Monday, September 15, 2014

Watching For Suspicious Behaviors

On a bank detail today...It gave me time to work on a report left over from beat staffing last night. So except for being apart from my furry feathered babies it's been okay. I watched a little boy enter with his mother (?) this morning. He was having to run to keep up with her as she towed him by his little hand. She grabbed two suckers as they left and he cried wanting to pick his own. She pulled them out of her wallet as they ran out the door and told him to "stop acting like this in public it's embarrassing." I wanted to stop and talk to her about "embarrassing behaviors" but of course not my place. But his little blonde-ness was upset...and the process of getting a bank sucker had a lot to do with it. That was early this morning...And I forgot about it.

Until after 2PM a grey headed elderly man (in his 60's) walked in, conducted his bank business and left pulling the plastic off a bank sucker, looking for the trash receptacle. I directed him to it. He stuck the sucker in the side of his jaw and exited cheerfully. Not a care in the world showing on his face.
And well. I was suddenly aware of the stark difference in what I had witnessed.

Then there was the elderly couple (70-80 yo) that were in the bank to sign papers on a closing. The agent seated them in the office and left to retrieve something. The little old man crossed his arms across his belly as he sank in the chair and let out the biggest longest belch that has probably ever attempted to enter a public realm. The elderly lady swatted him in a stern motherly manner and fussed low enough I couldn't make out what she said. But he "acted" the part of reprimanded. And they sat quietly waiting for the agent to return.
And then the little ole lady probably 70's who walked into the bank when no other customers were present. Only one teller was present as the others were in back doing something and she said,"it's so quiet in here, it would be a good time to rob a bank." -- she scanned the room to the right to see me sitting there in full uniform...and she looked like she saw a ghost. I said to her, "Ah ha....Uh oh!"

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Filtering the Moments

Yesterday I woke around 4am. I had thinking that wouldn’t stop. I had a personal battle that returned and amazingly chose to wake me out of my sleep.

But the day was turned around as I made pancakes to take to the park with my daughter and granddaughters. It was a positive challenge, getting up making pancakes, preparing for the adventure and arriving. The highlight of my day. Or so I thought. I posted photos to facebook of the sweetest faces after arriving home even before taking a 20 minute nap. The upcoming 10 hour shift probably needed more but that’s all I got.

So, the shift begins. At Roll Call during the briefing we watch a training video. It is a traffic stop made by an officer who gets shot seven times. The suspect gets away but has a collision during chase by other officers and dies. May seem like a depressing way to start your work night. For us, it keeps us on our toes. We discuss things. We try to rid the element of surprise and face the facts that anything can happen, be prepared and keep moving.

The calls went from there…

*A white teen female seen being pulled by a black teen male with a group of black males who had been previously involved in a disorder. The caller a teacher felt the female was in danger. After hearing my description of the female my fellow officer knew where this female lived. We go to do a welfare check. The grandfather answers the door. He says she’s in the basement. There is a child just under two standing on the kitchen table. Grandpa (late 60’s) is unaware as he shows us to the basement. We get him to attend to the little girl first and he sighs, “She’s so busy.”  We head downstairs. There are three teen females and four teen males. The smell of incense and narcotics in the air. A fifth teen male knocks and is let in the door…

*Another call is a stolen dog. The caller just knows the neighbor has it. I ask the neighbor if I can walk through her house to eliminate the accusation. She willingly escorts me in and immediately starts ranting and raving about how her rights are infringed upon. Her mother lies in a hospital bed with oxygen tube, never moving, seemingly in a comatose state. I gently ask how her mother is, one because I feel she may not be getting the care she needs, two, because I want to connect with the ranting woman and let her see I’m a caring individual. She literally blows up. I am thankful I have enough forewithall to have turned on my recorder at the beginning of the call.

*It was how hot yesterday? Well, take that heat and stand on burning hot asphalt for an hour directing traffic in a very busy intersection. My fellow officer and I made executive decisions to toss our required hats to avoid heat stroke. It was not the call to be on after sucking down a tall coffee 30 minutes before.

*And the elderly man, who lives by himself, a retired military man, who lost his arm and had just been diagnosed with cancer…the radiation treatments so very new to him. He kept trying to call his son-in-law and he the wrong person answering, he felt like “someone was playing a cruel joke” on him. Even his house number was wrong. So he called 911. After calls to his daughter and son-in-law his clarity returned and he poured himself a glass of wine…his daughter stating they are allowing him to drink now that he has cancer. I fail to see the logic.

