Age-Old Questions

“Age is just a number,” says the well-worn adage. But is it a number you care about, or one you tend (or try) to ignore?

It’s been a very long time since I have posted here. I know, I know. It’s not that a lot hasn’t gone one lately, because there’s been plenty of things happening in my life. However, I just haven’t felt like I’ve had much to say. *shrugs*

This prompt comes at an interesting time for me. I am six days away from turning 33-years old. Or, as an old friend of mine taught me, in six days I am going to be celebrating the twelfth anniversary of my 21st birthday. lol I am really excited to be in my thirties! The reason I am so excited is quite simple. I was born in 1981 with Spina Bifida and when I was born, I wasn’t given very good prospects for quality of life. If I recall correctly, my mom was told that if I survived I would be a vegetable. I would never walk, talk, feed myself, mentally retarded, etc. Well, I can talk, I walked on crutches until I was sixteen, I can feed myself, I am most definitely not mentally retarded and, most importantly, I am alive. Yes, I use a wheelchair to get around, my joints ache more than they used to, I get exhausted much easier than I used to, and my health is something that I focus on quite often. But the main point is that I am alive! So yeah, I do care about my age since every time I have a birthday, that is one year longer than the doctors expected me to live when I was first born.

Against All Odds

Tell us about a situation where you’d hoped against all hope, where the odds were completely stacked against you, yet you triumphed. Be sure to describe your situation in full detail. Tell us all about your triumph in all its glory.

Photographers, artists, poets: show us LONGSHOT.

A time where all the odds were completely stacked against me, but I triumphed in the end.  Hmm.  There was one time that really jumps out at me. I guess you could say that I triumphed, but I believe that God is the one who triumphed in my situation.  The date was August 2, 1981. That was the day that I was  born. You see, I was born with a birth defect called Spina Bifida. It is a neural tube defect. I have a type called myelomeningocele.  So, not only was my spinal column not completely formed, but my spinal cord and meninges (the tissues covering the spinal cord) were sticking out of my back. In 1981, there was no way to tell if you were carrying a baby with Spina Bifida, or any other kind of neural tube defect. So, when I was born, it was a complete shock to my mom.

Back in those days, the standard way to dealing with Spina Bifida, was not to close the child’s back, put them in a home, and let them die. I am lucky that my mom chose not to do that. I believe that God spoke into her heart to fight for me, and she listened. So my first surgery was when I was less than a day old. My back was closed, but Mom was told that I would never walk, never talk, never think for myself, and be a vegetable for my entire life.  A few weeks after my birth, I developed a condition known as hydrocephalus- which is the build up of spinal fluid on the brain. So, I had a shunt implanted at that point. A shunt is a tube that move spinal fluid off the brain and into the abdominal cavity.  After I had that, I was allowed to go home to my mom and older brother. I have a biological father too, but I don’t have anything to do with Bill. I’m completely okay with that since I have a wonderful dad who, I believe, God picked out just to be my dad!

Contrary to what the doctors predicted in 1981, I walked for sixteen years, until I had surgery to take care of the tethering in my spinal cord. There was a lot of nerve damage caused in the course of the surgery and subsequent complications, that ended up with me being in a wheelchair. While I have had chronic pain for years, I do live on my own (with the help of my caregiver during the day) with my cat, a run a daily email prayer ministry, and I’ve taken college classes towards a Psychology degree. I am a freelance writer and editor- and am working on my first novel, ‘A Miner Prince’.

Some days are more difficult than others and I still have my medical struggles. That translates to; ‘I spend a considerable amount of time in the refiner’s fire’. I feel very, very, very blessed that God has put so much time and energy in  to me. I am absolutely convinced that He has a plan for my life, and part of His plan is for me to be disabled, have Rheumatoid Arthritis, and be a chronic pain patient. Some days I do not like that plan, but He knows better than I do what He is going to do with me in my circumstances.

That being said, I can’t say that I have been the one to triumph against all odds, but God has used me as a vehicle to tell people about Him and share my story with them.

Daily Prompt: SOS

You’re at the beach, lounging on your towel, when a glistening object at the water’s edge catches your eye. It’s a bottle — and yes, it contains a message. What does it say?

Photographers, artists, poets: show us WATER.

Just by the fact that I am lounging on a towel at the beach in the scenario, says that it’s never gonna happen. For two reasons, actually.

1) Sandy beaches and wheelchairs do not mix. At all. By any stretch of the imagination.

2) I wouldn’t be caught dead lounging on a towel and/or in a bathing suit at a beach.

The latter is just a personal thing. I am much too shy to be caught wearing a bathing suit. I would say, maybe if I weighed 50lbs less, but, no. Not even if I weighed 50lbs less would I be caught in a bathing suit. Some people would say that’s modesty, but I disagree in my case. I’m just shy. I’m even shy in a crowd of people I have known forever, or am related to.

But that’s not the point of this prompt. So, let’s say that I found a bottle with a message in it. The message would say: “The reason most people do not recognize an opportunity when they meet it is because it usually goes around wearing overalls and looking like Hard Work.”

That is one of my favorite quotes. It first appeared unaccredited in the May 18, 1921 issue of Logansport Pharos Tribune. Since, the quote has been commonly attributed to Thomas Edison. To me, that means, if you want something bad enough, you have to put forth the effort to achieve it. If you want a tomato garden, the tomatoes likely are not going to plant themselves. You have to get your gardening tools and tomato plants together to plant them. And then you have to lovingly tend those plants so that they will get bigger and tomatoes can grow on them. Hopes and dreams are a lot like a tomato plant. If you don’t do something to help them flourish, they wither away and die.

