Archive for November, 2010

If You Have No Proof, Then Let It Be True

Friday, November 26th, 2010

Talking to a child is a curious thing

You look into their eyes and there is a trust and a faith that is unspoken

When you speak of Santa Claus their eyes light up

The tooth fairy is brought to mind because of a boy with a space in his mouth where a tooth had lived for the last eight years,

†You ponder

There is hope and awe for any future riches that will come to them by simply wrapping up their white treasure in tissue and placing it beneath their pillow

Then, the next morning it turns into solid cash

When a child tells me that his mother is the tooth fairy I have to question it

Because the tooth fairy exists for anyone who still believes in her

But when a child insists that his mother is the tooth fairy, because she says so

†I tell them, how, when I little, a long time ago, I wrapped up my own tooth, in a couple of toilet paper sheets. Then I stuffed it beneath my pillow until the next morning when it changed into a dime

It was magic

After saying that I could see a smile and a bit of doubt coupled with hope, pop into his eyes

Since this small vulnerable child, has no proof and if they have never caught anyone exchanging their tooth for money, then why not let it be true

Cancer Catches Us Unaware

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

Iím looking out my windows at the gorgeous orange hues reflecting off the mountains as the sun rises and another day dawns. My scattered thoughts come together into one huge unanswerable question. ìHow can this be?î The title of a YA book I read years ago keeps appearing in my mind. Life. Is. Not. Fair.

My sister-in-law, Claudia, Dennisís wife, has been diagnosed with Stage III Ovarian Cancer. She is undergoing biopsy surgery now ñ as I am writing this. The ìgood newsî will be if the cancer is contained in the ovaries and can be surgically removed. This would, of course, be followed with months of chemo and radiation. The ìbad newsî would be that it is Stage IV meaning it has spread to vital organs inside her body. In that case, there would be no surgery and they would try to keep her comfortable and out of pain for the next couple of months.

Claudia recently celebrated her 55th birthday and retired after serving over twenty years as a middle school librarian in Jefferson County School District. She has been looking forward to a much deserved rest ñ but in the meantime, she has continued to care for her mother who has had breast cancer for more than ten years. Claudia has been there for several bouts of chemo and radiation with Alice who is now in hospice care in her own home. Claudia and Dennis and Denae are the primary care providers.

Why are memories rushing in? The most significant is my trip to Disney World with Claudia and Erica to visit Denae who was working there as a ìcast memberî. Claudia is an organizer. She arranged for our hotel rooms, our meals, our entertainment. I just went along and enjoyed. I did introduce the girls to valet parking when we went out to high tea, however.

Several years ago Linda and I traveled to Durango for Ericaís graduation from massage therapy school. Once again, Claudia had taken care of all the arrangements for our stay and the celebration.

There are many other memories ñ meeting Claudia at the Thompson Valley High School field to watch her son Jonathan in band competitions, stories told with Claudiaís dry sense of humor, family get togethers Ö.

Please join me in prayers for this family ñ Claudia, Dennis, Denae, Erica, and Jonathan.

Eyes Wide Shut

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

When my husbandís health problems escalated to where he needed intensive medical care, a friend suggested he contact the Veteransí Administration.

ìAs a U. S. Navy Vet,î he said, ìyou should be eligible for health related benefits.î

Eddie inquired, and indeed discovered that because of his military experience he qualified for a basically cost free health program. One that provided an array of medical services, which, because of his personal needs, turned out to be extensive.

On several occasions, Eddie had to undergo high tech diagnostic testing and treatment that led to specialized medications to operations. He also needed follow-up well-care visits and numerous, lengthy hospital stays. Along with these services he encountered countless skilled and compassionate doctors, nurses, specialists and a highly trained general staffóevery one unique and unforgettable.

In addition, he made and cultivated friendships with other servicemen with their own physical difficulties, some of which seemed far worse then his; at least to me.

During the first few visits to the V.A. Hospital, I must admit to being overwhelmed, embarrassed and frightened at the sights I encountered. It was here, my eyes were opened and I became exposed to the effects of war on both men and women of all ages in a way I had never could have anticipated or imagined.

Now I thought I was as patriotic as the next person was. Didnít I sing the patriotic songs and praise the vets for their efforts? Didnít I send donations to the appropriate organizations and attend local parades to honor our soldiers? Didnít I hang my flag out to acknowledge them on Veterans Day and Memorial Day and wear handmade trinkets to show my support?

Yet nothing prepared me for the experience of being in the company of so many who had gone through so much.

I felt humbled by my lack of real world knowledge and the obvious ignorance I held about the veteranís who served our country. I questioned what those of us, and I believe that statistic is high, are not truly aware of what they experience for our benefit.

History ìteachesî us about cause, effect and outcome of war. Television and specialized websites show us the weaponry, destruction, and fatal statistics. News media personalities and politicians analyze the pros and cons of war.

Yet what we donít see, hear or learn much about is the human experience of those who actually do the fighting, how soldiers are affected, how the aftermath changes their lives.

Old-timers from World War ll and Korea, my contemporaries from Vietnam and the youngsters from the Gulf War at the Denver, CO and Cheyenne, WY V.A. Hospitals opened my eyes to a different world; one I never realized existed is such a significant abundance.

The dramatic impact of wheel chair bound vets; single-limb and multiple-limb amputees and long-term bedridden patients whose ailments are not obvious struck an unsuspecting emotional response. I never knewÖ

And those who lost lifeís luster and wander in search of themselves their dreams and the life they once knew, jolted my sense of appreciation for life. I never really knewÖ

Most of these Vets were not ranked as heroes. They were instead regarded as victims of a tragedy during war maneuvers.

Becoming part of this world showed me exactly how little I actually knew of the consequences of war and the sacrifices others gave and suffered for a freedom I took for granted. Itís then I realized how much I didnít understand the far-reaching effects on, not only them, but upon their families and friends. Itís then I realized that despite how their ailments came about, they were, indeed, all heroes who served our country because they believed their efforts would impact the worldÖmake it better place in which we could all live.

I'm thankful for my husbandís care, having my eyes opened, being filled with a profound gratitude for every vetís service to our country. I also have a deeper respect and sense of the meaning of veteran, patriotism, freedom and making the world a better place in which to liveÖone day, one action, one person at a time.

Great Migrations

Saturday, November 6th, 2010

Check this out! Whenever I think I can't get through hard times, or things don't make sense around me, I remember these amazing animals. And they do these incredible journeys, full of drama and purpose,† every day of every year. Life does makes sense -- at some cosmic level, there is amazing purpose and design and always, incredible adventures.

It is all right here for us to remember and believe.

Tune in Sunday night, but you can check out the preview here.