“My Daddy makes that noise!”

Hannah Rose called me today, and since my phone was across the house and still on vibrate (oops!) I missed the call.  She left me a voicemail.  “Hi Brenda.  The tortilla maker made a noise that my daddy makes.  Bye-bye.  I love you.”

Seems she’s rather impressed with this–she’s been talking about it a lot since Friday.  While on her vacation with her mom, she went to her uncle’s house.  His girlfriend and Hannah Rose made tortillas Friday.  (Strangely enough–I, too, was making tortillas Friday.  At about the same time.  Talk about strange coincidences!)  Anyway, seems she has one of those tortilla presses that also cooks the tortillas (I use a traditional comal)–and the press emitted a noise.  Hannah Rose announced that her daddy makes that noise!  Her uncle started to explain to her how we all make that noise sometimes (thinking she was referring to flatulence).  Only, that’s not what Hannah Rose was referring to.  ~laughing~  I guess her mom explained a bit….  Chris likes making funny faces and funny noises–often combining the two.  Hannah Rose of course loves it!  (She definitely has his sense of humour!)  She was referring to one of his particular face/noise combos.

They didn’t get in until late this evening so we’ll be picking up Hannah Rose tomorrow.  I’ve no doubt she’ll want daddy to make the tortilla noise.

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Quote of the Day

“No man has the right to dictate what other men should perceive, create or produce, but all should be encouraged to reveal themselves, their perceptions and emotions, and to build confidence in the creative spirit.”

~Ansel Adams, 1902-1984 (Photographer)

Quote of the Day

“There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love.”

~Washington Irving, 1783-1859 (American Writer)

Where is the Hope?

I read on another blog today how a pastor (Eugene E Cho) was being questioned in regards to the tragedy that has besot the Chapman family.  Apparently, his post has gotten a lot of views–and a lot of responses.  In his update, he left a question–Where would you say is the hope for this family in all of this?

I think it’s a question that broadens out–because it’s not just about where is the hope for the Chapman family:  Where is the hope for all of us who suffer?  I think it’s a question all of us ask at one time or another–some come to it earlier than others. 

This question that has been asked so many times by so many people spanning generations, race, gender, and age resonated within me.  Where is the hope?  Which leads me to another question as questions often do–what is hope?

My dictionary (Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, sixth edition) defines hope thus:

1. verb intrans. Entertain expectation of something desired.  Look for, expect (without implication of desire)

hope against hope: cling to a mere possibility

2. verb intrans. Trust, have confidence, (in)

3. verb trans. Expect and desire (a thing, that, to do); feel fairly confident that; intend, if possible, to do

So in asking “Where is the hope?” we ask:  What are we expecting?  What do we desire?  What or who do we trust?  What are we trusting for?

When staring down into the unseeing eyes of death–what is our hope?  I can’t answer for everyone, obviously.  I can answer for myself–and having done a bit of reading, and observing I feel that I know how a lot of people would answer.  We hope that death is not the end.  We hope for more beyond the grave. 
We hope to be re-united with those that we have loved and lost.  We hope to survive what amounts to crush injuries to the soul, caused by grief.  We hope to live, and in living we hope to love and to be loved.  At least it’s so with me.

Where do we place our hope?  More specifically, in whom do we place our hope?  It’s a question that for thousands of years has created sparks, to say the least.  To be more accurate, I think it’s the myriad of answers to that question that has caused stirs and conflicts.  Notice, I didn’t ask where should we place our hope–but where do we?  Because where a person actually places their hope means a lot more than where they say they ought to.  For some hopes, we place them in our own hands.  Other hopes we’ll place in the hands of others, or things–like spouses, jobs, and bank accounts.  But where do we go when our own hands and the hands of others fail us?  Where do you place your hope when every tangible anchor has failed you?  When the doctors can do no more?  When the company downsizes?  When the stock market crashes?  When tragedy after tragedy befalls you? 

