This is my healing journal.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Bert's continuing Journey

I'm listening to the project known as "The Covenant". It was one of several CDs that came out as a tribute to Oswald Chambers for his book "My Upmost For His Highest." Often, this particular CD helped me get through hard times. I've had it for eleven years, and it's one I keep returning to.

You ask why I refer to this CD in this post. It's because I know we have hard times ahead. As of today, Bert is no longer working at Vista Grande Villa, and while I'm relieved that I won't have to see him in a presure cooker situation anymore, and while I know God is going to take care of us, and I know that the last time this happened, we only waited about a month before he was hired, there's a bit of anxiety there.

Yes, Bert was fired. The last time he was without work was shortly after we moved here. But, it only took him a month to find a job that was the right fit for him at the time, the job at Vista.

Nearly every guy who has worked in the department Bert worked in, (The dietary department) has locked horns with both the supervisor and her assistant at one time or another. Bert tooke it too far. But, I believe it's only a matter of time, before everyone who worked with Bert there is gone from that place. The main kitchen there was cooking the meals for five different dining establishments as part of the same complex for senior citizens. They had a main dining room, a nursing home dining room, a special dining room, an assisted living center and a cafe all the food for which was being cooked by a crew of three men, (one of which was Bert) and a variety of assistants, none of who stayed very long, except the dessert person. Every one of them was coming in anywhere from a half hour to an hour and a half early and leaving at least half an hour late, several times a month.

The supervisor has a degree in dietary management. Her assistant who is the coordinator for hospitality was a manager at Best Buy with no prior kitchen experience. Yet, she was doing most of the stuff the supervisor had been doing.

On Thursday, she came in and told Bert that he needed to clean the hold oven, as there was a drip line of grease on it from the corned beef. Bert said that he would clean it once the beef was done, as it would be easier to clean it all at once. She told him that was okay and then went and got someone else to do the job. He says that maybe now what he should have done was go ahead and clean it. After the beef was done, he was getting ready to clean it when this lady came in and told him that it needed cleaning again, and that someone had had to do it for him the last time. That's when he lost his temper, thus his being suspended, thus his being fired. In the meeting where they told him he was suspended, his supervisor came up with a lot of trumped up charges against him with no written record of them for him to see. She also told him that every evaluation for the past ten years, after he had gone to anger management counseling, mentioned incidents of him being angry. (That I know is a lie, because he told me about four of the past ten, which were all good. But, I also know that his evaluations for the past five years have never been seen by him and signed off on by him.)

I don't excuse my husband, though for the past year, I have watched him become more and more disenchanted with working there. He should have started looking then. But, he felt he should try to stick it out.

Do I think anger management counseling would have helped. Maybe. However, I think it would have been better for him to actually choose his own counselor as he's now thinking of doing.

It's through this that we're finding out who our friends are. Carolyn, who has stood by us the whole time we lived in Jackson said that she would be a personal reference for any jobs he applies for, as did my friend May when he decided he would go to the hospital where she works. Others have asked if there was anything else they could do besides praying. I think my one client might volunteer his services to Bert as a counselor or mentor, if you will, as he had gone through a lot of the same stuff and he was a counseling administrator before deciding to work for himself.

This seems to be the time when people are preparing for something that is going to happen, and in doing so major changes are going on in their lives. My friend and fellow Blogger Tom C. is going through his own struggle. I'm learning how to use new techniques that will help benefit my business and deciding what activities I will discontinue. Bert is facing looking for a job at fifty-seven and not sure he'll find it. But, he's so glad to be out of that place where he had been. There are other people I know who are going through major changes. Yet, each person who is facing those changes is accepting them. A lot of us are trying to use the Seven Decisions talked about in the Traveler's Gift. It's not easy to do. But, to persist without exception is to survive, and my husband will survive.

Thursday, May 22, 2008


Strange how I feel today like this is just the beginning of the end of a long, bitter fight in my husband's life. And yet, I've seen it happening for some time to come.

Today, Bert got suspended for losing his temper at work. I don't know all the details. Nor do I want to know. The strange thing wasfor me, I felt myself tense up and then realize, I needed to get myself grounded, so that I could go do chair massage at Consumers Energy.

I was washing my hair at the sink when Bert came in and told me and his sister that he had been suspended, since I was originally going to go get a haircut today and then realized my time was not going to be as free as I needed it to be to do that.

