Tuesday, February 5, 2013


Clyde's Aunt Hazel was one of the most genuine women I have ever had the blessing to have in my life. She never put on airs or pretended to be someone she wasn't. She was open, honest, kind and loving. She was nice. Pleasant. One of those people who was a joy to be around. She had those little nuances that were so endearing. The way she covered her mouth with her hand when she laughed. The exclamation of "ooooohhhhh", when she was excited. We never left her without hearing her say "ya'll come back again soon, will you?" and "I love you all", accompanied a hug around the neck and a kiss on the cheek. When she called she always started the conversations with, "Lisa, this is me, Hazel". I loved those little things about her.

Recently during a visit to the hospital, Larry told us about a book he read that talked about Matthew 10:7 the kingdom of heaven being near. The book discussed the possibility that being near, meant, within us. Christians having the kingdom of heaven within them. Some of these people didn't necessarily preach the gospel or speak out to large crowds about their conviction. They didn't write books or go on TV to spread the word, but lived their lives as if the kingdom of heaven was within them. The book referred to some of these Christians as secret agents. Larry said he thought that described his mother perfectly. In the eyes of those of us who were honored to know her, we knew that she loved the lord with all of her heart, soul and mind. Larry was right, Hazel was an earthly "agent" of Christ and definitely had the kingdom of heaven within her, it was no secret. She truly cared about whether or not she had done the right thing in all aspects of her life. Hazel was a Christian and that stayed in the forefront of her mind always. She wanted to be sure that she was forgiven for anything she had said or done that might have been offensive and wanted to be sure that others enjoyed the same peace of mind by telling them she forgave them for any thing they may have done that she felt had hurt her. She was never too proud to admit that she may have been wrong. She wanted nothing left undone or unsaid when her time came to leave this world. So if any of you who knew her, wish that you had said, I'm sorry I hurt you or I love you,... don't worry; she had already forgiven you and she loved you too, because that was who she was.

I know that she loved my husband, our children, and our grandchildren. She told us she was proud of us and for us. She not only told us, she showed us with her unconditional love. Hazel not only practiced Corinthians 13:4-7, she was Corinthians 13:4-7. "Love is patient and kind." Hazel was patient and kind. "Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude." Hazel was not jealous or boastful or proud or rude." "Love does not demand its own way." Hazel did not demand her own way. "Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged." Hazel was not irritable and kept no record of when she had been wronged. "Love is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out." Hazel was never glad about injustice but rejoiced whenever the truth won out. "Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance." Hazel never gave up, never, ever lost her faith, and was always hopeful, and most definitely endured through every circumstance."

Right before they took Hazel into surgery Clyde and I were fortunate enough to be able to tell her how much we loved her. As Larry and Sally said their final I love you's she said, well I love everybody, and she did, love everybody. She loved her family with all of her heart and was not afraid to tell anyone that she came in contact with how she felt. She was so proud of Larry and Sally. She was thankful everyday for all they had done for her. I can't count the times she said to me, I don't know what I would do without Larry and Sally. She always worried about whether she was asking to much of them, because she knew they were busy. She was proud of Sabrina and Shawn, but thought they worked too hard. She was especially proud of "her boys" Sam and Jax. She talked of them often, telling me "oooooohh they are getting so big" and how sweet they were to her when they came to visit and watch TV with her. She loved Sally's children, and grandchildren and it's obvious that they loved her too. Eli made a hospital glove into a balloon with a special message especially from him and gave it to her last week. It was precious. It would have thrilled her to show everybody what he had done for her.

She knew that our Riley liked to pretend with makeup so she saved old compacts for her, checking to make sure the mirror was still clear so she could see herself. Most recently our little Ethan stole her heart by allowing her to snuggle him close everytime she saw him. She told Paige and I, if he ever went missing we better check her house because she was going to figure out a way to keep him. When she called she would always ask, how's "my" baby! As ill as she was, she never failed to ask about my ailing father. Telling me if there was anything she could do, she would. She loved people enough to remember that they suffered sometimes too. She cared about what they cared about.

