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Last Day

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Tomorrow, this photo will be removed from the company website. I have mixed feelings about that.

I made the choice.

I have been with this company for 14 years. FOURTEEN! That’s unheard-of in my work history: prior to this company, I worked a maximum of three years at any job I held and then I moved on. I got bored and the job became stale.

Fourteen years! I never even thought of changing jobs for the first 12 years – I loved it. Then the corporate office moved to a different location. It was easy at first: my first position was five miles from home. My second position was 13 miles from home. The switch from the east side of Portland to the west side was only made because the commute was the same distance: 13 miles. The last move added 9 miles to my commute.

22 miles is not a big deal to a Nevada girl. 22 miles = 22 minutes. OK, 25, but maximum 30.

22 miles in the metro area is a different creature altogether. On a good day, I can make it in 30-35 minutes. That’s no one else on the freeways and over-the-speed limit driving. I travel three different highways: I-205, I-5, Hwy 217. Alternatively, I can come up Hwy 99E, go through downtown Portland, and catch Hwy 26. Six of one/half a dozen of the other.

Today I made it home in an hour and a half. 90 minutes of my life, my marriage, my free time – spent in traffic. I put my car in park twice.

I can head out with all the little traffic lines in green on the Internet, but five minutes into the drive there’s a wreck on the fly-over ramp and a 45 minute delay that turns into a 90-minute commute.

If it was just me, maybe I could live with that, but it isn’t. My husband recently retired and the time I spend away from home between work and commute is time that I do not have to spend with my husband. I own pets, specifically a very needy and emotional dog (there are two dogs in the household and both greet me with enthusiasm, but let’s be honest – one dog is my husband’s dog and one is mine. The dogs know the difference). After a 90-minute drive one way, I have nothing left to give, emotionally or otherwise. I’m exhausted and I want to hide in a hole for the rest of the night. Others may have different “mileage” on this, but for me – it’s a KILLER.

I started looking as soon as we moved, but I felt that I had the time to be patient, cautious, and very, very, very picky. Whatever job came along had to be “perfect” because the job I was leaving was with such wonderful people. I did not apply very often and most of the time when I did, I quickly withdrew the application. It wasn’t right.

Well, that job found me. Or I found it. More on that in another post.

I applied, I was given an offer, I accepted. It is three miles from my house.

Tomorrow is the last day I make that 22-mile commute (one way). I leave behind a plethora of beloved real estate agents and friends.

I want to thank the family of Prudential Northwest Properties (now Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices) for the past fourteen years. I wish the best for all of you. Thank you, especially, to founder Bert Waugh Jr.

Last, a little plug for something very near and dear to Bert’s heart: Transitional Youth.

Please take the time to follow the link and read up on TY. Portland, Oregon, has the highest rate of homeless youths in the Nation. Bert is making a difference.

Thank you to all the Brokers and employees at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices who have made the past fourteen years such an amazing adventure of my life. If you are already a friend of mine on Facebook, we will remain friends. I appreciate you so very much!

My Go-To Defense Mechanisms

I belong to a wonderful support group for people with my personality quirk (I guess that’s what you’d call it, if you weren’t me). I’ve blogged about the subject before – how I am a Highly Sensitive Person, and I don’t mean someone who has cries because you look at me wrong. Being an HSP is much deeper than that. I can’t begin to explain it in the short amount of words I am allotting myself for this particular post, but I hope you follow the links back to my original posts and read what I wrote in 2009 on the subject. Or, you can hop over to Elaine Aron’s website: The Highly Sensitive Person.

This post is dedicated to answering a question posed to me by one of the other members of the group: “What are your go-to defenses?”

I LIKE ME. I’m not always pleased with me (I berate myself to death when I make a faux pas, when I screw up at work, when I hurt someone’s feelings inadvertently, and when I have embarrassed my children by being too assertive in front of them) but I recognize that those are feelings nearly all human beings, who are not either sociopaths or psychopaths, feel. (Should a comma be there? Or parenthesis? or a dash?)

