Ever since I starting writing children’s books my eyes have gotten worse. Naturally getting older doesn’t help, not to mention that I usually have a cell phone in hand resulting in eyestrain. I told myself that when it got to the point I couldn’t read a menu or a sign on the highway, I would just suck it up and get contacts. I had no desire to wear glasses and so contacts, I was convinced, was the best choice for me. There was only one small problem…I blinked.
I blinked too much and couldn’t get the darn things in. I tried for over an hour at the optometry office with little success. I brought home a pair to pop in at my leisure, hoping it was just performance jitters at the optometry office. But still, even in my own bathroom, no luck. Sheesh. Upon my return visit the doctor had no choice but to inform me, “Angie, you have RSD and anxiety issues. I think both of these ailments are causing you to blink too much and I’m afraid glasses are your best bet.” Ugh. That was not what I wanted to hear.
Ironically, when I hopped into my car the radio was playing, “Don’t Blink,” by Kenny Chesney. Talk about an eye opener. (pun intended) On the road home to Taos, I downloaded the song and it’s become one of all-time my favorites.
I turned on the evening news
Saw a old man being interviewed
Turning 102 today.
Asked him what’s the secret to life
He looked up from his old pipe.
Laughed and said, “All is can say is..
And just like that
You’re six years old and you take a nap
And you wake up and you’re twenty-five
And then your sweetheart becomes you wife.
You just might miss your babies growing like mine did.
Turning into moms and dads,
Next thing you know, your better half of 50 years is there in bed.
And you’re praying God takes you instead.
Trust me friends, 100 years goes faster than you think.
So don’t blink…
Recently the tune has weighed heavily on my heart, as Steve’s dad, very unexpectedly, passed away after falling in his home. Dr. Ken Spady was one of the kindest, most saintly men I’ve ever known and I was blessed to call him my father-in-law. He practiced medicine for over 50 years. At his funeral were patients he’d treated since they were in 8th grade, nurses he’d worked with for over 40 years and countless individuals he’d delivered and brought into this world. Steve said in the 62 years as his son, he’d never ever seen his dad get angry. Wow. Talk about a rarity. Ken Spady was full of patience and compassion. He tried to love everyone as Christ loved him. What an example Ken was for my own life. It seemed as if in the blink of an eye he was in Heaven. As the old cliché goes, time is fleeting.
We’ve become a generation so wrapped up in our phones, computers and Netflix, that we’ve forgotten our priority should be family and friends instead of Facebook. I’ll be the first to say I’m guilty of all of the above. I used to get so frustrated with one of my daughters, as she confessed she dislikes talking on the phone and much prefers to text. Ugh. Welcome to the 21st century. She doesn’t understand that a mother wants to hear her daughter’s voice. That we moms live for phone calls from our grown children. After all, we carried them in our bodies, felt elbows and arms poke us for nine months, sang nursery rhymes to them at night and cried when we heard the first words come from their lips. We love hearing from what once was literally a part of us.
But my sweet husband reminded me the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree and that my mom probably feels the same when I don’t call her enough. Yes, I too prefer texting after years of staying on the phone when I was a pharma rep. I suppose my daughter and I are alike in ways we didn’t see coming. Neither of us are much for small talk and rather just get to the point in a conversation. I guess that’s how we roll.
Oh, but I’m determined to try harder, as I’ll admit texting is in many ways the lowest form of communication. Too much or too little can be read between the lines that doesn’t even exist. It’s time to listen to my own advice. Have you ever saved a voicemail from a loved one who has passed away? How very precious is the sound of their voice reminding you that you’re loved. My heart feels crushed just recalling the sounds of loved ones whom I miss hearing on a daily basis.
Well I was glued to my TV
When it looked like he looked at me
And said, “Best start putting first things first.
Cause when your hourglass runs out of sand,
You can’t flip it over and start again.
Take every breath God gives you for what it’s worth.
It’s time to cherish every day. Make the call. Choose to visit a loved one. Instead of playing Mr. Tough guy or Miss Tough gal, admit your weaknesses and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Reach out to that family member from whom you rarely hear. Make amends. Someday you won’t have that opportunity and wish you could redo things. Trust me on this. I grieve every. single. day.
As Christians, we celebrate lots of holidays, or “holy days,” as they were originally called. But of all of the special occasions, I think Easter should be our favorite. For Christ proved he was the Son of God and His resurrection was witnessed by over 500 people and in 12 different situations. Easter is the proof that our Savior has gone to prepare a place for us. Those believers we have loved and lost are now with Him and rejoicing! They are not hurting, they are not sick, they are not weary, and they are not looking down on us wishing they were here. Praise Jesus for all these things! We should be filled with joy at Easter!
Speaking of Easter, below is one of my favorite recipes for Pink Pickled Eggs. They DO actually turn pink, which is my favorite color. I know that shocks you, right? One of my beloved aunts used to fix these all the time, when I was a young girl. My aunt Flo is now with Jesus and I have such wonderful memories of sitting outside on her porch enjoying those vinegary eggs. All of my cousins and I would try to wait patiently while she hid plastic eggs in the yard, one with a prize inside. She loved it as much as we did. I miss her inquisitive voice. I miss watching she and her sisters dance on the Fourth of July. I miss so many things…
Perfectly Pink Pickled Eggs
1 can (15 ounces) whole beets
12 hard-boiled large eggs, peeled
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 cup cider vinegar
Drain beets, reserving juice. Place beets and eggs in a 2-qt. glass jar.
In a small saucepan, bring the sugar, water, vinegar and reserved beet juice to a boil. Pour over beets and eggs; cool.
Cover tightly and refrigerate for at least 24 hours before serving. Yield: 12 servings. Enjoy with loved ones!
Our church on Easter last year. Communion around the cross and a beautiful sky! No photoshopping at all!
I’m sure that you, too, miss many voices of loved ones and wish you could hear them one more time. To all of my readers, friends, and family that struggle with doubt and the goodness of God, I simply request one thing of you: Be There. I want to be with you in Heaven and laugh more, love more and praise Him more—with you. I want to meet you, thank you, and give you a high five for reading the blog of a crazy blonde that loves chasing Jesus. Oh, please be there.
So I’ve been trying to slow it down,
I’ve been trying to take it all in.
In this here-today-gone-tomorrow world
We’re living in…
Peace and Love to You,