Tuesday, August 31, 2010

enraged that young adults can't trust anyone

The news buzz here this week is about the
Policeman who picked up a 22 year old Nicholl's student
who found herself intoxicated and needing a ride
back to her Nicholl's apartment.
It is what we have taught our children,
when you find yourself in a situation that is not
safe for you, find a policeman and ask for help.
This young woman decided she was too drunk to get herself
back to her apartment so she asked for assistance from
a uniformed campus policeman.
What happened next enrages me.
He couldn't just drop her off and make sure she got
to her home away from home safely.
No, he had to follow her in and rape her.
His plea now is the it was consensual...
Oh do not even get me started on how I feel about that.
An intoxicated young adult, you are an adult on
duty, taxes that we pay to have the job that keeps you employed,
and he is going to stand behind the fact that she asked him
to have sex with her? Oh whatever!!!!
He looks more like a criminal by saying this.
He resigned. Resigned? Well that is the least he could do.
He was in jail for a short time but posted bond...
Why was there a bond set for him?
He took something from all of us, not just the young girl he raped.
He took away the security us parents have when
our children are away from home,
made us wonder if we have to change the life lessons we have
given our children which is to trust law officers.
If it were my daughter, this ex-cop would be
hiding behind the bars for protection because
I would be stalking his penis wherever it went not
to mention what baby boy and HOBL would be
thinking about doing to him.
Hopefully the young girl can get some sense of a life
after this. I can't even imagine what her days are like right now,
how she felt when she had to call her parents and tell them
what happened. Her whole world has to be shaken right now
and I am sure her parents want her home.
I don't care what the Comet states trying to make me
believe that he was this great cop before this incident,
served a stint in Iraq, was up for employee of the month,
Oh whatever, makes me doubt the whole police system
if they can say how great they thought he was
right before he stole from a young woman just beginning her life.
I don't care if in her intoxicated state, she maybe , maybe
thought it would be a good idea to have sex with this officer.
The key words are intoxicated and a uniformed police officer.
No fault on her part, he needs to be serving a life sentence,
but knowing our judicial system, I am sure soon
he will not only be found innocent or his charges be dropped
to a misdemeanor but probably will be a DARE officer soon
because he was "such a good employee"
I am enraged....

Monday, August 30, 2010

Sometimes I love days like yesterday

Yes, sometimes I love days where all it does is rain
and I can stay in my pj's without having anywhere to go.
I even took a much needed nap....
even though they make me feel lazy, sometimes I love a nap.
I also did a lot of journaling yesterday because
I have been a head of confusion lately trying
to figure out just what I am supposed to be doing
with this ill health of mines.
For some, it seems so easy,
"Just retire, Lil, you don't have to work"
Yes, it may be that easy for some but for me at 47 years old
it is much more complicated than that.
I have nursed since I was 19 years old, it is as much a part
of me as being a mother to my two children is.
I never imagined that my career would be over at 47
and I can't even fathom the idea of never nursing again
without it bringing tears to my eyes.
Yet I have to weigh the fact that because I am being
selfish about my career others are missing out on
what they expect from me.
My great nieces and nephews know that if there is any way
possible for me to be there for their functions,
their birthday parties, their life I will be there.
Yet because a day of work just wears me out,
I am missing these things that are also important to me.
Acceptance of this new way of life is still not there for me.
I guess it is because growing up and having my children
I have had some weird medical things but nothing that lingered
or became a something I had to accept as part of my life.
I never had to think of the fact that I had one kidney or
radiation had damaged my body in a way that would cause
me to suffer as an older person.
I am glad I didn't think about it, I am happy I had all those years.
So yesterday I spent a lot of time thinking about all of this.
I am not going to give up without a fight.
I work in a three story air conditioned building.
I am always there an hour before my punch-in-time
so I am going to start trying to walk this building.
The pain is there anyway so I might as well give my body a reason
to hurt and what if in actuality it helps me in the long run.
I know I have to loose weight, maybe this is what will
help this pain also.
Today I am going to put away depressed eating which means
basically when I can't do anything physical, I eat....
Today I am going to try and begin eating healthier.
Yes, just like most of my readers,
I have said this all so many times before
and maybe this time will end up just like all the other times
that I tried to do these things
but at least for today I have a plan and I do well with plans...
If I am going to give up nursing, it will be after a
long fight... and I have some fight in me....
Happy Monday, next Monday.... off!!!!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