Clyde says that he will never forget how much Andy and Hazel helped him when he moved to Bowling Green, he lived with them for a while, and Clyde always remembers Hazel's patience with him.... and Andy. ;) One of Hazel's favorite stories to tell, was when Clyde came home (to their house) from working second shift one night, Hazel had gone to bed and Andy was awake and he and Clyde decided to make a chocolate milkshake. The problem was neither of them was very good in the kitchen, so when they turned on the blender without remembering to put the top on it,.............well you can imagine what Hazel's kitchen looked like. He remembers her laughing and chuckling as she cleaned up the mess. I'm sure she was brewing up a little prank for them in her laughter. She loved to pull jokes on people and when they fell for it she would just laugh, and put her hand over her mouth.

Hazel truly loved her friends, her long time neighbors, and her church family. The last time I visited her home she had just finished a piece of "punkin" pie that her good friend Linda had made for her. She said "she knows I love punkin pie and its sooo good!" Even her home health providers were accepted into the heart of Hazel. No matter how bad she felt, she took time to get to know them. She asked where they were from, what their interests were, if they had children, grandchildren etc. She bragged on how helpful they were to her and what a good job they did and how grateful she was that Larry "fixed" that up for her.

Because I'm weird like that, I googled the name Hazel. I found that it is sometimes considered the feminine variant of the Hebrew name Hazael, meaning "whom God sees." There is no doubt in my mind that her name was perfect for her. Not only did we see God in her, God definitely saw Hazel.

Shortly after learning of her death, Larry sent us this simple text- "love never dies". Corinthians 13 popped into my head. I know how glad she is to be home. I will miss her terribly, but her love will stay with me.

Hazel Irene Smith Sensing- born May 4, 1920. Died February 4, 2013. Daughter of Celia and Ed Smith, beloved wife of the late Andy Sensing. Devoted, loving mother of Larry and mother-in-law to Sally. Proud grandmother of Sabrina and Great Grandmother of Sam and Jax. Affectionatly called Aunt Hazie by my children and grand-children.

Rest in peace Hazel

Friday, December 14, 2012

Turning my democratic cheek :)

I am a democrat, and I have stayed silent regarding the recent political events. Since the election is over, I have decided that I need to say this to my Republican friends and family. You are my friends and family and I love you dearly. I am glad that you have the freedom to say anything you want to say, using whatever medium you choose, whether it be Facebook, twitter, etc. I have stood by and listened to many of you call “democrats” non-Christians, lazy, and living with expectations of entitlements provided by our government. I tried not to let your words hurt my feelings, because I don’t think you would have said that to me specifically, but when you make broad statements about a group of people, you might want to think about who you are including in that statement.

I am a democrat and I am also a Christian, before anything else. My Lord gives me guidelines (aka The Bible) and commandments to let me know how to live according to what is pleasing to him, but he has also given me free will. We are all humans with free will. Free will means choices. We can choose to worship God, or not. We can choose to lie or tell the truth. We can choose to steal from others or work for what we have. We can choose to serve money or God. We can even kill someone, or, choose not to. In the USA our government can enforce punishments for some of these choices, but, at the end of the day, it is the choice itself, not what our government says or does about the choices I make, that determine if I get to heaven. It is my responsibility, as a human being with free will, to live according to my conscience and my beliefs. If you don't believe in pro-choice, if you don't believe that you should take birth control provided by the government, if you don’t believe in using food stamps and welfare, then don't. You have the free will to choose not to. Instead of thinking that if the government would take away these choices, all would be well, how about thinking, you have the free will to TEACH others about the responsibility of abstinence, or how to work for what they have. You also have the free will to decide not to teach them but to let the government take care of it. In this country you have that right. Those who believe contrary to your choices are not non-Christians. They are human beings using their free will to act in accordance to their beliefs. Just like you. The democratic process has given you rights, or free will to choose what is right or wrong for you.

