My sister

Please pray for my sister.  She prefers that I not use her name and so I won’t.  She is having some very serious health issues that are ao far undiagnozed.  She has a huge battery of tests tomorrow (Friday).  She is losing mobility in her right leg.  Her right arm and hand is losing strength and coordination.  She is having touble swallowing and she is falling frequently.

She is not married and lives alone.  Pray for answers so that we will know what we are dealing with.  Pray for God’s healing.  Pray for wisdom for all of us.

Dubbie – Update

As of Wednesday evening Dubby was doing wonderful. When his daughter went to see him, she found him to awake and alert. He is still complaining of nausea and pain in his legs when he tries to walk. He seemed to be oriented in time and space and has plans to ask the doctor about the nausea at his next appointment.

Thank you for your prayers! God is good.

Hospital Elegante’

Oh, those hospital cots. Aren’t they wonderful? Not. However, I did get used to them and I have slept a couple of cots that were actually comfortable. Not that you get much sleep in a hospital anyway. That is for another post.

After so many days and nights at the hospital, you develop a routine that works. I tend to desire a lot of ‘creature comforts’. As a Mary Kay Director (then Consultant) , I must have my makeup. I had my blow drier for my hair, shampoo, shower gels, etc. I developed my packing system and packed the same way every time I left home to go to Abilene. I only needed one midsize suitcase and my pillow (a must have item), and I was ready to go.

When I arrived at the hospital, either Mother’s room or Daddy’s room, which ever one needed me the most, I unpacked my suitcase as much as possible depending on how much closet space and drawers were available in the room. Once that was done, then I felt like my nest was made.

On the oncology floor and also on the physial therapy floor, the nurses were great about showing me where the clean linens were kept. I would go and get what we needed, towels, washcloths, blankets, sheets, etc. I did not leave the hospital and go some where else to shower. I ‘lived’ there.

Since I am a coffee drinker, I got to know the coffee room well, making coffee for everyone regularly.

I could share with you my exact routine because it is still very clear in my memory, but I’m not going to. Boring! You din’t know want to know the details. Just know this. My motto was, “Ask and ye shall receive. Seek and ye shall find.” If I needed something for me or for my parents, I asked. If I could get it for myself or do it for myself, I did.

Yes, spending so much time at the hospital was hard for many reasons and on many levels. However, I do not regret any of it and would do it again if necessary.

If I did have to do it again, I feel sure that I could fall back into my same routine and not ‘miss a beat’. Well, I have done it again. Last fall my husband fell off a ladder and broke both ankles. Six nights in the hospital. Yes, I went right back and did the same things almost exactly as I did them before.

Hospital Elegante’

Kenny

 This is an email I received today.  Please pray for Kenny, for Helen, and for their family.  This is his second recurrence of cancer.  If you or a family member has been down this road, then you understand the depth of their prayer request.  It comes from the innermost part of their hearts.    They feel the burden in every fiber of their being.  Knowing that our prayers go where we can’t,  let’s spiritually stand beside them, praying that God will meet their needs in every way.

God bless you, Kenny.  It is my prayer that God will touch your cancer and bring healing and restoration to your body.  I pray that God will give you wisdom and strength to meet every challenge, every problem, every decision with courage and faith.

I would like for you to go ahead and have Mrs. Foster put me (and my family) on her prayer list.  Our diagnosis is metastisized sarcoma in the lungs.  We are praying for a miracle, for guidance to know the direction that God wants us to go, and for more faith.

Thank you for all your prayers and support.

Love you guys,

Kenny and Helen

Our Imaginary Sister

One day soon after Mother went to the nursing home, she had a couple of visitors.  Mother was sitting in the foyer talking to them. No, they were talking to her.  A nurse came to Mother and said, “Your daughter, ______, called and said she will be here in a few minutes.” Mother, having one of her more lucid days, said, “I don’t have a daughter named _____.” In a few minutes my sister walked in, and Mother’s guests began to ask her questions such as, “Hey, where is _______?” “Why didn’t you bring ______?” “______is supposed to be with you.”

