Happiness in the Dark

This week was bad.  And I am angry.  So happiness, not really an option. Except . . . .

I’m unhappy because Milton is walking like an old dog because of arthritis (I hope) or a bad back (I fear).  Milton is supposed to live forever, but I don’t want him in pain forever, that’s bad.  So I’ve shelled out over $700 in four days and really all we’ve achieved is that pain pills help him not feel pain.  I’m frustrated and annoyed.   

A partisan liar was elevated to the Supreme Court because legislators I respected played party politics instead of protecting their country.  That gutted me: there is no government institution in my country that I respect anymore if they can put this shrieking conspiracy theorist and probably sex offender on the court forever.  I’m so angry about this that I’ve stopped reading the news.  If the apocalypse comes I’m going to miss it because I’m throwing things against the wall.   

And Bethany is in a coma as I write this and not expected to regain consciousness.  While I could say something Hallmarkish about how she’ll be in our hearts forever (true), the darker truth is that she’s gone from here forever.  And that’s so wrong, I can’t stand it.  Rage is swamping my grief.

Because I want to fix it all and I can’t.  I can’t fix any of it.  And there’s so much more that’s wrong than just the things that hurt me the most.  The world is full of pain and suffering, and life being what it is, it will be forever full of pain and suffering and it makes me so angry that sometimes I can’t function.  

Welcome to your Sunday happiness post.  

So I’ve been thinking about this misery and how to write about happiness today, and I’m realizing that my anger is the problem, I’m clinging to my anger because anger is so much easier and cleaner than grief.  It isn’t just that you can’t be happy if you’re angry, it’s that you can’t accept and move on if you’re angry.  It’s like that storm that hit the Carolinas and then just stayed, flooding people’s lives, drowning hope.   If I let go of the anger, I’m going to hurt and I’m going to cry for a while, but it’s the only way I’ll be able to find my way back to happiness.

So my plan for this week is to refuse the anger and embrace the grief and move on to the next patch of sunlight.  Milton may not be running around as much as he used to, but he cuddles more.  Kavanaugh’s going to be on the court, but Ford has started the dialogues we needed to have again.  And losing Bethany has made me realize that while I’ve always celebrated the community here, I haven’t celebrated how important we all are individually, that over time, our lives revealed in random details in random comments, and we’ve become distinct characters in the anthology that is Argh.  Maybe we can’t fix the darkness of this week, the darkness of so many weeks in so many places, but we can refuse to let the darkness take from us the good that happens all the time, take emotional snapshots of those moments, hold them close and appreciate that for every darkness, there’s a light somewhere, and that, in fact, sometimes we can see the light more clearly, more sharply, because of the darkness.

I still hate this week, though.  Damn it.

Love you, Bethany.  Hope wherever you are now is full light and wonder and happiness.  Lots and lots of happiness forever.

94 thoughts on “Happiness in the Dark

  1. Bethany has been on my mind also and I have been sending good thoughts her way ever since I heard. And I am embracing every day I have. I don’t agonize if I am not feeling well – I try to say that this is a rest day and it seems to work. I have plans for Christmas even though supposedly I will not be here. I am feeling awfully well for that to be true but I know from experience things can go south quickly. Anger is one of those things I am trying very hard to avoid. I learned a long time ago that you can choose a lot of things to be angry or hurt or upset over so I am consciously picking hope and gratitude.

    46+
    1. Doctors are not infallible in their predictions and treatments are evolving so rapidly that something that they thought would be true 6 months ago, may not be true today. Jenny is still with us decades after she had a death sentence. One of my nieces who was not suppose to make it longer than 9 months from breast cancer is still in remission 3 years later and they are thinking of taking her port out.

      Plan for Christmas. I want to know what fabulous things you do for it. Heck, plan for how you will do next Christmas even better. I have some lily seeds if you want them. You follow the instructions on the internet and in 3 years you will start having 7 foot tall pink trumpet lilies. Make the commitment.

      25+
    2. Plan for Christmas.

      Better yet, have a rehearsal for Christmas. If you feel well enough, take out the Christmas stuff – see what needs to be replace, do your baking or decorating, and enjoy the heck out of it. Address Christmas cards, do whatever Christmas is to you.

      If you like you can take it down after the weekend. Because it was just a rehearsal.

      Things can go south but they can also NOT go south. My BIL is walking around four months after he was told he’d be gone, and depending on how the next round goes, he may be walking around for the next four years. But he also just did his rehearsal for Thanksgiving.

