Lost Memories

The colorless walls burned bright against the black chairs where Lucy and her son sat. Colin was not familiar with the smells as she was; the aroma of disinfectant and sickness was something she was immune to, having worked in it for so long. Nursing was something she had always enjoyed, but these days the only thing associated with the hospital was her sick mother.

Last week Lucy’s mother forgot they were celebrating Colin’s birthday. Today, she forgot his name. Once in a while it would come back to her, in ten minutes she’d ask him how school was three or four times. As a ten-year-old he was not prepared for this, nor could he understand the situation, and he wasn’t alone. At one point Lucy decided he shouldn’t come. It was almost too much for her so she couldn’t imagine the toll it would take on him.

It was hard to grasp when the doctor explained it was Alzheimer’s  that had gradually developed for more than a decade now. The doctor explained it could happen at a young age, sometimes gradual, other times suddenly.

She knew she should get tested; however, she put it off. How often she would explain to patients the more they knew, the more she could help them. Now she understood why so many refused to do it. One word, one diagnosis could change an entire life.

Her mother got worse. Lucy would show up and her mom would ask her why she was late, only to repeat herself again and again. Eventually, she didn’t know why she was there, so every visit Lucy would have to explain. Other times she’d ask where Lucy’s father was.

“He passed away, remember? Three years ago.”

This seemed to break her own heart more than her mother’s. Maybe forgetting was best because maybe the pain of the memories was forgotten too.

 

One evening as Lucy drove home from the hospital, distracted by her mother’s condition and the details along with it, she barely stopped in time to see in her rearview mirror a body lying in the road beneath the blinking red stoplight.

As a nurse, her instant reaction wasn’t shock but service. The concern was the man’s head. His eyes were open wide and displayed fear as he fought for life.

His body was heavily bruised. She tried to make a head wrap out of her jacket and dialed 9-1-1. The only sounds were the pounding of her heart, the operator, and his gradual decrease of breath. She tried to ask what had happened; the only thing he could do was barely lift his finger pointing in her direction.

She had looked behind her assuming whoever did this had gone that way. By the time the ambulance arrived his hand had fallen lifeless to the ground.

The police thanked her for her help and told her to come in tomorrow for questioning. For anyone else, this might have been a tragic occurrence, but this was her job. Unfortunately, this was a part of it she hated.

The next day she was unsure why she found herself in the police department as if she was a suspect. She remembered trying to save the man.

The officer stood tall and lean, a thin manila folder in hand.

“I just need you to answer a few questions,” he said.

Lucy nodded, upset she was missing time with her mother for a pointless interview. Last night was all a blur, like most things these days.

“Where were you going when you saw the body?”

Silence stifled the room.

“Ma’am?”

Finally, she remembered where she was. She was distracted, thinking about her mother, how she should be with her.

“Yes?”

He gave a confused look before repeating the question.

“I was on my way home from the hospital. It was twenty to six.”

“Did you see any witnesses?”

She paused, trying to recall if she had.

“No, just me,”

“Did he say anything to you before he died?”

“He died?” Lucy asked.

The officer gave another puzzled look. He went on to explain that she was there when they arrived where he was pronounced dead.

“Oh, yes,” she said.

He asked her to answer the question, his tone stern and suspicious. She asked him to repeat it and then answered with a simple “no.”

She then asked to leave, her mother needed her. Lucy’s face was the only one still familiar to her.

That night as she drove home not remembering where she was–it was a routine she knew well–she passed the street where everything had happened the night before. The place looked familiar, and the image of the dead body sprang into her mind. Frightened, she swerved, losing control, running the light, colliding with the car in front of her.

The airbag inflated, leaving her bruised. The windshield was shattered and her head pounded. She panicked, not knowing where she was. When her eyes finally adjusted, the blinking red light glared at her. Her mind rewound to the night before. She watched as if an outsider to her own body.

She was driving home from work, it was almost six, she was running behind. She sped up as a shape moved across the road. Slamming her brakes, she barely missed the raccoon. She sped up again, now farther behind. Her reaction time not as quick when a taller, larger shape walked under the blinking red light.

She watched the body hit and tumble to the ground. She remembered the man’s eyes, wide and frightened.

His finger pointing at her.

