I actually started writing this post more than a year ago! And I know it’s almost been as long since my last one but it really is never too late! And that applies even in the changing world that we’re now experiencing.
So, last year, I learnt that it’s never too late to… use a pumice stone.
As my 50th birthday approached last year, I really felt I ought to embrace it. I’m not seen as immature; I have life and professional experiences and, at church, I’m probably observed as a ‘seasoned’ member. Don’t you love that adjective – seasoned, well flavoured, marinated!
Anyway, my feet; they’re wider and longer than the average woman; shoe shopping has always caused me great anxiety. I have flat feet, my arches fell during my university days – with great pain – which probably contributed to developing a painful bunion during pregnancy with child 4, eventually leading to a bunionectomy (is that the word?) and six weeks on crutches with a toddler 😲.
My feet became neglected and my hidden secret. I hid them in shoes, behind socks and tights; and in the summer I hid them behind chunky man-sandles which are very comfortable but don’t look great with Sunday dress!
So as my 50th birthday approached, this was part of me that I knew I had to do something about. I thought about a pedicure but there’s no way I could let anyway see, let alone handle, my feet – such was my complex. Then as I was browsing through Primark, looking for chinos and treats to post to Son 1 (he was at the time serving as a missionary in Vanuatu), I found in the men’s toiletries section a pumice stone, only 75 pence!! And I knew this was for me 🙂
Back home I watched a few YouTube videos on technique and my feet rejuvenation journey began. It didn’t end with the pumice stone. A few weeks later, browsing in a shop, I spotted a pair of white, strapless, sandles, wide fit, size 8, knocked down in price! They fit; they were mine; I wore them to church with everything, even on the cooler summer days!
It’s a small thing, I know, and it probably sounds quite silly – I’m a 50 year old woman and I had neglected, ignored my feet. But I can tell you that the while experience made a big difference to me, and the relationship I have with my physical self.
That 75p pumice stone is a small thing but represents that I can change, and improve. And same principle can be applied to anything and anyone. Maybe your pumice stone is a book, a kind act, giving up something, or doing something different. It might involve walking towards someone.
Either way, it’s going to take some action on your part, on my part. And some belief that the action is going to bring about a change. Simply remember, it’s never too late.
In recent years our town, city, has become home to the homeless. Tents in the city parks have appeared and a soup kitchen takes over at 6pm outside a coffee shop which serves as additional meeting rooms for nearby businesses during the day. As a local government worker, I’m aware that there are targets for building homes over the next few years. As an architect, I know what can be done to the physical structures that lie empty while someone sleeps on the ground in it’s shadow. As a Christian, a Latter Day Saint, my heart aches to do more.
And so it was a few weeks ago that on a rainy morning as I left the office for a morning site visit that I passed a motionless figure wrapped in a sleeping bag at the base of an advertising kiosk, in the open rain, on the pavement. The guilt engulfed me as I passed on to my site visit – how many times have I been in lessons and heard the parable of the good Samaritan. Site visit done, I headed back to the office and determined that if that figure was still there I would offer assistance. I prepared myself by visiting the bank first and purposefully walking back the same way. The figure still lay there but I could see movement and rain had stopped, the sleeping bag was, of course, sodden. I knelt and began speaking. Food and drinks were on the pavement for the person so I explained that before trying to persuade them to let me help them to a local launderette, to wash and dry the sleeping bag. As this offer was refused I realised that the person was a woman. I then decided to give her the money which I had withdrawn and asked her to put out her hand so she could receive it. And I pushed the note into the grey hand which emerged from the side of the sleeping bag. Our family has been blessed throughout this year, we’ve not struggled for food, managed to pay bills and debts and though I’m not in the habit of giving money away, I felt humbled to do so. I then headed into the warm dry office.
Whatever you may feel about homelessness and how a person finds themselves sleeping on a rainy pavement in a sleeping bag under some cardboard, I know that individual is known to God who is the Father of us all. And we can be His hands to bring comfort to each other. And as this life is a test, I remember the scripture (Hebrews 13 v2):
Be not forgetful to entertain strangers : for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.
