Thursday, January 31, 2013

Weekly Word for Jan. 31, 2013

Weekly Word for Jan. 31, 2013
Behold, I tell you a mystery; . . . We shall all be changed,
In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye . . .
(1 Corinthians 15: 51 & 52)

The other day, I was thinking about all the different feelings and emotions that I had experienced - in one day. I thought about the saying: “a day in the life of . . .” and realized it is actually the “life” that happens in just one day . . .

In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye . . .

The day had started with laughter, as I realized I had a kitten purring on my face! I picked her up, and together with my big cat, we all padded downstairs to the kitchen. As I fed the cats and made coffee, my mind was already on the day ahead. I was thinking about the trip north, and worrying about how mom would be when I visited her. I was jarred back to reality when my kitten ran by - with a straw in her mouth! I knew that Sammy had been naughty, but I couldn’t help it - I started laughing so hard! With tears running down my face, I happened to look over at the phone on the counter. As I watched - the years seemed to fall away - and I could feel myself picking up the phone and calling my mom. I could hear her voice as she answered, and then her laughter as I told her all about my new little kitten. As my laughter died away, reality came bursting back. Looking again at the phone, a deep sadness filled my being. I wanted to tell my mom all about Sammy, but her disease would make that impossible. Slowly I turned to pick up the straw, going back to my chores for the morning.

And if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love,
I am nothing.
(1 Corinthians 13: 2b)

There is a moment in my morning that I cherish with all my heart. It is the moment when Ted pulls me into his arms, to kiss me goodbye. In that instant, I know I am loved. I know that in that kiss, we tell each other so much! We say “I love you” and “Till we see each other again” in that moment. It is a promise, that sends us on our way each day.

So on this day, as I drove away, my heart held fast to my husband - as we both headed in different directions. He was headed off to work, and I was heading north to visit my mother.

As I got on the highway, I turned on my blue tooth and called Mike. I wasn’t sure if he and Kelly would be home, but if they were I was hoping to stop by and say “hello”. I had a few things I wanted to drop off - and of course I wanted to see my new little grandson! When Mike answered he told me they were home, and so I headed their way.

As I walked through the door, I could hear the baby fussing in the living room. Mike was busy with work on his computer, and Kelly had just headed into the kitchen. I handed her the few things I had brought for them, and then I headed over to see Christian. He has changed so much since he was first born. He has filled out and is just so cute and huggable. Taking off my coat, I went and washed my hands, asking Kelly if it would be OK if I held him. She smiled and said “sure.” I took him out of his bouncy seat and pulled him close. He felt so good in my arms. Kelly handed me his bottle and I sat down to feed him. His eyes were watching my face, as he took his bottle. I wrapped his little fingers around my baby finger, and the feeling was just so wonderful. Then I saw it! He had stopped sucking and was smiling at me! It was the first time he had smiled at “me”. I laughed - and told him just how amazing he was. As I looked at Christian, I could see my own son - Mike - at this same age. Looking up though, I saw my son as a grown man - the father of this beautiful little boy . . .

In between feeding and talking to Christian, I asked Kelly and Mike how things were. We talked about the baby and how much he had grown in just 2 ½ months. We talked about the older kids, and how each of them were doing. And we talked about simple things like winter and how cold it had gotten. When I finished feeding and burping Christian, I knew I had to get ready to leave - but that first smile stayed in my heart - as I headed out the door.

Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous; . . .
(it) bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things . . .
(1 Corinthians 13: 4 & 7)

As I drove north, the trees and highway seemed to blend into one. I had been driving this route for years. But for the last few years it had gotten harder to take this trip. I always wanted to go see my mom; but I never quite new what I would find when I got there. It had only been a few weeks earlier, actually a few days before Christmas, when I received one of the hardest calls from the nursing home.

The phone had rung that Saturday evening, and when I checked who was calling, the number was from the nursing home. That in itself, didn’t bother me too much any more. The nurses kept me updated all the time with how my mom was doing. They would call if mom had fallen, if she had a bad day and needed some extra meds, or to keep me updated on what changes the doctors had ordered for her. So when I answered the phone, I wasn’t too concerned. The nurse on the other end asked if I was “Debbie” and I told her I was. “I am calling because your mother’s condition is not good today” the nurse began with. “In fact, it is quite alarming” she continued. The nurse told me that she took care of my mom on a pretty regular basis, on 2nd shift. She then told me that she had come in and found my mom wasn’t able to walk. She also told me my mom was very un-responsive. As the nurse talked, the word “alarming” kept rolling around in my head. I asked the nurse if I should head up to the nursing home, and she told me no, that she would keep me informed. She told me that my mom was in a wheelchair and they were monitoring her condition. As I hung up the phone, my heart was pounding! Looking over at Ted, I wondered if I should head north. My mind was racing! “I don’t know what to do” I told him. I quickly told him everything that the nurse had told me. “Can we pray?” I asked him. “of course we can” he answered. That evening, as I held my husbands hands, I wondered if this was going to be how it all ended for my mom . . .

