Wednesday, May 9, 2012


I wake up on my 38th birthday to the smell of bleached sheets and iodine.  There is a tug in my arm from the i.v that took 4 nurses and three hours to wrestle into my "shy veins" (as the charge nurse called them.) Both of my arms evidence of poke after nervous poke.  They are bruised and swollen.
A paralyzing nausea sweeps over me and I look for my pink bucket, then I realize I have nothing to throw up because it has been days since I have had food or water.  I close my eyes and imagine I am on a small boat at sea climbing and falling down mountainous waves. Then my sea turns to red and I dream of a ice cold gatorade.  My dry tongue does not appreciate my imagination.

I hear a beep beeping sound from my neighbors room blended with a disturbed sob. I want to comfort her and tell her everything would be okay.  Then I wonder if I even know this for myself.
As I wipe the blur from my eyes, I gaze at the posters and the cut out paper dolls the kids had decorated the room with the day before.  
The clock is ticking a slow painful click click click.
I want to throw it.  Time feels like a thief to me in this moment.
We tried our best not to tell the kids I was back in the hospital. But in time they quickly figure out mom is not doing errands.

I think of all they have been through as I look out the window, and inhale the roses that my sister in law brought me.  I admire the way they stretch and grow towards the sun.  I wonder if I am growing or just trying to survive.

Then a great sense of guilt slides down my throat like a piano.
How can I do this to them again?
I am burning everyone out.
I am going to end up all alone.
A tear, then another then another drops on my favorite t-shirt.
I refused to put on the infamous gown this time.  I may have to be in the hospital, but I was going to do it on my terms.
I start thinking of Garrett and the perfect day we had on friday, and how he stayed up with me all friday night as my pancreas pulled and pained me body and soul.
I can't do this again.
The kids can't do this again.
I'll loose all my friends and family if I can't get healthy.

Garrett tells me my thoughts are whats killing me, as he rubs my back.
You can't help this.
He tells me over and over that I am strong and that I can do this, which amazes me, because I didn't exactly get patient of the year during my last hospitalization.  Finally,  after hours of exausting pain, I give in and we head to the hospital.

After it was confirmed that I was indeed suffering from pancreatitis again, I was admitted and hooked up to
an I.v and very intense pain killing drugs.
I sleep a very long time.

I dream of my mother.  She reminds me that this is not the plan God has for me, but that I have chosen these experiences that I might better serve God and his children.
She also reminds me that I have within me the power to make things different. I don't exactly remember how she told me this...if I saw her, or heard her or just exchanged emotion with her.  Oddly, it really doesn't matter to me.  Then I dream of doing yoga on top of Mount Timp.  I see myself bending and stretching into warrior pose as I look out over the vast valley I call home.  

I wake up and say an intense, but silent prayer. I feel God whisper to me to get off of the Intravenous drugs.  I knew from my last experience with them, the withdraws they caused, but even still I wonder if I am strong enough to go without them.

Then peace and courage wash over me,
and tell me I am stronger than I think I am.
I tell my nurse, then tell my doc.
and soon we have a plan.

My Bishop comes to see me.
I tell him how guilty I feel inside for putting my family
through this. He tenderly reprimands me and tells me that this is an opportunity to show my children my faith and strength in the Lord. He tells me I have nothing to apologize for.

I was out of the hospital about 24 hours later.
Slightly nauseated, but pain free.
My heart comforted,
My mind clear, my thoughts cleaned up and deeply humbled by learning just how ridiculous my fears had been.  All along I was cradled in the arms of my dear father, and husband.  The women in my life were arranging child care and dinners.  And my children were learning to pray a little harder.

Not only did I not loose friends or family. I was reminded how loved I was. I was not fired from my job at Sundance that I love,
I was strengthened by my co-workers visiting me with beautiful 
flowers and heart felt compassion.

My kids were thrilled to have me home and thanks to family that had
helped watch them...they seemed perfectly content  We all crashed up in my bed and opened my birthday presents.  Garrett made me a book of my life. He has secretly been working on it for months.  With every turn of the page, I saw my life in pictures...and remembered the health and vitality that ran through my veins.  Picture after picture of my life with Garrett reminded me that he was here for the long haul.  He also bought me a necklace, he put it on me tenderly reminded me that I am strong.  That I can do hard things.  That I am not a burden, but a blessing. And I believed him.  
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As for miracles.  I came home to several. My neighbor and dear friend to the left, called her big family and my children,and gutted out my garden.  I wish I had a before picture to show you just how amazing this gift of love was.

Then my neighbor and dear friends to the right, came over and planted my front planter bucket. It was filled to overflowing with bursting colors of hope and happiness.
How do you possibly thank some one for such love?
Not only did they serve me, they both involved my children in the process, so instead of worrying about me, my children were anxiously engaged in getting their hand dirty while serving me.
Now that is love.
Best part of the day:  I was able to make it to Savannah's first softball game!  
This is the tree River planted for me in the fall when I was so sick.  I had planted a tree in that space after my mother died, but to my heartache it had died.  The space stood empty four years later until the day my beautiful boy decided to plant another one.  I will never forget walking to my window on a very cold afternoon when I was certain my life was destined to find a tree in the very space that seemed so empty before.  

It was a love note from My Heavenly father, my mother and my son.  Turns out that the tree is growing stronger than ever...witnessing to me every single day that life can be made new and whole again.    
Just like I can if I plant my roots deep enough in my Savior Jesus Christ.

Thank you...  All of you for the roles you play in mine and my family's growth.
We are made new everyday in your sweet love.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Today was a keep the change kind of day.
Life just felt so abundant, mostly because I was with Garrett.  He took the day off and the two of scally wagged our way from here to there doing this and that.  We started with a trip to the temple.  I have forgotten the peace it provides.  It felt a bit like a water fall filling in the cracks of my soul.  It reminded me of all the miracles in my life and the love God has for me...little old me.

But mostly I was grateful that Garrett hadn't thrown me away:)  God bless him for all his galvanizing attempts at fixing me....even still after eighteen years.  

We listened to Josh Groban's song..."don't give up."  It made my heart hurt for all the hurts out there, and grateful that we never gave up when the going was rough...grateful that we were still both here in this mortal realm together.  

God Bless the lonely.  Don't give up.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

love love love


So I am a bit late.  Forgive me.  But I am having a bit of a sentimental bug.
It must have been my mini breakdown, that triggered a valentine memory.
But it is a memory worth sharing.
Valentines day.
My favorite day of the year.  Why?
Because I get to celebrate the people I love, because I am reminded not to forget what my life would be like without them.  And because I get to drink cherry soda from a can with a piece of licorace.
But mostly because...
Family is everything to me.  Everything.  I have had a bit of a go of it the last couple days.  (simplest way of saying it).   (All is well now.)
And I have been engulfed in the love of my family once again,  from my sisters crying with me on the phone to taking me on a coming over to hold my hand while I slept.  Yup.  That is why we get through what we do.  Family.  So here is my thought of today; Forget it is May first and pretend once more it is February 14 again.  
Celebrate. hold on.  Cherish....and never ever let go of each other.  Hold on when you want to quit, fly together when you want to soar, and always be there for those you love.  Always.
That is how people change.  That is how people grow. Love.  Love. Love. 
Because as my dad always puts it. ..
 We are really not all that important, unless we are important to each other.