Friday, October 9, 2015


No, I am not going to quote the Princess Bride.

This post is a little similar to the Children one I posted a while ago with one exception: I won't be so impertinent. Or I will attempt not to be. I realize that post was a little rude or perhaps abrasive. I hope you don't hold it against me, though, they were true thoughts and feelings, I just think I could have expressed them in a more loving manner.

Without further adieu: Marriage. Or, more appropriately: The Single Person and How They Should React to the Topic of Marriage.
OR, even better: The Myth that Marriage is the Most Important Goal in Your Life and Should be Sought After Over All Other Pursuits.
Interesting title, you may think. How did I arrive at such a controversial topic? It's simple: I'm single. The topic of marriage is sometimes unavoidable--especially at my age. It's usually accompanied by assurances that it will happen to me some day and that I just need to be patient.
A lot of the time people--mostly married ones--feel the need to offer this assurance, but why? Is there something we should be worried about? Is there an expiration date to marriage? Why should we be assured that it will happen to us one day? Most of us are aware of that. I can only speak for myself when I say that such assurances have the adverse effect. Why are these people saying these things to me? I wasn't worried until they started mentioning that I shouldn't be worried. Should I be on the look-out? Should I be concerned that I'm getting older and haven't found a spouse?

Before I go further, let me just venture to say: I've been through all sides of it. I've sat by content to be single. I've marched by dead-set on never getting married. I've strolled past being patient but expectant. I've also slouched in my room and gave way to the lonely feeling which accompanies the seemingly large, gaping mouth of my single future, as I stared into it I'd think, "it's never going to happen to me. I'm broken."
The funny part is, I've received assurances when I was usually strolling contentedly--which put marriage on my mind and threw me into the slouching bit. So now you can have my assurance: I've been through most of it. And I can honestly say that I am on a good path now. And I want to tell you about it.

Marriage is a very important and beautiful sacrament full of meaning and purpose. It's also very hard -- so I've constantly been told -- and shouldn't be entered into lightly. From early childhood a girl is planning her wedding and getting crushes on boys and looking forward to marriage. I honestly thought I would be married by 19 -- 23 was pushing it. But why are we raised with this urgency to marry? I don't think anyone pulls you aside and says, "listen, you need to get married as soon as you can. It's important." In fact, people say the opposite, they give the afore mentioned assurances that it will happen eventually. Lots of people mention marrying in their 30's and that those marriages are great and solid. So how is it that we grow up thinking this needs to happen and soon?
That's how I grew up. And then it didn't happen. I was usually on the look-out, though. Sometimes I'd think I found someone but nothing would come of it. Then you kind of just sick of looking and you finally find a nice spot between the desire to be married and contentment with single life. I found I was getting on with life and even making plans to live as a single woman for a very long time. It actually rocked. Then my BFF got married and a little piece of me kind of broke off and died when that happened. I don't hold anything against her now, I still love her and I... well I tolerate the man she married and his purple drapes. But there was still that little piece of me that felt empty.
This was because, for 10 years, I had constant companionship and fellowship in Christ. We lifted each other up all the time and when that was suddenly taken away, I didn't know what to do!

This is bad, I thought, I should be so filled up with Christ that it shouldn't affect me if I lose a little bit of Buddyship. I was then faced with a marriage proposal. This may surprise some of you, but I turned it down. I would have accepted for all the wrong reasons. So I didn't. One of the biggest reasons would have been, "you'll probably never get a chance like this again in your life."
And I thought to myself, "that is the dumbest reason to marry someone."
Since I was already going through this losing part of my buddy thing, I realized it could be a little bit of a cop-out to run off and get married, effectively re-filling that hole with something else.
Instead I decided that I needed to be able to stand in Christ on my own before I attached myself to someone else. I want to make something very clear at this point in my post: I believe Christian fellowship is important. I don't believe anyone should cut themselves off from the body of Christ. I think we all need to bear each others' burdens and build each other up any chance we get. It's important that we can go to someone and tell them our worries and help each other.
But I also believe that, if the opportunity ever arises where we find ourselves alone in a place full of darkness, we should be able to stand firm in Christ, unwavering. I do not think we should fully rely on the fellowship of others. We stand together, but we should be able to stand by ourselves with nothing but the help of Christ. For He is more than enough.
Anyway, just so we're all clear on that. I'd like to say I rode off, triumphantly, into the sunset, but I didn't. I hit a few speed bumps. First I was marching off into the sunset; I was, in my own opinion, a "cool, single woman who didn't care if she ever got married."

I won't bore you with details of the speed bumps, because this post is already long enough.
Just understand that I did go through that slouching, lonely phase that I mentioned in the beginning. Then I woke up. Finally, after more than 10 years, I woke up. People would often -- and I mean often -- tell me "enjoy this time of your life, you'll miss it when it's gone!" First of all: then why give it up? Secondly: I knew that very well and took the advice most of the time, but it didn't click when I was looking at it from the perspective of a young adult looking to have "fun."
When I looked at it from the perspective of a Christian looking to sow seeds I fully realized the opportunity single people have.
The world is getting darker and darker as the days go on. We need to be warning people about Christ's coming, about repenting for sins. Sometimes when I sit down and wonder if Christ will come in my time I think, "darn, I don't have time for marriage. There is way too much work to do." THAT, there! That's the thought that made it click. Marriage should be introduced when you can only do so much for Christ's kingdom and then allying yourself with this person will make you a stronger team for Christ. When you have learned all you can while being single, God will bring you a person who He can teach you more lessons through. That's the best part about marriage, that's the importance of it. No, not relying on your spouse to hold you up in Christ. But lifting each other up and fulfilling His purposes.

Stop and think about it: Why do you have the desire to be married?
Is it a selfish reason? And I don't mean that in necessarily a bad way. It's not bad to want to have a connection with someone, to not be lonely and to share a life with someone. But that is selfish in that it revolves around your desires and wants.
Marriage is right when you meet a person whom you want to make happy, whom you would lay down your life for, a person who points you to Christ, with whom you make a great team.
Marriage is right when your ministry -- whatever it may be -- will be strengthened through this connection.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Offense and Forgiveness

Offense and Forgiveness.

In this world of Facebook and other social media I am seeing more often than not a plethora of offense. Among believers and non-believers alike. Now this post isn't addressing non-believers as they don't believe in the verses I'm going to be using, but feel free to read them just the same as they have a lot of good advice. I am addressing my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. This is something that bears heavily on my heart. Why do we offend? But more importantly... why do we take offense? Think about that last one for a bit. A very close and wise friend of mine once told me... we have no business being offended. If someone did not mean to offend us, we have no right to be offended by it. And if they DID mean to offend us, we certainly have no right to be offended. Well, she said those things more or less, it was about 4 years ago! But the truth stands. What does it profit us to be offended? What do we gain by it?
Absolutely nothing. Here are some verses I dug up today, I hope they encourage and build up. Not offend.

First of all. If someone does something to offend you... Tell them about it! And then forgive them.

Matthew 18:15-16 "Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established."
Sitting around letting something someone did or say fester in you is ill-advised. Tell him about it! Say, "hey, that actually hurt a little bit... maybe you may not know that it came out that way?"
Or, you could forgive them for it and just leave it at that. If you find you can't, though, go to him, tell him about it.

