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Tyranny of the Urgent

4 Oct

I’m beating myself up right now because I allowed something to happen that I could have easily prevented. I purchased the domain name for SammyYammy.com the summer of 2003 when he was only a few months old, and over the years, I had renewed the domain registration before it expired.

This time when the domain renewal notices came (and there were many of them filling my inbox), I was complacent and busy with other urgent activities in my life, and I just kept putting it off. Yesterday, I finally took a moment and made myself sit down and take care of the renewal. Today, I am filled with regret because SammyYammy.com is now owned by someone other than me, and I only have myself to blame.

I haven’t lost any of the information I had stored at the site because I had transferred it all to this WordPress page (SammyYammy.wordpress.com), but the domain is gone unless the current owner agrees to sell it back to me or the current owner doesn’t renew the domain within the next 12 months.

Even though I didn’t update it as often as I had hoped over the years, Sammy’s website was and is one of the most important things to me. Instead of forcing myself to step outside of the whirlwind of urgent tasks and obligations, I continued to allow a truly important thing to be shoved farther down the list. As I look down the list, the sad reality is that there are way too many other important things–needs, people, tasks–that have slipped to the bottom. That’s gonna change starting now!

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Dandelions from Heaven

11 May

Dandelions from Heaven (Author Unknown)

Mothers Day is coming…and I wanted to send you a sign…
Something you can tell others…”Is from an angel of mine”.
So I searched the Heavens high and low for that perfect thing…
And low and behold I found it….and a smile I hope it will bring.

So when you look to the Heavens and see the yellow stars in the sky.
Just think of me…your angel…in the Heavens way up high…
And just imagine those stars…are dandelions up above…
Yes! Dandelions are also in Heaven, which you know how much I love.

So on this Mothers Day…when you awake and feel blue…
You will notice those yellow stars…are no longer in view…
So just look to the meadows and the dandelions you see…
Are the ones I’ve tossed down this Mothers Day from me!

And when you find a dandelion that has turned from yellow to white…
You’re supposed to make a wish…and then blow with all your might.
For you will be blowing kisses…to me in Heaven above….
And I will be catching them and blowing them back…sent with all my love.

Please know that I am with you…on this Mothers Day…
And also in the days ahead…God and I will never stray…
We will be with you in the morning…when you wake and see the sun…
We will be with you when you say your prayers…when the day is done.

For God and I will never be…very far from your side…
For I can now be everywhere…and God will be your guide…
So…remember when you see dandelions…it’s your guarantee…
That I am always close to you…For dandelions are free to roam…now just like me.

…brought to you by the number 9…

9 Apr

I was talking with some friends recently about how much we all enjoyed watching Sesame Street as children, so in that spirit, I thought I’d share some thoughts on the number 9.

Today is April 9, and in just a few hours, it will be Sammy’s 9th birthday.  Sammy lived 4 years and 9 months, and at some point during the next year, we will reach the day when Sammy will have been gone from us longer than he was here with us.  I know that day is coming, but I try not to think about it too much.  Instead, I choose to celebrate the anniversary of when that little miracle boy totally changed my life nine years ago.

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Always with me…

1 Sep

[His mother] kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often. (Luke 2:19; NLT)

I think of Sammy every single day, and quite possibly, I think of him at least once every waking hour of my day. Sometimes, I think of him for hours at a time. No matter where I am or what I’m doing, he’s never very far from my thoughts.

I’ve tried to find a way to describe what it feels like for me now, 3 years after his death. Although I can’t see him or touch him, I feel like Sammy is a part of every moment in my life. The best example I can give is early pregnancy–after the positive pregnancy test but before the fetal movements can be felt. From the moment of my positive pregnancy test, I was consciously aware that I was pregnant. Even though my mind might focus on whatever task was at hand, my thoughts would always drift back to the fact that I was pregnant. I could be typing at my desk, answering the phone, doing my job, but I was still keenly aware that I was pregnant. No one could see it, I didn’t feel it, but I knew that a new life was there. For those months I carried him in my body, he went with me wherever I went because he was a part of me.

Today, I can focus my mind on the tasks at hand; I can type at my desk, answer the phone, and do my job. I can drive in the car, shop at the grocery store, and do any daily task. All the while, Sammy is never far from my thoughts. In some ways, I could say that Sammy has simply moved to a new location in my body; I carry him in my heart, and he goes with me wherever I go because he is a part of me once again.

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Oppositional Defiant Disorder?

1 Sep

In his life, Sammy didn’t listen very well, and he certainly had a knack for proving people wrong. I often described him as “consistently inconsistent”. It never failed that when I expected him to not tolerate something, he proved me wrong by loving it. When I expected him to like something or do well with an experience, he would pull out all stops to prove me wrong.

I remember one hospital stay in particular when the admitting nurse asked me what his daily routine was like. I told her about his sleeping patterns, what he enjoyed, what he didn’t like. Over the course of the hospital stay, he slept when I said he would be awake and was awake when I said he would be sleeping. “Uh, mom, are you sure he’s your child?”, the nurses would jokingly ask.

