Tag: hope

broken heart

My heart broke again last night

Just a short post today.

Last night, I made it official. I sold my mother’s house, furnishings and all, to my brother at well below market value.

I knew it would be hard to hand over my garage door opener. It was my “key” to her home. It was harder than I thought. I feel like I’ve closed a door.

My brother lived with my mom for the last eight years because he needed a place to live. That was hard for me, too. It was not a good living arrangement in the beginning. My mom regretted her decision for a while but gradually it turned out to be a really good arrangement. They both made their peace with each other and my brother came through for her in the final few months.

I knew this was what she would want but to know I can’t access her house like I could before is really hard.

Sometimes doing the right thing really hurts. Really, really hurts.

broken heart

We leave today to pick up our little grandson for a week. I will be so busy, I won’t have too much time to think about it so the timing is good, I guess.

I guess there is a bright side. I don’t have to clear out the house and get it ready to sell. Maybe God prompted this for that very reason. That might have been even harder.

Anyway, if you’re facing difficult times, remember you are not alone. For every situation we find ourselves in, someone has probably gone through it before. Sometimes it helps to know that. Not always, but sometimes.

God bless and have a good day.

 

 

 

hope

How can reality and hope really co-exist?

I haven’t had to cry this morning.

The Hospice nurse who came out yesterday said my mom’s lungs sound a little better!!!!

I know it’s too soon to hope but “two weeks ” to “she’s doing a little better?” Really?

So I find myself living in a kind of limbo, the place between reality and hope. It’s a hard place to live.

It’s like this picture. Nothing can grow in concrete. Right?

Wrong.

All it takes is a crack and life can shoot up.

hope

I got to sit with my mom a few minutes but then she wanted to get cleaned up, brush her teeth, have some coffee. And then the nurse came, yada, yada.

This last week has been a roller coaster. But here’s what I learned.

First of all, don’t be afraid to ask questions of everyone. Doctors, nurses, aides, social workers. EVERYONE. And you can learn as much from the non-professional staff as you can from the medical professionals.

It is only when you hear a lot from a lot of people in various occupations that you get the full picture. It’s good I don’t have any inhibitions in this area. Hospice told me to call with any questions and I did, as many as I needed and as often as I needed.

I’ve never been reticent when it comes to protecting and guarding my loved ones.

In fact, if you need an example (these posts certainly haven’t been very uplifting lately), here’s a funny story.

My son was an assistant coach for a football team for awhile. My daughter-in-law and I were at one of his games. A man a few rows in front of us started “bad mouthing” the coach. I got madder and madder. The game ended and I followed him for a few feet before I tapped him on his shoulder and told him to “Turn around”.

He did and I lambasted him loudly in front of a number of bystanders. I told him I was the “coach’s mom” and I didn’t appreciate his remarks and he better knock it off at future games. I was maybe six inches from his face. My poor daughter-in-law was mortified. She pulled me away and we left.

No one messes with a mama bear, at least not this one.

But here’s what happened the next day. This same man went to my son’s office and apologized.

So there!

I’m like that with my mom, too. I will continue to be her strongest advocate. Like today, when a social worker called and wanted to set up a time to visit her. I said, “She’s had enough prodding and probing” and “I’ll let you know when you can come.”

Since when did dying (if that’s what she’s doing) become so complicated? Everybody has to justify their job and nobody coordinates their services. I’ve answered the same questions over and over again from different people for different reasons for days. How many intake forms do you need anyway? Don’t misunderstand, I’m happy with all the help we’ve received and would recommend Hospice to anyone. They’ve been wonderful.

But when you’re already overwhelmed, the lack of clarity takes it toll. But at least now I feel like I’m on sure footing. I think I understand what is happening with my mom and as far as her prognosis, God is the ultimate decider.

I hope I get to the summer so I can sit with her on her deck, drink iced tea, and watch the birds. That’s what I’m praying for but I’m well aware it might not turn out that way and I’ll have to remember those times rather than experience them again. I like to think I’m being realistic and hopeful at the same time.

