Unusual Day

After playing phone tag for several days with a specialist I’m finally able to see (I say finally because I do not have medical insurance which made seeing this kind of specialist difficult), I was finally connected to his nurse. She used the word “unusual” when quoting the  dr. in reference to a test and it’s results, I had in the hospital, 10 days previous.  Unusual, eh? Hmm. I think I like that word better than another word he could have used.  I guess he could have said, positive, or concerning, or deadly, haha. I don’t know. What is the word that most drs. use when the results are not so great?

The word unusual was warm and fuzzy compared to the next few words the nurse spewed out of her cute little lips. They were words that I had NEVER googled in my life while researching my symptoms the past year.  I’d never googled that kind of specialist to which I was referred and I’d never googled or even had any knowledge of the next test she talked about.

So I hung up a little in shock, made some important calls with a dry cotton mouth, while at the shop and of course the minute the phone would return those calls, the empty shop would fill to the brim with shoppers. So I just told myself to wait. Wait. Wait. One of those shoppers was an eccentric man and his wife. I knew him from my social work career. He was what I would call a spiritual Sage with many professions. He has 9 children and when he walked in the store, like before, he announces, I have 9 children and I want to buy my wife a shirt to match this skirt. I think, oh crap, I don’t need this.  He is a Sage and has many helping professions, surely he can pick out a solid colored shirt. The conversation with my nurse was still reeling in my head. I was feeling much anxiety. But this man and his stories and wisdom calmed me while his wife was in the back trying things on. It was good he was there.

So the rest of the day brought in more neat people to take my mind of my morning conversation with the nurse. A couple from Minnesota came in and we shared stories of the North Woods and the Twin Cities. I laughed and had fun and I forgot the earlier morning for a few minutes.  I was so grateful these people came in. It’s like they were lined up outside with a purpose. Make her forget, make her happy until she can get home.

And then the time came to go home to google the medical words I had never googled in my life. I pull up in my drive at home and a woman about my age, clearly a tourist came right up to me as I was getting out of my car. I think,,,oh my, I don’t wish to talk, I must go upstairs to my little cave and computer. I need some alone time. But it was not to be for the next 15 minutes. She requested a ride up the hill 3 blocks to her car near the train. She was afraid she might pass out due to the elevation. She was also from Minnesota. So I said, sure, get in and we headed a few feet up the hill towards her parking lot, when a trailer jack-knifed in front of us. I was trapped in the railway and incline traffic just a few feet from my solace, my little home, my computer. She apologized and I told her not to worry I was just going to get on my computer and look up some words related to an illness for which I had just started taking tests. She turned to me and said she was a breast cancer survivor of 4 years and then she started telling me everything I needed to do to stay calm through whatever my illness is and know that there are people out there that will carry me through this. My eyes started to water.  I asked her her name because I was sort of getting a feeling that all these people walking into my life during the course of the day were sent to me. Sort of like angels. She told me her name. It was the name of a dearly beloved relative that had passed many years ago and then I knew this was not a coincidental moment.  She also said, I’m a prayer warrior, Nancy. I’m so glad we met and she hopped out of her car while we were forced to back the car away from her destination and I told her to have a wonderful year, thinking of how important the 5th year of being in recovery of cancer would be for her and I continued to back up to finally return to my home. After that final unusual visit with someone I knew was sent to me that day, it just didn’t seem as important to be alone in my little home with my computer in which to google unusual medical words.

God Moments

 

Christmas Day

Lord Jesus Christ, you are the gentle moon and joyful stars, that watch over the darkest night.  You are the source of all peace, reconciling the whole universe to the Father.  You are the source of all rest, calming troubled hearts, and bringing sleep to weary bodies.  You are the sweetness that fills our minds with quiet joy, and can turn the worst nightmares into dreams of heaven.  May I dream of your sweetness, rest in your arms, be at one with your Father, and be comforted in the knowledge that you always watch over me.  Erasmus

Grace

“Heaven is a radical act of grace on God’s part.””Grace strikes us when we are in great pain and restlessness.  It strikes us when we walk through the dark valley of a meaningless and empty life.  It strikes us when our disgust for our own being, our indifference, our weakness, our hostility, and our lack of direction and composure have become intolerable to us.  It strikes us when , year after year, the longed-for perfection of life does not appear, when the old compulsions reign with us as they have for decades, when despair destroys all joy and courage.  Sometimes at that moment a wave of light breaks into our darkness, and it is as though a voice were saying: “You are accepted.” Paul Tillich

Sunset From Balcony, Florissant, Colorado

Author of blog, me

Deer visiting for breakfast outside window

What a ride these past couple months have been. A pretty bumpy one at that. Holidays can really be a challenge. I think I started doing holiday baking the end of October because I was so excited about being with someone during the holidays for once and the kitchen here is the biggest I’ve ever had. It was fun to share the final products with friends and neighbors down the road and I put on a few more love handles from indulging myself. However, love was just not in the air, no matter how hard I tried to spread it. I kept thinking like I always do during the Christmas season; “there will be a Christmas miracle, I just know it, just wait for it.” And yes it was fun to take treats and gifts to a lonely soul down the road and his old ornery self did tear up. And on Christmas Eve when Santa Claus walked into the old historical church holding the baby Jesus and delivered it down the aisle to the 150 year old crèche and picked up a little child and gave her a big hug, that was special. And I spent weeks thinking about the perfect gifts of comfort for a special person in my life and how and when I would present them. And then the day came and it was not so great and all the expectations of a miracle or just a little acceptance turned into melted mountain snow trickling down a slippery slope of pure disappointment and sadness. So I will continue to take pictures of the beautiful sunsets on this other side of the moon, until I find another place to light. I will still have expectations of miracles though, since I live amongst the natural ones in this awesome forest. Miracles of love and acceptance and I will never give up this wish. Ever.

