Showing posts with label Kayla. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kayla. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Four Hours With Sick Car: NOT The Greatest Souvenir

            Bill and Kayla had planned on spending spring break with Bill's parents who live in St. George.  Their house gets quite packed with visitors when the entire family comes to visit.  They have five children and I think at least 5X that amount in grandchildren.  Bill had planned on getting the family a trailer tent to add to their comfort of an overly squished house.  But, evidently, Bill's parents either forgot or found another opportunity and booked for a cruise - that same weekend!

          I don't know how long before spring break Kayla had contacted me to see if they could make their spring break getaway with us in Oregon.  What a fantastic birthday gift for Jenna!  I decided to keep it a secret - knowing they would have to leave before her actual birthday but would be spending time with us close enough (Jenna turns 14 today; the family had to leave yesterday)

          Before they come, I have always suggested site-seeing options and cost and so forth.  This time I mentioned the Wild Life Safari - about a ten-minute drive and Enchanted Forest which we had never been to ourselves but had seen signs during our travels.  About two and a half hours north of us.  Didn't think they'd be interested in more driving, but thought it might be fun.

          They did not wish to drive the distance - which turned out to be a huge blessing for all of us.  I don't know if Bill took a picture of their back window after it had blown out - not even the entire window - just a large hole giving the appearance that it had been broken into - which hadn't been the case.  None in the car understood what had happened, but the glass had shattered as they were driving less than ten-miles an hour.

This, of course, is only a rough crop combining to demonstrate

          There hadn't been room for all eight of us in the van, and so Roland and Kayla and I were in our car; all five of our children (Bill is included in that number. He is the only one of the five who can legally drive) were in the van.  I decided I should go to Roseburg with Bill and sent Jenna and Kayla's oldest two with Roland and Kayla and I went with Bill to Roseburg to see if we could get the glass repaired, but there was not the right size in stock and so an appointment had to be made for Monday morning.

          Yesterday was their last day, and I gave Jenna the option of staying home, but she did not wish to break her record of perfect attendance, plus I think she was getting frustrated with some of the behavior that the children had displayed over the last four days.  Maybe not . . . Roland had said she had wanted to participate in more sophisticated activities that had been above their social levels.

          So Jenna returned to school and Roland returned to work.  Jenna talked Bill into taking her to school and he learned his car battery had died.  Because the back window covered only by cardboard boxes flattened out registered the van door was open, the overhead light had remained on until the battery needed to be recharged.  By then Jenna had missed the bus and so Bill borrowed our car to take her and then got lost on his return.

          As Jenna was at school, I decided that we would have enough room in our car for 5 people and so  I had planned on keeping the level of noise down by taking Kayla and children to the park and library for story time and then another park for a picnic.  Bill would be spending his day at the auto glass and then the mechanics.  But he truly does have the most positive attitude when things go awry.  He took his cell phone to keep himself entertained and seemed to be okay with it.

          Kayla was cold.  It appeared to me that Anna felt cold also - though the playground was definitely more inviting and therefore more important than staying warm.  I took the three-year-old to the library where he not only put together a few puzzles but talked about each piece as he put it in.  I think he's really an old man in a little person's body.  Gosh, he is smart!

          After story time we left Myrtle Creek and I took them to the park in Riddle - which they really seemed to enjoy, but poor Kayla was still freezing and actually I was too.  We were out a shorter time than I had anticipated, but fortunately for Roland, he had done the majority of what work was required of him, but still had hours left on the clock.

          Bill had returned from the glass repair and visited with Roland a bit before going to our mechanic's to get a service - only temporary at that.  Once again, parts would have to be special ordered and would not arrive until this Thursday but the kids return to school on Wednesday.  So they are now driving on a temporary repair job.  They made it to Burns, Oregon last night but still have the longest leg of their trip ahead of them still.  I pray they arrive in Utah safe and sound and that their car's problems have been left behind in Oregon.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

A Mother's Work is Never Done - Even a SuperHero

          I've always felt a sense of admiration to my sister, Kayla.  I suppose my admiration increased during this last weekend when her family came out to Oregon to visit our family.

          Wonder Women flies in an invisible plane.  She can ward off bullets with her bracelets.  But we have never seen her clean up after a two year old hurricane or try to reason with a four year old or change diapers.

