40 Years Old

Couple weeks ago I turned 40. It felt freeing. It felt like I hit an age where I can be more my own person, where I don’t always have to try to please.  An age where I can gain more independence. I am sure many people learn these things before 40 but for me it has been the last couple years moving in the direction to get to this point.

A few months ago I decided I wanted a birthday party. I haven’t had a party with a friend since I was probably 13. It was time. I was excited to plan food, decorations and just host people for the afternoon.

I started getting down the day of the party. First my mom got sick and unable to make it out for the weekend. Then people who told me they were coming were no shows. I was bummed but I kicked myself and told myself to look around. My dad and grandma drove out. My sister in law came, a couple friends from town came. I was blessed. I saw my husband laughing and talking with his high school buddy. I was so touched that a friend from church came. I was so excited that a best friend from high school drove 3 hours to surprise me with a birthday cake. I loved seeing her and her husband and brother. A friend that is busy with 3 kids made time. And my best friend that just lost her beautiful daughter came to celebrate my birthday. Yes, I looked around and saw that my cup runneth over with blessings from above. I enjoyed myself, I found myself laughing, playing beanbag toss and loving my life.

I have to share pictures of this cake. It was stunning and an amazing chocolate and cherry.


The next day we had my husbands family came over for another party. It was a fun time had by all. I was surrounded in love all weekend.

I am now 40 and for some reason being married over 17 years with 2 children, I now feel like a full adult. I love my job. I love my volunteer jobs dealing with hearing loss, I am loving life right now. 40 will be good.

I love my friends and so thankful for everyone that celebrated with me. It was a great weekend. 

I don’t think I am over the hill. I am just starting to really enjoy life by getting involved in it.

Heartbroken

My mind and emotions are all over on this post so I hope I can make sense and also give a tribute to a very fierce and strong little fighter.

I have a good friend, you know one of those friends that you feel you can pour your soul out to.  This friend has a beautiful family.  She has a husband that is a welder and worked with my husband.  She also has two beautiful children that are similar in ages to my kids.  They love to play and just be wild together.  This beautiful friend became pregnant last year.  I was so excited for her to be a mother to another child.  She is a great mother and her kids glow with the love they are given.  It was early on in the pregnancy that problems arouse but I prayed and trusted all would be ok.  Charlotte Adella was born on February 3rd.  She was absolutely beautiful, little and pink.  Charlotte looked perfect but her heart was far from it.  This little girl had to go hurdle over hurdle from such a small age.  In fact Charlotte never left the hospital.  She lived her whole life in a hospital.  Charlotte was born with Noonan’s and had a rare heart condition she was the 11th case ever recorded in the world and never seen in this severity in a new born.  Charlotte never gave up she was fierce and tough.

When I would receive texts from her mom I loved seeing the pictures.  Charlotte had eyes that seemed to pierce my soul.  She could move mountains with those eyes.

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Myself and my family feel into a deep love with Charlotte.  We prayed for Charlotte each and everyday.  My first thoughts in the morning was how is the little princess doing and my last thought at night was Thank God she made it through another day.

Charlotte needed a new heart.  With my whole heart I believed that heart would come.  Charlotte would get the heart and her body would start to heal and she would move home with her family.  Her family had moved to the hospital a few hours away so it was months since I had seen my friend.  I missed her and my heart hurt for this horrible rollercoaster her life had become.

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About a week or so ago I was shopping with my daughter and I received a text.  Charlotte wasn’t doing well and she was going to die the next day as machines would be turned off.  I about feel to my knees.  My daughter and I just held each other and cried in the hall of the mall.  How could this be happening.  I think of the pain and the hurt I felt and I know that isn’t a fraction of what Charlotte’s family was feeling in that moment.

We attended Charlotte’s wake and funeral.  She was absolutely beautiful.  I am so sorry I had to meet her finally in that way.  I feel privileged that I got to see her, my eyes and mind will make a memory of a beautiful girl dressed in a little white gown.  I found it not fair.  I was planning on going to see my friends and finally meet their little girl just 3 days before the funeral.  Who would have thought that the road would have turned and I would be attending a funeral instead.

I think of all the wakes and funerals I attended as a child and my dad always put his arm around me and said they are in a better place now.  They lived a good long life.  This funeral last week was my son’s first funeral.  I couldn’t say those lines.  Charlotte’s didn’t have a good long life.  Her life was taken from her way to soon.

Charlotte’s parents, Dave and Nikki are some of the strongest parents I know.  This is the second child I knew that passed away from a heart defect.  My heart aches for the parents and siblings of these children.  The hurt will never go away.  I wish there was a way to make it go away but that would erase that child’s memory which you don’t want to do.  Nikki will always be the mother to 3 beautiful children.

