Wednesday, October 28, 2009


I have friends. While this is not news to most people, it continues to bewilder me. I didn't have any friends growing up. Well, other than the Beaver, The Brady's and Sigmund the Sea Monster, lol. So, these last five and half years at St. Jude's has been life giving to me in so many ways. One of which is that it has given me best friends, spiritual gurus, spiritual soul mates, and friends.

The bible says to everything is a season under heaven. I'm positive that is for friendships as well. The friends I have made at St. Jude's have not only touched my heart, but they have taken up residence there. The friendships last sometimes years, sometimes months, weeks, days and sometimes hours. Yes, hours. It can take mere seconds for someone to touch my heart and permanently reside there even though our meeting was brief. There are friends like Carol who have been with me forever. We used to see each other ALL the time. Hang out ALL the time. But, life happens, and we still talk a lot, I just don't get to see her ALL the time. That doesn't mean she is ever far from my thoughts or heart. There's one of my spiritual gurus Tina Scheckel. She and I have a connection that is worth more than gold. She ministers to me daily without even knowing it. Yet, I barely get to see her or chat with her. There my Mary Branson, My Mary Boyle, My Julie, My Greta, My Patti, My Valerie, My Tina (Myers). All these women I have a connection with. A huge connection (well to me it's huge, maybe not so huge to them lol). The point being that with any one of these women (and a host of others), I can not see them for a while and when we see each other, it's as if no time has passed and our connection and love remain.

One of these such women, I met five years ago. Her name is Vicky Mower. Vicky is yet another in a long line of fabulous women I have been blessed to meet. She is one of *the* most Holy women I have EVER met in my life. Mind you, I have friends that are spiritual, and lead holy lives and are very righteous women. But, there are only a few who are as Holy as Vicky. Vicky was gifted by God with Fibromyalgia. I don't know much about it, other than to say it was a horrendously painful disease. She has suffered great pain through our entire friendship. And she smiled through it all. Vicky has been sick quite a long time. Then last week, she had a surgery that relieved her pain. For the first time in only God knows how long, was My Vicky free from pain! The doctors said that in 4-6 weeks she will be all better! Little did they know how close they were! This morning, My Vicky is permanently free from pain. Our Father, called her home!

Here's what's so cool. I found out after work (that's not the cool part). George had called me in the morning, but I had my phone on silent. So, I called him after work and he told me. I busted out into tears. Here comes the cool part...on my way to church (I had to go see My Mary Boyle), I praised God the whole way (about 7 minutes lol). Yes, ME. I praised God for bringing My Vicky home. Not only for that, but He gave her some time on this earth free from pain! He gave her body and her soul much needed rest before he brought her home. Now she is eternally pain free! How AWESOME is GOD!

After I had heard the news, I had thought of three people, Russ, her loving husband, My Sharon, and My Julie. They were very close with Vicky. I went to go see My Julie this afternoon. The first thing, she says to me is "did you hear?" I told her I did, and that I was coming to tell her. Then she says, "the first person I thought of when I heard was you". Meaning me. Wow.

There are very few things that amaze me anymore. God. He constantly amazes me. Him, and the fact that I have such a close knit group of friends who love me dearly. Both of those things will never cease to amaze me.

To My Vicky: Thank you for the gift of your friendship and your love. For teaching me there is healing in the suffering. For touching my life and my heart and for gracing me with your holy presence. Welcome Home my dear friend! Dance with Jesus and when you get a moment, tell Mom I said "Hi". Remember, I love you always!

This video is extremely fitting, it is one of my favorite songs of all time. Those of you who get this by email, please go to the website so you can watch. Please.

Until next time,
Forgive each other a little quicker, hug each other a little longer, love each other a lot deeper.


Saturday, October 17, 2009

Growing up.

I think I've reached a new level in maturity despite my vasts attempts not too. On the St. Jude website they have forms where you can plan your own funeral. I looked over it a week or so ago and I wasn't all to excited about the readings that were listed as choices. Yea they're okay, but not my favorite readings. And, after all, it is my funeral, literally. And, a.s a control freak, I should have some control over my funeral, at least my wishes anyways. I hope so anyways. But, I digress.

