Refracting Ebola Scare By Celebrating The Good Life

Just a few hours from the busy Texas Medical Center in Houston is the deadly Ebola virus waiting to unleash an epidemic. The past two weeks, health workers are being debrief of all the precautionary measures as well as the likelihood of being caught in the middle of a mass chaos. It’s like watching the movie Outbreak only this time, it’s for real.

AustinAs an ER nurse, I belong to the front line group. If ever I have a positive Ebola patient, I have to leave my family and be quarantined for 21 days. Am I scared? Terrified! But this is the profession I’ve chosen and so did the millions of health workers in America. Can I ran from it? No. Can I overcome my fear of it? Absolutely.

This weekend, instead of dwelling on fear and negativity, me and my family went to Steiner Ranch in Austin to celebrate my son’s 9th Birthday with our closest friends and relatives. This weekend, we chose to celebrate the good life and all its blessings.

AustinWe chose to laugh and have fun instead of dwelling on the Ebola hysteria and paranoia. We chose to trust God and believe that he will protect us from all kinds of harm.

AustinSo, allow me to celebrate with you my 2-day Fall weekend escape in Austin.  A place which in so many ways been our little oasis and sanctuary for the past two years.

AustinOur boat party begins at Emerald Point Marina in Lake Travis. No one drove a boat before, so bear with me as we listen carefully to the instructions of Mr. Boat Expert from Just For Fun watercraft rental. Better safe than sorry, right?

AustinWe’re simply going to cruise slowly for 2 hours. It’s meant to be a relaxing ride and not a pre-Halloween scare. Every now and then, we’ll experience some rough waves as other boats pass on either sides. The boat will rock for several seconds but after that, it’s back to smooth sailing.

Time to sing “Happy Birthday,” and blow the candle. My 9-year old gave a shy yet happy smile as he blew the candle and made his wish.

AustinWho wants a slice of the Lemon Bundt Cake? It so good that I guarantee all your worries will melt away with each bite. Make it two? No problem. We got enough cake for all.

AustinThe Pancit and Pork BBQ are both delicious. Pancit is a Filipino noodle cuisine commonly served during special occasions and gatherings. It symbolizes long life and good health both for the celebrant and the guests. Let’s raise our Pancit and say, “To a long, good life!”

AustinOur day’s fun is not over yet. After the boat ride, we are heading to the best Pumpkin Patch in Marble Falls called Sweet Berry Farm. Choose your own pumpkin and experience for yourself the magic of Autumn.

AustinMy son and his cousin had a great time playing at the Pumpkin Patch.

AustinJust before we left the farm, we found our perfect pumpkin. Upon reaching home, we proceeded to carve our Jack-O-Lanterns. When night came, we placed excitedly our candle-lit Jack-O-Lanterns outside the front door.

AustinSunday, it’s brunch date at Steiner Ranch Steakhouse. The roast beef and smoked salmon is a must try. While savoring the food over great stories of old memories and treasured friendship, enjoy the panoramic view of Lake Travis while listening to live Country Music.

AustinIt was hard to leave. It was hard to say goodbye. We drove back to Houston renewed and ready to face any scare life may bring, Ebola included. When I look at these pictures and remember the great times we had in Austin, I am reminded that life is good no matter how many bad or scary days I had.  That life is meant to be lived, savored, celebrated every moment and chances of everyday.

Austin

This week’s Photo Challenge is all about Refraction. Mine hopes to overcome adversities with goodness and positivity. May not be much but it’s a start. Tomorrow, I’m driving to the Medical Center to learn the proper use of Personal Protective Equipment against Ebola. Scared? Nah!

Wishing you all a good, long, happy life…

 

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About Island Traveler

A father, a husband, a son, a brother, a friend, a traveler, an optimist hoping to create something good & meaningful to every person he shares his world, his home, his dreams, his hope & heart with.
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49 Responses to Refracting Ebola Scare By Celebrating The Good Life

  1. bigbird34 says:

    Love your positive attitude! What a great way to spend a birthday. Everything is in His hands and works for the good.

