"...but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer." 3 Nephi 22:8







Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Tired!

I was so tired!  My back hurt and I really felt like I just needed to lie down somewhere.  Unfortunately, there was no place that I could do that.  Because of circumstances, I couldn't even sit down.  Sitting down would help too, but it just wasn't currently possible.

I tried to tell myself over and over and over that I was not really tired.  I really wanted the mind over matter trick to work magic for me.  But it just didn't seem to be working.

I have never been a very good stander.  I am a great leaner.  I can also walk quite well and for a fair amount of time.  I have hiked 20 miles in the last few years.  But standing for very long has just been difficult for me.

I was a volunteer and required to stand, so I continued to stand.  Pretty soon I found myself shuffling from one foot to another.  Then I tried putting my hands in my pocket to see if that made a difference.  Nope!  I tried holding my hands clasped behind my back.  Still tired and aching back.  I walked a few steps.  That helped a bit so I turned around and took a few more steps back to where I started.  That also helped.

For a few minutes.

Then I tried to hold my hands in front of me, clasped together. Then I held my hands  at my sides.  Then I tried putting my hands in my pockets again.  Then I tried my hands in back of me again.  Nope!

I kept trying the mind over matter idea again.  Still feeling pretty tired and achy back.

Then I started talking to Heavenly Father.  I started thanking him for my eyes that allowed me to see. My eyes wandered my surroundings, drinking in the beauty of where I was. I expressed appreciation for my ears and all that I was able to hear.  Next on my gratitude list was the ability to speak and to taste because I have a mouth.  I pondered on my tongue and what a blessing it was.  I can taste sweet, salty, bitter, and yummy! 

I expressed gratitude that I have hair on my head.  It may not always look just the way I want it to, but it is always there. 

I continued to thank Heavenly Father for my arms and hands.  I use them every day!  I also felt great gratitude for my legs and feet that were allowing me to stand where I was.  I found my back was not so achy as I thanked Him for my back and my hips that were holding me up.

I pondered on the miracle of a heart that beats without my giving it a second thought.  Lungs are amazing.  For me, they just work, breathing air in and out all day and night. 

I thought about how blessed I was that I was able to feel tired!  That was an indication of being able to feel because I have nerves and muscles and a brain that receives messages that include thirst, hunger, pain, and tired. 

I am no expert on the human body and all the delicate systems that keep it up and running.  But as I pondered on the miracle that a body is, I found I was profoundly grateful for mine.

And suddenly, I wasn't tired anymore!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Sophie

Today is a very sad day for me.  I have wept a ridiculous amount of tears and they just keep coming.  I have tried to be happy and grateful, but it won't seem to come for me today.

You see, our dog is dying.

I know!  To shed so many tears over a pet does not make sense even to me.  But there you have it.  I am broken hearted to loose her. 

Sophie joined our family over eleven years ago.  She was such a fun puppy that we couldn't help but love her. She loved us all equally in return.  She filled spaces in our hearts that we didn't even know were empty.

She has been my walking companion on many a day. At times we took turns dragging each other along the sidewalk.  We walked together last fall until the weather turned cold.  She came looking for me almost every morning, ready to go.  Some days she gave out before we were quite home and I feared that I might have to carry her.

You see Sophie is an Irish Setter.  She is a big dog!

Sophie had a loud vicious bark and she could bare her teeth and scare a stranger to death were her snarl.  But Sophie was a total chicken.  She would have licked anyone to death before she hurt them.

She chased the neighbor cats and barked and barked as she wagged her tail at them.  But if one of them turned on her, she was off like a shot.  I don't think she would have known what to do if she had ever actually caught a cat. 

Sophie learned tricks for us.  She could sit, and shake her paw.  If someone put a dog treat on her nose, she would stay until you told her it was ok.  Then she would drop, catch, and eat the dog treat.  She could roll over.  In the last year or so, she would only roll over for one particular family member.  But she rarely failed him.  This was the same family member to whom she begged for dog treats to distraction.

Sophie has suffered from seizures for much of her life.  We saw her suffer and change as these occurred.  It was hard on her and we tried to control her seizures with daily medication.

Sophie didn't particularly care for her meds.  She would frequently leave them sitting in her completely empty dog dish after a meal.  On occasion we would find them somewhere on the floor or stair case, where she had simply spit them out.  Sometimes we put them in her mouth, far enough down that you would swear that they were gone down her throat, then see her yack them back up again.

