Sunday, April 22, 2007

Dad and Mom with their new great-granddaughter, Mikaylea

John and I spent the weekend with Dad and Mom. Sometimes it's hard to step back and look at the situation objectively. When we're there, we're so involved in mundane things of life...preparing meals, laundry, cleaning, caring for Mom's needs etc. But when I look at it from a distance, I realize that God is really using this painful time to give the world a witness. He is using our family to show others the joy of sacrificing for others, the value of unconditional love and the ability to step out of my comfort zone to think of the needs of others. I admire my dad so much. He has been caring for Mom 24 hours a day for almost 9 months. I know he's really exhausted...he's 80 years old! But he keeps on loving her and caring for her. He is setting a wonderful example for all his children and grandchildren. Oh sure...he loses patience sometimes...he gets tired and grumpy. But he sure hangs in there and keeps going...even keeping his sense of humor. Mom had a lot of company this weekend. Saturday after the company left, she experienced a small seizure. I don't know if she was over-stimulated or what but she seems to experience those more when she's had a lot of company. Today she enjoyed seeing her newest great-grand child. I loved holding sweet little Mikaylea too! Mom has become much weaker on her left side. She can no longer use the walker because her left hand and left leg don't really work. So we move her from the bed to her chair in a wheelchair. It's getting even more difficult to move her at all and we're hoping to get a lift from hospice to help. John and Dad actually had to lift her into bed and she's very heavy even though she's lost over 80 pounds. She has difficulty when she eats too, since the left side of her face and mouth aren't working right. It was a tough, tiring weekend but I'm glad I was able to be there and spend the time with Dad and Mom. I learned something funny too...never accidentally wash a's like leaving 100 Kleenexes in your pocket...what a mess! Oh and learn.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

It's Jake!

Wendy called today and the ultrasound revealed their baby is Jake! We're very happy and excited for them. Wendy really wanted a boy so she's getting her wish! Now we just have to wait until September!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Joel and Wendy

We had a really nice weekend with Joel and Wendy. It was great to catch up on all that's been going on in their lives. Joel had to spend quite a bit of time studying for his next actuary exam (on May 16) but we still had time to go out for supper at Outback and just enjoy time together. They visited with Mom on Saturday morning. She had fallen on Friday. When John and I saw her Friday evening she seemed very subdued and weak on her left side. She had stood up and tried to walk across the room by herself...she never goes anywhere without a walker and someone helping her. We don't know why she tried to go alone, but she fell and skinned up her face. Joel and Wendy thought she was doing better on Saturday when they visited her. I think we're going to have to have someone in the same room with her at all times now.
We're excited to hear about Wendy's ultrasound tomorrow...we may find out if they're having "Jake" or "Ella"!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

This devotion was in the bulletin at the funeral home when we went to the calling yesterday. I believe that Zan wrote this after her Dad's stroke. It was so touching and yet encouraging. I thought I'd share it here. Zan touched so many was obvious at the funeral home how many people loved her and will miss her pixie smile and loving nature. It's so hard for Jamey and their sons. He and Zan were married when they were 18 and have been married for 25 years.

I never thought about nursing homes while walking behind my daddy on the trapline, or casting fishing line in beside his. I didn't think of a nursing home while sitting on the edge of his bed having one of our heart to heart talks. Nursing homes and hospital beds never entered my mind when we danced together on the living room floor. Now the tides have changed in our lives, the seasons have come and gone. I'm still walking behind, but this time I'm pushing the wheels that give him a little freedom of movement. We still have heart to heart conversations but they are one sided, for you see he can only listen now. We dance a little differently now with his one hand extended, for movements are limited. But in this new season, we share something that I tried to share many years ago...a faith and hope in our Lord. That amazing grace that pours out from Calvary onto us. And someday, when the seasons change, again we'll be walking together side by side on golden streets. We'll share, and he'll speak to me once more, and we'll dance with the angels.

Isn't it amazing that the day Zan went to heaven, her father had gone to heaven only four days before! He had died the day after her accident and she hadn't known it. He was there to greet her when she arrived in heaven. I find that strangely comforting...God's timing isn't always our timing...but He always knows best.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Mom update...

I spent the night at Dad and Mom's after I got off work at 8:00 last night. She seems to be a little stronger. They increased the steroid and it's helped her to have an appetite so she's eating a lot better. Her left side seems pretty's hard for her to hold onto anything with her left hand and food tends to fall out of the left side of her mouth. Her mind is still pretty clear although she gets confused about things. She actually slept all night without getting up...Dad said that's a first! When she doesn't exhibit many symptoms from the tumor, I find myself hoping that she might be getting better...she hasn't had any headaches or big seizures. I'm really grateful that she doesn't seem to have any pain other than that caused by weak muscles. The course of this disease is so varied in each person that we don't really know what to expect. I'm just grateful for each day she has with us. Joel and Wendy are coming home tonight! We haven't seen them since Christmas so we're really looking forward to their visit...even though it will be a short one. If you'd like to see some cute pics in celebration of Molly and Myron's 10th wedding anniversary, you can check out her blog too.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Missing Zan...

This has been a sad week. A good friend of mine was seriously injured in an automobile accident last week and she passed away today. Zan was such a sweet woman. I first met her at her wedding. Her husband, Jamey, was one of my second grade students when I taught school...way back in 1970. I always loved Jamey and we had a special friendship. So I was delighted to be invited to their wedding. They've been married 25 years and have two grown sons. I just talked to Zan a couple of weeks ago when she brought her granddaughter to the library. I feel so bad for Jamey and the family...they've gone through so much the past week. Zan's father died the day after her auto accident. He had been in a nursing home due to a stroke. Please remember this dear family in your prayers. They love the Lord and are leaning on Him for comfort and understanding through all this.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

I'm back...

The past few weeks have been so hectic, I haven't had time to blog. The kids had spring break last week so we were super busy at the library. I was so tired each night from being on my feet so much! Molly and Betsy spent the week with us and it was such fun! Betsy is talking so much and really starting to bond with us so the visit was much too short! She loves the library and visited me there several times. John and I spent the weekend out at Mom and Dad's. Mom was outside in her wheelchair when we arrived Saturday. She really enjoyed the brisk spring air and looking at all her blooming spring flowers. She was really itching to dig in with her hoe, but just isn't strong enough for that. She is eating better and seems a little bit stronger. She and Ruthie actually made dumplings one day...Ruth held her up and then would let her rest when she got too tired...but they got them made! She has always liked to cook and bake and I know she's really missing that. She had Ruthie making strawberry preserves at 10:00 one night...she sort of loses track of the time and obsesses about things until you just give in and do it! Of course we all want to make her days happy and as productive as we can. I'm so glad she's lived to see the seems to have given her a fresh outlook.
Grandma Leah with Elizabeth

Betsy on her visit to Grandma Karen