When God asks, you should always say yes

I love public speaking.
Give me a microphone and an audience and I am there.
I often say when I grow up I want to be a
motivational speaker.
If you read this blog avidly, you will probably remember me
saying this times before.
Yesterday was the day that I was scheduled to talk
at a 10th grade retreat.
The speech was to be about the miracle of my life and
how journaling has helped me document and get through
hard times.
A little background is needed right here.
Lately a good nights sleep is hard to come by.
I sleep but wake up often to find a comfortable position.
Also mornings are the worst and I wake up early
each morning just to get my body ready for a day.
So when weekends come, sometimes I choose to just
stay home and take it easy.
Yesterday was one of those rough mornings where getting
out of bed and getting a move-on was complicated.
It would have been easy to just call my pal, Jeremy
and cancel out on the talk.
Yet, I have this believe that when you are asked to do something
for God you should not say no.
I get my booty moving, take medications to help the body move better
and by 12 noon I am at the gym ready to see my audience.
I am so happy just to see many old faces that I used to work
with at religion. I love these people and miss not being
a part of their program every week.
My audience is 40 10th graders who probably would rather
be anywhere than spending their day talking about God.
I make my life story funny yet full of the miracles that my life is.
As I begin I notice that each are listening, I have them captured.
I then go on for one hour and tell my life story that is
just one big miracle.
I don't plan for exactly what or how I am going to get
my message across because I believe that God will give me
the words that these children need to hear.
Yet, this time I hear myself say something at the end
that I had never added in my speeches before.
This coming from my mouth is more for me than the teens,
who by the way, have been very attentive and a few have even cried.
I end this time with the fact that I am not sure where God is leading
me now on this journey of life that is just one big miracle.
I am afraid for what my future holds and not sure
if I even like it but I know there is a reason for my life
and what happens in it even now.
I know that even with the physical pain I find myself in
and the medical issues that seem to be piling up as I get older,
that God will not leave me, and He has a plan for all of it...
Well didn't I need to hear that this day.
So when God asks, I will continue to say "yes"
because sometimes the lesson is for me.
Today I am energized.
The pain is still there, that has not changed.
What has changed at least for today is
the belief that even this will soon become part of the
story I tell of my life, the story of a miracle.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

What do people do without friends?

I am trying to figure out, what do people who deny themselves
real, true friends do?
Why, you may ask, I am thinking this so early this morning?
Well, I have truly, truly wonderful friends.
Each is so important to me for different ways.
The friend that has me thinking this so early
is my dear friend, Patricia D.
Patricia and I work together but she is also an avid follower of the blog.
She gets me.
She understands that to be friends with me you have to
like deep conversations where I say things most people just think aloud.
She listens and she also comes to me often when she wants these
deep lessons on life, she also is one who deeply thinks of life and God.
Patricia, like me also has this wonderful sense of humor so
most of our conversations last very long and usually end
of shedding a few tears but alway is accompanied with much laughter.
Because she follows my blog faithfully she knows those little things about me
like that God speaks to me when I brush my teeth.
It is a long standing joke with all who knows me
but he really does put big ideas and answers in my head
when I shut up long enough to listen and that is when
I brush my teeth which is also when I am the quietest.
Hence, Patricia understands my blog the other day when
I am confused about what God is trying to tell me about
decisions on working and these medical issues.
When I end with the fact that I probably need to start brushing
my teeth more often, she understands what that means.
Yesterday, when I return to work after a day and a half off,
who but Patricia is there bright and early to greet me in my
office. She is not empty handed:
How funny that my girl brings in the new portable tooth brushes
so that I can hear God on the go!
What a sense of humor but also so touching because not only
does my friend "get me" but she listens.
She understands that I am struggling mentally with decisions that need
to be made.
She and many like her at TES are what makes it so hard to give up
a job I love so much.
Thanks Patricia, you are the bomb of a friend.
I love you and your babies...

Friday, August 27, 2010

Once again, I am going to be a Mumsie...

Yes, I have known for some time that my lovely
Kd is pregnant once again.
However, she and baby boy were keeping the news
on the down-low until things were past what
they felt was the danger point.
Yesterday, our new lovey or Eskimo as we have
been calling him/her
(yep made in Alaska)
made 11 weeks, is the size of a fig,
and as healthy as any 11 week old fetus could be.
Kd has given me permission to once again
share the news of happiness.
My reasons for posting now is for many, many prayers
for the safe pregnancy and birth of this
little eskimo who is due on St. Patty's day.
Thanks to all who have been so supportive to
both Kd and baby boy.
This time will be different,
sorry Kd is so sick this time around
but it makes for a healthy baby
she has been a trouper, sick as a dog
but not complaining much because she understands
what this means.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

sick day one already being used

(taken at the wedding of our Kn teacher, Amanda. What a great day it was!)
Didn't take my body long to use a sick day...
Thankfully we get 10!
I am not dying just too uncomfortable to do my job today...
Where will all this lead me?
Whatever the big Man is trying to tell me,
wish he would make it a little bit clearer...
I will have to start brushing my teeth more often
since it is when I hear his voice the most.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Yes, I know the song is a billionaire
but as I tell baby girl constantly when she corrects me,
I don't need a billion, only a million will be needed.
What would I do?
Well I would have my HOBL quit that stinking job
in Alaska that he loves so much.
I would hang up the nursing career and begin
shopping for me lake house right away.
I would buy Kd and baby boy all
the baby furniture they want...
I would make baby girl the best studio ever...
I would spend more time with friends and family
and stop hiding behind the facts and responsibilities
of life...
Well I try to do that part anyway...
I love singing this song, especially the part that goes:
I am not very interested in the queen but anyone
who knows me knows my famous words that if
Oprah really knew me she and I would be best friends
and Gail would be soooo jealous because I would
be her bestie....
Happy hump day, early dismissal for the kiddo's at school.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

