In My Absence

•June 2, 2011 • 2 Comments

In the many months of my absence from this blogging world, my life, as I knew it, has taken on a completely different shape. Here is a brief time-line of events:

December 14 – Received my Nurses pin

December 15 – Graduated from Nursing school

January 27 – Took my last test.. NCLEX-RN

February 4 – Found my nursing license number online

February 28 – Hired at SkyRidge Medical Center

March 14 – First day of orientation.

May 22 – After 9 weeks of orientation, I set foot on the floor… on my own.

Now I’m suppose to know how to be a nurse, but am only coming to a greater realization of how much I don’t know. Some days I want to sit and weep because there is so much to do… Like the day when I was so far behind on everything.

I’m trying to be there for the loving family whose mother, they just realize, is dying. She lies there, every muscle rigid, blankly staring off into space, unable to swallow anything… even the 3 handfuls of pills. She’s also on a Cardizem drip, meaning I have to be in there every hour taking vitals and titrating the amount accordingly. My next patient has somehow gone severely wrong and we don’t know what or why. The family is very anxious and calling me in every 5 to 10 minutes. My next patient is coming back from an EGD and needs vital signs every 15 minutes. The 4th patient is ready for discharge and I need to get his papers together. Then I get a notice that I’ll be getting an admit… up from surgery where he’s had a pacemaker put in – more frequent vitals.

As I sit there trying to gather my thoughts, I remember I need to check my second patient’s labs for her repeat H/H. I see its still 8.5/25. I pick up the phone to page the doctor, thankful for which doctor it is. Not long after I write the order for another repeat H/H in 4 hours, the doctor arrives to the floor to check matters out for himself. “On top of all that’s going wrong with her,” he tells me, “she’s going into renal failure. I’ve gone ahead and written an order for type/cross-match and a unit of blood. She also needs a foley placed. Oh, and I’ve written three pages of orders.” He throws that last part over his shoulder with a half apologetic smile as he heads off to another case.

If I hadn’t wanted to cry before… I did now. But this is when I am so thankful for the other nurses I work with. One jumps up to grab the chart and scan through the orders. “No NOW orders, you can deal with them as you have time. I’ll get the foley and order the Type/Cross-match.” Another nurse jumps, “I’ll help with the foley.” In a short amount of time they are back. “The foley is in place and a nursing note has been written.” Another nurse runs to keep up with my frequent vitals and pass some of my meds that I don’t have time for. With the help of several nurses, I file my last paper and walk out at 2030. I’m starved. As I think back over the whirlwind of the day I realize that I never ate lunch. Breakfast was been 15 hours earlier at 0530.

But then there are the days when each patient has two meds at 0900, and that’s all they need for the whole day. Then you sit around all day somewhat bored but not daring to wish for something to do for fear of being slaughtered.

Everyday is an adventure. I’m thankful for the people I work with. I’m thankful for my job. I’m thankful for the challenge. But most of all, I’m thankful for a God who walks with me every step of each shift. Without Him I’d have run a long time ago…


“You’ll Want to Marry Him One day!”

•February 6, 2011 • 3 Comments

I finally went back and read all 82 Microsoft Word pages of updates I wrote during my year in Laos. That was three years ago. It was really fun to be reminded of memories forgotten… especially some of the more humorous ones. My boys, Tyler 8, and Ryan 5, provided me with no end of entertainment, challenges, and fun memories. Here’s one I had forgotten about.

One afternoon, Ryan came running into the living room very excitedly, “Miss Marjorie! Do you know what?”

“No, what?” I responded.

“That guy over their said he wants to marry you!”

“What guy over where?”

“Up where we just got our bike tires pumped up. The village chief’s son.”

(I don’t have a clue who this is and I don’t think I have ever met this guy.)

“Oh, well, I’m not going to marry him.”

“Yes you will since that’s what he wants!”

Then Tyler pipes up, “No, she doesn’t have to just because he wants.”

“Just because he wants doesn’t mean that I want.” I replied.

