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Dear Diary – After a few confused texts back and forth, I finally got the whole story from Eldest Son. Last Friday, he met his girlfriend at McDonald’s. Their date was interrupted by a kid asking for a ride, which turned out to be close by. This kid had bussed to from one city to another, taken the train to another city, ubered to yet another city, took another bus to a neighbouring city and was now lost. He had been travelling for hours. He was trying to deliver a surprise birthday cake to his Mom. Awwwww, right?

Dear Diary – Remember when I said someone would “let me know I’m selfish and have no right to feel this way”? No time was wasted! We’re no longer in lockdown, but emotionally, we are. It’s been a tough haul. For everyone. We can’t really compare our experiences because we really don’t know what goes on behind locked doors and anxious minds.

At the beginning of the pandemic, there was a sense of “we’re in this together”. We sent virtual hugs and posted silly memes about t.p. We posted “we love you” signs for our healthcare workers, who deserve our admiration and respect. They still do! But in 2 short years, we changed. We walk around with invisible knives in our hands, ready to attack on anyone and everyone who disagrees with us. We are easily offended and quick to judge. We kill with words instead of kindness. We make no apologies.

It simply should not be.

In the end, we are all responsible for our words and actions. Sometimes I offend; it’s not usually intentional. Lately, honestly, I’m barely holding it together. That’s my story, and if that’s my story, what is the story of the “rude lady” in the grocery store, or that friend who constantly posts selfies. I can jump to conclusions, or ask questions, or just extend grace. I’d rather choose to be kind.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Dear Diary – There was an error at the MRI scheduling office, and after a few phone calls and since I was on the cancellation list, God blessed me with an appointment for Monday evening. I would receive a confirmation email shortly but then we rolled into the weekend and I received nothing, nada, zip, zilch! I was also asked to create an account with the hospital’s system, but I was refused because I didn’t have an appointment. So I set my alarm clock and slept with the phone Sunday night so I could start making calls in the morning. Before 9 a.m. I was all set!

I showered and shaved, removed all my jewelry, tied my hair with the elastic from my broccoli, and anxiously watched the hours tick away on the clock.

It was pushed back but I got the message in lots of time. It was only an extra 20 minutes to watch – tick tock!

Hubby and I had driven over to the new hospital on Sunday afternoon to get the lay of the land. We were early so we drove around the perimeter several times before Hubby dropped me off at the main entrance, where they said to go. He drove away to park and I…I was in trouble. The door was locked! There was no security guard, no button to push for assistance. No sign! (it was posted “locked” on every other door except Emergency and this one). I could even see the receptionist in her brightly lit room in patient registration at the end of the corridor, where I was supposed to be in 3 minutes!

The irony of going for an MRI on a very sore, swollen ankle, only to have to hobble-jog (incredibly inelegantly I might add) from the Main Entrance (#2) to the Emergency entrance (#1). It was cold and windy, and felt even farther than it looks on the map.

By the time I got there, I was freaking out and not really making much sense, but the very calm nurse understood and pointed the way. She must speak panic fluently. I hustled to the patient registration desk…right beside the main entrance, where meltdown #2 started (or maybe it was just #1 still in progress). On the plus side, by the time I got checked in and appeared in the MRI department, I didn’t have any time to wait and worry!

I was only in just to above my waist and there were pictures of clouds on the ceiling, so I traced the clouds with my eyes while I sang songs in my head and concentrated very hard on NOT MOVING so I wouldn’t have to go through this again!

I was told I could leave out the main entrance so I texted Hubby to meet me…but the doors wouldn’t open. I saw other people leave ahead of me, but there were no signs to tell me what to do. I was so frustrated, meltdown #3 started to surface! I couldn’t imagine hobbling back to Emerg with my now very aggravated foot. I pushed the button. I waved at the other button. I rattled the door handles like a prisoner in a western movie. I texted Hubby, who by then, was watching helplessly from the car.

I started gimping to patient registration to ask if there was a trick, only to see the lady I had just been talking to about the doors, walk through the doors into the cool night air. I stood there, mouth agape, wondering how she did it, and why she didn’t call out to me.

Then, 3 men came along. I called out, “the doors are locked and I don’t know how to get out”. The first guy tried the same procedure as me, but then…it opened. The trick: You have to push one button then wave at another, and not be invisible like me!

We picked up ice cream sundaes at McDonald’s. God got me there in one piece, and during the test, gave me peace . Thanks for the prayers. I needed them! 

Dear Diary – Hubby’s MRI went seamlessly last Friday. This week he had to wear a heart monitor. He came home with his chest mowed in places for the monitor pads, and well wired. Now he’s terribly itchy and I’m calling him my cyborg. We had a good laugh, that if he isn’t careful, he’s going to end up like Kramer.

The heart monitor comes off today and he has another test on Monday. Hubby also got a call this morning. He has to go back for an MRI next Friday at the hospital I just visited. I can tell him exactly where to go. At the hospital. 😉

Dear Diary – I bought a new sewing machine last week when I was at my folks.

I set it up this week.

The dog feed, which helps move the fabric, doesn’t work.

I have to take it back to the store, a 3 hour drive one-way, or find a licensed technician, and there are none locally.

I sat down and sobbed like it was the end of the world.

Normally, it wouldn’t feel like the end of the world. Irritating, yes, but not cataclysmic. And I would jump at the chance to visit my folks. But there’s such a long list of commitments, appointments, and to-dos, and I feel like I’m losing my marbles. I keep setting stuff aside, some of it things that make me happy. There’s stuff I’m simply not physically able to do. I’m starting to cringe when the phone rings or a text comes in. Is it good news or bad? Even some good things feel mountainous. Even strong people have breaking points. I feel guilty for not being stronger, which I know is ridiculous, but it’s there in the background. My chest hurts; my heart pounds. I’m tired but can’t sleep well. My irritable bowel is grumpy. I feel like I’m wading through mud and just sinking farther.

Yesterday, I received a jury duty notice.

I called my doctor. She’s on vacation. No, she can’t get me out of it. She can’t even get me in her office for at least a week. But we can start to figure this out.

I know I’m not alone. A lot of people struggle with anxiety, depression, and all kinds of other horrible, horrible things. It’s heartbreaking. I would never diminish their suffering. This is just my story right now. I greatly appreciate the prayer support and the virtual hugs. Why did we stop sending them?

Hot drinks, hot sandwiches, and sticky timbits! This morning, a friend showed my family some sugar by ubering us breakfast. It was unexpected and so overwhelming….in a good way. I laughed (and I cried).

And I laughed again. He knows my weakness for Tim Horton’s steeped tea, black.

T H A N K Y O U!

Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations. Keep walking…