Sunday, January 29, 2012

Part One: Snow, Surgery, and Support

 

 

I know.

 

I have a massive amount of catching up to do.

But OHMYLORD the hits just kept on coming.

 

 

SNOW:

We got an insane 14” of snow overnight.  So we drove to a hotel near the hospital to avoid the icy roads in the morning.  Wait ‘til you hear what that snow did.  What that ice did.  Bad snow.  Bad ice.

 

 

SURGERY:

 

Obviously before surgery. 

(And obviously I’ll be spending the night on the couch for posting this)

IMG_2308

 

 

The dude was brave.

I pretended I was.

Until he handed me his wedding ring and my chest felt tight and my stomach started flip-flopping and I felt like I was at the top of a high dive platform and someone took away the ladder.

 

The nurse was kind.  Realizing I wouldn’t hear if they called my name in the waiting room; she wrote, “Wife is deaf.  Has black hair”.

 

The mile between the anesthesia hallway and the waiting room was where I nearly lost it.  But I knew I couldn’t.  Not because anyone was around, but because no one was around.

 

The snowy roads meant that no one else could make the drive to the hospital to wait with me.  I walked to the edge of panic and didn’t want to jump unless someone was there to catch me.

 

Ironically, in the middle of my entire family being snowed in and being unable to simply call someone up to talk for several hours… it was YOU who was there in that waiting room with me.

 

 

SUPPORT:

It started with a few text messages.  Linny had coordinated a day of fasting and prayer for that husband of mine.  Each buzzing of my phone reminded me that people (YOU!) all around the world were praying for him and us.  Amazing.  Humbling.

 

I was so thankful for the prayers that you took the time to tell me you were praying.  For the words of encouragement, for the perfect Bible verses for that moment.

 

And then…

My facebook blew up.

 

It started innocently enough the previous week at Mr. Daddy’s last-minute biopsies.  I’d posted a picture of Mr. Daddy’s lovely medical bracelet and my sister asked to ensure that I also posted a photo of his lovely hospital garb from behind.

 

Stay with me… it’s gonna get hairy.

.

.

.

.

.

IMG_2260

.

.

.

.

.

Oh come on now… it looks pretty darn real don’t it?!?!

 

The man was totally cracking up as he told me to post it. 

 

And just so y’all truly believe me when I tell you that this is an ELBUTT (or as Brandi says, “guns, not buns”), here’s the SOOC shot:

 

IMG_2257

 

A little creative cropping and you’ve got yourself one genyouine certeefied redneck derrière.

 

Fast forwarding to surgery day… the one-and-only GunDiva outdid herself:

GunDiva

 

 

She remarked that when someone was praying, the clasped hands create two elbutts (Lord, I apologize, but that’s funny right there).

Her Two Elbutts for Mr. Daddy touched off the most amazing perfect campaign of prayers to speed up this man’s recovery.

 

 

See for yourself… but beware of someone coming around your computer and having to explain the images Winking smile

 

from Beth:

Beth

 

 

~

 

from Shana:

Shana

 

~

 

from Tiffany:

Tiffany Bleger

 

~

from Tiffany’s Ty the Super Dog:

Tiffany Ty the Super Dog

 

~

from Mrs. Mom:

Mrs Mom

 

~

 

from Mister Mrs. Mom:

 

Mr Mrs Mom

 

~

 

from Mrs. Mom’s Lutin:

Mrs Mom Lutin

 

~

from Brandi’s little one:

Brandi youthful toddler

 

~

 

from Brandi’s wedgified little guy:

Brandi wedgie

 

~

 

from PamD:

Pam D

 

~

 

from Cari Berry’s little girl:

Cari Berry

 

~

 

from Mrs. Mann:

Mrs. Mann

 

~

 

from Pam Bowers:

Pam Bowers

 

~

 

from my sister Ju:

Ju

 

~

 

from my Ju’s Little Jo:

Little Jo

 

(shame on my sis for refusing to blog and be linkable ;)

 

~

 

from Angel’s family:

Angel

 

~

 

And then I realized that I would have to withhold these from Mr. Daddy until he could safely laugh without tearing out his stitches.  This realization came with Angel’s son’s submission of his “gutbutt”:

 

Angel gutbutt

 

~

 

It got crazier and crazier… here’s Brian’s:

 

Brian

 

 

(I loved Julie telling him he should get that checked)

 

 

~

 

from Brian’s wife Julie, also in the hospital:

Julie wifemomnurse

 

 

I was cracking up over how many of you started out saying, “I would NEVER do this for anyone but you…” (seriously, how could you not be touched that someone would do that for you?)  And how many of you actually sported ink (love the “kiss me”).  And it was ridiculously funny seeing so many people say, “OHMYGOSH, mine looks REAL!

