I love my Dad. As the oldest of the three girls in the family, I always received a lot of attention and praise from my Dad growing up. As an adult, my relationship with my Dad developed into a genuinely good friendship. For the past few years, I called my Dad every morning on my way to work. Dad answered the phone with one of his common greetings.
“Pool hall, ” he would say and then laugh. Our conversation was usually light and often we simply talked about our plans for the day. Sometimes Dad would pass the phone to Mom but it was Dad that I really wanted to speak with as our little talks set the tone for experiencing a good day at work. Our little talks made me happy! I walked into work feeling happy and usually stayed happy all day!
Now we were facing the possibility that Dad had stomach or gastric cancer. The results came in two days after the colonoscopy. It was a bit of a roller coaster ride for many days. The oncologist confirmed our greatest fear, Dad had cancer. I look back and don’t really recall the sequence of events. He had some other tests to verify the extent of the cancer. Initially, we were told Dad was at stage 1 but consquent tests proved the oncologist was incorrect.
So much happened so quickly. More doctors, more tests, differing ideas about what we should do and what doctors and modern medicine could do. We reached out to our extended family for prayers for healing. Dad’s health was declining rapidly and with very little appetite he continued to lose weight. More symptoms, more discomfort and pain.
Stage 4. Stage 4! FOUR? My Dad was already in Stage 4.
How could this be? He was just diagnosed. Dad went to see various specialists on a regular basis. How was this disease allowed to progress without detection?
I am a strong woman. I am a woman of faith. I love my Dad and miss him so very much.
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I woke up reflecting on my first day back in the classroom since May 2015. Let me clarify, I am assisting a math/science teacher for the reminder of the year for only 2 days a week.
My first instinct is to run. My second instinct, how can I schedule more hours with this teacher and students before the state assessment. If you knew me you would know my thoughts on testing and wondering why a change of mind. The students will test. Someone will look at the results. And decisions will be made.
There is more at stake. The students were a bit rowdy during a lesson using a Kindle to record their explanation. But they were loud working in a their small groups. And they talked while the teacher explained the activity. And someone asked the teacher if I was his grandmother before he could introduce me. And another laughed at my name.
And about an hour later I redirected the students They silently completed their DOL, daily observation of learning, for the day’s math lesson. And all was right in the world again.
Until…all was right until I spoke privately with the teacher after class. He stated he was embarrassed for his students behavior. And I was sad. This young man with so much knowledge to share has a few students disrupting the learning process so often he is reconsidering his decision to teach.
How did his achool district fail him? Why hasn’t he received more support? Oh, I was called in but there only 9 weeks of school remains and there is only 6 school days until the state test in math. And the state science test is in May.
Reflecting, praying, and changing my schedule to make a difference. The difference I hope to make by June is to hear the teacher say, “I am returning, I am taking it one year at a time, one day at a time.”
New Orleans. New Orleans! Just saying the words conjures up memories of past visits. In my younger days the visits there centered around having a great time in the French Quarter or dancing the night away at a disco. Not too long ago a business trip might include dining out and a visit to Harrah’s for a night out on the town. But now I have discovered another gem of New Orleans.
I never thought my vehicle would break down on the road just past Shreveport on I 49 but it did. One minute you are cruising down the road looking forward to spending a few days on a beautiful Florida beach. The next, you’re calling for roadside assistance.
It was past 1:00 am and the roadside assistance representative said a tow truck diver should make it shortly after 3:00 am to tow my little home one wheels off the side of the highway. I decided I might as well nap while waiting.
I woke up around 6:00 am wondering what happened to my tow truck. After a few calls, I was set up again for a tow. Apparently, the first company contacted didn’t think their tow truck was large enough for my little rv. Another two hours were spent on the side of the road before the two truck pulled up. The driver said he was a mechanic previously. He took a look under the hood. Faulty spark plug? He tried to replace a spark plug but the area was stripped. Time to tow my vehicle in for a repair.
Less than two hours later, my RV was in the shop and the tow truck driver was dropping me off to get a rental car. I had plenty of time to run a few errands, enjoyed a nice meal, an checked into a local hotel. I thought it best to keep out of the casinos. I went to bed a little disappointed my trip was disrupted but hopeful to be back on the road soon the next day.
Sometimes a little setback turns out to be a good thing. Sometimes it’s all in how you look at things. The problem with the RV’s engine couldn’t be controlled nor anticipated. Once I paid for the repair and picked up my RV, it was time to evaluate the situation. I lost two days and had 3 unexpected expenses, repair, auto rental, and hotel. Part of my funds were spent so it looked like I needed to skip the trip to Florida. The new destination was New Orleans. Let the journey continue.
I am a strong woman. I am a flexible person. I am able to look for the positive in any situation. I am blessed.