      14+
      1. I am planning on Christmas :). My daughter is coming for Thanksgiving and we are dragging out all the Christmas decorations. I haven’t had a tree since before we got the puppies, but they are 3 years old now and I think a tree will survive. I am determined to have at least one more tree! Thank you to everyone. This is such a supportive, loving place. You all have no idea how uplifting it is to read these messages.

        22+
  2. Well said. My thoughts have been with Bethany and her family this week, too. So sad that things have taken this turn, but such a loving light of positivity she is and will forever be.

    In yoga philosophy there is much talk about impermanence, and although I understand it intellectually I find it a tough concept to really come to peace with, especially around grief. But I’ve come to think that part of why it’s tough is because even if we want to live with higher, spiritual ideology we still have to live in the tangible world, too, and straddling both can be a struggle at times.

    And as I think you’ve spoken to so beautifully in this post, this is one of those times.

    This weekend is Canadian Thanksgiving, and so my thanks this year is a thank you to you for fostering this community and to Bethany for sharing so much of herself here.

    23+
  3. I’ve been thinking of Bethany and sending her love. This is truly a wonderful community, and the risk in getting attached is of course just this. But as we encourage each other – and Bethany has certainly done that – hopefully we can create more good things for ourselves and others. I mean, that the synergy of all of us may spark things that might not happen without connections such as these.

    There’s so much anger and resentment swirling around nowadays, it’s far too easy to get swept up in it; I can feel it in myself all the time. With fear underneath it, of course. So Sunday happiness, and Argh generally, is really helpful for refocusing.

    I’m deep in solving the design problems in making the house I’m buying into my home. A bit buried in technical research right now, but I love design, and I’m getting glimpses of the good ideas that’ll sort it. Sometimes happiness doesn’t fit the pictures.

    25+
  4. Well said. I’m so sorry to hear about Bethany and she’ll be in my thoughts..

    My mother was a nurse for 30 years and she saw a lot of death and sadness, of course. She said “Grief is a very uncomfortable emotion. People don’t want to feel it, but avoiding it won’t do you any good.”

    A few things that have given me comfort in the last few days. The first two were on Twitter (which often has a net negative impact on my happiness, but I use sometimes when I’m feeling rage and shock to know I’m not alone).

    “I plan to be happy today, if only to spite my enemies.” Mary Karr

    “Today will never be undone, but it can be avenged.” Ana Marie Cox

    And two much older quotes. One from John Steinbeck written in 1941 when the world was in a pretty terrible place.

    “All the goodness and the heroisms will rise up again, then be cut down again and rise up. It isn’t that the evil thing wins — it never will — but that it doesn’t die. ”

    I realize that a lot of people will find that grim and more discouraging than not, but to me I latch onto is that evil doesn’t win. It *never* wins in the long run. It might come back, but it will be cut down.

    And a similar thought from Coretta Scott King

    “Struggle is a never ending process. Freedom is never really won, you earn it and win it in every generation.”

    So I chose to believe that every person (including me) who is fired up is part of a long cycle of humanity and we will do what we can – to get out the vote, to fight for civil liberties, to push things a little bit forward. The work will not be done b/c it will never be complete. But we can all be a part of it, if we chose. And the darker times will ebb and flow for all of us. In our personal lives, in our country, in the human race. But we will make it through this time, even if sometimes it’s hard to see beyond it.

    Sorry if this all too flowery for some people who are feeling pure anger and grief (that’s totally understandable!) I just find that putting things into words helps me when I’m grieving.

    I also highly recommend donating to Emily’s List and reading/listening to/watching Carl Sagan’s “Pale Blue Dot” speech. I find them help me when I feel discouraged and hopeless.

    27+
  5. Before I read this today, I told my husband that I was going to donate to a charity that I just learned about because it was a concrete way to celebrate the people who bring comfort and joy to others. It was one way that I could counteract the negative impact of what is happening today. It’s a charity that brings birthday celebrations to children that have never had a party or a birthday cake. I’m hoping my donation brings some joy to children with a lot of sadness in their lives. Just doing this made me feel that I was balancing out the meanness that seems to bombard us all.

    I hope that Bethany’s family receives all the love and support they need.

    18+
  6. I’ve been doing avoidance, as opposed to anger. Oh, I prayed, am still praying, am sending huge energy to Deborah to keep on keeping on as she supports Bethany’s family.

