Monday, March 30, 2009

Prayers and Praises

Clearly, my job is giving me much opportunity for improving my prayer life! And also for recognizing God's hand in circumstance...

The patient that I blogged about last time was sent home Saturday. After two days off from work, I wasn't sure what/who I would find in "her" room. She was still there and she looked remarkable. There had been a great deal of healing to her burns and her color was great! Her eyes were bright and clear and she was much more alert and aware of what was going on around her. What a miracle! However, without another miracle, her story will not have a happy ending (at least not here on Earth). She has gone home with hospice in place and I imagine will be worshiping Jesus face to face in the next month or two. Her cancer is very advanced. I am just thrilled that she knows Jesus!

Another patient of ours came in with exacerbated COPD. She requested a breathing treatment, it was ordered and within a half hour of finishing the treatment, she was placed in ICU. Even during the treatment, she couldn't breathe. Upon returning from my "weekend" I recognized a name on the patient list and it suddenly donned on me...It was the same patient that had been on the floor the previous week. It was clear that she was on the floor only for "comfort care". She was passing away. I asked the nurse about the situation, wanting to be fully aware so I didn't make some hurtful blunder in front of her gathered family. She told me that the mask she was breathing through was all that was keeping her alive at that point and that her family had made the decision to remove it the following day. She passed away yesterday. It was very touching to me. She was such a quiet and gentle woman and I was saddened to realize just how sick she really was. Her family is equally kind and my prayers and heart go out to them at this time. I believe, by there actions, that they too know the Lord.

There are of course, the success stories. The young man who was in because of, as he put it, "genetically bad blood" who has been released and will likely continue to do well; The little lady who had a partial hip replacement after falling and will make a full recovery with some therapy; the woman who was in so ill with a kidney infection that she was in ICU and with us on the floor for over a week who has been sent home with a resolution to her health problems. Though these people may or may not know the Lord, I still see His hand at work in their lives. He is so good!

Thanks for "listening" to my thoughts...Heather

Saturday, March 28, 2009


Hello all! I realize that it has been over 3 weeks since I last blogged! So much has been going on lately and I have just been exhausted.

I am really excited about my job as a CNA at St. Jame's Hospital here in Butte. I finished with orientation and actually got started working two weeks ago...hence the exhaustion! I am working the 3-11:30 shift and while it works out well with Kylee's school, it has been quite an adjustment. The daycare that the girls are attending has literally been a Godsend. He knew what I would need before I even did and opened the way. Normally she would close at 11 and most of her kiddos would be gone by 11:15 but she agreed to stay open until 11:30 just to work around my schedule. How cool is that?!

My job is going to be a great place to minister to people. I fear that I lack the courage and strength to be Christ-like, though. Although, the other night I was very blessed to be sitting with a patient who is very ill. She is basically dying and knows it but doesn't talk about it. Of course, it is difficult for her to speak because of her illness. But, as we were talking and I was holding her hand just to comfort her she told me she was afraid to fall asleep. She didn't say more than that but in her eyes I saw the fear of death. It was so powerful. I felt God pressing me to ask her if she knew Jesus. He told me 3 or 4 times before I mustered the courage to do so. I knew the last time I heard that voice that if I didn't do it then that He would quit asking and wait for a later time and I was more afraid of giving in to cowardice than of asking her. I asked her if she knew Jesus and her wonderful response was "I love Jesus." My heart soared! I then talked with her a little about how in Jesus there is no need to fear death because it is not an end, but a new beginning. Then she asked me why we should want to die. Wow! That was hard. I told her that I didn't think that we should WANT to die but neither should we fear death. It was a pretty neat time and my heart broke for her in her pain, solitude and fear. If you would all pray for her to be released from her fear and to be given a great peace I would appreciate it.

God has been so good to me lately. Well, always, but I am seeing amazing things happening in my life that can be from nowhere but God. I am so grateful that HE is in charge of my life and not ME!

Love to all~

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Wednesday's Walk Down Memory Lane

Some Wednesday's I really struggle to think of a memory worth sharing. Today was no different. But, suddenly as I began today's blog, a memory popped into my head. Now, I will tell you that many parts of this memory are constructed from the memories of others, though I do have some very vivid rememberances of this event.

