Adventures in Marty! 9

The last few weeks included Alex asking questions he’d never asked before. Never allowed himself to ask. With an attitude toward God he avoided looking into faith. He blamed God for his plight. Without understanding he surmised that God could prevent bad things from happening. A just God should keep innocent people from harm’s way. He was beginning to perceive the ways of the world. And the role God plays in everyday life.

pregant

c/o pixabay

Since the medical test confirmed, Leelee is pregnant, they’ve been living in a higher orbit. It’s too early for her to be showing. Alex insisted he could see her belly getting bigger. Everyday he had to inspect her stomach. Neither of them anticipated the joy they are sharing. She couldn’t be happier about how excited Alex is. Things are great. Just great!

Alex didn’t want to engage in deep conversations about his personal pain. He did drop comments and reveal more insights. Leelee strung together every statement like a necklace. One pearl at a time. She carefully took note of each word. Hanging them around her heart. They’d been together since Junior High School. Only being apart during some college terms. She is learning about the man she loves. The man she thought she knew. She knows now, more than ever, she made the right choice.

Alex isn’t comfortable. He can’t talk freely about his early years. He’s methodically sharing everything he’d kept buried for so long. He senses the deeper connection with Leelee his openness is causing. Her responses have made him feel safe. His fears of rejection and abandonment fad as he experiences her commitment to him. This is the love he hoped to find. He thought he’d found it in Leelee. Now he knows. Every time he exposes his secrets she embraces him as a man. Husband. And soon to be father.

From the way he treats her you’d think she was due any day. He makes over her like she’s breakable. She goes along. Humored for the most part. Irritated at times. Not willing to change a thing. He messages her feet every evening. Rubs her belly every morning and night. Talks to the baby growing inside of her. He’s sure it’s a boy. She wisely cautions him,,,  it could be a girl. He ignores her. Insisting its a son. She suspects he longs for the father/son relationship he never had. He says he will be just as happy with a girl. She knows his heart is set on a boy.

Alex interrogates Leelee about her faith. Wanting to know everything she believes. He doesn’t always agree with her positions. He still isn’t ready to jump on the church thing. They agreed to read the bible together. She routinely prays every morning. Usually after Alex leaves for work. He knew that. He questioned her about prayer. He doesn’t say anything about it but he began to pray on his drive to work every day.

He had avoided politics and religion in the work place. He now found subtle ways to inquire about the beliefs of some of his coworkers. He would bring the different positions home to discuss with Leelee. He respects her views but still has doubts. He didn’t know precisely what he was searching for. He decided; there is something to this God thing.

Life has changed in drastic ways. He’s no longer afraid of failing as a dad. He’s determined to prepare for fatherhood. He made a sacred contract with himself. He will resolve his issues. He will find a way to heal. He will be a whole person. He will not let his child down. Alex is growing up!

shopping pixabay

c/o pixabay

Leelee spoke to her mom often. Now they speak every day. Her mom is thrilled to be a grandmother. Leelee has lots of questions for her mom. They would sometimes spend hours on the phone. No one doubted Leelee would be a fantastic mother. At six weeks, Leelee has purchased just about everything she could ever need for the baby. How could life be any better? The pregnancy is going well. Alex is excited. They are growing in their faith. The peace of mind and joy she feels is over-the-top.

Alex continues to work hard. Putting in long hours. It’s obvious he has a new priority. He doesn’t bring work home with him anymore. He comes through the door every night bent on tending to Leelee. Taking care of needs she doesn’t have. She considered telling him it’s not necessary. She didn’t want to deflate him. Besides, the attention is kind of nice. She wouldn’t want to interrupt how spectacular things are.

Leelee woke in the middle of the night. She glanced at the clock. It’s 3:05. She wants to go to the restroom but feels too weak to get up. She wakes Alex. Startled he asks, what’s wrong? I don’t feel right, Alex. Can you get me some water? He springs out of bed. Turns on the lamp. Rushes to get a glass of water. She takes a sip. I need to go to the restroom, she states. He throws the covers back. There is blood on the sheets. He murmurs, Leelee, you’re bleeding. She looks. In shock she cries out, Oh, God! What do I do? Alex pleads.

Call my mom, she says. In his hast he calls his mom instead. She knew about the pregnancy but she doesn’t know about everything going on in their lives. Alex loves his mother. Very much. He just doesn’t involve her in his everyday life. She’s aware of the distance between them. None of that matters now. He told her Leelee was bleeding. He’s in a panic. He blurts out, I’m going to take her to the emergency room. No, his mom exclaimed. Call an ambulance. Let the paramedics treat her before you move here.

8576195628_0df9f2a68e_z

c/o flickr.com

Okay. Okay, he shouts. Hanging up without saying good bye. Alex dials 911. An ambulance is on the way. He gets a cold wash cloth to put on Leelee’s face. She is pale. Frightened. Call my mom, Alex. He dials the phone. Her dad answers. John, it’s Alex. Leelee is bleeding. I’ve called for an ambulance. He could hear Grace in the background asking, whats wrong? John tells Grace, Leelee is bleeding. He’s called for an ambulance. She gets on the phone. What hospital are you taking her too? she asks. We will meet you there, she says. Let me talk to Leelee.

