdom and dignity.

  2. I find that when the doctor says you have days to weeks to live.... they are wrong. Now I want you to watch Awkwafina’s move to n Netflix? Or prime? I cannot remember and watch it until the end as the credits are rolling. You will appreciate the why later.

    1. To be honest, I've been the one to press the doctors to give me estimates of the time I have keft. I'm sure it puts them in a vwry uncomfotable position but for me, I just needed some kind of time frame so I can get as much done as I can.

  3. Oops 🙊movie called The Farewell 😂

  4. It feels like more and more of us are or will be where you are today. Please know this blog brings comfort even though that sounds so absurd.. 💖

  5. Knowing of one's coming death does have some advantages, truly. It has given me a chance to connect with friends and share things I wanted to tell them. To give some of special things to people who are special to me, etc. Whereas a sudden death may have spared me from dealing with the fears and the unknowns regarding death, I think I prefer knowing. Maybe I'll change my mind as the time grows nearer.

  6. Being more aware of your mortality makes you wiser. We all know that someday we will die, but too often we aren't wise enough to make moments count. We put off telling people what they mean to us, we put off settling affairs.

    With my husband, I took the position that he didn't have an expiration date on the back of his neck. In fact none of us do... even you. It's only a higher power, our Creator who has the real skinny on exactly when. So my motto was we should live each day like it was our last, live each moment fully. I believed that if we did that, then when the time came we at least would have no regrets. I'm not sure we can ever be 100% ready but at the precise moment of his last breath, I think we both felt a wave of peace pass between us.

    You and Mike will be okay because you are walking this journey together and together you will figure it out.

    1. I think this experience is unique for each of us. I'm sure mine is different for me as the patient as it's different for Mike in his role as caregiver. And we all have our own life experiences and influences that impact how we perceive and handle death. What might be wise for me, might be a totally wrong for some one else. If there is ever a time we are accepted and allowed to follow our own beliefs and make choices for ourselves, it's now.


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