Tag Archives: Wayne

Time for an Epiphany?

6 Jan

Noah's Pie

A Pie for Noah on his Birthday

It’s a bit late to say this but, but I want to wish everyone a very Happy New Year!  My hope is that the year to come brings you more joy than sorrow, more prosperity than hardship, and enough love and support to help you grow into your best self.

On a very sad note, this week my cousin Wayne lost his battle with cancer. Wayne was funny, smart, and big-hearted and he’s left us way too soon. My heartfelt sympathy goes to his family, friends, and loved ones.

wayne

Among the many other thoughts crowding my head these past few weeks has been the issue of homelessness. Each week, our church opens on Monday to offer shelter to those without homes.  We are fortunate that there are many wonderful volunteers who serve as hosts on these nights.  For my part, I try to make sure that there is a warm pot of soup available for those weary souls.

Sue J's pie 1

Over the time that I’ve helped with this mission, I have become familiar with some of our guests and will check in with them if I see them around town. Occasionally, I will buy them coffee or offer a peanut butter sandwich, but I know that even stopping to say hello is important. It demonstrates that these people exist… they are not invisible.

A few nights ago, I watched a film called, “Time out of Mind.” In this movie, Richard Gere plays a homeless man in New York City.  You don’t know much about what went wrong for his character, but you get a glimpse into how hard it is to be homeless.  In one interview, Gere shared that for a scene in the movie he stood on a street corner in Manhattan for 90 minutes begging for change. In that time he received about $1.50 but he said that not one person who gave him money looked him in the eye and no one recognized him at all.

sues pie prep 2

Recently, on a bitter cold day, I bought a coffee a local Dutch Bros kiosk. As I was waiting for it to be made, I noticed a homeless person across the parking lot and decided to give it to them. However, by the time I turned my car around, he was gone. Determined to find someone to share this treat with, I headed home scouting for someone in need.

When I passed through our downtown, I saw a man with a backpack walking his dog. I wanted to stop but all of a sudden was overcome with this thought “How presumptuous of me to think that he was homeless!”  This made me pass him by, but as I’d not seen anyone else around, I gathered my courage and drove back to him.

pie tilted

He was a man of about 50 and he walked with a slight limp.With my window rolled down, I asked, “Sir, would you like a latte?” The man stopped and looked at me for a moment before he spoke and then he said, “Yes, thank you, Maam.”  I handed it to him and said, “He’s a cute dog.” He said it was a “she” and that’s when he seemed to straighten up and grow taller. Then he stated his full name, and these last words, “US Navy Seal.” I thanked him for his service, and if you know me at all, you know I drove home crying.

According to many traditions, today is celebrated as the day the Three Kings visited the Christ Child”; it’s known as the epiphany.” This word is also used to describe “a moment in which you suddenly see or understand something in a new or very clear way.” My wish is, if  nothing else, that the next time you see someone on the street, that you not turn away, for there, but for the grace of God, go you or I.

upside down

A quiche for Sue and her new knee

Do not judge by appearances; a rich heart may be under a poor coat.       Scottish Proverb

I always wondered why somebody didn’t do something about that. Then I realized, I am somebody.  Unknown

The idea that anyone who has worn our country’s uniform spends their nights sleeping on the ground should horrify us.  Michelle Obama

 

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Pizza Pie for the Nurses in rehab… and a “Virtual” Pie for Jan in Boise

10 Apr

 

Pizza Pie

Cheese Pizza from Napoli Pizzeria

Yesterday was the last day my sister Janice could be here in Florida for a while… and it was also the day our nephew Wayne arrived from Memphis.   Usually at meal times we try to eat with Dad in the dining room but on this night we decided there was cause for celebration and so we called Napoli Ristorante and Pizzeria to order a pizza.  We discovered that there was a special on Tuesdays and so instead of getting one pizza, I ordered an extra one for the nurses who have been caring for my Dad in rehab.  It seems that bringing food (which I view as showing a little love) to those who care for our loved ones is a nice thing to do because sometimes those people (who work 12 hour shifts) don’t have the chance to take care of themselves properly.   Hey, just because this blog is about pies it doesn’t mean that I have to make every one… I just have to give them away!

