Uncertain Insecurities Looking Back at Me from Mirror

 

IMG_1525

I am secure. That is a loaded statement. I am secure about some things. That makes a little more sense. There are things I am certain I am secure about. There are also things I know I am not secure about. My uncertainty and insecurity came into my life three days ago. It involved something I have always been secure about and like to think I still am.

I am a mostly independent woman. I know I can do most things that need to be done myself, that I do not need to count on anyone to do things for me. I can use a chainsaw with skill, as well as shoot a gun with accuracy. I can mow and trim a lawn. Many things people consider a “man’s” job, I know how to do. Growing up, my father did not want me to be dependent on anyone. My mother wanted me to cook and clean, but I think in that area I am not as talented or skilled. I can cook, bake and clean but these skills have never been something I was proud to be able to do. But back to the present. Three days ago I would have said I am an independent woman. What changed? Life. And the weather.

I was watching the news when the weather came on, they were talking of a storm that was going to hit the southeast. We might get snow, some sleet and possibly freezing rain. I already know I do not know how to drive in any of this weather. I learned to drive in the south. It rarely snowed and when it did everything closed down. But in recent years more people from the north have migrated to the south, changing the way businesses operate. Now instead of closing most are open. Some of this is not entirely from people from other areas moving here, some is just a product of progress. At one time the city had only a handful of snowplows, now they have many. Not as many as the north where there is more snow, but they have increased. When my husband was healthy he drove me anywhere I needed to go in the snow. But I have nowhere to go, so I do not need to drive in the snow. I would have liked to run to the grocery store, but I had my chance the day before knowing then there was a possibility of bad weather. When I chose not to walk out the door, I chose to get by on whatever I have here, which to be honest is a lot since it is so hard to walk out the front door to begin with.

My insecurities set in a little later. I remembered last year we had both a snow storm and an ice storm. The ice storm was cruel, it brought down beautiful trees that have stood tall through the years. Power, Internet and cable were out. Even cell phones had problems. My cell phones had no service (I had two), my husband had a different carrier and had service but it was bad due to all the ice. My house has gas logs so we were able to use the logs to heat the house, which it did well, some rooms were too warm. I also have emergency lighting and many flashlights as well as candles. When the storm took out all the power last year, the first thing my husband said was to light the candles. This only caused the house to smell and I had to open the back door allowing the cold in to get rid of the smoke from the candles. But we made it through, laughing at the adventure of living without power.

This time I was going to be alone. I know last year my husband was the one who was insecure about not having power. I was the strong one, the one who told him we would make it through a few days. I know I could have done it alone last year as I was more secure than I feel now. I did not realize how uncertain I was about my security until I emailed a few family members that I might be losing power, phone service, etc. and they should not worry about me as I have food, emergency lighting and gas logs. As I wrote these emails trying to calm the fears of everyone that worries about my being alone, it started to sink in that I would be alone.

Alone in the cold. Alone in the dark. Alone in the house. Alone. I realize this sounds ridiculous as I am alone all the time now. But for some reason, I started to feel very insecure and uncertain. As if I were not sure I could be alone during an ice storm that brings down power lines. It was an odd feeling. I have always been secure about certain things as well as being independent, able to take control of any situation. This was a new feeling, not a wanted one. I have enough fear and panic I do not need to add anything new to the list. As I thought about it, I realized that I would handle it the way I always had. That anything that in the past might have been a certainty will now seem to be less so. That I am more insecure then I thought. I also realize that this will pass. When the time comes and I have to go through another potentially bad storm I will become more secure.

In the end, there was snow, sleet and freezing rain. Not enough to bring down power lines or cause any interruption of anything that is taken for granted. I know this will not always be the case and that there will be things out of my control and that I must be secure through what ever life throws at me as I was in the past. It was just a wake-up call. That there will be times when I face uncertainties and insecurities. I also know that while I felt insecure and uncertain, had the power gone out I would have made it through and come out stronger for having done so. There is another storm headed this way for the weekend. This one will most likely be ice. I will probably feel a little insecure, but that is normal. Making it through the storm will only make me more secure. Being alone is a learning experience for me. It seems some of the most minor things bring the most insecurity. Though I will conquer the uncertainty of insecurity, it may linger a little. Lingering is find, I just do not want those emotions to move in with me.

