Thursday, February 18, 2010

People ARE Good!

So I got home from the school (my first time out in a week) and my neighbor came over to give me these.  The florist dropped them off at his house for safe keeping.  And I opened the card and it was from Melissa.  Girl, I miss you and thank you so much! Melissa lives in Texas now, but she has and continues to be an amazing friend. She is a talker and so am I.  We just clicked when we met.  We spent 2 hours on the front porch totally engrossed in each other's stories. She read about my accident in the pool and called a florist here and ordered flowers for me along with a Get Well card. So thoughtful!
 Needless to say it worried my neighbor who works at the dermatology office where my cancer was discovered almost 4 years ago.  But once I told him what was up, he told me to call him if I needed anything.  It's nice to have good friends and good neighbors.

Old Bed, New Bed

My son just got a new bed, actually it's his Dad's childhood bed.  He's really excited about it because there is plenty of room underneath.  There is even enough room to hide away his toy basket.  Today I put a sheet across the front.  He loves the tent. We don't have TV so once in a while we let them use the laptop.  Here they are totally engrossed in an episode of Desperate Landscapes. They are definitely my children!

I photographed this without flash, window light only, F 4.0, 1/40, and 1250 ISO.

Friday, February 12, 2010

"Stupid Things"

I have these important thoughts in my head but I'm not sure I can get them out properly with all the meds, but I feel it's important that I try. We all do 'stupid things' and I can just hear my kids say BUSTED just by saying that word.  My Dad was in the Army and that was a phrase we heard often while growing up. My Dad worked hard to teach me to 'Think things through' first - he had his work cut out for him.

My point is this, every day each of us do something we shouldn't.  Sometimes there are consequences and sometimes we scrape by without anyone getting hurt.  Sometimes these things happen because we disobey rules or laws.   Sometimes we are not doing anything wrong and bad things happen to us.  Sometimes we just get carried away with excitement and things go wrong, big and little.  I've done plenty of stupid things in my life and that makes me feel very humble at this moment.  We need others to be willing to forgive our misdeeds just as much as we need to forgive others.

I keep thinking about the young man that hit me in the pool and what he must be going through right now and I'm sad for him, not angry at him.   I certainly learned something from this experience.  I was reminded once again how fragile life is. I was reminded how we are judged on the things that we do, think, and say, regardless of anyone else.  This is just one of those things that happen in life because we are human and weak.  And I have been filled with an emotional comfort despite the physical pain and my heart is full of love.

The only thing I have felt is frustration from trying to to get my physical body back in shape over the past 3 years and 2 months of remission from cancer and facing so many set backs instead of triumphs.  I have had to realize that maybe my plan is different from His plan for me.  I'll keep trying to figure it out until I can't anymore.

I will admit that I am scared to get back in the pool but I don't want to quit swimming.  It's the only exercise I can do without being completely exhausted for days. I have a friend that volunteered to come swim with me.  And I might just get in and walk the width of the pool in the shallow end the first time or two. And maybe when I'm up to it I will try water aerobics so I don't have to put my vulnerable head in the water.

Kaleena, thanks for watching my son so I could sleep while my husband was at work today.  I know it's not easy to add another bouncing boy into your day.  I slept until noon.

I better go, but I had to get these thoughts out of my mind and written down. I can hardly see the computer screen.  I have patchy and blurry vision but it's slowly getting better.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

It's not even funny anymore

Yep, that's me, this past Tuesday night.  Some of you have seen this on facebook but I know that I have followers that are not yet facebook friends.  

So I was swimming laps, trying to whip my bad attitude and my body into shape. I'd been in a bad mood for 2 days.  It takes at least 30 laps before I begin to feel it loose its grip on me.  I was going for 35.  I'd been the only person in that lane the entire time I was swimming. Halfway through lap 34 and without warning I felt an explosion on the top of my head and come out my ears and shoulders.  I curled up my legs and my arms just hung there.  I heard a lot of yelling and 'oh no' and 'I'm so sorry' being repeated.  The air was knocked out of me. A very large and tall guy in his late 20s or early 30s dove backwards off the bulk head into my lane. His head hit my head.  How many pounds of pressure was that equal to? I felt someone carrying me in the water and I finally yelled at him to get me out of the pool, sit me on the side.  He had blood running down the side of his face and neck - all his thankfully. His head split open he hit me so hard.

I sat there gasping for air. People were rushing around me.  I started to cry and I couldn't hold my head up.  They had me lay on my back and covered me with warm towels.  Then a neck brace. Then they started up the hose with the warm water. I was in pain and in shock and shaking terribly.  They called my husband.  We also tried my paramedic neighbors because I didn't want to go in an ambulance if I didn't have to.  When Tyler got there, they called 911.

My daughter's PE coach was there and some of her friends from church.  It was comforting to be surrounded by women close to my age. They kept asking me questions like my name, address, phone number.  I knew what it was but then I'd forget that I'd said it and ask if I had told them already.  Pretty soon my husband was there.  Then the sheriff, then the ambulance.  They  placed the backboard under me and it was freezing cold.  I squealed. After all, I was in a wet swim suit.  And it was my brand new poly suit and I was determined to make sure no one cut it off of me.  

