Sunday, August 11, 2013

The Alfred Hitchcock Factor

Ever since I can remember I have been an avid fan of Alfred Hitchcock.
His movies kept one on the edge of their seat in suspense waiting to see what would happen.  Vertigo, The Rear Window, The Birds, Psycho, 
The Alfred Hitchcock hour,
I loved them all.
I can still hear his classic greeting, "Good Evening."

Mr Hitchcock had a talent where he could get ones heart a pumping without all the gory blood and guts which are now incorporated in today's movies of suspense and horror.
Even now when I see a flock of crows I find myself wondering for a brief moment if they are going to swoosh down and attack me.  And alas even now in the shower my heart still jumps if the shower curtain starts moving.

The eeriness of Bates motel still lingers in my mind.

Here is a classic example of how strongly that eeriness is still in my mind.
Last night I did not get off work until 2:00 am.  It had been a stressful night, so I stopped at my favorite c-store which is open 24 hours and got a small fountain drink and a Crispy Cream doughnut.
As I was waiting for the cashier I found myself thinking, "I really need to wash my car it is filthy."
I get some quarters from the cashier and proceed to head to my favorite car wash bay.
I insert my quarters and start soaping down my car.
Then my imagination went wild.

Alfred, had a way of using lighting to make room appear dark and spooky to ones mind.
As I'm looking around, I observed that the lights in the bay or really dark and spooky looking.
I then look around and the normally busy street is dead not one car on the boulevard.
That is always the second hint that the mad slicer is coming to get you;
let alone a woman all by herself in this
seemingly desolate place.

All the ingredients are there for the Psycho to jump out and start coming for me.

Needless to say I am mentally hurrying that timer along because my heart is pounding my palms are sweaty and I am on high alert for the man dressed in woman's clothing, wearing a woman's wig, in high heels carrying a big shiny knife who at any moment is going to come at me.

It took that timer forever to count down.  I quickly replaced the sprayer then jumped into my car and locked the doors.  Then this thought came, "you know they have been known to bust out windows and drag the helpless victim out of the car."  I grab my phone and text a quick message to a friend to let her know that I am currently locked in my car at a car wash bay awaiting for the Psycho killer to come and finish off my already cracked windshield and drag me away.

Then my final thought "okay, now is the time the car won't start. Final sign you are in deep dodo dodo."
I hesitantly turn my key and lo and behold my car starts then I find myself having to drive down the dark and creepy alleyway where this crazy person is going to jump out and throw themselves on my car.
My heart was a pounding all the way down the alleyway but alas no crazy person jumped out onto my car.
(I know the crazy one was the one behind the wheel lol)

I have always had a vivid imagination and once I was heading home I found myself laughing at my silliness but Alfred Hitchcock truly had a way of getting inside this fans head with his stories of suspense.

One last funny thought about serial killers and me.
I also loved the original Halloween with Michael Myers.
Oh man, that story really creeped me out.  

A few years ago my husband's younger sister talked me into going to the show house and watching this movie entitled, "Scream."  Kinda reminded me of Halloween just bloodier.
A young man terrorizes this school and like Mike Myers has a creepy white mask to cover his face and a really big knife.  My heart was literally pounding out of my chest.

I get home and stopped to check our mail.  As I was getting out of the car all I see is this flash of white headed right at my head.  I literally dove into my open window started rolling up the window as fast as I could and trying to lock the doors and grab my cell phone to let my hubby know I was going to die that night.  Typical as in the movies I was shaking so badly I dropped my cell phone unto the floor and was trying to bend over to pick it up when I hear something hit my window.

Oh my goodness my heart literally jumped into my throat.  I know all the blood in my body had rushed into my feet as I worked up the courage to look and see my would be attacker...(Crescendo of music as she reaches for the door....)

It was my dog Freckles!!!

Anyone who knew Freckle's knew she was part escape artist we could not find a fence to hold her in.
She never ran away just hung around the property and was always excited to come and greet us when she heard our cars.  She was a tan and white Akita cross.  Her chest was all white.

I had two emotions when I saw her with her paws on my window looking in and wagging her tail. One was ah she is so cute then the next I AM GOING TO KILL HER!!!

After that I vowed no more spooky movies my old heart and imagination just can't take the excitement.

But I still turn into those old Classic Alfred Hitchcock movies when I see them listed.

You just can't beat his classics.

And after all you never know when you are going to find yourself in a creepy car wash bay in the wee hours of the morning so that your imagination can take your for one wild and fun ride because of all the signs those classic suspense movies have taught you.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

"It's My Party and I'll cry..."