The Mirror says it is Valentine’s Day

I am not a romantic. I never have been. I have always felt that the actions and emotions showed each day are more important than what is shown on days meant for emotions. My husband was a romantic. He liked all the romantic holidays like Valentine’s Day. To be honest some of why he liked these holidays were in hopes of nice gifts for himself. But his main reason was he thought it was nice to have a day that was meant to be romantic. He liked to give nice gifts to me. He would spend countless hours just picking out the perfect card. I would rather have skipped the whole holiday. And many other days that people put so much significance on.

When we were younger my husband did not like to eat out, so with any holiday I would tell him I wanted to go out to dinner as my gift. He would take me where ever I wanted to go, but after a while it became obvious that while I could get him to bring me out to dinner, it would not be enjoyed as he looked pained throughout each dinner. Sometimes we even argued through these dinners. After a while I no longer wanted to eat out as much, so it was not much of a problem until he decided he wanted to eat out sometimes. Then I was the one stuck with a painful look on my face or arguing about not wanting to eat out. So we stopped eating out, unless a restaurant had carry out, then we would order ahead and pick the food up to eat at home.

Also when we were fist married it seemed the only time my husband brought me flowers were if he had been out too late or thought I was mad about something. After my throwing roses with thorns at him and the thorns scratching his face he rethought both doing anything he would have to apologize for as well as staying out late. Though the flowers would still be given there was a different significance to them.

I come from a quirky family. When I was young, when we visited my mother’s father, my grandfather would have my father take us all to the cemetery.  He always had a beautiful bouquet of roses. He did not put them on my grandmother’s grave, he put them next to his tombstone where he would be buried when he died. After several visits to the cemetery I asked him why he put them there. His response was that when he was dead he would not see the flowers on his grave so he wanted to see them when he was alive. He would then add that no one lived close by anyway so there probably would be no flowers put on his grave. He was correct about that. This practice continued for most of his life until be became to ill and moved in with us, far from the cemetery. But while we went to the cemetery he would look at the flowers by his tombstone and smile, liking what he saw. Sometimes we spent a lot of time there so he could enjoy the flowers as long as possible. As I said it is quirky but I can relate to what he did.

One day after my husband and I no longer argued over his reasons for bringing flowers, I told my husband of what my grandfather did and how I did not want flowers when I was dead, rather I wanted flowers when I was alive. Soon after, he started to stop at roadside stands that had roses cheap every Friday and would bring me flowers. Not because he had done anything wrong, rather he wanted me to have the flowers while I was alive to enjoy them. While he thought the reason was quirky, he was romantic and loved bringing flowers to me. The only time he did not and I would not allow any were on Valentines Day and some other holidays that it seems were created for the sole purpose of selling cards, candy and flowers. I told him to wait until the holiday was over and buy what was left over, on clearance. At first he argued he did not care how much something cost, after a few times of my being angry with him, he started to do what I asked. Not long after, he agreed that the cost during the holidays for flowers was not worth it. Most of my friends would tell him how nice he was to bring me flowers. He always smiled happily that it was noticed, at the same time he said he would bring flowers every day but I would not want that. That he loved to bring flowers to me and see the joy on my face when he gave them to me. After he became sick it became impossible for him to bring me flowers. I told him I no longer needed them as I had a life time full of flowers that meant so much that I would always remember and treasure. He accepted the explanation, but I could see he wished there were some way for him to get to the store to buy me flowers.

By this time, I was bringing him flowers and balloons. He was in the hospital so much, I decorated his room with decorations for whatever holiday was coming up, brought flowers to cheer him and candy he liked. Our roles it seemed were reversed, but that was not really the case. He enjoyed everything I brought him and he was going through so much, it took very little effort for me to bring him flowers or balloons. I mention balloons because when he first became sick it was a few weeks before Valentine’s Day. He was in ICU, flowers and even balloons are not allowed, but they let me bring him a balloon. It was a monkey with a heart. He was moved a lot the first few weeks to different rooms, each time he made sure they brought the balloon. One night they needed an ICU room and he was well enough to go to a step down room for a few days and the balloon was lost. He was upset about it. I could not find another just like it, but found another that was a monkey. He loved it, he loved his flowers and the candy I brought him. It brings a smile to my face, even if it is bittersweet to remember that monkey balloon and how happy it made him. He spoke of the monkey balloon often through his remaining time. I think he thought I may have been becoming romantic, but that was not the case, I was trying to brighten his days as he had it tough. I let him think I was doing it to be romantic as he never asked if that was the reason.

