Friday, June 15, 2007

Weekly Word for June 15, 2007

Weekly Word - June 15, 2007

There is an appointed time for everything.
And there is a time for every event under heaven - - -
A time to give birth, and a time to die;
A time to plant, and a time to uproot what is planted.
(Ecclesiastes 3: 1 & 2)

It had been a busy week - one of those weeks where the days fly by, and you can’t even stop to think! At the end of each day, I was exhausted - and couldn’t even remember what I had done that day. It wasn’t until the week was over, that the realization of what had happened that week, sunk in. It had been a week of returning home - and helping out my parents. It was a week of helping the grandbabies, and knowing that their little lives have touched ours. Each day, was a day full of emotions - and even memories. Now looking back, I realize that those days, were not only full of work and chores - but were also full of moments that touched the soul . . .

And there is a time for every event under heaven - - -

The week had started with a trip to my parents’ house. They had some things broken, and my father had asked us to fix them. As we drove up to their house, I couldn’t help but feel angry. Ted and I had so little time together, and my parents were taking some of that precious time from us. I knew they needed help, but I wasn’t exactly happy about giving it.

When we got to their house, my mother greeted us at the door. She was so happy to see us. She excitedly showed us her yard, and all the flowers she had planted. “See . . . See?” she kept saying. She was like a little child, excited to show us everything! I wanted to be nice, but I was still frustrated at having to give up my week-end. But my mother didn’t seem to notice, as she took my hand - pulling me along behind her. As she pointed out each flower and each decoration, I nodded and smiled. But I couldn’t keep my thoughts from wandering - I wanted to get the work done - - - and leave . . .

A time to keep, and a time to throw away.
A time to tear apart, and a time to sew together; . . .
(Ecclesiastes 3: 6 & 7)

As the tour ended, we finally headed inside. The kitchen faucet was broken, and my father had asked Ted to replace it. Ted got out his tools, shut off the water, and prepared to get to work. As he did - both my parents sat down to watch. I don’t know what I had thought they would do - while Ted worked. But there they were, sitting at the kitchen table - just watching. I stood there, in the middle of the kitchen, wondering what I should do. I tried to help Ted - but he was under the sink - and there really wasn’t room for me under there with him! So I finally sat down at the kitchen table, watching along with my parents.

As we sat there, I could see that my father was uncomfortable. He fidgeted in the seat, continually moving - trying to find a way to sit without pain. My dad’s health has been deteriorating for years. Most of his days, are spent battling pain. He walks slowly, with a cane or walker - and getting around is not easy for him. He has battled cancer, a crushed spine, and heart disease. So as he sat in that hard kitchen chair, I knew that he wasn’t feeling well. I wondered if he should go in to the living room - and maybe sit in his big comfy chair. But just as I was going to mention it, he looked up at me, with a question in his eyes. “Do you think you could go see my new keyboard - now?” he asked. His eyes were full of excitement, and I didn’t want to say no to him. I looked over at Ted, and then at my mother. But Ted didn’t seem to need me. “Sure dad” I said. And with that, my dad jumped up - and moved quicker than I had seen him move - in years! I hesitated to leave, but my mother told me it was alright. “I’ll stay and help Ted” she said. And at that - I was even more hesitant. But my mother was already talking to Ted, telling him all sorts of stories. As I turned toward the den, I hoped that he would be OK.

Praise the Lord, O my soul! How blessed is he . . . whose hope is in the lord his God;
The Lord sets the prisoners free.
The Lord opens the eyes of the blind;
The Lord raises up those who are bowed down; . . .
(Psalm 146: 2, 5, 7, & 8)

When I got to the den, my dad was already turning on the keyboard and getting his music out. He had a little trouble bending down and plugging things in, so I did it for him. He had a pile of music books, and he started going through them, excited to show me what his new keyboard could do. He pushed buttons, picking out the rhythm and background he wanted it to play. As the beat started, he looked at me - and smiled. Then he turned back - and started playing. As he played, his hands moved quickly over the keys, his body keeping time with the beat. He had picked one of his favorite songs to play. As the notes filled the room, I was surprised that the words seemed to tumble out of my mouth. It was a song that I hadn’t heard in many years. Maybe it was the music, or being in the house - but the years just seemed to melt away . . .

How blessed is he . . . whose hope is in the lord his God; . . .
The Lord opens the eyes of the blind;
The Lord raises up those who are bowed down; . . .

Music filled the air, and there were people all around. They were all there, my aunts, uncles, and cousins. My grandparents sat watching, as my father played the organ, and my aunties played their guitars. Everyone was singing and laughing, as we celebrated another birthday - or whatever the event was that day. I could feel it all, as the music continued to play. And I waited - - - for what would happen next . . .