God bless and have a good day.

ps. I wrote this yesterday morning to post for today, Thursday. Since then, my mom has become stronger each day. Her appetite has returned. My brother and I are beside ourselves. All I need is for some abnormally warm weather and we are going to sit on her deck.

 

 

sunshine/2017

What a week-end. You HAVE to read this!

Today’s post is all about hope.

god-can-do-more/2017

Most of you know that the last two weeks have been rough. My mom has been very confused and delusional. She has been diagnosed with dementia. Read that carefully, “diagnosed with dementia”, and we all know how a single diagnosis can be inadequate to explain all aspects of any condition. While I don’t deny that diagnosis, I don’t buy into it one hundred percent as an explanation for these past two weeks. I believe there is more going on.

Did you know, for example, that urinary tract infections (UTI), can come and go without medical intervention? Did you also know that UTI’s can cause confusion, delirium, and hallucinations in the elderly? So-o-o-o, an elderly person can be confused, etc, because they have an undiagnosed UTI. We had my mom checked out for that and it was negative but, of course, it might have cleared up by the time the test was done. Here’s the google page where I found some great links about UTI’s in the elderly.

Now to the weekend. My daughter and her five-year-old son came home this weekend. (Hubby and other son had a “guys” weekend skiing.) She wanted to see her grandmother again because of her failing health. Not only was my mom one hundred percent better, she was back to her “before-the-last-fall” better. We took her for a ride down to Lake Michigan because we had an unusually warm day for a Michigan January. We even got her outside to sit on a bench. She was conversant, funny, even taking the initiative in the conversation.

Thank goodness it was sunny and I was wearing my sunglasses because I was tearing up a lot with gratitude. And now to the point of this post today.

The two or three nights prior to Sat I woke up in the middle of the night feeling very sad because I was worried that my last memories of my mom would be what I’d seen the last two weeks. I so wanted to see my “real” mom again. And then it happened.

But God answered and one glorious, beautiful, warm Saturday, I was able to imprint some kinder memories in my mind. There are some days you just know you won’t forget. This was one of them. My daughter will never forget it either.

 sunshine/2017

I had been praying hard for this to happen but was starting to lose hope. But I reminded myself once again that “God is able to do more than we can even think of or even ask….”

god-can-do-more/2017

I’m smart enough to know those two weeks could happen again. Sunday, for example, she wasn’t quite as “sharp” as she’d been on Saturday although she was still able to converse fluently.

But that Saturday was my “more than I can imagine” day. Everyone needs one of those.

God bless and don’t give up your hopes. God can do more than you can even think of.

 

 

I'm only human/2017

Nightmares, early morning calls, and faith

I’m still in the random writing mode. That’s because I can’t really concentrate right now even though I’m still working on my series about growth.

But it occurs to me that the series might be outdated before I ever publish it. At least for me.

Why?

Because for right now life is “growing’ me all by itself. The situation with my mom continues to deteriorate at a fast pace. Some days I’m hopeful her demise is not as serious as it is. But most days I know it is.

And yet I just wrote about hope last week  and I’ve written often about how I hate the phrase, “It is what it is.” I remind myself (and others who are probably getting annoyed with me) that God can do more than we can even imagine. That would mean that not only are the prayers I know to pray for my mom honored, even those I can’t imagine praying are being honored as well.

So I feel somewhat “suspended” today between faith and reality and trying to figure out how to juxtapose one on the other.

This afternoon I concentrated on the reality part and got up to speed about my mom’s current issues with her circadian rhythms. She is confusing dreams with reality. I worry that she is afraid and that makes me want to cry.

What can I do? I’ve exhausted my brain trying to come up with the next solution. The research I did today was hard reading. Many people are dealing with this dreadful illness.

Last night I had to wake up my husband because he was having a terrible nightmare.

Then my mom called me at 6:30 am and was very confused.

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At that point, I just got up. My husband got up as well and I asked him about his nightmare. He told me he was fighting off a bear that was attacking me.

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I felt so protected and one certainly doesn’t have to be an Einstein to figure out where all this is coming from. He’s worried about me.

So all that was the reality part. What about faith? Did it play a part?

Of course it did.  All day. Every moment.