So while today is a holiday for romance and love. It does not make me sad that my husband is not here. Though I am sad a lot, the holiday is not the cause. If he were alive we would most likely not celebrate it. For some who have a spouse who died today is a bad day, they miss the romance. For me it is just another day without my husband. No need to miss romance when I never liked it much to begin with. While some probably felt their worst today, missing their spouse, I felt no different than any other day. Maybe I am lucky I am not romantic. This makes it easier to get through these holidays. Thinking of my husband’s monkey balloon brings a smile to my face, even though I know he has died. I say it is the moments that count, the monkey was a moment that counted.

Needing to Take a Second Glance in the Mirror and Other Needs

One day goes into another. No progress made. Just emptiness left. I am on this journey or drive to find how to live my life again. I feel as if no progress has been made. It feels as if no progress will ever be made. That I will forever be stuck in the haze or phase. I know that is not true, but it feels that way at times.

I went to the store a few days ago. Before going, I could not decide if I was up to walking out the front door and facing the world or not. So I kept putting it off. When I finally decided that enough was enough and I needed to force myself out of the house, I glanced in the mirror. I had not curled my hair or done anything to it. I have long hair, but it is fine and unless I curl it, put it up or french braid it, my hair looks greasy as if it were not washed. After glancing and seeing my hair looked as if it needed to be washed, I decided that if I took any more time to fix my hair my nerve to walk out the door would, well walk out the door without me. So I went out with my hair appearing dirty. It was combed. I had makeup on. I know I did not look my best but I was not trying to impress anyone.

I went to the check out at the store. The cashier was elderly. She was friendly and talked with me. There is no one on-line so we chat. I do not mention my husband or anything else. Rather we talked of sales at other stores, how cold it has been for the south, just small talk. Suddenly she said to me “If you curl your hair you would look so much prettier. You are very pretty but you are hiding your looks behind dirty hair”. Normally I would have told this person off or told them of my husband dying, invoking sadness from the cashier. But my life is anything but normal. I knew she was not trying to be cruel. She was telling me what she saw. She felt that through our small chat we somehow connected and she wanted to be nice. It did not make me feel good that a stranger told me how I would look better if I curled my hair. I know this. It really did not even hurt my feelings, rather it was somewhat of a shock to hear it.

Which got me thinking. Do I look worse than I think I do? Are my quick glances in the mirror enough to make sure I am at least presentable to the world? Or do I need to make the glance last a little longer, look for flaws? Am I allowing myself to not look my best out of habit because it took so much time to care for my husband I had stopped caring for myself? Are there other areas in my life I am not examining close enough? And just how bad did I look that a stranger decided to tell me to curl my hair?

There are a lot of questions I need to ask myself. There are a lot of answers I will be searching for. But I do not think the question of how my hair looks should be one of them. I need to start paying more attention to how I look. While I will still glance, the glance will linger, not looking into my eyes, rather at the reflection as a whole to see if there is anything that needs to be done. Then I need to fix the outside of myself. Make sure I am not wondering how I look on the surface or at first or second glances.

Fixing what is wrong on the inside will be a lot harder. I do not know what is wrong that I can fix. I know there are things wrong, such as my panic attacks or migraines that I really can do nothing about. But getting over the fear of walking out the door is one I need to fix and it will be hard. I am working on it. The small things that need fixing, many I am not even aware of, is where it seems to go from a journey to an endless journey. From hope to despair with each day nothing is done. I must try harder fixing not just is what is on the outside, more importantly I need to fix what is wrong on the inside. Only when I start fixing what is wrong will I feel a real sense of accomplishment, not just a hollow okay feeling. If anyone were to ask me if anything is wrong, I know I would answer without hesitation that nothing is wrong. I would not be lying, as whomever would ask would not be asking the questions I am trying to answer. Needing to get back my life is not just something I am writing, it is something that is essential to my happiness. It may be in baby steps, but I have to start somewhere. Tomorrow, I will curl my hair. It is not an earth moving realization, it is not even a superficial realization, but for me it will be a step.

