An Entire Box of Cookies

Have you ever been cruising through your day, then suddenly a road block appears and brings things to a screeching halt? 

Like one of those moments where your gut is screaming your name and shouting: 

“Hey you, pay attention! Something’s not right! Something is off! Warning. Warning.”

That happened to me yesterday.

It started as an ordinary day. We had a morning appointment in a nearby town, then we went to a library there. 

The library is not in the greatest area, but we’ve been there before and haven’t ever had any trouble.

Until yesterday. 

Yesterday was different. There was a man, a patron. He was staring a bit too long, trying to stand too close, and he seemed to be waiting… 

I’m not sure what his intentions were, but something was wayyyyyy off.  My gut was on high alert. 

I got some distance between us by going into the children’s area. It’s set up so that once you’re in there, you can’t really see into the main library. 

I was scared. 

You see, when we arrived, I parked back behind the building. It’s usually a great place to park because its seldom crowded and there’s always spaces available. It’s about a half block down and around the corner.

Around the corner and in the back is ok on most days, but the idea of desolate was really not fitting into our situation. I found myself trying to figure out how we were going to get to our truck safely. 

I texted my husband and told him about what was going on. He offered to drive 30 miles to walk us to our truck. (So sweet.)

I told him I’d look around and see if he was gone and if I still didn’t feel comfortable, I’d ask the staff to walk us out. 

About 40 minutes later, we went to the counter to check out our books. I didn’t see him anywhere! I was sooooo relieved. 

That quickly changed when I saw him look right at me, step back in the front door, mill around a few minutes, then step back outside. 

He was waiting for us to leave. 

How did I know that? I have no idea, I just knew. 

First, I panicked. 

Then, I assessed things. 

Then, 2 angels appeared. 

Security guards. They stood between us and the front door. 

I approached them, told them my concerns, pointed him out, and asked if they’d walk us to the truck. 

They agreed. 

We went outside and they were several feet from us. We got past him and down the sidewalk a bit. I didn’t see him behind us and I thought maybe we were in the clear.  

Home-free. 

Until we got around the corner. When I glanced back, I saw him coming right behind us. It wasn’t a casual pace either. He WAS following us. 

Ugh.

Omg! Seriously? Who does that? 

Who follows a mom and her child around a library, waits around 40 minutes, then follows them to their vehicle? 

Thankfully, the security guards were still a few feet away. Thankfully, I got my kiddo into the truck. 

As I came back around to my side to get in, he was standing right by my tailgate and he was talking to the security guards. 

I actually had to step between his back and my bumper to get to my door. 

Then, he left and walked the opposite way, across the parking lot. 

We made it out of there safely. We are so lucky. 

After we got home, I finally stopped shaking, texted a friend, called my parents, and ate an entire box of cookies. 

Only Sadness

Have you ever had friends that were more like siblings? 

Call it a gift of being the oldest of four, I’ve had many. A lot of my sisters’ and brother’s friends over the years, have seemed just like real brothers and sisters to me. 

After an unexpected phone call last night, life instantly went on rewind. 

Back to the neighborhood we grew up in. 

Back to summers long gone. 

Back to the days when my baby sister and brother beat the sunrise to rush around the block to play with a kid they adored.

I hardly remember a moment in our childhood that he wasn’t in. Forget peas in a pod, they were more like triplets. 

Triplets through school. They attended proms together, stayed close through college, and were even in each other’s weddings. 

Here’s what I love about that:

Friendship in families isn’t an isolated event. 

We love him and his family, and they love us. That’s what happens I guess, when families grow up together. 

❤️ Love grows. 

❤️ Love extends. 

❤️ Love includes. 

It’s like a great big cake, slathered with butter cream frosting and covered with a billion candles and multicolored sprinkles. 

  • Our parents are the cake itself, the foundation. 
  • The frosting is all of life’s adventures, whipped together and spread about. 
  • The candles and sprinkles are all good stuff: the laughs, joys, the memories. 

With the call last night, came heartache.

Even though it had been years since I’ve seen him, the words of his loss caught my breath. 

Immediately, my heart started aching for his family, mine, and everyone who loves him. 

I have no words of wisdom here… Only sadness. 

The Longest Goodbye

How do you feel about goodbyes?

Honestly, I have some mixed feelings about them. Sure, most of the time goodbyes are somewhat easy, everyday occurrences that pretty much go unnoticed.

