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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!

Momma needs new boots…

12 Dec

There is snow on the ground, and that means that it’s finally time to go to the cemetery to build Sammy a snowman.

I don’t go to the cemetery much even though it’s very close to our home.  I feel like Sammy goes with me everywhere I go because he is so frequently on my mind and in my thoughts–while shopping at the scrapbook store, while driving in the car, while at my desk at work.  But, when I go to the cemetery, that isn’t a reminder that he lived; to me, it’s a reminder that he’s gone.

Sammy passed away in early January, and when we would go to visit his grave site in those first weeks and months, it was cold with gray skies, leafless trees, and frozen grass.  It was just so depressing.  To compensate, I like to try to make it special when I do go to the cemetery.  On one beautiful autumn day, Steve and I had a picnic at Sammy’s gravesite.  Another time, I took our new dog to the cemetery to go for a walk. Other times, Steve and I have gone there to release balloons or to place items on his grave.

One of the things that I want to do is to build a snowman for Sammy at the cemetery.  Last winter, I shopped for a hat and scarf because Sammy’s snowman needs to have some personality.  I have everything we need to build a snowman friend at the cemetery, but the one thing holding me back is that I need new boots.  So, as soon as I get some new boots and we get some good, wet snow, Sammy will get his snowman.

A little boy on the big screen…

18 Oct

This week, Indianapolis is hosting the Heartland Film Festival.  In light of this fact, I thought I’d go back to the archives and repost an entry from Sammy’s website.

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9/26/08 – There are moments when I have no words to describe my thoughts and can only shake my head in utter amazement. This week, I had one of those moments.

I received word that my little Sammy—a boy who couldn’t walk or talk—will appear on the big screen at the Heartland Film Festival, October 16-24. He will appear in the documentary “Auschwitz—If You Cried, You Died”.

I know what you’re thinking, “How in the world did Sammy find his way into a documentary about the Holocaust?

Several months before Sammy passed away, I began working with a graphic designer, Jennifer, to design a logo for Families for HoPE. During the process, she shared with me that she felt God was directing her to tell me about another project on which she was working. Of course, she was probably a little worried about what I would think, but she bravely posed the question, “Do you have any interest in the Holocaust?

In the months prior to her question, I had begun reading a lot about how the German government in the 1930s instituted euthanasia for the systematic killing of the mentally and physically disabled. (The secret operation was code-named “Action T4“—Google it and see for yourself.) Because I had been trying to comprehend how human beings could come to the common understanding that an entire race of people should be exterminated, I had begun reading on topics such as Eugenics, Euthanasia, and Social Darwinism.

Jennifer explained that she was editing a documentary about the Holocaust which chronicles the journey of two Holocaust survivors as they revisit Auschwitz Concentration Camp. The documentary which has been distributed to high schools across the U.S. also addresses the dangers of prejudice, the value of diversity and the need to respect others. The theme of the documentary is that “we must learn from the past to protect our future”, and it addresses topics such as cruelty, bullying, and dehumanization.

There is a segment of the newly-edited version where the students are urged to ask themselves how they treat others based upon appearance, money, race, religion and even upon mental handicaps or physical disabilities. Then, we see Sammy’s cute little face along with a video clip of Steve and me explaining Sammy’s condition and our worries of how our precious little boy might be treated by society as he grows older.

Back to the question, “How in the world did Sammy find his way into a documentary about the Holocaust?” God called upon our “imperfect” child to be used in His Perfect Plan by bringing him into the world not to learn, but to teach.