Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Special moment

Today was another busy day, but it does, for the first time, feel as if there is a glimmer of hope that we're turning a corner. I hope so. I really hope so. In any case, there were a lot less angry people today, which was a relief.

In any case, I was working away when a very elderly couple made their way to the register. Watching them, I saw right away that the woman had some serious cognitive loss, but her husband stood at her side and waited patiently as she tried to explain to me what she wanted. I asked my questions, and waited for her to answer them, which she was able to do.

I looked at the lady behind her, and saw no impatience on her face, so I continued to be patient with my customer. She couldn't remember how to swipe her credit card. She was puzzled at the buttons. All kind of small confusions, but we talked through it, and we got the job done. In the end, she fixed me with a look, and thanked me for being so patient with her. "Between the two of us, we got it figured out just fine!" I said.

When the lady behind them approached the counter, I started to say, "I want to thank YOU for your graciousness!" At the same time she said, "Thank you! That was just beautiful to watch."

We looked at each other, and smiled. That couple gave two people a special moment today.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

LIfe is for Learning

William is adjusting to a new schedule. Preschool lets out at 2. It's a little too late for a nap (unless you want him up extra late that night...), but that is contrasted against exhausted and dramatic meltdowns. Not a fun time to be in charge of William.

After several meltdowns at the playground, I'd had enough. "William," I said in a very no nonsense tone of voice, "it's time to go home. You need a nap."

The screaming became high pitched and prolonged. "Noooooooooooo!~ Don't WAAAAAAAAAANNTTT to take a nap." He stood there stamping his foot, his face perfectly illustrating a temper tantrum.

"Yes," I said very firmly. "Do we throw temper tantrums at the playground? *shook my head sadly* No, William, we do not. It is time to go home." He refused to come. I had a choice. I could have physically picked him up, but I know where his priorities are. I walked over to his bike and began to push it up the hill. He loves his bike, and he wasn't letting THAT out of his sight.

The screaming got closer and louder as he scooted up behind me. I snapped his helmet on, and I helped him attach his bat to the handle bars and off we went, William still screaming.

Once we got home, William made his way to the livingroom still sobbing. "I don't WANT to take a nap. I want to go to the playground..." and by the point, I'd simply given up trying to reason. He climbed up on the couch sobbing mightily, and kicked whilst I tried to get his shoes off. He lay down and nearly instantly, there was silence.

I left him sleep for 45 minutes, and he was a crank pot about being awakened. I tried to orchestrate his day around bedtime. He ate a big supper. After we cleaned up from supper, we watched a few Halloween music videos on you-tube.

William has 1001 books. Almost as soon as he was born, I bought a book of fairy tales, a beautiful book with gilt edged pages and rich and detailed illustrations. I never realized that William did not know the story of the three bears, and he studied the pictures agog with excitement. Goldilocks was finally asleep in baby bears bed when out of the window, William spied the three bears returning from their walk. "Oh NO!!" he exclaimed excitedly. And then he said, "Do we go into bears' houses? *shakes head sadly*" He answered himself. "No," he said. "We do NOT go into da bears' houses."

Life lessons are everywhere.

PS the little booger did not want to go to bed on time that night.

Friday, September 26, 2014

I studied the words closely, a little shocked. It has been so very long that I don't think on things much anymore. I think that everyone wants a perfect family, but not everyone is blessed with that.

When I posted about my friend's dying sister, I received this comment. "Beloved sister, what happened to your other brother and sister? Don't they meet your expectations?"

I could feel the cutting sarcasm from the e-mail. I wondered if it made "Anonymous" feel better to send it, vindicated maybe. I don't know. But what I do know is that when you've stepped away from an angry family, well, words like that lose a lot of sting. It simply ceases to matter.

Stepping away from an angry family is a tough decision, but in the end, it is the decision that I made. That decision has brought me peace. I am comfortable with my choices.

My answer to you, "Anonymous" is that in the end, what matters is love. I am loved. I'm glad that you are too. Live a good life.

Thursday, September 25, 2014


Tim's company is having a slow time which is scheduled to pick up after the first of the year. They offered 'furloughs' to those who want to take it. Two month furloughs. There is no pay involved, but they will keep his health insurance up to date. Tim called me at break to ask what I thought.

This is what I thought. We have been working brutally hard, both of us. It feels like we never see each other, because we work different shifts. If he's not at work, or I'm not at work, we've got other work going on. I'm tired. I know he's tired. We've got two major rehabs going on, with a third one in the works. I said, "Take it Tim. Take a break. We'll be careful with money. We both need some together time."

I think that he was a little shocked at my quick answer. The goal has been right along for me to continue work, and for him to quit work and work at the houses full time. Two months will be a very good chance to see how close we are to that goal.