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I love Nikki as a sister and it hurts me so much that she has to go through this hurt and loss.  I pray for comfort but that just doesn’t seem like enough.  Fly high and free sweet baby girl.  Heaven has gained an absolutely beautiful angel.

When I heard the news of Charlotte’s passing this is the song I went and listened to- it seemed appropriate and allowed the tears to freely flow.

3 Years Ago

I happened to glance at my wall on Saturday morning when I woke for the day.  On my wall hangs the framed certificate I received when I was named a HearStrong Champion.  June 10th was the date three years ago. You know there are dates … Continue reading 3 Years Ago

Flasher, amplifiers, and levels oh my

When I started my new job at the radio as the program director and a morning show host I didn’t ask for any accommodations. I had this feeling I had it all under control and I can make it work. The more I worked the more I loved my job but the more I hated the phone. 

I don’t spend much time on the phone but each day I have a trivia question on-air so I have callers call in with their quesses. I have asked these poor callers WHAT a few to many times, and I can’t hear the phone ring. It was time I ask for what I need. 

It took some real courage even though I know the law backs me asking but it is still is unnerving. I was met with an immediate positive response. I wasn’t shocked just overly excited. To have an employer who understands and I can have an open dialog with is priceless. 

The next day the flasher was installed. What a great little gadget. The flash gets my attention and I don’t have the need to worry I am missing calls. 


Well now I can get the calls but had to address the volume of the phone issue. Again I was met with if it will help we will get it.  Now the phone is amplified! 


So between the flasher, amplifier and watching the meters I can be successful in a job I absolutely love everyday. 


Getting accommodations and allowing one to succeed in a career is a very freeing feeling. One so much that I decided to come out of the “hearing loss closet”. The other day when I was about to do my segment called “timetravel” I talk about what has happened on that day in history. On a day last week I noticed that the first event was the first electric hearing aid was patented. I decided this was a sign. I did disclose my hearing loss on-air. I hope it reached even just one listener. Just one that maybe can relate, maybe one that needs a hearing test and have been putting it off.  I have been urged to be myself and that is exactly what I was, it feels good. It feels good to love what you do everyday. 

Farm Auction

This past week was a bittersweet day, my father in law and his brother had a farm auction.  They have both retired from farming and it was time to get rid of the machinery so an auction was in order.  I know this wasn’t my birth family but I have been part of the Lundquist family for 20 years.  They are my family and I have grown to love the spring and fall hub-bub of the farm.  If it was delivering a picnic lunch to eat in the field.  If it was finding my husband in a field and we got to do a quick hug and kiss behind a tractor there was something powerful about it.  Something from the soil that sinks deep into your soul.  There is a pride aspect there that you are feeding the world.  I loved going on those cool crisp autumn days and bringing coffee and a snack to the guys working out in the fields.

That time is gone now for the Lundquist family.  The land is there but being farmed by another family.

An auction is a family and community affair.  Everyone comes to see what is for sale, to the support the family, and see what things sell for.  I didn’t make the auction I was working but I talked about the auction a lot on air, I work on the radio.  I went to the farm after work and heard all about the sale and I saw lots of smiles.  I knew it went well.

The Lundquist’s may not be farming that land anymore but their blood and life is still in that soil.  When their hands held that dirt and dug in that dirt their linage and their story went into that dirt.  There are history, stories, and tears being held in that soil.  That soil provided for many families and generations.  That black dirt holds the DNA of families that worked hard, loved God, and loved their families.

 

16 Years Since We Have Talked

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This past weekend marked 16 years since my grandpa has passed.  My heart still aches for him almost daily.  I don’t know if I have ever felt such a strong connection to an individual than my grandpa.  This was a man that was gruff, he swore, drank and smoked till that nearly killed him.  He was a real man.  He was a man with convictions.  He was a man that had ever fiber of my being wrapped around his finger.  I had the privilege of living on the same street as my grandpa from 4th grade till 10th grade when we moved.  We even lived with my grandparents on two short term stints.  To walk, ride my bike to their house is an amazing gift I had as a child.  To see him driving down the street or come into the cafe for a cup of coffee when I was working was so special.  I was truly blessed to have that time with him.  He was hard on me.  He would ask how my classes are going, ask about my grades.  He was so proud of me when I attended college and then graduated with a Bachelors degree.  I will never forget the hug and I knew you could do it kid comment I got from him.

