Monday, June 29, 2009

~Balancing Act, Part I~

Anyone who has their own business knows how difficult it is to balance work and home life. Add that to having your office/studio at home....and the balancing act becomes even more challenging. The 'drive' and discipline needed for the business to become successful is daunting. THEN add in an 89-year-old mother with alzheimer's and you have a balancing act that just simply doesn't 'balance' at all. In falls with loud thuds on a daily basis, although I continously struggle to keep everything in its place. It has me in tears and/or laughter most everyday. It's the only way I can keep any sort of sanity.

Mom's declining in the WORST possible way: she's rapidly losing her mind. There. I've said it. It's horrific to watch. I cannot imagine the terror of what it must be to like living in her body right now, and no matter how I try to understand what it is like there in her brain....looking out on a world that no longer makes any sense to her....I cannot imagine it.

She started a whole new phase in June: leaving. Yes...complete with her 'necessities' of life all tied up in a pillow case....neatly tied at the top with a sock. I can imagine that to her, this was her only way 'out' of the hell she is in. And so....the staff found her several yards from the assisted living facility, almost to the woods at the edge of the property having fallen on her knees. This poor, frail, pain-ridden woman who can hardly walk. Escaped. Frightening. When asked where she was going, her only reply was, "I don't know".

And so, the assisted living facility required that we provide paid, evening 'sitters' keep her safe. job to make sure the hours were covered. And when there was no one to 'hire' is me and/or my husband. Another 'job' to add to the already way-too-long list. Another emotionally draining task. Another step with mom as her disease worsens.

This week we will move her to a room in the alzheimer's area of the facility. A 'locked' area for people, like mom, that are 'flight risks'. Relieving....but sad and scary for mom, who I am sure will become panicked and angry at yet another part of her life she will be unable to understand. Another 'terror' for her to endure. Although we will set up her room (an exact replica, space-wise) as her present one, can you imagine the nightmare of wheeling yourself out of your room, as you've always known it, into a totally 'different' hallway? It brings me to tears whenever I think about it.

I thank God every day that we found Mom such a wonderful facility as this one. We tried caring for her here for a long time. It was a nightmare-beyond-belief. And so, for now, this is the only way to try to balance this part of my life.

Part II, Wednesday.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

~Prayer Over Folded Laundry~

Dear God, How many loads of laundry did I do over the course of my marriage, complaining to you that it just never seemed to end? How many stacks did I fold (sometimes muttering to myself) that the boys wore WAY too many pairs of socks and underwear in one week?

Tom and Jim just left to golf, and having walked into the house with his laundry in tow, Tom threw the loads into the washer and dryer and headed (per usual!) out the door. And here I am, folding my boy-man's laundry once again, and wondering if it will be the last time I will ever have the pleasure ( heard me correctly, Lord) of doing it again?

Next year, he'll be married, and will have a new 'woman' to help him with it. Not me. I will no longer look at the stacks of 'not-too-white' whites, wondering why in tarnation he didn't throw bleach in with the load I'm folding! As his mom, it's no longer my responsibility. Another job taken away from me. Another job I was initially relieved to be rid of, only to find myself mourning its loss in the end. How foolish I was.

And so Lord, I once again thank you for giving me this child, this son you blessed us with. This Child of God who has blossomed into a beautiful adult in his own rite. And thank you, Lord, for lending him to me for the short while I had him under my wing. I have a feeling you approve of the job his father and I have done. He's grown into a fine young man.



P.S. I promise never to complain about doing laundry again. But about that ironing.....

Friday, June 12, 2009

~FingerPrints Friday~

Fingerprints Of God
Psalm 139:14-15; Phil 1:6

There's a song by Steven Curtis Chapman that goes:

I can see the fingerprints of God

When I look at you
I can see the fingerprints of God
And I know it's true
You're a masterpiece
That all creation quietly applauds
And you're covered with the fingerprints of God.

God's fingerprints are everywhere! I see them so so clearly when I look at my sons and grandchildren. When Jeff and Ella took off walking into the ocean on our recent vacation, it just took my breath away. Truly God's fingerprints right there in front of my eyes!

Don't miss the fingerprints all around you as you travel through your day. Stop and take a peek at Beki's blog to read about more fingerprints.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

~We're Back!~

Hi! It's me again....Ella. We're back from the island! We had so much fun! We swam in the ocean in the mornings, and in the pool in the afternoons. Jackson was scared of the water til the last day. Not me, though. Gramma says I swim like a fish! I helped Gramma cook a lot. I'm a good 'mixer-upper' for her.
We made donuts one morning outta biscuits. You squish them flat, then you cut little holes in the middle with a tiny cutter. Then fry them. Then roll them in sugar and nutmeg. Hmmmmmm.

I had a chance to play with all the kids at the ocean. We dug holes that filled up with sea water, and we made sandcastles. Uncle Tom and I found an island he called a sand bar, and we found a sand dollar. We threw it back in the ocean so it wouldn't die. That would be sad. Then we saw a rainbow over the ocean. Gramma said it was my "Magical Day".

We watched the sun set one last time the nite before we left. I will miss the island, the sea, and the big boats.

Gramma is back in her studio makin' lots of new dollies and lots of new jewelry for her shows. She's a very busy Gramma. She says to say 'hi' to all of you. Til next time....Ella