*While fueling up, I watch what appears to be a drug transaction meet. I copy down both registration plates. The three go into the station, all to the beer cooler, the one comes back and pays for a Foster, and the other two travel passed all points of sale into the parking lot with 40 ounce beers tucked in each cargo pocket. I move from pumping and towards the truck. I’m certain my instincts are right as it’s narcotics and shoplifting. I walk up to the window, speak and the driver throws it in reverse, I step back and he speeds off. By the time I remove the gas nozzle and get in my cruiser and take off they are long gone. And I want to find them. And I set my jaw and began the calls to the registered owner and start toward the address of the registered owner and I call a fellow officer. He listens and asks “How would you like to help me make a difference in a baby’s life instead.” And there’s no hesitation.

*So I end up at the hotel where an eleven month old baby has been left with a heroin user while his heroin using mother is out…Stripping? Prostituting? The drug using male would not let us know but the indicators were there on both accounts. He had warrants. The mother could not be contacted. The grandmother wouldn’t answer the phone. But the cabinet did. And I waited with this trusting soul for 4+ hours. Cleaning the poop off his little raw behind, dressing his little shivering body, feeding him, singing to him, bouncing  and cuddling with him and just 40 minutes before the cabinet came to transport him to the Foster Home…I got him to sleep. I loaded him in the car seat and he woke and looked at me. Unlike a normal baby’s response as they wake to see a stranger, he instead looked at me for a few seconds, sighed and went back to sleep. He turns one next month. He doesn’t crawl, the back of his head lacks the roundness it should…but he can love still…and trust.
One night's much to process.  So much responsibility.

So this morning…after getting to bed at 3:50am, almost 24 hours later from waking up to face my own battles, I get the mail. There is an article someone wants to share with me. It’s titled “The best thing that ever happened to us.” Taken from And it talks of other experiences how they “allowed the traumas in their lives to improve self-perception to newfound intimacy with others, an enriched philosophy toward life and a drive to find meaning  and impact through professional pursuits…how this is called PTG…post- traumatic growth.” (written by Andrew Tolve).

I read it and then I write…and I share what I write. To educate. To encourage. To praise a God who allows something beautiful to come from brokenness and strife.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

The Visit

This evening as George was saying his farewell for the day...
we stood outside on the porch and this little flutterby claimed my left hand.
Much like the one on Moma's last day.
It stayed on my hand for probably 20 minutes, much past the time for George to lose interest...and so I had to sit it down. I did so on a black-eyed susan...and it accepted the spot for a few minutes than flew onto the siding of the house. And I don't know what it means. I just know this little butterfly claimed my hand in a sort of friendship. And I'm thankful. Ever so thankful.


Monday, July 14, 2014

The Text Message

I ran up on this picture on FaceBook... scanned it and moved on.
Through out the day it returned to my thoughts so I searched it out this morning and downloaded so I could ruminate...

