May 12, 2018
You may laugh about it, but my first health tip is the daily inclusion of cider vinegar. I personally manage to gulp a morning tonic of two tablespoons of the stuff mixed with grapefruit juice and diluted somewhat with tap water. I think a person should also add honey, but I do not. I first read about the benefits of cider vinegar years ago, but the real testimony came from a dear elderly lady friend.
She, nearing ninety, exemplifies good health, good mind and excellent spirits (and elegant fashion sense, I may add). As women, we do not often share our little secret routines, but she did. Imagine my surprise, when, at a lady’s gathering of coffee, she proudly proclaimed her daily dose of cider vinegar. I chimed in, but my testimony is secondary to the one of age and beauty. I just smiled.
Major disclaimer needed.
With my unveiling of my daily habit of cider vinegar and with my writing today, I felt as though I needed to publish a disclaimer. I am not at all a professional in the areas of counseling, psychiatry, spirituality or health care. I never intend to present myself to you falsely as though I am a professional in any of those areas.
I apologize in advance, but I wish to cover this matter as completely as I possibly can. Please, if you or any one in your daily life seems to be in need of the services of health care professionals, seek them out. Really seek them out. I would recommend starting with the websites of solid organizations such as these resources online:
You can also google a search by typing “mental health” or “counseling” or “health care” which will produce results geared to your particular geography. Please, never hesitate to reach out. At points in my life, I had done the same, from seeking the help of marriage counselors, developmental counselors / social workers, psychologists, priests, nuns and a kindly wise vicar. Some were men; some were women. Each brought to our sessions unique perspectives which helped me heal, aided my growth and continued my development.
The Chaos of Spring
I have been rejoicing the budding leaves of those two towering maples which guard my front door. Like the shells of peanuts on the floor of a hoedown, the walkways and steps are now littered with shed leaf coverings. Spring has its own chaotic party with each dawn, every warmth of sunlight and every drop of cool rain. Kisses of life, really. Inspiring and happily infectious but also messy.
So, the disclaimer is done and winter is over. Now I claim, again, the rights to write. I have decided that my recovery is over. Done. Over. I am healed and ready to go on.
Now that may or may not be true. I am quite positive that I am deficient in a multitude of ways that I have not even fathomed. Still, I realized I did not want to be in the stage of healing from the past. I did not wish to keep internally comparing today with yesterday. I did not wish to place the measuring tape of my life in the past. Am I two steps away from what hurt me? Am I now ten steps away?
How about I pick up that tape to place it beneath where my feet stand today? Or maybe I should dare to keep that measuring tape in my backpack of tools or better yet, maybe I should hang it up on my workbench. I will know where it is, in case I need a measuring tape.
As my son enters his final stages of high school, my ex-husband and I have been preparing him for college by monitoring sign-ups and registrations and applications. There are final tests, placement exams, transfer credits and all the coordination of an ending and a beginning. For him.
Coincidentally my life too turned. I started looking ahead. The three of us – my son, my ex-husband and I – had all been recovering and building, building and recovering. The steadiness of the past three years in our family, now structured with two households, has allowed a path to be laid, like a brick walkway in spring, littered with the coverings of leaves which could no longer contain their joy of simply just being green and becoming.
The Growth of Dandelion.
Oh, I am frightened. I am saddened at the thought of my son leaving for college. He is ready for the world. Well, he is ready for this step into the world. He is, his own man. I am mostly excited for him and his dreams. I am excited for his soul. And I pray for him and those of his age, that they have tremendous luck. That somehow this generation is blessed with a peace of intellect, faith, grace, effort and love. Not ease. I do not wish them ease nor do I wish them toil. But I do wish them the joys of the work of discovery.
I have been blessed with the days of being a mother for eighteen years. Just one son. I remember wanting another. My son was four when….well, I miscarried. I had been ‘glowing’ and everything seemed correct. I remember starting my log so that I could plan the timing of a coming birth of another child.
I was married at the time. We lived a different sort of life than the one I lead now and the life I led before I was married. He was an executive at an insurance company and I was a stay at home mother. I was blessed beyond measure. Economics were, of course, always a concern. I took care of the finances and the home budget. But in reality, our household was blessed with income.
My husband had not wanted another child. I could understand. He, older than I by two decades, was practical. I did. As we attended summer gatherings, family members had commented that I looked like a mother to be. “Were we expecting?” I had just smiled. And although he was scared, he had assured me we would figure it all out.
But another child was not to be. I had prayed for a second child partially because I believed it to be a healthier balance for my son and I thought that was a part of marriage. Yes, yes. Another child would be the stable family size as though fulfilling some cosmic prescription of domestic bliss.
But I miscarried. And (graphic alert – much like the spoiler alerts in movie critiques) I bled for the next year. I had never shared with anyone the extend nor did I go to the doctor. Seemed befitting, in some bizarre reasoning, I figured that I had deserved it. I always felt as though I had taken my ex-husband from his prior life. I had felt damaged from childhood memories. And, I had felt as though I did not appreciate the one child I had by wanting another.
So I bled. I never thought about having another child. I finally did see a doctor. By that time, my doctors – and by that time I needed multiple physicians – needed to test me for any abnormalities which could be causing the bleeding. Anyone, and I was, would have been anemic.
I have a good ending to this episode. I have a son. And, I did not have cancer. Every woman goes through a round of tests, of ‘those’ tests. I had been no exception. Through months of rotations of intrauterine ultrasound testing, I had been scared to numbness. It was a quiet sort of scare. I went to the testing alone.
I remembered the darkened room in which a person becomes accustomed to watching monitors and accepting the cold glide of the wand. I waited for a telltale monster glob or the reaction of the technician.
No, Steph. “It” does not work that way.
Looking back, I do not know when exactly that the bleeding stopped. But it did. After several rounds of careful diagnostics, there was nothing to be studied. I did not have cancer. And the bleeding stopped.
What a strange memory for Mother’s Day, except that a mother, any mother, and a woman, any woman, holds within her, the blood of her own healing and the trail of her own recovery.
To you, all you inhabitants of Mother Earth…
Love, lots and loads of love.
And a Kiss.
Stephanie, the brick dandelion
PS. I will have to research, what exactly that means on the cider vinegar bottle “Includes the Mother.” What I do know, is that is the vinegar you want. And it is nasty, vile smelling. I believe it to be incredibly healthful.