Tuesday, October 30, 2007
When I arrived at AM’s house this morning she was dressed and eager for the day. She was bouncing and said it felt like Christmas was almost here. This was finally the day. After forty-five days the cast was coming off. In just a few moments the cast cutter did its job and the leg was finally free. It does look a bit disgusting with its dry, flaky skin, withered muscles and still swollen ankle, but the doctor was pleased and said it looked great. A few weeks of physical therapy and she will be ready to take on the world again. After soaking the leg in a tub of warm water and getting rid of most of the dry skin and moisturizing it with lotion I thought it looked pretty good. Her kids thought it looked disgusting but were very happy to see their mom with shoes on both feet.Today was a good day.
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Life has just been too busy lately. I stay tired.
Friday my granddaughter went to the homecoming dance, her first high school dance. She went with a bunch of girlfriends. It was great fun to share in her getting ready excitement and take pictures of her and her girlfriends all prettied up for the dance. She had a great time.
Saturday I worked all day in the church kitchen helping to prepare lunch for about 150 people to share after the memorial service. I feel good about this work. Sharing such moments is sacred time. Still, It was a long day.
Saturday evening I went to an Octoberfest with a bunch of church friends. We enjoyed homemade German food and lots of beer and German drinking songs. The laughter was wonderful.
I love Sunday and going to church. I love worshipping in the community of family and friends. I teach Sunday school and always come out smiling at the wonderful innocence and joy of little children. Today they were very excited about the big Halloween party that was held this evening. The youth group had decorated a haunted house. We had lots of games for the little ones. The children loved being in their costumes. Some of the adults were pretty funny too. My broken legged daughter wore a George W. mask (very scary!) She was a lame duck.
The highlight of the party was Trunk or Treating through the church parking lot. The church member had decorated the trunks of their cars and filled them with goodies. The kids were adorable as they went from car to car trunk or treating.It has been a full weekend. I am tired
Thursday, October 25, 2007
I have given a lot of thought recently to mortality and the fact that life here of earth is a fleeting thing. Death is inevitable for each of us. We all know that, but we don’t often stop to think about it. I am going to die. I know without doubt that there is a heaven where God has made all things new and there is no more death. I’m not sure about the details of what eternity with God means, but I do know that heaven is real and that heaven is good.
Tuesday afternoon I spent time with my neighbor of over forty years. His wife died this week. We talked about a lifetime of shared memories. Our children played together in one another’s homes. Our lives are connected by many stories. Now she is gone and he is left with memories and uncertainties about what life alone will be like. He looks forward to heaven.
Yesterday I took a friend to visit her husband. He is in a hospice house in downtown Washington. She is too frail to be able to drive herself to see him. She sat by his bed and watched as he labored for each breath. He would call out for her and she would reply, “I’m here. I’m right here.” He held her hand and said that everything was foggy. He said he was ready to go home. We understood that he did not mean the house they had shared for so many years. He was ready for heaven.
Last night a good friend came over with a stack of pictures of her father. He died this week and the memorial service will be Saturday. The pictures were images to capture the highlights of a long and happy life. My husband will put them into a power point show to be viewed at the service on Saturday. How can fifty pictures tell the story of a man’s life? My friend knows she will see her father again in heaven.
What do you think it will be like in heaven? Does the thought of heaven bring you comfort?
Monday, October 22, 2007
October 22, 1963, was a day that changed my life forever. I became a mother and my world turned upside down. I have learned that a topsy-turvy world is normal for parents.
I thought I was well prepared for motherhood. I had babysat and been around children all my life. I wanted to be mother. I was a labor & delivery room nurse. I knew what to expect. I was experienced with newborn babies. None of that prepared me for what being a mother really means. I was unprepared for the emotions. I didn’t know it was possible to feel this fierce, protective overwhelming love that has guided my every thought and decision since that day. I never knew what fatigue really was before I had children who were so very present. They never stopped needing me. I was unprepared for the anger a usually adorable two-year- old in the midst of a “terrible twos” episode generated in me. There was this enormous feeling of uncertainty. I always thought my parents just knew what to do because they were parents. The truth was that there were so many times that I had no idea what was the right thing to do. Then my children turned into teenagers. They were good kids, but I lived in a perpetual state of fear. They were so confident and felt so sure of themselves. They took risks that made me tremble. They made friends that made me uncomfortable. Then they did something that I was totally unprepared for. They grew up. It just surprised me. One day they were babies, who needed me for everything, and then I turned around and they had all become adults. I am stilled a bit stunned that these wonderful people who are my best friends are in fact my babies. Letting them go and become the good people they have become was the hardest and the best part of being their mom. I am intensely proud of each of them. I still love them with a fierce, protective, overwhelming love. They amaze me.Happy birthday, Laurel! Thank you for being you. Thank you for putting up with being our practice child. I love you!
