“Hi, Mrs….” The doctor checked her manila folder in her arm. “Moss. So you told the nurse that you wanted to remove the Mirena because….” she glanced down again to refer to her notes “because you said it is ‘making you crazy’?”

“Yes, take that evil thing out of me, please.  I tried the other night, but the position was quite uncomfortable.”

The young ladies eyes grew huge and she looked up at me for the first time.  I was laying back on the white sheet, ready to be violated, once again.  After giving birth to 5 children, I had become used to random people in scrubs checking out everything under the hood.  Unfortunately.  I cracked a half smile, not to take it easy on the Doc, but because I had half considered removing it myself after learning of it’s effect on my body.  With my estrogen  double what it naturally should be, it’s no wonder I had gained so much weight so fast.

“You are kidding right? You didn’t really try and remove it yourself….”

“No, but I thought about it.”

“Okay… SO, tell me why you want to remove the Mirena…?”

I wasn’t sure if she had time for me to relay the whole drawn out story, or if she was really interested, or just asking because that was her job.

“Well, let’s see.” I said, getting ready to dump it all on her.  After all, I might just feel better if I transferred some of my stress to her.  “I have felt REALLY tired from the day I had it put in, so I hide in the bathroom and play  ‘Plants Vs. Zombies’ whenever I get a chance.  I have had bloating and have resorted to wearing *J.O.N.’S* sweats because they are more comfortable than my own.  I have pretty much been a ‘she wolf’, and not JUST on the full moon.  When I walk into the room, my kids pretend they didn’t see me and slink away.  I spend each day tromping around, thinking about what is wrong with everything and everyone, and for the first time since my post partum depression, remembered how screwed up this world is.  I get headaches, but I don’t take any pills…even Tylenol, so I just squint and looked around like Gollum from ‘Lord of the Rings’.  I don’t want to be around my kids, and almost locked them out of the house….several times.  I don’t want to do anything I used to, I think I’m depressed.  I’m not sure, but I don’t like to talk on the phone, because I’m afraid people will realize I have been possessed by an evil spirit.  I don’t like to answer the door because, well, I am wearing Jon’s sweats and squinting, and thinking about what is wrong with the visitor the whole time.  I would rather lay in bed and pick my nose than go to my daughter’s soccer game and try to act normal….” I looked over….”Should I go on?”

I could tell she had realized there was a nut job lying on her table and wanted to take that Mirena out of me faster than even I wanted it out.  She had stopped jotting down all of my complaints, who knows when, and was pulling out her tools to “take a look.”

“Put your feet in the stirrups and slide down to the end of the table please. hmmmm let me see.”

I laid there wondering how women deal with so much crap.  Our bodies are yanked around, stretched out, pulled several directions at once, sucked on, while expected to balance the weight of the world on our shoulders.  No small task.

“Hmmmm well, you should have two small strings so I can pull it out, but I don’t see them.”

Me. “………”

“Let me go get my other set of tools so I can get inside the cervix.”

Me. “……………………………..”

The lady walked out of the door *let me repeat* WALKED OUT OF THE DOOR while I lay there in stirrups with my bare butt on the table.  I just covered my face with my arms.  “Really lady?  I know I came to planned parenthood because I couldn’t get into my normal O.B.G.Y.N. fast enough, but really?  I am not a piece of meat on the cutting board, I have feelings you know!  I HAVE WANTS AND NEEDS AND YOU ARE SUCH A…. ”

“Hi, I’m back.”


“Let’s see.”

Finally she fished that nasty little monster out of there.  She held it up for me to see, like I had given birth to a wire alien.  I peaked with one fearful eye.  I took one last look at that device that had caused so much Hell, and was glad to be done with it.

“So, do you have any plans for birth control?”

“No, Jon and I fixed that problem a long time ago.  The Mirena was just to hopefully stop my year long period.  I plan on taking bio-idential hormones to even out the madness.”

She looked at me again, like I was crazy.

“Did you know those hormones are made with horses.”


“Did you know that they use horses urine to produce it?”


Now, I didn’t know if she was just trying to be obstinate because I had been, or if she was serious.  She didn’t look like the kidding type….much to book wormie for that.

“You know what lady, I don’t care what kind of animal’s urine it is made up of, if it doesn’t make me feel like a whacked out psycho chick. I don’t even care if I have to drink the horse urine straight!”

“Well ok.” she said

She exited the office, and I proceeded to get dressed.  I was worn out, physically, mentally, and emotionally.  I was done.  I glanced over and saw a penny laying on the floor.  My heart lightened, a half grin returning to my face, and my eyes weren’t quite so squinted.  I bent down to pick it up and a tear came to my eye.  Pennies hold a special place in my heart.  They have for about 15 years now, ever since my Grandpa Gourley passed away.  My Grandpa.  My Hero.  Flashes of his memories and love came flooding back to me.  It was an answer, a tender mercy.