Luke 17:3-4 "Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him."
Again, tell your brother if he's done something against you. We are to continue to forgive, never does Jesus say that there's a limit on how many times. Forgiveness is key.

Matthew 18:21-22 "Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven."
Here you go, no limit. I don't think Jesus was literally meaning 490 times and then, oops, the 491st time you don't. That's silly. We need to have the heart of forgiveness, why? Read the next one.

Colossians 3:13 "Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye."
How shameful is it to hold something against our brother -- or even enemy -- when Jesus so freely forgives us when/if we sin?

Matthew 6:14-15 "For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."
This is basically the bottom line. As though we need any more incentive to forgive than because God tells us to!

But it is not fair! You will say... Why should you have to suffer when maybe you are not even in the wrong? Why should you have to forgive when they aren't even apologizing?

Matthew 5:38-39, 43-48 "Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.

Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect."

Someone slaps your proverbial cheek... your first reaction is to shove him away from you, or yell at him. But Jesus says to turn your cheek so he can slap the other one. If we need to love our enemies, how much more our brothers and sisters in Christ? It even says here that it's no big deal for us to love those who love us. But those who hurt or offend us... loving them takes a lot.

Romans 12:16-21 "Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits. Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good."
Even if the other party is in the wrong, what are we going to do? Do not repay evil for evil. Do not be overcome of evil! Be overcome with good! This is the attitude we need to have towards each other and even those who are not of the Church.

Matthew 7:3-5 "And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye."
We need to be helping each other. Building each other up. If you see a fault in your brother, go to him in love and try to help him!

Why help your brother? Because it's commanded! Not only to help, but to love them!!

Romans 12: 10 "Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;"

Matthew 22:36-40 "Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets."

1 Thessalonians 4:9 "But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another."

Hebrews 18:1 "Let brotherly love continue."

1 John 2:9-10 "He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him"

1 John 4:11 "Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another."

1 John 4:20-21 "If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also."How is continuing to be offended, or continuing in offense or unforgiveness loving your brother? How is that love? To love someone also means to forgive them. Don't hold grudges, don't harbor hard feelings.

1 Peter 4:8-9 "And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. Use hospitality one to another without grudging."
-- Charity: Agape. Thayer's Greek lexicon: To give a proof of love.

Ask yourself this, next time you are tempted to be offended or to hold something against a brother or a friend... Are you holding their best interests at heart?
Jude 22 "And of some have compassion, making a difference:"
We need to be sure to put others' needs above our own!! If someone is offending you, maybe consider that they have things they need to work through, go to them in love and tell them so, put aside your own want to be offended and concern yourself with their souls, their walk with God. Not to boss them around and tell them what's good for them, but to help them, to "bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ." Galatians 6:2

John 15:14 "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."
How much MORE is laying down your life? Forgiving them is so small in comparison.

In the end it's always important to avoid offense in the first place.

Romans 12:18 "If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men." 

Proverbs 17:14 "The beginning of strife is as when one letteth out water: therefore leave off contention, before it be meddled with."

Proverbs 13:10 "Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom."

1 Corinthians 8:13 "Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend."

But if we do, know that God always gives us a chance for repentance and forgiveness, why should we deny our fellow brothers the same things? And when we forgive, we need to remember to forgive the way Christ forgives us.
Hebrews 8:12 "For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more."
Do not tell your brother you forgive him in love and then bring up the instance again when it suits you. To forgive means to choose to put it behind you and not bring it up. Yes, you remember what they did, you won't be able to erase it from your memory, but you will be able to remember that you made the choice to forgive and that love dictates that you will no longer bring that offense against your brother. I sometimes have to stop myself mid-thought when I'm remembering something someone did to me and I'm tempted to get upset about it, I think to myself, "no, I forgave them for that."

I pray this little study blesses you as it has blessed me.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015



Children have been on my mind a lot, lately. The subject of whether or not I want them, to be precise.
For quite a while the idea of childbearing made me turn up my mental nose as though I'd smelled a fowl stench. What had caused such distaste in my life you might wonder? Especially after previously wanting at least a dozen of my own?
Let's be honest... it's not me. It's you.
Wait wait wait don't leave. I didn't mean it like that! I really just wanted to use that line.
But it's not the kids that turn me away... it's, sadly, the mothers.
Today's social media sites have become an outlet for "Mommy-shaming" and other sorts of mother stories. People will post pictures of how they messed up or failed as being a mother, they'll post stories of how they want a vacation from being a mom, they talk all about their kids' terrible twos and thrilling threes and how much of a tornado their toddler is and how--my goodness you just need to lock them in a cage for a few hours! Now, in the realm of mothers, who understand, this seems normal. But to an outsider, to ME, this is horrifying. I've been subjected to a lot of stuff, and some of the stories aren't even that bad, but when you group them all together I just have to step back and think: WHY would you want to subject yourself to that?? What possessed you??
Why would you give up a perfectly sane existence as a single, independent person for THAT? (and the topic of marriage and husbands is another post entirely.)
And then the moms say, "oh... but it's worth it..."
I'm sorry, but after posting about how your child is covered in marker and just redecorated your room in the stylings of crayola... you can't just say "it's worth it" and expect us to understand! Especially when there's sooo much negativity posted on Facebook about children! Who wants to put up with that messy world of mother-comparing, where you don't feel adequate. Don't deny it, I've seen tons of articles telling mothers that they are adequate--why? Because they feel inadequate! Why?? Why do you put yourselves through that?? I mean they made a movie about it! (Mom's Night Out).
By the way.. I'm not referring to any one person, so if you get offended over this, I'm sorry. I'm not trying to attack anyone, I'm just sharing my thoughts on this journey of self-discovery. It would be wrong of me to pin-point people and call them out. This all happened over the years of reading one thing here, one thing there.

Anyway, continuing...
I called April up in a panic one day. "Why would I give up a NON-stressful, single life for something that's only going to stress me out, make me cry and make me constantly want to run away on a vacation?? Do you know how terrible that sounds?? Who wants a vacation from their children?? And who's going to want to marry a cranky bachelorette who is terrified of having children?? No one doesn't want to have children! It's something everyone loves to complain about!"
April told me something so astonishing that it shut me up: "You don't have to be them."
What. I don't... have to be like everyone else? No! She explained that these are just other peoples' reactions to what's happening--I can choose to react to Monsieur Crayola's redecorating differently! I don't have to be stressed out in any situation, really, it's all relevant. Someone spilled paint all over the floor? Not ideal. But it's life.
Kid pooped in the kitchen and now the dog's eating it? Welllll... yeah that would be tough. But still, the stress is only there if you allow it to be. It'll pass, and then it'll be a story!
Taking care of my grandma showed me this. And I mean... she made WAY bigger messes in the bathroom than I've ever seen a kid make. She'd... well... I won't go into it, but I've had to deal with this kind of stuff on an adult-scale and it was NOT fun, but God showed me how to treat it with patience, Grandma had alzheimers, she didn't know any better, it wasn't her fault. I could apply those same lessons to raising kids. I didn't have to let it get to me, I didn't have to publicly shame myself on Facebook whenever it happened.

