Saturday, May 31, 2008

Things i know about Forever Love...

Forever Love. It's a song, a statement, a dream and something that DOES exist. Funny thing, I went to Google and looked for a definition to the phrase. I found nothing. Maybe because there really isn't a single definition of the phrase. I did manage to find a story written about forever love It is beautiful and I do hope you take the time to read it. So what Do I know about forever Love? What prompted this write tonight?
Tomorrow we will gather together as a family to celebrate my parents 55th anniversary. Now I know that isn't yet forever but to some it might seem that way. I watch my parents and see them still hold hands at the table. I watch them interact with each other and see the way they know one an others thoughts. They have been with one another long enough to move as one. Does forever love mean without a glitch ever? No... It means that they weathered the storms and held tight to the love they have always known.They walked through fires and came out with a deeper love. They showed us, their children what it was to love forever. I know 55 isn't really forever but I know that when one of them goes to heaven, the others forever will be waiting until they are together again. I am blessed to be watching them celebrate so many years together and still be in love.
How do i know so much about forever love? Because My Forever Love left too soon. She went to heaven when we had only 25 years together. And we too weathered things that some would have said "No thanks" too. And we remained In Love and so my forever love will carry me through until she and I see each other again.
Celebrate with me 55 years of Forever Love with my parents.I think that many years and still holding hands is worthy of a Blog. Always, Darrel

Friday, May 30, 2008

the way this Thing "bipolar" effects my day

People have asked me many questions about this disorder called Bipolar. The questions range from "where did it come from" or "when did it start" to the one I will discuss today.It has taken me 5 hours to write what you see as the final draft here. I have written and erased. I have sat and stared blankly at the screen. I have cried as my mind went back to all the things that helped make this a REAL issue. the question was asked... "How does it effect your "daily" routine? Does it give or take away from your day when it is strong?" The answer is this.
Today I woke at 5 a.m. and started my day. The previous day had ended for me at 3a.m. Wide awake as if I have slept for 10 hours, I go down and get a cup of coffee. I come into the computer room and sit down. I talk to a couple of friends but today is an extremely "Bipolar" day for me. My talking is abstract because my mind is everywhere. I think about days to come and those that have passed me by already. I worry about how I will get through this day. A moment later, i am care free and don't care what happens today because I have chosen to be happy. uh Huh............
My friends think i am ignoring them and I apologize 1000 times to them. They tell me it's OK but it isn't inside of me. The "going to be happy" is quickly replaced with a feeling of loss and of worthlessness. A feeling inside that nothing i have ever done was more than just average. That I have accomplished nothing more than what any other person in the world has. And that simply isn't good enough for me today. I go outside, it is a beautiful day. I reach for the rake and then set it down. I fear that if i rake i will loose my train of thought and forget something important. NOT that there is something I need to remember, mind you. I feel down and ready to cry. I wonder why My Sheila isn't here to touch me, smile at me and tell me it is alright.
Ahhhh, but then i have to quickly shit that thought down. I have lost friends because I speak of her too much. I have watched love pass me by because she is so strong in my heart. How many times did I write this and erase it? I don't remember. Life has blessed me with more love and kindness and gifts than any one man ever ever deserved. I should be the happiest man on earth. Oh what love I have known.
There are those that do not believe Bipolar is anything more than a means to "get away with stuff." They think I can turn and walk away from this, choose to NOT be Bipolar today or ever again! I offer this to anyone that wishes to take it on. I curse myself for saying that because I wish it upon no one ever! I type this now frantically because I am afraid I will loose it all and delete it.
I want to NOT have this make people look at me and say "Why would I buy a book from him? He is NOT right." "Whoa, this guy needs some serious meds." "Damnnnn, and he is walking the streets???"
I have wash to do that isn't getting done. Friends to talk to and write that I have neglected and caused them to feel bad. Even if it is not so, it is inside my mind today.I look at my watch and see the time. Where has this day gone too. It is over half finished and NOW, I want to do all the things that needed done earlier. Shame on me! Confusion and sadness, smiles and laughter. Love and anger and silence and noise. they all go together for me today and they all clash today for me.
I am sorry to ALL of my friends that I have neglected you. You have seen me here, know I am here and yet I can not carry on a conversation with you for more than 3 minutes because I might have something I have not done today. Something that did not get done because i spent the entire day unable to make a decision. Wore out from doing mostly nothing? Yes, because my mind is tired and yet it will not let me sleep. Too many things to do today.
Welcome to My world, my friends and readers. This is a world you would not want to be in for 1/2 a second. To maintain this world and get up each day and go through days where None of this occurs is a job all by itself. I give my best and love deeply and purely. I want so to know a life of just growing old with someone. But I know what a chore it is to be with me. I know I am high maintenance. But I know that the Love I give to you is deeper and truer than any love you will ever know.
Welcome to the world of being Bipolar. I am a great author and singer. I am the best friend you will ever have. And I am abstract and lost sometimes and have no clue why anyone would want to be with me. Does it effect my daily life? You answer that one. I think it is written right here.
I am so sorry to those I neglected today. I hope this helps you understand. God Bless you and know I love you all. Darrel

