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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.


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.


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….

Runny Fudge and Lumpy Bar B Q Sauce

I’ve beencooking all morning long.  Izzy stayed home from school because she’s had the hacks and after some sweet tea with fresh lemon,

she’s now my in house kitchen helper.

We started with secret recipes that my mother gave me.  Unfortunately, my recipe cabinet looks a lot like this:

Ok, this is not really my cabinet. My is much messier.  I just can’t find the wire to hook up to the computer so I could show you a real picture of what MY messy cabinet looks like.  Although, I have to wonder aloud:

“What in the world does this person have in the 18 gallon bucket?” Very strange.

Anyhow, since my cabinet is a mess and I can’t find my recipes because they are hiding in said messy cabinet, I realize that I need to put all my recipes in a nice orderly manner on my blog.  I always think I can just “grab them and go” but ummmmm…

Not so much.

Then I try to rely on others to be responsible.  Like my mother.  If only she would answer the phone, she could tell me what is in our family secret fudge not to mention Bar B Q sauce.  It would be nice if she could carry something other than the $1.99 track phone she purchased from Fred’s.  This way, I could reach her when I really needed to.

Nevertheless, Izzy and I have been furiously cooking away preparing fudge (from a hodge podge of three different recipes) and then as the fudge hardens, we start on the coveted family secret Bar B Q sauce.

One hour later

The Bar B Q sauce has major lumps and my fudge is very runny.

Personally, I blame all of this on my mother.

Dear Mother,

Since you are too busy to answer the phone, I decided to write you a letter.  On my blog.  Good thing I am not bleeding from my eye balls because you don’t bother to answer your phone.

With all this said, I am going to spend the rest of my day in my kitchen. Behind my computer.  Not the stove. I did not have all the proper directions and as a result, my fudge looks like something a very sick horse left behind and my Bar B Q sauce appears to have bite size chunks floating amongst some white residue looking stuff.

Not to be disheartened.

I have a new handy recipe button that my web designer plugged in for me, so it should be interesting to see if I can actually maneuver the thing.

And as for you, Mumsey, you’d better hope I can’t figure out how to work this new recipe gadget….

I might be including some family recipes… jk 🙂