Thursday, April 28, 2011

My Twin Sister Pretends to be me with my Date

Twins can be Sneaky

I was a ninth grader attending Grandview Middle School. I was dating a nice boy that I'd had a crush on since the 7th grade. Dating at this age basically meant, meeting up at activities like: rollerskating, basketball and football games or co-ed parties which were supervised by parents.

Tom caught me at my locker after lunch one day and asked me if I'd meet him at the Mound Highschool basketball game the following Friday night. I excitedly accepted his offer and we discussed details. I would meet him around 6:30PM in the upper corner of the bleachers where the ninth graders always sat.

I thought about the date with Tom all week long. I was having a hard time focusing on anything else, like my homework. What would I wear? My hip hugger pants or my bell bottom corduroys? What would he wear? I loved when he wore that t-shirt with the peace sign on it. His arms looked so big and strong in that. I hope he wears his brute cologne, it smells so sexy. Would he put his arm around me? I had butterflies in my stomach just thinking about him and our date night.

The week dragged on and I felt like the weekend would never come. Finally, my alarm went off, it was Friday. I took a shower and got ready for school. I felt a little under the weather and had the sniffles but nothing that would stop me from going to school and going on my big date. As the school day went on, I was feeling worse and worse. When I got home, I fell into my bed and decided to take a little cat nap. Hopefully resting for an hour would make me feel better. When I woke up, I felt even sicker. I told my twin sister that I didn't think I could go to the game. I asked her if she would let Tom know I wasn't feeling good and would call him tomorrow. It was really depressing watching Laura getting ready for the game. Why did I have to get sick tonite?

I realized I was starting to feel better and by 7:15 I asked my dad if he'd drop me off at the game. I walked into the gymnasium and started for the bleachers. My eyes were searching for Tom and the rest of the gang. Half way up the bleachers I could make out another girl sitting next to my boyfriend. "Does he have his arm around her?" I was freaking out. Once I got up close and looked, there was my twin sister sitting next to Tom. By this time, Laura and her friends that knew about the trick, started giggling. I told Tom that Laura was sitting next to him, not me. His face turned beet red as Laura got up and I took my rightful place. I still hear about the trick Laura played on Tom and I at every class reunion.

© 2011 Linda Rogers

Saturday, April 9, 2011

My Dog's Sixth Sense Warned Me

My Furry Angel

Although I wasn't there at the time Joey was adopted, he and I became best of friends and were connected at the hip. I had moved into my twin sister's home when I was diagnosed with lung cancer. Too sick to work, he and I spent every waking moment together. He made the difficult days of chemo and radiation tolerable with his kisses and loyal companionship. He often laid in bed with me especially when the chemo had proved to be too much and I didn't want to be alone. My furry friend even accompanied me to radiation once a week. All the patients fell in love with him and looked forward to his smiling face in the car. A kiss from Joey gave them a needed boost before and after their treatment.

Chemotherapy was getting really rough for me as the drugs they put in your veins have a cumulative effect. Simply put, this means that with every treatment, you become sicker and sicker. Unfortunately, I was one of those people that became incredibly nauseous from it. I couldn't hold down most foods for the life of me, except for crackers and icecream. I was on a medication for the naseau which didn't help and gave me constipation.

My older brother Dan was over, helping Laura pull out patio furniture for the summer season. I was very weak from the several weeks of chemo. I noticed Joey was following very close behind me all day. He seemed upset and I tried to figure out what was wrong. He even tried to get in the shower with me that morning and he's usually scared to death of water. Till this day, we have to bring him to petco to get bathed. I figured he sensed I was weak and wanted to be there for me if I fell. (Can you tell I think my dog is a genius?)

I was sitting on the throne and realized I was very constipated. I was in excruciating pain and felt light-headed. I got up slowly and walked out to the deck to get Laura. I said, "Laura, something is wrong, will you follow me back to the bathroom?" She noticed immediately that I was white as a ghost. The last thing I remember was Laura and Joey looking at me on the toilet. My next memory was hearing Laura screaming, "oh my God, Linda, please wake up." My darling sister was attempting to throw me over her shoulder. As I came to, I said, "don't even think about it sis, put me down and just walk me to my room." I asked Laura what had happened and she explained that I passed out when I sat on the toilet. She nervously told me that I quit breathing and she caught me as I passed out and slumped over. She was screaming for me to wake up. I was now laying in Laura's arms on my bed until the paramedics came. Three EMT's walked in my room and started assessing the situation. As I started explaining what had happened, my beautiful dog jumped on the bed and layed his head in the nape of my neck. The two women and one man were very choked up seeing Joey's display of loyalty and love. Joey knew all along that something wasn't right with me. He whined as I was lifted into the ambulance.