I went to the ER in the ambulance. The medic knew my Dad from Life Flight. There was a huge crowd of doctors and nurses waiting for me. I was worried about my neck and they were worried about bleeding in the brain.  So I had a CT scan right away form the top of my head to the base of my ribs.  They said it was fine (relief) but that I had soft tissue damage which would be better seen in an MRI in 4 or 5 days. So we just have to wait and see how I'm doing when I reach the 5 day mark.

I think Wednesday was worse than Tuesday pain wise.  And I've been taking it very easy today. I was finally able to eat today.  Last night my parents came up to see me.  Then later our new Bishopric came over.  Yesterday the scoutmaster called my husband to find out how I was.  He said it was one of  his leaders that had hurt me and he was so worried about me that he didn't sleep all night.  The lifeguard was worried too and his mom, who runs the pool and coaches the swim teams, called me last night and left a message.  Amber, thanks for doing my daughter's hair for school.  Grandpa and Grandma, thanks for keeping my children overnight.

It's been crazy and it hurts a lot.  I am really lucky apparently but since this is my 3rd time being strapped to a backboard and 4 ambulance ride and having done the whole chemo and radiation thing too, this is really getting old. I just wonder how a little person like myself has survived so many crazy ordeals. Such a miracle. Anyway, enough for today.  I'm pretty nauseated and better crawl back in bed. I can't hold my head up with out support for very long. And if this post doesn't make much sense or if I've left anything important out, blame the pain meds and muscle relaxers.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Valentine assembly during FHE

This past weekend I designed my son's Valentine.  He is in preschool and I'm sure there are plenty of mom's who have come up with amazing ideas (for Christmas one mom knitted hats for all 14 kids). But my son loves to have me draw frogs for him and so this was an easy choice, although I did add kissy lips for this version of the frog. I've had great fun using my new Adobe Illustrator skills.  

Anyway, my daughter needed to add the names of all the students in her class and sign her name.  So that's just what we did during Family Home Evening last night after the lesson. My daughter liked it so much that she asked for a girl-y version of the frog, or rather Toad, valentine. She's on a pink Lily Pad. And last of all we glued the crunch chocolate hearts to each Valentine - I got out my grandma's old hot glue gun. 
[no fingers were injured in the creation of these valentines]
To start out FHE we used this month's Friend magazine and the kids assembled a puzzle.  My daughter surprised me when I asked her, "What was Heavenly Father's greatest gift to us?".  She quoted the scripture in John 3:16 almost word for word. That was before we put the puzzle together and it just happened that was also the scripture on the bottom right corner of the puzzle.

And my son picked up the camera this morning while I was working on getting some inspiration for a project for about 10 minutes.  The sheets for all 3 beds are in the dryer at this very moment waiting for me.  To be honest, I didn't really find anything in print that wasn't already floating around in my head.  Now I just need to get it all down on paper.  I did get one class outline drawn up. Now I just have to get the other 3, possibly 4 done. And I'm going swimming tonight, which is why my hair is in a clip. 35 to 40 laps...

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Families Are Forever

Last week was an interesting week for our family and today has been a rough one for me.  My Dad's Uncle Don, the last of the siblings on his mother's side passed away.  In fact Don was the last Aunt or Uncle on either side. He was such a hard worker, told wonderful stories, and carried deeply for others.  He will be missed.  And we are looking forward to a joyful reunion on the other side when that time comes.  

And my Mom's Uncle Al passed away.  This is a photo of me with him about 11 years ago while I was serving in the Washington D.C. North Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. His son got married to a girl who I had gone on splits with in my first area. He gave me a hug and a kiss on the cheek in the waiting room in the temple and my Japanese companion about passed out.  The last time I saw Uncle Al was in the San Diego Temple in June 2009 - 7 months ago.  He lived long enough to see his brother, my grandpa, go to the temple to be sealed to grandma for time and all eternity. I am grateful that is the last place I saw him.

And I wish I had a photo of the last one.  Bruce Evans.  I went to his funeral today.  He was a big part of my Dad's life.  He was such a spiritual guide to my father, such an example.  We met Bruce while living in Panama.  At the time he was in the Intelligence division.  He used to sing all the parts to different Operas at get togethers until at least half of us little kids spit ice cream out of our noses. I sat and listened as Bruce and my Dad taught the missionary discussions to Vicki Bishop (a helicopter pilot who worked with my Dad) and her daughter Patti (who was 9 and I was 8) so that they could get baptized. When we moved to Dugway, my Dad kind of talked Bruce's family into moving there too, big homes for his big family, oh and by the way Bruce is supposed to be bishop there too.  He was now a JAG officer.  And guess what, 6 months later Bruce was called as Bishop and my Dad was called as 1st Counselor.  My family wouldn't be what it is today without Bruce's influence.  To his sweet wife Connie and his 11 children, we love you.  Thanks for sharing him with us.  And thank you for moving to Dugway. May your lives continue to be blessed.  The last time I saw my Dad cry the way he did today was when I was diagnosed with cancer, but I also saw him laugh and smile today too.  So many good memories...

Anyway, I will definitely need some time to process all of this.  I didn't cry until today and I didn't realize I needed to until now. Pretty soon I'll be back to my old self, as soon as I figure out what I can do to help those who have lost those they love. My parents fly out tonight for Uncle Al's funeral.  I appreciate those who watched my son today so I could go.  I know that families are forever and that there is a loving God who has made it possible for us to be together again.