I was at a funeral for a very dear friends Mom this morning, and came across someone in the know about such things who is on the staff at church. So, I asked her if we have to use those readings. she said 'no' and that they were just some ideas. I got all kinds of excited! WOOHOO, I can have my readings! So, I'm sure, that despite my best efforts, that has to be some sort of growth maturity wise, whether I like it or not. lol I mean, who else do you know who gets excited about their own funeral reading? lol

So, I'm at the aforementioned funeral and then it hit me. I couldn't breathe. Mom. George's Mom, MY mom (one in the same). It's been 22 months since Mom passed. Y'know I was commenting to myself the other day (what you don't talk to yourself in your head too? ) how it feels like forever since she passed and how maybe, just maybe, I'm over the grieving process. I thought it was bittersweet. Don't get me wrong, in the breath of a second, I can be back at her viewing. I can feel everything I felt that day. Every nerve ending, every breath, every tear, every thought, I can go right back. But there's something in the simplistic way that without you knowing it's happening, life goes on. Not at first mind you. It's awful! Painful even! When Mom passed, I felt it totally unfair. How can life go on without her here? But one day turns into another into another. And then, without you knowing, one day you find that you can breath. Even though in the beginning, you think it will never happen.

Then, I realized at the funeral, I will never, ever be over her death. And, that thought made me immensely happy. It was the realization that my love of her will never die and never be forgotten. That while my daily life goes on, there are those days, whether at a funeral or out and about, that I will have the wind sucked out of me, and I will feel, deep in my soul, the great loss of my Mom and one of the greatest loves I have ever known.

Until next time,
Resist maturity, it's overrated!


Friday, October 16, 2009

Are you really this random?

So, I'm out running errands today and I was at the dollar store. I love that place! Sometimes I go in there and find tons of goodies. Other days, I go in there and I get bupkiss. Anywho, today I went in there for a few things and at the register they have all this candy. And, I look at one particular box and am a little perplexed. So, as the lady is ringing me up, I ask her..."if they're everlasting gobstoppers, why are there so many of them in a box?". I thought it a good question. And, I'm pretty sure I can't be the only one who wonders such things. Her reply "are you really this random this early?" I told her yes, that I am random all day long and that it drives my husband crazy. I also told her you have to find the joy. You have to look for it. Shout out to my Mary B in Florida!!! I resisted the urge to get smarmy at let her know that it was 11am, not exactly 'early'. So, YEA ME! lol Donald Trump says you have to toot your own horn cuz aint nobody gonna toot it for you. Yea, I'm quoting the Trump and tooting my own horn.

My life, as of late, has been traveling faster than the speed of sound...or light. I can't remember which one is faster. I realize I haven't been writing on a consistent basis. I miss writing, and I miss all of you! Sharon, I miss your smile, your hugs, and your 'burg accent! Not much has changed, more running in place actually. If I keep giving God my running shoes, how is it they end up back on my feet? The most notable update is that I have a new job. Yes, another one. Feel free to groan. It's okay. Long story short, a few weeks ago, things at BJ's started turning. And, after a particularly bad few days IN A ROW, lol, I emailed my podmate, my guru, and spiritual soul mate, Julie. I lamented to her about what had been going on. She and I emailed and Bob gave her a message for me. I was to go apply at AISD and work in the cafeteria. OOOOOOkay. I thought of this a couple years ago before the Dr. Pepper job (which I miss very much. Not so much the job, as the people). The whole process was gonna take about two weeks. Not so much. I applied online and already had my app on there from before. I just had to update my work experience (lots of kitchen knowledge! lol). Then, the background check was suppose to take a week. It took 2 days (b/c I got one last year to volunteer at the school. God works fast when you're listening to His instructions!). Then, my fingerprinting took under 24 hours and this past week I started subbing in the cafeteria! I was at Ford and Lowery this week. Next week, I'm at Ford all week! YEA!!!! I love Ford. I can walk there. I get to see my girls, and the people there were very friendly :) The way it works is I'm in training till I get this sheet filled out (takes about 2-3 weeks) from the different schools I'll work. I can work as much or as little as I want. Then, when a permanent spot becomes available they'll ask whoever is next in line and viola! I'm hoping to get Ford part time permanent from 10-2 everyday :) That would be great!

