Saturday, July 24, 2010

lost right in front of us - but oh! so found

Dad's Alzheimers is overtaking what is really precious now.
His little blondie, Gracie, seems to be lost to him.
"Where did you grow up?" he asked her the other day.

"Dad, I'm your blondie, Gracie. I grew up in your house with you. I'm your daughter."
"No one told me that!"
He's so lost in another world, yet there sits that once wonderfully active, strong and handsome body.
He's pretty much gone.
Why does God leave him here?
What is left to us?
Whenever Gracie reads Scripture in the garden or gets out the old church hymnal to sing or asks Dad to pray, Dad is unnervingly in the moment. He is coherent, accurate, quotes Scripture, full of praise, aware of family names and needs.
Why does God leave him here with us?

So that we can see God in all His glory in this disease-ravaged, imperfect and broken vessel we still lovingly call "Dad".
A few weeks ago - maybe even as recently as this morning, to be honest - I would have said that Dad wouldn't want to live like this - in a nursing home, unable to go where he wants to go, be home with his dear wife of 56 years, drive his car, watch TV in his own family room, feed the birds, take a walk. But he is living how he has always lived - giving praise to His dear Savior.
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:16-19

Thursday, July 22, 2010

here and now

I read this in a blog this morning and want to remember it.

Do you realise that the only time in our lives when we like to get old is when we're kids?
If you're less than 10 years old, you're so excited about ageing that you think in fractions.
'How old are you?' 'I'm four and a half!' You're never thirty-six and a half.
You're four and a half, going on five! That's the key.
You get into your teens, now they can't hold you back. You jump to the next number, or even a few ahead.
'How old are you?'
'I'm gonna be 16!' You could be 13,
but hey, you're gonna be 16!
And then the greatest day of your life ...... .
You become 21.
Even the words sound like a ceremony.
You become 21.....YES!
But then you turn 30. Oooohh,
what happened there?
Makes you sound like bad milk!
He TURNED; we had to throw him out.
Then you're PUSHING 40.... Whoa!
Put on the brakes,
it's all slipping away.
Before you know it, you REACH 50 and your dreams are gone
But wait!!!
You MAKE it to 60.
You didn't think you would!
You've built up so much speed that you HIT 70!
After that it's a day-by-day thing.

You get into your 80's and every day is a complete cycle.
And it doesn't end there.
Before you know it, you are into the 90s, you start going backwards;
'I Was JUST 92.'
Then a strange thing happens.
If you make it over 100, you become a little kid again. 'I'm 100 and a half!' May you all make it to a healthy 100 and a half!!

Some things to remember - no matter how old you are:
1. Throw out nonessential numbers.
This includes age, weight and height. Let the doctors worry about them. That is why you pay 'them'
2. Keep only cheerful friends.
The grouches pull you down.
3. Keep learning.
Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever... Never let the brain idle. 'An idle mind is the devil's workshop.' And the devil's name is Alzheimer's.
4. Enjoy the simple things.
5. Laugh often, long and loud.
Laugh until you gasp for breath.
6. Tears happen. Endure, grieve, and move on.
The only person, who is with us our entire life, is ourselves. Be ALIVE while you are alive.
7. Surround yourself with what you love.
That means family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever. Your home is your refuge.
8.Cherish your health:
If it is good, preserve it. If it is unstable, improve it. If it is beyond what you can improve, get help.
9. Don't take guilt trips.
Take a trip to the mall, even to the next county; to a foreign country but NOT to where the guilt is. And don't travel alone if you can help it.
10. Tell the people that you love them, at every opportunity.
AND ALWAYS REMEMBER : Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

moving out

Lydia is not a little girl anymore.
Lydia is moving out.
She is beginning to pack for the big move next week to a house she will share with 6 others near school.
I wonder what she will take with her - will she take pictures of her friends and family? Will she take all those pillows that "box" her in as she sleeps? Will she take her trophies from shooting? And which books will she pack - surely not just school books but some Shakespeare and Williams and other literature she loves!
Will she take any of those really hot shoes in all the colors of the rainbow?
What says "home" to her? Not this home. Her home. How will she make her "home"?
Lydia is grown up and moving out. I've been watching. I saw it happen. I like what I've been seeing.
And I'll keep watching and enjoying what I see!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

things I'll....

I was thinking of some new things I could do but then got to thinking about:
Things I'll never do again.
I'll never give birth again.
I'll never live at home with my children again.
I'll never climb Mt. Fuji again.

And then there are:
Things I have yet to do.
Take my children to Japan.
Get in a car with Larry and drive with no plan of where we will end up.
Be a grandmother.
Bury my parents...
Get a Master's Degree.
Make a roast that turns out well.
Go to Europe.
Throw clay on a wheel.
Start a business.
Plan one more wedding.
Read all of C.S. Lewis

Here are things I cannot quit doing:
Loving my family and friends.
Anticipating Sunday morning worship.
Worrying about my kiddos. (not exactly worry but, you know...)
Making dinner every night.
Working on my weight.
Meeting new people.

Looking over the lists, I realized I am OK with the things that will never be again; I'm excited about the things that have not yet come to pass; I'm resigned to and even enjoy some of the things that will always be.

All in all, I'd say things are looking up!!