She tells Leelee not to worry. This sometimes happens. Let’s not think the worst. Leelee is crying. She manages a faint okay, mom. I’m so scarred, moans Leelee I know, Honey. We will meet you at the hospital. Alex sees the lights from the ambulance. Rushing down the stairs he opens the door in consternation. Guiding the EMT’S upstairs, they spring into action. They take her vital signs. Start and IV. They offer words of encouragement. Try to calm her. They load her on the gurney and head to the hospital. Alex follows in his car.

Pantokrater hovers! Marty is present. Unseen hands are at work.

Marty will return next Friday!

 

Adventures in Marty! 5

Leelee says, I’m going to grill you a steak and make a tossed salad. Do you want a vegetable? No, says Alex. But do we have any baked beans? She replies, I think so, as she gets up to look. He continues with more details of his day. I want to hear all about it, Alex. Give me a minute to start the grill. He keeps talking even when she goes outside. He’s more keyed-up than he realizes.

table for two by pixabay

by pixabay

She sets the table. Throws the salad together and checks on the steaks. Come to the table, Alex. He hasn’t stopped talking. In between his sentences she calculates how to talk about her day. Sliding his steak in front of him he proclaims, that looks great, Honey. I’m starving. As Leelee sits down, he continues his discourse. She encourages him to talk privately with the guy that let him down. Maybe you just need to clear the air, she offers. He’s disappointed. It’s not about you.

Marty understands the value of life. How precious it is. How fragile it can be. The challenges is poses. And the rewards it offers. Leelee is a bit tense. Her nap helped. But her stress level about Alex is rising. They’ve been able to communicate about most things gracefully. Alex can be competitive. High strung. And he can come off as forceful. She has no problem declaring her feelings. This is different. This isn’t style or color preferences. A baby will change their lives forever.

As Marty comforts the developing life he whispers to Leelee and Alex. They don’t see the big picture. They think the decision to have a baby starts with them. He will expose them to the deeper meaning of life.

Alex was raised by a single mother. A fabulous lady. Devoted to her only child. His father had walked out on them when he was young. Leaving for another woman. He doesn’t have a relationship with his dad. He adores his mom. But he has many questions about his father. His mom worked hard to stabilize his life but his masculinity can be volatile. Alex was taught to believe in God without any participation in organized religion.

Leelee was brought up with both parents. Her home was solid. Full of love. She’s close to her parents and siblings. She doesn’t have questions about being wanted. Or where she belongs. She was groomed for a good life. Mentored on how to get it. Her family went to church and believes life is spiritual. When she went to college her involvement with her church waned. But her beliefs remain strong.

After marriage Leelee expected they would get involved in a church. She’s a Methodist. Alex doesn’t claim any religion for his own. She’s disappointed with his lack of interest. He doesn’t want to be a regular attendee. She has gone without him but doesn’t like it. He often suggests they do other things on Sundays. While they haven’t fought about it, there is concern, especially for Leelee.

spiritual intamacy youtube

c/o YouTube.com

For now, Marty is the major influence for the baby to be.  This bundle of joy will soon be subjected to every kind of thinking there is. Everything in the world operates through thought processes. Attitudes dictate actions. Beliefs decide family dynamics, political structures, and religious persuasion. There’s a short space of time to establish the best directives. After those virtuous moments pass it’s all about correcting the errors. Marty labors to prepare the baby, the parents, and the environment.

Alex slows his semi pleasant diatribe during dinner. By the time the meal is over he ended his story-telling. Rising from the table he kisses Leelee on the cheek. That was a wonderful meal, Babe. You’re welcome, she counters. He heads back to his chair as Leelee cleans up. Her thoughts take her to a place of solitude. She barely notices that Alex dozes off to sleep. Finishing her after dinner chores she retreats to the living room. She’s decided how she’ll open the conversation.

inrecliner by michael styne

by Michael Styne

Sitting on the couch she watches Alex in his peaceful slumber. His focus on his work project had him intense for the past couple of weeks. The positive outcome is an obvious relief to him. She loves Alex. Deeply. She’s certain about how he feels about her. Alex turns to get more comfortable and wakes himself up. Noticing Leelee watching him, he apologizes, and sits up. I haven’t even asked you about your day, Honey.

I do have something I want to talk to you about, Alex. Sure, Babe. What’s going on? You were very firm about waiting to have a baby. I didn’t agree. It upset me. But I’ve decided to go along with you. It’s true, we don’t have to rush. Oh, that’s great, Leelee. He’s thrilled. Maybe a little too much. I do want to have kids. You know I do. Just not now. Hang on a minute, Alex. Let me finish.

Marty will return next Friday!

 

Seriously, Check Your Voicemail!

