Posts Tagged ‘Gratitude’

Ode to Fix-it Man

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

Okay, I confess. I am helpless when it comes to a lot of things. Computer acting funny? Car wonít start? Washing machine on the fritz? Donít call me, I wonít have a clue.

Thatís why I consider myself fortunate my husband is so handy. During the day he masquerades as a mild-mannered software engineer. But on evenings and weekends he transforms into the caped crusader, protector of our humble householdóFix-it Man!

Fix-it Man has been unusually busy this past week. The truck needed a new battery. The Saturn had three, yes three, things that needed fixing. The bathroom scale quit working. A sink was stopped up. The lights above the stove went out. Scary virus messages popped up on the computer. And the snow blower wheel broke off.

They are all fixed now. Itís nice being married to a super-hero!

Cancer Free: A Miracle

Friday, December 3rd, 2010

Claudia is cancer free! When the doctor talked to the family after the surgery, he told us that he was pretty sure all of the cancer was contained in the ovaries he removed, but he took numerous biopsies to have checked to be sure. He actually took a total of 18 biopsies. The results came back today. Not only were these all negative ñ the mass that was removed was also negative. It was a rare type of tumor which had grown to a size larger than a grapefruit and had exhibited some characteristics similar to those of cancer. But the results are complete. No cancer. No chemo.

I also think personally that we have just seen the effects of the power of prayer. We donít know how many people offered up prayers, but a teacher at the school where Claudia had been secretary for the past ten years or so told Denae that 20 school staff members managed to find coverage for their classes and duties and gathered to pray together at 2:00 on Tuesday ñ the time the surgery was scheduled to begin.

Claudia was having a difficult recovery the past couple of days ñ possibly because of the threat of chemo hanging over her. When the doctor told her the results, she got out of bed and went home. ìI donít have cancer. I donít need to be in hospital.î She did have surgery and a large incision, so she will need rest and recovery, but the news obviously gave her strength.

Thanks to all of you for your prayers and your concern.

Take a StandóBe CourageousóHelp Others

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

His mother died when he was five and then the sister, who he counted on as a mother, died. He grew up on the streets of San Francisco, raised by the World War II veterans who managed the local YMCA. The speaker was Gus Lee, a first generation Chinese man who served in our Armed Forces.

I was hooked. See, he had already explained more than I have ever ìlivedî in his opening words. However, his next thoughts completely floored me as he†continued to describe†how†the home village in China was taken over, the country swarmed by over a million invaders--all determined to commit genocide and re-establish a different government. So his parents began the ëspectacular adventureí of immigrating to the US.

He reminded the NoCoNet audience of over 250 job seekers that very few of us came here on a first class ticket. Most of our ancestors were fleeing impossible odds and running to the only place that would take them.

How true. My ancestors were Irish/Welsh immigrants, poor working class folks who settled in the South, along the Mississippi River Delta of LA. My grandfathers were iron workers. black smiths and mule skinners for the logging company. Every day my dad put on his uniform and went into the city to work; he hung glass in the skyscrapers and was proud of his job.

Gus Lee reminded me that I only need another job. Nothing more. Not a new country. I do not have to run for my life. My children do not go hungry every night; they have both parents and a warm, safe house to sleep in. Nothing about this economic downturn is anything like what any of these brave immigrant†people endured.

I became keenly aware that all anyone in the room needed was the next job. I felt humbled, expanded, rejuvenated with a healthier perspective. And, then he explained that courage is part of character and you can let fear erode your character or stand up and be intentional about who you are and what you are all about. He said you can show your family fear or courage in the midst of travesty. It is a personal choice and a soul quest.

Upon reflection, few things really shake up in my blessed life in Loveland, CO.

But the earth did shake and broke open in Haiti and the world fell down on all those people. Till I get another job, I have a job to do. I am helping at the warehouse of H.E.L.P. International in Loveland, CO. check out,com_frontpage/Itemid,1/You can help, too.

Stay courageous, persevere. Help others all you can. You can learn more about Gus Lee and Character.FtCollins at

Life is Good

Friday, January 1st, 2010

Sometimes I think about the woman who lived in my house when it was built in 1897. One hundred and thirteen years ago, my house sported state-of-the-art dead air space insulation and single-paned windows. The first winter we lived here, when we were just starting our renovations, the temperature dipped into the 40ís in our bedrooms at night. And that was with a gas forced-air furnace! How cold would it have gotten with only wood and coal for heat?

Not only that, but she had no hot running water. No microwave. No dishwasher. No washer and dryer. No electric lights at the flick of a switch. The woman who lived in my house in 1897 would have used an outhouse, and it wasnít stocked with 3-ply Charmin.

If this woman wanted chicken for dinner, she didnít hop in her car and tootle over to the grocery store for a bag of individually frozen chicken breasts like I do. No, she took an axe to the chicken house and killed her own. Then she had to pluck it before she could cook it. She didnít buy her milk in gallon containers and she couldnít eat fresh strawberries in December.

You can say what you want about the state of the world we live in today, but Iím thinking maybe we donít have it so bad here in 2010. I resolve to think more often of the woman whose life was so different from mine even though we both†spent years within the same four walls; to not take my blessings for granted and cut out the complaining. Good grief, I have an electric blanket and donít have to haul water or kill chickens. Life is good!

The Perspective Elephant

Sunday, December 6th, 2009

It is the holidays....

I am thinking about what I'm thankful for....

I am thankful for my support who stop in and read what we are up to; provide support and well wishes. Thankful for seizure meds and the ketogenic diet. Thankful that we live during a time that can provide medical care for Samantha.

But this year I am especially thankful for a little perspective.

Three years ago, around Thanksgiving time it became clear to me that Samantha wasn't progressing the way a baby should. But I didn't talk about it. In fact no one really talked about it, not even Samantha's doctor....

"Place her on her tummy more often and up her calories in the formula." Doctor's advice...

Oh well she's fine...just needs a little more tummy time....that's what the doctor said.

So the holiday season was spent placing Samantha on her tummy as much as possible and trying to convince myself that everything was fine. I never really talked about how scared I was....scared that Samantha wasn't 'right' scared that something could be wrong with my child. Terrified that our lives would be different from what we expected.

It was the big, stinky elephant in the room.

No one talked about the elephant.

Elephant's take up a lot of takes a lot of energy to not acknowledge the elephant.

It was a crappy way to spend the holidays.

This year I am grateful for the fact that we know our lives are different and we don't pretend otherwise. I am grateful that we don't have to relive that first, uncertain year.

The silent elephant moved out as soon as we acknowledged that she was indeed in the room and there was indeed an issue...something about moving onto another family who needed a big, obvious, pachyderm

This was good because elephants eat a lot.

Happy Holidays