Thursday, March 31, 2011

True Love

True love is as elusive as the end of the rainbow.

We all search for it and the luckiest of us find it.

I feel like the luckiest of all because I seem to find it year after year.  Maybe I should say, it finds me.

Take a good hard look at this picture.

To the uninitiated this may look like just another messy desk that may or may not be mine. Notice the missing key on the keyboard. That used to be the ALT key. I told you teachers are underpaid. (See-Get A Job)

This is really about true love and how to recognize it when it happens to you.

True love is finding a prized sticker from
a local dentist's office lovingly stuck to
your computer monitor.

The look on his face when I looked up and
smiled at him more than made up for the
of times I had to call his name that day.

I sure do love that kid!

Just sayin'................

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


I have a kindergarten story to share today.

I should warn you that it requires the repitition of
a word some will find offensive.

Just know that the teacher involved was just as
shocked as you will be.  Heh!

Our school is blessed with an abundance of children
for whom English is not their native language.

In fact, we have been so blessed for many, many
years now. Make no mistake....I use the word blessed
with absolutely no sarcasm.

We love our ESL babies!

As always, names have been changed to keep me out
of trouble. Smile!

Over time, we all learn to listen with half an ear to our
students as they talk with each other during those activities
that permit a little socialization.

It is amazing what you can learn during these child to child
discussions and we all learn to pick up on certain words.
Some words can give us insight into a student's recent
behavior and other words like, 'Don't tell!' alert us to
impending trouble.

And then there are the notorious Kindergarten
bad words-sometimes called cussin' words.

These words would include
the F word (Fat or Fart),
the D word (Dumb),
the S word (Stupid or Shut-up)
and the ever popular poop and pee.

Occassionaly, a child will utter a real cussin' word and
this was what became apparent one afternoon in a
co-workers classroom.

While working individually with a child, the para-professional
in the classroom realized that one of the ESL kiddos was
vehemently repeating the phrase 'Oh s#*t!' over and over to
his partener in crime.

She sternly marched the offending party to the teacher and
had him confess his sin.

What folows is the conversaiton as re-told to me.

Teacher-Melvin, what did you say?
Melvin-I jus' say oh s#*t.
Teacher-(gasping) Come out here in the hallway with me right now!
Now tell me again what you said.
Melvin-(matter of factly) I jus' say 'oh s#*t'.

While you let this sink in let me explain. We have learned
over the years that our ESL buddies often have no idea that
what they are saying is offensive. We have also found that you
must tell them exactly what it is they said that was unacceptable.

Just trust me. It is waaaay better to be specific.

Back to our story...

Teacher-You can't say 'Oh s#*t!' at school, Melvin.
Teacher-You can't say 'Oh s#*t!' at school. S#*t is a very bad word
and we never, ever say s#*t at school.
Teacher-Even if your parents say s#*t or you hear it on t.v. you aren't
allowed to say that word.
Teacher-Why did you say it, anyway? (We always ask this. I don't know why)
Melvin-Weeeeeell, I jus' say to my frien' dat Sponj Bop, he lif in de oh s#*t
wif Patrick.  I din know eet was bat.
Teacher-Oh. Ummm. Well, we pronounce that word O-shin. And you can say it that way anytime you want. Now get back to work sweet boy.

Wanna know what the teacher was thinking?

Oh shin! I just taught a five year old how to say Oh s#*t!

Just sayin'.......................................

Saturday, March 26, 2011

There aren't very many things
I have found to be as soothing
as sitting on my back porch
rocking away the stress and the
hurries and worries of life.

It is most beautiful there
when stormy skies stain the lake water pewter
and breezes heavy with the promise of rain
send the leaves dancing on their branches.

Just now
the sun broke through the troubled clouds
and gilded those same branches

The contrast between dark and troubled skies
and hopeful, golden sunlight
reminds me that like the sun,
God never moves.

The sun is always there,
just behind the clouds.

And He is always there.
God never changes.
During our darkest hours
He is there.

So many times over this
past year, I  have been
without words for my prayers.

God heard my heart instead.
And I have learned that there
is great beauty in the storm.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Make New Friends But Keep The Old!

Last night we celebrated the engagement of two very special people. I'll tell you all about the great party we had in another post. I stayed up way too late but we sure did have fun!

I spent most of today sleeping away the stress of the last four weeks.

When I finally drug myself from bed and found my cell phone
I saw that I gotten a text message from a friend with this picture attached.

You have no idea how good it is to see this face. This is my little brother and doesn't he look incredible in his chic hospital attire?

