A Reflection of Who I Am

Archive for December, 2013

Holiday Reflections

This Christmas Holiday was bittersweet. My husband, mother-in-law and step-daughter enjoyed our time together opening gifts. Our tree was small in stature. Our gifts instead of wrapped were placed in gift bags…this is my husband’sImage favorite solution. I am a terrible wrapper so I have gone the gift bag route.  Since the bags are much bigger than table, I sat them on the floor. Under the tree, I opted to make it a teddy bear celebration. I use to collect Boyd Bears and found a couple of Janaida’s bears to add to the mix.

After opening the gifts, we all went our separate ways. I opted to work on a project that had been nagging me for a while. The cluttered…junky back bedroom.  It held boxes of clothes, paper work and books.  I had taken over our dining room table to use as my workspace. It’s nice but it did not lend to creative writing and privacy.  So I took on the four hour task of packing, stacking and throwing away clutter.

I now have a work area that I can work on my manuscript, as well as, my client manuscripts.  I can create video and audio training files.  There is a futon that I can now take my catnaps when I’ve exhausted my brain cells. This is easily done because I work on so many different projects at any given moment.

This year, I gave myself the gift of creation. I can slip out of bed and walk down the hall to capture my dreams and develop my story lines.  In 2014, I want to focus, execute and complete my projects professionally and on time. This means turning out manuscripts that are pristine and “ready for the public consumption”. I want to complete my manuscript in time for the April interview with the judges; and breeze through the interview process and be invited to the final Pitch Week in June.

In 2014, I expect to fulfill the first round in this new challenge that God has set down for me.  I have listened to his leading through the counsel of the Holy Spirit that indwells in me.  I know that the writers that he is sending my way are people whose testimonies will be a blessing to all who buy and read their books.

The down side of today, I miss my family…my father, brother and sister who no longer live on this side of heaven. I called my mother and wished her Merry Christmas. I will see her tomorrow. Today, she was blessed to spend time with friends. I remember the big family gatherings that The Wilsons had in Penllyn, PA at Nana and Pop Pops.  It was loud and full of laughter and fun. Now my Christmas gathers have transitioned from 30 or more, to just 4 of us. Times have changes.

So I write this to tell each and everyone, enjoy the family and friends that you are blessed to have in your life. There are no promises with whom you will spend your future times together. I pray that you had a joyous Christmas and you remember how blessed we are to have been given the greatest gift of all, God’s son.

Memories – Ten Years and Counting

Sunday, December 15… Ten years ago today. I was not aware that it would be the last day my late husband Donald and I would have our last conversation.  As hard as I try I cannot remember what we spoke about.  When I left that night I was tired and he was resting comfortably. I was looking forward to his release and return to the rehabilitation center.  I was traveling between Voorhees, New Jersey and New York during those days as a Software Trainer and Programmer.  When he completed his stay a week earlier at Virtua, I admitted him to a Rehabilitation hospital so he could receive ’round the clock care. There was no one that I could call on to help with his care. By choice, we lived such isolated lives.

For two and a half years, Donald battled a rare cancer called, liposarcoma. It’s a fatty tissue cancer that normally appears in your extremities. It began in his abdomen and spread.  He was strong and determined to beat it. As I traveled away from home for work, he drove himself back and forth to University of Penn and then Fox Chase Cancer Center in northeast Philly from Voorhees once a week.

That Sunday evening, I slept hoping and praying that he would come home soon.  He hated being away from home. He said he hated being away from me. I woke up Monday morning at 6 am with the ringing of the phone.  “Mrs. Karper?” It was his doctor from Virtua, “Our boy had a very rough night. I’m sorry but you will have to start making arrangements.” What words to wake up from.  No how are you doing Mrs. Karper. Did you have a good night’s sleep. I stared at the ceiling and asked, “Are you saying I have to arrange hospice?”  I didn’t want to say “funeral” so I chose the safe word “hospice”. “Yes…hospice”.  So much can change in less than 24 hours.  Saturday we were sharing a movie in his rehab room. Sunday we were arguing and stressing about his hatred for the hospital. Monday I was arranging for hospice.

My dear friend, Janet Janka LaFrance gave me a number to call and the hospice nurse met with me around 2 pm that afternoon.  At 7 pm we move Donald to Kennedy’s Good Samaritan Hospice Center in Cherry Hill, New Jersey.  I sat with him for about three hours and then left because I thought I had forgot to turn the coffee pot off that morning.  During those days, I didn’t cook or make coffee. Donald handled those chores for over 15 years of our 19 years of marriage.

At 2:30 am I received the call that he has passed in his sleep. So, Saturday we are watch television together. Sunday we are at Virtua arguing. Monday we are sharing time together at hospice and Tuesday I am making funeral arrangements.

It can happen so quickly. Don’t let silly arguments and disagreements come between those you love. Time is fleeting and not promised. Tomorrow I celebrate an anniversary that I was not prepared for nor did I want.

I wrote a book in 2011 “Joy Comes Through the Mourning”.  It does. http://bit.ly/1kPpPum

Deborah Smart aka Deborah Karper

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