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Sunday, September 11, 2022

Grief at 4 months…

My life changed on May 15, 2022 in every conceivable way. My husband, life mate, partner in everything went home to be with our Lord. Eight weeks prior I had days that I feared I was losing him and then days I thought I'd be bringing him home. Never sure under what conditions that homecoming would occur, but still optimistic. Mostly I prayed for His will be done and for us to have the strength and wisdom to adjust to whatever that looked like. I never believed, and still dont, that I should pray for his healing. I believe the book of life is already completed and all things happen as He means for them to happen. So I ask for strength and wisdom and ability to accept. I received a most peaceful feeling for days after he left me; wrapped in the Grace of God, no doubt. I was relieved that his pain was over. That he was at peace and surrounded by so many lost loved ones that we shared. I was jealous. I do not believe I get to choose my last day on earth, but to be honest, I did tell God, "my bags are packed and I'm ready when you call me." I am sitting here now, wondering why I am still here. Really! I mean, my reason for everything I did for the last 40 years, besides being Momma's back-up for anything she needed, is gone. Yes, I have amazing kids and friends and my furbabies, but they have all survived our loss and basically are doing okay. Their lives have not changed except they miss him. They always will, as I will. As I still, 8 years later, miss Momma. They are not, however, living alone. Every day, alone at days begining and ending. People in between to pass time. To laugh with and be normal. That is great, really great. These people are my saving graces. Nothing in my daily life is really right anymore. It's all very different and though not horrible, it's not right. I'm not right. I'm unstable, at best. I feel like my only comfort is found alone at what is now, "my" home. Comfort, but also a deep sense of loss. Loss of the life I loved. The "key" to that life, it seems, wasn't the community, the friends, the weather...we thought it was. The "key" was "US" and this "house" which we made our own. That's what made my life so good. That is gone. It's now my house and my life. I have to find a way for all of this to be right, to be normal. I adopted a kitten, just short of a year old, he turned one in August. I still have special needs, psychotic Beary who doesnt like me particularly, but does need the care I give him. They are very good for me and I'm very happy to have them in my home. I would be lost without my furbabies, for sure. So thank you Lord for leading me to those decisions at the time. I love my babies. My future? I only know that I will do what needs to be done, one way or the other. I will continue to move forward, as best I can and I will continue to try to make Mike proud of my progress moving on with what time I have left. I will continue to try to be a kinder person every day. I will try to be less self-concerned and more about those I might be able to help in some way. That is pretty much where I am four months into my grieving process.

Friday, July 12, 2019

I have been on this earth 69 1/2 yrs. and I've finally decided the following:
I love my body.
Yes, it's softer than it was, but my arms still hug my loved ones with the same warmth and satisfaction as when I didn't have so many true loved ones.
My legs are dimply and wrinkly, but I can still walk where I want to be.
My face looks like the map of Greece, but it's me and in that face I see my momma and a bit of my dad. I see the pain I've survived in the wrinkles and the love I've known in the laugh lines. My face shows my life has not been easy, but I'm here and I like who I've grown to be.
My stomach is not hard and my abs have gone into retirement. That tummy stretched out to 52" to house my babies and somehow went back to semi-acceptable size now 50 years later. I'm ok with that.
My feet are healthy and anxious to do my biding.
My eyes have never been perfect, but post-cataract surgery, 20/20 distance and reading glasses power 2 are the best I've ever had! I SEE beauty all around. I also see evil. I know the difference.
I am blessed to be half way through my 70th year and still,
of relatively sound mind.
That last one may be debatable, I'll give you that one.
Age is a number. Mine is big and therefore, my herstory is full of having lived. It's a wonderful thing.

Monday, April 29, 2019

There was a time, not long ago, that I thought I was a nice person. I thought of others before myself. I knew I was a giver and a fixer, by nature. It was always difficult for me to be the receiver, even though I was in need and did accept help from time to time.  It was never easy, appreciated, but not comfortable. Somehow, those years formed a strong need to help when and where I could and allow the recipient to feel good about letting me do so.

Im not that person now. I'm sorry that I lost her. She was loved and she had friends, lots of them. There were very few around her that didn't speak kindly of her.

That isn't true now. The person I've become is not concerned with being nice.

I do have wonderful friends. People I love and care about and enjoy. But I also have people around me now that don't like me. That call me bossy, mean and accuse me of ruining everything since I moved here.  Other people thank me for trying to improve and listen to the membership. Thank me for thinking outside the box. I understand that's life when you're in a leadership role. What I don't understand is gossiping behind one's back and smiling to one's face. The membership did grow under my leadership because I had much help from members. People just waiting to be included, invited to assist or take charge of something.

Having said all of that, I finally resigned and now see, hear and feel a very heavy weight from those who cheered my leaving the volunteer position that they told me no one wanted. I know why now. It's very hard to be disliked, disrespected and to continue to try to mend the split community. Reaching out and not trusting the hand reaching back. Knowing those relationships are superficial. Knowing I am not the nice and honest to a fault person that I used to be. I don't belong anywhere any more. I don't even know if I like me anymore.  I wonder how my friends have been able to embrace me. I wonder why they would want to do that.

