Category Archives: Health

I Very, Very Happy

A man at work was diagnosed with cancer in a salivary gland.  After extensive testing, the course of treatment was surgery to remove the gland followed by radiation. He was to be back at work in four to five weeks.  Unfortunately, the cancer had metastasized and spread into his jaw bone.  A 2 hour surgery turned into 14.

When he woke, he had a new jaw on one side constructed from grafted bone from his femur.  The cancer had not spread to his brain, thank goodness.  Instead of localized radiation though, he began six weeks of intensive chemotherapy.  He caught pneumonia because his resistance was down and struggled daily, but after being off work over four months, returned, cancer free. Continue reading I Very, Very Happy

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The Baby Dies

When my oldest son was 4 years old, we were on our way to “Life Chain”, a pro-life activity where everyone stood silently holding signs along the business route in support of life.  There were hundreds of people participating and the silence was, in and of itself, peaceful.

What I remember the most, however, was the drive.  Blake sat next to me and asked where we were going.  Thinking a short answer would suffice, I told him it was to support babies who hadn’t been born.  As kids will do, he filled his logic train by peppering me with, “Why?” over and over.

Honestly, I didn’t want him to know about abortion, but after answering a couple of questions vaguely, I let the word “abortion” slip out. He zeroed in like a heat seeking missile. Continue reading The Baby Dies

Laughter in the Mind

Somewhere in the forest of the mind, echoing between growth rings of the trees, laughter is held captive.

Over time it dies, or at least settles in the hard wood, and many don’t really remember laughter at all.  We remember moments, the freedom, the feeling, not the laugh itself.

Laughter bubbles up from fresh water wells that runs deep in the soul. It spills over, runs across the ground, even the stony parts of the heart.  If there is enough joy, the water rises soaking even the high, arid places of the heart allowing lush green fields of Spring grass to once again grow.

In its sincerest form, laughter is kind and gentle. It happens when the heart is full, safe, secure.

It’s the kind of laughter children have when wrestling the family pet, and to their delight, the dog plays back.   It’s baby laughter when they first become old enough to respond to silly faces that cause hysterical laughter.  It’s a toddler’s uncontrollable belly laugh in a fullness and purity that we adults often crave to experience again. Continue reading Laughter in the Mind

All I Want For Christmas

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For peace.

For things to slow down.

For batteries not to run out in toys.

For salad and Whataburger pancakes.

For a hungry child to fill his stomach full.

For lonely widows to have someone to talk to.

For all the unwanted children in the womb to live.

For my own children to be happy, successful and fulfilled.

For the person with cancer to have a cure, if only that be hope.

For laughter that brings tears to the eyes and snorts to the nose.

For a little boy, with his dog beside him, to shoot a bull’s eye with his BB gun.

For abused children not to be afraid of what’s under the bed, or who’s around it.

For adults to have more fun playing with the box instead of the gift inside.

For once actually getting in the fastest checkout line at Walmart.

For people to love on Monday like they say they do on Sunday.

For God to admit that His practical joke on the world was cats.

For workers at nursing homes to be extra nice and careful.

For just an hour of conversation again with my dad.

For the ability to write something significant.

For the soldier to sleep through the night.

For unemployed to feel worth.

For a kind word.

For peace.

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Again

Asleep.

3:38 AM.

Phone call.

Disbelief.

No!! Again, poem

Adrenalin.

Rambling words.

Panicked thoughts.

Drive.

Get it together.

Just facts, please.

Numb.

Please, God!

Hope.

Crushed hope.

Be strong.

More facts.

Anger.

Wait.

Honest words.

Prognosis.

Asleep? Nightmare??

Pinch hand. Bite lip.

Real. Surreal, but real.

Again story
Herod’s pool, Caesarea, Israel on Mediterranean Sea

Sorrow.

Why, God, why?!!

Sterile environment.

Head in hands.

Tear on floor.

Would switch places.

How?

Oh, God! Oh…God…

Resolve.

Forward.

Never the same.

New normal.

 

Catching Wind….in a Hurricane!

Hurricane Rita was going to blow in a few hours later and I was shutting down the hatch.  My four sons helped and I was about through when I walked in on them in the garage.  They looked guilty. Figures.

