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Monthly Archives: May 2013

Spotting Amanda

I will be honest: when I walked into Amanda’s room, my intial thought was “Oh my gosh, what have I signed myself up for??”

One week ago, I received a church email asking for volunteers to sit with Amanda ~ a young mother of two who barely survived a horiffic car wreck just 6 months ago.  I knew the wreck was bad ~ It was on the news. It was in the papers. I saw the pictures of wrecked cars; I heard the whispers of a family completely devastated.  IT WAS A VERY BAD ACCIDENT.  Amanda is now in a vegetated state.  The email said the family is asking for people to sit with Amanda so her mother, her caregiver, could get out of the house for errands.

I have no problem sitting with sick people. It’s just not a biggie.

This one was a biggie.

“Let me introduce you to Amanda.”  Her mother, who is beautiful (and I do not use that word lightly) says as she guides me down a hall and into a window filled room.  Amanda is sitting in her wheel chair.  From the start, I am completely taken off guard. Her pale steel colored grey – green eyes gaze straight ahead – those same beautiful eyes are what caught her husband’s heart many years ago, I’m sure of it.  Her long frail arms sit folded in her lap – those same arms that used to hold her 2 children; a baby only 6 months old when she had her wreck and a 4 year old little girl.  Now they are living in another state with family members because Diana has her hands full caring full time for Amanda. Those arms – they used rock her babies to bed each night.  Her legs were neatly positioned in the cradle of the chair. I could tell that if Amanda were standing up, she would be taller than me.  Those legs – they used take those babies on long walks, those same legs were working just fine hours, minutes, seconds before her accident, yet now they render Amanda useless.

I have never in  my life seen another human being in a ‘vegetable’ state.  I won’t lie.  I was utterly overwhelmed.

Fear starts to swirl in my head. What in the world was I thinking?  I’m not a doctor.  I can barely wipe a scraped knee!! What if she falls while I’m with her?  What if she stops breathing?  What if, what if, what if????

Excuses danced across my mind….

Maybe my own children need me, perhaps I should tell Diana there is an emergency and I need to leave? This lady is counting on me,  I’m not prepared for this.  I don’t know what to.  Amanda won’t even look at me.

TWO THOUGHTS OCCUR TO ME:

1. I want to bust outta this house and hunt down the careless, reckless girl who decided to speed the wrong way down a one way street smashing into Amanda’s car head on and well…..clobber her.  She stole a mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister , a friend from so many.

OR

2. I want to run out the house crying.

But neither of those options are mine to take.

Her mother, Diana, can’t read my jumbled thoughts; she is completely unfazed by all this. She stands at the foot of the wheel chair and says “Come help me, Sissie, I need lift Amanda to back to her hospital bed.  It’s not hard, I just want you to spot me.”

And it was like a little voice whispered to me.  “Diana isn’t asking you save her daughter, heal her daughter, she’s asking you to help her, to spot her.”

So I spotted Diana.  She cranked this banana swing thing up and over (it was actually very cool) and within seconds, Amanada was back in her bed.  Diana seems so calm.  She changes Amanda’s diaper before she leaves and as she gives her medicine, she lets me know that the beeping sound coming from Amandas left side was simply a tone monitor the hospital had placed inside of her.  “It’s ok if it beeps.  We are going to the doctor on Wednesday.”

Before she leaves to run errands, Diana gives me a few tips:

“We hold up pictures of her children; maybe it will help her remember. We read to her.  We watch television with her.  You can just sit with her if that makes you happy.”  After 30 minutes, Diana is gone and Amanda and I are alone. I don’t know what to say to her. I look into her pretty eyes. Her lashes are so long and thick, I watch as they blink back and forth.  “You know Amanda,” I tell her, “you really do have magnificent eyes, you should consider being a mascara model one day…..”

I take out my Coastal Living magazines I brought to show her.  This is what I did when my friend Amy was dying of cancer many years before.  Amy was too weak to hold the magazine herself, so I held it for her.  I flipped through the pages; showing Amy all the people and colors, she loved it, I could tell.  Amanda is different.  There is never a change of facial movements.  Never a smile.  Or a nod. Nothing. I speak to  Amanda as if she can understand every single word.  We discuss poor decorating choices, pretty ocean views, and recipes.  Good grief, there were a lot of recipes.  We talk about what food looked good and what looked like dog food.  When my stomach starts growling (I know, how sad) I put the magazines away.