I can't remember how old I was when I first heard these lyrics, "It's my party and I'll cry if I want to, cry if I want to, cry if I want to, you would cry to it if happened to you."
In the lyrics this young lady is crying because one of her friends stole her man so to speak.
Over the last few weeks I have been having my own "it's my party and I'll cry if I want to, cry if I want to...
I have been shedding quite a few tears and just down right having my own little pity party.

When I got married all I wanted was to start a family with my best friend.
Needless to say those dreams were shattered.
And I have found myself on an emotional roller coaster ever since.

We were briefly pregnant in 91 but our baby was in the my right tube; not where He was suppose to be.
What my husband remembers is the Dr. letting him know that there was a slim chance of him bringing me home.  I had lost to much blood and I probably would not survive the surgery and blood transfusion.
What I remember was going to a place so beautiful and being with loved ones and spending time with our child we had lost.
He tried to reassure me that I would be all right but it was not His time to come to this earth but he loved both my husband and I very much.
At one point my loved ones told me it was time for me to go and I found myself wanting to stay with them.
I will never forget their response, "what about him."  I looked to who they were pointing at and I saw my husband sitting by my parent's just sobbing.
Next thing I knew I had this great surge of love for him engulf me and knew that he needed me and that I needed to go back.
My next memory was I had been body slammed back into my body and unsure of what had happened.

After losing our first baby I found myself sinking into a great pit of despair.  It was a dark time for me.
Unfortunately, during that dark time my only brother committed suicide.  I went right over the edge.
One dark night I dreamed a dream where I had followed in my brother's footsteps and him and I were going to be reunited.
I was in a place anxiously looking for my brother and when I saw him I was running to meet him I was so excited to see him again.  When I got to him I was shocked to see that he was crying.
I hated to see my brother cry.
As I wiped at his tears and asked why he was crying, he pulled me close and I could feel his tear stained cheek resting against mine as he sobbed, "because you were the strong one."
I woke up my cheeks wet from his tears and my tears whimpering,
"but I don't want to be the strong the one!"

A few years later I was told I could go to the temple oh what a wonderful experience for  me.
I felt my Savior's loving hands as he gently pieced back together my broken heart but there was still that deep longing for a child.

One day just after my popper's had been called home I found my heart breaking because of the one blessing I could not reach, a child.
That night I poured out all my heartache to my other best friend and as I was getting into bed these words started playing out in my mind,
 "Count your many blessings, name them one by one.  Count your many blessings see what God has done."  I was back on my knees pleading with my Heavenly Father to forgive me my selfishness.

When I hit thirty I had my mental melt down once again.  My poor husband patiently listens.
 At 40 I had another mental melt down but remembering "all that God has done,"
I found myself torn about feeling selfish about this great desire and yet still filled with that longing that just tears me up inside

Shortly after my mental melt down I was watching a BYU Address and Sister Beck, the Relief Society President was talking about a friend she had who had touched her life.
She was at this dear sister's bedside as she was preparing to take he last mortal breath and was visiting with her about her blessed life.
This dear sister nodded her head and added, "Yes the Lord has been good to me, all but those 14 years I was unable to have children.  That was a very dark time for me."
Tears flowed down my face because for the first time in my journey I had felt that some one truly understood my pain and longing.  And it was okay to have my mental meltdowns but not allow them to consume me.
I dropped a thank you note to Sister Beck and she was gracious enough that she wrote me back.
Her words were inspiring to me.  She called me a women of great faith.
Me who stumbles and falls and still at times asks why?  I shall always cherish her kind words.

Well I am now approaching the big 50 and my hormones are going crazy as my body begins to change.
I am finding that once again I am having my mental meltdown and will cry at the drop of a hat and just wanting to stay in bed and pull the covers over my head and just let life slip by without me.
It is a strange feeling for me because of the great things I have seen and been a part of.
I know my Father is mindful of me and I'm not forsaken but I'm just struggling right now.
I keep reminding myself of all the great quotes the brethren have given over the years, "forget yourself and go to work," Christ can turn water into wine but He can do nothing with your whining," "get on your knees and give it all to your Father in Heaven."  "Let go the baggage."
Many thoughts have run through my mind and I know I need to hit my knees and give it all once again to my Father in Heaven but for some reason I am just clinging to this baggage and I am afraid to let it go.
Why, I do not know.

When one of my true blue friends call I start crying as soon as I hear their voice.
We visit and their advice and words of support and encouragement are ones that I already hear and know but alas this is my mountain and I most conquer it on my own.

