Depending on what type of stroke one experiences, some people have much or parts of their brain function affected. The stroke I went through didn’t touch the thought or memory section of my brain. I was foggy for awhile, due to fatigue, but I don’t have any trouble recalling currently. (If you ask my husband, he’d say I am an airhead. But I’ve always acted crazy, however I still finish his sentences!) My speech has deteriorated probably due to the trach and decreased lung output. Therefore, some think I have a cognitive delay. I just can’t articulate what my intended comments in my normal debating, choral, high inflection voice. (My kids probably love my soft speaking!)

Sometimes, I kind of wish I was less cognitive, then I wouldn’t constantly over analyze everything. Life would be much simpler. Sometimes I’m up all night, thinking. I remember how it used to be, and that can be difficult. (But on the whole, I enjoy having my mind.)

Those who help me on a day-to-day basis know I can hold my own, and they run the risk of being called out on something by me. I could totally train CNA’s. (A year at this game really teaches you. I’ve seen really good and incredibly bad service.) I appreciate when things are done correctly. Many times, I will remind them of what they need to be doing! (Hopefully, in a nice way.) I have learned to hold my tongue. When I give too many instructions at once, people get overwhelmed or feel bossed around.

God blessed me with a tender mercy of perfect knowledge, as you can tell. (I love word games and Rummikub.) This concept reminds me of verses 18 and 19 in the Doctrine & Covenants, Section 130. “Whatever principle of intelligence we attain unto in this life, it will rise with us in the resurrection. And if a person gains more knowledge and intelligence in this life through his diligence and obedience than another, he will have so much the advantage in the world to come.” 

I get to keep my knowledge with me! So we can enjoy our best body form (I will be run-ning!) and possess all of our earth-gained knowledge in heaven. It’s the only thing that we can retain with us when we pass on. (Exciting!) I better get to work.

I recall the old attage, “Those who can’t do, teach.” I am pretty certain it wasn’t a compliment (no offense, you wonderful teachers!) but I think that’s where I am right now. I can’t do, so I’m supposed to teach. I possess 48 years of experience and knowledge. I venture to say, I was allowed to keep my knowledge so I can pass it on. (Tag, I’m it!)

Prerogative – 7/7/17

Prerogative is an interesting word. I thought I knew what it’s definition was, but when I googled it I found much more. (In my day, ohhhh I sound old, we looked it up in the dictionary or encyclopedia to learn more. Kids don’t even comprehend what an encyclopedia is! They were a set of books that were full of handy info. We were very privileged to have a set at home! Otherwise, we could’nt complete our reports or research papers without going to the library. Nowadays google replaces the encyclopedia! The phrase “go look it up” has been transformed to “google it.”) 

Google helped with the spelling, too, I would not have spelled it that way. Okay, it means A right reserved for a particular person or group. It is derived from the Latin word ‘to vote.’ I just thought it was doing something I wanted to do. (But I live in a free country and I have free agency, so I guess it still applies.)

My prerogative has been stunted since the stroke. If I want something I can’t reach, I have to ask for it. If I want to go and do, I must usually ask for help. (Not very fun!) My type A personality has learned a lot of patience. (To put it lightly!)

It is also my prerogative to write this blog. I know many people expect and enjoy my daily rant, but I have the choice when I write. (By the way, thank you so much for all the awesome comments and all the likes! I appreciate the support, even from the quiet readers.) After some input from family and friends, and the fact that my days are getting busier, I have decided (which is my prerogative) to write in my blog only when the ideas hit me. 

This blog has served as my therapist and sounding board. (I don’t have a bartender to dump on.) I have not held back, and I have been brutally honest. (No matter how embarrassing!) I do appreciate your feedback, and the fact that you even read my incessant blabbering. You, the readers, have helped me stay positive in my recuperation. Thank you for your unseen (and seen) network of unity. (The Kim Crew!) I am truly blessed. (I’m not worthy!)

