Thursday, March 29, 2012

My brother

He is. A character. For years he has done things that amuses his family.
I will not reveal all of our delights, but some I will share.

I was around 8, and I remember sitting on my floor, facing away from the door. A shoe, my own shoe, was whipped across the room like a baseball, and knocked me upside the head. When questioned, John's reply, "Well, I was just puttin' her shoe back in her room." That is my Bub.

Another favorite. He would take the tithe envelopes from church, and he would arrange them carefully in my dad's old briefcase. He was (IS!) creative, that one. It was money. Ransom money rather. Little did we realize how serious he was taking his game until we found a ransom note scrawled across the garage wall. He meant business.

Another time, I had received a $20 dollar bill, which I carefully placed on my desk in my room. Ten minutes later, it was missing. "Has anyone seen my $20 dollar bill?" I asked. My brother, always the helper walked confidently in my room. "I'll help you look." I pointed to show him where I had placed it, but he wasn't interested. He had already walked over to my closet.

"John, I didn't put it in there!" He was not listening. He reached his hand all the way to the top shelf in my closet and pulled down $20 dollars...MY $20 dollars.
"Well, well, well... What do we have here?" he said. On his face, he had this know it all grin.
Yep. He had taken the $20 dollars, put it on that top shelf, just so he could come help me find it later. Oh, and teach me responsibility. "You shouldn't just leave your things lying around." Thanks, Buddy. (Note to self: Hide all money.)

He knows....stuff. Facts and facts. Sports facts. Who's on what team. Who won what game. What actor is in that movie who was in a commercial who was on a tv show, with the other person from that other show...

He's our athlete. He's a Special Olympics Olympian, from the age of 8(ish). He would run track, and the long jump, and a myriad of other activities. He has the medals. (Still.) All of them. He has the pictures. He has the memories. The last few years he has been involved in basketball and baseball and flag football. He's the trainer for the Northride High School baseball and football teams.

He loves to sing. He may not know all the words to the song, but he loves the music, and he loves to sing along...even with what he doesn't know.

He makes friends. With everyone. You can hardly take him any place without him knowing someone. At his baseball banquet, they cheered for him. (Yes, they cheered for everyone, but for John [And, I'm not just saying this] it was extra loud.) Talk bad about anyone? My brother? No. He does not do that. He does not make fun or tease someone because of their ability or inability, or their lack of "coolness." If you'll be his friend, he'll be yours.

He passed out today. The fourth or fifth time in the last month. It was accompanied by a seizure of some type. There was a drive in an ambulance.
"Will you turn on the lights?"
"Normally we can't, but for you John, we will."

He is home, they sent him home, and he is sleeping downstairs, and I don't wanna leave. Coming up ahead there will be tests. My mom and dad are stubborn (no wonder how their children became equally stubborn). They will find out what is going on. In the meantime, he is still my brother. He likes to see me when I come home and he makes me his specialty - peanut butter and jelly (and he'll even toast the bread if I ask him). And, perhaps I take advantage of him, and have him bring me other things and plug in my computer.... =)

For now, we are praying, and asking everyone to pray.

And, I need it to be said. I need it publicly on the record. I want him to know- Bub, you are the best brother in the world. You are my own little hero. You are brave. You are smart. You are funny. I will love you forever.

However..... I will always be older than you. (That will always make me the boss.) ;)


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Burdens, Bags, and a Pair of Shoes

When given a gift card to a store full of shiny shoes, what's a girl to do? Buy a bag, of course!*

I have always had this attraction to "bags," probably more so than a purse because it can contain so many types of treasures.
A book? Got it!
Lotion? Yup.
Perhaps deodorant, a camera 5 pens, and a checkbook? Check, check, check and check!

(My new bag)

I often say, "I never worry about being bored!" If I arrive early, well, I use that as an opportunity to manage my time wisely, and get something done! Read a chapter, throw on some mascara, or take a picture, whatever! I'm always prepared.

Lately, however, I've been carrying more than than useful items in my bag. I've been carrying something of another nature: burdens.

