Tuesday, January 31, 2012

My Mother

My mother was born January 30, 1910 in Old Fort North Caolina. She was the middle child of the clan. Her family remained close until all had been called home. They laughed together, played together and cried together. They endured many trials and hardships but they perservered.

My mother was the favorite of the clan. My cousins once shared with me that, "no one messed with Aunt Laura because she could pick up one of Grandpa's milk cans and throw it on the back of his truck better than any man." I remember wishing I had been around then to share in the unity of the family.

My mother always spoke of her mother as an "angel" all the family held Grandma Coxey with high regard. I never had the opportunity of knowing Grandma Coxey but what I have read of her letters and others letters to her she was the rock of the family and she like my mother was loved by all.
When I was little I remember asking my mother if she felt Grandma Coxey would approve and love me?
She would smile and say, "Oh yes, mama would have loved you and you her."

I can't remember how old I was when mom shared with me that the reason she did not celebrate her birthday's were because her mother had been called home on her birthday.  Her mama's last words to her were, "Laura, I almost died bringing you into this world, I guess it's appropriate I die today." 
She took her last breath while lying in my mother's arms.  My mom had lost her angel.
I remember poppers and I plannin months in advance to make mom's birthday's extra special and memorable.  We would surround her with loved ones and her favorite things.

When my mom was 88 she lost her companion of 66 years.  Once again her world had been rocked.
I remember her lingering at death doors a few days after he had been called home as if looking for a reason to stay but stay she did.
Trying to keep her life full I volunteered to create a Christmas program for family and friends who lived at an assisted living where I worked.
Knowing my mom loved Christmas and loved to sing I put together a choir and a program that touched on everything that my mother loved about Christmas. 
It was a huge success. 
All enjoyed it espically my mother.

With her 90th birthday fast approaching I knew I wanted to do something spectacular for her.
I reserved the church cultural hall and planned a beautiful dinner and arranged the program to be a trip down memory lane for my mother. 
She had a wonderful Bishop that took her under his wing after my poppers was called home, how she loved that great and honorable man.
He called and invited her out on a "date." 
She was tickled pink and quickly accepted. 
Dinner was fantastic and for entertainment we had a piano recital where her favorite hymns were played, the young woman dressed as flappers with some of moms necklaces for decorations performed some of the dances she had taught me as a little girl and for the grand finale we had some of her closet friends choir style sing some of her favorite songs.
 That was the best birthday she had. 
To commentate the evening she was given a photo album filled with that nights memories. 
An album I now cherish.

Another memory, we had planned a family vacation to the Oregon coast.
Anyone who knows my hubbie knows that coast vacation for us is sand dunes and four wheelers with an ocean near by where you can ride the bikes on the beach. 
My mom was a trooper. 
Each day she sat out there with sand being blown throughout her hair which at one point turned from white to black due to all the sand blowing into it. 
Visiting and peeling potatoes. 

Once we returned home it took her hairdresser weeks to get all that Oregon sand out of her hair.
 But oh how she loved that trip. 
It was right up there with her 90th birthday bash.

The last week of my mother's life I got a glimpse of my Grandma Coxey, I was standing in the kitchen fixin something for mom to eat when I heard my name called. 
When I turned I hit the back door in shock and disbelief.  Grandma Coxey was standing in front of me with this message, "Lorie, I'm coming to get my baby girl, but you'll be okay." 
And then it was if she had stepped back into a  doorway and shut the door. 
My heart was pounding, my hands and knees a shakin and my mother bless her heart simply stated,
 "You seen mama didn't you?"
 I then came to my senses and related to my mother that Grandma could not have her and she was to stay right her with me. 
She just smiled and relayed to me another message Grandma Coxey wanted her to relay to me.
 It was an emotional day. 

The day Grandma Coxey came and got my mother I was sitting in a friend's house visiting with her when I felt a familiar hand caressing my hair. 
I asked my friend if she had felt that to which my friend replied she had no idea what I was talking about. 
My mom then popped into my mind and I jumped up apologizing to my friend but I had to get home to my mother. 
By the time I had gotten home she had already crossed over,
she lingered just long enough to tell me good-bye.

I could feel her excitement about being reunited with all her loved ones whom she had been separated from for many years and once again as I heard her telling me she had to go it was if a door were shutting and she disappeared from my view.

Some nights the door briefly swings open just enough to reassure me that all is well and I have not been forgotten, but I must admit there are times my heart yearns to be reunited with my family so that this ache in my heart would once again be filled. 

