Thursday, November 30, 2006

Hello - Hello - Hello !!!!!

My good friend Abbagirl asked me where the heck I have been and what have I been doing...or something like that. Soooooooo.......

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving, we did not have Turkey...the kids all said that they did not want turkey this year, they wanted Beer Can Chicken on the grill. I must admit I had never heard of it but when they explained it, I was in....then I don't have to cook the meat....grilling...that is David's job (and I love it). As soon as we were done eating and cleaning up the mess, we headed to David's parents house. It is about a 3 hour ride so the kids (Stephen and Amanda, David's kids) asked that I drive...they know it will take about 3 and a half hours if their dad drives.
We had a bit of bad news on the day before Thanksgiving, David's grandpa had passed away. Now, I say a bit of bad news because he was 90 years old, his wife of 68 years had passed about 5 years ago and he has been miserable ever since. He has told us over and over again that he did now want to live, he wants to be with Jesus and his wife. He loves us all but he just does not want to be here. This alone kind of made it a celebration of his life. His Pastor had wonderful things to say about him and some of the adult grandkids got up to talk about their memories. It was like a family reunion with a few sad parts in it. The sadness was our own selfish things though, because he was dancing in Heaven with his wife.

I have been busy busy busy at work. There is a young girl here who is a single parent of a two year old boy. She is the sweetest thing and I remember Christmas coming and not being able to buy for my kids because I was living paycheck to paycheck. She is paying $ 120.00 a week in day care alone (she has asked for her from Social Services and they have her on a waiting list, she might get help around this time next year.) So, I approached one of my co-workers and talked to him about maybe doing a "Secret Santa" for her. Then I talked to another co-worker, low and behold....everyone wants in. I have been collecting money and so far I have $ 200.00 and I am not even halfway through the company. Everyone wants to help. We are going to get her a Wal-Mart card, that way she can get groceries, toys and clothes. We will have one stipulations though, we want her to get something for herself also. I am so excited about this. I dream about this kind of thing. I wish I had more money and could help other single parents (not just mothers but fathers too) with making Christmas special for their kids. I LOVE CHRISTMAS!!!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Ok, you all are probably tired of the stories that I get and then I post here but I have just one more, know me....for today I have just one more.

I will let you know that I went to the doctor yesterday. Had a mole removed from my back and they sent it in to be tested. I have had this mole for as long as I can remember but being that it is on my back, I don't get to see it that often. Aparently it is turning color around the edges and my doctor thought that we should have it checked out. So, I am sitting here at work with my back killing me (I had no pain yesterday so did not think to ask for any pain killers). I figured that I could either be in pain at home and not get paid for it or come to work at least a part of a day paid. Also, my blood sugars are kinda high, not seriously high but high enough where they need to check me more. Please pray for me there....thanks. Now the story, Have a great weekend!!

A Pierced and Tatooed Angel

I couldn't believe it. Of all the times for this to happen. . .a flat tire.
But when is a good time? Not when you are wearing a suit and you have been traveling for nearly five hours and, added to this bleak picture, nightfall is approaching. Wait! Did I mention I was on a country road?

There was only one thing to do. Call the local automobile association. Yeah, right. The cell phone I bought, for security and protection from moments like these, isn't in range to call anyone. "No Service," it says. No kidding! I thought.

I sat for a few minutes moaning and complaining. Then I began emptying my trunk so I could get at the tire and tools needed to get the job done. I carry a large plastic container filled with what I call "just-in-case-stuff." When I am training or speaking I love to have props with me. I hate leaving anything home so I bring everything. . ."just in case."

Cars buzzed by me. A few beeped sarcastically. It was as if the horns were saying, "Ha, ha."
Darkness began to settle in, and it became more difficult to see. Thank goodness it was the tire on the passenger's side, away from the traffic-but that only made it more impossible to benefit from the headlights of passing cars.

Suddenly a car pulled off the road behind me. In the blinding light, I saw a male figure approaching me.
"Hey, do you need any help?"
"Well, it certainly isn't easy doing this with a white dress shirt and suit on," I said sarcastically.

Then he stepped into the light. I was literally frightened. This young guy was dressed in black. Nearly everything imaginable was pierced and tattooed. His hair was cropped and poorly cut and he wore leather bracelets with spikes on each wrist.

"How about I give you a hand?" he said.
"Well, I don't know. . .I think I can. . ."
"Come on, it will only take me a few minutes."

He took right over. While I watched him, I happened to look back at his car and noticed, for the first time, someone sitting in the passenger seat. That concerned me. I suddenly felt outnumbered. Thoughts of car-jackings and robberies flashed through my mind. I really just wanted to get this over and survive the ordeal.

Then, without warning, it began to pour. The night sky had hidden the approaching clouds. It hit like a waterfall and made it impossible to finish changing the tire.

"Look my friend, just stop what you're doing. I appreciate all your help. You'd better get going. I'll finish after the rain stops," I said.
"Let me help you put your stuff back in the trunk. It will get ruined," he insisted. "Then get in my car. We'll wait with you."
"No, really. I'll take care of everything," I said.

"You can't get in your car with the jack up like that. It will fall. Come on. Get in!" He grabbed my arm and pulled me toward the car. Crack! Boom! Lightening and thunder roared like a freight train. I jumped into his car. Oh, God protect me, I prayed to myself.