You know what's really cool and what God showed me this week? My kids are proud of me. No matter what job I have, they are proud of me. I never caught on before. Sure they told their friends where I worked, but I thought nothing of it. Then, this Tuesday, when I was at their school, they both made a point to come up to me to say 'hi'! They were all smiles and so excited to see me. And, that's when it dawned on me, they're are proud of me! That made me feel so good. See, I never think of myself as doing anything for anyone to be proud of, let alone my kids. I'm the ogre, the witch, the drill sergeant. I'm the bad guy. So, I thought that that is how they saw me. Turns out, notsomuch :) I know they love me. It has nothing to do with love. I know I upset them on a daily basis. I didn't know I made them proud and that my dear friends, was WAY cool.

Other than that, the kids are all the same. Just taller and more ornery, lol. George is still George, the love of my life, and I am still clay.

Until next time,
Know that I am proud of you and I love you.


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Rainbow Connection

Isn't it funny how you can hear a song, even part of a song, from your past and you are instantly taken back to that time? For instance when I hear a certain Billy Joel song, I'm back at my senior prom (mustangs rule! lol). When I hear anything by Prince, I'm back at one of his concerts. And, when I hear I could not ask for more, I am back at my wedding. Oh, don't get me wrong, while this can be great, it works with not so great memories too.

There's one song I've always liked. And, while the singer didn't have many hits, this one definitely was. I mean, after all, he is a frog. But, hey, inspiration can come from anywhere! I'm sure at some point you have heard the Rainbow Connection by Kermit, the frog. This is one of those songs that take you back in a good way. I can't remember the whole memory, if that makes sense. But I remember my friend Mike singing it to me. I say my friend Mike, but he started out as my sisters friend Mike eons ago. I'm thinkin I was 16. I can tell you why I liked him. Not just b/c he's Catholic (that's a bonus :), but b/c when I was younger, friends were hard to come by. And, while he and Tina (my actual sister Tina, not my church sister Tina's (Scheckel and Myers whom I adore) would hang out, occasionally with me, he made me feel special. Not like I walked on water or I was the only one in the room. More like, I was actually in the room. He didn't talk to me just to get in good with my sister. He was and still is a genuine person.

Mike and Tina and I all went our separate ways. Life happens. It's not good, not bad, but situations change, people grow, we mature (well, you guys do, I'm putting it off as long as possible). A little while ago, Mike found Tina and subsequently, me. Mike is a living, breathing reminder of what the power of God can do. He was really sick not too long ago. And through prayer and healing, he is great now. When we chat, he is a reminder of home. Home being Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh, and hockey, and visiting my sister at college (at least once). And, the rainbow connection. He is also a living, breathing reminder of God. Of the power of God. How he works in our lives on a second by second basis. How He stretches us, pulls us, shapes and molds us into His own image. Sure, I love to whine and complain how hard it is. Then, sometimes, sometimes reality hits. He did this with His own son. He stretched him over the cross. He pulled him, proded him, poked him all for us. And, since we too are His children, can we expect anything less? We are called, we are created, we are breathed into existence in His own image. That's the easy part. The hard part is making and keeping our hearts in His image.

That said, here is one of my favorite lines from the song. Sure, I mean the whole song is great, how do you pick? But, here's one of my favorite lines...

Have you been half asleep
And have you heard voices
I've heard them calling my name
Are these the sweet sounds that called
The young sailors
I think they're one and the same
I've heard it too many times to ignore it
There's something that I'm supposed to be

Someday we'll find it
The Rainbow Connection
The lovers, the dreamers and me

Somehow, this reminds me of God. He's called me too many times for me to ignore Him. And, there's something that I'm supposed to be. Someday I'll find it, the Rainbow Connection, the lovers, the dreamers and me.

Happy Happy Birthday, Mike! I hope your day is full of many blessings, you deserve each one!

Until next time,
What's your rainbow connection?