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An Update…


Dad passed away on October 7th. Just 2 weeks ago now.
In some ways, it feels like years.
In other ways, I am still in the middle of it.

I see the sunshine seeping in my parents kitchen window. It’s about 2:00 PM, and it’s just that right temperature of warm but not too warm.  I still hear dad breathing hard in the other room, from his hospice bed. He is in the very last hours, and 2 of us kids hold his hands at all times. It’s not my turn. (When it is my turn, I look forward to touching his warm skin, and looking at his face, knowing I won’t have very long to do that.) His breathing gets easier for a bit, then stops. We all count, as we have been told that an apnea can come at this time, stopping the breathing for anywhere from 15-45 seconds. …5, …10, …15, and he takes in a deep breath. We all take a breath, too, and continue our scrabble game.

Yeah, scrabble. We were playing a game while my father was dying. We had been looking over and after him for 5 days straight, and as neighbors, friends, and relatives came to say their goodbyes,  or dropping off cards and food and hugs, well at some point we just realized that it was ok to do something other than watch the man die. It didn’t mean we loved him any less. In fact, it was probably a relief for him to hear some laughter and gossip coming from the next room, like in old times. (You should probably know that dad got 5 daughters, and would lament, only half jokingly, that he had somehow upset The Lord for Him to punish dad with so many chattering, laughing, bickering daughters…)

So we went on with our game. QAT was my word, and I got it hooked to a double word score. Woot! And I did woot, right out loud.  We all looked at each other quickly, and then at dad in the other room. And our voices raised even more. It was almost a relief to remember that we were allowed to be living, while he was dying. It was odd, but during this vigil, we still ate meals, and hugged each other, and talked normally.

At first this all felt like a betrayal. How dare I sleep when I should be watching over this dying man! Right? And I could not imagine leaving his hospital bed, whether to go to the bathroom or for food, a walk outside, or to play a game of scrabble. Why should I go do these things when he could not?  I don’t know what I expected. I guess for us to be hush hush around him so he could labor in quiet…. I guess that was it.

Well, life is not tidy.

What happened instead was 8 siblings descending upon the Thornton home, from across all sorts of states, all in various stages of grieving. The one thing that didn’t happen was quiet. I was stupefied. The house of grieving flipped like a switch. We had a room of crying and whispering. A room of food prep and eating. Then we had a room of catching up and visiting. And, because we are Thorntons, that room turned into a room of laughter and loudness. In all rooms, reverence was gone.

It was the best thing that happened, in my opinion.  Where I had been moping and obsessing before, being exhausted beyond belief, there was now a life and energy renewed.  Instead of literally watching a man die to death, we provided a father and husband with family living and celebrating his life all around him.

We played board games in the kitchen, just a few feet from where his hospice bed was set up.  We played the piano where he could hear his favorite songs. We put Pandora on the iPad and let him listen to the “Tabernacle Choir” channel because he loved the music so much. And it worked

Whatever IT was.

IT spread through the house gradually. Through each room of sadness, IT seeped in and smiled the sadness away. Oh.  The IT was… Peace.

Peace spread through the house and household. It made it ok for us to laugh or cry. It made it ok for us to sleep in, or stay up all nigh with our sweet dad. Peace made it ok for dad to rally at the end, for us.  He came out of the labored sleep he was in, and acknowledged those who were there in the house. He said he loved hearing the music. He touched our faces and let the little ones give him kisses or high fives. He loved our laughter and talking which, he said, just sounded like LOVE.

And that was when I let go of the process looking a certain way.  I was not in charge, and neither was anyone else. Dad’s death was between him and The Lord. My only responsibility was to be part of the peace and love that was family.  And so I did.

He passed away peacefully, between one breath and another, with family around him.

 
Aside

 

 

 

#ds469 - Fear, Dread, Neuralgia

I was asked to write about my strongest memory of heart-pounding, belly-twisting nervousness. The memory that pops up is one that still makes me cringe. It was something that made my stomach hurt, and my legs twitch. It felt surreal to me. I can’t remember who helped me get dressed that day or what was said, but before this happened, I was so sick inside that I couldn’t eat or drink. When the event came up I had a dry mouth and bad breath.

 

Not a good way to walk down the aisle to get married, eh?

