Day 4 – Moving Mountains

For the forth day of my June ‘Accent The Positive’ challenge, I decided to tackle one of the most fascinating and powerful universal truths.

As far back as I can remember, I heard that ‘faith could move mountains’. I was obviously skeptical. It was just something people said, right?

Over the years, I took note of people who accomplished amazing feats in their lives. I always thought – WOW some people are so amazing! How can anyone be so brilliant, so physically powerful, so talented?

I did not begin to understand until I was in my mid-thirties, when my father was diagnosed with advanced cancer of the sinuses. He was given days to live. My family gathered at his bedside. My father did not die that week. In fact he survived for a grueling four YEARS.

During this time, I had a husband and three elementary school aged children. I worked outside the home. My parents needed my support and I grieved for them and worried about them constantly . A few months in and I was physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted. One day, I sat down in my living room, looked up to God, the universe, or whoever may have been listening and I said “I can’t do this anymore”. I said “I will do everything I can, but please make sure that if Mom and Dad ever really need help that they will have someone with them”. From that moment, I knew everything would be okay. Through everything that happened after that, Mom and Dad were never alone when they needed support. I would be there, or my siblings who all lived further away would be there, or Aunt Lil, or Dad’s nephews, or neighbours, or friends were there for every crisis. After spending his final four months in their local hospital, Dad passed away with his favourite nurse by his side. She called Mom. Mom called Aunt Lil and she was there for her until we arrived.

A few months later, I took my kids and my dog and left my marriage. It had been dysfunctional throughout but had gotten substantially worse in the last five years. I had to get my kids out. My family and friends were appalled. They told me that I could not possibly provide a home for myself and three teenagers going forward. I said “I don’t have a choice” and once again, I looked up and said “Heaven help us”. For three and a half years, I was alone with my little family. I worked way too many hours. I shopped and cooked. I did dishes and laundry and taught my sons to drive at midnight. I made time to spend with my family. I didn’t get much sleep and I ate way too many Cheezies and Smarties. But, I kept a roof over our heads, clothes on our backs, and food on our table. I was happier than I had ever been in my life. 😊

Skin and bones – thriving on faith.

Years passed. I met and married Dan – a good man with a huge heart. Eventually life calmed down. My teens became adults and in turn became parents. (which presented us with new challenges and pleas to the heavens.)

Dan and our ray of sunshine, Maddy.

In 2015, son Mark and his girlfriend Erin became parents. Although Mark had been adamant about never having a family of his own, he was above and beyond with the arrival of his little Dominic. Unfortunately, a few months in, little Dom started to suffer health issues. He would struggle to breathe and start to choke, gasping for air. Ultimately he ended up in the emergency room with Erin. Because Mark was out of the city for work, Dan and I rushed to the hospital to be there for Erin, should she need us. Things went from bad to worse and a code blue was called. The room filled with doctors, nurses and medical equipment. Mark arrived, followed by Erin’s parents. Erin was caught up in the midst of things with Dom. Mark came to stand with Dan and I at the far edges of the room. Dom flailed his arms and gasped for air. I made a quiet remark to Mark. He replied that he had been watching the heart monitor and was terrified little Dom’s heart would explode. At the sound of Mark’s voice, Dom became momentarily still and his heart rate dropped. As he started to move again, I turned to Mark and told him to keep talking. The head nurse moved and motioned for Mark to step up to Dom’s side. Mark stepped forward and said “Hey Buddy, Dad’s here.” As he reached out his hand, Dom grasped his finger and held on for dear life. This simple act of faith in his father (by a tiny infant too young to understand) changed everything. The medicines that had been administered had a chance to take effect and Dom’s vital signs stabilized. Dom was sent by air ambulance to Saskatoon for a week of observation and evaluation. When they returned to Regina, Erin took him in for follow up appointments. Fortunately, things have gone relatively smoothly since then. Dom is a happy and healthy six year old, excited at the prospect of a new sibling later this year.

Dom resting peacefully in hospital.

Today, Dan is starting another set of shifts at his temporary position at the Evraz steel plant. Today, tomorrow and Sunday he will head to work at 3:30 am and he won’t be home until 5pm. On Monday and Tuesday he will switch to the night shift. For sixty plus hours, he will work in unbelievable heat, noise, dust and rank smoke filled air. The work he is doing is manual and brutal. The work includes constantly moving from one end of the plant to the other. He is constantly climbing high, steep stairways and using catwalks to cross massive and dangerous equipment. Dan is not a young man. He has health and joint issues caused by a life of hard work. His regular position at the pipe plant is challenging, but nothing like this. A younger me would be terrified for him. But I know! And once you know the power of faith, you just know. Dan will do what he has to do and will be home – sore and exhausted – but prepared to keep doing it as long as he needs to.

Stay safe Dear! We love you. 💞

Four down, twenty six to go! This one got a bit long but I hope to see you back tomorrow. For sure, I will make it short and sweet. 🙃

Pandemic 2020

For those of us who are not on the front lines of this global crisis, the hysteria is calming down and we are starting to go about life as it is.

My husband and I were both working today. Things were quiet at my office. For various reasons, we were at half staff. The phone was relatively quiet. Our only walk in traffic was a couple of delivery drivers. It was kind of nice to slow down and focus on one task at a time.

I took time to do some extra cleaning. I wiped off every surface, doorknob, phone, copier, mouse, keypad, etc with bleach cleanser. I scrubbed down the washroom. The place smells clean if nothing else.

I spent time with my boss while he agonized over whether we should close down and send everyone home or plug along. As long as the construction industry keeps going and product is still available we will probably keep going. Our clients expect us to – but it is hard. A lot of our work is out of town so we are separating families for days at a time. My boss’s son had his first son last week. My son has a four year old son. They need their paycheques but, at this time, their families need them. I am glad it is not my decision to make.

I stopped at a home centre on my way home to pick up some solar yard lights. I think I was the only customer. Hopefully the grocery stores are calming down. I will probably have to pick up a few things on the weekend and I am trying hard to avoid crowds.

I came home, relaxed for a bit, and fed Kat before Dan got home from work. We barbecued pork chops, cooked some noodles and asparagus and had a nice supper. Now we are watching Survivor.

So that is about it. We keep going with faith, hope, trust, and gratitude. Our hearts go out to all who are sick, for those who have lost their lives, for their families, for all who are caring for them, for all who are juggling family and finances, for all of those who are stepping up to serve others, and for all who are forced to make difficult decisions right now.

Hoping for a speedy end to this situation. Hoping that this will ultimately make us all better, kinder, stronger. 🕊️