Anger and Other Emotions Reflect in the Mirror

Yesterday I wrote of cooking for one. While it is true I have thought of this and everything I wrote about it is accurate, it is not what I meant to write. I was angry yesterday. I have always said sleep on it when I am angry, as anything said in anger might be regretted. So rather than write about my anger I wrote fluff, something not really of importance to my moving forward. Today I will try to write of my anger and other emotions I felt yesterday.

I was trying to get ready to walk out the door, while still caring for my ailing pet when a counselor from Hospice called. They called one week after my husband died, then 3 months later, this was my next 3 month call. The man is very nice that calls. It seems he understands a lot of what I am going through. He also seems to feel as I do, that the printed papers I get from Hospice do not apply to me, most if not all of the time. While normally I would not mind talking to him, it had taken most of my courage to just get ready to walk out the door. On top of that my pet seemed so ill and was looking at me as if I should stay. I needed to go to the post office so putting it off another day was not possible. I was just about to walk out the door feeling guilt about leaving my pet when he called. So I was angry.

I know I could have been rude or told him I was busy, instead I felt obligated to talk to him. I told him of my pets impending death and how everything about the way he was dying was similar to what my husband went through. The lost weight, the weakening, the unwillingness to eat and having to try to use an oral IV to give him some food. These are all things that I went through with my husband. He told me most people tell him that smells remind them of the person they loved who has died. He told me he found it to be more images of the person dying that brought the sadness. He also told me of his pet who died last spring and how he had gone through a lot of what I was going through, how hard it was for him and his wife, that they still were sad almost a year later. This man understood. I know many do not. They feel as if a pet can be replaced and will be forgotten, but that is not so. I remember every pet I have had, as well as how they lived and died. Having someone understand how I feel helps, as there are only a few in my life that understand how losing my pet can be upsetting and I have not really talked in-depth to them. In talking with him, it brought comfort but it also brought up other emotions.

The biggest emotion yesterday was anger. When my husband and I were told he needed to go to a Hospice Home, we both knew it meant he was dying, though we also felt he beat the odds and had lived before there was still optimism by my husband and myself that he would beat the odds again. That optimism faded when we got to the Hospice Home. Once my husband was admitted to the Hospice Home, he was taken off all the medications that kept him alive. The only medications he was given were an antibiotic so MRSA would not return and endanger others, as well as tranquilizers and pain medications. There was also a lidoderm patch that they were not going to give him due to expense and they did not have it. I brought 2 boxes in for them to put them on as they offered some relief. By taking him off of his medications, this probably made his death come sooner. This is where the anger comes in. I am not angry with Hospice and to some extent it is not true anger, but it is with myself. Had I known his medications would be stopped I may have brought him home and he may have lived a week or two longer. There are moments when I think of him asking me if he were dying and that he did not want to die. He knew when he went to Hospice that he was going there to die, I am sure he must have felt afraid, wanted reassurance. I never lied to my husband and did not lie when he asked if he were dying. I did not tell him he was dying though. He had stopped eating. I told him that if he did not start eating he would die. It was not a lie, it was just not telling the whole truth. A truth I, myself could not accept.

Then I think of having him if he had died in the house. That would not have been easy to deal with either. I also think of how well Hospice treated my husband. Treatment that though I tried my hardest I could not give that level of care. Wounds he had that he was seeing a would specialist for, healed in 2 or 3 days due to their constant care. They made sure if any pain was shown he was immediately given something. The same with the panic and fear he was feeling, they gave him tranquilizers before he could even ask when they noticed how he appeared. So though there is this sense of anger, there is also this sense on thanks for caring for him so well.

But it was not just anger. There were many emotions that sprung into my mind. Sadness that my husband is gone forever and that my pet is dying soon. Sadness that the life I knew is now gone. Anger that I have to start a new life. Maybe it is not anger, if might just be uncertainty or some other emotion, but for now I will call it anger, it is not something I want to do. It is something I have to do. Irritation that though this man, the counselor is nice, I have to talk with him every 3 months. To be honest I could tell him not to call and he would not, but I know I need a little help even if I do not want it. Sadness that this counselor is correct in saying it is images that bring the most sadness. With every little thing, such as last night every time I tried to turn the lights off my pet cried, though my husband did not cry, he did not want the lights off at night. Each image with my pet or any image alone can cause this sadness. It is an overwhelming sadness. A feeling of despair. That there is no hope of a normal life.That in some ways there will never be a life, just an existence. Being a realist I know there is life ahead, but at moments of insecurity the realist seems to hide and the fear and emotions take over.

