Friday, December 31, 2010

My Hero

After weeks of planning, shopping and baking, our Christmas countdown was no longer how many days ‘til Christmas but how many hours. The excitement was palpable. The whole family was brimming with joviality. Every one that is, except one little girl.

She, on the other hand, was discovered lying on the sofa whimpering, hot with fever. Why is it that ear infections always happen at the most inopportune times? Fortunately, one phone call later I discovered that the Spanish Fork Clinic was actually open on Christmas Eve. Hooray!!!

Soon we were sitting in the waiting room with a few other folks whose celebrations had also been interrupted by illness. Had we not been seen by the doctor so fast, I imagine that we all could have formed some sort of pathetic fellowship while sitting there. Our flag would have been made out of back issues of People magazine. Hail Brad and Angie!

But as it were, we were on our way out the door before we knew it and almost home when suddenly, out of my rearview mirror something caught my eye. A second glance revealed the smashed remains of my taillight flapping in the breeze. Someone had hit me in the parking lot of the clinic! Despair and frustration raced through my mind as my thoughts immediately took me back six months prior when the same taillight had been smashed out by a hit and run driver in the parking lot at Wal-Mart. I was instantly consumed with the thought of having to spend another couple hundred dollars to get it fixed… again.

I kissed joviality goodbye and headed back to the clinic for clues as to who the perpetrator was. Finding nothing to go on in the parking lot I went inside to ask the receptionist if anyone had reported seeing the accident. Much to my surprise, she produced a slip of paper with the name and number of the man who had slid on some ice and hit the back of my car while trying to park next to me. He was so apologetic and kind when I called and best of all…I didn’t have to pay another repair bill for someone else’s error.

His honesty and integrity has made him a hero to me ever since. Accountability has become an option to most people, and one rarely taken if ever. The real men and women left in our world carry the torch of accountability alone. “ Good men are bound by conscience and liberated by accountability. Dignity is the reward of holding oneself accountable to conscience.” Wes Fessler

I will probably never meet him and I’ve already forgotten his name, but to me he will always be handsome. He will always be strong. He will always be a hero.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Jet Lag...minus the Jet

More and more I am convinced that it's not the size of the trial, but the longevity of it. Make it hard, make it ugly, but please...make it fast!

"Endure to the end". Maybe I've just missed it, but in my accounting, there hasn't been a whole lot of time dedicated in preaching those four words even though it seems like they get tagged on to the end of many an admonition from God.

As an example: "Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life." 2 Nephi 31:20

Countless sermons on hope, love, feasting on the word...not so many on the enduring part.

It's really almost too depressing to write about. The fact that trials can last F O R E V E R, or at least feel that way. That's why we are so fond of Doctrine and Covenants 121:7 "My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment..."

Small moment = good. All your waking moments = bad.

I guess we need to reset our clocks to God's time zone, cause we have some serious spiritual jet-lag. I don't know about you, but I get tired of my trials way too soon. I want to put them to bed yesterday.

I think we all see the punch line coming on this one: Always just assume it's going to last forever, right? When it turns out to be brief, we get to be pleasantly surprised. But if it drags on forever ...then no biggie, we were expecting that.

Mental health professionals have already come up with a thought process to help people acclimate to the latter. They call it "the new normal". When, against your dreams, hopes and wishes, your life has been irreversably altered for the worse, there comes a time when you have to stop searching for your old life, or waiting to feel "normal" again. You have to embrace your new normal and move on.

Random Thoughts

Yesterday I read a blog that was written by a man whose wife had cancer. She had cancer, and then died. She hadn't even finished her treatments yet when, according to her husband, she died in her sleep from "complications".

I had to shake my head. Not the "what a pity" kind of shake my head, but the "shocking reality" kind of shake my head. For the first time ever the thought of dying in my sleep didn't sound peaceful or desirable at all. "I want to go peacefully in my sleep". "I just want to go to sleep and never wake up". You've heard people say that, or have even said it yourself. Not me, not anymore.

It just occured to me that going in your sleep means going alone. No holding hands, no goodbyes. Granted, you're not alone for long, but still.

It also means not being present for the big event. Sleeping through your death and waking up in heaven? Sounds boring. You only get to die once, don't you want to know what it's like? It'd be like being put under general anesthesia during childbirth. Kind of a momentous occasion don't you think?

So, there you have it, my final wishes: Wake me up!