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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

When one least expects it...

Bunny, our constant companion
in those dark days. 

Many years ago, I was sitting in a hospital room with my youngest child, he was almost three years old. He had recently (as in the day before)  been diagnosed with cancer.  It had been a sudden transition from a cheerful cherub of a child into a club we were not very interested in joining.

It was a four bed ward, the other three children, of various ages and degree of illness, were all asleep and I was the only parent able to be there (a gift in itself). I waffled between feeling as though a ton of bricks were on my chest to telling myself this was not happening.

 In the darkness of that night, I watched over my child as well as these other sick babies. and prayed. The night nurse was an older woman. From all appearances she was dissatisfied, whether it was from her life or what, I did not know. There was no attempt to do her tasks without waking the children or to give any comfort. While I felt empathy for her, as I would not like working the night shift, I was also concerned that these poor sick babies get as much sleep as possible before another day dawned bringing, in some cases, surgery or in other, more tests.

Read this one A LOT!
During the day shift, the nurse that took care of my boy, was named David. He was extremely kind and my son felt comfortable with his care, which was not the case with any of the other nurses, though they certainly were very helpful.

I said in passing to David, "I wish you were going to be here later to do the various pre-op things that needed to be done as you are so good with him." No more was said about it and the day progressed with scans and blood tests and parades of doctors coming through to examine our boy, one more time, before the next day's surgery.

Soon or not so soon, David's shift ended and the evening shift started, the poor woman that was so tired of her job signed in. I sighed a small sigh inside and read another story (Just Shopping with Mom) to these four very sick children, making sure to walk around to each bed to allow them to examine the pictures more closely, while dreading the various tasks ahead for the night.

As I watched the clock heading towards eight pm, knowing that was when all of the "fun" was to begin, in walked David.

The tears welled up in my eyes, the first I allowed my self to shed since this odyssey had begun, and choked out, "Thank you."

David merely looked at me and said, "I wasn't doing much tonight, so I thought I would come and help. I arranged my schedule for tomorrow so that I will be there when the little fellow comes out of surgery, so he won't be scared in such a new place."

What we give each other has so little to do with things, but everything to do with our hearts and our time. 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Weather out side is frightful (to be sung)

View at the Alison Inn, Newberg, Oregon 

Last week I was in sunny Portland, that is right SUNNY Portland. It was about 60 degrees everyday and all everyone said to us was, sorry it is so cold. but at least it is not raining.

I had to laugh. I am from north of Chicago, near Lake Michigan. As I write this, the wind is blowing and the snow is falling and I am happy. I have always loved winter. Which is a very good thing as it is the climate I live in. I suppose I could hate it, but what would be the point?  I am a firm believer in making the best of what you have. Which brings me to another point.

Snowy Illinois, sticking contrast, I know!

Using what I have. Whether it is the ingredients in my kitchen cupboards, refrigerator or freezer or items in my studio, for sewing, painting, and a million other supplies,  I want to use them all up!  I want to bake, cook, sew, create with all of these supplies  until there are not any left.  I almost feel like it is the finish line, kind of like O. Henry's story, The Last Leaf*...but not quite.

So today, after I finish writing this post, I am going to continue on my quest to bake and cook "down the cupboards" and think of ways to use up all of my supplies and treasures in my studio. This way when spring comes, all of the cobwebs will be gone and the spring cleaning will have already been accomplished.

Maybe. Time will tell, I may get side tracked and just read a book by the fire. As one of my sister-in-laws once said: " the only consistent thing about us, is that we are rarely consistent!"

* For those of you that are not familiar with this particular story, it goes something like this: the main character is sick and thinks  that when the last leaf falls off the tree outside their window, they will die. Some ingenious person paint leaves and fakes the main character out. Mind you, this is a very loose synopsis. Read it for yourself. I highly recommend it.