Friday, September 30, 2005
It was so great that I missed two turns driving around the city, and almost forgot to see one patient!! Yikes!
Today is great too. Home with my girl, who is so good while I am scrapping or on the compy. She just sits and reads or draws. Every once in a while I will feel a sweet little hand on my arm, and a voice in my ear saying "'SCUSE ME!! DID YOU HEAR ME MAMA? I SAID I WANTED TO SIT IN YOUR WAP!!!"
Girls night tonight with Meet Me in St. Louis, and snacks. Gotta do an admission this afternoon, but as I was singing yesterday morning: "Nobody, no! Nobody's gonna bring me down!" Bo echoed it with "Nobody's gonna bring Mama down!" And boy-howdy was he right!
Did this for Bonnie's Circle Journal today.
Totally inspired by THIS. I can't wait for it.
Happiness continues to bloom in my chest. Even doing the laundry can't touch it!!!
Thursday, September 29, 2005
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
The title of my blog is a quote from Christina Rossetti, who is one of my favorite poets. I love it because it means that I can find Eternity in any moment, good or bad, or boring even! (Yes! I know it's hard to believe!) That's what I intended to emphasize in this mess of a blog. The moments you pay attention to and find that by doing so, your life, mind or soul is growing somehow.
I have a few nursing stories that I have written out. Moments that mattered alot to me. Most of them are not nearly as dramatic as the prisoner story was, but I'd like to start posting them so I will run out and be forced to write some of the present ones. If I feel I have some to fall back on, then I won't. I'll still post what I call the "fluff", but if you will bear with me, I'd like to get some of these out of my compy. I hope they are worth reading. They are rough stories, not fine tuned, so please excuse any rugged areas!
(BTW-the scrapping stuff? Not fluff. Just in case some were confused on that point! ;)
She sits on an old worn chair, old and worn herself with a slight tremor to her arms. She has a vacant look about her, not quite absent, but profoundly unable to stir up interest. She has a worn out dress on and very dirty fingernails. Responding correctly to answers put to her, yet obviously not at top form, she is pleasant, yet remote. I am scrambling for ways to communicate something, anything to help her and am stuck.
In walks an old, but robust man, saying “This here’s my Mama.” For most, that implicates a mother/son relationship, but in this case, he is stating that she is his wife. I am put off. He is clothed in denim neck to ankle, with dirty boots, and a green and yellow John Deere hat to top it all.
At his entrance the communication issue disappears. This man is a talker. Within seven minutes, I find out they’ve been married for 59 years, he worked for the school district for 8 months short of 50 years, and worked two jobs while she was pregnant, she never had to work a day in her life, and he has darkened the door of sears and roebuck only once in the past 48 years because a neighbor needed a deep freeze. If he weren’t such a good neighbor, he would never patronize the store, and as he told the clerk “We came in here 48 years ago to buy a refrigerator, and were told that we didn’t make enough money and we should just leave.” He married his wife when she was 18 and he was 21. You see, she had “low blood” and he said “We should just get married” and she said “OK” and they’ve been together for 59 years. They’ve known each other since he was 5 and she was 3 out there in Blooming Grove, Texas. And the world is coming to an end. They’s people out there killing each other in Dallas, and its true what the Bible says about wars and rumors of wars means all this killing right now, and we should just kill those murderers and stop talking about it. He told the ladies he worked with that they needed to stop being so cheap, and take their money out of their shoes and buy him a soda water, and the day he retired, all them colored women came out to hug his neck because he always brightened their day. And I believe him. He also expounds at great length regarding his garden.
After I squeeze in a word or two about safety and the side effects of a certain blood pressure medicine, I gather up all the stereo types I have accumulated in these 7 minutes, and follow him out to the garden, wondering how I am going to manage to compliment him on all the hard work he puts in out there while his dangerously confused wife is alone inside with knives and a gas stove.