I told his sister that I needed to get myself grounded in order to go to work in an hour. She asked if she should leave. I told her no, that she should stay and talk to Bert, while I took care of that.

I had dunked myself in oils trying to get my new diffuser to work. So, I was grounded that way. But, I needed to hear a voice, any one of three would do.

(Tom, if you're reading this after hearing your message from me, please know I only did that for grounding purposes. You sent warm messages my way throughout my work time, and I knew they were from you. Thank you.)

When I could not get hold of tom, I called Ryan and Rainee, hoping for once Ryan would answer. God made sure of it. When I asked Ryan to pray, he immediately told me that he would, that he had suspected this was going to happen and that he would make sure our lists knew about it.

The third person I would have called was Larry, a friend from way back in first grade, who would have known exactly what I needed. Yet, talking to Ryan had taken care of that.

Throughout my work time today at Consumers, I was amazed at how calm and centered I was. Nearly all of the people I worked on wanted silence, which gave me more time to keep praying for Bert.

Tonight, he went so far as to say maybe he was just one person who could not learn from repeated patterns of behavior that crop up. That's when I found myself saying the seven decisions from the Traveler's Gift. He burst into tears, when I told him that he needed to greet each day with forgiveness by forgiving himself.

Right now, he's reading "The Traveler's Gift" as I type. I had bought him the book two years ago and told him how good it was, had even told him about my own experiences with it. But now, he's having to rely on reading it himself.

This is one particular journey which while it will effect me, I cannot take with Bert. He has to take the emotional journey of finding out about himself alone. I can be there. But, I cannot possibly comprehend what is going on inside his mind.

Please any and all of you, pray for Bert, and pray in particular that he'll look at whatever life's lesson is and prevail this time. I'm not saying this for me, as I personally feel blest and honored that God would put me in his life to be his helpmate in showing him the tools. But, I am asking for him. I cannot imagine living trapped in so much self-directed anger, bitterness and unforgiveness, as I've seen him carry at one time and yet have him be one of the sweetest people I've ever known..

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


So, I walked into our Business Networkin meeting this morning, anticipating Carrie our vice-president's special award ceremony for the notable Networker for the month of April. I figured it was going to be the same people it had always been who had won awards.

Carrie made all of us stand, as if to recognize all of us.

Suddenly, I was being called to the front for third place! I? Wone Third? Me? Cool!

John, my sponsor in BNI won second and another guy named Ted one first. But, to me, that third place award was like holding a first place trophey.

I had been looking for more ways to give referrals in BNI, hoping for just such an opportunity. I didn't realize I would get the third most referrals as a result of needing home repairs. But, there it was a third place.

So, why do I want mmore? Why is it I want first, before this six month term is up?

I think it has a lot to do with almost always placing second or third. Yet, every time I placed, it felt like a win.

I remember when I ran across the finishline and while placing in third in the 600 meeter, it felt like a first, because I had beaten my best time. That was in my eight grade year. I remember while not winning in the regional the following year, I felt good, because I again had beaten my best time. To me, that was a win.

In looking back at the time I ran with Tom in our class tournament, I can honestly say that felt like a win, because in running that race, I was winning back my own pride and self-respect.

I remember winning a second place in Forensics for reading "The Cat And The Pain Killer" by Mark Twain, in the reading category. I won our school's only medal in the three years I tried in Forensics. Oh, the school prized me on that one. I was the golden star. (Again, that was my eighth grade year.)

I remember placing first in the junior totals division of down hill skiing for the blind when I was a freshman in high school. Todd Gilbert (who also attended Michigan School for the Blind) was pissed, because he didn't win in the other junior category, and I remember him making fun of me in English class with regards to that. I remember him leaving shortly after that incident, and thinking that the school was better off without him. While I did not win, (as that was the time I blew out my right knee), I was still made to feel like I was a winner for even trying. Years later, when I raced against myself in a crous country ski event, I remember feeling like a winner, because I had beaten my best time and beaten the odds with my knee.

I remember trying out for a part in a couple of different plays in high school when I moved to Massachusetts and getting the parts that while minor were pivotal to the plot. Thus to me, those felt like wins.

I remember when I received my letter of congratulations for being accepted into Interlochen for my senior year. I remember feeling like a dream come true had just happened for me, thus like a winner.