Sunset in the Rockies

Kristin and I at Bill's picking up wheel barrow present we were hiding and delivering food and gifts to him

Sad Evening Saved by Grace through Nature

 

Old Man Deer with man points, some broken, came by backyard with about half a dozen younger bucks.

Last night a close family member experienced another sad loss.  After a night of tears and conversations with loved ones I finally gave it up to God and sleep. Walking down to the kitchen this morning and out to the balcony to feed the birds, brought delight. I saw the most deer I have ever seen, in the back yard below. The deer in the picture had the most antler points I’ve ever seen, several of them were broken and chipped. He was accompanied by many other younger deer. He would walk behind the younger ones, pushing them towards the house and the seed and long grass below.  I don’t know, I thought they must have been sent to remind me how beautiful life can be, even in the midst of darkness. My beloved family member will work through this with the support of her loved ones who will gather around her and push her towards the lightness and beauty in life even in the midst of loss and sorrows.

 

And a Child Will be Born!

Nesting, working and traveling the past few weeks have taken me away from my writing. I’ve been visiting Benny and Pete at the farm, guest teaching, fixing up the house and trying to keep it warm, juggling a crisis here and there, and working down in Manitou Springs.

Gracie called me the other day and told me  I should be expecting a box from UPS.  She tracked the box to Colorado Springs, about 30 miles from where I live up the mountain. I told her I usually see the tired UPS man burning rubber down our dirt road around 6pm as I am driving home some evenings. He looks haggard and in a hurry to park his big brown monster in civilization for the night.  I doubt too many package delivery men volunteer for our rugged territory in the Rampart Range. Unless they appreciate a great view, that is. Well, the box was waiting for me on the moonlit front porch and after a day that made my bones and muscles scream for rest and warmth,  I scooped it up with a smile and opened it.  I love surprises! There were several little surprises in it and a card. I opened the red and white striped box first and there it was. The ANNOUNCEMENT! A Child Will Be BORN! This was inscribed in pretty red paint on a beautiful white opaque ornament.  And his/her name will not be Jesus, is my bet. Grace and Cal’s child is to be born in June and I’m sure of it this time.  Teary eyed and full of faith sure of it!

Show me the Money

I need Him to show me the money, a friend recently told me over the phone.  It’s my “friends friend who has also become my friend, the one that is not long for this world. He called me on the phone for the first time to also ask if I could help him get his house in order. He has been putting so much time in his work on the vintage cars that his house has been neglected, he said. People that would drive by used to stop and tell him how great his yard and home looked. He needs to get the paint brush out and do some touching up and he would like me to help.

I’ve been having some flashbacks, he said. Flashbacks of the fun times I used to have when I was younger. He is also thinking about death and what happens after. I need Him to show me the money he would repeat, talking about God and the need of proof that there is an afterlife.  I told him that it sounds like he has had an interesting life.  He said that was true and that he was raised in Tahiti by his mother until he was 16. He started talking about the time he was a back-up singer with Rita Coolidge singing back-up for the Captain and Tenille and Delaney and Bonnie. I said, you’re kidding. You sing? Heck yes, he said. I was in love with Rita Coolidge.  Then he said he had been thinking about the great time he had with Dickey Smothers when he lived in Marina Del Ray California.  He worked on his outboard motor on his boat the year of Dick’s divorce and how they would drink beers together and talk about how he did not want his wife to get his boat! He asked me if I knew who John Ford and Earl Flynn were? I told him yes and he said he worked on their cars. Then he started talking about Dan Blocker, Haas, on Bonanza and how he overhauled the engine on his Chris Craft boat. He said, Dan was a very big guy and was gentle speaking and intelligent. My head is swimming with all the celebrity name dropping. Heck, I remember watching the Smothers Brothers and Bonanza on a regular basis as a kid. And now I’m talking with a man in the mountains about life after death and overhauling celebrity boat and car engines….

The conversation takes the path to the subject of life after death again. I just need him to show me the money, he repeated. I said something about grace and creation and the beautiful land he lived on. I said, there”s your money! I wasn’t sure where I was going with that and prayed to God to help me with this conversation. This tough proud expert mechanic and I’m finding out, singer too, is feeling vulnerable and I decide to mostly listen because this is one hard topic.  I mean, we are talking about the existence of God and the afterlife.  I recently read an article about how when we are at the most vulnerable with a life threatening illness we are more open to having God in our life. Not out of desperation, but our defenses are down. God is always there, we are just more open to him. We become more human and divine at the same time.

And then the subject goes back to having me come help him do some things around his land and house. I explain that I’m right in the middle of tourist season, but yes I will find some time. He said he would pay me and I tell him that the only payment I would accept is to have him teach me to fish the South Platte. He said he needs to go fishing Sunday, but he has so much to do.  I tried to talk him in to keep his date with the fishing plans.

Our conversation bounces around about flashbacks of good times, how life is so short, the desire to have proof of heaven and afterlife,  and me coming up to help. I mention to him that he seems like such a social person and why has he become a recluse in the mountains. He had a quick answer. I am not a recluse. My place represents freedom and safety! I said, yes it is all beautiful. I liked his answer. Well that was basically the only firm answer we came up with during this conversation.  We both agreed that it is not cool that life is so short and that it is scary to be close to the end. We talked about the anxiety of it. I told him that the verse from Isaiah, “Be still and Know that I am God” is my prayer and mantra when I feel anxiety about the future. There was a little pause in the conversation and I told him I would call him when I returned from my visit with my grandchildren and we will make plans after that and that I really wanted to go fishing with him too. He told me to make sure and have fun. I thought the same about him.  Have fun, be still and Show me the money!

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