God spoke to me loud and clear

Earlier this week I got news that a school friend of mine had passed. Her name was Cindy Marie (Benson) Ridgeway. She was 38 yrs old. It hit me rather hard to say the least. I had known Cindy since the 3rd grade. As soon as I heard about this I knew I had to go to the funeral. There was something inside of me that was just telling me that I needed ...had to go to the service.

Although I had known Cindy since the 3rd grade we were not close nor did we keep in touch. I hadn't spoken to her in years, yet I considered her a friend. I had known her since the 3rd grade. We were in Girl Scouts together. I just couldn't imagine not going, ya know? Ever since I have known her she always suffered with asthma and breathing problems, but that was all I ever knew. Her passing came as a shock to me.

I found out that she had an auto -immune disease, back problems and all of her breathing problems as well. I also learned that because of her illnesses she was never able to work. She went to school and got degrees but not her bachelors. She didn't have a job. She married in 2000 to a wonderful man, John. I met him at the service and you could tell he really loved her. She didn't have any children, but still had animals (she was always an animal lover).

As her father, best friend, cousins and husband all spoke about her, it was as if God had sent me a special little message. It became very apparent as to why I was suppose to be there. This was a message to me, clearer than any other I have ever received. I felt as if God was talking to me, one on one. I know that might sound strange to some, but it was loud and clear to me. I came to learn that Cindy and I were more alike then I could have imagined. I knew that when I pass I wanted people to remember me that way as well.

They all spoke of her as having an illness but she never complained. She always had a smile on her face and went on about her day. She was very involved in family and friends and lived for those moments. She always made sure that when it came to birthdays, she had a present that was just right for that person, that it was wrapped extra special and the cards were always decorated with stickers and filled with confetti. I think when I heard that part, I might have giggled out loud, because anyone that knows me, knows I do the same thing. ( I was always the one at the office that made sure the employee's desks or offices were decorated and had gifts and cake.) They went on to say that she was always there to lend a helping hand to anyone she could, she was a great listener and was always there for her friends. Since she never complained no one "really knew or understand" what she was going through. No one really got how much pain she was in on a daily basis, how much she could or couldn't handle. That was her way of coping, you know, always saying "I'm fine". She took care of everyone else and didn't really let anyone else see her pain and suffering.

I totally get that. Whether you want to call that protecting the ones around you or a coping mechanism, whatever you want to call it, if it works, you seem to use it. I know that is something that I have done and continue to do.

As I was sitting there, I realized that you can be a "somewhat" normal person and still have things that I want. She had a loving marriage. I have dreamt of having a relationship for awhile but have never really pushed it because of me being sick. I have been pretty down because I have not been working for a year. I feel as if I "look" sick all the time. I could go on, but I won't.

I went to the service and I knew that there were going to be people that I had not seen in 20 years. I was worried about that more then anything I think. I don't look like I did back then. I am sick now. I am heavier now, I can't find my words as easily as I should be able to, I get exhausted very easily. When I saw the girls, it was really good to see them. It was a bit scary, but so good to see them. They all told me how good I looked (I am sure they were just being nice!). None of them know I am sick. It is not something I go around telling everyone.

After hearing what everyone said about Cindy it really made me realize that there are other people out there like me. It is possible to have a relationship even though I am sick and not able to do all the daily things that "normal, healthy" people do. It takes me a bit longer now to complete some of the more physical tasks. I still have a positive attitude and smile on my face.

I guess it was like a message. It gave me hope and made me realize that it is all possible and that I shouldn't just settle. It made me realize that it is OK that I am off of work right now. Although I plan to go back to work eventually, it would be OK, if for some reason I wasn't able to because somehow things would work out. I know more now then ever that all is going to be OK and although times are tough, I have to try not to worry, and not to stress.

I have been asking for a sign or a message or something forever (OK well it seems like that anyway!). . . funny how they say he works in mysterious ways. . . he sure does. . . the message was perfectly timed.

Thank you!


My night with Daisy & Dan

I was asleep on an air mattress with a sleeping Boston terrier (Daisy) cuddled up next to me and a nice looking guy (Dan (that story might come later, that is if you are lucky!)) on the other side of me. I thought I was going to go to sleep like everyone else. I should know better then to assume these types of things. Shortly after I finally got comfortable, I hear a noise, one I am not all that familiar with. As I am not use to sleeping on an air mattress(hey I am up for trying new things). Then I got it... just about the same time Dan got it too. The mattress had a leak in it!! So we all get up and he finds the leak and of course it is a rather large hole in the mattress. Being a guy he has no patches. That is a guy thing, right? I mean 'cuz if it were me, I know I would have patches and know where the hell they were. Oh well. So he tries to pump this air mattress up (I guess he was thinking (hoping) that it would fill up and hold this time?) and it does not hold any air. In fact it almost seems like it deflates faster. OK, so I find this pretty funny but I try not to let it show (at least not too much). OK.. so he says, let's run to Walmart and I will get a new air mattress. At this point I have no idea what time it is but it would have to be to the 24 hr Walmart. I was like are you kidding me? No way.. not me. I will sleep on the couch or go home or whatever. He felt bad. I was like whatever. I couldn't believe he wanted to go to Walmart to get a new air mattress. I thought for sure he had to be kidding, but he wasn't. I go to the bathroom and can hear all this noise. So I get back into the bedroom and find that he has laid down several sleeping bags and comforters so that it would be a bit softer to lay on. As we know there is no way in HELL I could sleep on the floor. I wouldn't be able to move for days to come. It was sweet... but funny. I was thinking I can't believe this couldn't have happened earlier in the night. I find this extremely funny. So funny that I started laughing so hard, I practically had tears in my eyes. There is no more "bed" but instead a sleeping bag with comforters to make it "appear" like there is a bed and I can't stop laughing. I am sure he feels bad, but I can't help myself, I am in hysterics. I know it might be bad or wrong, I just can't help myself.

We all get settled in. Daisy goes under the covers right up against my side (she is like a little heater, she is so damn hot) and Dan on the other side of me (also throwing off heat). Thank God for A/C and fans I think I might have melted that night.

I can hear something. I am not sure what it is. Is it outside? In another part of the house? Who is it? What is it? Then I don't hear it. OK... so I think it must have been outside and whatever it is... oh wait there it is again.... OK... so maybe it wasn't outside, and it is the fan or the a/c making the noise? I got it! Daisy!! She is snoring!! OMG!! She is so snoring...I mean like a person snoring... like a person that you would see on America's Funniest Home Videos. Oh... wait she isn't a person, she is a 2 year old Boston Terrier. She is sound asleep. I am laying there wide awake, as she is all cozied up next to me snoring away. From time to time she must be dreaming because her feet will push against me or sometimes she will cry out or even a few times she even quietly barks! I know can you believe that? I can't. I am laughing under my breath... I don't want to wake her or Dan.

She seems to finally start to quiet down... ahh.. finally I think I might be able to nod off... except that would be way to easy...because you see Dan has now started to kind of snore. I say kind of because compared to Daisy it really is quiet! LMAO

I would say I dozed off and on throughout the night. Did I sleep well? Oh HELL no. I slept on the floor with a LOUD snoring dog, Daisy and Dan who kind of snored throughout the night.

It was a night I will not forget - no doubt about that.