Her eyes never once meet mine.  But I don’t get discouraged.  Something inside of me feels at ease with Amanda, like she is my friend, she is just very tired and she wants to rest.  Diana said she would probably sleep but I never once saw her close her eyes.  I watch her for a minute and then I pulled out my kindle.  I told her that there was a new book by Joel Osteen called Everyday A Friday and began reading it aloud. It talks about how statistics show that everybody’s mood is always so much better on a Friday.  He goes on to say that we should always have the attitude that everyday is a Friday, wake up and be excited about your life, embrace it, live it, love your life!

I put down the book and stand over her.  “You have an entire army rooting for you, Amanda.  Your momma absolutely adores you, your babies love you, your husband, your entire family, please don’t give up!”

Then I boo hoo.  Amanda doesn’t which is probably better because it is at this minute that her momma walks back in and it would be very embarrassing if she happened to walk in and I’ve made her lil girl cry…..

Diana walks right up to her daughter and cups her hands to Amanda’s face where she gives her a big smooch.  I am not kidding when I say I saw Amanda’s face lit up.  It changed somehow, she knew her momma was back and that the crazy girl who just hours before suggested she become a mascara model would be leaving.  She knew her momma was there.  I’m sure of it.

Diana thanks me, I mean genuinely thanks me, for sitting/spotting her while she was away.  She is so grateful but the strangest part is that I am the one who is grateful to her…she trusted me enough to spot Amanda.

It was honest to God life changing, I can’t wait to spot her again….

15 Things you should Give up..to be Happy

Found this on The World Observer and HAD to share:

 

Here is a list of 15 things which, if you give up on them, will make your life a lot easier and much, much happier. We hold on to so many things that cause us a great deal of pain, stress and suffering – and instead of letting them all go, instead of allowing ourselves to be stress free and happy – we cling on to them. Not anymore. Starting today we will give up on all those things that no longer serve us, and we will embrace change. Ready? Here we go:

1. Give up your need to always be right. There are so many of us who can’t stand the idea of being wrong – wanting to always be right – even at the risk of ending great relationships or causing a great deal of stress and pain, for us and for others. It’s just not worth it. Whenever you feel the ‘urgent’ need to jump into a fight over who is right and who is wrong, ask yourself this question: “Would I rather be right, or would I rather be kind?”Wayne Dyer. What difference will that make? Is your ego really that big?


2. Give up your need for control.
Be willing to give up your need to always control everything that happens to you and around you – situations, events, people, etc. Whether they are loved ones, coworkers, or just strangers you meet on the street – just allow them to be. Allow everything and everyone to be just as they are and you will see how much better will that make you feel.

“By letting it go it all gets done. The world is won by those who let it go. But when you try and try. The world is beyond winning.” Lao Tzu

3. Give up on blame. Give up on your need to blame others for what you have or don’t have, for what you feel or don’t feel. Stop giving your powers away and start taking responsibility for your life.

4. Give up your self-defeating self-talk. Oh my. How many people are hurting themselves because of their negative, polluted and repetitive self-defeating mindset? Don’t believe everything that your mind is telling you – especially if it’s negative and self-defeating. You are better than that.

“The mind is a superb instrument if used rightly. Used wrongly, however, it becomes very destructive.” Eckhart Tolle

5. Give up your limiting beliefs about what you can or cannot do, about what is possible or impossible. From now on, you are no longer going to allow your limiting beliefs to keep you stuck in the wrong place. Spread your wings and fly!

“A belief is not an idea held by the mind, it is an idea that holds the mind” Elly Roselle

6. Give up complaining. Give up your constant need to complain about those many, many, maaany things – people, situations, events that make you unhappy, sad and depressed. Nobody can make you unhappy, no situation can make you sad or miserable unless you allow it to. It’s not the situation that triggers those feelings in you, but how you choose to look at it. Never underestimate the power of positive thinking.

7. Give up the luxury of criticism. Give up your need to criticize things, events or people that are different than you. We are all different, yet we are all the same. We all want to be happy, we all want to love and be loved and we all want to be understood. We all want something, and something is wished by us all.

8. Give up your need to impress others. Stop trying so hard to be something that you’re not just to make others like you. It doesn’t work this way. The moment you stop trying so hard to be something that you’re not, the moment you take of all your masks, the moment you accept and embrace the real you, you will find people will be drawn to you, effortlessly.