    I actually hashtagged #HappinessSunday on Instagram with a good food post. And planned on doing a puppy post. But it’s all to distract from feeling grief at Bethany’s condition and downright fear at what the American political situation means for us in countries that receive aid from the US. (I believe I mentioned the global gag order before.)

    In distracting activities, I’ve actually avoided work I need to do as term 4, the final term of the school year starts this week. Talk about poor coping skills.

    I’m going to take action and at least start on one thing now. In the hope that accomplishing it will bring me some peace, if not joy.

    13+
  7. I was so saddened to hear of Bethany’s passing. She put up a tremendous fight. Both she and Jared were so strong, so loving, and kind. I wish they could have had more time together. Sending love and healing prayers to her family and friends.

    17+
  8. I’ve been including Bethany in my morning prayers when I stop at my favorite burr oak. It’s like a Tim Burton tree with incredible limbs, roots that spread across the ground…she’s a majestic tree. She seems to know it.

    The burr oak is the sentry of the prairie because the wood doesn’t burn easily. They were planted on the edge of prairies to contain fire during prescribed burns.

    Quite simply a prairie burn removes noxious weeds and rejuvenates the beauty of the prairie.

    I’ve been lurking here for years now so I knew Bethany, and she was a oak a strong, beautiful, powerful oak.

    I keep remembering one of her last posts, she was going out to listen to great music and eat great food with her husband. A middle finger to her diagnosis.

    I’m going to adopt that outlook and give all my worries and insecurities the middle finger.

    Love and light to her family. And to all of us.

    p.s sorry so long and this sounded eloquent in my head. (:

    30+
  9. I am so, so sorry to hear about Bethany. Wishing her and all her loved ones peace.

    Last week was full of beauty and happiness for me, because I ran away into the wilderness. No phone/internet, no news, and nobody needing me to fix anything…just me, my mom, and a big river we were paddling down. It was pretty much perfect. Of course, we carried our rage/sorrow/fury down the river with us, but it mostly served as a reminder to not take the good times for granted.

    13+
  10. I tend to keep emotions / grief within, (Yankee trait) my brother lived a little over a year between diagnosis and the end of life. To damn fast. All we can do is keep moving forward and keep their memories alive by remembering them. Give Milton a treat for me. Get out there and vote come November.

    I’ve been wondering lately what ever happened to my rosary beads they were such a comfort or the memory of comfort just holding them. It will be a quest. Your all such great people I don’t know how I found you but I’m glad I did.

    16+
  11. I ditto your sentiments. Grief & anger are true companions and one tends to segue into the other. I’m going on a social media fast in the next few days & maybe I’ll find my happiness in a beloved book, or just Netflixing with my DH & enjoying the hard-earned easy companionship.
    Whatever I’ll be doing I’ll be remembering the connections I’ve made IRL & virtually and considering how to continue & appreciate those connections.
    Smooches y’all.

    10+
  12. I haven’t been here for a bit and didn’t realize Bethany was so near her time. My thoughts are with Deb and the rest of her family and friends. I just don’t know what else to say.

    18+
  13. It feels to me as of the past two years have been almost nothing but anger and losses. It’s good to read the comments here that are thoughtful.

    12+
  14. It is a Harsh and nasty for all women and everything on top of it? We need to breathe and then pick it up again. I am with you. Scream if you like, I can wear earplugs.

    12+
  15. I had a little light that popped up among the darkness – a relative who is troubled and was quite ill appears to be on the mend, and more importantly, appears to be open to allowing her family back into her life. I know the road will be long, and there will be setbacks, but I really really needed something good in with the pile of poo that was this week, and this was it for me.

    I was about to say I was sending love and light to Bethany, but sending her light is like sending coals to Newcastle – she is made of light, and brought so much of it here to us at Argh. So winging love to her, and her family, and to Deb, as she undertakes her next grand journey. She will truly be missed.

    20+
  16. I am too sad to think of happiness today. But I will work on letting go of anger, and tomorrow I will try for happiness again.

    9+
  17. Although I don’t live in the US, the Supreme Court nomination process was rage-inducing. Most troubling was the sense of privilege and meanness – unfortunately, we have our fair share of this type of attitude in Canada too. The only positive outcome is that many women have named what happened to them 20-30-40 years ago as sexual assault and are not going to back into the shadows willingly.