“My Grandpa had even made it into the OBGYN’s office and left me a penny, to help me feel loved!  He is AMAZING” I thought.

I put the coin in my pocket, and left that office a new woman.  I felt like it was another new beginning.  The next chapter of my book was finally here.  I don’t think it was by chance that I was already planning to visit my Grandma Gourley in a few hours.  I hadn’t seen her since Christmas when she was very sick and in the hospital and rehab for a month.  I was never able to visit her then, because we were all sick.  I drove home and loaded up the kids so we could drive out to Salt Lake for dinner.  Jon would be picking up Kentucky Fried Chicken, one of my Grandma’s *and Grandpa’s* favorites.

My brother Dave and his family came out and met us there, and we had a great time visiting.  Although Dave and I fought growing up, he is dang near top of my list of favorite people. Only behind…hmmm nobody.  Grandma told my kids stories of her childhood, and we laughed together.  She asked each of the kids what grade they were in, the same question I remember her asking me when I was a child.  She seemed so happy.  It was obvious she had been blessed with a long life, full of love and laughter.  Although she couldn’t tell us her old stories in detail anymore, she could embrace the young with her same vigor.  I remember her kissing me on the lips every time I came to visit, and feeling kind of awkward.  I actually practiced turning my head when she welcomed me to her home, which turned out to be great practice for dating years to come. 

We ate.  We talked.  We watched the little kids run around together and miss smashing the vases, just barely.  I remembered as I looked up on the wall and saw family photos, what it was all about.  Family.  Smells of oranges and lilac bushes came flooding into my soul.  Memories of my childhood at my Grandparents, full of hugs and kisses and snuggling in their bed.  Voices came booming silently into my ear, “There’s my Janae!  Do you like my big nose?” “Janae, come and sit on my lap and tell Grandpa how school is.  Tell me about the boys, and tell me how dance is going!”  …..  “Remember Janae, it is okay that you are starting a family early and not going to college.  This is your calling now.  I love you.” ….  “Don’t waste time away, not one day wishing it was the future.  Time goes by fast enough on it’s own.”

“Janae, I am proud of you.” The same thing he told me when he visited me in a very spiritual dream once about ten years ago. 

I couldn’t express how much I miss my Grandpa.  My Grandma is an amazing woman, and she sat there on her couch a reflection of the both of them, sitting hand in hand.  They were a team.  They are a team.  She is here and he is on the other side, both supporting family in the best way that they can.  I looked at my kids and wondered if they understood the love that is pouring down from heaven from those unseen.  Generations of family, supporting…. listening….. and watching out for their welfare.

And then I wondered if I really understood it.  

I think this is why I enjoy hiking in the mountains so much.  I hear whispers in the wind, of people gone before me, that I love.

I watched Jon hurry around the room and serve the kids and my Grandma, because he knows I am tired, and I thank my Lucky Stars (or in other words) My Heavenly Father, for such an amazing man.  He swept the floor, set up chairs, and wiped the kitchen so I could talk to my brother and sister in law, and my Grandma. The kids performed their version of “Little Red Riding Hood”, and we laughed.

Eventually, we all became tired and decided it was time to end the day, so we took a picture of the grand kids with Grandma Gourley

I couldn’t help but notice the picture hanging above the couch.  It was the same picture I looked at when I was younger, but in a different house.  It’s no wonder my heart is in the mountains, or why I hear my Grandpa in the mountains.  Another flash of his memory came back to me… “Janae, hold the gun steady.  Line the little ball up between the notch and squeeeeeze….”  My grandpa had taught me to shoot with my dad when I was younger.  I hunted many years, but never shot anything that was alive.  Eventually I met my husband that loved hunting ducks, and I hunted with him.

Now the only kind of shooting I do, is with a camera. (other than the occasional gun range or target shoot).   I remembered that I had gone to feed the ducks earlier that morning with Tiff.  I couldn’t believe the day had felt so long.  The ducks were hungry, and the kids loved feeding them.

A tradition we hold sacred in our family.  

Jon fed the ducks with Sydney when she was just a baby.  I fed the ducks with Jon and Syd when Syd when she was a bit older.  We have taken each child to feed the duck as they have grown.  There is something special about feeding ducks.  It’s calming and happy to watch each duck get so excited to get one crumb of food.

Why can’t we be more like ducks, just happy with the crumbs?

Tiff and I pushed the kids on the swings, and talked about life.  I had visited with Mandy and Camille on the phone earlier that day.  My dad had called to catch me up on the happenings in Disney World, and I received several sweet emails from old and new friends.

It was then, and now as I type, that I realize although I have felt crazy and like life is spinning out of control, I have people all around me that care.  On earth, and in heaven.  Sometimes I feel isolated in my thoughts, but all that I really need to do is open my eyes a bit wider to see the Lucky Penny staring up at me from the ground.