Wednesday, August 25, 2010


This is one of those days that changed me. I had no idea when I got up today that I would go to bed with a new appreciation of all that we take for granted.  Long before I blogged, I read blogs.  One that I have read for years and many times asked you to stop by and PRAY, is Ashley's Story. Maybe you have seen her facebook page.  Her blog page begins with the words, She will leave fingerprints all over your heart and she has.  She is a little girl that I fell in love with through the pages on my computer screen. Her Mom is a lady that I had been in awe of.  Period...How could one person do all she did? Go days with no sleep and when she did it was in a chair, fight battle after battle, rebound again and again from setback after setback and bad news, put her heart into words and write Ashley's story, and never seem to lose heart or hope.  She is a wife, a mom to three, an advocate for her little angel, a daughter, a sister, a friend, but what I saw in her face today was just a Mom that wanted more than anything for her baby to live.  The last few months have been really rough for Ashley. After three plus years, she had organ rejection.  The last few months have been horrible to put it mildly.  She has been back in Omaha,Ne at the transplant center and ultimately had to have the organ removed a few weeks ago.. (you can read her story)
Nothing has gone right and with every procedure there have been multiple complications.  I will just leave it at that.  Ashley is very critical.  Over the weekend I realized that they had air transported her back to a hospital in my city.  Her family lives in a town about an hour away. 
Through the years I have sent Trish cards (how easy), prayed and asked others to pray, but we had never even talked.  On Saturday I called the hospital and had no idea if I would be able to get thru to her.  I did...and just told her that I wanted to serve her any way I could..if it was nothing more than food or a diet coke.  Ashley's alarms began to go off and we had to hang up.  Let me interject, I am not a hospital just creeps me out, the smell when I walk in actually makes me sick...any hospital, then walking the halls and seeing people with their doors open and alone breaks my heart.  I have spent a lot of time with family members in the hospital, so it's not like I cannot do it, I just normally choose not to.  And anytime I have been in the hospital, all I could think about was getting out.  I have a staph phobia and it has been rampant in hospitals here.  I just don't want you to think I am a regular hospital visitor.  BUT today, I knew I had to go. Sometimes you JUST KNOW that you are supposed to do something.  I stopped by a local bakery and picked up some yummy treats..and packaged a little gift box, which was such a little thing...Because of my business I live in a store.  I wanted to think of something that would really meet a need but I had no clue.  I am actually embarrassed that I took something so trivial.  I had no idea that I would actually get to see Ashley but I made my way up to the PICU and ask if they could give something to Trish.  When they said I could go in the room, I almost panicked.  What if I could not stop crying?  They had me gown up, another panic, what if I had a hot flash?  The moment I saw Trish I felt like I had known her all my life.  I walked in while there were some problems and several people working on her...She was as beautiful, vent and all, as all her pictures on the blog. Trish was being the Mom I had always envisioned that she was, speaking so lovingly to Ashley, telling her how brave she was, constantly  checking her, watching the monitors, visiting with me...being kind to all those that were taking care of her..I thought of all the little things I whine and complain about, how little things can upset me, how I have 4 healthy little's and a healthy family.  How we come and go, plan trips, watch too much TV, sleep in great beds with great sheets every night, and many days our biggest decision  is where we will go to eat.  God, help me NEVER
again take normal ordinary days for granted.
I met a real HERO today.  A MOM holding on to hope when things look really bad.  A MOM thankful for a couch to sleep on as she has only had a chair in the other hospital for weeks.  A Mom that has watched her little love go into the OR so many times in the last few weeks, that I have lost count.  A Mom that has had to sign consent forms that I am not sure I could sign. A MOM so concerned about how this is affecting her other two children. I saw courage in action and transparency in a new friend that has lots of questions and few answers.  We visited for several hours, shared stories, shared our faith and when I left I knew I did not go to the hospital today for Trish, but I went for me.  I walked out of that hospital, got in my car and asked God to put the picture of that hospital room in my face every time I complained about anything or took one blessing for granted.  I ask him to change me...So thank you Trish for letting me see your life, see your little girl (there are even bigger fingerprints on my heart tonight) thank you for sharing your heart and your hurt.  I hope in the days to come I can be God's hand extended to you.  I don't have any answers and all the same questions you do, so you will never hear any neatly packaged spiritual words from me. 
As you read this post, say a special prayer for Ashley and her amazing MOM.

Monday, August 23, 2010


This post did not stay up long, so you might want to go back and read it if you have followed Will's story.