          Sue Storm can turn invisible and sneak up on criminals.  She fights for justice along with her pals from the fantastic four.  It's impossible for Kayla to even try to become invisible as her children are always calling, "MOMMY!"  She is the leader of the fabulous five.

          Supergirl can fly through the air to catch falling victims.  She defends the innocent.  We never see her wipe the table or sweep the floor just to have to do again. The only time it stays clean is when ALL the children are asleep.

          Mothers don't often get or take credit for being superheroes - but many of them are.  It takes a superhero to keep up with a two year old who doesn't have all the words but does his best to communicate (for example, he may hand you his sippy cup so that you can test it to see the straw is not working properly) and gets frustrated when you don't understand - just as surely as a mother gets frustrated when she doesn't understand why her child is crying though most of the times she can figure it out . . . eventually.

          It takes a superhero to keep up with a four year old who wants to explore the great outdoors - and hey, if mom is busy with brother and/or sister, that's okay.  The four-year-old has feet and he knows how to work a door knob by himself.  He'll go outside without leaving his itinerary.  Often, little brother will follow.  But that is no guarantee that they will actually stick together once they are outside.  More than not, they will each go in a different direction.

          The superhero mom has many obstacles and challenges.  Some change from day to day.  Some don't ever seem to change for her. One of the examples of the non-changing obstacle (or seemingly so) is having to constantly climb over the long six year old and her toys that are always in the hall, no matter how many times she is told to move herself and the toys.

          The superhero mom often has to wrestle at least one of her children to eat a proper meal.  Sometimes the bribes that worked yesterday won't work today.  Of course the rules are different for every child and as they don't come with instruction books, supermom has to figure them out.

          In Kayla's case, she also has her husband to deal with.  For the most part, Bill is very supportive.  He will change diapers, run errands, take off work to be with family.  Bill is also a clown.  Endless kidding, major teasing.  He doesn't always know when to quit.  It's most annoying, especially when it feels like he is undermining her method of discipline.  Anybody who knows my sister and brother-in-law and family would agree that Bill is Kayla's toughest "child" to break.

          Daddy is fun, and he will seriously do anything for his children.  But mommy is definitely the one to comfort.  The children are unaware of her super powers.  They just know that mom will protect them and love any of the hurt away.  Daddy's jokes don't always get rid of the "bad guys" like mommy's super powers do.

          Moms may not be able to ward off bullets with their incredible bracelets.  They might not have capes that assist them in strength.  Their superpowers are far greater than those of the comic book world.  So many mothers operate on so little or no sleep. 
          Kayla and Bill use a "time out" as a method of discipline.  Each child has to sit in a corner or by the wall for a minute for every year of age.  I know several mothers who wish they could have a "time-out" just to get in a power nap.

          I don't know if Jenna has ever thought of me as a super hero.  I don't think I am.  But maybe.  I don't think I have the same superpowers as Kayla.  I figured that out before this last week. 

          Mothers (well, mommies) are superheroes.  That's all there is to it.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Complicated History of my Cell Phone Usage

I don’t recall how long it’s been since I first looked into purchasing my first cell phone.  I believe that Corey was on his mission and that I was experiencing problems with my car. 

I remember walking to a nearby strip mall after my car broke down.  Outside one of the stores stood two men with a table displaying information about cell phone plans with Voice Stream (which I had mentioned in this post).

I had asked one of the men if I could use his cell phone to call my mom – and that’s where she found me – being sucked into the world of cell phones.  I don’t know if I had already signed my contract before my mom showed or if I was about to.  But mom ended up showing interest in the convenience as well, and we ended up getting two phones on the same plan.

I don’t recall how long we had our plan before the bills stopped coming from Voice Stream.  Funny how I hadn’t noticed – though I did notice a tremendous amount of garbage from a place called T-Mobil – which I had never even heard of.  I already had a cell phone plan and didn’t need another. 

One month I did open what I thought was an advertisement.  It turned out to be a bill with this outrageous amount attached to it.  Why would they send me a bill?  I had never signed a contract with T-Mobil.!  Who the heck did they think they were?!  Turns out that either they had merged with Voice Stream or had bought Voice Stream out or whatever.  Oh . . .