Sammy’s neurologist made rounds one afternoon, and as we talked about Sammy, I joked with him about Sammy always doing the opposite of what I said he would do. His doctor quipped with the humor you might expect of a neurologist, “I could diagnose him with Oppositional Defiant Disorder.”

Another label…ODD? Uh, no thanks.

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RIP, my bff

9 Jun

Just a few days ago, I “upgraded” my beloved Blackberry and became an iPhone user.  As you would expect, I have a very sweet, inspiring version of the story about how it all relates to my life with Sammy, but I’m going to save that for a future blog entry.

For now, I need to confess the ugly truth.

My name is Leslie, and it has been 4 days since my last Crackberry fix.

After two years of solid performance, my Blackberry Curve (aka, my “bff”) died.  It was late on a rainy Saturday night, and I was over 2 hours away from home at a race track adjacent to a runway at Fort Wayne International Airport. (I’m not making this up!)

As my husband drove us home, he generously let me use his Blackberry Bold, but I absolutely hated it.  While I wanted to toss my Curve out the car window in frustration over its brokenness, after only 5 minutes with the Bold, I wanted to throw his phone out the window and drive over it (and maybe even back up and drive over it a second time for good measure).

The next morning as I was conceding to the demise of my Blackberry, my husband bore the brunt of my Crackberry withdrawal.  With my juvenile whining and grumpy attitude, I not only got on his last nerve, I managed to stomp on that last nerve and mash it into the ground like a spider under my shoe.  It was not one of my finer moments.  I’d compare it to the first time we attempted to hang wallpaper together as newlyweds, except this time, I seemed to be the only one throwing the tantrum.

Logically, I knew that I could go online and simply order a new phone, but overnight shipping wouldn’t be fast enough for me.  I needed a Blackberry, and I needed one quickly.  In search of the nearest Verizon Wireless store, I left the house squealing my tires like a crazed soccer mom running late for practice.

As I left the house, I’m rather certain that my husband mustered every ounce of mercy and grace in his soul to say a prayer for the patience and fortitude of the Verizon sales rep who would be the lucky individual to encounter my “lovely” disposition. It must have worked because before I reached the end of my street, I took a deep breath and had a moment of clarity in which I reminded myself that, “I’m a Christian woman, and I need to act like one.”

At the Verizon Wireless store, sympathetic Kyle drew the short straw and was the one who had to nearly pry my Blackberry Curve out of my hands (and also listen to my repetitive whine of, “…but there’s no keyboard”).  The Bold seemed like a downgrade from my Curve, and even the “new” Curve was a downgrade from my old Curve; thus, my grand leap to an iPhone.  Verizon Kyle patiently held my hand and helped me through the entire process, and I was able to walk out of the store with a fully-functional new “bff”.

I’d like to say that the drama ended there, and I happily drove off into the sunset . . . not quite.  I would spend the next several hours trying to type and erase on a touch screen, scrolling left when I wanted to scroll right, scrolling up when I wanted to scroll down, and tearfully questioning whether I would ever find technological compatibility again.

The loss of my “bff” was traumatic, but now four days later, I can say that my iPhone and I are quickly becoming very good friends.  It has already helped me do the research, make the call, and calendar the appointment for our first session of marital counseling because I think I see some wallpapering in our future!

I knew that I knew you, but now I know who you are…

6 Mar

For the past 10 years, Steve and I have been members of Traders Point Christian Church in Whitestown.  TPCC is a very large church with a growing attendance of 3,000+ each Sunday.  With a church that size, it can be a little difficult to learn names in addition to faces.

In December of 2010, TPCC became formally affiliated with Response Church.  Response serves a neighborhood of low-income families and individuals and the homeless in Downtown Indianapolis.  Steve and I have been attending/serving at Response since the first of this year.

A few weeks ago, I served as a volunteer for a special womens event at Response, and several women from TPCC were there to serve, as well.  When I first arrived, I spent a few minutes socializing with a TPCC member I recognized, but I couldn’t remember her name.  (Note to self, re-introduce myself to people more often.)

As the ladies from the neighborhood arrived, we stayed busy greeting them and getting to know some of them.  I noticed one of the ladies was pushing a stroller with an oxygen tank hanging from it, so I gravitated toward her.  I discovered that her 8 week-old baby girl was born with Down Syndrome, and her daughter needed the oxygen due to apnea.

I told her about Sammy and offered to hold her baby if she needed any help during the evening.  I was thrilled when she took me up on my offer!  Holding that sweet little baby was a precious blessing to me.

Later in the evening as the event was drawing to a close, I had an opportunity to again chat with the TPCC member I had spoken with earlier in the evening.  When I approached her, she confessed something to me that brought me happiness.  She said that she also had recognized me when I arrived, but she couldn’t remember my name either.  She said that when she looked over and saw me holding the baby, it suddenly clicked with her as to who I am.  Sammy’s mom.

Almost everyone at TPCC knew who Sammy was, and as a result, they knew who we were.  We were Sammy’s parents, and it is so heartwarming to be recognized and remembered that way.

Holding Sammy at 8-weeks old