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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Moving Forward to See Another Sunrise

A Perfect Match
I went back to wound care today for the burns on my arm, hoping for a release so I could get a splint on my thumb. We're not sure if I tore a ligament, or if I just have a nasty sprain, but it's on my right hand
Logo Arm
and everything makes it hurt.  It is simply amazing how well the burns have healed. Wound care actually released me today and I was so thrilled. As they were getting my paperwork together, I asked about scarring. She told me that yes, I would probably always have a logo arm, and the skin on my right hand would probably always be a little different in color and sensitivity than the rest of me. On the bright side.... I can be walking advertisement for Nissan. After all, if I could scoot right back into a Cube Chrome, I would in a heartbeat. What better advertisement for customer satisfaction? Nope, scars don't scare me none (not sure that is proper grammar). Scars are simply a part of life. A part of living, hurting, healing, rejoicing and if you are really blessed (which I totally am), moving forward to see another sunrise... another sunset. Really, who could ask for more?
Zombie Hand

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Wounded Heart

A fact of life is, loving makes you vulnerable. The more you love someone, the more you trust. The more you trust someone, the more you relax the walls that protect you from a heart wound or a stab in the back. Another fact of life is, people are fickle. It makes no difference how well you know them, how much you love them, how many memories you've made, how many tears you've cried together, or how many times you've joined hand to hand, heart to heart and prayed for each other. In a heartbeat the enemy can come in and whisper candy coated lies to the most spiritual person leaving them to decide you have been measured and found lacking the right stuff to continue down life's road along side them. When that happens, you mop up the blood (because typically you feel like someone has ripped your heart out), you count the blessings for the time you had them in your life, and love them at a safe distance, preferably outside their striking range. God will either restore or replace the relationship. Regardless of which direction it takes, keep a sweet spirit which goes completely against what the flesh wants to do. If you keep a right spirit, you will come out on the winning side. Friends might desert you but God will always have your back.

Phil. 2:3-4
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Keeping that in mind will reduce the open wounds and open the wounded heart to a holy healing.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Who's On First

When my husband checked me into the emergency room, I was re-thinking refusing a ride in the ambulance. As the check-in girl said, they had a full house. My husband came back and told me that if I started experiencing chest pains (wink, wink)I would get moved to the first in line. .. LOL, I assure him we would be going no where fast. He got a text from our daughter telling him she was on her way to Duncan. I was wishing he hadn't called her because it wasn't a big deal and I hated for her to drive to Duncan when I knew I was fine (minus the Zombie-ish flesh hanging from my hand).  My daughter arrived at the same time as my dad which was weird because my husband had been unable to reach him. They walked into my room together. She looked baffled and confused and when she told us why, we all had a good laugh. She said she walked into ER and saw Papa standing at the check in desk. She patted him on the back and said "Hey Papa." She said he looked up surprised at seeing her there. She asked how he was doing and he told her he was having a little hard time breathing so Urgent Med told him to come to the ER. She naturally thought he was there to see me so she questioned him again about what he was doing there. When he repeated his answer to her, she reached up to touch his forehead and asked him if he had been out in the sun (she thought maybe he had a stroke and had forgotten that he was there due to my car accident). He told her no, he hadn't been out in the sun, then he asked what she was doing in Duncan at the ER. She told him I had a wreck, but he thought she was kidding. The desk clerk picked up on the conversation and asked her if she was looking for Jackie Patterson, Aja responded yes, so she directed them both to my room which was directly across the hall. They both walked in a little confused at having met completely by accident with each of us not knowing the other one was there.  I was concerned that the doctor had sent him to the ER so i asked him why he hadn't called me..... "Well, it wouldn't have done any good, you were busy getting into a car wreck." By this time we had a full room, two patients, my husband, daughter, and friend. A nurse entered the room, took one look at me laying on the bed and said... "Oh sorry, I've got the wrong room" and quickly closed the door. I told dad that she was probably looking for him and as soon as I said it, she came back in scanning the room for..... "an older gentleman" The nursing staff finally decided having us both in the same room was a lot like playing "Who's on first". Neither one of us was in the mood for games which worked out quite well with dad being moved to his very own room.  They hospital staff clearly found no humor in me asking if we could get a "group rate". Oh well, you can't blame a girl for trying. 

