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Donna's Journal
September 16, 2005

When I was 17, it was a certain thing that my understanding of all things was in place. No discomfort within my mind existed over any situation, goal or vision. Youth in its love of life has no time to think about anything that isn't of the most pleasant journey in walking along toward wherever one might wish to go. Time didn't glare at me from around a corner when I was young. No amount of warning could bring a worried concern over anything. Suddenly we become mature. Those of our elders begin to drop and disappear from our world. This is when I erroneously catch myself beginning to think more about the inevitable day when our loved one must leave. The day when they do go everything seems to change as soon as their breath goes forth. Through the formality of burial I most usually have deep regret over the way we conducted our self while our loved one was slipping away and, indeed, finally gone. Why didn't I just enjoy the minutes, days, years? Of course, hind sight is better than foresight. Why can't I learn this very simple thing?

The insidious pushing in upon my peace and joy of family, hearth and home is something akin to a sneaking, chicken thieving, fox. Laugh as we do about the fox in the chicken house the little beast's work is less funny when our chickens begin to disappear. In my case the chickens are only symbolic of an attack on my education in the house of knowledge where I studied home economics. Mother began that journey for me when I was only a child of six. The Four H club kept me learning as if by rote the values of a homemaker when my entry into the fair were tea towels embroidered with a chore for every day of the week. Washing on Monday, Ironing on Tuesday, mending on Wednesday, baking on Thursday and on and on until every day of the week was scheduled even into an era when washers and dryers, inexpensive clothing, and Wal-Mart bakeries made these personal chores unnecessary. So, in this way my balance and understanding about what must be done, is stolen from me.

Another thief is the way one deals with the emotional ups and downs of life. New names and titles are given to what we once called the blues, monthly miseries or lovesick scenarios.

Now we must give in to a whole new vocabulary regarding words like manic depression, PMS, or separation anxiety all of which sound too threatening just within themselves. Please don't let me forget how we curled up with a good book bringing our mind to wherever we wished to go, an apple and the phone off the hook so that the blues was brought into submission within no-less time than a week-end way before the thing could get a toe hold into our world. Probably if we did that in this world we would be suspect of something or another, God help us, even manic depressive.

I laugh now, at just the thought of a neighbor groaning through the pain of my cycle with me as she sympathetically advised, “Just take Alka-Seltzer, it cures everything.” The thought that we might be allowed to be a little nutsy was sort of like a badge we women shared with each other. We were soldiers who marched through all the muddy, fearful journeys together. As a matter of fact, lovesick situations were dealt with, in the same way. We locked arms and boldly stepped through the aching heart with not a look behind. We learned that men were not the enemy but just weaknesses in our lives, that was as old, as Adam himself. Quiet, night time parties while we all huddled together over a pizza and cokes smothering the tears and heartbreak of one or another of our sisters while we made snide remarks about the male in our world who had mistreated us. At the end of the meetings all the sorrows, statements of hurt and shared tears, were buried forever and politely forgotten never mentioning or discussing them again and we were healed.

These are the things I must think about when I do battle against all the pushing in upon my world by this group or that who have taken it upon themselves to save the world. To remember the skills of years of training to go into establishing of a microscopic feudal system, that is my own world, takes more than just technique, but must have downright, serious, thinking ability. Nevertheless, this is okay, too. The reward comes to me with understanding of great leaders demands who in their jobs, ultimately have to singularly take upon themselves a lonely battle for this or that decision. The difference, of course, being that I lack their greater intelligence. To make up for this I bring myself in humility before a Higher Power in prayer.

Who would have known that age would not bring serenity and a golden era but, instead, a time of more demanding decision making, lonelier vigils, greater numbers of responsibilities regarding extended family who are our loved ones. This Don Quixote castle is necessary to a greater number of people, who are struggling against issues of their own. We continue to fight just to maintain. Yes, for this, I need prayer so that I may not succumb to the sadness of those who come to us for aid in no other way than just for a quiet refuge.

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