Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Tragedy, Inconsolable......

I have been a nurse for over 30 years. I have had a wide variety of experiences in a wide variety of positions within the health care setting. Much of what I have experienced has been rewarding and fulfilling. I have been grateful for each new experience. I would have preferred to remain on the "inactive" list of nurses for yet another 7 years or so, and not ventured back into active work in the Nursing field while I yet have children at home. But, that has not been an option for the past few years. As I have written before, being a Stay-at-Home Mom is my preferred role.

Recently, I began working for a facility as opposed to doing Home Health Care. The labor required for home health was minimal. ( I would work NIGHTS! SO the most difficult part of the job was to stay awake and be alert all night, while also trying to be Mom to all my own throughout the day!) But, working one-on-one with a pediatric patient was relatively easy, rewarding and FUN! SO, after the past few days, I wonder why I have consciously chosen to work so much harder! You see, I am now working at a Care Center. It is also a Rehabilitation Center so there are a wide variety of patients. But, there are those who are not going to leave the facility; they will not recover and there will be no return to their former healthy, independent life. Their lives that were so cruelly interrupted by tragedy, will be lived to a conclusion within the halls of the facility.

Yesterday, as I was taking medications to a resident, she hesitantly asked if I would like to see her "home"; the home she had to leave behind. Then she quickly added, "I am so sorry, you are so busy, I am sure you do not have time to see my pictures." I replied, "Of course I have time to see your home!" I leaned over as she gently turned the pages of her small photo album. Here was the beautiful home in which she had to abandon. Here were pictures of her children, at all stages of life; photos of her husband and of her! Lovingly she touched each page, her eyes moist, with a far away look. I told her I was so grateful she would choose to share such treasured photos with me. How odd to me, that she would choose to share those treasures with me. I was a complete stranger to her until that morning, when I announced I would be caring for her that day. It was not a particularly stellar day for her....she was unable to keep her breakfast down! To my knowledge, she had had no visitors, just her care-givers! I guess that is why we do become a surrogate family to these precious souls.

I thought about these residents all the long drive home. Tears quickly spring to my eyes whenever I think of their plight. To me, it is a tragedy, the grief from which there just is no way to find consolation. These individuals once had families, homes, careers, hobbies, purpose. Now, they must make all their most precious possessions fit within the tiny confines of one tiny room. Often, it is a room that must be shared with another resident. Gone are the days when they had any form of self-determination. Now, they are told when they will bathe and use the restroom, when and what they will eat and so on....for those who are mobile and able, some autonomy remains. But for those who are less fortunate, and have lost mobility, they are subject to OUR schedules. It breaks my heart. I find that there are NEVER enough hours in the day to care for all those assigned to me. The money just is not there for the facility to hire the staff that it would require to meet ALL the wants and needs of each resident. SO, we must prioritize and do our best to meet the needs, and pray to meet some of their wants as well.

I am so sad that our society has chosen to do so little to care for the aged and the infirm. It is not a health-care issue in my mind, it is a value-system issue. We value and support financially some things that are not critically relevant to our culture, to our becoming a moral people, full of character and just plain being good.
We have so many searching for causes. Searching to find meaning, searching for a purpose! Often, we hear of those who go all over the earth seeking out those in need, often finding much to do in third-world nations. I say, we do NOT need to search any further than our own cities! There are so many of our OWN that go without! THERE are SO MANY NEEDS, SO MANY WE COULD DO and SHOULD provide FAR BETTER CARE FOR--- OUR AGED and OUR abandoned! I am certain that there is enough and to spare if we still want to seek out those not within our borders. But, how can we ignore the needs of our OWN? AND, WHY are we paying athletes such outrageous premiums, when they provide ONLY ENTERTAINMENT??? Has entertainment become our "GOD" and have we become so morally bankrupt that we can so easily turn our backs on the elderly that have so many urgent needs? This may seem an unrelated thought, but, to me, it is all part of where the resources go. THAT money frittered away on entertainment is so desperately needed by the elderly. I am NOT advocating a redistribution of wealth. I wish there was a way to encourage those with an abundance, to share with those who have nothing, comparatively. If there was a way to implement a program to encourage those who have the means, to spend that excess on caring for those in need. NOT a hand-out situation, but, a networking and matching the needs with those who can and who choose to provide for those needs.
ONE DAY, we too will be OLD! One day, we will know what we have been neglecting and it will be too late to effect a change for ourselves. BUT, rather than make these changes out of that selfish motive, let us make the changes urgently needed NOW for those who NEED IT NOW! Then, hopefully we will be responsible for making this imperative shift in focus for those who are suffering today! AND with luck those changes in priorities might just alter the kind of future our children will experience too!