When all hope is gone…but is all hope ever really gone?  Could it be that we’ve only placed our hope in that which must eventually fail and succumb as we ourselves will?  Is it possible to place our hope where it will never fail?  I believe it is so possible, although given the nature of humanity–it’s not always easy to do so.  Sometimes giving up is easier. 

Nietzsche was no fan of hope.  In fact he said, “Hope in reality is the worst of all evils because it prolongs the torments of man.”  I disagree, wholeheartedly.  But I can see where he’s coming from.  Hope can give us the strength to endure what otherwise is unendurable.  Frankl’s account of his experiences in Auschwitz come to mind.  They could often tell when a man had given up hope, had lost his strength to endure: he’d smoke his cigarettes.  Instead of holding on to them–he’d enjoy them, so he’d have a bit of pleasure before leaving this world.  Then he’d die–whether it was from “running into the wire” or from simply giving up, he’d die.  In this respect, his torments would end.  I don’t believe that hope prolongs our torments–I believe hope gives us the fortitude to endure what must be endured.  I believe that it is hope that gives us a chance to have more than an existence–it gives us a chance to live.  With living comes pain.  It’s unavoidable.  For me, I’d take the pain that comes with living over the true torment and torture of simply existing.

To that end, I have chosen to place my hopes in one who is greater than I.  Back to the original question–“Where is the hope in this tragedy?”  My answer?  It is in the God who created me and who sustains me.  “On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand” could also be thought of as “On Christ the solid rock I hope, all other ground is sinking sand.”

Those who know me best, know music is never far from my heart or my head.  When this question was asked, two songs leapt into my head.  Non-oddly enough, both are by Steven Curtis Chapman.  The first, “Heaven in the Real World” begs the question:  “Where is the hope?  Where is the peace  That makes this life complete?”  The second is his song, “With Hope.”

With Hope by Stephen Curtis Chapman

This is not at all how
We thought it was supposed to be
We had so many plans for you
We had so many dreams
And now you’ve gone away
And left us with the memories of your smile
And nothing we can say
And nothing we can do
Can take away the pain
The pain of losing you, but …

We can cry with hope
We can say goodbye with hope
‘Cause we know our goodbye is not the end, oh no
And we can grieve with hope
‘Cause we believe with hope
(There’s a place by God’s grace)
There’s a place where we’ll see your face again
We’ll see your face again

And never have I known
Anything so hard to understand
And never have I questioned more
The wisdom of God’s plan
But through the cloud of tears
I see the Father’s smile and say well done
And I imagine you
Where you wanted most to be
Seeing all your dreams come true
‘Cause now you’re home
And now you’re free, and …

We have this hope as an anchor
‘Cause we believe that everything
God promised us is true, so …

So we can cry with hope
And say goodbye with hope

We wait with hope
And we ache with hope
We hold on with hope
We let go with hope

******************************************************************

From the Stephen Curtis Chapman Official Website:

The Chapman family is so grateful for the incredible outpouring of love and support at this difficult time.

  • If you’d like to meet Maria and express your condolences click here
  • By mail, send to PO Box 150156 Nashville, TN  37215.
  • In lieu of flowers, the Chapmans request any gifts be directed to Shaohannah’s Hope.

 

Funeral Arrangements for Maria Sue Chapman

FRI May 23rd Visitation 5-8p

SAT May 24th Memorial service 11a

at Christ Presbyterian Church
2323 Old Hickory Blvd, Nashville, TN
(615) 373-2311

 

Tragedy for Steven Curtis Chapman’s family

In a statement issued by Jim Houser (Manager)…

“Maria Sue Chapman, adopted and youngest daughter to Mary Beth and Steven Curtis Chapman, was killed Wednesday night in a tragic accident in the family driveway on Wednesday evening. She was LifeFlighted to Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital but for only reasons God can explain she went home to Him… not to Franklin as we all so desperately wanted.

