In Appreciation of Nurses Everywhere, Thank You!

I wanted to recognize nurses this week. When I say nurses I mean aides, techs, receptionist, intake, whoever it is holding your hand, the whole way through. The ones holding my hand, bandaging my wounds, joking, serious talks, thoughts on politics, all the forbidden fruit to not talk about in a work place, we have covered it all.

We have even talked about Jesus and church too. We have discussed our not so best moments to our most memorable moments. The only way these conversations work is because we do check with each other and we do respect each other.

The best thing about it all is the caring and compassionate ways each of them have dealt with me.

When I have been scared and or upset in some way its been dealt with and they let me have my dignity too.

You find me a person who is grateful for their nurse, helpers, or whatever. I’ll show you someone who really has some golden care.

I can say the nurses I have had, have gone above and beyond their duty. They are committed to seeing me healed. They do want me at ease. They make every effort in doing so.

My personal experience in first dealing with a wound care center since I have moved was going in scared.

I kept stuff to myself about how bad situations were for a while. Well when they saw my feet and legs, their first concern was, how do we keep this guy from losing limbs?

They wanted to put me into a hospital and I probably should have gone in, but the Nurse Practitioner made a deal with me, after all my arguments of why not. She said I will let you go home, you follow my instructions, but the first time I say you go in, you go in, no arguments.

Since that day I have felt like their poster child, on the wound care unit for the biggest turn around.

To say I am stubborn, is probably an understatement. Considering there were 9 wounds at one point and now down to 2 wounds in a year is amazing. I also don’t want to leave out the visiting nurses who came 3 times a week to change my dressings.

These last two wounds are so close to closing. So, they all tease me with “you’re afraid you can’t come back if you get all healed, or what?”

I think sometimes we have good days. This is especially true, if you are undergoing wound care and you forget how much the nurses have been there for you. That is until it’s a bad day and you’re struggling up those stairs to get to your apartment with 6 bags of groceries.

That’s when you invite a friend over for a meal and hand him the car keys and ask him to bring in the beverages you couldn’t quite carry in.

Its amazing what God can do using nurses, doctors, and medicine.

Just a side not also, that person fitting you in for an appointment he/she is not trying to make your life miserable. They probably have 150 patients a day if not more. Please try to be patient with them.

Thanks for reading!

#loveyournurseweek  #giveyournursesomelovin

 

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A Glimpse Into The Past With Nathan

Two Years ago, May 3rd, 2016 a look into my past would soon turn into a new journey for me.

For a little more than 7 months I had been on a journey with a new pastor and new church and some new friends. Mike and Jeanne, Patty, some single people, and Nathan.

Nathan was my pastor who I met with every other week. He taught me more about grace in 7 months, than 20 old preacher men who could teach in 50 years of ministry. That’s the truth. Nathan could handle me, my anger, rage, thoughts about the holier than thou Christians who filled their rows of chairs, or pews, every week.

It was real rough, and rocky for a beginning. I needed a Christmas miracle. For me to even begin to really believe in Christmas, was going to be a miracle.

I’ve been to the store front churches, but this was in the county and a large Presbyterian Church. I would go every week I could and even attended the men’s Bible Studies every Tuesday morning.

Mike and Jeanne were instrumental in making sure I always had a ride and even Patty, too would also make sure I got there as well.

I was having a hard time making rent, grocery shopping, and doctor’s appointments etc.

Right around Christmas I put in an application for help to see what the church could do.

I also had an appointment to learn more about the church and for Nathan and me to get to know each other.

Looking back, I see how this church bent over forward and backward to help me. I needed more help than anyone could do, and more than any one ministry could do. I don’t think I could see that at the time.

I shared with Nathan my past and everything. I shared some with Mike, Jeanne, and Patty too.

But as Nathan and I closed our meeting in November 2015; I shared with him about my favorite 5th grade teacher Mrs. Wiley. For whatever reason I thought she already had passed away. So, he prayed Dear God for her, to know I loved her and was so grateful there was this one person who believed me when no one else would. He was grateful for her too.

