Wondering why….

I haven’t written in quite a while. Life has thrown me one curve ball after another, but I do my best to roll with the punches. As I sit here while trying to calm down from yet another panic attack, this time the trigger was my feet getting tangled in the fitted sheet, I wonder why is everything about me wrong. My depression is a slap in the face, my panic attacks are not appropriate, I can’t make decisions fast enough, and I can get my words out in the right way or at the right time. I’m obese, not pretty enough or skinny enough for the guys that aren’t jerks, I’m too broken and too afraid to let anyone in. I want more than anything to be enough, and be normal. Right now it seems as if I wil be destined to live a shell of a life, being a burden on others, and bringing everyone around me down. I keep trying to hold on to the hope that one day it will get better. I know sometimes things get worse before they get better and that it’s always darkest before the dawn. I guess I’m just frustrated with being in the dark for so long that I feel like throwing in the towel, but I won’t because it’s not what I do. I always keep on going, I always carry on, show no emotion and act like things don’t get to me, because that’s what is expected, or at least what I expect of myself. I always try to be an optimist, but sometimes I just want to wallow. Tonight is one of my wallowing nights. So if anyone is reading this, allow yourself a good cry and some time to wallow. To some it may seem selfish or negative, but to those of us who are constantly fighting the battle, we know that it is therapeutic. Carry on my way faring strangers.

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Carry Me

I have finally calmed back down after yet another panic attack. At the start, it feels as if someone has their hands around my throat with their grip tightening as each second passes. In the middle of an attack, it feels like I can’t catch my breath. My heart beats so fast that it feels like it is going to give out any second. I get lightheaded and it’s almost as if I’m going to pass out. Paralyzed by fear I can’t reach for my phone to call for help, let alone speak.

I’ve been dealing with it long enough that most times I can recognize the warning signs. Other times there is no warning. There is no pattern to the attacks. They happen at varying times and places. I can even be watching National Lampoon’s European Vacation and have a panic attack.

Through everything, in the deepest of valleys and darkest of shadows there is one steadfast truth I hold onto, my Lord and God, my Savior, my rock and my Father in heaven will always carry me through. There is an incredible Christian music artist by the name of Josh Wilson, that wrote a song in 2012 that describes everything so perfectly. The title of that song is Carry Me. The link to the K-Love acoustic version is below. Give it a listen, and hopefully it will help you as much as it has helped me.

Carry Me by Josh Wilson

Heidi Crouch

If any of you out there actually read my blog, I beg of you to please read the following story and click the link at the end. If you are unable to give, keep Heidi and her family in your prayers.

Heidi Crouch had a brain aneurysm early in the morning on July 4, 2014. Here is the story on how fast she made it to the hospital…..and how God was watching over her from the beginning. Heidi was having a block party with loved ones on July 3, 2014. She was not feeling well so she went to bed while others continued to enjoy the get together. Her husband John is a firefighter, cop, and EMT for Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety. John was still awake with friends when he heard a car accident at the end of his drive way (hit and run to top it off). Being the hero that he is he rushed out to help. He then had to pry the door open and start helping the injured driver. Heidi awoke due to the loud sound of the crash and came down the long driveway to ask John if he needed his medical bag. The ambulance was coming down the street. Heidi and 2 neighbors turned and started walking back up the driveway and that is when the tragedy happened and Heidi collapsed. Thankfully she was standing in the middle and the other 2 people caught her fall. She began having a seizure and getting sick while unconscious. John rushed to her side and since the ambulance was already there due to the car accident they were able to start working on her right away along with her husband John. She was rushed to Saint Louise Hospital in Gilroy and then air lifted to Stanford Hospital.

After exploratory surgery that lasted 2.5 hours (estimated that it would be 45 minutes) the neurosurgeon knew that they couldn’t get to the bleed without doing full open brain surgery. Heidi is at one of the top hospitals in the Country and is working with one of the top neurosurgeons in the Country.

