Sunday, February 23, 2014

in loving memory...

Every now & then something happens that just shakes you up from the inside out. It takes you back to a time when things were different but good. It takes you back to a simpler time before turmoil over took. When I see the sorrow in my kid's hearts, I remember that what we had was real. It wasn't just my life; it was my kid's lives, it was some of my dearest friends, it was a church family. Today someone from our old church family died unexpectedly.

He leaves a legacy. He was so full of passion. He loved the Lord, & he knew how to praise the Lord with all his joy & with all his soul. He made an impact. I believe he lived life to the full every day. He hunted. He motorcycled. He fished. He loved the outdoors. He loved his beautiful wife, & she loved him. I always thought they were soul mates. He loved his kids. He knew how to throw a party. He had a smile that said it all…

Tonight I am flooded with memories. 3 years ago we left our church home of 25 years. Things were a mess, & my broken heart couldn't take it any more. God lead us out & to a new church. I love my new church. My new church family is dear to me. However, when I received this sad news, my heart stopped momentarily. My thoughts immediately went back to a time when life was so happy in our old church.

People sang with their whole heart because of this man. We had beautiful Christmas cantatas. He stirred things up a bit. He tended to wear his feelings on his sleeve. I was always amused by his antics. He came at a time when I was still a bit shy. I didn't always know how to respond to him, but he always made me smile. I know he is already in Heaven. I know he is dancing with the Lord. I know he is crowing like a rooster. I know he is one of the most passionate saint of all times. He will be missed.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Guess what?

It's been a while since I've blogged. It isn't that I haven't had anything to blog, I've just been moving. We are settling in & very thankful to have a new home. I feel like we hit the jackpot. Our home is nicer than I imagined (if that's possible). It's just right for us. It isn't any bigger than our old home. In fact, it has fewer rooms, the basement will remain unfinished, & there is no upstairs. However, I have a jet tub to soak my weary bones & a fire place that serves the living room & the bedroom. How cool is that!

I have spent the last week pounding holes in my walls hanging pictures. Decorating has never been my thing, but I wanted to do it myself so it would be "our home." Just the way we want it, & I believe it is. The furniture arrived on Wednesday, & I'm thanking God it all fits. Our measurements were accurate, & the salesman who helped me knew his game. I am grateful because it is not returnable. Yikes. That's scary!

In the midst of all this, I have been watching my sweet grand babies intermittently & going to therapy. My therapy is through IPMR, & it is targeting every facet of my being. From occupational therapy (OT) to balance to physical therapy (PT), counseling, & a few more things… It's keeping me very busy, but I find it fascinating. I would love to be skilled to help others in any of these areas. I am a work in progress.

I'm not sure I will make progress, but it is worth a try. I'm sure it will help strengthen my muscles, help me compensate, & be my exercise. It is humbling in some ways. Sometimes, I feel childish as I have young adults teaching me so much & catching me as I fall. The therapists are so nice; I am amazed by their respect & encouragement. It's as if I have entered a whole new world.

Getting all of this therapy takes time & discipline. In truth, I haven't been a good student lately. I have pushed myself way too hard settling in to our new home. I have not been consistently using my pump for my arm. I've been haphazardly wearing my compression sleeves. Likely, I will reap what I sew & regret abusing myself. It's hard for me to succumb to my limitations. I get so frustrated with myself when my hands don't work as they should.

Daily I have wanted to cry because I have been frustrated in one way or another. The worst part… every time I become frustrated, I flashback to my mom as she went through her very similar frustrations. Then… I always end up asking myself if I was compassionate enough toward her. She never really understood her hardships. I understand mine. I always thought that would help. I thought I would gracefully accept my challenges. Guess what? I'm not.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

a gift

2 things happened today which tickled my fancy. My daughter (mother of newborn baby girl) texted me a video of her daughter sleeping. Every time my daughter kissed her daughter, the precious little bundle of love smiled. She kissed her 3 or 4 times, & every time, the baby smiled. I couldn't help but think how much this darling little being has grown & learned since her early arrival into our world. Still so helpless & tiny, she is growing nicely. She isn't setting off her alarm, & she is bonding with her parents. I've had a cold so I haven't been near her for a week or so. I miss her.

My older daughter (mother of 8 month old grandson) sent me a picture of her son crawling with a shape  in each hand. The shapes are from a toy I gave him. All day long, he carries his shapes in each hand as he crawls. He likes the blue ones. He is such a happy little fella. I am amazed at his color preference. I know he probably doesn't know blue, but he likes blue.