I am also very much looking forward to spending time with my husband.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014


I meet hundreds of people in a day, one right after another. There is no time to talk, not really. Sometimes people recognize me and want to talk. "How's your daughter doing?" they will ask. And I will assure them that she's fine, but really, if I stopped to talk, the people standing in line behind would probably riot.

That's the way it is in this job. People stopping in to pick up a prescription on their lunch break, or before work, whatever, and they don't have time to wait. Unfortunately this is a transition time for my store. New people have been hired to replace the seasoned staff that left en masse, due to a conflict w/ corporate. So we are not as efficient as the staff we are replacing. There is a learning curve with the job, and we're all trying to negotiate that curve as best we can, but people are often angry and impatient.

I try to be as kind as I can, and as quick as I can, and once again, I realize the importance of a kind word. A customer was blasting me for the store's inefficiency. A very elderly man stood behind her watching in amazement. I apologized profusely. Repeatedly. But that is not what the woman wanted to hear. She wanted to vent her spleen, and so I let her, and then I moved on to the next customer.

The elderly man approached the counter, and leaned forward, making eye contact, and said with a faint accent, "You do a good job. You remember that. You do a good job, and this is NOT your fault." I've always known this, but once again, I realized the importance of kindness. I patted his hand and said, "Thank you. Sometimes it is good to be reminded." He said no more, but we completed the transaction and he went on his way.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Time of Their Lives.

Still very busy here. It is a pivotal time to be coming on board with the company. It is sometimes stressful, always busy, but as always, when you work with the public, there are stories.

I saw two women waiting for their prescription. Turns out they were picking up for their sister. She had a number of prescriptions, but when I set them all on the counter, the two sisters put their heads together and said, "No..." and "No..." and "Doesn't need this one..." etc. etc. There was a lot of emotion that I wasn't quite understanding, but of all of the prescriptions, they found the powerful pain killers, and that is what they wanted.

One of the sisters stared at me and asked, "You're Debby, right..." and I stared right back at the vaguely familiar face and in the lines, I recognized an old friend. I greeted her warmly, and her eyes began to fill up. Her sister was dying. They had just found out that very morning. She had weeks to live. Her maintenance prescriptions were no longer necessary. Her sister was dying.

I was at a loss of what to say. I never know what to say in times like that. My eyes got teary too, and I could only say, "Oh, I am so terribly, terribly sorry!"

She smiled through all those tears, and she said, "We're going to the beach. We're headed out this very day. My brothers and sisters are already down there waiting for us. She wants very badly to go, and we couldn't think of a single reason to tell her no."

I told my friend that I was so glad that she was able to have this time with her sister. "I hope that you all have the time of your lives," and she assured me that this was the plan.

Later, restocking the medications back in the quiet storage area, I took a moment to pray for them, all of them, and I cried a little too. It is a marvelous gift to have such a close knit family that you wanted nothing more than to spend your final days surrounded by them, immersed in the love of your family.

Then I took a moment to pray to God for my own beloved sister.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014


Tim was spending some quality time with William while Brianna and I were both at work. When I came home from work, William was very excited. When he gets excited, he tends to talk a blue streak. When he gets VERY excited, you can hardly keep up with him. He wanted to tell me all about Spooky-Eeky, and he babbled on about a scar on a head, and a scary face, and suddenly he dropped to all fours, made big eyes and started turning his head back and forth slowly, blabbing away.

I watched him, incredulously. "Spooky-Eeky?" I said, trying to get a handle on what he was talking about. 

"Yes!" he answered. 

"Who told you about THAT?" I asked. Tim is not a scary movie person, or a scary story person, or a scary anything person, but sure as anything, William, still on all fours with his back up in the air, his eyes wide and his head turning back and forth slowly, said excitedly, "Yep. I go wif grandpa and I see Spooky-Eeky, and he is very scary..." 

Boy. This did not sound like Tim, but I yelled for him anyway. He came into the living room. "He's talking about Spooky-Eeky, and saying YOU took him to see him. What the heck is he talking about? What the heck is he doing?" and between us, William stood there on all fours with his back arched and his head slowly turning back and forth with his eyes bugging out of his head. 

Tim stared in total amazement listening to William babble on, his words running all together in his excitement. "Where on earth did you take him?" I demanded, and Tim said, "Well we went to Lowes...." His eyes got big and he burst out laughing.

"You know what he's doing?" he asked me, laughing loudly. 

"No, not a clue," I said.

And William continued to talk, his head turning back and forth, his arched back, on all fours.

Tim said, "They have their Halloween displays up. They had a skull that lit up and laughed, and a witch, giant pumpkins. William's favorite was a giant black cat with an arched back. He had great big wide eyes and his head moved back and forth." 

"William," I asked, "are you a cat?" 

And William answered, "Yes. I am a cat, and my name is Spooky-Eeky..."