Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Longest Good-bye

Tomorrow is her birthday, but I'm not sure she knows it. She has been in a live-in care facility for three and a half years, and full time home care for three and a half years before that. Her husband, Rod's Dad, took care of her needs before that.
She hasn't moved much for a long time. Rod and I were saying how strange that was because before his Mom got sick, she never stopped moving. Washing dishes, making jam, decorating cakes, holding grand-babies, hosting women's bible study at her home, she was always on the move.
 It is a rainy, blowy dark morning and I'm grieving for her because I miss her.
I can't even begin to list all the ways she has impacted our family, or myself personally. She was the impetus for most every family gathering and she planned every detail from the food to the decorations to the entertainment. We flounder without her.
 I've dreamed that we are in her kitchen getting ready for a Christmas dinner and she is wearing her apron and moving too fast for me to keep up and she is talking to me and I can see her quick smile and hear her delighted laugh. I  see her like it was yesterday, before her illness ravaged her so completely.
She loves her family and she loves God, pursuing both relentlessly.
I know that she is going home to Jesus, and I know that her long time of suffering is very nearly at it's end. I know that is reason for great celebration, both here and there. I know this.
But today I'm grieving. I miss her.
Grandma Charlene with Josiah.


Friday, November 15, 2013

Mama Bear goes to the Dentist

This was not a trip that anyone was looking forward to. My daughter has had nothing but Trouble (notice the capital "T") since her baby teeth erupted from her baby gums. Yes, she is still my baby.

Yep, Mama Bear has been here quite a bit lately.
I agreed when she asked me to come be a second set of ears while her dentist outlined "The Plan" for Amy's latest tooth dilemma, which has included words such as dental abscess, extraction, root canal, and many more words that I couldn't hear because of the frantic "Lalalalalalalalalala..." going on inside my head.

So much help, am I.

However I did fight my way back to the procedure room against the preferences of the dentist, wrestling my way to my seat, knocking my purse into the metal blinds causing the doctor to level an unblinking death glare at me,was told to be quiet as I was causing the patient's blood pressure to raise, and finally removed myself before I could be banned.
All in all, a successful dental visit.
Long story short, Amy is doing better and hopefully is on the road to recovery. But all the dental talk reminded me of this blog post from a few years ago that I thought I'd repost. Hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed reliving it. NOT.!!
Dear Dentist...
Dear Dr. #####,
Thank you for seeing me yesterday and taking such good care of me and my teeth. I appreciated your obvious concern when you noticed how nervous I was because of how the instruments on your tray were rattling because of my quaking. I guess the Valium didn't really take.
I do feel the need to apologize for a couple things.

I'm sorry I couldn't remember which hand you told me to raise (left, LEFT!) when I wanted you to stop for any reason and I just kept flailing both arms about like I was trying to hail a cab. I seriously did NOT mean to hit you and jar your arm. I understand that you needed a break at that time, which was perfectly fine with me. Your apology to me was kind but unnecessary.

I hope you know everything would have gone much more smoothly had I not been so scared. But the dentist terrifies me. Not you in particular. Just dentists. And hygienists. I'll throw the assistants and the receptionists in there,too.

I got up extra early so I would have time to shower before I came. I'm sure you appreciate that. I also carefully applied my makeup as I hoped that would show you that I wasn't scared; that this was just a normal day.
I'm guessing you didn't notice my carefully applied smoky eyes behind the sunglasses you gave me to protect my eyes from that blazing headlamp thingy you wear.
FYI, that was Bobbi Brown's shimmery lip gloss you got all over your gloves. It is a nice neutral color. I thought it would make me brave.

I also straightened my hair, in case you didn't notice, what with all the jerking back and forth of my head as you "extracted" my broken, infected wisdom tooth. Oh, and thanks again for offering to show it to me when you were finished. I didn't mean to go all "Rosemarie's Baby" on you when I said no. Sorry if I scared you.

But nothing probably scared you so much as when I reclined on the chair, sunglasses and paper bib in place, I opened my mouth for the first time and you and I realized together that I forgot to brush my teeth that morning.

Yeah, I know.


I do, apparently.

I sincerely apologize and hope my artfully applied make-up and freshly straightened hair made up for the bits of oatmeal, almonds and raisins you saw lodged between my teeth and for having to smell my Starbuck's French Roast coffee breath. I understand that it sounds better than it smells.
(yes, I know you told me NOT to have coffee, that it interferes with the medication blah blah blah. But I was nervous. I didn't have the strength in me to give up the coffee.)

Speaking of food, I'm sure you'll be relieved to know that I have been following your post op instructions to the "T".
The "soft food" part left me searching and puzzled as to what I could eat. But I scavenged through my cupboards and fridge until I found things that would fit the bill.
I had Lipton Cup-a-Soup (not too hot!) and then a good size piece of triple layer chocolate cake. Who knew that, if desperate enough, one could poke small bites of chocolatey cake into the undamaged side of the mouth until it slid down the throat. I think the frosting really helps it glide down.
And it does wonders for calming one down after a trauma. Not that this was a trauma. I'm just saying itwould undoubtedly calm one down after a trauma.