It is a gorgeous day, and this is my last patient. He says “Come-on. I want to show you the garden.” I stand, he stands, and says to his wife “Come on Sweet Billie Brown, lets go.” No change of expression. He pulls her up and hooks his arm through hers. She shuffles next to him and I notice, looking at her back, that her dress is so worn, I can tell how many hook-and-eyes are on her bra. (Four)
I feel a little as Dorothy must have felt opening the door into Munchkin Land as we step into the brilliant October day. The sky is shimmering blue, cut by the gnarled outline of a fig tree. Past the fig tree are rows of blackberries, onions, “sweet taters” more blackberries, mustard greens, turnip greens, more onions and “sweet taters” again. I am struck. This man has created a functional, productive world. It could be a multi-million dollar business, it could be a city, could be an airplane, but it’s a garden. It is his great American novel, his Nobel peace prize. And here he stands, lady on his arm, displaying the wonder of it all to the admiring masses (me). And this lady on his arm has not changed expression.
I suddenly have the truth of her. She is The Beloved. She makes his work worthwhile. All the great stories are suddenly wrapped up in this moment. The feat accomplished, the obstacles overcome and the glory of love obtained. Here. In this bed of turnip greens.
This woman has made no perceptible change of body position or expression. I have been watching. Though she has become Eve, Cleopatra, Juliet and Aphrodite in the last minute, she is still my patient I ask a few directed questions about how long she is left alone in the house, and if she ever comes out with him. “Was the door open when you come up?” He shakes his head at my affirmative. “I’s only out there for a minute.” He hooks my arm through hers, and says “Here. Walk her up the way there.” He goes to lock the door. We walk a way. She says nothing. She stops. I say to her husband. “She stopped.” “Yeah, she’ll take a rest ever now and again.”
She shuffles along to the constant verbal cues he scatters in among the history he’s giving of the place. “This used to be a dirt road barely wide enough for a cow to walk through, and our land went all the way to where that beer truck and convenience store are now. And see that big tree? There was a feller there I saved his life onced. He had a prize bull. Cost 35,000 dollars, and they flew him out. Flew him out. And that bull got to snortin’ and I went over and hit that feller right crost the head with a pipe bout that big around. Saved his life, and then they puttim in the deep freeze and ate offen that bull for a long time.”
The woman has given nothing away about all of this. She is as changeless as the Mona Lisa. “Are you cold, Baby?” He stands there, arms around her rubbing her to keep her warm, and notices me watching. She has a big yellow dried crust of mucus the length of her cheek. He is on the other side of her and notices that she has some powder on her neck. “I got her cleaned up this morning, all nice and purty and smelling good. Aren’t you Sweet Billie?” No change in expression. He pulls her tighter and kisses her cheek. “All I do is take care of her now. She fixed me three meals a day, but never had to work a day in her life.” I make some very modern comment about how that’s better than I could do, and turn-about is fair play. He doesn’t hear me, or ignores me, and is watching her. He strokes her neck again to get a bit more powder off. She turns to him. “I am ready to go inside.” She says. “We’ll go, honey, we’ll go.” I make arrangements for the next visit, and say good bye.
I am moved. I have traded in an armload of generalizations for a sack of “sweet taters” and two baskets of onions.
Monday, September 26, 2005
Work was just one bad thing after another. Got so behind....got so flustered.
Came home late, but managed to have fun with this before plowing into the paper work and dragging into CiCi's for dinner.
The craft show was all Bo. He was very business-like about the whole thing, writing the categories for voting, and tallying the votes with precision and care. I don't know where he got the idea, but I appreciate all you dears being so loving and interested and cooperative. Love you all so.
I am learning what praying without ceasing really is. You are in my heart before the Lord day and night. You know who you are. xo. Thinking of this song today:
"My lifetime, Lord I give you my lifetime. My lifetime, Lord I give you my lifetime. For when I give you my lifetime, you will take care of me. You will never, never let me down. Lord, I give you my lifetime."
Sunday, September 25, 2005
"I'm takin' my freedom...."
Jill Scott, you are all that is cool.
So here's the weekend re-cap. It's been a goodun. Friday night we uh.....well, we......I never can remember this stuff. Let's see. Ok. Yeah.
