Sunday, July 22, 2012

A Prayer

The tragic, unthinkable, incomprehensible act of a gunman in Colorado descended upon us all once again and I find myself struggling to understand; I don't.  How can anyone understand such an event?  As I listened to the news reports and the viewed the images in the media I became fixated on the outpouring of grief.  I heard about the unselfish love of at least 5 men who placed their bodies on top of their girlfriends and in so doing died while saving them.  I saw pictures of the father begging for news about his son who was later found dead; dying on his birthday, and I saw the picture of a beautiful six year old little girl whose life ended in that theater before it really had a chance to begin.  I fought back tears.  That little girl smiling, eating an ice cream cone stays with me.  I realized each of those victims regardless of their age was somebody's child, a priceless, irreplaceable gift from God.  

Sometime ago I came across a prayer written by Ina J. Hughes entitled, "We Pray for Children".  I printed that prayer and have it in my office at school.  I can't think of a more appropriate prayer for a day like today so I am sharing it here.

We pray for children
who sneak popsicles before supper,
who erase holes in math workbooks,
who can never find their shoes. 

And we pray, for those
who stare at photographers from behind barbed wire,
who can't bound down the street in a new pair of sneakers,
who never "counted potatoes,"
who are born in places where we wouldn't be caught dead,
who never go to the circus,
who live in an X-rated world. 

We pray for children
who bring us sticky kisses and fistfuls of dandelions,
Who sleep with the cat and bury goldfish,
Who hug us in a hurry and forget their lunch money,
Who squeeze toothpaste all over the sink,
Who slurp their soup.

And we pray for those
who never get dessert,
who have no safe blanket to drag behind them,
who watch their parents watch them die,
who can't find any bread to steal,
who don't have any rooms to clean up,
whose pictures aren't on anybody's dresser,
whose monsters are real. 

We pray for children
who spend all their allowance before Tuesday,
who throw tantrums in the grocery store and pick at their food,
who like ghost stories,
who shove dirty clothes under the bed,
and never rinse out the tub,
who get visits from the tooth fairy,
who don't like to be kissed in front of the carpool,
who squirm in church or temple and scream in the phone,
whose tears we sometimes laugh at
and whose smiles can make us cry. 

And we pray for those
whose nightmares come in the daytime,
who will eat anything,
who have never seen a dentist,
who aren't spoiled by anybody,
who go to bed hungry and cry themselves to sleep,
who live and move, but have no being. 

We pray for children
who want to be carried
and for those who must,
for those we never give up on
and for those who don't get a second chance.
For those we smother…
and for those who will grab the hand of anybody
kind enough to offer it. 

We pray for children. Amen
Today my prayers will include ALL of the children who died in Colorado and will include the child who was the shooter and his family.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Finding happiness

I noticed it out of the corner of my eye as I walked past the front door.  It was just sitting there looking so ordinary on my porch; just a large cardboard box.  It had a plain address label which was addressed to me and a bright orange sticker which read "Fragile!  Handle with care"  The UPS man must have placed it there like he does with so many other packages only this time I didn't hear the doorbell ring.  I unlocked the door and wrangled the large awkward box into the foyer and carefully looked at the other markings on the box, totally forgetting about an online order I had placed  about two weeks ago.  There on the side of the box was a label that said, "Respironics."  Respironics is a company that manufactures CPAP machines and CPAP supplies which are used by people with sleep apnea. I had a moment of panic as I hurried to the kitchen to get a knife to open the box.  Sometime in May I had placed an order for 2 soft CPAP caps for Jay.  The order had never come but our credit card  had not been charged so I didn't give it another thought.  Jay and I had talked about the order for the caps and he assured me he had a backup cap and was fine with the apparent outcome of my order.  I forgot about that order until "Respironics" was staring at me in bold black ink from the side of a very large box. Oh my gosh!  That order must be here and it surely was messed up because 2 soft caps would most certainly fit in an 8 1/2" x 11" padded envelope without difficulty.  How many caps did I get and what was it going to take to get this all straightened out.  Panicked I tore into the box!  Packing peanuts in multiple colors came spilling out of the box.  I remember thinking, "who needs to pack peanuts around fabric caps?"  I dug though the peanuts only to encounter blocks of foam padding, lots and lots of foam.  My concern and panic was increasing.  What did I mistakenly order and what is it going to take to get this mess straightened out?  Then I saw it and I began smiling, grinning, laughing as total joy came exploding out of that large ordinary cardboard box!  You see that order I had forgotten about was for items I had seen on E Bay after discovering another cardboard box of memories and precious toys had been lost, mistakenly donated to Goodwill.  I had won an auction and this was my winnings.  There under my fingers was a Fisher Price A Frame house, not my house but another perfect house.  The tears came again but this time they for happiness found inside an ordinary box at my front door.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Bring on the food challenge!

