Friday, May 21, 2010

Update on Erik

Hello, hello!

Super happy for Friday this week... it was rough. :( Erik had some bad nights of sleep in the middle of the week that just wore him out. I hate when that happens! From what we can tell everything from the surgery is improving - his heart is healing fine, but there are still other things in his body that he hasn't "kicked" out of his body yet. SOON! That's what I'm hoping and believing for. He needs multiple nights in a row of good sleep so his body can recoup and I think he needs to get off the medicine that is helping his body while his heart heals. He officially needs to be on it a few more months, but maybe he'll go off early if the doctor thinks it is okay. I think some of what he's dealing with is side effects to the medicine or at least amplified by it. After he's off the medicine, he'll be able to take fish oil and some other nutrients that will really help his body mend naturally. (He can't take them now because he's on cumidin and he can't take them together.)

That's a basic update. We both have our good days and bad days emotionally; it's been a rough road, but I thoroughly believe we're on the right road and the light is coming. We're coming quickly out of the storm we've been in!

I love being outside and enjoying the weather. Isn't it gorgeous?

All for now! Happy weekend to you!

Monday, May 17, 2010

who leads who

I think I blogged about his last fall... maybe not... but when I'm walking my dog, I like to use a "gentle leader" that basically muzzles him slightly so he doesn't pull as hard. When we first put it on him last fall, let me tell you, it revolutionized my life! I was so taken back by the transformation that I literally felt like one of the witnesses from an infomercial: "I used to hate walking my dog, but with the gentle leader, walks are fun again!"

All that to say, Tucker has gotten used to the tugs he gets on the gentle leader, so he still pulls slightly when he wears it. Today I took him out without it, and when he began pulling on it to get to another dog, I pretty much let him lead and ran after him! I must have looked pretty silly!

One time walking Tucker I had the thought: who leads who? In my relationship with God, am I pulling God around or is He leading me where He wants me?

As Tucker's owner, I know what way is safe for him to go. Tucker would bound out into the street without supervision - especially when a leaf blows away from him or he spies a rock in the middle of the road. He doesn't know what is safe and what isn't - he has no concept of it. I have a feeling that me, as a Christian and human and non-God, I have no idea what is safe and not safe when I'm not letting God lead me.

It's funny, when I take Tuck to the dog park and he doesn't have the leader on, he pulls and pulls and pulls and strains as hard as he can to get to the park faster -- and in the process he can't hardly breathe! We always tell him, Tuck, if you just slow down and walk with me, you'll get there soon enough and not lose your breath! And yeah, he's usually too overcome with emotion to listen, but that's okay, he is a dog. :)

Just random ramblings before going down to clean the kitchen. Erik will be coming home soon. Fish tonight. I like that my husband goes and has fun for a day and brings home dinner!!! :)

All for now. Have a blessed week!

Monday, May 10, 2010

change

Tim Berners-Lee. Ever heard of him? How about Paul Lauterbur and Peter Mansfield?

Still drawing a blank? Okay, Noah. Thomas Edison. Adam and Eve. Paul. What about them?

Every one of these people changed the world. I could go on with a list of hundreds more who have made this world what it is today.

I think all of us have a drive to be this type of person. We want to make something of ourselves. We want to do something that makes a difference in other people's lives.

It's odd that many people don't realize they are already in a position to do so. Every choice that we make affects other people.

For example, I'm finishing up a story this week about my dad and trail mix. He loves his trail mix. Growing up, we were not allowed to pick and choose what we wanted from the trail mix. Trail mix was made to be eaten together: peanuts, M&Ms, raisins, and whatever else you like in your mix.

Despite dad's desires, I still have many memories of trying to fish out the M&Ms from the trail mix without it making a difference in the overall scheme of the bag. But no matter how hard I tried, this fact remains: if I eat all of the chocolate candy out of the trail mix, I will alter the next person's experience of an authentic handful of trail mix.

That's a simple example of how our choices affect others, yet true. My job is another, more relevant example. I write for a living. I have deadlines for my writing. If someone needs my writing to complete a project and I miss my deadline, I'm adding stress to their workload because their time line for completing their project will be crunched if they don't receive my writing on time.

One last story my husband shared with me. A man was driving on a curving road and decided his engine needed fixing. He pulled over, but didn't quite get his car all the way over to the side of the road. Half of his car stuck out in the 2-lane highway. Plus, he decided to leave his car door open while he looked into the hood of his car. Another car with two parents in the front and a child in the back was coming up and saw that their lane was blocked by this car. They swerved into oncoming traffic to miss hitting the car and the car door. A car was coming from the other direction and both parents died in a head-on collision.

What if that man who was fixing his car had decided to shut his car door or have his car completely in the shoulder of the road? That mom and dad would still be alive. Wow.

Everything we do affects people around us because we are an interdependent society. We need each other.
That's where the Holy Spirit comes in. He helps us be better than ourselves.

Of course, the person who changed the world the most is Jesus Christ. As fully God and fully man, He changed the world in a radical way and proves the point that with God, you and I can become the individuals that next change the world.


By the way... in case you're curious, Tim Berners-Lee started the World Wide Web we now know as the Internet. Paul Lauterbur and Peter Mansfield created magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). (info from forbes.com)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Six months (or so) later...

I MISS BRIAN!!!! All of us miss him a LOT and wish we didn't need to wait until heaven to see him again. That goes for me, my parents, Cristina, our grandparents, Cristina's family. Cristina's had some hard days missing him - I can't even imagine!!!

I've had some good hard cries recently about it. It's starting to sink in that he's gone for life on earth and our life continues. Our family life is adjusting as we try to figure out this new dynamic. It stinks. :( I'm glad I do have a wonderful family though through it all.

I laughed at the thoughts going through my head during one of my recent cries.... I was at church and Keve came up for the offering song and as I heard the first notes I thought, Oh no, is this the song [that was played at Brian's funeral]? And I was desperately hoping it wasn't!!! I was tempted to leave the room so I didn't have to hear it. It just fits Brian's scenario so well that all I do is think of him when it is played. And sure enough as the chorus came around I started bawling feeling like I was crying slightly against my will!!! Erik was out of town, so thankfully my good high school friend was sitting next to me and she looked at me and knew what was going on. She let me sit there and hold her and cry it out! But the thought that made me laugh is I was considering asking Pastor Tim to never play that song again  or at least let me know so I could skip church if they sang it again! I know crying is good, but I just laughed because I slightly blamed them for making me cry!:-)

They say that we have to make sure we grieve Brian well. Okay, that's well and good to say, but how do we grieve well??? "It's different for every person" is most likely the cliche that follows, so I figure for me, I remember. I talk about him. I'm glad for all of you who have listened and talked to him about me. I cry when I need to, and gradually I think that will be the grieving process for me. Oh and I ask questions and deal with those faith questions as best as I can when they come. I'll put aside what I can't answer and trust, but face those questions without burying them (as much as possible!).

Oh and if you knew Brian and you ever think of him for whatever reason, can you call/email/text/facebook me and let me know? That will make me very happy. April did that for me recently and it made my day. I think it helps knowing other people think of him too.

And just so you know, black and white words on a screen can't convey feeling, and although I'm ranting a little, I feel like I'm doing okay overall. It's insane how much I miss him some days, but those feelings come and go. Still a lot to learn.

One of my friend's grandmas passed away and she actually is singing the same song I Will Rise at the funeral today. I was happy to be able to post a little bit of what I've learned on her facebook wall. Good will come out of this in little ways like that.

I'll post about Erik soon. If you think of him, please pray for encouragement and hope, and then his continued healing.

Thanks for your love and prayers. I appreciate it more than you know.