Monday, July 5, 2010


I have been pondering life, and how different it has actually been from what I ever dreamed it would be, in some ways. Funny how age can change your vantage point! I remember ALWAYS wanting a dozen children! I knew from very early on, I wanted to be A MOM! THAT dream and that part of my life, well, it has been a dream come true! Each child has brought to me more than I could ever have given in return. The life lessons learned from each child, well, it would take volumes! SO, my choice to have children, and being blessed to have so many has been a dream come true. I know in my heart that my husband was the one who was to allow me that great honor and privilege. FOR that, I will ALWAYS LOVE and APPRECIATE him. He has qualities that I want my children to emulate and his example in many areas will bless their lives eternally.
For example, he is very organized and neat. He is very talented artistically. He is very dedicated and determined and has been very successful because he is also willing to pay the price to succeed. He does not do anything without investing all he has into the venture. That is what first attracted me to him. Though he was raised Catholic, he joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and he made it a priority to learn all he could about his new found faith. Rarely did I ever encounter an individual that had studied the gospel to the degree that I had. UNTIL I met GARY! He had gained a level of understanding in just the two short years as a member, that was equal to that of all my years of learning to date. Well, he did still have some things he had not learned, but, he was anxious and willing to fill in all the gaps and asked me questions constantly, which made me search to make sure I was not teaching him amiss! IT was one of the most endearing things, to spend time just studying the gospel with him. I do so miss that.

BUT, time has a way of changing everyone and everything. I often wonder if there was anything more I could have done to save my marriage. MY dream of being married forever was crushed and now, I must alter all the other life dreams that hinged upon that pivotal change. IT has been lonely, and oh so very difficult to raise these beautiful children alone. BUT, I do have a peace about the choices that I have made.
Funny, but, one of the reasons I do have a peace, is because I know that GOD has comforted me and I know that I will find joy again.

HOW does one pick themselves up from the ashes of unfulfilled dreams? IT is NOT easy. I will say that it has been possible for me, ONLY through the help of my Savior and my Heavenly Father. Their guidance and love have transcended all of the pain, sorrow, regrets, unfulfilled dreams----and have made enduring possible.

I remember a conversation once with a woman. She said she was NOT limited to reading the scriptures. I understood her to mean, that we have so many sources of inspiration and light! AND, we do. YET, I want my voice to be clear in defense of the SCRIPTURES as the ONE TRUE SOURCE of light! I thought about those generations that ONLY HAD the scriptures! THERE was little to no other reading material! AND, I say, THEY WERE THE ONES with the advantage! IT is THEIR CHARACTER AND THEIR MANNERS and CONDUCT which would save OUR nation, protect us from the ills of society today! THE scriptures are a CONDUIT of LIGHT! OF LIFE! WHEN utilized, studied and applied, there is NO END to the good that comes into lives that are so enlightened by HIS WORD! IT is because they were divinely written, and it is because the HOLY GHOST can use those words to inspire, testify and motivate us to greater good!
And, yet, even I spend far too little time between the pages of that LAMP UNTO MY FEET!

I find the greatest source of comfort, peace and direction when I am immersing myself in the scriptures. I find more joy, more charity in my own soul, when I daily sup from those pages. I KNOW that GOD lives and has mercifully provided for us, that form of communion with HIM via HIS word, through the scriptures. WHEN I want to draw nearer to HIM, I need only open HIS BOOK! ( or books! for truly there are many scriptures, the Bible and the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price, and the monthly ENSIGN that has GOD'S word to us through HIS divinely appointed PROPHET here upon the earth NOW! EVEN President Monson.) We are so very blessed to have such direction available to us. IT is there, we have only to open the book and peruse the pages with a pure heart and a prayer in our heart!