 

Now, I know now that the man I married is my perfect companion, but it has taken every bit of the 21 years we have lived together to find that out. I love this man with all of my heart. He makes me happy, and I work every day to help him remember that he loves me, too.

 

We just had to grow up together to find that out.

 

Bride's veil close-upWhen we started the journey, I was 19 years old and had decided that he was NOT the man for me. So imagine my surprise when he wiggled on in to my heart, in spite of circumstance and opinion. Before I knew what happened, I was in an enormous veil (the moms-in-law had made it together as a token of their … support…), an off white, 2-piece wool suit-dress (It was to be something I was to wear later, over and over again), and a baby bump. Now don’t get me wrong. The man I was marrying was an amazing man. He was strong and confidant. He was attractive and charismatic. He was….18.

 

The nervousness came simply because I was walking down the aisle. The aisle that represented a few things:

 

1. The vows that say “Till Death Do You Part”? In my part of town, it meant, “FOREVER, Whether You Are Dead Or Not, There IS No Getting Out Of This.”

 

2.Once we were married, we would be OLD.

 

3. We have no plan as far as having a job, or an apartment, or a life plan. AAAAAHHHH!

 

Man, that was a long aisle.

 

So there I was, in my hideous veil and dress, feeling like this was a pretend day. Maybe a practice day. I knew that some friends and class-mates were there. I knew there was a bishop to officiate the occasion. Even Mr. Butcher, the music teacher, was there to offer the music. And I knew that I had a 2 tier cake from Soelberg’s, the small-town grocery store (they did a beautiful job.).

 

I had all these things lined up, and I still felt that this was pretend. In the room upstairs where I was to wait for “The Music” to bring me down the stairs and down the aisle, my pits wouldn’t stop sweating. My makeup was running at the corners of my eyes, and my heart kept pounding.

 

What was wrong with me? I had already decided to go through with it, right? I had made my list of pro’s and con’s (mom taught me to do that for every hard decision in life. It was a close list, but my loving the man at the end of the aisle kind of bumped it over). I was even told, “You made your bed, now lie in it.” (That was my Aunt Marlene. Man, I didn’t like her at the time…). This was a day I should have been happy, right? Nope. I was terrified.

 

Cold Feet

 

It didn’t occur to me that anyone else could have cold feet. I didn’t know there was a term, “Cold Feet“. Why should I? I wouldn’t normally be thinking of marriage at 19! Nevertheless, I had them big time. It just didn’t occur to me that any other woman, or man for that matter, could have questions like mine.  I just assumed I was the only one that couldn’t see the carpet under her feet, or the sunshine pouring in on this special day.

 

Thus the terrified look as I almost slunk down those stairs, then pushed my back straight, and walked down that path that brought me to him. To This. To Now.

 

I am so glad I went through my most terrifying moment. I am so glad I pushed through, instead of backing away. For me, I have spent my 20’s and 30’s with my best friend. We have gotten to see life as a couple. We have had some really scary, really hard, and really sucky times, but we have pushed through them. I think we got to push through them because we made the leap in the first place, to push through.

 

My man didn’t tell me until many years later that he had cold feet so bad he almost left me at the altar. Good for him. 🙂

 

 

 

That Worst/Best Memory…

 

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The Piano Guys Did Battle


Gray Sphere, see

I didn’t realize how much I had simply gone….Gray. How I had frozen and forgotten to feel anything. Something sad set it off, but I pushed it away as not having time to feel about it and so it sat there, doing nothing but doing something, nonetheless. I didn’t have time to feel about it and so it let me go about my day or night, and when I woke up, I hurt deep down inside. My dreams were sad, sad, sad. My body ached about it, and my smile went away. I woke up and I was sad, but didn’t know how to let it go. I didn’t know how to let that go because it had nestled into my emotions, making a place along the hub-bub of my schedules and car rides and budget making. And then it spread its tendrils just a little at a time, unbeknownst to me. And it waited.It could afford to wait because I was too busy to see that my smile was going away, and I was getting short-tempered. “If I can just get this budget right, then I can take a break.” But I didn’t take a break, and something else talked louder than the heartache. The tendrils spread a bit more and I forgot to love on my kids, and then I forgot to use kind words, and then… and then I just was mad. (Mad is only covering up sad, you know. Mad is a flavor put hastily on to cover the hurt that is bubbling up.)

