Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Can a Leopard Change It's Spots?

In March of 2009 my family took a road trip to Galveston, Texas (don't ask me why because they had just been plummeted with a hurricane.) We took two vehicles. I drove mine and Jeff drove my dad's.

I warned him. "Jeff, my dad will talk non-stop the whole trip so be ready."

A few hours into the trip we stopped for gas. I walked up to Jeff and he said, "Kelly, you were not joking. Your dad did not shut up the whole time. I mean, the WHOLE time!! He never stopped talking!!"

I guess the apple doesn't fall far from the tree on that one.

Ever since I was a small child I haven't wanted to be hushed. I talked and talked and talked. I look at old report cards and every single one of them said something like this......."Kelly is a bright child but does too much socializing...." "Kelly talks too much." "Kelly has a hard time keeping to herself."

My mom tells a story about me as a little child. She told me if she wanted me to be quiet she would place her finger over my mouth and the tears would flow. I just could not be hushed.

To this day I do not like to be hushed.

I am outspoken and feel the need to be heard. If I have an opinion I want to be able to say it. I have gotten into a lot of trouble because of this. If someone says something on facebook that I don't agree with I say so. If someone exhibits dysfunctional behavior I usually shine a light on it.

The question is. Can I change my spots? Should I change who I am? How can I learn to temper myself? Should I change who I am to make someone else happy?

I used to love to hear my dad talk. I would listen and allow him to say anything he wanted. I was someone he could vent to. I miss listening to him. Happy, sad or mad.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Too Soon Old and Too Late Smart

I went to Mayo yesterday with my good friend, Sherrie Richey. We met with a young, east Indian woman who was a "fellow" working with my Dr. Okuno. She was very articulate. We both were taken aback by how tiny and young she was. We figured early 30s.

Then I got to thinking. Why is it that so many people do not make wise choices in their youth and have a hard time getting it and getting it right? I see so many people (and I was one of them) who are in their thirties and they haven't gotten anywhere. Their lives are a series of start ups but no finishes.

There are some (like this doctor) who must have gotten it. Go to school. Get your degree. Go on and get your Masters or go to Law School or be a doctor. But no. That is too long and too hard. But we, as adults who have lived a few years understand that the time goes quickly and you are going to be 30 one day anyway, why not be thirty and successful.

Partying as a detour. I also have seen kids get into a school situation and they let themselves run amock. They party too much and do not study. There is not balance in their lives. If a kid can go to school and balance fun with class and studies, then I think they are very successful young people who are getting it at an early age.

I have looked around and noticed how some people never get it. They go through their life and never have a steady job. Longevity is something NOT apparent on their resume. I call this frittering away your life trying to find the perfect fit that never comes.

There is also an interesting phenomenon I have observed. It's like this joke.........a guy is in a flood and he is standing on his roof. He prays out to God to save him. A guy comes by on a boat and asks him if he needs a ride, he says no. Then a guy in a canoe comes by and asks if he can get him out of there.....nope, God is going to save me. Finally the river rises and the guy drowns. In heaven he asks God, "God I thought you were going to save me!" God says I SENT A BOAT AND A CANOE TO GET YOU OUT!!!

I have a friend who is waiting for God to tell him what to do. I gave him some advise and he wasn't quick to take it. He said something like, "well that seems like the obvious thing to do but I don't want to jump on it because it is obvious." Then I wonder if he had prayed and God sent him my way to give him a nudge and he didn't take it? I only say that because God told me he needed to be friends with a certain guy and I told him and he didn't act on it.....then through some other events he became that guys best friend........hmmmm.........they might have met earlier if he had taken my advise.

My mom always says, "too soon old and too late smart." I know this because I am older and wiser. I wanted to exercise early on but was chastised about it being selfish and what would the employees at Wellspring think if I came in an hour later than usual. Now I know that that wouldn't have mattered to anyone but the person who thought it might. I would have been more physically fit and probably less sick at this time. Excercise is healthy. Eating right is healthy. It is not being self centered to take time for yourself to be healthy. Also just taking ME time. Pedicures. Massages. Movies. Eating out. Doing what you want to do. Mothers so often become caretakers of everyone else and never take care of themselves.

It all takes discipline. It takes a plan. You have to know where you wanna go, how you are going to get there and then take the steps necessary to work your plan. It is important to me now to have all the cards on the table. I cannot guess what my future holds, I need to know so I can plan accordingly. Even if I live another 30 years, I have to plan like I won't. I have to get my ducks in a row and do it right.

Everyone should do that. Young AND old. But especially young. If you dream a dream and then take the necessary steps to live it you can get your dream!! If you always wanted to be an actor than try out for a part at the playhouse. Study it in school. Move to New York. Try out for plays and soap operas and commercials. Don't sit in Des Moines, Iowa and wish you were an actor.....it doesn't work that way. Take the steps.

So kids in your thirties.......you are still young. Don't be too soon old and too late smart. Talk to your spouse. Make a plan. What is it going to take to move your family from here to where you want it to be? Does the wife have to step up while the husband finishes some schooling? or visa versa? Do what it takes to make something of your life. And when you get a job.....STAY!! Get some seniority....it looks good on a resume. Volunteer. That looks good on a resume!!

Go for it so you don't live with regret. You will be respected more and you will respect yourself as well!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

My Benefit From My Perspective

It was so much fun.

At first I got there and it really was set up like a benefit. There was a table of donated items for a silent auction. Gift Certificates, Computers, a fabulous painting of my father, gift baskets, a guitar from Styx!! It was so cool.

So everyone was eating BBQ and Mary was calling numbers for raffles. They had so many donations.....

