Sunday, May 30, 2010

Remembering Dad


Remembering Dad

It’s been 13 years since Dad left this world, but lately he has been heavy in my thoughts. I want to take this Memorial Day Weekend to publically remember him. Dad served in the Korean War for two years and was fortunate to return home to his bride.

My parents married in October of 1952-he was 21 and she was 19. Just six short weeks after the wedding, Dad got the dreaded call-he was to join the army, and after a mere 10 weeks of marriage, he was deployed to Korea.

Dad served as a cook and his life vocation became that of a chef. Dad was also in the army band, and played the saxophone. I inherited my love of music from him; but not his talent.

Dad was a dreamer, but had little education to follow-through on his desires. He was a very outgoing person who loved to talk and playfully tease people.

My Dad died at the age of 65 due to heart and lung conditions. He is now with Jesus and no longer suffering.

I will see you again someday, Dad. I love you and miss you!






Sunday, May 23, 2010

Oily Oceans

Viewing scenes from the recent Gulf Oil Spill breaks my heart. I love the ocean and it hurts to see its beauty marred. The pictures brought back memories of an oil spill here in California. The year was 1991 at Huntington Beach. I lived in Whittier at the time so went down to the beach to observe what was really happening.
What I saw was gut-wrenching and I sent the following account to the Whittier Daily News-Letter to the Editor department. It was published as written:

The brisk wind chills the flesh to the bone; and not even the bright midmorning sun can warm the soul. The stench is like that of a tar pit, intermingled with the salty taste from the mist of the wind-whipped waves. The normally cream colored two foot breakers shovel brown froth to the shore and deposit piles of ugly blobs that resemble coffee-colored whipped jell-o or the foam atop a root beer float.

Several persons garbed in plastic yellow hazardous material gear materialize as alien space beings invading the beach. Busloads of these strange looking workers spill out upon the drifting sand and spend more time hauling equipment to the worksite than actually cleaning the polluted shore.

The troops bring in scores of plastic bags packed with absorbent diaper-like fabric to mop up the marred coastline. Python-size tubes of absorbing material are being used like tow line to rake in the greasy debris as the waves disassemble at their feet.

Sweeping the gooey globs to the shore seems futile as the returning waves remove the compiled jellied masses faster than the workers can scoop it into the special plastic bags. It seems so tedious and so discouraging. Mounds of oil-soaked sand filled bags are heaped onto special waste trucks. Where will they end up? An escaped empty plastic bag ballooned out by the winds leaps down the beach as if it were tumbleweed.

A worker accidently splashed the contaminated seawater in his eyes; he wasn’t wearing the special goggles. The fire department and ambulance arrive. Will he be ok? Will he be blinded for life?

Curious tourists brave the slamming wind to observe the tragedy. Tears, shaking of heads, expressions of sadness and anger abound. Some photograph the heartbreaking spectacle from atop the pier.

While swirling patterns of liver-colored slime skim the sea of green, unknowing sea birds hover about for tasty morsels. Will they get caught in a sticky grave? Will the fish suffocate in the oil-laden water? What about the migrating whales? God- Please save our ocean!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

LIGHTSABER Therapy




Thunk–zing, Thunk-zing, Thunk- Zing were the sounds I heard….over and over and over, as the green laser beam penetrated my right eye. I have a torn hole in my retina and it needed to be repaired before it could cause full detachment and blindness

The retina is a layer of tissue in the back of the eye. It works like camera film in that it receives images formed by the lens of the eye and transmits the images to the brain via the optic nerve. If the retina pulls away (detaches) from the eye, it is like the camera lens cap is still on and no image is seen.(blindness)

Laser surgery, known as photocoagulation, is actually an argon laser beam of high-intensity light that is converted to heat. The heat then creates scar tissue to seal the tear

The laser did not really hurt but was uncomfortable. My eye was propped open and then dozens of green, bright flashes of light were blasted into the eye. I felt pressure like the eyeball was being pushed on. The lights hurt too, as the eye was dilated, and I am light sensitive anyway.

Tonight I still have a dull ache in the eye, similar to when the eyeball is pushed back into the socket. I still have floaters, but the doctor reports they will eventually be absorbed into the body.

I will always be at high risk for detached retina due to my overly-elongated eye, as a result of being near-sighted. (Myopic) I just need to be aware of the symptoms and know to obtain medical help as soon as possible.

I thank God it was treatable and that blindness has not occurred!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Gnats and Flies in my Eyes


It began Tuesday afternoon following hours of computer work. First the floaters in my eyes were like pieces of strings, but then big black spots appeared. It made me think there were horse flies around me and I would swat them away.

I figured that probably because I wear contact lenses and rubbed my tired eyes, I may have gotten grit under them. When I went outside, my vision beheld a huge swarm of gnats. This was only in my right eye, but filled my entire view. I went home, removed the contact lenses and washed out the eye hoping that and rest would make it go away.

The next morning they were still there so I went to my eye doctor. Not good news. The flies and gnats floating around in my eyeball are blobs of blood. Because I am severely myopic (near-sighted) my eyes are unusually stretched and I am a high risk for detached retina. In this case, there was a tear in the retina, which broke off and is floating around in the eye fluid. The blood escaped because of an affected vein.

The doctor states that because the tear broke off, there is less chance of the entire retina detaching. I am to return on Tuesday to see a specialist. Then, they will decide on treatment.
Until then, I just deal with the floaters. At least they aren’t as intense as they were the first day. Now, it is just the gnats and a huge stringy glob at center of my vision field. Moving my eye around I can make them swim, much like those computer critters that follow the cursor!

The photo is a representation of what I am currently seeing

To be continued on Tuesday….

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Broken Mothers


This morning, I had to relieve one of my staff who had taken a client to the emergency room last night. Walking over to the entrance near the emergency room, I noticed a small alcove with a large safe-like door that had colorfully tiled wall of hands holding an infant. It was one of those “Safe Surrender” stations that women can bring their newborns instead of leaving them to die. On this day of recognizing mothers my heart just broke for the lives that have come to this spot. With tears in my eyes, I whispered a prayer for God to touch their hearts.
http://www.fire.lacounty.gov/ProgramsEvents/SpecialProgramsSafeSurrender.asp

Friday, May 7, 2010

Victorian Wannabees


Several years ago on a Sunday afternoon, my ten year old niece, Stephanie, and I donned white dresses and floppy hats and went to the seashore.



We frolicked in the wavelets and photographed one another as we pretended to be the Victorian Ladies that we saw in paintings.

I requested an amused passerby to take a picture of the two of us together; trying to hold onto our hats from the gusting winds.

It was an adventure I cherish and will never forget.