Sunday, January 7, 2018

It Won't Be Much Longer



Del's mother, Shirley, has been with us since March of last year.  When she first arrived, she was pretty frail from the long drive, and in a lot of pain.  It took her a good three weeks to get stable and finally able to move around and enjoy her new surroundings.  She was pretty much able to come and go as she pleased, moved from inside the house to outside and was able to move about the house getting her own food, joining us to watch movies and play outside in the summer.
But just over the past two months, she has taken a severe downhill spiraling turn in her health and is now considered bedridden and completely dependent on someone to help her with all things - even going to the bathroom. She is incoherent many times in her conversations and has to give much thought and consideration in her communications with us, mostly being able to use single words at a time to get her thoughts across  The pain is continual for her, but not debilitating...and she still maintains a pretty good sense of humor at times. In talking with her about current events and daily comings and goings, she cannot carry on a normal conversation: it is very limited as to what she can remember and what she can say.  But if you are to discuss genealogy or her childhood or even up to 3-4 years ago, her conversation can flow very freely and semi easily, with only an occasional  need to focus harder.
There have been MULTIPLE times where Del has been sure that her leaving this world would be within days, maybe even hours.  I have felt the same.  There has been much conversation between Del and his brothers about the future plans of her funeral and the things that will be needed at that time.  And Del's youngest brother, Brian, even came for a 24 hour visit last week, knowing it will be his last time he sees her in this life.
Last week, Del installed a door bell ringer in her room to be able to push and call for us when she needs us.  Last night, she rang the bell 7 times, and only twice was to use the bathroom.  The other times were for emotional and or discomfort needs.  Del attended to her every need with patience and much love.  I was amazed with his calm and resolve to make sure all her needs were met.  I woke up this morning exhausted and with a headache.  Del woke up without a single complaint.
Now, all meals are brought to her.  All visits to the bathroom are with her clinging to either Del, me or even Lexi.  We have all stepped up as care givers, knowing her time with us is short.  She no longer goes out of the home and is even bedridden except for the maybe once a week walk around the living room Del will make her take for exercise.
Del's release as Bishop has been timely, as now, he is with her most hours of the day.  I have been called to serve in the nursery with him, and will have to cover for him on most Sunday's as she needs him more and more.
Shirley's presence in our home has brought a variety of mixed emotions and experiences.  I cannot say that all have been noteworthy or pleasant.  Being a care taker is difficult and can try the patience of even the best of us.  Shirley is a story teller and a rambler.  That is hard for Del, where as I LOVE to listen to her stories and have literally sat there for hours.  But  in the early hours of the morning, or the middle of the night, when all she wants is comfort, I tend to become weary and Del's compassion and love shines bright and consistent. We both know that Shirley is with us to live out her last days.  The benefit of having her here is in the sharing of some very spiritual experiences she and Del have been able to share during some of her most difficult moments.  Del will tell me of angels attending his mother and of her seeing specific spirits surrounding her.  I'm thrilled for these moments Del is sharing with her and that he will have to remember long after she is gone.
It won't be much longer.  How long?  We do not know.  But it will be soon.
Patience, much love and tenderness will be our guarantee of no regrets. 
And I want no regrets.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

What Matters Most??

So, after my last post, you might pose the question..What Matters the Most??
I guess it depends on who you ask??  Or should it?
It should be God...of course, it should be God.
But for those not Christian, or even members of the church, what matters most to them?
Family...but that's where even members of the church lose focus of what order things should be in in matters of importance.  Even God has asked us to place Him first - and He takes care of the rest.
So, in my priorities for this year - I'm not able to do all I have been able to do in the past.  So, I will do what matters most.
And God matters most.
So first, I dedicate my life to Him - my time, talents and all that I have been blessed with.
Full tithe, my devoted time on the Sabbath, my temple attendance , my church callings and my blessing, either temporally or spiritually.
Then family - Del being first on the list, I must give him more of my time and devotion.  I have to make him directly after God.  Spend more time with him - make and reach our goals together - be more a part of his life instead of 'living and doing my own thing'. I'm very selfish when it comes to my 'free' or 'undedicated' time.  I'm an introvert - like being safe in my own little cocoon.  But I must be part of him.  So, I will stretch myself out of my comfort zone.
And Del and I have set some dreams and goals for this year; especially concerning our home, yard and businesses.  We want to finally build Del his dream shop/garage and then turn our current garage into a media/game room.  We need to replace the tile in our home with hardwood floors, paint the house, and then change and add light fixtures to the kitchen and dining area.  We want to get back to a garden - and then build a patio and fire place area.
To add to my goals this year..

