I've Landed!

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Talk openly.

Talk openly.

Ok, I admit it.  I am old and I read the obituaries.  
Remember when you were young and you tried to read the obituaries like your parents and grandparents, but it was such a mixture of boring and horrifying ( mostly boring) that you gave up the attempt?

Somewhere along life's path, way down the path, obituaries become interesting. 
They are not particularly horrifying except when the deceased is exactly your age.
"Another person my age died!"

The following obituary touched me deeply.  
I loved the openess, the understanding and the sharing of important information.
Conor was like so many many many of us who face anxiety disorders and other mental health illnesses in loved ones or even in ourselves.
Mental illnesses that are often mild and easily treated, 
yet often untreated, 
or treated inappropriately by self 
or even treated inappropriately by  physicians.  
It is a huge dilemma in our nation and in our world, and I thank Conor's family for the grace in the following obituary.

Conor  _____      (1993-2016)

Boulder, Colorado

Our beautiful son Conor recently died.

It appears he overdosed while self-medicating for anxiety.

Conor was kind, intelligent, sweet, complicated, curious, private, and opinionated. He was the most interesting person we have ever known.

He loved art, music, bicycles, photography, chemistry, animals, movies, books, bouldering, discussing ideas, family, friends, and CU Boulder.

Conor loved life and had big plans for his future. Those plans were cut short by a tragic mistake.

We love our son more than anything. We are very proud of Conor. He made the world a better place. We miss him so much. The pain from his loss is indescribable.

We think Conor would want to say: 1) thanks to all who were part of my life; 2) be kind to people and animals; 3) open your mind to new ideas; 4) be an organ donor; 5) support equal rights for all people; and 6) talk openly about mental-health issues.

We have not decided on a memorial service; it is just too much right now.

Friday, January 29, 2016


Oh, to be young!
Valentines Day at Elementary School?  Remember?

Never a pain for the, shall we call them, privileged.

She is only 8, but at 8 she is nobody's fool.
Her long waist-length hair is glossy, straight and light ash brown.  Surprising, since her mother is Japanese.

We still haven't figured out if she is shy, or a snob,
but this we do know, she is model material~  thin, tall, erect.
We haven't figured out yet if she is proud,
 or merely trying to go low-profile with as straight and narrow a shadow as she can muster.

She has been a fan of fashion since she was 3.  Sleek.  Classy.  No frills.

Her almond shaped eyes somehow fail to look Japanese.  It's those gold flecks that make her eyes match her American hair exactly.

Boys can't seem to get more than a glance from her.
                       But one brave boy sent her a "note" valentine just yesterday.

"Will you be my valentine?" it said.  "Circle Yes or No."
 She was so proud  of that valentine outreach!

"So.....Sachiko. Did you circle Yes or No?"

Sachiko smiled.  "I circled or."

He dad is so happy.
That's one daughter he doesn't have to worry too much about.

Do you like my blog?  Circle Yes or No.
Ahhhhh, the or's have it!
But I love you anyway.

Image result for images of hearts

Friday, January 22, 2016

A Young Man

He is young
and a formidable global thinker.  
He is a world traveler.

His best friends are not Americans.

Naturally I find him interesting.

We speak of community and he speaks of a world I do not know. 

"Community?" he says.  He poses it with the lilt of a question but we both know it's not a question since he has the answer.
"Community is scattered to the 4 winds by the internet.  People group by interest on the internet and then connect in person once a year or so."  He downs half his bottle of Pure Water in one deep and long swig.

I take a sip from my diet coke."Well, I do understand it is a new world, but don't you need an anchor in the wind?"

"Oh hell no!  An anchor is for the olden days when people sailed the oceans.

We are now sailing the wind and the last thing I need flapping in the wind is an anchor.  Even a tether is dangerous.  We are learning to sail the wind."

"So how do you all deal with tragedies and disasters?"

"Ah, good question.  We deal with them by accessing the communities we carry in our pockets.  There are so many disasters in the world and I of course want saved from the chaos.
Geography no longer is the defining characteristic of community. Community travels with us. Many communities travel with us.  Actually with me.  There is no traveling companion.  Don't need one.
But wind-sailing lessons would be good.  Even lessons on how to be ok without floundering while  afloat, drifting, or tossed about.  We are actually learning how to do that.  It begins with communities, the communities in our pocket."

Scrambling for relevance in my old age, I say with a smile, "I'll pray for you."

"Thanks", he says in a dismissive tone.  "Past generations wanted answers.  We want questions."

He has drained his bottle of Pure Water.
My diet coke has lost its fizz.
Both of us stare into oblivion, our stares blank.
I start designing dresses and ensembles in my mind, a mental exercise I taught myself years ago just in case I was ever imprisoned and needed a coping skill.

Got to think about this one.

Your visit is an anchor.  

Actually, you sailed the wind to get here, didn't you?  


