Journey to Somewhere…

When making a journey, it’s helpful to know the name and location of the intended destination. When my day started, I thought the needed information was in my brain. I soon discovered it was not.

Today was mammogram day. It seems like I did this only yesterday. With the extra MRI and ultrasounds of this past year, that is not far from the truth. https://pianogirlthoughts.com/2019/03/31/a-pink-letter/

Because I now see a specialist, mammograms are done at a different place. Today was my first visit to the new location. I headed out with confidence, knowing where I was going. Except, I did not.

My short journey turned into quite an adventure. After finding a spot in the parking garage, I exited the elevator on the wrong floor. This mistake was not realized until I had walked to the opposite side of the hospital.

Asked directions and I was back on track! Except, I was not. I had asked directions to the wrong location. Now an awareness that I did not know the physical location or the actual name of my destination.

Thankfully, a kind nurse helped me find my way. After explaining exactly why I was there, she made a phone call, walked me out in the hall, pointed me in the right direction. She went above and beyond.

Finally, I knew where I was headed. Of course, now I was running late, and anxiety started to build. The elevator took forever. And the reassurance from that kind nurse began to fade.

After arriving on the new floor, I signed in and was told to have a seat. Everything was different. Not what I expected. Feeling unsure, I double-checked with the receptionist. Yes, I was in the right place.

My name was called! But after being checked in, I was directed to yet another floor. Great! Back at the elevator, feelings of nervousness returned. Where in the world was I going?

Then I spotted a lady holding the same paperwork. She smiled and we began to chat. After briefly sharing my confusion, she kindly guided me to the office where the mammograms actually take place. From that point, it was a piece of cake.

Needless to say, I was relieved to put this little journey behind me. Why had I not been better prepared? Why hadn’t I double checked the details? That would have been the logical thing to do.

Time for reflection.

My lack of planning, though not recommended, did leave me with some positives. Two different women, on their own journeys, took time to help. They did so with kindness and patience. Without these two strangers, my path might have been longer and more stressful. Their simple actions had a profound effect on my day.

Hopefully, I will not return to this place for another year. Next time I will know the routine. The name and location planted in my brain. More importantly, I will have the opportunity to remember today. Most likely there will be someone there feeling like I felt.

In the meantime, there are other journeys to take. Some short, some long. Some fun, some not so fun. All filled with opportunities. All filled with people. People who feel uncertain. People who need a friendly smile. People who need help getting somewhere.

Brave Little Firecracker

What does it truly mean to be brave? I’m not sure I’ve had many instances deserving of that description. But the other night I witnessed one.

The scene was a Fourth of July celebration with family. My niece, Bethany, was afraid of the upcoming fireworks. She does not like loud noises. Her sweet sister, Bailey, brought some earphones in her backpack and offered them to help.

Sweet, helpful sister, Bailey. 🙂

As darkness approached, Bethany was getting more anxious. If she had it her way, she would go wait in the car until it was over. This had apparently been her routine in the past.

It is amazing what steady encouragement can accomplish. With a bit of coaxing, Bethany sat between her Nana and Papa, each of them holding a hand. They spoke calmly but with firm assurance. “You can do this.” “It’s ok.” “Look at the pretty colors.”

Their patience paid off. After the first several fireworks lit up the sky, she was watching! Not only watching but also smiling. At first thought, this may not seem to fit the picture of bravery. Not without understanding a little more about Bethany.

Bethany, now twelve, was born prematurely. She weighed 1 lb, 5 1/2 oz and was 12 in long. I will never forget seeing her for the first time. Her tiny foot was smaller than my thumb. She spent many months in the NICU, her future uncertain.

Baby Bethany~so tiny!

Due to a variety of health issues, Bethany has developmental delays. She has learned to read, loves to work puzzles, enjoys playing with friends, and continues to overcome obstacles.

Remembering her tiny beginning brings a different perspective to this question of bravery. Watching fireworks may seem a small thing to most. But for Bethany, it was about overcoming fear. I believe she deserves the title, Brave Little Firecracker!

