Timeless Deeds

Last Christmas, I was not glowing from head to toe from radioactive iodine thyroid testing nor from the sheer glee of getting engaged. In fact, I wasn’t glowing at all….well yet.

See, the sales representative for the travel company I work for decided to take me on a road trip to Austin. We were to meet a new client I would be assigned to. This was great. A whole day off work. A ride three hours to Austin and three hours back. Lots of time to talk and catch up. I have worked with Debbie over 17 years. We have been through a lot together. Grown a lot together. It’s not just a friendship. It is a history.

I soon discovered road tripping with Debbie was not all it was cracked up to be. She liked to stop – a LOT. I am a get there kinda gal (similar to a guy but not quite). So we stop. And we stop. And we stop again. I went inside the store and got a Coke to drink. I figured why not. I need a good caffeine sugar rush. I leave the store right behind Debbie. She goes to the driver side to get in. I am walking towards the passenger side.

I am looking at the ground. I remember thinking to myself the parking lot was flat. There wasn’t a step. Just as I thought that, I felt my foot hit not pavement but air. Unfortunately foot number two was already following close behind. Instantly, I had no footing and down I went. One hand held a Coke so it splayed outward, the other hand – my right – caught the concrete. HARD.

It was not pretty or graceful. It was SPLAT. I fell forward landing on knees and one arm. I ripped a hole in my pants on the right knee. My Coke was broken and spewing. I was really bummed about that. I was pretty stinkin’ poor and didn’t want to dish out another buck for a Coke. I stood right up and shook myself off. Debbie was shocked. The truck passenger next to us, also shocked. But I was okay. I WAS. I was embarrassed to no end, but just fine thankyouverymuch.

The nice lady in the store gives me a free Coke (bless you). Onward we go to Austin, and my wrist begins to swell nice and round. Then it hurts. Debbie stops so I can get ice. Debbie stops to get cookies from a bakery for the client. I can no longer open the car door with my right hand. We stop again at the clients place. I can no longer open car doors, office doors, and now shaking hands is a real booger. Nice to meet you. OUCH.

We head back. Debbie is extremely worried. I am still very much embarrassed. I feel like a dufus. I FELL OFF A CURB. I assure her. At the most it is sprained, please don’t worry. I wasn’t going to. And I didn’t. Back in Dallas, the swelling has not gone down. Now I am bruising down the inside of my arm. A friend comes by and sees it. He thinks I should have it checked out. Debbie is texting me, begging me to get it checked out.

Finally, I decide to go to the doctor just to make sure. I head to the CareNow clinic by Jason’s house. This is when I saw him again after a two month break, what a great excuse to see him. How could he resist? I was maimed. The doctor x-rays my hand after a quick diagnosis of movements. I could not lift my hand up, flexing from the wrist. (FYI-I was still able to text). She comes back into the room with the results of the x-ray.

“Do you think your injury is severe?”

I put down my phone with my right hand, stopping a text to give her full attention. I shrugged, “I think it’s sprained. I fell down. It’s really embarrassing.”

“Ms. Sims, your hand is fractured not just in one place but TWO.”

Oh yikes, suddenly my texting ability is gone (I switch to my left hand). My hand feels funny now. Not a good funny. “Are you serious????”

“Yes, I am. This is a very dangerous break. You have broken a carpel bone that has blood flow in it. If not properly casted in seven days the bone could die. You also have a buckle fracture to your radius bone in your forearm.”

WHAT? She slips a splint on. “You can take this off but don’t use the hand. It’s very important you see an Orthopedic doctor within seven days.”

Holy Moly. This is serious. I friggin’ BROKE my arm. My RIGHT arm. OMG!

Life as I knew it changed dramatically. I will ask you to try (just once) brushing your teeth with your left hand. Opening doors with your left hand. Pulling up, and buttoning pants ONE handed. And I won’t even ask you to try writing because..well, that’s just mean. I went from completely independent and freakishly strong to – a weakling. Not only a weakling, but a weakling incapable of the smallest tasks, a weakling incapable of the smallest tasks AT CHRISTMAS. Ahhhhhh!

And I am not going to kid you. It HURT like nobodys business. It hurt worse than anything should hurt. Not just pain, but an ache, a constant ache that no medicine could cure. I won’t go into the drama of getting it casted but let’s just say, two doctors, and a dozen frantic calls later. I get a cast. A cast that feels like it weighs FIVE pounds. A cast that I did NOT get to pick the color. It was yellow. Not just any yellow but like a highlight marker yellow. This picture does not do it justice.