natural progression of life

As I sat in my scrap room last night working on
Leah's wedding programs I thought about
how fast time has passed that I am making wedding
programs for this little girl that graced my home
while growing up.
Sometimes it is the growth of other people's children
that shock me more than my own.
I guess it is because I have been there every day to
watch my own grow while other people's children
has come in spurts.
So Leah is getting married.
I thought of the little girl who loved to hang out at
my house, not to play with baby girl but to
gain the attention of baby boy and any friend who may
be over that weekend.
It is a source of pleasure for my family as well as hers
to watch the video I made of the time she
sang to Celine Dion and pranced down the steps of my home
to the wondering eyes of Baby boy and Robert.
Thankfully, they didn't see what I saw,
a little girl with so much more maturity than those
boys had at the time.
She has always been the most loving child and even
now when I see her I am always reminded of the little girl
who I loved so much.
The natural progression of life:
Little children will grow up,
some will get married, some will travel the world
but they, with the grace of God,
will all grow up.

Monday, August 23, 2010

yesterday was pokeno Sunday

I have blogged about my pokeno group before.
Yet each year, when it is my turn to host,
I am reminded of just what a great group I belong to.
I have been in this group for 16 years, since baby girl was 4.
Many have come and gone, but the original group has
been around that long.
It was because of conversations of this group of lady friends
that made me realize my Mumsie was suffering from dementia.
Again, I was very touched when they made the decision
without my input to make Mumsie and honorary member
of our pokeno group.
Let me explain.
There are 11 ladies in our group and each is expected to
host pokeno at their home once a year.
Because Mumsie is one of the members,
I was responsible for doing my own month as well as Mumsie's
month since she became unable to do it herself.
In March, they called me to explain that they had
made a decision that Mumsie and I's pokeno
would be combined to once a year.
I tried to argue the point explaining that I didn't mind
doing it but they made up some lame excuse that
they didn't "feel like coming to Thibodaux twice a year"
I know they made that up because they love me and the Mumsie
like that. So again, yesterday, as we gather together
at my home with a few extra friends who filled in
as subs, I am reminded as we speak what an honor
it is to have true and long-time friends.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The dream of a lake house

HOBL and I have talked many times of things we
would like to do when we get "old".
Like I have shared before HOBL also always
dreamed of living off of the waterways of
bayou Lafourche.
Lately our dreams have changed.
Selling the bike, for me was hard, because
one of his dreams was that on retirement we
would be able to travel on the bike and see parts
of the world off the back of the Harley.
Yet, when my health had other ideas he unselfishly
decided that if I couldn't share that dream, he really didn't
need the bike. He never said this aloud but I know
my HOBL enough to know that this was part of the reason
for selling the Harley.
In the last couple of months though we have talked
much about this lake house that we will have.
Not as a camp but as a way of life.
I am coming to the acceptance that I will not be working
when I am 60, just won't happen.
I have fears of when I have to leave my nursing career
that is so much a part of me. What will I do?
HOBL knows and understands that I struggle with this.
So we have began talking and dreaming of what we will
do for the rest of our life when this part is over.
When Mumsie calls heaven home he and I
will be moving. St. Francisville is the place where we will look.
What do we want at our dream home?
We want a lake in our backyard.
Not just a pond, but a waterway that takes us places.
I want to sit there each morning and drink my coffee,
journal and enjoy the beauty of this wonderful place.
I want to be able to sit and fish for long periods of time
without needing a boat.
We want chickens, yep chickens.
I want to have a coop where we have eggs to eat.
I want a goat.
A goat to roam our land and keep the grass short.
We will have a few little puppies, more than just the
two loves we have now.
I want a scrap room that houses all my hobbies.
Most importantly I want a guest house or
in-law quarters on our property.
I want this in-law quarter to be self-sufficient
so that the guests who stay there feel like they can stay
for as long as they want.
I want this quarters to always have someone visiting.
I want this place to be a source of relaxation for those I love.
I want my babies and their families to visit often and long.
Eventually, this dream will be.
When my HOBL has something in his head, it always happens.
The dream adds excitement to our lives
and lets me know that I will be okay and even very happy
when nursing is not a way of life for me.
It is so much fun to search the real estate with HOBL and
wonder where we will end of a few years from now.
I am loving this dream stuff...

