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Saturday, April 21, 2012

Ready, Set, AIM...WALK for Autism

On this cool, frosty Saturday morning over 1600 of us were up early in support of AIM - Autism Includes Me. As for me, I woke up at "dark thirty" (as my hubby calls it) otherwise known as 5 am to go help out in whatever way my friend Traci needed me today. Helping people is something that I love to do and I've looked forward to this day for weeks. So even when the weatherman started talking about the weather being in the 30 something, I was not about to let that deter me. I just laid out my gloves, scarf, silk underclothes, ear muffs, a long sleeved shirt to wear under my green AIM t-shirt... and I was all set. Except for one important thing. I didn't think about steal toed boots. Once we arrived, there was much to do. The "race guy" got there with his trailer and needed to set up close to an electrical outlet. We needed to move some chairs and some umbrella stands out of the way so he could park his truck and trailer there. The chairs were no problem. But the umbrella stands were another story. They were metal and quite heavy. I tried lifting one and it slipped out of my hands onto my right foot landing on my big toe. Yes, it hurt, but I didn't want to be a baby about it, so I trucked on. As the morning wore on my foot began hurting more and more and I could tell my toe was swelling inside my shoe. I went to my car at one point to make a phone call that lasted about 20 minutes. When I got out, I could hardly walk and the pain was nearly unbearable. My first thought was "Oh no, I've broken my toe!" I walked around on it for awhile, did a few more things that needed done and then said goodbye to Traci. As I left, the pain was shooting up my foot so I decided to go by the convenient care clinic. The doctor took x-rays. Nothing broken, but my toe and foot are severely bruised. It is twice as big as the other toe and quite colorful. I have a lovely boot that I have to wear for a few days for stabilization and protection from others stepping on it or kicking it. AND I have crutches for additional support. It would be funny if wasn't so ridiculous. I've been telling people that Steve is looking for a nice nursing home for me. What I have learned from this is to SLOW DOWN!!! Get ready, get set, but slow things down a bit so I will be able to walk ... literally and figuratively. The situation is similar to when we pray for answers from God. We typically want an answer NOW!! But God's timing is never the same as ours. He knows best and his timing is perfect. Always. We should never be in a hurry to make a mistake.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Sad and Angry

I never thought that anything could be as painful as losing my mother to cancer. I was wrong.

Our grandson, Beckett was stillborn on Friday, February 17th. It was quite possibly the worst day of my life to this point. Watching our daughter hear that her son was no longer alive inside her was heart wrenching and then hearing her scream is something that I do not believe I will ever forget as long as I have breath to breathe. I wanted to take that pain from her and I could not. It's just not right and was so unfair. My beautiful, loving daughter who is a fabulous mother loses her child and then there are those who have babies like rabbits and can't and don't take care of them ... something is seriously wrong with this picture.

I am waiting for God to speak to me and help me get a grasp on this situation. The sadness I can deal with a bit better than the anger.

Monday, December 26, 2011

The Day After ...traditions continue, begin, and skipped

It's the day after Christmas and I am tired. A good friend told me a couple of weeks ago that I had not written anything on my blog in awhile and needed to get busy. So here it is ...

This was the first Christmas in a long time where I was really excited. I looked forward to the decorations,although we scaled way down this year, the shopping (thank you Amazon), the cooking (okay, so Steve does most of the cooking, but I was helping - some), everyone coming together, cleaning the house (yes, it was me-not the housekeeper), all of it. I missed my brothers not being here, but we did get to see Sam and Joe the day before. Buster moved to Dallas and had to work Christmas day so we haven't seen him or talked to him yet.

We began something new this year with the grandchildren. I read them a story a couple weeks ago about "The Christmas Pickle" and we have our own Christmas pickle ornament. So we hid it on the tree the night before and when they arrived Christmas day, they had to find it. The first to find it gets a special prize. This year it was a huge Reese's candy bar. It took about 15 minutes to find the pickle. It was so funny watching them look for the ornament. Coleman found it. New tradition born.

We always open gifts after we eat. The kids were so excited. They have learned that we do stockings first. So they each grab a pillow to sit on and wait patiently for all of the adults to get to the living room and then they dump their stockings. Then we do gifts. One at a time so that everyone has the opportunity to see and enjoy the excitement and joy on the face of the receiver. This is something that began years ago with Steve's Mom and Dad. Tradition continues.