9. Give up your resistance to change. Change is good. Change will help you move from A to B. Change will help you make improvements in your life and also the lives of those around you. Follow your bliss, embrace change – don’t resist it.
“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls”
Joseph Campbell

10. Give up labels. Stop labeling those things, people or events that you don’t understand as being weird or different and try opening your mind, little by little. Minds only work when open. “The highest form of ignorance is when you reject something you don’t know anything about.” Wayne Dyer

11. Give up on your fears. Fear is just an illusion, it doesn’t exist – you created it. It’s all in your mind. Correct the inside and the outside will fall into place.
“The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.”
Franklin D. Roosevelt

12. Give up your excuses. Send them packing and tell them they’re fired. You no longer need them. A lot of times we limit ourselves because of the many excuses we use. Instead of growing and working on improving ourselves and our lives, we get stuck, lying to ourselves, using all kind of excuses – excuses that 99.9% of the time are not even real.

13. Give up the past. I know, I know. It’s hard. Especially when the past looks so much better than the present and the future looks so frightening, but you have to take into consideration the fact that the present moment is all you have and all you will ever have. The past you are now longing for – the past that you are now dreaming about – was ignored by you when it was present. Stop deluding yourself. Be present in everything you do and enjoy life. After all life is a journey not a destination. Have a clear vision for the future, prepare yourself, but always be present in the now.

14. Give up attachment. This is a concept that, for most of us is so hard to grasp and I have to tell you that it was for me too, (it still is) but it’s not something impossible. You get better and better at with time and practice. The moment you detach yourself from all things, (and that doesn’t mean you give up your love for them – because love and attachment have nothing to do with one another, attachment comes from a place of fear, while love… well, real love is pure, kind, and self less, where there is love there can’t be fear, and because of that, attachment and love cannot coexist) you become so peaceful, so tolerant, so kind, and so serene. You will get to a place where you will be able to understand all things without even trying. A state beyond words.

15. Give up living your life to other people’s expectations. Way too many people are living a life that is not theirs to live. They live their lives according to what others think is best for them, they live their lives according to what their parents think is best for them, to what their friends, their enemies and their teachers, their government and the media think is best for them. They ignore their inner voice, that inner calling. They are so busy with pleasing everybody, with living up to other people’s expectations, that they lose control over their lives. They forget what makes them happy, what they want, what they need….and eventually they forget about themselves. You have one life – this one right now – you must live it, own it, and especially don’t let other people’s opinions distract you from your path.

The Canoe

POINTS Numero 2 & 3:

2. Canoed down Lake Oconee.  This was accomplished the very same weekend  with Vern and Viola.  We were munching on our half-cooked breakfast and I looked over to see some guy canoeing down the lake.  “I want to do that!” I yelped; buttermilk biscuit shooting from my lips.

How many times have we all looked at what somebody else was doing and say aloud or most of the time to ourself…I want that.  I want to do that?

But most times we don’t. We feel like we will look stupid.  (Which we did.) We feel like we don’t have enough experience (which we didn’t and FYI: Do not stand up in a canoe, the stinking thing will flip over) and we just don’t do it.  We sit back and watch others who are more brave and who have actually taken that first step to do something daunting.

Before I could say “Oh no you didn’t” we were in that canoe.  I have to be honest, we looked like a big bunch of fools.  It’s March, mind you and freaking freezing. Here I am in my high-heeled boots and rabbit coat, Vern with her designer Channel purse.  Vern was like absolutely no help with the rowing.  She was much too concerned and scared that her new channel purse would get wet.  She clutched to it mightily you woulda thought it was a gold-plated  newborn child and it was her duty to deliver it to the Pharaoh.  

But you know what?  we did it.

After I conquered this point, I looked up to see buff, tanned bods scoot past me on their bicycles. And then I said those dreaded words…”I want to do that…”

It had been about…300 years…was I too old to ride a bike?

Old Lady Bicycle Wallpaper

 And so we did.  At least two of us did.

One of us (who shall remain nameless, but she’s the same one who drank too many cosmopolitans and took a head dive towards the outside fire the night before) simply rented her bike and parked it.  Evil glares darted from her eyes as she watched us shooting through paths and over bridges.  Here is a point in itself:  She wouldn’t ride the bike because she didn’t feel good about her weight and didn’t think she would be able to keep up.  But if she had just tried, and I’m talking five minutes, she could have given herself that point. 

Vern Excuse me, the person who would’nt ride her bike, was most  unimpressed.

An hour later, fannies aching and burning like we’d been sitting on those burning embers from the outside fireplace, we dismantle our chariots and limped back to the room.

We packed our things and headed home. My lil list of points firmly STILL in hot lil hand….