“Do it”

“Do It.”

just my dad

My Dad

It is time to make sure that your New Years resolution is in place and you’re not going to let the year go by without following it through. It is almost the end of January 2013 and have you taken action yet? Have you put the foot forward to begun to work your plan? If not, now is the time to “Do it”.

I am a great fan of Dr. Peale and he always encouraged people to take action 365 days of the year. It was his idea that consisted of just these two words “Do it”. “These two words can generate enormous energy” he said.

I have some words that mean a lot to me. Integrity: it means completeness; to be sound. Competitive: it means rivalry in business. Hardworking: it means energetic, effort exerted to do or make something. These are words that describe my dad. He was laid to rest this week, after a long battle with cancer. His children of four took care of him for about 10 weeks 24/7. He was proud of his kids as he would talk to the hospice nurses and say “I wouldn’t be here at home, if it weren’t for my kids”. They thought it so cute since we are all in our 50’s and 60’s and still considered us his kids. I guess “Kids” has no age limit. As the pastor described him these words were used. He was always stepping ahead to “Do it”. Taking a risk to improve upon what he had for himself and his family.

Dad and me

Dad and me

I was only six months old when I contracted polio and from that day forward I just had to “Do it”. It would be necessary for me to gain courage from my parents, since I was so young, to learn to “Do it”. I doubt that I or my parents every thought of it as a New Years’ resolution. I think I just learned that to get ahead and be normal I would just plain and simply have to learn to dig in hard and “Do it”. I know it was a great financial burden to have my health to take care of. I never heard a grumble. I know I caused worry with all the surgeries I needed to improve my mobility. I never heard a grumble. Now as people read my book “All the Steps I Have Taken” I am hearing comments like “from what I know of him from Linda’s book, he was a man of faith, a man who shouldered work and responsibility, a man who loved his family and friends, and a man who put service above self.”

My dad told me he could never read my book. It had too many reminders of things he didn’t want to remember. I responded “that at age 87 all you have are loads of memories”. He said he could see who I was each and every day. He didn’t need to read it in a book. He carried many secrets with him that he just couldn’t express. He will be missed and I will thank him for making me the person I am today. He “Did it”.

The secret is to just tell the people that you love that you love them. Just “Do It”.

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Living with Polio

It could happen at any age, it didn’t matter if you were 10, 20 or 30+. The virus would attack the body with a fever, headache, fatigue and sore throat. For many a full recovery was made and nothing went beyond this point. Since I was so young when I contracted the virus I couldn’t tell my mother what was wrong when I was so ill at 6 months.  My mother visited our local Doctor every day for a week before he directed my parents to take me to St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester, Minnesota. From that day to now I have lived my life with the effects of infantile paralysis (polio).

polio, crutches, all the steps,

Linda at the age of 4

As a young child I learned to navigate my way around with the use of braces and crutches.  I learned to walk after being admitted as a patient for therapy and taught how to use braces and crutches. I was so young that I don’t remember this process, I’ve only been told and shown pictures. When I look at pictures from the past, I’ve noticed that I always had a contagious smile on my face and was always happy despite my challenges!

Polio, crutches, survivor, all the steps

Linda at the age of 10. In the background you can see a small remaining section of the fence.

I grew up on the family farm. My parents put a fence around the yard to keep me safe from machinery and other farm equipment.  It didn’t take long for them to realize that they were not going to be able to fence me in, because I used my crutches to reach the latch and undo the fence and I was off. They later took the fence down, and decided to let me try and do anything I wanted to do, without limitations.  As an adult I am so grateful that they let me exceed my boundaries. I have never been afraid to try anything I thought I could accomplish.

Each summer entailed yet another surgery to improve my mobility. Every summer I would have surgery shortly after school was dismissed and I would spend the rest of the summer healing so I could return to school in the fall. Sometimes I would return to school still needing to use crutches. When I was 15 I had my last surgery to get rid of my last brace.  I was so excited to finally be able to go without braces on my legs.  Forrest Gump said. “If God wanted us all to be the same, he would have made all of us wear braces on our legs.”

polio, survivor, crutches, all the steps

Linda at the age of 15 with her grandpa Reimann and cousins Cheri & Barb

My journey has made no significant change. It is  still the same challenge everyday.  This is an update with a  corrected address for wordpress.

12 Days of Christmas-Epiphany

12 Days of Christmas – Epiphany

The loveliness of the season has been more than beautiful as all the trees have been covered with hoarfrost on these winter mornings. The temperatures have been just low enough to cause freezing of the dew or vapor causing the most wonderful visible horizon. Are you thankful for such beauty? Were you too busy to notice this gorgeousness with all the Christmas celebrating? I hope not.

Winter Morning

Winter Morning

Now that Advent has passed we enter in the next season of the Church. Epiphany is always January 6th. It isn’t often that we can celebrate Epiphany, on a Sunday, right on the 12th day after Christmas. Today, in our Sunday Church Worship, our Pastor Lindsay Stolen, had a well planned service for us to partake in the blessing of our homes this Epiphany season. By choice we could take a kit and mark our homes with the blessing. “20 + CMB + 13”. Christ is welcome in our homes. 20 stands for 2000, + is for Christ, bless this house, CMB stands for the names of the Magi Casper, Melchoir, and Balthasar. 2nd + for Christ to remain with us throughout the New Year, 13 stands for year thirteen.

Every Hymn we sang referenced the “Star” that led the Magi to Baby Jesus on Christmas Eve. We opened with “Shine, Jesus Shine”, one of my favorites. It was followed by “Bright and Glorious Is the Sky”.

                                                 Bright and glorious is the sky,
                                                Radiant are the heavens high,
                                                Where the golden stars were shining,
                                                and their rays to earth inclining.
                                                Beckoning us to heaven above,
                                                beckoning us to heaven above.

In Minnesota let us enjoy the winter season with shorter days and thank God for this time for relaxing and resting our mind, body and soul. As we enter 2013 let’s be reminded of the Scottish folk song “Auld Long Syne”, which means “days gone by” and move into the new year with God’s Love being our inspiration, his wisdom our guide, his truth be our light. And his peace is our comfort. Amen