Sunday, March 11, 2007

Madness Continues

When most folks talk about March Madness these days they are referring to the NCAA basketball tournaments. Well that's all good and and fine. I love B-ball and I love the Vols and Lady Vols---and I want them to win it all! I think the Lady Vols have a much better shot at it frankly, but the men got a great seed and bracket tonight so there is hope.... But when I say March Madness I mean dissertation madness or the Big D. And tonight my mind is Big D as in Dead from overuse the last several days. I have a headache. I'm exhausted. I'm not nearly close enough to done with the manuscript and I have 3.5 days left to write before it must go to my committee. Yikes!

You know, getting a PhD is the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. It's taken more courage, more tenacity, and more effort than anything else, ever. True lace knitting is a piece of cake by comparison, even with tiny patterns and cobweb yarn. But then I've never felt so supported by people everywhere in my life before either. These last few years have been something special. I have come to know the genuine goodness of ordinary, or in my eyes, extraordinary people who ask for nothing more than the opportunity to share their talents and be of help to me. That's what happened this weekend.

After much thought and stress, I finally arrived at the the climax of my research--the analysis of my interviews with mothers of premature infants about having hope while in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit or NICU. The key themes from the study emerged and I conceptualized them in the form of a 3-D pyramid with 3 sides: Hope and the baby, hope and the mother, and hope and others (NICU professionals, family and friends). The pyramid was inverted to show the precarious and uncertain nature of being in the NICU. I needed to find a way to draw this image so I could present it to my committee and include it in the final written reports. I'm not very experienced at this sort of thing--like not at all. I'm good with scissors, tape and cardstock but not with computer graphics. So I'm worrying about what to do Friday night when I get the impression that I should email my knitting pal from the EZasPI group and proprietess of a photography and graphics publishing business, Diana Cooper. So I sent her a short email explaining what I needed and asked for suggestions on what to do. The next morning I boot up my computer and boom! There on my computer was an email from Diana with the perfect graphic enclosed. See how nifty it is! I almost cried I was so thrilled/shocked/delirious with joy.

People are good. I've found the folks online in the knitting and tatting communities to be especially kind, thoughtful, and generous with their time, talents, and resources. Now I'm a woman of deep religious convictions and I'd like to think that I would share whatever I could with others in need (and there are lots of kinds of needs out there that can be met without money). Diana's generous gift to me was yet another reminder of the importance of asking for help when you need it (and sometimes when you don't think you need it but you do). I have learned that there are lot of people in my life who are eager to show their kindness to me. All I have to do is present the opportunity, invite it, and then graciously receive. I can't help but think of a favorite passage of scripture from the New Testament:

"Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
"For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened." Matthew 7:7-8 KJV

Thanks Diana! You are one in a million--a million little miracles that have blessed my life in recent years. It's because of folks like you that I'm going to graduate in a few short weeks and go on to mentor the nurse of tomorrow. Your goodness will never be forgotton. You're the best :-)

No comments: