Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Who are you?

Don't worry. This is not one of those year in review things. I promise.

A few weeks ago, there was a thing going around on Facebook where people were assigned numbers and asked to tell x number of things about themselves. I read a number of these and was surprised at the number of them that made me sad. 

Several people focused solely on their achievements. Now, there is nothing actually wrong with this. We all need to toot our own horns occasionally. But, I found it sad when that was almost ALL of what a person put on his or her lists. Jobs can be lost. Illness can take away one's ability to work steadily. Even great achievements are eventually forgotten. I would encourage folks to look at WHO they are and not just WHAT they do. Are they loyal? Thoughtful? Brave? Food for thought. And harder to do than one might think. 

Who are you?






 

Monday, December 23, 2013

When Christmas is "Not so Merry."

Every Christmas I try to take some time out to think of, pray for, or otherwise support my friends who are not feeling so merry this holiday season.

Christmas can be a magical, happy time. But, just as often, it seems, Christmas can be a time of loneliness, despair, and sadness. There are often increased attempts (both successful and unsuccessful) at suicide near Christmas. As a former counselor in public mental health, I can vouch for this.

Christmas might not have been a easy time for some people growing up. Alcoholics tend to use more alcohol. Drug addicts more drugs. Substance abuse can make Christmas a more of a war zone than a celebration.

Depression also takes hold during the Christmas season. Single parents struggle because they can't give their children all they want them to have during this season. The newly bereaved or divorced can feel particularly isolated. People who lost loved ones near Christmas have feelings forever tinged with sadness.

Old family rivalries and disagreements can rear their heads during the emotional settings of Christmas time. Expectations can be too high. Uncle Joe and Aunt Patty aren't suddenly going to be able to stay in the same room together, just because it's Christmas.

Christmas may not be YOUR time of year, and that is OK. You are not alone. And you are not "strange." Sometimes you just do what it takes to survive and move on. There is no shame in that survival.

But none of this will stop me from praying for just a glimmer of joy, somewhere, in everyone's Christmas.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Christmas Friends

Most people have different types of friends. There are the "acquaintance" friends that we see in the grocery store and say hello to. There are the "fair weather" friends who disappear when things are not going well, but miraculously back when life is better. I even have a couple of "bad news" friends. The only time I hear directly from them is when something drastic is happening. I am blessed to have many, many "thick or thin" friends who are there for me no matter what.

Then, in my family's case, there were the "Christmas friends." When my mother did not wake up on Christmas morning and was taken by ambulance to Vicksburg Hospital, these Christmas friends came out in force. There were so many people there that we had to spill out of the tiny ICU waiting room and into the other hospital waiting areas. Don and Juanita Houston, David and Trudy Gunter, Doug and Marilyn Boone, Janis and Bob LaGrone, and others took time away from their families to sit with us. I remember the Gunters taking me home hours after midnight. Spending Christmas in an ICU waiting room is a pretty major gift of love. One that was never taken lightly, and one that will never be forgotten.


Friday, December 13, 2013

Prayer Requests

When it comes to things like fairly major surgery, I am not bashful when it comes to asking for prayers. My faith in the power of prayer is unshakable. I know "dead" people who are still alive against all odds. I am a realist, but the power of prayer is clear in every aspect of my life.

Please feel free to put me on any prayer lists or chains if you wish to. I am not shy about asking for this vital link to the power of the Great Physician. 

My asthma and congenital myopathy will make a brief stay in Intensive Care necessary. This actually makes me feel better, knowing that I will be more closely monitored for any spikes in blood pressure or respiratory distress. 

I would not be totally truthful if I said I had absolutely no worries about this upcoming hip replacement. But, I receive peace from the prayers of supportive friends and family who have been praying for calm and lack of fear for me. 

Prayers for the patience of my husband will also be appreciated. This kind of thing can be pretty exhausting for the caregiver as well. And I am the most patient of patients! 

And, of course, I will be praying on my own behalf and for those who will be taking care of me. 

Prayers. Keep 'em coming!
 

Monday, December 09, 2013

Dr. David

"Dr. David" became part of my life when I was a child. We had moved to Vicksburg from Port Gibson and my mother joined the Newcomer's Club. Dr. David's wife "Miss Trudy" was a member of that club. She and Mama became friends, and, by extension, Dr. David and their 3 children, April, Angie, and Tony. 

Dr. David was our vet. He took care of our succession of Toy Pomeranian dogs when I was growing up. I believed that he could fix anything. When our first Pom was run over, I remember crying and begging my Daddy to take Taffy to Dr. David. I just knew that if anyone could help her, it was him. Alas, it was too late for Taffy, but Dr. David took good care of  her successors, Pom Pom, Brandy, and Bonnie, for years afterward. 

After Bill and I married and bought our first home, Dr. David called us. He had  Yorkie there that the owner was wanting to put to sleep because it had grown too big to breed with her smaller female. Were we interested? Definitely! We picked up Duffy that day. Dr. David had to operate on Duffy more than once for mishaps suffered in scuffles with much larger dogs, but he always pulled that dog through. Dr. David even took Duffy home for the night after one surgery to check on him through the night. I think his optimistic attitude had as much to do with Duffy's recoveries as his skills did. 

I have always admired Dr. David as a Christian. Unlike many 'Christians", Dr. David doesn't just "talk the talk." He truly "walks the walk." When Bill was diagnosed with cancer last Spring, Dr. David was one of the very few people he wanted to talk to. 

Dr. David has been diagnosed with metastatic melanoma. I know that attitude plays a big part in dealing with cancer. If anyone can beat this, Dr. David can. I am praying without ceasing for this precious man's safe travels to MD Anderson, his treatment, and his recovery.