Thursday, September 11, 2014

BLOOMIN' PROGRESS...



 
(Me...at 14)
"I'll tell you, there is nothing better in life
than being a late bloomer.
I believe that success can happen
at any time and at any age.
Salma Hayek
 
Once, back in the late 70's, our youngest son asked..."Mom, is it true that love is blind?"   I told him that's what was going around; then I asked why he was interested.
 
"Well, Dad must've really loved you...a lot."  Oh son, you've stepped in it...big time!  Ever the young diplomat, he didn't miss a beat with this..."Mom, you're just a late bloomer!"  Right off the hook...really!
 
He had been looking through our wedding pictures (very lovely)...next were the photos of the honeymoon in Colorado (not so lovely).  Okay, so I wasn't exactly Miss Gorgeous.  I weighed in at a light ninety-eight pounds and my wardrobe was zero to brag about.

Desiring to know an exact definition I looked up the phrase 'late bloomer':
An adult whose talent or genius in a particular field only appears
later in life than is normal – in some cases only in old age.'...who wants to wait that long? 

At 11: I began working (outside the home).  Child labor?  No way 'cause it was educational, a good thing...hey, 25 cents an hour was good! 

While living in California I moved to the big time...soda jerk and clerk in a drugstore.  Imagine me selling cigarettes?  Ha!  I rode the public bus to and from work...did the same to school...thru' the defense plants yet!  And paid the fare.
 
At 14: I remember walking to school the day after Franklin Roosevelt died and Harry Truman became president!  That vision is etched in my memory and I'll never forget my feelings, my thoughts that day...I was very concerned; worried about what would happen next for our country.  We were still at war...what a time for FDR to up and die on us!

The Axis was defeated and the world survived; Truman was a good president and the future looked bright.  Except for conflicts; seemingly unavoidable.   
 
At 21: My future was outstanding...downright rosy. 
I found the one...or perhaps M found the one...
I believe someone powerful was the instigator...
we found a rare thing. 
“If you find a man who trusts you,      
who isn't afraid, who sees you for
who you are, and if it feels like he
knows you for who it is that you
simply are...
and thinks all of that is beautiful;
know that you have found a rare thing."
C. Joy Bell C
 
At 27: Future was full motherhood...oh wow!  Married six years w/four boys...more than 'oh wow'...it was 'oh boys'!  What can I say, 'M & I were madly in love'
At 30:  Who would've imagined?  M and I jumped into an entirely new environment...military life and I would live in exotic countries w/foreign people and see much of the world...make many wonderful friends. 

At 49:  Wife of a retired military officer...what's next?  Lots of new experiences, that's what.  M settled into a new career and, as always, I was along for and enjoyed the ride.  Life was good!.  Someday our sons would marry and grandchildren might be in our future...you think?  Stuff happened and we have ten grand ones!

At 70:  My heart was in my throat; America was stricken a most horrible blow...9/11.  Our youngest son worked in a building adjoining one of the twin towers...we later learned he was ill that day and didn't go in.  Like millions of others, I will never...ever...forget that day.

At 71: Talk about the surprise of a lifetime?  Well, maybe not 'the'  but it's up there w/our unplanned family expansion!  M and I moved to China to work for one year and stayed longer to do a few important things for a most important one!

At 80:  Okay, so what now?  I/we had yet another surprise...Michael was diagnosed with a killer condition, something most had no knowledge of, Amyloidosis!  Talk about a few hours of gloom and doom...we were in the dark place.  As it always does, the Sun/Son came out and we were once again upbeat...we remain so.  It's about faith...trust...and more!

At 83:  It's today...once again I'm thinking of 9/11 and my thoughts at that time...sad, with a broken heart.  For some strange reason, for more than a week, I've been singing and thinking "Battle Hymn of the Republic"..."Star Spangled Banner"...and "Stars and Stripes Forever".  I haven't a clue as to why...I only know it's persistent and looks as if those songs are going to be my companions for a bit longer.  And that's okay!

