Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘friendship’

Life & Death/Health & Healing


love hearts

Love poured out from all sides
After toxins poured out from my insides.
My appendix burst while (what gives?)
I treated the pain with laxatives.

Pretty stupid, I agree, but you see
I’d suffered a month of pain at high degree
Related to pneumonia and all the side
Effects of antibiotics and meds I tried.

So when my tummy ached real bad,
I thought it was from bowel restrictions I had.
Massage with essential oils and a heating pad
Didn’t ease – just aggravated – Eeee Gad!

Time to go to the emergency room,
My husband admonished my stubborn gloom.
The doc sent me to the MRI machine –
With the pain so bad I wanted to scream.

Diverticulitis was his best educated guess,
But he sent the tests to an expert – good progress –
Who looked them over and sent back the news:
“Burst appendix! Not a guess – just look at the clues!

Put her in an ambulance with IVs in place.
Antibiotics will kill the toxins in her space.
Get her to the surgery center, lickety-split,
Not a moment to lose – good thing she is fit.”

Taking care of your health at any age
Is crucial to fighting an appendix rage.
You don’t know when that cornichon pickle
Will decide to act up. It’s not like a tickle!

The pain of appendix is like child birth.
When it bursts, it is worse. Hold your girth!
But don’t try massage or heating pads, nope –
They make it worse. Take it from this ole dope!

We texted our family and many a good friend
To tell them the news and ask them to send
Prayers to our Maker to spare this fine life
And help heal the insides of Bob’s wife.

Not only did God listen and heal her he did,
But He offered compassion and love with no lid.
The sympathy poured in. The help overflowed.
The doc laparoscopically flushed til it glowed!

A week in a bed in a hospital room was a lot,
But the doc said at my age, the poison is fought
With less sure success than with the typically younger,
So be patience and heal while you regain your hunger.

The appetite’s small and the patience is short
When you’re strapped to a bed, I can report;
And a good RN is worth her weight in gold.
That was revealed clearly as the week did unfold.

The story below is a vivid description
Of one of the incidents that left its inscription
Indelibly stamped on my mind and my heart –
A sure-fire way to tell those nurses apart!

 

“What are you doing?” I asked the stranger who was busy hooking up some red glowing gadget to a finger on my right hand.

“Checking your blood pressure,” she responded as she hooked up a gadget to the index finger on my left hand. “Lean forward!” the bossy lady in white commanded.

A shrill sound like a wailing fire alarm went off as she pushed some kind of gizmo under the cushion of the chair where I was sitting in room 203 at Bozeman Deaconess Hospital. The old sourpuss pushed a button and stopped the alarm, but the right hand continued to glow and the left hand gadget beeped on a machine standing at my left ear.

“How do I stop that blasted thing?” I asked as she headed toward the door.

“Breathe more deeply;” she walked out and shut the door as she finished her sentence, “your oxygen level is too low. It’ll stop when…”

She was gone and I was sitting on a fire alarm, hooked to an incessant beeper, glowing with a red sparkler. I breathed deeply. The beeping continued. The fourth of July was still two weeks away. I was not ready for fireworks and sparklers! I was ready to kill the person who suddenly appeared out of nowhere, altering my world with no apparent authority to do so, and who left me – a sitting time bomb!

I had been in the hospital for about three days – maybe only two, I don’t know. Time flies when you’re having fun, right? I wasn’t! On the Saturday before, sometime while I was still at home in Ennis, suffering from what I thought was constipation, barely enduring a miserable stomach-ache, taking laxatives to try and get the bowels moving, my appendix burst. I had no way of knowing that’s what it was. By the time my husband took me to the Madison Valley Medical Center ER around 7:00 PM, I was in such pain, it resembled childbirth.

The PA on duty thought the MRI results indicated diverticulitis. He started me on antibiotics and pain killers. The test results were sent to an expert in Bozeman. That doctor sent back test results and instructions, “It’s a burst appendix. Be sure she has an IV with antibiotics and hydrocodone. Put her in an ambulance, and get her to our surgery center immediately!” The antibiotics probably saved my life. The toxins had exploded throughout my abdominal cavity. The surgeon said it looked like a cannon had gone off in there.

I sat on the chair, the beeper driving me crazy, the sparkler glowing and the call button over on the bed, just out of my reach. Nurse Ratched, the tyrant, had left it there when she exited my room. I could feel my blood pressure rising by the minute. I could stand it no longer! I stood up, the fire alarm under my butt sounded. My REAL nurse came running in.

“What’s up?”

“Who was that person who came and took over my world and hooked me up to all these things and left me stranded? Who gave her authority to do these things? Why are they necessary?”

As calmly as she could, my assigned RN said, “I don’t know. Let me find out.” She left without turning off the alarm or the beeper.

I was about to go crazy when she returned and silently began removing all the appendages.

“What gives?”

“Oh, not to worry,” my RN responded calmly. “She was in the wrong room!”

