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#becausewecan: 82 Cards

A lot of things are going on in the world right now, and what we need is inspiration. The docotrs and scientists need inspiration to find a way to navigate us out of this mess. And we need inspiration to help us remain human and connected in a world of social distancing.

Some things happened the weekend of March 20th that inspired me. Some people inspired me. The first was Jennifer Pastiloff. If you dont follow her on Facebook or Instagram, you should. In the face of losing her livlihood, she decided to hang on by asking “How may I serve?” She did one of her classes online for a donation… to help feed others. To buy diapers, food. To help. She could have set it up and done her confrences that way– Zoomed her way into a paycheck. I still think she should consider it. But at this time, when we needed help, we needed to remember that you can always find 5 beautiful things right here and now… she gave me that reminder. That hope.

The other person that inspired me was Jon Bon Jovi. He did a video of the start of the song and asked that the people watching help write the rest. I don’t remember the name of the song, but i do remember thinking that he has already made an anthem for these crazy days. Because We Can. And also Army of One.

Those who know me know that Bon Jovi wrote the soundtrack to my life. At one point I toyed with writing a monologe set to their music. Is it any wonder that when I was looking for inspiration and comfort and the “Hell yes we can do this!” I turned to them, to the band that I grew up beside?

So.

How many have seen the meme about writing cards to seniors in rehab care facilities? On Monday night i got a wild hair and called the one Dad had been in here locally.  They have 82 people there. Writing cards is my super power. I dont just sign my name, I write. 

And then God laughed. I wrote Tuesday. I came home from work Wednesday and crashed (essential employee). I wrote Thursday. Ended up on the phoen a lot Friday, still wrote thouh. I wrote on my breaks. I wrote on my lunch. I wrote on Saturday and on Sunday morning. And at some point, your brain goes to sleep and magic happens and you’re just creating.

I delivered 82 cards on Sunday. All the cards opened with “To My Special Friend” and ended with the note that they are special and they are loved. I signed only with my first name. No phone number, no return address. Because while it would be great to know if the right card got to the right person… I am fighting my need for positive reinforcement.

I did it because I am an #Armyofone, and #becausewecan.

And also because Jen Pastiloff asked “How May I Serve?”

Hey you

Hey you. Yes, you. I see you there. I know you’re scared, and I don’t want to tell you not to be afraid…

And yet…

Here I am. Telling you it’s OK to be scared, but you still have to go on. Maybe it’s something you’ve wanted for a long time, something positive even, but it’s such a huge change that you’re scared to death. 

It’s OK. Let’s breath through it. We will make it to the other side, and you might even wonder after all is said and done why you were so scared. You might even feel a bit silly, but that’s OK too. I’ve been there.  You’ve been there too, so remember to just breath. And maybe giggle a little. 

It releases tension.

Truly. 

And even if it’s not ok, I’ll sit with you on the darkest night and light a candle for you. Call me and I’ll just breath on the other end letting you know I’m there. Maybe it won’t be ok again today, or tomorrow….

But things will be ok again. And after they’re ok again, you’ll be able to search for the good days. The awesome days. 

You’re not quite ready to believe in them, but they’re out there. So I will hold the dream for the both of us.

Drowning

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I go to the river often to center myself. It works amazingly well when I can’t make it to the ocean. Recently, I was going through some stuff. I hit a rough patch, and was trying to find my way out. I sat on a bench and prayed: Please God, show me the path you want me to be on, help me get on it. Show me the way.

The water was running rapidly in the distance. Maybe not white water rafting rough, but rough enough. The river is higher than I’ve ever seen it, thanks to the wet winter we finally had.

And here I am praying. Not knowing what to do. Light starts burning through my eyelids and I opened my eyes…. to see the picture above. My first thought was “Not that path, Lord, I can’t swim.”

No, I did not get into the water. I was too scared. And pretty sure that wasn’t my path. In the morning, I was telling the story to Dad, thinking it was just a cute story. He had another answer. “It’s not the water, Wyndie, it’s the light. You’re meant to bring the light to people.”

