While You Were Out.......
by DebraThomas
Mar 12, 2013 | 4800 views |  0 comments | 44 44 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
It has been a while since I got to blog. Thank you for the few of you that have asked when I would write again.  That makes me smile from ear to ear and on the inside too!! If thats possible.

Been a lot of changes in my life since I was here last and some I am sorry to say not for the best. My father in law was diagnosed with a rare form of fast growing cancer and within 2 months of his diagnosis, he died.  It was a very sad, hard, horrible experience and one I wont go into detail about here, but if you have lost one to cancer you know what I mean. Within a week of losing my second father, (he was so much more than an inlaw) my beloved husband became sick. Very sick. I took him to the doctors and they took a gallon of blood and did all sorts of testing on him but he finally had to go to the ER and be admitted on a rainy, cold Friday night.

The hospital staff was wonderful to us; and we were so fortunate to get to leave the place within 4 days. But he is still ailing, I am sorry to say, and with that, we continue to search for doctors or medicines or therapies that will heal him.  He is my soul mate, my best friend and I dont want to imagine what life without him would be like. I want to go first.  I kid him that I want to go first so that someone will be there to mourn me. If not, then I am going to have to hire mourners for my funeral, and the bank account is looking mighty slim right now. So we both better get to feeling the best in years and not even consider the alternative.

There is a very nice lady that published my article in the local free newspaper and it was a tribute to my father in law.  Since my own father died when I was 15, I missed a lot of things a daddy should teach a young girl. Thankfully I have an older brother and sister and they along with my beautiful and hard working Mother filled in the pieces and I became the person I am today.  Even though, Mother with her 85 years of wisdom tells folks with a glint in her eye that she is not responsible for anything I do or say, and that she has always been thankful I wasnt twins.

Hmm......let me think on that a minute.

For those of you who know me, you know I love life.  Not to the extent that I want to jump off of cliffs or hanglide or anything like that but I love the idea that there is a flower in a field that was put there not by man but by God.

I love to look deep into the eyes of a dog or cat and see the beauty therein. There is no woman that can put on makeup and be as beautiful as a flower nor an animal. Nature is just perfect. We on the other hand are not, but there are a lot of good, really good, caring and loving folks in this world.

Which brings me to this blog. I have had this on my mind since before the man I called Snooks died. It was just some of the things that people did while we were in this state of uncertainty and finding our way through the terrible dark days ahead.

My husband, mother in law and myself had been in the area doing some shopping for her a suit/dress/etc and things that were going to be needed for the inevitable future. You are never really prepared for a death, and especially what will I wear to a spouse's funeral. Anyway, we stopped for a bite to eat. The place was crowded and again, it was cold and blustery outside. We sat near the fireplace and we ordered our food. Not much of an appetite but we knew we had to go on and nourish our bodies to try to prepare the soul and heart for what was about to come to us. Well, I was exceptionally hungry or eating out of stress, whichever, and I ordred an extra side helping of a vegetable. My husband ordred a coffee along with his tea and so on. Not our regular actions but we just felt we needed to console ourselves in a way only food and drink would do. Then my mother in law ordered her pancakes. She didnt usually order such a large meal, but it was just the thing to do on that particular day.

Our waitress overheard us talking about having to go back to the hospital, and she asked if we needed some to go boxes. It seems the phone rang while we were trying to eat and we were advised to rush back to the hospital. All three of us took an extra gulp and then said yes, we need the boxes and please to go cups too.  The waitress came back and advised us that the bill was paid for.


It seems that she couldnt tell us, and with wonderment and excitement and a little (ok a lot of stress) on us and in us, we hurried out the door all the while wondering if it was management, or was it the waitress that paid for our meal.

It has been several weeks since that event. My husband and I have been back to the establishment several times to try and get the same waitress to see if she could tell us if indeed she had paid our expenses that day. She had told us over and over that day it was not her and she had been asked not to say whom the payor was, but to just accept it as a gift and someday pay it forward.

So finally we got to meet with the waitress face to face. After we had placed our order, she said, I remember you folks, you were the ones that had to leave. I do hope all worked out and your loved one is better.  My husband hung his head and sighed. I broke the news to the lady that my father in law had indeed passed, and she all but cried there on the spot.