I mean why not tape a caution sign to my back too. Let’s just announce what a hazard I am. Beep. Beep. Beep. Big yellow bus coming through. I always thought having a cast would be cool. NOT.

Well, I have to give myself credit. I can be pretty ingenious when I want to be. When I am faced wearing a bright yellow cast, I get ingenious. So, I decided to buy some fabric marker pens from Michaels and paint that sucker!

Here is the result.

Beautiful ain’t she? You could hardly see the yellow. I was pretty proud of myself. If I was going to get noticed for a cast, let it be for a purple one. Not a dang yellow banana!

I somehow learned to type (because my job depended it on it) with a casted right arm. I typed FAST. It was pretty incredible. It HURT horribly. My shoulders ached from the offset of the cast, then from having to hoist my arm up all day to type with the four fingers sticking out. At night was the only time I took a pain pill. I had to take baths. It’s really hard to scrub with just one hand. Go ahead, try squeezing soap, with one hand, on a buff or a washcloth. Nope, don’t cheat. ONE HAND. The other is in a cast wrapped in five plastic bags, you don’t even have fingers to use.

The simplest things were a challenge. Like washing my hair one handed. At first, I tried a friend washing my hair in the sink for me, but that did not work at all. Then, I figured out a system, in the kitchen sink, with small dixie cups filled with shampoo and conditioner. It worked quite well I thought.

Eventually, I got bored with purple. I thought..black would be better. Black goes with anything. Another portrait on my arm.

Yeah, uhh, black over purple over yellow. Eh. Not so good. You know what? Nothing I could do about it. I made it another week and colored it again. (well, first we tried to SAND the black off, then color it). I think my cast dang near FELL off from abuse. It didn’t. It ended up green. (yes I know I should have left it purple) In my defense, I was in a cast for SEVEN weeks. SEVEN.

My daughter and her boyfriend, so kindly, put up the Christmas tree. They hung every ornament. Every wreath. Every candy cane. They cleaned every week for me. They carried in groceries. Anything they could do to help me, they did. I can not even tell you what a blessing that was. There is not much worse than a broken arm, and the brokenness you feel as a person. To have two teenagers step up in compassion and care was truly amazing.

Last Christmas was NOT easy, but I will never forget the Timeless Deeds those kids performed.

Merry Christmas, may it be as bright and cheery as my yellow cast.

And just in case you wondered if a cast stopped me from trying anything fun……….I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

Courage, sacrifice, determination, commitment, toughness,heart, talent, guts. That’s what little girls are made of; the heck with sugar and spice.

-Bethany Hamilton-greatest female surfer of our time.

Braving Love again-The Break

Part Two-

It’s mid-October 2008, I have just made a very shoddy decision to stop seeing Jason. I felt it was the RIGHT thing to do. He wasn’t divorced yet. But I also felt, intense regret, immediately. Honestly? We had already been together five months. What the heck did it matter NOW?

I wish I could answer that. It just did. I didn’t feel like we were moving forward, and that is where I needed to go. But you bet, I back pedaled. As soon as I saw that little heart broken icon on Facebook. As soon as his name disappeared off my page, as soon as everyone in the freeworld Facebook world knew we were broken up. I wanted to take it back. Desperately.

I got all my stuff from his house at lunch time. I said good-bye to my best buddy Cooper, crying my heart out the whole way back to work. I was a basket case. I couldn’t eat. I knew what I’d lost. It broke me. I functioned as best as I could. I tried to keep myself occupied, too busy to think about it. We were still friends on Facebook. I found myself constantly checking his page, like a creepy obsessed ex.

Speaking of that…..crazy, is exactly how I felt. Every day, I had some excuse to text him or email him. I would wait to see if he would respond or not. If he hadn’t responded, I would have been consumed by the dejection. He always did. The responses were my life line.

The day of the Pumpkin Patch outing came. The day he was taking his wife, and daughters, as a family to pick out pumpkins. A family tradition. The night before, I was on my floor, face down, praying. Praying with all my heart, and soul, that IF their relationship could be healed. Heal it. For the children, who I loved. In hopes, that they might have both parents in their lives (which I never had).

Not only to have both parents in their lives, but to have both parents LOVE each other. A love restored. A miracle. I didn’t want them to reconcile just for the children. I wanted the family unit brought back together. So, the girls could be raised surrounded by love. True love. Without knowing the brokenness of divorce. My heart yearned for this to happen. If I had to give him up. By GOD, let it be for THAT.