Fourth of July! ❤️💙

More Waiting

Wednesday did not go as planned. Yes, I had a moment of clarity which encouraged me to be patient and focus on others. My mood improved and I felt prepared to face the rest of the day. At least, I thought I was prepared.

After being in pre-op for more than two hours, my dad was informed his surgery was canceled. Apparently, previous surgeries had taken longer than expected. A new anesthesiology policy would not permit the procedure to begin unless there was a guarantee of being finished by 5:00 P.M. What?!

Although the doctors were sincerely apologetic, I was extremely frustrated. You can imagine how my dad was feeling. I could not simply walk away without advocating him.

I not so quietly reminded them that Dad is 75, diabetic, and had been on a liquid diet for five days in preparation for this surgery. This was not acceptable. The doctors agreed and offered other possibilities, none of which were “best scenario” options.

Returning to the waiting room, I informed the rest of the family. By this time, I was angry. I shot off several texts to friends and family, expressing my frustration. Let’s just say, that patient attitude I had reclaimed earlier-well, it was gone.

Some dinner and quiet provided time to think about the situation. Maybe dad is not supposed to have this procedure right now. Are there other options to pursue? I don’t know. I do know we will do some more waiting. And for now, that is ok.

Waiting provides time for praying, researching, and asking questions. Which hopefully means the waiting will lead to wisdom. Which brings us back to patience.

My sweet dad with his youngest granddaughters. ❤

On a positive note, we were able to enjoy the Fourth of July. A small family cookout and some fireworks at a local park. For that I am thankful.

Waiting…

There are many times in life which require waiting. Waiting for class to start, for a friend, the oven to heat up, a flight to take-off, etc. The list is endless.

I’m currently waiting for my dad to be called back for surgery. Once he’s called, I will be waiting for the surgery to be finished. Waiting to see him. Waiting until he is released to go home.

Today, I’m not really a fan of that particular word. In this circumstance and many others, I’m reminded to be patient. Patience is a virtue, so isn’t that something for which I should be striving?

Proverbs 19:11 says, “A person’s wisdom yields patience.” Hmmm, I suppose that means I need to increase my wisdom. How am I supposed to do that? Asking questions is a starting place. Then follows consistency and practice.

Praying, reading, studying, exploring-activities which encourage questions. The more consistently I do these things, the more I will grow. Growth increases wisdom, which brings us back to patience. And that word again…waiting.

So, what should I do right at this moment? Dad is in pre-op now, and we are watching the patient information board. Waiting for the color and words to change on his number.

While we wait, we talk, catch up on family happenings. In between conversations, I think and type. And I pray for my sweet dad-that he will remain calm and the surgery will be successful. ❤

Revelation! Maybe I need to focus on the other people waiting.

My Dad called for my Mom to come back to the pre-op room. He wanted some company. A few minutes later, I heard a nurse call, “Kelley?” “Yes, that’s me.” “Your mom wants you to come back, too.”

While I was in the waiting area, focused on my frustration with waiting, my sweet dad was waiting all alone in a hospital room. Suddenly, my waiting doesn’t seem so bad.

A simple lesson today, but one I must remember. A lesson which reminds me to look outward more than I look inward. One if put into practice, will most certainly provide wisdom. And it is worth repeating, “…wisdom yields patience.”

So for now, I wait…but with a different perspective, a better attitude, and hopefully a little more patience. 🙂

Yesterday and Today

Think about your favorite song. I bet you can hear it playing in your head right now. (You are welcome.) 😉 Maybe you even remember a person or place associated with said song. Certain melodies/lyrics work their way into our memories and pop up when least expected.

Now imagine you wake up tomorrow and are the only person who remembers this song? It has been inexplicably wiped from the memory banks of everyone in the world…except you. This is the plight of singer Jack Malik, in the movie “Yesterday.”

As we watch Jack reintroduce the world to the music of The Beatles, he quickly finds himself in a difficult position. Even though no one else seems to know the songs are not his, he begins to experience a guilty conscience. And he alone has the power to make things right.

I know it may not be an award-winning blockbuster, but what a fun and entertaining 1h 56m! Though the music was a big focus, the movie was about so much more. The songs were beautifully intertwined with stories of family, friendship, life, love, and integrity.

