Friday, September 26, 2008

Where I belong....

"Where do you come from?"

"Where are you from?"

"Where is home?"

Oh boy- how can those three questions be so difficult to answer! Normally, I answer the final question glibly, "Home is wherever my family is."

What happens when family becomes strewn across the globe. My siblings and parents are in five different countries at any given time. My children ventured out each in their own direction. Yesterday I was making a quick trip down to California- and I had alot of time to think while I walked through the airport....my husband is over in Africa right now....so, I was wondering, "Where is home??" Strangely enough, I feel most at place in an airport...notice I didn't say 'home'..but rather 'at place'...just a feeling of 'fitting in' ... a particular sense of 'this is where I belong.'

Maybe home is "where ever I am"-- and I don't think I'm the one who coined this particular phrase. I'm sure I heard or read it somewhere.  Although, no matter where I am- I think travel will always beckon me- with a sound, a smell or a simple memory- as I found true recently when I heard the mournful sound of a train in the distance.

The Distant Call

Filtering through my window
The mournful bellow of the grey snake
Rattling clickity clack
Down the track 

Flooding my sleepy head
With memories of yesteryear
Journeys complete
Travels, oh so sweet

Fleeting cries echo in the night
Like a sleepy lullaby
Rocking along
A traveling song 

Filling my drowsy head
With visions of roads not yet taken
Places yet to explore
Destinations offering more

Filtering through my window
Bellows beckon me to travel
In my dreams
Or, so it seems.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Scars with lessons- Japan 1993

My husband is a most amazing man. I have stories about him....oh do I have stories.....but there is one particular one which has to do with the large, ugly scar across his abdomen. The scar slices straight down the side of his belly.

The scar has been a point of interest. When Daniel takes off his shirt for a swim; someone will be drawn to the massive scar. They approach Daniel with eyes as big as saucers, "What happened to your stomach??".....he always replies, "Oh, someone slashed me with a knife and then shot me twice." (there are the scars of two small holes nearby the bigger gash)--- they gasp-- at which point I laugh and say,"Don't lie Daniel, tell them the truth!!!" He, of course, laughs loudly and then tells them that it is simply the remains of an old operation.

There are times I run my fingers lightly up and down the ridges of that ugly gash....and I remember the day he got that scar.

We had been married for less than ten years and
we had three little children. We were living in Japan. Daniel came home one day complaining of a stomach ache. His remedy for any ailment was to crawl into bed and sleep it off. Normally this worked just fine. On this occasion he woke up a few hours later to severe abdominal pain. We decided he needed an expert opinion. The doctor told him it was severe indigestion. She gave him anti acid type pills and sent him home. That was around 5 pm.

As the evening progressed, the pain increased, towards midnigh I called the doctor. She told me I was being silly and there was nothing to worry about. Looking over at Daniel grimacing with pain, I thought she might be wrong but she was the doctor and I was young then.. I've learned to trust my own judgment.

What a horrible night that was! At 4 am, I woke the doctor up again and this time I didn't ask her if I could bring Daniel in, I told her I was bringing him in. By the time we reached her clinic, he was falling in and out of consciousness. Her command of English was okay but sometimes her vocabulary choices weren't the best. She said "Your husband is being lazy." (I think she meant to say- "Your husband is going unconscious.") Anyhow, she was alarmed and realized her original diagnosis of indigestion was wrong- she recommended he be taken to the emergency ward of the nearby hospital.

Long story short- he was wheeled around the hospital for hours with various doctors pushing on his stomach. It was determined the problem was his appendix. What a relief to know what the problem was. Everyone assured us this was easily taken care of. Daniel was wheeled into surg
ery at 4 pm (that's right- they had him at the hospital for almost 12 hours before they took him into the operating theater). I was told he would be out within 40 minutes.....2 hours later, I was still waiting.....

A nurse walked up to me with a small J
apanese/English dictionary and she kept shaking her head and she pointed to something in the dictionary--- peritonitis--she also pointed to some other words. I understood things were not going as planned. The doctor needed to speak to me. The doctor explained things were not looking good for Daniel because his stomach was full of infection. They needed more time to work on him as they were siphoning out all the pus from inside his abdomen. If you think doctors are supposed to give you words of hope, I think this chap wasn't at doctor's school the day they taught the lesson on giving hope. He basically told me Daniel had a 5 percent chance of survival and I should prepare myself for the other 95 percent. They waited too long- damage had already been done.

