This is my healing journal.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Tom C's Page

Yesterday, Pastor Walt in church was preaching on Romans 12:10. He talked about how we should all be devoted to each other for the cause of Christ and how we should give honor to one another. He then suggested that we should honor those who have blest our lives in a particular way by telling them how much they have blest our lives.

The following is a re-write of a story I had written in my newsletter a while ago about Tom C. who I have known over thirty years. Tom, because of all you’re going through, I thought it worth putting up here. I plan on using my blog for the next little while to talk about friends who have blest my life, since I’ve talked on and on about my family and how I’ve been blest by them..

"Re: Long time" was a subject line I was coming across several times in my in box that particular day, as I was going from latest to earliest, looking
for any personal Email. It was people on the MSB list, and I found myself going "Re: long time who?" Then, I found it, and my heart nearly jumped into
my throat. "Long time" was the subject line. But, it was the name, Tom C. that made me stop.

Tom C., my fellow classmate, who left around the same time I might as well have left MSB completely. Tom C., the one person I wish I had thanked
for being there for me, even though we both ran in different circles of friends.

I sent a brief on list reply, as I thought about those times.

There was the time I proceeded to call Carol, one of the girls in our class a very bad name, because she would not slow down for me when we were running
around the track. I remember feeling miserable about that almost immediately.

To give a bit of background -- That year the school for the blind had combined all middle school classes together into one huge program, which meant
we had to do everything in mixed classes. Home-ec was my course after that fateful gym class.

When I walked into the class room, the only available seat was next to Tom. "Great", I thought, as I slipped into it. You see? At that time, Tom
and his two friends were known as our class's "bad boys", and I thought they obviously would pick sides with Carol.

The minute I sat down though, I sensed Tom wanted to talk to me. I turned to look at him, and he indicated without saying a word "Later". But, I remember
feeling extreme peace in that indication. It was not until the teacher had given me the ingredients for whatever we were working on, that Tom turned to
me and said quietly, "You have nothing to worry about". I asked him if he was sure about that. He then went on to say, that he was pretty sure Carol
was upset at another kid for sticking up for me.

After that, I remember going through the motions for the rest of the class. Yet, every time I felt myself start to slip into worry mode, I could almost
hear Tom tell me not to worry, and I knew he was keeping an eye on me for the rest of the afternoon.

The next day, everyone kept saying stuff to me about the upcoming fight with Carol, except Tom and I think Larry. Larry was not one of the "Bad boys",
even though he constantly found himself in trouble. He, in reality was one of my best friends. So, I knew he would not say anything to me regardless.
But, when Gary and Kevin started picking on me, with Gary being the loudest, I broke down. Miss Manning took me down to Mr. Tutt's office, along with
Carol. But, as I left the room, I could almost feel Tom's eyes on me again, assuring me.

Fast forward about six or seven months later, when we were having our end of the year gym track tournament. I, was paired up with Tom to run the 440
tandem event. Both of us received our share of ribbing about that. But, I'll never forget what Tom did. The day before the event, he hollered over
to me, and when I approached, it was to get the pep talk no one else had ever given me when running the tandem race. I knew then, even if we didn't win,
I was going to be okay.

The day of the event, Tom again talked with me, never once using the words don't or quit or no.

The object in the 440 yard tandem or a quarter mile run is for the sighted person to lead. The blind person however, needs to push to keep the sighted
person's momentum going in the event.

I'm pretty sure it was our beloved guy's gym teacher, who we all called Coach, who hollered for the teams to run. I remember holding on to Tom's elbow
for dear life at first, as I tried to match his pace. Every ounce of energy in me wanted to scream, "I can't!" However, I remembered, that even though
he may have picked on me mercilessly in class, Tom never had not yelled for me to quit, and I had never done that to him. I could not let him down at
any price.

When we got the last hundred yards, I felt Tom start to slow down, and I tried my best not to slow down as well. Then, he realized what both of us
were doing and hollered, "Come on! It's not far! We can do this!" And, with a burst of energy neither one of us knew was there, we finished!