Crash and Burn in Style

Monday I was having a good hair day which is odd considering all of the rain we've had lately. So, given the high status of my poof,  and the fact there was a low chance of rain , I thought I'd dress up for work and wear my obnoxiously bright Easter dress and since it was monday, which is my super busy day, I paired the dress with my unusually comfy 5 inch elastic heels. My Mondays tend to be a desk day of posting payments, downloading pertinent information into spreadsheets and sending them out to pertinent people. I usually don't have to get up and walk around much on mondays, which makes it the perfect day to wear high heels. The beautiful hardwood floors we have in our office tend to make high heels sound like a Clydesdale practicing her prance so I've  mellowed my shoe attire somewhat so not to disturb the entire office with my prancing practice. I had a pretty good Monday meaning I didn't download impertinent information believing it to be pertinent information only to find the error after clicking the send button sending misinformation to pertinent people. Not that I've ever done that before (cough cough). So, I left the office a few minutes early to drop off a letter at the post office. Leaving a little early insured I could drop it off in the drop box from the comfort of my cute little cube instead of having to go inside the post office. That was the plan. I got into my cute little cube, plugged my phone into my awesome stereo and clicked the country station on Pandora Radio. Sometimes I listen to Dean Martin, sometimes it's Maroon 5, but maybe because all of the rain gave me the blues, or maybe I was feeling feisty, country was my tunes for the trip home. There I am minding my own business, driving with some caution since I had just passed a hi-po as I approached the first intersection coming into town. As luck had it, the light turned green as I was approaching in the right lane. The left lane was full. They had been stopped, but began to inch forward slowly. As I entered the intersection someone decided to make a left turn in front of me on a very red light. As I hit the brakes, I expected them to give it some gas to avoid what was going to be a major collision.  Unfortunately, the driver continued to take her time and even with me punching both feet to the floor there was no way I could miss her. And just like that, my day took a drastic turn for the worst. I've heard of people going into shock, but I never understood it until the airbag exploded, my car filled with smoke and I looked up to see bits and pieces of my car strown from here to yonder. All I could do was shake and cry, shake and cry. Miraculously, the woman I hit, continued up the road a ways before deciding to stop her car. My engine was up close and personal to where I sat in the front seat. The engine was stuck wide open and when i raised my hand to turn the key off I realised my hand had flesh hanging off and my fingers did not work. Thankfully, someone came to my aide, leaning in as I begain to hyperventilate and tremble uncontrollably. At some point I was able to dial my husband and after several panicked attempts, was able to give him my location.  The EMT crew covered my burns as gently as possible and took me to the ambulance for closer assessment. By that time my husband was there and I refused to ride in the ambulance (been there done that, never again). My husband looked at the EMT then suggested I take off my heels to cross the busy highway which by this time was busy with everyone headed home. I looked at him and told him I would not walk across highway 81 in bare feet. If I'm going to crash and burn (and obviously i did), I would do it in my 5 inch heels and the 5 o'clock traffic could jump to whatever conclusions they wished. They usually do in a small town anyway, why not make it interesting for them. So there I was in my eye catching easter dress and 5 inch heels, with the bump in my hair perfectly in place (i asked before leaving the ambulance if my hair was okay), being escorted by super sweet police officers and my dear husband in the middle of rush hour. A familiar voice called out across the street making sure I was okay. It was a friend's husband. On the way to the hospital I asked my husband to stop by the post office so I could drop the letter off. He looked at me kind of strangely and asked... "Right now, before we go to the hospital?" To which I said "Yes, it's for work. It has to go out today." Without saying a word he drove to the mailbox, popped it in the slot then off we went to the hospital.  The story isn't over but the moral to this half is, if you're going to crash and burn, at least do it in style.... And, never give up on your goal, even if you get a little side tracked. 

Friday, May 15, 2015

A Mother's Day Embrace


A year ago this weekend, a friend of mine lost her daughter in a horrible house fire that also took the life of a small child. I cannot imagine such pain. She struggled with the fact that due to the circumstances, there was nothing to touch, nothing so say goodbye to. Grieving is a complex process and things like that makes the grieving process even more difficult. I consider our friendship special for reasons that are difficult to explain except to say she holds a special place in my heart. We no longer work together, but we have lunch once a month. This week at lunch, I gave her a small gift and a card. When I got back to work, I received the following text. I asked her permission to post the story on my blog, because not only is it a beautiful story, it is  also a beautiful example of how God knows the desires of our hearts and in this instance, he gave her what her heart desired. I will note that the Shelley she mentions in the story is another co-worker who also lost a son several years ago. Having someone close who has experienced her pain, has helped her process the grief. This story is like a warm heavenly blanket that wraps around you; I hope you find it as beautiful as I did.