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
AM’s older kids went camping with friends this past weekend. On the way home they made the required stop at the Apple House bringing home a big bag of apples and two dozen fresh apple donuts. A fresh donut from the Apple House is like a taste of heaven. It just melts in your mouth and makes you feel better all over. The taste is a spiritual feast. So yummy.
Last night Grampa and our 12-year-old grandson were home alone for a while. The boy decided to try to improve on the basic apple donut and created a new dessert. The ingredients were apple donut, marshmallow fluff, graham cracker crumbs, chocolate syrup and whipped cream. They both said it was delicious and there was none left, but I’m not sure my stomach could handle much of that creation.
Tonight’s event was the making of apple pies. Grampa and young friend Emmy got AM’s apple corer, peeler, slicer gadget out and prepared the apples, Gramma Ev mixed the apples with the sugar and spices, AM used her crutch to point to where things were in her kitchen and I put the pies in the oven. In the midst of the slicing and stirring, Emmy laughed and said, “This is applemania!” There was a lot of laughter baked into those pies. They tasted wonderful.
Got any good apple recipes?
Friday, October 12, 2007
There are moments when you realize that time is just flying by at a speed you can’t comprehend. There are other moments when time just drags and you can’t believe that life is taking so long.
AM is counting the days until her cast comes off and she will be free again. The moments drag. She can’t wait until that moment comes. It is taking soooo long. The older kids are going camping with friends this weekend. They can’t wait until tonight. It seems like the moment will never come. I’ve been doing some work on the computer this morning. It is so slow today. It feels like forever before the screen I want finally appears. The time drags.
Last week I took my fourteen-year-old granddaughter to buy a dress to wear to the homecoming dance. She found a dress that makes her look absolutely beautiful. She loves it. I hate the dress because it makes her look so grown up. Where did the time go? How did she grow up so fast?
I looked in the mirror this morning and some old lady was looking back at me. When did I get this old? How did the time go so fast?
Is time dragging or flying by for you today?
Saturday, October 06, 2007
We changed churches a few years ago and learned about the liturgical year. This was a new thing for us and we found it an interesting learning tool that we liked it. When you ask most folks what part of the church year they like best they will say either Christmas or Easter. Personally my favorite is that long period knows as Ordinary Time. Holidays are fun, but we spend most of our life doing the daily ordinary things. Long ago one of my children asked me what my hobby was and I told him it was doing laundry. “Oh,” he said, “is that why you do it all the time?” I find joy in doing the daily things in life and remembering to be thankful for the ability to do that chore. The other night we pulled out a deck of Zen Tarot cards that my daughter owns and we each pulled a card that was supposed to give us insight into our situation and use it as a meditation for the day. It seemed appropriate that the card I pulled was Ordinariness. The explanation for the card said, “Beauty can found in the simple, ordinary things of life…Cleaning the house, cooking the meals take on a sacred quality when performed with love…. Take things simply, one step at a time.” The card did seem right for this time when I have taken over the ordinary chores of running the house for my daughter.
Here are some of my favorite ordinary things:
1. The smell of freshly laundered clothes as I fold them and put them into my grandchildren’s rooms. I am glad they have good clothes to wear.
2. The sounds of birds coming in the window as I read.
3. Sharing my first cup of morning coffee with my daughter.
4. Delicious dinners prepared by people who love us.
5. Sleeping in my own bed.
6. Sitting by my grandchildren in church and hearing them sing.
7. A big hug from a friend who understands why am I so tired.
10. My sweet husband who loves me in good times and in bad.
What are some of the ordinary things in your life that bring you joy?
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
AM is feeling better. She now is the proud owner of a wheelchair with a leg support. With her new wheels she can get around the ground floor of her house and we were even able to get her to church on Sunday. She is only taking the good drugs at bedtime now. Ibuprofen gets her through the day so she is not feeling so groggy. She has a post-op visit this afternoon to remove the stitches and hopefully get a lighter weight, more comfortable cast.
I have finally looked around beyond my busyness and noticed the world has just continued right on. Babies have been born, other people are sick, or have far bigger problems than ours. The summer trees have started to turn yellow and red with colorful leaves swirling in the air. Life just continues on with or without my participation.
Yesterday was AM’s youngest child’s tenth birthday. My how the time has flown! She celebrated the day by eating Cold Stone ice cream for breakfast. On your birthday you get to break a few rules.I find that almost everyone has a broken bone story. Whenever I tell about my daughter's broken leg I hear about someone else who had a worse break. What’s your broken bone story? What happened? What was it like when it you were recovering?