Archive for August, 2009

Resolution of Respect

By Kathy NickersonAugust 26th, 2009family, mercy4 Comments

A couple of weeks ago, our good friend John died. He was in his fifties and left behind a wonderful wife and two young children. He was a pillar in our community who literally built most of our town. And we are all in mourning for him.

When I was growing up, our church had a wonderful tradition for times like this. Someone in the church was appointed to write a Resolution of Respect about the person who had died. It would be read with great solemnity before the congregation and then put into the official records of the church. Eventually it would be published in the church paper, as well.
The resolution was not a eulogy exactly. It started out with words that went something like this, “Insomuch as it has pleased our gracious Heavenly Father to call home to glory His faithful servant, John Emerson…” And it ended with something like this, “be it resolved that we will bow our knee in humble submission to His will.”
And so the resolution was mostly about those of us who stayed behind. It was about us resolving in our hearts to treasure the memory and to honor the legacy of the one who had gone on. It was about bowing our will to God’s – even when to do so broke our earthly hearts.
Be it so resolved.

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To Dance Without Losing Her Balance

By Kathy NickersonAugust 24th, 2009family3 Comments
Our granddaughter, Claire, was born three months early. Her teeny, tiny, little spirit fought hard from Day One, and she has excelled in life. Yet, she still struggles with spastic muscles in one arm and leg. This summer, she started working with a new therapist, whom I currently adore. Here is one of his stated goals for Claire’s therapy : That she will be able to dance without losing her balance.

Isn’t that our prayer for all the children in our lives? That they may be able to accomplish all the intricate steps of this life – in every stage – without losing their footing?

It isn’t always easy, of course, for our children or for the adults who love them. Granddaughter Elena started kindergarten this year on crutches. She tried to dance off the top of a bunk bed and didn’t quite nail the landing. When we visited her in Wyoming last week, her Grandpa and I worked so hard to teach her how to put the weight on her hands instead of her armpits and how to swing her good leg forward past the hot pink cast on her broken leg.

She was doing so well. Then, in the crowd of parents and fellow students suffering from first-day-of-school-excitement-and-rudeness, she was knocked off balance and fell down! It’s good I wasn’t there.
Elena had a marvelous first day of school despite that incident. By day three, she had even mastered the playground on crutches. And Claire? Her therapist reports excellent progress toward dancing without losing her balance.
May it always be so.

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I’m on the Cover of a Magazine!!!!!

By Kathy NickersonAugust 20th, 2009Uncategorized3 Comments

[superior_scribbler_award.jpg]Not really. That is just one of our favorite lines from the movie Monsters Incorporated, and we throw it out anytime we become irrationally excited about something the rest of the world would see as a bar code over our one eye. (Okay, you have to see the movie to get it.)

I was excited, though, to discover I had won an award from Serenity’s blog. She owes me, of course. I gave birth to her. Then I encouraged, cajoled, challenged, and applauded until she became a writer who surpasses me in every aspect of the craft. A mother’s dream.

The award does come with some rules. Here they are:

1. Pass the award on to 5 most-deserving blogging friends.

2. Link to the author and blog name from whom he/she received the award.

3. Display the award and link to its explanation.

4. The receiver must visit the explanation post and add their name to the list of winners.

5. Winners must repost the rules.

Evidently, breaking the chain will not curse one with bad luck, and completing the chain will not guarantee delivery of a new Toyota in the driveway or a lifetime supply of red & green M&M’s or any of the other things I’ve seen promised in email forwards through the years. That said, my fellow bloggers are welcome to pass on the award or simply sit back and revel in the exposure of their friends. (see Monster’s Inc., again)

As some incentive, I’m posting a little picture from our weekend visit with Sully and Mike in Casper, Wyoming.

And the Winners Are:

Charity, because I love to hear what’s happening in her life and because she loves Sully so much.

Paul, because his Daily Manna challenges and inspires me.

Widney Woman, because she is so honest in her journey.

Felicity, because she blesses me with her wisdom and her worship, and she really did grow up to become one of my best friends.