On the third trip to the health care facility to check on my Aunt Juanita, while sitting in traffic, I ran a search on the internet using my my iphone..."random Bible verse"....I put that in Google and got several suggestions and just hit one...
This one:
The verses shown were:
Mark 5:35-43
35While he yet spake, there came from the ruler of the synagogue's house certain which said, Thy daughter is dead: why troublest thou the Master any further? 36As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, he saith unto the ruler of the synagogue, Be not afraid, only believe. 37And he suffered no man to follow him, save Peter, and James, and John the brother of James. 38And he cometh to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and seeth the tumult, and them that wept and wailed greatly. 39And when he was come in, he saith unto them, Why make ye this ado, and weep? the damsel is not dead, but sleepeth. 40And they laughed him to scorn. But when he had put them all out, he taketh the father and the mother of the damsel, and them that were with him, and entereth in where the damsel was lying. 41And he took the damsel by the hand, and said unto her, Talitha cumi; which is, being interpreted, Damsel, I say unto thee, arise. 42And straightway the damsel arose, and walked; for she was of the age of twelve years. And they were astonished with a great astonishment. 43And he charged them straitly that no man should know it; and commanded that something should be given her to eat.
I hit the "speak" on the page and Siri read it to me...I had her read it over and over as I drove to Aunt Juanita. I had questions...Like, "Why" (that's a typical question for me lately)...Why did Jesus tell them not to reveal what happened? Why did he come in and tell everyone she was sleeping when he truly brought her back and advise the family to keep it under wraps. And why, why can't we have that healing for so many here today and now. I thought of Sophia, a sweet little angel who has been battling Batten's Disease and her angel keepers. And I talked to God about it...I haven't gotten the answers I want but He knows my heart.
It was thoughts / conversation I wouldn't have today had I not looked into the Bible.  
Then after I cleaned my bathroom tonight, feeling accomplished but so far behind in what needs to be done that the accomplishment was not as great as I wanted to believe. It's difficult, I won't put on like it's easy caring for someone in a health care facility. It had been a month or so that I had been able to clean my bathroom due to Aunt Juanita falling and breaking her hip. She fell the day after the 1year anniversary of her sister's death and had surgery the following morning. So it's been Central Baptist, then Cardinal Hill and now the rehab at a Health Care Facility. I'm there two to three times a day. It's so taxing working 2nd shift full spend time with her and make sure she has what she needs. Do her laundry, wash her wigs and take them to the salon, purchase items she needs, experiment with things to occupy her time, take her to the gardens, courtyards, and other areas outside, take her to her house these past two Sundays to visit her cat, go feed her cat everyday, and the birds, make sure the house is in order, get her mail in...pick up food or replace the food that is not edible or appetizing to her at times...and the list goes on along with the list of my life obligations. Taxing? Maybe, a little...maybe a lot! Maybe I get resentful sometimes.
AND so ....after I cleaned the bathroom tonight I got ready to sit down with my iphone and check in on a few things...and remembered the above picture. So I picked up my Bible and went out to the front porch. The sky was opening up and it was so inspiring. I opened my Bible to the New Testament. I looked to the right of the page for "a message."
There it was.
vs 40 ...."Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, you have done it unto me."
I went back to the beginning of the message...verse 31 of Matthew 25 and read to the end of the conversation being verse 46. and if I didn't get anything else from this "Bible Text" I got the important message...that what I am doing for Aunt Juanita, it's the same as if I am doing it for Jesus.
And those lonely people that I want to hug that sit and wait for their family members to stop by and love on them...when I smile at them and pat their shoulder when I walk past them...I'm patting the shoulder of Jesus...and how can a person get down about that?
This entry is not to try and make myself feel better or brag about what I am doing ... It helps document my life happening...but it's mainly to challenge answer the "text" that's calling out to you. Cause I got two texts today that altered my thinking...maybe you are looking for a word, too. Facebook and Instagram are fun to check into...but I need meaning...purpose...maybe you do, too.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

And What Is Rain?

He wrote shortly after he left: "raining"

She responded:
and what is rain ... but a wet love showered upon us ... We can receive with reserve or embrace it passionately ...  today as I worked in the garden ... as the showers lightly fell ... I thought of how YOU have taught me to embrace rain passionately ... my garden inspires me to listen as I see what rain is capable of providing ... I will sleep knowing if it rains I can receive more blessings and my heart will be full just as my rain bucket becomes ... spilling over onto thirsty ground.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

A Mother's Day Poem from 2001

*Never Enough*

Sometimes I know the words to say,
Give thanks for all you’ve done,
But then they fly up and away,
As quickly as they come.
How could I possibly thank you enough,
The one who makes me whole,
The one to whom I owe my life,
The forming of my soul.
The one who tucked me in at night,
the one who stopped my crying,
the one who was the expert,
At picking up when I was lying.
The one who saw me off to school,
And spent sad days alone,
Yet magically produced a smile,
As soon as I came home.
The one who makes such sacrifices,
To always put me first,
Who lets me test my broken wings,
In spite of how it hurts.
Who paints the world a rainbow,
When it’s filled with broken dreams,
Who explains it all so clearly,
When nothing’s what it seems.
Are there really any words for this?
I find this question tough...
Anything I want to say,
Just doesn’t seem enough.
What way is there to thank you,
For your heart, your sweat, your tears,
For ten thousand little things you’ve done,
For oh-so-many years.
For changing with me as I changed,
Accepting all my flaws,
Not loving ‘cause you had to,
But loving “just because.”
For never giving up on me,
When you wits had reached their end,
For always being proud of me,
For being my best friend.
And so I came to realize,
The only way to say,
The only thank you that’s enough,
Is clear in just one way.
Look at me before you,
See what I’ve become,
Do you see yourself in me?
The job that you have done?
All your hopes and all your dreams,
The strength that no one sees,
A transfer over many years,
Your best was passed to me.
Thank you for the gifts you give,
For everything you do,
But thank you, Mommy, most of all,
For making dreams come true.
Your Daughter
(Ariel was 15 at the time. It is treasured on every read)

And being a Mother was my have five children and marry a George...I am truly blessed by all the six as mentioned in this 2012 post.
Happy Mother's Day!
May you know your worth. More precious than rubies.

