Hey Siestas! How are you darling things? You are really on my mind today especially since I got to hug about 25 of your necks after the Salt Lake City Living Proof Live. I woke up wanting so much to write to you today but wasn’t sure where I wanted to head in theme so I’ve decided to do something a little different. I’m just going to take you with me all day long until late this afternoon when the time comes to launch this post. You and I are going to hang out on a fairly unusual weekday when I’m not writing any kind of study material or preparing any kind of message. It’s one of those days when appointments stack sky-high because they’ve been long-awaiting a window. The James project is complete (except for the final read-through that I’ll do this week) and Salt Lake City is behind us. (One of our darling attendees updated her status on Facebook by saying how much she enjoyed Living Proof Lice. And indeed the entire group seemed to be itching for a fresh revelation. I’ll try not to nit pick here.) With those events behind me, I’ve thanked God profusely and already turned my attentions toward the simulcast material for next weekend (Sept. 10th). I’ve heard from God about my text and jotted down a few main ideas and will start getting very focused toward it tomorrow afternoon. But, until then, it’s a day of appointments and it will be all the more bearable because you’re tagging along in my thoughts.
Our day together begins as I pull out of my driveway. It’s a little later than usual due to my appointment schedule but don’t get the idea that you can kick back and daydream. Stay alert here. We have a fair amount to do.
9:30 AM – We (you and I) drop Queen Esther off at the groomer for her beauty appointment despite her obsessive-compulsive reluctance to have us out of her sight for the splitiest second. She will get a sudsy bath and a good sheep shearing with #4 clippers to keep her from having a heat stroke and traumatizing us to no end. (If any of you are new to the blog, perhaps you need to know quickly that Queen Esther – AKA Star – is my Border Collie and not my mother-in-law. We have a strict policy around here never to have our in laws sheered with #4 clippers.) We have to keep Star’s hair short in the summer even though her full mane is among her very best features. Keith and I are outdoor people so she has to be able to tolerate the heat and that means one thing: a crew cut. Yesterday it was 110 here in Houston and, actually, it had cooled off from the weekend if that tells you anything about August life in Houston, Texas. Considering all that the East has been through in the last five days, I’m not complaining. While at the groomer, we learn that groomer’s teenage son is going to have heart tests done over the next few days and she breaks our hearts by letting tears spill over her cheeks. We want to hug her but we don’t get that hug-some vibe. This woman is no wimp so we are particularly moved by her show of emotion and we promise to pray for her and her beloved son. I already kept my promise. Since I’ve thrown you into today, would you do your part and please pray for his heart? God knows who he is and is looking straight at him with indescribable endearment. He also sees his mom and cares so much about her pain and fear.
9:45 AM – You and I pull into the first parking place we can find at the North Cypress Medical Center and only have to walk about three miles to the front door. (Ever so slight an exaggeration.) Huffing and puffing and, yes, carrying our laptop with our big, fat purse because we’ve committed to spend the day together, we sign in at The Women’s Br_______st Center because it’s time for one of us to have her annual M______ogram. (I know. For someone with such a big mouth, it’s absurd that I pick times like these to get all clammy and modest but I just can’t bring myself to actually type out the words. Maybe some of you remember 20 months ago when I told you that I had been hospitalized for something that sounded a little like “tonsillectomy” only it started with an “h.” I’m just not that big on body parts.)
10:00 AM – We surrender up our insurance card and our driver’s license, sign our releases and are called back right on time for our procedure. We are told the drill – where to change into our hospital gown and such – but we already know it well because at least one of our mothers died of breast cancer. We don’t get the luxury of skipping out on what, until after my tonsillectomy with an “h”, has been a twice-annual barrel of monkeys. We love the fact that our hospital gowns are kept in a warmer because the extra touch eases some of the anxiety but we do wish that they fit a little better as they do tend to gape open in the front since they only tie at the waist. This is unfortunate for all concerned.