So I was with T-Mobile for nearly twenty years.  I ddin’t have any qualms with them until the last two or three years.  I’ve come to hate T-Mobil – which is too bad.  There really was a time in my life that I was happy with them.

We joined Consumer Cellular (here) to cut the cost of what we were paying to T-Mobile.  Bill had made the same switch and seemed satisfied, and so we switched over as well.  But we did keep our T-Mobile phones.  Initially, anyway.
            Bill’s phone wouldn’t transfer.  He held onto (and was without service) for a month waiting for T-Mobile to unlock his phone and ended up purchasing a new one as T-Mobile had screwed up.  My phone seemed to set up just fine, but I know Roland had troubles with his. He still cannot receive the Internet.  Just as well.  An extra expense that we just don’t need.

            I loved my LG.  I think I had purchased it used.  It worked fine for almost a year after we had made the switch.  But then my calls started cutting out – like the battery was dead.  It wasn’t.  Texting and other features of the phone worked.  But when I had tried to call Consumer Cellular one day – like ten times in a row – and I kept getting cut off – I broke down and looked into purchasing a new phone.

            Consumer Cellular offered two that weren’t touch screen.  I was most interested in the Doro.  But when I was offered a “gently used” envoy for just fifteen.  I thought I’d take advantage.  I had my envoy for only three days as I had the volume up as loud as it was go and could only hear my phone ring if there was no other noise beside – yeah, like that was going to happen.  I take public transportation.  I am going to encounter noise much louder than any phone.  And because I don’t have ears like Horton, I traded it in once again.

            This time I encountered a problem like no other.  One that presented a problem of strangeness as poor Jake went from advisor to advisor on what suggestions they might have that he could try.

            About two hours before I started talking to Jake, I had been on the phone with Cindy.  I was using the Doro, but I had figured out the problem was with the Doro or the way that Consumer Cellular had somehow tied in my brother-in-law’s number with my sister’s.  After all, they are on the same plan, and they do have similar phone numbers.  But every time I had wanted to talk with Kayla, I would get Bill.

            At first I believed that Bill was just being silly in answering Kayla’s phone, and even having his voice mail on her phone – he just seems to have that kind of personality.  But when I had dialed Kayla’s number over and over again, Bill was at work believing that perhaps I had some kind of an emergency.

            It didn’t matter whose number I dialed – if I dialed it directly, speed dial or returned call.  It kicked into Bill’s cell.  For CRYING OUT LOUD!  I needed to get a hold of Kayla.  I was so frustrated – I’m sure, as Bill had been as his phone had gone off multiple times.  It was only those two phone numbers.  I was the only caller.  There hadn’t been a forwarding on her end.  But I finally realized that I had never been able to call her on the Doro itself. 

            So I tried Cindy’s tricks before I got off the bus.  Nothing.  I had to call back and go through the rigmarole of calling the number and pressing 2 and then 3 and sometimes not make it that far because they’d been closed for the holiday and so were experiencing a higher income of calls than on their normal Tuesdays. 

            So when I got to Kayla’s house, I called Consumer back from her phone.  So I had her phone and my phone, but no other phone.  Poor Jake would call her phone and have me hang up my phone or vice-versa and we would try a variety of security related fields to unlock or free. 

            It took over an hour.  Final was doing something on her phone while receiving instructions from my phone and then calling back on her phone so that I could hang up my phone and call her phone.  And it worked!  I was surprised.  Jake was surprised – so happy to be done with me – FINALLY.  And then I started an email to Bill.

            Before I hit send, I thought I would try calling Kayla one more time.  Oh, no.  Back to Bill’s phone.  I had not only wasted more than an hour of Jake’s time (not to mention however long with Cindy) but wore down my battery as well.  Really.  I had just charged it up Monday night.  Unbelievable.

            I recharged my phone before I left.  As I was waiting for the bus, and had the time anyway, I went over some of Jake’s tricks again.  We had gone in to do a master reset – but not a master clear.  I decided to try the master clear – which wiped out everything I had added to the phone.  Fortunately I had not transferred that many names.

            So I put Kayla back in the system.  Hers was the first number I entered.  I called it and got her voicemail.  Hallelujah!!!!  I have now added to numbers to my phone.  Before Disneyland I was carrying two phones around – my Doro and my LG.  LG still has a lot of numbers.  Many I may never transfer.  This time I will only add as I go (which is what I mostly did the first time around) but I will not be adding Bill this time.  I may not ever call his number from my phone again.  I haven’t decided.  It’s more important for me to get a hold of Kayla.