Wet and tired, I settled into the back seat. Suddenly a kindly, frail voice came from the front seat. "Are you all right?" A petite old woman asked as she turned around to face me.
"Yes, I am," I replied, greatly relieved at seeing the old woman there. I suspected she was his mom.
"My name is Beatrice, and this is my neighbor, Joey," she said. "He insisted on stopping when he saw you struggling with the tire."

"I am grateful for his help," I responded.
"Me, too." Beatrice laughed. "Joey takes me to visit my husband. We had to place him in a nursing home, and it's about thirty minutes away from my residence. So, every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, Joey and I have a date." With a childish grin she looked at Joey.

Joey's whimsical remark, "We're the remake of the Odd Couple," gave us all a good laugh.

"Joey, that's incredible what you do for her. I would never have guessed, well, you know I. . ." I stumbled with the words.
"I know. People who look like me don't do nice things," he said.

I was silent. I really felt uncomfortable. I never judge people by the way they dress, and I was angry with myself for being so foolish.

"Joey is a great kid. I'm not the only one he helps-he's also a volunteer at our church. He also works with the kids in the learning center at the low income housing unit in our town," Beatrice added.

"I'm a tutor," Joey said modestly as he stared at my car.

I reflected for a few moments on what Joey said. He was right. What he wore on the outside was a reflection of the world as he saw it. What he wore on the inside was the spirit of giving, caring and loving the world from his point of view.

When the rain stopped, Joey and I changed the tire. I tried to offer him money, and he refused.

As we shook hands, I began to apologize for my stupidity. He said, "I experience that same reaction all the time. I actually thought about changing the way I look, but then I saw this as an opportunity to make a point. So I'll leave you with the same question that I ask everyone who takes time to know me. 'If Jesus returned tomorrow and walked among us again, would you recognize him by what he wore or by what he did?'"

Joey walked back to his car. As they drove off, Beatrice was smiling and waving as she began to laugh again. I could almost hear her saying, "You got another one Joey. You got another one."

Friday, November 10, 2006

This is a story someone shared with me today, Share it with someone else if you can.

A Veteran's Day Miracle

I was feeling my age that morning as I limped from the parking lot up to the Physical Therapy Building. I was pushing fifty. I was crippled, and I was feeling like a failure. Thankfully, I was happily married. However, health problems had cut short my dreams of finishing my education. Gloomily, I couldn't recall a thing that I had ever done that was important.My thoughts became more disheartened when I noticed the middle-aged man limping in front of me--his long gray hair blowing in the wind. I just knew I'd be stuck in the waiting room with him. I was in no mood for a conversation. I knew I was in for a long and painful wait.
By the time I reached the hallway, one of the two chairs available was occupied by the gray-haired man. Reluctantly, I took my seat next to him, hoping that I could bury myself within the pages of an outdated magazine.My bubble of protection was immediately interrupted by his curious stare. I looked up with a sigh. He gave me an uncertain smile as our eyes met."I know you," he said."No, you don't.""Yes, I'm certain I know you.""I'm not from here," I insisted."No. I've met you someplace before.""That's impossible. I'm certain we've never met.""I feel that I know you from long ago," he said with conviction.In spite of myself, I was intrigued. We played "twenty questions," and we finally got around to the Vietnam War and San Francisco.He had served in the Army. He'd been wounded in battle, and he was darned proud of it."I didn't do anything important," I said. "I served stateside, as a U.S. Navy WAVE, at San Francisco International Airport. I married way too soon, and I was discharged when I became pregnant," my voice trailed off.Suddenly, the man became very excited."I remember receiving help from a young WAVE," he grinned, "with red hair just like yours! It was in the spring of '67, when I came back wounded from Vietnam."He continued, "I've never seen anyone like her, before or since. She moved heaven and earth to make sure that I was well taken care of. She was a tiger, all right. I was badly wounded, barely dragging on crutches. She got me into a wheelchair, and she literally ran after a local bus, making them stop. Then she nearly carried me onboard, giving the driver careful instructions to make sure that I arrived at the hospital, safe and sound. And then she called to see how I was!""I didn't see her, again, until four months later, when I was heading home, still on crutches. All I saw was this WAVE fighting like a wildcat, trying to get away from some drunken sailor."Chills crept up my spine as I remembered the wounded soldier who had rescued me.
"I just couldn't let that girl be ill-treated, after all she had done for me. I threatened that sailor with one of my crutches and he finally put her down. I escorted her back to her desk...""And then you went and got the sailor," I choked on the words, "and you made him apologize to me."Tears streamed down my cheeks, as I remembered that day, and him.How could this happen? My rescuer from 1967 was sitting next to me, twenty-five years later and half a continent away. Our lives had come full circle, and there we sat--thanking each other for a mutual kindness, long ago.We talked for a long time, and then we parted. I learned some important truths that day.First, people are seldom what they seem to be at first glance.Second, kindness is its own reward. It changes the lives of both parties.Last, I learned that though my time was short, I had served my country, simply by serving those who had sacrificed everything.I continued that day a happier woman because I understood that a kindness given will often return to bless you again.

Happy Veteran's Day Everyone ---- Find a Veteran, thank them and then give them a hug.