I got a call at work…I looked down at the number on the LED screen to make sure that I wasn't being summoned into action by Christine and saw a 973 number. Usually seeing a 973 number will put me directly into that rare place on earth we can call heaven. A 973 number is the number that calls us from Iraq. It means I'm getting a phone call from Matt. But today's almost made my heart stop. Phone calls from Iraq are expensive. In all three of the years that Matt has spent in Iraq, I may have gotten maybe ten calls. I never get two calls during the same week. My fear was rising when I picked up the phone. I was glad that it was Matt's voice that I was speaking with, and he's fine. He got his orders today. They will be home for Christmas!!! Yeah!!! And that isn't the only good news. When he comes home he will be transferring and be stationed in Ft. Stewart. Yeah! Yeah! Double Yeah! My son and I will live in the same state and he will be living by the beach!!! How awesome is that. This year seems like much less of a wash now. Doing the happy dance…..
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Today has been a hard day emotionally when it should have been an easy one. And now to top everything off, I'm supposed to take six quarts of chili, cornbread and cobbler over to people and I can't find their address or phone number. I want to give up.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Mindy was a friend from the Bible College days. I would have seen her at the reunion if I'd gone, but I didn't. She died the next weekend while on a cruise to celebrate her 35th wedding anniversary. I went to her funeral on Sunday. I saw all the people that I'd avoided two weeks ago. Now I think that the wealth that I gained by going to the college isn't measured in a successful job, but in the quality of the people that I met there. It's amazing to me that after all the neglect that I inflict on these relationships, these people still love me. And they loved Mindy too, even though she didn't neglect them.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
In the early morning of February 23, 1971 Randy McKellips found his platoon surrounded by North Vietnamese soldiers. He alerted his companions by standing up and shouting. Doing that, he gave away his position and was shot. He was awarded the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star….Posthumously… The medals are kept by a broken hearted aunt in a cedar chest in her bedroom…
On the morning of September 11, 2001 Lauren Manning didn't know that she was stepping into the world of heroism. She caught a cab and went to work. As she was stepping into the elevator of the Trade Center, she was engulfed in a fire ball that had rushed down the elevator shaft to where she was standing. She did not die. She chose instead to stay alive for her son and her husband.
Patriotism and Heroism aren't some warm fuzzy blankets that we wrap ourselves in. What they cost is dear and ultimate. They change the core of the world of those they touch permanently.
The song says:
"Find the cost of Freedom
Buried in the Ground
Mother Earth will swallow you
Lay your body down."
I beg to differ. The cost of freedom isn't buried in the ground. The cost of freedom is etched into the hearts of those left behind. It is burned into Lauren Manning's skin. This morning I woke up and wept because Lisa Beemer's children grew up without a father…and because my son has a key to Saddam Hussein's bathroom. This is the cost of Freedom. This is Patriotism. This is Heroism. Sometimes I wonder if it's worth it. Sometimes I know it is.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Everybody knows that October is the month that we all tie the world up in Pink Ribbons and walk, and run miles and miles to raise awareness of Breast Cancer and raise money for education, medical care and research. Actually you can do that ever day of the year by using this link to go to the page to click for a cure. It doesn't cost you anything, but it provides money to a great cause and makes you feel good about yourself...Yeah, we can change the world afterall. But now the American Heart Association wants to have October designated as national Sudden Cardiac Event month. So, I guess, while we are tying up all those pink ribbons we will be wearing red dresses. Seriously, for me this is a quandry...while I am a breast cancer survivor, I also have a cardiac problem known as Congenital Long QT Syndrome. It is a defect in the ion channels of my heart that repolarize my heart between beats. I puts me at risk for an arrythimia known as Torsades de Pointes, that causes sudden cardiac death. The condition actually complicated the treatments that I needed for breast cancer. The other thing is that the treatments for breast cancer, like chemotherapy and radiation actually increase the risk we face for congestive heart failure. So it would make sence that maybe the two could actually coexist in one month, but I somehow don't think the pink and red color combination is an improvement over the traditional orange and black.
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
It happened again. I got dehydrated and had to be taken to the emergency room by ambulance. It was not an experience that I'd like to repeat. Actually it has me worried because I went to the hospital that my cardiologist is now associated with and it may be one of the most miserable places I've been. How do I tell him that I love him but the hospital sucks? Anyway the nice hospitalist there said that the problem is that I was dehydrated, but that I should follow up with my primary care doctor. He didn't really need to say that because as soon as Aetna got done with it, I wasn't allowed back to work until I saw my doctor. I saw her today and she's fine for me to work, but wants me to follow up with an endocrinologist. Okey Dokey then...just what I need; a new ologist and a new diagnosis. So I think that I'm going to have to start keeping a list of my morbidities in my wallet...I'm getting so many I'm having trouble remembering them.
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
I was supposed to go to a reunion of the college that I went to. I'd signed up to go, but for some reason I just couldn't bring myself to do it. Friday night I told myself that I was too tired to make it there, so I stayed home. Then Saturday morning Lizzie had places that she needed me to take her, so I drove her around a bit, but mostly I read my book. Then Sunday, well my sister was at my house after church, so I had to be hospitable. By Monday, well I'd missed everything anyway. The truth is that I feel like a failure among the failures. I mean, well, we all went to a non-accredited Bible college, but my life hasn't been a stunning success since. And there are people there who are serious about ressurecting the now defunct college, even as a non-accredited Bible college and hoping to snag a whole new generation of idealistic youths into wasting their education there. There were a few people whom I would have liked to see, but mostly I would have been in a crowd of people that I no longer have a lot in common with. Anyway, I didn't go. Now I'm trying to keep from beating myself up for missing it.