Heidi Crouch’s Story

Fallen Officer

My Dad has been in law enforcement since I was 2 years old. During that entire time we have only lost one other officer. Today we lost one of our own. The officer had been in law enforcement for over 50 years. The streets of heaven have one more officer on patrol.

Today in the sun, I bid him farewell, a man, a hero, I never knew well. Like many before him, who answered the call. Wearing a badge, he was destined to fall. Though by choice a long life and a happy old age would he have chosen, had he written the page.

But the office he chose never promised long life. Just half of his salary, for his child and his wife. He went without fear, into the darkness of night. Bringing comfort to some, to some others light. Easing their pain and calming their fears. He did his duty, never asking for cheers. A husband, a cop, he answered the call. We bid him farewell for he gave his all.

Musings

I have not been able to post anything for a while because I’ve been under the weather first with a back injury and then bronchitis. I’m slowly starting to feel better, and I praise God for my healing. I wanted to share some thoughts I wrote out a while ago.

Life is a miracle, don’t let it slip away. Open your heart to others; give of yourself each day. See the beauty in everyone regardless of where they’ve been. Some have a difficult journey and really need a friend. Share your gifts and talents; listen with your heart. Do the things you dream about but don’t have time to start. Pick a bouquet of flowers; show someone that you care. Be gracious and forgiving; life is never fair. Hold on to your courage, you may need it down the road. We all have a cross to bear; it could be a heavy load. If you practice all these things no matter where you roam, you may find both sun and rain, but you’ll never feel alone.

I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

In memory of Maya Angelou, I have decided to share one of my favorite poems that she wrote.

“I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
The free bird leaps
on the back of the wind
and floats downstream
till the current ends
and dips his wings
in the orange sun rays
and dares to claim the sky.

But a bird that stalks
down his narrow cage
can seldom see through
his bars of rage
his wings are clipped and
his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings
with fearful trill
of the things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom

The free bird thinks of another breeze
and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
and the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright lawn
and he names the sky his own.

But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing

The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.”

Life’s Bricks

About ten years ago, a young and very successful executive named Josh was
traveling down a Chicago neighborhood street. He was going a bit too fast in his sleek, black, 12 cylinder Jaguar XKE, which was only two months old.

He was watching for kids darting out from between parked cars and slowed
down when he thought he saw something. As his car passed, no child darted out, but a brick sailed out and-WHUMP! — it smashed into the Jag’s shiny black side door! SCREECH…!!!! Brakes slammed! Gears ground into reverse, and tires madly spun the Jaguar back to the spot from where the brick had been thrown.

Josh jumped out of the car, grabbed the kid and pushed him up against a
parked car. He shouted at the kid, “What was that all about and who are
you? Just what the heck are you doing?!” Building up a head of steam, he went on. “That’s my new Jag, that brick you threw is gonna cost you a lot
of money. Why did you throw it?”

“Please, mister, please…I’m sorry! I didn’t know what else to do!”
Pleaded the youngster. “I threw the brick because no one else would stop!”

Tears were dripping down the boy’s chin as he pointed around the parked
car. “It’s my brother, mister,” he said. “He rolled off the curb and fell out of his wheelchair and I can’t lift him up.” Sobbing, the boy asked the executive, “Would you please help me get him back into his wheelchair? He’s hurt and he’s too heavy for me.”

Moved beyond words, the young executive tried desperately to swallow the rapidly swelling lump in his throat. Straining, he lifted the young man
back into the wheelchair and took out his handkerchief and wiped the scrapes and cuts, checking to see that everything was going to be OK. He
then watched the younger brother push him down the sidewalk toward their home.

It was a long walk back to the sleek, black, shining, 12 cylinder Jaguar
XKE-a long and slow walk. Josh never did fix the side door of his Jaguar.
He kept the dent to remind him not to go through life so fast that someone
has to throw a brick at him to get his attention. Some bricks are softer
than others. Feel for the bricks of life coming at to you.