  • The fact I could function.
  • The fact that I got up and went about my day.
  • The fact that I cooked a meal, did the laundry, etc.
  • The fact that I didn’t curl up in a ball.

Faith isn’t a feeling. Faith is a condition of the soul and it is well with my soul.

I think we followers of Jesus really do a job on ourselves at times.

I know I do.

Sometimes I’m harder on me than God himself. But there are probably other times, I’m too easy on myself. Oh, I know:I'm only human/2017

I don’t know what you’re dealing with but I hope you’re doing OK. Life can be really hard sometimes, can’t it? At the same time, life can be wonderful.

It’s cloudy one day and sunny the next. I would prefer sunny but if that were the case, I might not appreciate it as much. Like sunshine in Florida.

I am one hundred percent sure that those of us in Michigan appreciate sunny days far more than those in Florida. We have so fewer of them at this time of year.

When my husband and I were in Mexico on vacation, we would wake up every day and say to each other, “Oh, no, not another beautiful, sunny day!”

cat in sunshine/2017

How I hope your day is good today and I hope these latest posts aren’t bringing you down. I’m hoping for just the opposite.

God bless each of you.

 

Proverbs 12:25/2017

How to live with a chronic brokenness, four steps

I must admit that I don’t like living with any brokenness but there are times we just can’t avoid it. I”m not talking about physical pain;  that’s another topic for another day.

I”m talking about hose ongoing situations from which we absolutely cannot escape until the situation is resolved. And it’s not a resolution we can accomplish. It’s out of our hands.

Those are tough times because we so want the situation to get better or go away but to know we are going to continue to deal with it a long time is unimaginable to us. I like things to be resolved. I hate ambiguity.

As a child I could never be sure of anything and so I lived day by day fearfully anticipating the next explosion. While it never surprised me when it did come, I still, because I was a child, hoped it wouldn’t. And it didn’t take long before this unsettled childhood led to anxiety which became a pretty permanent state of being for many years.

So even today when I’m faced with something negative that just might be a long-term negative, my first reaction is to feel anxious. Thank goodness I’ve learned to quickly identify it and take immediate steps to relieve it.

Like yesterday

Yesterday was such a day. My husband recognized it immediately and suggested we do somewhere. He suggested Barnes and Noble. That sounded good but once we were out I mentioned Hobby Lobby and that I’d like to look around as there are usually good sales in their home goods department at this time of year. This is the time of year I got those adorable Christmas mugs I shared with you a few weeks ago.

Then because it was so unusually warm, and kinda’, sorta’ sunny, sitting inside just wasn’t going to cut it. So I suggested we walk in our local state park. We ended up walking for almost an hour and the fresh air and exercise was exactly what I needed. I came home refreshed and relaxed.

Today it’s dark and gloomy but I am ready to tackle my day. I found these great chairs at Hobby Lobby yesterday and am thinking about going back and buying just one to see how it looks in my kitchen. They can order more.

Isn’t it adorable?

chair/hobby lobby/2017

And then I found these bowls that I’m going to hang on a wall in our sunroom.

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turquoise bowls./2017

But most importantly I will remember this:

Proverbs 12:25/2017

 

So how do you live with a certain level of brokenness?

  1. If you’re a follower of Jesus, you cling to him for wisdom. You continue with your prayer life and Bible study time. (Although with the praying, you may find that there are times you will simply pray, “Holy Spirit, pray for me today. You know my needs and concerns. I don’t have the words.”

2. You get up, make the bed, and put on your best appearance. In other words, show up.

3. You engage in some sort of physical activity.

4. You do something creative. This is a must for me and I believe it is for most people. It doesn’t mean you have to be an artist, or do “arty” things. It might just mean re-arranging something in a room or moving something from one room another. It might mean fixing something you’ve been putting off. What matters is that your mind is fully engaged.

Do the things that bring a level of distraction. As I’ve said before and will repeat often:

Distraction is a wonderful thing.

It’s not easy knowing some situations are never going to get better. But don’t say, “It is what it is”.

Why?

Because God doesn’t.

Not once.

Not ever.

If God had a middle name it would be “hope”.

God bless and I hope you have a good day.

 

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