Now I have a few good friends who are mothers, and let me just say "thank-you", they post sweet videos and photos of the joy and pleasure of being a mother, of their families chilling out in a happy coexistence, they talk about how much they love their kids. They don't usually--IF EVER--post anything bad about it. OR if they DO, it's in good humor, "lol, look at this mess this silly kid made". Thank-you. Thank-you for showing me that it isn't always terrifying. Because, while we shouldn't go into motherhood with false expectations, it's important to remember that raising children is a great job! And rewarding! It's because of you (and April's advice) that I realized it's not all that bad, that I really do want to have kids, despite all the things that *could* go wrong. In the end I had made the decision based on how I want to live my life, I want to raise a family so that when I'm old and wrinkled I'll be surrounded by lots of kids, not nieces and nephews (which are great, too) but my own kids, my own grandkids. I think that will be worth getting my phone flushed down the toilet or having pasta spilled all over the kitchen floor. 

But I really wanted to post this to pose a question to mothers out there: Are you maybe guilty of "Mommy shaming"? Yes, motherhood is hard, but it's also beautiful. Try to SHARE the beauty in it and just remember that when you share the horrors of parenthood... there's a single woman out there hiding under her bed covers and murmuring, "never gonna have kids, never gonna have kids."

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Fifty Shades of Not Stupid

 So. If you know me you know my opinion about Fifty Shades of Grey. But if you don't know me, you don't know that I think it's a highly deplorable pile of rubbish, and it's badly written, too. I've never read the book, never want to. However I have read many reviews on how badly it was written, despite the terrible content. I couldn't help myself, I read the first chapter sample they have on Amazon. The rumors are true, folks, it is terribly written. Its monstrosity haunts me. It's a bane to the literary arts! Egh!
Of course... I am a bit of a writing snob, but there it is.

Unable to live with this knowledge that such a heinous sin exists, I took it upon myself to re-write the first chapter. However after beginning my noble venture I found it hard to even seriously re-write it and it turned out to be a huge mockery of the original. A delicious, huge mockery.

I leave it here for you--but before you read you must know a few things.
First, it's even more hilarious if you read the original 1st chapter. Don't worry, I assure you there is no sex in the first chapter, it's just her meeting the idiot and complaining, then making a complete fool of herself as though she were a ditzy, brainless loser that doesn't have an ounce of self confidence or control.
Second, I claim no rights to anything in the original story and, come on guys, I'm not out to make money off of this or steal anybody's (blood) money. In fact I'd be horrified to make money off of a sex novel. I'm writing this with my nose in the air. Literally. I think it must be the long day at work that I just don't want to sit up straight, or I really am that snobbish that my nose upturns when I'm looking down on other peoples' "success" (through terrible means).
Third, I'm not claiming rights to any sort of copywrite material in this segment. Except for my own material. That I'll claim.

Right. Without further adieu.

   Why did I go to bed with wet hair? I ask myself for the fifteenth time as I painstakingly comb out the unruly mane. I should just chop it all off, honestly I don’t look half bad with a pixie. I tried it once, but then I was a teenager and, if I’m being honest with myself, my face was a little thinner then. At least I still have my blue eyes to draw the attention away from the fluff that is now my hair. It’s a good thing I love my roommate, Cait Cavenaugh, I begrudgingly think as I tame my brown hair into a ponytail. She had this fabulous opportunity to interview the CEO on Gray Enterprises Holdings Inc.. Even I know what a big deal this is, and I’m me! For those who don’t know, I’m a big home-body. I don’t know much about the outside world, unless it has to do with Facebook. Either way, my dearest roommate is dreadfully ill and I recommended myself as her champion, volunteering to drive the 170 miles to meet this tycoon (who has absolutely no time to waste and simply cannot reschedule the interview). Yep, Cait is darn lucky that I love her. And that she’s my cousin. Because, honestly, who’s willing to throw off their cramming sessions and Gilmore Girls for a roommate you hardly know? No one does that, right?
   “I’m sorry, Anna, are you sure you don’t want to just drive me there? I could pull off health for an hour once we got there.” My cousin calls from the living room couch. She still looks gorgeous, even on her death bed. She’s looking at me with her puppy eyes, the same ones she used on my mom when we wanted to go to the mall as kids.
   “Don’t be ridiculous. I’ll just ask all the questions you wrote down and record his answers. Easy peasy, it’s no problem. And I’ll take the scenic route back, I always wanted to drive up the coast, now’s my chance!” Putting a positive spin on things is always important in my life, as I could have easily been grumbling the entire drive up to Seattle about how my roommate is inconveniencing my studying time and my lack of social life. Nope, I won’t be such a person! Instead I take advantage of this long drive in Cait’s Aston Martin to meditate on my life.