Time went on and nothing got answered necessarily the way I wanted it to by the church and how I thought it should come out.

I would have a meltdown one Sunday and Patty was taking me home afterwards. I even confessed I had a meltdown where I screamed and cussed and not my best moment in a church. I was still a mess even as she took me home.

It was 10 minutes later I was praying in my room crying and praying out to God to just help me get through this. I heard a voice in the hall outside my room. I really believed I was losing it. I said Lord if that’s your voice forgive me for not recognizing it.

What many did not know I was going to lose my place of living at that point and as I went into the hall still crying and wondering what going on.  I found Patty she had a check for me for me. It was more than enough to pay up all I owed and a few months besides.

I must admit, this really blindsided me and I was scared to take it even. I was doing okay afterwards and was trying to keep hold of everything.  Would be forever changed and things just wouldn’t be the same ever. She said you take this I may never be able to do this again.

Well in the meantime, I was having to do damage control myself. I was having to apologize and repent of my meltdown.

Its so hard to take back things you do wrong. But my friend Nathan was there to remind me of Gods Grace as well as someone else. Her Name was Cathi I will never forget her either.

She bought me this flannel shirt and her daughter picked out this cap for me which was hip-looking style. I still have the flannel shirt that makes me feel safe and reminds me of God’s Grace.

In the mean time Nathan and I made plans to make a day trip just he and I, back to my past life where I first had my roots planted.

I did not know it would be what it was. As we took the drive there, eating what we wanted to eat, doing what we wanted, I was going back in time the farther we drove.

I was so far back in time, I was just trying to be polite to the pastor at the time of my old church we visited.  I declined a visit through the Church again.

Nathan and I went on to visit the park and then we had lunch. During Lunch Nathan said he didn’t want to mark this a bad day by telling me some news. I had already done investigating and knew pretty much what the news was, and I kept it to myself from others. I told him I knew he would be leaving soon.

Tears still fell because he had been my buddy these past several months. I knew I would never find anyone like him again.

I wished at that moment I was going to the state he would be moving to. What I didn’t know was this day marked the day of a new journey to begin only two months later after Nathan and his family left.

Before I close I want to share with you it was only a day later or so, Mrs. Wiley had been alive at the time Nathan and I prayed for her. I was so happy because God led Nathan to pray and thank God for her!

I cried a lot the day Nathan left he and his family pulled into my drive way as they left for their new ministry position. He gave me a gift a cross necklace which I still cherish. His wife and him hugged me and she was glad I had been his bud too.

Two Months later I would move 30 miles from where Nathan and I took the glimpse into my past, where the chains had been broken, I was now set free in my mind at least. More to come from this journey later.

Thanks for reading!

I Met With God in The Missouri Bluffs

As a writer filled with many dreams yet, I still believe I came in to this world called to write.

I believe it started to be recognized on the bluffs in Missouri. My world was hard, and it was sad. While so many beautiful things were created, only in Gods sight could they be counted. But it was the things with God I was privileged to find.

I believe it’s only God trying to bring me back to that child-like faith and trust Him with everything in my life again. Some days its very hard to live out this faith, next to impossible to be honest.

It was in the bluffs I was taught so much and out of them I had not one leg to stand on but rather ridiculed.

I admit I am selfish. I want so much to dance with God again and to only experience that love so deep, that kept me rooted somehow. I believe He held each of my tears. Why now that I am grown to even share one thought, is difficult?

To see the wild flowers bloom, birds flying, the clouds that move in the sky, the stars that shone so bright, and all of us, so precious in my God’s sight.

When I am with you God, I can’t even think about the hurt and pain any longer. It’s only when I am alone inside my head. I want to go back to that God where I just have time with you alone. I don’t have to worry about coming home for supper anymore.

When I was so young and all the changes that happened; I only asked where are you now, God? As I grew older I only asked, where are you now, God? The time has flown by, God. You now call my name and ask for me, Lord.

You have shown me the wonders of the world and your mighty hand in saving, what would have been lost.

