No, I am Not Too Busy!

By Trudy A Martinez
 
My time is spent these last days and years of my life asking forgiveness for the sins I so foolishly justified in my mind at the time of occurrence.  Some were small “little” white lies as they are so frequently called.  We all know there is no such thing as a small “little” lie.  One lie leads to another and another and another as it grows and grows and grows.
To stop the vicious cycle and to accept the TRUTH one must be humble, omitting and bearing his sins openly with raw emotion before God through His son, Jesus Christ.  It is God who takes control with His Grace, a Gift of Faith in His son, Jesus Christ.  As such His elect are prisoners in Jesus Christ.  “the communication of faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus . . . Yet for Love’s sake . . . Now also a prisoner of Jesus Christ (Philemon 1:6-9).  If we are a prisoner, we have no free will.  A prisoner follows the commands of his master.
God does not test His elect through chain letter e-mails, which proclaim God’s love to everyone.  God loves His elect.  His elect do not earn or need to prove their faithfulness to His son, Jesus Christ.  It is not “with him I can do all things” as those e-mails proclaim.  We are not in a partnership with Christ.  The Holy Scripture says, “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me “(Phil. 4-13).  As such His elect are prisoners in Jesus Christ.  The elect are the body of Jesus Christ who live through Him.
God does not love everyone as the memos imply.  After all, did not He love Jacob and hate Esau, who sold his birthright to Jacob? (Genesis 25: 23-34).  Think about it!
” . . . According to the faith of God’s elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness; In hope of eternal life, which God that cannot lie, promised before the world began: [a believer must {Hold}]. . . fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.  For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, . . . Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not . . . Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in faith; Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth (Titus 1:1-14).
The memos forwarded do not put God at the top of the list!  The memos turn from the truth.  They do not state the Truth:  Man’s words twist the truth!
“Unto the pure all things are pure:  but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure:  but even their mind and conscience is defiled.  They profess they know God, but in works they deny him, being abominable and disobedient . . . (Titus 1: 1-16).
“But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine:  That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience.  The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things.  That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children.  To be discreet, chaste, keepers of the home, good, obedient to their husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.   Young men likewise exhort to be sober-minded.  In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works:  In doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, sound speech, that cannot be condemned:  that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.  Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters, and to please them well in all things; not answering again (Titus 2: 1-9).”
“Not purloining, but shewing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things.  For the Grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men. (Titus 2: 10-11).”
Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for the blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour, Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.  These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority.  Let no Man despise thee” (Titus 2: 10-15). 
The works of Satan keep the memos (e-mails) going, seeking to turn the elect from the path, Jesus said to Satan:  It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeded out of the mouth of God (Matthew 4:1).
The words of the e-mails forwarded, asking that the memo be forwarded to others to earn God’s blessings, do not come from the mouth of God; they come from the mouth of Man, twisting the truth for his own gain!  For God does not Test His elect.
For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of this prophecy of this book, If any shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:  And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.  He which testifieth these things saith, SURELY I COME QUICKLY.  Amen.  Even so, come, Lord Jesus.  The Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. (Revelations 22: 18-21).
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Guaranteed Memories

By Trudy A. Martinez
 
When I first met Margie Schafer, I would not have dreamed she would create memories I would cherish, relive in thought, and share with others.  Margie is the age of my oldest daughter, half my age and just beginning life as an adult, yet mature beyond her years.  She applied for a position at the bank where I was employed as an Assistant Vice President in charge of operations.  When I interview her for a position with the bank, her openness and sincerity impresses me.  But it was the statement “I guarantee my work,” that sways me. 
 
