Thursday, August 30, 2007

So what I wanted to say yesterday was

All of the talk on TV and articles in the newspaper about the anniversary of Katrina hitting New Orleans has had me thinking a lot about 2005. It was a big year full of highs and lows - Katrina being one of the biggest lows for the country; my shoulder being crushed and having to be replaced being one of the biggest for me personally.

I know it's been two years, but since '05 was such a blur to me for a few months, I feel sure I never got around to thanking everyone who took care of me after my shoulder replacement surgery and how much I still appreciate it. First off, Mom and Angie, thank you so much for being at the hospital so much, you know when I'm sick, no one takes better care of me than my Mama! Next, I want to say thank you to Tamara and Helen for fixing my gowns and dresses with Velcro and snaps on the shoulders so that I could easily get into and out of them; to my kids for bringing me food and pain pills and keeping the house clean for me (then and always) during that time; and to Frank, of course, for putting up with me snoring, tossing, turning, whining, sleeping, sweating, oh, my gosh, just everything from feeding me to bathing me. I don't think I ever felt so helpless.

Though they will probably never read it, I say thank you to all the folks at Hendersonville Sports Medicine for working with me and pushing me to "work it!" I never thought I would ever be able to tie a bow in the back of my dress or fasten a necklace again - but, I was wrong - thank goodness! One of my trainers was a former neighbor, Jeremy "Wister" Wist. He pushed me the hardest and made the most fun of me at the same time which, of course, helped pass the time while I was in such agony doing all those strenuous exercises.

I guess I should also thank my doctor, who by his own accord, swears it's a miracle that I can lift my arm over my head and who, also by his own accord, says he is responsible for that because of his expert surgery (I personally give the glory to God for guiding Dr. Brooks hands and for leading me to such a skilled doctor.) Turns out, because everyone was on vacation that week, Dr. Brooks was pretty much my ONLY choice. Who knew he was considered one of the best? His bedside manner needs work, but I feel pretty confident that his talents have allowed me to be able to move my left arm again. He replaced the shoulder, repaired the rotator cuff, and pretty much re-built the humerus bone, making it strong enough to support my shiny new titanium shoulder. Apparently, shoulder replacement surgery is not very common so to find someone as good as Dr. Brooks had to be divine intervention.

As for work (or lack of) during the couple of months after my surgery, I have to thank Lynelle and Clint for taking care of EVERYTHING there just as though I had never left (makes me wonder why I was the one in charge in the first place!)

Speaking of Lynelle (nice segue, heh?) 2005 was the first year of our friendship. She came to me in January for an interview - one I tried to put off because I HATE interviewing people. She said, "I can appreciate that you are busy, but I have rearranged my schedule to be there so I am on my way," and I thought, "Well if she can push her way into an interview with me, she is going to be great at sales!" I was right about that, but I would have never guessed anyone that pushy would turn out to be one of my closest friends. She started for me the following Monday and preceded to sell about 90% of the ads in our second Wedding Guide! We broke all goals because of her! I was so proud of her ... and so blessed because of her. When I broke my shoulder, she was there all the time, either on the phone telling me what was happening in the office or coming by to check on me at the house. I will be forever grateful for Lynelle.

Now on to my personal Katrina memory ~ Lynelle is from New Orleans, her mother, father, sister, brother, and many other family members were victims of that horrible hurricane. Lynelle did not have cable TV or the weather channel during the storm so I got to be her medium. We stayed up on the phone all night long tracking the storm. Our cell phones died two or three times before we finally just plugged them in and realized we had home phones ~ duh! She was able to keep up with her mom and sister because they hauled it out of there up to a campground in northern Louisiana. Her dad didn't want to leave so he went over to try and protect his childhood home from looters and shortly after the levees broke she lost contact with him. For days we used the internet and kept watch on CNN for names of victims and those who were posting their names as being safe or who were looking for someone. We sent text messages to his phone, dialed it too many times to count even though we knew his cell battery had probably died days ago. Every day she came to work and I would look at her and she back at me and if she didn't say anything I knew she hadn't heard anything yet and we both burst into tears. I wish I could remember just how many days we did this, if she ever gets around to reading this maybe she can leave us a comment because I am sure she knows EXACTLY how many days it was. Anyway, when the day came that she had heard from him, the story was unbelievable. He had stayed in the home until the water go so high that he had to get onto his roof and wait to be rescued. He was finally rescued and was on a bus headed for Texas when he asked to be let out on the condition he not go back into town. He walked (and he's not a young man) for days to get to safety and food and water, heading toward Baton Rouge or Shreveport, I can't remember which but definitely headed north. Lynelle continued to worry about him of course for weeks and worry about what he and her mother and sister would find when they returned to New Orleans. Her mother's house was pretty much destroyed as she lived very close to Lake Pontchartrain; her sister's house suffered cosmetic damage but not flood damage and their dad moved in there for a while. Her brother lost a lot, too, in his business and his home. Everything about what Katrina did to this family is heart wrenching and yet, there was a small silver lining ...

Lynelle's sister, Shelly, moved to Hendersonville. Here she was able to give her two young girls a much better way of life in a town moving much slower and allowing little girls to be little girls and give us all the opportunity to add one more "really good friend" to our lives!

So, as you see for all the ups and downs of 2005, it all ended well. God is good indeed!

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