            Leave it to me to have this unique problem that has Consumer Cellular stumped.  May none of us have to go through this again.  What a pain!  But if ever this should happen to you – just start over.  You may just end up having to do that anyway.

            I hope I didn't wear Kayla's battery down as I did with my own.  Thank you for letting me use your phone.  It will be nice to talk with you again.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Bussing it to St. Mark's

When Jenna goes to school, I have taken the bus with her.  I normally have my backpack which contains my water bottle and a book.  Or at least I try to have a book – so I can read during the ride when Jenna isn’t with me.

Jenna and I have ridden the bus all summer.  We’ve gone in a variety of directions.  But we have always started out on the same bus that we have taken when she’s been in school.  Instead of continuing to our normal bus stop near her school, we have been getting off at the college and making a transfer connection to a different bus.

Just north of the college is a foot bridge that leads to the junior high across the street.  Jenna has always wanted to cross it.  I figured she’ll have the opportunity to cross it in two years – almost daily for the three years that she attends the junior high. My initial plan was to cross it with her, as I’d need to take a return bus home.  But this morning I learned that is no longer in my future.  She will either have to get off one stop before me, or cross at the light.  I think she will choose the bridge – which is what I would prefer for both of us.

 Jenna was so excited about being on this steep uphill bridge; it did make the crossing worthwhile.  But the side with the junior high is fenced in, and there is no slit in the fence and so we had to walk around and it took us more time than if we had just gotten off at the college and crossed the street.  Jenna apologized for my error.  But it was my error.  And it really was nice to learn about it now as opposed to when it’s full of junior high traffic.  And Jenna really did think it was cool to be on the bridge.  So it was fine.  I wasn’t upset about it.

We took a bus to the train station and transferred to another bus that took us to St. Mark’s hospital.  Before my mom passed away, I had driven to the hospital many times to see her – the same hospital I went to today, but for a different reason.  It was actually my first time riding the bus to St. Mark’s.  It was so different arriving at the hospital with a different form of transportation.

Instead of going to see my dying mother, I entered another part of the building that brings new life.  Up in the maternity ward is my sister, Kayla and her husband, Bill and their new arrival, BJ (not his real name – but I highly suspect that he is a “Bill Junior” as he seems to have had Bill’s sense of humor even while in the womb; and as their other two look like Kayla, I suspect BJ will not only act more like Bill but look more like him as well – kind of hard to tell right now who he takes after in the “looks” department) who’s been named after mom.

Roland’s office is located about four and a half blocks east and south of St. Mark’s.  I noticed that he hadn’t taken his phone, and grabbed it since he was so close.  Though I considered just keeping it as my phone has been flipping out the last two days and every call is broken and gets cut off.  I wondered if he had left it for me intentionally. 

I don’t like calling him at work through his work phone as I’m often redirected to the location in Phoenix – even with an extension.  Sometimes I am tempted to call the President of the United States just to see how much harder it would be than trying to get Roland at his work.  But that’s beside the point.                

While we were at St. Mark’s, Bill’s sister brought his kids to see their new little brother.  Anna lovingly held her new brother and smiled at him.  Gary, on the other hand, seemed freaked out and afraid.  I’m thinking it was time for a nap (perhaps he hadn’t had his Super Why fix)  He clung to Bill who wanted to take pictures and handed the camera to one of his nephews as Gary wouldn’t let go of his dad.  I noticed the time on the clock and asked Jenna if she wanted to go see her dad and come back later.  And so we left.          

The hospital and Roland’s office building are both on the same side of the street.  I told Jenna our two choices.  We could either cross the street, ride the bus down four blocks, cross the street(s) again or we could stay on that side and walk to Roland’s work.  We ended up walking.        

I didn’t remember Roland taking a lunch and wondered if he was at the nearby drive-in.  Jenna and I checked before making our way to his office.  I had her stay downstairs so we wouldn’t miss him if he got off the elevator.  I went from cubicle to cubicle not even knowing for sure in what section he was even stationed (he’s been relocated several times due to change of management and HUGE turn-overs)

I placed the phone on his desk and wanted to know if he’d be going to lunch.  He finished up what he was doing and met Jenna and I in the downstairs lobby and we went to lunch.  I should have gotten something for Bill, but just dumped the leftover fries in a bag along with half a shake and half a drink.  But he seemed grateful.

