“Ask for what you want. You just might get it. And. . .”

Thoughts to Ponder – August 6, 2015

Two days ago I was scheduled to assist at a local hospital blood drive. I had an earlier appointment so arrived two hours late. I found the canteen in a mess: no cups, no napkins and no recycling container. I asked my co-worker where those things were. She said, “This is all they gave us.” This was true. The Red Cross only provides the basics and the host site provides the nice touches.

I walked across the hall and asked a cafeteria worker if we could have some paper cups. She walked into the store room and returned with an unopened bag of plastic cups, just the right size for a little ice and a can of juice. I then went to the dining room accessory table and grabbed a stack of napkins. Then I asked one of the blood drive staff if he had an extra plastic bag I could use for recycling. He produced the perfect size bag. At the end of the afternoon I had a full bag of cans and cardboard containers to bring home and add to my bin.

My co-worker said, “You’re a miracle worker. You just show up and we get everything we need.” I replied, “I’m not a miracle worker. I just asked if these items were available.”

While I was slightly bemused by the incident, I also felt sad for her. I used to be that way. When I was a child we were poor, so I learned quickly not to ask for things. My parents provided what they could and otherwise I did without. They also told me not to ask others for things because it was not polite. When I married and was dissatisfied with our living conditions an officer’s wife told me, “If they Army had wanted your husband to have a wife, they would have issued him one.”

A few years later I needed a new pair of shoes. My Keds were getting holes in the canvas. Finally, in frustration, I asked my husband why he didn’t buy me a new pair. He said, “Why didn’t you ask? I thought you liked wearing them that way.”

After still more years I was hired at a new job and given a tiny cubicle with a wobbly chair and a few worn out desk accessories. I used my own pens and pencils. One day I happened to ask my co-worker how she had acquired such nice office supplies when I had such poor quality items. She walked me over to the office supply cabinet and told me to help myself. I did and she helped me carry my new supplies to my cubicle. When she saw my chair, she walked with me to the supervisor to ask for a new chair, which I received within a day. It turned out that my cubicle had been empty for some time and people had just gotten in the habit of dumping their old things in there when they got new. Ask for what you want was beginning to soak into my brain.

A few years ago my mom (about 4 ft. 11 in.) and I went to a public event and thought we’d chosen a good viewing area. Just as the program was starting, a few very large men stepped in front of us and blocked our view. My mother became angry and said, “I guess he doesn’t know he makes a better door than a window.” I told her that they probably didn’t even notice us since we were smaller than they. She replied, “Well, they could have looked around before they barged in.” I tapped one of the men on the arm and asked, “Can my mother stand in front of you. She’s short and can’t see.” The man smiled and said, “Of course, and you come up here too. I’m sorry. We just didn’t notice you standing there.” I thanked him, we moved to the front and enjoyed the program.

Learning to ask for what I want was a long, slow process. But it works, even when what you want is intangible. I’ve learned to ask my Higher Power for things like safety, arriving where I’m going on time, friendship and even groceries. All are provided when I remember to ask. A lesson from the Bible says simply, “Ask and it shall be given.”

However, we cannot forget that asking is a two-part process. The second part is saying, “Thank you.” All people and entities enjoy giving to people who appreciate their efforts and tend to feel used when those who ask don’t express gratitude.

Thank you for reading and commenting.

Spirit,

Thank you for giving me these words. I hope they will help someone find the courage to ask for what he/she needs.

And, so it is.

© by Sharon D. Dillon, August 6, 2015

Sharon D. Dillon, energywriter@cox.net, http://energywriter.me “Laugh your way to peace, love and joy”

Chesapeake Bay Writers, Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop, Southern Humorists, National Society of Newspaper Columnists

Author of “Twins! Oh no!,” one of 14 stories in The Book of Mom: Reflections of Motherhood with Love, Hope and Faith, published by booksyoucantrust.com. Available in print and e-format at Amazon.com

Twins – oh no!

A video, posted at http://www.mommylite.com by Sarah Maizes, triggered a flashback to when my twins were born. So, I’m taking this opportunity to inflict, excuse me, share my memories with you.

The year was 1967 and Husband/Daddy was on his second tour in Vietnam. His first tour was when son was born. That man had great timing!

I was very pregnant and wondering if the baby would ever be born. No sonograms back then, just x-rays that doctors used judiciously on pregnant moms. I awoke at 5:35 a.m. needing to use the “necessary.” When that task was completed I felt a sharp contraction. After 30 minutes I called the doctor and my parents, waking them all from a sound sleep. Mom drove me to the hospital while Dad drove my three-days-less-than-18-months-old livewire son to his aunt’s for day care.

I checked in and was given papers to sign. “You expect me to sign my name? I can barely breathe much less hold a #$%^pen!”

The staff put me in a labor room with another woman who was sitting calmly reading a magazine. Not knowing if she was a “first timer” and not wanting to frighten her, I kept my lips tightly sealed. No moans or groans, much less screams, came from my half of the room.

After a few minutes the nurse wheeled me into the delivery room and expected me to move myself from bed to delivery table. Was she nuts? If I couldn’t write how could I move my overblown body from one horizontal position to another?

Very soon a healthy baby girl slid out and was retrieved by the nurse who began doing nurse things to her. The doctor began palpating my abdomen with what felt like boxing gloves. “Please stop, that hurts,” I pleaded.

“Just hold on a little bit. You know the placenta has to come out,” the doctor said. “Oh, my God! Here comes another one!”

Healthy Baby Girl B arrived just four minutes after Baby Girl A, both within two hours of my first contraction. She was also retrieved by the nurse who did more nurse things. Then the overly-cheerful b***ch laid a wrapped baby on each arm and asked me if I was happy to have twins. I just lay there looking from one baby to the other. Comprehension was not quite there.

Mom related that the doctor approached her in the waiting room with shaky fingers trying to light a cigarette. “It’s twin girls, Mrs. Dillon.”

Then the fun really started. While I was serenely sitting in the hospital feeding BG A or BG B, Mom was busy trying to scrounge additional baby equipment and clothes.

Her other job was notifying Daddy of the births. She visited the American Red Cross office which duly sent a telegram. The next day they called Mom to tell her that Daddy could not be found and was suspected to be missing in action, but they would send a second message by another route. This message was confirmed and Mom could once again breathe. There was no way she was going to tell me that he was missing in action.

Three days later I received a letter from Husband/Daddy. Panic was evident in his pen strokes, “Did you have two babies or four?” He had received both telegrams.

Going home day had its own excitement. Another aunt was holding one daughter while my mother held the other. Big Brother having been told he had two baby sisters, burst through the front door and ran to see the babies. First one girl cried, then the other. Big Brother looked from one to the other and said, “Uh-oh!” then ran to his room. A new toddler sized football eased his fears somewhat.

I don’t think he’s ever gotten over the shock.

When Mom asked which baby she was holding Aunt replied, “This one, because you’re holding that one.”

Oh, the other mom in the labor room? That was her eighth baby.

 © Sharon Dillon, July 15, 2010