Sunday, May 25, 2008

things i know about Faith...

Faith...a word we here all the time, used in so many different ways. Faith in oneself... is the best and safest course." Michelangelo... Faith is building on what you know is here, so you can reach what you know is there.Cullen Hightower... Keep the faith... I have faith in you. There really are so many. But i wonder if we understand the words we are saying.
I think back to my Sheila and how very often I used that word. "Baby, our faith in God will get us through." "Of course she will be alright, I have faith." "I have all the faith in the world in you. You will do fine, baby." All statements of faith that I said more times than I care to count to and ABOUT My Sheila. But it is the understanding of the word that made it all right with my world.
I was raised in a wonderfully christian home. My father was an Elder of the church and he preached for many years. Faith was always a very big part of our growing up. We prayed for people, animals, situations and anything that was sometimes bigger than us. I don't claim to always know why the prayers of faith worked. I only know that they DID work and I continued to and continue to believe. Believe is the meaning of the word faith. I found that by believing that things would go well, normally they did. 15 times doctors came to me and said Sheila would live. They didn't know who they were dealing with nor of OUR faith in God to sustain her and keep her alive. I always believed and walked away smiling as I knew that she would be alright. When someone would say to me,"Do you think she will make it this time? And 15 times I said "Of course she will make it!I have the faith for both of us."
The truth in it all is she was alright for 20 years longer than the doctors said she would be. I saw her wake from comas after months of sleeping. I saw her walk for 50% of our life when doctors said she never would again. And through it all, we took our faith with us and watched her heal time and time again. The last time she was in the hospital was such a long time. She was terribly sick again and had just woken from a coma again. Supposed to stay in the hospital for another 3 weeks, suddenly the doctors came to me and told me to take her home. I did just that and for 8 days she was with us. She saw all of the family and smiled like she always did. This time, she had a trachea and I cleaned it and helped her with it each and every day. She woke on the seventh morning and said something didn't feel right to her inside. I rushed her to the hospital where after many hours the doctors did emergency surgery. An hour or so before that, i was going out to have a cigarette and she touched my hand and asked me not to go yet. Still believing and never faltering, I stayed at her side until she fell asleep again. When they took her to surgery I smiled at her, we said I love yous and still... I believed I was simply waiting for them to correct the problem and away we would go again, back home. When the surgeon came out tooooo soon and said he could not save her, I fell to my knees crying and begging him to try again.
I remembered a question asked of me a few days before this happened. I was asked if I thought she would live through this last ordeal. I answered unlike I had ever answered in my life with her. I said I wasn't sure and prayed God to do what he would but not to make her suffer any more. And then I realized that from the moment the doctors had said "take her home", that God had taken over. My faith had not wavered ever nor had hers. It was time and we had our last few days together. In his grace, he took My Love the way she so deserved to go to heaven. She slowly over a few hours, went to sleep. Her last words were "I love you, always... I don't hurt now."
Her faith had taken her through 24 years of life and living and smiles and raising her girls and taking care of her husband and her home, in spite of all she battled daily. What I know about faith
is this. With out it you really have no where to turn and no one to turn to when it gets "bigger than you." To have faith, to believe no matter what life tosses at you gives you a place to rest. It is a word we use without thought sometimes and yet it is one of the most...if not THE most powerful word in the universe. So when you tell someone you have faith in them or to have faith, you really are giving them the greatest encouragement and the greatest compliment as well as the best advice you could ever give.
It gave me 24 years with the most precious lady any man could be blessed to have in his life...

