Thursday, May 24, 2012

My Insurance Sucks!!! Sorry!

     Laughing, as I read the New York Times headline Senate Backs Bipartisan Bill to Speed Drugs and Avert Shortages by Robert Pear published: May 24, 2012, I coughed and tried to get something more out of my inhaler.
     “Oh for goodness sakes,” I cried out, “it’s wonderful to get more meds out and I’m glad they’re being approved faster but come on!” I understood how important it was to have these drugs available, but what good did it do if they were available and you still couldn’t afford them?
     What they considered affordable really wasn’t; worse my doctor kept telling me there weren't generics available for most of my meds; if and when a generic was available I still couldn’t afford it.
     Dumbfounded, I still couldn't believe how much my medications were! Month before last I’d paid out over $2000 for thirteen medications and I’d finally put my foot down. The allergy meds I used, while under my insurance had been expensive, but somewhat affordable. Now that same medication had been made an over the counter med and believe it or not, was now so expensive I couldn’t afford it. I was due to get it again this month and I had to decide whether to buy my meds or pay bills and buy groceries.
     My insurance was supposed to help, but after the recent changes brought about by the latest bill that had been passed, I was paying more for everything, including emergency room and doctor visits. The doctor’s office had called me several times to remind me of appointments I needed to make. They couldn’t understand why I said I couldn’t afford it. Once again, I went through the long explanation; eight hundred dollars a month could only go so far and using $500 of it on doctor appointments didn’t leave much room for groceries, utilities, etc. Their response? Can you borrow the money? What the heck!!?!?!?? If I don’t have the money to buy medication and etcetera, what the heck makes them think I can afford to borrow and pay back?
     I thought about the $200 I paid for my medical insurance and for a moment I wanted to cancel it. What good did it do me to even have insurance?
     Oh well, life is life and I knew everyone else was going through the same thing. I stuck my tongue out at the NYT article on my laptop and with a sharp motion closed it out.
     Even though I’d been griping I hadn’t forgotten that God would provide as usual. He always did. I took as deep a breath as I could; gasped and coughed a bit and finally decided what to do. This month I'd buy groceries and maybe next month I'd have saved enough to buy one month's worth of medications. 
     Walking out of the kitchen I stopped and leaned against the fridge trying really hard to catch my breath. After resting for a bit I headed out the door. Hopefully someone had an extra inhaler I could have.

Written for JP At Olive Garden Poetry Picnic Week 36 at:
Thanks again for the opportunity! Blessings.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

An Extraordinary Strength

   My father was the pastor of our church and mom was his right hand and steadfast supporter; she was also the head Sunday school teacher, head of the Women’s Auxiliary and Girls in Action, the Sunday school superintendent, teacher to the teachers, dad’s sounding board, and the scapegoat for many of the women who either didn’t like the way things were being run, or just wanted someone to gripe at. 
     The  church had no pianist at the time so mom took it upon herself to learn to play that instrument and began taking lessons by mail; she called them correspondence lessons. I still have no idea how that worked!! But still she plodded on week after week and six months later she could play any song in the hymnbook. Her busy week didn't even begin until she’d made time to do visitation with dad. It was remarkable that she could do all that and still be a mom to two boys and two girls and later an additional two; my little brother and myself.
     Dad was forever reading his Bible and studying and he taught us how important it was to love God and to be gentle, kind and loving. He had a true servant’s heart no matter what the situation might be. Dad had such a faith and he always said that no matter how often he might question God, he knew God wouldn't get angry with him and every question would come back with the right answer.
     While mom agreed with him 100%, her faith was a bit different, but just as strong. She trusted God and never questioned anything that happened in her life, because as she said, "God is at the helm and He doesn't make mistakes. He's never let me down before and He never will."
     Mom had a special gift for prayer and boy did she pray. There was never a day, or night that you didn’t find her praying for everyone, by name. I’m not just talking about us, her children, but everyone at church, her friends, anyone she met at the grocery store or on the street. She had a special strength that I know now was possible only because of God and she constantly reminded us that her strength was not her own.
     Even now I’m amazed at the strong woman of God she was; laughing and joking when she should have been crying and always willing to hold the hands and pray for and with those that spent their time belittling her.
     My siblings and I still joke today and say that whenever mom was needed she could be found on her knees praying; she had permanent indentations on her knees.
     I thank God for a mother whose prayer and faith helped us get through our teenage years; we couldn’t have done it without her. Although out of the six of us only three continue to serve in the church, nonetheless we all know that it was her heartfelt prayers to God and her tears for us that helped us get where we are today.
     Mom loved and trusted God and that made it possible for her to be so many things to so many people. I’m so proud to have been gifted her as a mother. She may not have been perfect, but she showed me how faith, love and prayer can give you an extraordinary strength.
     Mom you were a queen among women. We miss you so much, but one day we will see each other again. I love you.

