piecesofpeace1

aging without botox

“People are oft…

“People are often at their best when they are at their worst.” from the journals of J. Stilling – written while caring for her dying sister.

My first blog – and I’ve decided to quote myself!   I can’t believe my sister died on April 15th, 2010 – the images are still etched into my brain as if it were just last night.  My mom died just 5 months ago, and I can barely remember those scenes, but Terrie’s life, illness, and death are clearly imbedded into my consciousness as unique as dental records.   Perhaps the brain can only hold so much death.  After all – my brother died between those two deaths.

Was I at my best when these loved ones were dying?  Of course.  Do I feel this way all the time?  No!  I often feel guilty or shallow, or self-centered or lost or dark or empty.  But I am 100% certain that I was the best I could be in those moments considering the circumstances.

The above quote is more about the people I watched die – especially Theresa Marie Stilling born March 7, 1957 – my only sister.  My older sister by 7 years.  Not that the others didn’t die with tremendous grace and dignity, but my sister’s death (and life) hooked me in.  I was there – on the firing lines.  I was there for the others, but my brain won’t let me keep those scenes in the same way. Maybe Terrie’s death was just too big, or maybe I am still sorting through the lessons of that one to make room for the others or maybe this is simply where I am on this snowy morning in March!

My sister’s illness came on so suddenly and in the midst of an already heavy phase of life.  Her son was in the throes of addiction, and that alone was infiltrating every aspect of her life and of our relationship.  In fact the morning I received the call that she was admitted to the hospital – I refused the call.

It was in June of 2009 and I was with a meditation group about to enter the silence of a 30 minute meditation.  I saw the number and turned my phone off thinking it was some drama about my nephew.  An hour later, I heard the words “Leukemia Blasts” in the blood.  I was worried – since I do that so well, but I had no idea the nightmare that was to follow.

I guess this blog is about that today.  The fact that 3 years later I still have these memories. That 3 years later I have not only buried my sister, but my brother, and my mother, and I am still here – being my best self.  That 3 years later I am working, tending to a marriage, raising teen girls, working, praying, cleaning the house, working, reaching out to others, tending to friendships, working, stressing, dealing with menopause, working through anxiety, working, meditating, talking, accepting I’m a workaholic, and now writing.

Peace.

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8 thoughts on ““People are oft…

  1. Peggy messaris on said:

    Looks like a great outlet….my understanding is that the loss of a sibling is only 2nd to the loss of a child. But you are here and your terrific work continues and I am sure your sister continues to play a significant part in you life….just not in the way that we, the living, would choose. Enjoy the reflective Spring Snow Day you may have needed more than you know! Peace!

  2. Marianne on said:

    Menopause is a piece of cake…don’t sweat it.

  3. karen davidson on said:

    peace, Jackie.

  4. fritz on said:

    This is the first thing besides Terri that I thought of when I saw the name of your blog. Strangely it applies…Peace to you!

    Every million miles ya haffe tek a first step
    Every million miles ya haffe tek a first step
    Every million miles ya haffe tek a first step
    Every million miles ya haffe tek a first step

    I was sick of flippin’ channels, and sick of flippin’ quarters
    I called my man Zulu, said, “Meet me on the corner”
    Maybe we can check out the clubs in the city
    ‘Cuz waitin’ at the crib can make you feel shitty

    So he hopped into my ride on the squeaky door side and
    We hit the upper room where they keep the funk alive
    The man at the door invited us inside
    He said there isn’t any cover if you’re keepin’ up the vibe

    We took it upstairs to big up the area
    The people in the house was shakin’ up their derrier
    Raisin’ up their hands and raisin’ up their voices
    Tokes was the DJ I was happy with his choices

    Maxin’ and mixin’ the beats they was fixin’
    My brain like a smoke that was doubly, triply, dope
    The decadence is gone and life may never be the same
    ‘Cuz when the beat hits, you feel no pain

    So a piece of peace for you, a piece of peace for me
    A piece of peace for every peaceful person that you see
    I said, a piece of peace for you, a piece of peace for me
    A piece of peace for every peaceful person that you see

    I said, a piece of peace for you, a piece of peace for me
    A piece of peace for every peaceful person that you see
    I said, a piece of peace for you, and a piece of peace for me
    But I don’t act peaceful if you’re not that way to me

