Sunday, October 2, 2011
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
My cemetery restortation project has turned into a history lesson. In order to get grant monies, I have to research the people buried there and turn up something "significant" so the folks with the dough will be prompted to agree that yes, we DO need to preserve the place because so-and-so who did this-and-that I lies in repose there.
However, researching the lives of these people has made me think that they are ALL significant. From the babies who were stillborn because their mother experienced placental abruption (due to placenta previa), to the children who died in the cholera epidemic, to the man who was shot and killed in an argument over a woman to the elderly who succumbed to "senility" and "apoplexy" and even the two who lived to be 100…..ALL of those people are significant. Their lives have, and are touching me. I'm looking at their family trees, at their descendants – some of whom are still living in the area – and even before that, I'm looking at how they came to be here. There are immigrants from Europe, people from the East Cost (who I believe may have come to Kansas as part of the abolition emigration), people from the South (most likely pro-slavery folks looking to make Kansas the same – which is the same reason the abolitionists came here)…people from all over the world are here. These people saw America fight herself in the Civil War; some of them saw the nearby town of Lawrence burned to the ground by the notorious William Quantrill, they lived through John Brown's massacre of innocent people in the name of "freedom"….they were a part of history and they are in MY TOWN.
I've been asked recently why I want to spend so much time in the cemetery with "dead people". Yes, their bodies may have failed and ceased to work, but their personal histories let them live on. Every time I find information about someone, it feels as if I'm resurrecting them. I imagine them standing next to me as I read about them, saying "Yes! That was me! Read some more!"
That graveyard isn't really about death. It's about life.
Thursday, May 19, 2011
I walk in this cemetery often. I find my own kind of spirituality there; I don't believe in an afterlife or heaven or deity of any kind, but being in the cemetery reminds me that under my feet are the remnants of lives lived and that I exist BECAUSE of them, whether it be directly or indirectly. It grounds me, it calms me, and I enjoy the solitude and peace there.
So, I've decided to take on a clean up project. I talked to the City Parks manager and have his blessing to tidy the place up. I have plans to plot the graves I can find with a GPS - I have a list of names of people buried there, so I'm going to try and eventually map where they're at. I'd also like, at some point, to petition the State Historical Society to designate the cemetery a historical landmark or place of significance, but that's a long way in the future.
It's a big job. A HUGE job, really. I'm trying so hard to take it one step at a time; to not get ahead of myself, but it's difficult. It's not my style to be patient and methodical, I'm more chaotic and tend to do things with gusto. This is going to be a learning experience for me: an exercise in completing one thing before I start another and a chance to be dogged and methodical. I hope to spend at least three or four mornings a week in the cemetery and if I'm well enough I'd like to go up there every day. My health has not been the best recently; I spent a week as an inpatient with a gastric bleed and ended up firing my gastroenterologist. My new guy ran some different tests and got some new results that point to me having Crohn's disease. I'm on 10mg prednisone twice a day, which is really helping with the Crohn's symptoms, but has thrown me into steroid-induced diabetes so I'm having to test my blood sugars and adjust my diet accordingly. Hopefully it will go away when I come off the steroids in a few months. In the meantime, we're starting Imuran. I'm actually happy with the care he's providing; for the first time I feel like I can hand myself over to him and let him sort me out, rather than not trusting him totally and trying to help steer my care.
Life is good, y'all. It might be painful some days, and some days it's sad and I feel glum, but for the most part, I feel good. Life is good.
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
So, I'm going to be a pharmacy tech. I started CPhT classes last week. It seems to be the perfect combination for me; I get to utilize the knowledge I have and I still get patient contact hours, just without having to lift and move bodies and people around all the time.
So, I'm not Ninja Medic anymore, and it doesn't feel right to continue to use the moniker when I'm not doing the job. Instead, I'm toying with the idea of Ninja Pharmer as my ID.
In other news, I nearly shot my husband this morning. He left the house before it was light to go to the gym. I heard him leave, then dozed off again...and an undetermined time later, I heard the front door open again. Nobody called out, so I flew out of bed, got my pistol and slid into the bedroom doorway to see who was in my house. Apparently the sound of a round being chambered made Hubs realize what I was doing and he walked from the kitchen into the hallway with his hands in the air.
He says that in the future he's going to yell "IT'S ME!!!" and wake the whole house. Honestly, I'd prefer he do that....it's a horrible feeling, realizing that you could have done your spouse some serious harm and I'd rather be woken up than feel like that again.