She guarantees her work; this I have to see for myself.  Few employees acknowledge mistakes or take responsibility for their actions without becoming defensive.  I could recall none who took pleasure in correcting their errors or who would even allude to guaranteeing their work.  Needless to say, Margie is hired.
Margie is unbelievable; a supervisor’s “dream employee.”  She learns fast, completes her assignments quickly, and requests additional duties without hesitation.  Day after day she reminds me:  “I guarantee my work.”   It became an obsession with me to find an error; I began to scrutinize her work, all to no avail. 
Margie trains and cross-trains on most areas of operation; she is capable of performing the majority of my own duties adequately.  To the extent she is trained, her sense of judgment is excellent. Unfortunately in my absence, she isn’t authorized to act as an officer of the bank in those areas of concern. 
When I am required to travel out-of-town on bank business, the manager takes on my responsibilities; even so, I never know what to expect upon return.
Once, Margie was directed to open a new business account; the manager delivers the customer to the New Accounts desk for Margie to assist him in deciding all the necessities.  Margie does as he directs without question.
Approximately four (4) months later, the FBI and one of the top echelons from the local base come into the bank to inquire about a fraudulent transaction paid through the bank.  They give photocopies of the instruments in question.  This is strange; I don’t recognize the name on this account.  Yet, I review all the new accounts opened on a daily and weekly basis.  I excuse myself to research the mystery.  The account signature card reveals Margie opened the account, my signature of review is not present.  No wonder I couldn’t remember the account.  I thought to myself, “Margie has made a mistake!”  Documentation required to open the account was missing:  I wonder how she is going to guarantee this error?  I walk over to discuss the account with her; I show her the check.  I am still thinking to myself, “Boy, when this girl makes a mistake, she does it ‘BIG’  Why else would the pleasure of not only the FBI’s company but also that of the top echelon of the base be given me?” 
Margie inspects the instruments I give her to prompt her memory.  She retrieves the missing documentation and shows me where she had the manager review and approve the account.  Margie practices “CYA”: cover your actions.   I thought Margie was going to be given the purple heart by the Federal Officials right there in the lobby when she accompanies me to my desk.  I had to practically chase the officials out of the bank to prevent them from stealing my employee.  Margie had over documented.  She could have written a book with the documentation she collected.  Since Margie requires the customer to go to the county building, purchase a fictitious business name for a sole -proprietorship, affix his thumb print to a 3 x 5 card, and so on (all of which were not required), she prevents the bank from suffering a huge loss and provides the Federal officials with proof of the identity of this devious character.  
Another time when I had gone out-of town on a business trip, I return to find a stack of counterfeit currency in the vault, segregated from the rest of the currency.  A Time Certificate is opened using them.  Margie suspects the currency of being counterfeit, but she doesn’t know what to do, so she asks the manager; he tells her to put them in the vault until I return.  “Margie makes a mistake?”  A nightmare of embarrassment ensues.  I contact the “Feds,” explain the situation, and beg their forgiveness; they instruct me how to proceed.  The next morning I have a business appointment.  I neglect sharing with anyone how we are to proceed under the circumstances.  Margie has not been trained on the handling of counterfeit currency.
In my absence, the same man returns to redeem the certificate he opened.  Margie tells him of the interest forfeiture for early withdrawal.  She calculates the interest, informs the man of the amount, excuses herself with the narration she does not have sufficient funds and needs to requisition an adequate amount.  She proceeds to the vault area, has the vault teller activate the cameras documenting the transaction, and then with the vault teller continues to the vault.  The currency retrieved is the counterfeit, the same counterfeit the man had given her the day before.  Margie gives the crook back the counterfeit! 
When I return that day and discover what has transpired,  I nearly have a heart attack.   The “Feds” are surely going to crucify me for this one.  “Was this the way she guarantees her work?”  I was supposed to transfer the counterfeit to the “Feds,”  have a general staff meeting to alert all employees of this devious character, and to work in conjunction with the “Feds” towards his apprehension.  There is no chance; the swindler will ever return again now, not since my ingenious subordinate has reversed the circumstances.  Margie had said, “I guarantee my work.”  When she corrected her initial error of accepting the counterfeit currency by returning it to its rightful owner, the crook, she guaranteed her work; there was no error left for her to correct.  The only error left was mine as a result of not informing anyone of my discussion with the “Feds” and thereby begetting happenings I will never forget.
As a reward for hiring Margie, I was given a life time of guaranteed memories I will recall, cherish, and share with others.  Margie had guided me through a series of inconceivable, innovative escapades that continually brings about a smile on my face when I venture to recall her statement, “I guarantee my work.”

Blinded by Revenge: An Analysis of Charles Dickens Historical Novel: The Tale of Two Cities, world classics ed.

