Monday, July 31, 2006
She was still groggy from surgery.
Her husband, David, held her hand as they braced themselves for the
That afternoon of March 10, 1991 , complications had forced Diana, only
24-weeks pregnant, to undergo an emergency Cesarean to deliver couple's
new daughter, Dana Lu Blessing.
At 12 inches long and weighing only one pound nine ounces, they already
knew she was perilously premature.
Still, the doctor's soft words dropped like bombs.
"I don't think she's going to make it," he said, as kindly as he could.
"There's only a 10-percent chance she will live through the night, and
even then, if by some slim chance she does make it, her future could be a
very cruel one"
Numb with disbelief, David and Diana listened as the doctor described
the devastating problems Dana would likely face if she survived.
She would never walk, she would never talk, she would probably be
blind, and she would certainly be prone to other catastrophic conditions from
cerebral palsy to complete mental retardation, and on and on.
"No! No!" was all Diana could say.
She and David, with their 5-year-old son Dustin, had long dreamed of
the day they would have a daughter to become a family of four.
Now, within a matter of hours, that dream was slipping away
But as those first days passed, a new agony set in for David and Diana.
Because Dana's underdeveloped nervous system was essentially 'raw', the
lightest kiss or caress only intensified her discomfort, so they
couldn't even cradle their tiny baby girl against their chests to offer the
strength of their love.
All they could do, as Dana struggled alone beneath the ultraviolet
light in the tangle of tubes and wires, was to pray that God would stay close to
their precious little girl.
There was never a moment when Dana suddenly grew stronger.
But as the weeks went by, she did slowly gain an ounce of weight here
and an ounce of strength there.
At last, when Dana turned two months old, her parents were able to hold
her in their arms for the very first time.
And two months later, though doctors continued to gently but grimly
warn that her chances of surviving, much less living any kind of normal
life, were next to zero, Dana went home from the hospital, just as her mother
Five years later, when Dana was a petite but feisty young girl with
glittering gray eyes and an unquenchable zest for life.
She showed no signs whatsoever of any mental or physical impairment.
Simply, she was everything a little girl can be and more. But that happy ending
is far from the end of her story.
One blistering afternoon in the summer of 1996 near her home in Irving Texas , Dana was sitting in her mother's lap in the bleachers of a
local ball park where her brother Dustin's baseball team was practicing.
As always, Dana was chattering nonstop with her mother and several
other adults sitting nearby when she suddenly fell silent. Hugging her arms
across her chest, little Dana asked, "Do you smell that?"
Smelling the air and detecting the approach of a thunderstorm, Diana
replied, "Yes, it smells like rain."
Dana closed her eyes and again asked, "Do you smell that?"
Once again, her mother replied, "Yes, I think we're about to get wet.
It smells like rain."
Still caught in the moment, Dana shook her head, patted her thin
shoulders with her small hands and loudly announced,
"No, it smells like Him.
It smells like God when you lay your head on His chest."
Tears blurred Diana's eyes as Dana happily hopped down to play with the
other children. Before the rains came, her daughter's words confirmed what Diana and
all the members of the extended Blessing family had known, at least in their
hearts, all along.
During those long days and nights of her first two months of her life,
when her nerves were too sensitive for them to touch her, God was holding
Dana on His chest and it is His loving scent that she remembers so well.
What kind of legacy am I leaving my children and grandchildren? As I read the Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz, I hope that I can live these agreements and pass them on. Maybe their lives would be easier and not have to learn the hard way....and fill their time and thoughts with self-anger, guilt, worry, pity, frustration.....
Though the years I have learned how important it is to stay in the present moment. I must keep my attention on TODAY! This is the beginning of a new understanding, a new dream. We get so busy worrying about tomorrow, that so often we forget to live in the moment...after all, once it is gone...it is GONE forever!
Friday, July 28, 2006
Congratulations! Your entry in the Photoshop Elements Techniques Scrappy Awards has been selected as a Category Winner by our awards selection committee. The complete list of category winners is below:Category: Winning EntryBaby: “Our Sunshine” - Jodi FryeFamily: “Pappa” - Stacy CarlsonGraduation: “Wear Sombreros: - Jennifer CaputoHoliday: “That’s a Wrap” - Courtney FergesonLove/Romance: “13 Years” - Tricia KennedyMilitary/Patriotic: “Grandfather” - Pauline WashburnPet: “Miss Mona” - Elizabeth RoyaltySports: “Hey Batter Batter” - Candi GershonTravel: “Maui Divers” - Anne BuryWedding: “Two Hearts, Two Lives” - Sharon DenneyA “Best of Show” entry was also selected, that winner will be contacted separately.As a Category Winner, you will each receive a prize package worth more than $800! Your entries were selected from among 758 total entries in the contest. They will be featured in the next issue of Photoshop Elements Techniques newsletter, and on the PET web site, http://www.photoshopelementsuser.com/ .
And this is my winning entry!