   Before I know it, I am in Seattle and in front of this enormous building. Big, architecturally appealing and shiny. I’m feeling quite smug that I not only played the good samaritan to my poor, sick cousin, drove 170 miles in an amazing car, and dressed appropriately for an interview with a Fortune 500 CEO, but I also arrive early. I wipe the grin off my face as I waltz through the rotating glass doors. The lobby is white sandstone, glass and steel. Cold and boring, but very business-like. Behind a sandstone desk sits the receptionist, she’s smartly dressed in a charcoal jacket that I immediately covet--though mine is a little more fashionably sound with a flare at the back, therefore I hold my own in her presence. I have no qualms over approaching this receptionist as I stroll up and announce, “I’m here to see Mr. Gray.”
The pretentious hussy looks at me as though I weren’t wearing a sixty dollar jacket and I feel the need to elaborate, “I’m Annastsiya Ananyev, I’m here in place of Catherine Cavenaugh.”
   “Oh yes, one moment,” the receptionist types a few things then announces, “yes, Miss Cavanaugh is expected. Please sign in here, Miss Anennev.” Nobody gets my last name right. “Then you’ll want the last elevator on the right--the twentieth floor.”
   She gives me a kind smile which I can’t mistake as slightly judgmental as I sign my loopy signature that took me ages to perfect. She hands me a visitor’s pass. It’s a good thing, too, because people would mistake me for an employee with how well I am dressed. My mother always told me that every woman should own at least one interview outfit. Taking that advice to heart I had invested in two blazers and some suit pants. The amount of smugness on being prepared could not be overstated.
   The elevator takes me to the twentieth floor. At this time I’m beginning to feel dizzy as I don’t deal with heights that well. I’m sure to keep my gaze away from the windows as I approach the same style sandstone desk as was downstairs. The assistant rises to greet me, “Miss Annyenev, wait here, please.” She ushered to the seated area full of white leather chairs, beyond the chairs are windows. I quickly find a chair facing the desk and count to ten, imagining solid ground and fresh air. It was beginning to feel a little claustrophobic in here.
   A third lady comes out of an enormous stone door and smiles warmly at me. Rather than blonde, like the first two, she has shiny raven hair and sharp glasses. She looks like one of those super models dressed to look like a nerd.
   “Miss Anvenyev, hi,” she reaches out and shakes my hand. “Mr. Gray will see you in a moment. Have you been offered any refreshment?”
This woman is much friendlier than the judgy one downstairs. “Uh, no I haven’t.”
   “Would you like tea, coffee, or water?” She asks, giving a quick, disciplinary glance at the blonde lady.
   “Water would be fine, thank-you,” I say. Model nerd looks at blonde girl and blonde girl stands and leaves without a word.
   “I apologize, Helga is a new intern. It’ll be just another five minutes.” Without any other explanation, she drifts away and into another office. A rose by any other name would smell as sweet? I’m beginning to seriously doubt Shakespear’s beliefs once I find out this woman’s real name. Her stunning beauty seems to have dropped down a couple of notches. In fact, I swear I spotted a mole under her chin when she returned with a bottle of sparkling water. I brush off my stereotyping when I realize I haven’t had water since my bottle ran dry about an hour ago, I take the opportunity to drink as much as possible before the large stone door opens again and a businessman sporting short dreads walks out. He turns back to the doorway and says, “golf this week, Gray?”
I don’t hear the reply, but it must have been a yes as the man seemed satisfied with the answer and turned into the reception area. Helga jumps out of her seat to call the elevator as the man gives me a sparkling smile, “good afternoon, ladies,” he says as he departs through the elevator doors. What a pleasant sort of fellow, I think to myself.
   “Mr. Gray will see you now, Miss Anvenyev. Do go through.” Black-haired model ushers to the stone door.
I’m sure to keep the water bottle with me, as I’m not sure how long this interview will be. As I walk the few yards to the door I briefly wonder how old this guy is going to be. After all, he started his own company and it’s obviously flourishing. This dude has to be around his 40’s. I push open the surprisingly light door but trip over my heels on my way in. I smoothly recover before I face-plant and end up in this position that looks like a bird trying to do a kung fu pose. I immediately straighten up and clap eyes on a very young, sandy-haired man. This has to be some mistake, you only read about rich, young billionaires in books! He reaches out his hand to greet me, “Miss Cavanaugh, a pleasure.” His fingers are long, thin and spindly. Up until viewing them I would have imagined him a perfect specimen--everyone has their flaws. I consider my options of avoiding the shake but it’s inevitable, I reach out and clasp the stringy hand and resist the temptation to wipe my hand on my pants afterwards.
   “I’m Christian Gray, please have a seat.”
He is dashing. But his sparkling blue eyes seem a little too sparkling for my taste, and there’s something about his smile that makes me squirm. I take a seat on a sofa that deceptively comfortable only to find it was a rock covered in cardboard and leather.
   “My name is actually Annastasiya Annanyev. My cousin is Cait--er, Miss Cavenaugh--she was sick and I volunteered to do the interview for her. I hope that’s alright.”
   “It isn’t a problem,” he assures as he walks over to a glass bar, “may I offer you something to drink?”
   “No thanks.” As he gets himself something I look around the expansive office. Figures, someone making this much money couldn’t be bothered to have a practical office. It looked more like a penthouse. A boringly-decorated penthouse. Not a stitch of taste! However my taste is that of Mike Wazowski and Buzz Lightyear rolled into a small apartment room. I get right down to business, pulling out my iPhone and Cait’s questions. I activate the recorder app and start, though I feel completely out of my element, I’m determined to play the part, if I can fool this billionaire, perhaps I’ll have a future in acting!
He takes a seat in a chair across from me, takes a sip of his water, then smiles, “go ahead and start at anytime?”
The smile again… it’s just so… beautiful, it’s just creepy. Like one of those cakes you buy at the grocery store that are covered in way too much frosting. Ugh, I want to leave and take a shower, I have a jug of Dr Bronner’s castile soap under my bathroom sink but right now I’m imagining it won’t be enough to wipe this guy’s memory away.
   “Right, so these are all Cait’s questions, she wrote them down ahead of time, I’ll just dive right in. Uh, what--you’re very young to have grown such a company. To what do you owe your obvious success?”
   “Business is all about people, Miss Annenyev, and I’m good at finding out how they tick, what makes them flourish, what inspires them, what incentives they need. I reward ingenuity and creativity.”
Halfway through the answer I go off into a daze tracing the pattern on his silverish tie. It shifts in the light and I’m trying to figure out if they’re diamonds or some sort of French pattern. I only catch the last bit of his self-appreciating accolade, “the growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership.”
   “Sounds like something a control freak would say,” I comment flatly.
   “I control a great many things, Miss Annanyev.” He looks at me as though he’s dead serious, like I offended his dynasty somehow. Or maybe he’s trying to intimidate me or make some secret point? All I notice is that he’s properly pronounced my name, twice! An incredible feat, I must admit.
   “Just maybe not your decorators, eh?” I laugh a short, blast of a laugh native to the women in my family. He was not amused. I clear my throat and look down at the questions, “Do you have any interests outside your work?”
   “I have varied interests.” He gives me an intense look and I fight the urge to scoot away from his gaze. “Very varied.” This guy’s a creep, and he’s not good with words. He was definitely given the wrong name, this guy seems more like Satan than a Christian. I don’t realize I’m staring back at him, all I see are the two red horns protruding out of his head. Now it hits me, he probably thinks I’m mentally challenging him so I quickly rush on to the next questions, all about his interest in agriculture, sciences and manufacturing; all areas in which he conducts business. Every answer of his revolves around his want for power and control. He is very arrogant, too, not showing an ounce of humility or even a shout out to his mother who raised him. Maybe he wasn’t raised by a mother, perhaps a pack of ravenous wolves. That’s what he reminds me of, a wolf, a starving, creepy sort of werewolf that wants to rip the flesh off of innocent people. Of course, as fate would have it, the next question on Cait’s list was about his adoption. I blurt out another Annanyev laugh but try to stifle it halfway through, it ends up sounding like a strangled seagull. I start coughing and take a drink of water from the bottle I carried in with me.
   “Are you alright?” He didn’t sound concerned, but rather bored.
   “No. I mean, yes, I was just taken aback by… one of the questions.”
   “Well, since it was so outrageous, I must hear it now.”
I really don’t want to tell him that I find the fact that he’s an orphan hilarious. So instead I skip on to the next question which I can pass off as funny if I am a really good actress, “are you gay?”
His facial expression doesn’t change at all, it’s flat, plain. He blinks at me twice, “no, Miss Annenyev. Did you really drive all this way just to ask me that?”
   “No, of course not, these are Cait’s questions.”
   “Right, I forgot. And Cait was…?”
   “Sick. She couldn’t make it.”
   “Of course. And are you working on this project together?”
   “No, she’s my roommate and cousin, I volunteered.”
   “That’s very noble of you.”
The door opened behind him and the black-haired girl walked in, “Mr. Gray, your next appointment is in three minutes, sir.”
   “Of course, thank-you Olga.” I stifle another dying seagull laugh. Helga and Olga. These women are not nearly as intimidating or amazing as I originally thought. Interesting what a change of a name can do. He directs his gaze back to me and all I can think is, ‘wolf eyes’. Maybe he should change his name from Christian to Wolf.
   “What say I ask you some questions now.” He leans forward, resting his arms on his knees and clasping his hands together like a greedy man at a poker table.
I can’t control the instinct to lean back slightly.
   “Go ahead.” I’m not scared, I mentally tack on. I mentally imagine braiding his golden hair into a chain, and that thought quickly morphs into one of the dreadlock dude chilling on a beach in San Diego wearing said chain. And then a shark hops on land and asks him where to get one. I blink the thought away and attempt to pay attention. 
   “What are your plans after you graduate?”
   “I’m not sure.” I lie, I have great plans to move back to California and get a job at Pixar Studios. But I won’t tell him that, he doesn’t deserve to know about my ambitions.
   “We have an excellent internship program here, if you’re interested.”
   “Oh, um... I don’t know. I don’t imagine I’d fit in here.”
He raises his dark eyebrows that clash with his sandy hair. “And why do you imagine such a thing?”
The way he says it, his voice, it sounds like velvet or something, it makes me want to take some of that castile soap and squirt it in one ear and out the other. Especially the almond-scented kind.
   “You seem to employ women who cannot pronounce names properly and are only interested in looking pretty. I know it’s a harsh observation, but it is just an observation so don’t take it too personally. I’m sure they’re lovely women. But I have higher ambitions than working in a stuffy office full of people wearing the same outfit.” I really can’t believe I say all that, but then I’m known to be blunt. I’m not quite a mousy sort of lady, I speak my mind, I almost wish I wouldn’t.
   “Let me show you around the building, perhaps I can change your mind.”
I stand up and collect my water bottle, I had chugged almost all of it and now felt the undeniable urge that soon follows. I should have stopped at a restaurant and used the restroom before coming. This sudden feeling mixed with the squirmish ones I’m experiencing in his pristinely greasy presence, I find it hard to concentrate on giving a good excuse.
   “I appreciate the offer, truly. But I honestly need to leave as soon as possible.”
Waterfalls, beaches, they all start flashing past my mind as I hastily shake his hand, “it’s been,” I stop myself before saying pleasure, “have a good day!”
His noodle fingers grip onto my hand like octopus tentacles and I momentarily panic thinking he’s going to shove me in a closet and save me for a snack. I give him a forced smile and rush out of the room and into the elevator. Once the doors close I take a big sigh of relief then march to the nearest restroom once they open again.

