In The Right Place At The Right Time


Waves of white foam lapped the edge of the sand before I noticed her. Upon her back she carried a dark greenish-brown and black shell of hard. Her back legs of two were elephant-like with paddles in front for digging, I presumed. Oblivious to the world surrounding her, Mama Turtle began to cross the width of the beach. Secrets of life-to-be were nestled within the softer inside of her.

Mama Turtle inched forward on a lengthy journey where a small crowd of MAN gathered ‘round her. When approaching too close, she stopped in damp tracks, not moving or looking back. Man retreated. Once safety was assured, Mama Turtle forged ahead.

With her hard shell of dark greenish-brown and black, Mama Turtle focused on a specific area of protected land just off the beach and over the dunes. Hills and valleys of buttery beige called to her. Grasses of wild grew and blew in the breeze. Tall with tips of emerald-green and colored in lime swayed, blowing breaths from the sea.

Watching Mama Turtle scale a small dune of sand was akin to Man climbing Mt. Everest. With every inch forward, sand flew up and above, to the right and to the left, before sprinkling back down to the ground. Mama Turtle struggled, forcing her heavy shelled body inches closer to her destination through the instinct of motherhood. Once she reached the summit, she stopped to munch on lavender wildflowers near blades of grass, low to the ground.  A few moments later, she disappeared over the first of the protected dunes. Once again, sand of dry rained from the clear of the sky, and although I could not see her, I knew that she would make it.

The gathering of Man had dispersed. I was the only one who stood on the beach during an early sunrise to witness nature’s miracle from beginning to end which spanned about 45 minutes. Earlier that morning, pictures were snapped from my balcony before I skipped out, unfortunately forgetting my camera phone. Still, the entire scene will forever play in my mind like a National Geographic Special.

In the right place at the right time….

 

 *Gopher Turtles are a dry land turtle protected by the Endangered Species Act. Often found in Florida, they can live up to 80 years. Gopher Turtles nest in burrows, laying 3-15 eggs the size of ping-pong balls. Only 5-10% survive.

http://www.defenders.org/gopher-tortoise/basic-facts

 **Sunrise and Beach pictures copyright, Kim Gosselin, 2016.  Gopher Turtle photographs copyrighted and protected by individual photographers, courtesy of Google Chrome.

 

Miniature Miracles


A few days ago, I was invited by my dear friend to be a guest at a charity luncheon and fashion show, benefiting one of our leading hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICU). An annual function, tremendous effort is put forth by a group of tireless volunteers who work to make everything perfect. Donations of graceful blooms are gathered together with assorted gift baskets that hold everything from hand-made jewels to trips to Disneyland. All are proudly displayed on tables of long, draped in berry and gold. Baskets are beautifully wrapped in clear cellophane, where admiring bidders drool while raising funds to save innocent babies born too soon.

Not long ago, another friend of mine suddenly found herself in the midst of a hospital NICU. There, she came to know it intimately. In the beginning, she was shocked with pain and grief. The feeling hit her, unexpectedly. Fast, like a freight train running off its tracks. At the time, my friend’s daughter was six months pregnant with twin boys. Snips and snails and puppy dog tails….Quietly, God whisked one tiny soul off to heaven, leaving behind his fragile brother within the quiet of his mother’s womb.

My friend’s daughter lay in a sterile hospital bed, following doctor’s orders while praying to bring her last little lamb to a full term of “40 weeks.” Tears flowed for the infant angel that had already left an emptiness inside of her. Still, each morning she woke without having delivered, she whispered tears of thankfulness to God as well as both of her sons. One unborn, the other in heaven above.

There may be risk factors or possible causes of premature labor, but very little anyone can do to prevent it. Mothers should never blame themselves. Only God decides when a baby comes into this world. http://www.marchofdimes.org. Still too soon, my friend’s first grandson was born weighing not much more than a pound of butter. Yet, he was breathing and alive! Doctors and nurses rushed him to the NICU, where the child of innocence fought for his life. The whole of his family spent the next three months on a hospital roller coaster ride, thankful for each breath the fragile child took, each beat his tiny heart drummed.