I know that there will be more that I will be called upon to endure. There have been so many trials already, but, since my life is not yet over, there will be more. As I age, I see how one choice, one action can set off a chain reaction that causes an entirely new path, a matrix if you will, is opened and the course of life is altered forever. Sometimes that is a very good thing indeed! Other times, the choice leads to such sorrow, it is difficult NOT to regret ever having opened up that path at all......I was watching a discussion about teenagers that abandoned their babies. SHOULD they be given immunity from prosecution, IF they take their baby to a safe haven, such as a hospital, could they then be absolved of any wrong associated with abandonment. WOULD that lead mothers to abandon their babies more often, or abandon them if there was something "wrong" with the baby and they just did NOT wish to deal with a disabled child. WOULD it encourage MORE mothers to abandon their babies? AS I thought of this complex issue, I realized that the choice to procreate without the benefits of a husband/father who would share the burden of parenting was one choice that I was so blessed to have NOT personally made. AND, I realized that this issue just had to be examined on a case by case basis. NO general litigation would be capable of managing such an issue.

This realization brought me face to face with the idea of the ULTIMATE judgment. I am SO very grateful that though many upon this earth feel they have the right to judge, ultimately, we all will face the PERFECT JUDGE! AND, how grateful I am that it is HE that will know the thoughts and intents of MY HEART as HE does pass judgment upon ALL my choices. I then reflected upon my own behavior. WAS I PASSING JUDGMENT, unrighteously, on ANYONE? I have once again, made a commitment to defer ALL judgment to HIM! I will just LOVE and accept all who cross my path and leave the impossible task of perfectly judging, to the ONE that can judge perfectly!

I still go crazy wondering why somethings have occurred in my life! I still WANT to know NOW all the WHY'S! BUT, I will temper that with my understanding that I can FIND answers now, by searching the scriptures. That is where I can find peace and direction. AND, for those things that are NOT given for me to know, here and now, I will exercise patience and WAIT UPON THE LORD! HE will, in time, reveal ALL things. THAT is what HE has promised.

With age, comes the wisdom to try and THINK every option through BEFORE acting! DO I always do so? NO! BUT, I find I am doing that more often! AND, with practice, I may in time, become perfect in making sure each action of mine, is in complete alignment with HIS will. THAT is MY GOAL! THEN, and ONLY then will I have the peace and the assurance that I will do NO HARM to another. WHAT WOULD THAT BE LIKE? TO KNOW, without a doubt, that every action I did take, would ONLY ever BLESS another! THAT is, to me, akin to becoming MORE LIKE HIM! And, that is my goal after all! TO be loving and giving and to bless ALL that are living! IN time, I pray that is what I do achieve. GOD bless us ALL to strive more to be MORE like HIM!

Saturday, July 3, 2010


As I drove to work, it was nearing ten o'clock in the evening and much of the evening sky was ablaze with fireworks! Each city that I passed had some fireworks display in progress, some were far more elaborate than others, but, with each magnificent explosion, each brilliant lighting up of the night sky, my heart swelled within my chest and I was so very grateful for this outward display of our united patriotism. HOW blessed we are to live in this beautiful, FREE land! I know that there is much that needs to be righted, and our liberties are truly fragile blessings that we must never take for granted! BUT, how very grateful I am that I do live in this choice land and that I have the privilege to raise my amazing children with our freedoms--- of religion--to mention just one. As a parent, there are SO MANY CHOICES available to me that just are NOT an option to so many others around our globe.

My children are with my parents this week-end. I am not able to share in the festivities, as I am working several nights in a row. BUT, we will have an opportunity in a few short days, to be reunited and to share our love for this great country in a family home evening. AS I ponder how best to share my deep feelings of patriotism with my children, I reflect upon the sacrifices made in our behalf, made daily yet by those serving our country in every branch of our nation's military. HOW can any one of us ever adequately show our gratitude to these noble men and women who wear uniforms and place their very lives on the line for us daily?

I remember seeing an ad encouraging all who did encounter those in uniform, to give them a salute! I was so grateful that someone had made such a simple sign of love and appreciation the object of an ad seen on the internet! I encourage my children to show that respect and use that gesture to ALL who do serve our great land. IN every occupation, whether it be the armed services, or the fire-fighters and police that daily serve in our communities....ALL these men and women deserve our love, admiration, appreciation and constant recognition for continually placing themselves in harm's way each and every day. I feel the tears swell in my eyes, as I contemplate how their families suffer when they are called upon to give their very lives! HOW can we truly ever repay that, the ultimate sacrifice? AGAIN, I recall a video sent to me via the internet, as a fallen soldier was received in Texas, thousands lining the streets, to pay homage to the fallen hero. I am so very proud to know that there are others who have these same deep-seated feelings of love and gratitude. I pray we never lose this common link of love and gratitude.