Such a sweet lady. So finally I had to broach the subject, WHO PAID FOR OUR DINNER?  She said, I wasnt supposed to say, but it was the older couple that was sitting across from you that day.

My husband lifted his head and he and I looked at each other with a questionable look on our faces. We had no idea there was anyone even listening to us, much less that there was a couple next to us, and certainly not that they would have paid for the three of us to eat.

I was astonished. I was embarrassed. I was so ashamed I had ordered the extra vegetable. Then the lady said something to me, they just asked that you pay it forward when you can.

What? Pay it forward as in the amount, we have no idea how much it was.

No, just pay the deed forward. Do something for someone sometime when it is least expected.

I tried to think of something extraordinary I could do to really show my appreciation to someone. Buying a dinner or a lunch seemed so small to what I was feeling inside. So I thought about it and said, ok, when the time is right, I will know it.

The time my husband spent in the hospital was an eye opening experience to say the least. I saw the best and the worst in people. Some were so downtrodden and humble while others were haughty and had no real reason to be.

But one gentleman in particular was special to me. He was across the hall from my husband. I had worked for him several years before, and we were friends in a way, but not close because he had hundreds of employees under his command.

He was nice and we got along well. No hard feelings when I had to leave due to health reasons. Every once in a while I would see him in the stores but not often. We would do the usual catching up on family and work and so on and then, ok, well, see you later.

I was discussing with the doctor the news about my husbands condition and out of the corner of my eye I see someone in a hospital gown, making faces over the docs shoulder. This man is either nuts or someone I know. Well I was trying to keep a strait face while conversing with the doctor but when you see a clown acting up in the hallway and he has on a hospital gown, you kinda lose concentration FAST.  

The doctor left and this man sped into my husbands room. Without using his indoor voice, he exclaimed, I KNEW THAT WAS YOU!!  I SAID TO MYSELF THAT HAS TO BE DEB PARKER THOMAS!! I WOULD KNOW THAT VOICE ANYWHWERE!!!

and so on.   My husband didnt see the glee this man was obviously having and had no idea who he was nor why he barged into his hospital room.

The days went by faster after we all got to know each other and I am sorry to say I dont know what happened to the man. If he is out of the hospital or not, and what his condition is now. BUT with that said, we all had a very nice visit, and he made the hospital a more inviting place to be during the situation we were in was well, strange to say the least.

When we were discharged (I say we because I stayed with my husband 24 hours a day for 4 days except to come home, get a change of clothes and feed the animals and go back to the hospital, all of an hour a day for 4 days) so I felt as if I too had been a patient.  We all promised to keep in touch and lets get together and all the standards......but we havent.

I went back to get some paperwork after discharge and I checked on my friend. He was telling me that he would be having surgery later that day, and that he would like to have some clean sheets.  Without hesitation, I went to the nurses station, got the clean bed linens and started to change his sheets.  He stopped me because there was a nurse coming in to do that for him, but he was touched that someone would care enough to handle sheets for a person in the hospital when they didnt even work there.   Well, thats what you do when you see someone in need.

Or at least I did.  The nurse did come in and tell me that she was going to change the bed and so on, and apologized for the delay, but I told her it wasnt going to be a problem. I left though and have thought about that situation.

Since the days we were in the hospital, I have joined a local civic organization. It is just one of the few I am involved in, and tonight I got just a sneak peek at some of the many things they do for the community.

Maybe this is my paying it forward. The sheet thing didnt work out, so I didnt get to pay that one forward but maybe in a way I can help someone with their sight; or plant some flowers for a Senior Citizen to enjoy or host an Easter Egg Hunt for children to come and gather eggs and try to find the prized egg, or, if nothing else, maybe sometime I can pay for someones dinner......or better yet, invite them to eat with us.

There is always something that can be done and something positive can come out of something so negative.

My appreciation to all that have been there for us in word and deed during this my husbands hardest hours.   May you all be blessed in all you do, and just know, I will always be thinking of a way to pay it forward. Hope you will too.

Thanks and I will be back sooner with Musings.
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