By Trudy A. Martinez
 
Charles Dickens’ novel, ‘A Tale of Two Cities’, a fictitious historical novel, presents a narrow view of history through fictional individuals who link real and imaginary individual figures and events. We are reminded immediately that the novel is historical by the authors use of the past tense.  There is a theme of balance though out the novel, i. e. , a social commentary on rich and poor, a narrative between two cities, London and Paris, and two languages, English and French, which reign under two kings, “George III — on the throne of England,” and “Louis XVI — on the throne of France”.  Charles Dickens, the author, designs the novel to give the reader a perception of confusion, chaos, and paradox while at the same time leaving the interpretation open.  Dickens technique of linking fictional individuals and fictional events with actual figures and events in history is very successfully achieved as it gives the reader a strong sense of the attitudes and the beliefs of the individuals and the cultures, English and French, from the beginning of the novel to the end, as a result history comes alive.  The atmosphere and tone of the whole novel is set in the opening line.  Although the story begins in “the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred seventy-five,” the plot begins in the year one thousand seven hundred fifty-seven.
“It was the best of times”
The nobles had maintained their privileged status, the church continued to support the corrupt government; the bourgeoisie, the upper middle class, had prospered, increasing in wealth and status, some used foresight, purchased titles, thereby exempting them from taxes and the dual standards employed within the society of classes.
“It was the age of wisdom”
The scientific community had made discoveries in the 17th century that revolutionized the thought processes; those processes were carried further in the 18th century which saw further achievements in astronomy, chemistry, and biology.  New ideas emerge resulting in inventions that progressively aid industry.
“It was the season of light”
Reaction to the age of wisdom and foolishness produce the age of reason; then subsequently a new idealism, in opposition to materialism, and finally humanitarianism and an increase emphasis on reform movements in answer to problems that face society.
“It was the season of darkness”
The upper-middle-class on down to the peasantry  began to lose their faith in the system.  Over population increased along with taxation.  Oppression was on the rise, illness, disease, abuse, and death had increase dramatically.  All hopes of improvement were fading rapidly.  Louis XVI attempts through his ministers to initiate financial reforms by imposing moderate land taxes, cuts in royal household expenses, and abolishing some pensions, but met with opposition from the nobles of the court and the queen.  The minister of finance. Robert Turgot was dismissed.  Ministers that follow meet with resistance and fail.  Louis XVI personal attempts to institute new taxes fail due to the strong opposition of the privileged class.
“It was the spring of hope”
 Louis XVI saw the light and was attempting to change the system.  Louis calls for an assembly of notables, he appeals to them for understanding.  They strongly reject the request.  Under duress and coaxing of the nobles, Louis XVI summons the “Estates-General,” delegates are selected; all tax-paying male householders are allowed to vote.  Elected delegates are provided lists of wanted reforms.  Middle-class intellectuals and politicians seek to create a constitutional monarchy using the English and American forms of government as examples.  The states general assembly produce the “Tennis Court Act:, their promise not to disband until a constitution is produced.  The assembly defies the king’s order to reconvene as separate estates and declare themselves the “National Constituent Assembly of France”.  Louis XVI unwilling accepts the National assembly, but has troops move to the vicinity of Versailles.  Fearing military interference, the middle-class panick and call for popular support, joined by shopkeepers and the working class, they storm the Bastille and liberate the prisoners.
“It was the winter of despair”
The previous winters had not been pleasant, in fact, they had been quiet rough for the oppressed with their subsistence existence, death, and the injustice within society.  Their future had not promised much hope.
Dickens set the path of the characters in the novel by linking the two cities, London and Paris, through the business of a bank, Tellson’s Bank, and one of its employees, Mr. Jarvis Lorry.  Mr. Lorry’s various duties with Tellson’s Bank brings him in contact with the lives of others within the two cities.  One of his duties is to assist a customer of the bank who was liberated from prison, “Recalled to Life,” at the storming of the Bastille by angry mobs.  Mr. Lorry is to reunite him with his daughter who is unaware of his existence and living in London.  This liberated man’s story of arrest is the plot which begins in the year one thousand seven hundred fifty-seven.  Through contacts with this man, his daughter, and others and their subsequent contact with others broadens the scope of the reader’s perception of the two separate cultures, English and French, within a society and the development of the two separate nation states, England and France.  This approach encompasses the lives of the people of all walks, i. e. , the nobles, the middle-classes, the working class, and the peasantry, and adds to the perception of the reader as Dickens intends.  Dickens goes on to give life and vitality to history when he interjects vivid physical descriptions and mental attributes which includes but is not limited to the dress, manners, status, style and the wants and needs of each class level.  