Constance Ore is a retired Teacher, Choir Director, and Organist. And a formidable cook.

April 27, 2010

Filed under: — Constance at 8:22 pm on Tuesday, April 27, 2010

We have just spent a weekend having a “Celebration of Life” centered around our fiftieth anniversary and giving thanks for the miracle of my own life continuing in spite of the many implied endings. The wonderful weekend left me totally spent – it takes lots of energy to have such a grand time. I wrote a piece entitled “Should you Ask” to read at the event, and it is printed below.

As years have flown, I have sinned many times
There is much I need not mention
The guard that stood before my lips
was occasionally resting—not paying attention.

I spoke what I thought, no editor present
And what I thought was not always pleasant
But fine forgiveness wipes all away,
And now, no one cares about what I say
However. . .
Should you ask, I would advise:
Choose life with a musician.
True, there are many fine positions.
Electricians… physicians, beauticians,
dieticians, statiscians. . .
Yet. . .
The best is a musician.
You are always near a love song,
you will never give a thought
to life without music or iTunes not bought.
And then, should your musician
have a way with flowers
You’re well equipped to party
at any and all hours.

Should you ask, I would advise:
Cherish and admire your daughters and your sons,
if you are blessed with any or some
They astonish and delight
They frighten and amaze,
They beam bright light
Into otherwise dull days.
It’s the same with the grandchildren
when they arrive on earth,
You’re in the presence of perfection,
Genetic correction!
Words cannot express their inexpressible worth.

Should you ask, I would advise:
That friendships be made and honored thereafter.
These are the people
for prime time and laughter.
Who by their prayers and in their caring
lighten your load by their sharing.
They gladly stand guard
at the corners of your lives
when the way becomes difficult
and the lesser times arrive.

Life brings inevitable encounters with grief
and when they come, this is my belief.
One must look hard for any good thing –
a sunrise or bird’s nest, or a new song to sing.

Should you ask, I would advise:
An on-going conversation
with our God Father/Mother who keep us in hand.
Whose power and grace and ongoing creation
gives us our purpose and a firm place to stand.

It is with God’s presence we are begun
And in this Spirit we all are one.
It is in God’s presence we walk and we run.
We move through our days in the light of the Son.

When our lives end, and end they must,
(Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.)
Our God Father/Mother will fling wide the door
To eternity’s chambers, And then will say
“Welcome home my children, welcome home to stay.
Welcome home my children, welcome home.”

April 20, 2010

Filed under: — Constance at 9:18 pm on Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Plum trees are blooming everywhere, as are the pears, crab apples, and redbuds. It is the best part of our spring season with air scented by all the flowers, and the avian summer residents arriving daily. We have a good number of song birds that come here just to raise their families; we have water and lots of bushes and vines for protected nesting habitats. We also have an over-abundance of insects to add to their food supply.

This weekend, friends from out of state will be here and Charles and I will have the first of several celebrations of our 50 years of married life. It will be fine for all present to tell stories and compare lives in the intervening years since we were last together. Most of us are advancing toward “the golden years” (to use one of the many euphemisms used to describe those of us who are of a certain age). It should be a joyful time, and our visit to the oncologist today made us very aware that it is also time to do our celebrating. The last weeks have begun to take their toll on me; I am losing appetite, taste, and weight. All of these things are signs of the advancing of the malignancy – we will try a pill form of marijuana to see if it can help the nausea and perhaps make food taste better. (A possible side effect: “Acting goofy”.) Dear Charles said, “But how will I know?” Indeed!

April 13, 2010

Filed under: — Constance at 8:24 pm on Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I thought that I would be able to lift the refrigerator to dust under it after all the red blood that was transfused last week, but alas. I didn’t feel well until Sunday, and then it has been better but not grand. Our doctor friend told us that this can happen when someone is given a large amount of new blood – the body takes some time to become acquainted with it and one can have headaches, an uneasy stomach, etc., for several days.

As I mentioned, Alphie was very “clingy” after I got home, and chose to spend the next night on the floor between bed and bath instead of his usual place. In the darkness of 3:00 a.m, I tripped over him, falling hard on my right knee and on my face. My nose and my mouth struck the floor with great force. I thought at first that I had broken my nose, however it was all right except for a carpet burn on the end of it, and a black bruise at the base of the nostrils. These effects look very peculiar, especially with an upper lip that became swollen to about three times its normal size. After a day or so, I began to look as though I had tried one of those lip puffing procedures and it had gone very, very wrong. My upper lip is still thicker than normal, and it remains a dark purple because the tissue is bruised. Actually, I fared pretty well because my teeth are still intact, and the bigger lip look isn’t all that bad.

Fierce winds from the south are running through the tops of the Austrian pines that are near the house, and one can almost hear snippets of conversations that took place in Texas this morning flying overhead this afternoon. Yesterday’s warm air must be in northern Canada by now, and the molecules that passed in and out of my lungs may be those that are inhaled and exhaled by Arctic creatures today. Sometimes birds unintentionally get carried along in the jet streams and uncommon species make an appearance at the feeders. Tomorrow may be calm and rainy – perhaps it is the passionate, constantly changing weather of this state that makes its human inhabitants appear calm and even a bit staid. All of us rejoice together, however, as spring comes, summer makes a brief appearance, winter may spend a day or two, then spring comes again – at last! Hallelujah!

April 7, 2010

Filed under: — Constance at 2:47 pm on Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Yesterday, ten hours were spent in a windowless room with a curtain that could be pulled across the end of it. I sat in a purple tweed reclining chair placed next to the stand with four bags of fluids hanging on it. Two tubes came together about two feet away from my port; the red blood continued on and into the port, while the clear fluid waited “just in case” there was a need to rinse away the blood cells due to an unforeseen reaction. I did not have any, and nearly a liter of packed red cells were dripped into the port, up the tube into the jugular vein and hence into my system. Another small miracle taking place as a life is reawakened though the auspices of “the kindness of strangers”. I had a headache when I got home, and my stomach was not pleased for some reason, but today, I feel a beginning return to the person I used to be. It is such a happy thing to be able to start over yet once again.

Alphie has decided to be my very near companion today, so right beneath my chair is a dog dreaming about something that requires some chuffing, a few growls, and muted barking. It is a bit unnerving, but I do not disturb him since he has yet to become reacquainted with my different scent. Three bags of B negative blood from three different sources likely sends a whole new set of messages to his olfactory system. I have not had any clear visions of “otherness” but I do feel unsettled in a way that is new to me. A part of me wants of wring my hands and wail while another part sends soothing thoughts encouraging calmness.

Rains are falling and now the view out over Sanctuary is filled with green leaves on the willows and green grasses aggressively pushing through the winter bronze covering of the pasture. The little wood violets have begun to bloom and the jonquils and daffodils are also out; even so, just a few moments ago, a short spate of snowflakes filled the air. Spring will win, however, and the season of new life will once again lift everyone’s spirits. May your days have sunlight, birdsong and flowers in them, too.