Saturday, August 16, 2014

I've had a set back on that new healthy lifestyle this week. I lost a dear, dear friend who is irreplaceable. Exercise would probably have helped my grief and depression but instead I found myself just wanting to sleep and forget. This too shall pass. I'm already getting better, ready to head out in a few minutes to feed the horses and go for my walk/hike (since it is cross country and over some hilly, rough ground.) With the sadness I've had over my friend's passing and also beloved entertainer, Robin William's death, I've been thinking a lot about depression this week. I've had bouts of depression in my life and panic and anxiety attacks as well. I woke last night with a thought. It's odd how that happens. I woke thinking about how I've felt this week, how it was beyond grief. In my humble opinion, depression is not caused by sad and tragic events in our life; no, it is a predator that feeds on our dispair. I thought last night about how I've been feeling lately, not just extremely sad about losing Huston but extremely critical of my entire life and how I live it. I realized that the depression was acting as a magnifying glass, making the bad things in my life, the areas where I feel both my life and myself are lacking look even worse, larger, more dominant. I was feeling like a failure which isn't very motivating to exercise and eat better and improve your life because you think, what's the use? And then, my friend spoke to me. I didn't hear him with my ears but with my heart and it was something he said to me once after I'd conquered one of those dark spots in my life that were keeping me tethered and it mirrored the encouragement and love he showed me on my less triumphant days. He said, "I've always known you could do it. I believed in you even when you didn't believe in yourself." I still cry remembering him speaking those words but I also know, because of his friendship and love, that I am not a failure. And I'm going to set out to prove that because I will not let him down. The voices that tell me I'm a failure, that I'm bound to fail and I will never succeed in my goals, well I know who they belong to also but they don't belong to me any longer. The only voice I'm going to hear in my head from now on is my own and Huston's and they both only have positive, encouraging things to say.
Huston was the most wonderful person. I was truly blessed by his friendship. He was a father figure to me, a mentor and teacher but most of all, my friend. A short story about something odd that happened on the day they laid him to rest: He lives a fifteen hour drive away so we didn't get to see each other in person very often but up until his stroke, which occurred exactly a week after he said what I quoted above, we spoke on the phone at least once a day. After his stroke, two and a half years ago, the doctors didn't think he would survive and then they said he'd never be able to communicate again. Two months later, I called his home to check on him and his daughter asked if I wanted to speak to him. His voice was the most beautiful thing, hearing it made me cry. Because of his failing health, our phone calls weren't so frequent after that but we still kept in touch. I would call him whenever I knew he was doing well and felt like a conversation. A little less than a month ago, he lost his great grandson in a car accident. I wanted to call but I didn't know what to say and I kept putting it off. Now, I regret that I didn't get to hear him say, "Well, hello, neighbor!" one more time. It was a little joke we had about the distance between us but how close we were despite it. Anyway....I said short story, right? ;-) ........ His daughter called me on Monday to tell me that he'd just passed. I didn't ask about when the services would be because I knew I couldn't attend. Thursday morning, I woke up sadder than I'd been, a deep, heavy pain on my heart. I went about my morning chores and even took my first walk in nearly a week, hoping to chase away some of the blues. I was just coming in from my walk. I'd dropped my phone down in the basket that I use to carry feed to the horses. I hear a phone ringing distantly. I start trying to get into the house quickly before realizing that it wasn't my ring and then I hear a voice, "Hello? Hello?" I pick up my phone and say, hello and Huston's daughter answers me back, "Well, hello, Sande!" I ask her if I called her or she called me and she tells me that I placed the call.....but I didn't. She starts telling me about the service planned for her dad later that day and how the response from his church and community has been so wonderful for this amazing man. I told her that I wish so I could be there to comfort them and she told me, "If you were here, you know it would be us comforting you." We cried and laughed as we remembered Huston. She said that cell phones could be spooky but as a friend later said to me, there are no coincidences. I think someone knew that I needed to touch base with Huston's family that day. I think he wanted to include me in the celebration of his life.

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