Heart beat

“Why?” “How?” “Could he have prevented it?” “What if he had only been there?” “Was she okay?” the questions raced through the young man’s mind like the road reflectors raced past his car. His name was Jeffrey Carson. His eyes were red and puffy from crying and his face was tear stained. It had only been fifteen minutes or so since he had gotten a call from the hospital that his girlfriend Jasmine had been admitted and rushed into the ER due to a car accident she had been involved in.

A few moments later and he was speeding towards the hospital.

He parked as quickly as he could and scrambled out of his car, tripping as he did so and landing on the ground with a thud. He was up in a second, hardly seeming to care as he dashed towards the entrance.

The receptionist at the desk directed him to the surgery wing, but he wasn’t really listening and as soon as she stopped talking he ran off.

As he reached the waiting area he met Jasmine’s parents. Both of them had the same terrified look on their faces. Her mother moved towards him with her arms open for a hug. He buried his face into her shoulder for a moment before backing away, “What happened?”

Her father spoke, “A drunk drive tried to pass her and cut back into the lane too early, hitting her car and forcing her against the guard rail…. Those things are supposed to hold!” he yelled at no one in particular. Jeff blinked, “What do you mean?”

“The guardrail gave way and her car rolled several times down down the embankment.” Her mother said in a slow deliberate voice, trying not to cry.

“She’s in surgery right now but… it doesn’t look good.” she finally added.

Jeff was in shock. How could this be happening? It had to be a bad dream. But it wasn’t.

And there was nothing to do but wait. And wait. And wait.

Finally the doctor came out to them. His face was somber.

“I’m sorry.” he started, “Your daughter’s surgery was… as successful as we can make it.”

“What does that mean?” Jeffrey blurted.

The Doctor sighed, “When the car rolled her chest was crushed. Most of the ribs were cracked or shattered but one has punctured her heart. If we remove it she will bleed to death, but if we don’t remove she won’t be able to breath. She’s currently on a breathing machine.”

“So… you’re saying she’s dead either way?” Jeffrey asked slowly.

The doctor nodded slowly.

“She needs a heart transplant immediately, but it would be nothing short of a miracle if there was one even available within the next month, let alone the next few hours.”

Jasmine’s mother began to sob uncontrollable into her husbands chest.

Jeffrey glanced back at them, “Jasmine and I are the same blood type.” he said softly, he turned towards the doctor, “Save her life with mine.”

Jasmine’s father looked up at Jeffrey, “Son, we can’t ask you to do that.” he said quietly, choking up some himself.

“You don’t have to.” Jeffrey said with a weak smile. “Just tell her… I love her… and that she’ll always have my heart.”

 

 

Flowers

Sunshine. It is not the expected weather for a funeral. The average person expects rain, as if the sky should weep with the mourners. Nevertheless, the sun shone brightly, its rays glinted off the silver handles and sleek, polished, wood of the casket. The parson and the groundskeeper stood under the shade of the closest tree, complaining over the price of gas in hushed tones. Almost a block from the cemetery gate stood a young man. He squinted in the sunlight, before slapping a greasy ballcap on his head.  In front of him was table, full of flowers with most of them only slightly wilted. A small cardboard sign read: “Flowers $5” and an open cigar box already had a few bills in it, weighted down by a rock. He was short, with a thick coat of stubble on his face, which was mostly shadowed by his hat, but his vibrant green eyes stood out. He wore a jean jacket, half way zipped and a tee-shirt with the Union Jack on the front. His pants had a few holes, and the pant-legs were muddy around his worn shoes. He watched several cars drive past towards the cemetery, they were the family of whoever was getting buried, and they would have brought their own flowers.

He took his hat off to wipe his brow from the heat, and ran a hand through his dirty blond hair, pulling it out of his face as he plopped his hat over it again. The others would start to arrive soon, and the ones that didn’t have time, forgot or were too cheap to buy fresh flowers would stop at his table –they always did.

