“If You’re not Veronica Roth…”

“If you’re not Veronica Roth calling to apologize, I don’t want to hear it.” That is what I was about to say to the sales call I got from Illinois shortly after finishing “Allegiant” (character deaths tend to impact me greatly).

“Allegiant” is the last book in the “Divergent” trilogy by Veronica Roth a Chicago native.  Suzanne Collins (author of “The Hunger Games”) and Veronica Roth have some things in common in their writing styles, that I personally love. One of those things being, they make you cry. A lot. Good tears, bad tears, they write stories that make the tears flow. Which I’ve come to find is something I love and admire about their stories.

I’ve been, what I call, “Book hopping” lately. I’ve been picking up numerous books, but find myself unable to finish many. This is why: I have no emotional connection to the characters, their story, or the world they live in. The worst thing is, I can’t find any sort of message in the book. Nothing truly deep that makes me question myself. When I find none of this I become bored and move on. Veronica and Suzanne both, in my opinion, have written books with characters, stories and a world to which I became connected. They both left many beautiful meanings and lessons to see and learn.

Let’s touch on the worlds that were created. While they may have been exaggerated from today’s world, still they speak to problems we have now in our society and humanity, problems I wish we didn’t have. In “The Hunger Games” Suzanne deals with many issues such as violence for entertainment. Think of shows like “Survivor”, while it may not be real, it’s pretty much a gentler version of  the games in “The Hunger Games”. She also opened my eyes to our society’s over indulgence, and over attention to the superficial. Nicki Minaj is an example of that superficiality; she looks as if she walked right out of the Capitol. She is only one example of many.

Suzanne and Veronica have many points and issues that complement each other. In “Divergent” Veronica explores things such as bravery and selflessness. She paints a picture of how becoming too obsessed with knowledge and power can corrupt people, but that they are not inherently bad things. People become corrupt by those things by the choices they make. She also goes into the other extreme. Keeping peace to the extent of being too passive and standing by doing nothing while horrible atrocities are being committed is a way of avoiding the conflict, not solving it. She delves deeply into the true meaning of forgiveness as well. Which has made me think quite a lot.

What I love about the books these two authors have written is not solely in the fact that they made me form an emotional attachment to their characters to the extent that I felt their pain or joy and cried when they died. It’s the fact that there is meaning to the stories and they draw me in with their lessons which make me ask questions about myself. Both of these women made me fall in love with their stories, not because they were preachy and shoved their beliefs down my throat, but because they made me think about things I’d never considered. They told me stories with meaning and power.

And so I thank you, Veronica Roth and Suzanne Collins (even though you’ll probably never see this). Thank you for writing these stories that have touched my life in ways you’ll never know. Never ever apologize for them.


Obama And Hitler

My mom and I both have a love for WWII, the era, the stories of the soldiers and their families back home; she and I can’t seem to learn enough about the era. That being said, I’m not quite sure what to make of people comparing Obama to Hitler as they so often do.

I can understand people making comparisons, those that aren’t terribly familiar with WWII and Hitler are able to easily see them as very similar. Obama has many issues. Do I look forward to when he can’t run for another term? Yes. But that by no means makes him worse than Hitler.

Hitler slaughtered millions of Jews, gypsies and the disabled. He went into government houses for the special needs and slaughtered them. He believed theses people to be diseased. Rather ironic that he was himself from Jewish decent, but I’m not talking about that.

“Of the nine million Jews who had resided in Europe before the Holocaust, approximately two-thirds were killed.  Over one million Jewish children were killed in the Holocaust, as were approximately two million Jewish women and three million Jewish men. A network of over 40,000 facilities in Germany and German-occupied territory were used to concentrate, hold, and kill Jews and other victims.”

“The basic motivation of the Holocaust was purely ideological, rooted in an illusionary world of Nazi imagination, where an international Jewish conspiracy to control the world was opposed to a parallel Aryan quest. No genocide to date had been based so completely on myths, on hallucinations, on abstract, nonpragmatic ideology—which was then executed by very rational, pragmatic means.”

“never before had a state with the authority of its responsible leader decided and announced that a specific human group, including its aged, its women and its children and infants, would be killed as quickly as possible, and then carried through this resolution using every possible means of state power”

These are only the tip of the iceberg of the horrendous acts committed by Hitler while he was in power. This man was troubled mentally, his entire belief system was based on myths and insanity.

I personally believe that making these comparisons is insensitive to those who actually went through the Holocaust. Really examine our country, compare it to other places in the world: Syria, Iran, Mexico, Egypt. These places are going through very dark times and the people flee to our country for a haven. If they consider our lives as free and safe imagine just how terrible their homes must be. I see so much pessimism going around, but why is that? Shouldn’t we trust in God and His plan for us and our country? Maybe we will be part of the next Holocaust, but why distress over it? You don’t know for sure, and if it does happen it’s His plan, He has it all planned for a reason. Maybe you’ll be the next Anne Frank, but look at how many peoples’ lives He’s touched with her story. It might be terrifying, but shouldn’t we be putting our trust in the One who is in control and not a mere man living in a large white house?

