It All Comes Together


It All Comes Together

arrow-216852_640It's been a while since I've posted an update about the world of Parks-Coleman.  So much has happened in the past couple weeks and I'm not exactly sure where to start (start at the beginning, John) so let me try to give you the reader's digest version:

In my last post, I referred to the reason why I began volunteering for every opportunity that came my way and, although I volunteer for a specific reason, I also learned a lot along my path.  In the military, we have the SHARP program: Sexual Harassment And Rape Prevention = SHARP.  Back in 2008, the unit which I was assigned needed an NCO to become the SHARP representative (back then, the program was in it's infancy), so I volunteered (of course).  During my training, and subsequent responses to various Emergency Rooms and assisting victims with their transition to becoming survivors, I learned so much and was able to help people during the worst time in their lives.  Through compassion, knowledge, and support programs, being able to enable my brothers and sisters in the military (and their families) find their way through crisis, I was able to affect positive change in such negative situations.

There were many other duties that I volunteered for throughout my career and I value each of the opportunities to be there for those that needed someone (anyone) to listen, to assist, or to enable them to become resolute.  Although I couldn't be all things for all people (I have to keep some time for myself), I feel better in my heart for having left a trail of positivity behind me and through time those that I have helped have paid it forward.  Keep all this in mind as you read this latest update.

The company that I began working for (work as respite is sort of out-of-the-box thinking) is very supportive of people like us Caregivers.  I'm able to work as little or as often as I am capable and with a network for co-workers and friends in my area, being able to have a trusted person here for Yvonne is more than a blessing, to say the least.  It feels good to be working, to learn knew skills and to put all of my previous skills back to work.  In addition, I am working with many fellow Veterans which makes for great company and comfort in the work-place.

In the past two weeks, I've re-learned how to operate forklifts, and got re-certified in the process.  Two days ago, I got my certification for handling propane and yesterday...

Yesterday, all of my training, volunteer experience, and compassion that I carry as a result of the path that I have been traveling culminated in me being in the right place, at the right time, with all of the resources available to assist a customer that found herself in a horrible situation.  Every now and then, there are moments when you realize that you were put on the path you are traveling for a very specific reason and yesterday was one of those days.  Although I cannot give specific details, I can say that being able to enable someone, in the worst moment of her life and to have the resources at hand to make things happen, to be able to take some of the weight from her shoulders, and to give her a bit of light in a time of extreme darkness--that moment is why I spent all the time volunteering, training, and continuing on this path that I am traveling.  That single moment, when task and purpose come together to form a solution for someone in need, that is why I do what I do.

Things have been adventurous for Yvonne as well.  She's had more time with her friends (who LOVE to take her shopping) and since they have earned my trust, I feel comfortable when they arrive in the morning before I leave for work.  She's been out to get her hair done (then re-done ;-)  ), and she's been to the mall and the grocery store.  Yvonne loves to shop, and loves to take her time in the aisles looking at each and every item on the shelves.  To be fair, she probably knows more about the items in HEB than the stock supervisor.  In her adventures, she has also managed to arrange for some much needed landscaping to be performed and that put a bright smile on her face.

Now that I am finally falling into a better rhythm (albeit a progressive beat) of life, I feel like I'm not lost in the throes of Caregiving, I have less stress weighing on me (I'm not hovering so much anymore), the smile has come back to my own face.  This weekend, I plan on adding one of my typical longer posts but until I do, there is something that I can leave you with, to enjoy or to ponder, and if you have the means to, try in your own way.

As many of you know by now, I write a lot of music and I've been incorporating Yvonne into the mix.  I play many instruments, but I focus on guitar and bass.  As such, I tend to use a lot of effects pedals for distortion, octave sweeping, and flanging/chorus effects.  When I play, I get Yvonne to work the effects pedals as a way to get her to do physical therapy (without it feeling like therapy).  The link below will lead you to something that I recorded on the fly a few weeks ago.  Yvonne challenged me to write music using only three notes and fifteen minutes later, she found herself stomping on effects and using the stereo panning pedal like the treadle of a sewing machine.  She got a good workout, and you get another song to hear. ;-)

It's best to listen using headphones, since the stereo panning pedal was used (very efficiently) by Yvonne.  Only three notes were played, but she didn't tell me how often, or in what order I was allowed to play those notes.  I apologize for the low audio quality, but that comes with using a tablet to record instead of my usual recording rig.  Enjoy. :-)


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