Saturday, August 21, 2010

piano journey

For those of you who don't know, way back when,
Sister snot nose and I decided we wanted to do
something together.
We were both grown and our babies were all in school.
It was a time when she was able to take a break from
work and I was working part time.
We decided that we should take piano lessons.
Our good friend, Tammi, who by the
way is a great musician,
taught lessons so it was convenient for us to
use her services.
Once a week we would meet at Tammi's house and learn
piano. Neither of us got really great at it
but both of us enjoyed it enough that eventually we bought
us each a piano for our home.
I punched those piano keys a lot in that time.
I sucked at it but loved the fact that I was trying and could
actually make decent music.
The babies made fun of me and begged me to quit some
nights when they were trying to sleep and I was practicing.
As all things with mommy's with children,
we had to put the piano lessons on hold and we never went back.
When the family decided to move to Thibodaux
I was heart-broken that I would not be able to bring my
piano. It was heavy and took many many men to bring it into my
house and we were going to live in an apartment so it just
wasn't practical to bring it with us.
My niece, Lisa also played and took lessons many years as a child.
Every time she came to our home she blessed us with beautiful
music she had learned.
I decided that she would be the best to sell the piano to and
she and Guy jumped at the chance.
My old piano now graces her home.
At the time I had to let it go, HOBL promised me that
one day he would get me another.
Over the last 7 years I have wished and thought about a piano
many times. I missed the practicing and making music.
The last thing I needed was another hobby but I loved it.
However buying our smaller home in Thibodaux left no
room for housing a piano.
I many times priced those new and improved space- efficient piano's
but couldn't bring myself to spend that type of money on it.
Then baby boy and KD decided that they no longer wanted theirs
and would sell it.
BB bought it for KD one holiday and although she loved it
she found herself with no time to play or take lessons.
At first I told them I wasn't interested in purchasing it
but it just kept sitting in my head how nice it would be to have it.
It was a great price, 3 hundred dollars off and it was essentially
brand new.
Then HOBL decided that if I really wanted it, I should have it.
Well, of course, I should have it but I didn't want to spend
my money on it.....
He bought me the piano from the other Riera's.
Since then it has brought me so much joy.
I am surprised how much I am remembering
from days past with just a little review from my
old Alfred's books.
It sits in the small hall of my small home right now.
I have decided it needs a better place of honor...
I think I will rearrange the furniture in my room today
to house it there so that every time I wake up,
I see it and can play a few chords....
The beauty of making music with your own hands is
a blessing that more should look into.
It is something that, if given the chance,
your children should be encouraged to do.
Some type of harmony for a child will follow them
throughout their lives.
I am so happy that HOBL made this purchase for me.
One day when I have my lake house overlooking the
waters of St. Francisville I will have a classic piano
but for now, this slim line full scale, can do everything a
piano is supposed to do and more, will
be another hobby.....
So many hobbies, so little time!

Friday, August 20, 2010

stickers can do it

Drama king comes to see his nurse Lilly.
He is holding his head and bent over.
I know him well, I am not overly concerned.
"I am soooo sick, I have a headache, I have to go home"
When you are 7 and school gets hard,
this is how you feel.
Nurse Lilly checks him thoroughly...
No fever, throat and ears look perfect.
No physical signs of illness,
yet I understand,
school can give you a headache.
"I tell you what, you are going home in one hour,
How about I give you a peppermint and an ice bag for
your head. Will that help you?"
".... and a sticker?"
"HMMMM, a sticker? Have you had a good day,
have you moved your bee?"
"Nope, nurse Lilly, haven't moved my bee"
Well, this would be hard for me to believe but
heck, let me give this sweety a sticker and get him
through the hour.
"Here is your sticker, now I am going to walk you back to
He replies, "You are going to walk me all the way back
or just watch me cross the street?"
"No my honey, I am going to walk you all the way
back to your teacher"
He is getting worried,
" Are you going to talk to my teacher?"
Oh, now I get it, he is worried about where that bee might be!
"Why buddy, you want me to ask her about your bee
or you want to keep this between us?"
He smiles that big smile because he knows if Nurse Lil
and him make a deal, it is solid.
"Yeah, nurse Lilly, lets keep it between us"
"You got a deal, you stay at school for one more hour,
and we will keep it between us and You get your sticker."
He forgets his ice, headache is gone....
Happy Friday!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

cajun french, a dying language...

While sitting in the wonderful
Golden Meadow Methodist church on Saturday
to bury my friends daddy,
I was enamored by an elderly gentleman.
Just before the final prayer
this gentleman asked for permission to come
up to the altar to speak.
From his mouth came the most beautiful
speech that I had not heard for some time.
I closed my eyes and just listened to the
beauty of the rolled words and the broken
sounds of what we know as being cajun french.
I was brought back to a time in childhood where
my parents and their friends and family spoke
this fluently in my presence.
Memories of HOBL's grandpa also came to mind
since he only spoke french and hearing HOBL
speak to him in cajun french always made me love him more.
I've rarely heard HOBL speak french since his grandpa died.
I wish I had paid more attention, I wish I had learned
to speak more of it.
It is sad that I only understand a few words that he shared.
A language that is soon to die with the last generation
to speak it, our parents generation.
Now as an adult, sitting there listening to this beautiful
language I am ashamed that our generation has
not done enough to save these words.
We hear a lot about the oil spill killing our way of life,
how life as we know it may be dying for our cajun heritage
yet we, the very onrs crying has allowed another
part of our heritage to die out by lack of teaching and practicing.
We can't blame others for out fault here.
I do believe my baby boy bought some type of CD
at the Louisiana store in the mall to learn
how to speak our "down the bayou" french.
I will look into buying my own.
I want to be able to speak cajun french to my grandchildren.
I want HOBL to help me learn more of this language
before he forgets it himself.
I want to hear these words come from his mouth
to his grandchildren.
After listening to the beautiful speech of this
older cajun man and having the desire not only to
hear his speech but to understand it, I am
motivated to learn it, to speak it.
I wonder if there is Rosetta Stone for
down the bayou French?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Could you do this?