 

 

 

“Of the 5.4 million Americans with Alzheimer’s, an estimated 5.2 million people are age 65 and older, and approximately 200,000 individuals are under age 65 (younger-onset Alzheimer’s).” (http://www.alz.org/facts/#quickFacts)

Detours to Destiny: A Memoir

Here is a review I wrote of the memoir my client, Elling Halvorson, wrote. Check it out on Amazon!

***

Aubree DeVisser professional writing major, Taylor University

 

Book: Detours to Destiny

Author: Elling B. Halvorson

Publisher: Canyon Flight Trading Company

 

OVERVIEW

 

Detours to Destiny is a fascinating memoir of Elling B. Halvorson’s life as a businessman who also felt called to pursue ministry in his work. Each chapter holds incredible, intriguing evidence of the tenacity and integrity that Halvorson has shown throughout his life.

He tells stories of the construction company he started in the early 1960s which led him to complete a freshwater pipeline project in some of the deepest parts of the Grand Canyon. He describes the seven miracles that allowed him to survive a deadly accident in the Grand Canyon in 1965, along with many other challenges and risks he has overcome.

Halvorson founded Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters in 1965, which supplied flightseeing tours of the Grand Canyon. Stories of high-risk, seemingly impossible tasks fill this memoir and become an inspiration for the reader. From flying a plane over the Pacific Ocean with no radio or radar and a limited supply of fuel to punching in a road up to a mountain summit, this memoir offers story after story of intense real-life situations.

Halvorson also shares about a time when he attempted to choose between ministry or business. However, he decided that his work in business could be a ministry, and it wasn’t a choice he had to make. He uses his many detours to illustrate the importance of God and family in the midst of life’s trials.

 

ASSESSMENT

 

Rating: 5

 

Suggested audience: YA and up

 

Christian Impact:

Detours to Destiny portrays Halvorson’s personal relationship with God. He offers countless examples of moments when he found himself alone, with nobody to comfort him but God. His dedication to allowing the job he loved to also be a form of ministry is a great reminder for everyone reading that God can use us right where we are. Halvorson’s love and respect for his family serve as inspiration for readers of any age to love unconditionally and keep family first.

 

Everyone Starts Somewhere

I have exciting and terrifying news! I am starting up my own business and while it sounds crazy and impossible at my age, I believe I have the ability to do it and do it well with the help of others and lots of prayer and guidance.
So, here’s my story. Maybe it will convince you as well that it’s possible and worth investing in.
As a college student, I went in three years ago thinking I would come out with a degree that I loved and everything would go as planned. I would find a 9-5 job and life would be grand. Well, life doesn’t always work that way, or so I’m learning. And I’m actually glad it doesn’t work that way.
My major is professional writing and I tagged on a public relations minor my junior year. Since then, I have been adding business, entrepreneurship and marketing classes every chance I get. These classes, along with some of my major and minor classes have brought me here. I have one more semester left of college and I am starting my own business.
Never would I have thought this was where life would take me. It’s daunting, of course, but I am realizing that my creative mind and eagerness to write work well with social media and marketing. I love discovering new, unique ideas to market a business and show everyone else what you value in your business.
Representing other brands and companies is something that I love to do. Whether that’s through Instagram or Facebook or Pinterest and blogging. There are so many ways to promote your business and taking the next step with me will make that process easier on you while also offering you more time to do what you want and need outside of marketing.
Yes, I am a beginner, but everyone starts somewhere right? I hope that doesn’t push you away, rather it pulls you in to discover the new perspective and desire to represent your business in a respectful, yet memorable way.
Want to hear more? Send me a message and I would be happy to share

Florida High School Shooting

I ran as I watched it on the TV.

As I watched an event unfold that should tear us all to pieces.

But when I looked around, I saw nothing out of the ordinary.

A few glances at the TV, then right back to lifting weights, biking or staring at a screen.

As I ran and saw the headline “Florida High School Shooting” I got angrier.

Read more

UPDATE: NEW SITE!

It’s been a while since I have posted but I plan to add some published works on here as soon as possible! I just wanted to let you all know that I do have another site you can check out here! It’s called Searching 4 Something More and you can read all about the inspiration for it on the blog.

This site you are on now, I am modifying into an online portfolio. On my other blog, you can read about all my thoughts on life, faith, recent events, feelings, questions and so much more! I would love to hear your opinion or thoughts on my posts so go take a look!

