Unexpected Outcomes

drop it like it's hot

I met a very sweet lady yesterday at the Surgery Center.  I was there to have an MRI /contrast done and she was there to have some injections in her back.  Bless her heart, she told me she was almost 85 years old and that her birthday is in December.  “It went by fast,” she said with a thick Cajun accent.  She was a beautiful woman, elegant and charming.  Her little boots were the exact color of her soft velour pants, the rich burgundy deepened the tones of her lively orange hair, tightly curled and sprayed stiff. 

We talked a bit, neither of us knowing that the outcome from our respective procedures would not be what either of us expected.   The poor thing told me about the trouble she had with her back.  “Me, I have to use a cane to walk now.  I never did that before but now I do.  My son, he helps me but I don’t like that, no.”  Clearly, she was an independent woman who made her own decisions, and she wasn’t crazy about asking anybody for help.  Frisky, even.   I could see it in her sparkly blue eyes.   Her procedure was before mine and she was wheeled away carrying her cane on her lap, pointed ahead like she was leading a charge.  It seemed appropriate.  I was still sitting there after she had her injections but the poor little thing wasn’t so spunky anymore.  She looked broken as they wheeled her past my seat in the waiting room.  She gave me an eye-rolling look and screwed up her pale face to indicate it was not an easy procedure to endure. 

Then it was my turn to be led away.  Soon,  I discovered that an MRI w/contrast wasn’t the easy peezy procedure I thought it would be.    I don’t know, call me crazy but I thought they would just give me a little IV or something to introduce the contrast, but noooooo.   When an anesthesiologist entered the room, I thought ‘uh-oh, what’s fixin’ to happen here?’  Trust me, I found out.  It turns out he was there to give me a deadening medication in my shoulder joint before he could inject the contrast.  It would have been nice if he waited for the Novocain to take effect before continuing.  Then he took a bigger-than-should-be-allowed needle and syringe and, using a tv monitor, guided the needle into the empty spaces inside my shoulder joint.  He warned me that there would be a ‘little pressure’ before he injected.  Geez, glad I was prepared for that.  I felt like my shoulder socket would explode.  Finally, I was ready for the actual MRI, which was uneventful.  I kept my eyes closed and concentrated on my breathing while praying for everybody I could think of.  Me and small spaces don’t get along well.  I’m a big person.  I like room to breathe.  Closing my eyes was a good idea and later I was proud of myself for not giving in to the temptation to open my eyes.  I figured nobody in attendance wanted to see a woman of my age and stature crying and clawing to shed the tunnel in which I was a prisoner.  I’m sure that would have happened if I would have opened my eyes.  Before long, the test was over and I was allowed to go back to the dressing room to change into my clothes.  As soon as I came out, the little Cajun lady was wheeled past me, returning to her little cubicle.  My heart was nicked a little bit because I could see she had been crying.  “Me, I can’t feel my legs, cher, I don’t feel nuttin’. ”  Two nurses and a doctor were expedient to reassure her that sometimes that happened with her type of procedure but it would pass.  But you know you can’t tell a little Cajun lady anything she doesn’t want to hear, especially when she has been calling the shots for most of her 84 11/12ths years.   She wouldn’t have it and set up such a commotion everyone in the front waiting room knew something was going on.   By the time I left, she was sitting up in the stretcher wielding her cane at anyone who managed to get within a few feet of her.  “Mai,”  she said.  “don’t you get near me again!  Get back, get back cher I’ll poke you, I will!”  Again, poor thing, I would have really felt bad for her if she hadn’t winked at me slyly.  It seems she would still be calling the shots.  She was going to make them pay for her numb legs in the only way she could.  By golly, she did too.  I saw an aide go into her partition with a tray of breakfast and some good hot coffee.  There’s no telling what else that old gal had them do for her before she went home!  I really liked that about her. She knew she probably wasn’t as sprite as she used to be but she definitely was in control. You gotta respect her for that, right?