Bill thought it would be great to have a family night. Of course I'm always game for an activity, so we went out to grapevine mills mall and ate Shrimp Quesedillas at La Salsa (YUM.) and then played Lunar Mini-Golf. This is exciting stuff ya'll. It's mini-golf played in the dark with black-lights. The holes are painted neon colors, and there are seizure inducing murals and stripes and stars everywhere. The kids had a blast. I was having fun too, until about halfway through I looked down and realized that my orange shirt was just a bit more see-through when the underlying white bra is blacklit. So I slung my tiny gold purse over my shoulder and played half suffocated and seething with embarassment. Bill wanted to go to Books-a-Million (just for you, Miss.) after that, and I headed to Marshalls and Old Navy for some retail therapy, though I was constantly checking myself to see if my shirt really was THAT see-through! (It wasn't, but I'll never be certain....) Oh well. Bill must have liked it, because he asked me to go OUT the next night! Hoo-ray!
Went to bed late, and didn't sleep in. Bo had his first soccer game, and the church was meeting in the park at nine.
After the meeting, I arrived at the game late and slightly panicked because I had Bo's cleats and shin-guards, and Bo immediately started crying because I brought Emma's water bottle instead of his gatorade bottle. Sigh. He cried on and off for the first quarter. Bill was running in the field with the kids, and did look rather sporting in green jersey and spankin' new shorts. The kids looked like they were having a lot of fun (losing) and were totally into it (trying to bribe them onto the field by the third quarter). They did seem to have alot of fun. Bo said he did. I assume that's when he wasn't crying.
We came home and futzed around the house for a while, I worked on a project for a certain someone who's birthday is Thursday, and Bill watched football. The kids did their usual weekend play of pretending anything and everything and having grand adventures from room to room together.
Then Jenna, babysitter extraordinare, arrived and we flew out of the house with our free movie tickets (Thanks, Petr and Bonnie!) and went to dinner and a movie. Such fun! We ate in the food court, and saw I Was a 40 you know the rest, and laughed and cringed and flinched and laughed again. It was hard to watch, but man. That waxing scene and the ending scene had me laughing until tears were running down my cheeks. It's amazing what you can watch in a dark room full of strangers that you never could watch with people you know!
Went to bed late, and didn't sleep in. That's the story of my life right now. We ate at Rise and Shine and had our usual meals and the usual jolliness all together. Came home and cleaned...felt sooooo good to get sheets washed and the wretched bathrooms cleaned. Alison came over and we watched Strictly Ballroom (LOVE IT.) while Emma danced around the den. Dinner was forgetable, bath and bed.
I did the page Friday, and it was a good reminder of where I have been, and where I am now. Three years ago, this was my state of being. I am in such a better place now, thank you Lord. Thank you Bill. Thank you Texas.
Bill has just come home with a oreo blast from Sonic and the second disc of Lost season one. So I'm obviously getting off the internet now!
In the words of my sister: "Peace Up."
Friday, September 23, 2005
Thursday, September 22, 2005
A letter I got from Bo's teacher mentioning a kindness he showed a fellow student. We wrote her because Bo got "signed" (they get their binders signed when they get in trouble) and he forgot his binder, so we didn't really know the story. It happened in another class, but she took the time to tell us how much she appreciated what he did. Very happy about that.
Emma's new favorite word: "Heh-woah!" (um, hello!?) as in- "Mama! I said I wanted a juice box. Heh-woah!" Girl got some 'tude.
I'm loving taking Pretend Friend Princess everywhere we go. Pretend Friend Princess has been joined by Mary and Pary, wearing pink and white, respectively, who also accompany Emma in her daily adventures. "Mama! Mary and Pary! Dat wymes!"
I am NOT loving the heat. 102. What is up with that. Sheesh.
I liked the paperbag book I just finished. I stalled and stalled on that one, and then busted it out in a night and a morning.
I loved ER tonight.
