Miracles in the Small Things

“Miracles come in moments. Be ready and willing.” ~ Wayne Dyer

The forecast didn’t call for snow; we were all amazed when we saw it. It wasn’t snowing when I backed in the hospice center drive and it wasn’t snowing when we left. Yet, when I went to open the back of the ambulance to take our patient out, there it was. . .big, fat, fluffy, soft flakes of snow falling silently from the sky.

The look on her face was priceless joy — like a kid who had just opened the best Christmas gift. We rolled her out and as we wheeled her to the door of what will probably be her last stop here on earth, we paused and encouraged her to try to catch the flakes on her tongue. She was grinning from ear-to-ear, bundled up in warmed blankets on the cot.

When we brought the empty cot back out to the rig, there was no sign of snow, no snow on the ground and no damp patches on the ground, even though our patient, my partner and the student riding with us had all seen it. . . .And it was then that I knew we’d been part of a miracle. A small divine joy created especially for our patient.

Moments like this is what makes my EMS job so meaningful to me.

Addendum: I feel that I have to share the deeper story here —

This particular day was extremely stressful for me on a personal front. My stomach was in knots and accordingly on my way to work I had to make two pit stops — at which point I’m telling myself, “Girl! Get your shit together!” (Literally and figuratively.)

Snowflakes have always mesmerized me as a child. Their unique characteristics without repetition fascinate me at the artistry of God’s hands. My first Hallmark collectible ornament was an acrylic piece w/ a snowflake etched into it and it is still a favorite to this day.

As I drove home from work late at night following the incident described above, I felt a sense of overwhelming peace. The miracle above wasn’t just intended for our patient. It was a visible reminder to me that God can cause snow to fall in a particular spot for a specific period of time. Having that much power and control means he can handle the small details of my life as well.

Packing Life into Boxes

“Home is where the heart is, even if you can’t remember what box you packed it in.” ~ Unknown

Packing up a life, especially one that has spanned 16 years in the same house, is difficult.

I don’t have a lot of sentimental attachment to “things” per se. I have memories which I will cherish waaaay more than “stuff.”.

When I bought my current home I was in the process of divorcing an abusive spouse. This house is filled with memories of the struggles and eventual success of freeing myself from that upside-down relationship.

Enter stage left. . .the next husband. Ever so helpful in the front he projected, all the while doing his level best to (quite literally) destroy my home as he lived in it. The furniture, the decor, the renovations and the reasons behind them — leave a bitter taste in my mouth. This was my dream home and it became a nightmare.

A few items I have bought since we divorced will go with me. A solid oak pedestal table that was mine before I was married goes with. A small cabinet. a lawyer’s bookcase that belonged to my maternal grandmother. My antique sewing machine I just bought. Christmas decorations.

Everything else is just “stuff” with memories attached that I don’t care to haul with me. Much as I hate holding garage sales and yard sales, there will be a moving sale.

A fresh start deserves fresh memories. New beginnings deserve new “stuff.”

Winter Weddings

“Snowflakes are one of winter’s most fragile things, but just look what they can do when they stick together.” ~ Vesta Kelley

I have to say, winter weddings are my favorite. I know most people prefer spring or summer, but something about the snow and cold outside and the warmth inside. . .

The family is together, the church is decorated for Christmas, the lights are shining and then. . .

Something about the vows being said so near the time we celebrate the commitment of Mary to God’s plan just seems to add meaning. At least to me.

The family grows and expands and joins together two separate entities into one. Sister and brothers, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, aunts and uncles — like the snowflake above, fragile on it’s own, the family together becomes the substance with force behind it. Like an avalanche of snow which can destroy with it’s force and beauty, a family has raw power at it’s core when they stand together.

And it all starts with “I do.”

Blank Slate

“My future was a blank slate, and only I could write on it.” ~ Carter Quinn

I don’t know what the future holds. I’m neither a seer or a psychic. I don’t read cards, tea leaves or palms. I don’t put stock in horoscopes altho they are good for a giggle.

Life is a blank slate at times. You get an opportunity to start fresh.

A new job.

A new home.

A new location.

I keep looking at photos of the new house. I fell in love with it at first sight, and even more in love with the walk thru accompanied by my realtor. The actual tour of the house brought back memories.  As a child, my step-mom and I would discuss old homes we passed as we drove. We imagined past inhabitants, lives once lived, conversations, the mundane everyday-ness and often ended with the phrase, “if walls could talk.”

I look forward to listening to the walls of our new home speak.  Being able to feel out the secrets and stories they’ve held — waiting a bit to see exactly how to decorate and what paint colors to choose. I want to select the colors that will bring out the peace and the history. . .and create a strong future.

Spoken like a true empath.

“Feels Like Home”

Sometimes you need a sign — something that confirms you’re doing the right thing.

For me, it was the moment after I was shown a house I am interested in making our home. I was sitting in the driveway, preparing to leave when this song came on the radio.

Later that same day, it was the moment I listened to this song again  and realized the lyrics were never more true. Being with someone you care about can feel like you’ve found your way home.