And, of course, this one (Matthew 25 v40):
… Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
It’s been more than 10 weeks since my last post and much has happened, in your lives as well as mine. Change is necessary for progress is my personal motto, it has been for a very long time. In modern speak, I suppose that would show I have a growth mindset. Anyhow here’s a synopsis of what I’ve been experiencing these past weeks 🙂
1. Children grow – when our eldest was about 9 months old, a friend gave me some advice which I believe she had received from another friend who is a mother of 10 children. That advice was, remember it’s a phase. Whatever seemingly difficult stage you or your child is at, view it as a phase. This advice has served me well and has certainly helped me to remain sane! I strive to apply it to other aspects of my life, other relationships. I think one day we will realise how brief mortality is and we’ll see all things clearly (see 1 Corinthians chapter 13 verse 12) For now, when I had to buy yet another pair of school shoes for our youngest, Son2 (approaching 10 years old) and discovered he’s now in the smaller men’s shoe size, I thought, it’s a phase… what size feet will he reach as a grown man!?
2. I’ve decided to look up more, seize the moment, capture now, be a little more impulsive and take more photos of life as it happens – like this photo (no filter) of our yellow sky, pink sun, as a result of Saharan sands a few weeks ago. Related to this, I’m going to post more photos, probably of trees and skies as this reminds me to see the beauty all around. We live on a beautiful planet which serves life well. We, humans, need to serve life well too.
3. The long awaited restructure began at work and some of my older colleagues have been taking stock of what their pensions look like and is it worth retiring a few years early. I’m in the generation that’ll work till 67 years so it’s not something I’ve paid too much attention to (I probably should but I’ve not…) So I was traveling to a meeting with two older colleagues, both male, and one mentioned his wife retired several years ago, she earned quite highly so they were OK. The other chuckled, commenting his wife never earned much and “my wife retired at 23!” I impulsively stood up for his wife and said, “I don’t think she would call it retirement, I’m sure she did a great job raising your sons!” He did accept this but I realised how many people out there devalue their own family, because they are making a different contribution. I’m so glad that as a working mum I could still stand up for my sisters.
4. Glass an hour – this is a little mantra I’ve been telling myself in relation to drinking water. It’s like the fruit & veg, 5 a day, here in the UK. I’m blessed to live where I can turn on a tap at home and work and drink safe water. I know many in the world can’t do that and I, sadly, remember a time when living at my dear mother’s home and she’d been unable to pay the water bill and it was cut off (I don’t think they are allowed to do that now). I walked a couple of miles each day to public toilets to fill bottles of water to bring back home. So I appreciate water and what it means for our health. I don’t think we can ever drink too much but we can certainly have too little, so, as I’ve noticed myself feeling thirsty more often, I’ve tried to drink a glass of water each hour. I always feel much better and less tummy aches when I do this.
5. I mentioned the long awaited restructure at work began. I’m one of the few whose salary will increase, quite significantly, as a result of this due to the grading of my job. Our jobs have now been aligned to public sector gradings and although people many are grumbling that it’s less than private sector pay, I say, well, go and work in the private sector if you want to earn that kind of money; don’t expect public taxes to pay ridiculous amounts for you not to deliver! And around the time the restructuring consultation began, I was approached by the local school of architecture to see if I’d be interested in studio tutoring 🙂 Of course!!!
6. The world wide General Conference #LDSconf was, in my humble opinion, absolutely sublime. I am steadily working my way through all the talks, starting with those given by the apostles. I can only suggest you listen to it – check it out on LDS.org or on YouTube. I don’t have a favourite but memorable messages for me are: am I Sad, Mad or Glad?; women in these last days; the need for humility.
7. Finally, the changing world. The past 10-12 weeks have seen human tragedies on an increasing scale of horrific-ness (i.e shootings, terrorism acts) plus natural incidents, fires, hurricanes, earthquakes. And then political incidents across the globe affecting whole countries and regions. For comfort in these difficult times, I gain comfort from the words of prophets reminding us Who wins in the end and I am striving to be on that team. Elder Dallin H Oaks reminded us of these words from 20 years ago in his talk at conference:
I see a wonderful future in a very uncertain world. If we will cling to our values, if we will build on our inheritance, if we will walk in obedience before the Lord, if we will simply live the gospel, we will be blessed in a magnificent and wonderful way. We will be looked upon as a peculiar people who have found the key to a peculiar happiness.
I’ve returned to my blog – it’s been a while, I know. After the surgery I was signed off work until Christmas Eve and then I already had annual leave booked for the last week in 2016. Then a wait for the biopsy results – all OK for which I am grateful to Father 🙂 So, unexpectedly, I was not at work for the whole of December 2016.
