Thursday, November 25, 2010


Thanksgiving Day has arrived. It's 21 degrees here in KC, so it's a bit "chilly"!

There are so many things we are "thankful" for this season. God has been so faithful in providing for our every need this year. We have not done without anything. We have good health. We have a wonderful loving family both biologically and spiritually. We are so very, very blessed! We have stable, good paying jobs, dependable running vehicles, a wonderful home that is heated and cooled to our satisfaction. "God is good all the time, and, all the time God is good!"

Update on the house - I had forgotten all the steps you have to go through when your selling your home. We have a contract with a buyer, that took some "negotiating" which I expected. Then they ordered the inspection, that came back with things that were of concern to the Inspector. The list was unbelievably long! After the inspection they presented us with a list of unacceptable conditions that must be fixed in order for them to get their FHA loan. So I immediately began contacting contractors. Plumber was already been out and complete the one task on the list. That was an easy fix. The Electrical contractor is lined up to do his work. We expected to have to do some electrical work so this wasn't a surprise. Here come the surprises: we have mold in the crawl space under the bedrooms of the house. We contacted three different contractors for mold remediation and finally settled on one. We had to contact a foundation contractor because the south wall in the basement is leaning in toward the room itself. They will be installing seven piers to correct this problem, then they'll be bringing three cubic yards of dirt to put around the foundation of the house in order to get the proper slope for draining the water away from the house. They will also create a "swell" on the west side of the garage between our house and the neighbor's house to divert water away from the house. They will also be installing three "bubble windows" again three of the basement windows.

Appraisal - the appraiser came out this last Monday to do the appraisal. To date we haven't received the final report yet. We are believing that the house will appraise out close enough to the sales price so the buyers will be able to proceed with getting their loan. They've already been pre-qualified for nearly $15,000 more than the sale price. If it doesn't end up appraising close enough to the sales price, I don't know what the next step will be. I guess we might end up going into further negotiations.

The concern at the moment is that the foundation contractor is scheduled to start this next Tuesday November 30th. His bid is the highest bid of all the contractors. He said his job will only take one to two days maximum. If I don't hear a word by close of business Friday, I may call him to tell him to delay the start of the project until we get all the final numbers from the appraiser. The mold remediation contractor will need approximately three days to complete their job. Their supposed to bring some dryers to put in the crawl space to dry everything out down there. (We've got to get the water stopped from flowing into the crawl space before these guys start their part). The electrical guy can start just about anytime.

Friday, December 10th is the scheduled closing date. We've been told that Tamala and I will go in a few days earlier to sign the documents required of us. Then the buyers will sign their "mountain" of documents on the 10th and all the checks will be drafted to pay all the contractors, etc.

THE TEST- I've been pondering this whole process the last few weeks and have come to the conclusion that this whole ordeal is a test. My faith and my character are being tested. I've decided that I will not "re-act" in ways I've reacted to things that haven't gone exactly the way I thought they should go. I will stop and re-evaluate the situation and look for alternative means or other open doors instead of getting all upset about it. When you boil it all down - it's not worth getting upset over. I am reminded of the book "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff, and by the way, It's All Small Stuff".


Friday, November 5, 2010

Do we VALUE those closest to us

This post is one of those that not only should be written but MUST be written. It's time for a REAL examination of our lives.

It was early Monday morning and yes it certainly was MONDAY! I had arrived at the office my usual time only to discover that I my power cord to my laptop was NOT in my computer bag! "Well, great!" I grab my phone and call Tamala and ask where she was in her morning commute to work. She was practically there already. I asked her to look in the back seat of her vehicle to see if my power cord was there. Sure enough, there it lay. I asked her to meet me at a McDonalds just off I-35 that was about half way between her workplace and mine. So out the door I rush and jump back into my truck and head her way.


As I cruise toward our rendevous place my cell phone rings and it's my Dad. "Kevin, it's your Mother, she's having the same things happen as she did Saturday morning." Just two days earlier Dad had called me saying he was taking Mother to the hospital because she was having the strangest sensations in her head and thought it could be a stroke. They ran a battery of tests at the Emergency Room and eventually informed her that they believed she had a T.I.A. (Trans-Ischaemic Attack)- a mini-stroke!