There are 3 possibilities here: #1 My life is so dull I have nothing to think about if these small things make me so dog gone happy. #2  It doesn't take much to make me happy.  #3  Thinking about my grandchildren is a happy place for me. I would go with #'s 2 & 3. It really takes little to make my day, & when I think about my grandchildren, they warm my heart. It's an effortless way to take my mind off my troubles… It's healing.

I love to dream about them coming over to see me in my new home. I love to think about them growing up, running around my house, & calling out to me in their sweet lil voices. I picture myself tending to their needs & laughing with them at their silly little antics. My mom was such a good grandma. I have to believe this picture I see is a gift from her. She was always so loving with my girls.

She made them cinnamon toast with such delight. She used a toaster oven. She buttered the bread & shook the cinnamon & sugar all over the top. Then she toasted it. What a treat! She boiled eggs every year for them to dye at Easter. She had an Easter Egg hunt for them complete with a golden egg.
She watched "Mary Poppins" & other movies with them. She took them to the beach & to her favorite hamburger joint. She let each of them interview her in 7th grade for a school project on John F. Kennedy.

She lovingly put them first, time after time. When they cried, she hugged them. When they fought, she  somehow remained neutral. She always bought them their best Christmas gift. That's how she wanted it. She fixed their hair; she kissed their boo boos. They called her on the phone when they lost a tooth or got a good report card. She came to their plays, their recitals, their Homecomings. Her pretty blue eyes sparkled. Her legacy lives on...

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Why God, Why Me?

As life marches on after the tornado, I try to keep my eyes & ears attuned to how God is meeting my needs. Sometimes, I am stunned by the little things. Other times, I feel as though he has tailor made certain things just for me. And then I realize… yes, He has. I know I don't deserve His pampering. I can only be awed.

I think we (as humans) tend to ask, "Why, God, why me?" when bad things happen. My response is, "Why not me, God?" No one is immune to hardship. But, when good things happen (on the flip side), I want to ask, "Why God, why me?" As most all my friends know, on November 17, our home was ravaged by a tornado. For quite a while, we waited in limbo while others' homes seemed to be going down right & left. Our house is still the lone house standing on our part of the block, but soon, it too, will be bulldozed.

About 3 weeks ago, in utter frustration, I asked for prayer (through my blog & via face book). A few days later, we received a phone call seemingly out of the blue from our 3rd insurance adjuster (all through the same insurance company) telling us he was stopping the process, our house would be condemned. It was almost to good to be true. We wondered if it was for real.

When we ask others to join us in prayer, when we take our needs to God, when we place our trust in Him, why are we surprised when He meets our needs? Why does it seem as if it came out of the blue or is too good to be true. Our God is so much bigger than we can grasp. Of course, in the blink of an eye, He can turn things around. He can cause a call to come out of the blue. He can turn the unreal into for real.

Here's the thing… we have been thinking about moving for quite some time. Moving is a hard thing to do because we've accumulated too much stuff over the years & we loved our home, our neighbors, & our community. So, the thought of moving was always overwhelming. Our only reason for moving was to find a ranch home to accommodate my neurological issues. Going up & down steps is becoming increasingly more difficult for me.

As the dust began to settle, & we began to have a more complete picture, we realized that building a ranch on our lot would be difficult if not impossible. We also realized that time was against us in one very important aspect, our grand babies. If we didn't get settled until Fall,  we would miss out on our grand babies. A year in their little lives is significant. I want to enjoy them to the fullest. I don't want to miss their first year.

So God in His Goodness allowed us to find a ranch home in a nearby community. It is near our grand daughter, & only 5 minutes from our church. It's not bigger than what we had, but it meets our needs & our desires perfectly. In just a few weeks, it will be ours. Though we are sad to leave our caring neighbors, we cannot help but sense God's provision in all of this. We  are grateful we were able to raise our family amongst such kind people. We will not be far, & we will keep in touch.

So again, I must ask, "Why God, why me?" Why do I get to be excited about our new home? The tornado actually simplified my life. All the stuff I accumulated is no more. We have very little to move. Nothing much to pack. As my health issues evolve, I will be in a home that will suit my needs. "Why God, why me?" As my grand babies grow & change from month to month, they can come to Grandma's. My home will be a home to them. I will be able to dote on them as my mama did for my children. "Why God, why me?"