I have no clue where the color stuff below came from. Blogger has given me so much trouble tonight...UGH IT has taken me forever to get this post I will just tell you about a day six years ago....with the caveat that ALL IS WELL THAT ENDS WELL!
Greg and Dana had booked a place to get married in Las Vegas. Just a small wedding for family and close friends. This sounded like a perfect time for us to take a family vacation. Amanda was not married at the time and she was on a trip to Pittsburg with a friend. Parker was with us...Sounds simple. We went to Dallas for a few days and planned to fly out of DFW. Amanda was going to fly in from another state a few hours later. We had decided to stay at the New York, New York where the roller coaster runs through the hotel...Always thinking of a new adventure for PARKER.
I remember running in Dillards in Dallas the Sat night before we flew out to purchase some shoes for the wedding...This was AUGUST and HOT IN VEGAS, so it was flip flops and one pair of shoes for the wedding...Check! Greg, Dana, her parents and a few others were flying out of Shreveport and we would all meet up...As soon as we landed, Greg called and everyone had made the flight but he and Dana..They were shutting the doors as they ran down the hall. I am pretty sure he said some words that I did not teach him. They eventually got a flight later in the day...Once they arrived they decided to go and check out the little wedding chapel..The address had a sign out front that said CLOSED. No longer in business. Of course they had paid for it on the internet..and so now they had to find a place quick. After calling many places they found one..Another problem solved. We had decided to just do the cab bit this week and did not rent a car, so we had told Amanda once she landed to get a cab to the hotel. She landed and grabbed a cab and on the way he cab driver, driving very fast, told her he was thinking about suicide, just tired of living...Excuse me, could you let me out first...I met her downstairs and she was more than happy to DE-CAB....if that's a word.
The wedding was the next as we were getting dressed about an hour before the wedding...and we felt like we had to be on time as they did the weddings on a in and out basis...I went to put on my shoes and 2 RIGHT SHOES. So it was flips flops for the Mother of the groom and not even cute or matching ones...I have NEVER been so glad to have a long dress. Amanda was standing up for Dana and I was on the front row....At about the same time, we both realized the the man officiating the ceremony, not sure what he was, was using a cassette player with a remote control to play wedding music...Amanda and I started laughing and we could not stop...all the time Greg giving us this look of cut the laughing. We couldn't! So that's how it all began...Then we all spent a week in Vegas and had so much much fun that as we flew home late one night, Parker leaned over to me and said "Grammy, I think I like Las Vegas better than Disney World"! Surely he did not say that!
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Now six years later we still laugh at all the mishaps on the trip, but the IMPORTANT THING HAPPENED. My boy married the girl of his dreams and they are living happily ever after. I think they both think they won the lottery. They were made for each other and now have two little boys to make their family complete.

It does not get better than that! Dana you are a perfect fit for our family and we love you more than you will ever know. YOU MADE OUR BOY HAPPY and that MAKES US ALL VERY HAPPY!
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Sunday, August 22, 2010


This is not the funny post I promised, but I do have the pictures now and will post it tomorrow. This has been one of those days, a Sunday where my eyes have had water in them most of the day.  The kind of eyes where you know they are about to spill tears but you are afraid if they do you might never stop crying.  Happy tears and sad tears.  I don't cry a lot, at least not in public...I rarely cry in movies..I have a friend that cries when they start showing the trailers.(she will know who she is) I just don't cry.  Number one it gives me a terrible headache, number two I always fear I will not be able to stop.  But today is not one of those days.  This could be a book if I wrote everything that moved me today so I will try and describe three.  As praise and worship began the pastor came to the platform and he is broken as his Mom is near death, but he talked about how we all wear masks and when asked how we are we reply GREAT!  I have been guilty of that more times than I can count..He talked about how LIFE is just TOUGH.  I got that... he then invited anyone that needed to take off the mask and come to the altar to come...I looked up to see Will's family making their way down the stairs and to the altar, where so many people gathered around them and prayed.  Parents came with their kids.....and then the praise team began to sing the Casting Crowns song I WILL PRAISE YOU IN THIS STORM and I saw Wills Mom and Dad stand up with their hands raised to heaven singing from their pain.   Then the pastor said in years past this is how we would have said it and he began to sing HOW GREAT THOU ART... and my thoughts were how in the world can they be worshipping and singing How Great Thou Art, when they buried their boy on Wednesday. Their three precious boys standing with them and their world upside down and yet they worshipped...Tears about to spill. I had a chance to talk to and hug Tyree after the service. There are not enough hugs for a Mom that has lost a son. I wish you could see her. She is beautiful to begin with but she has a glow, a grace, a presence that could only be there because she knows with all her heart that she will see Will again.

Then I ran into a friend that I have not seen in awhile. A friend that is so wounded. It's too personal a story to share, but it's a hurt that makes you not want to get up in the morning. Actually a hurt that I have been through years ago and I can tell her she will survive, but that does not lessen the pain now. Tears in both our eyes and mine about to spill.

And then there are those good tears. I looked to my left and Amanda was sitting next to me. Next to her was Micah and Parker...with Micah hugging on Parker the entire service.
(have I told you that he is the worlds greatest hugger?)I would give you a visual, but Amanda frowns on me taking my camera out in church.  Four years ago I was just sure that he could NEVER be a good step dad to the little boy that I loved more than life. I begged and pleaded with Amanda...Micah's not the one...Please do not marry him. AND guess what, THIS MOM was SO WRONG. I can tell you today that there is no one that loves Parker more than Micah. And that was from day one...and the bond has just gotten stronger and stronger, so much so that I forget he is not his Dad. He is constantly planning for his college, for his future, for his first car, and loving on him all the time. He is always thinking of new ways to make Parker's life good. He provides for him far and above anything I ever dreamed. No one loves him more than Micah...and when I glanced at them in church today all hugged up, tears were about to spill.
Micah, I love you for loving my girl, for giving us Jack and more than you will ever know for loving Parker Powell. And in case you did not know, he really loves YOU!

And I will probably shed a tear when BF takes the field tonight since I already have eyes full of water...Headed to Amanda and Micah's to watch the game and have some family time.  I promise to give you a LAUGH tomorrow.