 

Ah, good health renewed – I’m on my way –
I can look back at all that drama someday
And smile as I thank God for answered prayer,
For help and healing and all that love to spare.

Family and Friends


There are friends who are family and family who are friends.
There is joy in knowing the love never ends.
There is joy in the morning and there’s joy in the night.
But the God-joy eternal is the best joy in sight!

We are blessed by our family and by our friends, too,
But the blessings of faith bring the best love to you –
Because God is the maker of friends who uplift.
He takes fleeting moments and wraps them up as a gift.

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If you have the fortune to have a best friend who’s your gift,
If that friend is there for you to give you a lift,
I hope you thank God every day of your life –
Especially if that friend is your husband or wife.

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And if in your family you are blessed with a pet,
The love and devotion may be the best it can get!
For an animal gives unconditional love –
The kind we can learn if we’re connected above.

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I thank God today for family and friends – true-blue,
For the two-legged ones and the four-legged, too.
May I always be faithful to love joyfully.
Dear loved ones, be assured, you can count on me.

Bird in a Gilded Cage


 

Bird in a Gilded Cage

I’m only a bird in a gilded cage.
I’m trapped in a pent-up life.
I see the blue sky and the world out there,
But I’m locked in a world of strife.

I know I have friends who are here with me.
I feel their support and love;
But they can’t quite reach all my problems here –
I’m counting on the Lord above.

He’s not just a God who is far removed.
He’s my Savior, Deliverer, Friend.
I take all my strife to the Lord in prayer
And count on the Holy Spirit to descend.

Come into the cage of Your gilded bird.
Come into my heart today.
Take all of my troubles and grant me peace.
Give me love, JOY, and patience, I pray.

Amen

Stimulating Touch


I belong to the Madison Valley Writers’ Group. We meet every first and third Friday at our local bank’s “Fireside Room” and share our creative efforts with one another. The hour and a half together begins with a writing prompt. It’s a topic we draw from a hat. Any member can anonymously add topics to the hat anytime. The topics are varied – some serious, some silly. Most lend themselves to whatever genre the writer wishes to engage.

For the first fifteen minutes or so, as members gather, we write using a new prompt each meeting. Then we share with one another what we wrote (with the option to “pass” if we wish). My last post titled, “Touch,” was one of the creations from last week’s prompt, “Things That Stimulate Your Sense of Touch.” Another of our members wrote about the itchy feeling of a wool hat – and how much better it feels if it is fur-lined. One member took the topic a step farther and wrote about the effects of touch – i.e. what happens when you touch someone else’s wallet (a fat lip), or what happens if you touch a rattle snake’s tongue (venom). My first poem was short and quick and left me with time to contemplate another kind of touch – not someone touching my cheek or my lips, my heartstrings or my spirit – but the sensation of the soft skin of a baby touching me. Here’s what I wrote:

A Baby’s Touch

There’s nothing in the world
That compares with a baby’s touch –
The soft and cuddly snuggle
On your shoulder, chin and such –
The little hand in yours
As it plucks your heartstrings firmly –
There’s nothing in the world
Like it, stimulating maternal yearning.

The sense of touch is vital
For a baby to thrive and grow.
Babies soon would wither
If love’s touch they never know.
So, as much as I need them,
I know they need me just as much.
There’s nothing in the world
That compares with a baby’s touch.

Think about the prompt that stimulated that poem. Give thought to what kinds of touch are important or stimulating to you. When is the last time you touched another person tenderly? When is the last time someone tenderly touched you? What touches your heartstrings?

I have a friend who had a stroke a couple of years ago. One of the residual effects of her stroke is an “Invisible bubble” around her that defines her “space.” She doesn’t allow others to invade that territory. She doesn’t shake hands – let alone greet her friends with a warm hug the way she used to. She sends off very clear vibes that say, “Stand clear. Don’t come too near.” Do you have an invisible bubble around your personal space? Know anyone like that? How does it feel? Do you think a baby’s touch could permeate that bubble? There’s something so vulnerable, soft, defenseless, and harmless about an infant’s touch.

If only every human touch could be as soft and harmless! Let’s work on that together. There’s nothing in the world like the touch of someone who genuinely loves and trusts you. Let’s foster that kind of world. Touch my world – and I’ll touch yours…

Love one another!

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The World of Self-Absorption


Happy Sunday, my friends! It was another beautiful day in Montana’s Madison Valley. I went to church this morning and played golf this afternoon. It’s easy in this life of leisurely retirement to wallow in my own good fortune, become self-absorbed, and just be content to do all I love without being too concerned about folks out there who are not as fortunate. But, when I attend church and pay close attention to the message of the day, it’s impossible to crawl inside my cozy chrysalis and become too self-absorbed. Listen to what I heard our pastor say today:

The world of self-absorption
Is a narrow one at best.
Its walls curve in and
We see others less and less.

The heart whose walls curve in
Will collapse upon itself.
There is no room for others.
It misses others’ wealth.