    Second Thanksgiving without my beloved mother – my grief is less intense than last year but she loved Thanksgiving at the cottage and we all felt her absence.

    23+
  18. I just got home from a funeral for my five-year-old grand-nephew, who died of a heart attack. He was born with dwarfism and one of the side effects of that condition is heart problems. Those issues typically show up when the kids are around ten, so no one was expecting it in a five-year-old, so he wasn’t on the meds that might have prevented it.

    My deepest sympathy goes out to Bethany’s family, and to us in the Argh Community, who will miss her bright presence.

    Hang in there, Ranch Girl. We need you here.

    34+
  19. I’ve been alternating between tears and anger about Bethany leaving so soon, and holding her light in my heart as a reminder of what is good. Mostly I think I’m just sad that my friend didn’t get more time to do the things she wanted to do, and that her husband has to bear such a burden of grief at such a young age. Sending love to all of you. And fuck cancer.

    18+
  20. So sorry to hear about Bethany. And I lost a friend last week to pancreatic cancer. It is so hard to lose those we care about. I am happy and grateful for caring friends, and for being able to breath again (endless west coast wildfires were very tough for those of us with asthma or other lung problems. Most of the summer the air here in the mountains was at big city pollution levels, like Beijing).

    I am filled with rage about the Kavanaugh appointment, the fact that our Senators are not representing our nation, and the deliberate ignoring of women he assaulted — even worse, he lied under oath more than once. I am shocked and appalled to hear some women who think the accusations against him were part of a vast conspiracy. I want young people to rise up as leaders, and turn our country into a democracy with liberty and justice for all.

    13+
  21. So sorry to hear about Bethany.

    I live in Canada and was obsessed with the news about happenings south of our border. I’ve had to stop because I find this devastating. What does it mean for all of us? Is this the truth of things revealed? Surely not… I’m still grappling with it. I keep thinking that my mom’s approach to life where she expects the worst is sensible because she’s pleasantly surprised by good outcomes but really enjoys the grim relish of ‘I knew it’ if it’s as bad as she predicted it would be. No. Just, no. So, this week, I am going to volunteer and do something kind, probably with dogs. And I’m sending Dr Ford a “thank you and fu**’em” card. I’ll make it myself if I can’t effing find it in the shops. If anyone else wants to send her one, Patton Oswalt distributed this c/o address:
    Dr Christine Blasey-Ford
    c/o Palo Alto University
    1791 Arastradero Rd
    Palo Alto,
    CA 94304

    26+
  22. In a season of loss for me, now Bethany. What gives (scarce) comfort is I believe she understood how loved she is here.

    Ranch Girl, all love and light. I hope to have the privilege of wishing you a merry Christmas.

    My rage now has perspective. And I have an address in Palo Alto.

    11+
  23. I did not know Bethany except from her comments here but she sounded like a very special person. I am sorry it didn’t go well for her.

    14+
  24. On the grim happy scale, I learned yesterday that a young woman I know is proceeding with legal action against one of my step-cousins (my uncle married a woman with 3 kids and, for the record, I’ve never considered them cousins, they’ve always had the qualifier because they are all horrible people, including my uncle) for sexual assault when she was a young teen. He’s a good 18 years older than her so no matter how you slice it, no contact could be consensual. His parents don’t believe her because they claim she’s just “jealous of his success.” What the actual fuck?

    This disbelief is in the face of my aunt insinuating to my mom once that she knows her father molested at least 1 if not all 3 of her kids and the sister of the young woman pressing charges against her son (the dad is dead so Sister is just in therapy not court). Also, they are evangelical Christian so that’s another defense. I’m not super religious but I’m pretty sure that Christ would have had a pretty dim view of all this.

    I am very proud of R for standing up for herself.

    21+
  25. I’m mostly a lurker. This is oh so sad that we have lost Bethany. Wishing peace and comfort for her family.

    Sending prayers for Ranch Girl. Hang in there, sweetie.

    17+
  26. I think Bethany got a lot of joy and comfort from this group. Thank you Jenny for all you do for us. And thank you to the community for providing so much of yourself for us.