All By Myself – 6/30/17

I’ve had a lot of time on my own lately. For the first time in a long while, (before the stroke, I’ve had kids in my presence for a good twenty-five years!) I am essentially alone in this rehab home. Yeah, I have visitors (that’s great) but many hours of the day I’m solitary. Throughout all this spare time, I have learned these things about myself: 

1. I like it neat. I operate better when things are in order. It’s against my nature to look around and see clutter, and not jump up and clean it.

2. I think often about how I could make other’s lives better. I have some good ideas. (I guess I’m turning into my mom!) Ask my husband, he would love it if I’d stop constantly hatching new ideas.

3. I enjoy the computer. I was given an IPad Pro for my birthday last year. I utilize it on an easel, so it’s held upright for me. It’s one of my prized possessions. It is my connection to the world. It’s like another child. I feel as though I need to protect and care for it. (The mothering part of me!) 

4. I crave fresh air and nature. Literally, cooped up in those rooms make you feel like the walls are closing in. I have been spending many hours outside, and that’s how I prefer it! The wind on my face, and the sun warming my skin is therapeutic! I have been laying in the sun after pool therapy while I await my shower. In a month, I’ve acquired a pretty impressive frontal tan. Don’t look at my back! But the front is sufficiently tan. Many aides here say they’re jealous. I have a lot of free time. (What can I say?)

5. Kindness can change a person’s life. No one is too busy to stop what they’re doing for another. Are you paying attention to other’s needs? Many acts of kindness are skipped because we think of our never ending schedule, that long to-do list, or plain selfish pride gets in the way. (Any excuse can stop you, justify your way to hell. I heard that once.) I have seen many unkind humans. Seriously, think of feelings, people. Even if you’re dying, that’s no reason to be mean. I have decided to only fight battles that have life altering consequences. And I will still do it kindly.

6. I look at things positively. Why be a gloomy gus? It seems like mounds of work with little or no favorable results. I know I have extra time, but I’m not going to waste it pouting around, feeling sorry for myself. (I call it a pity party.) Why not look on the bright side?

7. I have many dear friends and family who really care for me. Some people have to hear it at their funeral (I assume they attend their own funeral, somehow!) But it’s different finding out while you’re still alive! I feel so incredibly blessed, humbled, and a bit awestruck. To feel the love from so many people, man, that’s crazy! I’m just a normal person. A bit broken, but still normal. I just want to thank everyone who has prayed, served, and wished me well. (I’ve lost track of how many!) I am sure you’ll get a good mark in heaven.

I am getting to know myself better everyday. On my hiatus, (that’s what I call it) I am on a journey of self-discovery. I hope that helps me (in some way) become a better person. (I hope it’s good for something!)

Invincible – 6/23/17

“It’s a bird, it’s a plane,” it’s Kim! I had a dream last night I could fly. (Like a superhero.) My dreams usually involve something extraordinary, but extraordinary for me would be doing normal stuff lately! Some people have called me a superhero, but seriously, you’d do the same if you were in my shoes. (Two choices, be positively charged or negative.)

My mantra is: Invincible. I have a sign right in front of my bed to remind me I can be powerful everyday. My niece gave me this word after the stroke, and it stuck. (Like glue.) I must remember I can be strong and invincible each day. My ultimate foes are discouragement, idleness, and fear. 

These are the arch enemies of my success. (Pow! Bam! Kazowie! The new movie’s pretty good, but I am cheering for the old school Wonder Woman, my childhood hero.) And just like Wonder Woman, I am driven by one purpose. I understand what my goal is, and I’m gonna beat it down. Right now Dr. Discouragement is lurking on my doorstep. He’s going to be feeling my wrath in a major way. A rude awakening is what he will get when I’m finished. I will “stand” strong against him. (Can you picture me superhero fighting?) 

I know this stroke doesn’t define me. (I don’t call it “my” stroke, and I’m not taking ownership.) It’s just a colossally annoying evil villain I am going to conquer, cause I’m… Invincible! (Da, da, da, daaaaa!)

