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This article was published in my book, Beautiful Life with Cancer, Hope During the Hard Times in December 2014.
As I lay down in my bed, I am out. I almost always hit the pillow and it takes me about three minutes and I am asleep. Often times, parents of little babies and young children teach them bedtime by setting a routine. Baby gets a bath, read to them, sing one song, and hugs and kisses. Well, (you can call me weird but I already know that) but I believe I have done this with myself. Ofcourse I have the getting ready process. I will spare you that. It is not as simple and soothing as the baby’s routine. But I hit the pillow and I start running a list through my head. My two most popular lists: 1. What are the decoration changes that I want to make to my house? 2. What would I change about myself? Fifteen. No fourteen. There are fourteen things I would change.
1. I wish my hair was a little thicker. 2. No contacts. Perfect vision would be nice. 3. No scars around my neck. 4. No itchy back. That is right. No itchy back. See…I am the lucky one million billion that has a rare condition within a rare condition of MEN2A in which my body deposits protein on the top of my back. It drives me insane! It itches all the time. All the time! Almost daily, I scratch it until it bleeds. I have done this since I was a baby. I wish I did not have that. 5. Stronger arms. I work on it. I do. I go to the gym when I can and lift weights or as of now, or recently, I have been trying Yoga. But I’ve been a little weak lately so I don’t push it by going to the gym. So, I wish I wash’t sick. Wish I could go to the gym. And wish I had stronger arms. 6. No scars on my stomach. 7. No stretch marks. Nah. I look at those and wish they weren’t there and then I remember why I have them. Actually, call me crazy, I’ll keep those. Worth the memory. So, 7. Thinner legs. (Reinsert gym explanation here and add to it that I do not eat sugar. Ok. Yes, I do eat fruit. And yes, I know that carbs turn to sugar in my body. Restate that. I do not eat desserts. Why? There is one reason to eat desserts: They taste good. There are four reasons not to: sugar makes me gain weight, not good for my teeth, makes me, and everyone, sick more often by weakening my immune system, and lowers my energy. Yes, that was absolutely too much to say within parenthesis.) 8. Perfect teeth. I hope you think my teeth look perfect, but the front two have crowns from chipping them on the swimming pool. 9. No veins on my legs. 10. Better singing voice. (If I could insert a clip of me singing here, you would agree.) 11. No scar on the back of my leg. 13. No Addison’s Disease. 14. No cancer.
There is my list. Sure. Everybody has a list. But I do try to be really content with my body, but these are the things that I hate. I really do hate. And about 12 out of 14, at least, are here for life. Nothing I can do about it. About half of these nobody sees. And the other half, I try to hide most of the time. Prime example: You will not find me in any singing group or trying out for American Idol. But, I go to buy life insurance, and I can’t. I go to the doctor for allergies and I have to continue my medication list on the back because it won’t all fit in the lines provided, and then the doctor wants to send me for scans and tests and chat extra long because of my history, but excuse me doctor, I have a sinus infection. But they don’t want to give me anything for that. And then I go to pick up Prednisone at the pharmacy for the one hundredth time in a row and the pharmacist feels the need to tell me that I shouldn’t take so much because of the side effects. Thank you, I know them well. But the alternative isn’t so good. It’s death. And then I read an article in the newspaper in the medical section from a doctor that says no one can survive with both their adrenal glands removed. Well, he should do some research, or I should introduce myself because I am going on ten years now.
I try to find light in my rare condition. It is a little neat when the student intern at Duke is so excited over meeting me and reviewing my case that he can not hide his excited giddiness. It is kinda cool to be able to carry on a medical conversation, using all the right jargon, with friends that are doctors and surgeons, but If I got to pick, I would choose a different claim to fame. What can I really do with, “a really extremely rare form of MEN2A” and always being the exception even within the rules of the disease? Pretty cool to be the exception in the medical handbook or the specialists’ conference? Ehh.
Well, I am asleep by now and I never go through the explanations with myself while I am laying in bed. But if I didn’t have that, I’d be pretty pleased with myself. If I didn’t have all of that, it’d be great to sit up in the morning and be able to see what’s going on without popping in those contacts. And I’d probably join some band, just for the fun of it. And I’d sing to more people than just my seven year old. And my husband. And my sisters. And anyone else I get comfortable with. And anyone else who is around after I’ve had a drink or two. And I’d wear skirts, not just in the summer time when I’m outside, but also when it is a little chilly outside in the Fall to show off my legs. And I would be in and out of the doctor’s office with my sinus infection medicine. And I wouldn’t always scratch my damn back. And who knows? Maybe I would be a whole lot less content. And maybe I would have less joy. And maybe I wouldn’t appreciate my family and the days that I’ve got. Because it isn’t really myself that makes me happy anyway. So, ehh, I’ll just keep it all. So, I am oh so sorry. Please exude my oh so messed up body. That’s just me.
Caroline is published! I have entered my novel into a contest and for a short time you can download it for the low cost of FREE! Please click on the link below to read the book Spiritual Flesh and Blood for free, which also gives me one vote when you download. THANK YOU!
All readers gather here. To the Momma late at night, propped up on her pillow and promising herself just one more page. To the college student that is cramming for class because she could not peel away the romance novel. I am writing this to the man sitting in his car flipping the pages that needs to go into work.
I hate to give away my personal love life details, but here it is. James and I fight sometimes. I know, I know, but it is true. And maybe, just possibly, we had a little bit of one yesterday. But do you see that I said yesterday? As the day ended, I was at his side holding his hand and I thought, “If I would have known this morning, this is how it ended…”
Well, I think that a lot. HOW DOES IT ALL END? Does he get the girl? Does the army invade? Is there a baby in the future? Who wins the election? What’s she going to grow up to be? Do they ever find out? What does she decide?
