Monday, October 20, 2014

Writing for The Celebration Blog

Some of you may not know, but I write once a month for The Celebration blog. It is an extension of my church's website. My latest article is up on the blog today. 

Here's a snippet: "Thursday night, something happened. I prayed for someone and was sincere about it. Did you know that it is possible to pray for someone or something and not actually mean it? We’ve all done it if we are being honest."
Be sure to check out "Matters of the Heart."

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Giving Back to CHOA

Today after a doctor's appointment with Dr. Brosky, I dropped off a donation of journals and lip balms to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta(commonly known as CHOA) - Scottish Rite campus. As of right now, there were 97 journals and 100 lip balms donated!

Lauren, the hospital volunteer in the picture, said, "Thank you! This is such a kind and generous gift. The little kids always get stuff, but we rarely get things for the teenagers." 

She also said, "Journals are such a nice gift!" She was elated over the lip balms, too!

Thank you to all who gave! We have made a difference!

It all started on June 25, 2014. I was getting ready for my foot surgery, and I decided to do something good for others instead of focusing on my pain. 

Here's what I posted to my personal friends on Facebook and friends of my blog's Facebook page: 

"Okay, since I feel better when I am doing something, I've decided to tackle something that has been on my bucket list for at least four years. Longtime readers will know that for my 21st birthday, I wrote a blog post called "21 Wishes." Oneof those things was to give back to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta(CHOA), a hospital I have been a patient at a various times in my life. During one of those hospital stays, I won a journal playing bingo. 

Ever since then, it has been my goal to give back to kids who are considered adolescents because they are often forgot about when it comes to donations. I chose journals because I want to provide them with the materials to spark their creativity and expand their horizons beyond the hospital walls. Dreams start as thoughts in our heads, then go to words on a page, and eventually become reality. 

I am going to buy the first case, which will contain 24 journals in various colors, suitable for young men and women. If anyone else would like to buy a case and give to something bigger than yourself, please let me know. I am only one person, but together we can ALL make a difference in the lives of these children. A case is $24. (If purchased separately they are $1, not including tax). If you still want to help, but can't contribute that much, let me know. You can mail a check for any amount and I will buy the journals for you and add them to the box. This is not about me. I have already arranged to meet a volunteer at CHOA when I bring the donations."

I emailed eleven companies, only two donated. One donated without me asking. Sally, of Heavenly Homemade, gave of her time to make her all-natural lip balms in various flavors that kids would like. Two friends also gave. THANK YOU SO MUCH!

So, blogging friends, if YOU want to help make a difference, just click the contact link and send me an email. Any color or design is acceptable, just no composition notebooks. Most people have been giving 4x6, 5x7, or 5x8 journals. You can buy hard cover, soft cover, leather, etc. I will gladly give you my home address in a message so you can ship them to me. I plan on making a second trip in November. Writing friends, feel free to share this on your blog or website as well. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

How a Toddler Left Me Speechless

Two weeks ago, I was getting ready to go eat at my Memaw's. I came into the living room ready to go. All of a sudden, my oldest nephew, Mason said, "Aun-dee, hold this." He had some frozen yogurt in an ice cream cone.

I said, "Okay, baby." 

He said, "I want to push du."

Then, he did something that left me speechless. And that doesn't happen very often. He pushed me a short distance, and then said, "Now, I am going to back you up."

He backed me up so I would be close to the door when my mom came to get me out of the house. 

Then, he took his little hand and opened the screen door. He was going to try and get me out of the house himself. We have a small ramp over the threshold of the door that I have a hard time getting over without help.

I said, "Wait. You've got to wait on Gram to come help hold the door." I couldn't help him back up and hold the door too.

"Gram, gram!" he said, undeterred from his mission. "Come hold da door." 

My mouth was wide open. I said, "Gram, you will never guess what your grandson wanted to do!" She was getting everything put in the car, so she didn't realize what had happened. 

I just have to say, he did all of this unprompted. I guess he has watched me back up and wait by the door. He just has the most caring heart and excellent memory. Mason never ceases to amaze me. I am so proud to be his Aun-dee! 

(Yes, my name is Auntie. When Mason was little, he called me Aun-ie. Now that he's older, he's learning to pronounce things better. I guess I will be Aun-dee for awhile.)

Thursday, September 04, 2014


Screaming © ralaenin via

This is the story of my first shower since surgery. It happened several weeks ago. After having stitches burst open in one of my previous surgeries, I did NOT want that to happen again. To say I was a bundle of nerves was a complete understatement. 

Here's how it went: After getting the wheelchair as close to the bathroom door as possible, I used my walker to get in the rest of the way. We didn't foresee me ending up in a wheelchair, so that door frame wasn't made wide enough. After sitting down, I knew I could get the left foot in with no problem. It was just the right foot I was worried about. I kept telling Mama, "I don't know HOW I am going to get this foot in here! It just feels so tight!" I literally felt as if I could not move it. 

For those who don't know, your leg is really weak after being in a cast. I continued, "This seat isn't right! I think it needs to be catty-cornered to give me more room."

Mama moved the chair as I said.

"This STILL is NOT going to work!" I yelled, panicking more by the second.

"It will be okay," Mama said

"I don't know. I just don't know! I don't want the stitches to burst! I don't want the stitches to burst!" I said through tears.

Mama said, "It will be fine. Nothing will happen to your foot. The quicker you get it in there, the better it will feel because the pressure won't be on the heel anymore."

Logically, I knew what she was saying, but I was in full-blown panic mode.

We finally got the foot in the shower, but I was still going at it, talking to myself.

"This stupid chair doesn't give me enough room! My foot feels weird. And it hurts!

"I need medicine." Clearly, I thought my mom was taking too long, so from the shower I yelled, "Codeine!" 

Mama came with medicine and a drink in hand. Maybe I would live through this. Maybe.

After swallowing the pill, the plastic shower curtain became my enemy. "The stupid shower curtain won't stay shut!" I was still crying and breathing heavily and talking to myself. If I was going to get through this, I had to calm down.

So, every time my foot would hurt, I said, "Help me, Jesus! Please help my foot to stop hurting! Help me, Jesus! And I didn't whisper either, this was almost a wail. Who am I kidding? It was a wail at times.

A little bit of time passed, and I was washing off. Okay, this was not so bad.

Then, I remembered my foot, "God, PLEASE don't let the stitches come out!"

I heard His reassuring voice, "I am protecting your foot. It's not like other surgeries. I've got you."

Ah. What a sobering thought. Through my panic attack, I was so busy screaming, I forgot God had me.

Mama was able to come in and help me quickly wash my hair. And the first shower was over.