    14+
  27. One spring, I adopted an adorable black & white kitten from the pound. I hadn’t planned on getting a kitten but she would stick out her paw and grab my finger and I felt like she was saying, get me out of here! I took her home and every morning with her was like being with a kid at Disneyland – she loved all the catnip mice and would leap to a chair to look out the window when she heard a bird chirp like it was the most thrilling thing ever. Then she crashed. I didn’t know there was an epidemic of feline leukemia that year and when I took her to the vet, he told me he could only do palliative things. She wasn’t gaining weight or growing normally but she was such a happy little kitten. Someone told me to think of her as a beautiful spring wildflower who bloomed brightly and beautifully and then was gone.
    I’m really sorry for the losses everyone is feeling. I like to remember that feeling grief means someone who made the world brighter for you was here and you’re always fortunate when that happens.

    23+
  28. Bethany, sweet and loving, so very sorry to hear of her passing. She was a delight to read and get to know here. Prayers and comfort and strength to Jared and the family. God speed, Bethany. Ranchgirl, kick cancer to the curb. Will pray so. No more deaths this year, there have been too many.

    13+
  29. I’m re-watching Leverage right now, because I need a bit of justice in the world.

    I’m so sorry to hear about Bethany.

    6+
  30. I wish each of us all the joy and healing we can find,
    One thing I have finally learned for myself. I believe somewhere in a bible it says “Hate the sin, not the sinner.”
    It’s a hard thing to do because I found it so much easier to feel “that person did a bad thing and I hate him!”
    But finally that person was my son.
    I hated the thing he did. It was wrong and bad. I still hate the thing he did. But I don’t hate my son. And it is my hope and belief he will never commit that thing again.
    So I am working on Hating the things Kavanaugh did. The bad thing I believe the senate did in elevating him to the Supreme Court.
    Wishing us all the best week possible

    18+
  31. I’m so sorry about Bethany. She had such a great sense of positivity and humor about her. The world seems so unfair lately.

    And even though I’m not in the US, I’ve been horrified by the Supreme Court. I’m sorry Americans have to put up with that crap, I’m horrified about Trump twisting it into an anti-#metoo message, and I’m freaked at the thought of the rest of the world following the US’s example. It’s got to be an extinction burst, it’s just got to be.

    I’m working on reminding myself that my friends and family are good, kind people, and appreciating them.

    17+
  32. I’m so sorry about Bethany.

    Community is so essential in shoring up our wellbeing against the shit that knocks it.

    Right now I’m in the horrors about the IPCC report, which basically says my kids might as well not bother hoping for grandkids themselves unless we drop carbon emissions by 45% in the next 11 years.

    And yet I still drove the five minutes to the supermarket this evening.

    10+
  33. Well, things got a little dusty in here all of a sudden. Fuck cancer.

    On top of the rest of this week, I have a posterior vitreous detachment. Nothing like going to the doc two days after your birthday and having him pull out the “as we get older” card. It’s basically a fluid buildup in my eyeball that translates to a large lacy sheet of a floater in the middle of my right eye. It’s horribly distracting and I’ve taken to wearing an eye patch every now and again like a damn pirate. Argh, indeed

    I found little pockets of happiness watching Ant Man and the Wasp on Saturday, and the new Dr. Who on Saturday. We introduced the girls to their first Doctor, so Jodie Whittaker will forever be their favorite, whoo hoo!
    (I’ve still got your back, Christopher Eccleston. And I adore David Tennant’s regeneration. But this one was pretty dang cool, too)

    7+
  34. I’m hanging on with both hands to the knowledge that this country is becoming increasingly diverse, that by 2045 whites will be a minority, and that this is indeed a long powerful thrashing last gasp of conservative white privilege.
    But I could use a few good voodoo dolls to hurry the process along.

    I’m so sorry about Bethany.

    9+
  35. I’m so sorry for the loss of Bethany. My heart goes out to everyone who is dealing with loss this week.

    On the Kavanaugh note, I’ve been reliving every bad experience I’ve ever had all weekend, starting when I was fifteen and a man literally tried to grab me by the pussy at a street fair. I was wearing a mini skirt, and I remember panicking and falling down trying to get away from him as he stuck his hand up my skirt. He was part of a wedding party, and was very drunk – in fact, I doubt he remembers it. My parents were standing ten feet away, but they didn’t see in the crowd. And I didn’t tell them what happened because my father would have killed him, and that would have made a scene. That was something I really cared about at fifteen.

    At least, I think my father would have killed him. Maybe not – my father voted for Trump, who has bragged about doing the same thing. I can’t talk to my parents about the Supreme Court because if they think what happened is right, I really don’t want to know.