   The drive home doesn’t take nearly as long. Maybe it was because I drove down the coast, like I said I would, and felt a huge weight off my shoulders once I left the building, and the burning gaze of that Mr. Gray. Yuck. I got home in great time and Cait was ecstatic over the interview. We all went on with our lives after that, until one fateful day about 18 months later… I stumbled across that man with the wolf gaze, his name and picture were on Facebook, of all places, on an article link. The title? Billionaire guilty in sex trafficking. So that’s where he got all his money. Agricultural science my Aunt Fanny. What a creep! I’m glad I listened to my intuition and hightailed it out of there. A weaker woman may have fallen into his trap, been overwhelmed by his Ken-doll-like features and then what might have become of her? A poor, abused slave kept under the controlling, noodly fingers of Mr. Grey--who was said to have made bail momentarily, but is looking at 50 years in prison. Good.

The End. 

Monday, May 26, 2014

The "Generic White Route"

A while ago I was googling "hidden things in Disney's Frozen" hoping to find out all the cool, secret things in the movie (like Rapunzel and Eugene showing up!). Of course most of what I found were posts on hidden racism in Disney movies.
I found a very interesting blog in which the writer expresses her angst against the use of light and dark.

"multiracial Asian Robert Lopez penned the song, it was voiced-over by Ashkenazi Jew Idina Menzel and rendered (for the credits) by Mexican-American pop star Demi Levato, but in the actual film? The tune is sung by the character “Elsa” who is drawn incredibly white. Not only that, but in the movie as the sequence progresses from her being depressed and constrained to enlightened and empowered, she magically morphs from wearing dark clothing (in the dark) to, as she becomes more “free,” wearing a bright-white-sky-blue snow royalty dress (at gleaming sunrise)"

Elsa is Norwegian. If you do a google image search of "Norwegian women" you'll find--oh, hey, look, white people! Firstly, let's give the Norwegians their due respects, shouldn't a Norwegian kingdom look like it has Norwegian people in it? I understand that there are more than white people in Norway, but why you gotta hate on Elsa? She can't help that she was born in Norway and has white (or pale) skin.
That would almost be like making Pocahontas white or black. Why would you do that? Native Americans are a pleasant brownish red. Norwegians, for the most part, are white, sometimes tan.
Just look at the list of monarchs from Norway. All of them are white (seriously, scroll down, there are paintings and pictures). So WHY would they say, "hey, we're doing a movie that takes place in a land based off of Norway. Let's make the Queen ethnically diverse to please the crowds even though Norwegian monarchs have been white throughout the ages."? How is that fair to Norway?
Then again, I guess Norway can speak for itself.

Then there's the lady's complaint abut the dark clothes and then the light clothes. Elsa is being set free. Usually when you're carrying around a secret or guilt you feel shadowed, dark, afraid. In the Christian realm sin is referred to as darkness. It has nothing to do with the color of your skin! When you're set free you feel light, happy, peaceful. Her clothing, the dark dress and such, reminds me of earth, flowers, the land she leaves behind. Then she changes into a whitish blue dress, snow, air, sky, the land she's in now. I don't know why this lady needs to make this a racial problem when it's really not.

Lastly, I just want to point out, her whole bag is about an Asian, a Jew and a Mexican making this music and then a "white" person presenting it.
Pocahontas' song "Just Around the Riverbend" is written by Alan Menken who is white. With lyrics by Stephen Schwartz also white. The song "Colors of the Wind" written and composed by the same, sung by Vanessa Williams who identifies herself as black.
The song Tiana sings, also written by a white guy. So why aren't these white guys being represented? They're writing the songs, shouldn't the songs be sung by white people?
No, they wrote songs for a Native American and an African American. And that's fine. Let it go was written for a Norwegian, white woman. And that's fine.

I do not support racism, I hate it. But the fact of the matter is, sometimes you can be so anti-racist that you are racist.
For instance, my title is taken from another article. I'm sorry if I'm being sensitive, but being called generic is kind of low. I'm not horribly offended but, seriously, think about what you're saying. I'm a human. Am I generic? What if other races were called generic? Wouldn't that be considered racist? Isn't "generic white route" in and of itself racist?
It's great because the comment on the top makes a very lovely point, "I don't know why people are complaining, Rapunzel was the first white princess since Belle in 1991 (23 years). Since her, we had: Pocahontas, Mulan, and Tiana. Before Belle, we had Jasmine and after Anna and Elsa, we have Moana."

I don't like the fact that if I imagine up a fictional family in my head I might be called racist because they're all white. But the fact of the matter is; I AM white! I grew up around my white family, around white people, I'm white and that's what's in my mind, that's what pops in my head because that's what I've been around, that's what I see in the mirror every day. I had one African American friend growing up and that was about all the "exposure" I had. So having people who are also white make films about white people, you have to understand that's where it comes from. Look at Tyler Perry, most of his films have loads of African Americans, no one freaks out about that. It's just what's in his head, what comes to mind. It's what he sees in the mirror. There's nothing wrong with that. Just as French people make French movies and Asian films have a lot of Asians in them. 
Yes, I am aware that racism still exists, but please stop making it exist where it doesn't. And, honestly, I don't think it exists in the movie Frozen.