REALIZE YOU ARE NORMAL. Yes, you are an HSP – but beyond that label, you are normal. You’re not so odd that you are noticeably different. You feel emotional hurt a little deeper (maybe), but you are not abnormal in that you feel emotional hurt. I know a lot of non-HSPs that feel sorry for themselves over emotional hurts. You can make a big deal about it, but the best deal to make out of it is

FORGIVENESS. Forgive whoever hurt you and forgive yourself. That doesn’t mean you become a doormat. Trust me, no one calls *me* a doormat. I just learned to step back and try to look at a situation from another person’s perspective. Well, yeah. He was dead wrong and I told him off. So – now I need to move into forgiving him for being such a jerk and I need to forgive me for losing my temper and acting like a raging bull. Yes, I was right – but does that make me the better person when I lost my temper? NO.

LOSE YOUR TEMPER. Nobody tells you this. It’s all about holding it in and being too nice. Well, sometimes, you need to turn around and tell the 7th grade bully off. “Just because you’re a bitch doesn’t mean I have to take it.”

Oh, yeah, I did that. I was 4’4″ and I don’t know how many pounds. She already looked like an adult and was overweight. Fat. She was surrounded by her friends who were the “popular” girls. I don’t remember what she said to me. I was in the company of my best friend, Trudi, who was pretty, had boobs, and no one made fun of. And that girl said something to me that made me mad. For the first time in my life, I turned around and said something back. I made it a direct hit. AIM. FIRE. Don’t regret (or at least, don’t do it to a degree that you lose your edge).

I’ve never regretted that salvo.

BE ASSERTIVE. I can overdo this. Learn a little moderation. I remember a manager who accused me of some sort of in-office gossip. I walked into his office, asked if he could talk, closed the door, and thought about my body language as I sat down. I wanted him to know 1) I was innocent and 2) I was not taking this B.S. I asked him, “Who said I said <whatever>? If you can’t provide me that, then you have to admit that it is all falsified. Speak to me.” Not in a nice tone.

KNOW WHEN TO CUT YOUR LOSSES. You have to know when to back down, walk away, turn your back. Some issues are not worth your time, energy, emotions. Walk away. If you can’t walk away at that precise moment, start making plans to walk away. Tell no one but your most trusted friends (I don’t even tell them, but I have very few inner circle people).

Rejected? MOVE ON. My childhood best friend moved on to a new circle of friends. We were tight. She now has a very different inner circle. I miss her. But I know that I also  moved on to a new circle of friends. She misses the me that I was. Accept and move on. Forgive. You can still love someone and they don’t have to be your bestie.

ADMIT YOU ARE SENSITIVE. The trick is knowing when to tell people and when not. You just have to learn when to cut your losses.

For me, I learned I was an HSP when a fire alarm malfunctioned at work. The loud screaming alarm one time was unnerving. But after an hour of random fire alarms at decibels not meant for the human ear, I was melting into a puddle on the floor. I couldn’t function. I did not know what an HSP was at that time, but I went to my boss and (crying) told her I could no longer function. My nerves were jangled. I was a mess. I needed to take the rest of the day off and hide under the covers in my bed at home.

My boss was actually understanding (and I hope yours is, too). I called my husband to pick me up and then spent the waiting time in a nearby book store. I found Elaine Aron’s book on the bookshelf while I waited and read most of it before my husband picked me up. I suddenly had a name for who I am. I am not shy in trying to explain myself to people.

Some people and some bosses will never get it. Cut your losses. I’m doing that right now. It’s taken me two years of very careful planning and searching, but I am cutting my losses. If my current employer can’t get it, my next employer will. It’s a loss you take – and you take it for the benefit.

DON’T WATCH THE NEWS. I actually had an argument with my father-in-law over this. I was pregnant with my first baby when my father-in-law lived with us. He insisted on watching the news at dinner time. I walked out of the room when they showed a dead person on the screen, blood flowing onto the street. This was about 1984. I refused to watch the news. My father-in-law was offended and made some stupid smart remark. I chose my battle and simply walked away.

CHOOSE YOUR BATTLES. This is parenting advice as much as it is HSP advice. Choose what battle you want to engage in. Is it worth it in the long run? With my F-I-L, no. I walked away. End of subject. He doesn’t even remember. Me, I remember everything. But I chose my battle & did not engage. We’re on good terms (although I would not willingly live with him again, which my husband understands).

My brother once took me to a casino-like play house after a grueling three weeks of trying to handle my father’s estate. I just wanted to crawl under the rug. My brother -bless the extrovert- needed to connect with noise and family. We were in Reno and all the extended family was invited. I ended up sitting alone at a table in the midst of the casino-like noise, lights, sounds. We ate crappy pizza. People flowed in and out of the scenario: my ex-sister in law, my niece, my niece’s children, my brother, my youngest and her then-boyfriend. I ZONED.