May we continue to value and appreciate the precious liberties made available to us at such an overwhelming cost. MAY we stand for the right and be heard throughout all this great land, and across the globe. May our hearts be knit together in love, peace and true harmony, is my prayer this DAY OF INDEPENDENCE!

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Law Of Compensation

IT has struck me rather profoundly that there truly is a LAW OF COMPENSATION. IF I did not believe this, I do NOT think I could have endured much of what this life has brought to me. I know that each of us has our own set of trials and no one is spared the tests of this life or the vicissitudes that are inherent with this mortal state. IT is foolish to try and compare our circumstances to other sojourners! We can not know what anyone else has had to face. We see only snapshots of others lives and so, on the basis of just one photo, we could never fairly see what anyone else has been called to bear over their lifespan....the only individual that I can fairly see is myself and even then, I realize I am not a fair judge at that! I am so grateful that there will be a PERFECT JUDGE and a merciful and LOVING MEDIATOR, pleading my case before the FATHER of us ALL! As I searched for documentation of this law of compensation, I found the following quotes:

Boyd K. Packer

The Lord has a way of compensating and blessing.

(I have witnessed this in my own life and have been so very grateful that HE does bless and compensate us.)

Looking to the Savior

Adney Y. Komatsu

Elder James E. Talmage wrote, “No pang that is suffered by man or woman upon the earth will be without its compensating effect … if it be met with patience” (as quoted in Spencer W. Kimball, “Tragedy or Destiny,” in Speeches of the Year, 1955–56, Provo: Brigham Young University, pp. 5–6).

(OH NO! I just hate that qualifier---if it be met with PATIENCE!!! I guess I had better work harder on submitting patiently!)

Come What May, and Love It

Joseph B. Wirthlin

While it may not come at the time we desire, the faithful will know that every tear today will eventually be returned a hundredfold with tears of rejoicing and gratitude.

( THIS made me WEEP as I heard this in conference! I have shed so very many tears, I pray that I will be counted among the FAITHFUL so that ONE DAY, these tears will become tears of rejoicing and gratitude!)

“Woman, Why Weepest Thou?”

James E. Faust
He was also speaking to us—men, women, and children and all of mankind ever born or yet to be born, for the tears of sorrow, pain, or remorse are the common lot of mankind. To the doubting Thomas, Jesus said, “Be not faithless, but believing.” Through faith and righteousness all of the inequities, injuries, and pains of this life can be fully compensated for and made right.

( Again, here is the KEY! We must have FAITH and BE RIGHTEOUS! WHAT better reason to remain faithful and righteous, then to have all our pains, injuries, inequities, and all our sorrows made right!! AND even compensated for!)

Covenant Marriage

Bruce C. Hafen

But the Lord will ultimately compensate those faithful ones who are denied mortal fulfillment. One woman told me through her tears how her husband’s constant criticism finally destroyed not only their marriage but her entire sense of self-worth.

( THIS is something I have experienced! In fact, I am still suffering the effects of this type of unkindness and critical scrutiny. I have lost my marriage, lost my husband and since my sealing has been canceled, I do not have, at this time, a hope of an eternal companion or family. I PRAY every day that ONE DAY, even if IT IS NOT UNTIL the next life, BUT, I PLEAD DAILY that ONE DAY I will be blessed with the LOVE, the companionship and the awesome blessing of an eternal companion and family.)

There are so many days that it is so very difficult to believe that that "ONE DAY" will actually ever be a reality. It can be so very discouraging and at times, I KNOW I am NOT patient, faith-filled or even able to believe! But, I shake those doubts and all my discouraging despondency----usually with prayer or listening to the music that soothes my soul and replaces all that negativity with LOVE and HOPE and CHARITY and a longing to be more and more like MY SAVIOR, and less like my own weak self! THIS is Mikeschair's "LET the WATER's RISE"
It is my new favorite song! For longer than I care to admit, this has been how I have felt, that a raging sea was right in front of me, poised to swallow me! But, I have been rescued so frequently by HIM! HE has truly been MY DELIVERER!

I hope that you will find the following songs as soothing to your soul and as comforting and faith promoting! IT truly has been these songs, prayer and the scriptures that have saved me and kept me from falling.... Deliverer, by Rich Mullins's What Faith Can Do, by Kutless will be a Day, by Jeremy Camp YOU in this Storm, by Casting Crowns on OUR KNEES, by Toby Mac don't want to LOSE my SOUL, by Toby Mac in HIS ARMS, by Mark Schultz