The first car was a blue sedan; the driver was a middle aged man with a hooked nose and beady eyes. He reached across the car to manually roll down the window. “Hey, kid,” he gruffly called out.

“Yeah?” the boy responded, not moving from where he stood.

“Give me those yellow ones.” The man snapped, clearly in a hurry.

“They’re daylilies.” The boy said as she carried the bouquet the to the car window. The man was waving a five dollar bill.

The boy took the money and laid the flowers in the passenger seat, “Have a nice day.” He added with something of the smile, but the man just drove off without so much as a nod.

“Grouch.” The boy muttered, “No one would go to his funeral.”

He tucked the bill into the cigar box and moved behind the table again; in the distance he could already hear the sound of another engine.

It was an old, maroon station wagon with wood paneling. He knew instantly who it was: The Carsons. He knew they weren’t here for the funeral. They were a middle aged couple who had lost their only child in complications around a car accident a few years back. He didn’t know many of the details, because he hated to see them upset, but he knew enough. The boy liked them because they always brought fresh flowers from their own garden, but occasionally would give him a few dollars anyway. Mrs. Carson said his smile reminded her of their son and then with a slight sniffle they would wave and drive off, but would be back the following Friday exactly at one in the afternoon. This time, they simply waved and rumbled by, but the boy caught sight of the blue hydrangeas in Mrs. Carson’s arms.

He sniffed the flowers on his table, a few them were wilting because of the sun, but they still looked nice, and he always thought wilted flowers seemed fitting for the somber occasion of a funeral.

And so it continued – a few more people stopped to buy the flowers, but many simply drove by. Some days were like that. As the day wore on precious few dollars were in the cigar box. The boy sighed a little, dinner would be light.

He glanced up at the sun; it was nearly two o’clock by then. He knew the funeral would be almost over. He tucked the money he had in his back pocket and began to trudge towards the entrance to the cemetery. On his way he waved to the Carson’s as they pulled out. The car stopped and Mr. Carson held out a five dollar bill, “Have a good afternoon,” he said with a smile and a nod.

The boy grinned and took the bill, “Same to you, both!” He waved again as the car pulled off before resuming his walk. The funeral was near the middle of the cemetery, so the boy stayed near the entrance to keep his distance, a little self conscience of his clothes.

He surveyed the grounds, it had been the only ceremony all day, but that was alright. He knew there was one more just before sunset.

The funeral ended rather uneventfully and the somber line of people soon left, leaving only the boy and the groundskeeper who began to refill the dirt on the grave.

The boy made his way over, “Heya,” he called out.

The groundskeeper looked up from his work, “Oh hey. How’d ya do?”

“Alright.” The boy said with a shrug as he fished out the wad of money, “One more tonight right?” he asked as he proffered some of the cash to the man working the shovel.

“Yup,” he replied, “You still got those jars with candles? Those will sell good too.” He advised the boy.

The boy smiled a little, “Yeah, I bet.”

The boy then began to collect all the flowers that had been laid against the tombstone at the head of the grave. “A lot of fresh ones.” He said, sounding pleased.

The grounds keeper nodded, “Yeah.” But that was all.

The afternoon rolled on and so did the second line of cars for the day. The boy stood behind his table, this time there were more flowers, and in the middle – a large bouquet of blue hydrangeas.

The Liebster award

So apparently it’s a thing. I think it has a kinda funny name, but whatevs.

liebster-award

Anyway, it is a cool idea, gets other people’s blogs highlighted so you can discover people or blogs you wouldn’t normally. Not sure why it wasn’t called “The discover award” or something, but I didn’t name it so…

My sister Hannah nominated me and I put it off basically forever, so thank you Hannah, but here we go!

It starts with some rules.

