Category Archives: Daughters

HEART OF HOPE (2) – My Daughter’s Transplant Story

“Daddy, they called! They have a heart!!”

(Read Part 1 here)

A new heart!  Renewed hope!!  A chance for Shelby to live a full life!!  It’s exactly what we hoped and prayed for!

But wait!  Wait…

For one to live, someone doesn’t.

Somewhere, a family’s tears flow!  Someplace, loved ones grieve! Somebody is hurting, mourning a tragic loss!

Their hope, it’s gone.

Yet, in the deepest of deep grief, they share. They share life through their loss.

To someone else, some unknown person to them … to Shelby … they pass along a heart, the very beat of life. Continue reading HEART OF HOPE (2) – My Daughter’s Transplant Story

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HEART OF HOPE (1) – My Daughter’s Transplant Story

Phone rings.  3:42 AM.  Never a good call at that time.

I listen, shocked.  Adrenaline rushes.  My fingers tremble on my shirt buttons.

Twelve minutes later in the ER, several people explain that Shelby, my 20 year old daughter, has an enlarged heart that’s only working at 15% capacity.

I can’t get to her.  People everywhere, beside her, in the way. I can’t reach her, and she’s slipping away.

It’s almost ten minutes before I can bend over to see her in the bed, pale.  So pale.  Shallow breathing.  Hands and fingers, blue and cold.

I speak softly, fully understanding I may not ever get to again. “Hey Sweetheart.”

Her eyelids flutter before opening her blue eyes that are there, but slipping.

I see the recognition as she whispers, “Daddy, I don’t want to die.” Continue reading HEART OF HOPE (1) – My Daughter’s Transplant Story

The Other Table

I saw a co-worker and his wife in a social setting.  The man turned to his wife, “Tell Jeff the story you told me.”

Her face lit up as if she remembered something important.  She began a story from the high school cafeteria where my kids went.

She told me about a young man who doesn’t “fit in”.  She said the student being picked on wasn’t popular, struggles in school, and in all reality, is not very socially skilled.  By all accounts, he’s a little odd.  Add it up, and he’s an easy target.

The young man’s primary defense mechanism is to blend in like a social chameleon, then avoid others.  That’s impossible during school days when he would unwilling become the center of attention.  He’d shrink alone, virtually defenseless, and silently absorb any words, jokes or laughter directed his way. Continue reading The Other Table

Coffee House Blues

I have one vice, coffee.

Coffee is God’s special gift!  On the sixth day God made man, but decided he needed help, so God topped creation with an exclamation point, a woman!

But God leaned back tapping His chin thinking just one more something special was needed, so He made the coffee bean.  He sat back and said, “It is good!”  I’m pretty sure that’s how it reads in Genesis.

Anytime, anyplace, anywhere, anyway, coffee is good!

Granted, it’s probably not the best thing for lunch, but occasionally I drive through the local coffee shop window for a cup of life nectar as a lunch substitute.

The tall, skinny guy taking my order had dark hair curling from under his toboggan.  He had a piercing through his eye brow and a tongue stud that clicked when he talked.  He wore a “Save the Whales” t-shirt that was too tight and a big wide belt that had holes riveted all the way around it. Continue reading Coffee House Blues

31 Years, 3 Months, 1 Week, 2 Days

“You’re going to cry when I graduate, aren’t you?”

“Yes. Yes, I am.”

That was enough to satisfy my youngest daughter, Jessica, back in September. She’s the last of my eight children to graduate high school.

She graduated Friday.

We have a few college graduations left, but by and large, the work is done. The time is finished. The investment complete.

I cried, not why she thought I would, but I cried… Continue reading 31 Years, 3 Months, 1 Week, 2 Days

Dance On

She smiled, flashed her big brown eyes open wide in anticipation, before scooting over and asking what I knew she would ask.

“Daddy, will you dance with me?”

Dancing. It terrifies me. On the other hand, I don’t mind looking like a fool on the dance floor because other than a slow dance, I know that’s how I’ll look.

