For two, the surgery hasn’t happened yet. Yes, we have been waiting all day.
I do want to explain more clearly. Yesterday morning, we got a call that Jason’s mom, Sue, got a sudden splitting headache with nausea and vomiting. It hurt so bad, she asked her husband to take her to the ER. This amazing woman would not even go to the Doctor for a major spider bite until a week later, when come to find out, it was a BLACK WIDOW. To say she is tough is an understatement. For her to REQUEST emergency service? Very bad and we knew it.
They found a brain hemorrhage. A big one. Ten to twelve centimeters on the right side of her head. She did not lose any feeling or movement in her arms, legs, and fingers. She is very aware of where she is, who she is, and what is going on. They did have to drain the pressure off the brain yesterday with a tube. She has a nice new haircut for the wedding and will have an even prettier one when they do brain surgery to fix the hemorrhage.
That is where the tricky part comes in. She was born without a crossover vein. One major artery feeds the left brain. One feeds the right. Nothing in the middle. The surgery is VERY difficult. One false snip and she is brain dead on the right side. The staff at XYZ hospital assured us, they could do such a delicate surgery no problem. They assured us, she was in capable hands. Did I mention they seemed a little TOO happy? Reminding me of Grey’s, but I digress.
XYZ RN’s were needing reminders of her bed angle for her drain. They had to take blood three times, because the machine didn’t read it right (huh?). Let’s just say, our confidence was not boosted.
This morning when they did the mapping for her brain and the surgery, everything seemed well. The surgery staff meet Jason, the husband, and other brothers. All seemed capable and confident – ahem, eager. It can be a good sign. Then the anesthesiologist stepped up to meet with them. Alone. He looked them in the eye and said, “Don’t do this here.”
Imagine the crumbling foundation as this news took hold. Sue was in pre-op. Ready to go. He told them his mother had this same thing happen three months ago. He gave them the name of top neurological surgeon who does these day in and day out. He also shared that the Doctor doing the surgery at XYZ hospital had only done THIS tricky type of surgery FOUR months ago. He was not seasoned, nor regular at it. Neither was the staff.
They could not in good conscience go through with it at that point, without first trying to find this neuro doc. Since XYZ hospital could not list the name of the hospital he worked at, the family had to find out for themselves (darn, you red hospital tape). Then…..see who would admit her, if a bed was available, and if the surgeon would do it. All right away, since the time bomb in her head is ticking. It was a waiting game for the insane.
Finally, this afternoon the transfer went through. We can breathe a little easier and KNOW she is going to get the BEST neuro care possible. I feel better about it already. Even more so, I know our prayers for guidance are being answered as this came down to the wire – literally.
An Angel in scrubs showed us the way. It also happens to be the hospital Jason supports in his IT field. Coincidence?
Our wedding is the least of our concern right now. Yes it will happen on Oct. 10th. God willing Sue will be there with a pretty pink head bandage, wheeled down the aisle by her sons.
My dear friends at work are already stepping up into her very large shoes. She was doing 90% of the wedding. In fact, I talked to her the night before about wedding stuff. She couldn’t wait and loved planning it. Knowing her, she is simply NOT going to miss it.
Keep praying my friends. We thank you with all our hearts. The surgery will be tonight or tomorrow morning.
How appropriate that this was today’s verse in Greg Laurie’s devotion. It was exactly what I needed to read, because out of all the people I have ever met, there is none more deserving of mercy than Sue; Jason’s mom, my future mom-in-law.
His devotion states…….“Yet Jesus said, “Blessed are the merciful. . . . ” Mercy is something we do, not just something we feel. It means to help a person in need, to rescue the miserable. Mercy means a sense of pity, plus a desire to relieve the suffering. Simply saying, “I feel your pain” is not mercy. Mercy is meeting the need, not just feeling it. Real mercy is pity plus action.”
On Saturday Jason and I helped Sue clean up a house of man who died from her Church. She was preparing it for an estate sale, because the grown children of this man were to grieved to deal with the process. The mom had died several years earlier. It is a home filled with many “collectibles”. It took hard work to even attempt the organization, and after she had already worked on it for three days before, it looked pretty good when we left. Why did she go to all the trouble? Because of mercy and heart. No other reason. No benefit at all. She was being kind and helping someone in need. That is just the person she is. She reaches out in love and embraces others to show them love in action, in which she receives in return.
She is now due her mercy. It is in God’s hands, as she awaits surgery on her brain from a ruptured blood vessel that occurred yesterday morning. One of those unbelievable things that happen suddenly and quickly. We cannot fathom the reasons, or understand the whys.
