Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

"This is the day that the Lord has made, 
let us rejoice and be glad in it!"

Monday, October 29, 2012

On holding hands and telling stories

They sat together today. He in the chair. She on the bed. She held his hand. She told him about the grandchildren opening the trunk of costumes out in the barn. And the hours of fun the children had trying on costumes and looking at the mirror. And he smiled and laughed (a silent laugh but a laugh none-the-less). She told him how they caught a mole. And how Sophie held it. And how it had paws like shovels and silky fur. And he smiled and laughed some more.

 She asked him if he'll be able to polka in November when the kids come for Thanksgiving to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. He shrugged his shoulders.

We cheered when he sat in a chair today because it has been days and days and days since he sat in a chair. And the Occupational Therapist had him shrug his shoulders today. Perhaps that's why he was good at that.

He asked her to massage his arms. And she did. So lovingly. Together almost fifty years. Their oneness evidenced by me in the hospital today. Invited and welcomed to be there.

And we are thankful that he breathes today. Better than yesterday.

Thankful for today.
Thankful that he breathes.
Thankful that he communicates.
Thankful she held his hand and they shared life together today.
Thankful for a story about costumes and moles during a long hospital ICU stay.

Maybe more of my time should be spent holding hands and telling stories.
Creating more margin for the real space of real life to take place.

I am thankful for today, even though he is still in ICU, even though it has been longer than 30 days.
* * *

What are you thankful for today?

Linking with Ann, Jen and Emily this week.

Friday, October 26, 2012

FMF: On voice

My youngest using his voice.
 On voice.
My daughter sings with a lovely voice with the Nashville Children's Choir. My father-in-law has lost his voice due to a tracheostomy. And as a wanna-be-author, I am trying to find my voice. Speaking up for those who do not have a voice.Singing with a lovely voice. Learning to communicate without a voice.

Our voice speaks. Our voice needs to be heard. We want to be heard. We want to communicate. We want to interact. Some voices are high. Some are low. Sometimes we can hear the voices but we do not understand what is being said.

Voices. Unique. A way to give thought. A way to interact. Voicing our opinions. Voice: it is important.

Whew! I haven't participated in Five Minute Friday in awhile. (Click HERE if you are interested in participating or reading other entries.) This was a hard go. But I am going to play along and hit publish after five minutes of writing with no editing. Publishing as is! Yikes!  Obviously, I need to keep practicing this exercise of writing for five minutes on a topic.

Happy Friday friends. What would you like to voice today?

Thursday, October 25, 2012

On root canals & mother comfort

Kip & I on the front porch of Mt. Vernon on our recent vacation.
I spoke with my mom yesterday. I told her that I had a root canal done. She said, oh is that your first one? She told me that she has had three or four done. And that she has 8-9 crowns. I'm in the process of getting my first crown for the tooth that they did the root canal on.

Why is it that I feel better now that I know my mom has also had a root canal done and has crowns? Not sure. But she still has all of her teeth and no dentures. Is it simply hope to keep my teeth? Or is it the knowing that I'm not the only one?

I know a few other friends who have also had them done. But it made me feel better knowing that my mom had had them done. Kind of like a mom hug from across the  miles.

I guess the comfort of a mother is a lifelong gift to treasure while we can.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

A 30 Day Prayer

art by Kathleen Jaeger
For 30 days my father-in-law has been in the hospital. For half of those days, he has needed help to breathe with a ventilator. For 21 of those days, he has been in ICU. For the last week, he has been in a regular room with no major set-backs. This week has been slow & steady progress, much better than the drastic up & down roller-coaster we had been on.

A week with no major set-backs has meant that I have cleaned the bathrooms, straightened the house, made a meal plan for the first time in awhile. My daughter was able to practice the piano every day.

The past thirty days -- though filled with crisis, pain, tears, confusion, and a lot of driving. They have also been filled with time spent with friends and family around the table sharing stories. Lots of prayers and hugs. Lots of out of town family coming into town.

Today I felt very, very drained. In my devotional the verses said, "Consider it all joy when you encounter trials of various kinds..." and "bring the sacrifice of thank offerings..." Though the week itself was lighter, I think the stress & difficulty of the past 3 weeks caught up and came crashing down upon me.

At just the right time, a friend sent a note with a Starbuck's gift card and a verse about the soul being just the right time there was spiritual encouragement at a Bible study and a very real meal delivered to me & my family.

It is easy to think of how tired I am. How hard it has been. It takes effort to focus on the amazing timing of events displaying God's love and care in the midst of great strain. But I do want to focus on that. This post is part of that...but know there is struggle and there is life. And there is  a God who cares about us all.

Thank you, God for breath. Thank for the progress of my father-in-law this week.

Also linking with Jen, click here for more encouragement.
* * * 
How about you? Has there been a season of trial in which you could still see God working and displaying His loving-kindness?
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