Well, here I am...me, the late bloomer but don't you know, better late than never?  To me, the wonder of it is that I remain full of curiosity...I want to know, to learn...I want to 'pass it on'.  
You only live once, but if you do it right once is enough."  Mae West
                                                                         
While continuing to bloom I pray to be a stream of living water, fresh and flowing.  Even late bloomers need water!  And who's to know...perhaps by some humongous stretch of imagination I might even bloom with some hidden talent or genius like the dictionary says 'in my old age!  'Bout time.

From my heart...to yours,
Vasca

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

BEAUTIFUL MORNING...

 

 
 "The moment when you first wake up in the morning
is the most wonderful of the twenty-four hours. 
No matter how weary or dreary you may feel,
you possess the certainty that, during the day that lies before you,
absolutely anything may happen. 
And the fact that it practically always doesn't, matters not a jot. 
The possibility is always there." 
Monica Baldwin
 
 
My personal past week has been a roller-coaster ride...lots of yank-ups and gut-wrenching downs...w/some curves thrown in.  Quite frankly I'm surprised at how well I've handled it...must say prayers have gone up and good things are taking place with more to come.  I'm thankfully confident, composed and cheerful...I believe it's the only way to go! 
 
Fortunately for me (and for Michael) I wake up happy and smiling...mmm!  Anxious to see what's going to take place during the day...who knows?  And just as the quote says 'absolutely anything may happen...the possibility is always there.'   Inspiration can come anytime...anywhere...from anyone!
 
Example: Last Thursday afternoon M & I were in a medical waiting room.
Since there were only four of us in the waiting room, I couldn't help but notice the older lady sitting across the room w/her aide. I supposed she was also there for a procedure...she was a busy bee...talking and laughing with her helper, a very attractive woman.  All seemed to be going well. 
 
After a short time a technician came out to talk to her; explaining (due to her condition) they would need to do a different procedure.  They told her why the change was necessary and she would need to return another day.  She very slowly processed the change and eventually let it sink in...all was still well. 
 
The tech left again, to reschedule her, got a date/time then returned to notify her.  That went well until the helper said, "Sweetie, I can't bring you then because I'm not with you that day."  She explained again...and again.  It just wouldn't process.  This little lady politely went to pieces and began crying...enter the second tech.  The woman wept...then wailed...she didn't understand...she misunderstood...and sadly, she was crushed.
 
I was in tears, watching...listening...witnessing the heart wrenching drama.  She sobbed that no one ever paid attention to her...no one understood her...she had given her all for her family...her life?  At that point in time, to her, life was finished..."Don't you understand?  No one...no one understands...no one."
 
Those two techies?  Her aide?  Angels sent from above...one was bent over her, with her arm around her shoulder...the other one was squatting on knees in front of her and they soothed and comforted her incessantly.  The aide completed their circle of caring concern.  It took much talking, lots of time to pacify her but they were most reassuring.  Finally she seemed to relax...and everyone took long, deep breaths!
 
Imagine the relief when she began smiling...apologizing...assuring everyone she had it together again.  Then she stood, braced herself in her walker as she and her aide began moving toward the door.  The two techs followed; all the while talking ever so gently to her. 
 
Ah, made it to the door but wait a sec'...she stopped, flashed one big smile and said, "How about we have a group hug?"  Of course, of course.  There, in the doorway, all four shared arms in an awesomely sweet hug.
 
That was one, touching experience!  One of the techs came over to me and apologized for the lengthy wait (I was next in the chute)...not a problem...no way!  That could be me one day...who's to know?   This sweet little lady was only two years my senior. 

On an ordinary day in a medical waiting room a wonderful possibility took place; inspiring me to be a better person...imagine, just imagine!   

Shifting gears, please indulge me as I share w/you a bit of personal history that occurred once upon a time...when I was one totally different person. 
 
Waking up 'happy and excited' to see what a new day brings?  That was definitely not my cup of coffee...no way!

                                      

All my thoughts were on sleeping;
"Leave me alone;
I'm not getting dressed,
I'm not going out,
I'm not talking to people,
I'm not seeing people!
And I'm certainly not
sleeping in a toaster.
Get it???"

 
                                                                     
'They'...whoever 'they' are...say about some things...you can't get well 'til you hit rock bottom.  'They' pretty much know what they're talking about 'cause I was there...no where to go but checking out which was not a good thing...no way!
 
