Memories’s Magic Act

When the world seems too much

When the weather in my mind is rainy

When that familiar ache in my heart whistles its melancholy tune

When I miss you

Then I will think of this moment

I will think of it briefly and sparingly

Just enough to see the sun and change the melody in my heart

Because the more I relive a moment

The less its potency

It fades until the smile it gives

Is only a marred reflection

Of smiles past

How sorrowful it is indeed

That our favorite memories

Disappear

But that just means that we have to make new ones

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Role Models

I have found that

role models that I’ve never met in real life

aren’t role models at all,

only people who I think are good at what they do

but no one I should model myself after

because they are good at what they do

and I should be good at what I do

not at what they do.

I have found that

role models that I see everyday

are the best role models

because they are not only role models

but they are people who care about me

and I care about them.

I can see their daily struggles

and not just the ones the camera catches.

I can talk to them and they can talk to me

So I want to thank you

all my role models,

but especially the ones

who know me and love me personally

because you have had a personal hand in making me, me

so thank you for being you, the real you

Plans, Tears, and the Creator of the Universe

I was having a hard day some time ago, neither my day or my future seemed like it was going to plan. I was heavy hearted and disheartened, but I couldn’t let the signs of it show.

One thing that you should know about me is that I plan. I plan and scheme and layout my life on an Excel spreadsheet (literally, I’m not joking). I have contingency plans for contingency plans. I stay up late, laying in bed, planning my future so that nothing takes me by surprise.

It’s not that I don’t like surprises, I just like to feel in control, I like to feel safe and know where I’m standing and know where I want to go.

And so when it seemed like my life was not going according to plan or any contingency plan, I felt powerless. I felt lost and helpless and insecure.

I wanted to cry (because that fixes everything (I’m actually joking this time)), I wanted to scream at the world to put itself back in the little box I put it in, I wanted to dream up some plan to fix all this. But my heart was in control and not my head. Oh, the horrible and wondering things that can happen when the heart is in control!

So I walked through the halls holding my shattered plans in my hands and holding my tears in my eyes.

Two of my favorite quotes popped in my head, “The first casualty of any battle is the plan of attack,” by Cory Doctorow and “If plan A doesn’t work, the alphabet has 25 more letters,” by Claire Cook. But I wasn’t in the mood for inspirational speeches especially if I was the one giving it.

So I finally get to my locker and look up at the Cross magnet I have on it, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” [Italics added] That is God’s work right there. I change my magnet every couple of weeks and it was just by chance that I had Jeremiah 29: 11 up. I was lamenting over my broken plans and the verse used plans three times. God knows the plan; His plan is never broken; He is never caught by surprise; He is always in control. I am secure in His plan. I was upset over my plan when God said that He would give me one of His plans. And I’d take one of God’s plans compared to one of mine, anyday.

The conflict isn’t completely resolved but it is looking better. God said that His plan gives me hope, and it sure has. My heavy heart is now a happy heart. I don’t need my head to be in control when I know that God is in control. I don’t need a plan to make me feel safe; I have faith in the Lord Almighty. And faith is much better than any plan.


“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

2 Corinthians 12:9

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Saving Humanity One Death at a Time

“Just so you know, I’m not apologizing. I simply figured that you’d want an explaination,” I say while I put on my purple latex gloves.

“In the United States alone, 5.3 million people suffer from paralysis. Doctors have ways to help once the stroke hits or therapy after the spinal cord injury, but nothing to prevent it. Hopefully that statement won’t be true after you.” I smile at him.

“What are you going to do?” Zenith asks, pretending to hide his nerves.

“Oh, you are such a good audience; you knew exactly what to do, Zenith! Hmm, that just sounds wrong to call you Zenith. What’s your name?” I ask getting out my checklist of procedures.

Silence is my only answer.

“Don’t worry, doctor-patient confidentiality.”

Begrudgingly, “Derek Cromwell.”

“Well, Derek, do you have any familial medical history, especially paralysis that I should know about? Or any current medical issues you have?

“No. And unless if you count superhuman abilities as a medical issue, no.” I would have thought Zenith would have more quips like he does when he is out catching crooks and stopping robbers.

“You mean, your enhanced strength, stamina, and speed? That shouldn’t affect the results too much. But what can you do, never can find the perfect test subject,” I wave my hand as if dismissing the thought. “So you asked how the procedure is going to be done. I’m going to place these electrodes on you-”

“Are you going to stun me with that gun of yours, Stunner?” Derek sneers.

“I built the gun with the technology I am about to perform, yes. And my name is not that blasted ‘Stunner’ as the newspapers boldly dramatizes in the headlines. I am Dr. Erika Quint.” I stand a little taller proclaiming my name. Everyone else will hear my name in the coming months.

“Wait, you’re an actual doctor? That’s why you wear the lab coat? You’re not just a crazy mad scientist?” Derek struggles against his restraints to look at me better.

“Well, technically, almost doctor. My university decided it would be better if I continued my research on my own. I don’t have an angry vengeance thing going on; I understand sometimes people are afraid of genius and the following success.”

“No lust for revenge, huh. In all of my crime fighting, I thought revenge was a number one must on the villain checklist,” Derek says puzzled.

“Ug, I’m not a villain! I’m just ahead of my time,” I finish my checklist. “After the university set me free, other research facilities thought my cause was worth donating their equipment for.”

“You mean you stole millions of dollars in medical equipment and stunned anyone with your gun if they got in your way,” Derek hisses.