I told myself, if he called me Saturday night, after the pumpkin patch, then the healing did not occur. I don’t even remember why he might call, probably because I texted him. He did call. It seemed like a sign to me. Okay, God, you didn’t bring them back together. Can I have him back now? I really don’t like being destroyed.

The phone conversation did not go well. I hinted about just putting this behind us. Chalking it up to learning. Forget the nonsense, let’s just get back together (how hard could it be?). I WAS WRONG. I AM ADMITTING THIS.

It didn’t matter what I said, he was hurt by my actions. He was closed down. He said, I was right. He needed time to heal. The divorce was taking it’s toll on him. It was a good thing to take time for himself. *nooooooooooo*

My normally strong, infallible, self did not take it well. This ending. This finality. Oh, it hurt. My gut wrenched. I cried, endlessly. I knew time would heal. I knew, eventually, I would move forward. It was just getting to that point.

I began exercising, every day (like I used to). I still wasn’t able to eat (swallow food). I lost weight. Within four weeks, I was easily swimming an hour. Running an hour. Spin class, weights, you name it. Basically, right back at my former fitness level.

My life became before Jason, or after Jason in terms of any events.

I decided to start dating. Not because I was over Jason, but because that was the ONLY way to keep my mind off of him. The endless, thinking and over analyzing of what happened, was beating me down. A good friend told me, “Don’t view dating as a relationship, but just as it is. A date.”

Fine, so I would date. I would learn the art of it. I would master dating as dates, rather than dating as in “relationships”. There is a difference, you know? I didn’t have much experience dating. I had tons in relationships.

I realize, I shouldn’t have subjected other people to my dysfunction at the time. I realize, I should have taken time to heal, and find myself; like I did when my marriage ended. I realize that. The reason I didn’t? I was mad. How could I lose the sweetest man in the world? Was it really necessary to push him into a corner? Did I really have to make him responsible for MY last relationship problems?

Dating seemed a fit punishment for my crime. For my idiocy.

I call the next season of my life, my power dating phase. Oh, it’s one for the books. It was bad. I was bad. Whichever you want to call it. I got a date, the same night, I signed up on a dating website. The SAME night. The guy asked me, “How long have you been on blank website?”. I answered, “Today”. HA. You should have seen his face. I was that coquettish. I became a pro dater, pro talker, pro dating site profile surfer. Maybe I was just myself, with no reservations. I really had nothing to lose. I could get a date faster than you could say…..What??? What?

Like I said, it passed the time. I met a lot of great guys, proudly, I call some friends. I exercised. I dated. I tried not to text, or email, or CALL, or Facebook, Jason. Daily. Hourly. This was so strange for me. I had NEVER had anyone turn me down (like he did, not wanting to date me again). I had never NOT gotten over someone like this. I consumed myself in activities, in hopes of consuming my thoughts of him. *life was HELL*

Finally the precious passing of time, started me on the road to recovery. Happy day. I met someone right before Thanksgiving, that I actually LIKED. He had a very true heart. He was funny and kind. I met him by my work, the first time, and the same week went to a Turkey fry at his Men’s Church group. He was a very active Catholic. Fun, silly and polite. It didn’t seem like he was playing the field. He was genuine and most importantly, honest. More available to hang out, than some of the other guys.

Life took a turn for me. I still thought about Jason, but it wasn’t as bad. I actually removed him as a friend on Facebook. It was the only way to stop obsessing over his page and news feeds. That was hard (we met on Facebook), but necessary for me to move on. Once I close the door, I am finished. I don’t ever find it, advantageous, to revisit past mistakes. I learn and move on. Period. That part of my life, with Jason, was behind me.

Apparently, someone else had other plans. December 9, 2008 – On a trip to Austin to visit clients, in a strange turning of events, I fell and injured my wrist. It swelled up, and began bruising right away. I couldn’t open the car door, or shake hands without excruciating pain. I put ice on it. I thought I had sprained it. Nothing like this had ever happened, I decided to go to Carenow and have it checked – just in case. Not any Carenow, but the Carenow by Jason’s house. Oh, it was an excuse, and a need. I was hurting. He was the one I wanted for comfort (of course).

When I called, he came. I will never forget, the instant, I saw him walk through the door. I was struggling over the paper work, trying to write. I couldn’t use my right hand! I glimpsed his profile through the glass, and looked up. My heart dropped. Literally. What a precious sight he was to me. I met his sky blue eyes, and smug, precocious look, with exuberant joy inside. I had longed for this. It was soooo good to see him.