Find a place in your head to ZONE. Create a safe place to go to. You can smile & engage with people, but in your head – in your SAFE PLACE – you are zoned. It’s OK. No one needs to know. Understand that time is finite and you WILL get through this. On the other side of this, you can bury your head under a pillow and cry, zone, sleep – whatever. But to endure this, KNOW that you have a safe place.

I think I have covered my “go-to” defense mechanisms. I’d LOVE to have feed back from fellow HSP’s. What are your “go-to” mechanisms or do you have any at all? I sense that I am lucky in that I have developed defenses. Remember: a defense is only effective if you know it is a defense. You have to always remember that the bottom line is this: you are an HSP and THAT is ALL RIGHT.

Being an HSP is ALL RIGHT. You are actually NORMAL. Breathe in/breathe out and remind yourself: you are NORMAL (for a certain demographic and to hell with the rest)

 

The dreaded invitation comes: you are invited to the company party and it will be a “White Elephant Gift Exchange”. You groan inwardly.

Or you get excited.

I think about half of us love this tradition and half of us dread it. I fall into the latter half: I love the whole concept, right down to the god-awful bear skin rug that was passed around one year at a White Elephant party we hosted in our home. I did feel sort of sorry for the woman who ended up taking it home, but she seemed like a good sport at the time. The fact that I’ve never heard from her again might be a hint that she wasn’t so thrilled, but I wasn’t the person who wrapped up that ugly bear skin rug under the guise of Christmas generosity. I promise.

I’ve scored some pretty great gifts at White Elephant parties: my favorite Christmas mug, a candy box, a Black & Decker iron that was a recycled wedding gift (they must have received two and kept the better one), and my tin snowman with the broom that lights up.

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Our company party is always a White Elephant gift exchange. One year, I scored a little portable tool kit. There was one character who “stole” everyone’s gift and that tool kit didn’t last long in my possession. It was a strange year because another portable tool kit was unwrapped by someone else in the office and quickly set aside. I thought I detected that the recipient was not very pleased with what she perceived as a prank gift. In fact, she showed less poise than the woman who got the ratty bear skin rug did, of-so-many-years ago. I thought this girl was going to cry.

As it happened, I was in possession of something really cool (probably a bottle of wine) that someone came and stole from me. That meant I could have one more go at the dwindling stack of gifts on the table… or I could rescue someone from a gift she really didn’t want. The truth is: I really wanted that gift. What woman doesn’t need her own tool kit? A real hammer, set of screw drivers, a cheap level, brads, screws, and a pair of pliers.

That tool kit has been well used, and it hasn’t always been by me. My husband would rather look for my tool kit (which is stored in the house) than go out and look for a hammer in his big red Snap On™ tool chest.

I’ve received some duds, too.

The ugly metal bird yard ornament was one of them. Fortunately, Murphy killed it off in the Summer of 2009. Good Bird Dog.

The Black and Decker recycled iron was one of them, too. I already had a brand new iron and certainly didn’t need a second one. But I brought it home and re-homed the iron of lesser value. For the record, I like the B&D iron and it does a good job.

Two years ago, I found an actual white ceramic elephant at Goodwill. I packaged it up and took it to work, hoping my then-supervisor (who loves elephants) would get it. Alas, she did not. But the woman who did end up with it (after several steals) still raves about how much she loves that white elephant.

This year, everyone was a good sport. We have a lot of new employees who have never played the game with the established crew, so there was a lot of the “unknown” factor in the party. I sat between two women in our marketing department, neither of which has been with the company for a full year yet. The one on my right leaned over and asked, “So… there was a dollar limit of $15. Is this a *real* White Elephant or do people buy nice gifts?”

“Six of one, half a dozen of the other,” I replied. “Which is what makes it exciting. You never know…”

The one on my left opened the first gift. It was tacky beyond words.

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I sat next to her and watched as every other person passed it over. They fought over the toilet bowl coffee cup and the bottle of wine, but no one was touching the incredibly tacky mauve mouse on a ceramic ornament.

Ah, but my turn came near the end, and I had a mission. I needed to save that mouse from mauve! I just wanted to know if I could pull the ribbon out to replace it with a much nicer ribbon of red or green. Yup. And the puff ball? It can be protected from paint.

