She Has Overcome

 

10296634_765089633525106_5060874179762599544_nI have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. John 16:33

That’s the verse printed on the inside of this bracelet. It’s been on my wrist almost constantly for the last year. I took that picture April 30th of 2014. It’s in support of Amy. I’ve told you about Amy.

Early this morning, she ran out of tomorrows. She is cancer free now, and she has overcome this world. And this world is a colder, darker place today.

She leaves behind a devoted husband, 2 young girls, two siblings, her mother, father, and countless friends whose lives she enriched.

 

11188186_1588918694692746_7676113397528333595_n

Her daughters brought her this flower. I understand she held it until the end.

Amy,

You were truly a gift from God. A light that shone too brightly for this world. I am blessed to have been a part of your life and heartbroken that your role in mine has come to an end. I know, my tears will dry and I will be left with only the blessing, but today is not that day.

Claim your crown and your new body. Rest in the peace you so richly deserve.

An Open Letter

But not from me.

As for the fear, I will face that head on. I will not allow the victim mentality to win.

You see, living in fear is a choice. You can choose to tremble in the dark, or you can choose to face it head on. Also, making the decision to equip yourself with a lethal weapon does not come from a place of hate. Sometimes you even pray for the bad guys. Go read the whole thing.

Recognizing a Stroke FAST

I was a latch-key kid back in the seventh and eighth grade, my parents each working long hours to support our lifestyle. I’d catch the bus after school and come home to an empty house, which I had to myself for the next two to four hours. This was before the days of the internet and even though we had cable with every channel, that got pretty old pretty quickly.

So I did what any enterprising adolescent with entirely too much time on her hands does, I started getting off at the wrong bus stop. Specifically, the stop that was four stops after my own that just so happened to be a close friend’s stop. Her mom was a stay-at-home mom that always had something delicious to share although her dad worked, he worked odd hours and always enjoyed entertaining us when he was around. And he was a riot. You never knew what might happen next. I remember mentioning that the sugar cookies were rather mundane and so he laid them out directly on the kitchen counter and covered them in chocolate syrup. It was a mess! I couldn’t believe it.

One Sunday morning as the family was getting ready for church, he wasn’t feeling well and sent them on without him. Those were the last words he ever spoke to his family. They returned from the morning services to find him collapsed in the bathroom. They called the ambulance, and I got a frantic call from my friend.

We spent hours in that hospital waiting room. Doctor after somber faced doctor passing through with updates. He’d had a stroke. A big one. And he was gone. Just like that.

I stayed with my friend. Ate the seemingly never-ending casseroles that arrived that she couldn’t work up the appetite to eat. We were in the eighth grade. No one should lose their dad in the eighth grade.

Could that story have ended differently? Maybe, maybe not. Medical technology and knowledge has come a long way since then. Early intervention makes the biggest difference in the outcome for a stroke victim. But you can’t call in the pros unless you know what to look for. That’s where FAST comes in.

Graphic Provided by the American Recall Center

Graphic Provided by the American Recall Center

F-Face Drooping
A-Arm Weakness
S-Speech Difficulty
T-Time to Call 911

The American Recall Center reached out to me* to share this information as we are getting into the holidays. Hopefully, we will all be getting together with our families and friends that we may not see the rest of the year. This can be a wonderful time, but it can also be a stressful time. Stokes spike around this time of year and knowing the signs could make all the difference.

*The American Recall Center asked. They did not compensate me for this post in any way. I agreed that the information was important. Please visit the Xarelto page for information regarding some negative side effects.

Teasing Death

Met this guy the other day.

Jen1

Evyl stood his ground

Michael1

The TeenBot sized him up. Besides, there was a bear in a sombrero there for back-up.

Isaac

Me? I did the only logical thing.

Jen2Brat

What? How would you react to meeting death in a gift shop? I knew he wasn’t there for me. When death comes for me, it’ll be random, hilarious, and earn me the lifetime achievement spot on the rubber knife award.

A Study in Hats

So what happens when the EvylEmpyre goes on a field trip?

DSC_0531

Contemplation

DSC_0530

Hmm

DSC_0532

Needs a hotdog

DSC_0533

Surely the silliness couldn’t be generational

DSC_0534

My goodness!

DSC_0536

So There’s This Book

It’s about a dog, but not just about a dog.

Really, it’s about life. And how dogs wriggle their way in and out and make a house a home. They are the children that never grow up. Never decide that their parents are totally lame. Never strike out on their own. They give us their lives. Every single day. They give us every ounce of devotion and quirk. And they give us this in far too little time. We need more years than they do to express our love and devotion.

And more than that again. Buy the book. You’ll understand. That link helps support this blog.

If you aren’t convinced, go read the archives over and Brigid’s place and buy it straight from her. I’m proud to call her a friend.

Sunday, Puppy Sunday

Yeah, totally stealing Phlegmfatale‘s schtick, but who could possibly resist that face?

DSC_1177

Besides, this was the divine Ms. Phlegmmy’s couch. I can prove it. Here’s Heidi chillin’ with one of the regular Sunday, Puppy Sunday Stars, the one-and-only Praline

DSC_1176

There exists a picture of all the dogs of the house, but since I’m obviously getting “the look” from the Alpha Dog Himself, I think I best keep that one to myself.

Best Thrift Store Find Ever

You know, I’ve made some pretty great thrift store finds, but my brother made the best one. And seeing as how there’s a no return policy, he married her yesterday. I even polished up my horns for the occasion. It’s not every day a girl gets a new sister, you know.

Congratulations, big brother. Here’s to many happy years!