Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Dusted Off

The blog has been in 'storage' for the past few months. Life was way too busy for me to be consistently blogging. I simply transferred the entire blog to a new address and put it under private mode. I kept posting things which I wanted to have 'on file' but the posts have been random. Now, I'm hoping to take the blog out of storage and dust it off.

The annual blogathon is almost upon us and I hope this will be my incentive to write consistently. I'll be putting up the blogathon 2011 badge at the side of my blog and as of May 1st....zoom....it will be off I go!! 

In the meantime, I still need to keep juggling everything on my plate and hope nothing falls off. :)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A Pandora Life

What if life was like the Pandora music project? You could decide what "type" of life you wanted to live. Even when the life was 'plugged in' you still would be able to click 'thumbs down' if you didn't particularly like what was going on...or 'thumbs up' if you wanted a repeat performance of what you just did.

Ah, yes, life would be wonderful if we could choose with precision what we wanted or didn't want. Life would be so easy if we had the ability to vote against certain events. Somehow I think life would be so easy, we would not be forced to mature. 

It is often the curve balls which make us wake up. When our plans go out of whack, we are forced to put our minds to work and figure out what we are going to do. It is in those detours in life we often come across little miracles.

Even though we may never have a Pandora life, I think life is full of variety. I love life just the way it is!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Another Suitcase

So what happens now?
Another suitcase in another hall
So what happens now?
Take your picture off another wall
Where am I going to?
You'll get by you always have before
Where am I going to?

The lyrics from Evita and the song "Another suitcase and another hall"-- just made me think of how many suitcases I've had to pack...how many pictures I've taken off the wall...and how no matter where I end up going, I always end up getting by.

I heard this song last year when Katrina was in a musical. She was getting ready to travel to New Zealand and the song made me think of her leaving. I realized she would be following in my footsteps of moving around a lot.

When I first heard the song, I cried. The tears were not sad tears, necessarily. They symbolized the bittersweet feeling every mother must feel when their children have matured enough to take off on their own. A balancing act of emotions which continues all through life.

So there will be more pictures I will take off the wall...There will be suitcases I have to pack and unpack. I've passed this legacy down to my children. They are often more comfortable in an airport or on an airplane than in someone's living room.  There will be pictures Katrina and her siblings will take off their walls...they will pack and unpack many suitcases...and no matter where they go, I know they will be okay because the One who loves them more than I do has them in His care!! What a wonderful assurance!

Monday, April 4, 2011

My Beloved

Daniel and Baby John
Today is my darling husband's birthday! Where have the years gone? I blinked and whoosh 24 years have flown by! Wow- I've known this man for a little over 24 years....and what a man he is!!! 

It sounds a bit corny....cheesy...but I have to admit that I love him now more than the day I married him. The love has matured into a very rich relationship...one which enjoys the thrills of romance and yet has the foundation of commitment. So, why do I love him so much? 

I could glibly say, "what's not to love?"...but no, that would be too easy an answer. 

Why do I love my beloved husband? He is a man of integrity. He is a man of honor and dignity. He makes me laugh like no other person in the world can make me laugh. He is a man of responsibility. He is the bravest and wisest man I know. He is kind, merciful and thoughtful. He is amazingly stubborn....okay, wait, I was listing the 'why I love him' list...hah...his stubbornness frustrates me at times, but I do love him for it when it works to our benefit.

He is utterly open and transparent...what you see is what you get...After all these years of marriage, I still enjoy spending hours talking to him. He is my very best friend and he is my lover. I guess I should have just said, "what's not to love?!" for truly that pretty much sums it up.

Happy Birthday my beloved....I pray we spend many more of your birthdays together.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Revisiting

It has been strange that after all these years, I have had to revisit the very airport which I equated with one of my least favorite memories. It is also interesting how these new visits have changed my view of this airport. It all depends, I guess, on what we equate a place with. My original visit to the Denver airport was dreadful, but now each time I fly into the Denver airport it is to see my son and his family. My original horrible memory seems to be fading....and so I want to record it before it is totally gone.....

February 1996

Boarding the plane to New Orleans, with one stop in Denver. No sooner was I seated and I felt horribly sick. By the time the plane touched down in Denver I was deathly ill. I disembarked and attempted to make my connection.

"Ma'am, you don't look well, can I help you?"

"I'm fine, I just have to sit down."

"Ma'am, I don't think you are fine."

I collapsed and was carried off the plane.  I vaguely remember emergency workers being called.  The next thing I know my blood pressure is being taken and they are calling for an ambulance.  It was all very surreal.
I faded in and out of consciousness.  The next thing I knew I was in an ambulance speeding its way to a hospital in Aurora, Colorado.