Laura Bucktell told this story yesterday on
channel 4 news.
A young adult on the streets of New York
last February holds a man up by knife point
and demands an innocent man's wallet.
The man hands over his wallet and
tells the criminal
"You know what, it's cold today, here have my coat"
The boy looks shocked and confused but he takes the coat.
The man then says that he would like
to take him to breakfast.
Again the criminal looks shocked but he agrees to have
breakfast with the man he just held up.
As they sit in the restaurant they begin to talk
and the man asks what this young adult wants to
do with his life, they talk about why he feels the need
to be a criminal rather than an honest man.
When the check comes the man tells the criminal.
"You will have to pay for breakfast. I would pay for it
but since you have my wallet, I have no money.
I will also agree to help you better your life if
you give me my wallet and the knife you are holding."
The criminal hands over and the man is true to his word.
Today, six months later they remain friends
and the almost-criminal is now in college being
mentored by the same man he held up in
the streets of New York.
How is that for changing the world?
I would never have the courage to do this,
not to mention the idea to try.
Wonderful story for hump day...

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Many of us have collections.
I have a miniature collection and a tea pot collection.
I collect scrapbook things and photographs.
My HOBL...
Well he only collects one thing and it is money.
It is a big joke in our home that HOBL
likes to save 99 cents off of every dollar.
It is why we have separate checking accounts.
Where am I going with this?
HOBL has been requesting to sell the Harley for some time.
Ever since I really can't ride with him anymore
and many of his old bike riding friends have died
he has lost interest in the bike life.
It was costing him more for the upkeep and just
driving him crazy that it was taking up space in his life.
I was against it for a long time because
he just couldn't get the price for it that I felt he deserved.
I also felt like this was his and should keep it.
However, when HOBL has something on his mind, it
is very hard to get him to change it.
I also had ulterior motives for finally giving in to the sale.
I have wanted one of those full scale electric pianos for
some time and when baby boy and KD decided to sell
theirs I really had been thinking about it.
Another collection for me: Hobbies.
Playing the piano is another hobby.
So I deal with him, he can sell the bike if he buys me the piano.
Oh he is all over that, then he can add a little more to
his money collection.
He may have to give up a few hundred for the piano
but the bulk of the dollars he can put in our savings.
His collection is about to grow....
He calls me after the sale to give me the figure of his
money collection. Whatever, I am at work and busy,
I am happy he is so happy, but really I am not into
his money collection.
I am more interested in when that piano is coming...
This is where the funny part comes in.
He sits in his castle surrounded by all that he has bought
with his money collection feeling so proud
of his big addition to the hobby when he and baby girl smell
something burning.
If you know HOBL this is a main event especially if
it is happening on the same day he is leaving for work.
Baby girl calls me and she is laughing.
HOBL, her Deda is stressed because the TV has
just burned itself out and now the collection will have
to be a little less when he has to replace the tv.
He is insistent he can have this huge Tv repaired.
He asks that I wait until he gets home in two weeks before
I make another big purchase.
I agree, knowing that if that TV had blown out before
he wrote that check for that piano, I would not
have gotten that piano.
Why is it that something that used to be a source of
aggravation and arguing I now find
very endearing.
I love HOBL, really I do....
and the way he loves his collection.
(I mean how can you not love him, look how cute
he was back in the day, a fox as we said in the 80's)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Could it be...

Could it be that my blog could have made a mark on
channel 2 news....
I don't always check my messages that come through
on facebook but this morning, because I
am on school hours, I have time to do it.
There on August 12th I realize I have
a message from channel 2 news, Ashley
who says she has read my blog entry
She was on her way to Schriever to
the man who owns the sign in his yard
that says this.
She says in the message that she read my blog
and would be at his house within the hour
and would I call her to let her know if I
would be interested in being in her interview...
What?! Auntie Lil interested in an interview?
in reference to something she wrote in a blog...?!
probably a good thing I didn't get the message until
It does make me proud that more than who I know
read my blog...
Hmmm, maybe one day I will be an author,
maybe one day I can be a motivational speaker...
This blog may just make these dreams come true!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

