Anything for an Easy Life? Not Really, Thanks Though.

a young me
a young me

I’m one of those people who has done things the hard way all my life. If my parents said, “NO!”, I said, “YES!” and did whatever it was anyway. I could never take anyone’s word that  this + that would equal disaster. Somehow, I just knew if I did the thing, it would turn out like it should. But, it didn’t. Ever.

I was even a difficult baby. I had colic for three months. My mother said she walked the floor with me day and night, trying to keep me from screaming and crying. I was the kid who had stomach aches, headaches, was nauseated when someone else threw up in class and wanted to go home. (not sure if Mother came to get me or not that day).  I was the kid who could be playing “Witch” (chase), get caught, climb up on the doghouse (the jail) and fall off only to fracture her elbow  ending up in a cast for 6 weeks or so. I even had seizures. So, life has not been easy in many ways. Sure, I got everything and more that I asked for- I took tap and ballet lessons, piano and violin, participated in church programs – all that kind of stuff. But, inside, I often felt lonely, left out, afraid. No one ever “made” me feel that way- I just did.

As a teenager, I eloped, had a baby at 17, divorced at 18, lived with my parents, went to college, was suspended from college for a poor GPA and really just went my own way . Listening to anyone was not included in my lifestyle or agenda.I was a free spirit with my own ideas – some pretty far out! 

I think, looking back on it all, my feelings of insecurity, my lack of self confidence and a diagnosis of bipolar disorder were all contributing factors to my outright rebelliousness. I’m not going to say I was a bad kid- the bad seed- although I will say I was  the black sheep of the family. To me, even though I complicated my own life and those who lived with me by being so stubborn and independent in my thinking , in doing things my own way, it was a God-thing.

I wanted to test things – limits, patience, love, friendships, even God Himself. I pushed the envelope every chance I got, daring anyone to defy me. I wanted to know that those who loved me and cared for me really did. I was a little girl who was scared the people she loved would leave her. Some did. I found out it wasn’t the end of the world. The people who counted never left me- my family of origin, my husband, sons and daughter- stayed beside me always. No matter how far away I tried to be, they were there. In fact, I divorced my husband, Stephen in the ’90’s. He told me later, ” I felt God telling me not to see the person you were during this time, but to see you as His child.” So, he did. And he waited and loved me anyway- even though I had a boyfriend and lived 4 hours away. Even though we were apart for a couple of years, I felt him loving me every time we talked on the phone- every time my car was broken and he would drive down to Austin from Dallas just to fix it. I felt his love when he saw me on the weekends. We were truly terrible at being divorced. So, on Valentine’s Day 2000, Stephen asked our boys if it was okay if he asked me to marry him again. He did . I did . And I realize that this is the way God loves us. Even though we test Him, back away from Him, perhaps curse at Him, shaking our fists when things don’t go our way- God is still there for us, He still loves us.He waits to welcome us back into His fold. Isn’t that wonderful? 

My husband teases me, saying he’d do anything for an easy life. Me? I’m glad I tested the limits , thought on my own, went my own way… back to God. 

If your life isn’t easy- don’t wish for it to be so. You may miss something important-something like God’s blessings.

It’s Funny- Not Funny HaHa, Funny Odd

I have three children- 2 sons and 1 daughter.One of my sons, my youngest, Micah,  has Cystic Fibrosis. If you have never heard of Cystic Fibrosis, I would not be surprised. I’ll give you a quick  summary. Here goes:

We all have mucous in our bodies. “Normal” bodies have mucous that is thin and slippery and is throughout our bodies. A child with Cystic Fibrosis (CF) has mucous in his/her body that is very thick and sticky. When the mucous is thick and sticky, it clogs organs such as the lungs, the pancreas, the liver. A child sweats profusely, cannot digest food properly, does not usually gain weight well , gets  lung infections, pneumonia and the like often . The mucous, because it sticks to the lungs during infection causes the lungs to scar and the child or young adult to lose lung function. Some people with CF get lung transplants because of this. Some are too sick to transplant and some don’t want transplants. There is no cure as yet, although the medication breakthroughs have been tremendous of late. For many children and young adults (and occasionally old guys)- well, they die young. 

So, when Micah was diagnosed with CF at about 9 weeks of age, I had a lot to learn quickly. My schedule was busy  (remember, I had two older kids). So, Micah would wake very early in the morning ready to eat, but he had to have a breathing treatment first. Next, chest physiotherapy (CPT) (clapping his back, sides and chest 3-5 minutes a side) and then I had to make sure he got his applesauce (which hid digestive enzymes that were bitter tasting) before I gave him his bottle. His formula had been changed many times, but we finally became a test family for Good Start Formula before it went on the market in 1989 or so. While I was taking care of him, I was also getting breakfast for David and Mandi . Mandi was about 12 or so , so she could get her ownself ready for school. David watched “Zoobilee Zoo.”  Okay. After breakfast was naptime for him and an hour or so later, I’d start all over again. Most of the time, he had breathing treatments three times a day, but if he was sick, it could be as often as every two or three hours. 

Well, fast forward a few years. Micah is almost 26 years old! By all accounts, he should have died before he was one year old. God has had His hand on this boy all his life. He has lived 25 years longer than anyone thought he would (except us). The other day, while doing a breathing treatment, he coughed up some blood – not a good sign, we all thought. He wisely called the doctor and went in for a CT scan of his chest. 