Those wearisome burdens. They tend to rob and take. Unlike my book which remains peacefully tucked away in my bag, when I carry a burden it wreaks havoc. Havoc that takes on different shapes. Sleeplessness perhaps. Headaches. Heavy shoulders. Aching muscles. Instead of taking the opportunity to show off my bag, I am too overwrought with concerns to show off anything else.

I am constantly reminded of my burden carrying ways. (Usually because it takes on some sort of wild ailment.) In those moments, I remember that those cumbersome burdens, do not technically belong to me. Instead of toting around thoughts such as, "How can I bring World Peace?" and, "Is time travel possible?" I could be reading my Kindle, or making a marble statue (that was a slight exaggeration).

The truth is Jesus meets us where we are, whether we are in a cubes at work, in our living rooms, or sitting in a church. For some reason, I forget that God is ready, willing and able to offer something in exchange for a trying encumbrance. Right in the Bible it states, "Come to me you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." It's not hard. It's actually much easier than carrying around the weight that I have been trying to shoulder. Life is hard at times. It is a struggle. However, life has the potential to be so much more. When I choose, (and it is just a choice) to say, "God, please help me. Please take the burdens from shoulders, please give me the peace only you can give," He answers. Does it make sense? No. But, neither does worrying about what will happen, or what if that happens, or how can I prevent it from happening......

Carry a bag? Yes. Always. Much to the chagrin of all males in the population (except when I have something they want, such as jumper cables or a mint), I will have my trusty bag of tricks wherever I go.

Carry a bothersome burden? Nah. I'll let Jesus take it from here.

Peace out, (or in- whichever way you wanna see it)
*Oh, and yes, I did purchase a pair of shoes!

Saturday, March 03, 2012

One Moment...

It's snowing outside. The quiet peaceful snow. It's the kind of snow that causes me to pause and sit silently.

My Daddy is down the hallway. He's been there since he got home from the hospital about 10 hours ago. I sat with him for a while after he got home. He was still groggy and tired, and amazed. "The nurse told me, she told me that my doctor had a feeling. He just has a sense about these things."

It was just yesterday morning when I was at the hospital with my Papaw, and Pastor John, waiting for the news. They had taken my dad back at 9. The previous heart tests had all come through showing that his heart was okay. He was sent away with the news that he was experiencing indigestion. He didn't listen. (Thankfully.) Neither did his doctor, as the pain persisted.

At 10, the doctor called us together, and on a yellow sticky, he drew a rough picture of a heart. "You're his daughter." I nodded yes.

"Here's what we found. This artery was blocked at 80%, and this was at 95%. Good thing he came. He was a ticking time bomb. It was just a matter of time. We're taking care of him now." We walked back to our chairs silently. Pastor John looked at me. "Are you okay?"

How do you answer when you are shocked? When the news you have is frightening and yet, also relieving. What do you say when someone says to you it was just possible that at any moment your dad could have been gone from you.

Around 11:30, we were told that he was in the recovery room, and that we would be able to see him. We stood around him, as he made faces (if only I had a video at that moment!). "You aren't going to remember anything we say are you?" I asked. "Can I have a thousand dollars?"

We laughed then, all of us, my mom, Pastor John, me...

We walked back to the waiting room a bit later. The doctor explained to all of us what we had already put together. This had been serious. His life was saved.

I did not cry. I still have not cried. It is all too surreal.

What do you say in those moments? The moments where you realize that a miracle has just occurred. How do you put into words your feelings and thoughts? Everything had been about to change, and we did not even know.

On Sunday we are going to be together. All of us. Eating and laughing. Playing games. Watching movies. All the while knowing that things could have been different in one moment of time.

Today, I am thankful. I have said, "Thank you God" more than I can count. I have said I love you to my family more than usual.

Today, I am going to take advantage of today knowing that we have no guarantees. Knowing that life is but a breath.

Today I am going to be thankful.

Today I am going to live.

Today I will not have regrets.

Much love,