1.) Thank the blogger who nominated you
2.) Share the award on your blog
3.) Answer the 10 questions you are asked
4.) Nominate at least 10 more bloggers
5.) Ask 10 new questions
Wow, I did the first 2 without evening trying! Maybe the rest won’t be so bad!
So her questions were:
“1.) What is your favorite donut? ( i.e maple bar, plain cake, fruitloops on the top ect,.)
2.) If you were to appear in a comedic TV Show what would be your name and character? And what would be your signature phrase, look, or animal?
3.) What is your favorite film from the ’90’s?
4.) What is one style of dress you think should NEVER be repeated?
5.) What is one style of dress you think should become popular again?
6.) Name a song that brings a happy memory to your mind.
7.) Why for the love of mustard is the bun to hot dog ratio never right?
  *Bonus points if you know which movie this quote is from!*
8.) What is the best pickup line you have ever heard? ( or that has been used on you!? )
9.) Name a musical artist you never thought you’d get into and are now a complete fan of.
10.) Give a random fact about you, your hair, and your hairbrush.”
Answers:
I. Well first of all – Is it doughnut or donut? And I really like the plain old fashioned ones. The ones that go really well with coffee! And then maple bars with bacon on top.
old-fashion
II. Quentin ‘Quinn’ Bigby – Quirky and witty, he’s the comedian among his peers and makes most of the jokes. Also the most sarcastic… His most common monotone comment is simply, “Fascinating.” Usually uttered when he is hardly interested in the current conversation. Although under all his sarcasm, he is fiercely loyal to his friends and is always ready to bail them out of whatever predicament they managed to get themselves into. He would also have a Parrot named Boyd.
III. The 1995 Amblin animated adventure of ‘Balto’!
balto-movie-poster-1995-1020203375
IV. Fannypacks. Just no.
V. Basically everything from the 1920’s. I simply adore fashion from the Roarin’ Twenties! Trench coats, fedora’s, pin stripes!
VI. ‘Carry on my Wayward Son’ by Kansas. Doesn’t exactly bring a specific memory to mind, but it makes me happy soooo…
VII. Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium. “And you wanna know why? Because some big-shot over at the wiener company got together with some big-shot over at the bun company and decided to rip off the American public.”
VIII. I’ve never had the ‘Pleasure’ of people using pick up lines on me. Usually it’s one step more crass than that. But I’ve always been amused at, “Do you believe in love at first sight, or should I walk by again?”
IX. I honestly can’t answer this one… I like what I like and don’t like what I don’t like.
X. I like pie. My facial hair is a different color(red) then the rest of my hair.I don’t have a hairbrush.
Nominations:
Now this is the point where I’m supposed to nominate people. Except I don’t want to make anyone feel like they have to. So instead: If you read this and want to get nominated – Congratulations! You’re nominated! But if you don’t feel so inclined then you don’t have to worry about anything. Win win!
My questions:

I. If you could live anywhere, cost not an issue, where would it be?

II.Name a child hood hero and why they inspire you.

III. Favorite cereal?

IV. Favorite piece of clothing you own.

V. Least favorite thing you have eaten.

VI If you could spend a day in any period in time, when would it be?

VII.Coffee or Tea?

VIII. Favorite meal of the day?

IX. What are thee adjectives you would use to describe yourself?

X. What are three adjectives you would want people to use to describe you?

 

And there we have it. Cheers!

Moments

I don’t think anything can emotionally prepare you for a phone call saying a dear friend and mentor is having trouble breathing.

Or for arriving on the scene seconds after the ambulance – and seeing a still body on the ground. Every fiber of your being tense, worried, hopeful, terrified.

Nothing compares to the huddle of people all praying for the life of their friend. The fervent feeling in the room, the hush so deep you can hear a pin drop.

The sound of a defibrillator, and voices of the firemen, “Clear.”

These are the moments that are seared into our brains.

The tight embrace of a sobbing body – frail and heaving from the emotional exertion of the thought of losing a father – Giving all the comfort I can to a young woman who while not related to me, is as much a sister to me as my biological family.

The tiny whisper from a dry throat, “They found a pulse…”

The wave of relief, the choked back tears: I will never forget these moments.

 

I like bacon. And other curious truths…

Seriously, I LOVE bacon… So basic American I know… I also love breakfast. All breakfast foods. Except quiche with broccoli. That is gross. Anything with broccoli is gross… And no, I can’t just pick it out. The taste lingers!

