Thursday, November 25, 2010

Puppies and Candy Canes

I have been trying to write this blog post for a few days now.  Its funny how sometimes I just want to write, but don’t really know how to resolve the post until a few days later.  I think I have become a bit more dedicated to this blogging scheme than I realized.  I am ninety-nine percent positive that your lives would go on just fine without me, but every now and again, I just really fall in love with the ability I have to share my experiences.
So if you are my friend at all (Facebook or in real life) you know that my car got broken into last week. According to sources (read:everyone I know here in Houston) that is kind of like your initiation into being a Houstonian.  If your car hasn’t been broken into, you really can’t claim Houston as home.  I’m not gonna lie, this is one tradition I could have really done without.
The short version of the story is that I forgot to take my GPS mount off of my windshield.  I also didn’t have to be at work early that day, so those two factors combined made for a really crappy situation.  I headed to my car at around noon, thinking I would get an errand or two in before dropping by a school to observe.  Well the second I approached my car I could see that my window was broken.  It wasn’t until about three minutes later that I realized that I had left my wallet in the car as well as the GPS and my ipod.  So not only did they steal my GPS and ipod, but they had free reign for a few hours on my bank account.  Needless to say, it has been a hassle getting all my cards back and switching my accounts and all that.
Now, this week has been pretty stressful/overwhelming for several other reasons and I was really upset about the whole experience.  Sometimes I think that Heavenly Father just loads it all on me at once, which is really hard to deal with sometimes.  But on Friday, I forgot completely about the whole situation…
I had shown a movie the week before about my Uncle Brian, who has mental disabilities because of a drug overdose in high school.  It was really important for me to show my students this movie that my amazing little sister had put together.  The kids had responded really well and I had a few of them come up to me after class to thank me for sharing my experience with them.  Well Friday was my last day as a student teacher, and my students were making Thanksgiving cards to give to their favorite teachers.  I got quite a few more cards than I really expected to get.  As I was reading them after school, one stood out to me.  
J.B. is a really nice kid and I have enjoyed teaching him.  I have deduced from some comments he has made in class that he used to do drugs.  Well he wrote me a thanksgiving card and in it he explained to me that he had been a drug addict until about a year ago.  J.B. said he had been drug free for over a year, but that last friday, he had been so stressed that he had agreed to get together with some friends and smoke marijuana.  He then told me that showing the video reminded him why he decided to quit doing drugs in the first place, and thanked me for not just teaching him about spanish, but teaching him how to be a better person.  He finished by thanking me for giving him the strength to continue to make right decisions.  When I put the card down, I started crying.
2 Nephi 4:17-19

"Nevertheless, notwithstanding the great goodness of the Lord, in showing me his great and marvelous works, my heart exclaimeth: O wretched man that I am! Yea, my heart sorroweth because of my flesh; my south grieveth because of mine iniquities.  I am encompassed about, because of the temptations and the sins which do so easily beset me.  And when I desire to rejoice, my heart groaneth because of my sins; nevertheless, I know in whom I have trusted."

My hometeachers reminded me on Sunday of this scripture.  We have so many trials in life, and it is so hard sometimes to understand why all these things are happening to us.  The beauty of the Gospel however, is understanding that everything has a purpose.  I can’t expect to understand every little experience I have, why I am where I am and why things aren’t always puppies and candy canes.  But what I CAN take comfort in is knowing that I have a loving Father in Heaven who puts me in positions to learn and grow.  And while He doesn’t lay out His plan step by step for me, I know that He has one.  And sometimes that’s all you really need.
But I would really love to have my wallet back.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Step on a crack...

Lymphoma- cancer in the lymphatic of the immune system; presents as a solid tumor of lymphoid cells, treatable with chemotherapy and in some cases radiotherapy and/or bone marrow transplantation, can be curable depending on the histology, type, and stage of the disease.
You never really think that cancer is going to affect your family.  It is one of those things that other people talk about, that you sympathize with, that you cry about in movies, but it never touches you.  At least that is what I thought.
I was driving to a meeting about a month ago.  I had a million things on my mind; what was I going to teach the next day, what I was going to do for my teacher work sample, etc.  A passing thought rolled through my head, ‘Call your mom.’  Now, this isn’t all that rare.  I call my mom 3-5 times a week, so I thought, ‘I will after the meeting.’  A few moments later it came stronger, ‘Call your mom.’  Not wanting to be disobedient, I called.
She sounded shaken up.  We chit chatted for a second and I said, ‘Mom, what’s wrong?’  Her voice got really serious and she explained that she had found a lump on her hip and that what she had thought was a cyst was actually a solid mass, a tumor, cancer.  I started crying, but she told me not to worry, like any good mom would.  They were going to run some tests and get back to us. 
Two weeks later I called her classroom.  A substitute answered.  I thought, ‘That’s odd, Mom  only does that when she is sick or has a lot to do’.  I called the house, and she answered.  ‘Mom, what are you doing home?’  Her reply: ‘Its cancer.’  The official type of cancer she has been diagnosed with is Large B Cell Lymphoma.  
I have thought a lot over the last couple weeks about what this means for me.  I guess more than anything it means that I realize just how short life really can be.  For now, we are going to fight it, but it makes me that much more grateful for the plan of salvation.  My mom is not just my mom here on this earth, but she is my mom forever.  She will be with me even if she isn’t with me.  It has always been that way and it always will.  I am scared, but I know that it is going to be alright because I know that in the end we will be together forever.  
This week, Gap, Old Navy, and Banana Republic are doing a special.  If you shop from November 11-14, you can get 30% off ANY purchase, and 5% of what you spend will be donated to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  If you have time, for my mom, and all the other moms, dads, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, sons, daughters, and cousins who are fighting for their lives, go buy yourself something nice.  You never know when it is going to hit closer to home than you think.

Here is my cute mama with my cute dad and little brother.

Here is the promotional code for the discount.Gap Give And Get Is Here!