Until this morning. I felt gray and I kind of liked not feeling anything at all that was real. Until this morning.

Piano

A strange thing happened. It was called music. The music was called “The Piano Guys”. (Really, that’s their name.) They played something  beautiful, with a Cello and a Piano, and with heart. It sounded good and deep and it called to me. Music washed over me this morning, and little did I know that it would do battle with the sad something. They played a soothing, moving song. It let me remember that I could feel, and it melted and thawed the something that was holding me back.

The grayness started to melt, and it showed up as tears.

Great Battle

I sat there, in my bed, with kids coming back and forth, and schedules going on, and I cried. Hard. No holding back, with the music doing battle in the background. Kids and husband asked me why and what was wrong, and what did they do to set off mom, and I didn’t care enough to pull out of my battle with the gray. Not yet. I waved the loved ones off just long enough for the tears to wash away the sad something that had held on to my emotional self and I found me again.  I found my smile, and my animation, and the part that had been held hostage.  The music did that for me.  The tears did that for me. The notes washed the gray away.

Piano

I remembered what it felt like to love on my kids, and to get dressed in warm clothes, and to communicate kindly. With a smile. I remembered me.

Music is that strong.  It is that kind, and good, and powerful, and needed. For me, it is my shield against the gray. It keeps my emotions flowing, and even if that means I cry a bit more, I am grateful. Thank you, Piano Guys. I am loved because you love what you do, and you are talented at it. You do battle with The Gray.

 

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A Millionaire Asked Me To Marry Him… and other moments of falsified bliss.


California Department of Motor Vehicles headqu...

I went to the DMV today. With my son. To get his driving permit. It was bliss.

And if BLISS is what you call standing in a packed room, or sitting in uncomfortable chairs next to a coughing/hacking/wheezing woman for 4 hours then that’s exactly what it was.  (Did I mention the 3 screaming toddlers playing World Wide Wrestling in the isles while their moms chatted it up in a language unknown to me?)

That is not the bliss that I mean, actually.  The bliss came in the sliver of a laughing out loud moment while a crowd laughed with me. It came in between numbers 118 and 129, I think. (We were number 139, and had been there since number 85.) The bliss came after the harrumphing at “those out-of-control kids”, and the glaring at “those-irresponsible-moms”, but before Clovis the cougher admitted that she was getting sick. And it definitely came while we were getting a bit restless. And so was the group around us.  There was a temper or two lost, just seconds before I blurted out to my son, “Did I ever tell you that I have been proposed to by a millionaire?”

Cropped screenshot of Betty Grable in the trai...

Cropped screenshot of Betty Grable in the trailer for the film How to Marry a Millionaire (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My son, in the middle of a meaningful glare at the two kids that were pulling each others hair and wailing at the top of their lungs, pulled back a bit and said, “What?”  “Did I ever tell you-” I started again.  “I heard what you said, mom. I just don’t believe it.” And, of course I had to tell him that he could be filthy rich. So I did. I told him that not too many years ago, a millionaire became interested in me. It was very flattering, and he lavished his attentions on me and my boys, for about a month. He told me he was a pilot and was one of the original owners of… Fill In The

I pondered the possibilities of being married to a millionaire, and it felt GOOD.  No money problems at all. Companionship with all the wealth that came with it and…and…and… and then I was shown that he was not what he seemed. At all. (Imagine that. Imagine my surprise.) He was a student in a small town that, apparently, liked to spin a good yarn. And all it took was a mom and sister hiring a private detective to bring me to reality.BUT FOR THAT MOMENT, I told my son, I KNEW WHA

T IT WAS LIKE TO BE COURTED BY A MILLIONAIRE.”Was I ridiculous to fall for an internet story?”, I asked him. “Oh yeah.” He smirked. “Did I feel like an idiot?” I asked him. “Um, Dur.” He said. “But for that 1 moment in time, you knew what it was like to be woo-ed by a millionaire. And not many people can claim that.”  My son stared at me. He gaped at me. He had no idea, and could not believe that any millionaire wooed me. But he laughed hysterically when he found that I had been had. As well he should. It was funny. In fact, it was funny to a few people around me, as well.