If you ever wondered why I don’t post much -well, I try to post about big things that happen to me, but apparently my perception of “big things” means earth shattering things that will probably never happen… hence why I never post. Buuuuuuuut… there have been some things that I *should* have posted about. because to me, they’re… basically the best. Yes, even better than bacon! One of them being that JoAnna and I celebrated our seventh month dating anniversary! Which… is awesome. I can’t even think about how life was before her! Mostly… it was boring.

Now for some rather mundane facts:

I’ve been gainfully employed for over 547 days.

I’m currently car shopping. Which I do not enjoy.

I’m growing my beard out again.

Also food.

 

Randəm

I’m like that old hermit who only comes out of his hidden home to give words of wisdom to those rare folks who adventure deep into the creepy woods and over the suncracked mud of the badlands. Only… I’m just ramblings, not being helpful.

You know what sucks? Self control. Like you really want that last brownie but your brain has a conversation that goes something like: “Oh, I want that! Buuut…. I shouldn’t… Oh, I’ll just work it off later! Buuut…. I don’t really want to workout so that won’t happen. I just won’t eat it. … … … Who am I kidding? That brownie is mine! DIBS!” And then you eat it and then next time you try on your favorite pair of pants they don’t fit. Moral of the story, brownies are evil. Nah, just kidding. But for reals, self control is like way hard. It’s also really satisfying. And then there is self control’s comrade – Perseverance. He’s kinda hard to get to stick around, but once he’s there he usually stays for a while. So if you’re gunna quote me, here is the ‘Too long, didn’t read’ version. ‘Self control and Perseverance seem like cool people.Go make friends with them.’

Life recently has been…. Well it’s been life, ya know? Unpredictable, wearisome, amazing, energizing, scary, exciting and every other adjective one could think of.

Some days you wake up and it’s a miracle you get out of bed at all, other days the second you open your eyes you’re ready to take on the world. Sometimes you’re stuck in a rut for days at a time and sometimes you’re practically walking on clouds. Crazy how that works.

You know what else is crazy? That I’m going to be 20 next month… Kinda blows my mind. So is the fact that I have simply the most amazing woman who embarked on the  wildest adventure with me… JoAnna, if you’re reading this – You are a wonderful human being and when you smile, a butterfly hatches somewhere in the world!

Ever been socialonely? That’s when there are people all around and you’re not actually alone, but the one person you want to hang out with isn’t around so you’re just lonelys Yeah, that’s me sometimes.

Have you ever thought about what you would say if by some chance you got famous and went on a talk show? Yeah, I have. I would amuse myself at least.

So yeah, life’s been happening and I’m doing my best to hold on.

Cheers.

 

 

 

 

 

January 1st…

The start of a new year. Every year I wonder why everyone makes such a huge fuss over it. Why rush the journey to eternity? Do they actually care about bettering themselves and those around them? Do they care about changing the world, or is it just another excuse to get wasted and get paid for it.

As I sit on my bed, having just finished day 1 of my MacArthur daily Bible(A Christmas gift) I can’t help but be completely overwhelmed with how much God has blessed me. How much I’ve changed for good or how much I have stayed the same – For bad.

It’s just after 2, I have the day off and I’m enjoying the quiet, the fact that I could sleep in. I wish for a cup of tea, but I don’t feel like getting up and making it. I have a blog post to write after all. How petty.

From the other room I hear one of my sisters singing Silent Night. The mumbled words that she doesn’t quite remember, but the clear and joyous chorus. I am humbled – I want my praise to be like that. Sure it gets messy and maybe I don’t remember some of the words, but the chorus – What we always return to, the repeated stanzas that echo in our minds, I want to sing it with no shame! I want my life to be ablaze with my love for Christ! That’s what the new year means to me – forgetting my mistakes of last year, and in the new? Laughing, learning, growing, praising, giving thanks.

Happy 2016!

– Cheers.