I have a blogger friend, Mimi, who writes about Weight Watchers in the 1970's.  She loves the era and frequently shares recipes from the WW program in the '70's complete with her taste evaluation.  She is brave, very brave!

If you, like me, did the Weight Watchers program in the '70's you may remember the FIVE fish meals per week as well as the MANDATORY liver meal weekly.  The were no free fruits and vegetables and no skim milk!  Ketchup you could have if you made it yourself.  Wow!  What great changes the program has made.

Mimi issued a challenge to her blog followers a month or so ago.  She asked who would be willing to cook up a recipe from the 1970's Weight Watchers program and blog about it.  I volunteered (and prayed)!  Here is the link to read my recipe challenge: Pink Fluff Salad as well as the other brave bloggers participating in Mimi's virtual potluck:


 CLICK HERE:   Pink Fluff Salad 

If you visit her blog, let her know in the comment section, I invited you!  Remember your manners  :)

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Just a box of toys

This past week has been one full of anticipation and excitement for me as we prepared to welcome our daughter, son in law, and granddaughter who would be visiting from New York for several days.  Erika is now 9 months old and with her living so far away we have missed so many changes as well as quality cuddle time with her.  I am excited, we are excited!!  Saturday could not arrive quickly enough.

On Thursday I asked my husband to bring down the box of toys we had stored away for "someday".  He looked carefully in the storage space that flanks either side of our bonus room and found nothing that resembled a box large enough to contain those saved toys.  He came down and told me they weren't there.  I returned to the bonus room with him to conduct another search knowing he had missed them, praying he had missed them.  The box contained special toys tucked away for grandchildren someday.  There was the Fisher Price A-Frame house picked up a garage sale by my mother when Megan was little.  There was the Fisher Price rolling ball with the carousel animals that rocked and chimed as it was played with.  There was the Tudor style Fisher Price House, the school bus containing all of the wooden little people,  the garage and cars with the lift that moved up and down when the crank was turned and there was the barn and silo with all of the animals.  There were other toys and lots of wooden little people and there were countless memories of times our children played with those toys. They were tucked safely away years ago to wait until we needed them.  We wanted to share those toys with our grandchildren.  Some of those toys packed away so long ago would be great for Erika to play with now and so I had to search again.  They had to be there!  Jay surely was wrong.  We searched and as he said, no box of toys.  Maybe they were in the attic.  I held my breath and we looked but again came up empty.  Jay commented more than once that I looked upset and I was.  Part of something special was gone and I had no words adequate enough to explain how I was feeling and then the tears came, streaming down my face and dropping silently onto my shirt.  Jay didn't know what to say.  He tried to comfort me but I was lost.  Perhaps I could replace a few of the toys, and yes, they would be similar but they would not be the same as the toys I knew now were mistakenly donated to Goodwill when we cleaned out the storage areas several years ago.  It was no one's fault, it was simply a terrible accident.

I called Megan and told her about her A-Frame House and all of the other toys that were gone and she understood my sadness and disappointment.  I played on EBay as we talked only to discover they had several Fisher Price A-Frame house on their listings.  Somehow that fact made both of us feel better.

Megan, Judson, and Erika arrived on Saturday and there were toys for her to play with and she was happy but a part of me still watches her and feels my heartstrings tug when I think about what we lost.  It was not just a box of toys!