Today I Took a Bouquet of My Humility to the Village of Dewitt

Saturday, May 16, 2009: I’ve worked since I was 7, at my Aunt Zoe Borcher’s “Canoe Inn” livery (and later, fine dining) at Stephan’s Bridge in Grayling, MI. I’ve worked for the Catholic church since I was 11. I am 60. It has been a long and tangled relationship for us both.

Receiving the news from my bone doctor, following a fall (Fall, 2008) from the 2nd step of my stairs, I bravely said I was ready (physically, after the surgeries and physical therapy) to come back to work. Oh. I was soo not ready. In denial about encroaching scar tissue from a closed head injury, it was not my leg, fibia nor knee that impeded me from going back to work. No. It was the concussion I had received during that time. My 3rd since the life altering accident on Cinco de Mayo in Phoenix, when a woman on her cell phone ran a red light, and T-boned me, spinning me out of this hemisphere, and impacting me – yet – to this day.

I couldn’t read, nor recognize numbers. I was a software technician for a Catholic software company. If I could not do my job, I would lose it. My co-workers saved me. And DOS, bless her heart. By memory, I could assemble the issue. “Touch, F, S, and select G, general census”, I would say. When it became more intricate than that my cubicle pals would come up and wave at me and say “transfer it” to them. The monitor to me was so frightening. But Paul and Stacy and Bruce and Joe/Lupe/Karen would swoop in, take those calls and no one knew the difference. To you all, without you I could not have survived. And to Nick, whose wild 14 year old driver’s license brought me to work each day. (You know you loved waiting in the receptionist’ room, oglng Teresa!!)

By being proud, and fearful of losing my job if my disability was more than my right leg, but my left hemisphere, I lost my job at the diocese. I could not perform it any more. (My pride went before my ‘fall’ you could say.)

Today, thinking I could ‘pay it forward’ to those who have been kind to me, and that I could make a living from it from my veranda, I created my Campbell’s soup bouquets. Confident that owner’s of the economy defying village of DeWitt merchants, I saddled up my used Amazon box, filled with small bouquets in soup cans, olive jars, wine bottles, and walked down to propose my dream. Would they be interested in accepting my gift and let me know when I replaced it next week, and how customers viewed these humble offerings. My first stop was the DeWitt Pharmacy, which highlights works about DeWitt, local artists, and folklore of the region. Confident, I gave them my Campbell’s soup bouquet.

“Would you be willing to just accept this gift of appreciation for all the kindnesses you have afforded me, as I recuperate from a difficult time in my life?”, I said. “I am unemployed and disabled and want to test this market. I am not asking you to sell this, I just want your customer’s reactions seeing it. In fact, if someone comes in – really down – please, give this to them. Call me, and I will replace it.”

They said “No.” No? Not paying it forward, nada.

Sam’s resturant said ‘yes’, the IGA party store said ‘yes’ and called me – this same day – to pick up the cans, wine y liquor bottles they were collecting for me. And I replaced their flowers. They gave them to someone who was going to buy a bottle of liquor to drown the shame of unemployment, but took the “Mario Olives” bouquet instead.

Thank you, Jesus, for walking with me on a long, arduous journey of one.


Try the Chicken Noodle if your soul has a cold. Very nice. (Pick out the flowers tho’) ;o)

Finding something beautiful in what we would cast off, isn’t that what we all are called to do?

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St. Dymphna, Pray for Me

Friday, May 15, 2009: One day, when I was 30, I saw a dear old man in front of the grocery store looking around for something. I went over to him and asked if I could help. He said he’d lost his car keys and had looked every where, retracing his steps. I walked over to the car door, and handed him the keys he’d left in the lock. Chagrined, he asked how I knew to look there. “I do that all the time,” I replied. How old are you, he asked. I told him, and he said “Wow, I’m 87 but you’re really going to be a mess!!”

He was right. Now, it’s not the keys but playing hide and seek with my car. My SUV, all white, big. Silly Mazda. It appears somehow it moved itself from the front parking lot to the back parking lot. And, it likes airport parking immensely. Particulary in Detroit, where I get hours of enjoyment going back into the baggage claim area, with both hands full of luggage, equipment and things drug (?) from the last convention. Detroit’s motto should be: “Heed where you park. Note on your stub ‘you cannot get there from here’.

Dymphna, you are still stuck with me, aren’t you? I knew it. 100 years ago, while setting up for mass, I looked in the trash and here was a plaster of paris statue. Intrigued I pulled her out, and at the base was her name, Dymphna. I was smitten. I dragged her to my 2nd job, at a real estate office.

I was working at Century 21 in Grayling, where my boss, Sandy Thompson, took a bite out my rear end each day (still had lots of junk in that trunk, so it wasn’t all it could have been). I looked up Dymph (we are close friends) and found out she was the patron of fits and seizures. That works for me, I thought. Where she held a book, I perched my business cards. And, she fit in very well there, just as I thought she would.

Through the years I dragged Dymph to 3 dioceses, 2 software companies and a magazine. And… she fit in!

These days of unemployment, she still fits. Dymphie, over here. I cannot find my car… Where are my keys? (sigh).


You can learn about this sweetie saint at Poor thing, lost her head. No, I won’t digress into “head over heels” sick jokes. No. Really.

Oh, this is where they are. Silly Vicki. ;o)

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I Was Young and Good, but Maybe Not All That Wise

A long time ago, I was in the prime of my game.
I knew good decisions, like caring for my parents …
and grandparents and single aunts;
I knew what was best for us all.

Keep your mother at home while she is dying.
Move your father in while he persists …
Move your grandmother to a nursing home, until …
Driver’s license “has to go”, for the safety of all.
Visits, appointments, meals must be arranged around work schedules.
Surprisingly, they … died.

Now I am aging. Have gone through
bouts where I wasn’t allowed to drive;
been hospitalized for my own good;
lived with my children just until …
I could get back on my feet again.

I have to ask,
what is next?
I’ve read the play, but
pray for a new ending.

May 12, 2009

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