She is by far the kindest, most loving, heart-centered, self-less human being I have ever met. She doesn’t miss an opportunity to hug.
Sue hugs Bridget.
She raised three of the most gentlest, sweet men on the planet.
Sue with her two youngest sons, Jason and Todd.
Every chance to gather the family to her, to cook, to play, to hug, to lovingly thrive in every moment, beaming with pride at her family. She is a beautiful soul inside and out.
Fourth of July 2010.
I don’t know what today holds. All I know is a very precious woman who I love and adore fights for her life and I pray with all my heart for mercy and the action of it in her healing and restoration. I am on my way to hold the hand of her son. A man who wouldn’t be who he is without her nurture. A man who has been at the hospital all night and day along with his brothers and step-dad.
I witnessed a miracle when a fellow blogger Spot’s husband was in a near fatal car crash. He went home from the hospital two weeks later. From the pictures of the car, that was incredible. I believe in miracles and we need one right now.
If you are a prayer warrior, would you pray this prayer today as Sue goes to surgery. It is from a my dear friend Sandy. She posted to my Facebook and I think it is an earnest request.
Dear Father in heaven, please be with Sue and all the family members right now. Guide the doctors hands and minds and decisions in what they have to do. Lord, you are the great healer and prayers are so powerful. Give peace, to… all the family members and loved ones. Thank you father for your guidance during this time. In your precious name….Amen!!!!!
Today is special. We have a Mom in Show. Whose Mom? My Mom. I don’t mean show biz. Although she did tour with Sound of Music in the summers of college. But another kind of show. Dog Shows.
It all started when the boys were fairly young, ages 7 & 9-ish, Mom got them a bloodhound puppy. They named her Rose Marie. Her floppy ears, clumsy giant steps, soulful sad eyes, and wrinkled skin captured our delight. Nose to the ground she could find you. Every time. She was faithful, loyal, and very funny.
The desire to raise a bloodhound stemmed from the movie Where the Red Fern Grows. We lived in the country and it was a natural fit for our family. Rosie was loved. Oh, was she loved. She protected the boys and was their best bud for all her life.
Mom fell hard for the bloodhound breed. Our childhood pet spawned a breeding of many puppy litters, not just as pets, but as champions. It was NOT a puppy mill. Only one litter at a time. They were cared for and housed, hand fed, handled, socialized, and adopters were thoroughly screened. More often than not, they were rejected as not being good enough.
She was strict and ruthless. Her puppies were her babies. They deserved the best. The hardest part of this breed is their life span. They only average 8 years – 10 at the most. That means since we started with bloodhounds over 32 years ago, we’ve had many furry friends to love and their puppies and their puppies.
Mom entered the dog show world. I could be wrong, but the first one I believe was a bloodhound named Choco. Mom got an RV with Choco’s pictured pasted in the back window. Viva la dog show! He was a liver colored bloodhound, not your typical black and tan, or red. I think he did pretty good.
As things progressed and she learned the show rules, circles, and techniques – we entered Championship. The prize of showmanship. I don’t remember if Choco was a champion or not but I do remember the first bloodhound that was. She was a champion before she left puppyhood. Her name was Peaches. She was a unique liver colored as well.
I was about fifteen years old when mom brought her home. She almost looked like a Sharpei with wrinkles EVERYWHERE. Ohmygosh, she was a doll. I loved her so much until she chewed up several of my favorite pairs of shoes. Mom, I KNOW. I should have shut my door. My bad.
For Peaches, we traveled by RV from Oklahoma to Portland Oregon for the mother of all bloodhound shows. The National Championship. It was a trip from hell heck. My brother and his friend, me and an exchange student from France in VERY tight irritating quarters. Not to mention the RV broke down EVERY STATE. No lie. I loved Idaho and Wyoming though.
But we all survived. Peaches did well. All the teens skied Mount Hood. I think we made it back to Oklahoma in one piece, or at least without breaking down. Then we sold the money pit RV.
When I was nineteen, just mom and I traveled to New York City. She had entered the biggest, most prestigious dog show in the world. Westminster. Let me tell you, what you see on TV is nothing like the back stages. It’s wall to wall dogs, grooming, handlers, owners, stands and crates. What you see at the end is the culmination of all the exhausting shows that day, which end up with ONE winner IN the main show. That’s ONE out of HUNDREDS, not to mention HOURS of grooming, ring circling, and judging.