    I’m also writing this from my in-laws’ vacation house in South Florida. I decided to take my daughter and run, since we live on the water, and our house is under a storm surge watch. Better to avoid the upcoming evacuation madness, since my husband is out of town for business and I’m handling things by myself. I hate that he’s not here to lean on, but at the same time it’s a good feeling to know that I can handle an emergency without him. I’m also feeling very grateful that I had somewhere safe and comfortable to go, and I’m not crammed into an inland hotel room with pup and baby. And I’m grateful for the power, as long as it lasts. We may lose everything we own, but we’re safe and comfortable for the time being.

    So, it’s been a bad weekend. But I guess it could have been worse, is where I land right now.

    16+
    1. Tell your father now.

      Seriously.

      Chris Wallace was shocked when his daughters told him something similar had happened to them. I’ve heard a couple of other women say their fathers or husbands had had a similar response.

      I think a lot of men who love their wives and daughters can think the women accusing Kavanaugh are doing it for political reasons because we – their daughters, wives, sisters, cousins – protected them from the number of times strange men put their hands on us or tried to corner us or exposed themselves to us.

      Seriously, maybe it’s time we start telling them the truth and let them deal with it like grownups.

      10+
      1. I agree Bridget that we need to speak up about abuses so that people are aware that this doesn’t just happen to other peoples’ children. But had Sarah at 15 told her father, in all likelihood the chance was that he could not have or would not do anything to protect her so would have 1. blamed her for wearing a mini-skirt, 2. restricted her clothing choices and 3. restricted her movements. And he would have done this hoping it would keep her safe but would have in fact punished her. And every teenage girl knows this is the most likely scenario. And should you mention that your date tried – even unsuccessfully – to force you to have sex, would mean that you would be placed practically under house arrest to protect you. And there goes your social life for the next few years.

        The victim is almost always penalized for being attacked because that is the only person the parent can effectively control. And this was true 50 years ago when I was a teenager and it is true now.

        And if the perpetrator happens to be someone your parent respects or cannot go after without becoming a social pariah themselves, they will actively blame the girl: What did you do? You must have done something to make him believe you were available! And there are very few teenage girls who can stand up to their parent and say “I am the victim here. Why are you punishing me? Why aren’t you defending me?”

        8+
        1. Oh, no, I agree Sarah couldn’t have told him at 15.

          I’m well aware whose fault it would have been at 15 and who would have punished.

          I’m saying tell him now.

          Tell them all now.

          Instead of letting men live in a protected cocoon where women slander decent men and so called decent men never did anything to deserve it, tell them.

          I was listening to NPR last year when they let one of the top honchos go, and two of the online male reporters were discussing it. One of them said – I had no idea anything like this was going on, and the other one said – I know – but every woman in the office told me it’s been well known for years.

          We protect the men we love from the burden of the numerous indignities a lot of us lived through. Let’s stop that.

          Now, I’ve been lucky. I hung out with great people – men & women both – I never got left at a frat party drunk. I was never on a date where I didn’t have cabfare home or a car after I started driving. My mother & grandmother thought the men exposing themselves or the guy who fondled me on a bus were sickos and the solution was for me to laugh or carry a hat pin. (My mother said laugh at the men exposing themselves; my grandmother said use the hat pin on the fondler).

          If a father voted for Trump, it’s because he thought the women who got grabbed were actresses, and “you know that kind of woman will say anything.”

          If he knew it was his little girl, I don’t think he’d see it the same way.

          6+
  36. LIGHT!

    I am sending a moment of light to everyone. OK, there’s some rage attached…but…it made me smile.

    You need the background. The All Blacks are New Zealand’s male rugby team. They’re famous among rugby playing nations. The Black Ferns are our female rugby team. They’re the most successful international team ever, winning the last 5 world championships.

    This journalist wanted to buy a replica Black Ferns jersey. There isn’t ANY merch available (we won’t discuss how much ABs shit you can get). She knew our prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, had one – so she tweeted her asking if she’d sell it.

    The PM responded “I was given my jersey by the Black Ferns at their pre game jersey ceremony. So sadly, I consider it priceless. I might still be able to help you get one though. Would you like me to?”

    AND SHE DID. While she was overseas at the UN shindig, with her baby in the general assembly.

    So, it sucks that this jersey isn’t available to buy – in fact, not so much as a poster is – but SO MUCH LIGHT that this woman is the leader of our country. And it was enough today, to remind me that this world is a beautiful place and that there is hope.