I don't remember if we won that day or not. Our team lost overall though, through no fault of our own.

Had we both stayed at MSB, I'd like to think in an alternative universe, we would have both probably been team captains. I, for girls track and he
for wrestling. However, the next year, both of us could see the school taking a drastic turn. I started going to Okemos High part time that year, and
I'll never forget the day when something in me snapped and I said something in class about something. Tom was sitting next to me in that class, (this
time because of a stupid seating chart Mrs. Cordon had). I think what I was complaining about was the fact I was in a social studies class in both schools.
Tom then turned to me and asked, "Bea, what are you still doing here? You don't belong here." My response to him was just as inspired as my comment had
been. "I don't know!" Tom then told me to get out while I still could, neither one of us realizing it would be him who would leave and go full time
the following year.

Tom did come back; I think it was the second day of our tenth grade year to visit. I remember him hollering at me and asking if I was glad I was back.
My answer was non-committal enough, because I didn't realize it was him. When I did, I nearly turned around and hollered back, "No Tom, I'm not! I wish
no one had convinced me to do track another year!"

Tom's on list response the next day, caused me to write down most of what I recorded here, to him privately especially the thanks I had always wanted
to give him. The next day, I received an invitation to look at something he had written on his blog. What he wrote was a public thank you back to me.

When Mom passed away, I knew there were people in my life I could count on to help me through that time. Tom was one of those people. If I wrote him, I received an Email back, assuring me everything I was going through was normal, as he had lost his mother at around Christmas time. He also asked more times than most if I was okay, and for that, I’m totally grateful.

Tom, I honor you, because I know anyone who considers you a good friend, is someone you will either watch their back, or give them a helping hand up. Bless you for who you are in those people’s lives you have touched.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

I feel so blest!!!

This has been the week in which I have felt like I was on a perpetual treadmill with a lot of different things going on. Yet, in the end, I have felt so blest to have actually gone through this week.

It all started on Monday, when I showed up at work, or actually was on my way out the door to catch my ride. The driver cursed me for having my hamper, took it from me, slammed it into the van and slammed the door. This particular driver is always complaining about one thing or another, and frankly, I've wanted to see her get fired for the past five years! So, naturally in the afternoon, I called in a complaint against her.

When I got into the office, I discovered that my cordless phone had been turned on by my office mate when she was putting it in the basket of clean sheets, so she would not hear it ring. Thus, when I went to use it, there was no power!

I decided to go to my landlord's office, only to find that the sidewalk down to the steps leading to her office was covered with a nice coating of ice. So, I turned around, went back to my level of the building, and salted down the sidewalk between the two wings. The whole time, I wondered if my whole week was going to be like this.

Fortunately, it wasn't. Tuesday, I had three massages. Friday, I had four and Saturday I had four. Wednesday, I went out to coffee with a friend of mine, and Thursday, I worked on paper work all day, until it was time for me to go coach the children in a sceen in "The Miracle Worker".

On Friday night, after giving four massages, I worked at a relaxation night at my church, only to get a gift card and a thank you note from them to Bob Evans. The gift card was for quite a bit of money. So, I can't complain.

Then, on Saturday morning, I was eating my breakfast, when I received a phone call from a woman who went on an Emmaus walk, asking if I would be interested in being the assistant music director for the walk. We're meeting tomorrow morning to go over music.

When I look back over this past week, I have to stop and consider the fact that while so many of my friends are facing life's challenges, I can thank God for taking the time to bless me and let them know how much I appreciate them for what theyre going through. You know who you are and you know how much I love and appreciate you. I wish I could take your cares away from you and give you some of what I have experienced over the past week. Yet, each one of you have shared your blesings with me during times when I needed to hear that everything was going well for you and I was going through hard times. I love you all.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

My opinion of the Michigan Primary

Indigo, if you're reading this, thanks for your post on your blog about John McCain. I had always known he had strange partners in crime. However, when I was reading your post, it dawned on me that I had seen firsthand just how true what you had to say is! For those of you who are reading this who want to know what I'm talking about, go to http://furtheradventuresofindigored.blogspot com and read the post Why Not John McCain.