10:15 AM – We are called back to our room by a really sweet woman-technician but she is not one of the ones we’ve come to know. So, we feel some of that familiar dread because…well, because we are modest. On the way to what we’ll affectionately call the press room, we see a very familiar face and she’s happy to see us, too, and we have a small group hug, the three of us (only she doesn’t realize you’re there). At this point it becomes obvious to the newer technician who led us back there that Hope is our annual BFF and she asks if Hope wants to take it from there. We are very relieved when she says she does. (Don’t you think that “Hope” is the most wonderful name for a woman who performs those life-altering procedures for women every single workday? Here you are, all apprehensive, and maybe even coming in for a recheck because something looks suspicious and we stare at that name tag and find “Hope.” I have told her many times that she, too, does women’s ministry.)
10:20 AM – Happy though we may be to have fresh Hope, we proceed into the meat grinder. Now, this is where you’ll need to shut your eyes because this part is just between me and Hope. I will forego painting a picture for you but let’s just say that, had the fire alarm gone off in the medical center, I would have been in decided peril as even the skin around my ears appeared to be stretched vociferously between a rock and a hard place. When we are done, we feel like we need to be put into an upper body cast but, alas, we are told to have a seat and wait and not to take off our gown yet in case we have to recheck anything. We are surely hoping not to be called for a recheck because, right about now, we are feeling like someone has closed an elevator door on one of us and taken us up to the 26th floor of a high rise and back. I busy myself by talking to you. You don’t say much back. I think you are scared you’re up next.
10:45 AM – We get called back to see the radiologist who we are nuts about. God gave us joyous favor with this staff and radiologist years earlier when we had a couple of serious cancer scares. The first thing he did was ask us about Melissa and Amanda, if that tells you anything about how wonderful he is and about how often they’ve been there with me and gotten all mangled up in their mother’s health dramas. Close your eyes again because he has large X-ray images of each of our – well, you know – on the screens. They look very ugly inside like they always have, which is precisely the reason for all the drama. Calcifications and the like. We can only visit with him for a minute about Amanda and Melissa because we need to be put out of my misery and told if everything looks okay. He tells me what he’s often told me. “I could biopsy you all over the place but, the fact is, these pictures are exactly like the ones from 2009 and 2010. I never like how they look but they look exactly the same so I’m going to let you go another full year (only the second time in my adult life) but, Mrs. Moore, DO YOUR MONTHLY EXAMS!” I promise that I will and maybe God wants you to promise that you will, too. Maybe that’s why you tagged along today. This is women’s ministry too, you know. We’re not ghosts. We have bodies. And they need stewarding. Maybe you need to do a few things for your health, too, but you think you’d rather take a sharp stick in the eye. I won’t hound you. I’ll just let God hound you. Otherwise you might think that misery just loves company. And let’s admit it. It does.
11:00 AM – Even before we’ve completely changed back into our clothes, we text Amanda and Melissa because they love us so much and they’re always relieved, too. We end up talking to both of them on the phone because we’re nuts about them. Our Amanda is having her first day with both kids in school in a good, long while and is celebrating a friend’s birthday over lunch. (AB is back in Mother’s Day Out and our big, fine boy is in his second week of Kindergarten.) Melissa is under the books, studying Coptic. We smile because we love these girls and their different worlds so much.
11:10 AM – One of our dear sibling in-laws needs to tell me something on the phone so we decide to take the long way to work and drive through Starbucks.
11:30 AM We pull up at Living Proof Ministries and we smile because we love those people who work within those walls so much we can barely stand it. We go inside and get and give many hugs because they haven’t seen one of us since last Wednesday. They can hardly wait to hear all about the Living Proof Live in Salt Lake City because they prayed so hard. We brag like crazy on the group God gave us and boast in His fresh graces and mercies. We’re only there for an hour and a half because, remember, this is appointment day.
