Wednesday, October 29, 2008

My Life is a List!

Put gas in car. Finish book. Make grocery list. Wrap gifts. Laundry. Take donations to Youth Ranch. Call Linda. Motorcycle class. Answer emails. Oil changed in car. New garage door opener. Take a nap if it feels right. Finish magazine article. Iron slacks. Buy airline tickets. Sort pictures. Rake leaves. Take seams in on pants. Cats need shots updated. Dig out edging around trees in back yard. Pick up prescriptions for Mike. Clean kitchen cupboards. Mending. Paint laundry room. Clean out pantry. Invitation list. Flooring in bedrooms. Sing along with the radio. Finish new 'noodle warmer' for Krieg. Take Riley to groomer. Diana's b'day gift. CPR renewal class. Write in blog. Vacuum & dust. Vet appointment for cats. Be sensible but not too serious. Call for referral appointment. Order blinds for living room. Pick up material for drapes. Check prices for rental car. Remember to laugh. Water plants.

It seems my life is defined by my 'to do' lists. Is it a list of what needs to be done or a list of things that really do not matter - that's for me to figure out. Sad but true.

My family tells me I'm the organizer. I think at times I enable their disorganization because they know I'll figure it out. When there is an extended family gathering I wait to see who will start the ball rolling. It doesn't matter. Advanced planning isn't for everyone.

Life is a list. You make the choices to do what is most important from your list.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Free Falling

We have 3 grown children. The oldest and youngest are following their dreams with scholastic endeavors at the University of Idaho. Our middle child (and oldest son) lives near us with his wife and 18 month old son. He got out of the Navy this summer and started working in construction, roofing to be exact, the Monday after he was discharged.

While I grew up my dad was self employed as a carpenter. It's hard work. I know there is satisfaction from doing a hard day of labor and do not begrudge Matt's employment. As a parent you always hope your children will be successful AND enjoy their work. However, the combination of Matthew and this particular job caused me inner panic at times.

As a little boy, Matt was always the one to fall of his bike, the day before pictures, and have a huge road rash on his cheek or the goose egg on his forehead. There was the 'turtle lip' and chipped teeth, from a header over the bike handle bars (but it was near Halloween and he was going to be a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle so it added to his costume). Yet for all the blood shed, he never had stitches.

Matt is a creative soul. Right brained. Whether he's drawing up pictures of wildlife, designs for new tattoos or cars, he's got a plan. Well, what he needed last week was a parachute!

Matt was working on a rooftop which had two levels. He was climbing from the lower roof to the upper roof and instead of securing a foot on top of a solid surface he hit air and dropped 18' to the lower roof. One foot landed hard into a nearby wheelbarrow and the other hit the ground. His head met with an edge sharp enough to give him a gash and his hand, still in the glove, was cut on a piece of sheet metal.

Matt is 6'4 and just under 200 lbs. Not someone who can be easily 'fireman carried' down a ladder. Actually I'd pay to see that... but I digress. Three fire engines arrived with the paramedics. They ended up repelling Matt down off the rooftop with their basket and ropes.

Once again our family needs to drop to our knees and thank the Lord for looking out for one of us. Matt never lost consciousness. No bones were broken. The doctor referred to his finger as partially amputated though he didn't lose it. The muscle and tissue is twisted and mangled. Matt has 3 stitches in the end of the finger where it was actually cut. The finger was eased back together and wrapped for healing. Both legs were black and blue and badly swollen. The left foot is in an air brace and wrapped. The right foot wrapped and in a boot. He is unable to put any pressure on the legs so is confined to scooting around in a wheelchair.

He went to the Orthopedic surgeon this week for second x-rays. They confirmed no broken bones. He will have an MRI later this week to determine if there is any ligament or muscle damage and to what extend.

While housebound we will be teaching Matthew the lessons of Sir Isaac Newton and the not so recent discovery of gravity!

Seriously, we realize how very blessed we are the damage wasn't more serious or permanent. My prayers of thanks are becoming repetitive. We know that he will heal and be back up to his full frame in a few weeks.

In all this there had to be a lesson learned... Matthew - you'll have to stick the dismount if you strive for the gold medal! Love you Papi!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Rhetorical ?'s - No Answers

What is the value of ignoring someone when you are upset. In reality no one wants to be confronted but you certainly don't want to go on making matters worse either. Sometimes it takes time to sort out what was said or done or to understand why it stung. How does the offender apologize or change their ways if they go on unaware something upset you. Maybe it was misinterpreted and not meant in the way it was received. We don't always know what is happening. Of course we aren't mind readers either. Is your burden truly something worth confining into the crevices of your heart or would someone be able to help you carry the load if you shared? It's a grown up thing... sit down and talk one on one. Talk about what matters. Listen to what is said.

Where do we stand in the big scheme of things? Are we really a united family-type group or is it just what we say to onlookers when it's convenient? Do we make ourselves available to others if they choose to reach out? Shouldn't we be able to seek comfort when we are down or need a shoulder? Is the tie that binds you together just those you were raised with? Do you have to share parents? What if you have shared losses? Is it about control or who's in charge? What about time together? During the holidays are you inviting others to share your time?

When do you finally say enough is enough? At what point do you decide if someone wants to be a part of your life they can make the effort - or at least meet you halfway. This is not an easy decision and in time you want to throw your hands in the air and shout 'uncle'. You hope traditions will continue but you see things slipping away. Sometimes you try to rekindle tradition or create new and you hit a wall. You ask yourself what has changed but uncertainty is the only answer. How many invitations go unaccepted before you no longer extend them? How many times do you come up with the plan so everyone can spend time together? OR When do you stop and inventory what has gone wrong and try to mend fences? Perhaps what you thought was a big deal at the time really isn't as important now. Is it time to reevaluate and call someone you haven't shared with in a while? Is it time for them to answer? Time to move forward?

Why do phone calls or messages go unanswered? It seems a common courtesy you would extend to a family or friend. It's the age of texting, emails and cell phones. Snail mail long forgotten. Just a quick note or returned call just to acknowledge 'hey it's crazy here but I got your message'. It's understandable there are times you don't feel like talking. Does the continued seclusion make matters any better or is it self-pity festering the problem?

Who doesn't enjoy receiving gifts in the mail or an unexpected package? It's nice for the sender to know the package arrived. Everyone is busy. How much time would it take to send a quick email acknowledging you got the package or a thank you for the gift after the sender thought to send it.

Yes... lots of questions. No Answers. Maybe it's the time of year. Holidays approaching. Money disappearing. Election impending. Nerves on edge. Tempers flaring. Name calling. Finger pointing. Everyone is tired. Worried.

Call me old fashion. I just want the creature comforts. My family. My good friends. Less anxiety and more pleasantries. A simple returned phone call. An answered email. Even a thank you.

And in case I haven't said it often enough 'thank YOU'!.