Bucket List items 1 through 3

I am writing this while cruising at 26,000 feet on my way to Orlando, on a slightly bumpy flight. I love listening in on the conversations people have even though the people next to me are taking this time to sleep. Travel is so exciting, there are so many places to see and things to do. On this trip I’ll get to cross 3 things off my bucket list: visit Florida, go to Magic Kingdom, and go to Epcot. I’ll sign off for now, trying to save some battery life. If anyone out there actually reads my posts, have a fantastic weekend.

The smallest gestures can have the greatest impact

One day, when I was a freshman in high school, I saw a kid from my class was walking home from school. His name was Kyle. It looked like he was carrying all of his books. I thought to myself, “Why would anyone bring home all his books on a Friday? He must really be a nerd.” I had quite a weekend planned (parties and a football game with my friend tomorrow afternoon), so I shrugged my shoulders and went on.

As I was walking, I saw a bunch of kids running toward him. They ran at him, knocking all his books out of his arms and tripping him so he landed in the dirt. His glasses went flying, and I saw them land in the grass about ten feet from him. He looked up and I saw this terrible sadness in his eyes. My heart went out to him. So, I jogged over to him and as he crawled around looking for his glasses, and I saw a tear in his eye.

As I handed him his glasses, I said, “Those guys are jerks. They really should get lives.”

He looked at me and said, “Hey thanks!” There was a big smile on his face. It was one of those smiles that showed real gratitude.

I helped him pick up his books, and asked him where he lived. As it turned out, he lived near me, so I asked him why I had never seen him before.

He said he had gone to private school before now. I would have never hung out with a private school kid before. We talked all the way home, and I carried his books. He turned out to be a pretty cool kid. I asked him if he wanted to play football on Saturday with me and my friends. He said yes.

We hung all weekend and the more I got to know Kyle, the more I liked him. And my friends thought the same of him.
Monday morning came, and there was Kyle with the huge stack of books again. I stopped him and said, “Damn boy, you are gonna really build some serious muscles with this pile of books everyday!” He just laughed and handed me half the books.

Over the next four years, Kyle and I became best friends. When we were seniors, we began to think about college. Kyle decided on Georgetown, and I was going to Duke. I knew that we would always be friends, that the miles would never be a problem. He was going to be a doctor, and I was going for business on a football scholarship. Kyle was valedictorian of our class. I teased him all the time about being a nerd. He had to prepare a speech for graduation. I was so glad it wasn’t me having to get up there and speak.

Graduation day, I saw Kyle. He looked great. He was one of those guys that really found himself during high school. He filled out and actually looked good in glasses. He had more dates than me and all the girls loved him! Boy, sometimes I was jealous. Today was one of those days. I could see that he was nervous about his speech. So, I smacked him on the back and said, “Hey, big guy, you’ll be great!” He looked at me with one of those looks (the really grateful one) and smiled. “Thanks,” he said. As he started his speech, he cleared his throat, and began.

“Graduation is a time to thank those who helped you make it through those tough years. Your parents, your teachers, your siblings, maybe a coach… but mostly your friends. I am here to tell all of you that being a friend to someone is the best gift you can give them. I am going to tell you a story.” I just looked at my friend with disbelief as he told the story of the first day we met. He had planned to kill himself over the weekend. He talked of how he had cleaned out his locker so his Mom wouldn’t have to do it later and was carrying his stuff home. He looked hard at me and gave me a little smile. “Thankfully, I was saved. My friend saved me from doing the unspeakable.”

I heard the gasp go through the crowd as this handsome, popular boy told us all about his weakest moment. I saw his Mom and dad looking at me and smiling that same grateful smile. Not until that moment did I realize it’s depth. Never underestimate the power of your actions.

With one small gesture you can change a person’s life. For better or for worse. God puts us all in each other’s lives to impact one another in some way.