I wasn’t expecting that. Especially since it makes so much sense. When I write my cards, I call it “sending out my ray’s of sunshine.” People seem to like them as much as I enjoy sending them out.

But the whole situation made me start to wonder: how many times have I felt like I was drowning, with no help in sight…. only to learn later it had been there all along? Sometimes its a matter of interpretation, sometimes we just need a little time.

It was comforting to sit on the river’s edge and talk to God. Even when I thought his answer was something I wasn’t sure I could do. Just sitting and talking with Him helped me sort myself out.

Keep on keeping on, my lovelies.

I’m trying to be back on a more consistent basis. We shall see how it goes 🙂

 

And Daddy Prayed

I wrote this in response to a conversation with my dad on the fourth of July. I intend to submit it to Chicken Soup, whose submission page states that we can submit items published on our personal blogs. It’s very different than my fiction. and most of my other non-fiction. This is the second piece I’ve written regarding spirituality. I seem to be holding to an eclectic voice even in this. Hope you enjoy.!.

And Daddy Prayed

             Even before the stroke on Mother’s Day, my 89 year old father wondered: Why am I still here? What purpose do I still serve in God’s plans?

Then the stroke happened. It was thankfully fairly mild, and he came home after a week. After one or two days at home, he went back to the hospital. Unfortunately, the effects of the overdose of medication has not been mild. We just celebrated the Fourth of July, and hopefully he will be home soon.

Throughout this, there have been times where he didn’t know what was going on. At one point, he gave up. It was in the tired planes of his face, in the droop in his shoulders, his voice that lost its fire. The “rehab” he was in, while modern and nicely furnished, crushed his independence. This old war bird, proud Navy man from World War II, Korea and Vietnam, was reduced to needing the help of churlish and neglectful people. It took its toll in both body and spirit.

When he was transferred from the “rehab” to the hospital, he started coming back. He still had health problems, still tired out so easily, but was starting to be him again. When I was told he’d be going to a different rehab, I was terrified. Indifference and incompetence had almost cost us our father— would this place finish him off?

It’s not as pretty, as shiny new as the other. But it’s the people who count, and they make a difference. I know this to be true, because Dad is starting to come back. The things that make him uniquely him are coming back.

Including his ministry.

We were out on the patio: Dad, my 9 year old son and I. Dad I started a conversation, and it went as most of ours do. Wide ranging and far flung, we can talk about anything and everything. He started telling me of the people he had met in the rehab, and how he feels an embarrassment of riches not only because his family visits, but also his anticipated home coming.

“There’s a woman in the room right next to me,” he began. “Every night, she calls out ‘Oh Lord, oh Lord, please come take me home.’ All night long she cries out. In that other place, there were two who would do it. I need to tell you something, though.”

Tears thickening his voice, he continued on. “So I started praying for them. Not for me, but for them to have comfort, peace, a restful night. Every time I pray for them, keeping them in my heart, He answered. They were comforted. The woman next to me will call out, then find peace for an hour or two, then call again. Every time, He comforts her. Because I prayed.

“Their heads don’t think right any more. They’re broken inside. But deep down, you have to remember that they are human beings too. They need comfort too!” I grabbed hold of his hand as he cried, moved beyond words at the testimony my father had just given me.

Have I had the open heart, the courage, to pray as he does? Not yet. But I’m practicing it. A day before this talk, I would have been stewing in anger over my own lost sleep. I hope that with practice, I’ll be able to love a stranger like that.

To open up your heart like that, then be able to share the story. That’s a powerful ministry. So powerful that I could not keep the words inside myself. When I got home, I called my sister. Then I sat down and began to write.

And as I write, I pray.

Thank you, Lord, for showing Daddy and I how a little prayer can do so much for a person.

##The End##

Copyright 2015 Wynelda Ann Deaver