On Tuesday afternoon, just as we were getting ready to head out the door, I received a phone call which the talking caller ID told me was "out of Area". I didn't answer it. However, I thought I'd better check the voice mail, because I do have one friend who will call me on occasion and those she lives only fifteen miles from me, sometimes when she's using her cell phone, it wil say that.

What I heard was a recorded message from former democratic vice-presidential candidate Joe Lieberman. It was a plea for all Republicans to vote for John McCain, as he considered him to be the best candidate for the job. He then went on to add that if this was a Democratic household he had reached, that he hoped the members of the household would also vote for McCain, since no democrats were on the ballot.

First of all, that's not entirely true. Hillary Clinton did not have her name taken off the ballot, unlike her fellow democrats Obama and Edwards. So, a good number of her supporters did turn out to vote for her.

Do I think any democrats heard Mr. Lieberman's plea? Most assuredly I do. Even if two of the democratic candidates had not demanded their names taken off the ballot and then turned around and demanded that people write them in, a lot of democrat votes went to Mr. McCain in this primary and in the primary of 2000. I remember talking to a friend of mine at the time and having her complain about Mr. McCain winning Michigan, and I asked her then what she expected, since Michigan was mostly a Democratic state, regardless of Jackson being called the "Birthplace of the Republican Party". I know several democrats who voted for Mr. McCain in that election, and I'm sure the same democrats voted for him again in this primary to bring him into second place behind Romney.

Ah, yes. Mitt Romney. Michigan's favorite son, riding in on a white horse to sieze the day! Please!!!

A lot of the political analysts are saying they voted for Romney here in Michigan to straighten out our economy. I'm not sure what will straighten out the economy in Michigan, other than more manufacturing jobs staying close to home and less of them being outsourced to other countries. I'm not so sure I can trust Mr. Romney with regards to making sure as president that doesn't happen.

I am concerned that what Mr. Romney has done to the Evangelical Christians in my state, is a whitewash job. I don't know how many of you heard or read his statement on faith. I tell you, I was impressed. However, I also saw it for what it was, a whitewash job, so that he would get the Evangelical vote, using some of the same words they use, yet using them in the context of his Mormon Faith. I'd like to think no Evangelicals bought into what he was saying. But, I'd be lying if I said that were true, because the numbers tell all.

I am please to say that in my county alone, about fifteen hundered to two thousand were split up between Mike Huckabee, Fred Thompson and Duncan Hunter, and I'm sure most of those were free thinking people who at least give a damn and see the two leading candidates here in Michigan for who they are. At the same time, they also see Ron Paul for being the jackass that he is.

By the way, Back to Mr. McCain... Did anyone hear him accidentally almost refer to the people of Michigan as the people of Mexico? Wonder what was up with that! Maybe he thinks we're that poor here too?

Monday, January 14, 2008

Primary Eve

Well, today the phone calls probably will begin in earnest for the next twenty-four hours, as Republican candidates jockey their phone calls in to my voice mail, pleading me to vote for them. I tell you what... Even if you are the guy I would vote for, you call my house three times like Romney has done before primary eve, ya won't get my vote and I'll write you off as a pain in the ass! I am so sick of his "I'm so proud of my Michigan heritage" speech. If you're that proud of it, then why did you leave? Also, if you send five pounds of mail to me, the way Ron Paul's campaign has done, you won't get my vote either! I had already decided not to vote for him anyway, because I saw what working for his campaign had done to one of my work mates and her boyfriend. Let's just say it ain't pretty. In their house, it's trouble in paradise.

I have to say though, if ya don't vote, what kind of respect should others give to you for not at least doing your part? I was reminded of that so tangibly yesterday morning.

I'm one who prays every day at least once for our troops, and if I know anyone who is out there, I'll pray for them all the harder. Yesterday morning, one of our troops came home to our church. This young man has been in the army ever since I've gotten to know his family, (aabout ten years). He did something different. Rather than just accept the applause that so often comes after we've welcomed them home, he came up and personally thanked each and every one of us for praying for him, a soldier who has voluntarily pledged to serve our country.