Bullying. I am talking about adult bullying from behind your back. While you think it's a few people, with which you can deal, you learn they've spread their opinion of you as fact to many others. Those others believe them. They don't know. Yep, it's jr high school at the retirement village and I'm the target 🎯.




Sunday, November 12, 2017

Veteran's Day 2017

VETERAN’S DAY 2017 ~ Presented to Holiday Village Veterans

“I (State your name), do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservations or purpose of evasion; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States, and the Officers appointed over me according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice so help me God.”

I know that you all still honor this oath and will until the day you die. I am humbled by that alone.

As we walk through our lives as free Americans, it’s important to remember all who gave a portion of their lives to our country. Those who signed the blank check for their own daily freedoms to become property of the United States of America for a specified period of time. Let’s not forget that the same check included their own lives. Those we honor today did NOT give their lives, but they gave years of living free to ensure that we all could do exactly that. They were in strict control of their military branch and followed and lead others in the commands of their officers and the Commander in Chief. How do you thank someone for that?

I suggest we begin by recognizing that sacrifice of the years given for our freedom and the families who waited for these Veterans to return, alive or not. All are worthy of our thanks and our continued respect. 

Today, I’d ask each of us to shake a hand, buy a cup of coffee, lunch, a beer or simply say thank you for your service. It isn’t much, but many of our Veterans have never personally been thanked. It’s way over due and honestly, even if they were thanked daily, would it be enough? 

I write words I choose and no one says I can’t say this or I can’t say that because each of these Veterans protected my right to speak my mind and publish those thoughts. No-one will tell me I can’t say something because the government wouldn’t approve. Because of these people the government doesn’t have to like my words. You don’t have to worry about what you say or to whom. Freedom of speech is something we take for granted, but if our military hadn’t gone to war to protect us time and time again, imagine who and what we might be as a country today. Our news certainly wouldn’t be what it is today. Thank you one and all who served, who sacrificed and who made our country stronger and safer. And continue to do that today.

You are each special and valued to those of us who gave nothing. We are all humbled by your existence. 

I know that some of you, most of you, were drafted into service, but you went. You served. You made us proud then and still do. You didn’t duck out of your obligation. You wore the uniform with pride and now you wear your history with the same pride and will always be a Marine, a Soldier, a Sailor, an Airman or a Guardsman.

I salute you from my heart and I thank you…each of you…for your excellence and your bravery. I thank God for returning you home to your loved ones and also to us.

God bless the USA and her Veterans.

Jo Heroux

11-11-2017

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Guns~Control or Complete Freedom to Possess

Las Vegas...after trying to come to terms with my emotions of three (yes, three) hurricanes that hit our citizens and devastated islands we called paradise, aren't we all just overwhelmed? Emotionally and maybe physically, as well, out of gas.

Would a more compassionate and more uniting leader have made any difference? Who knows, we don't have that option. 

But today I am hearing and thinking about gun control, again.

For the umpteenth time in the past few years we are talking about why we have so many more gun deaths than any other civilized country. The only difference seems to be that we have comparatively fewer restrictions and a cultural love of the all mighty gun. And it can be all mighty because the only defense of a gun wielder is another gun wielder. So why do we have this love of the gun? Why don't other countries? 

Why does every gun discussion come down to hunters and home defense?

For me...I was raised in a house with some guns. I was married many years ago to a hunter who owned a few guns. I never liked them. I shot a gun a couple times. I didn't like it. Having said that, I didn't care if they were in my home as long as they were safely stored and used appropriately. They were.

Today however, I do not want one in my home and I do care if anyone who wants one can buy one legally. I do care that many people do not safely store guns in homes where toddlers and teenagers alike could, and now and then do, kill themselves or siblings or friends with one which was stored unloaded and high away where they were thought to be safe. 

I have watched experiments on TV with kids of all ages "finding" a planted gun to see what they will do. Every time the kid will pick up that gun! Sometimes while saying they shouldn't touch it and they need to tell someone. They WILL pick it up. You cannot trust any child of any age to be in close proximity to a gun and not touch it.

I have no issue with hunters owning hunting guns. Give them a background check, put them through a training coarse, nationally register them and their guns, and renew those registrations annually or at least every two years. Just like your car. You can't drive without a training session, a license and a renewable registration.

Handguns are okay, too. Training, background checks and nationally registered with renewals...sure.

I would love to see limits on how many you can own. Like animals, you have to prove you have the right situation to own a bazillion animals. You'll lose them to rescues if you don't. You have to be inspected now and then for these situations and they don't kill people.

I agree that we have a gun culture in the United States, but I'm not sure why except that the NRA created it and our hunters loved it. Guns for guns sake...collectors...sure, but really, how many are there? And how much of this culture developed because Obama was going to confiscate everyone's guns? Or so said the NRA. Again, background, training, registration.