My six year old grandson came for Christmas.  We did a Dream Board together for a project. I want him to get use to prioritizing. I showed him some examples of Dream Boards.  I had him make a list of things he wanted to do or happen. I collected a bunch of magazines for us to cut out pictures and words or phrases. I purchased a small tri-fold display board so it would fit into his suitcase when he flew home. With markers, sticky buttons, and stencils we were ready to begin. He did an outstanding job.

dreamscometrue pixabay

by pixabay

One of the things he wanted on his Dream Board is, for someone in particular, (not me thankfully) to know how they sound when they talk to him. We came across a caption that said, Seriously, check your voicemail! He got very excited and said, I want that on my board, Papa.

If you’re Generation Y, Echo Boomers or Millenniums, you may not be that acquainted with voicemail. Opting for email or text messaging instead. In fact, if your’re under 40 chances are you don’t utilize a TAD. Why bother? You can FaceTime or Skype faster. But for us Boomers and early Gen X members, we came to appreciate such an advance in technology. This was cool, man!

Knowing that my grandson had no experience with a recorded message machine I wondered how this fit his need. I asked him, why do you want that on your board? With great command he said, because people need to know how they sound to other people. OMG! The message we deliver with tone and attitude. Wow!

I learned a few things from a study I did about communication skills. Psychology Today, Sept. 30, 2011 presented the following; Communication is believed to be 55% body language, 38% tone, and 7% spoken words. There is some debate about exact numbers. Albert Mehrabian gave us the 55/38/7 rule. Two research studies in 1967, Mehrabian & Wiener and Mehrabian & Ferris, addresses this conclusion. Another popular formula is the 60/40 rule. It applies 60% to facial expression and 40% to vocal expression as components of a person’s attitude.

dfwwriters

c/o dfwwritersworkshop.org

I spoke to someone at one of the writers groups I attend. I told them I would like to get to know them. I find them interesting and want to learn from them. They said, really? smiled and thanked me. After the meeting I mentioned that I started a Blog. I didn’t expect them to follow me but asked if they would take a look at it and give me any advice. They gave me a look of, you must be kidding. They turned away from me while I was still talking. I walked off disappointed. But had no doubts about their level of interest in my blog. Or me.

Relationships are the corner-stones of life. I want to be accepted, appreciated, and affirmed. The way I communicate is key to success. If I only want people when I need them chances are they won’t be there for me. If I see people as an option it might be unreasonable to think they will take me earnestly. A little respect goes a long way.

I communicate. Everyday. With multiple people. What is my level of proficiency?  I want people to talk with me. Interact with me. I desire to share ideas. Life is a collaboration to me. Why perfect a message, brand, or image if I will be the only one involved? I believe words are a sacred exchange between people. I ask myself; how big do I want my life to be? I don’t want to be small, selective, and closed. Not every person will click with me. Or I them. But if there cannot be a union let it be because of substance and not attitude.

saddog pixabay

by pixabay

It only takes a few words, with a less than virtuous tone, to lose a potential ally.  Even my loved ones can feel cheapened by inappropriate syntax and emotion. What is more distasteful than to sense rejection? Ridicule? Belittling? Being dismissed by condescension invites withdrawal. This level of communication is perfect for a lonely hearts club. I remind myself that position is everything to opportunity. Not titles. But how I treat others. People will want to be around me because of how I make them feel.

socialmedia yoel ben-avraham

by Yoel Ben-Avraham

I’ve recently wadded into social media. An activity I have avoided for a long time. The recklessness and insensitivity I see staggers me. I agree that I have the right to say whatever I want – the way I want. But should I exercise that right without being responsible?  Poor manners corrupt good communication. The virtual world is real. It involves people. It is a platform. It has a diving board. A launch pad. Every time I engage it I telegraph my value and values. I choose to be involved. I get that. And, I accept.

A good place to work on myself is while driving. I can’t believe what people do while operating a motor vehicle. It’s hard for me to understand the way some people endanger others. I cannot believe my eyes half the time. I confess, I talk. All the time. I call names. I’ve even made gestures. Alright already; I’m embarrassed to admit it. It dawned on me that my time behind the wheel is a great opportunity to tighten my conveyance techniques.

handsoverears melissa gutlerrez

by Melissa Gutlerrez

I know other drivers don’t hear me, but I do. My transmissions affect me. I create a space of diminishing returns. I don’t want to be effective some of the time. I want the whole world to follow my blog, buy my book, (coming soon) and hear my message. I can help others. I have something to offer. But if I’ve treated people with disrespect I probably won’t get invited in.

We all have different gifts, talents, and capabilities. We have varying degrees of education and economic status. We represent multi faceted areas of authority and decision making. But let’s get jiggy wit it. All human value is the same. It never depreciates. Its one of the few constants we have. I want to recognize every moment as an occasion to show reverence. I know this is about my ability to minimize self-centered thinking. And, elevate others to their rightful place. Even if I can’t appreciate the behavior I can value the person. The world if full of systems that don’t work. I’m smart enough, capable enough, and determined enough to rise above them.

babyyelling by phil

by phil

I owe my grandson a debt of gratitude. He made me look at myself through his innocent eyes. He has reminded me about what’s really important. Whether I’m in a car, in front of a computer, or interacting with a real person I want to be a safe place. Because of a precious little boy, I have…. Seriously, checked my Voicemail!