I loved going to lunch with Mom at Miho's yesterday, and seeing her repressed laughter when she asked Emma if she left Mary and Pary in the car. Emma panicked for a moment, crying- "Oh no! I'n sared for Mary and Pary!!" Then calmly went back to eating her corn dog nuggets. (could they make that sound any less appealing? Corn. Dog. Nuggets. Ick. )
I loved spending so much time with the sisters here, planning that great meeting for our boys...
Gosh, that was great. I loved how excited we were to find a new way to bring them to the Lord, and how much we enjoyed the torrent of Life that our Lord is. I loved singing to them in that blue-lit room, surrounded by evidence that He is a River of Living Water!
I loved walking to the meeting last night, singing all the way, and not caring what anyone thought of us. Does that stuff make you guys feel like a teenager again? Roaming the streets, laughing and talking? Freedom. It's so beautiful.
I loved reading what Neil wrote on his blog.
I loved it when Bill and I shared that certain smile reserved for parents who are crazy about their kids when we heard Emma's lilting "Good Mornin' Bo!" in the semi-darkness of this morning.
I loved it when I went to bed and slept like a log.
Wait. I haven't done that. Well, that's something to look forward to!
Monday, September 19, 2005
Bill went to a translating engine to see if there was some cool French name for scrapbooking. There wasn't. Unless you want to call yourself a journalist, you do scrapbooking. Both roll off the tongue, eventually, but still require some explaination. In Spanish you could make a libre de recuerdos or you could do scrapbooking. In Italian you could make an album, or you could, once again do scrapbooking.
So thank you, husband dear, but your efforts were futile. We're too new at this to even have a translate-able word!
So I asked Bo. I mean, after all, he came up with "Power Bam" as a super hero, and thought that his soccer team should be called either the "Naked Chickens" or the "Higobamers." He should definitely come up with something great. He said instantly that I should be called "Super Scrapbooker" or "Super Scrapbook Woman." Then he thought for a minute, and said "Well, no one would really like that. It sounds like you're saying "Scrap-booger."
Exactly my point.
Puh-leeze can't we come up with something that doesn't have "crap" or "booger" in the title?!
I know alot of us are moms, and can handle that sort of talk, and I don't think anyone can claim that they are without either one of those two items, but do we want to fly it in our banner?
Not so much.
This shouldn't be hard. After all, a painter paints, a knitter knits, a gardener gardens, and a plumber, uh... plumbs. Yeah. Um...so anyway, a scrapbooker scrapbooks. Yeah, we could just say "artist" I know, I know, but I just can't claim "artist." It's too high!
But it is better than something that sounds like "crapbooger."
Once again, all my Creative Sparklets out there, can't we think of a happy medium?
Can't you think of a happy medium? My well is dry.
For posterity's sake.
Saturday, September 17, 2005
Seriously. I don't have much to say tonight, I just thought it was time to bump down the weighty one below.
I have done number 8, and gosh, I really do like these dares and the fabulous producers of them. I love how they have caught on so well on 2P's and how people are really investing thought and effort into their pages.
I have kept a journal since I got one for my 14th birthday. ( It was one of the ugliest journals you can imagine. It had a cow on a field of blue and white checks on the cover. Not so much.) But I have journalled faithfully ever since. Now that I am scrapping...or WHATEVER we can call it that doesn't sound stupid OR high faluting, I love the fact that I can add art, color and dimention to WORDS. The words matter more to me than anything. My pictures are often terrible, but if the words are right....
I would love to post some fluff, but I don't have the energy, so I'll just leave it with this picture, and perhaps post tommorrow.
I was really excited about this page in the process, and loved those papers together in the LSS, but looking at it now...hmmmm. What do you think? Seriously. I'll take criticism. I'm ready to bump it up a notch.
Oh, and hey. Let's come up with a name for crying out loud!
NOT cropping (might as well call it "crapping" ug.)
Not paper arts.
I like "art journal", but do I like "art journalling?"
What about "Paper, scissors, rock."
I'm at a complete loss. I'll stick with scrapping until I hear something better. Ideas?