Thank you for your support!

 

 

Aubree

Sandra Immink: This One’s A Fighter

As some of you may have been informed, on June 23 Sandra Immink was in a car accident that has altered her life. Since that day she has been at Spectrum hospital where she stayed in ICU and was later moved to Mary Free bed. Here, she is healing and resting and undergoing daily routines of therapy.

When I asked her what she wanted to talk about to update everyone her first response was to love and thank everyone who has been at her side through this challenging and painful process.IMG_2695.JPG

“People that have cared for me, that means something to me. That’s what’s important to me right now.” Sandy said.

As she did this she pointed to over 300 hundred cards that have been hung up on the wall -she is even known as “the card lady” – for all to see. But, they are especially for her. She finds courage, strength, love, and hope in these cards. 9F192AB6-CA13-4728-A4A8-D2FF75D83C4D

She spoke of the kindness of others sending the cards, flowers, visiting etc. However, she also emphasized her appreciation for everyone who took care of her while in the hospital as well as here at Mary Free bed.

“There has been nothing but caring people every time they came in. Everyone reassured that I’d be okay and I’d make it through this,” Sandy said.

She shared some stories of people who really impacted her those first couple days in the ICU as well as after. One woman left an unforgettable feeling of gratitude and love from Sandy.

Amber, a nurse on duty while Sandy stayed in ICU, took her job to the next level when Sandy’s stress and anxiety were on the rise.  She explained that Amber saw she couldn’t be left alone and chose to stay with her for hours to comfort and embrace Sandy through one of many challenging moments she would face.IMG_2801.JPG

“For two hours she sat by my bed and rubbed my arm, and we sang songs and quoted scripture together,” Sandy explained.

Sandy showed her thankfulness for employees that walked through each of the doors of her temporary homes for these last six weeks. She, Irv and Chelsea spoke of Sam; a “big, big man” according to Irv. But, a strong, yet gentle one in Sandy’s eyes.

She spoke of embarrassing, uncomfortable times and how she learned to overlook those so easily due to the kindness, acceptance and genuine love from all of the people assisting her along the way.

She spoke of everyone through laughter and tears and recognized many people who have stuck with her and have made a lasting impact. Sandy shared that she did not expect to see so much care, compassion, and caress from so many people and is truly grateful for it.

As I got to see her in many times of pain and hardship I always saw a fighter, and I wasn’t the only one. As I sat to write this with Sandy and her family, a doctor she was desperate to see for quite some time arrived. He had done the surgeries on her fingers and hands which were left broken and bruised after the accident.

She -jokingly, as usual- had asked him if he had thought about just giving her something and being done with her when he first saw her. (She had both legs badly broken, one that has since been amputated. Both forearms broke, a shattered vertebrae, and underlying problems on top of each of those. The list seemed endless.

He caught my attention when I saw the look of confusion on his face.

“No no no,” He said shaking his head. “I would never have thought that. You had too much fight in you and too much love around you.”

His words couldn’t be closer to the truth. This is what Sandy really is, a fighter. One surrounded by not only the love of family members, friends and employees, but by the love of God. Something I believe she would agree, she wouldn’t have made it this far without.

Sandy’s story is one I will never forget. She makes me laugh each time I visit and her attitude is one I told her I am sure I could not keep up if I were in her situation. She encouraged me and reassured me then, even when she was the one in pain.

She is an inspiration to us all and the world would not be the same without her. I am beyond blessed to know her and to learn from her. Thank you, Sandy.IMG_3359.JPG.jpeg

I asked her for a specific prayer request as she is on track to go home in three weeks if all goes well!! And she said this: “That I am able to learn how to pivot on my leg and how to shimmy on my board.” (this made us all laugh.)

She receives a green shirt for all the nurses and therapists to sign when she “graduates” and gets to go home. Let’s pray that green shirt hangs on her door soon, but also when she is ready and prepared for the adjustments ahead. I can only imagine what an emotional, memorable day that will be.

Also,  Let’s see if we can’t make some kind of record for how many cards someone has received at Mary Free bed… here’s her address, feel free to send some love and encouragement her way as she fights on!

Mary Free Bed

Sandra Immink room #3124

235 wealthy Street SE

Grand Rapids, MI 49503