There were so many emotions yesterday that I cannot even begin to cover them all. I must say most of the feelings are still present. I also must say I feel no guilt over anything that happened. Though there is anger, it is not true anger. It is most likely an emotion I do not have a name for. I know I will deal with many emotions, not just now but most likely for the rest of my life. I know many will be sad. I also know that though sadness sometimes never leaves, happiness and sadness can live together. That though I am sad I will still experience happiness. That the happiness will most likely outweigh the sadness. But for now, I am angry.

My Mirror Shows No Cooking

I have a mirror behind my stove. I do not look in it. I take care not to look at it, other than when it needs to be cleaned. Lately the only time I look in it is to clean it. I have stopped cooking for now.

I asked someone I know whose husband died 2 years ago if she cooks. I thought she was going to tell me I was crazy and that she cooks all the time. This woman is known for her cooking. She has always loved to cook and is proud of her cooking. I was even a little embarrassed when I asked her. Her response shocked me. She does not cook anymore. If family is coming by she will cook but for the most part she never cooks. She said she makes sandwiches for dinner most nights, if she is out she eats out.

So it seems I am not alone in not cooking. I cannot say I have asked other widows. I know I could but they are not people who love to cook. I also know one eats out all the time, but she ate out when her husband was alive too. It is something so simple to cook, but the idea of cooking for one just does not make sense. Even cookbooks have “Cooking for Two” recipes. I do not recall seeing “Cooking for One”. That sounds pretty sad, as though you can find no one else in your life to cook for.

I have tried to cook 2 or 3 times since my husband died. The first time I made a large quantity of spaghetti sauce. I froze individual containers with just enough for another dinner. I probably had 7 containers, I say had, as I threw them out. They were taking up room in my freezer that could hold the easy to make frozen dinners already made. But even those sometimes seem to be too much to cook. I remember when I would microwave a dinner it took 3 or 4 minutes, now they take 8 or 9 minutes. I do not understand why they take longer, I can only assume for safety. Many nights I just have ice cream for dinner. It is easy and tastes good. I know this is not healthy and if I do not watch myself I will put on weight most likely. But for now, I am not up to cooking.

I look at all these little things in my life that have changed and wonder why I am concerned whether I cook or not. I think it is because it is part of a life I knew. I am not saying cooking was a favorite thing to do, but I did it every night. I need to examine these little things such as cooking a little closer. Decide if I want to carry them into my new life. Though I am not fond of cooking I do think I need to start cooking again, mostly for my health. I do not know when I will start cooking, but I do know that I have at least decided that cooking should stay in my life as I struggle to decide what belongs and what does not. One thing down, a million others to go.

The Mirror Shows Lost Life and Purpose

I noticed as I drove to the store yesterday, I passed many ambulances. With each ambulance I thought of all the times EMS came to my home because my husband had taken a turn for the worse. Which of course, makes me sad, not just because my husband has died, but the life that I had become accustomed to is gone too. It is hard to be a caregiver and at times I thought I was pushed to my limits, but after a while it became who I am or I should say who I was. Though there were times I probably thought I was at my breaking point, unable to go another day as a caregiver, those moments passed. I loved my husband and being his caregiver gave me a purpose for life. Helping others while I was at the hospital only reinforced this need to be helpful, to be a caregiver. Now my husband is gone, my little pet is still clinging to life, so I am his caregiver for now but I can tell not for much longer. Being a caregiver for a pet is different. I thought I had found a purpose in life being a caregiver. I did, but that time is now over. Though I can still volunteer if I were up to it, I do not think I can go through all that is required again. I am not ruling out taking care of relatives, I am talking about those I do not know or have no connection to. I do not think I can show the compassion and care needed to be a caregiver to anyone other than a relative or close friend. I would like to say that I will never have to, but I have family that are older than I am, as well as younger who are ill. I would be able to show family the same care I showed my husband if needed. Back to the ambulances for now.

