Thirty-six hours

Thirty-six hours.

That’s all that stood between us and our family vacation to Mexico. Luggage is packed. House sitter scheduled. Last minute cleaning in progress. We were leaving for the airport about 2am Saturday for a 6am flight….on the beach in a short 48 hours.

And then this happens.

Entrepreneur decides he needs to go to the ER. A nagging headache that had been previously dismissed as due to stress, sinus or seasonal changes took a massive turn for the worse. Coupled with nausea and the belief his head would explode, we head to the ER. Oh, and he’s got the flu.

And then this happens.

With a four hour wait ahead of us in the ER, docs send him for a CT scan to try and narrow down the cause of his headache pain. I head to teach my class at the university, thinking I’ll come back to take him home with some meds for his headache. We’ll resume the Tamiflu regimen and be good to go later on Friday.

And then this happens.

He texts me and says it’s not good and is being admitted to the hospital. “We see what looks like blood and a mass in the right temple area of the brain.” I hear phrases like aneurism and brain tumor. I hear the words I never wanted to hear again…..renal cell cancer met. I hear these words, yet they don’t really fully register.

I’m numb and my brain is in a fog. Somewhere in the cloud the word surgery is spoken.

Surgery. Brain surgery. This coming Tuesday. Valentine’s Day.

So not how I’d planned to spend that day. In four hours, we’ve gone from eagerly anticipating a relaxing tropical family vacay….to surgery for a hematoma or possible brain cancer.

All foreseeable plans cancelled. He’s admitted and taken to his room. MRIs and more scans are scheduled for the morning. But those are only to help determine how to proceed with the surgery. He’s in severe pain as we settle him in for the night. The next day will be filled with neurologists, neurosurgeons, oncologists and other medical personnel. He settles into the bed, a nurse finds him some food. Pain meds follow.

I retreat home and begin sending updates to family and friends. No sleep ensues.

So, now, it appears we’re going down this path again. A path I knew might be a possibility but never thought it would ever be this soon,,,,or in this form. Odd how two words can shake me to my core….brain surgery.

Thirty-six hours.

quotography-thankful 72

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Spring…I found it!

hello spring72

If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant:
if we did not sometimes taste of adversity,
prosperity would not be so welcome.
~Anne Bradstreet 

Rarely has spring felt so welcome as after this winter. Who’s with me on this one? Well, look at that….everyone’s hand shot up! I’m not surprised. It was a long, cold, brutal winter in most of the country.

But I think it’s safe to say winter is finished and let’s all decide right now that we’re not going to dwell in the past. There are much warmer, brighter days to turn out attention towards! But…remembering the past is what makes spring sooooo welcome, isn’t it? Especially this year. If it wasn’t for the harshness of this past winter, we wouldn’t now appreciate spring nearly as much because we would have had anything to compare it to.

Adversity in our life is much like that brutal winter we all just survived. These *winter seasons* are recurring periods when trials and challenges relentlessly blow through our lives. And all we want to do is duck our heads, turn away and hide from the harsh, bone-chilling weather. We know we just need to do what it takes to survive and ride it out, knowing it will eventually pass…but it’s so hard to not get sucked into the abyss of hopelessness while going through it. And when it does pass, we enjoy life again…renewed, refreshed and more appreciative of the good things in our lives.

But if we never have adversity in our lives, how will we ever know joy feels like? How will we ever differentiate between the two? If our days are nothing but an endless stream of butterflies and rainbows, how will we ever really learn how to appreciate our good fortune?

Surviving adversity is like surviving this past winter. When it passes, we welcome the warmth of spring as it rejuvenates the earth and brings life back to the desolation left in winter’s wake. When we survive those times of adversity, we emerge more focused and thankful for the blessings and joys we realize were really there all along…we were just too defocused to remember their warmth.

Now for Five Random Friday Finds For Spring!

1. I *found* spring on a walk this past week. The above photo is of a Bradford Pear tree that decided winter is finished and is ready to announce the arrival of spring. Cue the trumpets.

2. The grass greened up and seemingly grew 3 inches overnight. Entrepreneur will actually need to mow this evening. Guess the plow blade can officially come off the John Deere riding mower. Hallelujah.

3. The Investigator gave in and bought flowers for our front entry containers. I try and resist until the first of May, but can tell you with confidence that I probably won’t last that long this year. Time is short….buy flowers!

4. We sold the pool table to make way for a playroom in our lower level for the grandbabykins. I feel a trip to Hobby Lobby in our near future.

5. The Golfer is coming home late tonight for the weekend. Twix is being baptized and the Golfer is playing the role of Godmom. If you remember, she came home for a while but moved back to Florida after Christmas when it dawned on her she couldn’t hack didn’t care for the cold winters in middle Missouri.

Hope you all have a wonderfully warm weekend.

Linking up with Random Five Friday and Friday Finds.
random 5  fridayfindsbutton2

X is for phoeniX

Texture by Kim Klassen Cafe: sweettart

Yes, I know Phoenix doesn’t begin with X. But I don’t think I ever really said my quotes would begin with the letter of the week, now did I? There just aren’t too many words that begin with X that can be illustrated with a quote. So, I’m playing a little fast and loose with the rules today.

The phoenix is a mythical bird that sets itself on fire every 500 years or so only to rise anew from the ashes to begin a new life. I must admit, the visual of this is quite impressive.

Don’t you admire people who can resurrect their lives from the ashes of a crisis? People who don’t give up even when life’s passions are totally destroyed? I do. Stories of how others overcome incredible odds to rise out of poverty or succeed with a challenging disability are inspiring to me. I think those people have an uncommon strength deep down in their souls that allow them to rise up and become better and stronger than they were before.

And, when I think of a phoenix, I always remember the Harry Potter scene when Fawkes goes up in flames much to Harry’s surprise.

You have to admit, having incredible strength and healing tears would be pretty cool too.

Linking up with ABC Wednesday

Project 64: Raw Sienna

They’re gone now, but I think I know who is to blame. Those deafening 17-year cicadas came, conquered and left. But not without leaving a little reminder of themselves…both in and on the ground. I don’t know for sure if they are the leaf-eating culprits, but they’re not here anymore, so they’re as good a target as any.

But, even though their voracious appetite riddled the leaves and left them piled under the trees, when you look at the result, it’s a lovely effect. Interesting and unique, none are exactly the same…and it’s a reminder of how life can be.

We go along in life, minding our own business and everything is smooth sailing until……

Until something unexpected occurs; something out of our control; something that rocks our calm sea and we’re left looking like this leaf…with a life that looks totally different from before, but underneath, it’s still the same leaf life.

While it’s true this leaf will never be the same, that’s not saying it was destroyed. Because after the battle with the bugs was finished, the result was something totally different, but equally lovely. And that’s true with life as well. Life’s battles riddle the very fabric of our lives and forever change us. But that doesn’t mean our life is destroyed. Struggles and trials transform us…many times into something better than what we were before. And while we can never go back to exactly what we were before the attack, when someone takes time to really see us now, they notice something equally beautiful.

Just like I did when I picked up this lacy leaf.

 Sub­mitted for Project 64: Out of the Box