I am a democrat and I am also from a family of hard working democrats. No one can say that my grandparents, parents, and especially my husband (all Democrats) have ever taken an "entitlement" from our government. They worked for everything they owned, and lazy is not a word I would use to describe them. When Mitt Romney told a young person, “if you need money to start a business, ask your parents”, told me all I needed to know to guide my vote. Mr. Romney grew up with a completely different lifestyle than I did and he had no idea that would not have been a viable option in my family. My grandparents specifically, after retirement watched every penny and lived very modestly to be sure that they would have enough money at the end of their lives to pay for their funerals. They actually worried that one of their children might have to bear the burden of their funeral costs. My mother is following in their path. Could Mr. Romney even imagine such a scenario? I believe that a person should work as they are able; however, I also know that the Bible tells us to give and share with those who are poor and less fortunate. The definition of “poor and less fortunate” is different in the eyes of the beholder, I guess. Even God showed us that some will use their talents better than others and the possible consequences of not using them to the best of our abilities. The way I see it though, if food stamps and welfare help one person or family get back on their feet, isn't that what it's all about? Are there abuses in this system? It absolutely appears that way, however, who are we to judge? But for the grace of God, you might someday be in a place where you need help. As the saying goes, if you have not walked in their shoes..........

Lastly, and I'll get off my soapbox, if you are worse off than you were 4 years ago, go back and count your blessings. We are the richest country in the world. Somebody somewhere is worse off than you are. Everything happens for a reason. Maybe you lost your job, because there was something in your life that needed more attention than your job or maybe there was a better opportunity that you would not have seen. Maybe you are bringing home less on your paycheck, because you needed a lesson in humility, or maybe God just wants you to see that you can be happy without material things. The gridlock our government has been in, just might be God speaking. Maybe attempting to teach us how important it is to come together as a country and work for the free will for all people. I don’t know why things happen the way they do, as a Christian I believe that God is in charge. I am human and when things go wrong I want to blame someone or some group too. Use the free will that God gives you and the freedom of choice that the government gives you and live by example. The Lord will bless you and keep you, regardless of what government programs offend you and your sense of religion.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Merry Christmas

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Monday, June 27, 2011

The screaming has stopped!

I waited until this day came to write this. This exciting, wonderful day. June 27, 2011! I just couldn't write it until I knew there would be a perfect, happy ending. Today, Ethan Bryant Orlando made his debut into our family. He is perfect, and sweet, and snuggly, and so darn cute you just can't stand it, and he has been a long time coming! Ten days past his due date, this blessing of a 2nd healthy grandchild means more than I can ever relate to you in writing. If you have read some of my previous blogs, you already know his background, so I won't bore you with the details again, but.......I do need to get a few of these residual feelings out of my system, and now that I can breathe deeply, let me tell you.

Paige's second trip to Centennial Hospital, via ambulance, to save her life from a second pericardial effusion, was a nightmare for me. There are many moments, during the next six days of my life, that I remember, but the one thing in particular that stayed in my mind, was the sound of screaming, or what I thought was screaming.

Because this was to be a recheck from her original heart procedure we were not expecting this second emergency trip. Clyde and I took her to this Dr. appointment so that her husband Jason would not have to miss work again. When the Dr. said, I've got an ambulance waiting, you need to get to Centennial as soon as possible. Fear settled in my bones. Paige started to cry as she was loaded up and we were off! My heart pounding with fear, and my mind spinning out of control with all of the "what if" worried thoughts, I felt like my insides boiling were over and I heard screaming. I can remember thinking to myself, "is that me? I need to stay in control and be calm for Paige. I shouldn't be screaming out loud". I looked over at the ambulance driver to apologize and she appeared not to have heard me. She was concentrating on weaving in and out of I-65 traffic. I was gritting my teeth and silently cursing the idiots that would not move their vehicles to the shoulder out of our way and I kept hearing that screaming over and over! I finally realized that what I was hearing, was the sirens echoing off overpasses and concrete barriers. To me, it sounded exactly like a woman screaming! It sounded, exactly how I felt! When the "what if" thoughts took over, I couldn't bear it. If my child and her child..... well, I still can't bear to think of it.

