Thursday, March 27, 2008

Thinking

by Kari Diane Pike

I’ve been thinking. I do a lot of that, actually. Thinking. I probably spend too much time thinking. On the way home from the ANWA conference, I thought out loud about a lot of things as my friend patiently listened.

“I’m sorry for going on and on. I love to brainstorm!”

“No problem,” she replied. “I love to make things happen.”

Throughout the last two weeks, I thought a great deal about the things I wanted to blog today, and about the things I want to make happen. Here’s what happened instead.

Three hours after I submitted my last blog, I thought about all the things I needed to do to get ready for a week long trip to Utah and Wyoming. Then my mother called. She was sitting with Dad in the emergency room and had already been there almost five hours. I hurriedly packed some food and drink and rushed off to the hospital to lend my support. I didn’t get home until after 9:00pm. “No problem,” I thought. We weren't leaving until 4:00pm the next day, so I still had plenty of time to pack. What was I thinking?? Dad had an appendectomy about 7:00am and I nearly forgot I had a class to teach at 9:00am.

Thank goodness I have a husband who likes to make things happen. Teamwork is amazing. When all was said and done, we managed to hit the road by 5:00pm, with a minimum of crankiness among the children and a decent amount of excitement. Okay, I forgot a few things, but nothing that couldn’t be borrowed or purchased down the road.

I had lots of time to think in the car. Reading or handwork in a moving vehicle makes me ill, so I get to think. I used to sing with the kids, but now they immerse themselves in books - lucky kids - or have their ears plugged into their own music. I thought about the landscape as it rushed by, and the people along the way, oblivious to our Big Mormon Wagon speeding on down the highway. I thought about all the things I wanted to write as soon as we reached our destination.

The week flashed by: Reading to grandchildren and listening to them read to me; shopping for pioneer clothes; touring BYU Law School and obtaining information for yet another of my chicks preparing to leave the nest; a snowy drive to Wyoming; the baptism of our oldest grandchild; snowboarding and watching my ten-year-old son walk in the door with his head wrapped in bandages; bowling with 3 and 4-year-olds…who beat me…and much laughter and a few tears. Aprilynne received her book contract from Harper Collins while we were there and I thought about the things I thought about writing, recognizing that she had made it happen.

On the way home I thought about how good it would feel to sit at the computer and make something happen. That’s what I get for thinking. My phone rang about the time we arrived in St. George. One of my birth clients was in the hospital threatening to have her baby four weeks early. As my husband pulled the van into the driveway, I bailed out and began preparing myself for a long night. Twenty-four hours later, just as the sun was setting on a beautiful Easter Sunday, I glimpsed a beautiful baby boy as his father and a NICU nurse wheeled him into the nursery for observation. I thought about Anna and Charles and the whole circle of life as I said goodbye in my heart to one friend and greeted a new one.

The brain fog of exhaustion had taken over by Monday night and I could no longer think about anything except sleep. Just as I was drifting off, the shrill ring of the phone jerked me awake. Mom had Dad back in the ER. I offered to go sit with them, but Mom declined. Dad had pancreatitis. She told him he was running out of organs.

Tuesday morning I woke up feeling like I had been run over by a truck. But I didn’t have time to think, let alone be sick. I had a presidency meeting and a PPI with the Bishop and sixteen new names to add to the visiting teaching routes, but only four new visiting teachers. I had a birth education class to teach and a sister in the ward called to say she was at Phoenix Children’s Hospital ICU watching over her sixteen-year-old daughter. It was time to make things happen. I earnestly prayed for abilities to match my tasks, and you know what? It all happened.

I am grateful for a quiet morning, even if I forgot until nearly noon that I was supposed to write this blog. Nursing my headache and fever and chills, I checked my e-mail one last time before I started writing. I found a note our daughter in Wyoming sent about how glad she was we arrived home safely and how much the grandkids missed us. Then she left me with a thought that four-year-old Ephraim proclaimed at the dinner table.

“I figured out that blue and yellow make green! It’s so cool! When I pee in the blue water at the church the water turns green, so now I know and I think I won’t ever forget!” Now there’s a kid who knows how to think and make something happen!

6 comments:

  1. Kari, you hit the nail right on the head when you said you prayed for ability to accomplish all those tasks piled upon you. When we look at them all at once they seem overwhelming. When we just do them, they get done, and we feel great. I find great pleasure in knowing that if we really can't do it, we won't actually have to.
    And when we do, we grow If this doesn't make sense, well, I'm sleepy again. Happy to be on the same team with you.

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  2. I love the way kids look at life. There is great wisdom in becoming as a little child. Hope your week slows down somewhat.

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  3. Wow - I'm really tired just reading your blog and wondering how you do it all. Thinking is okay! I hope your father does well, pancreatitis is a stinker! I also hope you can catch up with your life without getting sick. And I love how yellow and blue make green, too. You better keep an I on that grandchild. He figures things out.

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  4. Isn't life interesting? I think if we knew when we signed on (to life or marriage or motherhood--any of 'em) what it was really going to be like, we'd never have had the courage. But you carry it off so well, Kari! You look so serene. No one would ever guess.

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  5. Kari, I think I need to request a fly-over your house. Not because you are dying, but becasue you are living the hero-life I wish I could handle - which is "doing it all, making it all happen, making it all happen with class and rightness, learning from it all, teaching it all and enjoying it all. I stand in salute!

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  6. My goodness! You ladies see me much differently than I see myself! Thank you for the kind words. I am quickly recovering from a mild case of pneumonia and life looks much brighter today. You are all too kind.

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