Winter Flurries

The last time I listened to this song was when I was writing my essay about the impact MS had on our family.  I can remember vividly sitting in the kitchen, having made chicken soup after my blizzard photography walk, and talking with Dianne about what I should study at Anderson.  Dad was watching his movie, the oh so famous “Smoky and the Bandit” and the kitchen was filling with the smell of coffee brewing.

I remember sitting back in the chair, staring at the blank word document, not knowing where to even begin.  I could have written the ‘my childhood/teenage years’ were taken from me essay, which would not have been true.  I could have written a ‘tear-jerker, pull at the heartstrings’ type of essay, which let’s face it would have been easy.  But instead I wrote about how MS blessed my family.

Of course you are probably thinking I am probably insane.  MS… Multiple Sclerosis… that neurological disease which at any random moment can turn your world upside down.  That? A blessing?

I did not find any blessing in the way it debilitated my dad or how quickly our lives were changed over the years.  However, the blessings I did see which this disease helped reveal I do appreciate.  The many ways God provided for my family, how we could feel His presence surrounding us during the darkest moments.  I appreciate the many memories I have with my dad, the memories I have with mum during the nursing home episodes, the very early morning ER trips and the ZERO candy bar I can still remember getting from the vending machine to help us stay awake for when we could go to dad’s room.  So much happened in that span of time, and through it a lot of blessings came about and I know deep down that God had/has his hand on my family.

So no matter what happens in life, everything will be okay.  It will be okay, because I know without a shadow of a doubt that my God is with us.  He is, and peace passes all understanding.

Over the years I have learned that life has its many good and bad moments, but if we continue to focus on the bad, life just doesn’t seem worth it.  The miracle of life is getting to live it and knowing that everyday is precious makes me want to focus and seek out the good that comes about each day.

MS may have brought about hard times, but loving my dad was never a hardship, and to love and be loved is a true blessing


Let’s Practice Spelling H-O-N-E-S-T-Y

One of my goals for the year is to work on my attitude.  A lot of times I tend to put on a cheerful face and when asked I say, “I’m great! yada, yada, yada”.   Okay maybe not the yada, yada, yada, but I did get suddenly transported back to a Seinfeld episode when I wrote those words.  I know for a fact from many talks with others that when people think of me they think that I am always cheerful and that I have a really good attitude.  I must, however, confess that is not always the case.  Every once in a while my attitude stinks like rotten fish.  And I am afraid that my heart most often probably looks like a basket full of rotting fish.  I sometimes wonder what my heart would look like, not in a physical sense, but if we were to look at it in the ‘goodness’ sense.  Would it be pure red goodness, red with a few splotches or charcoal black?

Christmas break I was able to spend time with beautiful friends that are dear to my heart.  One of my friends gave me a necklace with three tears on it, but each tear had a smile.  She called them the happy tears necklace and said that even though I have had so much sadness in my life I always have a smile on my face.  Right before I left to come to the party I gave myself the pep talk  “Okay Erin, you can do this.  Just put on a smile” as I sat there in my car looking at the night sky finally whispering “God, I can’t do this” and let the tears flow.

The next week two friends asked me about dad.  One of them said “Erin, we’re afraid to bring it up and we dance around the topic a lot because we don’t want to bring any sadness to you…but how are you doing with your dad?”  I looked at her and at first I almost went into my normal response mode but then I decided to be honest.  It feels like yesterday.  The pain is still there.  Each day has it’s ups and downs, but there isn’t a day when I never stop missing him.

Mum and I watched an Easter Video from back in 1984, where my grandpop had rented a video camera to tape the family all together, and sent it to my Uncle and Aunt who at the time were living in Ecuador.  Each family updated, and it was wonderful hearing all the New Jersey accents coming full throttle.  It was wonderful seeing grandpop and grandmum again,  hearing grandmum laugh and play piano makes me imagine that when I come home I’ll see her once again at Fairlawn but then I have to remind myself  it’s been 3 months since her death.  And then the camera turns to mum and dad, and I can’t keep it in…both of their voices so soft-spoken, dad being camera-shy and then every once in a while throwing out some zingers.  Both of us had red noses by the end.  I also loved seeing my brother  showing off for the camera, and how EVERYONE had so much joy in their voices whenever he would walk for the camera.  My brother’s a miracle, yes Dave you are!

Life is filled with so much uncertainty.  Back then who could have ever imagined where each of us would be now.  I wasn’t even in the picture, but yet mum knew I would be. MS wasn’t worried about in that time, it was more about working on the house and fulfilling duties at the church.  My brother completely defied a lot of odds set against him.  Thank goodness God is in control.  I don’t understand it all and I’ve given up trying to make sense of it all…but all I can do is believe that God is in control.


And in less then one month, it will be two years.  Each year I miss him more and more.

The Shopper’s Code Revisited

Blast from the past.  And if you wonder which one I am, I am number 3.  Of course if I shop at my store I turn into number 9.

There are many types of shoppers out there, and I wanted to highlight a few of them that I see all the time at the store.  enjoy.

1.)  The List Shopper- this is the shopper that comes in prepared, knows what he/she is getting and sticks to what is planned, never straying or getting tempted by the goods.

2.)  The Camper- this is the shopper that comes to the store everyday,  even more then once a day.  You would think they had a pretty full refrigerator by the end of the day…obviously not.

3.)  Incognito Shopper-  mr. zippy, no discussion, no looking, in and out

4.)  The Remorseful Shopper- this is the shopper who has every good intention of following the list, but finds the store has too many good deals to pass up.  In the end they come home with more then what they were planning on and will always sheepishly tell that to the cashier in advance as we knowingly nod our heads.

5.)  The Senior Citizen- this shopper is a unique shopper to the store, only coming when the discount is issued (on occasion you will see them there other days but normally the day designated for the discount)  Of course they are going to want everything fresh, since they are slow and small eaters, in conclusion 4 slices of ham, 6 rolls, and a carton of eggs cut in half just for them.

6.)  The Husband-  this shopper has little or no experience with the store.  You will see him walk aimlessly through the aisles with a blank look, every once in a while checking a piece of paper with a confused air.

7.) The Panicked Shopper- this shopper is quite usually running errands for someone else.  Normally carrying a cell phone in hand, you will occasionally see them make crazy guestures in the air when an item is not found or is out of stock.  On occasion they are in such a rush that they seem to forget things, and come back a couple minutes later after they remember.

8.) The Water-Closet Shopper- this shopper has only one thing on their mind, ‘where’s the bathroom’.

9.)  The Socialite Shopper- this shopper tends to see everyone they know at the store and ends up talking for hours on end.  A ten minute shopping expedition turns into an hour long trek when ‘Mrs. Jones’ catches sight of this shopper and needs an update on life.  Normally the deli counter and the produce sections are the beautiful scenes of reuniting take place.