(Love) bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things . . .

Ted convinced me to wait, and within the hour, the phone rang again. It was the same nurse calling me back. “Your mom has made a complete turn around!” she said. She told me that they had put my mom to bed, and about a ½ hour later, my mom had gotten up and was her normal self! As the nurse talked, I could feel the relief flooding through my entire being. I thanked the nurse - - - over and over again! I was so happy to hear that my mom was doing OK.

Two days later - it was Christmas Eve. Ted and I went to visit my mom that evening. We brought her presents, and even met up with Jenny and Dan there. Mom seemed so happy that night. She opened her presents, and loved everything. But she especially loved the little stuffed kitten we had brought her. I took pictures of my mom with the four of us, and I thanked God for helping my mom to be better for Christmas. As we took mom down for her supper that evening, mom heard a Christmas carol being played. When she heard the song, she started to sing. And then she started to dance! With tears in my eyes, I laughed and sang along with my mom. It had been a very long time since my mom had been able to sing and dance. It felt like I had received a small Christmas Miracle . . .

For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face,
Now I know in part, but then I shall know full . . .
(1 Corinthians 13: 12)

The pavement before me was so familiar. I had entered Massachusetts, and mom’s exit was coming up next. As I thought back to Christmas Eve, a warm feeling filled my being. I wanted my mom to be that happy again, but the last few visits had not gone as well. As I drove down the road toward the nursing home, I had no clue how mom would be feeling.

As I entered the nursing home, I smiled and said “Hi” to Susan the receptionist. We chatted for a moment, and then I headed to the elevators. Mom was on the 3rd floor. It only took about a minute or so for the elevator to open up to mom’s floor. As I headed past the nurse’s station, I could see mom down the hallway. She had just left the “activities” room. Walking a little faster, I got to mom’s side in a moment. She had tears in her eyes and her face looked a little red. “What’s the matter mom?” I asked her. She just shook her head and then looked at my face and said: “I am so glad you are here” I linked my arm into hers and told her “so am I” We headed down the hallway toward her room. “Where are we going?” she asked. “To your room” I told her. She looked over at me and told me that she wasn’t sure where that was. “That’s OK, I know where it is” I told her. “Are you sure you know where we are going?” she asked. “Well, if we get lost, we’ll get lost together” I laughed. “How is that?” I asked her. She smiled and laughed, and told me that would be OK. As I headed toward mom’s room, I knew the visit was going to be a challenge, but I was so glad that my mom was still there, and still able to laugh . . .

For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face;
Now I know in part, but then I shall know full -
Just as I also have been fully known.
But now abide faith, hope, love, these three;
But the greatest of these - is love.
(1 Corinthians 13: 12 & 13)

Each day, each hour, each minute - we are faced with so many different situations and realities of life. We find ourselves working so hard through the day - that sometimes we miss the small moments - that are filled with “life”. Sometimes the choices before us are difficult, but those choices are also what makes up our lives.

My days are not always so easy, right now. My mom has a disease called Alzheimer’s. The phone calls from the nursing home will continue to happen. And my visits will not always be happy ones. The outcome for my mom, well, it isn’t going to get much better. But it is in the moments with her, that life happens. The tears - whether they are from laughter - or from sadness - are part of what makes up my life right now. I guess if I had the choice to change the path that I have been walking - I wouldn’t change a moment of it! How can I remove the pain, and miss the joy that has come from my mother telling me - that she loves me so very much? How can I ask to not be “here“, and miss out on the smiles of my littlest grandson?

And if I have all faith so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. Love is patient, love is kind . . . (It) bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails; . . .
(1 Corinthians 13: 2 - 8)

Every day, every hour, every minute - Ted and I ask the Lord to help us walk in love. The Lord answers our prayer - with the joy of each other, our children and grandchildren, and the miracles that happen all along the way. My days are filled - with gifts of love . . .

As you go through your days, it is my hope and prayer that you will ask the Lord to help you walk it in “Love”. When you do, moments of little miracles - will happen around you.

God bless you, and keep you, as you walk this road we call Life . . .

In His Amazing Love,

Debbie & Ted Ayers


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