But sometimes, goodbye is the last thing we want to say to somebody when time pours through the hourglass and all we want is for time to take several steps backwards.

Then, there are the times we don’t even get the chance to say goodbye. Those are some of the most heart wrenching times and it seems almost impossible to step over the regrets of not being there.

Yesterday, I was reading some new blog posts when a photograph caught my eye. It was a close up of someone holding hands. Then, I saw the name.

It was written by one of my dear blogging friends who has spent the past year on a difficult journey. As I read it, my cheeks were wet with tears.

I cried not only for the sadness of fate that seemed to go the wrong way, but also some joy tears were mixed in.

Here’s what I love about families, they stick it out, even if bad news is involved and heartache lingers.

I also love how her mum is triumphant! She survived brain surgeries and a tumor. What a miracle in that alone.

As soon as I read her account of life with her beautiful mum, I knew I wanted to share it with you.

Love and hugs, Miriam.

Out an' About

On this, my 100th post, I’m baring my soul.  This time last year my mum went into hospital for what should have been a straight forward operation to remove a tumor on her brain.  Although the operation went well complications arose during her recovery.  She ended up back in hospital and contracted an infection.  To cut a long and painful story short the infection and two major surgeries changed her forever.

From the operation to today I’ve seen her suffer and decline, from a strong fit independent woman living on her own, who taught me so much, to one needing 24/7 care.  She can no longer walk or talk or feed herself, though we think she has moments of lucidity and understanding.  Which makes it all the more heartbreaking.

She’s now in a facility not far away from where we live and she’s well cared for.  I visit her as…

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Detour Ahead

IMG_9770Have you ever been traveling down life’s highway, then bam, a detour appeared that you were not expecting?

Sometimes it seems like somebody forgot to put up the “merge right” sign and instantly all we see are the orange cones and only one lane ahead.

“Hey, wait a minute” we might say, “A detour??? I’m busy. I’ve got plans. I don’t have time for this!”

Life does that. It throws things into our paths at moments when we are happily cruising right along. Then, a flagger suddenly appears and ushers us off some exit we never even knew existed.

Exits like:

  • Overworked- sometimes we put everything we have into a job, and it never seems like enough.
  • “Un” friendshipville- the place where  friends that seemed true and genuine ended up being different than we had hoped.
  • The City of Family Conflict- where even people with the greatest of intentions simply don’t get along.
  • Griefland- the route of emotions that can knock us sideways when we least expect it.

Honestly, I can say that over the course of my life so far, I’ve skirted through most of those “towns.” Fair enough, I suppose, I mean, life is essentially a series of learning journeys.

I’ve muddled my way through some pretty narrow roads full of briars and downed trees. In those times of trials, those bumps were either small enough to get over, or I ended up having enough room to get turned around.

Until recently.

You may remember that last September I found myself unexpectedly in the hospital. Since then, I feel like I’ve been shoved into  some old ghost town on an old movie set called “Medical Mystery Town”.

Been there? It’s where you know something isn’t quite right, but no matter how many doctors offices you sit in, they don’t seem to have any answers. Guesses, yes. Answers? Ummmm. No.

It resembles some poor soul walking down a dirt street on that old western movie set with a heavy weight attached to his ankle. I get what that must be like. Carrying around “I don’t knows”  gets heavy.

I thought long and hard about writing about this. I’ve sat on it a looooong time. I wasn’t going to and I’ve kept it pretty quiet. But, I’ve changed my mind.

Last night I went to a place where I can let my hair down and connect with a kind of faith that transcends forces of the unseen. I was able to figurately stand and look that ghost town’s exit sign right in the eye. The place?

Holy Yoga.

I’m on restricted activities, so I can’t do the yoga at the moment, but that’s ok, I went for the lesson.

In that hour, cleansing tears flooded these cheeks as our instructor talked about a medical journey she experienced.

How crazy is it that on a random Sunday evening, at a class I wasn’t even supposed to go to according to the doctors, that HER experience spoke directly to me?

It was in those moments that it occurred to me, that my bumpy, full of pot holes medical journey, may help actually help someone else.

There are some beautiful views on this main road of life. Guess what?  It turns out that there are some amazing scenic byways as well and they are on the signs clearly marked “Detour Ahead.”