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Something that made me smile...

Every once in a while, words come across your screen that touch you in the most wonderful way. They give your heart a reason to smile and your soul to breathe a bit gentler. They are words that can take you from a rough low to a moments High. A high you want to hold on to for as long as you can. I have had words that do that to me cross over my screen today. Words that I will hold onto for a very long time. Words that came to me from a lady that recently bought "Until Death Do We Meet" through me so as to have a signed novel. I often sell both my novels from my home for people that wish to have an autographed novel of mine on their nightstand to read. I think I may enjoy a sale like the most.
The young lady that purchased my novel wrote to me to tell me she had finished the novel. After reading her words, and slowly absorbing each and everyone of them, I asked her if I could post her words online and she was so very kind and is allowing me to do so. I thanked her when I wrote to her and am Now thanking her for her kindness and for writing the words that uplifted me in wonderful ways. {Debbie} found words that made my questions of whether I should continue to pursue this career as a writer or not. I thank her for that from my heart.
This is what she had to say about Until Death Do We Meet.

"Hello Darrel, I had a few minutes and I wanted to write you to tell you thanks for the tears ,and the most wonderful book i have ever read, right from the start the book took me in and I could almost feel the pain and love in my own heart. As I read on I became so attached to the people in the story, that by the time it all ended I felt it was a part of me I was putting to rest. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the great story and when I get home from vacation I am going to write a summery of this book and get it out on the Internet. I believe everyone needs to read this story. Now you get busy writing the next book, I want to read it, and I'm also going to order from you the other book."
That is the kind of words that every author wants to as much as needs to see. Again I say Thank YOU to Debbie for her beautiful words of encouragement. I WILL keep writing. Always, Darrel...........

Things i know about passing on our traits and health issues.

We all want our children to have something of "ours." We want them to have our eyes or our hair. We want to hear people say "You are a mini version of your Father." Pride swells and we step back and say "YEP!" What a great feeling it is inside to watch our children act like us.O.k. well mostly.
Mostly means what about the traits we Do NOT want them to "inherit?" What about the smoking, the temper, the things we wish we hadn't inherited from our own parents or grand-parents? Certainly if we have health issues, it is to be assumed that one or all of our children are going to get them. They are passed on through our system into theirs. Diseases like heart conditions can be passed on to our children. Allergies, cancer and may other illnesses can leave our children predispiditioned to inherit any number of diseases. One reason it is so important to know your families medical history.
But what about depression? What about being Bipolar? Can these disorders be passed on to our children? I think in many ways we can and do pass these issues on to our children.It is documented that we can pass on our depression to our children. I don't think we pass these things on only genetically. Our actions, which our children witness no matter how hard we strive to hide it. They see the way we react to issues that surround ours and their world. if we close ourselves off from people our children will begin to close themselves off.
I am bipolar and I have turrets. I ahve seen some of my issues in my daughters. Things that at times I didn't even realize some of the actions I was passing on until i saw it in them. Traits, actions, that I would have NOT passed on to my daughters if given a choice. The bipolar caused actions and desiscions that my daughters also witnessed.
The good in all of this is that they as well as I, have a safe place. A place {person} that I can turn to who does and will understand moods and tears and highs and lows. What we pass on to our children isn't something we have a say in. They simply happen. Do not live in guilt for what you passed on to your children. BE THERE For them and understand and Love them. You will all be alright if you stay focused and enjoy life. Always, Darrel

Sunday, May 18, 2008

things to learn about the power of "word of mouth."