My husband has no idea how to handle his emotional wife he is used to me being the "Strong one."
And because he does not share my beliefs he is totally clueless what I am battling and why.
Right now I don't feel that strong, I just feel lost and hurt and easily taking offense.

I keep telling myself to pull my self up by my bootstraps and keep moving yet it feels like my straps have snapped and I am bogged down in quicksand and slowly sinking into that dark abyss.
A pioneer story has been running through my mind this dear brother lost his wife and all his children on the plains and yet in his journal he recorded, "still moving."
I have days where it takes all I have to just keep "moving."

I have so many different emotions pulling me so many different directions yet here I sit in my great pool of pity.
When that all to familiar voice whispers that I need to attend my meetings, or hit my knees and pray,
I just brush it aside and sink further into my despair.
President Kimball once said, "when you don't feel like praying that is the time you need to hit your knees and let the heavens hear your prayers."

For now I am just wallowing in my own little pity party because I just don't want to give up this baggage that is hindering me.
I am at the base of my mountain looking up at it and telling myself I can never conquer a mountain so huge and impending.
But deep deep down inside there is a part of me that keeps whispering, "No, you can't conquer this mountain alone but with His help you can conquer anything....all you need to do is ask."

Now is the Time

Have you ever had a moment when you become philosophical and you find yourself reviewing your life the good and the bad?  They say most people have those moments when they are transitioning from this life to the next.
During my Institute days one of my most favorite scripture passage was,

"For behold this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors...if we do not improve our time while in this life, then cometh the darkness wherein there can be no labor performed..."

Last year in June, I had a severe asthma attack at work.  My rescue inhaler did not do a thing to ease my inability to breath.  The nurse I was working with started to panic and so I related to her that I was just going to step outside and try to get some fresh air and see if that would help alleviate my difficulty breathing.

As I was sitting outside trying to catch my breath, I heard my mother calling to me and I felt the cold fingers of death reaching out towards me.

In that instant the thought ran through my mind, "Are your ready to meet God?"  The last few years of my life started running through my mind and I could honestly say I was not afraid to meet my maker that day.  I remember thinking, "Well, I have done the best I can with what I have and ready or not Lord here I come."

A great peace came over me and I found myself calm and collected and then I heard a voice that I recognized and loved so very much, "What About Bob?"  Then my mind was flooded with  memories of Bob and I again felt this surge of love come over me for him and knew that now was not the time for me to leave him.  So I began pleading with my Father in Heaven to help me find the strength to overcome so that I could be healed.

With Heavens help I made it home that day so that my husband could get me to the ER. 
It took me over two weeks to recover from that attack.

As I was reflecting on that day another day came to my mind when I was not prepared to meet my maker.  I can't remember the day but I shall never forget the year it was 1991 and we had found out we were pregnant.  We were both so excited but I was having complications.  My provider at the time told me, "you are just trying to miscarry, if you stay off your feet you should be fine."
 I followed his advice and unfortunately I was not fine. 
Our baby was in my Right tube and in the wee hours of the morning my tube ruptured.
Bob had went to work as usual thinking I would be okay.

That day I was not okay.  By the time he got home I was at deaths door.
The ambulance that picked me up thought I was 8 months pregnant when
I was only two.

I felt the iciness of death and I must say I was not the least bit calm.
 I remember yelling at the ER nurse, "I'm dying and your not doing a darn thing to save me."
 I was in panic mode.
Then the blackness set in.
My next memory was me on this beautiful hill visiting with loved ones. 
I still remember the beauty and love I felt.  
They got up to leave and told me it was time for me to go back.  
I remember pleading with them that I did not want to go back but wanted to stay there with them.  
They then looked away from me and pointed and asked, "what about him?"
I found my gaze following their pointing finger and
 I saw my husband sitting on this bench and I could feel his heart breaking.  
I felt this surge of love for him and found myself thinking, "I can't bear to see him hurting like that."

My next memory was waking up in this dark room trying to scream but couldn't because there was something wrong with my throat.  I then felt a familiar hand holding mine and heard my favorite guy talking about how much better I looked.  I tried to talk to him but I was still in this haze and just could not find my way out.

Here lately I have felt some whispering that I need to make some changes in my life and get back to what really matters in this life as to what is just a distraction and leaves one empty.
When I first heard that whisper I found myself thinking, "I'm all right with this.
I have nothing to fear as long as I focus
on what truly matters."  
So, I have been making changes one day at a time one step at a time. 