 

~

 

 

Didn’t I warn you to watch for people seeing this on your monitor?

Our sweet 70 pound fun-size nurse walked in while the laptop was facing her and I was oblivious to what was on the screen.  Go ahead and blow up the above photo and you can understand the awkward expression on her face as she probably tried to figure out why on earth someone had an IV on their rear end.  And better yet, why I had a giant picture of it on my computer.

 

*sigh*

 

But I couldn’t help but giggle every time a new picture popped up.  They probably thought I was the crazy lady laughing to herself in the waiting room. 

The crazy lady with BROWN hair, apparently.

 

Because they walked around looking for me and never once pegged me as a raven-haired deaf chick.  (A little toldyouso to my husband).

 

Stick with us… the ride got crazier.  Much crazier.  So thankful for your support.  Even in the form of some much needed laughs.

 

~

 

Oh!  And after the adventure of escaping the hospital… my Dad sent me an extra special bloggable gift.

 

Oh Lord…

 

Dad

 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

You just never know

You just never know when that smile you just suppressed, would have brightened someones day, that really could have used the encouragement.


You just never know when that name popped into your head, you should have made the call to talk to them.




You just never know when the comment that you were going to write, would have made an impact. or bestowed a blessing.


You just never know, when that a kind word or smile to a stranger, (or friend) will be that MOMENT! that will make a difference.


YOU JUST NEVER KNOW!!!


Life is made up of moments, the past is just that.....PAST!!!! The future???? Well, it is just that, waiting to happen. (but no guarantees).


What you have is Right Here, Right NOW!!!


So spend those smiles, make those phones calls, comment till your fingers fall off!!!!!! :)


You just never know, that you can make a difference, until you do it.


BE the cause of a defining moment in some ones life...


The words of Elisabeth Kubler-Ross are so true:



"People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in their true beauty is revealed only if there is light from within."


So let the light of love that resides within you, light up the true beauty that is you....



YOU JUST NEVER KNOW....



Mr. Daddy

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

In Surgery



In surgery.


Right now.




That mile between anesthesia and the waiting room is where I nearly lost it.




(Okay, so maybe I did... but there wasn't anyone around).




Crazy snow means no one else in the waiting room.





Blogger says this is my 973rd post.


And I never dreamed that those posts would somehow connect me to YOUR posts... and leave me far from alone in this waiting room. 


My phone is going crazy... notifications of comments and messages.


Hope
Prayer
Support
Humor


You guys really rock.


Thank you - so much.



Please forgive me - don't have all the links for everyone - but Julie and Brandi put this together - and it has been rockin' out on Facebook and blogs... it makes me smile... every.time. 


Once Upon a Miracle


Feel free to grab it - it would make the Mister smile to see it once he gets out of surgery :)

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Common Paths–by Mr. Daddy

We all share common paths in life, but we all walk lonely roads.


Roads oft time so dismal and bleak that despair is the only companion in sight.


While we shadowbox with our grief, and wrestle with our anguish, time continues on at the uninterrupted pace of 60 seconds in a minute, and 60 minutes per hour, 24 hours per day, 7 days a week.

Without becoming redundant, suffice it to say life goes on. In an uninterrupted pattern of joy and pain, that we have little to no control over...


Now in saying we have little to no control, I am not suggesting it should control us.  Or that we should be fatalistic in our views.


In the words of Jawaharlal Nehru:

Life is like a game of cards. The hand you are dealt is determinism; the way you play it is free will.


I believe that our attitude is the key to whether we win or lose. The common path we share in this is summed up by W. Clement Stone:


"There is a little difference in people, but that little difference makes a big difference. The little difference is attitude. The big difference is whether it is positive or negative."


Or as Kahil Gibran puts it:

"Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens."