Tuesday, September 13, 2005
We saw the police coming down the hall, bearing the stretcher in their midst as if they were the Macy's parade, protecting the mayor's float. There were 6 of them. Six police officers to one prisoner. Don't think we even bothered whispering. We wanted to know who this guy was, and what he did that he needed six armed guards! One of the nurses found out while I was in the supply closet getting the admission kit and towels.
"Sarah. He decapitated his wife."
"Yep. They found him sitting cross-legged on the floor with his wife's head in his lap."
"Are you lying?"
"No, that officer just told me."
"Well, why is he here?"
"His blood sugar dropped, and while they were bringing him here, he was so combative that they had to give him Ativan. " Well, thank God for that. At least he'll be out.
It was a really long walk down that short hall. I had been a nurse for less than a year at this point, still extremely green, and very naive, though I had learned alot in the past six months. Unfortunately, not one of those valuable lessons ever involved "The Care of a Man Who Decapitated His Wife."
I arrived at the door. The police were still all in the room, and as I started to move in, slowly, like a hobbit among these tall, buff, black guards, I could tell that they wanted to clear me out of there, simply from force of habit. "I'm the nurse," I squeaked, sounding every bit as confident as I'm sure I looked, stringy blond hair, stooped shoulders and pale countenance. The forest of security parted with a guarded reverence.
On the bed I saw an asian man, short, stocky, with well groomed hair, lying there in a t-shirt and underwear. He was tied to the bed at the wrists and ankles with police tape and leather restraints. He was covered in blood.
I had a moment. "I need to clean him up." My voice had recovered it's normal low pitch, and I made eye contact with the policeman standing like the North Tower on the side of the bed, indicating to him that he would have to loosen the restraints. "Ma'am, we can't uncuff him." "Well, we've got to get him bathed and in a gown. " He shook his head, and said "Sorry. We can't uncuff him." I sighed and stood for a minute wondering how I was ever going to get this accomplished. I went back out to the nurses station for a pair of sissors, a glucometer, and some sympathetic glances from my teammates. Glances were all I got. No one volunteered to go in there.
I returned to the room, and after checking his blood sugar, which had returned to a safe level, I had to clean him up. But to get his clothes off, I needed to cut them off. I had to cut the underwear off of this dangerous criminal, while surrounded by police officers. It was a surreal moment to say the least. I managed to get him undressed, washed his upper body, and put the gown on him. His hands and feet were brown and crusty from dried blood, where he had strained against his cuffs. I cleaned him in the quiet of the room, when he whispered- "Do you have a knife?" Many, many responses banging at the door of my lips, screaming to reply. I looked up at the South Tower, my eyes wide. "No, sir." was all I said.
I moved down his legs to his feet, and still no one was saying a word. They all stood there watching me. I glanced up at his face. Unreadable. I was fascinated. "Lord, what do you really, I mean really think of this guy? Look at him. He killed his wife...no, he cut off his wife's head! He's the worst of the worst. How do you really see him?" As I glanced down at my hands, I heard the Still Small Voice.
"You are washing My feet."
An audible sob escaped my lips. I knew it was true, and yet it was so unbelieveable, and so wrong somehow! In the midst of the horror of what I'd heard, I was blinded by the revelation of His grace.
He had been this man. He took on all sin at the cross- yes, even this sin, and put it to death. There is nothing that He has not covered by His grace, by His love, by His power. There is nothing that can keep us from Him! Nothing. He loved and wanted even this one! So much so that He covered the man's sin by His own death, knowing there was nothing he could do to redeem himself. He is our Redeemer.
That man might have never known it. I didn't tell him. I hope that someone did, or does if he is still alive. I simply did my job, got him cleaned and passed him to the next nurse. It was enough.
When you are doing it to the least of these, you are doing it to Me.