It is odd, I probably know most of the people in these ambulances, they have been in my home, but I recognize no one. I know many live near by. They have always been kind. That is really all I know of them. My husband was always taken to a large, university hospital in another county. He was only taken to a local hospital if our county was low on ambulances or they did not think they could drive that far and keep my husband alive. So while they came into my house often and I went into the ER as they brought my husband in, I really do not know any. The same cannot be said for the ambulances from the university hospital. Whether they be the helicopter pilots and nurses or the large ambulance drivers and nurses, I came to know them all. If they are in this county and see my car, they will often turn their lights on, flash headlights, etc. to get my attention, waving the whole time. When my husband was alive, the helicopters would fly lower near our home and then go higher after passing it, as my husband always sat out on the back porch it was their way to say hello. These people became my friends in the last few years.

The nurses in the hospital as well as all the assistants and other personnel all became friends too. When parking my car, the valets all knew me, they knew my husband. If I passed one driving down the road they would wave. While at the hospital they always took time to talk with me no matter how busy they were, they showed concern and compassion. The nurses always asked if I needed anything and brought it if I did. They let me wander the halls and get things out of the supply closets without questioning me. Each time my husband was in the hospital, if a nurse I had become friends with were in another wing, they would come to say hello to me. The same can be said for all the doctors too. They went out of their way to talk with me if I had a question. If they saw me walk by while they were with a patient, they would sometimes excuse themselves to come out to talk with me. They spent more time talking with myself and my husband than most of their other patients. I know who has children, how old they are, what their hobbies are. I know more about all these people then most of the friends in my life. The hospital had become my home.

Sometimes I feel as if my calling to be a caregiver is gone and I have no purpose left in life. It also feels sometimes as if I have lost my home since I am no longer at the hospital each day. In addition it feels like all my friends that I made at the hospital are now gone, though I know this is not true. If I were to drive to the hospital and visit with everyone I became friends with I know they would still treat me the same, as a friend. But I am afraid of how I will react if I go back to the place I spent so much time with my husband, knowing that it is the place that kept him alive until there was nothing left to keep alive. When he was moved to Hospice.

When my husband died, I lost the man I loved. But I also lost all the things I listed above that became my life. I now need to find a new purpose in life. As for friends, I have other friends and my hospital friends are still there, but I am not ready to be a friend to anyone. I go on each day with a sad excuse of a life, having no purpose. I know this will stop and I will move on with life one day. I just do not know when that day will come. Will it take me by surprise? Or will I see it coming? Will I find a new purpose in life or will life alone be all I need? I have no answers. Today is another sad day for me. My pet is getting worse and I fear each time I check on him he will be dead. I am trying to be with him as much as possible, to make sure he is comfortable. I always say no one should die alone, yet that is something that is done alone. I guess I should say, everyone should have someone who loves them by their side as they leave life. At any rate, though I am sad today, I know this too will pass. If my pet dies I will be sad tomorrow. If he is still alive maybe tomorrow will be a better day. Most of us have bad days, today was one of mine. As a realist I know I will always have a bad day occasionally but I also know those days will pass and I will have happy days, that my happy days outweigh the bad. The knowledge that happiness awaits, even though I do not know when it will arrive, is what keeps me going and pushes me to find all the things I do not want in my life when the day arrives. So I will say good night to the bad day knowing that tomorrow is a new day. Each new day brings the chance for happiness. I sure could use some happiness, but I want to make sure I am done with all the work of getting rid of what is not wanted in my life first. Life is too short to waste time on things unwanted. Life should be enjoyed to the fullest when possible. One day when I write this, it will be a day of happiness, having found a purpose and a new life. Not forgetting my old life, learning to live with it, while I am also learning to live my new life minus what I do not like about the old life.

Being Kind Backfiring in the Mirror

While watching Brian Williams on the NBC Nightly news I heard him do something nice for a soldier. To be honest I kind of tuned out as he talked, thinking of all the soldiers that no one ever recognize, get special treatment or sometimes not even what they are entitled to by our government. I promptly forgot about it until once again he was on the news to say that he had forgotten how the event took place or something to that effect. It made me think of myself and kindness.