I think the summing up of this is best described by Francesca Reigle:


"Happiness is an attitude, we either make ourselves miserable, or happy and strong, the amount of work is the same."


Rach, mentioned in her last post that it seemed as if life had kinda taken a dump on us lately.  Looking back over the last three and a half months, I think that you will agree that, that is a pretty good assessment.


Since losing Mom on Oct 3rd to a cancerous brain tumor, I have lost 3 pretty close friends: one to a freak hunting accident, and two to massive heart attacks, and another 4 in the community from everything from a motorcycle accident to Alzheimer's...


this seems to be the relationship that I have come to with the grim reaper....

a humble gift

I know in my heart that he will never win, but for a bit I would really like to broker a truce.  But alas, the dude just doesn't want to deal. He throws a sucker punch in the form of a little lump on my thyroid.


Yep the doc told us last week that he was 95% sure that it was a rare type of thyroid cancer.  (Does that make me special??? :o)


He set a surgery date of the 18th and more tests - 4d ultrasound which ended up in two more biopsies :o( yesterday. (It wasn't too bad but if I'd a had my druthers I would have rather went to the zoo...)


Now I don't want to sound unthankful or anything but y’all bout burned up Rach's phone with your support. And for that there are not enough words of thanks, or an adequate way of expressing it..
SSSSOooooooo!!!!!


THANKS :o)


As we were waiting for the testing to start I was reading a book by James Merritt, and this is what I read:


"The law says, "What's mine is mine; I'll keep it."
"Our lust says. "What's yours is mine; I'll take it."
"True love says, What's mine is yours' I'll share it."


Love sets off a divine chain reaction. Love is the spark that kindles the fire of compassion. Compassion is the fire that lights the candle of service. Service is the candle that ignites the torch of hope. Hope is the torch that lights the beacon of faith. Faith is the beacon that reflects the power of God. And God is the power that creates the miracle of love.

The way of love is not only the right way, it is the best way. You can experience nothing as self-gratifying or encouraging as loving others through both words and deeds.."


There is a qoute by: Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

“People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in their true beauty is revealed only if there is light from within.”

We are truly blessed by a network of friends and family, I would like to give a special thanks to Linny and DW, while their little one was in the ER and awaiting critical brain surgery, (please say a prayer for her) they took the time to call and say a prayer the night before my testing and text to keep track while it was going on, and also to Julie, and Brandi & Scott, Pam D., Mrs. Mom, GunDiva, Beel and Juanita, Ju, Dana, Brian and so many more who blogged, texted, and messaged....

I had never heard of a virtual pastor before, thanks DW... (the call came at just the right moment:o) nor had I been aware of virtual family...Thank you I hope you feel my virtual hugs. And realize how brightly the light  shone from within you.

The commons are the mountain top and valley experiences.  What transcends that, the uncommon is our attitude in it...

Antoine de Saint-Exuper once said


"It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."

and with that I will leave you with one of my favorite Psalms,  51:10

Create in me a clean heart O God,

and renew a right spirit within me.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

I don’t want to

 

 

I don’t want to do this.

 

 

The specialist finally told us what the rest of them only danced around.

 

Ninety-five percent.

 

And the dude knows what he’s talking about.

 

It’s the one thing I didn’t want to hear.  Anything but cancer.

 

IMG_2216

 

He’s strong.  A little sleep-deprived, but cracking jokes.  Processing.

I’m weak.  Sleeping fitfully.  Losing my funny.  Numb.

 

And kind of in disbelief.

 

 

If I’m honest, I’ll tell you that the Great Equalizer in me thinks that everyone should have a fair amount of happy and grief.

(Oh wait, is that some kind of cosmic socialism?  My bad).

 

And I feel like… well… like life kind of took a dump on Mr. Daddy lately.

 

(Sorry.  This is a bit raw.)

 

 

Except… that I believe in God.

 

A God who has a bigger plan.

One who loves me – every single imperfect part of me.

One who can bring good from bad.

One who is more interested in my character than my comfort.

And the One who gave me this man to love.

 

 

And in looking at the broken pieces of my life, I can see where He painfully healed those edges in ways that brought blessings.  I have to take my own advice to Not Waste The Hard Things.