My mother once told me, "Lorie you never get over missing your mama." 
She is right, I still miss my mother and all the fun we had and all the wonderful lessons she taught me. 
She was truly a one of a kind.

Monday, January 30, 2012

A Ha moments

Have you noticed there are special and brief moments where as you are there drinking in that very special moment the veil to the other side is parted for one quick second and you are allowed a quick glance which takes your breath away and you have the "A Ha" moment.
For me it seems those moments are to far and inbetween but when I am a part of those moments it is forever engraven in my heart to be a cherished memory.
I first started noticing my "A Ha" moments when I was taking care of my poppers.  That was a very special moment in my life that has made me the mushie sap you see today.  You know, no offense mom, my most cherished lessons that sank deep into my heart were taught to me by my popppers.  After all I was a daddy's girl.  Not that mom did not try but she wanted me to learn boring stuff like cookin and cleanin yuko!  But we will discuss that another day:)
The other day at work as I was adminsitering some medication to a very sick young man, he opened his eyes wide and started smiling.  As his smile grew wider, I found myself glimpsing into this young mans valiant, tired and old soul.  I'm not sure how long we visited but we had our "A Ha" moment which gave me an increase of love and admiration for those who are fighting a mental disabliltiy.  The one power that gripped me as he sat there smiling and looking at me was the pure love that filled his beautiful eyes.  I learned a great lesson that day.

One other "A Ha" moment I would like to share is with one of my adopted grandmas.  Her memory had been dimmed for many years.  One evening as we sat in the dining room and I assisted her with her supper, she reached for my hand and I could see the dark shades that had been covering her mind were slowly rising and she started talking to me, really talking to me.  She visited about the love of her life and her second love, her children.  It was such a beautiful moment I found myself tearing up.  Then the blinds lowered and she was once again gone. Again I learned a powerful lesson.  Love is what matters.

There was no shortage of love surrounding me.  Mom, poppers, all the extended family and adopted extended family made sure that I was loved.
I am grateful for my "A Ha" moments and hope to continue to be open and receptive when they come but the greatest "A Ha" moment is when I am driving home from a long day at work and The Lord's artistic talent in nature comes into play.  Those are truly the greatest "A Ha" moments.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Faith In Every Footstep

Had a really rough night last night with a situation that was very sad.  I once read where the Lord counseled Emma Smith in my words/paraphrased, "love and support your husband when all collapses around him."  I am now finding myself in a situation where I hear this whisper inside my heart, "love and support your husband with all your heart." 

Life has chosen to throw us an interesting curve ball; This is a whole new challenge for me but with the Lord's guidance we will make it through hopefully with just a few scrapes and minor cuts.
 I received my first scrape and cut last night and it was quite painful.

In the wee hours of the morning just as I was starting to drift off into a so so restful sleep the phone rang and I was called into work early early.  My second thought, "what next???  I'm already licking wounds from previous scrape and now I have no time to prepare myself so I can go into work with my usual smile."
I tried my best to put forth my best face but they know me so well over and over I was asked,
"Are you okay?  Are you having a good day?  Can we help?"
There kindness about toppled me over the mountain of tears. 

Once again as I was standing at my med cart trying to bring composure to myself, out of an open door I heard the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing "Faith in Every Footstep".

Peace immediately flooded into my tattered and torn heart and just as the song was finishing it was as if someone had hit the replay button. 
Three times I heard: "With faith in every footstep, we follow Christ the Lord and filled with hope thru His pure love we sing with one accord"


Monday, January 16, 2012

One by One

One of my favorite stories comes from The Book of Mormon.  It is found in 3rd Nephi where the risen Savior comes and visits the Nephites.  In Chapter 11 verses 13-17:

"And it came to pass that the Lord spake unto them saying:
Arise and come forth unto me, that ye may thrust your hands into my side,
and also that ye may feel the prints of the nails in my hands and feet,
that ye may know that I am the God of Israel,
and the God of the whole earth,
and have been slain
for the sins of the world.
And it came to pass that the multitude went forth,
and thrust their hands into his side, and did feel the prints of the nails
in his hands and in his feet; and this they did do,
going forth One by One until they had all gone forth
and did see with their eyes and did feel with their hands
and did know of a surety and did bear record,
that it was he, of whom it was written by the prophets,
that should come.
And when they had all gone forth and had witnessed for themselves,
they did cry out with one accord saying:
Hosanna! Blessed be the name of the most High God!
And they did fall down at the feet of Jesus,
and did worship him."

