Sunday, May 28, 2017

This Memorial Day

Looking upon this Memorial Day I'm flooded with heartfelt emotions.   While all of us celebrate in different ways I think of my husband today and the journey he was on, we both were on.  Not to be confused with Veterans Day, Memorial Day was set aside to recognize all those whom lost their lives in service to our country.  This is truly an honor we all should take part in recognizing the men and women that lost their lives and let their families know we've not forgotten those that sacrificed dearly for us and others.

Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.   John15:13 ESV

My Jim didn't loose his life serving in a war but I can't help not think of him today and how he served.  He truly believed in the verse above.  When he entered the USCG he went in to serve and for the time he was in he gave his all.  He ended in an early retirement do to illness, yet still served helping other servicemen and women.  Later still served in what ever capacity he could until he could no longer.

It should be needless to say how proud of Jim we are; "We are so proud!"   After Jim's death I had to go through so much paper work- still do, to be honest it has been less the past few weeks. I find it interesting how you don't think of all that should be taken care of or neglect when you are preoccupied with trying to be well, believing you will get well or just life.  In the process of all the paper stuff, I had sent off for Jim's records from the National Archives.  We actually had all that was sent except for a few things.  As I looked over everything I found a copy of an award he received when he retired.  I had forgotten what the award said, also read by his commander.  It was a very proud moment as we listened also sad since he wanted to finish his career in Coast Guard.  We have the real citation framed and packed away so I couldn't share it, the copy will suffice until I find it.  I am as proud reading the copy today as I was hearing it being read, and you do forget things, particularly all that Jim accomplished in a short time at his last duty station.  He had spent much of his life devoted to things which he accomplished in like manner at other duty stations and while a civilian.

Jim cared for all who served as well as the spouses of those fallen, as stated in the citation.  He prayed for them as well.  However, Jim himself would be the first to tell you that he was not without fault and failed many times. Like many people we love they might not go recognized by the world for what they do, Jim was recognized by those that loved him and others who knew him as someone that cared and was admired.  I believe that where man may fail and knowing you have the forgiveness of a loving Savior that is the best recognition there could possibly be - knowing God's grace.  Jim would have told you this, and his walk and work ethic was one that was to please God not man though he was not perfect.  Jim was a blessed man for his relationship with a loving heavenly Father not through a religion.

Jim often looked at the page(s) of the men and women listed in The Retiree Newsletter that served and are of course no longer with us.  Jim had seen many that he'd known and met over the years.  I've often looked at that page for people I might have known and this month I saw Jim's ~  I know how the families feel seeing their loved one on the USCG Taps pages.  I also know how I feel having the loving support from those that care for me and my family - thank you all for the calls and visits we have together, Jim would have been pleased with that.  Possibly using a friends phrase "Good on you!"

Lastly, I don't know what Jim would have thought, will yes do :) and it's pretty cool we're happy that there is something that families can have.  Jim would grieve at how those in service are many times treated and forgotten, take the time for them and say a prayer with a thankful heart.  Jim started a blog, he was a gifted writer and had so much to share but wasn't able from his illness.  I've been thinking about his blog with the possibility of working on it with his thoughts and where he was going with his theme using his journals.  But we'll see I'm having a time of it keeping up with my own.  I miss him ~ Vicky

7/30/60 - 2/4/17

Saturday, October 29, 2016

What's Important To You?

What’s important to you?  What has significance or value – is there anything that is meaningful to you when you look at where our country is going - your future?

By now I’m sure that people of voting age have determined whom they’d prefer in office by Party (being I know many party voters), know by the issues that are pending, or are planning to vote though they might not know any of the issues and/or those campaigning; voting is something you do? (Back to Party thought). Though I have to say (via media) I was surprised many people of college age do not know anyone that is even in government, past or present – running or not!  And seems to know everyone that has absolutely nothing to do with the future of where we are heading as a Nation and they still vote.  Scary and sad if this is true.  You also have the non-voters; anywhere from a lack of interest to I can’t stand either Candidate/anyone running, and here’s a good one – “What’s the point?
The person you want is never elected!” via Electoral College yada yada yada ~ Maybe you plan to vote and aren’t sure whom you want in office or even trust.  .  .  .  Time is ticking of course and we have less than two weeks! At least 10% of those that are voting have already.   My hope would be, that you are looking at the issues that are important to you and if you’ve already voted early that you looked at the issues before you decided. 