From that moment and for the next several months we had an imaginary sister named _______.  She was the one that did everything wrong.  She was always forgetful and always late.  She became the butt of our jokes and we were pretty cruel to her.  Good thing she wasn’t real.

There was a problem, however.  Daddy was not at all happy when he heard about our new sister.  You see, we have another ______ in the family.  A real one.  Daddy was afraid that our jokes would get back to her family.  We were very selective about who knew about _______.

I just remembered my son-in-law’s advice: “Don’t write anything you don’t want the whole world to read.” hmmmmmmm I just decided to go back up and take out the name of our imaginary sister.  I guess you can just use your imagination and fill in the blanks for yourself!

Daddy Pitched a Fit.

Adjusting to my parents being in two different locations was hard. I was so accustomed to just walking back and forth from room to room. Though Mother’s nursing home was not far from the hospital, it was still harder to care for both of them as we would like to. I spend the nights at the hospital with Daddy and then part of the day with Mother.

Living in a hospital is something I will cover in another blog, and in itself was a learning and growing experience for me. However, I could only stay about four nights in a row. I don’t know if it was the emotional stress, the fatigue, or what, but after five nights I would begin to feel sick. I felt like I was getting a stomach virus, but, of course, never did. I would go home and stay for about three days and then come back.

When I went home my sisters would take over. They couldn’t stay at night, but they did more daytime care. Well, Darla did stay as many nights as she could. Her children were still little and they needed her during the night. My other dsister did not do any nights, but she did spend a tremendous amount of time with Mother at the nursing home.

Daddy continued to recover from the stroke after the second chemo treatment. His speech continued to improve. He could put his thoughts and words together to say what was on his mind, but the tone of his voice continued to be strange. He sounded exactly like Forrest Gump! I don’t know how else to describe it. He could have been the voice double for Tom Hanks!!!

Mother very sweetly adjusted to life in the nursing home. She couldn’t stand alone, but she could walk some with her walker. A very sad moment was when Darla told me that Mother fell because she wanted something from across the room and she got up from her chair to go get it. She had forgotten that she couldn’t walk without the walker.

It was during one of my times at home that Daddy got fed up, as he put it. He had been in the hospital for about 7 weeks at that time, I think. Who wouldn’t be fed up! He told the doctor that he was sick of his room. The walls were closing in, and he wanted out! He wanted to put on his shoes, and go out to his land and kick the dirt! He wanted the doctor to do something to make that happen!

The decision was made to move him to another floor. I can’t remember the name of the floor, but he would receive physical therapy, with the goal of helping him walk again.

I was not present when he left the oncology floor, but I heard about it. All the nurses came out into the hallway to tell him good by. There were hugs and tears aplenty. You see, Daddy had been there long enough to know each of them personally. He told them stories and made them laugh. They had seen him go to death’s door and return. They truly loved him. We loved them.

Tomorrow: The chicken dance.

Dubbie – Update

This was emailed to me today by Dubby’s daughter. David is her pastor. She is commenting his sermon today and how is reflects on the new life that her father will soon have. It is clear that his love of music is going to smoother his transition into that new life.

David’s sermon today was timely. He read from Ex. 15 where the Israelites were stopped at the bitter water. The water was a cleansing, a laxative, to purge what was left of Egypt from them before they could enter into new promises. The new promise was accomplished by a tree being thrown into the water to sweeten it—the cross of salvation thrown on the bitterness of our past. We enter into the new promise—none of the diseases of Egypt —by way of the Living Water. Dubby is crossing into new territory: He has long been a warrior, provider, and leader as well as servant for his family, his church, and for many, many others in the community. He doesn’t know exactly where he is right now. He has rarely been served, rarely had to rely on anyone to fight a battle for him having always been the protector, and perhaps has not bee a follower since he was in the Army, except in playing music. I feel strongly that music is the bridge between the earth and the Kingdom of God for him. He understands that. It is the river of peace and the vehicle of praise and worship. He can learn his place of sonship and his place as a bride through music. He can also learn to lay down the weapons of warfare and accept the Good Shepherd’s rod and staff through music. Please pray that we will make the correct choices for him as he listens.