And, Judy, because we have shared everything since we were five years old and because she is too busy impacting the lives of high school writing students to blog nearly as often as I’d like to hear from her.

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Who Needs the Hamptons

By Kathy NickersonAugust 14th, 2009family, work2 Comments

Here in the middle of the Missouri cornfields, it is hard for me to imagine a family actually spending the entire summer at their beach house or in their vacation cottage with multiple guest rooms. Yet, some of my blogger friends have experienced such treasure all their lives.

As Felicity mentioned in a recent post, it is tempting to feel a twinge of envy toward lives that seem more glamorous than our own. Yet, the point behind summer in the Hamptons or a weekend in the Ozarks is exactly the same. The goal is to connect. To stop the traffic of our busy daily lives and drink in the wonder of the people we love.
So, we have stopped. We stopped in Casper, Wyoming, after a sixteen hour drive with a brief lay-over in Omaha to pick up Charity & Nola. And we have captured moments like this one to carry us all through the long winters months ahead.

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It’s What I Do

By Kathy NickersonAugust 5th, 2009writing2 Comments

Writers write.

I try to remind myself it is what we do, not who we are. In my day job, I manage my husband’s medical office, and I wrestle insurance giants much of the time. My day job shares many traits with my writing career.

Instead of crafting an article between nine and five, I compile necessary information, create a claim form, and then send the form off to the Powers That Be in Insurance Land. Then I wait. State law mandates the company respond to me in a certain number of weeks, but it is sufficient for them to say, “We’re still processing this claim and need just a little more information to complete it. No action is required on your part.”

That statement buys them another forty-five days to procrastinate. I wait some more. If I’m feeling strong, I compile a few more claim forms and send them out in the meantime, trying not to count how many days I’ve been waiting to hear back from Medicare or Blue Cross.

Eventually, a decision is reached in an office cubicle somewhere across the country, and the response is sent to me by carrier pigeon or pony express, whichever is slower. I can usually tell by the envelope whether my claim has been accepted or rejected. I only rip it open so I can read the explanation that tells me something terribly helpful such as “Your claim lacks information needed for adjudication.”

It is good that I recognize these are things I do, not things I am. Otherwise, I’d toss that letter in the circular file by my feet and announce to my husband, “That’s it. I’m obviously not an office manager after all. I’m applying for a job at Wal Mart.”

But filing claims is just something I do. This is not who I am. And no matter how many times the insurance company sends my claims back without an attached check, I will not be deterred. I will file and re-file and re-file again until I figure out exactly which data goes in exactly which box. And I will overcome. Eventually, an envelope will arrive with that glorious “Pay to the Order Of” peeking from the window.

I will slash it open with a victorious flare and resist the urge to wave it as I strut up and down the hall shouting, “Look, I’m a writer … I mean, office manager.”

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Another Happy Day

By Kathy NickersonAugust 3rd, 2009family, happy endings3 Comments

I’d like to think I’ve learned not to take life for granted. But, here it is, only three years after Serenity Beth was diagnosed with rare, aggressive cancer, and already I’ve dismissed the brass band instead of marching it down the street on her birthday.

Seriously, we should be throwing a magnificent party today because Serenity Bohon is 33!!!!!!. I remember celebrating her 30th birthday – after the surgery, the radiation, the horror, and then the glorious birth of little Jake. The celebration was so rapturous that I even told the waitress at Ruby Tuesday’s, “It’s her birthday. And she almost died. We’re a little emotional.”
Yet, here we are on a rainy Monday barely paying any attention at all to the event. Fortunately, Serenity is having a great time on vacation with her little clan. But, I’m going to work as usual…
No, that isn’t true. I’m going to work with a deep, delicious, tear-jerking sense of gratitude and joy. It isn’t the kind of thing that requires a brass band, because I carry the tune of it in my heart every day. It is Gratitude for life, for love, and for the rare privilege of being the mother of such a person.
Happy Birthday, Serenity Beth.

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