Busy-ness – 6/16/17

My new word: Busy-ness, means a lot more than meets the eye. I spelled it like that so you would understand my inherent meaning. Filling your life with the same old: wake up, groan (since another day is here too quickly,) shower, rinse, repeat, eat breakfast (or skip it altogether,) yell at kids for not moving, work, work, work (at home or away,) lunch, work, dinner, haul kids to lessons or sports, chores, sleep. (Times that by three for mothers of toddlers!) Going through the motions, without a backward glance. Busy. ness. Without stopping to smell the roses, and whether they are roses or ranunculus (the only other R flower name I could find, I was trying to alliterate.) 

But anywho, I have learned, coming from one who is qualified to testify, slow down. Lift up your eyes from the grindstone, and look around. We tend to work so hard, we miss the really important stuff, because it’s not on the to-do list. (I used to be a member of the club!)

Make this day one of meaning. Marvel at that stunning sunset. Enjoy a green flourishing mountainside. Actually watch and enjoy your kid’s newest trick or listen to their never-ending story. Study that immaculate flower in your yard. Stop and truly savor that luscious chocolate bar. (Chocolate should be savored!) Appreciate the little things God has blessed you with. Count your blessings. (That’s all I have to say about that!)

Peace – 6/9/17

We all wish for peace in our lives. No worries, no cares, just a mind settled and content. Free of cares and fears, a snippet of heaven is what we yearn for.

Now back to reality… Its impossible to be completely carefree. (Like that innocent child.) We will continually have worries in the back of our minds. But there is a solution to escape the troubles of life. Your very own sanctuary awaits you.

I have found my sanctuary outside in little courtyard next to a trickling fountain surrounded by flowers. I retreat there everyday. I catch some rays or relax in the shade of a tree, breath in the fresh air and endeavor to escape. It is massively therapeutic! Sometimes I even drift into sleepland (once in the sun! Ouch!) I think a lot! I try incredibly hard to only think of the affirmative things and meditate positively. (I can worry later!) It can be very spiritual. I often pray.

“Let not your heart be troubled. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you. Not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be afraid. If ye love me, ye would rejoice.” John 14 (taken from throughout.) That’s my favorite passage.

Where is your peaceful sanctuary? Is it on your favorite chair curled up with a good book, in a bubbly warm bathtub, locked in your secluded closet, running on a country road, or snuggled in your bed? (No kids allowed!) If you don’t have a certain place to meditate and find peace, discover yours. It will be your calm in the storm of the day. Make a point to escape, to find respite and peace, and make sure to fill it with positive thoughts only. Don’t we all deserve that? Where do you find peace? (I’d like to know.)

Comedy in Life – 6/2/17

Sometimes in life, you just gotta laugh. If you don’t, all that’s left is crying. (Don’t you agree?) When your day throws you a curve ball, have a hilarious ball! Look on the bright side, and seek for the laugh. 

It might seem a bit juvenile, but look for a connection in the conversation to a movie, song, rhyme or even a joke. Whether you voice it or not (that’s your decision,) allow it to make you laugh. I am a natural smart alec, so I always tend to make the goofy comment. I am not afraid to crack the joke, even if I am the butt of that joke. (But spare other’s feelings. Making someone feel bad isn’t funny.) That has earned me the reputation around here as the ‘funny one.’ I don’t hesitate to make a humorous remark, no matter how incredibly stupid it might sound. (Puns are pretty phunny, too!)

As long as we keep it clean, (cuz really, dirty humor is the sign of a lazy and weak mind!) I’m all for it. I could be ‘Miss Doom & Gloom’ all the time, but I don’t want to exist full of sadness and self-pity. How boring would it be if we were serious on a constant basis? (Don’t get me wrong.) There are times to be serious. You need to know when to show respect and reverence. But what I am saying is, humor makes an interesting life at the right time, in the right place.

I’m sure a good belly laugh has some sort of healing power. Not only for your core, but psychologically as well. (So yuck it up.) And “turn that frown upside down!”