A bad bought of seizures would leave her looking nearly dead, but she always rebounded with enthusiasm. 

Until now.
Somehow, I feel like I have failed her!

Afterwords:

I wrote this on February 6th, thinking that Sophie would not live through the day.  By evening she was sitting up and eating and drinking ravenously.  She rebounded, but was never quite as good.  Her resiliance and zest for life amazed me. I never knew from one day to the next just what to expect from her but she responded to our attention and caring.

On the first really beautiful spring day in March, six weeks later, Sophie sat outdoors.  She seemed more alert than the previous day, yet was still obviously fading.  I brought her in to sit by me as I quilted for an hour or so.  With my husband's help, she returned to the back yard, where she immediately slipt away.

I am so grateful that she did not linger or suffer.  I am grateful that Heavenly Father released her huge spirit from her failing body.

I think that today she is romping through the meadows barking at the birds and chasing the butterflys! I hope she is there to greet me when I go home.

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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Another Miracle

This week I was asked to substitute in a situation that was unfamiliar.  My friend has pneumonia and she needed help.  I was more than happy to help her, but was a little insecure with a decision that I needed to make.  It was not a huge problem - but a large group would be affected in some way by what I chose.

In a case like this, my first inclination is to gather all available information and study it prayerfully.  But, time was limited as were my resources for information. I would not have the information I needed to use as guidelines until minutes before the decision had to be made.

Let me add to this the fact that this decision would be made just before 4:30 a.m. Now most days I am not even aware that there is a 4:30 a.m.  Certainly my faculties are impaired at the unfamiliar hour.

So all I could do was pray!

I don't mean to minimize the act of prayer in the least.  I just want to re-state that no other information was available to me.  I could not look in a book, ask someone else for suggestions, or run an internet search.

So all I could do was pray!

As evening approached, I felt impressed to attend a meeting sponsored by our Stake Relief Society.  It was a dinner and workshops.  I had prayed about attending this event as well - unsure of where I needed to be.  My husband has not been well and I really felt that I needed to fix him supper and spend the time with him instead, until - I knew I needed to go two specific workshops.  I hopped into my car and arrived at the church just before the workshops I needed to attend began.

The cultural hall was full of sisters dressed in Sunday best clothes. I am not!

But the Stake Relief Society President doesn't seem to notice or care as we visit a minute in the hall. 

Often when I feel so out of place because I am not dressed as the others are, I flee and chock it up to experience.  But not this time - I knew that I needed to be there for two workshops.  After that - I didn't know if I would feel prompted to stay or return home.

I slipped into the classroom alone, hiding in a corner, hoping no one would notice my attire.  The first sister entering the room lives on my street and imediately came to sit by me.  A few other sisters spoke to me or waved. No one seemed aghast that I was not in Sunday dress.

The workshop was short, but filled with Spirit and inspiration.  The group talked about the Savior Jesus Christ and miracles.  I left inspired and desirous to study more of the miracles of the New Testament.

The second workshop was held in the chapel.  Feeling uncomfortable entering the chapel in pants, I turned up the speaker system and sat on a comfy couch in the foyer to listen.  Again the workshop was wonderful and I left with specific ideas, written as they were suggested, to study and learn from.

The bonus also came.  As I listened to this workshop, six words entered my mind.  It was my answer!  The six words required some additional pondering to complete the puzzle but the answer was very clear.  The one piece of information I needed I would not have until early the next morning - but I believed it would all fit. 

And it did!

Heavenly Father had given me enough information to easily make the decision that I needed to make.

At the completion of the second workshop, I went home.  I had come for what I needed. 

This decision was not earth shattering or life changing for anyone but me.  No one in the room with me had any idea of my concern or need for help with this decision.  To all of those people, it was just an ordinary experience.

But for me, it was a miracle!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Reacting Again.

Yes, it happened again!  I reacted.  I tried really hard not to.  I resisted and resisted and resisted.  And then, there it was. I was crying. 

Unfortunately, I was crying in a fairly public place. 

A few kind people have responded to previous blogs that at times they have found themselves reacting in ways that they did not want to or to situations that they did not want to react to.  I really appreciate that a lot, since I don't want to be the only person in the whole world who reacts instead of acts.

So for those of us who may react in situations we don't want to react to, maybe you will find some similarities with my situation and your own experience.  Don't get me wrong - I am not just looking for company in my failings - I was just thinking that perhaps you would be able to empathize because perhaps you have been there.

