Tag Archives: God

Sacrifices Worth Making

I’ve had several pity parties for myself over the last few months while I’ve been out here in California visiting my sick aunt.

Although I’m glad I haven’t been home in Michigan for all the crazy weather, my heart aches for things I’m missing; mainly, my family and friends. I’ve also missed four major holidays, my son’s last day of school, and a half dozen birthdays. Not to mention numerous dinners with friends, my friends’ art shows and countless adventures with my photography/Cracker Barrel buddy.

Spending innumerable hours in the hospital, I have met many awesome people. With the exception of a few, the employees at PIH Health Hospital in Whittier, California are wonderful. Several have gone above and beyond their job description to make sure not only my aunt, but also my cousin, George, her private nurse, Mary, and myself are comfortable and know what is going on. Several nurses have come to visit and pray for her. My aunt has been treated with nothing but dignity and respect.
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Aunt Marguerite, despite being thousands of miles away from my home, has always been my favorite aunt. The fact that we both love cooking, collecting recipes, and drinking Scotch is only the tip of the iceberg. My aunt, like my dad, has the cool factor going for her. Through all of this, her sense of humor and well placed sarcastic remarks have stayed intact.

She has passed on those two traits to her son as well. I love that we can both use our humor and sarcasm to help each other get through this crazy/scary time.

When you look past George’s humor and sarcasm, you will find a loving son who is very devoted to his mother. He has slept in her room at the hospital every night since she was admitted April 3rd. The days he is forced to work, he is texting or calling for updates.

While part of me misses my family and friends at home, it is trumped by the fact that me being here has helped my cousin keep his sanity. We have laughed and cried together. My knowledge, albeit limited, of medical procedures and medications has helped ease his anxiety.

Let me tell you, I have learned more than I ever thought I would need to know about PEG tubes, intubation, C-diff, septis, lactic acid levels, and a laundry list of medications.

As I am writing this, I’m sitting in my aunt’s ICU room waiting for George. She is improving and having set backs everyday. It’s a very slow process. She is truly a fighter and has exceeded everyone’s expectations.

Although this whole experience continues to be like a roller-coaster ride, I have confidence in the medical staff here and I’ve placed all this in God’s hands.
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To Everything There is a Season


Standing up for a friend and/or doing what is right can lead you down a path you didn’t expect to travel.

The author, a mutual friend, poured her heart out on the page to give the reader a glimpse of what she was feeling. When asked if I thought it was alright to remove part of a sentence in the piece…I said no. I tried to explain how important it is to leave the piece as it was written.

I felt a whirl-wind of emotions while making my way through the chain of events that happened after that meeting. After a series of emails…the piece was pulled from the program. The short list of emotions I was feeling included: disbelief, heartache, frustration, and love.

My disbelief was mixed with heartache and frustration as I tried to understand how some people could be so closed-minded that they will not listen to facts. By digging in her heals and not listening to me, she would throw away over a decade of friendship and collaboration. I also had a hard time understanding how another friend would turn into “Switzerland” so not to get involved.

I am thankful for the undercurrent of love that was flowing through me during this time. The love that gave me the strength to follow this path. Also the love for the author and for what she had written.

As God says in Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, for everything, which includes everyone, there is a season.

I am sad that what I have done for 11 years…seasons…has come to an abrupt end. I know that God will lead me and guide me through my next season.

THE HEALING BRICK
By: Julia Kovach

Nervously, I approach the Angel Statue thinking I’ll have to search for my son’s recently engraved and installed paving brick, but I look down and there it is, nestled in amongst all the other little angels, his name in print, for the entire world to see.

This sight provokes something unfamiliar in me; deep in my soul, in my very core. I kneel down and through my thin grey slacks I can feel the cold, hard, roughness of the bricks on my knees.

“My knees could bleed as I pay homage”, I think, as if atoning, “Let them, I would almost be grateful.”
I touch the words, ‘MICHAEL S. KOVACH, PRECIOUS SON’.

“Oh sweetie, look at you; you’re finally here.” I whisper.

Humbly, I bend down and kiss his name. Instantly I flash back to the hospital and he is in my arms again, and now I am not feeling the cold textured brick, but am kissing his face.

I open my eyes, tears streaming.

Like a cat coughing up an unmanageable hairball, thirty years of guilt, grief, and torment begin to rise, large and ugly, from deep within and catch in my throat.

I remember when I was pregnant with him and how I didn’t watch my diet and I didn’t reduce my stress and I didn’t get enough sleep. And I remember laboring, and how I screamed, “Don’t let me die!” but I didn’t scream for the life of my own son.

“Please forgive me.” I whisper.

I hear a guttural animal groan escape from inside me; as the words allow my agony to detach itself and release.

I was like a broken bone that had healed misaligned and needed to be re-broken so that it could be set right and mend properly.

Michael’s brick has been my one quick SNAP! I am now re-broken, re-set, and relieved.

I am deeply comforted and grateful, and finally healing well

Tomato Juice & Hashbrowns

The first time I met Julia was over lunch with a mutual friend, Nancy. We all had an awesome time! There was a connection and level of comfort that is usually reserved for old friends.

She sent me a Facebook message afterword, apologizing if she talked too much. I told her she didn’t and the fact that I’m a good listener didn’t hurt. 😉

We have had a few marathon lunches since our initial meeting. There are a few things, important things, that we have in common. We have both lost a child, share a passion for writing, and share in God’s savings grace.

From what I understand, she can get “snarky” and get her bipolar “feathers” ruffled. So I’ve been told. I have not seen it. What I have seen is a very creative person who does have a tendency of over-thinking things. She has taught me that a yam isn’t just for Thanksgiving anymore.

I seem to ground her and she has given my creativity wings. I would still be in the ‘I really should start putting my ideas down on paper’ mode. Well, not really paper. You know what I mean.

I thank God everyday for the opportunity to be Julia’s friend.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 (TNIV)
9 Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: 10 I
f they fall down, they can help each other up. But pity those who fall and have no one to help them up! Continue reading