another one for AHA week

I am a young mother and nurse when this event takes place.
The babies are probably about 2 and 6.
I am only working at Lady of the Sea
in the capacity that is called flex.
They call when they need help and you
can say yes or no.
The hospital had been really slow that month
and I was glad because the few times they had
called me I was not able to go in to help
because the kids had been sick.
On this such day the hospital called to see if I
could go in for 4 hours to help.
HOBL was offshore and it would mean finding a sitter
for the babies. Usually I would refuse but for some
reason I just felt like going.
Felt like I wanted some nursing time.
I called Mumsie and she came to keep the babies.
I went in for 3 and was only working for 4 hours.
Usually in this capacity you would be assigned a float
position. Helping the other nurses but not being
assigned patients. However, on this day I was
asked to be responsible for 4 patients until the 7:00pm nurse
came in for a 12 hour shift.
I go with the flow, so of course this was no problem for me.
I was getting report from my cousin, Shana who had
worked the day shift when we began discussing a
man in his 40's who had had surgery that day.
He was scheduled to have his gallbladder removed
but when the surgeon went in to do a simple gall bladder removal
he opened up to find a young man with an abdomen full of cancer.
He and his family were devastated and shocked.
He was put to sleep to have a gallbladder removed
and woke up to be told that his life was about to change.
At this time in my life, I didn't have many medical complications
from my cancer treatments so did not talk much about the miracle of my life,
especially to patients who I did not know well.
My first visit to his room was for assessment and I walked in to
a room full of grief. The patient was laying in his bed,
his wife sitting on the bed with him holding his hand.
They both would begin crying with any mention of what
they had just discovered.
There were also many family members there.
His children, his parents, his in-laws.
Shock was on every face that I saw in that room.
It did not cross my mind at that time to discuss my cancer survival.
The surgeon had given him a grim outlook on what could be
done for him and the oncologist was coming the next day
to discuss treatment options. Yet right then, on that day,
they were trying to absorb what they had just found out.
I left the room after trying to give some comfort to see the
other of my 3 patients.
When I got to the last patient I had an overwhelming feeling to
go back to my cancer patients room.
I did and at that time it was just he and his wife left there.
I asked if I could share something personal with him.
He agreed and words came spilling out.
(Do not think I am coo-coo I tell no lies when it comes to this.)
I do not know exactly what I said, it was not prepared.
I shared how I too had cancer at 5 and my family was given
the same grim news as he had received that day
and yet, through chemotherapy, radiation and more
prayers than one little girl should ever need,
I beat the odds and many, many years later,
I was still here.
His eyes were glued to me, his wife began to cry.
I hugged both of them and left.
My shift was soon over and I returned home to my babies.
I knew I had taken part again in God's work but didn't
really think about it much, I was young.
A few weeks later I am at Wallet-World with the babies in tow.
I see his wife and she comes to me and hugs me.
I ask how things are and she reports that
her husband had began chemotherapy and his prognosis was not good
yet he had something that he received that day from me
that he did not have before I spoke with him, HOPE.
Again, the Big Man had put all the pieces in place for
this man to get what he needed.
This is written about 18 years later,
wonder what ever happened to this patient.
Funny, I can't even remember his name today
but his face, always etched in my mind and heart.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

what makes a friend for life?

I have been blessed with many friends but there are three
friends who I consider life friends.
Friends who have been there since elementary school,
through high school and now as adults. Even
though we don't get to visit as often as we would like,
I call these three my life friends.
They are Tanial, Laurie and Ann.
Today, myself and two of these life friends came together
to bury Laurie's daddy.
This blog is not about us, however.
It is about my great niece Abby and her life friend, Jessica
who happens to be my friend, Laurie's 11 year old daughter.
Ann and I arrive at church and visit with our dear friend Laurie
and her family.
We take a seat and my Abby comes sit with us.
Where Abby is, Jessica is not far behind.
Lisa, Abby's mother sits in the back with her parents.
I am so glad Abby has decided to sit with me because
we don't get to visit as often as we would like to.
Having Jessica with us adds to the conversation and
they are being silly friends, making me laugh before the mass begins.
Once mass begins we all listen intently as the pastor
speaks to us about Mr. Nolan and I hear Jessica sniffling.
I reach across Abby's back to comfort Jessica.
This I believe, causes her to cry more
and this is when I am able to witness a moment of life friends.
My Abby notices that her friend is having a rough moment.
They, like Laurie and I, have been friends since 1st grade.
They know the worst and the best of the other.
My Abby, this special sensitive child,
takes her friends arm in hers and intertwines their arms together.
She holds Jessica's hand with their arms wrapped and she
grabs her purse to pull out two Kleenex's one for her and one for Jess.
I am now teary-eyed.
I have my arm around the both of them
yet I am beaming with pride and honored that I have
been a witness to my great nieces' show of love for her friend.
She too is crying because she has pain for a friend.
She holds her friend until it is time for us to leave church
then Jessica goes to be with her Mom.
I hug my Abby I whisper in her ear,
"You are such an awesome friend"
and in true Abby form with tears running down her
beautiful face she shakes her head and says....
"I know"
She doesn't lack self-confidence either.
I realize that our Abby is a very special child and
I also realize that what she and Jessica have
is the same friendship that I have with
A life friend.
I love you Abby and all you stand for.
Be true to yourself and don't let the world change
your sensitive side.
Sometimes you remind me of myself and I am
so darn proud that you are my niece.