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  2. Great interpretation…

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  3. Gail says:

    Sounds like you and your family had a wonderful little adventrue. Love the Jack-o-lanterns!!!
    I’m married to a med-surg nurse. They have not even started any Ebola training education for their nurses at his hospital! Nothing. And quite honestly, that really surprises me. It was on our news that only two hospitals in this area are “preparing.”

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    • Thanks Gail. It is really disappointing that hospitals are not taking it seriously but more importantly, the lack of concern for health workers and their families. I heard yesterday that a doctor in New York became positive for Ebola. People will be traveling especially with the holidays closing in and that will make its spread pretty easy. May God keep you and your family safe always.

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      • Gail says:

        Thanks. My husband said they have put notes up (in employee bathrooms of all places– which leads me to think they didn’t want the general public or patients to see them) saying that all Ebola cases or suspected Ebola cases would be going to a sister hospital just down the street. He came home just a few days ago and said they are asking for nurse VOLUNTEERS to go to this other hospital to help care for any Ebola patients they may get. Personally, I think they need to offer some sort of “Hazard Pay,” but that’s just me!

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  4. Sherri says:

    Dear friend, with so much to scare us, or try to scare us, in the news today, this post shines like a beacon of hope, positivity, faith and inspiration in a dark world. What a wonderful day out and a very Happy Birthday to your darling little boy 🙂 Such a close, happy and love and laughter-filled celebration. At times like these, surrounded by family, friends and loved ones, we truly can count our blessings and be sure of what is most important in life. Yes, it is scary out there right now. Here in the UK screenings are now performed at our international airports but they say it is already too late as some arriving here might already have the virus. But without faith our fears would surely overcome us…and you bring such joy and light in your beautiful posts. You also remind me of so many happy memories of my days spent with my children at this time of the year visiting the pumpkin patch, selecting that extra-special pumpkin and then carving the Jack-O-Lantern. I loved those days…and so happy for you to have these precious family times. Sending all blessings your way…and keep safe 🙂

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    • “But without faith our fears would surely overcome us…” Thanks for sharing generously Sherri. Reading you posts and your comments always bring comfort and inspiration. Our children help us forget our worries by allowing us to laugh, have fun, find adventures, to focus on goodness, to celebrate life everyday to the fullest. There are certain things that are beyond our control and during this troubled times, faith, family and friendship will help us overcome all. Have a great weekend and God bless always.

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  5. misswhiplash says:

    Have a great time..I can see that you are enjoying your life and so you should , but please my dear friend ….stay safe…God is with you so I know that He will protect and care for you

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    • Thanks Patrecia. I try my best to enjoy life when time permits. The last several years had been tough and everyday, problems and drama never seem to stop. Trying to enjoy life helps me keep my sanity. God is good and I know he will always be there for all of us. God bless and be safe my friend. Regards to your family.

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  6. Debbie M. says:

    I love the title of this post, especially the part about “refracting ebola.” Fear is refracted, i.e., viewed differently, through eyes of faith in family, love, goodness and God.

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    • The first day we heard of Ebola getting close to Houston, we all panicked. Our family scared of what would would happen if indeed it reaches our facility. The truth is, as health workers, we are already exposed to all forms of sickness, virus and bacteria every time we worked but never thought it seriously until the media frenzy about Ebola. Everyday thousands die from heart disease, cancer, sepsis, car accidents yet people are not alarmed. One death from Ebola and almost everyone living in fear. When we realize that we can refract such fears with love and assurance from God, family and friends, then all will mellow down and once again, we’ll find peace. Thanks Debbie.

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  7. Your Positive outlook on life is very commendable dear Island Traveler and yes God tells us to focus on what is good not bad or evil as we see in the Scripture below.

    Philippians 4 ( 8- 9 ) Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.

    I was saddened to think that there are some who will say that the Ebola virus was sent by God but He tells us all good things come from Him and He does not do evil to bring good out of it. We won’t Trust someone who we think will deliberately hurt us, can you imaging planning to hurt your greatly Loved son Island traveler, nor does God and He is a greater Father than you are and your amazing but whatever we encounter in Life our Loving Abba Father is with us as we see once again in the Scriptures below.

    Isaiah 43:1-3 – Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown! When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour.”