The DMV numbers had moved from 118 to 121, and I didn’t even notice. I must be doing something right. The couple on the right of us, and baldy to the front had turned their chairs to face us, smiles getting large. (Lets do it again, shall we? This thought goes through my head, and so I do.)

The American professional tennis player Serena...This time, I poll the group and ask, “What moments have you had? The ones that you know are amazing and you love, even if it is only for a moment or two, before it goes sour?”  The crowd looked blank. I just kept blathering away. I figured if they were listening, it was their fault.

“Ok, how bout this. I HAVE BEEN ASKED BY A TENNIS STAR TO BECOME A TENNIS STAR IN THE MAKING.”

This perked up a few people, and a few others leaned closer (which wasn’t necessarily good because someone smelled a bit like a fart. Just sayin.)  I warmed up to telling my story, and it went like this:

“When I was 15, I went to the tennis courts to play tennis.  It is what I always did because at that time I ate, drank, and breathed tennis. ( I played mostly with boys because the girls didn’t like how competitively I spanked ’em.) And, tennis was the major activity in our small town. So I played . This particular day, I didn’t have anyone to meet at the court, so I went, hoping for a Pick-Up Game.  Which I got.

A man I had never seen before was also looking for a quick game until his opponent showed up. He agreed to play while he was unoccupied. I figured right off the bat that I could take him, because he looked a bit old. So I, in my cocky way, dHe whooped me.  He didn’t just whoop me, he pulverized me. After I amped it up, he just looked indulgent as he creamed me over and over. I felt ridiculous, and tired, and cramped up, but also I felt in awe. Who was this man who could be this good, and what was he doing here in small town tennis-ville…?

After his partner showed up, he gave me a card and let me know he was something called “a pro”. This obviously meant short for “Professional Tennis Player, Ranked and Successful”.  And that he would love to let me come to the city and  train with him.  And then I went home, and he went to play his new level of tennis that I had never seen.” (By this time, 10 or 15 people were standing/sitting/coughing around us, and all I felt was a bit of humor. Because of what I said next:)

“This man, whom I perceived to be a tennis star, a tennis pro on some tennis circuit that stopped in small town me-ville, had shown a singular interest in me. He had singled me out to be his prodigy, and I was on my way to making bank! Fame and Fortune were mine, as this had been the big break I had dreamed of.

I hummed the whole way home, fantasizing about how I would break the great news to my mom. She would be proud of me, and would even throw a party! (I forgot conveniently about how I had been wiped all over the court by this man.)

Sam Arnold - Touring Tennis Pro

At home, I relayed my version of my day, and my mom guffawed a bit. She let me know that this man was only called a pro by his profession. PROfession, maybe. (Guffaw) And that we would have to pay HIM for lessons. He was a teacher, not a star. My heart broke. (Guffaw and snort. Then back to her dishes)

There would be no recognition for my skill. There was no singling me out. There was just me being taken in by the possibility of fame and fortune. I felt ridiculous.   BUT FOR THAT MOMENT IN TIME, I WAS ON MY WAY TO BEING FAMOUS!  I knew that feeling, and not many people did. (I haven’t played tennis for about 20 years, by the way.)There were guffaws there at the DMV as well. I know, because I did one, thinking back to my arrogance. And circumstance. The numbers crept up, and the audience got a bit bigger. I didn’t mind because my son was asking for another story. I asked him for one first, but I knew he wouldn’t have one. He hadn’t had life happen to him yet. So I thought a minute, and immediately launched into the normal stuff. Like:

Hitting it big at the craps table, making everyone else there wealthy; only to find that I had misunderstood the rules, had lost my 30 bucks at the same time, and got the stink eye from the other crap-ees. The girl on the left actually asked me to leave the table. I did.

A quick-pick ticket with two sets of numbers f...

How bout buying the scratch ticket that had 28,000 dollars on it, and I had just scratched it. I checked the rules 3 times, and I HAD WON!  Being absolutely high on life as I fantasized about what bills I would pay off, and what gifts I would give to my family as a surprise, and it only cost me 3 dollars.  Only to find that I had misread the rules on the scratch ticket and my dreams were shattered by the gas station attendant, Lilly. She laughed quietly, and behind her long hair, but FOR THAT MOMENT IN TIME, I WAS THE ONE PERSON IN A BILLION THAT GOT SOMETHING FOR ALMOST NOTHING!