He asked me if he could take Jenna with him to the DMV as he and Kayla just purchased a van that still needs to be registered.  Their kids call it a bus.  Jenna’s actually excited about it because they will have room for her in addition to their three children.  She normally has fun with Bill and usually delights in his overly-done sense of humor.

I actually ended up leaving shortly after they did.  They may have still been in the parking lot actually.  But Kayla looked really tired and I could sense that she wanted to rest more than she wanted to visit.  I’ve actually had an obnoxious dry cough that seems to worsen when I talking, and so it worked out for both of us.   
 I hadn’t planned on returning home alone as I naturally figured that Jenna would be with me; therefore had nothing to read.
From the train station I have three options on returning home.  Instead of transferring back to the 41 (which is the route Jenna and I had used for getting to the train station) I decided to take the train to the next stop and wait for the 35 which gets me closer to wear I live.  

Now i am home writing this post, frustrated by a stuck shift key that keeps giving commands on my word that i have to go back and correct.  (That cap is one example.  It was also underlining and bolding – but the caps don’t seem as correctable – even on a different computer.  I was able to change the font size.  But I had to copy and paste this part)

Now that this is posted, I will go to the other room to wait for Jenna and the kids (who will be staying with us for a couple of days) I don’t know when Bill will be dropping them off.  He may try calling, but I can’t guarantee there will be a connection. It's been almost five hours now and I haven't heard from them.  Roland is home now.  Perhaps I should use his phone to find out where my daughter might be.

According to customer service, I’ll be receiving my new phone in just a few days.  That sounds unbelievable to my ears.  I’ll be surprised if it comes on Saturday or even Monday.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

My Most Unfavorite Time of the Day

         I generally drop Jenna off at school a half hour before she needs to be there.  I also arrive on the lot before all other cars so as to not fight school traffic.  Jenna has always taken her time walking to school or across the field.  When I am the driver who is picking her up, I welcome her dawdling.  In first grade we were always the last car to leave the parking lot. I HATE school traffic.
         Kayla was looking for a sitter for her two and as Jenna’s school is the same distance from their house as it is from my own,  I figured I could watch them at Kayla’s house and then pick up Jenna.  I should have left her house the minute that Kayla came home. 

        It’s been four years since I had lived in that same neighborhood and wasn’t taking into account that the school in that area lets out a half hour earlier than Vantana.  Before I went out to my car (which was parked on the street) I saw the yellow bus pulled up by Kayla’s house.  I wasn’t aware that there was a bus stop on that street.

         The stop sign was out and lights were flashing.  It was behind me and I didn’t know if I had to wait for it or not.  I waited for just a bit until I realized that I wouldn’t be getting the attention of the bus driver really soon (as she was visiting with a parent) and as I was not passing the bus, I pulled forward through a maze of cars and dumpsters (that must have been really great fun for the bus driver)

         I have never liked the main street which is closest to street where Bill and Kayla live – nor the cross street at the second intersection.  Lights were blinking red indicating that traffic wouldn’t be moving at a rapid rate.  Ahead of that were the spaces of red X’s and green arrows and three lanes of broken yellow lines that always make me feel like I’m driving inside of a video game.  Perhaps it’s popular in bigger cities, but that is the only street I know of with that set up.

         What’s ironic is the street seemed desolate for decades.  I remember when my mom had driven out to her uncle’s house sometimes when her mom was in town.  The drive seemed sooo sooo long.  Now it’s congested and makes me tense. 

         Bus STOP sign, dumpsters, children, traffic lights and merging . . . What’s normally a ten minute drive took me eighteen minutes.  Fortunately I had given myself twenty.  But alas, I wasn’t the first one to arrive in the parking lot.  I was too late just to park in the shade.  But I didn’t have a long wait like I did when Jenna was in first grade.  Actually she’s been getting out to the car rather quickly.   Must be the seven habits.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Fowl Memories

When I dropped Jenna off this morning, I noticed several seagulls appeared to be basking out in the field.  The sun was just starting to peak its head over the horizon. It had rained earlier.  I’m certain that the lawn was wet.  I suppose they could have been looking for worms

I was reminded of Roland’s answer to all of his children having asked, “Can we take one home?”