    Jeremiah 29 :11-12 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a Hope.

    Lamentations 3: 33 For God doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men.

    Christian Love Always from both of us – Anne.

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    • Thank you Anne. Thanks for sharing God’s love for us. I too believe that all things good comes from God. That he only wants the best for us. It is sad when people say Ebola comes from God. The planet now became what it is because of man’s own doing. We abuse nature. We plunder God’s creation. We create bioterrorism organisms like Ebola as weapons of war and other political greed. Man destroy each other yet blame God for its consequence. I hope and pray that we all find the peace, love and joy we seek with God’s grace. Once we do, no matter how many troubles we will face, we will overcome them. God bless my friend.

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  8. YES! Lemon bundt cake, please!! Love that dessert!
    The colors in every single photo are super fantastic! What camera did you use!!?
    Seeing you all in that pumpkin patch really brought back so many fond memories! Today my daughter and I were reminiscing about how I brought her and her brothers every year to a “cut your own pumpkin” farm and how EVERY year her bros would mock threaten each other over who chose the best one! Seeing your family in the midst of making your future memories/stories made mine seem more nostalgic yet special…as always, thank you for sharing and bringing me back!!

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    • Thank you. Beautiful memories last forever and when we remember them, it’s like it happened only yesterday. I used my iPhone 5S and enhance some with camera plus app. I stopped carrying the bigger camera for a while now. It’s easier to capture quick memories with a camera phone and they are getting better every year. Pumpkin patch and carving is a lot of fun. It’s part of a childhood magic that I truly appreciate here in America. All the best of blessings to you and your family.

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  9. arlene says:

    We always say, “Let go and let God”. Let Him do the worrying for us, enjoy the life we’re blessed with. What a lovely post. Happy birthday to your son 🙂

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    • So true, “Let go and Let God!” So many times we forget about him, especially when we are busy, overwhelmed or at the top on the world ecstatic. May we remember always to simply do our best and trust God with the rest. Thank you. Best of blessings to you and your family.

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  10. Becky says:

    This was beautiful! Happy Birthday to your son…he is getting so big! I pray that God will continue to Bless you and your family with good health and many more years together! Thank you for sharing these positive words of wisdom.
    God is GOOD…ALL the time! 🙂
    Becky

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  11. Yes, “God is GOOD, ALL the time!” There will be trials. There will be tears. But when we let God be our God, each life event, good or bad brings forth inner meaning, calmness and joy because now we know we belong to him and that he will always keep us safe. Thanks. God bless.

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  12. M.Winter says:

    What a fun way to celebrate a birthday! Penge pancit! ;-P God bless.

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  13. Looks like your son had a wonderful birthday celebration surrounded by family 🙂 Love the pumpkin patch photos. I admire your positive attitude on facing Ebola and I thank you and all of those in the medical profession for helping others, especially in times like these. ~Sophia

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    • Thanks Sophia. We can’t allow fear to overwhelm us. The media I think created a mass hysteria and panic. Like a domino effect, the fear rippled all over Texas especially in health related fields where everyone is vulnerable. Thank God, faith and sensibility set in!

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  14. milicaaa97 says:

    Doing the right thing. 🙂

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  15. Island Traveler … I also believe that we cannot allow ourselves to be held hostage by fear. What a beautiful, positive message to share with your family and your readers. Happy 9th birthday to your son. I so wish I was there to celebrate that day with you AND to eat some of that fabulous lemon bundt cake. 😉 Stay safe, my friend.

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    • Thanks Judy. The hysteria died down here in Texas but now we have to screen every patient for Ebola question…from those with toothaches to those with serious sickness. So if one is having a heart attack, we’re still to ask,” Have you been to Ebola affected countries in the last 21 days?” Seriously? Yes, seriously! But then it’s a blessing I guess cause now everyone is on the defensive, extra-careful mode. Better safe than sorry.

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  16. Your photos are so bright and cheery in the face of such a scary reality. Way to go. We have to trust in something larger than ourselves and live the moments we do have with vitality.