We were pretty beat up by show time. I felt pretty out of place, all ragged, with people in formal wear watching this show. But WOW, we were in NEW YORK! And no, her dog didn’t win. She didn’t get to be in the show at the end. But what an experience. I think it’s something all show people strive for, to take part in Westminster just once.
Mom has mostly retired from showing (haven’t you mom?), but she does rescue for the Bloodhound Club. Here is the website with all her beautiful animals that fill her life and bring her joy. As much as she loves to care for them (and save them), they would LOVE their own home. If you know of anyone, please pass on this link. One of my favorites right now is Oh Baby, part mastiff, part bloodhound. He is truly a gentle giant. But really, they are all very special. Do check them out.
I learned a lot from mom and the dog shows. How to care and love an animal with all your heart. How to meet new people, socialize, and make connections. How to see the world from all angles, the triumphs, and the losses. But mostly, I learned – if you love something – follow your dreams.
Happy Birthday Mom! Not only are you Mom in Show you are Best in Show. I love you tremendously!! Showing her winning breed.
Mom with her Champion Sally.
Oh, and mom….remember that little birthday present you “rescued”. Our best estimate of her birth is around the same time as yours. This one? Anna puppy April 2008
A very small Anna that fit in my hand.
Anna Foursocks Elizabeth – born March 24, 2008 – Happy Birthday to Anna too! Thank you mom for your serving soul. If you hadn’t saved her. I wouldn’t have the entertainment she brings, and the sweet snuggles she endears.
Another reflection of you, another gift of life that you offer so freely to others by reaching out to the unwanted with open arms. I am forever grateful you were born to be my mother.
In light of the recent women’s retreat, I have had some issues on my mind. We spent a better part of the weekend learning about what kind of woman NOT to be. The immoral woman. The indiscreet woman. The irritating woman.
As the descriptions unfolded I heard the gasps around me. I heard the shocking cries about these terrible women. I could feel the JUDGMENT in the very large room, and the underlying hint of anger at their actions and corruptions.
Friends, it did not make me feel righteous. Truth is, I have been all three of those women in my lifetime. I’ve been in some of those places they described. I’m not proud of it. Not at all. But know this – because of that – I don’t see people the same way as others, at least most of the time anyway. I guess it makes me different (or maybe I’m not?). I know to me it hurts to shame women with opinions I have no right to behold. Maybe there is another story behind their actions, behind their clothes, behind their situation. Have you ever considered this?
My heart tells me to see these women differently. To Keep believing, keep hoping, and keep loving. As the famous Avatar movie would say, “I see you”. And this is how I choose to see women described as immoral, indiscreet, and irritating.
When I see a young woman dressed in a short skirt, a tight, low-cut t-shirt labeled “Too Hot to Care”. I don’t see a child I want to reprimand and explain proper attire to. I see a little girl who is crying out for direction. She has followed the wrong role models and has had no one protecting her morality. She wants attention. She is LONELY.
When I see a woman tightly wound with a chip on her shoulder. She snaps at the waitress. Her food is too cold, too hot, and all kinds of wrong. She glares at the man next to her while he shudders inwardly and tiptoes around her drama stage. I don’t see intolerance, and contention. I see a woman who is SCARED. She is scared to love. She is scared to be loved and pushes everyone away to protect herself.
When I see a woman flirting with a married man. She charms him. She knows exactly what to do and say. A wink, a smile, a lick of the lips. I don’t see a predator. I see an empty soul who has never known what it’s like to be truly loved. The darkness inside envelopes her. She is LOST.
When I see a woman who drinks excessively, smokes, and hangs around the bar pretending she is not crushing on the bartender. Nightly, she abuses her body. She is filling her life with unfulfillable things. She doesn’t know who she is. She doesn’t know how to find herself. I want to take her hand and let her know, there is so much more to life. She seeks FULFILLMENT.
When I see a woman having sex with a different man every night. She can’t commit, nor does she want to. It’s just sex. It doesn’t mean anything. She is fine on her own. It’s better this way. I don’t see a heartless user. I see a woman who has never loved deeply. The love that lifts, turns, and softens. My heart breaks for what she is missing. I want to knock down the walls so she can FEEL.
When I see a woman with an abusive mate. She cowers, she begs, she pleads. She is a trooper at keeping the peace and doing what is expected. I don’t see her weak will. I see a woman who doesn’t know her worth. She doesn’t think she deserves anything better than what she has. She needs to know how precious she truly is. She has VALUE.