I recently heard a song by Hillary Weeks entitled, "One by One" which inspired this blog. 
Today was a Charlie Brown "Oh Good Grief" day.  As I was driving home from work thinking about the day this thought came into my mind, "You know those around you because you work with them; but there are many who don't know their names or even care about their names. 
But He does and He loves them." 
 Today with my patience on a very short leash I needed that gentle reminder. 

As I continued to reflect on His great compassion and love for all His creations I passed a shabbily dressed man with unkempt beard, dirty clothing and such a look of sadness filling his thin face.
I found myself wanting to turn around and offer him a cup of coffee or hot chocolate due to it was so cold outside and I could see him visibly shaking, but I was unable to. 
As sadness for this lonesome man filled my heart, I realized that this man was a classic example of " He hears one by one, loves one by one, when the crowded world around you doesn't know your name, He knows us one by one."
"He notices it all the when sparrow it falls, 
 the sheep within his fold, every person's grief was borne upon His soul, one at at time He makes us whole.
He hears one by one, loves one by one, when this crowded world around you doesn't know your name;
He know us one by one. 
The way he loves you is one by one." 

She states this one simple truth so beautifully. 
Like her I am amazed that He knows my name and loves me just as He loves that lonely man I passed today and all those who surrounds us.

Friday, January 13, 2012

My Shoes

I am participating in a Time Out For Women Shoe Party/link. 
Where we are to talk about out shoes. 
Since their first introduction I had been wearing Skeecher Shape Ups for work and play.

I loved the fact that I was part of the "in crowd" with my flashy new shoes. 
My profession is nursing and I am on my feet 8-10 hours a day and what better way to tone my muscles then to walk around in my shape-ups.  
I even felt I had achieved much when wearing my shape-ups.

Since my knee injury however, I am unable to wear Shape-ups; Their rocking motion with my weak knee makes me lose my balance and they also cause quite a bit of pain in my injured knee.  
I noticed that other nurses were wearing a shoe called Dansko's.  

They were a more expense shoe but they just looked so weird with their hard clog type design and they looked plain.  
Knowing I would be returning to work with a weak knee, I knew I had to invest in a quality shoe that would protect my knee.  

After visiting with my Physical Therapist about what type of shoe I should invest in, Dansko's was the winner with two thumbs up.  

Once I was able to drive I started shopping around for a pair of Dansko's.  I found a pair that I liked but boy did they feel funny walking in them.  
It took me a couple of weeks to get used to them but what a life saver they have been on my weak knee and they also have taught me a powerful lesson about me.

My Dansko's are not flashy or sporty looking as my Shape-ups were, all in all they are just a plain shoe that quietly serves a greater purpose. 

Looking at my shoes thru my spiritual eyes I came to realize that if I had not injured my knee, I would probably still be searching for flashy and sporty items to fill my cup. 
Fortunately A wise and loving Father who knows His child so very well opened her eyes that serving quietly and foregoing the flash is truly the greater purpose.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Unexpected Journey

My "Unexpected Journey" began January 1st of 2011.
 That New Years Eve I had really messed up my knee and me being me did not realize I had messed it up until the first week of February when I had a co-worker drop me off at the local Emergency room due to I was unable to walk and talk about pain!

 The nice young man indicated I had "torn" something in my knee and that I needed to follow up with a ortho specialist.  I should have followed up with my own MD and consulted with him then but due to our situation with insurance I ventured out on my own. 
The specialist I chose ordered a MRI and simply glanced at it and gave me some medication to help with the swelling stating, "you don't need surgery, just time,"  From February to June of 2011 my knee kept giving me fits along with my asthma. 
Wound up back in ER with my asthma and then followed up with my trusted MD. 

While treating me for my asthma I related to him my concerns and frustrations with my knee and how it just was not healing.  He pulled up the MRI and simply said, "You need to see a specialist." 
My mouth hit the floor and I vented to him that I had been to a specialist and blah blah blah. 
He smiled and said, "You need to see one of our specialists; after we get your asthma controlled."
Once we had my asthma controlled he set me up with one of his specialists and stated, "looking at this MRI he should only have to go in and clean up that knee, you should only be out of work about two weeks."
 Sounded good to me.

Once the surgery day came and the surgeon was actually looking at my damaged knee, my trusted MD's theory flew out the window. 
I was non-weight bearing for 8 weeks and had to rely on crutches for locomotion.
Now mind you that was an experience, I have never used crutches in my life.