    Every million mile ya haffe tek a first step
    Every million mile ya haffe tek a first step
    Every million mile ya haffe tek a first step
    Every million mile ya haffe tek a first step

    Five O was outside waitin’ with their vans
    Hopin’ that sh*t would get outta hand
    So dat they could test their weapons on innocent civilians
    The high tech shit costin’ million and millions

    Money should’ve spent on somethin’ for community
    But that’s okay because we got the unity
    So f*ck the police, we can keep the peace
    We can make love and conquer that disease

    Because nothin’ in the world is impossible to me
    I can swim on dry land and run upon the sea
    And nothin’ in the world is impossible to me
    You can chop off my legs and I’ll land upon my feet

    I turn it over to the spirit and I leave her in charge
    My favorite record sounds like an African head charge
    She’ll beat up the beats with and eggbeater, pour em in the batter
    She’ll make ’em sound fatter and fatter

    ‘Cuz food for the soul is the flavor of the music
    And the spice for the brain is the essence of the lyrics
    Well, songs can be delicious and also be nutritious
    You can’t pay for culture’, it can only be experienced
    Boom! Boom! Boom, well have you ever been experienced?

    So a piece of peace for you, a piece of peace for me
    A piece of peace for every peaceful person that you see
    I said, a piece of peace for you, a piece of peace for me
    A piece of peace for every peaceful person that you see

    I said, a piece of peace for you, a piece of peace for me
    A piece of peace for every peaceful person that you see
    I said, a piece of peace for you, and a piece of peace for me
    But I don’t act peaceful if you’re not that way to me

    Every million mile ya haffe tek a first step
    Every million mile ya haffe tek a first step
    Every million mile ya haffe tek a first step
    Every million mile ya haffe tek a first step

    Every million mile ya haffe tek a first step
    Every million mile ya haffe tek a first step
    Every million mile ya haffe tek a first step
    Every million mile ya haffe tek a first step

    Said if the funk is on time
    Then we call it punctual
    We’re matchin’ up the footsteps
    Spiritual and functional

    Like Carnivale in Rio
    The Charlie Hunter trio
    Had the groovers groovin’
    And all the movers movin’

    Cuba, Twist, Reminisce and NME
    Graffiti on the street for everyone to see
    Even the elders in the house was havin’ fun
    Because we livin’ life at the top of our lungs

    It was truly a life celebration that night
    Had the world’s greatest time
    We’d never sell the movie rights
    To Morrie Povich or anyone like that
    And anyone who does is really, really whack

    We fish or cut bait and we’re not takin’ prisoners
    And if you comin’ late then you might’ve missed some a this
    Funky good time we had here in fronta you
    So long, farewell, alveerdersain, adieau to you

    A piece of peace for you, a piece of peace for me
    A piece of peace for every peaceful person that you see
    I said, a piece of peace for you, a piece of peace for me
    A piece of peace for every peaceful person that you see

    I said, a piece of peace for you, and a piece of peace for me
    A piece of peace for every peaceful person that you see
    I said, a piece of peace for you, and a piece of peace for me
    But I don’t act peaceful if you’re not that way to me

    Every million mile ya haffe tek a first step
    Every million mile ya haffe tek a first step
    Every million mile ya haffe tek a first step
    Every million mile ya haffe tek a first step

    Every million mile ya haffe tek a first step
    Say, every million mile ya haffe tek a first step
    Every million mile ya haffe tek a first step
    Say, every million mile ya haffe tek a first step

    Every million mile ya haffe tek a first step
    Every million mile ya haffe tek a first step
    Every million mile ya haffe tek a first step
    Every million mile ya haffe tek a first step

    …………….michael franti and spearhead…………….

  5. Great idea! I’m not sure what to say, so I’ll use someone else’s words. In particular, I’ll use Mary Oliver’s words. You know the verse below is one of my favorites and your blog brings it to mind.

    Wild Geese

    You do not have to be good.
    You do not have to walk on your knees
    for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
    You only have to let the soft animal of your body
    love what it loves.
    Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
    Meanwhile the world goes on.
    Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
    are moving across the landscapes,
    over the prairies and the deep trees,
    the mountains and the rivers.
    Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
    are heading home again.
    Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
    the world offers itself to your imagination,
    calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting–
    over and over announcing your place
    in the family of things.

  6. I see you, I hear you, I honor you~my spirit honors your spirit!

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