 

 

In true Mr. Daddy fashion… a quote that I love:

We have no right to ask when sorrow comes, "Why did this happen to me?" unless we ask the same question for every moment of happiness that comes our way.  ~Author Unknown

 

We can do this… because God already knows.  He knows every single yucky detail, every single diagnosis, and every single moment of our life that needs to not be wasted.

 

“The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places.”  Ernest Hemingway

 

 

My Facebook account exploded today.  My phone buzzed with text messages.  Emails came non-stop.  Sweet comments on the blog.

Bible verses… typed prayers… threats for not updating…

 

And this beautiful gem from PamD:

"Do not be afraid of tomorrow; for God is already there." ~Author Unknown

 

And many others that I’d post except that Facebook just went down for maintenance as I was typing this (seriously?!?)

 

I’m getting teary-eyed thinking of all the times my phone buzzed today.  It is probably a record for a cell phone in the hands of a deaf person.  You guys are amazing.  A true support team.  I don’t even know how to say Thank You.

 

It seemed every few minutes that persistent buzz startled me and each word brought a feeling of being hugged.  It is no exaggeration to say that people were praying from all over the U.S… and all over the world.

 

 

How humbling.

 

 

So thank you.  I’d love to hug you around the neck.

 

 

“Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise.”  Hebrews 10:23

 

And His promise? To never leave us alone.

 

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Wednesday, January 04, 2012

That man

 

 

There’s eleventy hundred reasons I love him.

 

But sometimes it’s the littlest things that make you glad you married your best friend.

 

IMG_6171

 

 

In the midst of the Christmas chaos, Itty Bit’s advent activity for the day was a little cardboard racecar.  With approximately 1,714 tiny parts and instructions written in wee Japanese.

 

After a long week, the man didn’t hesitate as he sat down to solve the Part XEI attach Part 92Y in north left quadrant 60 angle craziness.

 

He might have sort have mumbled something about that stupid Target Dollar Section, but he still willingly suffered for his kid.

 

And let me tell you… the image of him using a magnifying glass WHILE wearing his hilarious Walmart reading glasses… is one that cracks me up and makes my heart do a funny flip all at the same time.

 

(Seriously… the dude keeps those crazy glasses because he once had a dog that chewed on them and he misses that dog.  Love the story, but he completely earns every guffaw when he puts them on).

 

The car took 45 minutes to put together.  And lasted all of 45 seconds.  Apparently Itty Bit needed to “check the engine compartment”.

 

But that man sitting there, impressing the heck out of his mini-me… (doofy glasses and all)…

IMG_6168

 

is something I hope the little guy remembers as one of his favorite Christmas memories.

 

IMG_6173

 

I’m feeling a bit sentimental and scared tonight.

 

In a few hours we hit the road for that all-important “surgical consult”.

 

My stomach doesn’t like those words.

 

 

Would you please pray for that ornery, wonderful, bad taste in glasses man of mine?

 

(And pray that he finds his blogging mojo soon… anyone volunteer to pester him about that? ;)

 

We appreciate you.

 

 

And I promise to catch up with all of you soon… I’m ready to quit being overwhelmed.

 

 

Source: tumblr.com via Susanna on Pinterest

Sunday, January 01, 2012

What? It’s not December?

 

Anyone else think that the last half of December is the most cruel time for a Mom to be sick?

 

It should be illegal

or something.

 

We did manage some fun before the snot took over.  Like Christmas tree hunting.

 

Which is a very serious sport in Redneckville.  All aspects must be considered: height, fullness, shape, color, allowable gaps, needle dispersion, sharpness, rate of shedding…

 

I neglected to share with you the adventure that was last year’s tree picking ceremony.

 

IMG_8535

 

Both of the boys suddenly had bladder emergencies.  And while it is still somewhat socially acceptable for a 4-year old to unzip and whiz… I think the grown kid could have earned us a promptly escorted exit.

 

So peeing in tandem… I was relieved that it didn’t make a reappearance this year at the same Christmas tree lot.  This may or may not have had something to do with the owner giving Mr. Daddy permission to access a prized fishing spot.

 

It’s a weird, weird redneck world.

 

(You don’t let me use your fishing trail, I pee on your merchandise)

 

Anywho… my retelling of last year’s faux pas earned this expression:

 

IMG_6093

Apparently public urination is hilarious.  Who knew?