What exactly is "word of mouth"? Well, the definition given is longer than mine. Simply said, it is telling another and another and another about something you read or heard and think they might be interested in. If I read a fantastic book, I will tell my friends. They read it and tell a few more friends. Much like a good movie, the increase in volume of those that see it can be enormous. Does it work? I would like to think so.
Now this in fact may be a what appears to be a cheap, though not so terrible way to sell a book or two. If it does come off that way than I will recall for you the writer that many, many years ago could not afford to print up nor advertise his novel in volume. Searching for a way to make more sales, he had 50 books printed up. he used all that he had in the way of money except enough to travel by train from place to place. He would leave a book or two on a seat in one of the train-cars each time he exited. He did this until all 50 books were gone except the one original that he held himself. As people read this book while they were traveling, many found they could not finish it before they reached their destination. As times were different then, rather than steal it, they would take down the name and the author and inquire to the address inside the first page. Within one year 100,000 copies had been printed and sold.
Yes, the book was good but it was by "word of mouth" that it sold as it did. Can this procedure still work today? Does it still work today? Ask Hemingway or Koontz or any of the other #1 best sellers what sells their books for them. After they are Gihugic, my own little word, their name speaks for them. but it all starts by someone telling someone about someones book or movie or food.
So this blog is about what??? It's about ME! It's about YOU! It is about me learning if "word of mouth" is as effective as those before me found it to be. Books are written about just this subject. See for yourself.
So,let's just imagine for a moment that the Internet is a train-car filled with seats and seats of people. Imagine again if you will that I just left my two novels, Abduction and Until Death Do We Meet on the seat. You didn't have the chance to finish it and really wanted to read it. will get you a signed copy if you order it directly from me, the author.
A strange way to advertise a novel or two? Not really. I just left my novels on about 1 million seats across the Internet. I am learning and will pass on to You just how well the Power of "word of mouth" works. Darrel

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Did Abel create his Cain... more about being bipolar

This may seem like a strange title today but it is fitting of my thoughts. The story of Cain and Abel is one known by anyone familiar or unfamiliar with the bible. Don't run yet, this is not a bible lesson. How does this story tie into being bipolar? With being bipolar, some things for me, and I speak of my own self here, became more prominent. The imagination and to be able to sit and write as if I were the book and it's characters myself was one great gift.To travel past this "dimension" and go with your mind to places most wouldn't dare is both a gift and sometimes, very much a curse.There are thoughts and processing of thoughts that most would run from in an instant but that many people that are Bipolar dwell on an all to often basis.
There are other things that come with being bipolar that can render one totally crippled in advancing from one simple project to another. Are you Bipolar? Do you have friends or loved ones that are? Look around or ask your loved one this. How many projects do they have half finished? How many things have they started and somewhere in the middle or perhaps right at the end, they just walked away from them and started something new? Something new to be left for another in just a short while. One of the reasons that writing is so appealing and so therapeutic is because we can start and stop and go back to or leave it for eons and come back to finish it when we are ready.
And again you ask... what has this got to do with Cain and Abel? Another part of being bipolar is the ability to love so many at once. To truly mean that you love them when you say it and yet know that you will love another also because you are certain that Love #1 will go away from you one day. The pureness of your heart and the truth in your loving someone is often the pathway to hurt them also. Cain slew Abel because he was jealous of Gods love and respect for Abel's offerings.He had no idea of the consequences of his actions.He only wanted Gods approval. So then is it safe to say that Abel created the Cain that slew him by his good works? A far toss for certain but it reached out to me this morning as I thought of my own life. Thinking about the loves I have known and lost. Lost because my heart and the ability to love so deeply more than one person also created a place to hurt them.
How does one explain something they themselves do not understand? How do i tell you that my love is true and real when I say I love you but that I may not love you exclusively? How can I tell someone that to love me and to want to be with me is so risky because My mind slips and gets mixed up on a moment to moment turn? As indecisive as me going in to buy a cake someone asked for, a cake that was to be strawberry but there was no strawberry. So now I stand in a frozen state, freaking, scared and half sick to my stomach because I am afraid I will pick another kind and it will be one I like. It will be a selfish act now that may hurt someones feelings. And so there I stand, like a freaking idiot, unable to do anything. Welcome my friends... to my world.
So does my ability to love so deeply, so many give cause to me "slaying" the heart of someone that cares for me, even loves me deeply? Does my Abel create a Cain to kill every love i might know, just to find favor within myself? If I didn't love so deeply, so openly, so complex, would I hurt others? Is it safer, less wrong and cruel to simply NOT love and be satisfied to just finish out my life alone and not hurt someone that's only crime was that they loved me?
Welcome again I say to this very mixed up, sometimes scary, sometimes so fill with gifts and love world of mine. A world I and so many others with this disorder live with each and every day. Wondering of it is better that I not associate with the world that gives to me so much happiness and so much fear and guilt, rather than hurt those that love me? Oh goodness, am i the only one that walks this path? Is it me alone or do others share this strange and yet somehow intriguing world I live in? I wonder how many Abel's my Cain will slay before I simply say "enough!!???"

