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 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
Slowly walking with my four daughters through the Houston Galleria, we passed a Zale’s jewelry store.
I’m not sure who first noticed the couple inside, but they quickly captured our attention. The couple was looking at rings, and because they were trying them on her left ring finger, we assume it was a wedding ring.
The guy wore flip flops, blue jean shorts and a nice sleeveless t-shirt showing off his well developed muscles. His hair was stylishly combed straight down on all sides.
She wore a cream colored sun dress with sandals, and her flowing brown hair was curled on the ends.
Everything about this couple was normal, except they were midgets.
Continue reading It Just Seems Right
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
A couple of weeks ago on a road up Mt. Ranier in Washington state, our group stopped at a roadside area. We explored and found a waterfall that draws you in like a bee to nectar.
Nature’s charm began to mesmerize me from mind to the deepest part of the soul.
No thoughts. No worries. No concerns.
Roaring water sang a magical tune that dropped its spell over the heart. Rushing water crashing on rocks below washed the present away to expose a taste of eternity.
For two minutes in a public place I was hypnotized in a private world for what seemed two hours. No one was around, but people were everywhere. Continue reading A Peace in a Piece of Water
I bought a bust on clearance at Hobby Lobby. At 90% off I snatched the last one up like a large mouth bass after a Carolina rig.
It wasn’t until I got home that I realized my new purchase was damaged at the shoulder. In fact, it had a really big hole in it. At first I started to leave it like it was because looking straight at it, you couldn’t see anything wrong. But turn it ever so slightly, and there was the gaping hole.
With a little bit of plastic cement and some poor, ragged patchwork, the hole was fixed, even though it’s obvious it’s been repaired. After a couple of coats of spray paint, it was all the same color and not as blaringly obvious.
Now it’s on my desk in our home office. The pleasant, gently smiling woman looks like all is good, but on close examination, there’s “patchwork” hidden in plain sight. Continue reading People Patchwork
As a boy I couldn’t wait to get up before the crack of dawn. My Dad and I had a spot we fished about an hour’s drive away and the best time to get there was at dawn’s early light.
He had snacks and peanut butter sandwiches ready. I’d ride shotgun in the old pickup held together by rust and bondo. About the time the sun rose, we’d get to the lake.
Crappie, that’s what we were fishing for, and when they were spawning, we were certain to catch them.
Carefully hooking a live minnow in the back with a big gold rim hook, we’d drop 4 or 5 cane poles and couple of rod and reels.
Looking back, I realize I’d bait the first line I dropped in, but after that, Dad patiently rigged up the rest so I could fish right away. Continue reading Riding Shotgun
I, like you, feel deep compassion for the people of Santa Fe, and every other school, movie theatre, club, church and public location that has experienced a mass murder.
What to do? What do we do?
Well meaning people are now looking to, in fact, clamoring for the government to “fix” the problem and solve the dilemma. People are demanding legislation for sentences for “hate crimes”, creating programs to treat mental illness, gun control restrictions and regulating behaviors.
In my simple mind, it’s a paradox. It seems common sense that after planting plum trees, you get plums. You get the fruit of what you plant.
Stay with me.
Continue reading It’s Always Been About The Heart
Sometimes pictures get me. It sounds silly. Maybe it is. But sometimes, a picture hits me in my core, cutting, ripping, tearing away at soul and sinew.
Some pictures, some stories haunt me as assuredly as a ghost in a graveyard. I can’t sleep without it popping into my dreams. I can’t concentrate without it popping into conscious thought.
This picture sticks with me like a chain around the heart:
Continue reading Help This Boy