Written for JP AT Olive Garden: Poetry:

As always, thank you for the opportunity and for bringing back such wonderful memories. Blessings!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Brightest Star

NGC 4414

     She hasn’t been here in so long, but still her laughter, warmth and love resound throughout the house and all the scents that made it Mom’s house; the garlic, onion, cilantro and tortillas are the perfume that made this house a home.

     In the living and dining room, I quickly swipe the dust off of the coffee and end tables and touching the piano keys, it’s almost as if I can still hear her playing it. Oh I miss those times when we’d all grab our instruments; the tambourine, guitar, congas, harmonica, scratcher, shaker and if necessary spoons and gathering around the piano we’d sing. We didn’t need any excuses to sing together, we just sang because we liked it and it made us feel good.

     Dad’s deep, beautiful, rich baritone and mom’s husky alto would join with our voices as we’d harmonize, singing the hymns we all loved so much; Amazing Grace, Old Rugged Cross, Are You Washed in the Blood, Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus and He Can Turn the Tides.

     He Can Turn the Tides was always my favorite and at night I’d sit at my open window and sing it. I envisioned God’s hands as He lovingly shaped each planet, adding all the characteristics and terrain that would make it special and unique and could see His hands as He decided just exactly where the stars, suns, moons and galaxies should be hung. Would He use a giant crayon to color in the moons? Would He use oil or water paints to give the stars those amazing colors?

     For the life of me, I couldn't have told you which star was which, but what I did know was that God sure did have quite an artistic touch to Him and boy, was He ever creative. I’d lay down on my bed facing the night sky and gently slipping into dreams, I’d skate across the sky with stars under my feet while running my fingers through the galaxies and all the time feeling the warmth of God’s many suns on my face.

     I’ll be 51 years old this year, and still dreaming about playing out in space with all the cosmos at my fingertips. Of all God’s awesome creations I’m still in awe of His great work in creating space and all it’s worlds, but I think I’m most in awe of His creation of the brightest star in my sky, my mother. I miss you mom.

He Can Turn the Tides

Verse 1
He can turn the tides
And calm the angry sea.
He alone decides
Who writes a symphony.
He lights ev'ry star
That makes our darkness bright.
He keeps watch all through
Each long and lonely night.
He still finds the time
To hear a child's first prayer.
Saint or sinner call
And always find Him there.

Though it makes him sad
To see the way we live,
He'll always say, "I forgive."

Verse 2
He can grant a wish
Or make a dream come true.
He can paint the clouds
And turn the gray to blue.
He alone knows where
To find the rainbow's end.
He alone can see
What lies beyond the bend.
He can touch a tree
And turn the leaves to gold.
He knows every lie
That you and I have told.

Written by Richard Mullen/Jack Richards

☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ****☼ ☼ ☼ ☼

Thanks once again for the opportunity. Blessings!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

In Her Gilded Cage

Sitting on the ledge of the carved window she looked outside; it was so beautiful. The trees were so green and lush and the brightly clothed flowers invited all to go out and play. The wind teased the tall grasses and she longed to feel it against her skin and in her hair. She wondered what it was like to walk freely with nothing covering her face and her bare feet touching the ground.
Shivering she remembered that today she would be introduced to the man who would be her husband. She'd never seen him face to face and wondered what he would be like. Would her appearance give him pleasure? What would their lives be like? Would he give her children? Would they know happiness?
The last seventeen years of her life she'd been taught how to cook, sew and to know her place; walking out in public she was to walk with her face down looking at her father's or brother's feet and always remain three steps behind. Yes, she knew her place, but just once she wanted to know what it felt like to walk side by side with a man; to feel protected and valued, just for who she was and not for what she could do or for the heir she would provide.
Looking around the fine castle that had been her home and her prison she did not relish exchanging it for another gilded cage. Though only the finest of garments would touch her skin and the most excellent of foods her lips and while she would have everything, she would not have freedom. 
A fleeting look around the room brought no emotion, no feelings of home; of anything. It was after all just a cage.
         She turned and walked away, acceptance in her golden eyes; it was time to meet her new owner.
Written for Poetry Picnic Week 33 at JP At Olive Garden at:
Once again, thanks for the opportunity!