The screaming stayed with me. Through the days and months of Dr. appointments and waiting, I could not get that sound out of my mind. Paige did get better, and after each Dr. appointment we left with encouraging news, and yet, as she told me so plainly when she began the early stages of labor, "until I see him and hold him against my chest, I cannot be sure that he has not been affected by all of this." I understood, but in a different manner. I watched my child recovering from her illness but i knew she would never fully recover, until she held her child against her chest and saw that he was OK.

After months of worry, despair, silent screaming and lots of prayer, Monday, June 27, 2011 at 5:25pm, Clyde and I, witnessed our daughter give birth to her son. He was perfect and she was finally, fully recovered! Today, Paige and Ethan are healthy, and adjusting to their lives as a family of three. Today, the screaming has stopped.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

A Note to my Grandson.

Ethan-Strong, firm, impetuous
Bryant-Noble, strong, virtuous

Sweet little Ethan Bryant, your Mommy and Daddy have given you a strong name.
By all indications you are already living up to its meaning. As of today, your heart is still strong and you are growing! After all you and Mommy have been through, your strength has been impressive.

Pa Russ would be so proud, as he didn't have a son to carry on the Bryant name, you will be the first in the family to carry it on.

We can hardly wait to meet you. Your Pappy can't wait to teach you to shoot pool and grill on his smoker and I've always heard that little boys love their Mommy's (and Granny's). I am looking forward to snuggling and rocking my first grandson and as you grow, playing together with you and Riley. What fun we will have :)

I'm sure you will teach me, as Riley has, what blessings I have to be thankful for.

I love you already sweet boy.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Moments of 2010

Life is a series of moments. Sometimes the moments all mesh together as in the day to day. Certain moments stand out. 2010 had moments, that at first glance, I wish hadn't happened, and others that are still making me smile.

I'm going to be a Granny again! There is nothing like it. My sweet Riley has brought me more joy than I could have ever believed. She turned 2 this year and oh the fun we are having together! This time I'm going to be Granny to a beautiful little boy. Ethan Bryant Orlando. I am very excited to meet him in June 2011. He is the son of my youngest daughter, Paige and her husband Jason. If you have read my blog recently you know that Paige and Ethan have been through a really rough time in the short time they have been together. They are both very strong and God is taking care of them. Overwhelmingly happy, grateful, thankful moments.

In my last post I shared some terrifying, heart-aching moments. I am so thankful to have my sweet Paigey and baby Ethan healthy. I'm also very grateful to the many, nurses and doctors who were instrumental in causing that end result. Together with my husband and my precious Ashley our little family held hands and gave each other strength as we prayed and stayed together during these fearful moments. Faith provoking moments.

My sweet sister, Angie, was diagnosed with breast cancer. I cannot begin to explain the moments of despair, anger and sadness at the thoughts of what my sister has and is going to have to go through. They caught it early but hers was aggressive and had become invasive quickly. Two surgeries later and some radiation in the new year and Dr's. say she will be fine. I am distraught that she is suffering, and I am glad that I can understand what she is feeling. There is no woman that I know that is stronger than my sister. She will proudly carry the "survivor" banner, and I will be by her side, as she has been by mine. I am thankful that she will share another life changing experience with me. She is a wonderful person, sister, mother, aunt and Great Aunt Anzhee! Keeping moments of hope for her.

Both of my brothers lost their jobs this year. Jay lost his after many years of loyal service. Loyalty, hard work and integrity was not enough. These are sad times. He has always been willing to give more than the extra mile in everything he chooses to do. Russ lost his job when he became despondent after going through an agonizing divorce that was unexpected and not wanted. His world went from his dreams come true to a nightmare. He lost his focus. His surroundings, including his job, went by the wayside. Both of my brothers are good people. I believe that their lives will become what they want them to be. Moments of belief, God will see them through.

Clyde lost an Aunt who was a very important part of his life as a child. Her death has brought about many difficult emotions. Moments that were once thought of in one way are now construed in another. I pray every day for peace and acceptance of the circumstances. In 2010 we celebrated the 90th birthday of another of Clyde's aunts. (My personal favorite :)) Hazel has the sweetest most giving nature. Moments of her life will always bring a smile to my heart.

I became a great aunt again this year. I have two great nieces now. It saddens me that I am not and probably will not be close to either of these girls, but I will try to let them know that I am a part of their family and I care what happens to them and their families. Wishing for many moments of happiness for these two little girls.

My husband and I celebrated our 29th anniversary this year. The happiness I get from being married to Clyde is indescribable. He is no doubt the "one" for me. I cannot imagine what my life would have been like with out him in it. We are adjusting to the fact that our lives are different now that our children are grown. We treasure our time with our children and grandchildren but our time together, just the two of us, has become a treasure in its own. We have started vacationing. Just the two of us. We love it and look forward to it every year. This year we spent a week in one of our favorite places, Cabo San Lucas. The moments we share will stay with me always.

My niece, Amy Lynn, graduated from LPN school this year. She is still in school working hard on her RN certification. I am so proud of her. I am thankful that I was able to watch as she received her nurses lamp. I see her sweet smile and remember the child she once was, inquisitive and straight forward. She has grown, (not without her own struggles and disappointments in life) to be a wonderful woman making her way through adulthood with grace. Happily, I still see her inquisitiveness and straight forwardness. I hope she always knows how much I love her. The precious moments we spend together hold a special place in my heart.

There have been lots of other moments. Special little moments that would mean nothing to someone else, but mean the world to me. Like the day Riley asked me to dance to one of her favorite songs and we did. Right there in the den, with me holding her and spinning and bouncing and her giggling up a storm. When the song ended she let me squeeze her tight (which for a 2 year old is a big deal!) and hold her for a minute. At that very moment I thanked God for letting me have that moment with her.

So at second glance, even the most desperate of moments, have reinforced my belief that all moments, whether good or bad, happen for a reason. Life continues according to Gods plan. Whether I like it or not, 2010 taught me more than I wanted to learn, but I know now that I am stronger in my faith.

I hope that the moments of 2011 enhance your faith and fill your hearts with joy.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Aching hearts

Two weeks ago I experienced one of the most agonizing days I've ever had. My 24 year old daughter, 12 weeks pregnant, underwent a procedure on her heart to draw fluid from the pericardial sac. She had been diagnosed with pericardial effusion. An accumulation of excess fluid around the heart. My emotions are still on edge, but in writing this and seeing it in black and white, I am hoping to ease my mind. While my heart is full of praise to God, for allowing my child and future grandchild, to survive this ordeal, I still struggle with the "what if's" that continue to go through my head.

Paige's pregnancy has been a roller coaster from the beginning. It started with a small panic when she unexpectedly discovered (very early) she was pregnant. She'd had a recent x-ray and was worried that it may have harmed a baby she wasn't aware she was carrying. An early ultrasound (to be on the safe side), ordered by her very attentive OB, Dr. Carl Dobson, showed the baby was growing and it's tiny heart was beating soundly. The ultrasound also showed a small subchorionic hemorrhage. Another couple of weeks of panic, until they determined that it was a small spot and had she not found out so early that she was pregnant, probably would have absorbed and she wouldn't have even known it was there.

What turned out to be a tiny, unremarkable problem caused a chain of events that eventually led to the discovery of the problem with Paige's heart. Because of the hemorrhage, Dr. Dobson wanted to see Paige more than usual to keep an eye out for bleeding or growth in the hemorrhage. Paige who has always been very thin, started to show and gain a significant amount of weight by 8 weeks. Her face, hands, legs and ankles started to swell notably. She asked Dr. Dobson about it and he talked to her about reducing her sodium and drinking lots of water with lemon as a natural diuretic. By her next visit, she had gained 8 lbs in two weeks, she was having shortness of breath and periods of time where her heart felt as though it were racing. She couldn't lay flat without struggling to breathe and was having difficulty sleeping. Dr. Dobson referred her to a high risk pregnancy group, to work in conjunction with him, and get an outside opinion on what might be happening. He thought that a surge in progesterone might be what was causing the swelling but since it was so early he thought it necessary to rule out any other issues. I am so thankful that he is not one of those Dr.'s with a huge ego and is not afraid to say, "I'd like to get another perspective on this one."