Monday, March 31, 2014

The Long Road

To recovery.

I moved into a regular hospital room on my birthday! It was small--tiny! But I was happy to get out of the CCU. While I was in the CCU I had my stomach tube taken out. Do you know how they do that? They pull it out through your nose (the way it went it, only I was asleep when they put it in); I was awake and it tasted disgusting. Let me elaborate (those with weak stomachs ought to look away), first it feels like you're gagging, then you taste the acid from your stomach as the tub trails it up your throat and through your nose. So it feels like you just barfed through your nose. It was disgusting.

Moving on. My parent brought my cheesecake and my dad bought my flowers (because I wasn't allowed to have flowers in the CCU and he wanted to be the first one), he brought me red roses and my mom brought my purple flowers. The boys came with Annette and Nate, my friends Michala, Laura and Rachel. They sang happy birthday and gave me prezzies. I got a movie, a shirt signed by TSO, a robe, some slippers and a Chromebook. I was still pretty drugged up but I enjoyed it. I ate about half of a tiny sliver of cheesecake because my stomach had shrunk from five days of not eating.
Later that evening they moved me into a larger room. Then the fun began. Mom and Dad stayed with me, visiting hours ended at 8 but they stayed til about 10 before leaving. However, the night before, I started having horrible chest pain. I wrenched and turned and cried. Mom and Dad were talking about leaving and I begged them not to leave. Mom finally decided to stay. Tonight, in my new room, my Dad traded off. The rib pain would come in waves. While I was in this new room the nurses would come in at about 3 in the morning to take my vitals and give me any meds I needed, I was usually awake. And then they would come again at about 6 AM to switch the nurses and give me my blood thinner shots and more meds.

On the night before Thanksgiving (I do believe), 1 week after the accident, April was supposed to arrive but, due to flight delays, she wasn't getting in til 11 so she was just going straight to my home and would come the next day. My dad was staying with me and it just so happened that in the middle of the night I had the worst pain in the world. I can't remember if it was the same or worse than the stuff I had before when they had to sedate me, I just remember it being unbearable. My nurse, Michael, came in, took one look and said, "I'll get Kim" (my head nurse). Kim came in and gave me a stronger pain med. I was then taken off of the old IV pain meds and from there on out given the oral medication. It helped a bit and they gave me only what I needed based on my pain level. This pain medication made me nauseated. I also had next to no appetite despite the nurses and my parents urging me that I needed protein to build new tissue.
The next day April arrived. I can't express the emotions I felt when she walked in and we embraced--mainly because I really don't remember much now that it's March 31st and I'm finishing this post--but it was great to see her again. She relieved mom from her babysitting duties and settled in as caretaker.
Everyone went home to see about Thanksgiving details while we two stayed behind. My brothers brought us Thanksgiving dinner all boxed up, I'd never seen April so happy in her life, she relished as she plated the food, the potatoes, stuffing, turkey, olives, it was all good. It wasn't how I was planning on spending Thanksgiving, but I was glad to have my buddy alongside me.

Now let me see if I can get this right without destroying the story. As I mentioned, I wrote this before and am only now getting around to finishing it!
At one point I was feeling really nauseated to the point where a nurse gave me a pill to knock it out. And it knocked me out in the process. April made the comment that what good is it to get rid of nausea if you're not awake to enjoy it? Agreed.
The main nurse (I believe this was Kim again) decided that 1 of 2 of my pain meds were probably making me sick, so she took me off of it and I seemed to do a little better but the nausea never seemed to fully leave until a million years later.
The other thing going on was my darned chest tube. It killed. It was the cause of most of my pain, we didn't know this of course. I had to pick up the box it was connected to and bring it with me whenever I needed to go to the bathroom. Oh and the bathroom was just a joy! They took out my catheter because they didn't want me to get an infection. This meant I got to use the glorified toilet seat! A chair with a bucket that you did your business on.

Folks, I'm not proud of this fact but it was a fact just the same: I had to have my buttocks wiped by other people. It was downright humiliating but I quickly got over it. It's like I turned off the switch to caring and put up mental blocks so I wouldn't be scarred for life. Even thinking back I'm kind of amazed that I survived such things. Now the nurses brought the toilet chair to you, the sink was way a million feet over on the other end of the room and I wasn't mobile (in fact I was doing good getting in and out of bed) so I couldn't wash my hands after my toilet visits. April and I, though, we had a system. I would use a little hand sanitizer after the fact then after the nurse left and I was tucked back in bed April would grab a washcloth with a little soap on it so I could have some semblance of cleanliness. Just about every day someone would come in and check the drainage from my chest tube to see if I could have it removed and every day they'd say "no". I was growing discouraged.
Just about every day someone would come in with an x-ray machine, jam a large square board underneath my back and take pictures of my chest.
I was supposed to have a physical therapist come every day but I'd only seen one or two in the space of my visit. I got one come in and she totally flipped out to this fact, she got me out of bed and put me in a chair and had me sit there for a good while. I never thought sitting would be exhausting, but it was. This therapist was cool, she gave me exercises and had a nice toughness about her that you couldn't help but like. I was starting to use the walker, another low point in life. A walker. That's old people equipment. I couldn't believe it.

Then, about a few days after April's arrival, these people come along with a bed and say they have to take a special x-ray of my hip in order for me to get permission to leave. They load me onto the bed and wheel me through the hospital, April stayed back in the room.
The x-ray technician introduced himself and told me I was getting an x-ray so rare he hadn't done it in years and had to look up how to do it. That didn't make me feel good. I had to have foam wedges placed under my hips so that I was at an angle, this was an uncomfortable for a broken pelvis but it was over quickly.
They brought me back and my buddy was there waiting for me like an obedient pet or something.
Then another physical therapist came along and had me practice crutches! Hallelujah! I walked out into the hall and then back to my room, I was a champ! I was so excited, you should have seen me. I was also sitting up in the chair more often.
One of my favorite nurses came in, his name was Skyler. Skylar? I don't remember the spelling. Either way, he was a favorite, he was nice, I liked him. That was... up until he pulled the staples out of my scar. I'd like to say I braved it like a Jedi or some sort of disciplined Samurai. But I didn't. I yelped like a 4 year old getting a band-aid taken off. It wasn't any walk in the park, mind you! It stung! But I think I made a bigger deal out of it than it was. I even told Skylar that I didn't like him anymore.