You may think I’m being politically correct, but think about this way. If you were a victim of a bombing and lost your entire family in it, and a person complained to you about how horrible their life was because of a burn they got while cooking, how would that make you feel?  That’s pretty much what we’re doing when we make these comparisons. The people who survived Hitler grieve every day, and we sit here with anything we could want at the click of a button and a God who watches over us and yet we complain.

I’ve been seeing  person after person on Pinterest, Facebook and in politics comparing Obama to Hitler, saying he is just as bad or worse. But I beg you, please do your research and consider the effect your words may have on others before making such comments. Obama may be corrupt, he may be stirring conflict in this country, but he is no Hitler.

My Weekend Vacation!

Did you catch the sarcasm in the title? No? Allow me to enlighten you. I spent my weekend in the hospital! “What happened?” you may be asking, it’s a very interesting story. At least I like to think so. It went something like this:

Friday, I felt bleh. Just worse than what my Lyme usually does to me. I figured I had some virus so I ignored it.

Saturday was even more bleh. I had no appetite and I didn’t feel like doing much of anything. But I worked through it, got some dishes done and then took a break at the computer. I was scrolling through my facebook newsfeed when my stomach started hurting like I’d never felt, awful nausea hit me, and I started feeling as if I was going to pass out. I messaged my mom on facebook and she was out of her room within a minute. We thought it was a gallbladder attack at first (I have issues with it, but we treat it here at home.) and so my mom made me some apple cider vinegar water which stops gallbladder attacks dead in their tracks. One sip of the stuff and I knew it wasn’t going to help me.

Rachel starts chanting from the couch, “Jump up and down!” and my mom and I were not in the mood for games, I was in awful pain and really didn’t feel like jokes. However, she was not joking. She remembered my mom will have us jump up and down when our stomach is hurting because it’s a way to tell if it’s your appendix causing the issue. Once my mom realized what Rachel meant I had the joyous task of jumping. I did it in front of the couch so that if it went badly I would have something to fall onto. I jumped and nothing happened and said, “See? Nothing!” Except I wasn’t able to finish saying it before I was saying, “Ow, okay, ow, this isn’t good.” and had to lie down onto the couch from pain. That’s when my mom decided I was going to the emergency room. My dad works night shifts (recent job change.) and was on his way home from work at the time, he had gone to work early and was coming home early, it was really amazing how it all worked out.

We didn’t have a terrible wait in the emergency room thankfully, we were moved into a room where they did several tests. The staff didn’t seem to know what to do with me, the only thing that made me nervous was the needle in the back of my hand for an IV, once the needle was out and all that was there was a tube that was taking my blood I was quite interested in the whole process. I began asking question about how the IV worked, and how far into my hand did the tube go. I must have asked about a million questions over the weekend, and I was lucky to have a staff that was more than happy to answer all of them.

Four vials of blood, and a cat scan later, (we arrived at the hospital at roughly midnight and got our test results around five am, I think…) my ER doctor came in with my test results: I had a stone in my appendix, which my mom and I didn’t even know was possible, but it was causing inflammation, infection, and would have eventually caused a rupture.

I was moved up to a room where I awaited my surgery, since it was an emergency surgery we weren’t sure on the time until shortly before it happened. It went rather quickly actually, I was taken down to recovery pre-op and the surgeon explained the procedure to us, and the anesthesiologist came and explained things to us as well, then before too long she was injecting my IV with the anesthesia.

I felt sort of weird, almost as if I should have been nervous about the surgery, but I never was. I knew the doctors have removed many an appendix in their day and mine wasn’t even as bad as others that they have removed, I was in very good hands and I just simply wasn’t nervous. I actually challenged myself to see how long I could fight off the anesthesia. I didn’t last very long. One moment I’m staring at the ceiling thinking. “I wonder how long people usually last before passing out on this stuff.” I blink and then a nurse is telling me that the surgery is over and went well. In my drug addled brain I was thinking, “What do you mean it’s over? I blinked! It is not over!” but I couldn’t talk. My voice wasn’t working. At all. But it didn’t stop me from signing. I don’t remember much of my forty-five minutes or so down in recovery very well, but my nurses told me that I had kept signing, it’s took them a few tries to figure out I was asking where my parents were. Then they said I would ask them again every few minutes.

My dad brought my sisters up to the hospital later that day, (they hadn’t seen me since I had left for the emergency room the night before.) and they helped perk me up and get me talking, if you could call it talking. I think I sounded more like a strangled frog, but I was communicating with them nonetheless.

Later that day a friend came up to the hospital with her four little boys. I was very out of it and the morphine had me feeling pretty rough and I sadly slept through a good portion of their visit,  but it was so good seeing them even if it was for a little while, I’ve missed them very much!



I was happy when I was discharged on Monday, I loved the staff at the hospital, but home has been far more relaxing. A little over a week later and I’m doing great! I’m moving around and starting to get back to normal, I’m still not allowed to do heavy lifting, but I am able to fend for myself again. :)

I want to thank all of the people who have been keeping me in their prayers through all of this! It’s been a roller coaster ride and I couldn’t have gotten through it without my family and friends praying for, and encouraging me.