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Sunday, June 26, 2016

A final goodbye

our sister, our friend.

Daughter Julie
 and Husband Joe speaking with love to our Sharon 

Chris, best friend from work 

Chris, looks enough like Sharon to be her twin 

Brother Darrell swabbing her dry lips  

A  promise from Above 

sort of random - totally random -


A visit to Harborview Medical Center / Hospital
When my daughter walked into the hospital, the first thing she saw was a man in orange. You know, orange pants, orange shirt with a number on it, and chains. Chains around his ankles and wrists.

This is the County Hospital, University of Washington Physicians, the best of the best

        and, they treat everyone, even jail birds.

When we arrived we stopped in the cafe.  The wall mural below is interesting but the man in front of it was oblivious.  He was very intent on eating.  During the 3 hours we came and went, we continued to eat, we counted four trays.  He wiped the tray, the plate the table, and cut and separated his food with diligence.    We could see him through the doors of the surgery waiting room.

At the county hospital, you obey all the rules. It is the right thing to do.  I only touched the door knob with my baby finger, but did not enter. 

Glad there is staff and it is the right thing to let them have their own elevator

This is the scene from the parking lot as we are leaving....Seattle 
And this is the hilicopter that  is taking off from the parking lot "airport". We think they are taking the man in orange back home.

Why does it look like the flag is checkered ?  

Two days later we are at  Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center / Hospital and the first thing we see is  JOHN OLERUD JERSEY AND much more.
He just happens to be our favorite Blue Jay, Met, and Mariner of all times ! 
  and our friend  

From the window by our sisters bed we see a ladder and empty boots
The window washing team is here...we caught Batman, but the other heroes were there and busy

Perfect stranger in the funest outfit.

Window by the waiting room 

 Helicopters come and go from Provident too.   My mother would say, someone is probably going to have a baby.

Two days later, and no ladder, but the boots are ready when you are !

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

June 20 2016

Not just another day 

view from Sharon's room 

Saying goodbye to our sister, our friend, loved by so many ….
     Sharon.  She is 73 , 5 foot 2, eyes of blue.  Missing part of one finger because her brother chopped it off when she was just a year old, he was 3.  They love to tell that story over and over.
But this story is not a funny story. Sharon had a heart attack on Sunday. We drove to visit her as soon as we could.  On Friday I was alone with her for about 3 hours. I talked to her, and sang to her, while I am sure she was listening. After  6 days the breathing tube was removed.   A little adjustment, her breathing  smooth,  sleeping soundly.  Snoring. We continued to talk to her and even sang a line or two from an old favorite “I love you a bushel and a peck”.  She was in room 269   She was raised in a Christian home and still loves Jesus.
  Today she went home to be with Jesus. 
We are sad, very sad. 
But there is joy in heaven.

Before we left home we called  a cousin to let her know about Sharon.   We discovered another family member was at the very same hospital. On the same floor.
    Sam, 26 years old, 5 foot 11, dark hair, tattoos on his extremities, face, just about everything that is not covered.  A few little studs seem to be part of his knee decoration.
His story is not funny either.  He was riding a Harley and ran into a deer.  This threw him into the path of a car that could not stop in time.  His injures are from the neck down. ( no brain, or head involvement )  A crushed lung, lost a kidney, both legs broken. Other injuries too.  He has a tube in his mouth and is unable to speak, but he can hear our conversation.
We were able to visit with his parents, grandfather and with the patient himself, briefly.
He is in room 244  He was raised in a Christian home. 
We do not know when he might be going home.

While visiting in room 269 a young man, his wife and son came by.
 Steven.  He is 30 , tall dark and handsome. And while cleaning an auger, his arm got caught.  We thought he would lose his hand, or at least some fingers.  It happened in January  He showed us his hand and the scars.  All 5 fingers still there !   His little son was only slightly entertained by the bubbles I happen to have in my purse, but, when I showed him photos on my camera, he knew exactly what to do with his little finger and he was smiling. 
Steven  comes to the hospital for therapy and gets to go back home. 
He was raised in a Christian home and is thanking the Lord for his recovery.

Today is June 20, 2016,  a day we will always remember. 

We said goodbye to our dear girl,

 but she left behind memories that will last until we join her in 


Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Not just another day

or just another week to write about.
But writing helps me to process.  This blog is usually light hearted, But today it is just reality.

The week  started with a flight to Minneapolis
 taking our 5 year old grandson with us

Spent two days with family. One day at the neighborhood park and coffee shop
                One day at the Mall of America.

Then a road trip down to a Family Bible Camp in Iowa
                with two grandchildren.

It is Saturday and after another day of walking and walking, my sprained foot is even more swollen and now a little red.     First night with extreme pain in my foot, but by morning ok.

Sunday we travelled back to Minneapolis

This is when we got a phone call from family
    My sister in law has had a heart attack, surgery and is now in an induced coma.

Monday we give hugs to Minneapolis family  and fly back home.

Tuesday we get the call that my sister in law will be sedated for another 72 hours.

A doctor appointment for me: Stay off foot as much as possible. No more walking the malls.
           No wonder the swelling increased.

Tomorrow, our daughter is having surgery.  Once she is home and settled we will get ready to
   go to Spokane.   The 72 hours will be up on Friday.  

That is our desired arrival .

