Friday, October 28, 2011

Perceptions

In an attempt to spend some time together and unburden my Mom a wee bit by being her chauffeur du jour, I accompanied her on hospital visits with my Dad's nearly 90 year old stepfather and her younger sister this week.  Unfortunately since my Dad's sudden illness and death in late August, she's been to the hospital nearly every week with perhaps one exception to visit someone, usually my Aunt E, who has been in and out the hospital about 4 times just in the last 2 months. On Tuesday, Wednesday and part of today my Mom actually had 2 sisters in the hospital! It is both fortunate and not so that she's been so preoccupied visiting the sick, she's not had a ton of time to think about her life as an aggrieved widow - at least not during the day.
The two patients could not have been more different.  We found Pop about to begin his therapy session, giddy to try whatever the therapist asked of him. He told us a story that was barely audible through his incessant laughter about his latest sponge bath that culminated in his concern over whether or not he was still in the "boy's club". The man is 90 and still carrying on about his junk! That alone is enough to make one chuckle for the rest of the day, just heart warming. My Aunt E, while I am very fond of her, can best be described as disgruntled and difficult. She won't pick a fight but she is short on patience and if something is done or said in her presence that's not to her liking, then it's on. E spent most of the visit venting about the volume of her room-mate's television and steady stream of visitors, the constant and seemingly incessant variety of physicians, leaky IV's, and the previous day's sandwiches on which my Mom was far too light-handed with both the peanut butter & jelly. Admittedly and blessedly, I have no idea of what it's like to be chronically ill nor to have a continual feeling of malaise for months.  I understand that she is frustrated about her repeated relapses compounded with the loss of her beloved solitude. But I do believe to my core that a positive outlook is tantamount to future well-being and that we attract what we continually focus on, more or less. Now if I told my Aunt  E,who is a fiercely independent and opinionated woman, any of this she'd curse me like sailor. But honestly given the circumstances, she's stuck in the hospital with nothing but free time  and random thoughts.  So rather than laying in bed fuming mad because the situation is beyond her control, some breathing exercises and calming thoughts might just work two of the miracles that might be impeding her healing - a more positive or just neutral shift in perception and the ability to suspend the need to control.

On Saturday, I went to DC with my BFFs Teri and Stacey.  We were celebrating Teri's ascent into the sexy 45 club. After a nice lunch at Founding Farmers (try their fried green tomatoes and cornbread if you go), Stacey had to get the perfect picture of the three of us.  For close to half an hour, we had so much fun giggling and posing like schoolgirls. Now I'm not big on pictures because I rarely look like the voluptuous brown gurl image I keep in head - how is that possible? But Saturday, I didn't worry about the outcome. Anyway on the way home we rode down New York Ave and I noticed these fabulous huge sculptures of truly voluptous women in various stages of color and activity right there on the grassy median. I said "Oh My God, Big Girls - I LOVE the Big Girl Statues!!" The sculptures  entitled Les Trois Graces (The Three Graces) were created by Niki de Saint Phalle in 1999 and are part of an exhibition at the National Museum of Women in the Arts. I'm not a big fan of art, I certainly don't own any but these big girls have captured my heart. I immediately searched for a print to place in my bedroom, no luck so far, so I'll have to settle for one of them as my profile pic on Facebook. The sculptures have been there since April and will be leaving at month's end so I consider it absolutely serendipitous that I even saw them. I had been feeling pretty good all afternoon, my girlfriends do that for me :) but seeing Les Trois Graces, a celebration of everything I hope to be colorful, stunning, bustling, bold, vulnerable, and sensual made my perspective about the big browns (my nickname for my legs) and company soar.

Even as I write this blog rather than sitting in my normal dinner/surfing/blogging seat, I've decided to sit across in my daughter's seat to see what new perspective I get sitting here.  So far after listening to a blogradio program for the first time and hearing some very well timed messages, I've gotten that I have some internal work to do.  Despite having that whole champion, voluptuous, succulent glow going right now I still need to work on acquiring patience and embracing my vulnerability (this is huge).

And I'm having someone else review my much oft-ignored resume for yet another perspective.

'Slow it down, to find your way. Trust yourself, that you'll be okay.'  (The Flow-Vargo)
 
UPDATE: 11/2/11
Visited Aunt E and Pop again today.  Lo And behold Aunt E was in the best spirits. Laughing and hopeful, she even got up to walk the floor with us for the first time in 5 days. She said this year all she wanted for Christmas was "to be with my family".  Wow, that was a huge and very pleasant surprise.  And Pop well he decided it was the day to curse out the nursing staff. They both changed perspectives alright.

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