Dickens then brings into focus the attitudes and climate of society within the two nation states by focusing attention on the individuals of each class level.  Dickens then brings into focus the attitudes and climate of society within the two nation states by focusing attention on the individuals of each class within the structure of each government, i. e., constitutional monarchy and absolute monarchy which is attempting to change.  Thus, Dickens focus on individuals allows the reader to perceive the personal attitudes of the individuals which gives logic and reason to their level of self-esteem, their suspicions, beliefs, mastery, and behavior through the association of their religion, learning, achievement, and past experience.  As a result of the perception of the individuals, the reader’s personal, general, perception of attitudes and behavior of the rich and the poor and the practices and developments within the two governments are conceived.  Dickens literary maneuver gives the structure of justice and injustice which in turn defines and distinguishes the good and the evil in the nation states.  The difference became the distinguishable quality of the two nations states.  The quality of the two established nations  reflects  their ability to recognize and effectively change the states of the middle-class in a timely manner when they are faced with threats of revolution.  The English under the reign of George III in conjunction with parliament manage to revitalize its middle-class with hopes of a better future, whereas, the French, under the reign of Louis XVI fails when attempts are made to change the system at the expense of the nobles and the clergy, because the nobles fail to recognize and act upon the need of “hope” in a timely manner.  This ignorance of the “magic” ingredient “Hope” as a measure to pacify and avoid revolution results in their world-changing.
Then suddenly everything went “topsy-turvy”: the present is confronted with the past.  The good, i.e., the king, the nobles, the upper-classes became the symbols of evil; the middle-class, the working class, and the peasantry became the symbol of good.  The upper-middle-class members of the French National Assembly  panick when all their hopes of reformation are lost; they appeal for popular support and are joined by the urban workers and the peasantry.  Turmoil and violence ensue.  The assembly moves to make concessions, but it is too little, too late.  The fury had been unleashed; Moderates control to change the order of things was diminishing.  The Radical voice of the Jacobins was growing stronger.  The lower-classes were dissatisfied with their status, Louis is suspected of conspiring with the enemies when French armies suffer defeats.  Proof of Louis conspiring brought down the limited monarchy when commander of the invading armies, Duke of Brunswick, threaten destruction of Paris if the king and his family are harmed.  The ensuing fury brought control of the assembly to the Radicals.  The moderates, Girondists, flee leaving the radicals, Jacobins, in control of the National assembly after debates result in the king’s execution.
“IT WAS THE WINTER OF DESPAIR;”
It was the season of darkness;
It was the age of foolishness;
It was the worst of times.”
The aristocrats found their abodes in the dark and dirty dungeons; their status symbols: knee breeches, beards, mustaches, titles, heritage, and manners became their condemnation, i. e., the oppressors became the oppressed.  Their self-interest, greed, and ignorance prevent them from seeing the error of their ways. 
when they tried to correct the situation, it was too late.  Death became their heritage, La Guillotine their throne.
“IT WAS THE SPRING OF HOPE;
It was the season of light;
It was the age of wisdom;
It was the best of times.”
The middle-classes, urban laborers, and the peasantry organize and unite.  Their cry, “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, or Death.” their colors, red and black, symbolic of blood and death.  Blinded by revenge, they became the oppressor.  They proudly took the titles of “Citizen” and “citizeness”.  It was their age of reason coupled with hysteria.  It is their “Republic of Virtue” that calls for submission to the “General Will”.  Social violence, fear, defensive behaviors reflect the attitudes of the times.  “The Committee for Public Safety” and the tribunals bring about the “Reign of Terror” which unleashes suspicion and hatred; neighbor against neighbor.  An uncontrollable machine, headed by Robespierre. corrupts the wheels of progress,
Dickens set the atmosphere and the tone of the novel in the opening lines; this atmosphere and tone is maintained throughout the novel because of the “topsy-turvy” affect revolution plays upon its inhabitants.  Dickens method of linking the two cities, London and Paris, the two languages, English and French, and the two nation states, England and France, through incorporation of fictional characters and fictional events into the historical setting gave perception to the reader of the times, the class divisions, the physical and mental attributes, the attitudes and climates of the two nation states, the injustice, revenge, the extremes, the good and evil, and the magic ingredient “hope” and the fury of revolution which resulted in mistrust, blood and death.  Dickens made history come alive; feelings were brought to the surface as one of his characters is exposed to the “Reign of Terror”, imprisoned in an upside down world awaiting death by means of la guillotine.  Dickens succeeds in giving the reader a perception of life in revolution as he intends: history is brought to life right before our eyes.