And Roland would answer with, “If you can catch one, you can take it home.”

The boys would wear themselves out as they chased the birds around – never having caught one, though I would imagine Biff came close.  He’s an animal charmer, that one.  Perhaps his magnetic charisma works just on the mammal group in the animal kingdom.

I have home videos of both Jenna and Kayla approaching ducks and watching the ducks move at the same pace.  With Kayla, it was near the temple grounds in Idaho Falls.  Jenna was much younger when she sought out a particular bird at WheelerFarm

I remember hearing stories about a family picnic involving Corey, Kayla, mom and dad.  I was told they were eating blueberry pastries of some kind.  A seagull swooped down and took the remainder of somebody’s dessert and from what I understand, Kayla cried.  I don’t even think it was her dessert – the fast action of the bird had scared her.

When I was in high school, I took a psychology class.  We had learned about Pavlov’s dog.   The instructor’s wanted us to do a similar experiment using pigeons.  We were divided into groups of four or five. Each group was given a pigeon.  We were told to mark the pigeons so that we could know with certainly which group went with what pigeon.  I remember someone from my group had drawn glasses on the pigeon.

Pigeons are stupid birds.  At least the seven pigeons that became a part of our psychology class.  At first the teachers thought we were not taking the assignment seriously, that we were not putting in our best effort, that we weren’t fulfilling our part of the experiment. We kept at it for two weeks.  But as all seven birds failed to accomplish whatever we were trying to get them to do (it wasn’t ringing a bell and salivating) the instructor’s finally agreed that they were stupid birds.

Thursday, February 23, 2012


          This post is dedicated to my sister, Kayla and our sister-in-law, Sunny.

          Kayla has always been the strong silent type – both physically and spiritually.  She has always had tremendous faith.  She is a survivor.

          When she was younger she could detect the slightest movement of a wrapper being pulled away from a food item (usually something unhealthy like ding dongs or cupcakes or m&ms) She wouldn’t even be in the house, but in the neighborhood.  Unwrap that piece of candy, and she would appear through the door.  But it had to be real.  We could never get her to come simply by crinkling cellophane or foil

          She would say to my mom, “Can I have a piece of gum?” (or whatever)

          Mom, truly forgetting there really was such an item in the house, would come back at her, “I don’t think we have any”

          And Kayla would always know.  “Yes we do.  It is in the third bag pushed against the wall in the cupboard under the microwave”

          Sure enough it would be there.

          Kayla had a problem understanding prepositions.  Written directions would confuse her.  Mom had taken her to a therapist and spent a tremendous amount of time with her going over her homework, trying to help her to understand.

          Kayla had a huge following of friends.  They called and knocked at the door at all hours.  It got to the point where my mom had to physically remove Kayla from our house and environment.  They went to a nearby drive-in to have breakfast and stayed for hours while they studied.

          We used to call her Kaylarella as we would often ask her to fulfill tasks that involved cleaning or serving.  And she enjoyed it.  I looked at it as taking advantage of her naïve willingness.  She looked at it as an opportunity to serve and felt connected. Wow.

Kayla and I are thirteen years apart.  She was the last one of my mom’s four children to receive her driver’s license.  Not so much just because she was the youngest.  It just became a really hard task for her to conquer.  Driving was a worldly thing.  And her mind just wasn’t on the world.  That’s what I liked to believe.  Don’t know that it gave any comfort to her that I thought that way.

She was diligent.  She took at least three different classes – with each she would take the driver’s test at least three times – never passing.  Never earning her driver’s license.  It wasn’t until after I got married to Roland that he took her out and created a new confidence.  She finally had a driver’s license after she turned 27.

Kayla didn’t do a lot of heavy dating as I recall.  And just as with me, Kayla also married late in life – though not quite as late. She just gave birth to her second child, a boy named after my father.  There first was a girl she had named after Bill’s first wife.

Our sister-in-law should start a Blog.  Most everything that falls from her mouth seems so profound and full of wisdom.  I admire her and her sense of being.  She is such a positive person to be around and so full of hope and comfort.  I have always thought that after she joined our family. 

