Living and laughing with a disability - cerebral palsy; ordinary life, extraordinary circumstances.

Monday, October 29, 2012

A tear or a smile...

It's my decision, I know, to shed a tear or to crack a smile.

I love these quotes from Albert Einstein:

"You never fail until you stop trying."
"I have not failed, I have just found 10000 ways that don't work."
"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts ..."
"Try not to become a man of success. Rather become a man of value.” 

I got another "Dear John" email today...a job I wanted and did not get.  Another application, interview, and wait that did not end as I had hoped.  The online list says I have applied for 24 positions in the last two years.  I did not go all the way to interview with all of those applications...but still - it's a lot of apps.

Twenty three years ago I got my job with Child Welfare by starting as a volunteer, then a temp.  I showed what I could do and I was eventually hired.

Currently I am a volunteer with Special Olympics Oregon.  I go into their office once a week for a social media meeting.  I moved one of their event websites, PlungeOregon, from one platform to another.  I am working a Facebook page and Twitter page to promote the event.  The response has been awesome!  I am learning so much...and proving what I can do.

I am way better at showing what I can do rather than telling what I can do.  My cerebral palsy, coupled with nerves, makes the interview process very daunting for me.

I think of Einstein's words.  I'm not going to fail, because I'm not going to stop trying...after I shed a tear and crack a smile.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

That "B" word and Pastor Karl

I am distracted right now.  I have tweets to gather for Special Olympics Oregon,      but my brain is mushy right now.

Jodie was in tears at church today.  I was close to tears.  Eric didn't want to go to the lunch at church in honor of Pastor Karl.  Eric is having a really hard time with Pastor Karl's leaving...he has gotten real close to him.

Today was Pastor Karl's last day at our church, Resurrection Lutheran Church.  He is heading to a calling in Salem at Christ the Good Shepherd Church.

PK has been our family and youth pastor for the last five years.  Eric has been on mission trips that PK has the Blackfeet Reservation in Montana, to Las Vegas,  and to the recent youth gathering in New Orleans.

PK was a high school history teacher before he got the call to become a pastor.  He came to us five years ago.  A geeky guy with a kid's curiosity.  Eric adores Karl.

Today was Pastor Karl's last day with us.  His sermon about the feast that was given for the returning prodigal son, and how we should always leave an empty chair (not the Clint Eastwood type...;)) for the guest that is yet to come.  I will remember this one.

We have been instructed that, as of today, we are supposed to stop looking to Karl as Pastor.  He will be removing us RLC members from his e-vos (a wonderful online weekly devotion that he writes) from his email list.

I told Pastor Karl today that he would still be my "E-Pastor".

We had a great catered lunch from Ristorante Di Pompeyo.  We played games, Karl style, and told stories.

I don't think I said the "B" word ("bye") though.  This song kept running in my head....the same song I remember from my college days when parting paths from my dear friends:

Friends are friends forever.

So PK, this is not the "B" word.  Today was a hard lesson of that for us, but especially for Eric who has not been though this a lot.

People do go in and out of our lives, but memories of the important ones never leave us.

Pastor second Twitter follower btw (such a geek!) will always be in our hearts.


Friday, October 12, 2012

Tip a cop - Yummm!

Swiss cheese, beer mustard onions, Black Forest ham, hamburger on a pretzel bun.  It's called the Octoberfest Burger.

Insanely good!  You bet!

I had one a week ago.  My taste buds have not been the same since.

Red  Robin.  We all love them.  Burger, salads, wraps, soup...they have so many great things on their menu.

Twenty two years ago, at the Red Robin in Beaverton, I got down on a knee and said "Woman, will you marry me?"  Jodie and I bought Red Robin t-shirts and we wore them with matching jeans the day after we got married.  Yes, they forever have a soft spot in our hearts.

I have another soft spot in my heart...Special Olympics Oregon.  For those who do not know, I have been a volunteer with them for nearly six months now.  My first task was to move their PlungeOregon event website from one website format to another.  Now, I am working on the social media team, learning the power of Facebook, Twitter and HootSuite.

Special Olympics Oregon serves children and adults in our community who have intellectual disabilities.    There are many great causes, I know, but this cause ranks very high on the list.  As a person with challenges myself, I know how important encouragement is.  Everything Special Olympics Oregon does is about lifting up people who might otherwise be  put down.

The Law Enforcement Torch Run is a worldwide partnership of law enforcement officers who join to raise money and awareness for Special Olympics.  Tomorrow, Saturday, October 13, 11-3 and 4-8, officers will be accepting extra tips at Red Robin restaurants in Oregon to benefit Special Olympics.  Yours truly help put thee blog post regarding this event - click here to view.

Below is a message from Red Robin about the event:

Saturday, October 06, 2012

I'm not wearing a lanyard!

We had our annual eye doctor appointments in August.  No change for Eric and I, but the doc wanted Jodie to return for a special vision mapping session.

When Jodie was young, part of her disability was that she saw everything upside down.  We all see things upside down...out brains just flips it right side up automatically.  Jodie's brain did not do that for her.  Through intense therapy, Jodie's brain was taught to see things the right way.

A couple weeks ago, we returned to have Jodie's visioned mapped.  Our insurance kindly agreed to cover the procedure...;).

Jodie knew something was wrong when the tech doing the vision mapping kept asking "Are you sure you don't see that?"...over and over again.

Jodie asked the tech if something was wrong.  A rhetorical question...proven by the tech's response..."I will let the doctor talk to you."

Indeed, good news it was not.

The lower portion of Jodie's field of vision is gone.  I don't exactly know where the line is, but it explains why she has had a harder time seeing curb cuts when she is motoring along.

Jodie started to cry about it when we got in our van.  We talked about it.  The question as to why God would give us this to deal with came up.  Isn't having the disabilities and issues we have enough?  We don't dwell there too long.  God loves us and will see us through this like He has everything else.

We started thinking about the trouble Jodie has had riding in the van when Eric or I am driving.  She is constantly getting startled.  Well, she's not seeing what we see. With the lower part of her vision gone, other traffic is popping into her vision after Eric and I see it.  Eric and I see it coming.  For Jodie, it is just suddenly right there!

So, Jodie wears do I.  Since Jodie  cannot see anything in her lower vision, the lower lens of her bifocal is basically useless.

I told Jodie that she might need to have to sets of glasses "You know," I told Jodie, "with a lanyard like old ladies wear?"

"I'm not wearing a lanyard!" Jodie said.

Jodie is going to go back into the eye doctor in a couple months for another testing of her field of vision.  They want to see if there is any progression in Jodie's blind spot.  We are hoping there will not be.

But, whatever comes, we will get through it.