    19+
      1. Allanah, sorry to be ignorant but what is the difference between a sevens jersey and a regular jersey for those of us who don’t follow rugby?

        2+
      1. Different jersey 🙂 Sevens is a different game – a fast version of rugby with only 7 players per team, playing for seven minutes per half, rather than 15 players and 40 mins per half.

        It’s all good, my light here was about the PM and people being kind.

        3+
    1. I am so jealous of your PM right now. In Australia, our muppets are running things into the ground. You couldn’t make up some of the stuff they’re doing – no one would believe you. Could we just borrow Jacinta for a while? Pretty please??

      9+
  37. I didn’t know Bethany, but I am so sorry she left before I got the chance to get to know her. My thoughts go to her husband and family, whom lost her far, far too soon. I hope she is somewhere where there’s a lot of light and love and happiness.

    Ranch Girl, I keep fingers and toes crossed for you! You WILL celebrate Christmas this year, and kick cancer’s butt to the next galaxy. Hang in there! *hugs*

    Jeanne: I’m so sorry to hear about your grand nephew. Sending you strenght-hugs to support you through this time of grief.

    I was present at a child funeral less than a month ago; the daughter of friends of ours lost her fight against an aggressive brain tumour 2 days before her 7th birthday. Swedish doctors gave her 3 months to live…and she got 20, thanks to a new treatment in Mexico. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough… 🙁

    One quote that gives me comfort when someone has been lost to this life comes from a musical about Edgar Allan Poe:

    “And I will live forevermore–
    If you remember me,
    I am immortal!”

    As long as we remember the ones that have left us and keep their memories close to our hearts, they will live on somehow. They only leave for good when there’s no one left to remember then – and by that time, we might all possibly be together again in a happy place…who knows.

    And though times might be dark and rough right now, we are not alone. For in big ways and in small, we have each other. Always a hand somewhere to grasp when the going gets rough. There’s a light at the end and we’ll get there, feeling our way with our feet if need be, or on hands and knees, or with white canes, all of us. But we’ll get there. Together.

    11+
  38. I’m late to the wake, because I’ve been traveling, and I read the post and comments yesterday in the CROWDED airport with tears waterfalling down my face, and I didn’t care if people saw me. It was cathartic as a wake is supposed to be. Just wish it wasn’t necessary.

    6+
    1. I generally lurk here (a lot) but too felt that I knew Bethany and am so sorry for the great gaping hole her loss will leave. Ranchgirl – here’s to Christmas!

      0
  39. One odd funny thought in the midst of all of this grief and rage.

    I had surgery on my thumb last week and needed a light book, so I reread Dogs and Goddesses (paperback). Milton was fresh in my mind when you mentioned him. In my head I hear him the way he talks in the book, “Food” “Slimed” “Sonofabitch” in this teeny puppy voice. Does anybody else do that? Or am I just profoundly weird? I did it with Wolfie, too, but not as much.

    I hope he’s feeling better. Arthritis is hard for any species. Is CBD oil legal where you are? It’s just been legalized here and my pain doc recommended it for me, but it can also be used on pets. Just a thought.

    We could all use a big dose of healing right now. I’m sending loving, healing thoughts and energy to all of us. I mostly lurk so you don’t know me, but there are times when your voices of sanity and hope are what I’m holding onto in the cacophony of ugliness and pain out there.

    Thank you big for that.

    10+
  40. So sorry about Bethany and sending good vibes to Ranchgirl.

    Cancer feels like a sword hanging over my head recently. My father (85) will go in for his second bout of chemo on Thursday. So far he and my mom are doing well — in fact, they were doing much worse before the chemo started but it turned out he went through it quite well, so ever since then they’ve been much more upbeat. Plus, the prognosis is very good for his type of lymphoma, which is why they will treat geriatric patients. As a matter of fact, what bothered him most over the last 10 days was his knee and after a cortisone shot he’s back to walking the dog twice a day.

    My sister-in-law was a 10-year breast cancer survivor when it came back as metastases in her stomach a few months back and they’ve removed most of her stomach. She’s 72 and my husband is dealing with the thought of her not surviving the next round. She is, however, an admirably optimistic person and hasn’t really let it cramp her style. I really admire her for that.