"What's your social security number?"

My brain is trying to get my mouth to answer. I have no idea what my social security number is. How would I know? I've lived overseas for so long where social security card numbers are not important.  I would not be able to remember it even at a good time; I definitely can't remember it in this midst of this crisis.

"What's your husband's social security number?"

WHO KNOWS!!

Thankfully I had written them down in my diary before leaving Japan, so I mumbled and fumbled around and they figured out that they were supposed to look in the diary. I couldn't concentrate on what they were saying.

"Blood pressure is dropping"

"Where have you come from Ma'am"

Ma'am? Who are they calling Ma'am?? I'm not an old lady!

"Ma'am what is your name? Do you know who you are?"

"What is your husband's name"

STOP ASKING ME ALL THESE QUESTIONS, I can't concentrate!

"Why are you rubbing your fingers?"

My hand is numb, I can't feel my fingers, I'm trying to feel my fingers.

Everything becomes a blurr and then I wake up in the emergency ward. HORRORS I don't have stateside insurance. I had heard how expensive the medical costs are in the States.


I get the attention of the nurse, "Excuse me nurse, I would just like to go. I have a plane to catch."

I thought I was talking loudly, but apparently I was barely whispering.  The nurse leaned down and I repeated myself. She patted my shoulder.

"You aren't going anywhere honey. Just lay back and relax."

"No you don't understand."

The nurse looked at me quizzically. "What's that you are saying, I can't hear you?"

Why can't she hear me I'm talking as loud as I can, why can't I increase the volume? How will Daniel know that I am in an emergency room in Denver? What will happen when Doug goes to pick me up at the New Orleans airport and I don't show up?

I refused blood tests. I refused treatment. I signed myself out of the hospital. My insides quivered and my legs wobbled like jello. Sitting in the taxi speeding back to the airport, I wasn't even sure I would be able to make the last flight out.

The airline personnel were helpful. They listened to my story and looked at the documents I'd  brought from the hospital. I was told I could make the flight. I felt so sick, but I tried not to show it. I knew I had to be strong. If I could just get on the plane and make it to New Orleans. There was a short time before the plane was ready to be boarded, so I stumbled along the corridor looking for a phone.

Daniel answered the phone and I broke down in gutwrenching sobs.

"Who is this?"

"Its...its...its...me....I'm...."

"Connie! Is that you?? Where are you? We have been sooo worried? What has happened to you?"

His voice made me cry all the more because I wished we were together. I just wanted to  fall into his arms and let him take care of me. I needed him so much and yet I was so far away. I was able to calm down long enough to let him know I was very sick and that I was attempting to get on the last flight out.  Could he contact those in New Orleans and explain the situation?

I did make it to New Orleans, not realizing this was not the end but the beginning of one of the greatest nightmares of my life.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Dreams

We all have a dream...whether we realize it or not. Sometimes it is a dream which has been beaten down and is on its last breath. Other times it is a dream just beginning to be birthed. The most awesome of dreams are those which have matured to a point where they can be vibrantly pursued. 

What is my dream? Of course, I've had many small goals, visions or targets but what is the underlying dream which pushes me forward? 

My forefathers had a dream. John Tilley came over on the Mayflower with a dream. I'm not exactly sure what his dream was. Maybe he wanted to be able to worship the way he wanted. Maybe he had dreams of setting up a new life for himself. Unfortunately his dream was short lived. He died soon after arriving in America. He left his daughter, Elizabeth Tilley to carry on his dream.

Thirteen year old Elizabeth was taken in by John Carver and his wife. I am trying to imagine this young 13 year old taken far from the only land she knew only to be left stranded in a land she knew nothing about. She was forced to pursue a dream she had not chosen for herself. This young girl stood up and shouldered the dream.

By the spring of the next year, John Carver and his wife had also died. Would her dream die? Would this young teenager throw up her hands in despair and surrender her dream? 

John Howland, John Carver's indentured servant, stepped up to the plate and married Elizabeth Tilley. Imagine a young teenage girl losing her parents and then later losing the only other people she felt close to. She bravely accepts an offer of marriage and continues on to fulfill her dream: a dream of creating a new life for herself. A life of freedom to choose how she wanted to worship. A life filled with children and grandchildren. 

Her will made it clear how important she considered her relationship with Jesus. She charged those who came after her to live this relationship out. She lived her dream, she never gave up when things were tough. Her determination gave her the ability to pass her dream on to the next generation. Her example encourages me to know my dream and to live it out and when I die I will pass it on to those who come after me.

....And then there were more...

We started with two. It didn't take long for us to add three more to the mix, making us ongfamily5 for quite a long time. Before we kn...