The rest of the time at the DMV went slowly, but when I looked around, people were shaking their heads and smiling at me. Sure they didn’t share what their amazing moments were. Of course they were smirking at me, but my son… he told me that was the best part of the day. Only to be topped by getting his driving permit.  I’ll take it.

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  • At home, I relayed my version of my day, and my mom guffawed a bit. She let me know that this man was only called a pro by his profession. PROfession, maybe. (Guffaw) And that we would have to pay HIM for lessons. He was a teacher, not a star. My heart broke. (Guffaw and snort. Then back to her dishes)

    There would be no recognition for my skill. There was no singling me out. There was just me being taken in by the possibility of fame and fortune. I felt ridiculous.   BUT FOR THAT MOMENT IN TIME, I WAS ON MY WAY TO BEING FAMOUS!  I knew that feeling, and not many people did. (I haven’t played tennis for about 20 years, by the way.)There were guffaws there at the DMV as well. I know, because I did one, thinking back to my arrogance. And circumstance. The numbers crept up, and the audience got a bit bigger. I didn’t mind because my son was asking for another story. I asked him for one first, but I knew he wouldn’t have one. He hadn’t had life happen to him yet. So I thought a minute, and immediately launched into the normal stuff. Like:

    Hitting it big at the craps table, making everyone else there wealthy; only to find that I had misunderstood the rules, had lost my 30 bucks at the same time, and got the stink eye from the other crap-ees. The girl on the left actually asked me to leave the table. I did.

    A quick-pick ticket with two sets of numbers f...

    How bout buying the scratch ticket that had 28,000 dollars on it, and I had just scratched it. I checked the rules 3 times, and I HAD WON!  Being absolutely high on life as I fantasized about what bills I would pay off, and what gifts I would give to my family as a surprise, and it only cost me 3 dollars.  Only to find that I had misread the rules on the scratch ticket and my dreams were shattered by the gas station attendant, Lilly. She laughed quietly, and behind her long hair, but FOR THAT MOMENT IN TIME, I WAS THE ONE PERSON IN A BILLION THAT GOT SOMETHING FOR ALMOST NOTHING!

    The rest of the time at the DMV went slowly, but when I looked around, people were shaking their heads and smiling at me. Sure they didn’t share what their amazing moments were. Of course they were smirking at me, but my son… he told me that was the best part of the day. Only to be topped by getting his driving permit.  I’ll take it.

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What’s Up With Finding One’s Purpose, Anyway?


Trumpet Solo

 

 

I just knew, at the age of 9, that I would be a Trumpet Player. The best in the entire town. At 10, that turned into the rush of knowing I  would be the best trumpet player on the planet. At 12, I knew my purpose was song writing. 5 months later, I just had to become the most passionate baritone horn-ist in all of Small-Town, USA. At 15, my purpose turned back to songwriting, but this time from the seat of the piano. I was a girl with purpose.

My trumpet days are behind me, for the most part, left at my high school graduation. That baritone horn keeps it company.  I do have horns next to the piano in my home, but they have a bit of dust on them, and that’s okay.

 

I’m 38 now, and today I had no purpose. In fact, I felt a bit disconsolate about it. Especially because I have been asked in the last week, “Oh, and what are you up to NOWADAYS? What do you DO?”

Harrumph.

 

 

an colourful image than a 617.LT Side-by-Side ...

I am a mom of 5, and run a home 24 hours a day. My kitchen is a revolving island of comfort and conversation, messiness and mopping up. I have kids in High school and Elementary, and 1 that is a welder, and out of school completely, on his way to his own life. I cheer my husband when he has a bad day, and I balance the budget. I make all the appointments and phone calls, take those that need to, to appointments and back again, and sooth them into going there in the first place.  I take and pick up kids from school and work, I take them to get clothes and shoes, and I listen to hubby relay his day, every day.

 

I have spent time in the work-field, but am currently raising a family full-time. And I couldn’t answer the question of “What Do I Do?” definitively.  I felt keenly empty.  Why was that?

 

Well, I would say it is because I lost my purpose.   I forgot that it takes passion to make one count to oneself.