    The Kavanaugh catastrophe has sickened me beyond belief. McConnell’s gloating about playing dirty and winning at any cost have enraged me so that I now hate him even more than the Orange Pervert in the Oval Office. I have had PTSD since Nov 2016, I swear it’s getting worse. I haven’t watched the news for the past couple of weeks and am hoping and praying that the blue tsunami really materializes in a few weeks. We can’t undo the horrible damage which has already been done, but we can hopefully rope in future egregious

    Thankfully my entire immediate family is blue-blue-blue so we can rant and rave with each other (with the exception of a niece-in-law who is coming around due to the efforts of her husband and the possible exception of a nephew who went into the Army after high school and came out shifted right — he may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer but he doesn’t say much around us because every time he starts on something he gets a metaphorical thrashing from the rest of the crew).

    It’s hard to be optimistic about anything at the moment. But we are concentrating on getting all my siblings together at my folks for Christmas, just in case. Hopefully, we still have a few more Christmases yet…

    8+
  41. Hi all–I’m late to the party because I just got back from D.C. last night. I won’t kid you–it was rough being there, but I was glad I went for a number of reasons. Here’s a brief report, for those who have been sending such kind thoughts to Bethany and Jarrod.

    I flew in on Saturday and was met at the BWI airport by Karen Buys (another Betty) who had driven in from NJ. Her presence was a huge blessing all weekend. We got to spend much of the day at the hospital with Bethany and her family and friends. When we walked into her room, instead of the weeping we expected, the room was filled with chatting family and friends in a party atmosphere (there were even a collection of assorted alcohol-filled bottles, which a doctor at one point gently suggested they store more subtly, but no one ever made them get rid of them). A couple of hours later, they had to move her down the hall to a larger room because there were so many people!

    She had already gone into a coma by the time we got there, but we both believe that she heard us anyway, and everyone in the room talked as though she could. The Betties had broken land-speed records to finish a quilt a bunch of us had been working on (for chemo days, as a big hug) and it got overnighted to Karen who brought it with her. It was immediately presented to Bethany and put on her bed where it remained in pride of place even after she passed.

    I told her how many people were sending their love, and read a message from Jenny, and got told multiple times by Jarrod and others how excited she had been that we were coming. Two other reasonably local Betties showed up, and eventually the four of us went out for a late dinner and celebrated her life together with laughter and tears.

    Bethany’s sister had asked us to return early in the morning, so we could relieve Jarrod and the others who slept in her room overnight. When we got there, everyone was still asleep except Kathy, Bethany’s mom, and we went in, checked on Bethany, then sat in the waiting room and chatted with her mom for an hour. (Along with another local Betty who came in.)

    While Kathy was with us, and everyone else was sleeping, in typical Bethany fashion, she slipped away quietly and without a fuss. As far as anyone can tell, she was peaceful and not in any pain. Her last days were spent surrounded by people who adored her, and I hope she carries that energy with her into whatever comes next.

    In a side note, her birthday was Monday the 8th. She would have been 34. Also in typical Bethany fashion, she did a cancer research fundraiser instead of asking for presents. She was hoping to raise $500. The last time I checked, it was over $7,000. That girl rocked. (Anyone looking for a link to the fundraiser can find it on my Facebook page.)

    Thank you all for your presence at the wake.

    18+
    1. Oh, this made me cry, but I so appreciate you sharing. Everyone should have that kind of love, in life and in death. And nothing should be that unfair.

      Bethany is in my thoughts, and you are too.

      6+
      1. I thought, when we walked into that room full of joyful and painful celebration, that I would wish for nothing more than to receive that much of both when I passed. Bethany was one in a million.

        3+
  42. I didn’t know Bethany, but what a send-off. So much love. Thank you for writing what must have been a difficult post. XXOO

    8+
  43. Thank you, Deborah, especially for “[h]er last days were spent surrounded by people who adored her, and I hope she carries that energy with her into whatever comes next.” We appreciate you representing.

    8+
    1. That was a huge part of why I went. The representing. I felt like I (and the other Betties who went) carried a HUGE gift of love from all those she had touched. It was the last thing I could do for her, and it was worth it.

      11+
  44. Thank you Deb for being there. I know she valued you for all your love. I have a “Deb” in my life and I can tell you that she is a special person whom I love very much. Rest In Peace Bethany. You have earned your rest.

    9+
  45. Ranchgirl, I hope you have a marvelous Christmas!

    Deb, thank you for going & representing Argh.

    Jarrod & Toby, I didn’t know Bethany except for her postings here. I’m very sorry that she wasn’t able to be here longer.

    0

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