If you’ve watched any of the debates you surely, by now, know where each candidate stands on those all-important issues.  In fact both have made it abundantly clear where they stand, though might be lacking some details here and there.  Of course that is if you’ve bypassed all the garbage that hasn’t much or anything pertaining to issues affecting the future of Americans; rather than the morality of Trump and women or Hillary and lying.  However, one involves themselves as a civilian and the other while in office. 

So, what’s important enough to get past personal flaws of each candidate in this election?   We all have problems with both candidates.  I know I do and find one’s flaws more problematic than the other – now I’m speaking for myself especially when looking at the issues.   We all have flaws even sins per say, one candidate stated they were sorry and very much regrets the behavior of at least one incident to have happened, whilst denying other incidences.  The other stated it was a mistake on their part and didn’t know that while being an elected official that there would be any problem with using unsecured equipment she owned versus secured governmental.  Not like it were a thing of National Security.  But who knows ~ I don’t feel that she is credible since I find it hard to bypass the she didn’t know only to find out differently later.  Over all one is sorry the other isn’t.  But still -

What of the issues at hand?  Here are a few I’m interested in and that are important to me.

Nominating Supreme Court Justices might be the most important for me being that I would want them to uphold the Constitution as stated by our Founding Fathers.  There could be up to four openings and they would serve for a very long time.  So you would want those whom serve to support as close as possible those issues that are important to you and your family by upholding our Constitution and not using it for a particular group or party’s gain.

Boarders are very important to me especially with the large numbers that come across.  It isn’t safe and not just for those living on the boarder.  It isn’t safe for those crossing either seeking a better life, they face terrible tragedies crossing even loss of life; children face human trafficking.  Drugs also affect us here as well as terrorist that come posing as illegals.  I also believe this country should not be a haven for those seeking to harm.   I for one don’t question wanting a better life for all those seeking it, but I understand how frustrating it is for those seeking a better life legally and they should be able.  If you look at it honestly, other countries have closed boarders and it doesn’t seem unreasonable to me to do the same keeping our boarders secure, many laws are already in place having been for year but not enforced.  We live in a small town near the boarder and we understand the importance of keeping people safe, we also understand many good people to be living here who seek or have a better life since being here.

Healthcare is extremely important to me since my husband spends much of his time with doctors.  We have used the Private sector and most resent years the VA Healthcare System.  There are ligament complaints of many veterans’ though I can’t say it’s necessarily the quality of care.  We’ve received excellent care both in and out of the system.  Getting appointments for the help you need is sometimes a different matter.  We’ve always got in quicker outside.  I believe everyone should have good healthcare but I also don’t believe the government should not be in control of your healthcare.  Though The Affordable Healthcare Act was a good idea I don’t agree with how it forever changed everyone’s healthcare.  I don’t want a one size fits all and people have the right to choose what’s best for them and their families many already had that before and what they could afford.  I do believe there’s a better answer out there but not sure how it can be fixed.  I do know that those in and out side of the VA complain or are applaud at the waiting game veterans have to see a doctor, some don’t even make it.  I can’t understand though how the same people would support a system or even want one that would be a model of it.