My boys all have guns and think I'm crazy and a flaming liberal. They are entitled to their beliefs. I am entitled to mine.The biggest difference is that my wishes might save a few hundred lives in the next few years and their's will only save them having to get background checks, training courses and registration. It will not change anything else. 

Gun shows? No. Gun stores? Yes. Internet sales? No.

I've never proposed people shouldn't be allowed to own guns. I propose that some people should not have guns and that often we could sort them out BEFORE they kill a group of innocent humans for sport or out of pure hate for someone or something they perceive.

I don't think all shooters are mentally ill. I think many are hare filled for a variety of reasons. I think our liberal gun laws allow them to fully execute their barbaric killing sprees. Remember none of the shooters used illegally purchased guns. That is an important factor.

So...it's a hot topic today. It's been a hot topic before. It'll likely be no topic in a few weeks because Americans have short attention spans. Congress has no interest even though two of them have been shot, seriously wounded with permanent injuries by legally obtained guns in the hands of haters with no value for human life, including their own, apparently.

I guess I just don't understand...empathy is non-existent in much of my country. The ability to be in someone else's pain is beyond the grasp of too many Americans. It just can't always be about "me" at the cost of innocent lives. Can it?

Back to that leadership question above. Maybe if we had that empathetic leader who could see the pain, feel the pain these shooters cause, maybe it might help sway Congress to act on our best interest, once. To find a compromise that would sit well with both sides can't be that difficult. Can it?


Jo




Thursday, May 11, 2017

MOTHER’S DAY 2017



Dear Momma,

This is the third Mother’s Day without you. It should be easier. It should be a day of me celebrating my own motherhood. I am a very blessed mom and raised some incredible humans whom I adore and I know they love and respect me in return. We have a good relationship and I am grateful daily for that. I feel much of that is because I had such a wonderful relationship with you. They learned, perhaps, watching us. 

I will not be with my babies again this year. I will not be in Michigan where I could go to the cemetery and sit by your stone and talk. I will be here with Roomy and our friends and most likely it will again be a painful day. We are going to breakfast at one of favorite ocean eateries, Crabby Joe's, with a group of friends. Few of our friends here have their children nearby. We are not the oddballs here, by any definition. We are living among our peers. My support comes from those who have been without longer than I have. They assure me it gets less odd. Less painful is what I’m hoping for. I am not expecting that for many years, I still miss you and can’t imagine that ever going away.

I do want you to know, I am sure you do, that I feel so blessed to have had you holding me up for nearly 65 years of my life. I know what a gift that was. Losing Dad at such a young age was so difficult, but we had each other from that day. Not the same. But something. I’m not feeling sorry for myself because my parents are both gone. I’m feeling loved because I had them. These particular parents were chosen for me. I am me because they raised me. That’s what I am thinking now. That’s how I deal. Gratitude filtered with heartache. Such great love is paid for with great sorrow. I would change nothing, except maybe to have been able to share Florida with you.

The family lunches on the deck are history. The Sunday’s with you, Roomy and I just hanging out are history. They are both wonderful memories and make me smile to recall. I’ll be doing that Sunday.  Maybe it’s time to change the guest list, but maybe host that cook-out lunch again. 

Anyway Momma, just wanted you to know that I still love you with all that I am and that I am still missing you every minute of my life. Florida would have made you so happy and I think of that every morning while my coffee is brewing, wishing I was brewing two cups.  Happy Heavenly Mother’s Day and please give Dad a hug for me.  ~ Jo




Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Spring In Holiday Village

Our Home 
We've been in this little piece of Paradise now for 15 months.
WOW! Where has this time gone.
Our life here is slow and easy most days. We have flowers and new palm trees to care for, well, Roomy does most of that. We have a few activities that we enjoy and are looking for new ones to start here with our newish friends and neighbors. It's just a good life.

Our closest neighbors, two of them, leave for the summer and the rest of our street dwellers
stay as do we, for most or all of the summer. 

The Social Club stops activities in April. And starts up again in October. I am thinking of trying to keep things going at least a once a month pool party with shuffleboard or cards or something this year.  

We will be in Michigan for the month of July, of course, and I am planning to attend my 50th High School Reunion. Not sure why we are doing this 40 years early, but okay. I'll play along.

I have also started doing the Newsletter for the Community here and think it will help in a few different ways. One way is that I am meeting and getting to know more people because I am trying to collect info to report. The other is that because it's a monthly publication, maybe more people will want to joint in or even suggest new or different activities. Communication hasn't been good here and lots of times things are posted in the mail collection area and that's it. The sign out front will say what is coming this week, but no details, of course. So for new people it's hard to know what some things involve and whether or not inexperience is a problem or whether late joiners would be welcome. So I'm working to clear things up a bit and hoping to encourage more participation next year.

No remodeling plans for this year! Just enjoying what we have and where we are.

Can't believe sometimes that we live so close to the ocean and that it likely will never snow here.
It's our dream come true, no regrets.

Jo