We do not know what a day will bring forth.
But today, we have great hurt, and much to be thankful for.
              It could not be possible without Jesus.
                    He has promised to be with us
                             at all times.

today: June 14
Psalm 9:9  The Lord will be a refuge in the times  of trouble
( these are the times ) 

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

12:43 AM (10 hours ago)
 We will not call him by name  ( He is a very private sort of guy )

During the month of April, our neighborhood church takes in  homeless men, gives them a place to sleep, has dinner for them, a warm  breakfast,  and then sends them off in the morning with a lunch. Many volunteers help with this project 

. About five years ago we were on a team to provide food for a dinner, help serve and clean up. It is just one night,  there are many volunteers who help with this. It's an opportunity to give to those who do not have much.

So on this first opportunity that we had. it was pretty obvious  they are very organized and the   evening passed  quickly. 

As we were getting ready to leave a gentleman who had been in conversation with my husband asked if he would like to see where the men  sleep.  So he gave him the tour.  And as we were walking out together  the conversation turned to church and church upbringing and it seemed like both  were coming from a very similar background. And he seemed quite interested in coming to a Bible study that we participate in.

 So it was arranged that we would pick him up on Thursday evening and he would join us. And we did. And he did.  For many weeks he came with us and also on Sundays. When he moved to another church we were able to make connections and for quite a while he was part of our group.

His job  searches finally paid off.  The interviews  looked like a perfect match for him. He had Bank experience and there were two banks  quite interested in him. The interviews went on for some time and as it is usually does the numbers went  down and finally  there were just two of them and in the end he got the job. He was even called by  another  bank and they were disappointed they didn't get him.    

  For  several months he was being  trained and his new job was pretty high security and involved  some traveling. He began doing  a lot of traveling. So we did not see him every week . But he stayed in touch and he   sometimes sent pictures of where he was working. He was in England when the little prince was born.   In his travels he was able to get home to Kenya to visit his parents and his future was  looking very good for him.

His lifestyle changed quite a bit. His bank had clients who were  well known.  Often he was entertained in the home of a famous  coach, the owner of an airline, and even  the wealthiest man in America.

 But his personality seemed to be just same.. Even when the time came to purchase a home and though he felt it was nicer than he deserved, he was very humble.

Houses in Bellevue come on the market and are sold quickly.  There are several large companies here and   housing is  difficult.  Finally, the house of choice seemed to be accepting his offer.  The owners were in no hurry to sell, so the deal took a long time to go through. It is summer now and he is travelling quite a bit.

In the meantime, he was back  in town and able to attend a weekend retreat with us.  He was able to get acquainted with some new friends and seemed to have an enjoyable time, that Labor Day weekend.

He was travelling again and we did not see him from Christmas until February or March.  At this time he was finalizing the house.  There were some roof problems and also something under the house that needed to be corrected. More delays.   During this waiting period he was staying in a hotel downtown Bellevue, in a suite the bank reserves.

There is another retreat that we attended, just my hubby and me, and one of the friends attending had also been to the Labor Day weekend.   He asked about our banker friend  and then he said, " I think he is a fraud".
The conversation he had, the way he was dressed, his vocabulary, did not match up with a high security bank position.  We  were shocked, but then not so shocked.

Rereading my story, I can only see little glimpses of question.
We did notice that his wardrobe had not changed in 5 years.
His schedule seemed to be controlled by his "boss" who was always at the other end of his phone even though we did not hear it ring.
The pictures he sent could easily have been from the internet.
He did not participate in our Bible Study, but if he was asked a question, he seemed to know where to look in the Bible.
His email messages always had a word or two misused or a sentence that was not correct.
The house he was purchasing was in a very exclusive neighborhood, but he did not want to share the address.

So, the time had come to gently let him speak the truth.
It did not happen.
He claimed that everything he had told us was true, in fact he wanted us to meet his boss.
And that is when things changed.  His boss was never available.  Emails became very delayed and the messages were confusing.

Without at least a small conversation acknowledging  what is true, it feels like the story is not ended. We want to believe that he really is a Christian and the rest of the tales he told are not important.

Since the ball is in his court, perhaps this is the end of the story.

There has to be a reason, maybe a lesson, that we can learn from what has taken place.
and I am still searching for an answer.

Monday, June 6, 2016

not just another day

no it was not just another day

it was three days  before my birthday

my friend brought a lemon pie 

she makes very good pies.

I shared a pie with my friend Zena
Then it was Saturday 
Liz and I had a piece
Then it was Sunday 

I thought you might come over
Then it was my birthday. So I ate it myself

Happy Birthday to Me.   Thanks Jude, it was amazing.  

why do we do that

Well, maybe you have had a day like mine.  
It was a bakery day. 
I had no idea it was going to work out that way, so at brunch I had 1/3 of the coffee cake. Darrell ate the rest.  
Then, we took a little gift to our neighbor and she had just made cookies and fresh coffee. Only ate one. She sent home a little plate and it is covered tightly.
Shortly after we got home some new neighbors brought a thank you gift ( Darrell had showed them how to mow the lawn yesterday ) You guessed it, an Indian celebration sweet dish. 
When another neighbor asked if we liked scones, all I could say was " is there anyone who does not like scones". There are now four scones in the frig to share with friends who come to pray on Monday afternoon. 
I had about 1/3 cup of a very nutritious and mildly sweet Indian dessert That was when I looked at the clock and it was 8:30. Not my best day, but at least it is over. It is now 12:06.