Sunday, July 29

NREMT Certified!

John passed his NREMT certification!

But we didn't know at first.

He went to take the exam, knowing that it's adaptive, and that he needed to set aside two hours to take it. He called me after about half an hour.

"Wow! You're done? How'd it go?"

"Not great. It shut down on me after 70 questions. I'll have to try again in two weeks."

Oh. Oh, my. Well. Huh.

So when he got home, we had some tea and sympathy. He licked his wounds that night, processed a little bit. ("I don't understand it. I felt good. I didn't feel panicky. I felt confident. I hadn't hit any I didn't feel like I knew...")

The next day, he lined up some new study material - found some apps, some online practice exams, we ordered the Kaplan EMT Study Guide. He reached out to his EMS instructors to ask if they had any suggestions as to what he might do differently going forward. (Honestly, as disappointed as I was for him, I was also very proud of him for the way he responded.) He did the math, had a little queasiness thinking about retaking the exam, and then having to do 145 hours of clinicals during finals week, then he took a swig of coffee and settled in.

Over the next few days, he took many practice exams. He consistently scored 98%, 93%, 95%. Every time. This really didn't make sense. I had suggested that if he failed it the second time, we consider looking into whether he'd gotten a strong enough grip on his test anxiety, because that just ... didn't make any sense.

Tuesday morning, he headed to class. The guys in class (several of them are prior service, all are licensed EMTs, and to a man, they have all taken him in as one of theirs - I love these folks) asked him how it went. He told them that he'd failed. "Oh, man, that stinks. How long did they keep you there?" In retelling this story to me, he said there was the sound of a needle scratching on a record at that point. What? What do you mean? It kicked me out at 70.

That's when the guys told him that's usually a GOOD sign. So right there, during labs, they encouraged him to log on to his account and see if his score had posted.

He did.

He'd passed.

I do not think I have ever heard physically tangible relief in a person's voice as I did when he called to tell me. It was beautiful.

So yes, definitely don't assume anything. That would save us all a world of unnecessary worry. 😉 However, it was a wonderful opportunity for him to really look at himself in the mirror and see a man of conviction, of fortitude, of endurance. He needed that, and it was a good feeling. (Not as good as finding out he'd passed, granted, but for the long haul, it's much better to know how you respond to failure than to live with the niggling worry of an unanswered "what if I fail" gnawing at the back of your mind.)

Now he knows. If you fail, you take a deep breath, recalibrate, and try again.

Be encouraged!

~ Dy

Friday, July 27


There is a great divide between what I'm glad to move and what the kids want to move. Clearly, we should have been more transient during their formative years.

That said, we're still packing ...

Only one more month until our family is mostly back together!

We'll lose James, who is staying here, but we're gaining Z back. This is how it should be. Having children grow up and head out is bittersweet. But having your spouse so far away is just the pits.

We've handled it really well, I think. We knew it was temporary, and technology has made it so much easier than when I was a kid. (Remember hearing, "Is it long distance? Then, no, you can't call." *WOOHOO* glad that's over!)

I'm certain that, had Z and I been born in the 1800s, either I'd have had to go with him, or we'd have just had to say goodbye and gotten on with our lives. Then, one day, it would have been a glorious surprise reunion when he pulled up at the front door. Which would also have been fine. Just not as seamless. Or maybe it would have been because that's just how it was and I'm spoiled by being able to get and send texts, photos, phone calls. Also true (I am), and it's difficult to imagine things being what they are in a context that's different from what it is. But the human mind and soul are pretty darned adaptable and willing to find contentment if they're trained to look for it. So there is that.

That said, one more month! W00t:

Be encouraged!


Wednesday, July 25

I got my port out

The occasion was rife with puns -

Port out, Starboard home! POSH with a capitol P-O-S-H. (It's okay if you sang that in your head.)

One of the kids asked if I was no longer portable.

Z, of course, asked me later how the deportation went. (Puns are bad for a reason, folks.)

My sweet Nutty Professor son got up early to go with me. We had a lovely morning of chatting contentedly over our current reads. He let me sniff his coffee (I couldn't have anything by mouth pre-op). And then he drove me home when it was over. Acts of Mercy, right there.

Of course, he didn't understand my deep appreciation. "Of course! What was I going to do, tell you to piss off?" LOL. Well, no. I wouldn't have expected that response. However, it soothes my soul to know that you realize that would be an inappropriate response to someone's need for help, and it gladdens my heart to know that you are so willing to serve and to be present (and cheerfully present, at that) when you can give aid. So shut up and accept my heartfelt appreciation, please.

And then he misplaced the prescriptions. I get that usually you don't want to give the paperwork to the one who's recently been drugged. And the surgeon doesn't have a 19yo son, so he wouldn't know. I'm just hoping it was only for pain relief and not antibiotics... (I'll clean out the car today and look for it.)

But that's it! In two weeks or so, if I have an itch I can just scratch to my heart's content without snagging on my port. And that's rather exciting! It's the little things.

Be encouraged!
~ Dy

Sunday, July 15

All clear! Fire the canons!

We watched Mary Poppins this week (part of a rather shame-faced endeavor on my part to get the Littles spooled up on the musicals they don't know yet - oops! Talk about gaps in one's education!)

Then Friday I had labs (still cancer-free - doc pushed for just one thin scan in January. But no, that wasn't the deal. Thanks, tho-)

And it's awkward to know whether to shout it from the roof tops or to take the British WWII approach, straighten my jacket and carry on about my business. I land awkwardly somewhere in the middle. Straight jacket (as opposed to a strait jacket, LOL), carry on, with occasional loudish bouts of, "Oh, thank heavens!"

But this time, I kind of laughed to myself a bit because I realized I probably come off more as the crazy retired Navy Admiral from Mary Poppins. Heh. Could be worse, I suppose.

Be encouraged!
~ Dy

Friday, July 13

Not Quite A Countdown

It's ...

1 day until we enjoy the 4th of July festivities with our wonderful peeps.

10 days until John takes the NREMT. (Please pray he passes on the first try - it's not whether he knows the material, but facing testing, for that one.)

17 days until I get my dancing boy back with all of his stories, laughter, commentary, and debris.

15 days until I get to do one last road trip with one of my best friends here. And Circe. Woohoo!

18 days until I see my honey again. And my boy. (Z will be here to retrieve him from Nashville. But he can do his own countdown.)

21 days until the REAL packing begins and we start eating off paper plates.

37 days until the end of Summer Semester, when I'll have an official Sophomore in college and a second semester Freshman! Wow. Where'd that time go?

About 40 days until I'm a New Mexican again! (We don't have specifics, there, so that's just sort of a vaguely shaded in section of the calendar.) I'm definitely leaving a big part of my heart here in Alabama, but I would be lying if I said I'm not looking forward to green chiles and cool nights, to dry air and dusty trails. Mostly, at this point, I'm looking forward to having Zorak back. Miss that man something fierce!

That would be one decorative, complex paper chain, wouldn't it?

Today we've mowed, packed the linen closet, done some laundry and some school.

The kids learned the word "prosaic" this week, which is a very cool word. It's also delightfully ornate considering it's meaning. That just tickled Jase.

We're nearly done with Dandelion Fire and Lurker at the Threshold. We've caught up with Father Geoff on the Book of Judges. (I'm looking at this reading list and thinking we need to throw in some lighthearted reading ... that's all a bit dark for warm summer afternoons.)

I've got to get more packing done, and shift a box of goodies to Jacob while I'm out today running errands. Don't really want to, but the post office isn't open at two in the morning, when it's cooler out.

What are you looking forward to?

Be encouraged!
~ Dy