What? No! Wait!

I never smoked. I had asthma when I was young, and on my first attempt, I thought the old man’s Salems were gonna kill me. I tried it again in my early twenties but me and smoking were not to be. HOWEVER! I began using chewing tobacco, Red Man, when I was in my mid-twenties—it was the thing to do in Arizona—and I moved on to the cheek-and-gum variety, Copenhagen, when we relocated to Washington state, and used it heavily for almost twenty years.

I was working in Huntsville, Texas, building a one-million cubic foot refrigerator freezer at one of the prisons, when I finally quit. The project was one of the most interesting I’ve ever been involved with, but the way I quit using Copenhagen was just as interesting. I was ready to quit; the stuff gave me heartburn to beat the band, it was wearing holes in my teeth, and, to be completely honest, I simply didn’t enjoy it any more.

Anyway, I was talking to Mom on the phone one morning, telling her how I was sick of the tobacco, but just couldn’t quit. She told me about this natural stuff she’d read about, and said if I could find some in Huntsville, I should give it a try. At lunch time, I went to directionsthe local heathy-stuff store, and sure as you can say green tea, they had the stuff Mom had told me about. It was called, “Stop Smoking”, and its main ingredient was lobelia. I got back into my pickup, glanced at the directions on the bottle and promptly took two of the pills.

When I got back to my office, I read the rest of the instructions on the little piece of paper in the box, and when I got to the bottom my eyes about came out of their sockets. In big block letters, it said, DO NOT USE TOBACCO PRODUCTS OF ANY KIND WHILE TAKING THIS.

Holy crap! I thought. I was just going to slow down gradually. I also hadn’t read enough of the directions to see I’d have to take the pills twice daily for thirty days. What? No! Wait! Oh, man!

I stewed for several minutes, then decided, what the heck, I’ll just give it my best shot and see what happens. I’m telling you folks, what happened was a miracle. I took the pills for three more days—a total of eight pills—and my craving for tobacco vanished. I haven’t touched Copenhagen, or any other tobacco product in twenty-five years, and have never had the slightest desire to. Is that amazing, or what??

It’s never that easy to quit but never give up. Your miracle is out there!

 

Leave a Comment

The World Stopped Turning

Wednesday, January 2, 2019 was like most other mornings; I got up around five, Sherry got up at about six-fifteen or so, got her cup of coffee and toast, sat down in her chair and started reading her book. A few minutes later, our lives slipped into quiet chaos.

Without a word, or sound, Sherry got out of her chair and rushed to the hall bath. The sounds coming from there were not good and within minutes she called weakly for help. I grabbed my phone—I knew I was going to need it—and went in to find her leaning on the counter, clinging to the sink, and throwing up clear mucous. She was burning up and could not move. She asked me if I could get her to bed, and I told her no, I was calling 911. She was almost incoherent as she said, “No, I’ll be okay.” I was literally holding her up at that point, and I told her I wasn’t going to stand there and watch her die. I called.

It seemed like forever before the ambulance arrived, but was probably only ten minutes or so. As they were taking her out the door, one of the paramedics told me to take my time getting to the hospital, as it would be twenty minutes or so before they got her there and into the emergency room. I got dressed, texted then called our son-in-law, Sean, told him what was going on, and told him to call our daughter, Tracey. Both were out of town. Sean and our grandson Sawyer in San Antonio for the All American Combine—a football thing—and Tracey and our granddaughter, Savannah, were in New York, enjoying a holiday break mini-vacation. Tracey and savannah were due back Thursday. Sean and Sawyer wouldn’t be home until Saturday.

When I arrived at the hospital and found Sherry, a doctor met me immediately and showed me a CT scan that showed a large amount of blood on Sherry’s brain. He said they needed to operate as soon as possible. They asked Sherry if she would consent, and she didn’t want them to operate. Who would? I was astounded they would even ask her. I mean, really? Her brain was not functioning properly! When they turned to me and asked if I wanted to make the decision, I said, “Yes.” Then they asked if I would consent to the operation. Again, I said yes. Within a matter of minutes all the forms were signed, and they wheeled her away. As I signed the last form a nurse asked if I understood the forms. I said, “You’re kidding, right?”

I was directed to a waiting room and told the surgery would take about two hours, and they would let me know when she was out of the operating room. I sat there alone and dazed in a world that was very silent and very still. It felt as though my world had literally stopped turning.