I returned to work on 3 January 2017, as many people. And due to the transfer of the property business, I returned to my former and first ever employer, the city council.
I returned to my desk, with various trade literature and unopened post – after two days it’s still in my in box, unopened.
I returned to my projects – a little model completed for the feasibility study and several outstanding technical queries on the construction project (with a contractor stating the delay is due to ‘us’).
I returned to discover that such was the concern for me that they had approached a local company for costs to deliver the feasibility study! I’ve had several colleagues welcome me back. Since they are all predominantly male colleagues my stock answer is I’m fine – no point getting into a conversation about recovery after laparascopic surgery of a gynaecological nature! – and I swiftly move the conversation on to QS resources, retaining walls or the return to local government.
Back in the home, we’ve also been looking into returnees to Africa. There’s lots on YouTube. As the house in Africa is becomes bigger and our mortgage here becomes smaller (can something grow smaller?…) the prospect of going to Africa long term becomes more real. It will be an adventure for me; it will be returning home for my dear husband. Some would say for me too, clearly, as my ancestry will include slaves taken from Africa to the plantations of the Caribbean islands. I have many deeper thoughts on this. I am grateful to Father to know that somewhere in my family, ancestors survived the ridiculous barbaric cruelty of slavery to have offspring and become free. Free to grow and return.
So yesterday was the long awaited diagnostic day surgery – hysteroscopy and laparoscopy and polypectomy and…
It was an early start – I, unintentionally, woke at 0329h! I lay in bed listening to Mormon Channel Talk trying to go back to sleep – sounds bad but owing to Daur1 breaking my headphones and I can’t receive FM radio without them the BBC World Service was not an option and the talk helps me stay sleepy!! I, intentionally, got up at 0605h, forgot to fill urine sample, eeekk – drank loads of water before 0630h, showered again with the anti-microbacterial soap – paying special attention to nose, underarms and groin – prepared five packed lunches, scraped the car (frosty) and my dear husband and I set off. Admission time 0745h – toilet trip, urine sample! – strip off to underwear, don designer gown (nurse C tells me as I say it feels a bit breezy on the back!), and wait.
First the consultant who will be doing the procedure. Young Dr D (does everyone look young to me!?) accompanied by a fourth year student F (are you even my son’s age!!). Dr D explains they feel it can be resolved by a hormone system being inserted – which will last for 5 years and by then you’ll be 52 so should be into the menopause – and that’s what they plan to do, taking biopsy samples of the womb lining, remove the polyp, take cervix sample, remove any endometriosis found, take sample. Some discussion about possibly removing the right ovary if it’s stuck to the pelvis. I explain our travel plans for next week, Dr D doesn’t think it would be a problem, it’s not a long haul flight. Student F returns to ask if he can feel me while I’m unconscious. Mmmmm… no!! I know students have to gain experience but I’m in no mood for additional feeling!
Bloods taken again (I’d already been to my surgery earlier in the week but apparently they labeled the sample wrong so it wasn’t acceptable). So that ruled out left arm which still has bruising. Nurse C tried right arm – no luck and doesn’t want to make me a human pin cushion so calls a doctor, he tries twice in wrists! Seriously, make sure this is their last option – so painful! Right wrist unsuccessful. Left wrist he use a syringe to draw blood out!! Not pleasant. I’m convinced it’s because I’ve not eaten since the night before and it’s my body’s natural way of protecting itself – I’m not able to give blood either, after a few minutes my veins seem to shrink up. I tried several times when I was younger and the last time they told me not to bother volunteering again!!
Anyway,a young Dr A female anaesthetist entered during this painful process. (Female important because Daur1 wants to be one). Dr A goes through everything and I explained that my only other experience of general anaesthetic left me vomiting until night. That noted I mentioned my dear daughter and Dr A was very encouraging, she can make it, hardest part is getting into medical school.
I’m measured for and fitted with flight socks -to help prevent clotting – I need to wear them for two days. I’m third in line and I hear patient 1 and 2 go in – both laparoscopic hysterectomy – I can’t help hearing, the curtains aren’t acoustic buffers! I should’ve taken a book but I read some scriptures and a LDS conference talk on my phone. Daur1 messages me and suggests an eBook – even if I knew how to download one, I’m sure I don’t have enough phone memory! I asked the nurse for the literature about the Miruna IUS (intra uterine system) of which I will be a recipient.