Every time I try to go out of my way to be kind, I always say it turns around and bites me in the ass or is the biggest mistake I could have made. This happens more often than I care to think of. Each time I tell myself that before I do something nice for someone I better think hard and examine all the results that may come from my actions. I should think again before proceeding. Sometimes I act without thinking, this is something I need to work on. I need to make sure that if I am doing something nice it will not come back to haunt me or give me ill feelings towards the person helped. This does not mean I will no longer do nice things, rather I want to be sure they are the correct things. I will list a few examples of how being nice did not help.

I have a relative that is extremely smart. This relative complained they could not create a Facebook account. I was not feeling well that day but thought of the relative telling me of this, so I went to the computer, knowing this relative did not want their real name used, I created an email account, Facebook account and Twitter account for this person. I then emailed all the info that would be needed and told the person to change all passwords as I did not want to access any of their accounts. This person was only able to log in to Facebook (it seems to me that many intelligent people have a harder time with social media, as I know many that are unable to create accounts). I had sent a friend request and this person accepted it. I then took another nap. Awakening I realized I had done something for one person while possibly taking away from others I cared for, including myself. Facebook was a place that myself and many others could express our displeasure of something, could complain about other relatives without naming them, it was our place to talk without hurting anyone. By giving this relative a Facebook account we would now all have to watch what we posted. I immediately messaged all what I had done and apologized. By that time the person had already sent friend requests to these family members, they figured out who it was, accepted but were not happy. Within an hour I received a phone call from a family member who is not on Facebook, the relative I gave the account to had called and told the family member her child (who is an adult) was cursing on Facebook. The child, who I mentioned is an adult was yelled at by her parent. This was only the beginning of my kindness turning into something I regretted. It continues on, even now.

Many times another family relative calls and asks for money. They tell me of how bad things are. I send money. I later find out the money was used for something other than what it was intended for and the relative is still in debt. Normally when I give something, even money, there are no strings attached, it is a gift, once it is out of my hands it becomes the recipients choice of what to do with it. In the cases of the money that was needed that I had given there were strings attached. I gave the money so the power, gas, telephone, etc. would not be turned off or for something important such as that. When the money was used to buy things that were not necessities, I would receive a phone call asking for more money, after the first two times I asked for account numbers and paid the bills myself online so that the money would go where it was meant to go. I had said last November that I was done helping. But when Christmas rolled around and the calls started again, needing money, I once again helped only to be sorry I did. I should also mention this family member only calls when money is needed, never to just say hello. While I do not really want calls saying hello as I am trying to figure out my life, it only points out that I am an ATM to this person.

This will a work in progress for me. Something I carry into the present and future. Telling someone they look nice can brighten their day. Any compliment always seems to bring smiles. In this way, being kind should stay in my life. As for the kindness of the examples above I would like to say they will never happen again, but I am a realist. Though they might happen, I will examine each request or anything I do that implies kindness carefully. I will make sure I am not going to be sorry for being kind. I know I am not perfect, so there will still be times I am angry with myself for being nice, but I will work to be sure those times are less. That I am happy for the choices I make to help someone.

Which brings me back to Brian Williams. I think many have embellished the truth on TV. I do not know if he meant to or as he recounted what happened the story changed a little each time until it took a life of its own. I am more than willing to accept the mistake he made and continue to watch his news. Yet, looking at it from a different perspective, I can see where watching a man we are supposed to trust to tell the truth has lied. Can the public accept he made a mistake? Or must he be replaced with someone who we are not aware of any lies they may have told? I can see both sides of the argument and understand both sides wanting different things. For me, it boils down to Brian Williams is human. He made a mistake trying to be kind. Let us move on, not forgetting this, rather to make sure he remembers and tells the truth all the time while covering the news (in his personal life he can do whatever he likes). He is still the same man we trusted, only he has shown us he too is human with the story. Who among us can really say that at no time have we embellished the truth? I am sure there are some, they are most likely religious, if so then they should be the first to accept his apology. I do not have an answer regarding Brian Williams, only my opinion to keep him as the news anchor. As for myself, this has proven to be one thing I have learned about myself and kindness. Though he will never know it, his mistake will help me to not make as many mistakes in the future if I remember my past mistakes. For that I say thank you Brian Williams.