Dear Lord, remember the day you showed me you could be anywhere at any time. It was in the office of my therapist, where you allowed me to smell the wild honey suckle and Rose of Sharon all at once. It was you God, you showed up to just be with me.

No one will ever understand the things you have shown me or see how you work in my life. Many have scoffed and said I don’t even live the life of a true Christian. That may be true God, but you have shown me power, might, beauty, and all that is precious in your sight.

Take me back God. Show me the path you want for me and I will follow it, Lord. Thank you for all you do. Thank you for blessing me with friends and family. I know my head is in the clouds and its only with you I can be free. No matter what I’ve done, right or wrong, it’s all with you in a song, prayer, and praise.

Let my lamenting be done.

Thanks for reading!

 

Depression is Not Something You Choose to Have

Depression is not something you choose. It grabs a hold of you with strong arms and you fight to get free.

Depression is when the clothes are on the floor. Depression is when you can’t answer the phone, even for your best friend in all the world. Depression is when you can’t tell those in your daily life what you are fighting. Depression is more than gloomy thoughts.

Depression is more than about money or precious treasures. Depression is more than a whisper.

The harder you fight, the more winded you become; so why even try? This becomes your mantra.

You smile outside at neighbors and wish them well but cannot wait, to get back inside behind your door.

Depression knows no race, economic status, or religion.

You wash your face in hope, it makes all the reality of what you are feeling disappear.

All the religious people say you have become weak and you need more faith. Perhaps they are right you say to yourself. You cannot help crying more because again you have failed all family friends and those you have yet to meet.

All the self-help people say another pill, some more books to read, and you will be well.

No knows the living hell you are living inside each day. I try to pray but depression doesn’t let you say what’s real. It’s more than just how you feel.

Depression is different for everyone, it’s never the same. What you have more of is shame. I swear it’s not a game.

You imagine people pointing, looking, and laughing, saying you couldn’t fight your way out of a wet paper bag. Your head just lays down. Perhaps they are right.

Depression is no easy way out of life. You fight harder than anything to just merely exist and pray you are out of everyone’s way. This isn’t child’s play.

Depression is all your anger, fear, sadness, and apathy rolled up in one huge, colorful, ball of wax.

Depression is more than just feeling sad about something or upset you lost a game. Depression is there to break you down and swallow you up whole. Depression will take your life and it’s not even about the strife with family or foes.

Depression makes pawns out of everyone.

Depression is a taker of all. Your joys, your triumphs, your moments of surprise, and laughter. They all get taken.

Depression is more than over sleeping and being late for something.

The sunrise alone cannot get depression to go away.

Depression isn’t even about if you have a home or not.

You can write all the gratitude lists you want. Depression makes it look small.

Depression asks for all of you, even your last breath. You fight, you get up and try one more time. It seems as if no avail.

Loved ones and friends get mad at depression and all it takes from you, but they cannot fight it for you.

This is a fight all on your own. So be careful of the seeds you have sown.

Thank for reading!

What Love Looks Like In My World

I think each of us have our own view of what love looks like in our own world. I find it hard to live up to my perfect world.

I find myself wanting to do things and promising things maybe I shouldn’t. Not knowing what the next day or hour will bring, can really be difficult to follow through. We can always plan, but we need to leave room for revision of said plans.

I remember once getting a phone number from a new friend and on the back of the paper he handed me (this was before the age of cell phones and other UpToDate technology), he wrote: “Me and My Friends we don’t hurt each other, and we don’t hurt ourselves.”

This was during a time I was feeling suicidal and I was making one bad decision after another.

As time passed I would not see this friend maybe ever again. What I failed to realize, he was probably not doing much better than I was. But wouldn’t it be great if we could one hundred percent live up to what my friend had said. Me and my friends: We don’t hurt each other, and we don’t hurt ourselves.

The fact is we are human and sooner or later we will fail each other. This took me some time to accept. It was really the fact that when people failed me that I had the hardest time accepting.

This past week I found myself failing people left and right. I promised things I shouldn’t have which really involved my time and actions to show my love.