The Maternal Fetal Group is based in Nashville and affiliated with Centennial Hospital. They specialize in high risk pregnancies and they also have an office in Bowling Green. Within a few days, Dr. Dobson's office made an appointment for Paige, in Bowling Green, with Dr. Lenzi. They performed an ultrasound, again showing that sweet baby's heart beating, and growing. Dr. Lenzi, took a family history and talked to Paige for a long time, about how she was feeling. She agreed that her swelling could be caused by her body reacting to a surge of progesterone but said she would like to rule out the worst case scenarios first. (I am so thankful for good Dr's!!) Dr. Lenzi definitely wanted to check her heart, lungs, and kidneys, along with some other possible vitamin deficiencies. Paige agreed to the treatment but explained, that with her job, she needed to condense these appointments so as not to miss more work than necessary. Dr. Lenzi's office made an appointment with a cardiologist for a consult and echocardiogram, wrote an order for blood work and a 24 hour urine catch to check for protein in her kidneys. The plan was to see the cardiologist the next day, perform the 24 hour urine catch on Sunday, so that she could take it to the lab on Monday and have her blood drawn for the other tests, allowing enough time for most of the results to be sent to Dr. Dobson's office by Monday afternoon, when Paige was scheduled to see him again. Sounds easy enough doesn't it? Two Dr.'s understanding and listening to their patient. Shouldn't that be the way it always is?

The cardiologist they referred her too was Dr. Tullio Emanuele. The appointment turned out to be the start of a nightmare. This Dr. has the worst bedside manner of any Dr. I have ever had the misfortune to see. (and belive me when I say this, as many health issues I've had, I've seen alot of them!!) Paige was a new patient so they performed an EKG, took her blood pressure, which was normal, and weighed her at 140 pounds, all standard procedure for that office. When Paige first realized she was pregnant she weighed about 124, in 12 weeks she had already gained 16 pounds. Dr. Emanuelle made his appearance, and asked Paige what her problems were. She explained about her swelling, her shortness of breath, and racing heart feelings. He continued to question her, but it appeared to both of us that he was trying to figure out why she had been sent to him. He asked her repeatedly about whether or not she had ever done any strenuous activity, be it in school or on her own. When she told him she danced ballet from the age of 5 through 18, and that she and Jason walked alot with their very active puppy since marriage. He replied he didn't think that was too strenuous. He kept looking from her to me, to her file and back again. His manner was distant and uncaring. He said he would order an echo and would see her in a few days. I told him that the echo was supposed to be performed at this appointment. Dr. Lenzi ordered the echo and consult with him for the same day. I explained that the days Paige was missing at work were causing some additional stress, and since the plan was to have everything done by her next appointment with Dr. Dobson, we needed to get the echo done as scheduled. This did not go over well, to say the least. Dr. Emanuele informed me that "he" was the one who would order the echo and it could not be done today because the tech had a full schedule. I insisted again that the appointment was supposed to already have been made. He continued to look from Paige, to me, to her file and back. I then asked if the EKG was normal. He answered quite sharply, "No, it's not." In my mind, this was all the more reason to go ahead with the echo today, . He left the room going to check again to see where the misunderstanding was and came back adamant that the echo would not be done until another day and we would need to make an appointment. As we walked out of the exam room, he basically left us standing outside the exam room door and went in the opposite direction from which we came. Paige was near tears and said, "I really don't like him!" I found the tech that perfomed the EKG and asked her to show us out. While trying to make the echo appointment, we explained to the woman behind the desk that we had expected to have it done today, and since that was not going to happen would it be possible to have it done Monday and be able to see the Dr. immediately after. She was trying to get it worked out when Dr. Emanuele walked by, behind her. She turned to ask him if he could see us immediately after the echo on Monday, and he angrily shook his head, waved his hands and said "WE'VE BEEN THROUGH THIS!". Although by this time I was seething, I quite calmly said, "we are talking about Monday", to which he turned and walked off. I asked the girl if he was always that way, to which she replied "oh, it's not you"! I apologized and explained to the girl that I was not blaming her for anything. I didn't intend to be pushy, but it's my daughter we are talking about, and her health and stress level was my first concern. At first it did not appear that she was going to be able to get us in on Monday. I looked at Paige and said, OK, let's just step back and regroup and see if we can get in somewhere else. Amazingly, about the time I said this, the girl was able to work out the echo, and Dr. appointment all before noon on Monday. As we left the building, Paige really started to cry and said, "Mom, I really don't want to see him again!"