Friday, April 11, 2014

So, Just How High Can a Turkey Fly?


I was sitting on one couch with Ricky, Daisy on the other...drinking my coffee and chatting with my big sis on the phone. When Daisy came alive and starting barking like a hooligin at the back door. I'm thinking meter reader, right? I go to the back leaving Ricky on the couch (not cool with a cat in the house BUT I think when bird's see cats they scream out something like, "Taw a putty tat!!!" so I wasn't worried about that as much as I was about a possible intruder in the back yard). Daisy was so upset I had to disconnect from the phone...and concentrate on locating whatever had Daisy in a bind. Couldn't see a thing...Which is odd. Daisy is not a story telling like some dogs are.

And then I located it...a turkey...tip toe-ing through Daisy's domain. Of course, I ran and got my camera. No worries, I gave a quick glance toward Ricky as I passed by. He was alerted to all the action but safe.

Tip Toe-ing through Daisy's yard
And well, when I came back to the kitchen window, I learned there were two intruders.
So I shot BOTH!!!!!
Just so I could have turkey to share with YOU!

and like that they were gone...Daisy wanted out soooooooo very bad.
And that was not an option as I was so concerned she would run
helter-skelter into the road after them because she was so keyed up.
Grateful that Pika is way too lazy to get up and join the excitement,
I put Ricky back into his habitat to collect himself.
I'm certain barking is to Ricky as squalking is to Daisy.
I kept Daze in for a time...but she continued to stay at the back door in solider mode.
"Okay, Daisy, but I'm going out there with you and you best better NOT run toward the road.
And she darted out the door...
toward the field.
And I felt a relief.
But I had let my guard down...and was unable to shoot the next event...
Somehow Daisy knew there was a third intruder in the tree line of the field.
And I only became aware of the same as I saw her flush him out.
I said out loud as I watched it unfold...
"Just how high can a turkey fly?"
I watched as it flew over 50 foot above the trees...a goofy-majestic bird...looking like it could kerplunck with it's chubby physique at any moment...the bird that George reminds me everytime we see one..."was the first choice for the national bird"
Yep, Just how high CAN a turkey fly?
 "Just as high as he needs too!" I answered myself.
And Daisy came running back so excited about her mission...
and expecting praise for purging the property.
And she got what she was looking for.
She always does.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

A Spring Conundrum


I struggle with PTSD. There I said it. Don’t ask me what the traumatic incidents are cause I may never be ready to share. What I want to share is a “spring” thought.

With  PTSD I experience periods of depression. Again, stay out of my business.

I also know I am not the only one. So, when I find pieces of hope or tools to cope I tend to want to share. Cause I’m heart is big and my love is so strong.

Today is the first day of spring. And after days of feeling impending doom, I woke with Daisy’s sweet smile…and noticed it to the point of basking in it. My granddaughter sent a good morning video and told me she loves her Mimi. I saw a note of inspiration posted by someone who is hurting real bad. I stood an egg on balance as I had done with my children spring after spring after spring. Brought back precious memories and I found myself smiling. I observed the mess around me that piled up in these dark times…and it didn’t seem so big.

Daisy coaxed me outside… I had that feeling of ugh..she makes me move when I don’t want to…I grabbed some poo bags so I could pick up the past two days of presents Daisy had laid around and be productive. I urged Pika’s fourteen year old tail outside with us (if I have to go, you do too). And chucked the ball…

I picked up the presents, chucked the ball, noticed the workers driving in and noticed my attire (wearing my pjs, my housecoat, and my orange rain boots as there are no fashion requirements on the 100 Acre Wood), continued to pick up poo and chuck the ball… watched Daisy ecstatic and Pika inspired, clearly aware of my smile.

And I felt guilty.

Guilty that I felt happy at that moment.