Life is short and precious. I forget to handle people with the gentle and tender loving care, they deserve.

I do try to practice not hurting my friends or myself. The truth is I’ve learned, part of loving others is not hurting myself. Love is taking the time to hug and pray for others. Love is admitting when you are wrong and not walking away from facing up to it. Love is doing what you will say you will do.

We can’t change the past. All we can do is be better today. We aren’t going to be perfect, but we strive to be the best we can be.

There have been many people who have passed from my world that deserved so much more, than I gave them.

The time is getting shorter, and all I can hope for is to do better with the people I have left in my life time. We all have an expiration date.

I tell myself to remember to smile, to be friendlier, to forgive more freely, to take more interest in others, and to give as much as I can. This doesn’t mean for me to be fake but to be real in all ways of dealing with my time.

We must take time to observe what’s inside us, before we know what we are giving.

My life has changed for the better. I want more time with some, but I have learned you have to make the most of what you have with each.

Thanks for reading!

My Parents and God, I Choose You Part 5

I have been reflecting on this story and the parts I have shared.

Sometimes what I share, it’s almost if I was sharing a recipe. Other times it makes me stop while writing and relive some of the scenes from way back, in my head. God sure seems to have timing down though and there are lots of things, for me to learn from.

It was near the end of school I think when I was hit by a car some tell thee story as if I walked into the car, but I was stuck underneath somehow and pounding on the car. I went into a state of shock as I had been screaming they said that I wanted my mom or mommy I can’t remember for sure.

What I do remember and will never forget now after the fact; I scratched the heck out of a house parents hands. I do remember waking up and every one of the staff from the children’s home and the doctor around my bed.

I had given everyone the scare of my life. I ended up being visited every day. I think I was there for 5 days at least.

I came out of my hospital room in the wee hours of the morning; Nurse, I don’t think somethings right, here. I had pulled my I-V out and blood was squirting everywhere.

On close to the last day, they were going to let me go home and I couldn’t wait. I was brushing my teeth and vomited, that canceled me going home.

My friend from school didn’t get to come see me but his brother did with their foster mom. That was awesome getting to see them. I think my friend had gotten in trouble, so he had to stay home. The exact facts of this are a blur to me now except my friends foster mom being there.

I think my little incident reached the newspapers and someone with my same name had been killed in a car that caught on fire in another town. I had lots to be grateful for considering that wasn’t me. But I had two huge bruised eyes and a swollen head and face and blood-filled eyes.

My 6th grade teachers came to see me as well. The miracle was I am not sure I even ended up with stitches much less any broken bones. They let me go home the next day and I couldn’t wait to be back.

There was one important fact the day or maybe two days later, after everyone was gone. I had woken up and searched my pockets I found then, a package of rolo candy. I had swiped them. It brought back some memory but never the whole thing. I held on to that guilt for a few years.

Things changed, and I found other kids were mad at me because of my accident. We were no longer allowed to cross the busy street any longer. I felt lucky no matter what. I could still walk to my church that was on the same side of the street.

Thanks for reading!

I Think It Wont Burn Me Now

I have shared my personal story before. Today I’d like to share some personal insights. Anything I have in mind to share about recovery, has likely been said before by countless others, in many ways.

Being new in recovery there were pit falls I had to watch out for. A lot of these went along with the slogan of halt. Never get too hungry, angry, lonely, or tired. I still need reminded of this at times.

There was also the regular schedule of: eating, sleeping, working, socializing, as well as going to meetings. Because I would do all of these, I would start thinking I had everything under control. There are times today in my life I still need that guidance for a regular schedule.

Being on a regular schedule does help greatly in making right decisions.

What I found was out on my own these became hard and at times impossible to do, without some sort of accountability. I can look back at different times in my life and my attempts at trying to be sober in the very beginning were hard, because I didn’t seem to want to take any direction.

By this I mean if someone suggested something, it had to have my spin on it. It was equivalent of me saying, I’ll meet you half way; but I won’t do everything suggested, just what I want and what feels comfortable. This is considered doing things by half measures which as promised by others would lead me right back to where I came from.

