Some Things Just Stick

Some things stick better than others. Words, ideas, plans, goals, intentions, and yes, even gum. After a full morning of communications and a visit from a sweet friend I couldn’t wait to get outside and enjoy the UNSEASONABLY low-humidity-perfect-sun-shiny-day here in rural SW MO. It was time to decompress. Birds were chirping and my groundhog friend, Chuck, had just slipped into his home for a noon nap. I soon realized I needed to buy a birthday card for my oldest grandson. I’m a free bird! The Dollar store is one minute away. Watch me go!

Seeing an old friend added more sunshine!

“Where are your sons now, Karla?”

“What about your sons, Bobby?”

The small talk swiftly became significant when he asked how I was doing. Gulp. “I’m doing fantastic because I’m here, Bobby!”  As I waved goodbye at my car door, I knew I had stepped in it (not the same thing I stepped in a few days ago in my yard 😉). Oh boy. Its pliability is applaudable if you’re a kid yearning to string it out of your mouth about 2 feet. Worse? Low humidity didn’t make the pavement much cooler. Thank goodness I now tote around shop cloths along with all my new “normal” things I pack when I head out into the “real” world (extra food, blood glucose monitor, first aid kit, Holy Water, …you know). What do you do? I choose to laugh. Immediately my mind went to traveling from the elementary school to the H.S. cafeteria-sitting at tables I was sure Mom and Dad used when they attended the same high school-and NEVER touching the UNDERSIDE of the table. Laughing I thought of all the gum rules that have “stuck” with me nearly all my life! As I type my Birks are perched on ice-filled Ziploc bags. My peanut butter is too expensive to waste on soles.

What has really stuck today is simply this: goodness. Sticking to what I know I must do to be my best in this fight for my life is essential. It’s going to put me in some sticky situations. It’s not always easy sticking to plans. Things I sought to solidly adhere to haven’t always stuck like I thought. My flexibility has flourished and I know to place myself on ice to quickly remove that which SHOULDN’T stick.

Within the last hour and ½ of typing this three young men, ages 9-13, stopped by to see if they could help me with yard work and make some money. Hesitantly, I shared a bit of my story and ways that they COULD help me in the future. I gave them a copy of my children’s book. One turned to me while they were leaving, “I’ll pray for you tonight!” They’re excited to return to see Finley and the groundhog, Chuck.

My doorbell rang within 10 minutes of the boys’ exit. Standing at my door were two young men (former students) and neighbors with big smiles. They were holding a card and a copy of my book; the cover was obviously…eaten. The dog loved it! Their Dad wanted to purchase two more books for their aunt. Let’s just say they PAID TOO MUCH for the books. With tears in my eyes, we took a pic and hugged each other. “We’re all praying for you!” Gulp. Tears.

Within 10 minutes of sitting back down to continue this post my neighbor Joe called. “Karla, Ashley, and I are taking the kids on vacation and have TOO MANY eggs. Can I bring them to you?”

“Is this really happening, God? Your stardom is sticking it to me! 🤍 YOU make the plans, I don’t!” (Keep in mind that I had shared with family members how I’m protecting my peace today–I know that peace comes in progressive promotions of praise, too!).

Finley races to the door and Joe is holding a bag filled with organic eggs (one of which was “freshly delivered 20 minutes prior!)! He prayed with me. We laughed about his hilarious animal shirt and bragged about the goodness of God. Even in sticky situations.

What have I learned the most in my near-52-YOUNG-years? If I stick to the stale, I’ll start to stink. BUT if I adhere to the assurance of authenticity and actuality (that there IS GOOD in the world and GOD IS GOOD) I’ll remain GLUED to the glimpse and glare of God’s GLOW.

Maybe today your plans shifted. They didn’t stick. Your car broke down, you lost a loved one, a diagnosis was made, your relationship is rocky, anxiety is assaulting your accountability, your children are ill, life seems too crazy, finances aren’t good, you expected to feel good…and the list goes on.

 I plan to stick around for as long as I can. I’ll stick by you. Let’s stick together.🤍

“When we hear the music around us can’t we all strive to strike a common chord? Because the underlying melody in all of us can be beautiful. Amidst the clanging of communication, the ringing of the rhetoric, the muddling of the meaning, and the music of mockery, may we choose to listen and use our voices for civility. Let’s create a symphony of solidarity.” -K.L. Hale (written on June 3, 2020)

“Have You Heard of NETs Yet?”-my journey update 🤍

There are challenges and I’m meeting them head-on. Where would I be with faith, family, friends, and Finley? THANK YOU! For the most part I’m adjusting well. Life is so different. Round 2 of chemo begins this Friday after blood labs and an oncologist visit. In the upcoming 14 days of chemo I have NO CHOICE but to adhere to the alarms beeping reminding me when to eat, drink more water, eat a snack, take the pills, etc.…It’s complicated. Minimal distractions are necessary. I hope words don’t leave me, but if they do, I know they’ll return. My eyes are blurrier than normal and too much technology makes it worse. My spiritual and mental self are strong. Physically I’ve lost muscle mass I used to have (it doesn’t take long to lose it!) and fatigue can hit fast. I’m diabetic and my glucose readings are wonky to say the least! This cancer is rare (like a zebra). There’s been misinformation. I’d like to say I have the “good” cancer; however, this didn’t get caught before it metastasized. I can’t blame the doctors for the diagnosis. An earlier C.T. screening probably would’ve detected this. Specifically, if you have I.B.S. or bladder/bowel issues, signs of diverticulitis, colitis, or other GI issues, women: if they mistake it for menopause or digestive issues, …if you know IN YOUR GUT something isn’t right, please insist on screening. There’s a back story to my back story of how my health challenges in the past all make more sense now. Perhaps I’ve had these several years? We don’t know, but I can reflect on major changes in my health. And why beginning this blog and protecting my peace became essential for me to have a healthy life. I smile staring at the pictures scrolling on the Aura frame my sons and families bought me. A former administrator once asked me what made me so positive. “If a doctor told me I had 9 months to live, what would I TRULY have to worry about?” Many of the teachers that follow me would know this as my death-bed test. It’s not sad. It’s the truth. The good emotions (memories, laughter, and yes, tears at times) are wonderful. BUT I have to live by truth-not tragedy. God has a plan for each of us. NONE of us are guaranteed another day. In one of my favorite mini-series of all time, Lonesome Dove, Augustus (Gus) said, “I doubt it don’t matter where you die, but it matters where you live.” And, “Yesterday’s gone, we can’t get it back!” How about, “It’s not dyin’ I’m talkin’ about, it’s livin’!” And the best truth of all? “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” –John 3:16. 🤍

You’re loved. I’m loved. Can you find the faith? 💚

P.S. If you step in gum will this story stick to you? 🤗

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