Tag Archives: Hope

5 Course Meal Celebration

Last Friday I took my wife Janet out on the town! A five-course dinner date! I know! Right!?

But we live in the oldest town in Texas, and there’s not a great deal of five star restaurants in Nacogdoches, Texas. So we created our own “fine dining” experience in a mobile, drive around way.

I wrote down twenty restaurants and fast food joints up and down our hometown main drag. Each place was cut to its own little strip, and I put them all in a styrofoam cup that had all 5 courses scribbled on the outside. Janet blindly reached in the cup and pulled the first slip for the first course.

It was Subway. Janet objected. She said Subway had the most expensive drinks in town, so she wanted to go somewhere else. Eventually, she acquiesced, and we ordered one large half and half tea, two straws.

The second course was Bottle Cap Alley for appetizers. A quarter mile drive and we were there, but they didn’t have many choices. Basically, we settled for fried onion rings. Besides, the next course was vegetables, so we could get something healthy then.

The third course drawn, however, was another fast food place, Taco Bueno! My five-course meal deal idea was falling apart.

We had to be creative, but guacamole with fried chips was as close as we could get to vegetables.

The fourth draw for the main course drew a groan from both of us, and then the laughter. Dominos Pizza!

While they made the extra thin crust vegetable pizza, we munched on the chips, guacamole and onion rings. After that, the pizza tasted like saltine crackers with onions and tomato sauce on it.

There’s a bloated, clog up your arteries with grease feeling that was kicking in, but we were committed to a 5 course meal…

Dessert! Should’ve started there! A quick draw from the cup and it was Whataburger, the Texas standard for fast food burgers. It was a no brainer choice!

But ice cream and milkshakes don’t mix with lactose intolerance, and the scrumptious home style cinnamon rolls were 580 calories a piece! We settled on apple pies that were only 200 calories each. Did I mention they were fried?

It was fun though, and totally random! We’ll do it again, but not tonight.

Tonight Janet will be in the hospital.

We’re in Houston. At this very moment, Janet is in surgery to remove cancer from a kidney. She was diagnosed three weeks ago.

I’m scribbling to redirect my emotions, blind my thoughts, dull the heightened awareness that the future has changed.

How much, and to what extent it’s changed, we won’t know until the pathology report comes in next week.

If all goes well, this will be a one and done surgery.

If it goes really, really well, next Friday we’ll be celebrating the 15% chance that the cancer is benign.

That’ll be worth a five course meal for sure!

Dear God

Dear God,

There’s so many things I don’t understand, so I’m writing You hoping You can swoop down and take care of things, at least the questions.

Like, why do kids starve in parts of the world? And why was a child somewhere, probably a lot close than we want to think, abused beyond measure by someone who is supposed to care and love them?

And God, why do you let evil people kill in the name of false gods? And why does it rain like crazy one year, then a drought the next….wouldn’t it be better to just even it out? Continue reading Dear God

INFJ Ramblings

Sometimes, like today, my mind turns without mercy, like a racing heartbeat when you sit still, or a mighty rushing wind on a cloudless, sunny day.

Twisting, turning, churning within, earthquakes of never ending thoughts, thoughts about everything, turn into tsunamis.  Raging waters flow uphill, gather speed on the way to the mountain top, then dribble down the backside of the mind’s mountain.

The depths don’t surrender the issues of thought. Those things taught, bought or caught by the mind don’t go away.  They dawdle, swirling in and out of consciousness, but always there.

It’s not what isn’t. It’s what is. Continue reading INFJ Ramblings

Rainy Days

It’s going to rain all day.  Some say how great that is. Others say it’s horrible.  It’s the same place, same day, almost the same people.

They know each other well, yet their perspectives differ vastly.  It’s not that one’s right, or one’s wrong.  It’s just, different.

For some, rainy days are sad, depressing, maybe even frightening when the wind roars and thunder rolls.

Maybe it’s a psychological reminder of rainy days and storms gone by, yet consequences of those days resonate in the soul.  There were things to do, places to go, plans made, and now, it’s all scrapped onto a rubbish pile while the clouds cry.

Maybe it’s figurative. Maybe the sun is just being lazy, sleeping in and resting in bed all day, occasionally dozing off under the dark, cloudy covers of the sky. Continue reading Rainy Days

A Little Favor

The last thing I wanted was a diversion.  It’d been a long day.

Sure enough, diversion.

As I drove out, he was walking the opposite direction into a cold, 20 mph wind with light drizzling rain.

“Stop. Turn around and give him a ride” was the quiet, still message inside.

My internal response was, “Aww man!”

A quarter mile down the road, I felt bad, so a U-turn and a quarter mile back, I pulled up beside the tall, slender man.

He was probably 55 to 60 years old, carrying a plastic grocery bag in each hand.  His clothes were old and worn, but clean and well cared for.

His head was ducked down, leaning into the frigid wind, and his arms remained close to his sides to try to stay warm while carrying milk in one bag and can goods in the other.

He looked up with a tired, worn expression, but when I asked through my truck window if he wanted a ride, his eyes lit up instantly. Continue reading A Little Favor

    Déjà Vu

She was out of place at the convenience store Subway.  I saw her sit down at a tall bar stool table inside.

She wasn’t eating, but had a small Styrofoam cup of coffee that she wasn’t drinking.

Her silver blue hair was perfect, in every way, and she was wearing her Sunday best dress complete with a little pearl necklace and old fashioned black, block heel dress shoes.

She was tall and slender, and her glasses seemed to be part of her face, like they’d been there for years. Continue reading     Déjà Vu

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

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

Taste an Apple

The callousness of day-to-day activities seem to dwarf moments in life that make it real, alive and special.

If life were an onion, the outer shell is work, chores and all the necessary tasks of living.  The outer, crusty shell of the onion can easily overwhelm the core and inner layers where the best and most treasured memories, events and times are held.

Peel life back layer by layer, day by day, and most days aren’t really appreciated, truly experienced, or even remembered, at least by me. It’s an observation, not a condemnation.

Nature itself seems to place our mind on auto pilot to mindlessly glide through the events of the day.  Continue reading Taste an Apple

Down The Road

The road is icy and what little moonlight there is hides behind deep, dark clouds and ominous sky.  It’s midnight, and although the temperature is below freezing, the harsh, rushing north wind makes it seem colder by the minute.

The wipers swipe the windshield, back and forth, back and forth. Part rain, part snow, part sleet strikes the glass as if it were an all out assault.  The heater blows on high, and even with a coat, gloves and extra socks, nothing keeps up with the bone chilling cold outside.

Like an impending doom, the cold surrounds the body and car trying to overtake both driver and machine to remove all heat, and movement, from both. Continue reading Down The Road