Thursday, May 8, 2008

things I know about being a stay at home dad

There are so many things I learned about being a stay at home dad. Shannon was born in February, two months early. She weighed just 2lbs. 9 ounces when she came out into this world. She remained in the hospital Neo-Natal Unit for six weeks. Sheila would stay in the hospital for many more months after Shannon was born and came home. I would get up each morning and feed and dress Sam,our two year old daughter. Then we would go up to the hospital where Sheila was and visit her. We would go to the Neo-Natal Unit and the nurses would teach me how to feed and change this tiny baby that was even to small for preemie diapers. I learned how to roll them twice so they didn't hang on Shannon. The nursing staff was wonderful and when Shannon was almost seven weeks old, I brought her home with me to live with my parents and Samantha and I. Sheila remained in the hospital for another 4 months.
Our days now were full. I would get up and feed the girls at seven. We would dress and go to the hospital. Shannon was on an apnea monitor for almost one year until her lungs fully developed. We would spend the day with Sheila, eating our meals at the hospital or fast food and then I would take the girls to my sisters house and go to work at three. I would work until midnight and then swing by the hospital to see Sheila, who had by now spent almost a year in the hospital without coming home. I would get home, {My parents house} and feed Shannon. I would sleep from three a.m. to four a.m. and then wake to feed her again. I would sleep from 5 a.m. until 7 a.m. and then we would start our day again. We lived this life on and off for several years to follow.
How many hats did I have to learn to wear? More than I can count but I know this... Sheila had the tougher job when she was home. I found that my job as a foreman was FAR easier than her job as a "stay at home mom." I had to learn to wear the hat of a Chef. Cooking at least 3 meals a day and really, with snacks and goodies, it was so much more. There was the "fashion" hat, making sure the girls looked nice when they went out. There was the "psychiatry" hat that is worn that enables one to talk about girlfriends that hurt them or boyfriends that might be one day.
Talk about life and love and hurts and smiles. There is of course the friendship hat and the scolding hat to be worn when needed. Sheila cleaned the house and
washed clothes and took care of animals and read stories. There was the "teacher" hat when homework came home and needed to be done.
I had to learn to do all of the things so easily taken advantage of. All I had to do before Sheila went into the hospital and became so sick was go to work and come home. The rest was done by a woman that raised 2 beautiful daughters, took care of the home and became a wife, a Beautiful lover, a best friend and a Mom, while being so sick, took care of me and our daughters in more ways than I ever knew.
This is too All moms and dads that are Stay at home parents. I am writing this to Honor you, appreciate you, and hope that maybe... someone who does NOT know all the things a Mom does at home while we work, will see it and take you out for a well deserved dinner and a movie. Might even get a bubble bath out of it. I hope so...

