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My Life with Barrett’s Esophagus

Eight years ago, I was diagnosed with Barrett’s Esophagus, Barrett’s for short.  I was suffering from a daily upset stomach, and thought I might have an ulcer.  I also suffered from bouts of heartburn.  One night, the heartburn was so terrific, I thought I would vomit.  Of course, being stubborn, I just took more antacids.  It was not unusual for me to eat, eight to ten antacids, or more,  four to five days a week. My family and friends, gave me advice on how to “fix” the problem.  I tried eating a soft bland diet, drinking more milk, raising the head of my bed, and even, sitting up in my recliner to sleep. Nothing worked; in fact, the heartburn got worse.  The last straw came, when I could not drink a glass of water, without getting extreme heartburn.  I knew I had to stop being stubborn and get to the bottom of the problem. The next day, I was telling our school secretary about the heartburn, and my stomach discomfort.  She told me about a wonderful gastroenterologist, her husband, Paul, was seeing for digestive issues.  The more I listened, the more I wanted to  learn about this doctor.  So, after doing some research, and talking to my family doctor, I gave his practice a call and set up an appointment. The first appointment was to meet with him, discuss the problem, and make a plan.  He suggested an endoscopy to help with the diagnosis.  Within a week, I walked through the doors of […]

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February, A Month to Love

February is one of my favorite months of the year.  I love Valentine’s Day. I love sending cards to my family and friends, and dipping pretzels in dark chocolate for special surprises.  I love seeing men, women, teens, and children buying beautiful flowers for their loved ones. I love the smiles on the faces of husbands and wives, enjoying a delicious dinner. I love walking into a nursing home with its hallways and doorways, decorated with red and pink hearts. My heart soars when I see the happiness it brings the residents and all those families and friends who visit.  I love seeing school children, decorating a bag or a box, and proudly depositing a card into each one. I love their expressions and laughter at the end of the school day, as they read each card and giggle. I am in love with love. Everything about it.  Valentine’s Day and everyday of the year. The other side of the coin….. My heart aches for the number of lonely folks out there whether it is Valentine’s Day or any other day of the year.  I see them when helping at the homeless shelter. I see seniors that are missing their families who have passed on to heaven. I see it in the wife who sits by her husband in the hospital, with no one to lean on.  I see it in the quiet child who has a difficult time making friends.  All of these folks knew love, gave love, received […]

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Friday, A Day of Lessons

Today is Sunday.  The weather is sunny and rather spring like.  The snow is melting and I am enjoying every minute of it.  As I reflect, on the days leading up to this glorious afternoon, Friday stands out as a day of lessons. It started out as any other day: morning prayers, coffee and breakfast, and catching up on my reading.  But, little did I know what was in store for me, just a few hours later. It all started two years ago, when I was asked to help at a funeral luncheon.  Of course, I said yes, and must admit, it was very rewarding. In fact, so rewarding, I continued, always ready to say, yes.  I felt somehow, we ladies, were helping the families by having everything ready for them, after the sadness of burying their loved one. Sometimes I knew the family and sometimes I did not. Sometimes the funeral service was held at our church and sometimes it was not. Friday…….. Another luncheon to prepare for, another family grieving the loss of a loved one. Another family I did not know. On this day, the service was held in our church.  We worked hard to get everything just right, for those joining us for lunch. When we are satisfied with our work, the ladies asked if I wanted to go up to the service but, I was unsure if I should, since I did not know the family. But, my dear friends said it would be okay. I […]