          The older she gets the wiser and more profound her thoughts sound. She’s not a butt-in-ski.  She’ll hold her tongue unless you ask for her advice.  She is such an awesome person. Everyone deserves to have that awesomeness in their lives.  I am so grateful for her – though I don’t always show it.

          Sunny embraces life and has taught her four children to do the same – or has tried to.  None seem as extroverted as she is.
          Sunny always invites enthusiasm and shares her joy with other.  She points out beautiful things to others. Perhaps I have her on a pedestal – but I am NOT the only one.  She really is a great asset to our family.

          I am so grateful for each of my sisters.  I love them both and value the friendships that we have established.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

In God's Due Time

Roland and I had been married a couple of months before we met Bill Jolly – who totally lived up to his last name as he was always smiling and joking and overall really did appear to be happy.

          He’d come to choir practice and often joke with the chorister.  It was rare that he presented himself as a person who was ever serious.

          Overall he didn’t seem like my sister’s type, but I liked him and wondered if she would too.  Yet in the back of my mind it seemed like he had a wife.  I’m not sure why I thought that.  I never saw him with anyone. 

It wasn’t until much later on that I learned his wife was homebound for much of the time due to failing health.  When she did leave the house it was usually to go to the doctor or hospital.  I would visit her periodically. It was disheartening to see her in such poor health as she was younger than I and I had just turned 40.

          Bill loved Annaleigh.  He was committed to her.  A very devoted spouse.  And she loved him.  She struggled to meet his optimism.  She actually suffered from depression.  After our visits, I would often leave with stirred emotions.  Overall our visits were never the most uplifting and I did struggle with it.

          And then there was Bill who never showed his emotions about his home life.  Many knew they were there.  But he remained pleasant and in high spirits.

          Bill is a photographer.  He was working for a company which specialized in selling cameras.  On the side he tried his hand at starting his own business putting Annaleigh in charge of making the appointments.  I don’t know how well he did with the business part.  I know he was struggling financially.  And still he continued to smile.

          I had introduced him to my family the month before Jenna turned one.  My brother, Corey, would be leaving the state to return to school and I wanted to make a family picture before he went out of town.  Bill took the photos.  He did group shots of my sibs, my mom and me.  And my family with Roland and Patrick with his family.

          I remember my oldest niece was really annoyed with him although the boys and youngest niece found him to be strangely funny.  Bill doesn’t seem to have a talent for remembering names and often assigns bogus names to people – usually to make them laugh.  But my oldest niece was NOT amused.

          Three years later Annaleigh passed away.  It wasn’t really a big surprise to anybody.  It was the first time I had seen Bill cry – though he still continued to give the appearance of being happy.  Annaleigh had been unable to give Bill children – and he would have made such a great father.  Bill had accepted that maybe it wasn’t meant to be.

          Shortly after the funeral, Roland suggested that we set Bill up with my sister.  What?  When I first met him I thought he was maybe a few years older than my baby sister – but he was actually the same age as me.  Kayla didn’t want somebody that old.

          Roland persisted with setting them up together.  So I called Kayla and told her about Roland’s plans. 

          “Would you be interested in going out with him?” I asked.

          “No I wouldn’t” She had remembered Bill from the photo shoot and thought he was a nut.  Their personalities did clash, I thought.  But then so do mine and Roland’s.

          I told Roland that Kayla was not interested.  Of course that didn’t stop him.  He ended up giving Kayla’s number to Bill – who called her on the spot.  I was surprised to hear that she had gone out with him.  But she said he had to have guts to call a total stranger – it would, of course, just be a onetime thing.

          Without going into all the detail, Bill and Kayla ended up getting married.  For the second time (since they've been married)  Bill cried as he announced that Kayla was pregnant.  He had waited over twenty years to become a biological father!  Even longer than I had waited to become a bride and spouse. 

          Miracles do happen.  They take place every day.  Sometimes we fail to see the small miracles because we are so busy searching for the much larger ones.  I thank my brother-in-law, Bill for his awesome example of always being jolly.  Always accepting whatever life may slap him with - and accepting whatever good things may be handed to him – no matter how long it might take. 

          Things happen in God’s due time – not necessarily when we would like them to.  But through faith things will always work out – even if they are nowhere near what we desired or expected.