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
Friday, July 14, 2006
Week 1: THEME: Stay PositiveScrap the one thing you like most about yourself - a physical characteristic, a personality trait, a skill, a talent, etc. Make sure to type up any journaling that might be hard to read! DESIGN CHALLENGE: RepetitionRepetition is one of the 6 basic principles of design, achieved by repeating elements, photos, type or a particular design style. No repetition can cause a lack of visual unity while too much repetition can be boring. Try to find a balance and use it in your layout.
THEME: Say What? Scrap your (or your spouses/friends/childrens etc.) signature expression. What do you/they say that it so you/them? Talk about your/their most often uttered expression. DESIGN CHALLENGE: Creative TypeDemonstrate creative ways to use your letters. Typography is the art of designing words. Done right, it can be moving and powerful. Different fonts, sizes and styles can affect the message you are trying to convey. Experiment with this art-form and see what you can create.
THEME: Did You Know? Scrap 10 little known facts about you (or your spouse/child). What are the silly, quirky, fun and fabulous things that are uniquely you? What are your obsessive complusive habits? What are your pet peeves? What do you like/dislike? You get the drift.DESIGN CHALLENGE: Shapes Choose ONE shape, any shape (circle, square, triangle, maybe a dodecahedron if you are feeling ambitious LOL) and use that shape at least 3 times within your layouts. How you do that is completely up to you. You can cut your papers or photos, use text on a path, use elements - whatever you want, be creative! Be sure to use ONE shape 3 times as opposed to 3 different shapes.
Ok...I really messed up on this one....too big of a hurry! I only put down 3 things....not 10! Gotta redo this one! but too late to fix for the contest.
The fourth was so much fun! On the night before we went to the Royals game with Richard, Mary and Caleb.....for a 2-year old he really did well. Watched the game and look at the look on his face! After the game there was a huge fireworks show. My mom came and stayed for the week and got to go with us.
The Not so Brave....
Jordyn watched fireworks in Jefferson City, and Stephany sent this picture to me....is this the best thing ever? Her face says it all!
Monday, July 10, 2006
This gal is a true survivor....I LOVE her attitude! Her gallery is full of heartfelt journaling...it's wonderful that she is leaving such a beautiful leagacy behind!
Sunday, July 09, 2006
There is a nine-year-old kid sitting at his desk and all of a sudden, there is a puddle between his feet and the front of his pants are wet He thinks his heart is going to stop because he cannot possibly imagine how this has happened. It's never happened before, and he knows that when the boys find out he will never hear the end of it. When the girls find out, they'll never speak to him again as long as he lives The boy believes his heart is going to stop, he puts his head down and prays this prayer, "Dear God, this is an emergency! I need help now! Five minutes from now I'm dead meat."
He looks up from his prayer and here comes the teacher with a look in her eyes that says he has been discovered As the teacher is walking toward him, a classmate named Susie is carrying a goldfish bowl that is filled with water. Susie trips in front of the teacher and inexplicably dumps the bowl of water in the boy's lap The boy pretends to be angry, but all the while is saying to himself, "Thank you, Lord! Thank you, Lord!"
Now all of a sudden, instead of being the object of ridicule, the boy is the object of sympathy. The teacher rushes him downstairs and gives him gym shorts to put on while his pants dry out. All the other children are on their hands and knees cleaning up around his desk The sympathy is wonderful. But as life woul d have it, the ridicule that should have been his has been transferred to someone else - Susie. She tries to help, but they tell her to get out. "You've done enough, you klutz!"
Finally, at the end of the day, as they are waiting for the bus, the boy walks over to Susie and whispers, "You did that on purpose, didn't you?" Susie whispers back, "I wet my pants once too."
May God help us see the opportunities t hat are always around us to do good.
Tuesday, July 04, 2006
It has been a busy 2 weeks! I'm in the mood to just vegetate today! Then work tomorrow and head to the lake tomorrow evening.
So lets see...what has been going on? I am officially on the Creative Team for Heather Roselli at The Digi Chick. Yeah! She is a great designer and has all ready sent two wonderful kits to play with....now to find a little spare time!
Saturday was spent in St. Joseph, Mo getting Jordyn ready for the wedding of her Aunt Jennifer. There was a lot of stress worrying about whether she would put the dress on and go down the isle. After all she is only 2 years old and has a mind of her own! But everything went great....she looked adorable! She ran down the isle....dumped the basket and ran back up the isle to her daddy. When Jennifer came down the isle...she yelled...."There's my Papa....Hi Papa!" At the reception Jordyn and Caleb danced and got down....so darn cute!
Last night we started the 4th of July holiday off early by going to the Royals game with Richard, Mary, Mom and Caleb. This was Caleb's first real baseball game! And first Fireworks show. The game went on an hour longer than it should have and the Royals threw it away after being ahead by 2 runs. They really need a pitcher with some stamina! The fireworks were well worth the wait! Awesome!