Around 1155h, wrapped in my dressing gown, in my new boot slippers, now naked under the blue designer gown, I’m walked down to the pre-op theatre room. By 12h two cannulas are in the back of my left hand and another nurse, while sticking on little paddles to my chest and back to set up the heart monitor, begins asking me about work. Ooooh, long study, my son studied architecture and went to Japan on an exchange as a student, he practices in London as part of his training, when you’re young London is great, my daughter recently moved out of London. Are you distracting me? Dr A does another check of the consent paperwork and that I am me. I can hear the beep machine – is that what my heart is doing?… my left arm starts feeling cold, or is it warm?… the beeps are going faster…
It’s 1505h. That must be a big clock, I think, I can see it with no glasses on. And is that my heart beat beeping away… And…. no pain in my pelvis but… tummy pains…. and, oh, I am so cold, I need blankets, I need to sleep…. I’m wheeled back to the ward.
It’s about 1630h when I wake properly. Dr D comes over and explains it all went well. Ovaries were very mobile; small area of endometriosis on left ovary, nothing on right; biopsies taken; IUS fitted; abnormal cells to cervix weren’t very much but biopsy taken; some bleeding when polyp removed; no polyp to womb but adenomyosis confirmed so protestogen hormone should help with that. Biopsy results will take a few weeks. Dr D was happy with procedure and will sign fit note for 7 days, that is, I should be fit for work in 7 days.
Then came the awkward process of moving. Once I was awake they gave me a jug of water. My throat was, and still is, hoarse and they offered toast or biscuits. I opted for biscuits – on the advice of a friend who suggested you could soften them in a warm drink – but I could only face water. I was very dizzy, but they wheeled me to toilet and back. Then I dressed, my dear husband arrived and they let him bring the car round to the front, wheel chair to the door and my hospital day was done.
Back home I had omelette, with cheese and mushrooms, and toast, half a slice. I was not tempted by the chicken and rice that everyone else was eating – I think my dear husband was disappointed by my choice. I was not feeling very mobile and was still very dizzy. I’m grateful for balustrading and walls!!
So today is the day after. I feel a lot better – there are four incisions and I recall the nurse saying two of them have stitches which will need removing in a few days. This morning, Daur1 popped her head round the door and said in a serious tone:
I don’t think we were prepared for this!
😦 I don’t think they were prepared for their mother being out of action for a bit. I heard my dear husband preparing five packed lunches this morning with a warning – nobody should waste this food!!
So, I was very anxious about it all; I won’t feel completely comfortable until the biopsy results are back and hopefully clear. I still don’t understand the right ovary situation, maybe it was lodged somewhere but no lesions holding it in place. But it is a relief to no longer have that pain and to feel I’ll be able to get back exercising. I’m not sure what affect the hormone will have – but it seems to be very low dose, in the right place, so we’ll see. Dr D suggested I’ll need to give it 3 to 6 months.
I’m sure I’m going to feel better everyday – I’m feeling better already 🙂 I needed to write this quickly before I forget the sentiment. Thanks for reading and hopefully my experience can help someone else – sharing is caring! 🙂
The next appointments arrived at the weekend – pre-assessment and then an admissions appointment for surgery. The latter under the care of Dr R, not the same consultant, and the procedures are not listed.
I looked up Dr R. He’s a gynaecological oncologist.
At least it’s only a few days to wait now. I called to confirm the admission appointment, a week after the pre-assessment.
I’m trying hard to not be anxious. I’ve told my boss what’s happening – I don’t know if I’ll be in work towards the end of the month! And I’ve told a colleague I’m working with – our youngest son’s were born within days of each other. His son was diagnosed with retinal cancer months later. We can talk. He did say to me you’re religious, that will be a great help. It is. He understood that it’s the waiting for now; the not knowing what, if anything, is wrong; the silence from every health professional – we agreed that they must be trained not to mention cancer unless they’re fairly certain. The first medical professional to say it with their son was when they sat in Great Ormond Street hospital!
So I’m hoping that next week they’ll be able to give some answers, let me know what will happen the week after, and what happens from there. I’ll let you know 🙂
That’s the strap line of a billboard advertising an adult rated game showing several people holding guns. I was going to post a picture but that advertises the game! So here’s a family stock photo!
