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Showing posts from October, 2017

Part VI - Whaaaat's that you say? Something about Monday night?

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This is a continuing story of God's provision. You've got to read this post. It'll amaze you!

Here are Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV and Part V.  This post picks up with the days following Dad's death. My husband and I were out-of-town, staying with Dad's wife Peg. A neighbor was keeping our three children while we were gone. Although Dad's condition was serious, nobody expected him to die during this visit. But listen to what happened...it's astounding..

Unexpectedly, Dad passed away Monday night, and on Tuesday, we met with the funeral director and the pastor. As was customary back then, we made plans to wake Dad on Tuesday and Wednesday and arranged the funeral Mass and burial for Thursday morning.

Oddly enough, my ticketed flight was returning home Thursday night. (Keep that thought...that will be useful information later.)

Everything was falling into place, but I hadn't yet spoken to the kids or my neighbor who was keeping them. Joe and I had alr…

Whaaaat? You said whaaaat? More surgery? That can't be!!!!

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She happened to call at just the right time yesterday...
Fran, my case manager from Blue Cross Blue Shield. I'd just returned home from my follow-up appointment with the surgeon...the one who removed my appendix...and I was freaking out because it's possible I'll need surgery again...soon. 

What I thought was normal tenderness from the appendectomy was actually not normal.

Something's wrong, the surgeon said, effortlessly pinpointing the exact location of my pain. Your gallbladder needs to come out, he said. We'll run some tests...

The news blindsided me.

Surgery? Again? Wasn't the appendix issue enough? The weeklong hospital stay? The  decision to delay surgery for weeks, trying to calm the infection down so they wouldn't have to remove part of the intestines as well? (It worked.) The nausea? The pain? 

How about the surgery? What about the sensation of being suffocated from the general anesthesia? Who can forget the long dark night in the hospital wrestling t…

Whaaaat??? You said whaaaat? More surgery?! That can't be!!!

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She happened to call at just the right time yesterday...
Fran, my case manager from Blue Cross Blue Shield. I'd just returned home from my follow-up appointment with the surgeon...the one who removed my appendix...and I was freaking out because it's possible I'll need surgery again...soon. 

What I thought was normal tenderness from the appendectomy was actually not normal.

Something's wrong, the surgeon said, effortlessly pinpointing the exact location of my pain. Your gallbladder needs to come out, he said. We'll run some tests...

The news blindsided me.

Surgery? Again? Wasn't the appendix issue enough? The weeklong hospital stay? The  decision to delay surgery for weeks, trying to calm the infection down so they wouldn't have to remove part of the intestines as well? (It worked.) The nausea? The pain? 

How about the surgery? What about the sensation of being suffocated from the general anesthesia? Who can forget the long dark night in the hospital wrestling t…

Here's a story from one of my recent hospital stays....God is love...and God really is everywhere...

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During an recent hospital stay, I found myself watching news about a boisterous mom driving drunk with a helpless toddler in the car.I cringed, wondering how a child raised in a faithless, careless environment could succeed. How would they find a better life? How would they find God?

Later that night, Jess (not her real name), a thin, dark-haired nurse with a gentle disposition, responded to the incessant beeping of my monitor. Soft light spilled from the hallway into my room, making her gentle presence a mere silhouette. I asked how she got into nursing, and her story kept me spellbound. Unbeknownst to her, it addressed my unspoken concerns.
Jess was born in the islands, but her father brought her and her brothers to the US when she was 10 years old, abandoning her mother and two other children.
“My grandmother didn’t want him to take me,” Jess said. “She tried to get him to leave me and just take the boys, but he refused.”
Jess’s father was combative and violent to her. He was insultin…

Part V - What a difference a day makes...24 little hours continued (with a song at the end)

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My husband and I had just crawled into bed, leaving a soft hallway light on.  For a moment, all seemed peaceful and quiet. I pulled the sheets up around my shoulder and smiled at a moonbeam filtering through the window.

Suddenly, the phone rang, piercing the stillness. Joe and I glanced at each other, but waited, assuming my stepmother, already tucked away in her bedroom, would answer it.

The we heard her muffled voice, then silence, then movement as she opened her bedroom door. I heard her little quick footsteps heading down the hallway to us.

She was sobbing. Before she uttered the words, I knew. "He's gone," she said.  I burst into tears as she tried to relate the caller's information. 

I remember little else, except that Joe helped us regain our composure and helped us get ready to return to the hospital. For us, for now, they were keeping Dad's body there. 

Joe drove us back to the hospital. Back to the room where, just hours earlier, I'd debated whether to …

Blessed Mother, are you there?

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Years ago, my sister-in-law and I made several trips to Conyers, Georgia, where thousands would gather on a country hillside to pray the rosary while a visionary was reportedly receiving messages from the Blessed Mother. Believable? You decide. Here's my story:


As soon as I let Jenna, then 9, race across the field to join Aunt Gina and Cousin Jenny, Sara, then 5, exploded.



“Why can’t I go with them,” she screamed, grabbing my hand one instant, refusing to follow me the next. But they were already out-of-sight.


We’d traveled seven long hours to reach our destination, a place in the country where a visionary reportedly received messages from the Blessed Mother.


We’d been there before, Gina and me. Sitting on a hillside praying the rosary with 10,000 other pilgrims proved a powerful experience, one we wanted to share with our kids.


So we knew to arrive the night before, spread a blanket, and return early the next morning.


There was a little bookstore to the left, and Gina needed to go the…

Wednesday's Words

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Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of  many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 
James 1:2-4






Part IV...What a difference a day makes...24 little hours...

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God sometimes leads us outside of our comfort zones, as in this continuing story...Here are the links forPart I, Part II, and Part III  This is Part IV. 

After I suggested Peg abandon her agenda and just spend the day with Dad at the hospital, that's just what she did. It was now Monday. 

You might recall that when my stepmother, Peg, asked us to come, my husband already had plans to fly out the next morning on a business trip that took him near Dad's destination. Joe planned to come to town Tuesday, when the convention ended.

Near dinnertime Monday, however, Joe phoned me at the hospital. "I'm here," he said.  "I left the convention early. I felt like I needed to come today, not wait for tomorrow."

We were surprised and thrilled! This was before cellphones so there wasn't a lot of communication between us in the chaotic days since I'd arrived at the hospital.

When Joe arrived, Dad rallied. His eyes opened. He looked more alert than he'd been in…

Part III...I think you just need to be with him today...

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I opened the car door, slipped into the passenger seat, and gave my stepmother, Peg, a hug. Before she pulled away from the curb, she announced the day's busy agenda, which included firing dad's oncologist, renting medical equipment to be delivered to the home, and getting Dad released from the hospital. 

When she finished talking, I reached over and touched her arm.

"Peg," I said. "Forget about all that today. I think you just need to be with Dad."

A knot formed in my stomach as I spoke.

Peg was a strong-willed, determined woman. Nobody told her what to do. I cringed, expecting a harsh response.

However, it never came.

Peg simply cocked her head and looked at me.

"You just need to be with him today," I repeated.  

No argument. No criticism. No scowl.

In fact, her frown disappeared.  

We made a new plan. She'd stay at the hospital while I'd take the car and drive home to shower and clean up. My real goal, however, was for her to have one-on-one …