When I see a woman with perfect porcelain skin, eyes without wrinkles, and a firm, fit body. She wears designer clothes. She drives a Cadillac. She has everything she needs, and other women envy her, or worship her. Inside, her heart beats like mine, her blood flows through her veins. Her mind thinks and feels just like I do. She is NOT all put together. She is NOT perfect. She is tired. She has no true friends. She bears the upkeep on her back and it weighs two tons. She wishes to relax but her needs and subsistence drive her tirelessly. If only her life could stop. If only she could just let go, and be. She wants to DIE because that would be easier than her life. I want her to know there is vitality that is not attainable through any means, but is joy filled without any appointments. She needs serenity and ACCEPTANCE.
When I see a woman dirty and shuffling. She wears plastic bags on her feet. She carries all her worldly possessions in her handbag with one unbroken strap. She doesn’t have a place she calls home. She lives where her legs will take her and where a light burns bright for her. I don’t see a helpless bum. I see a woman with great grit and determination. She lives proudly in the worst of situations. She is a SURVIVOR.
When I see a young woman bucking the system. She is trouble – fighting, lying, hating. She never does the right thing. Always does the opposite of what is expected. She is conniving and manipulative. I consider the possibility of her turmoil is from abuse. A verbally abusive mother. A controlling Father. Maybe, an unsuspecting neighbor sexually abused her as a child and NO ONE KNOWS. She didn’t tell. She is ANGRY and violated. She wants to strike out at the world. I ACHE for her. Not only is she incredibly tormented but she bears the pain on her own. How twisted and buried it must be. That child is crying inside and needs to be comforted. She needs to know, it wasn’t her fault. She is BLAMELESS.
When I see a woman jealous and hateful. She gossips and gets great pleasure in demeaning her fellow sister. She despises the happiness of others and will think nothing of a cutting remark. I don’t see a bitch. I see a woman terribly unhappy. She is void of empathy. She is withering from lack of light. She is in DARKNESS.
When I see a woman standing on a street corner. She is Looking out from hard eyes, and tough skin. She sways when she walks but she can fight when she needs to, or run. She has been beaten bloody. She has been stoned out of her mind. She has been violated, and torn until she is scarred and broken. Her life is the streets. Waiting for that twenty she can shoot up her veins. I don’t see a hooker junkie. I see a child whose mother abandoned her at age two. I see a lost, frightened little girl, who cried out for her Daddy and received beatings instead. She got lost in the system. No one cared for her. No one raised her. No one loved her. Not then. Not now. Not ever. I see a life that could miraculously change. A change so dramatic when she stood up to tell her story every ear would hear and be astounded. I see someone who God could use. She is SOMEBODY.
When I see a woman all dressed in black. She has black nail polish and hair. She wears chains and nose rings. She has a neck tattoo just above her lace trimmed collar. She is quiet and broody. People tend to give her a wide berth and confused glances. I don’t see a mental case. I see an artistic creation locked inside, lacking the freedom to express her needs and desires. She is passionate, complex, and terribly misunderstood. I want to unlock her chains. I want her to know she can live as uniquely as God made her. She is FREE.
When I see a woman struck down by illness. She has battled fiercely and lost. She is worn out. She has seen every doctor, tried every prescription. She has been betrayed by her body, by her mind. She wishes for well-being but only ends up sicker and sadder. With each failed treatment, depression sets in. Pain ensues. It’s a downward spiral of despair. Her life stops as she is only able to do so much in her weakened state. She loses her family, her job, her will. I don’t see a hypochondriac. I see a woman desperate for faith. I see a woman who needs to know she can be supernaturally healed, if only she will believe it. She is WHOLE.
When I see a woman using foul language. She swears with the best of them, dropping F-bombs, like hydros, hitting targets left and right. I don’t see desecration. I see a woman who watched their week old infant son take his last breath in her arms. I see a woman who was good and proper her whole life, until she had to dig deep to find the strength to survive burying her baby. Her anguish expelled on her lips in short fiery bursts. I would curse too. She MISSES her son. She will always miss him. She HURTS.
You don’t know what ANYONE is going through, or how they got to that point, or where they came from. You don’t know, nor may you ever know. One thing is for sure, there is SOME story. Maybe it’s not any of the above. Maybe it’s not even close. But what if you considered the possibility, and instead of judging, held them deeply with compassion.
Fill yourself up with all the love in your soul and beam it towards these women. SEE THEM. It’s easy to reject what we don’t understand. It’s so hard to embrace when we do.
I humbly ask you, LOVE them. Just love them anyway. That is true unfading beauty.