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Things I KNOW about "

As you know, I am Bipolar and suffer from Turrets. The Turrets I deal with fairly well. Roll the windows up now and then and I am good to go. But the Lows come out of no-where and sometimes at the strangest times. They infiltrate a great day and take you from a wonderful high to an instant Low. An example of my words here is this event today.
It was a picture perfect day today. The Sun was shining brightly on this 81 degree Sunday. I spent the morning writing and then when the afternoon began, I found myself outside working on a project in my garage. I was in heaven on earth and enjoying everything about the day. I had a friend at the house and she was outside watching me put a new wheel on a Radio Flyer Wagon. We were laughing and talking and my smiles were as wide as the ocean.
As I stepped out into the full sunlight, it hit me. That terrible Low that takes it all away without warning. No chance to think about it or divert it to another dimension in your mind. No time to process where you are going or where the thoughts might better be sent. What was a beautiful day was still beautiful but now... it was the enemy. How dare I sit and enjoy this day and smile so much! How dare I soak up the Suns rays when they should have been shared with a lady that wasn't here any longer. A beautiful lady that I still wondered if I had done everything i could have to keep her here longer on this earth. Fear and guilt rushed in all around me and I began to remember how much she loved the warmth of the Sun. I remembered how she would sit in her wheelchair and soak up the Sun as we laughed and talked.
Tears streamed down my face and I cried for the love of my life. Oh how i wanted her here with me to spend this glorious day with me. I got lower and lower and felt those all to familiar "ticks" that come with my lows. "Damn me anyways" I said aloud, to no one in particular. I felt my stomach fill with rumbles and my body start to shake inside as well as outside. I knew this would be a bad one.
Thoughts of my self worth and the purpose for my being here on earth became stronger. The tears were now heavy and my body was shaking more and more. I tried to think of other things but the Low was set into motion already. No way was I going to beat this one out. The thoughts were racing around so fast that I was not able to catch just One single thought and work it out. Sad thoughts and happy memories collided inside my head and my heart and I missed Sheila so badly and wished she were right there beside me, holding me, saying all the right things to bring me back to earth. The Low gripped me and I wondered if I really served any purpose here now that Sheila was in heaven and no longer needed me to help her.
Then, as suddenly as it started... it stopped. I was looking at the beautiful day and telling her it was wonderful of her and God to shine heavens best on me. I told her I thought we should go fishing and enjoy the rest of the day together. At the lake I smiled and soaked in the Suns rays again. I caught and kept what was going to be dinner later. I thought about tomorrow and decided I would get out early and do more fishing and see what the day brought to me.
On the way home, again without warning or provocation, I was in tears again.Still worn out from the last session at the garage again, my emotions and physical being felt like I had been horse whipped. Nothing to do with Sheila this time at all. I was thinking of my books and my CD. I wondered if they were good at all as they had not hit the #1 best seller list yet and had a long way to go to do so. I chastised myself for thinking myself anything more than some guy that wrote a book or four and someone decided to publish them. I was angry at myself for thinking I was going to ever be more than what I was now. A 49 year old man that was so deeply bipolar that he couldn't even be in an office of people without freaking. I had to be with someone that was my "Safe Place" just to go to the store sometimes. Just in case this "stuff" hit me in the store and I had to get out of there. I was crying and angry and feeling completely disconnected from the entire world around me. I didn't belong here at all. I was a man out of place with the rest of the people that existed around me. I felt exhausted and lost and cursed the disorder and this "stupid" head of mine. Why couldn't I even have a half of a day that wasn't a roller coaster ride.
And then I said silently to myself... "this IS your world, buddy. This is your day and Lows and highs are part of it, everyday." This is how I live every day and what having Lows and Highs sometimes only minutes apart is like. They wear a body down and yet I sleep only 2 to 3 hours a day because my mind NEVER shuts down. As I walked into the house with fish basket in hand, I murmured aloud "This is it Buddy! Welcome to the wonderful world of being Bipolar. Damn, it wears me out." I laughed and smiled at my own self and enjoyed a fabulous meal of fresh fish.
What do "I" know about the Lows that come with this disorder? I know they are always there. I know they are worse after a great High. I know they kicked my butt sometimes and leave me to worn out to think. I know that being Too worn out to think is NOT a bad thing sometimes. I know some will read this and think "Wow, he's not right in the head. Some will think this looks like a fiction novel. Believe me, it doesn't get any more REAL than this. I do NOT recommend the ride to anyone! But should you find yourself tossed on to the ride without warning, well it is like the weather. Hold on if you don't like the weather, it will change in a minute.
Welcome to My World. Love me, smile or cry with me, walk away because it is too complex, but never feel sorry or pity me. With this illness comes the biggest heart, the best writing mind and the most numerous blessings from the people that love you.
Always, Darrel

