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On death, life and the comforts of family

By Robin Dearing

We just got home from being out of town for a week to attend my grandmother’s memorial and visit with family. We spent the majority of our time at/near Lake Pueblo.

Have you guys been there? There’s a reservoir which is pretty cool and a campground which wasn’t terrible. But it isn’t a place that I’d probably go again. There was too much vast expanse of dirt and low scrub and not enough trees and other pretty things.

But having said that, now that I'm living my post-Addison’s-Disease-diagnosis “I’m not dead” worldview, I was never happier to see all my family and to be anywhere at all. Just being out of the house with Bill and Mar was awesome fun.

My mom’s family is big … in every sense of the word. My gramma had six kids, five girls and one boy. There are 14 of us grandchildren. Of the 14, there are only four of us under 6-foot tall. At 5’8”, I’m one of the short ones. All the cousins except for one have at least two kids. I think the total of my gramma's great grandchildren at this point is 35. Three is the number of great-great grandchildren.

So yeah, big family … and loud and awesome. We like to play games, drink beer and gab. I had some of my favorite conversations with my family on this trip. I loved seeing everyone’s kids and babies and hearing what everyone is doing.

My grandmother’s memorial was poignant and to the point. I learned things about my gramma that made me miss her even more. The whole process brought up a lot of emotions for me. But it was comforting to be with my family and for that I’m thankful.

How I react in stressful or emotional situations is different now that I’m living with Addison’s. In general, I’m much less anxious. But when my emotions do get ramped up, they stay there. No amount of deep breaths or yoga gets them back down. My inability to cope or calm myself is part of this disease. Thank goodness a nice, cold beer doesn’t hurt. Being able to have that nice, cold beer with my family, knowing that we were all there to celebrate and remember the fine lady we called mom/grandmother/great grandmother/great-great grandmother was the best part of all.


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Being together is a tremendous part of the healing process. Glad to hear you had a good time.

Ditto what Richie said. And thanks for sharing.

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