He is ready to transition to my parent's house in Milledgeville where he will spend the next few weeks recuperating.

Speaking of Milledgeville.......
Marlin and the rest of us has had so much love and prayers sent our way during this marathon and I have to say that the Milledgeville portion of our support system absolutely personified God's love and illustrated once again one of the
best things about southern, small town life.

Many of the high school friends Marlin and I shared wore out the phone lines with calls and texts and checked in on him through this blog and Facebook.

Friends I have foolishly lost contact with, stepped up and visited, prayed and generally made us all feel loved. I am so mad with myself for allowing so many of those wonderful friendships fall by the waysides of life and I plan to be a better friend.

Believe me when I say that they have shown me how to do so. 

Hearing from and visiting with these friends felt like stepping back in time.

Back to the days we lived on West Washington Street right behind Moore's Funeral Home.

Back to the days my mama would look out our kitchen window upon hearing the hearse doors slamming and announce 'Moores has a body.'
Reaching for the radio that sat near that window and turning it on she would lean on the counter while she waited for the local radio station to begin it's daily list of obituaries. (I am NOT lying) 

If the wait was too long she merely called Mrs. Moore who lived in a home next to the funeral home to ask 'Who have y'all got?'  Many times that information meant we had some cooking to do.

To all those old and treasured friends....y'all did your mama's proud!

Now where's the fried chicken, tater salad and pound cake????

Just sayin'.................


If my dad is reading this post I'll bet he is singing this song.

Make new friends,

but keep the old.
One is silver,
the other is gold.

A circle is round,
it has no end.
That's how long,
I will be your friend.

A fire burns bright,
it warms the heart.
We've been friends,
from the very start.

You have one hand,
I have the other.
Put them together,
We have each other.

Silver is precious,
Gold is too.
I am precious,
and so are you.

You help me,
and I'll help you
and together
we will see it through.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

What a difference a few days make!

Marlin is off the vent,
eating soft foods and
taking some liquids!
He is walking with help
and talking!

Our family has heaved a collective sigh of relief.

Things just haven't let up over the last year and a half.

We are learning that everything in this life is temporary.

The good and the bad.......
None of it lasts forever.

I murmured these phrases over and over to Marlin
as he fought the ventilator and the sedation.

This is temporary.
Relax. Don't fight so hard.
This is temporary.
Rest. I'm right here.
This is temporary.
It wont be like this for long.

As my nerves try to adjust to life
out from under the guillotine,
it has occurred to me
that those phases came from a place
outside of me.

I believe they came from God.
For although, I do not yet know if Marlin
remembers any of those words
and have no idea if they were of any comfort to him

This I do know.

They brought great comfort and peace to my heart and soul.
I believe this is what God would say to me and to others as well.

This is temporary.
Relax. Don't fight so hard.
This is temporary.
Rest. I'm right here.
This is temporary.
It wont be like this for long.

Tonight when things that shouldn't matter...
matter too much,
I am reminded that
this life
here on this earth
is only

Cherish the good times and the routine days.
For they are temporary.
Endure the bad times and the dark days.
For they are temporary.

Just sayin'.....................................

Thursday, March 10, 2011

And The Hits Just Keep On Coming

Good News First

Doctors have been slowly reducing the dosage of the sedatives Marlin is receiving and he is beginning to wake up. My father says that he is restless but he is hanging in there.  We are praying that they can remove him from the vent very soon. His skin grafts have been very successful and they are quite pleased with their healing.

We have a new emergency situation to ask you to pray about.

I received a phone call just a few moments ago. My niece, Jamey, was calling to let me know that my sister-in-law's mom (We all call her Nana) may have had a stroke. The Milledgeville branch of our clan is headed to the hospital as I type this.

Please pray for our family.

It feels as if we have targets on our backs lately.

Just sayin'.........................

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Always a fan of putting first things first,
here is the latest update of Marlin's condition.

Doctor's continued the heavy sedation today and will continue to to do so tomorrow also.

IF, the pneumonia responds to the antibiotics and clears up enough, the doctors will begin to reduce the sedation on Thursday with the goal of allowing Marlin to completely wake up and then remove him from the ventilator.

Please, please keep those prayers coming.

In other news.................

my house is a wreck.

We are getting ready to host an engagement party in two weeks. As usual, it takes an 'event' to motivate me to get busy on home improvement projects. Apparently, I really do work best under pressure.

We have several simultaneous projects going on
tree removal and landscaping
fence building
sprinkler system repair.

We have even hung a few pictures on the wall.

It is very exciting to see everything slowing coming together.

I will post pictures soon.