I was hurrying so I didn’t ask why they had a life jacket, rope and a new 8’ x 10’ vinyl tarp.  I should’ve done a mental stop, drop and roll, but there were just bigger fish to fry.  Besides, the next day I’d find out during the peak of the hurricane.

Ever since they were little, Blake, the oldest, has come up with ideas for his younger brothers to try.  Jared, the second born would usually pass on the idea, but instead encourage Todd, the third son, to try some scattered brain idea.

Sometimes Todd volunteered. Sometimes they talked him into it. Sometimes he was blackmailed into some wild, half-baked scheme, most of which (surprise, surprise) dealt with some sort of danger or peril.

Regardless how outlandish, or in this case, hazardous it might be, Todd usually tried their brain cramp scams.

Blake had an idea — a homemade parachute, powered by hurricane winds, to make Todd go airborne! Continue reading Catching Wind….in a Hurricane!

Dirt Road Drive

It’ll be dark in an hour. I jump in the pickup and start driving aimlessly in the country. After a sweltering hot day, it’s cool.  With both windows rolled down, it feels like heaven on earth air conditioning.

Smells of a freshly cut grass, honey suckle patches on fence rows and the scent of distant rain clouds permeate the air.  Red dust flies up behind the truck. It envelops the branches of the trees looking like a Picasso painting in the rearview mirror.

A little further down a pickup pulling a trailer is in a field being loaded with hay bales from last week’s cutting.  Just past that is a house where a boy rides his bike in a big circle over and over. He finally gathers his courage to take another shot to go airborne off the ramp he made from two 5-gallon buckets and a stiff piece of plywood.

It’s the South. It’s the country. It’s rural living.  It’s a culture where most folks like a slower pace of life, and not being crowded in at the gills by neighbors. Continue reading Dirt Road Drive

The Talons of Depression

I used to work in the mental health field as a Licensed Professional Counselor.  With that said, I’ve talked to a lot of people who suffer from depression and, in fact, have been depressed before myself.  To say it is difficult is a vast understatement.  Statistics show that 10.4% of all physician office visits have depression indicated on the medical record. With that in mind, here’s my best shot to describe depression –

Depression is having cold feet in the summer, and sweating under your coat in winter.

You used to raise your hands to praise to God, but now, getting them high enough to scratch your ear is hard.

You smile, shine your package, wrap your heart under brightly colored wrapping paper, but the contents are broken, crushed, spilling out.

You don’t know why. Not really.

You question.

Faith wavers.

Hope despairs. Continue reading The Talons of Depression

Mama of King Smoothie

I just wanted a smoothie, that’s all! A simple smoothie, in and out, no big deal.

Last week two college girls were working the Smoothie King counter. After staring mindlessly at the order board, I finally asked what the best tasting, healthiest smoothie was.

She immediately said her favorite smoothie was loaded with vitamins, fruit and called the Pre-Mama.

She was right! It was great!

Friday two college guys were working.  They were polar opposites. One was huge and tall; the other short and small, leprochaun size really.  I wanted to catch the hyper little guy and demand he take me to his hidden a pot of gold!

A lady was ordering in front of me.  The big guy taking her order had on a T-shirt at least a size too small, plus he had no, absolutely zero, enthusiasm.  Undertakers at funerals have more enthusiasm! Continue reading Mama of King Smoothie

Lunch Time Workout

It started with well meaning insults. I called him Fat Lard — he asked when my baby was due. It wouldn’t have mattered much except we were at work having cake and ice cream for a co-worker’s birthday.

I fell for it when he asked if I was losing weight. “I don’t think so”, I said suspiciously wiping ice cream from the corner of my mouth.  “I don’t think so either!!” he proudly rebuffed.  That made the guy sitting between us laugh so hard ice cream came out his nose.

Another co-worker, a skinny, hard belly, in shape little snot, talked about how we ought to come build fence with him over the weekend so we’d lose weight. He smiled as big as a con man at a senior citizen’s home when he proclaimed he wouldn’t even charge us a gym fee. We both ignored the loudmouth and chalked up his demeanor and hard stomach to a bad case of pin worms. Continue reading Lunch Time Workout