Now my oldest daughter, Shawnna, who was 14 years old at the time, was asking to dance with me at her basketball fund-raiser in the school cafeteria.

There’s only one answer. “Absolutely!”

There were lots of girls there, only a handful of guys, and even fewer fathers.  If you lined all the other males up and rated them from first to last on the dance floor, I would by far be last, dead last.  I didn’t, no wait, I still don’t know how to two-step.

Shawnna is a very kind, observant daughter and knew I would dance, but also knew I didn’t like dancing because quite frankly, I don’t know how.  As if our roles reversed, she smiled, took my hand and said, “Come with me. I’ll teach you.” Continue reading Dance On

Flea Market Flea Bag

Seven years ago, my oldest daughter wanted a little pet.  An inside cat was out of the question.  So was a dog. At least until I had a momentary lapse of sanity.

We went to a flea market to look around. If I’d known how things were about to play out, I would’ve walked right by the old woman sitting under a shade tree selling puppies.

She was selling little breeds. Without hesitation, all four daughters zeroed in like heat seeking missiles to a cage with four puppies, half Chihuahua, half Japanese Chin.

Half Chihuahuas!  God made Chihuahuas as a practical joke on rats. They’re noisy, obnoxious, cranky little animals that on their best day look genetically defective.

These, however, looked like the furry Japanese Chin part. Before I knew it, the heat seeking missiles exploded.  Shawnna was holding the runt of the litter, all nine weeks old, in the palm of her hand talking to it like it was a little baby.

I’m convinced now the old lady selling them set the hook right then. I just didn’t know it right then. Continue reading Flea Market Flea Bag

#Bring Back Rotary Phones

I know it’s unrealistic, politically incorrect, and uncool, but I loathe cell phones.  Lucky people live where there’s no cell service!

Maybe it’d be OK if it was JUST a phone, but it’s a camera, recorder, computer and alarm clock.  There’s more technology in a smart phone than all the systems added together used to send the first man to the moon!  And whoever heard of microchips? Chips are supposed to be made by Lays, not drain the living life out you!

Plus, Europe says it causes cancer!  And then you pay a ton of money for unlimited talk, text and gigabytes of data.  Nobody should be bit by a giga!

Maybe it’s just me?  Maybe if I grew up not knowing anything but internet and cell service, I would fully appreciate cell phones?

Nope!

In my old-fashioned, decrepit way of thinking, cell phones are like Congress: you get a lot of talk, end up paying a lot and get virtually no return on investment!  (Virtually…see how I snuck in tech word there?  No wait, it’s virtual. Nevermind.) Continue reading #Bring Back Rotary Phones

Yella One!

I had a car full — all four daughters and wondering wonder why I never remembered ear plugs for a road trip.

There was a noise lull, which is usually a sign something’s about to happen.  I was obliviously enjoying the semi-peaceful, kinda quiet moment, when a screeching, high-pitched voice shrieks, “Yella one!!!”  Then she hit me in the arm, frogged me right in the muscle!

Being the strong, hard as a rock muscles, manly man that I am, I whimpered, “Ouuuuuuch!”

Wincing in pain I rubbed the muscle while bent over the steering wheel like an assignation victim.

“What did ya do that for!?” Continue reading Yella One!

Cobalt Didn’t Listen

~~I was driving and a bluebird flew into my windshield today.  Feathers went everywhere as the little guy toppled lifelessly in the road behind me.  I feel terrible about it.

I think it went down like this:~~

Several months ago, Mr. and Mrs. Bluebird worked daylight to dusk to build a nest.  Mr. Bluebird made sure the structure was strong enough for a brood of growing, rowdy chicks, while Mrs. Bluebird was sensational at finding just the right lining to keep her chicks comfortable.

Once the eggs were laid, Mrs. Bluebird took a two-week sabbatical to sit and keep the eggs warm.

When hatching day finally arrived, each egg started shaking within hours of each other.  From inside the shell, each hatchling broke loose and used all of its energy to escape the hard shell.  After breaking free, each hatching laid wet, exhausted and gasping for air. Continue reading Cobalt Didn’t Listen