That mouse had no choice but to come home with me. I wanted that mouse. I will convert that ugly mauve paint job to a more Christmas-y theme soon. I’m not sure if I will do silver-and-blue (most likely) or green-and-red (in the running) or white-and-gold (unlikely).

And that is *why* I love White Elephants.

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SHHHHHHHhhhhhhhh!

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I am sitting on pins and needles. It is really hard to be calm right now. I keep having to remind myself to breathe in and out slowly: no hyperventilating.

No, it is not the prospect of getting to meet Cary Elwes (aka The Dread Pirate Roberts) on December 17th at the Powell’s Book Store in Cedar Hills). I mean, that’s a HUGE event for me and I’m over the moon with excitement about that. I have The Princess Bride memorized. I own the book. I belong to an online home school support group and we have all watched the movie countless times. I can quote it. Everyone in my home loves The Princess Bride. Going to see Cary Elwes is going to be a family affair.

An aside: he is promoting his new book, “As You Wish”.

No, despite the thrill that meeting one of the actors in my favorite movie of all time, I have an even greater reason to be hyped up and excited.

The problem is, I can’t really discuss it right now. And that is why I am sitting on pins and needles. I just want to share what is up and coming in my near future, but I feel a heavy rein of restraint on me because it involves a lot of people, not a little bit of P.R., and some very major changes.

It’s all good.

So let’s discuss Cary Elwes instead. (Didn’t see that coming, did you?)

He was scheduled to be here a couple of weeks ago, but that date had to be changed. I learned of the date change from an internet friend I was meeting for lunch. OhMyGosh! I got to meet yet another internet friend!

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I don’t know how long I have known Elisabeth McGinn, but it has probably been close to a decade or more. She belonged to the homeschool support group i am still a member of. She is an accomplished artist and art teacher, and getting to meet her in person – over the top.

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This gem belongs to me. Moi. “This Moo’s for You” by Elisabeth McGinn, autographed on the back. <gush, gush,gush>

By the way, I’m the woman in the photo with the hopeless head of dark, thin, wispy hair. I don’t mind so much until I’m posed next to someone who looks like she has it all together in the fashion department, and then I groan inwardly.

Why me? Why did I get that horrid thin hair? Not that it matters in the long run and it doesn’t affect my self-esteem that much, but some days… I wish I was bald! Or I had my beautiful, long, thick hair back. Neither one of those options is viable, so I live with Old Lady Hair.

I get to meet Cary Elwes! I’ll have Old Lady Hair, but – dang! – he’s probably aged a lot since he filmed The Princess Bride, too. I know Mandy Patinkin doesn’t look anything like Inigo Montoya now.

I need to concentrate on that event and not on the second, but more important date. The date everything changes.

It’s really hard because I am really excited. This is a huge change coming up and it is just in time for Christmas.

Breathe in/Breathe out.

 

More Books, More Books!

I had to sneak them into the house tonight. It’s not like I bought a lot of them – only five – but the fact remains: I just bought more books.

They had a used book sale at work today. Lots of Ann Rice and Clive Cussler, some hard bound and some paperbacks. Quite a few that I have already read or <ahem> already own.

Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games trilogy (I’m anxiously waiting for the November 21 release of Part 1 of Mockingjay). I own the books already.

Khaled Hosseini’s A Thousand Splendid Suns, which is my favorite of his. I don’t own it, but I didn’t buy it: I convinced my coworker that she needed to. It’s intense.

Kathryn Stockett’s The Help.It’s good, but it isn’t as stark a reality as it should have been, nothing like the reality in the above-mentioned books. It’s almost sugar-coated, but you fall in love with the characters so quickly – who can hate it? I own it already.

I’ve even read some of the Ann Rice and Clive Cussler books, although they are not writers in my preferred genres.

There were three of Stieg Larsson’s Books: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (not really my style, but I couldn’t put it down when I read it), The Girl Who Played With Fire (I’m not sure I can finish this one. I’m stalled in the first ten chapters. I like Lisbeth, and she’s headed down a dangerous path. Larsson doesn’t hold back in details and I’m not sure I can stomach the details), and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest (I have been told that if I can get through the middle book, this one is good. It’s getting through the middle book that is holding me up). I own the first two; I opted out of the third one simply because I think I should finish the second one. Some day.

