front page news

Ever had a day when you feel like your life really should have been front page news?

It’s not that I want the whole world to know the mess my life is right now, but I’m almost afraid to check the paper this morning for fear that someone may have splashed it all over the front page.

Each piece is not that big a deal, but in the aggregate, it is almost overwhelming. It has been one of those weeks where if someone asks you the simple question “hey, how’s it going?” you just stare blankly at them. You don’t know where to start. You know they can’t possibly be interested in all of it…..

But you dear reader are here because you are interested, so get ready.  Here’s the story of the last five days:

First we visited the hospital room of a very dear old friend. My teacher from 4th and 6th grades. She just had a major surgery and the prognosis isn’t great. It’s not total doomsday, but it’s not great either. I’ve always needed approval from this lovely lady and it finally came. After Martin and I left the room, she told her daughter (who is one of my dearest friends) “Wow, that is one very different girl” given her previous known opinion of me, this was a compliment of the highest order. Janna told me this over a pitcher of Sangria later that night. We had to get Janna out of the stress filled hospital environment for just a little while. And of course that involved a fairly fun trip down memory lane. that was Wednesday evening.

On Thursday we spoke to our birth-parents (the parents of the still gestating infant we hope to adopt in late October) and they have invited us to come out and meet them over the 4th of July weekend. We’ve also been invited to stay for a doctors’ appointment that will hopefully include a sonogram!!!!!!! Talk about overwhelming news. My brain and heart are still reeling.

Then we had to put Toni (Martin’s dog companion of 16+ years) down on Friday morning. That was almost over whelming. Especially for poor Martin.

Then Friday night I did the cake for a “sweet 16 in the Sixties” party which was a huge success. The highlight of the night for me though was the jeans art I did. Neither Martin nor I have any sixties attire, so we had to fake it. Loose shirts, beads, headband and the requisite faded jeans with peace symbols, mermaydes and various other Aquarian symbols drawn on them. My triumph for the evening was a large mermayde I did on the back of Martin’s jeans, with him in them, during the party. I had teenagers asking me if I could do that on their jeans as well. YEAH!! I’m popular! okay, it’s 20 plus years too late, but hey. Better late than never!….right?

The next morning we woke to the news that Martin’s one remaining Aunt had died.

ah perspective is restored.

So now I’m at work today planning a whirlwind trip to Dallas tomorrow for a funeral that wasn’t supposed to be in the plan.

I’m trying to find God in all this. But my head is just too full. I’m actually looking forward to the flight as Martin and I will have time to just reflect, sit still. Maybe even do Bible study.

There is something so restful to me about being on a plane in the air. The schedule of the plane is so completely out of my hands that I don’t have to think for a while.   Planning, scheduling, and being in control is a MAJOR “false god” for me and I sometimes think God takes delight in putting me in situations where I am utterly unable to control things just so I can learn to depend on Him.

I guess I REALLY need to learn this lesson thoroughly BEFORE we come home with a baby, eh?

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good bye Toni

Martin’s sweet old cocker spaniel died today.

Well, actually we had to have her put to sleep, but she was very close to going on her own anyway and we just couldn’t stand to have her be so confused and she wasn’t eating and…okay, you know what, let’s not dwell on this.

later on I’ll dig through boxes of photos and come up with some young spry puppy portraits of Toni, but for now, here is the last ever photos of Toni and her loving daddy (These are from two Sundays ago BTW. We were NOT snapping photos of her on the way to the vet’s this morning. That would be creepy)

Toni

Martin is really deeply upset by this. He cried so hard and so loud that it alarmed some patrons and the desk clerk out front. So much so that the vet actually came back in and asked me if he was going to be okay. He got a laugh out of that in the car later as we went to go take our other two dogs to play in the park.

so the answer is, yes, he will be alright. eventually.

until then though….I’m driving

hug some-bunny

Like most kids growing up, I loved visiting my uncles and aunts. Not really to hang out with the adults, but to play with my cousins.

There was this one cousin who was not my age, but I really liked her. I think I was about 10 or 11 at the time and Laura Ann was 2 or 3. So it’s not like we played at my level. We didn’t climb trees or ride bikes. Whenever we visited, Laura Ann and I had endless tea parties and played make-believe with stuffed animals (All with names of course. It was very important to get the names right). wow, that child had a LOT of stuffed animals and toys. It never really occurred to me to ask why she had all this stuff. I guess I just figured they had more money than we did.

Laura Ann was a very sunny child. Cheerful and sweet, gentle and so much fun to play with.

My parents lived about 3 hours away from her parents so we didn’t see them all the time, but I do remember loving it whenever we got to visit. The house was one of those big, old 1920’s era stone structures on a quiet street in the suburbs of Birmingham. I adored the high ceilings and hardwood floors.

When I was about 12 or 13 I remember being really mad at my mom and dad because they were preparing for a trip to Birmingham to see Laura Ann’s family and they wouldn’t take me and my little brother along. I couldn’t understand why we couldn’t come too.

Finally, to shut me up I think, my mom told me that Laura Ann was sick. Really sick. Something called leukemia. That’s why they couldn’t take me with them.

“Was it catching? is that why I can’t go?”

“No honey, it’s just that we are gonna be spending our time taking care of your Uncle and Aunt and we need to be available to help them.”

So Steve & I stayed at a family friend’s house and had a grand time in their HUGE rec-room all weekend while my mother and daddy went off to sing at Laura Ann’s funeral. I don’t remember knowing anything about Laura Ann dying until my mother got home and handed me one of Laura Ann’s stuffed toys.

Later I found out that just before her final hospital stay this tiny little, cheerful 4 year-old had gone around her playroom pointing to her toys and naming off names of friends and relatives. Her poor confused daddy followed her around the room and his breaking heart thought that Laura Ann was confused about the names of her toys. But gradually it dawned on him that she still knew the names of each toy, she was telling him WHO she wanted to give each toy TO.

Laura Ann had been told that she was going to the hospital again and that this time she might be coming home or she might go to see Jesus. And she understood. She wanted her toys to be taken care of so she made the child’s equivalent of a will the only way she knew how: She took her daddy round and round her play room naming off the final destination of each toy till he got it right.

As a child I marveled at her unselfishness. As an adult my heart just breaks for her daddy. What must it have cost him to memorize that list?

Laura Ann has, almost my whole life, remained the perfect example of childlike faith and trust in God. And acceptance of HIS goodness.

God please help me be like her.

I got a bunny by the way. It’s named Laura Ann. I hope she didn’t mind my changing the name.