My husband had an injury several years earlier and saw a wonderful thoracic surgeon by the name of Dr. Paul Moore. I thought he might be willing to guide us, as to what to do. I told her we would try to see if Dr. Moore could see her or at least see if he knew who else we could turn to. I said "Let's not cancel this appointment yet, because I think it needs to be done as soon as possible, but if we can get in somewhere earlier we'll do it."

This is when God took over. We went to Dr. Moore's office and just laid it out there, to the nurse behind the desk. Bless her heart, I'm sure she thought I was an overbearing, over reacting mother, but she was very sweet and said that Dr. Moore was out of town, and that he was a surgeon not a cardiologist and probably couldn't help her. I asked if someone could just guide us to another Dr. that might show a little more compassion and concern in a relatively short amount of time. She said I'll let you talk to Don. Don worked for Dr. Moore back at the time my husband saw him and we had recently seen him attending the same church we do. Don Johnson has a business card that identifies him as a Cardiology Nurse Liason. It fails to identify him as God's angel. He listened to our story, assured us that Dr. Emanuele was a fine cardiologist, "but", he said, "sometimes personalities just don't jive." (That's putting it in as nice a way as I can imagine!) Paige told him that she really would rather not go back to his office. He then immediately got on the phone. While listening and asking questions about our predicament, reassuring us that he thought he could help, and a couple of "I'll call you right backs" he worked a miracle. Within a few minutes he was walking us down stairs to OutPatient Services where Paige had an appointment for an echo. He told us that it had been worked out that cardiologist, Dr. Beth Bryant would be willing to read the echo and see Paige on Monday for a consult before her appointment with Dr. Dobson. No issues, no negativity, no procrastinating. Don left us with a smile and a "Good luck, I'll see ya'll." Paige, feeling much calmer and more relieved, called and cancelled her Monday appointment with Dr. Emanuele. The relief on my child's face let me know that we had done the right thing. What a day this had been! At this point my emotions had run the gamut. I was finally feeling somewhat relieved that things were working out and Paige was smiling! Isn't it amazing what a child's smile can do to a mother's heart. Unfortunately these feelings would soon change and I was not to see that smile again for several days.

The tech that performed the echocardiogram was the second angel on earth we ran into that day. I will always remember her. She was a gorgeous little red head named Lori. She was friendly, polite, calm, and compassionate to our story. As she started the ultrasound she asked Paige if she was in any pain or experiencing shortness of breath right then. Paige said no pain, just pressure, and it was difficult to breathe when she was laying down. Lori talked calmly and reassuringly throughout the test. When she finished she asked us to wait, told Paige to go ahead and dress but she needed to check to make sure the pictures turned out. I thought that was odd, but said nothing to Paige. Why would she tell her to dress if there was a possiblity she may have to redo some of the pictures? When she came back she told us what she saw and that she had called Don and he would be in to see us in a minute. What Lori said made my heart take a nose dive. I watched her looking at and talking to my baby, I watched her expressions, I looked at her eyes and I heard her voice. I saw great concern in a face of calm. I kept waiting for the "but don't worry." Those three words were not spoken. The reason Paige's EKG was not normal, was because she had fluid around her heart. Alot of fluid. Normally a person has about 1mm of fluid in the pericardium, Paige had 3cm. Lori said if she were to guess it would be about 2 liters. She also said, "I don't think you should wait through the weekend. You need to have something done and Don is working on that now." Within minutes Don came in and explained more about what was happening to Paige and what he was trying to do. The other cardiologist, Dr. Beth Bryant, who was not on call, but happened to be in the hospital, was going to come and talk to her. This was serious and needed attention. Immediately.

