Friday, April 7, 2017


I drove by a church this morning and the sign read "God and our congregation gave 3000 cans ad 518 weekend packs to hungry children this week."

This made me wonder if God helped them give meals - did he also help those children into poverty?

When one of the parents at our school was dealing with terminal cancer I remember the Principal at the time remarking that her son was diagnosed with Brain Cancer at age 10. She said it was awful and horrifying and even though people were supportive she would get angry every time someone said "There but for the Grace of God" (attributed to Jon Bradford, English Preacher 1510-1555)

At first I was taken back because I have heard that phrase quite often. I thought it was like  "Bless your heart" and "God love ya'".  I was curious, where was she going with this? She continued, "So you have God's grace and I don't?"

Talk about hitting you in the gut. I never thought of the phrase like that. From the other person's perspective.  If your child never gets cancer are you blessed with grace and the other's are not? If you have enough to eat is it because God loves you more than he does the people without food?

Her words have made me think and question the idea of grace more than once and I guess driving by that church this morning with it's big billboard announcing how many people they graced with their bounty it just begged the question - if God helped, would she really need the recognition?

Saturday, April 1, 2017

What will push you over the edge?

It's sometimes funny what will send you over the edge.  During those times of great stress you can almost feel so Zen in the midst of it, you think Buddha himself would look to you for wisdom.  You pat yourself on the back and pray that everyone in your life can feel like this.

Then it happens. The proverbial straw that breaks the camel's back. And looking back after it's all over you can laugh at how literally it was a straw - not a piano or a vault like in the Roadrunner. When I was in the midst of coordinating my mastectomy and just a few little things like Christmas for two boys who still believe in Santa, wrapping up a day of Activities at the school for all 720 students along with 40 Group Activity leaders and 100 volunteers, and starting a new project with a week of games, activities, and prizes all related to reading, it wasn't all the Doctor's appointments that sent me over the edge. It was my Yahoo account getting hacked.

I totally lost it. Completely lost my cookies. I sat at the computer screaming and crying and pounding on the keyboard until I found a number and somehow got a hold of a live person at Yahoo who I proceeded to crytalk at for 45 minutes.  That poor boy not only had to answer for the "I'm stuck in Thailand" email but also my DCIS, stupid committee members, volunteers backing out at the eleventh hour, and the fact that I didn't want a freaking' Gerbil but I had to give my son the freaking' Gerbil because otherwise not only would I have crappy breasts but also a crappy Christmas!

My friend called Friday morning and just needed to vent.  After holding it together, quite remarkably, these last 7 months for a woman who was actually dead for many minutes - Samsung sent her over the edge.

She just wanted her dishwasher fixed. That's all. There was no end to the calls and scheduling and late repair men at her house until 8 pm and still no dishwasher. So the last message she left was very clear.  The dishwasher must be fixed on Friday in the morning because that is the only time that she is available. Guess what. They didn't even call back until Friday morning, at 9:30 a.m. and said they could come out Monday evening. At that point she lost her cookies.

The man on the phone had to answer for the dishwasher as well as hard it is come back from the dead when you can't drive, or remember numbers and your son's trying to buy his first house so that's kind of important because otherwise how will she ever find his new house or get there now that she has to take the bus because if she is always screwing up numbers she could end up on the wrong bus at the wrong house! He apologized sincerely, rearranged his whole day to get to her by 11 am and said to her, "Mame, I got your back. I got you - I promise."

She called me to say, "What the hell just happened?" Because she knew I would understand, and make her laugh. I've been there.  You would think waking up and finding out not only that you were dead but that you've been out for four days would send someone over the edge. But nope, it's the little things. Like trying to get a dishwasher fixed.

It made us both giggle though at the number of repairmen and customer service agents that get more than their share of an earful day in and day out.  We are sure they are not paid enough.  I explained that after my episode with the Yahoo Customer Service agent I wasn't sure if he was putting me on his prayer list for the breast cancer or for best dancer? or repressed answers? The crytalk leaves a lot of gaps for them to fill in.

She said she wasn't sure how much he understood and she was hoping he at least heard "Heart Condition" and not rare fart condition. We are not sure of the schooling level of a dishwasher repairmen but we hope he knows that even if you had a rare fart condition they wouldn't use an MRI to detect it. Probably a colonoscopy.  Anyway, thank goodness for good people and prayer lists even if it is for rare fart conditions.