I had only one phone number in my contacts; Jaylynn, a friend from our workout class at the gym, so I texted her at around 8:30 AM, or so, and stated simply, “I need some help. Longview Regional. I can’t talk. Too upset.” Yes, I know I talk like I’m tough as nails and make people think I can handle anything but, well, I guess neither is true when something like this happens. She didn’t get the text until about 9:15—she was in our exercise class—but as soon as she found out and texted back, she said she was on her way.

Of course, I couldn’t know all the things that were taking place. I’d gone outside to take a phone call from Sean’s dad, Danny, after I talked to him, and I was standing outside trying to get my thoughts together, I looked up to see one of Tracey’s friends, JoCarol, coming toward me. My mind said, Oh my God. My heart said, Thank you, Jesus. I hardly knew JoCarol but at that moment she became one of my dearest friends and she will ever be so. She gave me a hug—I have no idea what she said to me—then we went inside, and we talked. After a few minutes, the words started to make sense and we talked.  Mostly about football and the Lobos (her son, Parker, is one of Sawyer’s best friends, and plays on the team.) The team, the Lobos, for those who don’t know, are the 2018, 6A Division II State Champions in Texas high school football. Sawyer is a defensive tackle, and Parker is the center. Both are juniors, and I’ve already told them I expect a repeat next season.

Jaylynn showed up shortly after JoCarol did, and so I had friends at my side. I will be forever grateful to these two wonderful ladies.

The operation was completed in less than an hour. They’d told me it would take at least two, so when the lady at the desk called my name, my mind froze, and all I could think was, it was too early! But when they told me the surgery was complete and all was well, I literally felt like I was floating above the earth. I think maybe Jesus picked me up and gave me a celebratory hug.

JoCarol left soon after we got the news. She has three big football players for sons and had to go feed them. (Her grocery bill must be astronomical!) So, it was just me and Jaylynn, and we waited for them to call and let us know what room Sherry was in, so we could go see her. I don’t know how long we waited, but Jaylynn kept pestering the lady at the desk. The lady was a volunteer, and she was awesome. She never stopped smiling and would call somebody every time Jaylynn would ask her to find out what was going on. At some point during the wait, I told Jaylynn she could go if she needed to, and she gave me a look that said she might be fixin’ to smack me upside the head. She stayed.

Time had become non-existent to me, so I have no idea what time it was when we were finally led to the room in the ICU where Sherry was recovering. All I knew was she WAS recovering, and at some point in time, we would go on with the rest of our lives. The world began to slowly turn again.

~~~~~

Nine long days have passed, seemingly in the blink of an eye, and Sherry is now in a rehab facility. All things considered, she’s doing remarkably well, and appears to have no lasting effects from the brain trauma and surgery. There are some minor motor-skill issues, and of course she’s weak and tires easily, but other than that, all is well.

sherry's cloud

Comments (2)

Miracles And Lobos

sawyer & sherryOn Wednesday, January 2, 2019, my wife, Sherry, experienced a hemorrhagic stroke—a ruptured vessel in the brain—and had to have emergency brain surgery. She came through the surgery fine and is recovering at a quite miraculous pace. Today is Sunday, day five, of our ordeal, and though her recovery seemed to stall a bit today, we are confident she will completely recover and have full physical and mental function. It is, to me anyway, nothing short of a miracle.

Her grandson, Sawyer came for his first visit today and brought two of his teammates with him. For those who don’t know, the team I refer to is the Longview Lobos, the 2018, 6-A, Division II State Football Champions. Sherry was thrilled that the boys came to see her.

I am in in the process of writing a detailed account of all that’s happened, so please hold your questions for a few days. I hope to post the story on my blog and Facebook in a few days.

Our world stopped spinning that cold, rainy morning five days ago, but it’ll be back to full speed real soon. We’re okay, she’s getting better every day, and all we need is your prayers and love.

Comments (2)

And I’m So Glad

just a man - cover quote

Leave a Comment

Purpose

a jigsaw puzzle 3

Leave a Comment

2019

Happy New Year!

meekness (2) quote

Comments (2)

Still…

I’m writing another book. It’s about love. And this morning, as I discussed what I’ve written so far with Sherry, an old country song slipped into my mind; “Still”, by Bill Anderson. As lines from the song began to drift through my mind, I told Sherry I felt as though God was singing them to me. Of course, I went straight to the internet and found the song, and as I listened to it, I cried. I cried because I can’t understand how God could still love me after all these years and all I’ve done. But He does.

clouds 1 Still

Still, by Bill Anderson. <— Click here to listen to the song

Just A Man <— My newest book of encouragement

Leave a Comment

« Newer Posts · Older Posts »