How I Really Feel

Folks, can I tell you how much fun publishing a book can be??  It’s a lot of fun, but it is kind of nerve wracking as well.  Not kind of.  It is nerve wracking.  There is so much to think about, to plan, to consider.  Decisions have to be made regarding various things like book signings, how many books to have on hand, etc.  And angst over whether anybody is going to like my story (which I happen to love).  That’s a big one right there, and it can be a monster if I let it.  Thankfully, I have had only good reviews so far but then, I do have a huge extended family if you know what I mean, wink*wink.  I’m not sure if anyone I don’t know has read the book. 

When you look at the big picture, it doesn’t matter who likes it and who doesn’t.  Really.  At least that’s what I think.  Ok, now insert a picture of a famous star at the Oscars…”Just being nominated is an honor!”  Of course it is!  As per my book, just being read is an honor whether said reader likes it or not. Some will like it, some will not. Keep in mind this is how I really feel.

There is nothing like a little perspective to bring a person out of the clouds and down to earth.  Fame and fortune?   They don’t matter.  Name recognition?  New York Times Best Selling List?  Nope.  Okay, Okay, a little dishonesty there.  That might matter a little bit.  North Korea firing a nuclear bomb?  That Matters.  Loss of a loved one?  It Matters.  An autistic child or a healthy newborn baby?  Yes, they matter.  Being content, happy, joyful over what- the ordinary?  Matters big time.  How we treat the earth is mega-important.  How we are poisoning our minds and bodies with technology. Well, how important is that?  The way we treat each other, ie; friends, loved ones, enemies, aquaintences, strangers, people with different religions, skin color, sexual orientation – Do we love or do we condemn? 

Yes, it’s fun to be a published author, even if the kudos are home-grown (actually, they are the best!) and even if I get no recognition at all.  The first couple of weeks were pretty heady, I must say.  But there’s nothing like getting jerked back into reality by what is on TV or in the newspaper, and there is nothing like getting slammed in the gut by bad news to bring a person back into reality.  Reality is not about accomplishments or fame and fortune.

My spiritual journey is never ending and my God makes it a point to drive that fact home every so often.  Such is the case with all of this book publishing stuff.  In His gentle way, He has reminded me that my purpose on this earth is not solely to accomplish ticking off the items on my bucket list (writing a book was #1).  I may never know the purpose for which He created me, but I do know that if I surrender to His will for my life, I will have accomplished something more important than just publishing an ol’ book.  I am reminded of a song from a cd by John Michael Talbot.  “Christ has no body here but yours.  No hands, no feet on earth but yours.”  It is in doing His will that we are doing something important.  Helping the poor, righting the wrongs, world peace, loving one another despite our differences.  Is it possible?  Comparing those attributes with – oh, I don’t know – publishing a book for example, which is more important?

Disclaimer:  I am not saying that I can’t or shouldn’t enjoy the process of writing and publishing.  Au Contrere!  I’m having a blast and I hope to write many more books!  I do have personal goals that I want to accomplish.  But I have to put things into perspective.  I am saying that I haven’t forgotten that there are a few more important things that really matter, things I have to do while I am here on this earth.  Nothing grandiose, just stuff like keeping my head out of the clouds and my feet on the ground.  That’s how I really feel.

If you are so inclined, please pray with me.

Most Holy and Blessed Trinity,

Thank you for giving us this day and for the blessings you have sent, especially those we aren’t yet aware of.  We need you Lord God.  And we need to thank and praise you for you are a merciful God and you have a plan for each of us.  There is so much wrong with the world today.  We are a lost people with no perspective of what the really important things are.  Help us to overcome, Lord.  You have put us here to be your hands and feet.  Help us to serve You and mankind for Your greater glory.  We need your strength and your mercy.  We need instructions on being kind to each other and to the earth.  Come, Holy Spirit, come. We want to work for world peace and an end to suffering and fear.   Show us how we must decrease so that You will increase and that by doing so, we fulfill the plan You have set before us.  

Thank you for the examples of piety You have sent – Your holy Blessed Mother Mary, all the saints, blessed Mother Theresa and more.  Quicken our minds that we remember them and all they believed in.   Teach us to be humble and to put others before us.

Lord, we ask a lot but we know that You are a mighty God and You love us with an enduring love that never fails.  Thank You.  Thank You.

In the name of Your beautiful Son Jesus,