At the time the hospital drama was going on, the members of our church were praying for their pastor. They didn't kn
ow the latest development, so I jumped into my car and rushed to where they were praying. As I sped down the narrow street, the light turned red. I sat staring at the red light then I half yelled, half cried, "God this is not how it is supposed to be!!! I have three little kids. You can't take him. You have to heal him."

"Will you trust Me?"


"Of course I trust you God- so please heal him."

"Will you trust Me?"


"I said I trust you to heal him!!"

"Will you trust Me no matter what happens."

Words dried up in my mouth. I took a deep breath. No ....this isn't the way it is supposed to be....see, it is supposed to be- I say I trust Him then He does what is best for me (or at least what I think is best for me)....trusting Him can't mean....or, can it....I mean....can it mean that I have to trust Him no matter what the outcome??? Even if my husband dies, I still have to trust Him???

"Will you trust Me?"

I heard the words as the light turned green. I was bawling my eyes out....slobbering all over the steering wheel...."I'll trust you- even if it means I lose Daniel- I will trust You."

That day I learned the definition of true faith....

The week which followed was anything but ea
sy. Daniel had to be packed in ice cubes because his fever kept going sky high. He was oblivious to it all. Every time one of the doctors talked to me over his unconscious body....I whispered to God, "I will trust you...no matter what..." The doctors never could give me more than a 20 percent chance he would regain consciousness.

One month later, they released Daniel from the hospital. The doctors said he was a walking miracle.

So when my fingers run gently over his scar, I do remember the day I almost lost my husband....but I also remember the day God taught me the most important lesson of my life!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Award



"The Bloggers Friends forever Award"

What a surprise I had seeing my nomination for this prestigious award. :) Reflections is the one who so kindly bestowed this honor on me...after she herself received TWO awards. She deserved both awards- and I think her blog deserves many more awards. Well, the thing is I must bestow this award on five other people....so here goes...Here are the winners---

1. The Queen of the Mountain Tortoises

Karen is someone who blogs with a variety of different techniques. She is a straight shooter. (means she says what she means and means what she says). I have enjoyed getting to know her in her blog as well as in 'real time'-- I look forward of a lot more of both.

2. The Magic Carpet Ride

Sarah, originally from Zimbabwe, lives in Ismir, Turkey with her husband and a myriad of dogs. Her blog captures life in Turkey as well as highlighting life back in her homeland. I've enjoyed getting to know Sarah not only through her blog but through skype conversations. She is definitely someone I want to know forever!

3. Nada's Continuing Blog

When they say life is stranger than fiction, then 'they' were certainly referring to Sheila's life. She has lived and done it all. She has overcome great adversities. She has championed causes. She loves life and she lives it to the fullest. Her Saturday memoirs are both interesting and intriguing. A definite keeper for a blog friend.

4. Second Helpings

Linda comes from England- she and Sheila both do the Saturday memoir. Each showing what life was like '...way back when.' I've always admired Linda for her ability to juggle family, friends and work.

5. In His Name

This is one of my favorite blogs...as it inspires me and causes me to meditate on the scripture of the day. I love the insights received and shared. I feel privileged to be allowed to share this journey through the blog.


Here are the rules for those who were nominated:

1. Put the BFF logo in their blog

2. Put a link to the person you received the award from

3. Nominate 5 other blogs

4. Put links to the blogs

5. Leave a message for your nominee










Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Simple Things in Life- Japan 1992


This picture is old and worn. It has traveled with me for 16 years. In suitcases, on my desk, slipped in a book and now it has found its place on my knickknack shelf. I see the photo displayed prominently in a heart shaped glass frame. It greets me when I enter the house and it bids me farewell when I leave. What is the significance of this picture?

Everytime I see this photo, I'm reminded of what is important in life. It is the simple things. We tend to want to complicate life. We dress it up and parade it around. We add frills and sashes. Life, in and of itself, is simple. You are born- you live and then you die. It can't get anymore simple than that. Whether you are born rich or born poor- you live- and you die.

Why does this photo remind me of this? There are my three children in the midst of the affluence in Japan. Technology abounding all around them: The latest toys, the most sophisticated gadgets and complicated electronics. Their happiest moments were spent in a cardboard box pretending they were voyagers out at sea. The wind in their faces and imaginary waves bashing against their vessel.

The picture is faded from years of handling. Despite the worn surface, the look of glee cannot be mistaken on all three of their faces. They found the joy in the simple act of imagination. Their discovery was priceless.