I have only been disappointed in one project.

It's the painting.

I don't get it!  I hired real professionals.

I THOUGHT that when they painted the kitchen
I would get a few nights off of kitchen duty!

Apparently, stoves and ovens work even in the vicinity of wet paint.

That seems so wrong to me.

Just sayin'......................

Monday, March 7, 2011

Just a quick update tonight.

Marlin was heavily sedated again today.
His pneumonia continues to be a major issue.
His blood pressure is unstable and goes from too low to too high.
Dad says that he was very still all day and did not have any wakeful times but that was due to the level of sedation.

The good news is that Marlin is stronger than most people realize.
In the past year and a half or so, he has fought and BEAT cancer, dealt with the death of our mother and lost everything he owned to a fire.

He has some mountains to climb.
Another fire. 
Serious burns.
And again, the loss of everything he owns.

I am re-listing our pray requests and I want to thank those of you who have asked churches and friends all over the U.S. to pray for my brother.
It means the world to us.

Please join us in thanking God for:
the sincere and generous desire of Marlin's Atlanta friends, employer and co-workers to help in any way they can. Several have provided food for us to keep in our rooms and helped in other ways. 
the love his friends have for Marlin
the amazing support from friends Marlin and I had as far back as middle school and high school. WOW! That's all I can say about you guys...

Please join us in asking for:
complete healing of the serious burns and skin grafts on Marlin's legs
wisdom and revelation for the doctors
healing from the pneumonia
continued travel safety and 'walking safety'
peace and serenity for Marlin
pain relief
removal from the ventilator as soon as possible
strength and good health for Dad and Genie as they are in the midst of their busiest time of year. This situation has them burning candles at both ends and in the middle.

I am headed to bed.

Honestly, I am running on fumes myself.

Just sayin'.....................

Sunday, March 6, 2011

I wish I were posting a more positive update on Marlin's condition.

Doctors performed another bronchoscopy today and said that one lung is looking pretty bad.

It is frustrating to think that his perfectly healthy lungs have been compromised by the doctor's insistance that he remain on the vent due to agitation.

Actually it is more than frustrating. I am furious.

I believe this could have been avoided.

If I find out that I am right?

Well then...............

Hell hath no fury.

Just sayin'.................

On a calmer note,

Please continue the prayers.

Oh, and thank you!
Thank you so, so much!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Next Up-Pneumonia

It was really just a matter of time.

Yesterday, Marlin's doctors asked for permission to perform a bronchoscopy. They felt it necessary to take samples for testing and to remove some of the fluids that seemed to be building up in his lungs.

This morning they called me as Genie and I were just finishing up with breakfast to ask permission to do another one.

Seems the samples from yesterday grew out pneumonia.

Genie headed back inside the hospital to sign the paper work and I headed home for a few days.

Pneumonia is why I have been so eager for him to be taken off the ventilator.

Frankly, I still don't understand why he has remained on for this long. It seems like each doctor I ask....
has a different answer. 

One doctor says that Marlin is having too much difficulty waking up from the sedation. That he should be more awake right now and that we have to wait until that happens.

Another says that he becomes too agitated when he does wake up.
And that he needs to wake calmly.


I don't think I would wake calmly in this situation.

I know these doctors are top notch.
Grady is a Level 1 Trauma Hospital and person after person has told me that this is where we need to be.  More importantly, I have witnessed the level of compassion and the expertise they have.

Well.......there is one I don't exactly love,
but now that I have diagnosed him I understand how to deal with him. 
I'll write all about Dr. Aspergers another day. Just know that he can't really help his lack of bedside manners.

All joking aside, I know who the real doctors are. 


(You knew there would be one didn't you?)

I am who I am.
I need to know the whys and the becauses.
My own doctor knows that I can be irritatingly non-compliant until I know WHY.

We are frustrated. 
It is so very hard to be unable to help Marlin. 

Here are the prayer requests we have for today.
I hope it is helpful to have a list of specific needs.
It is immensely comforting to us as a family to know that many others are praying for the same things we are.

Please join us in thanking God for:

the complete healing of the burns on Marlin's face, head and hands.
the doctors and nurses who care for him
the nurses who have gone above and beyond
the suite of rooms that we have available now for sleeping and showering
the safe travels we have all had to and from Atlanta
the safety we have had walking to and from our rooms and the hospital

Please join us in asking for:

complete healing of the serious burns and skin grafts on Marlin's legs
wisdom and revelation for the doctors as they search for an answer to this continued state of semi consciousness
healing from the pneumonia
continued travel safety and 'walking safety'
peace and serenity for Marlin as he wakes and as he remembers what has happened
pain relief
removal from the ventilator as soon as possible 

Also, please feel free to share this blog address and our need for prayers with your own friends and family.