Anyway, I wanted to thank you for your gentle kindness during this procedure and let you know I will come back and see you again. if for nothing else, then to listen to you hum again as you work: "No I'm never gonna dance again...guilty feet have got no rhythm." I didn't mean to startle you when I joined in. Maybe the swelling, the cotton roll in my gum and the rubber dam made me sound a little off key and demented.

But I just wanted to let you know that you made the whole experience, if not enjoyable, certainly bearable. That is high praise coming from someone with my level of the crazy.
Diane Meyer

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Before my feet hit the floor.

"Lord, please help us see this woman as you do, a hurting person worthy of love and respect. Help us treat her with dignity and with humbleness and as the servants we are."
 Honestly. That was what I prayed with Rod early in the morning before we got out of bed to face the day.
We knew it would be kind of difficult because Rod and Josiah were going back to a job where the customer was not happy with the job we did for them.
That saintly attitude lasted about 120 minutes,until she called again, loudly and bitterly complaining again, about a minute detail that a person should not complain about. Ever.
I'm just saying.
Have you been there before?
And although my words to her were calm and pitched normally, the ones racing through my head like they were on  fire, were not. Also, the words to my son and my husband later about this same woman, were not kindly either.

Picture a genteel Quaker woman.
On Sunday.
In church.
I did not sound like her.

Because this customer, hurting or not, chose to be critical and belittling to my husband and my son.  If my words were weapons, she, and everyone around her, would have been impaled by my wrath.

Because I was on the warpath! Pick on me if you have to, but not Rod and Josiah. They are kind, hard-working,  respectful and humble and do not deserve to be treated so disrespectfully.

In a weird twist, when she was finished yelling at them, she offered them a beverage. They declined. We got quite a bit of mileage out of that tidbit, though. Would she spit in their coffee? Poison it? Mostly we just thought how weird and deranged it was that someone could turn on a dime and be so kind when they had, just a moment before, been yelling and angry. She is obviously unstable.
I would never be like that. I'm much more balanced and stable and...and...
hadn't I just  prayed for this woman?
Hadn't I prayed for our attitudes towards her?
Oh...shoot pie.
The minute, the very second it got difficult and she verbally attacked my loved ones I was all over her like a mama bear that had never prayed in bed that morning at all. I roared and growled and slobbered and attacked. (Don't even say it doesn't count because I didn't say it out loud to her, says Matt.5:21-22)
This is me on the inside. Sometimes on the outside.

I forgot that I had prayed for her that morning.
I forgot that we had figured she must really be a hurting woman for her to be so mean to people who are working for her.
I forgot that God wants us to be an example to her. A good one, not a bad one.
I forgot that God knows how I feel (times a kajillion) because people attacked his Son with more than words.
I forgot to lay my pride down because he had laid His pride down first. Then He laid down his life.
And it all comes back to the cross, doesn't it?

He became sin
Who knew no sin
That we might become His Righteousness
He humbled himself and carried the cross

Love so amazing
Love so amazing

Jesus Messiah
Name above all names
Blessed Redeemer
The rescue for sinners
The ransom from Heaven
Jesus Messiah
Lord of all

His body the bread
His blood the wine
Broken and poured out all for love
The whole earth trembled
And the veil was torn

Love so amazing
Love so amazing, yeah

Jesus Messiah
Name above all names
Blessed Redeemer
The rescue for sinners
The ransom from Heaven
Jesus Messiah
Lord of all

All our hope is in You
All our hope is in You
All the glory to You, God
The light of the world

Jesus Messiah
Name above all names
Blessed Redeemer
The rescue for sinners
The ransom from Heaven
Jesus Messiah
Lord of all

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Good news and Bad news.

It wasn't pouring rain when I took the dogs for their walk this morning. That was certainly good news.
The giant puddle that Cooper likes to lay down in as he waits for Lucy to come down the trail was empty. Just really muddy.
He laid in it anyway.
(This isn't the puddle, but a creek and was taken a couple weeks ago. Just wanted to show you how he loves to lay in cold water. Or mud, apparently.)
Not such great news.

I drove home the other night from Gresham with my brights on the entire way because I had a headlight out and didn't want to get pulled over by the po-po and try to come up with my licence, registration and proof of insurance.
Not that I didn't have them.
I just didn't want to scramble around for them.

Good news: I didn't get pulled over. Yay!

So I drove 45 minutes with my brights on, blinding anyone coming my way. And a few from behind in their rear-view mirrors. If someone should be so rude as to flash their brights on me, I would flick off my brights to show them my burned out head-light, then, quick as a wink,(and maybe I smirked a little self-righteously) flick my brights back on.
When I arrived home, Rod told me he had replaced my head light a few days previously.
My sincere apologies if you are one of the dozens of people who had their sight impaired by my blunder.
Have a happy Monday all. :-)