It reminded me how chasing something just out of reach may cause me to miss the amazing things right in front of my face.

This funny, sweet story introduces us to the wonderful songs of The Beatles, as if for the first time. Songs from yesterday which continue to influence us today. You just might be tempted to sing along!

🎶Help me if you can, I’m feeling down
And I do appreciate you being round
Help me get my feet back on the ground
Won’t you please, please help me
🎶

~John Lennon & Paul McCartney

A Child’s Laughter

There is magic in the laughter of a child. Equally innocent and powerful. All you have to do is listen. Feeling stressed? Your cares will disappear. Feeling grumpy? Your spirits will be lifted.

Today I experienced this phenomenon while babysitting for some good friends. Their little boy is three years old. What an imagination! And his laugh? Contagious!

We played outside, ate snacks, read books, and watched Sesame Street. But the real fun came when we got out the playdough. Our creations included an airplane, Sponge Bob and a birds nest. We also cut out shapes and created patterns.

In the middle of playdough time, my little friend said something I didn’t quite understand. As I attempted to repeat his words back to him, he started laughing. “No, silly,” he said in his sweet little voice. He then proceeded to say the word again. Still unsure, I tried once more. Now it had turned into a game. A game which continued for five minutes, the two of us laughing our heads off.

Tired from all our playing and laughing, he soon fell asleep on the couch. Watching him sleep, so quiet and peaceful, I realized something. His sweet laugh had cleared my head and filled my heart.

What a perfect picture. Can you see it? This sweet boy sitting at his little kid table, me sitting crisscross on the floor (don’t try too hard to picture that) 😉 , playdough, and laughter. A room filled with laughter.

I know it sounds simple, but it is often in the simple things of life where we discover the profound.

The innocent laughter of a child, if we take time to listen, has the power to light our world. And if we join in? Well, we just might be surprised by the outcome.

So Much More Than Toys

Last evening I watched Toy Story 4 with my husband, daughter, and youngest son. My emotional reaction to the ending, though not surprising, made me question. Why am I crying over a movie about a bunch of toys?

The very first Toy Story movie was released a month before our oldest son, Robert, turned one. He is twenty-four. Toy Story 2 premiered when Rachel was two, now twenty-one. And Toy Story 3? Ryan was ten, now eighteen. You can do the math for Toy Story 4.

All four movies were sprinkled throughout the lives of our children. Our family watched while Andy grew up and Buzz and Woody became the best of friends. In a way, we grew up with them.

Many sets of Buzz and Woody toys graced our home over the years. I’m pretty sure there was even an Emperor Zurg living here at one time. And there may be a build-a-bear-frog wearing a Buzz Lightyear costume hiding somewhere in the garage. 😉

These stories are about so much more than toys. They provide a window into childhood. Viewers witness family dynamics such as single parenting and sibling rivalry. We feel the emotions of a mom letting go of her little boy. We watch a little boy recognize how much he has grown.

But what about the toys? Their adventures teach us about friendship and loyalty. All we need to do is consider Buzz and Woody, a cowboy and space ranger. Two unlikely friends who stick together through thick and thin. And the strength of their friendship provides security and support for their other toy friends and their kids.

These friendships also teach us about perseverance. In each of the four films, there are points in the story which seem to spell disaster. Yet, no matter what obstacle crosses their path they never give up. Together they stand up to Sid, the mean kid next door. A misguided bear, a toy seller in a chicken suit, and creepy ventriloquist dolls also prove no match for this determined group.

Toy Story shows us the importance of being loved, wanted, and needed. Lessons which begin in childhood but continue throughout our adult lives. They transport us to the place of hearing, “Job well done. Everything will be ok.”

It’s no surprise this series of animated movies have the power to bring a fifty-one-year-old woman to tears. Honestly, I cried during at least one scene in each story. I also laughed out loud and smiled until my face hurt.

Watching Toy Story 4 took me on a journey down memory lane. Not just the memories of the other movies, but also the memories of my children growing up. It also reminded me of lessons learned from a bunch of toys.

And looking back, I realize they are so much more than toys. ❤