"Thank you so much for my bottle of honey, but thank you even more for your letter. I wanted to share this story with you at lunch, but knew I could not without crying. Shelley told me once that Mason would come to her in her dreams, but most of the time, he was always a little boy.  Cortney's best friend has also told me she has dreamed of her. You know how I struggle with the fact I did not get to touch her and hug and tell her goodbye. Well, Friday before Mother's Day, she gave me the best present of all.  I was sleeping and felt someone's foot touch mine.  I rolled over and there she was. We hugged and hugged and eventually Rusty came into the room and we all hugged.  As the dream went on, she became younger and younger. Then she looked at me and said.... "I have to go now, so hold me." At that moment she was an infant and I laid her on my stomach and she just went into me the same way she came out of me 25 years ago. So, I do know that she is still with me. I have had a lot of friends in my life, but the ones who are still thinking of you, checking on you, and sending prayers your way a year after your loss are the ones you thank God for placing in your life. Love you my friend!"

I cannot thinking of a more touching Mother's Day gift, than re-living the embrace of a child who has passed. Never take tomorrow for granted, for it may never come.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Fool Me Once

My English Bull Dog Riley has adapted quickly to being an only child again. Her big sister passed away on January 1st and as you can imagine a big sister who weighs 220 pounds leaves a gapping hole in life as we know it. Apparently Riley has decided that all previous rules are out the window and she can now do as she pleases. I'm sure it's our fault, we've probably been sending mixed messages.  She has been so well behaved, we haven't needed to do much enforcement. Last year I found an amazing garage sale bargain I couldn't live without. I bought a scrumptious over sized Italian leather chair at the garage sale I worked for the mission team. A couple brought a trailer loaded down with donations and from across the driveway I spotted this chair. I plopped myself in it, and was immediately swallowed up by its comfort. It was perfect except for a place on each arm where it had been worn down... Nothing a blanket couldn't cover. I asked my girlfriend.... "Is it totally crazy that I want this chair?" to which she replied "YES!"  She knows my love for all things old and that my house is full to running over (but in a tasteful way). "Where would you put it?" she asked. With little thought I said... "The kitchen!" I have a large kitchen with a vacant spot that just called out for a big comfy chair to sit in while I cooked dinner. Well, that may be a bit of a stretch (me cooking dinner part), but the kitchen needing a good place to cozy up and read a book is not a stretch so home I came with this huge chair. You know what? I just love that chair (holes and all) and my husband does too and Riley does too. She has taken that chair as her napping place which I don't mind since it's leather. I threw a blanket over it and she cuddles under as snug as a bug in a rug. At night when I tell her to go get in her bed, instead of going to her kennel, she has taken to snuggling in her chair. I've been sweet and have been letting her sleep there. The other morning when I came down the stairs I heard a distinct plop..... clink, clink, clink, coming from the living room. Apparently Riley has been waiting for me to go to bed before moving her sleeping program to the living room couch which has, and always will be off limits. She knows good and well she is not suppose to be on that couch which is apparent by her sneakiness. So, today when I left, I told her to get in her bed and she tried to snuggle under in the leather chair, but I was having none of that "Oh no you don't little missy." She begrudgingly moped to her kennel in her best Eeyore imitation. Yep, her gig is up. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.

Friday, May 1, 2015

My Mother's Hands

I am approaching the second Mother's Day without my mom. To be honest, I push her absence to the far corners of my mind and primarily focus on the time I have left with my dad. I know that as long as daddy is near, mom is never far away because the two were the epitome of one flesh. A couple of weeks ago dad and I took mom's wedding band to the jewellers to be sized for me. What a precious gift. When I picked it up the other day, I slipped the ring on my finger and took a sudden breath. I suddenly saw my hands as I'd never seen them before.... They are the hands of my mother. The hands that rolled out pie crusts when I was small. The hands that made many a apricot pies. The hands of love when she comforted me and the hands of steel when she disciplined me. My hands have the same blush to them, the same texture, the same markings. I can push her absence to reassess of my mind. I can block the memories both good and bad, but I will forever carry her in my heart and as I see now, I will always have her hands.