It seems to me that the advertisers have replaced the kill for die and therefore make the whole game seem more… honourable. Literally glorifying violence! 😦
It’s an(other) example of how we, and our children, are being bombarded with slightly false messaging. After all, most people love their families enough that if it were asked of them, they would risk their own lives. But this false messaging seems symptomatic of the last days, these perilous times that Paul described (2 Timothy 3 vv1-5), particularly having a form of godliness.
1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come….
3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,…
5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof:
I did listen to this wonderful talk from one of the female LDS church leaders, which speaks of these perilous times and how we, as women, need to rise up in strength. I encourage you to listen and be uplifted 🙂
Back in the spring, you may recall if I shared it, that I started experiencing pain/ aching in my pelvis, right side, after my morning jog. I’ve been experiencing aches on that side for a few years but it started becoming quite intense. I’ve been to the doctor a few times, the last time the GP (after telling me to lose weight) referred me to physiotherapy (about a year ago) which helped marginally. So about 6 months ago when the pain started increasing, I knew I should go back but was reluctant since I thought I’d be dismissed. Then, around the same time as the upping of pain, I noticed more frequent, irregular periods. Something was clearly happening down there! After the mammograms, I gained a bit of courage and called the doctor’s surgery.
The surgery has started a triage system, so I had to tell the receptionist why I wanted to see a doctor. I’ve had this pain for a few years and it’s getting worse. Doctor will call you back. An hour or so later a doctor calls me back and within minutes offers me an appointment for the same afternoon. This was amazing to me, previously one would be offered an appointment the following week, or at least a couple of days later. Clearly the triage system is clearing appointments.
Dr L was very nice, listened to my story and asked what I thought it was. Self diagnosis!? I said I’d, of course, been checking the internet and figured either hernia or something with the ovaries, cyst, but, you’re the doctor! Can you feel anything pushing out? No. Unlikely to be a hernia. Have you heard of endometriosis? Based on what you’ve said that’s what I think it is, it can usually be treated through hormone pills/ injection so I’m referring you for a pelvic scan. At last!! So the scan was last week.
My appointment letter noted that I was due both an abdominal and transvaginal ultrasound – basically both external and internal. I’ve had both before – external ultrasound with the children and internal some time ago following an early miscarriage. My dear husband was also in attendance.
Same! Hard work isn’t it?
Said Dr G as I said we had four children and continued to chat explaining what was going to happen and putting me more at ease. I’ve decided that gynaecological sonographers (they’re still doctors) must be the customer service equivalent of the doctor world – so kind!! Her previous appointment had cancelled so she had as much as an hour for us!
External scan – while feeling like I was going to wet myself – was relatively quick. Right ovary looked the right size, nothing on or around it from that view – i.e. no cyst or tumou . Quick toilet break and then the internal. I mostly focused on a single spot on the ceiling and my breathing until pain – oh, is that tender? Followed by a bit more prodding to firmly establish that, yes, that is tender, sore, painful. It felt like a good 20 minutes and she said little more until I was released to get fully dressed. So the verdict? Right ovary is low down, squashed under the rectum, and could have some endometriosis behind. And have you heard of adenomyosis? Well, this is your womb (showing blurry black and white images on the monitor) and normally we’d expect to see a white line showing the edge of the womb about here – she indicated a grey mass – but for this stage of your cycle this is really thick. Adenomyosis is basically endometriosis in the womb muscle lining but the cells can’t shed, so the womb muscle lining gets bulky. We’re looking for markers for adenomyosis and this is one of them. I’m going to put you in my book of interesting cases so I can follow up. Your doctor will refer you to the gynaecologist, and if were me, they’ll probably want a biopsy of the womb lining.
To be honest, I’m hugely relieved that she found something abnormal – that the pain I’ve been experiencing has a reason behind it, even though it’s not quite diagnosed and I’m not sure what will be done to resolve it, I mean, can surgery raise an ovary, or is it more likely to be removed? And yesterday I received a call from my doctor, notifying that the referral has been made. So I’m waiting for the appointment letter and researching on how a womb lining biopsy sample is taken!
People say things about the NHS but I’m grateful that we have it – I’ve paid national insurance and taxes so I’m glad it’s there. It may not be perfect, mistakes can happen and things can take time, but at least it’s there for all.