About the 2nd of December came about and the awesome Dr. (I think he was an assistant Dr. because I didn't see much of my two main Drs while I was there) came in to check out my chest tube. I had been expelling more liquid than they wanted but he just sat there and looked at the stats on a computer for what seemed to be ages. You should have seen my countenance rapidly drop as the minutes ticked by. Then he just said, "I'm pulling it." He didn't see why I should have it in there any longer. I couldn't believe it! I got back in bed and they got all the stuff required and the doctor came back in to pull it out of me. Now my mom told me that it hurt to get a tube pulled so I was freaked out about the pain. I had April's hand in the death grip of despair. The Dr. told me that when he pulled it out I had to breathe out until he had the bandage on because if I breathed in air would get in and that is bad. I latched onto that, took a deep breath and let it out. And when I say I let it out, I let it all out. Until my face turned purple. The Dr. said I could breathe and I realized it was done. No pain. In fact, none of the usual pain. In fact, I could breathe! The rib pain that had been needling me ever since the accident, the reason I would toss and turn and thrash at night, was gone! That confounded contraption was the cause of it all!! Unbelievable! But I could breathe, oh I could take *deep* breathes. Not just little tiny sips of air like a dying fish.
April said that when the Dr. pulled out the tube yummy, bodily fluids gushed out onto him. I wish I could have seen it.

This was all quite happy. I had another physical therapy come and snatch me away in a wheel chair, they had to get me to walk up and down stairs with crutches before they could even think about releasing me. This time I took April with me. Walking up three (or was it only two?) steps was a chore. A chore I tell you! And then I walked down the hall some but got too tired to get back to my room on my own and wheeled back. This was progress. On the 3rd of December I was having friends come, Michala and Laura, good little friends! I was glad to be seeing them. I was also in my chair, too! I was watching TV and just chilling out with April when a nurse walked in, "I've got release papers!"
I mean, I was told I *might* go home for Christmas. Not that I'd be home three weeks before! I was told I'd have to go off to some rehab place! I called my mom and told her the good news right as my friends arrived (and my lunch). I ate some and they helped pack my belongings and, would you believe it? I was out of there before I even realized what was happening. I was so excited I could have cried. Of course they had me sign an enormous amount of papers and I was supposed to have a ton of pills but I was going home. Home!!
Dear old Skylar saw me off into Jeff's jeep with mom and April and it was home-bound!
But home-bound meant driving. On the freeway even. I hadn't driven at all. Not in 13 days! This was a bit intense but I ignored it. I was going home.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Waking Up

In order to go to the hospital to be with me, Dad parked his truck at our cousins' and Mom and Nick would pick him up and drive together. He parked in the driveway and got out of the truck just as a helicopter soared above him, he paused to look at it and thought, "that's my daughter in there..."
Nick and Mom stayed behind to pick up my belongings, the small meals that I bought at Walmart and the bag of clothes cut off of me. Nick drove, my mom couldn't drive.
They got to the hospital and directly to the emergency room where they couldn't find my name. So they sent my family to a emergency waiting room where my parents' Bible study leader showed up to offer some support and prayer. The hospital people told them that they were taking me directly into surgery because I did have a ruptured spleen (I knew I had heard correctly), my doctor didn't want to wait for any further results, he wanted to remove the spleen right away.
They were sent to the surgery waiting room and given no more information.
Prayers were being sent up on my behalf at a high rate that even I can't imagine right now and you will find out how they were all answered.
In the mean time.. Matt had told April the details of the accident via Rachelle once they were parked at a gas station. April disciplined herself to not freak out, she realized she would need to be strong for me because I would be counting on her. Her dad called to pray with her but all she said to anything he had to say was, "ok."
They started on the road again with Matt driving, things were quiet as they prayed and thought and then April finally spoke up, "She's my buddy..."
"Yeah, I know."
"Andrea's, like, you know..." She tried to imagine the perfect description.
"I know." Matt said again.
"She's like my kid and my mom and my sister all wrapped up into one."
But she didn't let the fear trickle in, she straightened her shoulders, "but she's counting on me to be strong, I know she's expecting me to pray for her, she'll be counting on me right now, so I'm not going to fall apart. I'm going to be strong."
They made it to their apartment where April checked out the explosion of prayers on Facebook then sent out a prayer email to those who do not have Facebook. Once this was all done she felt the need to call my sister again, "I wanted to call back, I want you to know I feel a lot of peace and I know she's going to be alright. You know me, you know Andrea, I'm going to fight for her. I'm going to trust the Lord."
Rachelle said, "I felt the same exact way."
Even though I didn't know this was transpiring at the time, it's still a comfort to hear all the prayers that were going on on my behalf. It's humbling to see the body of Christ rally together to be strong for me when I was under and not with it to even imagine to have faith.
My three other brothers were in line to see Catching Fire when Jeff heard, through various phone calls and texts he eventually found out that it was a serious accident. They couldn't really do much so they stuck around the line to see the movie. Nick joined them just before the movie started.
My last brother, or I should say the oldest brother, was at work (he teaches at a college) when he found out. He stuck around for a while until he broke down and cried, he couldn't take the emotional stress of having his little older sister in the emergency room so he left work and went straight to the hospital.

The Doctors called it "ding-dong"ing my brain. It's where I hit so hard that my brain rattles against both sides of the skull like a bell. It's amazing that I woke up at the scene of the accident and that I suffered zero brain damage and wasn't in a coma.
There was a blood clot in my left shoulder, Rachelle got wind of this and posted it on a Facebook chat where all my close friends were praying for it to dissolve. It dissolved.
I had broken three ribs, rib 1, 4 and 5. Rib #1 is supposedly very tough and takes a heavy impact to break, let's scratch that off the list of things to do.
The bent, broke, charged forth and punctured my lung. Blood and other glamorous stuff decided to start flowing in the area around my lung.
3 must be my happy number because I also broke my pelvis in three different places, this hurts, let me tell you. The doctors were already lining me up for surgery in a bigger hospital in the city next to us.
They also thought that I had a broken back, this was not the case and this was good news because, as you know, back injuries can cause paralysis.
The real treat was the spleen. They said it was ruptured, as you know, and took me into surgery to take it out right away. Rachelle's prayer team was on this one, they prayed for it to be spared. When the Dr. went in he noticed that it wasn't ruptured but only lacerated. He was able to "salvage" it by putting a dissolvable mesh around it. This isn't the first or the last miracle that happened.