Saturday, May 3, 2008

More things I know about Bitter/sweet...

Today something happened for the third time and it truly disturbed me. It reopened my thoughts about what might be "bitter/sweet. I was at the store, buying more than I went in there for as usual. My arms were as loaded as they could be and I was balancing a few things to get them to the cashiers counter. Hmmm, perhaps I should tell you about the incident 3 weeks ago first. I was in the checkout lane of our local grocery store.One counter over I could hear the just barely audible sound of a little elderly lady talking to the cashier. She was explaining that she thought she had more money with her but that she had made a mistake. There was Chicken and veggies still left to be paid for or put back. She and her very elderly husband talked amongst each other quietly but I got the drift of it all. They were deciding what they could survive without so they knew what to put back. I turned to the cashier and handed her a 10.00 and told her to bag it all. She asked if I was sure and I nodded. The couple looked at me and asked me too wait for them. My things were checked through and so I nodded and then said quietly "Have a wonderful day and thank you for the blessing." I left before they could catch up to me and never looked back. The incident was forgotten until the same thing happened a week later with a woman I have seen taking cans out of the dumpsters to turn in for cash. I helped her out a bit and then gave her a large bag of pop cans I was going to turn in that day to the recycling station. Again a quiet thank you was said and we parted ways. the incidents were pretty much forgotten until today.
I was in our local Dollar General Store, picking up as I said earlier more than I went in for. How many times have you gone in to get "1" thing and suddenly wished you had a cart? I do it all the time as I did today. When I reached the checkout lane there was a line of people. I was three people back and could not hear the reason why the line was so long. I could see an elderly lady, obviously with sight problems as well as hearing trouble. The cashier stood waiting for what I was later to find out was the manager. The lady with the grocery's sitting on the counter strained to see things in front of her. She had a walker that she used to get around. I want you so badly to be able to see the woman I saw. This was a woman that could have used a helping hand just to get around. As the people in front of me stood and obviously got irritated with the wait I saw the manger show up. The cashier explained that the lady had only 34.00 and that her groceries came to 44.00 She had waited for the lady to choose what would go back on the shelf but she could no longer wait as she had customers waiting.
Now I was looking at what was sitting on the counter waiting to be voided from the total so that the ladies money would be enough. The items were a package of Bologna,Cheese, a loaf of bread, pizza rolls and Dawn dish soap. As I looked at these items and watched the manager getting ready to void the items, I stepped forward. I of course spilled most of my own groceries onto the floor. A kind young woman helped place them on the corner of the counter. I thanked her and then, leaning across the counter I placed a 20.00 on the counter. I told the cashier to bag it all up and she said "are you sure?" Of course I was sure. When the lady saw she had full bags, she asked why. The cashier said "this man paid for them for you" and pointed at me. I hate that as I did not want her to feel as if she owed me anything.
The lady looked at me and said "I don't even know your name? Who are you?" I simply said it was ok and she could take her things home now. She came over and took my hand and said "I want to know your name. I owe you 10.00, sir" I told her it was unimportant and that she owed me nothing. She looked at me and touched my hand once more. She left and the cashier said "That was different." ANDDDDDDD it hit me right there!She didn't see it as Kind. She didn't see it as someone reaching out to help another person. She saw it as "different!" There were 15 people in that store. No one could have stepped forward and helped this lady? They would rather stand in a line and whine about waiting than to have 4 or 5 get together and add a buck each and let her have her few groceries? What people are we that we cant reach out to an elderly woman and help her eat? Are we that small or that distrustful that we think she may be fooling us, as some of them whispered. My response to that was "Well if she is fooling then it is only me that would be out. And if that's the case, then I did what I felt was right and that's all that really matters." No one said a word after that.
I guess I walked away with two feelings again. That "Bitter/sweet" feeling that I was so blessed to be there to help this lady. God knew someone would be there to help her when she went in. And that bitter feeling of what kind of a people really live in this world? Was I born in the wrong time? Will we one day truly be a people that loves one another and assures that not ONE single person... man, woman or child ever goes without or has to be embarrassed by what they do NOT have? I wonder if it is but a place I only imagine. I hope not because if so, then what are we fighting all the time to save here? Just my thoughts...

