HOW DID I GET THROUGH THE LOSSES OF 2014?

hard to be a woman (a friend sent this to me in an email – true!)

I got a bit side-tracked on my last little blogs, but the fall always makes me happy. This is part of what I want to entreat on you in this blog – be happy. I know it sounds like a cliché, but it’s very true from my experience.

I blame it on my parents, again a cliché, but this is also true. My parents both grew up in the depression. They did not have easy “silver spoon” type lives, but had to work hard for everything they had. To me, my parents were complete opposites that meshed perfectly. Dads’ side of the family was large but distant. Growing up we knew his brothers and sisters, his parents, but that was all. Now moms’ side of the family is total opposite. I can tell you about great aunts and uncles on her side. Little did I know growing up how special this really was?

The best thing they both shared was a great sense of humor, but mom always seemed a bit more confident about it. Our family motto is “if we are not picking on/at you, we don’t like you” and this also was very true. My dad gave me a great couple of Knick-names to prove it 1) Rimp (for those of you that remember the Jetsons cartoon – when George shrunk, Astro ran around saying “rook at the rimp” – since I was the smallest/shortest one in the family – I got the name) 2) Dumb Shit – now don’t get excited on this, it was not a bad thing or ever said in meanness…but instead was an endearing form of affection. Since I was also raised to “keep trying” it meant a lot of failures. And, on occasion, the comment from dad was “Ya dumb shit, what did you do that for?” – Again not harsh, but usually delivered with a muffled laughter. Even now, when our family gets together and starts going into our stories, the phrase is used abundantly amongst us. Always with a smile, a tongue-in-cheek, and occasionally outright belly laughter.

So, how did I get through 2014? I believe it was with that same attitude that dad carried. When bad things happen I am great at the moment of impact. I can hold up in the worst of situations to take care of business. This is just what I do and did. I handled the funeral basics, the fire investigators, the police, the contractors and construction crews. But they were all handled carrying that same dumb shitism (yep, that is now a word!).

When August came around I was spinning with things that still had to be done – including my 2nd major surgery and no use of my right arm (and yes, I am right handed – D.S. again dad!). That was when I realized that if one more person told me “It’s gotta get better from here right?” I was going to punch them square in the mouth! I was sure that every time someone used that phrase, something else bad happened, because it usually did.

Then one nice cooler spring day earlier this year, I stopped.

I went out, by myself, in our front yard gazeebo.

Sat down in my glider rocker, iced tea in hand, and stared at the new house and found myself thinking of my mom.

The one constant phrase on her side of the family was/is “THIS TOO SHALL PASS”. It was her answer for every bad thing I could ever remember happening. This too shall pass – pretty much said it all, and I smiled. Then I remembered my phrase: Everything Happens For A Reason – you may not ever find out what that reason is, but there is one for everything. Again I smiled.

My 4 yr. old grandson was gone. Fifty plus years of mementos of our lives were gone. The house and all our possessions were gone. Half my left index finger was gone. My right shoulder was gone along with both knees and part of my left shoulder and left foot. So what was the reason for all of it? Still, today, I have no clue.

What I do know is that life went on and will continue to do so. I do know that laughing through the hard times makes them a lot easier to deal with. I also know that I have a very strong family, and a fantastic bunch of friends, and an outstanding rural community to live in. I know, to the core of my soul, that without all of them (and a large dose of a warped sense of humor) I could not have made it through. Now the only sad part is that I do not have any of those awesome pictures of them all to share here with all of you (and we had some goodies)!

So I leave you with one last phrase from my mother: “SMILE, it makes people wonder what you are up to!”

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Published by

helbergfarmstories

I love to write. It is one of the constants in my life that brings me joy. I also love to tell stories, read, knit, crochet, weave, plant gardens, raise our own food, play game with my grandson and throw out my wicked sense-of-humor every chance I get (parents fault – they raised us this way, and I am very glad of it!). I have hundreds of great stories from my life that I want to share. Most are very humorous, some maybe not so much. I hope that all are found interesting. Some of the things that have happened to me in life are: • Growing up on a farm in Wisconsin. • Raising and creating 4-H projects for the fair. • Growing food through natural methods (no chemicals here). • Learning (via trial-and-error methods) how to process all kinds of foods. • The death of several loved ones: Parents, fiancé, grandson. • Living through 2 house fires (2nd of which cost me the one grandson). • Having and raising a disabled daughter (20 surgeries in the first 20 years of her life). • Surviving a rape and abusive x-boyfriend and now being able to talk about it. • Giving up everything and moving to another state with $100 in my pocket. • Giving up a steady well-paying job to buy a farm. • Learning and sharing how to really enjoy farm life. • Writing through all of it. These are just samples of all the amazing things I have experienced. I had parents that were amazing! They encouraged all of us to try everything, at least once. Mom tried to get us to enjoy the riches of the world – fine dining (got some great stories on those episodes), how to sit up straight and walk straight to be noticed. She showed us how to walk into a room as if you owned the place. The best thing she taught us was the fine art of storytelling. She grew up with only the radio era folk, so the art of conversation was everything. One regret I have is that I did not keep the letters between her and our Aunt Elaine. They were filled with family happenings and priceless! Dad was a different egg. He and mom seemed like such opposites, but no two opposites were more meant for each other. He was a big, strong, tough man that had been through war times and then something much worse – surviving three daughters! EEEK! Now, looking back, I realize why they both grayed prematurely – we three gremlins. The thing that stands out most in my memory of my father is his compassionate humor. No matter how mad he got at something stupid one of us did, there was always the little twinkle in his eye that told us it was ok. My little sister had him wrapped around her finger – she could do no wrong in his eyes. To best describe him is to let you know that his knick-name for me was “Dumb Shit.” To understand it you may have to watch old Archie Bunker shows – that was my dad. My sisters and I all have some type of talent. The oldest is the wet-noodle. She falls for any stray that comes her way. Then has to feed it and the world (she's an excellent cook by-the-way!) immediately. The youngest is the Artist. She can draw, paint, and/or create so many different things and she too has the passion for cooking. The biggest difference in the two is the first can’t even draw stick people and cooks using shortcuts. The 2nd does everything from scratch – art and cooking. Me, I’m the middle kid. I love to tear things apart and put them back together. I create from scratch – yarn, paint, draw, paper crafts, clay, wood and a number of other things. Cooking is not my passion, I will do it if I have to or if I get an inclination, but it’s not where my heart if. The one big thing we all have in common is our humor. So, my wish here is that as you read my blog (stories), you will find enjoyment in them. What is life if we cannot have a little fun in it?

2 thoughts on “HOW DID I GET THROUGH THE LOSSES OF 2014?”

  1. You’ve been through so much. I just wanted to say fair play to keep on trucking. I too often use those words This too shall pass. And also the Meditation by Cardinal Newman. Everything for a reason even if we don’t get to know it. I am so sorry for the loss of your grandson and house.

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