I know what I truly love and as I have been trying to fulfill my dreams of what I love I am finding the Lord gently saying, "no not this way."  So I do my pouting and asking "but why?"  
And I can see Him smiling as He gently says, "You'll figure it out."  
So, I keep plugging along trying different avenues.  
I have run into a couple of dead end streets and have had to turn back and re-examine my goals but as long as I keep moving forward I will hear Him one day say, "This is where I needed you to be."

I remember when I first heard Elder Nelson give this talk in Conference.  His words seem fitting for what I am journeying through at this time.  I have found great comfort and pearls of wisdom within his words.
I only hope that I can leave a behind a fingerprint of a legacy as she did.  She was remarkable woman.

Now Is the Time to Prepare

Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

Russell M. Nelson
Now is the time to prepare to meet God. Tomorrow may be too late.
My dear brethren and sisters, since our last general conference, my sweetheart—my beloved wife for 59 years—passed away. While I was at home on a rare Saturday with no assignment, we had worked together. She had washed our clothing. I had helped to carry it, fold it, and put it in place. Then while we were sitting on the sofa, holding hands, enjoying a program on television, my precious Dantzel slipped peacefully into eternity. Her passing came suddenly and unexpectedly. Just four days earlier, our doctor’s report at a routine checkup indicated that her laboratory tests were good. After my efforts to revive her proved fruitless, feelings of shock and sorrow overwhelmed me. My closest friend, angel mother of our 10 children, grandmother of our 56 grandchildren, had been taken from us.
Dantzel was not only a loved and loving companion. She was a teacher: by her noble example, she taught faith, virtue, obedience, and mercy. She taught me how to listen and to love. Because of her, I know all the blessings that can come to a husband, father, and grandfather.
With deep gratitude, I acknowledge the tremendous outpouring of love from dear friends across the world. Countless letters, calls, cards, and other messages have been sent. All tributes expressed loving admiration for her and sympathy for us whom she left behind. Those messages came in such large numbers that we, regretfully, were unable to respond to all of them individually. May I thank each and all for your great kindness toward us. Thank you so very, very much. Your expressions have brought much comfort through this time of heartache for our family. We really love dear Dantzel! We miss her!
From her sudden departure we can learn a very important lesson: now is the time to prepare to meet God. Tomorrow may be too late. Prophets through the ages have so declared: “This life is the time for men to prepare to meet God. … Do not procrastinate the day of your repentance.”1

The Need to Prepare Now

Yet many do procrastinate. 2 A prophet warns us: “Ye cannot say … that Iwill repent, that I will return to my God. Nay, ye cannot say this; for that same spirit which doth possess your bodies at the time that ye go out of this life, that same spirit will … possess your body in that eternal world.” 3Another prophet adds, “He that is filthy shall be filthy still; and he that is righteous shall be righteous still.” 4
Great is the knowledge that “whatever principle of intelligence we attain … in this life, it will rise with us in the resurrection.” 5 From the Prophet Joseph Smith we also learn that “God has … a time … appointed … when He will bring all His subjects, who have obeyed His voice and kept His commandments, into His celestial rest. This rest 6 is of such perfection and glory, that man has need of a preparation before he can, according to the laws of that kingdom, enter it and enjoy its blessings. … God has given certain laws to the human family, which, if observed, are sufficient to prepare them to inherit this rest.” 7 Sister Nelson was so prepared!
That glorious goal seems mighty distant if one is discouraged by worldly trouble and gloom. I remember when a friend having a difficult day exclaimed, “Oh, why was I ever born?” God’s plan answers his question. We came into this life to acquire a physical body. We may fall in love and be married. We may have children and experience the trials of mortal life. (Please forgive me for mentioning children and the trials of life in the same breath. I sense that they are both part of our growing process.) The Church was restored—the earth was created—so that those families could be sealed in holy temples. Otherwise, the whole earth would be “utterly wasted.” 8
We came to be tried, to be tested, and to choose. 9 Our decisions determine our destiny. We are “free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator … , or to choose captivity and death.” 10 Those who choose the Lord’s way will likely endure persecution. 11 But their reward is certain. Those who prove faithful “shall inherit the kingdom of God, … and their joy shall be full forever.” 12 Sister Nelson has earned that reward. What comfort that brings to me and our family!
Trials and tests apply to rich and poor alike. Years ago, I was asked to perform an operation upon a very wealthy man. A surgical biopsy confirmed that he had an advanced cancer that had spread throughout his body. As I reported this news, his immediate response was to rely upon his wealth. He would go anywhere or do anything to treat his condition. He thought he could buy his way back to health. But he soon passed away. Someone asked, “How much wealth did he leave?” The answer, of course, was, “All of it!”
His priorities were set upon things of the world. His ladder of success had been leaning against the wrong wall. I think of him when I read this scripture: “Behold, your days of probation are past; ye have procrastinated the day of your salvation until it is … too late.” 13
In radiant contrast, Sister Nelson prepared throughout her life for the time when she would return to God. She lived each day as though it were her last. She cherished every hour, knowing that time on earth is precious.
Some people live as if there were no day of reckoning. Others waste today’s time with a disabling fear of tomorrow or a paralyzing preoccupation over mistakes of yesterday. Each of us might well heed the words of a poet, as posted on a sundial:
The shadow by my finger cast
Divides the future from the past:
Before it, sleeps the unborn hour,
In darkness, and beyond thy power:
Behind its unreturning line,
The vanished hour, no longer thine:
One hour alone is in thy hands,—
The NOW on which the shadow stands. 14

