The beat goes on. Time keeps marching forward. Seasons change. Nothing stops just because you’re not yet ready to let it go.

For some reason lately, when the weekend is fast approaching, I feel a bit of sadness creeping in.

I think I am mourning both little Gracie as well as the fact that the new brace isn’t helping all that much.

And I had such high hopes for it. I probably put too much hope into that one possibility.

Physical Therapy For Painful Tissue:

Yesterday I made an appointment to see the physical therapist. The tissue up and down my right leg was so knotted up it was hard to the touch.

I told her it didn’t seem like anything was going to work. That it just seemed like I was going to be in pain when I stand or walk forever.

I know I was feeling self-pity, which I loathe.

Then I said there must be something else.

And she said maybe I should get more opinions from other doctors. Maybe out there somewhere is someone who can come up with something new to try.

Every year this typically happens. My ankle gets bad and I go to physical therapy for about a month. And by April I’m gardening again.

“Ten years,” I said to her. “It’s been ten years of this.”

But, she told me, you had a pretty good run of getting better over the past ten years since the accident occurred.

She didn’t mean it to, but those words when I heard them seemed to ring with a certain finality.

As though that is all I should ask for. A block of time that has already passed.

Yes, I’m now 65 years old. And yes, I guess I’ve had a pretty good run with this injury that continues to get worse over time.

Because the beat does go on.

And then Gracie died.

Planting Time:

People all around me are putting out flowering plants and hanging baskets of Boston ferns on balconies.

Ron and Pat’s new pots of red hibiscus plants are about to open. They buy them every year.

Every time I see a red hibiscus I am reminded of Abi. Because I bought one just after she died. The big red blooms reminded me of her exuberant and fun personality.

I see pretty purple and white irises opening, more each day, down a little ways from me.

And I see hostas coming up from the earth rolled up in layers. They slowly unfurl until they look like arms opened wide in welcome.

This weekend thing is silly, I know.

I do love living here. Because I feel safe and surrounded by people who are kind and wonderful neighbors.

I know I need to get out of this funk. But maybe nothing will help until more time has passed. Because it was just 10 months ago that Charlie boy crossed the Rainbow Bridge.

Maybe losing Gracie was just the added layer of grief that for now just seems insurmountable.

About This Time Of Year:

Did you know that I become somewhat morose every year around this time?

Because it was this same time of year, when spring flowers were blooming, I walked into the room and found my Granny laying dead on the couch.

Just like I rounded the corner of my bedroom just weeks ago and found Gracie dead on the floor.

It was an ordinary April morning all those years ago. A spring day full of promise and warm sunny days. And I had just turned 13.

And the beat goes on. And on.


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  1. Sports medicine specialist seems the way to go. They know how to integrate different modalities of therapy from acupuncture to chiropractic to orthopedic and various occupational therapies to get patients of every age back to
    functioning. Eating a diet that tamps down inflammation is another self help method one can embrace. Pool therapy in body temp water is often very therapeutic as the water supports joints and muscles as they exercise. I’ve heard many sixty pluses attest to this. University based docs and therapists are usually on cutting edge of research.
    Talk therapy can help work through emotions that stirr up negative chemicals in our bodies relating to stress that can impede faster healing.
    Multi modal approach is always best. Acupuncture can give one relief. Be open and see what’s close to you. Try it all. Don’t assume any one person or approach is all there is. Every doctor/ therapist has their own limits as well as strengths. Try everything and see what doors open. Believe you will find answers.
    Sending positive energy for your healing journey.

  2. It is understandable that the early tragedy in your life with your granny left its mark on you, and then finding Gracie almost mimicked that event. It’s good that you recognize that this feeling is a pattern every year.
    As for your ankle, I would seek out opinions of other doctors, as there has got to be some better solution for you.

  3. Every year in winter – specifically the end of January and first of February – I find to be extra hard for me and I find myself struggling more than usual to stay focused on just living. It’s when my first-born son died and it doesn’t matter how many years have since passed as I always know it’s coming and must be endured.
    Grief is unpredictable and everyone has to find their way through it in their own way.
    You will too Brenda.

  4. Brenda, since the massage at physical therapy helped, you might find more relief with more frequent massages. I have recently noticed a bunch of success with a back and hip problem I have had for around five years. I’ve been making time to use this massager more regularly:
    It can be a little hard on the hands so only use it for a few minutes at a time, maybe rest the massager against something and lean you calf muscles into it.
    A relative, who is an MD, recommended to me after it helped him.