Steve tells me that our son-in-law was very disappointed that I didn't make my famous cranberry salad for Christmas dinner. I thought about it, had all the ingredients, but didn't. I won't make that mistake again. I love my son-in-law and know that there are not many things that I can make that he would like. I will make this for him every year from now on. Tradition forgotten.

As I sat here today, a couple of things came to mind. Each year since my mom passed away I have displayed the last gift that I received from her. It was a reindeer Christmas decoration. I didn't put it out this year. I don't know why, but I really think that it is okay. Tradition changed.

The months and days leading up to Christmas are so full of anticipation and anxiety. The shopping, pickles, gifts, cranberry salad, and reindeer are fun and the things that memories are made of. We often forget the real reason for celebrating Christmas is the birth of Jesus. It is my prayer that this will not be a tradition that is changed or forgotten, but will continue and quite possibly be the beginning for many.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

I'm 50 and Here I Am...

A few days ago I turned, I turned 50. For some odd reason I had looked forward to this birthday ever since I turned 49. Sounds strange doesn't it? I am one of those women who doesn't lie about her age. I am so very thankful for every single day and year that God grants me to remain here on this Earth that I really don't care about turning 50.

I began telling my wonderful husband last year that all I wanted for my birthday was a BIG birthday party. I dropped several hint of what I expected (yes, most were way over the top - Reba McIntire or Celine Dion, ice sculptures, hundreds of guests,). But he he got the idea. And he and our daughter came through with flying colors. The party was wonderful with all of our family being there except a couple aunts and our long lost son. Many friends were there to celebrate with us and to watch a video prepared by Stacy. It was filled with old photos that made me cry and brought back many good memories.

So here I am... 50 years old now and ready for the next adventures of my life. I know that God has something great in store for me. I am eagerly awaiting with open arms and a willing spirit.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Where Were You and What Are You Doing Now?

Where were you nine years ago today? Many people can probably tell you exactly where they were on September 11, 2001 and what they were doing when the Twin Towers of The World Trade Center in New York were brought down by hijackers as they rammed two separate commercial airliners into the buildings. Hijackers also used a commercial airliner to crash into the Pentagon. And Flight 93 was diverted to Pennsylvania by passengers from what was sure to be another terrorist attack thought to be headed for Washington, D.C.
There were no survivors on any of the planes and several were killed at the World Trade Center.

In the days and months after the "9/11" attacks we were a changed country. Citizens filled churches and turned to each other for comfort and wisdom in an effort to make sense of what had happened. We asked questions such as why did this happen on American soil? How could it have happened on American soil? Are there more terrorists living in our country? Could one of our neighbors be a terrorist? Could it have been prevented? People were afraid to travel, especially fly, for fear of something happening again.

In some ways we became a closer nation and in others we were a nation divided. The United States of America was founded on the premise of being a melting pot for people from all over the world. People have made the US their home in the name of freedom for over 200 years. After 9/11 we limited those freedoms of certain nationalities of people because of suspicion of involvement in terrorism. Where is the freedom and justice in that decision? What happened to innocent until proven guilty?

Remembering the Oklahoma City bombing and 9/11 Tragedy makes me realize how fragile life can be. It also reminds me of how little we know about each others religious beliefs.

Are we doing anything different in the past 9 years that helps create a better understanding of others? Or are we perpetuating a stronger and wider divide? Are we practicing what it says in Ecc. 5:2 "Do not be rash with your mouth, and let not your heart utter anything hastily."

When 9/11 occurred in 2001, thoughts were of family and the need to pray. Our pastor called a special service that evening and many came to pray. Heavy hearts grieved and prayed for those who lost their lives, for understanding,and for the unknown future. The slow process of healing began even though our town was far removed from this horrible tragedy. Many had seen the happenings over and over on the television and the devistation had a profound effect.

As a nation, we are not perfect. As a people, we are not perfect. God does not expect us to be perfect as Christians. BUT, he does expect us to continually seek Him, ask for His wise counsel, and be His example to the world around us. My prayer is that we can do this without having another terrible tragedy occur.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Who's Your Daddy?

Today is Father's Day. I have been thinking about this day a lot this week. As a society we celebrate Mother's Day with all the bells, whistles, flowers, cards, ribbons, and bows we can find. But Father's Day seems to come around with a little less festivities. Why is that? Fathers are just as special and important as mothers, are they not?