The first time I was snapped at, I simply walked away.  Since circumstances required that I had to talk to this person again almost immediately, I just kind of hung out in the background, until she was available and tried again.  Fortunately, no problem.  Whew!  I just went on my merry way.

But then it happened again.  Unfortunately when I was snapped at by this same person again, there was a slightly larger audience.  "Don't take it personally, she talked to me just like that,"  someone said.  Another person told me, "I am not even supposed to be here right now, but she told me to go and sit down, so I did," said another.

I knew that they were right and it really wasn't personal.  Pressure had caused someone to be a little on the terse side with a number of people.  She didn't realize how it sounded nor did she realize how it made me feel.  I totally understood but my tear ducts didn't get the message fast enough.

Once the tears began to quietly slip down my cheeks, it became obvious to others that I was hurt.  I really had tried to laugh it off with the others. 

I had!

Unfortunately, every one who saw those tears was kind and concerned.  So it seemed impossible to stop the tears.  Maybe you don't know how that works - but maybe you do. The sad sympathetic look or the tender touch just turns up the tear ducts a notch.

So then, the mind starts trying to control the tear ducts and finally gets them stopped and someone else who is mortified by the red, puffy eyes showers down sympathy and the tears flow again.

There is no place to go and hide in my situation - no place except a rest room.  So, there I head to hide for a moment to try to regain my composure.  Just as I near the door to slip unnoticed into this sanctuary, she is there, the person who seemed so sharp with me.  Of course, she notices that I am crying and asks if I am ok.

She doesn't know how embarrassed I feel to have had so many people see my tears.  She doesn't know how badly I don't want to talk to anyone at all right now and mostly not her.  She genuinely cares and I know that but I need to escape from the public eye.  I assure her that I am fine - which is true.

"But you seem so upset," she remarks.  So true!  I am upset.  I am upset at her and the situation.  I am upset to be seen in this very awkward situation by so many people.  I am upset with myself that I allowed myself to react.

Of course, now the person who snapped at me is aware that my feelings are hurt and because she is a kind person, she apologizes sincerely.  She feels just as bad as I do.  So we both cry! 

Now I don't know how your mind works - I only live with my own.  But my mind does not shut down easily or let go of things quicky.  I relive a situation like this one over and over again like a carousel charged with electricity.  I relive every little detail and every single word and nuance.  I ask myself a million questions including what I could have or should have done differently.  Around and around it goes, over and over and over.

As the carousel of thoughts begins to slow, and the tears have finally subsided, I attempt to behave more normally - yet the lingering red puffy eyes continue to draw attention.  It would take pounds of make-up to hide the obvious.

And I have none!

I am aware that I look awful.  No way to hide it so I slap a smile on my face and do my best to carry on as if nothing is wrong.  For the most part, it works.  I am sure that no one is decieved but at least the attentions subsides.

The last thing that I want all those people to think about me is that I am a cry-baby!  I don't want them to think that they have to walk on egg shells around me all the time.  Or that I should simply be avoided because I get my feelings hurt way to easy.  I wonder how they will all feel about what they have seen.

And I wait, knowing that in a week I will face all this people again.

One small remark asking if we were ok by the person who had spoken sharply to me was all I heard until I was headed home.  A friend stopped to talk for a minute with these words, "Tonight it was my turn." And she shared her experience with me. Something sharp had been said to her and she related to my expereince.  We talked briefly about her experience, commisserating with each other a few moments.

And then we both let out a hearty laugh!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

My Sons Miracle

I believe in miracles! 

I believe that miracles surround us daily - but sometimes we fail to recognize them.  More than that we fail to be grateful for all the miracles in our lives - because we are often so clueless. We wait for the big ones. The miracle that changes your life or takes away your breath or brings you to your knees in awe.  But we miss so many more everyday miracles.

What about the miracle of having good friends or to love and be loved.  Or the miracle of being able to see, to hear, or to speak.  I so often take these everyday things for granted.

When was the last time I considered the miracle of a sunrise or sunset.  When was the last time I thanked Heavenly Father for the miracle of water or spring flowers.  I cannot create any of these things - can you?

Recently my son shared his miracle.  I am so grateful that he is sensitive enough spiritually to recognize and share his miracle.

You can read about my sons miracle at:

http://bobthejanitor520.blogspot.com/2012/02/my-miracle-for-yesterday.html