I visited with Mother Saturday evening after all the day's events and asked if she had "aspirin" in the house. "No, I don't believe I do" was her reply. So I instructed her that "Tonight, without fail, you must go down to Walgreens on the corner and buy a bottle of aspirin, and, keep them in your purse." I further told her that if she feels the slightest sensation trying to return as her earlier episode, she is to chew an aspirin and allow it to remain under her tongue. So, chew the aspirin and drop everything you're doing and head to the hospital!
"Yes, sir" was her reply.

Back to the call.

Dad was telling me she wasn't thinking clearly. I told him that was is to be expected after a mini stroke. Then he proceeded to tell me she wasn't feeling real great and the same sensations in her head from Saturday were returning only stronger!

My response was "Okay, you need to take her back to the hospital". He said that the instructions from the emergency room doctor on Saturday was that she needed to be seen by her regular physician ASAP. He said they weren't open yet. I asked "When do they open?"

"8am" he says. It is already 7:45 am so I said "why don't you load her up in the car and go NOW!" My thinking it is best to be waiting in the parking lot when they open the doors and walk right in.

"Keep me posted as to how things unfold today please" was my request.

I've been married to a doctor before and worked in a health clinic. I know that anytime your dealing with a person who is having heart trouble or stroke symtoms that TIME is precious. Every minute you delay, your are risking permanent damage to tissue!

So, I met up with Tamala, got my power cord, gave her a quick update about Mother not feeling well and it looked like she might need to go back to the hospital, gave her another kiss bye, and headed back to the office.

Okay, I'm back at the office and plugging up my power cord to the laptop and the power outlet, signing onto the network, etc.

It wasn't 30 minutes later when Dad called me back and said he's at the hospital. He says "You boys really need to come and see your Mother more often, she's really not doing well."

"What do you mean?" I ask. "What aren't you telling me?"

"Well, she's having chest pains! She's really not doing well".

"What?! I'm on my way!" I spin around and walk into my bosses' office and tell him that I have to leave, my Mother is back in the hospital for the second time in two days with stroke symptoms". He assures me to go take care of everything and to keep them posted.

Let's just say the next four hours were a bit "surreal". First, I dash home and throw some clothes together and into the truck. I have no idea how long I'll be gone. I start heading South, call Tamala and try and tell her what is going on all the while choking on my emotions and trying to keep it together. I asked her to call our Prayer Team at church. I then call Mama Jones (that's what we affectionately call her). She and Papa Jones are our mentors and spiritual advisors. Both she and Papa Jones are home and they join together and begin to pray for my Mother and also for me. (Thank God for Pop & Mama Jones - they are truly a God-send).

Have you ever felt "numb"? You don't know what to say? You don't know what to think? It is almost as if you're in a vacuum. That is what the remainder of the drive was like for me.

I arrive at the hospital and walk in and see family in the waiting room. I go back to Mother's room and she wasn't there. Dad was there and he informed me that they had her somewhere running a battery of tests and also a stress test.

Results came about three hours later: her heart is fine, the scans show all is well. They believe her achalasia (swallowing disorder)is being complicated by acid reflux. She will be fine.

THAT was all background to the real premis of this post!

None of this made much sense to me because I know Mother takes excellent care of herself. She became diligent about thirty years ago on the things she ate, vitamin and supplements became a part of her daily regimen, etc, etc.

I begin to ponder - "Ok Lord, are you trying to tell us something?"

Here is my take -

This is the light, growing brighter and brighter with each day, that is being revealed to me -

Are we appreciating those in our lives that are closest to us. Do we see their "worth"? Do we let them know how much them mean to us and what a gift they are in our lives? Or, are we being selfish in the sense that we are taking our loved ones for granted? I believe we need to take a moment and consider how much of an impact each family member has made upon our own life. Can you imagine what your life might be like if a loved hadn't been there for you? Have they served you? Think of that smile or hug that only they can give. How do they make YOU feel loved. What is it that make them unique and their "gift" to those of us who love them?

May we not be found guilty of not appreciating those we love. Who knows, maybe if God sees that we're not "valuing" them in ways we should be, He may decide to bring them into His presence and keep them there! We should be valuing our loved ones like God the Father values each of us.

That's it. Let me just encourage all of us to really examine our life. It takes an effort.

Can you imagine your life, really and truly without.......