I woke up. The drugs were heavy and, honestly, I barely remember a thing. I had so much hardware, a girdle-type belt that was bright orange kept my ribs still (every single nurse that saw it commented on how they'd never seen a girdle that color), I had a catheter, a chest tube to drain the liquid around my lung,  drainage tube to drain any excess liquid around my spleen, oxygen tube, a stomach tube to pump my stomach (such a thing went through my nose, down my throat and into my stomach. Yuck), a red, glowing thing on my finger to measure heart-beat, an I.V. and a blood transfusion. This means somebody else's blood was inside my body. This means I am eternally bonded to a stranger somewhere. I can't say I was more with it after the surgery than I was when I woke up at the crash site, though I remembered what had happened. My parents explained that I had had surgery on my spleen. Despite the fact that it was already over, this scared me, I couldn't see the incision as it had a bandage over it and then the giant girdle but it was about a 7-8 inch line over the top of my belly from my belly button to my ribs. Today, four weeks later, I look at the scar and freak out at the thought that somebody took a knife to my belly and sliced it open.
I asked, almost right away, if the others (the ones that hit me) were ok. I had to know if I was responsible for someone else's death.
Thankfully, no one had been hurt. There were parents and a 7 year old girl. My heart lurched at the thought of a kid being killed on my account but they had only suffered mild bruises from the seat belts and sowhat.
The three oldest brothers came in to see me, Nick said he was surprised at how swollen I looked. Jeff said he was taken aback at my speech, I sounded like a low-key whale or Chewbacca.
Brad looked the most shaken up out of the three, I recognized the emotion even in my drugged state.
They all said hi and that they loved me and held my hands before leaving.
I remember one thing I wanted to know right away was if they all went to the movie, I couldn't stand the idea of the movie tickets going to waste. They had and that relieved me.
I remember feeling warm and telling everyone with cool hands that it was ok to touch my feet or face or hands. I was out of surgery at 1 in the morning and fell asleep quickly after that.
The next morning my mom came back while dad went to work. I was still so out of it I don't remember anything that went on besides the undeniable, unquenchable thirst that wracked my body the entire day.
They didn't want me to drink at all because I was expected to go into surgery--eventually.
I had to wait for a CCU bedroom to open up in the other hospital so that I could go there after surgery, we were also waiting on the Dr. from the other hospital to look at the xrays to decide if I even needed surgery after all. While this was being decided my good spiritual family was praying that I wouldn't have to have surgery done.
So, no water, no food. My mouth was parched and I felt like I would soon start to murder in order to have just one taste of water.
I called my sister and started crying once I heard her voice. She told me one of the best pieces of news, my favorite atheist, one that I preach to and care about and have great faith that he will come to Christ, prayed on my behalf. He prayed to God when he found out about the accident.
This delighted my heart. I told everyone I thought to tell, in fact I was quite the chatter box when I was drugged up, murmuring away like a Chewbacca whale. I also asked everyone for water. They had a little sponge that they dipped in water to cool off and wet down my mouth. I would suck on it sometimes like the desperate cheater that I was. I finally complained so much that the nurse gave me a few pieces of ice. It was like heaven.
Have you ever heard of the story of Lazarus and the Rich Man? The Rich Man went to hell and there he said, "have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. " 
Well, I wasn't in hell or anything, but I knew what it was like to wish for just a drop of water.

Friday night was also the night I was supposed to go to see Trans Siberian Orchestra with my brothers and some friends. I think it completely economical of myself to inquire if anyone could sell my ticket for me. They did sell it to a friend of a friend that was going. I was relieved, once again.
On their way to the concert all five of my brothers and our two friends/co-workers came to visit me. Now only family was allowed in the CCU and only 2 visitors at a time so they had to send them in a couple at a time. I remember seeing Nate, our friend, and I held his hand and said, "Nate, you are my brother and I love you, don't take it personally."
Nate, the good champ, only laughed and said, "it's ok, I love you too."
Everyone thought it a good joke but they don't realize I was of a correct mind to assure him that there wasn't any underlying meaning. See how smart I can be while drugged?
My mom and dad's Bible study leader came back that day, I said hello and was very happy to see him. I held his hand and talked with him and, well, said a bit too much about his handsome son, we'll just leave it at that. <_<
April had decided that she must travel here to be with me. She wanted to be sure she had agreement from Matt before she talked to me so that she could give me a resounding "yes" when I asked her if she was coming. Because, after the 10 years that we've been friends, she knew I would be asking that.
I also could not stop talking about Mike enough. I resolved that I would find him, somehow. Somehow I would find him and thank him for being there.

The next day was exciting. 
Again, don't expect me to get anything in order. But my cousins came calling, I have third cousins and their parents, second cousins once removed. Now, one of my third cousins is not affectionate. I call him Prezzie as a nickname. He stood at my side and held my hand while I dozed off. This was one of the most touching moments, as I explained he's not affectionate. They gave me a little tiny stuffed husky and I named him Prezzie to remember the moment forever.
I also had a bit of a problem. It was either the night of Friday or the morning of Saturday that I felt in excruciating pain. It was my ribs. I was thrashing about and screaming and crying in pain. I couldn't stand it. It hurt, it burned, it pinched, I wanted to just die. The world's awesomest nurse, Liz, was there, I remember being glad, in the midst of the pain, that it was her and not one of the cranky nurses, that was there during this trying time.
They finally sedated me. Then gave me the blood transfusions I mentioned earlier. My vitals had dropped rapidly during that time which was a bit of a scare but I came out of it for the better.
That pain. It was not good.`
April called me and we had a chat. Of course I asked her if she was going to come and she said yes. I was shocked. You need to understand: I've visited her about every year for 10 years. She's visited me 3 times (not by express choice, but these are just facts). So I was amazed. I asked her 30 times if she was serious and begged her to come for my surgery, which the Drs were saying would occur on Monday.
She said she would see what she could do.
Then my brother in law called. The most brilliant, happy thing happened. He asked for the baptism of the Holy Spirit and was filled with the Holy Spirit with evidence of speaking in tongues!
This was so wonderful, I told him I was so happy and proud of him.

My hero returned.
That night I was lying in bed, drifting in and out of a sleeping state. I would feel like I'd gotten hours of sleep and wake up and ask my dad, "how long was that?" and he'd say, "twenty minutes."
It was frustrating to wake up thinking it ought to be a new day but know it wasn't even midnight.
So, there I was, just chilling, when the most beautiful sight graced my glazed-over eyes.
Mike. Mike, the fireman that crawled into my car and talked me through everything, Mike who stayed by my side, who stayed under the tarp with me while my car was being chomped to pieces, Mike who promised to sign the cast I never received. Mike. Mike came to see me.
He brought a friend who had been at the accident but had helped the people I had hit.
I was beside myself with joy. I held his hand and just kept telling him thank you and such things. This was one of the most meaningful things through this whole ordeal, being reunited with Mike. I don't know that I cried, but I ought to have because it makes me teary-eyed just thinking about it. I will always remember Mike as I will always remember this time in my life.
It was 5 the next morning when I woke up. My parents weren't there, yet, because they were obviously getting a good night's sleep. I called my sister because I felt lonely and she told me about Will's baptism story. She encouraged me in the Lord, talked to me about healing. I joked to her about my ribs popping when I breathed. You see, her kids call me "Aunt Poppy" so I told her that I truly was Aunt Poppy, now.
April had found a good plane fare for the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. She would miss out on my surgery on Monday but I was ok with the arrangements.
Somewhere around this time the nurse announced I could drink water. I rejoiced. And I drank. And drank. And drank.

That day, the day before my surgery, they told me that I would not need surgery after-all! They said it would be too tedious to try to move the bones just a tiny millimeter in order to get it perfectly lined up. They believe the bone would heal fine on its own. My Orthopedics Dr. was very concerned but he was certain it would be ok as long as I put ZERO weight on it.
Also, my parent's pastor returned for another visit! And who did he bring with him but none other than the handsome son I had so druggingly raved about!
I was very glad to see their plaid-clad selves. We had a good jaw over the accident and joked a bit before they left.
The next day, the day I was supposed to have my surgery, they moved me out of the CCU and into a regular room! At this point I probably had half the hardware I started out with, but still a decent amount, enough to brag about.
But moving to that room was a happy, refreshing moment, I felt relieved and free.