Memorial day was a very pleasant day at our house. Our older son Ben, daughter-in-law Angie and grandson Theo came to visit and we had a cookout. Hot dogs, venison burgers, baked beans, macaroni salad and we had fresh strawberries on angel food cake for dessert. Theo is sitting up and “almost crawling” now! Had not gotten to see him as much as I had hoped, his early months of life, while taking care of Mom, but I am still glad they live only a couple of hours away and we get to see them on occasion.
Simple pleasures mean more than ever these days, and I come from an extended family that knew how to enjoy that, although to be honest, this was a feature of the previous generation, most of whom live in West Virginia, and it didn’t really carry over to my siblings and me and our part of this generation, since we were born, raised, and stayed in VA, while our parents moved back to WV upon Dad’s retirement. My Mom doesn’t understand how it is that my brothers and I aren’t as “close” as far as doing things together. It doesn’t occur to her that the gathering-place that kept her family-of-origin connected, was her Mom’s house, (that of our Grandma Ward).
When they moved back to West Virginia, that “home base” we all had in common here in VA, was dissolved. She has said she just always assumed when they moved back that we (her adult kids) would naturally just make the trip to West Virginia frequently to see them, as she and Dad had made it to see their parents. She said this , not really considering that when they went to WV they were going back to their other “home”. We are “home” in VA! Cousins that were raised there have done better at keeping ties with the others, since WV is their home too, even though several have, or currently do live(ed) elsewhere.
These months of helping Mom, and having her here, stirred up thoughts of old family “stuff”. It happens. We all have it, and like a card game, you play the hand you are dealt. Moving on.
She has now returned home yet again to West Virginia. It was sudden, unexpected, and I did not think it was a good idea, but it was taken out of my hands by the way things were set in motion and by the time I was asked to weigh in with my opinion, it was moot, really. She mentioned it once right before it happened, and I thought it was just a momentary thought that would pass. Nope. All the effort and disruption of getting her here felt like it was getting flushed down the drain at that moment, but when a parent still has their own mind, you have to allow them their autonomy. I had not asked for the responsibilities and decisions that I ended up having on my shoulders and when all is said and done, I can’t say I am not relieved to have had them removed. I did what I could as best I could, admittedly not always with as much grace as I would have liked.
It’s been a couple of weeks now, and mostly I have been just riding the wave of the inevitable delayed fallout that comes when I have borrowed from tomorrow’s (or next month’s) strength and energy. Clinically it is known as the “decompensation” phase.
You do what you have to do, your body finds ways to “compensate”, using your body’s God-designed emergency reserves ( bathing you in cortisol) to get through via missed sleep, quick energy in the form of carbs, functioning in a mental fog, etc and you “pay the piper” later!
Don’t ask me how I do it. It’s not something I control. I think most people who live with anything chronic, probably can relate. Even the healthiest people experience a version of it, when they invariably get sick during their vacation. You’ll hear them say “I don’t have time to get sick any other point in the year”.
Mom is happy to be home, and I’m trying leve her in God’s hands. Her grandson will be getting her to appointments, etc, and she seems to be managing her meds, thus far. Her numerous skin tears have finally healed and the doc here took her off the blood thinners that were contributing. So far her sugars have stayed stable, and her kidneys are functioning at at least a nominal capacity, and she can now, especially in the familiarity of her home environment, move around without her walker some. She does her best to work around the memory issues (frankly they are my biggest concern) with notes, reminders, and calendars.
Her greatest enjoyment in life has always been her housekeeping, and she is getting a little bit done at a time. I understand wanting to age in place in your own home. It’s just not ideal that she is 6 hours away from her adult kids.
I lost a lot of ground in my quest to improve my health over those 8 months. I had lost 65 lbs over the past 3 years, was walking pretty consistently for exercise, had my BP down to under 120/80, my core strength and posture were improving, and inflammation and pain were at a multi-year minimum.
With the traveling, the inconsistent mealtimes, increased stress, inconsistent sleep schedule, etc, I regained about 8 lbs, and the fibro and arthritic joint pain are back. My posture has suffered. It doesn’t take much for my strength to wane. Especially the older I get. Spring and fall are of course really important times to take full advantage of comfortable temperatures and get outside to walk, do gardening and yard work, and I didn’t get to take as much advantage of that ()as Spring came and went) as I had planned.
Summer is here now, with it’s sweltering daytime highs in VA. But I am determined to be outside at least for a while nearly every day. It is so important for Vitamin D and mood, if nothing else. We don’t have central air. Once those window a.c. units go in, it can make it harder to want to get outside, but we are early risers, and since my husband built the patio space, we like to take our coffee out to the back yard and watch the hummingbirds. ( Never could seem to get him to enjoy my wonderful front porch with me, for some reason, but that’s ok. I have gotten a lot of use and enjoyment out of it).
I sat out there on the patio for many hours last week in the shade, whittling some little “people” for my grandson, and listening to my “goBible” on MP³ player. Sometimes I just need an immersive “washing by the water of the Word”. Especially these days. Nourishment for the depleted spirit.
I don’t project into the future (on terra firma) much. Can’t. For here, it is still a prospect of taking each day as it comes, because that truly is the only day that matters, the only day we “have” as God hands each new one to us with breath still in our lungs when the sun comes up. But with the late and dark spiritual hour, one day is quite enough at a time! With the school shootings, rising crime, warnings of food shortages, latest pandemic, war and and W.H.O. shenanigans, looking at the headlines is sort of like starting your day by intentionally eating a live toad. It kind of ensures the day can only get better from there!
People are still dying at the hands of the Romans 1 deranged. America is still on death watch. The globalists are still on track to decrease the population, kill babies, and perpetrate the “Great Reset”. The prophecies about this stage of history are happening, and despite our having warned and watched, the majority of the world and pastors and churched individuals are still utterly ignorant, in denial, or completely deceived.
It’s not our job to convince. Just to warn anybody who will listen. Am I still hopeful we are near the end? Yes! Do I agree that if we don’t leave soon we are gonna go through things like power grid failure and food scarcity, possibly, but not necessarily. It is still true that worse case scenario doesn’t often happen, but the prophecies themselves will be fulfilled sooner or later. I am thinking about going again through the Historical Survey of the Old and New Testaments, a college level course that I obtained from the missionary who wrote the curriculum. It did me a lot of good in getting me through the period several years back when my husband was diagnosed with cancer and I really am yearning for some study to sink my teeth into. At the moment I am going through Amir Tsarfati and Rick Yohn’s book and workbook “Revealing Revelation”. It really serves to help visualize what John was seeing as he was given the Revelation to write down for us, and provokes thoughtfulness about our purpose and impact for the Kingdom and how we serve Him “in the waiting”.
He’ll come when it’s time. Meanwhile, we occupy, live our life, pray, take in the Word, keep putting on the armor, and walk with the Lord, ever thankful for our blessings!