  5. Brenda,
    last Good Friday I took my cat “Sweetie” to the vet to have her checked out. She was sneezing and wheezing and lethargic, so I thought she had a cold or allergy thing. The vet listened to her chest and asked if she could do a ultrasound to better analyze her. Her reply damn near gave me a heart attack. My “Sweetie” was in a late stage of congestive heart failure. The vet said she could try to drain the fluid around her lungs, I think she called the procedure Thoracentisis. The vet’s office was busy, so I left her to await the outcome. While I was out walking my dog Lucy, the vet called and told my husband that “Sweetie’s” heart had arrested and wanted to know if she should try to revive her. My husband said yes and the vet tried; but was unsuccessful. I came in and my husband gave me the horrible news. I was so shocked, never dreamed this would be the end of her. Heavy hearted, I went to the vet and made arrangements for her cremation; yesterday I picked up her remains and she joins several other pets that I have loved and lost. I can feel your pain and I know it will be there forever; just with a different intensity. I am praying that you feel better .

  6. Brenda, you’ve experienced some major traumas in your life, beginning when you were just a child. Those things leave an indelible impression on a person’s psyche. I am not one to push pharmaceuticals at all. I have always been on a more natural path to wellness. Have been a life-long learner about nutrition and natural healing and remedies. But, I have taken an antidepressant for many years and when I first began–reluctantly–it was like a lightbulb was turned on in my brain. I felt like I could cope with the ups and downs of life for the first time. The black mood lifted and the constant anxiety lessened significantly. You are dealing with some heavy-duty “downs” right now and I wonder if an antidepressant would help you get through these rough waters. If you are open to it maybe you could explore it with one of your doctors. I encourage you to just consider it.

    Sending you love and healing energy and encouragement to keep on keeping on.

  7. Brenda, this will be my last mention of PRP treatments for your pain. I’m not sure why you are so resistant to check it out. I’ve been a successful practicing chiropractor for over 30 years, and PRP is so successful that Olympic and professional athletes use it for their injuries. It would help your pain and movement but only if you do it. I won’t bring it up again. This is the 5th time I’ve mentioned it . Help is available to you if you actually want it

  8. I think the world underestimates the effects of chronic pain. Chronic pain and depression go hand in hand.I’ve lived with it for 20 years. It turns ordinary life stressing events, grief, and frustrations into mountains. Then one starts replaying every sad thing that ever happened which is also crippling. Our brai s are so funny that way.. One of the most brilliant descriptions of depression was on a blog I read years ago. It was called Hyperbole and a Half: Adventures in Depression part 2. Take a look. Her drawings and commenties are on point. Maybe try working on things from not only a physical approach, but emotional, spiritual, and mental therapeutic approach. Time and a different view brings clarity and healing.

  9. Dearest Brenda,
    God is the only one who knows what His plan is for you… “If” you do not improve physically it does not mean that you will not be blessed in other ways.
    The blessings you have gained are: relationships restored with your girls and family, new friends that bless you which you are a blessing in return, continued good eyesight, continued taste for good food, the ability to still think and reason things out that allows you the freedom of living alone. To name just a few.
    I can sympathize with you regarding seasons of depression, I suffer similar specific times in the year.
    There is an old song that I love called “Count Your Blessing” that helps remind me that I have much to be thankful for.
    Prayers going up for you!
    Blessings to you and your family and friends ❤ Vicki

    1. I know I have so much to be grateful for. Like Kasi coming over today for lunch. Sitting at the table with her just chatting. I know this. It’s just like a cloud falls over me this time of year, and everything that troubles me multiplies.

      1. I used to take a medication for depression. I had been on it for several years and my DR thought I should come off of it, which I did, have been off for almost a year. These past 6 – 8 months I have felt very little joy. I really think I need ed to go back on it and probably change Drs.

  10. Dearest Brenda,
    How I feel your pain,I found my dad,died in his sleep at 14, something we never forget,Mom had passed 2 years earlier and the way it was handled by my older brother I do believe has a connection to the emotional issues I have today.
    I lost my husband in 2006 to a very aggressive cancer that took him 3 weeks after the diagnosis,that one I almost didn’t survive!
    While I know your grieving your fur babies try to take comfort in knowing they had their best life because of you and their reunited,having fun together.
    I think possibly you are in the anger stage of grieving ( 5 steps of grief,Elizabeth Kubler Ross) and everything seems dismal and unsurmountable,one step at a time,even just baby steps…
    Would you be able to travel and find the “best of the best” for your ankle? They’re not God or fortune tellers,so get a few opinions.
    Love & Hugs to you and Ivy!