Granny

By Trudy A. Martinez
 

Normally in the morning when my grandmother awakes, my aunt will attend to her needs, but this summer, I am to be her little helper. When I agreed to be her little helper, I had no idea that she would be my alarm clock. Promptly at 5:00 A.M., she goes off: “TRU-U-U DY.” she calls out, pronouncing each syllable of my name separately as if to transform it from one name into two. The sound of the vowel is intense, imitating the doleful howl of a wolf.

“TRU-U-U DY,” she repeats. As the stress of the syllables gain intensity, the tone of her voice rises, producing an irritating ring in my ear. Then just as abruptly, her voice drops to a sweet mellow tone that sounds almost like a whisper. “Are you up, Buttercup?” She asks. The expression of endearment (Buttercup) softens the rude harshness of my awakening and soothes my senses.

“I am now.” I quickly reply, preventing her from repeating the episode. “What on earth can she want at this hour of the morning?” I think as my brain slowly came out of its dream-like state. “Perhaps, she misplaced her cane.” I reason as I hop out of bed. “Granny needs her cane,” I assure myself, “–to find her way to the bathroom.” I continue to justify my thinking as I make my way down the hall to her room, “The cane is like another leg to Granny, strong and sturdy; it assists her old weary bones by holding up her aggregated frame.” As I approach the doorway, her words greet me.

“Buttercup,” she says sweetly as I enter the room,” I want you to give me my shot this morning.”

“You want me to do what?” I said, questioning the words tingling in my ears; they send chills down my spine, feeding the surface of my skin with blossoming goose bumps.

“I want you to give me my insulin shot,” she repeats.

“Aunt Peg said she will give you your shot before she leaves.” I shudder to think I will need to do it. “I am only nine years old.” I add, trying to convince her I wasn’t worthy of such an honor. “Besides,” I continue “I don’t know how,” thinking the matter is now settled and my final reply will put an end to such an outrageous idea.

“I’ll teach you,” she quickly replies in a reassuring tone. “You may be only nine,” she says, smiling. “But you look and act much older.” As she continues to butter me up, she reaches for my hand, grasping it and squeezing it gently as she speaks. “I am confident you can do it,” she says. “Say you will,” She pleads. “Say you will.” Granny’s eyes are small and gray; they appear like passage ways that led into the inner depth of her being, pleading with me long after her words cease.

“Okay,” I stammer out slowly, hesitating and then adding, “But, –I don’t want to hurt you.”

“You won’t. Now go–get the insulin out of the ice box.”

“You mean the refrigerator, Granny,” I say laughingly, correcting her and bringing her back into the present as I leave the room.

When I return (moments later), I find Granny sitting on the edge of the bed with her feet dangling. In my absence, she seems to have been transformed into a different person. Her eyes are no longer pale gray. Instead, they appear dark and sinister. The gentleness disappeared; now they are huge, monstrous eyes, piercing the depth of my soul. I feel like Little Red Riding Hood, wanting to scream out, “Granny, what big eyes you have!” while anticipating her answer: “Better to see you with my dear.” My mind races. Then I notice Granny’s glasses are no longer sitting on the night stand; they are sitting on the bridge of her nose. I giggle inwardly and smile. The glass is thick, thick as the glass of a coke bottle; they magnify; they intensify her every glance. Occasionally a slight tint of a rainbow can be seen when she moves her head slightly.

“What’s the matter with you Buttercup?” her sweet voice hums.

“Oh, nothing,” I reply, smiling sheepishly.

“Get the syringe out the bottom drawer,” she orders. I obey. She gives me step-by-step directions on how to fill the syringe with the insulin, interjecting how much she hates for my Aunt Peg to do it. She says, “Your Aunt Peg jabs the needle in my leg as if she was attacking a wild animal.”