As I write, my heart is pounding and my eyes are tearing remembering this moment. Paige was scared, starting to cry, worrying about the baby, while I sat, knowing I had to stay strong and in control, but wanting to cry and worrying about my baby. I had to do something so I took action and made calls to Jason(my son in law), my husband, and my oldest daughter, Ashley. By the time Dr. Bryant came in and started talking to us, wheels were already in motion to send Paige to Nashville. She said that her normal blood pressure and lack of chest pain made this difficult to understand. She said until she saw the echo, she would not have believed how serious Paige's condition was. Paige was walking around and functioning while most people would have been in the hospital barely able to sit up. Dr. Bryant gently explained that there were not any available cardiologists in Bowling Green, who wanted to perform the procedure she would need, due to her pregnancy. Everyone thought it would be better to have a cardilogy team and OB team work together. It was decided that she would be sent to Centennial Hospital in Nashville, ER to ER. The rest of the family arrived and she was admitted to the ER, just long enough to get her ready for transport. I did not realize then, that my baby would be put in an ambulance, lights on and sirens blaring for the 70 mile drive.

The EMS team graciously allowed Jason to ride with them. I know that's his place now and that is how it should be, but my heart kept saying that's MY baby. I didn't know if I would be able to stand to let them leave without me by her side. I knew her condition was serious and the realization began to hit me, HARD. The "what ifs" started and I cannot describe the pain they caused. While the EMS team were preparing Paige for the trip, Clyde and Ashley went to retrieve the cars so that we would not be far behind the ambulance, I sat in the waiting room alone. Don Johnson came from the ER to let me know she was almost ready, he sat in the empty chair beside me and looked straight ahead. I still had not cried. I asked about the baby, if anyone had checked it to give Paige some peace of mind. He looked at me and said, "You need to understand that right now, with the fetus at 12 weeks, it will not be viable without it's mother. They will only be concerned with Paige and saving her life." I remember thinking, he just called that sweet child, soon to be my grandchild, a fetus, To us, it's Paige and Jason's baby. I knew Paige would be devestated. I nodded my head in understanding because while I knew it, hearing it made it seem so much more real. He told me when the others got back we could go in and be with her until she left which would be just a few minutes. Everything was quickly becoming a blur. When we kissed her goodbye, I felt like I was going to burst. She was crying and scared and I was telling her, we'd meet her at the hospital, and she was going to be fine. She looked at me and said are you saying that because you believe it, or to make me feel better? Her question jerked me into the realization that I had to keep my faith! I told her that I believed it. It wasn't a lie, the "what ifs" were just that and I believe that God hears and answers prayers. He definitely heard mine, loud and clear. Paige is at home now, still recovering, and still looking forward to her baby's birth in June.

I have cried. Not the screaming all out boo hooing that I know will come. Most likely it will come out of the blue. It will probably be ugly. Hopefully I will be alone and able to get it out without causing anyone else to be upset.

There were many more moments the 3 nights and 4 days in the hospital. Like the morning I slipped into her room at 5:00am. Clyde and I had spent a couple of nights in chairs in the CCU waiting room, I suddenly felt refreshed as I saw her sleeping peacefully. Her swelling down, looking more like herself than she had in weeks, and seeing her devoted husband sound asleep in the floor beside her bed. Those moments are for another days writing. The wonderful nurses and doctors at Centennial Hospital, will all get their due as I will never be able to say enough about their excellent care of her.

As my sweet Ashley reminds me often, God is good all the time, All the time, God is good!