Your prayers are needed for all in the Chapman family. This is a family who has so generously loved and given to so many. Just hours before this close knit family was celebrating the engagement of the oldest daughter Emily Chapman, and were just hours away from a graduation party marking Caleb Chapman’s completion of high school. Now, they are preparing to bury a child who blew out 5 candles on a birthday cake less than 10 days ago. These words are unthinkable to type. And yet we trust in a God who was not surprised by this and because of Jesus I am certain through faith in Him we will see Maria again. – Jim Houser (Manager)”

The following video is one of Maria from a video blog shot with her father Steven Curtis Chapman.

My heart goes out to Steven Curtis Chapman and his whole family.  I don’t even want to imagine the amount of grief and suffering they are experiencing, for it must be great.  Their darling Maria Sue was the same age as Hannah Rose. 

I know there is tragedy in this world on a daily basis, to which I don’t usually comment here in my blog.  But about this I couldn’t be silent.  Steven Curtis Chapman’s music has touched my life in profound ways over the years.  His music has helped me to weather many storms.  It is my prayer now that the inspiration behind his music and the God he so loves will help him, and his family, to weather this storm.

The following videos are the story behind Steven Curtis Chapman’s song Cinderella, and the video for it.  Warning:  you may need kleenex.

Steven Curtis Chapman Website

 Steven Curtis Chapman’s On-line Channel

 

(Left to right Will Franklin, Maria, Steven, Shaoey, Mary Beth, Stevey Joy, Caleb and Emily)

Letter to Dentist

In light of yesterday’s trauma, I have decided to send a letter to my dentist.  It’s in an envelope, addressed, stamped, sealed, and will go out in the mail tomorrow.  This is what I wrote:

Dr. ******,

First, I would like to thank you for the work you’re doing on my teeth. I know how important it is for me to get it done. However, that is not my main impetus for writing today. I am concerned over something that occurred during my appointment yesterday.

It’s obvious that my anxiety over seeing the dentist is extremely high, and my pain tolerance is extremely low. I cannot even begin to express how difficult it was for me to bring myself to keep my appointment yesterday. In spite of my fear bordering on terror, I kept the appointment. I wish that I could say that I was whole-heartedly glad that I did, but I cannot.

I was distressed that yesterday’s appointment took an hour and a half to complete when the previous appointment took only 45 minutes. It felt like my pain and anxiety was drawn out-I would have much preferred to have been able to get out of there a lot faster. However, I do understand that sometimes things may take a bit longer.

My chief complaint is not the time my appointment took, but rather a comment your assistant made to me. I realize that I was upset yesterday-to the point of panic, and that it cannot be easy to deal with a panicked patient. After you gave me an extra shot of pain medication I know I became quite distraught. I know your assistant was trying to calm me down. Her comment had quite the opposite effect. She said to me, “There are patients next door.” Had I been able, I would have gotten up and left immediately at that.

One does not calm a panicked person down by telling them just how much they are upsetting other people, even if that is indeed true. It is the kind of comment that incites more anxiety and panic rather than decreasing it. For me, this was doubly the case. Years ago (prior to my anxiety disorder diagnosis) I was abandoned by my ex in a hospital during a particularly vicious panic attack. Instead of treating me, the ER staff put me in a room and proceeded to yell at me for disturbing their other patients.

I find yesterday’s comment to be very invalidating. Yes, I realize there are other patients. I, too, am a patient. I can understand how your staff and perhaps yourself may feel that my great fear is unwarranted and excessive (and if I could just dismiss it, I most certainly would)-but that does not negate it, or make it anything less than what it is. I feel traumatized by yesterday’s appointment. I could not stop crying for hours last night. I am terrified of ever seeing another dentist again.

I know that I have a follow-up appointment with you in three weeks. I’ll be honest-I do not want to keep that appointment, even though I know it is important I do so. If my intent were to cancel the appointment and give in to my fear and NEVER see a dentist again, as is my desire, I would not bother writing you.

At this point, I do not know what is to be done to make this right. I do not know if it can be made right. It is with the hope that it can be made right, that I can work past my fears and this added trauma that I write to you now.

How do you think we can best handle this situation?