My mother and biological father divorced when I was a small child, probably around 3. I do not remember much about that time of my life, which is probably a good thing from what I understand. My mother, brothers, and I came back from California on a train to Kansas where my grandparents lived. On a previous trip home to Kansas, during a separation from my bio Dad, my mother met a man that she became friendly with. When we returned to Kansas after the divorce, this man came calling and he became our stepfather.

Not many men during the 1960's would marry a woman with 3 children under the age of 4, but he did not hesitate. He loved my mama and loved us as well. We moved to Oklahoma into his house and thus began our life as a family. It was not perfect, by far, but my Daddy was one of the smartest men that I have ever known. He worked hard to provide for our family and there was never a doubt that he loved us.

He always introduced me as his daughter, even though I was as white as a sheet and he was a full Cherokee Indian. He had a great sense of humor and his carpentry skills were phenomenal. His attention to detail when he was building something were incredible. Though he never had formal schooling beyond 6th grade, his math skills were unbelievable.

He loved being Pawpaw when we had our first child. He had nicknames for both of our children just like he did for my youngest brother, Buster. He called our daughter "Squirt-squirt" and our son "Bubuski". They adored their Pawpaw.

The day he died was one of the worst days of my life. Most likely he had a massive stroke or heart attack as he drove down the highway. He was a retired trailer mechanic and worked as a handy man for the "elderly", which is kind of ironic, because he was 78 at the time. Fortunately, he went quickly. I have great satisfaction in knowing that my Daddy died as a child of God and was carried into the waiting arms of Jesus.

I did not know my biological father well. I had seen a him few times at my grandmothers growing up. It really wasn't that I did not want to see him, it was just that he was not around to see. He did not see the rest of his family much and did not see his children either. He was the type of man who made lots of promises, but did not keep them. There were other circumstances that kept him away as well, but that is not a conversation to be had today.

As an adult, he called me a few times after I married, but he was under the influence of alcohol and those conversations did not go well. I decided that it was best that we not talk. I did not hear from him again until the death of my mother. After she passed away, I went to see him. More out of curiosity and in search of answers than out of love. What I found was an old man who was sorry for the way things turned out. He was very ill and said that he loved me. He kept calling himself "my Daddy", but in reality, I knew that was not so. He was more like a friend. My earthly Daddy died earlier that year. We kept in touch up until his death of cancer two years ago. And I am glad of that for both of our sakes.

Then there is my heavenly Father in whom all things are possible. Earlier this year I was asked "who is the Father to you?" That is a potent and powerful question that every Christian should have to answer and ultimately will have to. To me the Father is the "Daddy" that I go to in prayer, praise, and need. He is the reason I am here and do what I do. He goes before me each day and guides my path. He will be waiting for me at the gates of heaven with my earthly Father and biological Father.

WOW... what a day that will be!!!!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Editorial Comment

This is what happens when you read something in the paper and it totally makes you mad. I read the paper every morning with my coffee and breakfast. I do read the comment sections and the editorials. I do not always agree with them, and that is okay. They are written as op-ed pieces to make you think and to challenge you. But the one this morning got to me for many reasons and just ticked me off for lack of a better way to say it. So, I decided I could not let it go. I wrote my own response and posted it online. Now of course, I used an assumed name, but I am curious to see how some of my friends feel.

Dear ________,

Making a comment such as you made regarding AIDS patients dying in agony because of the availability of less expensive drugs is one of the most inhumane things I have read in a long time.

Maybe you should consider volunteering in a hospice unit where AIDS patients are cared for until they die. Or at a hospital where children who have contracted AIDS through no fault of their own are cared for until they die. It is not all about risky behavior.

Try counseling or ministering to a mother or sister or brother whose loved one has discovered they are HIV and facing a potential death sentence and the availability of any type of medication is seemingly impossible. AIDS patients are not the only ones who are looking for cheaper or less expensive medications. Do you have any idea about the combination of medications an AIDS patient must take? I think not. I know several mature adults who are not HIV who take anywhere from 4 to 8 medications per day.

Sir, you are correct when you say that the health care system is stressed. But I submit to you that the so-called AIDS epidemic is not the cause of this problem. We are the cause of this problem.

It is so easy to make callous comments when you do not have to put names with those "pathetic photos" as you called them.

My question to you is, what are you doing to make a difference or to change society. How are you influencing and promoting the ABC's of safe sex, "Abstain, Be Faithful, Use Condoms."

Do something or do not speak to something to which you know nothing or very little about.

Well, let me know what you think.