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Monday, September 12, 2011

Turn the page....

September 9, 2011

     It started as a routine day at work, business of station duties of things that seem now to be all routine.  One of the things we did that day was to be invited to go to one of the local High schools, there is a tremendous hall in this school, the length of over four football fields.  The school had every single child in attendance that day line the hall, and asked if we the first responders would walk down the middle of that line.  The uproars, claps and cheers filled the hall, not sure if they were clapping for us or just joyous that they weren't in class at that moment, but it made for an interesting moment in an otherwise routine day.  Later that afternoon my wife got ahold of me at the station, and asked if anyone had called me, I told her that I had been busy and asked what was going on.  My grandmother has been in a bad way for some time, so it was no surprise to get such a call, I have been expecting it.  Hospice has declared that this may be the final day in my grandmothers life, she has taken a serious turn for the worse.  I won't get into the lengthy details about how I was able to get someone to releive me and let me go spend a moment with her, but it was tedious and left me feeling very disappointed in the morality of certain people.  But I finally got someone to come in and I was able to spend about an hour with her that night.  Habit kicked in and I checked her vitals and was able to determine that if the end came, it would not be soon.  My prayer that night was that I get to be there in the final moments, not sure why, but I felt a pull to be there, but in the same prayer I told God that it would be ok if he called her home peacefully in the night, as it is His will.

September 10, 2011

     I grabbed a nasty cup of FF coffee, gave the morning report, and out the door I went.  When I got there my uncle was up reading the paper, my aunt was resting, and my mom and dad were in the room with my grandmother.  Habit kicked in again, I checked her vitals, and could see that she had vastly deteriorated during the night, limited radial pulse, corotid pulse was weak and not as strong as the night before, and her breathing was very shallow.  I spent alot of thought and effort in trying to relay to my parents this information, my thought was that they knew what I was telling them, maybe they did, and were just in a state of disbeleif, as much as this old gal had been through, it was even hard for me to believe that this could be the end.  My father and I set up decent coffee for the day, nothing against my aunt and uncle, but what they consider coffee I call muddy water that tastes like feet, yes, I am a coffee snob.  Over about an hour, I kept checking her pulses, her breathing slowed to about five a minute extrememly shallow, agonal breaths.  Then I noticed that her radial pulses were absent, again, relaying this info in the hopes that what I was telling them would be understood.  Then it happened, about about 8:24 in the morning my aunt had gotten up and come in the room, behind her was my uncle, and their little dog, who suddenly began to bark.  I put my hand on my grandmothers chest and realized that the breathing had stopped.  There was some chatter in the room, but having experience in the arena, I spoke firmly and directly, to be silent, to be still, and to say goodbye, she was leaving us.  My hand on my grandmothers chest could still feel the slight heartbeat, and I felt it slowly ebb away, as if she was walking away.  In that moment I envisioned a glorious homecoming, with cheers and applause, a rekindling of two people that had not seen each other in over fifty years.  You see, my grandfather died when my mother was very young, and my grandmother never remarried, so this passing was a glorious time when what God made one so many years ago could be reunited.  I walked around the bed so that I could look at my grandmother in the face, I made the sign of three crossed on her forehead, and gently kissed those crosses.  My father had pulled out a sheet of paper with a final prayer that he had written for her, I knelt on the floor beside him, and we read it together.  In my mind, I was staring at the beautiful blue sky that blessed that day, and I thanked my God for giving me such a day, and I asked him kindly if he would take care of that great lady, whom I am proud to say I am akin to.  And in that moment for the first time in my life I felt the presence of my grandfather, whom I will only meet in Heaven, his name is James, and what I felt in that moment, was his pride in me, and his overjoy with being with her once again.

For my Family

Monday, September 5, 2011

Turn up the Radio!!!!!!!!!

Today I am going back to my roots, back to the good ole Myspace days of telling a story and placing a moral at the end of it.  I have to admit, though, this story is not mine, and was not my idea.  There is a guy who goes to my church, he knows me and I am ashamed to admit that I have no idea what his name is, but he stopped me before I could go into church and gave me this story, at which time, I told him I was going to steal it.  Which begs me to ask one question, if I tell you I am taking it, is it stealing?.....

     Most of us have a job where there is some light traveling involved, I myself even in the janitorial arts have found myself of the road from time to time.  So we all can relate to this experience.  When you are driving down the road, there are few of us who do not listen to the radio, whether it be some good ole driving rock n roll music, to like my wife listens to, talk radio, she thinks like an elderly woman sometimes, I don't get it, but love her anyway.  But we all have the dial, showing my age here, tuned into one station or another.  What happens as we go down the road, what happens to the station?  We begin to lose it, we have to re-tune and find another station.  What about when you are coming home, no matter how far away you go, at some point, you have to come home?  We all share the experience of getting the radio station back, its fuzzy at first, doesn't quite come in clearly, but you can hear it, and the closer you get to home, the clearer it becomes.

Moral-     So here is the obvious conclusion that I have come up with.  We have those times in our lives where even as Christians we tend to walk away from our faith, we tend to walk away from what God wants us to be.  We think we have it all figured out, like we can do all of this ourselves.  Like when we are driving, God in the form of the Holy Spirit is always our driving music in our lives, whether we be rocknrollers, country, jazz, or talk radioers.  God is always pulling our hearts in the direction we need to be in to fulfill His plan.  But as we get further away from God, the message He is delivering to us becomes fuzzy and unclear.  We seek other avenues of entertainment, to satiate the hole in our hearts that we created when we walked away from God.  But no matter how far we go, we always feel the pull towards home, we always are given the opportunity to go back to God.  The closer we get to Home, the more we can hear God in our hearts again, a little fuzzy at first, but it is there.  We have to remember that it is we who have left the Father, he is always there for us.  Proof of this, when returning home from your travels, and in that moment that you begin to pick up the frequency you call home again, and it doesn't quite sound clear.  Try stopping for a moment, and being still, and realize that if you just sit still for a moment, the words come in very clearly.

     We serve a God who never wants us to leave, but always seems to welcome us back when we are ready to come Home.  Be still, and know that He is God.