Posted on 14 Comments

Remembering Zenita

Photo by Joseph Pearson on Unsplash
A friend lost to cancer

It was close to midnight on New Year’s eve when my phone rang. Zenita, the name of my good friend flashed across the screen. I excitedly answered and in surprise realized that the voice on the other end was not one I knew.

The caller identified themselves as her sister and stated she was sorry to tell me that my friend had lost her battle with cancer earlier that day.

Just as my phone rang my then six-month-old baby had suddenly cried out very loudly, seemingly for no reason I couth fathom.

I was immediately overcome with sadness … my friend had died. She had lost her battle with cancer.

Photo by Paola Chaaya on Unsplash

I met the woman who would become my friend in college. We were working our way through nursing school. Both of us were adults with families at this time.

I would later find out that she was stricken with cancer and had been going through this process for some time. She had had bilateral mastectomies and breast reconstruction and a few other forms of treatments by the time we met.

If one was not made aware of her illness, she appeared to be the picture of health.

She would start her coursework, become ill, and be forced to hit the pause button. She would then gain some respite, return to school only to have to leave again. Through it all, she remained steadfast.


Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Zenita was a soft-spoken and beautiful human being. I would often parallel park her car. She was a good driver though parallel parking proved to be her undoing. So each time we had classes together I would park her car.

Our friendship continued through the years. I went on ahead as she took time out for another round with cancer.

Time marched on and we stayed in touch. I graduated nursing school and began working while my friend continued to fight in between bouts of schooling.


Sometime later we met for breakfast and I told her of my plans to move. She put me in contact with her sister’s friend through whom I could make inquiries about employment.

Even though her life was complicated, she still took time out to care about mine and offer her assistance. My friend had been in the fight for her life for years. I never heard her complain about her circumstances.

She fought a good fight.


Photo by Handiwork NYC on Unsplash

Life continued. We spoke regularly and by this time, cancer had given her some reprieve. She had finally graduated from nursing school and was planning to move my way as well.

She flew down for our mutual friend’s wedding and she looked well and healthy.

If you met her and did not know her history, one would never guess at the battle raging beneath.

She remained hopeful.

She looked healthy and beautiful and we had a blast at the wedding reception. We partied and danced the night away. Though for some reason we did not take a picture together. I have never had a picture of her, though I still see her so clearly and hear her voice.

We said our goodbyes and anticipated the promised relocation a few months later.


Photo by Erica Marsland Huynh on Unsplash

Soon it was in November, Thanksgiving Day. I received a call from Zenita, but I was at work. We chatted for a short while, then she told me that her family was visiting and asked me to call her later. I promised I would call her on my way home from work.

I did not make the call!

Soon Christmas came around and life was hectic. I had given birth in June of that year and found myself juggling many balls in the air.

Next came the eve of the New Year and a phone call showing the name Zenita across the screen. At the same time, my baby yelped out loudly for no reason I could identify.

I answered happily and the voice on the line informed me my friend had suddenly taken a turn for the worse earlier that day and had passed away.

I was shocked and saddened and when I hung up the phone I knew an invaluable jewel had been stolen from us.

My friend had succumbed to a final jab from the evil known as cancer.

Cancer — How I hate that word!


Photo by Artem Kovalev on Unsplash

My friend epitomized the meanings of grace, determination, beauty, and hope throughout.

No doubt a journey fraught with pain, fear, and at times despair.

I never heard her complain with bitterness or anger, she remained stalwart. I do know that one of her greatest regrets was that she may not be around for her children.

I will forever regret the call I did not make.

I think of her often and if I listen keenly, I can still hear her gentle tone saying my name.

She was truly a lovely person. And I miss her every day.

Posted on 14 Comments

Glimpses Of Heaven In Our Periphery

Photo by Ali Maah on Unsplash
My friend’s story of love, loss, hope, and faith.

About three days ago I was speaking with a friend of mine. Sadly I had not spoken with her for several months. I think of calling her sometimes, but life always seems to intervene.

So finally she called me, I was at work, but decided to return her call her on the way home.

This is her story.

My friend is 69-years old, she was my boss at one time then we transitioned to a great friendship.

My friend tells me she was ill with pancreatitis for the past two months. Her 25-year-old grandson was ill with pancreatitis at the same time as well.

Pancreatitis is characterized as an inflammation of the pancreas. Our pancreas sits behind the stomach, near the small intestine. It releases enzymes that aids in digestion with a secondary function of regulating how our bodies manage glucose.

My friend (a nurse of over 40+ years), states she was suddenly struck with this dreadful illness and denies any alcohol consumption. Generally, sufferers of pancreatitis often are chronic over-indulgers in alcohol.