I laugh as I gently prick her skin, push slowly inward, and release the medication from the syringe as she instructs.

“Ah-h-h,” she exclaims, “–that didn’t hurt at all! You did well.” Then she looks at me questionably and asks, “Why were you laughing?”

“Granny,” I said bravely, “When I came back to the room just now–”

“Yes,” she says, coaxing me on when I hesitate.

“I–I imagined you were–.” I hesitated again, and then blurt out, “The Big Bad Wolf.”

Granny roars out laughing, waking Aunt Peg who instantly appears at the doorway like a hunter seeking his prey. When Granny finally gets a grip on herself, she says, “Buttercup, you just made my day.” The she turns to look over at Aunt Peg and says, “You’ve been replaced–I’ve already been shot today.

 
 

 

Emilie’s Miracle

By Trudy A. Martinez
 
 What shall I say about my best friend, my sister, Emilie Marquez?  Emilie asked if I would talk about our experiences together.  But which ones where left up to me?   We shared so many.  Starting back in 1958 the year she married Benjamin, it took two to tango, two to really get the feeling of romance.  In my eyes as ballroom dancers, they were romantics.  It was then Emilie danced her way into my heart.
More recently the concept of romantic was expanded.  My granddaughter, Sandra, wrote me an e-mail which started out with “Grama, you are such a romantic! I am so excited about coming to visit.”  Before I could scroll down, my mind raced.  What did I do now?  I didn’t even have a boyfriend.
Sandra went on to say, “Dad just told me Aunt Emilie is on her way to your house.  Please give her my love and tell her that I will be there soon to see her.   She is such a strong woman and I have always looked up to her.  My love and prayers are with you both.”
When I read the e-mail, Emilie was right at my side.  It was the middle of the night.  We were having a pajama party!  That was a treasured moment when Emilie smiled from ear to ear from the praise and love that was singing out to her from the words on the page.  My most treasured moments with Emilie were the most recent.
 
A few weeks before we were saying our goodbyes.  She was going to Florida to take up residence with Ronda, her daughter.  We had let go of our dream of living in the same town.
 
Then everything changed!  Her doctor said, “There is nothing more medically I can do for you.”  The hospital was releasing her.  She couldn’t fly to Florida as planned.  She was going to a nursing facility to die.
 
However, it was not her wish to die in a facility.  Once Ronda became aware of her wish, not to die in a facility, and the other options available to her, the wheels started grinding.  Emilie was on her way to Ridgecrest.
 
Just after Emilie’s arrival, I found out Emilie was fulfilling God’s Will.  This became apparent when she was sitting on a stretcher just inside my front door waiting for her bed to be set up.
 
She called me over and whispered loudly to me.  “It is a miracle, Trudy.  A miracle is happening.  I can’t explain what I mean.  I can see–I can’t explain how I feel inside, so different.  I love you.  I am so glad to be here.  I am so hungry.”  She was full of energy.
 
In the background, I could hear Tessa Loudmouth Roo (short for the rude kangaroo), my crazy dog, whining because she was locked in the bedroom and wasn’t able to properly greet Emilie on her arrival.  I could hear Ben or Tanya (her adult children) saying, ” She is blind.  She only sees shadows.”
 
Other things happened in the days to come that made me question her blindness.  There were the birds chirping just outside her window.  Emilie spoke of them as is she could see them fly from one limb to another..  I passed it off as her verbal descriptions were coming from her mind’s eye, her memories.  How else could it be explained?  She was considered legally blind.
 
When it was decided by the nurse in charge the bed that was delivered was not adequate, another was delivered to take its place.  Emilie was put in a wheel chair and wheeled into the dinning room, where Tanya (her second daughter) fed her a meal of mashed potatoes, gravy, and Swiss steak.  She became irritated and exclaimed loudly, ” Keep that fly away from my food!”
 
Tessa was whining again, but now it was because she wanted Emilie to hurry and finish eating so she could have the leftover and lick her plate.
 
To Em’s outcry Ben (her son) or Tanya said, “There is no fly!  You’re just seeing black spots.” Then Ben turned to see the fly that had landed right next to her plate.  “There is no way she could see that fly!  She is blind.”
 
Nevertheless, she saw the fly!  And later from her bed, she saw Ben, her son, walking up the walk in his green shirt.  She told everyone who it was before we were able to see for ourselves.
 