 

facebook

It doesn’t matter what we are doing currently in life, as long as we do it with purpose.  I was not doing anything with purpose today. And that stank.  I did look at Facebook about 270 times today.  I did play online scrabble on my phone.  I did wait for someone to call and need me (which didn’t happen), and I did go to the gym only to do such a bland routine that I watched the seconds on the machines go by, one at a time.  I did forget to love being me.

 

How silly, to forget to love ones self.  How silly, to need to be needed to the exclusion of finding the adventure in the day.

 

Well.

 

It is 9:06 PM, and I just got out of my hot tub, watered the flowers on my patio, and schlumped onto my bed.  However, I did these last 3 things with purpose, and they felt great. Tomorrow, no matter what, I will use purpose in whatever I do. It will push back the whiny, needy, insignificant feelings that eat at our lives when we cannot always tell people in one sentence what we do with ourselves, “Nowadays”. And my purpose, whether I pick up my trumpet, or pick up my kids, will be what defines me. Not the physical action itself.

 

 

Rose Sanderson Women's suffragists demonstrate...

 

I think that trumpet is going to win out, tomorrow, though.  And I’ll play it loudly, and with passion. The neighbors can ask themselves what THEY are doing with themselves, lately, that they are listening to a 38-year-old woman try to play “Blue Bells Of Scotland” well.  And doing a fair job of it.  I don’t mind in the least.

 

 

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In The Desolate Places Of Life, Sometimes You Just Run Into A Promising Specimen…


Death Valley

Death Valley….  4 Corners….  3 miles past the Kansas/Colorado border….  The drive around the Great Salt Lake, after exit 91, going west….  I-80, from Rawlins to Rock Springs, in Wyoming….  I would lump these places (and all others that have no food/water/or greenery) into the DESOLATE folder of my travel-a-mony, shove it back into my file cabinet of boring memories, and go out to play.

Except for this.

While I tend to travel through these places a few times a year, in each spot,  and for no good reason that i can tell,  ( and when i am at my most mind-numbing, bored-out-of-my-guts part of the trip, wanting to turn around and never speak of it again),  something amusing/shocking happens.    I either see, or experience something that makes it JUST worth while enough to keep going.    Nooo,  aliens don’t abduct me. (Although i sometimes beg for it.  Honestly, when my option for music is the gospel/mariachi/medical channel,  or the all-sound-effects-all-the-time channel, who can blame me, right?)

What does happen is some ……SOMETHING……..

Death Valley

Death Valley (Photo credit: Ray Ordinario)

Something happens to pull me out of my self pity, lets me focus on the here and now for a bit, and solves the problem enough for me to move through to my destination.    It could be that concrete Tree of Life sculpture (you know, with the big ol balls hanging off it?), or what i swear is a 2-headed hawk circling over a dead deer, off to the side.  It could even be that cattle truck wreck caused by the high winds, bad roads, and curve at milepost 176.

Good or bad,  they are heavensent to me, not because i enjoy seeing sad/bad/shocking/entertaining/good things, but because they let me move forward.  With hope.  With meaning.

Interestingly enough, I feel that being put on hold, pressing 2 to speak in my native language, or having to repeat my issue to several people in a row makes me feel just as desolate.  When i call a number to get assistance with an issue,  I’m assume that they can assist me,  that they are qualified to do so,  that they have their morning coffee, and no one has peed in their Wheaties.  I guffaw at my self a bit when i am dumbfounded as i’m being put on hold with the 3rd operator, somewhere around the world, who is very politely and enthusiastically letting me know, “This is not a problem. No, no. This, this can be taken care of simply if i just hold while i am transferred to another department.”  (it’s the same guy each time!  I know it!  I recognize the speech impediment!)

Customer service center - note that there is o...

Customer service center - note that there is only one operator serving both queues (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

i don’t have a problem at all. which means, obviously, that it MUST be all in my head.

“Really?” I think.  “Am i this crazy/stupid/out of touch?”  Is this what the assistance number is for then?  For us silly people to be enlightened as we come to the reality that we don’t really have a problem. WE ARE the problem?

