Rediscovering Tina

There is life outside the pulpit

Goodbye Marie March 28, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Rediscovering Tina @ 9:52 pm

I really wish God wouldn’t trust me with so much, ya know?

  • In 2008, my Bio-dad died from complications from diabetes and heart disease.  (He was 71)
  • In 2009, my beautiful Mom died of a massive heart attacks after years of fighting congestive heart failure, diabetes and renal failure.  (She was 63)
  • In 2010, my step-brother, Randy, died after years of fighting congestive heart failure. (He was 43)

And now, I’ve lost my sister, Marie, (age 42) to renal failure, congestive heart failure, and diabetes.

Marie just stopped breathing early Saturday morning.  One moment she’s sitting on the edge of the bed, talking to her partner. The next she is gone. In the blink of an eye your life can completely change and look different than it has the last 42 years of your life.

I wrote recently about the extreme love-extreme hate relationship Marie and I have had our entire lives.  How I wanted to deck her and hug her all within the space of a nano-second.

I posted on Facebook on Friday evening how extremely thankful I was feeling that night. Saturday morning I was reminded of how thankful I was that I had been in Indiana the week before and had made the extra trip to visit with Marie and tell her just how much I love her and how very proud I was of her for all the positive changes she was making in her life.

I’m so glad I hugged her and didn’t deck her.

As I sat at her bedside Saturday night and Sunday morning, all I could think about was my little sister, healthy and whole when we were little. Of the extreme aggravation she gave everyone. Of the trouble I got into with her. Of watching her twirl a rifle for all it was worth. Of the great joy I felt when I got to hold her babies, Adam and Angel, when they were born.

Life happens fast. Tell someone you love them today. Don’t wait for tomorrow. There may not be a tomorrow.

And Lord, can you give my heart a break from breaking for a while?


Whether We Like It or Not March 23, 2011

Filed under: Personal Discoveries — Rediscovering Tina @ 1:03 pm
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“Whether we like it or not, we will obey the Lord our God to whom we send you with our plea.” ~ Jeremiah 42:6

 There’s a cute story about a little boy who was sent to sit in the corner for misbehaving. While sitting on his chair, hugging his teddy bear, he proclaimed to the wall, “I may be sitting down on the outside but I am standing up on the inside!”

I’ve discovered in the past few years that while I want you to see me following Jesus on the outside, on the inside I rebel and argue the whole time. I am a stubborn, bull-headed, ornery child when it comes to my relationship with God. I am sitting down on the outside but I am throwing a massive hissy fit on the inside!

I don’t like the things He does. Or doesn’t do. Or allows. I know He has blessed me with my heart’s desire and more with the new life Steve and I have now… but did it have to be so gut-wrenchingly awful to get to this place? I know my Mom is completely healed now and free of pain and sickness… but couldn’t God have healed her here and allowed us a few more years with her? I know he called me to a church in Wisconsin… but why couldn’t I do more?

“Whether we like it or not, we will obey the Lord our God”

Whether or not I like the circumstances of a situation I didn’t ask for and consequences I didn’t deserve, I am responsible for obeying God in my life.

Whether or not I like the fact that my Mom was taken from me way too soon, I am responsible for obeying God in my life.

Whether or not I like the fact that I have no idea what God has planned next for my life, I am responsible for obeying God in my life.

Even when I am standing up on the inside.

The truly amazing thing about God is that he loves me, temper tantrums and all. He isn’t shocked by my stubbornness, nor is he afraid to go head-to-head with me. He is worthy of praise and honor and glory.

Whether we like it or not.


Kickin’ Butt March 8, 2011

Filed under: Family Discoveries,Post a Day — Rediscovering Tina @ 9:44 pm
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Marie and I have had a love/hate relationship for the past 43 years. She was born when I was two years old, and from the moment she could grab a handful of my hair, we’ve been at each other’s throats.

Most people find it strange that two sisters would actually try to knock the other into another stratosphere. Fairytale images of sisters abound of  slumber parties and doing each others’ hair and telling each other secrets.  Little curls in dresses and curls playing with their baby dolls and pretending to beautiful princesses.

*Those of you who know me are rolling on the floor in hysterics at the thought of me with a baby doll right now, aren’t you?*

Not so for Marie and me. We pulled each other’s hair, threw mud pies (with a few strategic pebbles packed in) and ran over each other with our bikes. It took nothing more than Marie breathing my air for us to end up rolling around on the ground pounding the crap out of each other.

One particularly fun day, we were sitting on her bed and before I knew it, I was on the floor with her straddling me and rubbing my face raw with a wad of notebook paper! Talk about paper cuts! ‘

Tis okay. I got her back one day when we were staging a fight while waiting on the school bus and she zigged when she should have zagged and I socked her right in the eye.

I had a scratched face. She had a black eye. All’s fair in love and sisters.

The flip side of this complicated relationship is while Marie is still the only human I ever have fleeting thoughts of sending to the moon with a great right hook (with the exception of an urgent care doctor or two), she is also one of the first people I would lay my life down for.

Numerous times I took the punishment for something we both know she did. Today it’s called enabling… at the time I called it protecting her. When others threatened to kick her butt I was the first in line to kick theirs.

Right now, kidney failure is threatening my little sister and I’m at a loss as to how to protect her from this one. She’s made ginormous strides in becoming healthier to be considered for a transplant, but after losing 100+ pounds, the transplant folks tell her she has to lose more. They mentioned gastric bypass which she’s already been told she can’t have because she has so little kidney function.

So she feels like she is back at square one even though she has mastered 500. She feels defeated when she has so much to rejoice over. She feels she still hasn’t done enough when she is doing all that is humanly possible.

I feel like I want to kick kidney failure’s butt and hug my sister.


I Paid You for That? Part Deaux March 7, 2011

Filed under: Personal Discoveries,Post a Day — Rediscovering Tina @ 4:39 pm
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Remember my bit of whining from a week or so ago about how I hate urgent care doctors? Hate may not even start to cover the range of emotions I experience with these “experts”. I have come to realize this is why my friend, Doyle always reminds me that they call them a doctor’s PRACTICE for a reason!

As you recall (if you don’t, you can read it here ), I went to urgent care at the urgent urging of my husband, father, co-workers and the neighbors who could hear me coughing up a lung every night, only to be told what I already knew. “Just wait it out”.

So, I waited it out and ended up at a different urgent care on Saturday because not only did I cough up a lung, but the rest of my organs were burning from the inside out due to the 101.8 temp I couldn’t shake. Coughing, wheezing, fever, aches, burning lungs and chest from the non-stop coughing. Yippee!

As Steve and I sat in the little room waiting for my chest x-ray results, I thought: “If they tell me to wait any longer I could be dead.” (I wonder if this was the plan all along?)

Enter urgent care practicer with this astute observation: “The x-rays are clear so far, but because you are obviously getting worse, there must be something more to it.”


Practicer told me that I could be on the cusp of pneumonia (Yes. Steve had his hand ready to put over my mouth so I could still say with a straight face that I was once a preacher!) so he gave me lots of antibiotics and codeine cough syrup which has put me to sleep for four days straight.  And guess what?

I am starting to feel better!

See there? All it took was waiting three weeks.


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