Every prayer matters......

Just sayin'.......................................

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Feeling Sorry for Myself

Long ago, I ceased forcing my own children to apologize and extended that policy into my classroom.

You see, it occurred to me that an insincere apology means

Apologies are for mistakes.

Apologies are for actions for which you feel regret.

I now tell my students that saying, “I’m sorry” is what you do when your action was an accident. I tell them that you should apologize as soon as you realize you have accidentally hurt someone.

I also tell them that when we purposely do something hurtful
and we feel no regret then apologies mean

When this happens I dole out the consequence and tell the offender to apologize when they are really sorry for what happened.

In the same way,

concern expressed out of guilt is not sincere concern.

Concern expressed because it is the ‘right thing’ to do is false.

Concern expressed because it has been requested of you, is a lie.

A serious accident,
like that suffered by my brother,
can leave loved ones feeling unbalanced.

The realization that bad things happen
to your people too
is dizzying.

The disinterest of the very people you assumed would jump into action,
is heartbreaking.

Never for one moment think,
that I don’t appreciate those who did respond quickly and generously.

You know who you are and you will remain forever heroes to my family and me.

It’s just that…….

I thought my church would be first responders.

I have seen them jump to action to love sinners of all kind.

I assumed that they would love on this sinner too.

Marlin’s accident is no secret.
It has been all over Facebook and I am FB friends with most of the ministers and many church members.

The church members I HAVE heard from?
Except for one they are also co-workers.

If you have been reading this blog for any length of time then you know how it is where I work.
We take care of each other.

I NEVER complain about church stuff lightly.

I am a preacher’s kid.
I have never forgotten the time my dad was blessed out for not visiting or calling to check on a church member when the family had never called to tell him that they were in crisis.

I know how hard pastors work and
I know all about missed meals with the family
and long hours and being expected to be at every.single.event.

But the church is more than ministers.

I learned a little poem as a child.
Here’s the church. (Clasp hands together with fingers to inside.)
Here’s the steeple. (Place tips of index fingers together)
Open the door. (Open palms)
Here’s all the people. (Wiggle fingers)

The church is full of people.

I heard from one.

My feelings are hurt.

I thought I mattered too.

I feel small.

Just sayin’…………………………………..

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


I just tried to type the word 'WOW' but I actually typed SOS.

Freudian slip?  You betcha!

I am feeling the stress today.

SOS is quite appropriate.

I am not sleeping, my chest is tight and my neck and
shoulders are as tight as a Marine's bunk during
basic training. And I'm hanging on to some hurt feelings
and disappointments.

I need some serious relaxation.

I'm thinking a good book, warm sun, waves and
sand between my toes kind of relaxation.

Marlin is improving but I think he might tell
you that he had a crappy day.

He is still on the vent via a tracheotomy.
His skin grafts are looking good.
He is awake and aware.
He is!

I really can't blame him and I may be projecting
my own issues onto him.  However, i have to believe
that waking up to a machine breathing for you is
more that a little frightening, uncomfortable and

I hate not being there with him and I dread going back
on Thursday.  I don't dread taking care of my brother and
I don't dread the drive up or getting behind on housework
or work work. :)

I dread the helplessness I know I will feel.
I dread not being able to make it better.

We have several prayer requests tonight.

Complete healing for his burns and successful
skin grafts.
That no more surgery will be needed.
Stable vital signs.
Peace for Marlin's mind. Perfect peace that
comes from God.
Rest for Marlin tonight and a peaceful, restful
day tomorrow.
Quick resolution of the lung issues that require
him to be on a ventilator.
Wisdom for the doctors and nurses and compassion from
them also.
Good rest and productive, peaceful days for Genie as she
divides her time between tax season, pastoring a church and
taking a turn caring for our brother.
Good health and safe travel for our dad who seems to think
he is really just an elderly looking 25 year old.

If you have any time left over I could use some prayer, too.

I'm struggling.
And I know I don't have too.
But it's hard for me to open up my fist
and let go of MY plan and wait for God
to reveal His plan.

It's so very much easier said than done.

SOS, Lord.

Just sayin'.............................


New post later today.
I promise.

It was a little hectic around here last night
but all is well with Marlin.

One tracheotomy and two skin grafts
were done yesterday.

The last I heard from Dad was that
he was still sedated but not as
deeply and that they were hoping
to decrease it more today.

More later.

I'm late for work....