Yes, I too was smart and felt educated enough to say it won’t get me this time. It turned into insanity. After doing that time and time again I never understood how I ended up worse than before.

I have never followed directions perfectly. I am not about to sit here and tell you I have and this how I got sober. That just is not true. I do believe it’s all about the willingness to change. It’s especially learning to listen to others who have had more experience than I have.

I personally could do better, but I tell you I have done worse. My best thinking many times got me for more than I bargained for. My best thinking didn’t work. I needed to take action.

My pride and ego often got the best of me. I really thought I knew better than those before me. I often reaped the benefit of my best thinking, which was alone and miserable. The truth is you can never think yourself out of bad situation. There must be action.

Many times, we don’t realize that we are in a bad situation until we have been burned.

The thinking did have to change. Changing my thinking wasn’t enough to change the situations. If I could change my thinking, I could change my outlook and I would see the benefit in moving forward. The only way this happened was by taking direction.

The only way I can take direction, is by admitting I don’t know everything. I can tell you it’s lonely and harder trying to do it by myself.

The good news is I don’t have to do it by myself.

Thanks for reading!

My Parents and God, I Choose You Part 4

We are up to date now. I have been moved to a children’s home in the county and I am finally starting school in the 6th grade in a real school.

I was still much of a loner and I’d share details. I think sometimes just to shock people. I didn’t know how to have boundaries. The struggle is real, sometimes today even.

I’d go to church sometimes with the Late Mrs. Dale and sometimes with the superintendent. I even went once or twice with my own house parent at the time.

The very first time I went they were speaking in tongues. I stood up and shouted the devil is in this place! It was a charismatic spirit filled church. I was scared I was going to be in real trouble and would have except, I explained I was saved and had Jesus in my heart.

The pastor and a few people settled me down. This had brought on some laughter and screaming of adults. Some were just happy to explain how the gifts of the spirit worked according to their interpretation. (I sit back and wonder today if maybe I hadn’t told the truth that day).

After a while it was time for me to find my own church. I did so and walked to a church not knowing it could be against the rules. Well I got there, and I found the pastor to give me a ride home after services.

I finally just started walking and if I walked there, they would bring me home so no one was none the wiser. I guess I have always believed it was easier to apologize, than to ask permission.

I would grow to love this church as it felt like church I was used to.

Back at school and I was befriended by a boy and his brother who were foster children in a nice home. I would also find out they had a sister too, later.

The most important fact is, he introduced me to his foster mom. She was the lunch lady. She was very nice and seemed young. She had beautiful long brown hair.

In the back of my mind I said I wished I had a mom like her. I wished I had any mom.

She and I even talked about Jesus in between waiting in line every day. We also talked with my friend whether he was in trouble or not and I was finally invited for a sleep over.

The sleep over wasn’t the biggest success because her husband came home and wasn’t exactly thrilled with us screaming, playing on the stairs, and bannister. He was a real man and he scared me.

It was nice being in the home and realizing what a real family looked like. It was one huge family! They had some sort of aunt and the aunt’s brother not to mention her new-born baby.

The aunt’s brother played guitar and smoked Marlboro cigarettes. I asked for one and was denied. I couldn’t believe I was that dumb asking for one.

The rest of the night turned out good playing with everyone even the eldest child was jumping on the fold out couch with us. I don’t know how many times we were told to go to sleep and quit talking.

It was a long time before I would return to their home though. The man scared me because I wasn’t used to real rules in a real home with parents and al different aged kids.

We got an allowance at the children’s home and soon I was buying cigarettes myself.

Thanks for reading!

 

 

My Parents and God, I Choose You Part 3

So here it is January 5th, 1979. I don’t know if anyone noticed, it was July 5th, 1978, when my first huge transition took place. I didn’t put it together then. Not until I was an adult.

But before I go on let me just share first emergency children’s home I was in I learned a lot. Oh, I would meet two siblings while there. It was just one, I think the brother got canceled.