Ryan, still standing over me retorted, “Well, one day you just might want to!”

Sunlight & Trees

•February 4, 2011 • 2 Comments

I just finished dumping my camera contents from the last 4 or 5 months and discovered some forgotten moments. Here’s one.

Sunlight & Trees
Two simple things. Yet the combination is resplendent.

Sepia fun….

And because I just love black and white….


•December 30, 2010 • 2 Comments

Merry Christmas…. though it is a little late I know.

I love Christmas! There is just something so warm and exciting about this time of year that just bubbles up and tries to thaw the harshest of climates. It has the power to raise the coldest thermometer, to break the thickest icicle, and to soften the hardest fall. But there is something peculiar and most powerful about this strength, it doesn’t use force. Therefore, not all thermometers raise, icicles break, or hard falls soften. But, because of this extraordinary trait, the ones that will are empowered.

Strange, is it not, that something so beautiful and powerful could be marred and re-figured into something the exact opposite. The warm, licking fingers are stopped short while wet, cold flames take over to run their course. Peace is trampled and fought over; love is shoved under the rug and longed for. This is the pretense of Christmas.

I wonder at this and yet I don’t. The small little gift that is behind the whole of Christmas is the essence of all that is good, and right, and Holy. Smallness is great, and greatness is small. There is more my mind reals in for contemplation but I think I’ll let that rest alone for now and show you a little of my Christmas day.


My brother, sister, and I spent Thursday and Friday at my Aunt’s house on Lookout Mountain with the plans to drive down Sabbath morning early enough to make it in time for church with my parents 2 hours away. We’d heard that some snow was predicted, but here in the south what does that really mean? Sabbath morning we woke up to a white Christmas… the first one I’ve ever seen! Jeff and Kristin went down ahead of my sister and I. Not long later we got a phone call admonishing us not to go anywhere. There was already a good 3 inches on the ground with plenty more falling and the roads were icy heading down the mountain. By the time church on the mountain was to start we had 6 inches and no way to get out of the steep, slippery driveway. After a several hour skype session with Laurel in Ethiopia, I went to join my sister and cousins out in the beautiful, winter wonderland.

The Giant Snowman! My cousin Josh is 6’4″. The stovepipe hat and brim are all made of snow.

My sister and I look like midgets!

Sisters! Pam and I

The beginnings of our giant snowball.

Once it was too big to keep control of, we let it roll down the hill into the woods. I don’t think Ellie is to pleased about being up on top.

Eckles with the now hatless giant snowman and the new baby snowman.

The most amazing igloo ever!

The roof looks kind of see through but in reality is over a foot thick.

The view out the door.

Ellie. Josh and I were both in there with her and could have easily had another person or two sitting up in there.


After a few days the snowmen wanted to get a little closer.


That was Christmas! (And the few days following)


The Major Rhomboid

•December 21, 2010 • 3 Comments

During the Christmas season of Massage School, a college-wide talent show was planned. Our small “Therapuit” family, not wanting to be left out, decided to perform a mini play together. This play consisted of a couple of rewritten Christmas songs (“I’m dreaming of a white Christmas” – “I had a nightmare ’bout a wet Christmas”, and “Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas” – “Its beginning to look a lot like Hyrdo”) and a bedtime story. Being the “mother” of the brood of girls I had to come up with the bedtime story. With 10 minutes to spare, I ran over to the hyrdo wing, pulled down the muscle chart and began writing furiously:


The Major Rhomboid

It was a snowy December day down in the valley of Latissimus Dorsi.  It had been a Longissimus and Infraspinatus Winter.  But all the Dorsites were in good Spirits.

Little Louisa Sartorious lived beside the great Brachialis river that ran through the valley.  On this particular day, her mother had told her that she could go play with her friend Marianne Zygomaticus.

As they were playing in the snow, Louisa fell down on her Gluteus Maximus.  She was sure that Marianne had tripped her, so they began to Quadratus.  Instead of settling matters while it was just a Minor Rhomboid, they let it grow until it became a Major Rhomboid.