Friday, August 13, 2010

A simple text...

Last night I get a simple text from my dear friend Laurie:
"my friend... the time has come. He has passed.
No more pain and suffering"
A simple text and I am transported back to childhood
and I am sad when I realize that a legend to my
younger life has died.
I was with Laurie and her family last Wednesday
when they got the news that their father, husband
once again had lung cancer.
Even then the doctors had hope that they could
offer some type of treatment that would
at least make him more comfortable if not save his life.
None of this was going to be when Mr. Nolan made
a brave and wise decision to not accept treatment
but to go home with hospice to die.
Laurie and I had a long conversation on Tuesday night
on the very same day he was brought home.
I hope our conversation gave her some peace,
some preparation as to what was to come.
I bragged on hospice and what a great organization
this was, how they treat the whole family
and they would assure that when the time came,
they would help her wonderful daddy with suffering.
She shared that his words were,
"I am not afraid to die I am afraid to suffer"
Twenty three years ago he faced a similar battle
loosing half a lung to the dreaded C word.
I would be lying if I said I was not shocked when
I got the text last night.
I knew he would go quick, 2 weeks to 2 months
but I never expected 2 days.
Once the shock wore off, I realized and still do today
that this too is an AHA moment on AHA week.
A good man's dying wish at 86 years old was answered.
When he said,
"I am not afraid to die, I am afraid to suffer"
it was from his lips to God's ears and THE BIG MAN answered.
As sad and tragic as it is to loose a wonderful man,
it is a prayer answered.
an AHA moment...

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Happy birthday, dear Roddie....

So one day this week while baby boy and I are chatting
on facebook, I mention that I can't believe that he
is going to be 25.
he says.
He understands the meaning of text and chat
short and simple statements with
little or no feeling in it's context.
It is the part of text and chat I have not yet mastered.
I respond back
"It is hard for me to sometimes believe that you are
the little baby I carried"
"I am not going to get mushy..... so stop"
This is his answer, so I stop.
However, when your Momma writes a blog,
she can be mushy on your birthday
even if your are grown and married.

Many years have passed since you celebrated this first birthday.
We practiced for weeks on blowing out your candle
and I was so proud that on the big day you were able
to do just that.
In Aha week, you are my AHA moment.
Came to a young girl who was told her whole life that she
would never have a baby.
Three days after my 22nd birthday at 3:35 pm
I gave a natural birth to the most beautiful boy in the entire world.
In good times and in bad times
I never forgot what a gift you and your sister are to me.
I have done many things in my life but the
one I feel I did the best, the one I am most proud of
is the way I mothered you and baby girl.
I know now that you are grown and married
your time with us is limited.
I want you to know today on your 25th birthday
that forever, even though it drives you crazy
and aggravates you and maybe even makes you angry,
I will always love you and think about you in the
sense of the little boy that I helped nurture.
Forever, forever,
you will always be my

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

second AHA moment

I was new to school nursing but not to nursing.
I knew a sick child when I saw one.
So on my first year as a school nurse I notice
this dark haired, pale student in line.
I try to make note that I need to find out who
this child is and do an assessment on him.
However, anyone who works knows that
sometimes you get busy with the daily grind of the job
and your mind puts these things aside.
When you are working for God though, he doesn't
let you forget that easy.
About two weeks later the assistant principal
walks this same child to my office.
At first I am confused because he is with the asst. principal,
is he in trouble? He is crying and he appears scared.
One thing is for sure he is very, very, pale.
The a. principal shares with me that while on the third floor
he was asked to leave class which was unusual for this student.
He is never in trouble, very quiet.
On this day not only is he sent out of class but as he hits the
first floor he runs into the A. principal and begins to cry.
He says he is in trouble but he also doesn't feel good.
She takes action and instead of focusing on how much
trouble he may be in she escorts him to me.
I know with one look this child, a 9 year old, is critically ill.
His heart rate is in the mid-100's when 80 is normal.
He is pale, the color of a sheet and exhausted, quiet and crying.
I call his mother, she doesn't drive, there are problems on the home front
and she wants to believe maybe that is why he is so upset.
No, I insist she must find a ride and I must talk to her.
She says yes she will find a ride.
I am worried, there are reports that Daddy may not allow
Mom to take him to the doctor, he is controlling.
I don't know how I am going to get her to believe me that
this child needs medical help now but I pray that God will give
me the words. Mom makes it there, she also is pale and shy
but she takes one look at her baby sitting in my office,
takes him in her arms and says, "My baby"
I am comforted by this. No man can overcome the love
this mother has for her child.
She still wants to make excuses for his condition,
"I gave him cough syrup this morning, that is what
is making his heart beat fast"
"He doesn't play outside, he is always this color"
Somehow, I am given the words to get this Mother to promise
that she will leave this school and go straight to the emergency room
not waiting for her husband's approval.
I go to the office and share with the secretary how concerned I am
I don't remember exactly what I told her.
The next day there is a call from the students mother.
I am called to the office because at that time I did not
have a phone line and she is insistent that she speak with me.
I take the call and she is crying, she is thanking me.
I ask, "how is he?"
She says the words"
"He has leukemia, I brought him to the hospital,
they transferred him by ambulance to Children's
he is in ICU having blood transfusions"
I hang up and I become weak to my knees right there in
front of the secretary.
I tell her, he has leukemia and I begin to cry.
She says to me:
"Lilly I don't know why you are surprised, you stood here
yesterday at my desk and told me you knew he had leukemia"
I had no recollection of saying those words to her.
I am happy to say that 7 years later,
this child is fine and in remission.
happy AHA day!