Still, I found five books.

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Left to right:

Kate Ayers – A Murder of Crows (death amid the vineyards). Never heard of it, but it looks like a mystery. Set in Oregon, and it has a reference to one of my favorite birds. How can I lose? And if I lose, I’ll package it with the Christmas stuff and send it to my daughter in Alaska.

Gregory Maguire – Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister. Remember the author? He wrote Wicked. I’ve never seen the musical, but I have heard it is excellent. I can’t say that for the book: there’s an entire chapter that could be lost and noone would be poorer for it. I just hope Ugly Stepsister doesn’t contain one of those chapters. I liked his writing style in Wicked.

Christine Warren – Not Your Ordinary Faerie Tale. Romance, sci-fi, mystery. Cheap paperback. I’m in.

Benjamin Hoff – The Te of Piglet. No, I don’t know why I picked this up. I’ve never read The Tao of Pooh. It looks funny. And wise. Something I can read while waiting for a doctor or dentist or other such appointment. I can become wiser while waiting. How can I lose?

George R. Martin – Game of Thrones. I’ll save it for last because once I open those pages, I’ll be lost until I have finished the book. Then I will have to do a marathon streaming of the HBO series.

Before I can star on any of this deliciousness, I have to finish at least one of the four books I am currently reading.

I am listening to:

Donna Tartt – The Goldfinch. The jury is still out on this one, but at least we have survived the adolescence of the hero and he is now a young adult. It keeps me sane on the long commutes home. I think – because the hero is not sane. He’s very disturbed. But I like Hobie & Pippa, and so I can’t quit listening until I know what happens to them.

I am reading:

Harriet Beecher Stowe – Uncle Tom’s Cabin. I was listening to it, but I found that I made more sense of it in print. Unfortunately, it is not as gripping as I had hoped and I’ve allowed Uncle Tom to grow dust. I do intend to finish it.

Jeff Gunhus – Jack Templar and the Monster Hunter Academy. This is really adolescent fantasy and quite funny reading. Don’t take it seriously. It is currently my waiting room reading material. It is also Book#2, so – yes – I read Book#1.

John Muntean & Jo Walker – Willing to Die. True life history, written by a friend of mine and dictated by a survivor of Communist Russia. It’s dry history sprinkled with anecdotes and photographs, and dire parallels to certain current events. I’m only about a third of the way in because I tend to prefer fiction to non-fiction.

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Oh – and I have to read this before I can start on my new books, because not only did I buy five books at work today, but another co-worker just finished this and remembered that I had asked to borrow it. So I need to read it and return it before I can enjoy my purchases.

Don’t tell my husband that I just slipped these books past him. He doesn’t know. <wink>

HSP Games

I discovered I was an HSP (Highly Sensitive Person) back in 2001. I blogged about it first in 2008. I occasionally have blogged about it since.

I have – over time – developed a number of defenses. I didn’t even know I fit into the HSP category until 2001 and I discovered Elaine Aron’s book on the subject (and realized how well I have used defensive techniques to protect myself). Knowing who I am and why I react the way I do has often been a lifesaver for me.

For instance: after 3 weeks sorting out my father’s possessions, putting him to rest and saying good-bye in a memorial service, and driving 5 long nighttime hours back to Reno, my brother wanted to go out to dinner with his daughter in a popular kid-friendly place. It was great, except that I just want to crawl into a box and hide. Lights, noise, casino-like setting, crowds. UGH. Last.Thing.I.Need.

I couldn’t exactly refuse. Everyone (except me, the HSP Introvert) needed that kind of “break”. My ex-sister-in-law wanted to see me. I wanted to see my brother’s grandkids. So, there I was, in a place of noise, lights, and everything that sets the teeth on edge in an HSP. I breathed in. I realized that 1) I could survive because I have so many times before and 2) I knew *why* it bothered me so much. I understood that I am an HSP and an Introvert, and that everything that was happening went against my very soul – but I could survive because it was temporary and it was what “normal” people do.

The next day, I drove 11 hours home and crashed.

Sometimes, I cannot handle the situations life throws at me. I find myself in the hallway at work, playing a game with the lights in the public hallway. I wind my way down the hall: light on the left, light on the right, light on the left. Or I walk directly under the lights, straight down the hall. Or maybe I walk on the left for two lights and on the right for two lights. I hope noone sees me. The lights are my calming center: whatever pattern I choose is my choice and the use of it calms me. I can center myself.