I waited to feel the pain - the fear and dread that had filled my being when I was a little girl. Every get-together could mean another time of hurt. Every celebration, could also be a time when I would be abused. So as the music surrounded me, I could feel my hands clench, and my back tighten - as I wondered if the terror would come back. I had spent years in therapy - years of working hard to get healthy and strong. And then - my father started to play his keyboard. As he looked at me, with his eyes shining with happiness - I waited . . .

I waited to feel the pain, but it didn’t happen. As the music filled my being, I could hear the voices of my cousins and family. As I stood there looking at my father, I started to smile. And then I started to sing. The memories that came flooding back - were moments of pure happiness - and joy. At that moment, I found myself enjoying the music - and the time that I could spend with my father . . .

Praise the Lord, O my soul! I will praise the Lord while I live; . . .

In the kitchen, Ted continued to work. As he did, my mother kept busy, by talking to him. She has trouble with her memory now, as she battles a disease called Alzheimer’s. Little by little, we have watched her struggle with remembering past events. So, as she talked, she seemed to ramble about little things in her life, or the weather. And then, to his surprise, Ted realized that she was talking about something that she had never talked about before - - - her brother! He listened as she talked about visiting the grave of her baby brother, who had died when she was a young girl. He didn’t say a word, as she told about the loss of her only sibling. He didn’t move a muscle, as she shared a part of her life - that she had never shared with any of us before. And then, the moment was gone. As quickly as she had begun talking, she stopped. In the very next breath, my mother was again - talking about the weather.

How blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, . . . Who keeps faith forever; . . .
Who gives food to the hungry.
(Psalm 146: 5 - 7)

When the faucet was finally done, my parents were so happy. As we started to clean up, my mother asked if we wanted to go out for ice cream. Without thinking, I said “sure.” All thoughts of leaving quickly - were gone.

How blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, . . . Who keeps faith forever; Who executes justice for the oppressed; Who gives food to the hungry.
(Psalm 146: 5 - 7)

The rest of the week went flying by. I had so much work to do at home. And then Mike called. He asked if I could help make a kangaroo costume for Emma. I hesitated, not sure if I even knew how. But I didn’t want to disappoint him - or Emma. So I told him I would try. As I worked on the costume, I worried that I wouldn’t be able to get it done. I had never been good at sewing, and I was trying to make a kangaroo costume? But just as I would start to think about giving up - I would think about my granddaughter. She had been through a lot in the past few months. Her parents were now divorced, and she had taken it the hardest. I was determined I would make it - somehow.

It took a few days, but somehow I finished it. Truthfully, to this day - I’m not sure how I did it! It had pink ears, a pouch in front where I had put a small teddy bear, and a long brown tail. When I tried it on her, she laughed and was so happy. She couldn’t wait to show it to her daddy. “See . . . See” she told him, as she made the big floppy tail go back and forth. The parade was scheduled for Friday, and I told her I would be there to take pictures. As I went to leave that night, she climbed in to my lap. “Thank you Grandma” she said. She hung on tight, as I whispered “I love you Emma”.

The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous, And His ears are open to their cry.
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted, And saves those who are crushed in spirit.
(Psalm 34: 15 & 18)

After the parade was over, and all the pictures were taken - I finally had a day to sit home and rest. As I did, I thought about the week that had just happened. We had spent time with my parents, and I had helped out our little granddaughter. As we did those things, new memories were made. Things had happened - that I didn’t think would ever happen. I made something for my granddaughter - that I know she will remember forever. I can’t fix all her hurts, but she knows that she is loved. I don’t know if my mother will ever talk about her baby brother again. But it is a memory of her childhood, that we now have to hold on to - always. Spending time with my father, and listening to him play music - was a wonderful gift for both of us. My father’s life is difficult now. His cancer is “active” again, as the doctors say. He moves slowly, and his body is failing. But sharing music that day, was a joy that I will remember - - - forever . . .

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good - to those who love God, . . .
(Romans 8:28)

Looking back over that one week, I realized “Life” sometimes goes racing by. It is easy to miss the moments of healing and love - as we struggle with our busy lives. Looking back, I can see the Lord right there - helping me through it all. He is there with my grandbabies - helping them as they adjust to the loss of divorce. He is there with my parents, as we try to help them through this last part of their lives. He is here with Ted and I - as we walk this very busy road - we call Life . . .

As you struggle with your own busy life, it is my hope and prayer that you will allow Him to walk with you. When you do - miracles happen! And our world is changed - - - forever . . .

“For I know the plans that I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans for welfare and not for calamity - to give you a future and a hope.”
(Jeremiah 29:11)

God bless you and keep you, until we meet back here again!

In His Amazing Love,
Debbie & Ted Ayers


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