Monday, August 9, 2010

aha moments

Friday at mass the seminarians homily was about
the transfiguration of Jesus Christ.
How once his three followers saw that he truly
was the Son of God that they wanted to pitch tent
on the mountain and never leave.
However Jesus reminded them that the job
was not yet done, they had to go into the village and
try to get as many followers as they could.
He reminded us that as believers, that is what
we are asked to do.
We do not see the transfiguration as these three followers do.
We see Jesus in the little things in the world
sometimes it's hard to tell whether it is a small miracle
or just a coincidence.
Yet every once in a while we have those "AHA moments!"
Ones that can only be miracles to a true believer.
I have been blessed to have quite a few of these AHA moments.
I am not special, it happens to all of us, just some of us
choose to either not follow through to do our part in the
miracle or we believe more in coincidences than God.
I will this week share some of these AHA moments.
A friend of mines comes into the doctors office
with her mother.
This was not a friend who I hung out with, more
friends because our boys played biddy together.
When your children play biddy, you spend weekends in gyms.
Her mother was like mine, never missed a grandchild's game.
So I knew them quite well.
On this day it was not basketball season so I had not seen them
in a while. She was accompanying her mother to the doctor
because her mother had been suffering for some time with back pain.
I was on phone lines that day but for God's reason,
I was checking them in.
I took one look at her mother who was gray in color and
emaciated and became filled with the feeling that this
woman was dying of bone cancer.
It bothered me, I kept making eye contact with my friend
and saying to both her and her mother,
this looks really serious...
I was hoping that through my eyes she would know her mother
was dying. I could not say this, I am a nurse,
there was no proof of this.
I left the room and told my doctor/friend
I would bet money that this woman has terminal cancer.
He went in to do his exam and came out having us
order many tests for the very next day.
He prescribed pain medications, strong ones
because her pain was tremendous and she had not
had relief in weeks.
In privacy, he agreed with my diagnosis.
My friend and her mother leave but I am not sitting well
with the fact that I didn't speak to my friend privately.
Like bothering me in a way that I could not sit still.
A nurse is not supposed to share these types of thoughts
but she is my friend.
I go into the front office, something I never did
and I walk to the glass partition, slide it back and
standing there is my friend. Right there and we are
making eye contact. Her mother is in the car and she has
a question about the tests of tomorrow.
So when God uses you as an instrument, what are you to do?
I call her into an exam room.
I look at her I take her hand and I say,
"I could loose my job for this but I want you to know
that I think you Mom is dying, I think she has cancer
and I don't think she is going to make it"
She looks into my eyes and begins to cry.
I explain that I don't know why I feel the urge to share
this but I couldn't let her leave without telling her.
She is crying lots now, she has no reason to believe me
but she does, because I tell her I feel called to tell her this.
She gets herself together hugs me, thanks me and leaves.
I finally feel the calm that I always feel after being part of God's work.
I go on with my day.
The next morning as soon as the phone lines are turned on
there is a call from my friend's sister-in-law
she was asked to call and let me know that my
friend's mother had passed away in her sleep that very night.
I am in shock, but knowing that I had did what my God had
called me to do. The story would be perfect right here right?
Well there is more.
Later in the day I get a call from my friend.
She calls crying to thank me for opening her eyes to the
fact that her mom was dying.
Before our confrontation her plans were to bring her
mom to her own home, give her medication and pick her up
the next day for her tests.
However, because of our meeting that upset her so much,
she took her mother to her home for the night.
She medicated her mom with the new pain medications
and for the first time in weeks her mother had pain relief.
During the night she heard her mother sigh
and she went in to check on her.
She called her mothers name and her mother shared
with her that for the first time in months she was resting and
felt so much better. She and my friend shared
how much they loved each other and how everything would
be okay. My friend went back to bed to sleep well
knowing her mom was finally feeling better.
She awakened to find that her mother had died peacefully
in her sleep during the night.
My friend was full of thanksgiving to me and said
forever she would think of my as an angel sent to
give this to her mom and her.
I just believe that God used me as an instrument.
Would you agree? An AHA moment.
Happy Monday