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    • Thanks Renee. We have to find our reason for sanity in the midst of chaos and fear. To celebrate the good and brightest of things instead of dwelling on the bad. After so many bad stuff in my past, I finally found a way to let go and just see life as a blessing in general. For as long as there is tomorrow, there is hope for all of us. We needed to celebrate that weekend away from Houston and to simply regroup and be renew. It worked!

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      • auntyuta says:

        It’s great, IT, that you celebrated the way you did. Best wishes for your son, also for you and all your family. I hope you had some lovely Halloween. Your pumpkins do look wonderful again. You are real experts at carving them! 🙂

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  17. I know someone who stopped going to church, stopped visiting friends, or letting them come to visit her for fear of catching a germ. People like you, who place yourselves at risk to help people are heroes, and you are AWESOME. You are modeling courage, generosity, and humanity not only for your son, but for us all. THANK YOU!

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    • My wife’s first reaction upon hearing about the Ebola so close to Houston was, “You need to find another job that doesn’t involve direct patient care.” I was like, “I’m a nurse. That is not possible. Besides, Ebola virus can be anywhere. Walmart, Target, even your favorite store, Marshall’s.” Humor helps! Thanks Naomi.

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  18. You have a dangerous profession – please take good care of yourself. Your family needs you alive for a long time to come. I applaud your optimism and good spirits in the face of what could be a very panicky time.

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    • Thank you. I appreciate the genuine concern and thoughtfulness. I wish to share your kind thoughts to all health workers out there constantly at harms way so they can help other people get well and be healed. God is good. I know he protects all his workers in the health profession.

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  19. Got my training on donning and doffing my personal protective equipment for Ebola preparedness. I hope you nor I will have to use it. But if we will, I hope we are ready.

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    • We practiced too and everyone got scared after seeing how I did poorly with my first PPE demonstration. More practice for me. I think we will be never be totally ready but we have to do our best to be safe, PPE and all. Take care of yourself too and yes, I hope and pray we will never have to use it…ever!

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  20. I mean, you nor I will *never* have to use it

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  21. Lovely positive post, and a wonderful birthday for your son. You are right to feel the way you do, and I hope things will improve for the world soon as far as Ebola is concerned anyway. Somebody has to nurse the patients, and you will continue to be brave if called upon to do it.

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    • Thank you. Somebody indeed has to take care of sick patients. If all health providers will be living in fear and everyone abandon their work, there will be global chaos, much worse than what Ebola can do. So to my brothers and sisters in the health field, thank you for braving up and for truly embracing our commitment to serve humanity no matter what.

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  22. Dont know if my puny comment will matter but couldnt stop myself from commenting…every1 out there is praising ur positivity…n it ought to be praised…i know how hard it is to fight all your fears n shove them to one corner of your mind..i was feeling a bit low today but your blog made me realize how stupid i was behaving…yes..i do want d cake..it looks so very delectable…the pumpkin patch was awesome aswell..i had never seen something like that before…thank you for a new experience…may d trust n love every1 has for u always be ur strength…

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    • I had so many hard fear provoking trials in my life through the years that somehow, Ebola didn’t bothered me as much as other people did. My wife even suggested I find another department that doesn’t involve direct patient care. We can’t really freeze our lives and ran away. It’s something we have to face if ever it happens. I always believe that if it is our time, it is our time. Besides, with God’s protection and our families presence, we will never be alone in our worst fear. Thanks for sharing and for the kind thoughts. All the best to you and your family.

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  23. Hi Mr. B, have been meaning to write you and to let you know that i prayed for you when i heard that the dreaded disease is in your side of the sphere… but as i read your post, my heart was warmed by your faith and trust in the Lord who is our utmost Protector and Sovereign comfort.

    this may be late in coming, but please hug the little one for us (although, he is no way little anymore)… our best regards to Mrs. B as well.

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    • Thank you April. So many prayed and I know God heard it. We are not that scared anymore though we are being prepared for it. I think everyone over reacted because of to much media coverage including me and my wife. Our ER has a special Ebola room that looks like from the movie by Dustin Hoffman’s Outbreak. God is good and I know he will take care of all of us. Faith, family, friendship will help us survive anything. Regards to your family. God bless my friend.

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