Daily Prompt: Quirk of Habit

Which quirky habit annoys you the most, and what quirky habit do you love — in yourself, or others.

Photographers, artists, poets: show us QUIRKY.

It’s hard for me to say which quirky habit I love in myself or others. Maybe it’s because I don’t notice the habits I love….but I sure do notice the ones that annoy me! lol When people snap their gum, it annoys the crap out of me!

I would have to say, one habit will have that annoys the crap out of me, is when they snap their gum! First off, I think people look like cows chewing their cud when they chew gum. When I was younger, this never seem to bother me. I even chewed gum myself quite a lot. When I was a teenager, I would say seventh or eighth grade maybe, I got braces. I also had this torture device put in called a palet widner – one of those things where you turn a key once a day and it widens your palet. Of course an orthodontist would be the one to come up with something like that; I expect anybody that is in a profession involving the cleaning of, straightening, drilling, or cavity filling of teeth can be at least minimally proficient in torturing people. Even if that torture is inadvertent.

Anyway, I have this condition called TMJ. I know what it stands for, but I am too lazy right now to figure out how to spell those words… LOL. So with this condition where my jaw would routinely pop, lockup, or seem to come out of joint (yes that’s painful), I was also put in this contraption that my jaw in line. Including the braces I had, that was a whole lot of metal in my mouth.

So I could not chew gum for a couple of years, and totally fell out of the habit. That was years and years ago- almost twenty years! (Note: God that makes me feel old!) Since then, I have had the urge to chew gum off and on….and I do. But it’s not very often, typically only if I have a blow pop. But I’ve largely fallen out of chewing gum because I feel like I look like a cow chewing it’s cud to other people, like they do to me! I’m weird, I know. lol

 

Daily Prompt: My Precious

Who is the person in your life who can do no wrong? Describe this person and tell us why you hold them in such high esteem.

Photographers, artists, poets: show us PRECIOUS.

There are so many people in my life who are precious to me. My cat is precious to me. Some people have real, human babies;  I have a furbaby. She is my child. Among my family, friends, and furbaby;  I don’t hold any of them in such high esteem that they can do no wrong. Holding a single person in such high regard, is to idolize that person.

Exodus 20: 1-6 (NASB) reads: 

1 Then God spoke all these words, saying,

2 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.

3 “You shall have no other gods before Me.

4 “You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. 

5 You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, 

6 but showing loving kindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

The Lord my God is the only person in my life whom I hold to such high esteem that He can do no wrong. Unlike people, God is infallible. He is perfect. Nothing God does is wrong, because he is a  righteous and just God. He has brought me through every challenge I have faced since my birth in 1981. Some may say that God made a mistake when I was born with Spina Bifida. I disagree. God has a reason for why I was born with my disability. God has a purpose for my life. To do God’s will for my life, is my desire in this life. I want to do everything he means for me to do, and experience everything he means for me to experience in the span of time he has set aside for me to be on this Earth. My greatest wish is to fulfill His plan fr me in this life, to the best of my ability. I cannot live my life the way he intends for me to live on my own though. I need his guidance, love, discipline, and forgiveness; if I am ever going to be able to carry out His will for my life.

My God says that I am not to have any other gods before Him. My God says that I am not to have or worship any idols. He is a jealous God, and I am to worship only Him.  So, so answer the daily prompt as wholly as possibly; my God is the one in my life who can do no wrong.

 

Daily Prompt: Seven Wonders

Khalil Gibran once said that people will never understand one another unless language is reduced to seven words. What would your seven words be?

Photographers, artists, poets: show us SEVEN.

Image

God. Beauty. Peace. Nature. Blessing.  Joy. Happiness.

I took this picture today. All seven words are represented in this picture…to me.  This lake is close to where I live, and it is so beautiful! My friend and I took a walk down there this afternoon and fed the ducks. Being down there was so peaceful and I felt the presence of God there. The feeling of joy and happiness I felt just being in the presence of the ducks, spending time with my friend, and just feeling the breeze in my hair, the smell of the water and freshly cut grass was such a peaceful and happy experience for me. It was a wonderful afternoon, and I feel so blessed that I got to experience it with someone that I love like a sister.

Daily Prompt: The Golden Hour

6:00AM: the best hour of the day, or too close to your 3:00AM bedtime?

I’m not a morning person.  Going to bed before 3:00AM is actually a rarity for me. Maybe that actually does make me a morning person. I guess it depends on your perspective. My perspective is not a morning person. lol When I was younger, my mom and brother actually used to call me Ebenezer because I was such a grouch in the morning. Not much has changed since then, except that when I was four, staying up until 3AM, praying for the  pain, and burning in my joints to go away enough for me to grab a few hours sleep, didn’t’ happen.  In my situation, I would say that that i just one more way that having RA sucks. I can already make an educated guess, just by looking at my hands, that tonight is going to be another one of those nights. Most nights are like that, so i am very much used to it and have come up with ways to entertain myself in the insomnia. As of late, entertaining myself involves watching war movies and documentaries. Mom used to do that when I was growing up, and if I couldn’t sleep, she’d just turn on the old movie channel and I was out like a light! lol

Now though, I am interested in those old movies and war related things so they don’t put me to sleep (as much) anymore. I have a cathedral stained glass coloring book that I got a year or two ago for my birthday and working in that just makes the hours fly by! Plus, I like creating the beautiful pictures that I plan on putting in my windows for the holidays. My cat likes to look out the window a lot, so I have to be mindful of that when I hang them up. She has been known to tear things down when they are obstructing her view or in her way. Sunshine is a bit of a brat lol.