Truly, God works miracles. Through the skill a fine team of pediatric physicians and neonatal specialists together with nurses who surely wear hidden wings under their scrubs, the day finally came for my friend’s grandson to go home. There, an extended family eagerly waited to give the three-month-old newborn more loving care than any child could imagine. Today, the little toddler of curly hair and smiles of pearls is exactly where he needs to be on all of the doctor’s charts! He’s a darling boy loved by all and everyone.

When God’s seed is planted within a woman’s womb, a mother’s love is instinctual, pure and undeniable. It exists the moment she suspects a tiny life-force grows within her. She glows from that moment on, knowing she carries a miniature miracle deep inside while fingertips gently caress a growing belly. Friends and families get excited, fathers support their wives while future sibling’s eyes grow wide with wonder.

Yes, a bouncing baby boy. Truly a gift from God to be forever thankful for…..

*With many thanks to the physicians and nurses in NICU’s everywhere for saving little lives. Bless you each and every day.

premature baby pic

Miracles in the Merry Month of May


A short time ago a new resident moved into a little house hanging from a tree outside my office window. It is so pleasant to know that my new neighbor is near. Whenever I glance outside my turret window glass, there is a tiny gray house trimmed in blue with a “Welcome” sign for me to see.

Before pulling into my garage over the weekend, I noticed tail feathers of royal blue and black sticking outside the entrance of a bungalow. In the past, the round of the door was clear and open, allowing no feathers to be seen. Often, the beak of Mama Bird could be seen slightly sticking through an invisible screen. There I presume, she sat on a nest keeping her gorgeous blue eggs warm until it was time….

Parking my car quickly, I ran over to the tree where the little house hung for me to see. So excited at the thought of what was to be! Grasping a rough gray branch to steady myself, I climbed atop the flat surface of a limestone boulder. Swinging slightly under a canopy of freshly blooming leaves smiled the familiar Welcome sign.

Swoosh! Tail feathers abruptly flew away. My heart pounded while I held my breath…1-2-3, before I squinted to see. The whole of the house was dark and quiet to the outside world, surrounded by wall to wall warmth. All hand-made by God’s miracle of nature. One tiny beak had created an artist’s masterpiece to prepare for birth. How many days had it taken her? How many hours or minutes or seconds? How long had she labored before and afterward? https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Eastern_Bluebird/lifehistory

Too dim to capture a photograph, I can only describe what my eyes did see. Three itty-bitty newborns, barely hours old, scrunched together in order to remain warm. They were wrinkly, bald and beautiful. Tufts of fluff seemed to be patched here and there. On top of their heads, near wings and underneath. Their oversized eyes remained shut while they slept like any newborns would. I was in awe!

After going back inside to work, I opened a window. Just then, Mama bird landed on a branch with a wiggly worm between her beak dangling in chestnut color. Her newborn’s first meal perhaps? Seconds later, she flew to join Father Bird who waited patiently above, before they chirped cheerfully.

Since then, I’ve seen the parents every day, working together to feed their brood. Their songs greet me morning, noon, and night in a lyrical melody that captures my heart.

Miracles in the Merry Month of May.

*three photos to the left courtesy of Google Chrome

The Meaning and Magic of Christmas


What does Christmas mean to you?  For me, it’s a time of faith, remembrance and celebration.  The story of Jesus’s birth together with all that He represents.  Our savior, my belief in miracles, angels from above and of course the magic of the season.  A time when life is beautiful and all that is good in the world comes to be.

Last week, on Thursday, December 18th, I was busy writing my blog post “Traditions,” here in the comfort of my office space.  Outdoors, the morning had been blanketed with freshly fallen snow.  Deciding to stay cozy and warm, I wrapped myself in a fuzzy bathrobe of primary colored hearts.  If anyone peeked in the window, they’d see what looked to be a giant Valentine’s Day greeting card!  My hair was damp after a shower with strands falling from underneath a blue cotton towel.  Each time I took a sip from a “Favorite Sister” coffee mug, two or three curls in different shades of blond fell into puddles of cream.

“Ting-a-Ling.”  Sounds of my cell phone were ringing.  Almost singing.  An interruption.  Glancing down, I knew this call could be important.  My son was on the other line.  “I don’t want you to worry, Mom,” he said.  “She’s in labor.”  He went on to say the labor stopped.   The doctor was probably going to send them home.