I’m assuming, as some others do, that we will just have to fight through this muddled game to get to the end result.   “ok, i don’t care who’s the idiot.  i just need my ……(fill in the blank with what my need is here)……. to be better!”  So i press whichever buttons on my phone connect me to whichever man/woman/child/monkey is appointed to be smarter than me in this arena, and grit my teeth while i go through the song and dance that is the customer service phone call nightmare.

No wonder i am feeling desolate.  WHO CAN SAVE ME FROM THIS???

Smiling Man

And then,  SOMETHING happens.  SOMEONE takes pity on me.  For instance,  Jerry in Kansas.  He is my savior this week.  I needed something,  i didn’t know how to get that something to work,  and he did.  Instead of sending me around the world and back just to see if i really, REALLY wanted his help,  he talked with me.  Mano Y Mano.  (Yeah,  i just pulled out the mano y mano bit.  Because i felt like a person with him.)  I felt like he wanted to solve my problem.   I KNOW!!!!!  Odd, that.

It was like seeing that wreck on the side of the road all over again!  You know it is out there.  You know that you could happen upon it at any time,  and yet when you are lucky enough to see it, to experience it,  you don’t know what to do with it until you are past it and have to appreciate it in hindsight.

“What waaas that?”,  you wonder, driving by at 80 miles an hour.   “Was that a deer?  An orangutan?”  “And what was the truck it was hooked to? A semi? An RV?”   All these things go by as you make sure you are not the rubber-necker that is holding up traffic, but in your mind, you think up a plausible story to go with the flash of what you saw.   How the truck had to have run up the side of the hill to get that animal smacked just right….. How old the deer was.. Did it have a family?…..    ……   …… (What?  you don’t do that?)

You might not have gone the desolate places i have then.

The same thing happens with the phenomonen of having a live operator actually know what he is talking about. And be polite,  AND do what it takes to solve the problem.   “WHO is this genius?”  “Why is he talking with me?”  “Shouldn’t he be in a…a…a board meeting or something?”  “What kind of donuts does he like, and where could i send a shipment to say thank you?”   “Does he have kids or a love life?  (No how could he, if he is this dedicated to knowing an answer on this line).”  …. …  ….  And it keeps me going through all the hoops and beeps that it takes for me to get back to Jerry, just in case i drop the line.

Not only that,  but this rare behavior keeps me wondering about all the next times i have to go back into the land of service operators.   “How bout now?  could i be lucky twice in my life?  could i get another Jerry?”  No!  Of course not.   Those events only come around every once in a lifetime.

I get pandered back and forth from Noah, who has forgotten to be interested in me as a customer (sometimes actually talking with his buddy next cubicle away about last nights game), and Patricia, who is clearly picking her teeth while on line with me.   I can tell from the sucking sound she makes when i’m talking.  the “thhhw thhhwu thhhwup” sound of air going through her teeth.  The wet smacking sound of the finger in the back of her mouth….. ew.  She’s no Jerry.

Donut

  But ,  i reason,  Jerry served a purpose.  Jerry kept me going when i wanted to turn back.  Jerry will keep me going when i have to travel back into customer service land as the elusive EVENT OF HAPPY GOODNESS.   Thank you Jerry.  You were my Tree Of Life in the desolate places of phone land.   Please let me know where to send the Krispy Kremes.

 

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I Caught A Whiff Of Heaven.


It smelled like spring. Like the scent of blossoms on the trees, lining our street, and the bushes bursting forth sweet lilac-flavored promises of more to come, if you just come around the next corner or sneak into Mrs. So-n-So’s back yard.

 

It also smelled like the grass of a soccer field, with bunches of little feet scuffing through the blades, turning those white sneakers and knee caps green. With the breath of moms and dads encouraging those little ones to hang in there, just a little longer, until they can break out the orange slices. .

 

Like the scent of promise and what-if’s.  It smelled like what smiles and laughter and giggling and rolling down a hill, pell-mell, with a new best friend, smells like. Like that.

 

(It has been a bit of a wonderment to me, Heaven.)

 

What will it look like? Will I get in? Who will I see if I get in? and, secretly, What will I wear/eat/drink/do in Heaven?HeavenBut in all my wonderings of Heaven, If forgot to wonder this…I forgot to wonder about the scent of heaven. I’m pretty sure it smells like spring in Westminster.

 

I hope so.

 

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