My closest coworker is totally oblivious to the subtleties of body language and office politics. I want to bang my head into my desk when I try to explain to her what I just observed. How freaking oblivious do you have to be? Then I remind myself: I read people intuitively. I read the situation by sensitivity. I just know.

The funny thing is: my brother – the one who dragged me out to that horrid kid-friendly, loud, lit-up, night spot? He took one look at a photo I posted and he read the body language of the people in it. He’s trained to do that.

Everything he guessed was spot on. I know it intuitively.

Today, no one had “time” to go on break with me, so I went for my 3:00 walk by myself. It’s not that I have “time”, but that the LAW gives me the time, and I took it. I prefer my walks by myself. I had time to think about everything, breathe in, and calm my inner center.

It helps that it was a clam day in November, and I love November.

I know that my work situation is aggravated by my HSP tendencies (or, my work situation aggravates my HSP tendencies). Knowing that helps me cope. I know how I react and why. I know that I am not intuiting the situation incorrectly. I know I am spot on. I am not intimidated. My self-esteem is not threatened.

I have power.

It would help a little if I had power to change the situation, but right now, it is enough that I have the power to understand my reaction to the situation and to trust my intuition. I know I am not wrong. I never have been, in situations like this. Not ever.

It’s a gift.

Sometimes, it is a gift I wish I had not been given. Most of the time, I realize it is a gift that I have and most people do not have. It makes me different and special. I like being different. I have enough self-esteem that being different is a blessing. I’m not intimidated by “normal” people. They drive me nuts, but they do not lessen my value as a person because they are “normal”.

I don’t always feel strong, but when I feel weak, I walk the halls at work and play “dodge ball” with the lights in the ceiling. Or I go for a long walk outside by myself, hugging the canopy of leaves and walking slalom through the small maples. I don’t step on cracks in the sidewalk or I step on them all.

Breathe in. Breathe out. I don’t meditate because that’s not how I roll. I do pray and read Scripture. I remind myself that I am not alone. I am an Introvert and an HSP. A lot of successful people have been Introverts. I don’t know about HSPs because it is a recent discovery about human nature.

I hope to prove that HSPs can also be successful.

I hope to be the poster child of Introversion.

I’m a fighter. Not physically, but spiritually and emotionally. I’m fighting. SEE ME? I HAVE VALUE.

DON’T BUY IT? TRY ME.

Yeah. I want to be the forerunner of HSP/Introvert freedom. We exist. We have value. We rock the corporate world when you aren’t looking.

:)

God Rest Her Soul

Brittany Maynard ended her life on November 1, 2014. She was 29, almost 30. She was born the same year as my beautiful oldest daughter was: 1984.

She was a beautiful soul who embraced every second left to her.

She was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer in January of 2014. Terminal. That means it cannot be healed, cured, or otherwise removed. She had a death sentence. They gave her six months. She took 10 months and lived a lifetime.

I voted for the Death With Dignity Act. There have been times that I have regretted that decision. Then, there was the time I stood beside my mother in Washoe Medical Center and I knew she was not going to make it, and she was asking us for permission to just quit trying to live. Each of us – my father, my older brother, and myself – had to speak to the nurses and sign off. Yes, we agreed with the decision to remove life support. Yes, we believed that was Mom’s will. Yes, we understood she would die.

Brittany allowed the world into her life for the last months of her short life. “This is me,” she seemed to declare. “Watch me live life to its fullest!” And live she did. She checked things off of her bucket list: one, two, three. She embraced life and lived it more fully than many who remain living will ever do. Every second was a gift to this ray of light, and every second of her life was a gift to her mother, father, and husband.

She did not have to share it with anyone else, but she chose to. She chose to advocate for Death With Dignity. She chose to stand up and proclaim that while she knew she was dying, she also knew she could choose the day and time.

But could she? I don’t think so. I think it was written in ink in the Book of Life when Brittany was born. I think God directed her steps. Brittany did not end her life alone. Her family and close friends were with her, and, I believe, God was there as well.

God rest your soul, Brittany. Thank you for sharing so much of your life with us. You were just a hair younger than my oldest daughter, and your life touched mine. Bless you. If I had to walk in your shoes, I would make the same choice. You were a brave, beautiful, daring soul. Fly high. Soar with the angels.

 

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