Monday, January 18, 2016

Where Are You?

a repost from 2013 ....well, it is my birthday, and I guess this is how I will celebrate, retracing steps already taken

"Grandma!  Where are you when I need you?!"

Been thinking about my grandma lately.  I had two and I think of both.
I only had one grandpa, and I do think of him, but not in the same manner as I think of the old women in my young life...now that I am old, not having died young.

Always thought I would die young.

Didn't die young.

Granny was my dad's mom, and Grandma was my mom's mom.
Neither one was the warm-fuzzied kind of woman!
They were very different from each other, but they shared a common trait:  they weren't into children all that much.

It was from these women ......and my sister....(and to some extent my mom) I learned that not all women are into children all that much.
And I learned that is ok and doesn't make a woman deficient at some core level.

I myself love children...never met a child I did not love and find fascinating....and I could be happy managing an orphanage and writing about and for children.  I am full of warm fuzzies.

But I learned from my grandmothers that not all women would be happy in such a role, and for them it would be a sentence, not a destiny.
And that is ok.
Society wants all women to be into children "by nature", but that is just plain missing the boat!

I come from a family of several sweet men

Image result for images of man sleeping with sonnydailynews.com


 and many fierce women, Image result for images of fierce women

so I learned that society's idea about the role of women...and the role of men.....is not correct.

It is a pretty idea, but not correct.

It is good for society, but that doesn't mean it is natural.

It functions well for society, but that does not make it natural once the jungle is left behind.

The roles, "nature fitted", are actually about dictating what you are and ensuring you do your bit for society, and there is great pressure to get you to buy off on your "nature fitted" role.

Heck, my dad wouldn't even let me chew gum!
"A chewing girl and a crowing hen, all come to a very bad end", he loved to say.
I chewed on.
Behind his back, of course.

Both my grandmothers were forced, more or less, into the role of abundant motherhood.

One grandma jumped the tracks completely and reappeared only when the child-rearing was done.                                                              
                                                by abundantmama.com 

.    The other was a self-directed slave with a sad tired expression.

How I wish I had interviewed them when I was young and had the chance.
How I wish I had even listened to them!
How I wish either had left behind some written words from their old age.

Where are my grandmothers when I need them now that I am old!
Whatever were THEY thinking as they aged?

Granny (the track jumper) lived to be 104 and Grandma lived to be 79.
Now there's a clue as to what jumping-the-tracks will do for life expectancy!
Also, "the good die young" takes on more meaning.

Perhaps old age is a sentence and we are in prison?
Nah!  I don't believe that!
I just wish the thought hadn't sprung to mind.

My grandma who "jumped the tracks" was maligned behind her back all the time, but, just like she wasn't into kids all that much, she wasn't into gossip all that much either.  She did as she pleased!  Having shown up, as she had said she would, when all the kids were grown, she was a constant reminder that she was a target fit for darts.
Her daughters-in-law all hated her because their husbands loved her dearly, perhaps neurotically, and refused to malign her!

Even before I was old enough to understand, I admired her for doing as she pleased.
That childish characteristic in me has lasted even into my old age.
I cannot help it.  I admire people who do as they please, let the consequence follow.
I disrespect them if they whine about the consequences....but I have noticed many self-directed people do not whine about consequences.  They are too busy directing and redirecting their lives.

Have I mentioned I do as I please?

The biggest consequence for me is: this "non-society-approved" characteristic in me has leaked into all my children, who do as they please!

I must not whine.

Missing Grandma and Granny who would surely cheer me on,

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Pain & Suffering

Pain and Suffering

Pain and suffering, they are a secret.

 Kindness and love, they are a secret.

 But I have learned that kindness and love can pay for pain and suffering.

 I have never thought that a Christian would be free of suffering.

For our Lord suffered. 

And I have come to believe that he suffered, not to save us from suffering, 

but to teach us how to bear suffering. 

For there is no life without suffering.
                                                                                by somebody whose name I have forgotten

Good to see you,
Thanks for your visit,
Riverwatch, RN

PS  I came to "see" as a nurse that suffering can be a path  to greatness.

The greatest person I personally have known, a person recognized as more advanced than any of us who knew her, had suffered so much it increased the depth of the thinking & consciousness of even those of us who knew.  
We could scarcely bare to go through the list of the things that she suffered, for even to troll the list brought pain to those of us who cared. 
 Was she great before she suffered or did that greatness follow?  I don't know.  
But if she was great before, then even the great cannot escape suffering.

Is there no growth without suffering?

Is there no greatness without suffering?

Does even witnessing the suffering of a beloved enlarge our souls and carve out new depths of being?

Still and all, relieving suffering with love and kindness is greatness in and of itself.  

Thanks for all you do.

Image result for images for vase  of lavender/purple rosespinterest.com


Monday, January 11, 2016

Things against you

Ok.  Let's admit it.
If you are old, there are some things against you.