Friday, May 2, 2008

things i know about Spring

Springtime is not just a time or season. It is truly a frame of mind that brings with it a new, refreshing feeling inside. As the snow begins to melt and the cold winds become warmer, there is a spirit that comes alive in each of us. The now dirty snow that has been shoveled from the roads and stacked in parking lots is replaced by color. The rain comes and washes the remaining remnants of winter away and brings in hues of red and purple and yellow and blue and of course green.
We watch as the bulbs we planted so tenderly last fall become stalks of green leaves. Leaves that hide from us the beautiful flowers that will emerge from them as the suns warmth touches them.We smile at the birds that have come back fly by us upside down and twirling to try and impress a potential mate. The males in their brilliant colors of red and blue and orange strut proudly amongst the available females. The females watching and interacting with them to find that perfect mate.
We ourselves, as the temperature climbs, feel empowered and renewed. The desire to reach out and embrace the warmth and all that springtime offers comes to life within us. The gloomy feeling inside that was a result of the winters grasp on us releases it's hold on our physical and mental attitude. There are screens to wash and windows to clean. The house can be opened and aired out as the suns warmth that now fills our homes replace the stale air of fabricated warmth of our furnaces.
Talk of gardening and what to plant is now our topic of discussion. The cheery sounds outside bring with them a happy feeling inside of our souls.The smell of fresh grass and the fragrance of old limbs and branches that fell prey to the winter being burned fills our nostrils. Squirrels playing tag on the trees outside make us smile and laugh at their antics.
The effect of springtime on our mental health is more than any medicine can do. It gives to us the feeling that we have survived one more winter. Working in our yards or cleaning out the shed out back gives our minds a place to be. Our thoughts are now clear as Spring reaches out from plants and trees and new growth all around us. We have a new view of the days to come and leap out of bed to greet the sunlight. People around us are smiling again and those smiles transfer nicely from one person to another. As more people smile the attitude of the whole Spring filled community begins to take on those life giving smiles. Our entire out look is fresh and new and filled with the anticipation of things to come. Fishing, sailing, hiking, baseball and smells of Bar-B-Que grills saturate our minds and our hearts. Weight carried over from winter now sheds as we walk and run and play games outside with our family. Springtime is mind cleansing, house cleansing, yard cleansing and filled with the splendor of it all.
Last but certainly not least in any way are the hours of sunlight we are now afforded. It is a medical fact that the more sunlight we absorbed, the better our bodies and souls react. In that I mean that when the sun is seen less in the winter, depression sets in for a huge number of people. The longer days of springtime help us to face the days ahead with a better frame of mind. Springtime... Ahhhhhh.

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