She recalls a rough time but eventually made a full recovery.

Photo by Dayne Topkin on Unsplash

Her 25-year-old grandson however did not fare as well. While they were both hospitalized, he developed sepsis. He quickly progressed to organ failure and was placed in a medically-induced coma.

At some point, the doctors decided to wean him off the ventilator and he later had a story to tell.

While intubated, he was in the company of three very close deceased members of his family. He was reoriented to the present but kept asking the date. They told him, June 12th and that’s when he told his family that his dead relatives said they would return for him on June 15th.

The conversation was quickly averted and no one wanted to really delve into what that could really mean.

His recovery continued and though he slept a lot, he remained alert and oriented. My friend, (a nurse), said he would call and speak to her and his grandfather daily and always made perfect sense. He even had her speak to the doctor on his behalf due to her medical knowledge.

The family relaxed thinking all would be well.

Promises kept

On Friday, June 15th my friend received a telephone call from her daughter stating her son had taken a turn for the worse. He had coded, with no blood pressure, a lethal heart rhythm, and no pulse.

They were able to resuscitate him and placed him on a ventilator. It was later determined that he was brain dead. His family then made the heartbreaking decision to remove him from the ventilator.

My friend is currently mourning the loss of her dear grandchild.

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

Final thoughts and questions

I comforted my dear friend with the idea that I think God gives all of us what we need to hear, see, feel, and know individually. The many glimpses of God in the periphery of my life have convinced me of his love for us.

The many recounts of life beyond the grave a testimony to our hope in Jesus.

I remain steadfast.

Though she mourns, she feels comforted in the fact that she has lived a long time and has seen many flashes of God’s miracles, she will continue to trust Him.

So my friends, what are your thoughts?

  1. Her grandson recounted an exact return date, what are your thoughts?
  2. What are your thoughts on life after death?
  3. What do you believe about encounters and reports of this type?
Posted on 35 Comments

Things We lost But Never Had

dad

Photo by Ian on Unsplash

 

Our dad has passed away!

I awoke to my phone’s blue flashing light in the dark of the early morning. My sister had sent a message. It contained no preamble and was straight to the point. The words seemed alive and had movement, and power. The power to send my emotions in a tailspin and permanently alter the course of my life. The power to forever change what I had hoped for.

W H A T happened! I read the message again. “Our father has passed away”!

I walked into the bathroom and stood there trying to digest the information.

My father is dead, I corrected myself, my sire is dead. I searched the vestiges of my mind trying to grasp the fleeting emotions taking flight. Regret, anger, disappointment, sadness, grief and even … love?

It seems that we are somehow genetically programmed to love the people that created and birthed us. As co-author of my dawn he is at least ‘owed’ love? No matter the why’s or the how’s of our life experiences at his hands, love is a top contender in the vying emotions of my grief.

I peered at my face in the early morning light and there I found vestiges of the man he once was. My face, my height, my hair, my mind, my personality and my strength of spirit were all genetically gifted to me from this man … now he was gone. All my life I had always been told I looked and behaved just like him. I recognize in some ways I am indeed a female version of him.

I stood staring in the mirror while my mind desperately sought glimpses/memories of him … and I saw him in myself. For the past two nights I could not sleep, I tossed and turned and this past night especially I had awakened sometime around 3 am.

Suddenly startled in wakefulness I am persuaded that it was around that time that he crossed over. I have always been sensitive like that, a little “knowing”. 

I find that I am sad and have resigning myself to the fact that our chapter is now complete, there will be no words added, no epilogue left in this book. Our relationship has reached its natural conclusion.

Our story has been written.

There will be nothing more for us, our fractured relationship will never mend. I had hoped against hope that he would have a long life ahead and that there would be time…  I am well aware that tomorrow is not promised, but I hoped he would mature and become a granddaddy where he never was a dad.

It will never be.


Photo by Taylor Smith on Unsplash

 

COVID continues to steal, kill and destroy!

Yesterday I had inquired of my sister as to his state of affairs, there was no real change, he remained in the ICU suffering from COVID-19 and having difficulty breathing. We decided we would pray for him and we did.

I confess I was ill prepared for the message of this morning … our dad has passed away.

I will not  be travelling to Guyana for his funeral due to travel restrictions. I had pondered several times throughout my life what I would feel when he died and I always told myself that I did not care. Now I am in the reality of that situation and I do care!

I have prayed that he had the wherewithal to acknowledge his transgressions and have asked forgiveness and I know that our God is a merciful God. So in this I have hope, to one day to meet the daddy in heaven he never was able to be on the earth.

Be safe everyone.

 

You can read a bit more about my non-relationship with my father here.