How can a blind person see?  I for one say she was no longer blind!  She could see not only with her eyes, but also with her heart.
 
At first it was difficult getting Emilie to accept she was not going to get up and stroll down the hall in the middle of the night.  Nevertheless she kept insisting.  She told me, “Well maybe I could remember I need to relax if I had a picture hanging on my wall that told me, “It is Time to Relax!”
 
To that I laughed.  I really think she had it all planned.  She was referring to a picture I had taken from the window of a moving bus in London, England of an old man sitting on a bench next to a big sign, which said, “It is Time to Relax.”  At the time I took the picture. my heart nearly jumped out of my chest.  I wanted to get off the bus right then and go out and help the poor man button his coat correctly.  Emilie knew that picture was hanging on my bedroom wall.  She wanted it on hers.  Of course, she got her way.  I brought it in and hung it up after she promised she would try to do what it said.
 
We both felt this picture reminded us of Ecclesiastes chapter 3 through chapter 12.  “To everything there is a season, a time to every purpose under the heaven.  A time to be born, and a time to die . . . Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter.  Fear God, and keep his commandments:  for this is the whole duty of man.  For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing whether it be good or whether it be evil.”
 
Emilie couldn’t sleep and neither could I., so we went to the Internet site, classmates.  And there viewed and read and remembered all the people we went to high school with and shared our remembrances of the familiar names.  Even her brother’s name was listed as Joe Jones to which I quickly changed to Joe Bones.  We laughed and giggled like we were teenagers again.
 
This task, along with the occasional licks from Tessa and the rubbing and purring from Kit (my cat) brought smiles to both our faces.  We had to check out our e-mail before we signed off.
 
There was another letter from Sandra.  She said she was drooling over her keyboard just thinking of what
Emilie had for breakfast.  Tamales!
 
We told her, “When you get our age you make your own decisions on what to eat and when and where and with whom.  Just wait and see.”  Emilie was dictating some of this letter as I typed and said it aloud.  She input the words into my mouth, fingers, and ears.
 
It was tomorrow already.  We started this e-mail yesterday, but the day slipped away in what seemed just minutes, just like our lives were passing before us in memories.
 
Emilie and I made plans for the next night and what we would do, but someone else had other plans.  she got new meds.  When it came time for us to start another pajama  party, she was sleeping.  Rhonda (Her oldest daughter) had been granted a good QUIET nights sleep on my couch without the loud laughs, giggles, and singing.  All our plans were put on hold.
 
We had planned to write a letter together to thank Sandra for the beautiful roses she had sent and the love expressed to Emilie in the words on the card.  But God gave Emilie the “Time to Relax”, so I had to do it for her.  We had planned to evaluate the news in the world and how it affects us as God’s chosen to be on watch as watchmen waiting for his final return.
 
How the deceptions of the devil’s work are so cleverly disguised as Christ’s when in actuality it is the work of the devil, the beast, or the antichrist.  Each picks away and tempts us to turn from the true Christ, our Lord, Jesus Christ (Who in us we are His).  We had been analyzing the concepts.
 
Emilie had asked if I would take her to Church.  I said, “We need not worry of gathering in a man-made building.  Instead, we as His elect, carrying the temple of God in Christ in us, have only to open our hearts to him and each other.  For through Christ, Our Lord and Savior, the corner-stone of our church within us, uses each of us to fulfill God’s Will, His Will, not our own.”
 
How if we are his brethren we are known by our fruits, and how (like the mustard seed) they (our fruits) grow when God’s elect join together to pray to Our Father Who Art in Heaven, asking as sinner’s to be allowed to fulfill His Will.
 
God’s Will leads to eternal life through our joining together in Christ (Our Cornerstone).  He is our foundation.  Emily and I joining together in prayer, through our hope and faith, which is in Jesus Christ, became His church.
 
And how, with the faith of that mustard seed, we as two disabled individuals were able to move mountains even when we were constantly reminded by everyone and by the world that we are unable to care for each other.
 
