MARCH 26, 2012 1:11AM

You CAN go home again, but . . .

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Past sins have a way of returning to bite you in the sit-upons when you've just about convinced yourself, through absolute denial, that you've been absolved of them. Even though they've been handled, as much as can be, under the circumstances, up comes an upper or lower burp to remind you that you can't ever really be free.

 Trying to deal with ever-increasing financial, medical and personal issues took me to a nice 'ostrich' frame of mind for awhile. This, of course, never does anything more than assure a more serious state. For some reason, through this period, my job performance excelled and, though other elements might have taken it away, I was appreciated and carefully and gently reassigned, as my personal issues affected my life. I was never made to feel a failure and had absolute support until I had to leave.

About a year later, my circumstances were clearer and I returned home to family and adjusted, as well as I could, while dealing with cancer for the next 15 months. This humble person is extremely thankful to have been blessed with no further recurrence and even escaped the chemo-ookies that most suffer. Losing my hair was such a relief, as my body temperature runs high, so having it shaved took me through a very comfortable summer. This is where having near non-existent personal vanity really comes in handy, as I felt no self-consciousness, whatsoever being the bald lady with a big head. Ever see Gene Hackman in the Superman movie - bald? Well, I was his doppleganger for awhile. No itchy wigs or hot scarves or hats for me. I relished every second of the instant cooling the air and rain gave me. YAYYYYYY! It was a bit startling, however, to some drivers and out in public in stores, etc. But, I was comfortable!! 

Other things having come into play, physical and mental/psychological issues resulting from the years of high-stress, multi-tasking, detail-oriented, perfection expected jobs took their toll. Surgery was necessary to address a part of one problem, and diminished focusing capacity now make it necessary for me to live w/e-mail alerts and sidebar post-it notes. I'm no longer able to work and, though the lack of income has been difficult to adjust to, the timing made it possible for me to care for my mother in her last years, after losing my firstborn to suicide. Due to an unexpected breakup of my younger son's marriage just following his brother's death, my two grandsons became part-time day-brighteners once they were all his, legally. They made everything so much sweeter, during the years of stress and sleepless periods while Mom was slowly leaving us. 

Somehow, my learned efforts to try to please everyone came back into full force and my depression got worse as I refused to address it, putting everything and everyone else before my needs. A few family members, all female, were supportive and helpful in that they'd been through it or were still going through the caretaker role and hospice helped handle things that were necessary as time went on. I found myself succumbing to silent endurance that did NO good at all and ultimately developed feelings of resentment for my own denial of my priorities or needs, initially blaming circumstances, rather than my own decisions. This was not good. 

It took awhile after her passing, but the advice of a sister and cousin became a priority for me NOT to retain negative feelings towards past behaviors of others, but to deal with those feelings and let them go. It's brought me peace and I'm working on doing it again, with more current incidents and people. Never having been one to hold a grudge, my ability to hold those bitter memories nearly secret from my consciousness came as a big surprise. Apparently, I was doing just that. So, I really try to deal with what I can and let the rest of it go, although I'm not always successful. It's a place to start and I sincerely hope the ability grows more and more. 

The passing of family members, the past several years, has enhanced my appreciation of people too easily taken for granted in my life. You always think people will be there - - until they're not, and it's too late to tell them you love them or appreciate them, or just share time with them. My grandma used to say "Don't bring me flowers when I'm dead - bring them now." Kind of says it all, doesn't it? 

While my own mortality is never a concern, the well-being of people is always a priority and I feel privileged to have inherited the compassion I saw, in my parents, for others. Dealing with someone else's needs or issues is usually a good way for me to NOT focus on something I might want to complain about. But, taking the escape door that way is not recommended. I'm trying to address my needs and desires, in daily living, without being demanding of those who do so much for me, in my current situation. I have one question that no one's ever been able to answer - Why is it I can be Spartan-tough when fighting for someone else's rights and near-helpless, at times, when it comes to standing up for mine? Although I've had many, many much-appreciated friends, employers, and relatives run interference for me, on occasion, I always picture my guardian angel leaning over a pillar, holding her up and panting exhaustedly. Hmmmmmm, could this be a sign that I ask for a lot of trouble without realizing it? And WHY doesn't anyone say anything? I suppose the forceful person in me tends to scare the patootie out of people, sometimes. A cherished friend once told me he could tell, by the look on my face, when NO ONE should say 'boo' to me. I had NO idea. 

I sincerely hope everyone enjoys a lovely Spring beginning. I'll be thinking about the current pitfalls and efforts to change, for my next entry. As Hannibal Lector would say, "Ta Ta!"

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Thank you, kindly, Seer. So lovely to be in such honest company. I would hope this road would see more traffic on our way to self-clarity and enlightenment. I believe the efforts will result in this blogger becoming a better person.