I'm eternally grateful for those who loved me enough to step up, force me to face reality...told me the truth about myself which broke my heart and hurt, oh so much... but it worked and gave me a new lease on life!      
 
These days I open my eyes each morning, stretch and wonder what possibilities might pop up today...I smile and think how wonderful Father is to give me a beautiful new day filled with possibilities. 
 
Hmm, maybe I'll have another inspiring example to lead me to...who knows what?   Twenty-four more wonderful hours filled with lots of good things...all kinds of goodies!
 
Want to know something?  I'm totally excited thinking of what lies ahead! 

From my heart...to yours,
Vasca  

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

WHERE TO, LADY???


Where can I take you, lady? 
 
"Where?  Well, actually I don't want to go anywhere...so how's about you cruise the sights while I sit back and relax, okay?  Keep the meter runnin' and drive."
 
Some things  happen in life that sort of...well, knock your socks off (so to speak).
 
The news has been full of extraordinary things lately...notably a new 'hero'. 
 
I imagine most of you have been and remain touched by Dr. Kent Brantly...I certainly am.  He is someone whose demeanor and words have influenced thousands...what an example for me, for us...a heart filled w/compassion.  He and his family are touched and called by God to do the work they've been doing; what outstanding service.
 
Talk about 'knocking your socks off'...I can hardly imagine being in the midst of an Ebola epidemic!   
 
Dr.  Brantly spoke very poignantly about his experience and don't you know it changed his life?  The doctor is much, much braver than Michael and me...but...like him, we were also called by God to do something...different...only in China.  Believe me, that experience also changed our lives!
 
This week something dropped into my life that sort of 'knocked my socks off'...and I reacted poorly...rather pathetically...but hey, so? I'm human...surely I'm allowed one goof up...even a few! 
 
Well, the last time I did that was when the two of us were introduced to Amy aka Amyloidosis.  M reminded me, after our initial shock, we grabbed  Amy by the platelets and took care of things.  We're doing the same in my case and it isn't nearly so dreadful as I first thought.  Sigh!
 
I read this from my Values e-mail today...caused me to think more about my life...some of what has gone before.
 "There's a time in your life
where you're not quite sure where you are.
You think everything's perfect, but it's not perfect...
Then one day you wake up and
you can't quite picture yourself
in the situation you're in. 
But the secret is,
if you can picture yourself doing anything in life,
 you can do it."
Tom DeLonge
 
Many difficult situations have come about in my life; situations that I never would've pictured myself in...for instance?
 
Michael was off to Nebraska, finishing his education...the four boys and I remained in Virginia awaiting his return.  One night...about 2:00 A.M. I was yanked from sleep w/a feeling that I was going to die; couldn't wait for an ambulance so I did the natural thing...left the four little boys in bed...called a friend to come and watch them...drove myself 40 minutes to the hospital.  Eureka...had a ruptured cyst, full of peritonitis and almost died...! 
 
End of story...I didn't die...M graduated from Univ. Nebraska...boys took care of me w/help from friends...I did make it...God was in charge.
 
Never would've pictured myself two years later...Michael was off to Ethiopia on a year's assignment...four boys and I remained in Oklahoma awaiting his return.  I had two emergency surgeries one month apart...left the boys home alone 'til they were rescued by my mother!  Another trauma ended and I did make it...again...God was in charge. ..awesome!
 
 
Hey Back There...You had enough cruising for one day?
 
 
Oh...yeah, I was day-dreaming and forgot where I was...time to go home.  
Please, don't worry...I'm okay...just did me good to drift a while...calmed me down.  
Say, you might be interested in something I was thinking about.
It was written by James Russell Lowell...you might have read it.
 
Oh, you don't have much time to read, huh? 
Okay, I'll share...you never know, one day you might could use a little pick-me-up.
 
"Let's be of good cheer, remembering that the misfortunes
hardest to bear are those which never happen."
 
Well, ain't that the truth? 
 
If I can picture myself in all those 'trauma times'?  Well then, I can picture myself still making it...and I really can as long as God's in charge.  Say, my memory's sharp today...I even remember 'Don't worry about tomorrow 'cause God's already there.' 
Good to remember...oh yes!
 
From my heart, to yours...
 
Vasca