“We scientist have to do a lot to fund our research. Sometimes that is wearing a fancy dress and wine and dine the potential sponsors. Or sometimes you have to wear a ski mask and lab goggles and learn how to disarm security systems,” I say while putting the nodes on his bare skin.

“You’re a menace to society.”

“I am saving humanity.”

He barks something that someone might mistake for a laugh, “By stealing, putting countless in the hospital, and experimenting on me?”

“It’s always confused me how most people think that the few currently living outweigh the billions yet to be born. Sure, I take full responsibility for harming a handful of individuals, but it is an easy price to pay for saving millions.” I place the final node on his upper thigh.

“Wow, your deranged conviction. There is no way I can convince you not to do this?” I see, not for the first time, fear flicker in his eyes. But this time it stays there.

“Am I really that deranged? I mean, I really want to know. I am not experimenting on little children, the helpless elderly, or mothers and fathers who would leave orphans. It’s just you, Derek. No girlfriend, mother passed when you were a junior in high school, father estranged. A few close friends, but you always happen to be fighting Empress Entropy and miss hanging out with them. I don’t even think they’ll notice. The thing is, I didn’t pick you because you’re Zenith but because if my procedure happens to not be successful, you, Derek Cromwell, won’t leave a vast gaping hole in the universe,” I say sincerely.

“But . . . I -um . . . Zenith, I mean, I am saving people. This city needs me.”

“Honestly, this city is overcrowded with Heroes. Who needs you when there’s Spider-man or Daredevil? Or the freakin’ Avengers?” I position the lights at the perfect angle.

“Hey I helped the Avengers out once,” Derek says proudly, almost forgetting what is about to happen.

“You filled in for The Thing at poker night. And you lost almost all of your money to Hawkeye. As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been planning this for a long time.” I start flipping switches on my machine.

“I’m twenty-three, I have a whole life ahead of me. I can save so many more people,” Derek pleads.

“You will save more people by taking part in this procedure, than you could in a lifetime.” Derek begins to protest, but I put in his mouth guard.

“I’m not going to sugar coat this. It will probably hurt. But you are saving humanity.”

I push the button.

Johnny

“Can Johnny come out and play?”

I’m sorry, but Johnny is still in bed

trying to decide whether to have Captain Crunch or Trix for breakfast

And he has to figure out if he wants to watch PJ Masks or Paw Patrol

Also whether his favorite color should be green or blue

And find the answer why dogs don’t meow and cats don’t bark

As well as how ceiling fans work

After that, why water is blue, but snow is white

On top of all that, does he really like Melissa or does he just like that she has red hair because he does also

Also is his teacher, Ms. Jones, really that happy or is it her coffee in the morning

And why is Colorado the only straight sided state

Decide whether he should play soccer or baseball

And in middle school should he go through an emo phase

Should he commute to college or live in a dorm

Also is drinking allowed when he is 20 and 9 months like getting his driving permit at 14 and 9 months

And are student loans really worth it

If so, major in what

Choose whether memorizing or actually learning is better

Ponder why all the pretty girls don’t want to talk to him

As well as if his boss hates him or simply doesn’t care in the slightest about him

How he is going to pay the rent this month

Who to vote for governor

Should he pop the question to Staci

Pink and grey or light blue and buttercup yellow for the wedding

Mortgage, car insurance, leaking roof

And Golden Retriever or Basset Hound

Does he want to know the gender of the baby before hand

Pay raise if it means more hours at the office

How to make a toddler understand that the potty is where she makes her messes

Go to Hawaii for his five year anniversary

Buy a mini van or truck

Why does his wife’s Facebook page have no pictures of him, only the kid

Try to have another child after a miscarriage

Change jobs with a shorter drive, but more demanding work load

Should the twins names start with the same letter

Public or homeschool

And the doctor says to lose weight

Also should he root for his home state or current state to win the Super Bowl

What to do about Uncle Steven’s health failing

Have enough money to go to DisneyWorld

Are Russia and North Korea really teaming up

Put aside money for the kids college or for his retirement

And what about when his kid comes home in the back of a cop car

Should Staci go back to college to get a better degree

Also that unexpected surgery

Mom passing away

And is this man good enough for his daughter

Should date night Fridays become a thing again because the kids are out of the house

Old enough to be a grandpa

The stroke

Will the third grandchild feel as connected to him even though he was in rehab

Does he believe his son when he says he actually didn’t cheat on his wife, she did

Becoming a widower

Driver’s license taken away

What year was he born

“So ummm . . . You’re saying Johnny can’t come out and play?”

thinking

To Be Celebrated

Some things are meant

To be celebrated

With a flurry of handshakes

Or kind words of “well done”

Some things are meant

To be celebrated

With group hugs

Or pats on the back

Some things are meant

To be celebrated

With hurried phone calls

Or squeals of joy

Others things are meant

To be celebrated

With thankful prayers

And silent, smiling hearts

celebrate

In That Moment

It was one of those moments

where it seemed to stretch on forever

because it does.

I will carry

that peace

that excitement

that serenity

that safety

that bliss

that openness

that fun

that freedom

that love

forever

because I have chosen

for that

for this

moment

to never end.

Life may take me

hundreds of miles aways

and scores of years past

but that moment

this moment

will live on

as long as I do.

In that moment,

I felt an overwhelming

gratefulness for my life

and for the people who

make it worthwhile,

oh so much more than worthwhile

It is truly a blessing

to feel the love of life,

and I did

and I still do

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