I still smile as I reflect on my MD's and I's conversation concerning my knee. 
Especially the part of two weeks turning into a nine week vacation from work.
 Hence Unexpected Journey; you see I forgot to factor in the Big Guy in the Sky's opinion. 
Next time I'll be sure to consult Him too.

You have been faithful and true in all He has asked you to do.
You've weathered the storms that life has chosen for you and conquered the mountains which were blocking your view.
Thru all of the trials you've had to endure you've trusted in Him whose been guiding you through.
You're amazed at His patience He has just for you.
 Great joy fills your heart because of His great love for you.

One day His sweet whisper brushes your ear,
 "My child, I have great things in store for you."
Your off and running cause you know the way;
eager to greet that oncoming day.
Knowing whats best He lets you stumble and fall stopping you there, dead in your tracks.

As you begin your childish protest,
He lovingly pats your head,
 "My precious child, whom I dearly love;
 tis time to be patient you cannot run.
 Your expectations are limited to your short sighted view
but things may not turn out as you think they ought to.
 Right now there's uncertainity all bout you
 but as you continue to trust
great things will start coming into your view."

Friday, January 6, 2012

The Lord God Created Them All

Ever since I can remember I have been a critter person, they have all held a special place in my heart.  Their beauty and magnifience has always taken my breath away.  I was taught to love and repect them.  As a young child I used to feed the wild squirrels that roamed around my Uncle Vics cabin in West Yellowstone.  I'm not sure how long it took but they would come to me, sit on their hunches and take the food out of my extended hand and eat there close to me.  They knew they were safe from harm from me.
I once found a wounded baby crow; me being me I brought the little bird home and with my parents help we raised him.  I named him Caw.  We had a redwood fence surrounding our back yard and I can still see Caw hopping along the fence talking to me as I walked along the fence.  He would sneak into the house every chance he would get and steal my moms wedding ring from off the window sill while she was washing dishes.  It was so funny seeing my mom chasing Caw around the house trying to get her ring back from him.  He would just hop around as if it was a game of keep away.  My parents had hold me that Caw belonged with his own kind and there would come a day when he would return to nature so he could start his own family.  One day Caw sat on the fence and cocked his black head to look me in the eye as if to say good-bye.  He stood and spread his wings and as he flew of the fence I could hear him saying goodbye and I believe thank you for the care we had given him.  He never returned.

I had a favorite cat that someone had left to die her name was Feather, oh how I loved that cat.  She had a sister which had been dumped also and was always a little on the wild side.  Her name was Blue.  Both had a batch of kittens and Blue not being the motherly type abandonded her kittens.  Feather stepped in and raised her kittens and Blues kittens as her own.  It was during that time I learned to love and care for newborn kittens.  Someone in the neighborhood did not like Blue or Feather so they were poisoned and died a slow and painful death. 
Even at my young age I had no doubt my Father in Heaven could heal Feather and make her whole, after all He had created her just for me and He knew how much I loved that cat and I knew that He loved me just as much.  I sat with Feather cradled in my lap and read stories to her about our Heavenly Father and how much He loved her and me.  I was so crushed when that sweet cat died in my arms.  I could not understand how a loving Heavenly Father when I had done all that He asked could take my friend away.  Years later I learned He taught me that lesson at such a young age to prepare me for the day I pleaded with Him to heal my poppers.  He was healed just as Feather had been healed, just not the way I wanted him or her to be healed.  They were both called back home to their Father in Heaven.

Over my life I have had countless pets and each has brought me such joy.  They each have had their own personality which made me question my Father in Heaven, "Why do you give me the retarded silly ones?"  He blessed my life with them because He knows His impetuous child is just as silly.
All have showed unconditional love and loyalty and a gratefulness for being a part of our home.  Many we have sadly had to assist on their journey back to their creator but when they have taken that last breath in this life they are wrapped in the arms that have held them since they were puppies and I know that as our tears fall our Father's tears fall with ours.  With each passing He has been kind enough to share with me how He is now taking care of them.  Our dogs are always running along this beautiful green hilly area with a crystal stream, with wagging tails and bright eyes.  Our cats are lounging out in the sunny area contented as can be watching the activity around them.

My horse is grazing on the most lush green pasture and when she heard my voice she lifted her magnificent head with some of that lush green grass filling her mouth and made eye contact with me.  Her wonderful deep brown eyes letting me know she was being well taken care off.
These above examples are what make me believe that Heavenly Father is just as much a critter person as I am.