Friday, September 09, 2005
Had all my errands done early this morning, and had time to pop into Atlanta Bread Co. for a coffee. Emma and I split a cinnamon crunch bagel and a chocolate muffin. We sat in the "high" tables, and Emma said "Mama, doesn't this pwace wook dust beeyootiful fwom up heew?" I couldn't tell, I was too busy looking at her. Some days her eyes are just huge pools of delight. (I'm sure I stole that from George MacDonald, or Christopher Marlowe, or someone of that ilk. But they were.)
She is here kissing me and asking for a snack.
Photo taken in our kitchen mirror. (yes, I said KITCHEN mirror. I did the graffiti, because I get sick of looking at myself doing dishes.)
Wednesday, September 07, 2005
I'm loving these effer dares! Even though the last one was SOOO hard, I felt like I HAD to do it, and it was ok! The latest one was "scrap your superpower." Well, for myself, I feel like that was covered in dare #5, (you ladies know what I'm talkin' about, uh huh!) so I scrapped my family.
We are supers. We watch Incredibles, and we wish we were them. Bill was a serious comic book fan, and is raising one in Bo. I, though I preferred Archie in my younger days, have really enjoyed some of the newer shows/movies and can totally get into that hero/regular joe story. Bo has had an Alter Ego named Power Bam since he was 2 years old. Power Bam has a blue suit, a red cape, and red zip up shoes. He has more powers than you could dream of. He is one cool super hero. Emma is Ballerina Princess Spy, shortened to Princess Spy for spacial reasons, and she has many types of vision....you know....x-ray, night, heat, etc... Bo came up with Night Wolf for Bill, because (I think) he stays up so late. And he thought the name was "totally sweet." No one came up with one for me, so I adopted the one that my nephies gave me years ago. "Hello Nurse." ( Thanks dudes. I knew I could count on you. And I'll never reveal your secret identities, Zachinator and Disgustinator.)
We really got into Smallville for awhile, and decided to give each other super powers. Mine was: "You got hit with some meteor rocks, and you gained the ability to ask for help, and accept it." Bill's was: "You got hit with some meteor rocks, and you gained the ability to take no for an answer." (Don't hate, Bill. It was funny.) Cole, type yours in the comments- I can't remember, but I'm pretty sure it had something to do with "cute!"
So I guess you could say (Yes, Kip, you could say things are getting pretty serious) I really dug this dare! Thanks laydees!
I typed a big long thing here about superheros/hurricaines, and deleted it, because I don't want to get controversial....but I haven't forgotten.
Lord, the Gulf Coast.
PS (I am grateful for your indulgence regarding the overuse of the parentheses in this post.)
Tuesday, September 06, 2005
Sitting here, feeling sick, reflecting on all the major and minor dramas of this past week. (so glad he's outta your life, sweets) Bo's class was sorted into groups today, and he's du-du-du! Gryfindor!! Just kidding. But he does have a Mrs. Mc for reading. Emma missed him alot today...she has a hard time after the weekend...they are very close. A. came over to play after school and it was like having teenagers around. Bo and A. trying to do homework, and Emma talking to A the entire time. The only time Bo doesn't want her around is when he wants some serious lego time, and then he slams the door to her roars of dispair. That usually happens around 7 on a Sunday morning. Very nice.
So what I really wanted to post was this. I am not uber-fond of making my children promise me things----I have a distinct memory of promising my mom when I was 14 that I would NEVER wear eyeliner on the inner part of the lid under my eye, and I hate feeling the twinge each time I break that promise. I was hugging Bo yesterday, and realized that he was growing, and I had not really been seeing him. So I asked him to promise me something. Then I told him, half-way teasing, that I wanted to write it down and have him sign it. We discussed several other topics in the course of our exchange and I heard him say "I don't really care about writing it down." I wasn't sure what that meant, until a wrinkled piece of notebook paper was slapped down in front of me on my desk. After reading it, and discussing the meaning of the word "solemn" (he could read it, he just didn't know what it meant!) he signed with alacrity.
Ain't I the lucky one?
When Mom heard the story she gave a glance at the small girl skitting around the room in efforts to stall our departure from their house and said "I think that's the one you'd better be getting the promise from!"
All in good time, dear, all in good time.