Dad enjoyed the little bit of pizza he ate and we were able to spend time together as a family almost oblivious to the reason that brought us all together.  It was a good moment in an otherwise very stressful time.  In fact, while Dad doesn’t look “great” in this photo, Janice and I both know how far his recovery has progressed.  Just last week he was lying in a hospital bed eating what they lovingly refer to as a “soft, mechanical” diet and yesterday he was sitting up in a wheel chair making jokes and eating pizza.  We have come a long way and I am thrilled!

Dad with Wayne, Janice and Karen

Wayne (in his Navy Uniform), Dad, Janice, and me

One last thing I’d like to share is this phone call I had with Alaska Airlines agent Jan in Boise.  I wanted to extend my visit here so that I could be present for the surgery that my Dad was scheduled to have this next week (my original ticket had me leaving yesterday morning).   When I dialed the number for Alaska and told Jan what I needed to do and why she listened, took the information, and found me a return ticket for next week.  Then she told me that the change in fare was $58 and there was also a $100 change fee.  I asked how to appeal the change fee given the circumstances and then said, “Never mind.  I’ll worry about that when I have more time.”  Jan asked me to hold a moment and a few minutes later came back on the line and told me that she had asked her supervisor and could waive the change fee for me.   I was truly amazed and deeply touched that she did this on her own; in a time like this, every act of kindness is so powerful and appreciated more than you will know.  So, to Jan in Boise I would like to send a virtual pie for her assistance and her compassion – Alaska Airlines is lucky to have you!

“There’s very little in my world that a foot massage and a thin-crust, everything-on-it pizza won’t set right.”  
―     G.A. McKevett

Day 83: Nancy

28 Jun


Today is my sister Nancy’s birthday. If you are old enough to remember, Frank Sinatra sang a song about his daughter Nancy. It was called “Nancy, with the laughing face.” That was my sister. She was always smiling and making jokes – and she had little reason to laugh.

Nancy was born with a lung disease called Cystic Fibrosis, but at that time the disease was not yet named. My parents were told that she had asthma and that’s what we all believed to be true. Nancy’s breathing at times was labored and when she became upset, she could become sick. I was actually jealous of Nancy when we were told that we could not leave the table until we finished (whatever it was) and then she would begin to gag and toss up whatever we were being “forced” to eat. “Gee” I wondered, “How do you do that?” because I always had to stay at the table and eat, while Nancy was excused.

We did not know that Nancy had CF until she was about 15. Until that time, her ENT (ear, nose and throat) doc was treating her for sinus problems! For the record, he never spoke to us after Nancy was tested for, and diagnosed with, CF. I really never forgave him for that.

Back to Nancy. She was not supposed to have children because it was too much of a risk. But for Nancy, not having kids was a much greater risk. I am sure that she wanted to leave a legacy because she knew that her time here was limited. She raised two boys, Jimmy and Wayne, and they were her reason for living. She was so proud of them… and I think now I know that she knew she would live on through them.

The last time I talked to my sister she told me a joke: A woman goes to the doctor and says,”Every time I sneeze I have an orgasm.” And the doctor replies, “And what are you taking for this?” and the woman replies “Pepper.” It was so like her to make me laugh at a difficult time – for Nancy was getting ready for a blood transfusion. And, unfortunately, it was too much for her ravaged body to handle. At the young age of 34, we lost Nancy.

One of her doctors asked my sister and me if we would consider donating Nancy’s eyes – for they were not damaged by her disease- and could help someone see. One solace in losing Nancy, is knowing that someone has gained their sight. And if they also had Nancy’s eyes, they would be beautiful.

Today, in honor of my sister Nancy, I brought an Apple Pie to the Pulmonary Consultants of Medford, for they help people who have Cystic Fibrosis. I wanted to thank them for helping their patients who are suffering. It is my fervent wish that this disease be eliminated.

My sisters Janice, Nancy and Me