Well, I’m not giving any spoiler alerts here. Click on the link below. Chose your method of reading and enjoy a free, yes free, book on me. Then get back to me and let me know what you think of the ending! http://freeditorial.com/en/books/spiritual-flesh-and-blood
The 6:15 alarm is painful. I am NOT a morning person. Hair sticking up, eyes still closed, and promising myself that “Tonight, I WILL get to bed early!” I drag myself into the bathroom. A few minutes later, my husband arrives with a hot mug of coffee. I’ve been waiting on it. I expect it.
Rick Johnson writes to dads in his book, “That’s My Girl,” telling them to teach their daughters how to expect to be treated. He tells a story of his then high school daughter stopping at the door outside of her high school waiting, waiting…most of the boys not knowing what was happening. Eventually, one of them would get a clue and open the door for her.
I recently wrote a post about James taking Madison to a Father – Daughter Dance. It included car doors opened for her, it included flowers, being guided through the dance floor and showing her that she is loved and protected.
I am one of the extremely small minority that has the immense blessing of being a stay at home mom. I have been supported in spending my days taking care of our family and teaching our daughter, while James works hard to financially provide for our family. This has allowed me the immense pleasure of pursuing my dream of writing. When my GPS acts up, I call my husband expecting him to guide me through directions, and he does. If the TV is turned on, I am getting a back massage. I expect to be protected, provided for, and just plain pampered.
“Oh, that is just you. You have no idea what most other women have to endure!” Yes. You are right.
“Women should be allowed to pursue a career.” Yes. I agree with you.
“You think women are weak.” No. I do not believe that at all. I do believe men and women, boys and girls, are different. But they are both strong in their own way.
Women’s Rights. Yeah, I believe in them! But sometimes I am just not sure what the Feminist Movement is fighting for. Those women look at someone like me and say, “You don’t need a man. Stand up for yourself.” So, my response: NEED? No. I could do this life on my own, but why in the hell would I want to when THIS is an option?!
So, you have decided you want this also? But there are not many men out there like James? Trust me, I know. There are a lot, a LOT, of jerks out there that think that women are only good for one thing. Do not accept that! Do not accept all men are like that, because they are NOT! Be a feminist and demand a man that respects you. Demand a man that will love, protect, provide, and pamper you. Women, realize just how strong you are. If this is what women demanded of men, trust me, they would change. Because, after all, we are women.
I am published! Please click on the link below for more information and to purchase
Cold rain hit the windshield of the 1982 Honda Accord. Headlights shone through the early morning darkness. Layered in a sweater and a cheap coat and clothes that she tried to make look professional. She could see her breath, even inside the car, even after an amount of time that should have allowed the car to warm up. The heat had gone, along with many of the other functions of the old car.
“Damn it!” A wiper flew off to the left, barely hanging on. She tried to see through the pouring freezing rain as she manually rolled down the window, stuck her arm into the weather and pushed the wiper back into place, “brrrr,” rolling the window up quickly and shivering.
Date night. Focus. The monotony, the routine of the day, Focus on the reward. She straightened up in her chair and tried to pull herself out of the pit of the “Woe is me”s.
“Old car?” At least she had one.
“Cold?” Snow was in the forecast and she loved snow!
“Early morning?” She was on her way to tutor children. And on her way to becoming a teacher.
And she had a date that night. It was Friday. He was so handsome. He was tall and had broad shoulders. His smile made her blush and her heart beat wildly. They would sit and talk and talk and smile and laugh and talk and talk. Could this be the beginning of what she had dreamed of since she was a little girl? Could this be, did she dare even think that sacred word, love?
On that rainy, cold morning, traveling down the road in an old beat up Honda, she was suddenly the happiest girl in the world. A smile began on her face and warmed her whole body.
What had changed?
The hope of LOVE.
Ehhhh. Uncomfortable. That pounding in my heart. I was the new kid in the program. I didn’t want to make a scene. I don’t like to be the center of attention, especially in a classroom of 100 people that I don’t know, directed toward a professor I’ve never had a conversation with.
Unable to spend two years eleven hours apart from the man I knew I wanted to marry, I moved from Bristol, TN to Fort Pierce, FL and transferred colleges from the tiny private Christian college of King College to the gigantic public university of Florida Atlantic University in order to make the second best decision of my life (only beat by my decision to follow Jesus) …the second best decision of my life, to marry James D. Hendry. So, in the name of love, I transferred from King to F.A.U. Great schools. Both of them.
But now, here I sat, in the back of the room, beside a couple of girls I hoped to make friends with, and hearing my new professor start class by opening with a joke criticizing the Bible.
“So, let me tell you all about my crazy weekend experience, I am a bridesmaid in my friend’s wedding. At the rehearsal, her dad asks me if I will read this verse. No. Didn’t really want to read from the Bible, but I look at the book and read the highlighted verse. It is about wives SUBMITTING to their husbands!!! Can you believe that shit?!” She shakes her head as the class laughs and oohs in amazement and they all continue to bash with remarks of women’s rights and man bashing. (In a predominately female classroom and major of education.)
(I was not as bold about speaking up in my college days, but I couldn’t just sit there.)
I raise my hand, and then something happened, I had no clue what I was going to say, but then she called on me and out came the words, “actually, I had that same verse read at my wedding.” Gasps of shock. “….but it was followed by a verse about the husband being commanded to love his wife as Christ loved the church. And Christ died for Christians. So, the husband is not getting off the hook either.”
“Do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At the time you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.” -the words of Jesus spoken in Matthew 10:19-20
I live in fear, so many Christians live in fear of “knowing what to say.” Don’t. Let God talk.
Caroline is published! please click on the link below for more information about Beautiful Life with Cancer, Hope During the Hard Times and to purchase