How Do We Prepare?

Now is the time. But how do we prepare? Begin with repentance! Scripture declares, “If ye have sought to do wickedly in the days of your probation, then ye are found unclean before the judgment-seat of God; … no unclean thing can dwell with God.” 15 He gave this simple rule: “Except ye abide my law ye cannot attain to this glory.” 16
Now is the time to show reverent respect for one’s physical body. It serves as the tabernacle for one’s spirit throughout all eternity. Physical appetites are to be controlled by the will of one’s spirit. We are to “deny [our]selves of all ungodliness.” 17 We are to “forsake all evil and cleave unto all good, [and] live by every word which proceedeth forth out of the mouth of God.” 18
Because of frequent and frightening calamities in the world, some people doubt the existence of God. But, in fact, He is trying to help us. He revealed these words: “How oft have I called upon you by the mouth of my servants, and by the ministering of angels, and by mine own voice, and by the voice of thunderings, and … tempests, … earthquakes, … great hailstorms, … famines and pestilences of every kind, … and would have saved you with an everlasting salvation, but ye would not!” 19
His hope for us is eternal life. We qualify for it by obedience to covenants and ordinances of the temple—for ourselves, our families, and our ancestors. We cannot be made perfect without them. 20 We cannot wishour way into the presence of God. We are to obey the laws upon which those blessings are predicated. 21
God’s plan is fair. Even those “who have died without a knowledge of this gospel, who would have received it if they had been permitted to tarry, shall be heirs of the celestial kingdom of God.” 22 His plan is also merciful. He “will judge all men according to their works, according to the desire of their hearts.” 23
Now is the time to enroll our names among the people of God. This we do by paying tithing. He tithes His people to bless them. 24 Sister Nelson taught that lesson to our family, over and over again. 25
Now is the time to align our goals with God’s goals. His work and His glory—“to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man” 26 —can become ours. Of temple marriage the Savior declared, “If a man marry a wife by my word, which is my law, and by the new and everlasting covenant, … [they] shall inherit thrones, kingdoms, principalities, and powers, dominions, … exaltation and glory in all things.” 27 We are to emulate the example of the Lord, to love as He did, to pray as He did, and to endure to the end as He did. 28

Importance of Death in God’s Eternal Plan

Death is a necessary component of our eternal existence. No one knows when it will come, but it is essential to God’s great plan of happiness. 29Thanks to the Atonement of the Lord, eventual resurrection is a reality and eternal life is a possibility for all humankind. 30 That possibility becomes a reality as we obey God’s law. He said, “Except ye shall keep my commandments, … ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.”31 One day we will be judged by the Lord 32 and go to our own mansion prepared in our Father’s heavenly house. 33 Celestial glory awaits those who have been faithful to God’s gentle commands. 34
Brothers and sisters, we live to die and we die to live—in another realm. If we are well prepared, death brings no terror. From an eternal perspective, death is premature only for those who are not prepared to meet God.
Now is the time to prepare. Then, when death comes, we can move toward the celestial glory that Heavenly Father has prepared for His faithful children. Meanwhile, for sorrowing loved ones left behind—such as our family and me—the sting of death is soothed by a steadfast faith in Christ, a perfect brightness of hope, a love of God and of all men, and a deep desire to serve them. 35 That faith, that hope, that love will qualify us to come into God’s holy presence and, with our eternal companions and families, dwell with Him forever. Of this I testify in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.