Pretty soon Abductor Pollicis Longus came upon the scene to have a Vastus Intermedius.  He sat them down on either side of him in a great snow bank to cool off a little bit.  He began to question them about what this Major Rhomboid had been about.  They looked at each other, and all of a sudden, they couldn’t remember what they had been Quadratusing about!  They both began to laugh.

Then Abductor Pollicis Longus Levatored them out of the snow.  They ran and threw their arms around each other to form a Sartoriously Zygomaticus hug – for that was their name.

All over town Mr. Abductor Pollicis Longus became known as Mr. Abductor Pollicis Brevis, because of his ability to settle Major Rhomboids Brevisly instead of Longously.

Louisa and Marianne learned a Superior Auricular lesson that day – to think before acting.  They went to their separate homes with happy Cardiacs.  They hung up their stockings and went to bed– for it was

Christmas Eve



•November 21, 2010 • 3 Comments

This morning I stumbled across something I had written near the end of my year as a student missionary. I was up against a rather tough situation in my life and was just trying to sort things out. Somewhere in the midst of my ramblings I came across a realization. I thought I would share this little excerpt:

“I can understand that Footprints poem.  I often look back over the year and see only one set of footprints for almost all of it.  It looks as if I have walked it alone.  But if I look again, those Footprints are way bigger than mine.  I know I have been carried all the way.  I can see where I have decided to jump out His arms— its a big indentation in the sand where I have fallen flat on my face instead of walking.  But even those spots where I tried to do it on my own, I look closely and see that God picked me up again and beneath each spot that I fell was a sand Angel that God had turned my stumble into.  I am not worthy of His endless love yet He continues to shower it on me in torrential rains.”  — April 2008


I am thankful I have a Savior that still holds my hand.



•September 8, 2010 • 3 Comments

By Edgar Lee Masters

I have known the silence of the stars and of the sea,
And the silence of the city when it pauses,
And the silence of a man and a maid.
And the silence for which music alone finds the word,
And the silence of the woods before the winds of spring begin,
And the silence of the sick
When their eyes roam about the room.

And I ask: For the depths
Of what use is language?
A beast of the fields moans a few times
When death takes its young.
And we are voiceless in the presence of realities–
We cannot speak.

A curious boy asks a soldier
Sitting in front of the general store,
“How did you lose your leg?”
And the soldier is struck with silence,
Or his mind flies away
Because he cannot concentrate it on Tarawa.
And there are no words–
No words.
And the boy wonders, while the soldier
Dumbly, feebly lives over
The flashes of guns, the thunder of bombs,
The shrieks of the slain,
And himself lying on the ground,
And the hospital surgeons, the knives,
And the long days in bed.
But if he could describe it all
He would be an artist.
But if here were an artist there would be deeper wounds
Which he could not describe.

There is a silence of a great hatred,
And the silence of a great love,
And the silence of a deep peace of mind
And the silence of an embittered friendship,
There is the silence of a spiritual crisis,
Through which your soul, exquisitely tortured
Comes with visions not to be uttered
Into a realm of higher life.
And the silence of the gods who understand each other without speech,
There is the silence of the defeated
There is the silence of those unjustly punished;
And the silence of the dying whose hand
Suddenly grips yours.
There is the silence between father and son,
When the father cannot explain his life,
Even though he be misunderstood for it.

There is the silence that comes between husband and wife.
There is the silence of those who have failed;
And the vast silence that covers
Broken nations and vanquished leaders.
There was the silence of Lincoln,
Thinking of the poverty of his youth.
And a silence of Napoleon
After Waterloo.
And a silence of Joan of Arc
Saying amid the flames, “Blessed Jesus”–
Revealing in two words all sorrow, all hope.
And there is the silence of age,
Too full of wisdom for the tongue to utter it
In words intelligible to those who have not lived
The great range of life.
The temple of our purest thoughts– Is silence.