Monday, November 30, 2015

 I want to share a few of the valuable lessons I have been learning as I walk this journey
with our dear Mother, during the last few weeks.  I now have a few moments to reflect
on it all.  She is still with us, however, her days are becoming fewer.
But, as with all times of sorrow and times of joy, life lessons abound.

I have been overwhelmed with the kindness, love, and care that others have blessed
us with.  I have drawn my own conclusions from these heartwarming gifts. 

If I feel a gentle nudge to send an email, a text, a card, or a make a visit, do it!
Whatever form that nudge may take, do not ignore it.  I have in my past.  There have
been times in my life when I knew someone what going through an extremely
difficult, or painful, or lonely journey, and I clearly felt that nudge, and I spent
time talking myself out of it, perhaps with thoughts like;

They probably are already overwhelmed from other's gestures.
I am sure I would not know the correct words to write.
I just don't have the time.
What would they think if "I" sent them something, or dropped off something,
especially if I didn't know them well.

Believe it or not, I have used each of these excuses already in my life.

Not anymore though.
Not after my last few weeks.
No, now it won't happen.
You know why?
Because I have learned just how very special an unexpected text, email, phone call,
card in the mailbox, which might even include a teabag, a container of homemade or store bought soup, fresh flowers, an iced coffee drink, fresh fruit,
cookies can be.

All, are ways that can lift one's spirits, and lighten one's load.
I know.  I've learned on a first hand basis.
I can't possibly do it for everyone in my life, but, when I feel those gentle nudgings,
I will no longer ignore them, or excuse them away.

The gift of time with those you love, has got to be my favorite of blessings.
I had that this Thanksgiving.  I had my family with me.  We celebrated Christmas
together, because we knew it would not happen in December.
We celebrated with joy, all the while holding an underlying sadness
in our hearts, knowing that it would only be a matter of time that we said
our "goodbyes" to our Mother and Grandmother and Great-Grandmother.

I close this post, by sharing this reminder from my heart.  Whatever you are prompted to
do for others, do it, on your life journey.  I promise you, that no matter how small it may be,
it will make a huge difference in another's life.  We all need each other.  Thank you to
each and everyone of you, for sharing your heart gifts with me during these last few
weeks.  What a blessing you all are!

And, sometimes a sweet little smile from a good friend's little girl, is the way one's spirits
can be lifted the highest. In between the tears, I still find moments of joy.
I pray that it lifts your spirits also, today.

Thank you for stopping by, and for not forgetting that I still have a blog;).

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

There are days, like today, when the sun is brightly shining, and the sky is bluer than
blue.  When the last of the colorful fall leaves, are falling softly from the almost barren
trees, and one can anticipate the cold weather that is right around the corner.  But, there
are times when, despite the gorgeous fall day that can been seen through each and every
window, there seems to be a fog over the thoughts of your own heart.  That is what it is
like for me during the last two weeks.  A fog has settled here.  Life as I knew it
is changing.  My dear Mother, who most of you know, lives in the lower level of our
home, was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, and is living out her last days
here in her home.  Hospice has become a good friend of our family.  They offer so much
comfort and care during her days of sickness and discomfort.  She tells me that she is
81 years old, and she is ready to go to heaven.  I know that.  I find it most comforting to
hear her tell me that, but, even so, it is difficult for me to come to grips with it all.  I have
so many questions in regards to what the next few weeks will look like for my family.
The fog is thick at times, preventing us from seeing even the next few steps.  Here is
what I read today, written by Sarah Young, in her book, "Jesus Calling";

"As you look at the day before you, you see a twisted, complicated path, with branches
going off in all directions.  You wonder how you can possibly find your way through
that maze.  Then you remember the One who is with you always, holding you by your
right hand."    So comforting and so reassuring this is to me.  God sees it all clearly,
and He will lead me through. 

So, with that in mind, we go on enjoying our last days with this very special lady, we
call Mother, Grandma, Great-Grandma.

This picture was taken yesterday, with our oldest daughter and her grandma. 

As I close this post, I know full well, that many of you have walked this journey before
me, or are walking it now, in your own life.  I could learn from you I am sure, since it
is a new path for me.

Thanks so much for your thoughts, your prayers, your emails, and your concern.  It sure
eases the burdens and makes the load lighter.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Blogging is on the back burner for me right now.  On Saturday, we drove to our daughter
and son-in-law's home, to babysit for the afternoon.  We were both so thankful for the
privilege of spending a few more minutes with our newest grandchild.  The drive down
to their home, was an exceptionally beautiful one, and I could not help but share this
picture that I took, with you.  Early morning drives, in the fall of the year, are one of
my very favorite things.

Upon our arrival, we quickly discovered how our two grandchildren have taken
to their new little brother.  So tenderly and carefully, our granddaughter sat by his side.
She will probably take on the role of "mother" for her two brothers, as I did in my early
years, as the oldest of four siblings.

  While the rest of the family went to their church's fall festival, I got to
babysit for this precious little one.  I loved every minute of it, even if it involved
a few hours drive to get there.

We arrived home on Saturday evening, and on Sunday morning we picked up our
other five grandchildren.  Their parents went on a business trip, and we were happy to
be their "home" for the next week.  I must admit, it certainly has changed out daily
routine in so many ways, as I am sure you can imagine.  We started out well, when
our grandson shared his special blue fedora with his grandfather:). 

We go through boxes of cereal.  This is one of the favorites.  Thank you Kellogg's

I have found this dry spray shampoo is as handy with granddaughters as it is for me.  For
those days when you just do not have time to shampoo, this product certainly does the
trick.  Just follow it's instructions, and body comes back to one's hair.  I questioned it's
claims, but found them to be true.   After all, when you have only an evening and a
morning with five, before the next day of school, you need to make sure they get their
showers, wash their hair, brush their teeth, get homework done, get backpacks ready
and sitting by the back door, get dressed, get their shoes and socks on, (well, find
matching socks first of all, then get them on), it is a huge job.  My hat is off to all the
mothers in our world. 

But, as with all things in life, there are special benefits too.  Extra help in the kitchen, and
in this case, it was volunteered.  Thanks to the Swiffer Company for their reliable and useful
cleaning product, at least in our home, it is used often.  In fact, most times when they come,
they ask to clean my floor:).

I do not practice the art of bribery in my life, except of course when it is
absolutely necessary.  In this case, I learned, after day two, that it could
come in very handy on school mornings:).
If...they go through the check list of all the above mentioned responsibilities,
then we can all play "Win, Loose, or Draw".  They love this game,
and I found that this morning, they had everything done, a half hour
before it was time to leave for school.  Wow!  I feel fairly good
about my new discovery.  There are not many games that all of their ages
can play, but this one works.  They asked if they can continue
playing when they get home from school.  I think I am on to something here:).
I must admit they are a very competitive group!  Reminds me of my
own childhood, being one of five children.

As I drove home from taking them to school, I was reminded that I could be
even busier, if I had to hang out all of our laundry as a part of my week's
routine.   Although, there is nothing like wash that is hung out to dry, in beautiful
weather like we are having here in our part of the country today.
So, you can see why I have been absent from the blogging world.
Thank you though for stopping by.  I know you all are busy.  Life just is
like that now.  Maybe a can of dry shampoo might help you too.
By the way, before I close this post,  I thought I would share the simple, yet so
pretty centerpiece that my friend had on her table recently.  I really like how she arranged
her mums and water in a shallow, glass pan.  


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