|January 5, 2015
For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Erin Noller. My husband, Ben, daughter, Laura, and I have been coming to AVUMC for 7-8 years now, though we just became official members last month. I think that is something that bothered Ben, but me? Not so much. It is a technicality that was of no matter as my heart knew we were home the first time we attended. I drug my feet only because it felt strange to me to join as a family without our now 18 year old son, Nick. Oh yeah, and I battle a fear of big groups of people, a social anxiety that is far too limiting. Big groups of people with all eyes on me? Total yikes. I love to go to church as it fills that uuummph spot within me. It makes me a better person the following week. I love to talk to people I know. I don’t like to wear my name tag for some reason, sit towards the back, and tend to be the quiet one. As I type that phrase, “the quiet one”, I laugh to myself. I know that my family would like me to save some of that quiet for home. I taught preschool for forever, was a Child Care Facility Director, as well as a Licensing Specialist for the Division of Child Care with the State. I have spoken, guided, laughed with, and instructed many a group of people. I am not sure when the fear began, but with Michele’s gentle persuasion and love, I am changing.
Michele asked me several weeks ago to write a blog for the church website. I love to write, to listen to music, to walk, to look out the window at my beautiful birds, to ride my horse, walk my dog, and am typing this with the cat sooo in my way that it is just silly that I don’t move him. The “f” key on my computer is broken because of the stupid cats, but still I work around them. I have to make a conscious effort when typing that letter, but oh well. The things that “talk to me”, if you will, are pretty quiet. I write to Michele a lot and if there is any perspective that I can share that can help someone else, stir up an idea for the church, or just make someone think or smile, then it is the right thing to do.
The word “blog”. Hmmmmm. Now, that is not happening. That is just about the ugliest word I know. It sounds like a noise, or monster, or a kind of storm. This is not something I want any part of. I have tried many different names on for this, but seem to like “dance”. I hope you like it too, but if you do not, feel free to substitute any word that floats your boat. This entry will be longer than most so that you may better understand who I am and where I am coming from.
Going forward, you probably need to know a bit more about me in order to understand my perspective on things. I have Multiple Sclerosis and Epilepsy. Those are just diseases that I have been afflicted with, they in no way define who I am. One of the gifts these problems have given me is the gift of perspective. I have been given the “gift” of sarcasm as well, something that is thick throughout my family. My mom is the master. I find life to be funny in both senses of the word. People and things that happen make me laugh a lot. My family and animals crack me up. The way life plays out is also funny, but not always the laughing kind. Life is unpredictable, which is why it is so great to get out of bed each day.
The point of this dance is to look inward on this first day of 2015. Last year is done. Reflect on that and mull over the good and the bad. It was a hard one for me in many ways. I came closer to death than I can wrap my head around to this day. Ben and Laura found me in my driveway, face down, in a pool of blood. I was blue. I remember only feeling uncontrollably sleepy a few hours before. The next month is a blurr. I remember the face of one fireman trying to help me and the feeling of terror. Laura said I hit that guy. Seizures reset your brain and usually people go into a rage afterward. I guess it is your body’s way of rebooting. I remember looking up and seeing this hideous monkey looking down on me. I am not referring to the fireman, he was quite handsome as I recall. It was a balloon my brother, Colin, had brought me. I am not sure why you would bring your sister that scary thing when she is in ICU, but that is the type of sarcasm my family shares and I love him for it. So, last year I broke my septum, my nose, my cheek bone, and my ocular bone. I severed two tendons and ruptured a nerve in my foot. I had two surgeries, one to rebuild my face and one to remove a toe. Vanity went ka-put last year….another gift.
I am such a lucky, lucky, lucky person to have been given this chance to live. Thank you, God. Thank you. I get it. I get that you don’t get it back. You get one go-round, so make it matter. When your daughter asks you to tell her a story out of your mouth (a term Nick came up with as a baby. It means share. Share. Don’t read me someone else’s words, tell me yours. It can be something from your past, facts you know, a funny thing that happened today, or a fable from your imagination), seize the moment. The moments pass quickly and then they are gone.
There is one New Year’s Resolution, I will make it matter. This resolution leads to the next. Listen. I am going to spend more time listening. I mean to others. I mean to the sounds of nature around me. I mean listen to the quiet as well as the spoken. I hear God more these days, thanks to Michele and all of you. With all that is going on, the rushing here and there, the phone, the texting, email, facebook, meetings, children, and stresses of regular old life……I am going to make a conscious effort to listen. A wise friend of mine once said the world needs more listeners. I wonder if God told her that.
EMNoller copyright 2015