Then we watched this awesome DVD of pics from my life. Mary sat next to me and I pretty much cried the whole time!! Some pics I hadn't seen before!! Mary and I in Hawaii when we were in our early 20s!!

I was overwhelmed!! It was like a high school reunion, a church reunion, friends from Des Moines, people I didn't know. A mixed bag of people!! All there to help me!

Then the band started. For a minute it was like they were interrupting the benefit. Some people left or moved outside so they could continue to talk. But all of a sudden the benefit turned into a party!! People were partying hard!!!! The band was great!!

Don't know how I did it but I stayed until after 1 am!! I was lip syncing Purple Haze by Jimmy Hendrix and my mom said, "You KNOW this song?" My mom was a trooper, too. I mean this turned into a regular party......I think the owner of the bar was probably pretty pleased because people were really buying lots of drinks!!! I had several glasses of water and a couple Diet Cokes!!!!

Todd and the lead singer came down and sang me a Lynyrd Synryd song!! That was so cool!! Todd was running around the crowd playing the guitar!! Jeff wants to go back to Omaha and see the band again when they play around town!! I think Jeff likes my high school buddies!!

They raised a lot of money for my cause!! Thanks so much because I am waiting for disability to kick in and the doctor bills are coming in faster than I can keep track of them. I have had to stay at hotels several times and that is always at least $100 per night!!

I also was very happy that Mary and Todd made an effort to inform people of leiomyosarcoma....that is the kind of cancer I have and it is so rare!! I think they did a good job of raising awareness!!!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Experiencing an outpouring which I cannot fathom

"So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver" (2 Corinthians 9:7). ...

I have always thought of this verse in light of tithing. Giving to the church.

But lately as I watch my friends work so long and hard on my behalf it dawned on me............they are putting on this benefit cheerfully. They WANT to do something nice for me. They don't do it grudgingly at all............or out of necessity............they do it because they care for me.

I don't care if I get a penny. It is the heart with which they give which blows me away. They want nothing in return. There are no strings attached. They are not doing it because it is their "duty."

They are doing it because they care.


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Here's another small world story from my youth

Right after high school I went to the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. I lived there one semester.

The girl next door (Cindy Lou) and I hit it off. We had so much fun together!!

She pointed out this gorgeous guy that was probably pledged by THE best fraternity. He was a model. We saw his picture in local ads, etc. We stalked him. Whenever we would see him we would follow him, oooh and ahhh over him. He was knocked down dragged out gorgeous!!

Of course, he had no idea we existed.

That Christmas our family and a few others went to Hawaii. Me and the other teenagers went to Spago disco one night. Guess who was there? The model from Lincoln!!

I went up to him and asked him if he was from Nebraska. His answer? I suppose you wanna dance? So we danced.

I walked off the dance floor and chuckled to myself, "I wish Cindy Lou was here!"

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Keep You Eyes Open For People In Need

When I was a young mother, just divorced I don't think people saw how much I was in need of help.

Meanwhile my grandmother would go to my aunt's house and clean her house and do laundry. She would go to my mom's house and clean her house.

I was a single parent of three young children. My youngest had autism. I was basically broke. I always had more month than money and never any extra money. I had to work everyday so I didn't have time to keep my house clean. I barely had enough time to mow the lawn, do the laundry and keep the dishes up. The girls' rooms were pits. There was dust on all the furniture. The floors were dirty. Things were unorganized. I was sinking and no one offered to lend a helping hand. I lay in bed for months in a state of depression. I was still expected to be all things to all people.

I would get birthday cards from my gram which always included how hard my mom had it. I could never understand how she could state something so wrong to the person who actually had it hard.

Now I understand my gram doesn't eat well. I think she thinks groceries are expensive and she may be afraid of driving. So she goes without food and no one takes a bag full of groceries to her.

Courtney and I talked about it and are going to go to the store and fill her fridge and pantry with frozen meals and soups.

People don't seem to realize how much they could help people in times of need.

I am so blessed to have some wonderful friends from my hometown of Bellevue, Nebraska who are putting on a benefit for me to help with medical and personal expenses. This is the first time in my life I have felt the love and care from people in my time of need.

I just want to remind everyone that sometimes people need people. Get your benevolent antennas up and it will be easy to find people who need something. Sometimes it is just a hug and the validation that they are doing a great job with their life, family, job.

Sometimes people could use clothes, food, money. See if God lays someone on your heart. I promise you, your benevolence will be appreciated!!!

It's a Small World

One day within the last year I couldn't sleep. I started thinking back to my days at church camp in Lexington, Nebraska.

Each summer me and the rest of the youth group at church would make the pilgrimage to the Assembly of God Church Camp in Lexington. Although it was supposed to be a spiritual week (and for the most part it was) it was more a "find a boyfriend camp."

Each year I had my eye on this guy named Julius Corder. He had dark skin. I found out later he was Native American. One year he liked me. The next year he liked this girl Denise. The next year he liked me. He gave me his school picture and to this day I have it in a photo album.

After high school my dad told me a guy with the last name of Money called. I figured out later it was Julius. My dad mistaking Corder for Quarter. I never saw him again.

So in the middle of the night I couldn't sleep so I started googling people from church camp. When I googled Julius I immediately got an obituary with the same school picture he gave me at church camp.

But that is not the small world thing.

It said in his obituary he was an actor and that he played Richard Yellow Hawk in the movie Thunderheart. What makes that so interesting is that the movie Thunderheart was based on a true story and is one of my brother's favorite movies. I had even seen it before but hadn't recognized Julius. I downloaded the movie and watched it and sure enough, there was my church camp boyfriend, Julius Corder (who had changed his name to Julius Drum.)

He died a couple years ago of diabetes.