The medical term for what happened to me is called, "neurogenic shock or circulatory collapse." It is brought on when the body is in severe physical or emotional pain. I had never known what it was like to be constipated until this event. Let me tell you, constipation is not for sissies.

To this day, Joey and I have a deep connection that can never be broken. He and I are best friends and I can't imagine life without him.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Asking Forgiveness for Bullying a Classmate

Kid's Can be so Cruel

Bullies have been around forever, at least since children have been gathering together. When most of us think about bullies, we imagine that big strong boy that intimidates and picks on everyone. This is not the only face of bullies. Bullies can actually be typical people that are usually very kind and loving. Here is my story of how I became involved in bullying someone in middle school. A memory which I am very ashamed about.

I was a middle schooler and riding the bus to school. I was sitting next to one of my best buddies and chatting away. About Half way to school I heard some commotion going on behind me. It was three kids teasing Linda. Linda was moderately developmentally disabled. She went to school with the rest of us but everyone knew she was slow. She usually kept to herself except for a good friend of hers. His name was Mike and he was also developmentally disabled. He was also integrated into the school system but went to special classes. That is where he met his good friend Linda.

I saw that three kids were trying to make Linda eat a sandwich that had fallen out of someone's lunchbox and onto the dirty floor of the bus. Eventually, it wasn't just the three people bullying Linda but now many people were getting involved. Several kids, now began yelling for Linda to eat the sandwich. The chanting became louder and louder. My buddy and I were feeling uncomfortable about this scene and sad for Linda but we just sat there and watched. Soon, the whole bus was cheering for Linda to eat the sandwich. Peer pressure in middle school is real and Lisa and I soon found ourselves uttering the words, "Eat the sandwich, eat the sandwich." That poor girl did eat the dirty grimey sandwich. I would be haunted by this despicible event for many years. That is until...

I was a highschool senior and enjoying everything about being seventeen. One spring day, my friends and I went to a local, fast food joint. Hardee's had become a place that many highschoolers hung out after school and on weekends. This particular day as I waited in line, someone caught my attention. I had to look close, but soon realized it was Linda, the girl from middleschool that was so shamelessly bullied. My heart sank as I recalled that day on the school bus. Here she was now, cashier at Hardee's and doing quite well. My mind was reeling about whether to say anything to Linda. Did she even remember me? I almost burst when I got to the front of the line. I ordered a hamburger and fries and she politely thanked me when I gave her the money. I couldn't hold it in anymore. I said, "Linda, I don't know if you remember me but...Just then, Linda interrupted me. She said, "I remember you Linda, we went to middleschool together," and smiled at me. I told her I was very ashamed that I teased her on the bus that day back in 7th grade. By the look on her face, I could see she remembered the event I spoke of. I said, "Linda, will you forgive me, I was just a foolish kid?" She didn't even hesitate and said, "yes, I forgive you." I was very choked up at this sacred moment, to be forgiven. Before we said our goodbye's, she said she wanted to introduce me to her husband. She ran back to the kitchen and up walked this good looking young man with a name tag on his shirt that said, "Manager." Linda, this is my husband Mike.

I walked out of that Hardee's, humbled and more grown up. Linda and Mike taught me so much that day.

"We achieve inner health only through forgiveness-the forgiveness not only of others but also of ourselves." Joshua Loth Liebman

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Spring Reflections

Warm breezes wrap me like a baby in a blanket
filling my senses with a glorious sweet smell
Once a dull brown hue becomes a beautiful bright green
as nature's whisper becomes a mighty yell
Flowers wake from long slumbers
opening their petals to the sky
Birds journey back to summer homes
dancing, chirping, long into the nigh
The swamp makes a grand entrance
with sights and sounds galore
the magical voice of the croaking frog
fills me with peace and wanting more
I hear a sad song, bittersweet to the ear
the bird is speaking a haunting shrill
is it a love song or a eulogy, I do not know
I do surmise it's the pleading of the whippoorwill
Buds pop up like a jack in the box
and like a little girl, I watch in awe
as nature springs back to life 
and winters cold grip begins to thaw