Life Changing Decisions — Part 2

“Eighty percent of all choices are based on fear. Most people don’t choose what they want; they choose what they think is safe.” ~ Phil McGraw

Life is a gamble at times. The odds may be good, they may be bad or they may be “ever in your favor.” Destiny. Fate. Kismet. Serendipity.

A month ago, I posted about an opportunity that was presented to me. . .and these words were included in that post:

“While I am excited about the possibility, I am also afraid. Afraid of moving away from family. Afraid of uprooting my children from their friends. Afraid of looking for a home and moving. Afraid of my ex-‘s reaction if I get a job offer. Afraid of failing if this is not the right job.”

I submitted the resume. I interviewed. An offer was made and I accepted. Sometimes the want outweighs the fear. Does it feel “safe” ? Not at all. I’ve had moments when I feel like I’m free-falling down the rabbit hole and will end up like Alice in Wonderland.

In the past month, I’ve perused the housing market, checked the schools, examined crime rates, and reviewed neighborhoods.

In the past week:

  • I’ve flown to my interview and back home over two days,
  • Met with a realtor and looked at a home,
  • Applied for pre-approved financing,
  • Made a plan to have a moving sale to be able to start fresh w/ new furnishings,
  • Made an offer on the home mentioned above,
  • Typed my letter of resignation,
  • Broached the subject of moving with the ex-
  • And questioned my sanity every step of the way

In my interview, I was asked, “why should we hire you?”. When it was my turn to ask questions, I asked, ” Why should I come work for you?”

I’m uprooting my life and my family to move 12 hours away to a location where I have no family, know only a handful of soon-to-be co-workers, have to find housing and schools, and get settled for my dream job. Some folks might say this is insanity, definitely not “safe.”

I say you only live once. Follow your dreams and see where they take you.

The Stuff of Nightmares

“They’ve promised that dreams can come true — but forgot to mention that nightmares are dreams, too. ~ Oscar Wilde

Dreams can be wonderful. Funny. Romantic. Weird. Delicious, even.

And then there are nightmares. Nightmares are dreams too.

Nightmares can be dreams of past events remembered. Distorted, piece-meal memories which awaken fear, dread and anxiety.

Sometimes I wake up suddenly — struggling to breathe, the bed damp from sweat. Heart pounding. Muscles cramped from tension. A scream ready to escape, if it hasn’t already.

Other times, the ability to wake is seemingly hampered by my mind refusing to surface from the murky depths of dark dreams as if I’m pinned underwater. The facial expressions and laughter of my tormentor echo in my head with historical precision.

The worst is when I feel the pain of what is occurring. I wake to sensations of burning or dull and blunt pressure being applied with steadying force.

It takes many minutes, sometimes an hour, to refocus. To feel the safety of my surroundings — the free and easy sound of my own deep breaths, the texture of the sheets, the weight of the blankets, even the ability to move and pace as I calm myself.

Dreams can and do come true, even the stuff of Nightmares.

When We Met. . .

“You had me at hello. . .” – Jerry Maguire

Some folks make an impression on you right from the start. For better or worse, your first impression (or sometimes the second or third), you just KNOW they will have an impact in your life.

Whether it is attraction or common interests, or even a phrase that is said or an unconscious movement. . .something draws you to certain people for a reason.

Some of my favorite peoples are those that make me nervous, but nervous in a good way.  That gut-shaking, slightly nauseous sensation you get right before riding a rollercoaster is similar to what I experience.  Almost a euphoric something-exciting-could-happen feeling.

So yes, I am sure some people are meant to meet.



The Sensual Life

“I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order” – John Burroughs

I get it. We’re all busy. Rushing here. Going there. Trying to get it all done.

Tonight, I took a break.

Things have been hectic at my house with the normal routine happenings. But throw in an extra couple of guests and my simply ordered life becomes chaotic.

I went to my happy place. A location which few know of. A quiet, relaxing place where I am alone.

And I relished the silence. . .at first. But then in the quiet, I began to let my senses kick in. First I heard the drops of water falling from the trees onto the metal roof. Then I heard the wind blowing. And the furnace kick on.

Shortly afterwards, I began to notice the cool smoothness of the polished floor beneath my bare feet. And the hum of the refrigerator.

I removed my make-up and washed my face, taking time to revel in the softness and scent of a freshly laundered towel, the fluidity of the warm water as it splashed onto my face and ran down my chin.

I ate a carton of yogurt and smelled the sweet scent of the apples as I stirred it. The weight of the yogurt diminished as it warmed on my tongue, retaining a bit of coolness as it crossed my palate.

For a few minutes I sat in the hot tub and felt my body relax. I felt the sting of cold sleety drops hitting my face, while the rest of my body, heated thru, stayed under the surface of the water, the bubbles from the jets fizzing against my skin. I stood to wrap myself in a towel, watching as the steam rose from my skin, wafting upwards into the night sky.

Relaxation is a wonderful thing, not only for the body but the mind. Too often we are rushing thru life so fast we forget to experience it. To fully feel, hear, taste, and smell what is happening around us.

Tonight was an awesome reminder of the busy-ness of the commonplace things that we tune out. They are there, right below the surface of our consciousness, waiting to be sensed.