12:00 PM – We gather for staff prayer time in the break room at LPM, most of us on the floor. We usually have staff prayer on Mondays but, if my schedule allows, I take Monday off after a Living Proof Live so Tuesday, it often is. I give a devotional then we pray together and specifically for one another. Most of the staff members write down their prayer requests on designated sheets of paper then Kimberly Meyer copies them off just before prayer time and passes them out to us. While we are praying, I realize that something pretty big has happened in one of my coworker’s lives while I was out of town and I am distraught. I lean over and write notes on her prayer sheet and tell her to call me the second we break. She nods her head. I can see the tears in her eyes.
1:00 PM – We have to scoot straightaway to make it on time for our next appointment so we end prayer time, say our goodbyes and one of us says we’ll see them all tomorrow. We call my friend before we make it to the car because we are so unnerved for her. She and I talk for the next 15 minutes while I’m on my way to the next stop. I feel badly about leaving you out of the conversation but, alas, some things are best kept confidential. I wouldn’t tell her some of the things you’ve told me either.
1:20 PM – We pull up hurriedly into the driveway of the groomer and run inside to get Queen Esther. Our next appointment is at 2:00 and not close by so we have no time for lollygagging. We’ve already paid in advance so it’s just a matter of fetching our best little buddy. We head off to the car. We really wish Queen Esther would t___t___ before getting in the backseat but she is traumatized by #4 clippers and, hence, her bladder is frozen solid. She barks “Run for your life!” and so we do.
1:25 PM – We pull into our old familiar driveway of 27 years (conveniently close to the groomer as you can see from our timeline). We let the Queen out of the backseat, nod with approval as her bladder thaws out in the grass, and we scurry our little beloved into the house since she can’t go with us to our next appointment. We haven’t eaten any lunch so we spread us a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a half and stuff it in a Ziploc because we dearly love Ziplocs. And peanut butter and jellies.
1:35 PM – We make sure Queen Esther is all settled in the house – even if she is royally ticked that she’s once again being forsaken – and we (you and I) head out the door and jump back into the car. We eat our PB&Js before we make it to the second traffic light. We leave one of our husbands a voice mail and tell him what we’re doing then we head on our 15 minute trek to our hair goddess for fresh highlights and a trim. One of us is having her annual photo-shoot tomorrow and, lest the other one think it sounds glamorous, the one of us having the photo-shoot enjoys it almost as much as she enjoys her annual m________ogram. We do indeed like seeing the photography staff once a year but, truthfully, this half of we just wishes we were seeing each other over bagels. So much smiling and not a grandbaby in sight. What a waste.
2:00 PM – We are in the chair of the Miss America of Hair. We LOVE this woman. I mean we absolutely L-O-V-E this woman. I’d tell you her name except that my staff would hang me upside down by my little toes because she’s already so booked that most of us make our appointments a couple of weeks in advance.
3:25 PM – We are still in the chair of the Miss America of Hair. She is very accustomed to us working hard on our laptop while in her chair. In fact, one of us put the last period of the final day of the James study sitting right here in this chair two weeks ago. One of us also wrote a chunk of GOOTP and SLI in this very chair. Right about now our big hair is in about 47 foils that could provide enough electric current for ET to call home.
4:00 PM – The Miss America of Hair unfolds one of the foils and nods her head. One of us leans back and puts her head in the shampoo bowl, but, alas, while holding the laptop up in the air so that the same one of us need not waste any time. God forbid that she’d just lay her head back and do nothing. We get a trim and The Miss America of Hair takes the blow dryer and blows all the hair off my computer keyboard and we laugh and thank her. We tip her well because we love to sit in the chair of the Miss America of Hair and we want her favor.
And we get back into the car, you and me.
But so happy.
Because we’ve spent the day with a good sister-friend. We’ll stop by the chiropractor, get adjusted, thank him again for being used of God to get our reluctant (nearly rude) selves out of 24/7 pain a year ago then one of us – I said just one of us – will go home and kiss my husband.
Thank you so much for coming along today, Sister! You made me smile. I love you and think of you every day.