I met a sister once and she was born a few years before me. She gave me a picture of my biological mom and later it got lost.

But I learned that at least in that children’s home there was just as much abuse that went on than one could dream of in a foster home. I pretended to stay asleep and not know anything. It had me frightened.

The abuse a roommate got was so severe I don’t think I even talked for a few days. I think they were scared I could go catatonic at that time. Suffice it to say I did get over it.

I also did something I still regret to this day. I prayed that the abusive house parent would die. (There aren’t many I told this to ever). Some where between 2 and 6 weeks later she died. She died of a heart attack. I was scared God heard me and I would be doomed to hell for sure.

There was one nice house parent. I could con a cigarette from at least once a day. Let’s face it, compared to the rest of them I was country hick at this point and most started smoking if they could get away with it by the time they were 12.

On Sundays when there at the children’s home I’d go to church and then Id somehow get $2 and go to Church’s Chicken for box meal. I used that as time to talk to God enjoy myself and not have to return until supper time.

I did start visiting a widow and her foster son on weekends and eventually it just died out. It was nowhere near my beloved bluffs.

But let me take you ahead January 5th, 1978. I was dropped off at a new residence in the county. I would be able to breathe a little bit better. I was always scared my life was at stake. That was even true in the long-term foster home I got pulled out of.

The foster home feeling, was no small fear. I should back up to explain, as I should have in part 1. There was a point A man got in the car to run me off the road exclaiming he would kill me before I ever made it to the sheriff. (I had a real fear).

It was a hard adjustment in both group homes. There was always someone could beat someone up. For the most part I rested a little easier in the county.

We were on snow days, so it was a long time before I started school in the 6th grade and to be able to pass everything 5 1/2 months basically.

I did eventually go to school and got acquainted with everyone. I did gain a new best friend at that time. I met his mom as I went through the lunch line. This is the lunch lady I was telling you about. I think she collected tickets for lunch.

There’s more to share about her in the next part.

Thanks for reading!

Checking in With My One-Word: Enough

My Word for the Year is, Enough. Please read this story before you start thinking you know, what it means for me.

I have shared this before, since January about my one word. Many want to comment before ever really knowing the story, what it means for me. I am flattered, as some have even picked the same word and decided what it means for them as well.

The thing is you don’t have to wait until the beginning of next year to pick your word for the year. You can pick one word for you and live it out the rest of this year. Right now, even!

It isn’t that I have such a great talent for writing so much as it is I have a message to get out, to everyone I can.

My world has changed a lot. It started changing with church, my friends, and my relationship with God.

The one-word idea versus new year’s resolutions, started changing my life 4 or 5 years ago with what first started with 2 friends and I introduced my mom and her husband into it the same year I started.

Since then, several others have joined in and its been great! The changes in people and seeing real joy in their lives. A few immediate people I will name off-hand April, Michelle, and Kris. I know there’s others, but these three people stand out to me. I’ve watched them mark their progress. Each had hurdles of some kind. Not to mention it was April or Michelle one, who brought the one-word idea first.

Enough for me was having enough support in friends, my mom, sisters, and brothers.

I also realized I used not having enough money, was my excuse and what I have found is I can still do things, and the money will eventually be there. It may not be in my time line. But it will be there eventually.

I also want to point out a lot of my support has come from high school friends of over 30 years ago. How many can say they have this kind of support 30 years later? Where one hurts, we all hurt.

I have friends from around this table we share, and they too support me and I them.

I’ve lost a few friends this year because I went backwards in how well I get along with people, I still have enough. I always get to learn and that’s okay.

There’s enough for me today. I used to freak out bad when things went wrong. I am not willing to spend that much energy in letting things make me fall apart anymore. I have enough in me to find a way through things today.

There are days you are going to blow it! You are human, and it will kick in at the least desirable time and you will fight for the right to be human. That’s okay, just remember to get back up and dust yourself off.

For me it’s promptly admitting when I am wrong, once I have gained self-composure back.

You will find yourself doing a lot of firsts in your one-word challenge I guarantee it.

Thanks for reading!