In this country, we all have the opportunity to serve our country, whether it be as a soldier, a member of the Navy, Air force or Coastguard, a voter. Yes, we still have the freedom to serve our country. So, rather than bellyache about it, get out there and serve, even in the primary. And, oh yes, for those of you who are Democrat in Michigan who do not want to vote for Hillary, write in your two candidates. I'm sure that would take some of the wind out of her sails and you would be exercising your rite to vote for whoever you damned well please, even though I totally disagree with you.

As for me? I'll just have to take the time to figure that out. I'll probably vote for... (That's for those of you who know me to find out.)

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Just for today...

It's been a rough couple of days. My keyboard has had to be taken down, as our roof sprang a leak around the chimney. The keyboard was where the old fireplace used to be with the mantle above it, sort of like a shelf. ON that, Bert kept some books he had bought which are all treasures. The damage to the ceiling and a couple of wall boards is probably going to cost a little. Fortunately, the home owners insurance will cover most of it.

I miss having my keyboard close to me. It's upstairs. The amp has been moved into my office. I am anxious to have the ceiling repaired, so that I can play it again. The keyboard is so therapeutic for me. Unfortunately, our contractor is sick. So, I hadve no clue as to when he'll be ble to even write an estimate.

Today, it took everything I had to move one foot in front of the other, both physically and mentally. I was so tired, and I had to get used to going to BNI, (Business Networking International) after not being there for three weeks, two due to holidays and one because of Mom's memorial service. I wonder if the lethargic feeling though had anything to do with feeling like I had lost my best friend in not being able to play my keyboard. It reminds me so much of the times Mom and I used to sit and listen to each other play piano.

I love my guitar, and I love playing my mandolin. Yet, because I use them both so much for work or church, they don't mean as much to my soul as I thought they would. It's at the keyboard where I spend a good deal of time when I'm writing music.

Oh well... Just for today, I will cherish the time I can play my guitar, the time I can write, the time I can spend talking to God to renew my strength, the time I can spend either talking or writing any of you in a given day. This too will pass.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

My New Year's Commitments

It’s a beautiful day here in Jackson, Michigan. I think we’re getting more snow. In fact, I think it’s the type of snow that is such a bore, the kind that just sort of falls when it’s ready to.
I’ve been thinking about New Year’s resolutions. I don’t like them, because I have a hard time keeping them, as does everyone else. So, I think what others may call resolutions; I’m going to consider commitments to myself and to others.
My first commitment is to myself. I am going to try to live a healthier lifestyle. Now, that doesn’t mean I’m going to chide myself for eating sweets or not exercising, if I forget to, or if I eat more sweets than I usually do. What that means is I’m also going to try to be positive to myself and others in my thinking in my conversation and in my Email. I will listen more and try to only give wisdom when I feel it is necessary to do so.
My second commitment is to those of you who read my blog on a regular basis. I will try to make this a place where anyone who reads here will feel welcome to comment at any time. I’ve appreciated all of you so much for being there through the trial of watching Mom slip off into eternity. Yet, I want this to be your place as well to share with me.
Finally, I will make an effort to let my husband know he is loved every day for who he is. That’s a commitment I will make daily, because there are days when I just don’t want to, because I’m either angry at him, or I’m frustrated with him being grumpy after a rather trying day at work.
Now, here are some fun ones.
I will say “Go Blue” only when Michigan is playing in a bowl game or a championship game and I will make an effort at keeping up with my Beloved Spartans and say “Go Green” more often.
I will laugh more and I will play more fun songs as a tribute to Mom.
I will make more of an effort to visit the blogs of friends and leave behind comments in my wake when I feel I can contribute. Which brings me to a favor to ask. Indigo, could you please disable the word verification feature on your blog? Google’s audio word verification link tends to not work for me half the time and it seems I’ve hit one of those not willing to work for me periods of time.
Now, if any of you have commitments you think I should adhere to, please feel free to put them up for me as a comment. I promise I will take them under advisement, Lol.
Happy New Year to all!