 

Posted on 26 Comments

For Every Thing … Give Thanks

Kidney Disease (1)

“Be grateful for what you have, then you will always have more to be grateful for!” (author unknown)

 

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“Today I choose to live with gratitude for the love that fills my heart, the peace that rests within my spirit, and the voice of hope that says all things are possible.” (author unknown)

 

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The joy of the Lord is our strength. For everything, and in every season, let us give thanks…

Have a wonderful, blessed and safe day!!

Posted on 30 Comments

Season’s Change

Yesterday I was pleasantly surprised to note on my drive to work that the world had gotten lighter while I was busy.

Suddenly it’s so bright. This change where the light surreptitiously banishes the darkness and suddenly… behold the light!

Spring, a time of renewal, growth and good and pleasant changes…

Enough of this cold, I am ready for some sunshine though I will undoubtedly complain later about being too hot.

Humans, can’t please us for long.

Thank you Lord I am here in my right mind to enjoy your creations.

Posted on 39 Comments

The Way We Write

Somedays I get many writing ideas, other times not one!

Often in dreams and sometimes while awake. Upon awakening, if I do not write the ideas down quickly I forget.

Other days I must get up to go to work or begin my day and really have no time for the idea at all, so the thought is simply left in yesterday, forgotten.

If time and space permits, I am obedient and answer the call.

When I operate in obedience the post almost writes itself. I do it fluidly, quickly and efficiently.

Sometimes, when I do not take heed to the prompting, it will not leave me alone. It will stay and whisper in my ear until from sheer aggravation, I acquiesce.

So my friends, my question to you is…how do your ideas come?

And what steps do you take if you are not in a position to record it?

Posted on 17 Comments

Sunshine Blogger Award

Image result for sunshine blogger images

I am touched beyond words for the honor of being nominated for a ‘Sunshine Blogger Award’!!!! I was nominated by; Jenny Furse of progressinbloom.com….please go and check out her blog show her lots of love. Jenny’s blog exudes love, warmth, practical living and a love of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Sunshine Blogger Award Rules:

  1. Thank the Blogger who nominated you and provide a link back to their blog so others can find them.
  2. List the rules and display an award logo on your blog post.
  3. Answer the 11 Questions the blogger asked you.
  4. Nominate up to 11 new blogs to receive the award and notify them by commenting on any of their posts.
  5. Ask the Nominees 11 new questions.

11 Questions Asked of Me:

1. How long have you been blogging for and why did you start?

I actually began blogging on September 2, 2019. I started because it was always something I wanted to do but was afraid of failing.

2. What makes a blog article worth sticking around for— one you truly enjoy reading?

An article worth staying around for is one that gives the reader the insights, answers or enjoyment that they seek.

3. What is your favorite thing about Fall?

My favorite time of fall is when the leaves are changing colors, when the earth’s temperature gets a little cooler and the days become shorter, there is a certain beauty in what I see as the earth’s renewal.

4. What is your go-to drink?

My go to drink is coffee, I love, love, love coffee, even when I was too young to drink it I just loved the smell of fresh coffee. (Can you tell I love coffee).

5. What favorite treat really hits the sweet spot for you?

I love chocolate, dark brown, light brown, white chocolate, I love it all.

6. Tell me about a favorite date or share a great date night idea.

A favorite date was earlier in my relationship even though we had known each other for over two years at that point (not dating, just friends in passing), we went on a date and spent the whole night sitting in a car and just talking and getting to know each other on a whole different level.

7. Do you have a favorite family tradition?

Being together on Christmas day as a family in our pajamas.

8. What book(s) are you reading right now?

Currently no entertainment books, educational ones on delivering better healthcare.

9. What one piece of advice would you give your younger self?

To be kinder to myself.

10. Do you have a secret or hidden talent?

I cannot think of a hidden talent. Buy I love music and dancing.

11. What is one way you served or blessed someone else recently?

Recently I had a patient who could not afford his prescribed medications, so the other nurse and I paid for and picked his medications from the pharmacy.

And The Nominees:

11 Questions for My Nominees:

  1. What time of day you consider your most creative?
  2. Who/what encouraged your love for writing?
  3. Have you ever regretted posting something on your blog, and if so why?
  4. What is the best advise you have received and from whom?
  5. Name your most defining quality.
  6. What is your favorite meal and why?
  7. What advise would you give yourself 20 years from now?
  8. Who/what is the most influential force in your life?
  9. If you could travel the universe, where would you go?
  10. What do you think of our world today?
  11. Have you ever had a divine encounter, if so tell us a little more about it.

And to all my friends out there, you are by no means less appreciated or forgotten I appreciate and enjoy your words and remain a loyal follower…