Lastly for me, being a Mom and “Gran,” it’s very hard to see or even understand how someone can pick up a baby love on them all the while watching them grow having NO PROBLEM with abortion.  In fact, can even act as if they aren’t of value not even giving them a thought.  It truly grieves me ~ and for one who believes in God professing to be a follower of Christ believes this to be so totally wrong.  If I’m grieving I can only imagine how it must grieve God.  Yet many haven’t a problem with it.  Personally, I can’t see how anyone could even say they believe in God and have a walk with Him and knowingly vote a person in office who supports a infanticide of such magnitude.  People speak of the “health of the mother” and that is important, I also believe that it’s one of the smallest percentages in the argument for abortion.  What of the child that’s growing?  I understand people see what they’re lead to believe “that it’s just a fetus” – well when one sees ultra sounds of animals just about everyone tends to go – oh a baby puppy – look a baby elephant!  Ok then what about partial birth?  Is it a baby then?  And, when it is the life and health of the mother it should also be that of the baby?  Again the percentages are smaller with the life scenario and with the marvel of medicine and doctor’s babies born earlier have a greater percentage of living than before and are living.  There are also things that happen sadly beyond a person’s control and people also desire to adopt.   What about abstinence and not using abortion as a way to render and fix a mistake or use as birth control?  And, what of the mental and spiritual state of the mother, they do need help and love as well.  When people go on the morality of candidates what of the moral obligation to protect the life of a baby, there’s nothing more in need of being protected!  I’m sorry if this sounds unreasonable on my part but it is what it is and I can’t condone it or financially see supporting it.

I agree with Mrs. Clinton on just “How clear the stakes are” in this election.  Both Candidates that count at this point – aren’t my choices but they are what we have and I’ve been following them closely. 

Years ago while posting I said it was important for me to vote the Bible.  A response to that was, “how do you do that?”  I look at it as a no brainer for who I am in my walk and journey in this present temporal world I live.  I ultimately have only one person in this life to please and that is how I choose and try to vote.   You have to know Him to do so.    I know the life I live here is important; I’ve been given a mind and heart to use to make a difference while I’m here.   I do believe Christians have the right and a moral obligation to be apart of this process.

While being long winded J I don’t know if this piece makes a difference to anyone   Maybe it is solely for my own benefit in hopes that those who think they know me (as most don’t) as being self-righteous or a hypocrite.  I would be the first to tell you otherwise.  For I am not righteous within and of myself, it is only through what Jesus has done for me, and my acknowledgement of what He has done on the cross that makes me righteous.  In Him and through Him that way I cannot boast in myself, ONLY in what He has done can I boast?  For it is in what He has done for me – you – anyone that takes that gift?  I do have a testimony that no one can take from me and for that I have only Him to thank and those He’s sent across my path.   And, that is exactly what it is a gift.   The gift of life I’m thankful for.  However, I would like to add one thing to all of this being its on voting.  I’m concerned on many levels and with many issues but only listed a few.  While I can respect other voter’s opinions and why they vote as they do.  It’s harder when they can’t say why they vote as they do or assume you are an idiot.  I also can’t see why people will literally come across so hateful when you have an opinion that is different.  It has been my experience over the many years with Presidential Elections and especially from those that I thought or hoped would know me - to my surprise they still don’t.  .  .  .   In light of all the stuff out there I hope all issues are those to take to heart how important this election is.   I do try to look at the bigger picture and what is all involved I trusting God with that and vote the best I can.

Happy Voting,
AKA Rambling Vik ~

Saturday, May 28, 2016

My Top 10 That Turned To 12 ~

Most of you, who know me personally or from following my blog, know or may remember that my husband has been dealing with illness for a long time.   We, in recent years, spend a lot of time at the VA – to much so!  In fact, if we were without having a outlet to channel our pent up energy, thus being the Lord, it would be so much harder to deal with.   Another way is laughter.  It’s important to laugh  ~ finding humor in a situation helps and I believe God has a sense humor and He’s pasted that onto us.  I sometimes when I think I've lost my laughter - there it is again!  In fairness, it is a choice.

We’ve been on this particular journey for some time but for the sake of argument let us say - since I started blogging in 2008.  Many of the things that we’ve been through stem from illness; looking back I can see the Lord working and how He’s blessed our lives.  Much of my posts are there for others to be inspired and maybe even find help with what they are going through themselves.  Reading over my posts I see how the Lord has used many, if not all of the stories to minister right back to me.  

