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On this, the 94th anniversary of the birth of Richard Nixon, I'd just like to say....

Happy Birthday skitten !!!!!

And get well soon!

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She is not a crook!

(Well, duh!)

*lol* I doubt If I can run away fast enough ;)

May the cities in her wake
Burn like candles on her cake!

thanks honey :) *smooch*

Happy birthday!

I will admit that when I first glanced past this, I saw the Happy Birthday, but NOT the skitten thing, so when I saw the Get Well Soon, I thought "Oh, that's COLD, Buddha..." *laugh*

It's what made go back to look again.

Again, happy birthday!

Happy Birthday!

BTW, DH here, not gordon92151...

If I may sound a cautionary note, do be careful not to set the bar so high for other folk's behavior that they become disillusioned with constant failure and escape to happier pastures. I've worked with family and friends of folks who have had a life changing occurrence, a heart attack, a stroke, a violent death in the family, a rape, and I've observed any number of times a certain level of bilateral impatience and anger with the other. This can fester to such a degree that relationships end and people become isolated. Not a good outcome.

Don't forget (and neither should Bu, of course) that each of you, in your fashion, has just experienced a life-changing event that will ripple through your lives for months, years and perhaps to some degree, forever. Such events take time to grow accustomed to. It is obvious that the 'patient' must accommodate and can be expected to feel overwhelmed, sad or angry. They are, after all, the PATIENT. Far less obvious but just as important is the pain and bewilderment the folks who knew the patient before the event are feeling. Their life has changed, too, but they don't have the 'permission' to feel the strong emotions that the 'actual' patient does. It doesn't mean they don't have them, though, just that in addition to the strong emotions, the family and friends also get to feel guilty about having these strong emotions. A very unpleasant one-two punch.

Who hasn't had the experience of seeing a friend in the hospital who has just been diagnosed with a terminal disease or has had a horrid loss of a limb or some other trauma? A huge effort is often made by all parties to be upbeat and forward focussed and the real emotions of loss, grief, anger and so on remain the elephant in the room, carefully ignored by everyone.

But the rhino in the room is the distress of the non-patient observer. They often feel helpless and perhaps hopeless, overwhelmed, unsure what to do, what to talk about, how to act. They may feel guilty because they have had fleeting thoughts like 'survivor guilt' ("Jeez, thank Oz it wasn't me!") or felt impatient or bored, and everyone KNOWS you aren't supposed to feel those things when friends or family are in distress! The only problem of course is that real genuine people have real genuine feelings and thoughts they aren't proud of.

Reacting angrily to those in each other rather than acknowledging the complexity of what you are each dealing with, is a great way to find yourself escaping into anger and then, perhaps, literally escaping. That way lies loneliness and disconnection. No one needs those, certainly not folks who are struggling to come to grips with huge changes in their lives.

So pull out some tissues and have the first of many honest discussions. This isn't how either of you expected to be spending this birthday. If either of you feel such a frank emotional experience might be too much, see if there is a family counselor available there at the facility, a clinical social worker or psychologist who has a clue, or someone at the university in the counseling department who would work on a sliding scale.

Know this much, though... the process of accommodation to overwhelming change affects everyone involved with the situation and isn't going to be dealt with in a week or a month, no matter how open and honest your communication. The goal is to do as little as possible as you can to sour the waters of the relationship by reacting to perfectly understandable emotions like anger and fear so you can each 'stay in the saddle' long enough to heal WITH each other rather despite or even without each other. Easy does it, as the 12 steppers say.

I'm sorry your birthday wasn't the way you wanted it to be, and I certainly hear your distress. I wish it were different, and sincerely hope it will be as you grow towards next year's birthday.

Blessed be...


ps: sorry, long and rather babbly. I'm home with the flu, hopped up on magic medicine and a temperature. Yee hah!

wow.... that made so much sense.... I think my birthday pretty much sucked because I never imasgined my birthday like this... I'm tired of everything being difficult & relying on everyone else (I'm rather fiercely independent yet forced to be dependent... so *that* sucks as welll).... your insight is piercing & very effective commerntary on my *happpy* birthday... thank you.... & yeah- we really need to be able to have *fun* together- the very *very* important element given the radical change in our relationship dynamic....

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