Today, I received a call from him saying the doctor called and said he had a subtle pneumonia going on- so subtle that it was not seen on xray. I am so grateful God chose to bless Micah with that blood. No, I’m not some kind of crack pot. But, I know my son. Had blood not been a factor, Micah, as diligent as he is with his health, might have missed that he was not well and just carried on until the pneumonia got worse. As a result, he has only home IV’s to do instead of a 14 day hospital stay. 

Isn’t it funny how God chooses to get our attention? Thanks God!

 

Blessed to Have a Job I Love

Blessed to Have a Job I Love

I spent three hours today giggling with a little 73 year old lady. We are quite the pair. At 56 years old, I am her caregiver three days a week. Her name is  Lou and she is  such a joy to me.  We have the most fun two “mature” women can have with a “G” and sometimes a “PG” rating.

When I get to Lou’s in the mornings, I generally go into her room, take off my glasses and talk for a minute before I make her breakfast. If I don’t need to read anything, I just leave my glasses in her room until I need them. I don’t need them to make eggs , oatmeal, omelets, things like that. Now, if I’m serving sausage and biscuits, I need them to know how long to microwave them, you know. But, this morning, it was eggs, toast, and oatmeal- raisin and spice, if you please, so the glasses weren’t necessary. 

I took the first season of House DVDs for us to watch. Lou had been a registered nurse, so when I saw House at Half Price Books, I knew she would love it. She has that kind of dry with House has -that I have and I knew she would find the stories intriguing. Just in case, though, I bought a Bob Hope DVD. Sometimes, she’s in a comedic mood. Today, however, it was House. She had never seen the House series because she prefers the ID channel to most other ones. She, like me, loves a good murder story. It’s just these happen to be true. Anyway…I’m beginning to think I need to get my glasses. House is a good looking man and if I’m going to watch it, it is he I want to see.

I got up, ambling into Lou’s room looking for my glasses, when I saw a pair on her tray. I picked them up and realized straight away they were not mine. It was then, I knew  she was not wearing her glasses, but mine! I’d given her my glasses! I mean , I didn’t have them on, so it wasn’t like I could see all that good. They are not the same color, not even similar in shape! I kinda giggled and said, “Lou, are you able to see out of those glasses?” 

“No,” she said questioningly, ” and I can’t understand why.” 

I burst out laughing and said, “Because you are wearing mine and I have yours here!” She gave me the strangest look as I held her glasses in my hand so she could see them.  We cracked up. 

“What a pair we are, ” I laughed. Truly, the blind leading the blind.

We laughed and laughed and laughed. Every now and then she would chuckle all over again. I love that I have a job where I can make a mistake and we can laugh and laugh and laugh.

 

However Dysfunctional, There was Fun!

Everyone’s family has a bit of dysfunction in it. It’s okay. Ours was that way too. But, I like to think we put the “fun” in dysfunctional. We all loved to laugh- my mother most of all. So, you can imagine how confused I was when my mother declared my lifelong friend, Kim Gibson Wallis and I “as silly as blackbirds.” I mean, after all, where did she think I learned it ? No matter, the truth of the matter was that Kim and I thought it incredibly funny! Funny, funny, funny.

As long as I can remember, we had dinners for my mom’s side of the family at our house all the time. My mother and her sister, Ginny, alternated years as to who would host the Christmas dinner. It really didn’t matter, I don’t think to us kids where it was, just as long as it was.  It was our time to see each  other and play like the wild kids we wished we could be all the time.

If we were at Ginny’s house, then my cousin, Matt would be in charge of what we played and stuff. After all, he did live there and he would be the one to get into trouble (mostly) if we did stuff we weren’t supposed to. Younger readers may be confused because we were actually outside, in the sunshine, running, chasing, playing and teasing one another. Yes, that’s what I said- Outside. Sunshine. Playing. All those things kids barely know the meaning of anymore. Well, anyway, no matter whose house we were at (Texan phraseology, i’m afraid), one game was a constant- “Big Kids Run From the Little Kids.” I never was much of a runner, in fact, I was the last one chosen on a team of any sorts at school recess, but I could outrun the little kids! When Gary, my mom’s brother’s kid, his sisters, Jayne and Amy got to come, it was so much fun! Gary, Matt, Phil (Matt’s brother)  and I ran away from poor Jayne and Amy.  Of course, it wasn’t long til Jayne was “one of us.”

A Holiday dinner at our house
A Holiday dinner at our house

Oh my gosh! Our parents could just look at each other and start laughing- something their offspring can do as well. It was always fun to know someone else was thinking the same thing at

Being silly and laughing was a genetic trait for us
Being silly and laughing was a genetic trait for us

the same time. Ever happen to you?

Of course, with all of us, there was the “odd, but lovely” relative. This would be our Aunt Dillie. She came to be Aunt Dillie because someone as a baby couldn’t say Nellie. So, Dillie it was. We kinda made alot of fun of poor old Dillie, because she could sniff more times in a row than anyone else in the world!  Not only that, but she could burp louder than a guy and we thought it was hysterical. Of course, not to her face. We held it til we were out of the room and then we’d really let the hysteria go.

Turns out, poor old Dillie, unbeknownst to us at such an early age, had been set to marry a young man and he left her at the alter. So, these interesting traits of hers probably came about after the fact. She never married or had a gentleman suitor again. Tragic, really. However, as in Shakespeare, some tragedies are comedy and we thought she was plenty funny.

I am reminiscing because my cousin , Gary, will be spending the weekend with me. For the Fourth of July. I haven’t seen him in years and I am so excited to see him. Because it is a holiday, it reminds me of being a kid, looking out the window , waiting for him to arrive- waiting impatiently for the fun to begin!