    1. I feel angry and sad at the same time. Angry because I feel sad. And sad because I feel angry. Upset that yesterday I sat at the drive-thru CVS window and had to put my sunglasses on because tears suddenly appeared out of nowhere.

  11. You have to be feeling really frustrated with not getting much relief for your pain and then the loss of Gracie. Seems like you just went through all of this deep grief with losing Charlie and Abi to now have another layer of loss with Gracie. I am sorry you are going through all of this. I really think you should take your pt’s advice and seek out another opinion. There are new things all the time. Hope the weekend will be better.

    1. You may be right. I’ve done better today and haven’t put on either the boot or the brace. I think because she worked on it yesterday and massaged the knots of tissue out of my leg. I’ll get through the weekend, see how it goes, and make some decisions. I also ordered a foot massager and got it yesterday. Going to see if that relaxes things.

  12. I would get 2nd and 3rd opinions from different doctors b4 getting an operation Brenda! There might be a better alternative out there for u bc the world in medicine is changing all the time!
    I know it must be depressing seeing all the flowers coming up everywhere but your patio but I’m sure you’ll think of an alternative for that too!

    1. I go outside and sit in a wicker chair and think about what I should do out there. I come inside and stand for awhile and look outside at the birds and silly squirrels. This morning a squirrel was on the patio about 4 feet from Ivy inside watching him. They just stared at one another for some time. That made me laugh.

      1. Lol. I bet Ivy is saying to that squirrel that he won’t be that brave when she gets outside!

        I meant the world is changing in technology not medicine.

  13. Brenda, sorry you are feeling down but I do understand why. I know the loss of our pets leave a hole in our hearts but you were a loving, doting pet mom. My husband is taking the loss of our dog Kaia very hard. I miss her terribly and it is a fresh wound especially with the “firsts”. First time visiting our grandsons without the dog, first time her not sleeping on the bed, not feeding or walking her everyday etc. We don’t know why it was their time to cross the rainbow bridge but we can and should have some peace knowing we loved and cared for our babies. They were blessed to feel our love until the end and the is all we can do. I am sorry you are still in pain and I hope you find some relief. Except for going to church on Saturday evening we do our errands and stay home on the weekends. I am a homebody anyway and shy away from the crowds leaving space for the people who have to work during the weekdays. Have a nice weekend everyone.

  14. Maybe you can have another 10 year run!!…time will tell…I understand how you are feeling right now….Fall was always my favorite time of year, until the year I got cancer (1992). After that it became a gloom and doom time of year for me, one I almost dreaded…and I no longer enjoyed reading b/c I could not focus. That went on for a long time, a few years. Then one day, the dark curtain began to slowly lift, and I found myself being just a little excited about fall again. There were other things that followed the cancer diagnoses too, some hard things…my dreams were shot, never to be realized… was day I saw this sentiment on a sign: ‘new dreams for sale, get your new dreams here at the dream weaver market”..and it hit me, I must get some new dreams and let the old ones go…..and I wasn’t easy…it was a process….. I knew if I resigned myself to what was, I’d be like the living dead…. I didn’t want that, so I traded in my old dreams for some new ones…it’s too bad we have to learn these things so late in life too…but perhaps we can help others with our example of being over-comers…I think you are an over-comer and that I why I was drawn to your blog, your words, your decor, your life. Thank you for sharing it here. You’ve helped me and surely many others too.

    1. Such wise words. I know of a blogger who died of cancer just a month or so ago. Younger than me by at least a decade. And I remember thinking to myself how scared you’d be because of that thing growing inside you. She was very brave and blogged until the very end. You have overcome a lot and I think I’ll mull over that dream thing.

  15. I didn’t know you were the one who found granny. I’m so sorry. I knew I was 13 when she died. I can’t even imagine what a traumatic experience and tremendous loss that must have been for you… I’m so sorry…

  16. When you’re in physical pain, you’re tired and everything takes longer to do. All that plus grief. I understand why you’re in a “blue” season now. Soon, I pray, you get relief. Hugs to Ivy

  17. I didn’t know you found your Granny like that at such a young, impressionable age. I’m so sorry! That’s horrible! And now walk in to unexpectedly find Gracie like that, it’s no wonder you are having such a hard time. You’ve been through a lot in the past year. Add to that, the physical pain you’re suffering, from your ankle, with no relief in sight, it’s no wonder you are feeling the way you are. I think another professional opinion is not a bad idea. It will give you some hope anyway. I am sorry you are going through all of this. But you’re not alone. Your blog family is here for you!