In that split second, everything I had stuffed away the last two months bubbled up. All the hurt, all the pain, and the KNOWLEDGE. That I LOVED this man. THIS ONE RIGHT HERE IN FRONT OF ME, so incredibly much. Nothing, no amount of time, or space would ever change that. I knew. Simple as that.

That knowledge did me the least bit of good, sitting in that office, with a bum wrist. I soaked him up, relished every second like a bite of Lindt Milk Chocolate Truffle. My name was called (way too soon). I went inside, and he left. I was so happy to have seen him. Nothing mattered but that. Those moments are frozen in my mind. Forever. I will never forget. He was all I thought about through the exam, and x-ray. Life was good. The doctor came in the room to tell me the results of the x-ray.

Yeah. My wrist? The sore one? The swollen one? Broken in TWO places. Not one, no, not me, gotta do better than that. TWO. Ouch. *Are you serious?*

My first thought? This is a Carenow, what do they know? Turns out, they know broken bones. They gave me a splint, told me to see an orthopedic doctor to cast it as soon as possible. *Gulp, a cast?*

I got prescriptions for pain medicine, which I can hardly take, and by this time, it’s darn near 11pm. I NEED to stop by Jason’s on the way home. He loans me a pain pill. I’m STANDING in his house. I get to see Cooper. *Is this for real?*

I wasn’t there long. I have to head home. Broken splinted hand and all. We didn’t set any dates, or future get togethers. But you know what? I had HOPE. The spark was there. I hoped with everything I had.

The drive home was brutal. As much as I hoped? I was still scared. Scared, I wouldn’t see him again. Scared, that the hope was just sympathy, and being nice on his part. I didn’t know what had been going on in his life, if he was seeing someone, or not. I didn’t know. All I knew was this unbelievable pain. Tears poured down my cheeks. I could hardly see to drive. I was bent over, clutching my arm to my chest, hurting. This PAIN, could possibly bring us back together. And it was worth it. Every ache, every throb, every pang, was worth finding his love again.

We became friends again on Facebook. I added him, groveling. We talked more and more. I still dated my Catholic guy. I still dated period. I really didn’t know what to do. I felt like the ball was in his court. He knew how I felt about him. The door was open. Was he brave enough to step through?

The next two weeks, I got involved with the Christmas tree, for crisis kids, at my Church. The crisis kids are near and dear to my heart. Sydney and I adopted a family of three children that year. For some of these underprivileged kids? THIS is their ONLY Christmas gifts. This ministry is a part of my soul. I did everything I could to get each child an adopter, so they would have a Christmas. I worked every session in the lobby, telling people about these kids, and what they needed, and how they could help. I even got Jason to adopt one.

At the end of the last lobby session at Church, I still had three unadopted angels. I called, Jason, begging him to take one or even two. *Hey aren’t you a big wig manager? I adopted three plus one today and I’m poor. That’s FOUR. You only have ONE. Pleeeeease*

He took the bait adoption. I asked him later, if I could take HIM to the movies in repayment. He said, YES.

We saw the James Bond movie, that I couldn’t follow, because I don’t remember the one before that. But I remember what happened, he snuggled with me. It was heaven. Know what else? He was officially divorced as of December 8th , 2008. The day before I broke my wrist. *The DAY before*

Despite that, we were still not back together. I was still dating. I was out with my Catholic friend from the Turkey fry, when Jason called. He was trying to get the angel gifts finished. He heard him talking in the background to me (I was in the car with him) and he got a teensy bit jealous. *Heh*

FINALLY, FINALLY he wanted me back. Me. To himself. Not dating anyone else. Big, giant sigh of relief. Facebook relationship status changed to – in a relationship again – December 21st, 2008. *YES!*

I took him back alright. I grabbed him with both arms, even the gimp one. I have not let go since. I will not EVER take his love for granted. The missing piece? Gone. He loves me, like I had always hoped he would. He always had, but now, he does without hesitation. I cherish every moment, MORE, because of losing him.

The broken hand? I wore a cast for seven weeks to repair the bones. My brokenness inside? Filled up. My spiritual break from the joy of life? Renewed. I wonder. If I hadn’t fractured my shaker? How far off the track would I have gone? I won’t deny, I was in some comprising situations – many times. Where would I have ended up? WAS the break an accident? Or was it a testament to God’s faithfulness?

HE brought us back together. HE mended us (in more ways than one). HE soothed, all the insecurities, and made things right. *At just the right time*

I wish for you, a happy ending. I hope nothing ever keeps you, from holding on to your true love. Never let go. I know I won’t.