When I was quite young my cousin, Mindy, lived on a mountainside in beautiful Bear Canyon, MT. I mean, she didn't just live out in the forest foraging for food...Her dad was building a house there and during this process they were living in a motor home. Mindy's grandparents also lived on "The Mountain" so we were there frequently as well. Now, Mindy and I grew up almost more like sisters than cousins. We were always very close (and still are!).

When they were living on The Mountain, Mindy and I had all sorts of adventures. Sometimes, though we would just hang around the trailer. This one day in particular, we were in her Dad's little Nissan pickup truck listening to music. It had a standard transmission in it and was safely in gear, parked in front of their shed. Mindy was sitting in the driver's seat (as usual, she ALWAYS got the best spot!) and I in the passenger seat. I must have been 6 or 7 and Mindy 7 or 8. Now, I'm not entirely sure if we were actually allowed to be sitting in there and turning the ignition to listen to the radio or not. The fact is, we were there and having a great time. What I remember is that I thought the radio was off, so I was going to turn the key and turn it back on. I turned the key just one little click further than I should have and the truck lurched and nearly rolled down the mountain! It ran into the barbecue grill which surprising ly stopped it. Talk about an adrenaline rush!!! We were scared to death. My little heart was just pounding!

Of course, the story doesn't end there. I was in HUGE trouble. What I remember is being given a very firm tongue lashing by Mindy's Mom and then getting my butt paddled with the wooden spoon. (Ah the good ol' days when children could be spanked without their parent's fearing retribution!) Mindy got spanked too, just for letting me turn the key. Or, maybe we WEREN'T supposed to be in the truck after all... To this day, I'm sure that she didn't get nearly the spanking I did...I don't think I could sit for a month!

Looking back now, what a miracle! We could have been so badly hurt especially with the pickup pointing down hill! And seriously, there is no logical reason that a barbecue grill should stop a pickup, no matter how small!

Monday, March 2, 2009


After what has been several long weekends of sorting through the memories of my Gramms' life, we are nearly finished.

The girls and I have been sleeping at Gramms' house when we go over to help Mom and this weekend it seemed so strange. Mom, Aunt Cheri and I have been sorting through things for weeks now and finally we are ready for the sale. The house is set up so that everything is neatly displayed and there are prices on many items.

It is so strange to see the life of this very vibrant woman reduced to this. It feels very surreal. I never realized what all was involved in the aftermath of the death of a loved one. So much remains to be taken care of. There are items in that house that speak of a woman that I scarcely knew.

I have always known that my Gramms was a dancer and a teacher of dance. What I didn't know was the dedication and time that went into the preparation of the programs she put on with her students. Gramms would write the music out, by hand, after figuring it out by ear on the piano. She had notes and notes about each section of the program. She was so creative. I just never knew.

In her spare bedroom, she had a drawer full of beads. Obviously there was a time in her life where she spent a great deal of time beading and making gifts for people. There are many other craft items that were in that same dresser and it is so amazing to see all the things she used to do. I remember that she used to crochet, but that's really all that I remember her doing in a "crafty" fashion.

As we sort through her many possessions, a plethora of treasures have also emerged. She has a house filled with antiques that are very inconspicuous. Mom has spent countless hours researching these things online. We have been very surprised at the gems she has discovered!

Without a doubt, it has been a blessing to be a part of this process with Mom and Aunt Cheri. Without Cheri (Gramms sister) so much history would have been lost simply because we did not know the stories behind a great deal in the house. So many of the items we have come across carry with them very fond and lasting memories. I guess that is what makes seeing her life priced for sale so difficult. My memories of my heroine on display being sold to complete strangers.

Next weekend will be a very difficult weekend for all of us. Emotions will be churning just below the surface as we conduct business. At the same time, it will bring with it some closure to the death of one so deeply loved. I just ask that as you go about your business next weekend, you will remember us for just a brief moment and send up a prayer for strength and courage as we take another step in saying goodbye to Frankie Lou.