The world of self-absorption
Doesn’t see another’s pain.
It only looks for what will give
Itself the greatest gain.

Self-forgetfulness is a gift
That comes as we learn and grow.
Our own needs grow smaller daily
As we care enough to others know.

When we reach out to others,
Our hearts’ walls expand to bring
The world of friendship in.
We learn to love and sing.

The world that God created
Is a wide, inclusive place.
It’s a world of love and fellowship –
Expanding our self-absorbed space.

What a gift self-forgetfulness is!
The ability to love another – 
The miracle of reaching out –
Is a gift beyond all measure.

Amen?  Amen!

 

I asked myself, “Have you reached out today? Beyond yourself?”

If I can’t think of a positive thing I’ve done for someone else, then I ask myself,
“Why not? What’s stopping you? Are you self-absorbed? Accept the gift of self-forgetfulness!
Be part of the miraculous Circle of Reachers!”

God Bless You, dear friends.  How will you expand your hearts’ walls this week?

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Limited Options


My friend, Jack Murphy, died two days ago. He was a member of the Writers of Madison County in southwest Montana. Suffering heart problems and other ailments, he had been contemplating his own death for several years. He didn’t dwell on the subject often in his writing. Usually he wrote whimsical poetry regarding such subjects as Humpty Dumpty’s tragedy or Little Miss Muffet’s victory over that dreadful spider. Now, after he left us at a much too early age, I am drawn to his shared poems and short stories. His words take on deeper, more profound meanings. I ponder his musings. I want to call him back to us and discuss his premises. He wrote of “Limited Options” and of leaving this earth as “an empty shell, no heart, no soul, no place to dwell,” to “drift away through time and space.” I had no idea in 2009 when he published his poem, Surrender, in the Madison County Writers’ Group Anthology that he really would “go” so soon. I miss him!

Surrender

It’s time to go, I hear the voice.
It’s time to go, I have no choice.

I sense a tug upon my sleeve
telling me it’s time to leave.

I am not sure I want to go.
I thought that at the time I’d know

if I was really tired of life,
the aches and pains and constant strife.

Do I have the strong resolve
or will that needed strength dissolve?

And leave me like an empty shell,
no heart, no soul, no place to dwell.

I don’t yet know if I should fight
to stick around to do what’s right

and let the natural things take place,
then drift away through time and space.

I want to bring Jack back. I want to discuss his eternal options. I can’t. He’s gone from this earth. But, I am praying that he has met his Creator and has learned that he now has the Unlimited Options of Eternity, not the “Limited Options” he anticipated in this poem. This was published in that same 2009 anthology:

I wanted to be the first to go,
make it quick, not too slow.

It does not happen, sad to say,
that life always works out that way.

But, often life does not conform,
it does not follow every norm.

Illness or accident oft is the one,
that gets the unadorned deed done.

The rules are vague, if there are rules at all,
on who will stay and who will fall.

The pain of loss is often deep
and it’s all right for you to weep.

As long as you remember, too,
the joy that they did bring to you.

The fun you had along the way,
and all the crazy games you’d play.

The loves and laughs, and serious times
that make up life and its designs.

If only we could get to choose
who exits first, who has to lose.

But, it is not our choice, you see;
it is not left to you and me.

We’ll love our lives until the end,
then ride the river around the bend.

Thus, when our final days are here
and we slip from life so dear,

We’ll drift toward that distant shore,
the lights gone, sleep now evermore.

Sleep now, dear friend, Jack Murphy. My faith wants to believe you are in the gentle, forgiving, ever-loving hands of our Savior, resting in eternal peace. I do remember “the joy you [did] bring” – and I weep with the pain of our loss. I hope to see you someday again – – – round the river’s band.

See Ya Round the River’s Bend

Reaching Out


Loving one another requires reaching out. That seems pretty obvious, but it really hit home with me when my niece jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge at age 19. That was more than two decades ago, but it is a lesson I carry in my heart every day. Suicide is such a sad way to leave this earth. It leaves behind so many unanswered questions. It leaves behind so many broken hearts and guilty consciences. The sadness never leaves those of us who loved the victim. The sadness never stops making us wonder what we might have done. The sadness brings with it a sense of helplessness. We can’t go back and redo what was left undone or say now what was left unsaid then. Sometimes the sadness lessens as we put the suicide behind us and look out toward the fair future. The gloomy skies of glaring grace-gaps can be filled with the sunny skies of serenity only if we allow the retrospective regrets to turn into current compassion. The reasons for my niece’s suicide can be speculated, but never resolved, never fixed in her brief lifetime. All I can do now is use the heartbreak of her despair to drive my compassion to new heights. Who needs my smile today? Who needs a sincere hug or a friendly phone call? How can I help dissipate someone’s loneliness? Reaching out via the internet – blogging, e-mailing, posting photos – can go just so far. But a touch goes so much farther. I’m shutting off this computer for the rest of today. I’m headed out to reach out. How about you?

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