On Monday we dropped off our three eldest children at the church youth camps for the week. (It’s quiet at home!)
The difference in the camps for the young women (YW) and the young men (YM)! Wow!! This shouldn’t surprise me but it is enlightening to compare!
First stop at a little before 10h was YW camp, to the north of home. A beautiful green, well kept field, with new shower facilities, much to the relief of Daur1 who had already warned her sister, Daur2, “don’t shower barefoot!!”. Everyone worked together to erect large 6-8 man tents which the girls will be sharing in their age groups. A large marquee was also erected as a food tent, and each girl had been asked to bring not only secret sister gifts to share but also a camp seat/ chair (so they don’t have to sit on the ground). As we hugged farewell Daur2 noted there’s music for the devotionals – a portable organ.
The kit list for the Young Men was similar, minus gifts, camp seats, and including tents. My dear husband and I picked up Son1 (and Son2, too young for the camps, having ate first lunch prepared by Son1) around lunch time and headed south, into the forest. Following the instructions we pulled into a discrete car park behind a golf course club house. A gate in a hedge met us and beyond a grove opened up – the leader greeted us. As we entered the shady grove, several tents had already been pitched around a central area with rubber mats and a rope with a large knot hanging from a tree. I made no comment on what this scene could suggest… There were a few ‘seen better days’ huts and Son1 immediately began pitching his 4-man (all for me) tent at one end of the tent round, closest to the fire pit. I noted plenty of logs that could double up for seats. Others arrived, tents continued to go up, each team of young men working alone or with who they came. Help was not requested and when offered it was rejected – we’re almost there. It was such a macho scene!! Son1 looked embarrassed as I helped with the tent – but I didn’t care, I’m his mother!! We left as more young men arrived and I really wonder if they will all fit – I think there will be some tent sharing for Son1. I’m concerned that he seems to feel he’ll cope without a sleeping mat… night temperatures have dropped… but that was his choice, he refused to get one. His sisters took the air beds/ mattresses 🙂
We left Son1 deep in the forest and headed to my mother’s house for lunch – Son2’s second lunch!
I am absolutely sure they will have fantastic camps. Men and women are different in so many great ways. We have to learn from and be here for each other.
I’ve heard it said that women are not great at accepting compliments. I don’t know what research has been done on this but no doubt an internet search would reveal plenty. For me, the giving of compliments and the receiving of them – both have a feel good factor.
In my teens, …, well, far too hormonal, but given and received, in support of each other as we grew together, becoming solid in our own selves.
In my 20’s, they were given and received; a consistent, consolidated support network. For me, I discovered lipstick! And solid friendships based on trust.
In my 30’s, a changing decade with young children, new friends, and it took effort to feel… I need to choose my words… It took effort to ‘look good’… I don’t think I looked bad, rather, I perfected a minimalist approach to dressing and grooming. It worked. I gave lots of compliments as I genuinely felt that anyone who managed to groom themselves with more than one child to take care of deserves a compliment. I’m not sure if people who have not been in that situation realise the logistics involved with being responsible for little people and yourself.
In my 40’s, current decade, I try to give lots of compliments,… ties, cardigans, hair… And it’s always a great way to start a conversation, look for something that you like about another person. Most people will respond with a smile and a “thank you.” I’ve rediscovered lipstick and newly discovered eye liner! I usually do the same when I receive a compliment.
The other day, I received a genuine compliment from a taxi driver. The taxi, to take me to the train station arrived early, as Son2 was off to school. As we headed to the station the driver asked who would pick up my son since I would be in London for the day (work). I briefly stated our eldest Son1 and the driver asked how old is he. I wasn’t sure where the conversation was heading, and not wanting to give too much away, I replied with a vague, “oh he’s nearly 18.” Immediately the driver said:
You don’t look old enough to have a child that age!
Wow! I thought and said, “uh, thank you, but I definitely am!”
The driver continued on about how he saw children left to go home alone, or stay with neighbours. He asked how I managed with teenage children today. I found myself sharing how my husband and I are Latter Day Saints, attended church & activities together with the children and I felt that as long as families could do things together with strong family values, regardless of religion, then that helps. He understood and shared an example of where parents did one thing but expected the children to behave differently – the children didn’t and behaved the way the parents did! By then we had reached the station and I was grateful to have the opportunity to share the importance of family values with another child of God through what started as a compliment.