Today He has blessed us once again with seven dogs.  Their antics bring me such joy, espcially after a stressful day, just seeing them running to the fence to greet me or lying their head on my feet as I sit at the computer melts all that away.  Faithful and true in their devotion, who could ask for more.
I loved author Dr. James Harriet the English Vet; it was his stories that inspired me to become a vet.  Unfortuantely my heart was there but at the sight of blood I fainted.  I remember our kind vet who had taken me under his wing to show me the ropes sitting outside passing smelling salts under my nose to revive me, kindly state, "My dear, you have a heart of a vet but you don't have the strength of a vet, stick to training." I took his advise and learned all I could on how to train dogs basic obedience and tricks and then I learned a few basics about working with horses but then we left Nevada and moved to Idaho where I had no interaction with horses until I was married and my husband bought me Misty.

Since I was uable to have two legged children I know the Lord has blessed us with those four legged kids that would drive anyone else to madness with their antics but He knew in our home they would be loved and well cared for.  I'm with Dr. James:

"All Creatures Great and Small
All Things Bright and Beautiful
All things Wise and Wonderful
The Lord God Made Them all."   

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Least of These

Then shall the righteous answer him saying,
Lord when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee?
or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

When saw we thee a stranger and took thee in?
or naked, and clothed thee?
or when we saw thee sick, or in prison
and came unto thee?
And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you,
Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

In my chosen profession you would associate compassion as one of the traits one would have.
I am shocked and surprised by how little compassion is shown. 
The hearts of man have truly turned cold.

In today's world it appears that there is a judgement passed on who deserves ones compassion and if you do not meet their criteria you are met with indifference.
I have been told countless times thru-out my life, "you are just to sensative, you need to toughen up!"
I have reflected on this comment numerous time thru-out my life and there was a time I attempted to live up to what other people thought would be a better me and you know what I was miserable and hollow inside.

You see I've been surrounded by examples of compassion that has defined and refined me to who I am today.
 I have seen my family countless times reaching out and helping whom ever they felt needed their help. 
There was no judgement or requirement needed.
 The one poingnant story I learned was from my mother. 
She had a nursing heart. 

She took her mother into her home when she was dying and loved and nurtured her until she took her final breath wrapped in the loving arms of my mother. 

Her younger sister had blood poisoning, my mother moved her into her home and took care of her and her young toddler. 
Her sister took her last breath wrapped in the loving arms of my mother after my mother promised to care of her toddler son. 
True to her word, my mother took her sister's little boy home and her and my poppers raised him. 
How he loved my mother and poppers for their love and sacrifice for him.

How do I know, he was the man who adopted me and then gave me to his Aunt and Uncle to raise as their own because of his great love for them; in his words, "I could not bear to break my Aunt Laura's heart by taking you away from them."

My poppers mother was diagnosed with cancer in the bones. 
My mother moved her into their home to take care of her and in my mother's words,
"I would sit and hold her up so she could rest because the pain was so intense she could never sleep.
 I would hold her for hours and when my body started screaming out in pain I would continue to hold her because she so needed the rest."

I wonder how many today would make that sacrifice for a loved one let alone a stranger.

I have many more examples from my family that I could share.
Being surrounded by that kind of unconditional love and sacrifice is it any wonder I am sensitive?

The Savior has counseled, "When ye have done it unto the least of these...you have done it unto me."
I witnessed the love of the Savior each and everytime my family did unto the least of these.

Another example that inspired me was a story I had read about James A Talmage. 
I believe it was during the small pox epidemic. 
Three small children having been exposed to the virus were in the last stages of their mortal life. 
The disease had taken their parents and no one else wanted to be around them
 in fear of catching the disease. 

Elder Talmage was holding the littlest one and walking around with her trying to console her.
 The point that inspired me was this comment, "She was so frail and so sick. 
And even with her coughing in my face I could not bear to put her down and leave her comfortless in these last few moments of life." 
That remarkable man's example still gives me chills and tears in my eyes when I visualize him in my minds eye rocking that dear child and walking the floor with her trying to console her. 
Especially knowing that the disease she had was highly contagious and deadly.

It brings great peace to my heart knowing that there is one who smiles on high when he witnesses those acts of unconditional love and great shall be their reward.

My sensitivity has established a great relationship with my Savior that has brought me such peace and joy.  With His great and loving hands guiding me I am coming to know what it truly means to
 "love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and thy all thy might and all thy strength
and to love thy neighbor as thyself."

Yes I am sensitive but I would not change any of it for one tiny bit of indifference.