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The Spoon Thief

Last summer, I took a spoon from my daughter’s kitchen. Yes, I am a spoon thief. The spoon was not a plastic spoon, or a measuring spoon, but a very nice stainless steel spoon with a fully designed handle.   I know that you, dear reader, must be thinking, “Big deal, it’s only a spoon!” But it is my hope, that you might change your mind after reading the whole story.  First, I have to give you a little background which will help you understand, why I did what I did. My daughter, Laurie and her husband, Lew are very busy. Laurie has her own business and Lew is a wonderful principal in an elementary school. They have two sons that they adore.  My oldest grandson, was commissioned from the Naval Academy in May and is now stationed in Pensacola, Florida. He is in flight school. Their youngest son, is a Plebe at the Academy where he is also on the Men’s Gymnastic Team.  ( just grandma bragging) Before both boys entered the military, they were involved in sports; not just one sport but several.  Although Laurie and her family live about eighty five miles from my home, it has been very difficult planning visits on both sides. They have full plates during the week, and travel most weekends to the Academy.  I am so proud of them and their dedication to their sons. However, I missed them all dearly; especially my daughter. Setting for the idea….. It is June […]

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The Magic of a Bowl of Soup

This is a story about soup: rich and creamy, chicken and noodles, meat and vegetables, or any recipe you like.  Soup warms our bodies, and according to mothers everywhere,  heals whatever ails us.  Soup can be homemade or made by opening a can. It can be made in a large pot or in a bowl in the microwave oven. It is delicious when served with warm crusty bread or crackers.  I could go on and on how delicious soup is, and how much I like making it, but there is more to a bowl of soup then just the ingredients, pots, how we cook it, and how we eat it.   Although the above has a lot of merit, there is so much more to know about soup, and how it can change the lives of others. The Magic of a Bowl of Soup……. I love people of all ages, but am especially fond of seniors, those less fortunate of any age, and children.  My husband always tells me that I care about everyone. Maybe he is right.  I only know that if I can help someone I will. Did you ever realize how some folks who are in need, never ask for anything?  They struggle silently whether their need is financial, or health related.  They are proud and would not  think of asking for help. I  have two neighbors that fit that description. So whenever I make soup,  I make sure I prepare twice the amount.  I think they feel better about accepting  […]

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A Beacon of Perseverance, Gratitude and Love

My sister, Donna is a one of a kind. She not only has a remarkable memory, but knows every family member’s name, their birthday, wedding anniversary, their spouses and children’s names, and when they graduated from school. She is the one that greets each person at our family reunion by their first name, as my brother, Lee, my sister, Emma, and I just say, “Hello,” and smile.  I must mention that our family is well over four hundred strong with at least one hundred or more attending our annual reunion. She is our go to gal, when we remember something great that happened in the past, but just can’t pull out the date.  As I am getting older, I find myself calling her quite frequently for dates of things, I should remember. Donna actually wrote the birthdays, wedding anniversaries, graduation dates and whatever date she thought I would need in a lovely date book, which I can’t seem to find.   She is amazing! This story is not just about my sister’s memory, it’s much more than that. It is about a woman with a big heart, who cares about each person she meets. It is about the birthday cards she sends out to immediate family, and close friends. It is about the call she makes when someone is sick, and the encouragement she gives. My sister always ends her calls with,  “Call me if you need anything.” Donna didn’t always have an easy life. When she was six years old, she […]

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Suicide Awareness

I have been wanting to write about this growing epidemic for several days, but did not know where to start.  So bear with me, as I attempt to share my feelings. As I listen to the news, read newspaper articles, and talk to those who have lost a love one through suicide, or attempted suicide, I am reminded that some children, teenagers, adults, middle age, and seniors are at a great risk. Some folks may exhibit signs of needing help, and some hide their feelings, leaving family and friends to wonder what they missed. These beautiful souls who feel they have nothing to live for, or see no way out, just want the pain to stop.  I find myself often thinking about, what circumstances these folks find themselves in, that leads to their final decision. Bullying, illness, drugs, and alcohol, physical and mental abuse, feeling of failing, and letting family and friends down, mental illness, and not feeling they fit in, are just a few on a list of many causes. So dear readers, how can each one of us make a difference? How can we reach out to a love one, or a friend who is struggling?  I know what I plan on doing. First, I want my friends and family to know how much I love them; and that my love is unconditional.  Secondly,  I want them to know that I will always be there for them.  Importantly,  I want them […]

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