Saturday, July 14, 2007

Well done, good and faithful servant

7/13/07 Friday
Friday the thirteenth, another day people put a superstitious significance to. It’s just another day. If you believe you will have bad luck your belief will make it happen. Conversely, if you choose to believe your day will be good you most likely will.

That said, it is a rough morning. The analogy that brain damage is like being on drugs unfortunately holds true. In fact when you introduce drugs and/or alcohol (a drug) into your brain it disrupts it’s function and basically creates a period where your brain is damaged in it’s ability to function. Different drugs effect different areas of the brain in different ways. Many of these effects, the “high’s” if you will, emulate the results of a traumatic brain injury. In fact it is not uncommon for someone with a TBI to be accused or suspected of using drugs. Actually one of the issues with TBI is the survivors sometimes do use drugs, which makes things worse.

In my quest to help others understand TBI I will explore this analogy further. One of the difficulties in understanding TBI is that no two brain injuries are the same. In the severe shaking of the brain millions of brain cells and their neuronal connections are damaged or destroyed. Some can repair themselves and many parts of the brain literally rewire with undamaged areas taking on the duties of the damaged part. In all this there are changes in personality and the ability to process what is experienced, some subtle and some not.

7/14/07 Saturday
Yesterday was one of those days. I never did finish that little essay. Maybe I will later but I seldom seem to finish things so don’t count on it. Let me recount the fragments I can remember of yesterday. I went into Stanton to get the mail and decided to stop at the drug store for one of their great hamburgers. The place was packed as I imagine it always is at lunch time. Don’t really know cause I don’t think I’ve been there at noon before. Course I could have been there several times and wouldn’t remember. Anyway it was full of people and I was lucky enough to get a seat at the last booth open. The counter was full. Ordered the hamburger and a large coke. As I waited I saw a couple come in and also order but they had no place to sit and were holding their drinks as they waited. “You can sit here. I don’t bite” I said motioning to the other side of the table. They were grateful and joined me for lunch.

Both of them had some kind of Christian thing on their matching T shirts so I figured it was a safe bet they were of that genre. Yep, they was. Turns out he’s the pastor of the Methodist church here in town. We talked and when he asked what I did I explained I was on disability. I always hate saying that but what else do you say when someone asks what you do. So he asked about that and heard the story of the car wreck, coma, and bits and pieces of the rest. That always has an impact.

Being a pastor I suppose he had to ask about where I was in that arena. I told him that despite having been a pastor when I woke from the coma I really didn’t know there is a God and still seek to answer that question. I explained how after nine months no one had visited or even called us even after I asked so, feeling shunned or just plain left out we went to the First Baptist church in Midland. “It’s a night and day difference” I said. “Even though it’s twenty miles away we have had several visitors and have been invited to dinner and other things” I told him. He seemed to be aware of some of this and mentioned that there were several who had left the Stanton church and now attend services in Midland, mostly at Stonegate, a branch off church from First Baptist in Midland. I hope first church of Stanton figures it out.

So they finished their meal and excused themselves. “We really enjoyed talking with you and hope to see you again” he told me. I can’t remember his name but that’s par for my course. As I finished my hamburger I could see the cash register where they were paying for the meal. Pastor Dave was standing there also. I kept my eye on him hoping he would notice me so I could wave. I thought he did but he slid over where the cabinets hid him from sight. He talked to the Methodist minister for a bit. I finished my burger so went up to pay. The Methodist minister (I wish I could remember his name) saw me coming and said that they had paid for my meal. I thanked them and they again said how much they had enjoyed visiting. Pastor Dave was still at the counter waiting for his order so I went up to say hello. He was studiously watching them cook and work behind the counter so I tapped him on the shoulder to get his attention. “Hi pastor” I greeted him and asked how things were going and if he had gotten my E mail offering spaghetti squash. He explained that he had been gone two weeks and hadn’t looked at his computer. We had a short conversation as he got his order and said he needed to leave.

When I got home Cherie had just arrived from Lubbock. I gave her a big hug and helped bring her things into the house. She greeted the puppies who had definitely missed her. They had searched all over for her that morning and all during the day for that matter. Oh, they were glad to see mommy. I’m sure there was a lot more that happened Friday but I can’t remember right now. Just know I never posted on the blog.

So that brings us to today. No wait. I just remembered something about yesterday. I had decided to back up my pictures because this laptop has been hiccupping and I didn’t want to lose them. The last time I had downloaded pictures on CD was June 2006. That means I’ve got a ton of pictures to download. I have done this many times over the last few years but because I can never remember how I did it I have to figure it out each time. While I can’t remember the details of what buttons to push to get the task done I can sure remember the frustration I felt each time. This is typical because strong emotions are remembered in a different part of the brain than the detail stuff.

For some reason it is hard for me to figure out how to download pictures onto CD. Part of the reason is I repeat the same mistakes over again because I don’t remember what I had just done. It didn’t take long for my frustration level to get up there and I was cussing the computer out. I feel so stupid when I can’t figure out what I know I had figured out before. Eventually I did but it still hits my self esteem.

Today Steve, Steve, (Jib and Jab) Janie, and a fella I think is called Kurt came over. They brought the new hot water heater and kitchen cabinets. Cindy, Jab’s wife, and Janie’s little brother 1 were also along. They blew in and went to work right away, moving, barking, harassing, and generally having a good old time as they quickly got things done. LB1 was a great kid and inquisitive as all young boys are. He wanted to go hunting rattlesnakes as soon as he heard we had killed a couple out here. I took him to the gardens and, hearing his mom liked squash, helped him pick some out that was ripe and cut it so he could take it home.

I was pretty slow during all this. Was going through a partial seizure before they got there and all the commotion just made it worse. I tried to pitch in as best I could but wasn’t really allowed to do much. What I did do I did wrong, not listening to the advise of one of the guys on how to use the dolly to take a cabinet off the trailer.

So here are pictures of the new hot water heater and cabinets. Steve is having an electrician run the wiring for both the hot water heater and stove oven that will be put in. He is also paying a professional he knows to install the cabinets. We are incredibly blessed to know them and the other Christians we have met recently.

The Bible says “Whatever you do in word or deed, do all for the glory of God”. Here are people who understand and practice this. They will indeed be blessed and honor their God with their lives. They are very much lights set on a hill for all to see. The Bible also says to lay up treasures in heaven, where rust and moths do not corrupt, instead of down here on earth. Those who choose not to bless others in need will indeed be ashamed when they stand before their God. So here we see a witness, an example of the love and compassion of Christ. When they stand before God I think they will hear “Well done, good and faithful servant”.

So I’ll call it an end. My thanks to those of you who were concerned when I didn’t post yesterday. It is good to know you care. One last note. I was able to talk to my youngest son today via the internet telephone thing. Never used it before but when I saw that Adam was online through Window’s Messenger I grabbed a microphone and sent him a message. He answered and we talked for a while. It was good to do so and the first time since long before we left Toledo.

Night all.


Amy E said...

The cabinets look awesome Bob! I am so glad that God is taking careo of you and placing great people in your path, oh, not because they give you things, but because of the friendship they are offering. Tell Cherie hi! Oh, by the way I am still coming down in October. I plan to stay for a couple days longer to visit with you and Cherie, if ya'll can.

Bob said...

You bet Amy, I was going to Email and ask if you were still coming. By the way, I've got a bunch of seeds from the wild sunflowers we have up here. Would you like some???