I've always competed mainly against myself, and every time I accomplish something, it feels like a win. So, when will I win first place in BNI? In my heart, I already have.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Believe in myself

Maybe that sounds selfish to believe in myself. But, I'm finding more and more that if I believe it can happen, it will. It's truly wonderful, as I work in essential oils, to go back and re-learn the lessons I learned as a teen, when I relied on myself so much more than I realized even then.

I remember running track my freshman year at MSB. Often were the days whe I would say to myself, "I will run faster. I will achieve what I'm supposed to." When I talked to myself that way, I did run faster. That's why I was amazed when I won the award for most dedicated in track that year. But, I should not have been, because I had given myself those pep talks to keep me going.

I remember when I was a junior in high school, and I was participating in a madrigal dinner playing in an ensemble with one other recorder player, a violinist, a guy on an oboe and a girl on cello and another on the harpsichord. I came down with the flu and was puking one half hour before Mom was supposed to take me to the concert. She said to me, "If you want to stay home..." And I looked at her, like "Are you nuts? I didn't learn all this music not to perform it", and we went.

I remember another time, when I was in the year where I had been held back. My Mom was coming back from a trip to Arizona on the night I wanted to attend a concert that several of my friends were in. I called one of them, and she called to tell me that she would pick me up. I decided that if I was going to go to the concert, I needed to prove to my Mom that she would be taken care of. I baked her some chicken, made a salad, left a note with the key and left. Mom bragged about that for the rest of her life. She told me my Aunt was furious with me for doing that to Mom. But, Mom thought it was the greatest thing I could have done.

While my friends are nervous about how things are going with the economy, I find it easy to say, "I will exceed my expectations and make what I need to for this month." Or I find that if I've had a low month, it's because I have either not said the above to myself, or I'm putting energy into other ares of my life.

It's not just a belief in yourself that causes one to realize the positive. It's also a belief that all is going to be well, in spite of the things around us. My husband is so good at not complaining about how horrible the gas prices are, and it's amazing to watch him pay what he needs to, comment on it in passing and then go on about his day as if it doesn't bother him. Oftentimes, by not complaining, he's amazed at how the car will exceed his expectations and actually go a few miles more than he thought it would on that particular tank of fuel.

Tom, you are an inspiration as well. How many times have I heard you talk about not giving up, believeing that you can persist in spite of obstacles in your path? And how many times have I heard you give the same piece of advice to others, especially when we were in the same school? I remember when you did not get the presidency of our class in eighth grade, and while you and I as the seventh grade president fought to actually have a re-election and lost, you persisted and then ran the next year and achieved your goal. You pushed yourself and while you had the support of coaches, you relied on you more than anyone else.

I'm reminded of the countless others I've known who persisted, believing in themselves enough that they were able to achieve great goals for themselves. And, these people were not celebrities. They were just normal everyday people like you and me.

I have to admit, I didn't always believe in myself enough to help myself along. Often, negative attitudes got in my way, causing me to slip and fall. But, as I work each day in the profession I'm in, I realize, If I don't believe in myself enough, I could not be a good healer. So, every day, I wake up now and tell God how beutiful the day is, and then say, "I'm believeing that you will bestow blessings upon this day. I'm believing I will do my part to realize those blessings."

May each one of you who read this, realize that it's only in following your heart that you can begin to believe, hope and feel the power of the healing you so richly deserve. Take the time to say, "I believe in myself."

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Orphaned at forty-five

On Saturday, I turn forty-five years old. But, it doesn't feel right. This is the first year without both my parents. My father left this world nine years ago. However, Mom was always there to call me or send me a birthday card, until this year.

This year, nothing feels right. Mom's gone. Sure, we've been able to do some things with the life insurance money like get some home repairs done and buy our new car. However, everyone in my family is fighting over the estate. Ebba isn't well. So, she's resigning as trustee. She's suggested that Sandy and Chrissy take over managing the estate. However, the attorney seems to think Nels would be a better choice. But, it seems Nels has either borrowed from or owes the estate money for some reason already. Everyone is blinded by Mom's colection of Mexican masks, the house and everything in it. But, if we continue not to settle on a date to clean out the house and for a guy to come and apraise the masks, we'll lose it all.

I have a feeling that I will be called upon to negotiate the date of the house cleaning, etc. But, I don't want it. I want to be a little girl again, who felt secure in the love of her family, no matter how mixed up we were. There's so much greed and hatred now, especially from my sister Chrissy, and no one wants to make things right with my brother Bob, (the one Mom had not spoken with for the last years of her live). I'm not enjoying my first birthday of orphanhood.