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When Chad met my grandpa I think he was in shell shock.  He didn’t know how to take his abuse.  If you knew Duane or Mickey as his friends called him he did give abuse and grief to you.  That is how you knew he accepted you.  You were one of the group and the family then.  One of my favorite memories of grandpa and Chad were right after we were married.  Chad got hurt at work and burned one hand pretty bad and he broke his finger and messed up the other hand pretty bad also.  So he was pretty much worthless with his hands for a few days.  I had invited my grandparents over to our house and I had made a ham.  I watched my grandpa grab Chad’s plate and he cut up his food.  A simple gesture but it made such a profound impact in my memories.

I remember the night of my grandpas death like yesterday.  Our phone was down and the phone company needed to come and repair the line.  I had called my parents from a pay phone that morning and alerted them we didn’t have a phone till the repair guys came.  This was before we had cell phones.  Chad and I went that day to Eau Claire, WI and did some shopping and I remember I bought a new spring jacket at Sears, of all the things to remember.  We went to bed and Chad woke me up past midnight that someone was knocking on the door.  We went to the door and there was my dad and grandma.  They had driven to Hammond WI to tell me that Grandpa died that night.  They knew my phone didn’t work and they didn’t want us to find out the next day.  My dad driving grandma over to my house is a courtesy I can never forget.  It was the saddest moment but also most touching moment in my life.  They cared enough to deliver the news in person to me after they had just lost their dad and husband.

16 years ago, I can’t believe it has been that long.  I so wish he could have met my children.  How he would have loved Greta and Henry.  How he would have loved to give them a hard time.  To see them preform in band, or school activities.  Maybe see them in a baseball/softball game.  He would have loved to see his great grand-kids because he would have been a “great” Grandfather.

I will always have the memories or my grandfathers pants hanging from the dining room chair with his service gun sitting on the table.  It was a ritual for him and one I miss seeing.

I have had several dreams with grandpa in them through the years.  They bring such comfort but also really mess with my head for days after those dreams.  They are so real, it is as if he is talking to me about a situation in my life now.  I really believe grandpa has helped me with numerous decisions in the past few years.  He visited me in a dream most recently after I accepted the job at the radio.  He told me to go for it.  He told me that I can talk crap and I can be anyone’s friend and that is what I needed to be a local voice on the radio.  I was very conflicted when I got the offer of the job and this really made my heart go in agreement with my brain.  Grandpa said go for it.  I am so glad I did because I am so happy and I hope to God he knows that!

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Back on the Air

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I am back on the airwaves of radio and I couldn’t be happier.  It has been a crazy few weeks, I have to share what has transpired.  I received a phone call a few weeks ago from a friend of mine who has a radio show that I happened to be a guest on and talked about my hearing loss.  She asked what I was doing for a job and then let me know that there was an opening at our local radio station.  Now I have done radio before at a top 40 station.  I really enjoyed the vibe a radio station has.  People are real I have noticed.  I enjoyed radio but at that time it wasn’t a good fit.  I drove 40 minutes one way to work overnights Friday-Sunday.  It just wasn’t good for a family and I couldn’t physically do it anymore.  This phone call I received really threw me for a loop.  I wasn’t looking and I was asked.  I decided this was a sign and I needed to follow through.  After a couple interviews, going on air and a few emails, I was offered the job of morning show host and program director at the station.

I was in shock and frankly I felt like I was floating on a cloud.  So much to learn and give notices.  I cried the morning I gave my notice with the family I PCA with.  I love their family and I didn’t want to put them in a bind but I really knew I needed to do this.  I needed a career.  As I trained the past couple weeks I realized how happy I am.  I don’t remember being this happy and completely elated thinking of work and my work life.  I absolutely know I made the right choice.

Today was my first day doing MY show.  I named it Sunrise with Sara.  I think it went pretty well.  I had a couple times the flow wasn’t how I would like it but that will come.  Again I just can’t explain how happy I am.

Friday my hearing loss came up in the office.  It is something I will talk about but hard to bring up.  We had a great talk about my loss and hearing loss in general.  It was like that big elephant has been addressed and I can go on just fine now.  I have learned that radio is very visual and I depend a lot more on my eyes than my ears.  Levels and what is being broadcast is all visual.  It is just a very good fit for me.

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I am trying to take this career change as a total change.  I want a change in job, body and mind.  This week is my new show and I take the bull by the horns.  Changes are coming for this girl.

Please feel free to tune in to the radio station anywhere in the world.  Listen live on-line.  We have a diverse mix of music which I love.  We might have some Garth Brooks which goes into Indigo Girls which goes to Bruce Springsteen maybe some Ozzy Osbourne and round it out with the Beetles.  Where else can you get that kind of mix.  www.935kscr.com 

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