Moving a few things to the side of my desk, I gathered my thoughts once again.  On the glass of my half-moon desk, a red stapler to the left.  Stacks of books to my right with yellow sticky notes and a pen of blue ink on top of a legal pad lined in green.  A shiny new mouse in jet black resting on top of a pull-out drawer.  Click-click.

Half an hour later, my cell phone rang again.  Call me crazy, but even the ring tone sounded different this time.  Without glancing down, I picked it up to answer.  A ‘trying-to-be-calm’ voice was on the other end.   Babies of two were coming at one!

My heart began to race together with the whole of my body.  Looking at my desk clock, I had exactly one hour to get to the hospital.  Pressing “Send” on my hopefully finished blog post, I dressed and drove to the hospital, arriving five minutes before surgery was scheduled.

There was my son, dressed in scrubs, looking taller and older than I ever remembered him to be.  Within minutes, I knew the big of his heart would forever slay a dragon for his soon-to-be angels without wings.

At 1:31 and 1:32 on December 18th God gave me the best Christmas presents I could ever wish for.  Miracles to be sure.

 

Payton Camille weighed in at 4lbs. 13 oz. while her bigger sister Olivia Lynn weighed 5lbs. 8 oz.  Both are 18 ½ inches long.  Born premature, they were immediately whisked off to the Special Care Nursery.  Finally, I was able to hold them yesterday.  No better feeling in all of this world.

Mom is coming home today, with her precious babies following by Christmas Day.

This is the true meaning and magic of Christmas.  Celebrating the birth of Jesus.  A time when life is beautiful and all that is good in the world comes to be.

 

 

 

Miniature Miracles


A few days ago, I was invited by my dear friend to be a guest at a charity luncheon and fashion show, benefiting one of our leading hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICU). An annual function, it takes a great effort to put together by many tireless volunteers. Donations of graceful blooms are gathered together with assorted gift baskets that hold everything from hand-made jewels to trips to Disneyland. All are proudly displayed on tables of long, draped in berry and gold. Baskets are beautifully wrapped in clear cellophane, where admiring bidders drool while raising funds to save innocent babies born too soon.

Not long ago, another friend of mine suddenly found in the midst of the NICU. There, she came to know it intimately.  In the beginning, she was shocked with pain and grief. The feeling hit her, unexpectedly.  Fast, like a freight train running off its tracks. At the time, my friend’s daughter was six months pregnant with twin boys.  Snips and snails and puppy dog tails….Quietly, God whisked one tiny soul off to heaven, leaving behind his fragile brother within the quiet of his mother’s womb.

My friend’s daughter lay in a sterile hospital bed to follow doctor’s orders while praying to bring her last little lamb to a full term of “40 weeks.” Tears flowed for the infant angel that had already left an emptiness inside of her. Still, each morning she woke without having delivered, she whispered tears of “Thanks,” to God as well as both of her sons. One unborn, the other in heaven above.

There may be several different reasons for premature labor, but most often nothing a mother can do to prevent it, according to the March of Dimes http://www.marchofdimes.org. In the end, my friend’s first grandson was born weighing not much more than a pound of butter. Yet, he was breathing and alive! Doctors and nurses rushed him to the NICU, where the child of innocence fought for his life. The whole of his family spent the next three months on a hospital roller coaster ride, thankful to God for each breath their fragile child took, each beat his tiny heart drummed.

Truly, God works miracles. Through the skill a fine team of pediatric physicians and neonatal specialists together with nurses  who have hidden wings, the day came for my friend’s grandson to go home. There, an extended family eagerly waited to give the three-month-old newborn more loving care than any child could imagine. And, today, the little toddler of curly hair and shy smiles has caught up to where he needs to be on all of the doctor’s charts! He’s a darling boy loved by all and everyone!

When God’s seed is planted within a woman’s womb, a mother’s love is instinctual, pure and undeniable. It exists the moment she suspects a tiny life-force grows within her. Words are whispered while fingertips gently touch a growing belly. Extended families get excited, fathers support their wives and future sibling’s eyes grow wide with wonder. Whatever happens in the future is part of life, a bend in the road that must be taken sometimes while wiping tears awaySomehow everything works out.  It’s all part of God’s plan together with the gift of life, I guess….

*With many thanks to the physicians and nurses in NICU’s everywhere for saving little lives. Bless you each and every day.

premature baby pic