As if I had some loyalty to my depression.
I looked at Daisy’s face as I picked up poo, her smiling and panting, begging for me to chuck the ball again, I’m picking up poo.

And that’s exactly what I needed to recognize. You get dressed. You smile. You deal with sh**, you keep moving. It’s okay to be happy. It’s okay to be sad. Maybe I need to accept life as it is, “chuck it, deal with poo, smile, chuck it, clean up poo, smile….”

Maybe that is my inner peace. To accept life on these terms. Instead of wishing I could fix, change, redo. Keep moving and cheat on my depression when I can. It’s so entangling. So takes over every facet of the day. Why not cheat on it when I can!?

Today. At this moment. My heart is not beating erratically. My mind is not making circles around itself. I don’t feel like I’m trying to run in mud. And the elephant has shifted a bit off of my chest. Tomorrow may be different.

 But today, it’s okay to feel in tune with spring.

Pika encouraging spring stretching

Making another happy is inspiring

Chuck it, deal with poo, smile, just keep moving

Daisy...she loves me..

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Trees in Early Spring written 4-9-96

       Standing there
        Reaching tall
            Many without any leaves at all.
            Still proud of what they do
           and proud of where they stand.
            Could they be an example
            to every man.
            No matter the season,
           No matter your race,
            Lift your arms up toward heaven
             Giving God upmost praise.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

She Reminds Me

 Juanita Carter has lived through a childhood of hard times. She talks of her mama feeding the hobos when they lived on Owsley Avenue and handing out sugar cookies to the neighborhood children.

And she reminds me to give to the needy.

Juanita Carter married a military man who came back feeling the wounds of war. She continued to be his partner despite his tremendously difficult behaviors. She nursed him and his mother through illnesses. She cared for and created a home for them.

And she reminds me to have selfless loyalty.

Juanita Carter has a bond with her baby sister. That took them places. That created adventure. That allowed lives to be touched in blessed ways. That keeps her heart full even after her sis departed this earth.

And she reminds me that friendships are golden.

Juanita Carter did not give birth to any children of her own, but she has many children that love her dearly. She gave to her niece and nephews, great, greater and greatest as if she were the God Mother of all. She has loved their joys, and she has felt their sorrows.

And she reminds me that children are a blessed gift.

Juanita Carter served those in nursing homes and those unable to leave their own homes. She lovingly wrote cards to encourage. She gave gifts. She sang songs and Bible verses.

And she reminds me to shine for others that need the sunlight.

Juanita Carter is a cancer survivor. She survived another surgery in her later years that doctors said would not be life sustaining.  And yet today she still walks miles and miles.

And she reminds me to be a fighter.

Juanita Carter touches the dirt and flowers bloom. She has always had flowers, trees and plants that she has cared for and nurtured. Her knowledge of and continuously love for the blooming growth inspires.

And she reminds me that I can find joy to share when I put my hands in the dirt.

Juanita Carter feeds the birds and the cats of her street. She will not stop. Sometimes I think if she didn’t have the funds to provide for them, she would sacrifice a portion of her food to fulfill their needs.

And she reminds me God has made us masters over these creatures.

Juanita Carter puts her thoughts on paper. She writes encouragement to others. She writes about her journeys so she can remember the adventures to the fullest. She uses words to bless others.

And she reminds me that words can be life changing and the importance of documenting otherwise forgotten moments.

Juanita Carter chose after a stay at Cardinal Hill to put to use the physical therapy she was taught and continued it at home. She exercises regularly. And she has laid a path in her back yard as proof of her steps to stay fit.

And she reminds me to take care of myself.

Juanita Carter is celebrating 93 years upon this earth. She has endured changes in abundance. She has had to say goodbye to many loved ones. She had seen heartache and she has felt troubles around her. Yet she had kept her faith. She has relied on God’s word.

And she reminds me to pray.

And she reminds me I’m in the hands of the Master.

And I like being reminded…by my Aunt Juanita.

Aunt Juanita 93rd Birthday
Aunt Juanita on a trip with Moma and Granny

Aunt Juanita

Aunt Juanita and Granny

Jessica and Aunt Juanita

Aunt Juanita and Skippy

Back home after surgery 2010

Pretty in Purple

Aunt Juanita and I

Aunt Juanita on her 92nd birthday

Ariel and Aunt Juanita ~~~Joy