Through our love for each other and with the help of Tessa and Kit and the Ridgecrest Hospice Care, We have proved the world wrong.  Tessa stood guard during the day and met everyone, friend and foe, at the front gate.  Kit worked at night keeping watch over Emilie and waking me if Emilie woke during the night.
 
we needed only our faith, given us by God as a gift, to move the mountains.  God provides for the needs of His elect.  Emilie and I knew our gift from God, our faith, was moving that mountain to achieve His Will.  Because we love each other, we are known as brethren.  Through our faith in Him, as a gift from God (not of our own doing or through our own earnings by doing), and the work of the Holy Ghost in us, we were made able to move mountains and make our dreams and prayers come true.
 
The majority of the religious world feels their acts earn them the blessings of God.  They feel they earn the blessings of God of their own free will, making God a debtor who must reward them for their righteousness.  When in actuality we are all debtors because we are all sinners and because God’s word tells us “. . . We are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags, and we all do fade as a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away (Isaiah 64:6).
 
I thought my cat, Kit,  had graced Emilie with something she had brought in from outside.  Anyways, she was running around her room, acting like a kitten and playing, trying to earn herself a reward.  I warned her not to bring any birds in here because Emilie has a perfect view of them out the window.  The chirping sound provides her a perfect view.  Her view is beautiful.
 
God does not have us work for His blessings.  God does not give rewards for our obedience, nor does he set a definite timetable for salvation.
 
Instead, good works and obedience reveals the Will of God.  Good works and obedience is the evidence and the fruits of a true living faith.  The children of God merely reveal their gratitude by glorifying God who has saved them by His Grace, by encouraging the brethren, and by their profession of the gospel.
 
Emilie left this world as she came in, beautiful (as a baby in Christ) nearly bald, with her blue eyes flashing the love she sees all around her.  I know she was in Christ by her ability to forgive.  The Lord had said to “love those who despite-fully use you and persecute you.”
 
Emilie had no hard feelings toward anyone, not even those who had wronged her.  She told me, “I love them.”  Only God can give one the ability to forgive completely and fully.  Emilie is one of His.
 
She greeted everyone that came to see her with open arms and a big smile and sometimes even a hug.  Pete (my former husband) almost got away without getting his hug.  I told him, “Em will be upset if you don’t put your hand on hers and say something.”  As soon as he did, her big blues came open, she sat up in bed, and she reached over for her hug.  Pete was surprised for she appeared to be sleeping.  But she was playing possum with her eyes closed.  I had told him, “She isn’t asleep.  She is just tired of looking at my ugly mug all the time.”
 
Emilie Marquez, my best friend and sister, passed away at the house we shared in Ridgecrest for just a short time.  Her passing was peaceful.  I will miss her greatly.  One of the last things she said to me was,  “Thank you, Trudy.  I love you.”
 
To which I answered, ” I should be thanking you.  I have been blessed by your presence here.”
 
She questioned, “Really?”
 
“Really,”  I answered.  “I love you too, now and forever.”  Emilie was a joy to the end.  I thank God for blessing me with such an honor.  Giving alone is not enough for as St Paul explains in Corinthians Chapter 13 “If I have not Charity, I am nothing.”
 
Galatians chapter 5:1-26 provides good reading if you are interested in what God wants for His elect to understand.
 
I pray everyone who reads this will come to know the Lord through His Word.  Thank you for reading or listening to what I have titled:  Emilie’s Miracle.

 

Uncle Chris, My Friend

By Trudy A. Martinez
CHRIS DAGUIO
Came:  March 03, 1906—–Went: March 05, 1999
In Between, he left 93 years of memories
WHO KNEW?
Who was he?
He was my friend.
Never will there be
One like him again.
 
Who Knew?
He was a quiet man:
Giiving, Faithful,and True!
Rarely did he speak . . . Unless spoken to.
 
Who Knew?  Who Knew?
He was a Seaman:
Most of his life–living on the ocean blue,
Giving of himself,
Being Faithful,
And making dreams come true.
 
Who Knew?  Who Knew? Who Knew?
He was a he-man,
Not a give-it-to-me man.
He could move a mountain for a friend.
 
Who Knew?
Very few words could explain
Just what he meant to be,
Just what he meant to me,
Just what he meant to you?
 
Who Knew?  Who Knew?
In such a small frame
So much love grew
And grew and grew.
 
Who Knew?  Who Knew?  Who Knew?
The seeds that he sowed would continue to grow,
Harvesting love for you and me.
Who Knew?
 
Trudy Martinez