Sincerely,

 

We’ll see how he responds.  I know how important it is to get proper dental care–and so I am hoping that I’ll be able to resolve these issues.  As it stands now, the idea of seeing the dentist again turns my stomach.  ~sigh~ 

It’s Odd Time, Again!

Odd Hours by Dean Koontz came out yesterday.  I had to get it right away.  I’ve started the book and am sad to say that I have not finished it yet.  Hopefully, I’ll have it done within the next couple of days.  Depends on what all else I have to do as well.

For those not in the know–Odd Hours is the fourth of Dean Koontz’s Odd Thomas books.  Odd being the character’s given name–not a description of him, although he might be a little odd as well.  The first book was simply titled Odd Thomas.  It was supposed to be the only Odd Thomas book–at least that’s what Koontz had intended.  Right from the get-go Odd was a hit!  I remember the first time I read the book–it was one of those readings where I literally could not put the book down and had it read in a day.  It was the kind of book where you have to get to the end so you know everything and then once you’ve gotten there, you feel a little void. 

I really enjoy Koontz’s writings.  One of the things I enjoy about reading his books is unlike with some authors, you’re not reading the same story over and over again.  Granted, you can always expect some suspense in his books–usually something a bit out of this world, and more than a twist or two. 

The Odd Thomas books are written from the character’s perspective.  Odd is a talented writer, although he’s much more talented as a fry cook.  Oh, and he sees dead people.  But differently than in the M. Night Shamalyn movie.  Oddly enough, the dead never talk.  Odd doesn’t know why–they just don’t.  Odd doesn’t want fame and fortune–he’d like to live a simple life as a fry cook in Pico Mundo, Cali.  But destiny has a little something different in mind for young Odd.  What that may be in this current book, I don’t yet know.  But I do know it’ll be an adventure finding out!

If you haven’t read any of the Odd books yet–you really ought to.  My friend Emily gave it a go after I recommended them to her, and she loved them.  And why not?  Odd is an amazing character. 

Quote of the Day

“I knew I would read all kinds of books and try to get at what it is that makes good writers good. But I made no promises that I would write books a lot of people would like to read.”

~Carl Sandburg, 1878-1967 (American Poet)

Quote of the Day

“Trips to the dentist – I like to postpone that kind of thing.”

~Johnny Depp, 1963- (Actor)

Administrative note:  I’m changing the Daily Wrinkle category to the Quote of the Day, and will endeavour to actually have a Quote of the Day every day!

In Better News

This afternoon Chris got a call from the Twisted Shamrock.  Our wedding rings had arrived from Ireland.  (And a few weeks ahead of when we were expecting them.)   Because of my dentist appointment, we couldn’t pick them up until this evening.  My appointment ran longer than we expected–and it looked as if we wouldn’t be able to arrive at the Twisted Shamrock until closing–or a few minutes before. 

We called them up and told them the situation and before we could even ask if they’d be willing to wait a few extra minutes for us–they offered.  Which was awesome.  We got there a few minutes after 7 pm.  We didn’t even have to pay for parking–there was still time on the meter! 

The rings are absolutely gorgeous.  I don’t have pics of them but when I get them taken, I’ll post them–although I doubt pics will do them justice.  We had to try to them on to make sure they fit–and both are a perfect fit. 

Chris’s ring is simply elegant.  Platinum suits him.  ~smiles~  The combo of my wedding ring and engagement ring is just stunning. 

I have to say that I love the folks at the Twisted Shamrock.  They’re the nicest bunch of people you can find anywhere.  Yes, I know I’m a bit biased cause they specialize in all Irish merchandise–but not all Irish stores are the same.  I’ve been to several now including the Twisted Shamrock–and it doesn’t get better than the Twisted Shamrock.

So that’s another thing off the wedding to-do list–we’ve our rings.  We’ve also gotten the best man’s gift, I’ve gotten a wax seal for the invitations, and we’ve got our champagne flutes for the reception (they’re made by Galway crystal and have trinity knots on them….Galway crystal just started a new line with the trinity knots on them!). 

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