 

 

Then Mr. Daddy and I had a very important discussion about the tree selection process.  After breaking the news to Itty Bit about his choice…

 

 

IMG_6075

it proceeded something like this:

 

 

Oh honey, this one is perfect!

Rach, that one is too big.

No it’s not!  It’s perfectly shaped and look, no gaps!

Rach, that one is too big.

No it’s not!  We’ll put it under the vaulted ceiling in the living room.

Rach, that one is too big.

Honeeeeeyyyyy… (batting my eyelashes while Itty Bit looks at me in confusion)

 

Raaaach… fine.

 

 

(hauls tree home, sets it up in the wrong spot… scrapes ceiling… drags it to the vaulted section, touches ceiling…)

 

Rach…

Honey, why’d you get such a big tree?

 

~

 

 

And in other December news… other than refraining from peeing in public, my husband also bestowed a well-met gift.

King Julien and I have dared each other for some time to post photos of what we considered our World’s Grodiest Sofa.  My frugal self knew that our set was a good decade past replacement time and I wouldn’t gross y’all out with a picture because I LIKE YOU.

Thankfully the furniture guy was ready to dicker.  (An important side note… furniture stores will dicker even quicker if you give your 5-year old a frappucino before entering and tell him to test out the cushiness of each couch.  Especially let him know that everyone wants to hear “The Wheels on the Bus” at full volume.  Kindergartener available for rent).

 

IMG_1610

 

Our set is not quite as broken in, but every bit as comfy looking.

Hallelujah!

 

I wasn’t sad to retire the bachelor/bachelorette set :)

 

 

~

 

Moving right along… December is the most dangerous month for kitchen fires.  Did you know that?  Due in great part to the fact that *I* refuse to be beaten back by that ridiculous smoke alarm.

 

I was finishing up the last batch of ELEVEN zucchini bread loaves (desist mockery, I actually get asked for the recipe) at 12:30 AM (if that is not the definition of holiday schedule cramming…).

 

I was leaned over to retrieve the hot pans out of the far corners of the hot oven.  Seeing as how I’m vertically challenged… this meant that I was doubled up over the blistering inside edge of the oven door.  With my short little appendages fully inside the searing heat.

 

My thoughtful redneck (whom I’d assumed fallen asleep in front of Facebook as he is wont to do each night), chose that moment to TICKLE the inch of back fat that had become exposed during the whole leaning process.

 

(utmost apologies for the traumatic mental image)

 

So as my upper body is awkwardly ensconced in a 4000 degree inferno device, you can imagine how the sudden unexpected pinch went over.

 

Yeah.

 

I shrieked.

 

And one of those stubby little appendages flew backwards with uncontrollable speed and force, directly into a redneck’s sacred zone.

 

The hallowed procreation station.

 

(oh come on.  Go say it again a’la James Earl Jones and it’s funnier)

 

In the split second that followed, I spun into a soutenu en tournant that would make my ballet instructor proud, ripped the oven mitts off my hands, took in the sight of my husband doubled over gasping for breath, and unleashed a supersonic stream of I’m still freaked out words.

 

The poor man held to the counter groaning as a very grumpy (albeit ticklish) Keebler Elf angrily squeaked recriminations at him.

 

I’m sorry!  But you can NEVER tickle me when my body is half in the oven.  Oh my gosh! I’m sorrry.  AHHHHHH!  You scared me to death and I would have burned myself.  I didn’t mean to hit you THERE.  I’M SORRY!  But it’s your fault.  You can’t do that!

 

I’m sorry OKAY!?!?!  But you CAN’T do that!  Why on EARTH would you tickle me when I’m in the oven like that?  WHY!??! I’M SORRY!

 

He couldn’t even form words.  And I couldn’t stop.  It went for approximately 428 seconds without a breath until he finally gestured toward where Itty Bit was (hopefully) sleeping.

 

Let this be a lesson dude, let this be a lesson…

 

IMG_1113

 

 

 

~

 

Oh, and I would give you pictures of that perfectly shaped too-tall tree that didn’t get peed on… except that y’all already know I broke my lens.

(OHMYLORD I BROKE MY LENS.  MY BABY!)

 

So I got some terrific unintentional bokeh.

 

IMG_6374

Except that every picture of every PERSON also looks like this.  Yay me.

 

Excuse me while I go weep into my new couch cushions…

 

And how was YOUR December?