Saying that my husband has been dealing with an illness is by no means saying he’s giving up believing he’s healed (exercising his faith) believing Jesus did exactly what He said did at the cross. One day that healing will manifest, for our hope is in the Lord.  Nor am I underestimating the power of prayer for He answers ours prayers.  I’m not even questioning the fact why some believers are healed miraculously and why others aren’t - just that our hope is in Him.  He has blessed us and He is getting us through this.  Especially now when dealing with stomach and esophageal cancer another new bend on our journey. 

So while recently at the VA and being cared for in the ER, Jim’s feeding tube that was placed in April, came out.  Yes came out! We were told we had just a short window of opportunity to shove another in without having it done surgically again.  Naturally off to the VA we went.  After finally getting a room – Jim even called in ahead of time to Surgical Oncology, explaining the situation as told, (remember a short window here) and apparently no big deal.  The saying most common at the VA is,  "You know? Hurry up and wait."

I’d like to say we got a window with a view – nope, well of course it was the ER - but they fixed him a place that was left.  Detox  - lol!   Not to go there and get side tracked off the reason for the post, he was in so much pain with that particular tube that came out and that room was bare, only a gurney that rolls right out, a rubber mat folded up from the floor, plugs were covered and IV was even battery operated, the only thing getting power was the over head light.  .  .  .  and my sense of humor! 

As we sat there in detox, with Jim being a good sport, I started thinking.  Not just that I might need a rubber room myself being my mind was heading in that direction, but a top ten list that went right to a top twelve: 

You know you're spending too much time at the VA when?

12. You know where all the vending machines are.

11.  You know when they replace fixtures that barely have a significant ding.

10.  You are there so much you know where everyone works - including when they happen to be filling in for another clinic.

9.  You think it's Christmas when you get to take surgical stuff home.  

8.  You can stand at any given spot and direct people to the correct clinic; call me information station!  That's me.

7. You think of new and creative ways to get to where you're going like counting how many steps to bathrooms or how fast you can get from here to there whilst skipping.

6.  You no longer gag at elevator music and actually start humming along.  Of course I need to add I know most of the songs (thanks gram) ~

5.  When you can tell the newer staff how to load something or troubleshoot equipment getting it back in working order or why it isn't working properly to begin with; Though you yourself have not been trained.

4.  Other patients recognized you or think you actually work there from that air of confidence you seem to have.  Maybe its frustration ~ 

3.  The smell from the kitchen starts smelling pretty good.  Hmmm .  .  . Salisbury steak with gravy!

2.  When you recognize patients (ground hog day comes to mind) and know what they're being treated for.  Yes, too much information.

1.  You're there enough times that the doctor's feel confident that you can replace a feeding tube that was placed surgically. With you realizing once home the surgeon handed you a Urethral Catheter tube not feeding, and is this something I’ll need to Google?  Right - maybe I can put that thing in! 

No kidding and all kidding aside, one doctor did in fact asked me and having that puzzled look when I answered no, if I was given a replacement tube to insert.  Are you kidding!  When they were done, after "numbing" the area - shoving one in painfully then suturing it on, gave me one to place if this one came out like the first!  I did bring up a rooster I helped my dad operate on getting a banana peel stuck in its crop, with mentioning I had the same needle for stitching since it was obvious I didn't need anything to numb the area.  They didn't wait for it to numb up they started right in with big upholstery needles.  I wanted to ask if this had something to do with all the budget cuts but felt it better that I held my tongue.  I had already went into my advocate mode as a caregiver.   However, the doc was curious about the rooster and I told him.  Actually what got me to mention the surgery performed on the bird in the first place had something to do with being asked something, sorry can't remember what, I just remember answering kind of snarky like - I don't know but I could probably find something out in the chicken yard that might work! Of course then the mention of the rooster.  I think the old doc liked me at that point but who knows it could have been that look of an old poker face ~  he was smiling.

The important thing to take from all of this is to laugh and I don't think I could do that if I didn't know where and who to place my hope.

"And now, Oh Lord, for what do I wait?  My hope is in you."  Psalm 39:7 ESV

He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy.  Job 8:21 NIV