Mental abilities.


Body strength.


So how do you do it?  How do you achieve?

The answer is simple.

Don't hesitate.


In old age we need the full court press.

Image result for images for full court pressledgendsofbasketball.com

Image result for images for elderly persontheloop.ca
Be sure and visit his page.  He is 95!  So he says.

To hesitate is to lose.  Or to miss being hit by a car.  

Good luck,
and thank you for dropping in to visit.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Equality of Women. Trending now.

I love turning to the younger generation to see what their perspective is.

Young Person:    Polygamy now legal?   So what?  The Mormon Church won't even speak to that.  Remember, it was done to "raise up a royal people"......it served its purpose.  End of story.

Me:       But the theology says you MUST have celestial marriage to reach exaltation, and that is to include multiple wives.  Like they do out in Colorado City.

Young Person:      Well, this is not a trending issue and won't become one.  Who cares?  No man wants more that one wife, not even Mormon men.  One is more than enough.
The big issue on social media trending now is Ordain Women....actually Ordain Women is bogged down into how women are treated in the Mormon Church.  Period.  "Ordain" is the lynchpin for huge conversations but the real trending issue is the lower status of females in the Mormon Church.  Not allowing equality in multiple ways. Real issues on old men criticizing young women and telling women how to behave and still trying to make women responsible for the sexual behavior of men.
These are trending issues for women and their daughters.

Me:   In other words, Ordain is light years further up the ladder from the rung of women's place being set forth and maintained by men?

Young Person:       Well, I can just tell you what Mormon women are posting about on social media.  Most are quite unhappy and they are also unhappy with the Mormon women who support the church position like female robots.   Here, read these comments.

These are progressive issues that are not going to go away.

Me:  Well, sounds like the women don't want to be ordained to a priesthood that puts them down.

Young Person:  Women expect to be invited to the table, every table.


Please enjoy this beautiful song of Social Justice. Please.  It is my favorite now.

Loving you for dropping by,

Patriarchal Blessing. Stumbling Block?

patriarchal blessing stumbling block


Once upon a time when I was Mormon, I loved my patriarchal blessing.
 For one thing, it referred three times to goals I had written and outlined, goals which by the way were private and unshared with anybody except God.
 Certainly I had not even spoken of my hidden written spiritual goals to the man giving me my patriarchal blessing.
 Those sort of experiences impress me!

The blessing is transcribed as it is given so you have a copy to read over and over and over.

  The patriarchal blessing given to me told me I am of the Jewish tribe of Ephraim (so I could know who I am and how important I am!)

However, the patriarchal blessing had the flavor of fortune telling and that is where the stumbling block comes to “faithful” Mormon people who hang onto their patriarchal blessing as a lifeline of prophesy for their earthly life.
 Many of “the blessed” are promised marriages, children, greatness and things that do not come to pass.

Some die young...........and out pops the stumbling block of a Patriarchal Blessing that gave no hint of that possibility.

And so the “worthy Mormon” grieving a young person's death struggles to make sense of something that has missed the mark.

Mormons are told that the patriarchal blessing is a prophetic guide  (for the “worthy” only).  You have to be "worthy" to even receive the blessing.
You must remain "worthy" for the promises to be fulfilled.
Right off that puts Mormons outside of Christianity because Christianity blesses the "unworthy".
Christ came to bless the unworthy.
I know this because He came to bless me.

But for the "worthy Mormon" whose blessing didn't come true, the anguish is about "worthiness".
If it didn't come true, was the person "unworthy" in some hidden way?  Was a relative unworthy? Entering Heaven is about worthiness!

Death has come unexpectedly and suddenly, and promises based on worthiness did not get fulfilled.
Is Heaven's door open or not?
Faith falters in the face of questions.

For the true believer in Christ, these questions are astounding.  Of course we are unworthy!
Christ came to SAVE us, not to score us on how well we are keeping the commandments.
In fact, He said that if we break one of the laws we are guilty of having broken them all!  We have fallen short.
We have all fallen short.  And there is no measuring stick on that!
In fact, He said He came to fulfill the law.  We are not going to be judged by the law.

Christ stepped in on our behalf, not because we are good, but because we fall short.

The only real question is will we accept His grace?
Count me in!!

The Bible calls on Christians to be evangelists.

Mormon scriptures, (not the Bible) declare that “evangelist” spoken of in the Bible is actually a “patriarch” and that is what that word evangelism means! And it is an office to which a person ("straight" male person or closet homosexual) is ordained  for life.
No, there are no women patriarchs.

The duties of women are different in Mormonism.  
No female patriarchs.  

Blessings from God:  real.   
Dictation from God:  suspect.

Thanks for visiting my blog,
Riverwatch, the aging. 

PS  Actually, evangelism as understood by Christians is simply being a mouthpiece for God's message of mercy to sinners.
I love that I can be an evangelist.
Most of all I love His mercy.