  18. Brenda, hopefully you will find help, like suggestion above, keep researching your problem. Have you tried using a walker in home? Due to back problems, there are some days when I use one with seat on it for stability, then sit when need to rest few minutes. It has been helpful for moving about home to do chores. Hopefully, you will improve to work with flowers, this is a relaxing project for me. Also, recently obtained a 4 wheel garden cart with seat to work with flowers, so thankful for equipment to help in daily living. We all appreciate your blog, you don’t let set backs stop you, so many times you come up with alternative plan, hope you will be able to do this with you injury. Hope your injury improves so you become more active.

    1. I have that little plastic thing I roll around on. It’s about a foot high. I probably need to look into something higher, I was thinking to myself today.

  19. I know what you mean about the melancholy hitting you particularly hard at a certain time. This is how I start to feel in September. That’s when Phil died…and then in October, my dad, my grandpa, and my MIL all passed away. October is also when Phil was hospitalized for a week when he was a teen, and that memory is very traumatic for me.

    Be gentle with yourself. Practice a lot of self-care, whatever that means for you.

  20. Sorry to hear that your brace is not bringing you the relief you were hoping for. Have you tried massage therapy from someone who really knows what they are doing? Maybe a sports massage therapist? I had a severely sprained ankle a few years ago (in my late 60’s) — I sprained both the top and bottom of my foot and ankle all the way into my calf. There was no “medical” thing they could do but let it heal. I went to my massage therapist every week or two for a full body massage because pain affects your whole body and had her concentrate on that ankle for a few months and it got stronger and more flexible every week. It took 14 months before I was walking normally but with her help it happened. Maybe something along that line will give you some relief as well. If it does, it’s well worth the money. Keeping you in my prayers.

  21. It makes sense that the awful tragedy you suffered when young and loosing your Granny, is connected to other losses. I find one loss somehow connects to another in my life too. No one else can say how long one should mourn a loss, Brenda…every circumstance and event in life is different…we are all different in many ways. Take your time…there is a season for mourning and you are in it right now. One day things will likely seem better…take your time!!

    1. You know, I hadn’t even thought of that happening when I was 13 until I got to the end of writing this post, and then it hit me. Seems to happen that way every time. It sneaks up on me, that memory. Like something inside my childhood brain is still trying to soften the blow.

  22. Very sorry for the grief and sadness you are suffering from Brenda.
    We must believe things will get better in time. Plan to make it a goal toward wellness.
    Gracie & Abi knew you loved and cared for them. We never exactly know what might happen to a pet from disease or naturally.
    Rest assured you did the best for Gracie & Abi.
    Keep trying to tell yourself this to heal.
    Most likely, surgery for your ripped ankle tendon will prove to be successful.
    Hope you’ll consider that option real soon to get it well and strong.
    All surgeries are difficult. Especially the planning, the tests and hospital stay. I so dislike it. But still, having the operation is a good choice toward wellness.
    Hope your weekend is peaceful ✌ Brenda! 😏 Easy does it now.
    A hug for Ivy 💗

    1. The surgeon seems unsure about it now. Because, I think, he can’t see if the tendon is ripping or not. It was just the doctor who read the MRI who thinks it is, but cannot say with certainty.

  23. I am so sorry Brenda. Your pain runs deep. Give yourself a little more time. Maybe acupuncture? Or an Osteopath? Someone who could have a different slant to your ankle problem. I’m sure others will have better ideas than this. 💜 hug!

  24. It makes sense to consult several doctors who specialize in treating your kinds of injuries. New treatments and approaches are being developed all the time. You can probably find articles online that are written in “plain” English, not medical terminology that only doctors understand. Don’t settle for spending the rest of your life in physical pain until you’ve explored all available options.

    1. I sure don’t want to settle. But my body isn’t young anymore. Everything takes longer to heal. And seems harder to fix. I remember when it happened, the surgeon I had then said it might have been okay if I’d been 15, but in my fifties, the idea of it permanently healing seemed less likely. Just the way it looked to him, I guess.

      1. Oh how I wish that surgeon would have never said that. Are they not wanting to do surgery because it’s torn and maybe not repairable? Or it’s not torn and they will just leave it? I’m sorry the brace isn’t helping much. I think that along with flowers everywhere and you being such an avid gardener is sticking in your crawl. I so wish there was a hose on your patio. I can’t imagine finding your grandma like you did. That had to be so painful for such a young one. 💓

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