She Came to Believe

She came bounding into the room, “Why is the car running outside and why is the door open?” It wasn’t until she saw her mother bent over the sweaty body of her step-father that all the color left her face.

“What’s wrong!” she screamed.

He was panting. Breathing hard. Flat on his back, having fallen there after momentarily losing his balance. Sweat ran down like a faucet. His extended belly looked bigger as he lay there, strangely positioned at an angle between the sofa and the wall.  She could tell he was working harder than he ever had to take air in and out of once powerful lungs.  He was conscious, but just barely.

“Call the ambulance!” she heard herself screaming.

“No!” her mother replied. “He didn’t want me to call them. We’ve got the car running. We’ll take him to the ER that way.”

Her mind was numb, in shock, yet she knew—if no one else did—that there was no way they were going to get him into that car. He was a massive man and all of him, every inch, was dead weight. She thought about what she’d just thought about, and automatically edited her internal script.

Trying to be gentle, but maybe missing that mark she said, “Mom, we can’t get him to the door, let alone to the car. Someone needs to call an ambulance.”

Her mother insisted it wasn’t his wish.

“Mom, we need to call the ambulance now! If you can’t, I will!”

Her sister-in-law finally did the deed, rousing a gang of locally-trained volunteers from their holiday warmth and getting them into their gear.  It was Christmas morning.

While he lay there barely breathing, and while the others did what they did, she left the room. A voice now sounded loud and clear in her conscience. “Pray!” She obeyed.

“God, this is bad. Really bad! If he dies on that living room floor while we all stand around not knowing what to do to help, we’ll blame ourselves the rest of our lives.  Please, send someone who knows CPR, someone who can help us keep him alive until the ambulance comes!”

Later, she’d come to realize what a selfish prayer it was, but in that moment, it was the only thing she knew to do.

As she paced the floor and asked for the same thing of God, over and over again, her husband drove to the corner of that country road that connected to her step-father’s property. There, he waited for the ambulance to arrive. Soon after, a young man pulled up.

“Are you waiting here for the ambulance? I heard a call go out and thought I could help.”  Quickly, he took the stranger to the house, to the man, to the crisis.  He was there as her step-father breathed his last. As he became unresponsive. As a strange man began pushing, hard, on the middle of his chest.  As life faded away.

The stranger was a member of the armed forces, serving in Virginia. He’d decided to make a trip home to Pennsylvania to be with his parents over the holidays. He was staying in his parent’s home when he decided to take a drive in the country—on a frigidly cold Christmas morning–by himself–in their neighborhood–seven miles from town. Not only did he possess the experience they needed at the exact moment they needed it, but he did so with compassion and expertise.  He’d continued to keep the rhythm until the ambulance crew arrived and a group of local volunteers had taken over.

Life was never the same after that day, which was a sad reality for the family. But guilt was not a part of the equation going forward.

The glory of God shined into a tragic situation, in a broken down farm-house, on a snowy Christmas morning. Some say it was an angel performing miracles? We’ll let you decide that for yourself. As for the narrator of this story, she came to believe!

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I’m Impatient!

waiting

Today I’m having a tough time with silence.

I’ve done what I need to do on a project of importance to a group dynamic and I’ve shared what I did with other from the group, asking for feedback.

Crickets!

Ugh.

Argh.

Grrr!

I hate to wait!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The last few weeks I’ve been writing more personal things.

Things about life problems.

Things about how I handle life problems.

Things about how I handle other who don’t handle life problems.

WHAT I’VE DISCOVERED AS I’VE THOUGHT ABOUT LIFE PROBLEMS

What I’ve discovered about myself relating to life problems is this:

I’m sometimes impatient.

My impatience often leads to anxiety.

Waiting SUCKS! And that’s my word on the matter on a Friday afternoon, after three days of waiting and three reminders that I’m waiting, and now some whining.

Anybody else hate waiting? What do you do when you’re part of a group project and others in the group are NOT “all in”?

Finally, Kitty Wisdom Prevails!

black cat.jpg

We have a kitty. Her name is Jingle Bells. She thinks she runs our house, and that illusion is only upset when she goes exploring at 4 a.m. and starts knocking things off the counters or clawing at the rug in front of bedroom doors. Then it’s out!

Out into the winter cold.

Out into the winter dark.

Out into the winter pine tree that acts as her sometimes condo in the yard.

When she is quiet until 6 a.m., she gets to stay in.

In, where the furnace is running.

In, where the couch is comfy.

In, where her food and water are provided for her.

In, where we love to have her, when she is quiet in the wee hours of the morning.

It seems that finally, this week, our kitty has learned that the cold winter outdoors is connected to jungle behavior in the house. She has finally stopped jumping all over and knocking things off, in favor of maintaining her warm and comfy lifestyle indoors.

Finally!!!

I don’t know about you, but I think dogs are much easier to train than cats. Cats think they own us!

Do you have a cat?  Does she stay in at night?

Slow Down!!

rear end collision

See photo above…

This is what happens far too often outside my office window!  This morning I thought I was going to be one of those unfortunates experiencing a wrenched neck and a stiff back after being hit by a series of cars traveling too fast down the stretch of county highway near my work place.

Making left hand turns can be tricky no matter where you are, but on this stretch of US Rt 6E, its ten times more dangerous.  That’s why I ALWAYS signal early, hit the brakes in rapid succession a lot before moving off the highway, and slow down longggg  before getting to my turn.  This usually works for me, but today I had three cars behind me, all moving too fast and all only inches from one another’s bumpers.

As I prepared to make my turn this morning, I sent up a little prayer to God, and thankfully, I walked away unscathed this time.

DRIVING ADVICE

Looking back on what happened to me today, and what has happened to many others who were not so lucky as me on this same stretch of highway on previous days, I have a little advise I’d like to share.  Please remember these few points as you get behind the wheel of your car, truck, or RV today:

Life is short.

Broken backs are forever.

Damages are costly.

Lives can be saved by slowing down and driving with others in mind!

I’m grateful to be sitting in my office in one piece and without injury today.  My outcome today means I’m not lying on a table in the ER somewhere, or worse yet, the morgue.  You, however, might not be so lucky. Slow down, please!

Thank You, Lord!

 

Surrogate Dads

male dadI tip my hat to all you surrogate dads out there doing the hard work of building up boys and girl, tweens, teens, and young and older adults living without fathers.

You might be doing your “parenting” at the gym, or in the kitchen, or on the playground, or around the church, and in any other number of unnamed areas. We see you!

You do the things you do without looking for praise, and you do it day in and day out, to the strengthening of our youth.

martial arts

I’m not sure you know how important you are in the scope of things, but let me tell you what I think: You Rock!

Blood does not make you a father, anymore than sitting in a garage makes you a car.  To be a dad you must listen, care, touch, love, support, encourage, and SPEND TIME WITH YOUR KIDS.

qualitytime

That these children were not conceived from the juice of your loins matters little to them, or me.  What matters to a kid without a dad is that somewhere, somehow, over and over again, someone is reaching out to them and making them feel special.

Surrogacy is often attributed to women, but today I salute the men who are out there on the line, doing the hard work of parenting and finding it rewarding.  Please know, you matter!!!

You really, really, really matter!