1- I want to go somewhere I have never been   AND
2- do something I have never done.

More details to follow after I have given those two points more thought and consideration.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

After Much Thought

Every year, I try and ponder what it is that I want to do or accomplish this next year that maybe I didn't get done THIS year.  But most often, I can't even remember what I wanted to accomplish the previous year OR, it's the same thing year after year - ie...lose weight, attend the temple more often, prayers, scripture reading etc etc...
But this past year, I found that in trying to accomplish all I had put on my list, I became more and more disappointed at what I wasn't able to do, for one reason or another; mostly because of my health, menopause and anxiety attacks and stress.  I felt cut off at the knees in most things that I attempted to do.
But in my studying of the Ensign, the Book of Mormon and a few other LDS articles, I came across a very poignant quote from our dear Elder Robert D Hales, who recently passed away, that after MUCH thought and prayer, I have chosen to make my motto for this next year - and life in general.
   "When you cannot do what you have always done,
      then you only do what matters most."
That, I can do. Without guilt, without disappointment, without excuses, and without apology.

Changing of the Guard

The Prophet of the Church, President Thomas S Monson, died today.
He had been the leader of the church over 10 years.
I didn't feel a special closeness to President Monson, but I do know he was truly a prophet of God and led the church as a true Prophet should.
There should and will be the calling of a new prophet within the next few days.
And unlike the changing of this Nation's leadership, our new church prophet will truly be what the nation and our Heavenly Father WANTS to be in office - no political controversy, no split in the vote - no disharmony, but pure obedience to God's will.
What a relief.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Starting Another Hopeful Year

2017...it came and went so quickly.
A difficult year for me both mentally and physically.  I'm still trying to figure out what to do with this shell of myself that menopause has destroyed.  Emotions have been hard to deal with - from one end of the spectrum to the other.  But I have a loving and kind husband who is willing to make me the center of his life and walk me through every difficult step.  I am blessed.
I finished reading the Book of Mormon with a week to spare and will start to read it once again tonight.  My prayers and scripture reading have become more meaningful and thoughtful as I concentrate on developing my relationship with my Heavenly Father.  I am focusing more on my sweet husband and making him the center of my life - loving him, appreciating him and progressing together in our mutual goals.  He makes it easy and desirable to do all things good.  He is truly an example of all I desire to be in my life.
I have a wonderful job - starting the New Year with a fantastic raise and a great doctor and staff to work with.
My children and their spouses are happy and my grandchildren continue to be the joy of our lives.
I'm optimistic  and willing for good changes and growth. 
Going to kick butt this year...

Monday, December 4, 2017

A Timely End to a Sweet Memory

Del was released as the Bishop of our Ward yesterday.
The 5 yrs seem to have passed quickly and the memories will last a lifetime.
He served well.
He gave more than he had to give.
And the Lord is pleased.
I am so proud to be his wife and love him dearly.
Now, time for some R&R for that man.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Sad Realization

I'm 57 years old; almost 58.  And aside from my daughters and sisters, I don't have any friends.
Yes, I know a lot of people, and they know me.  You know, the one's you see at church every week and say 'hi' in passing.  My co-workers tolerate me on the weekdays but we don't socialize at all out of the office. And my daughters and sisters like me because they HAVE to - we're family.  But they wouldn't choose me as a friend if I wasn't.
I'm not very good friend material.  I'm not patient with high maintenance people and I tend to be very blunt, sarcastic and very dry sense of humor with everyone.  Well, at least I USED to.  This year, I've probably changed more than I ever have in the past..  Menopause has left me just a shell of my former self.  I have no emotions - no ups and downs - no desires - no fears, pains, joys or expectations.  It has truly left me wondering what I do now with this body I have been left with.  I have anxiety like never before and have become a complete introvert - I go no-where in a social setting and seldom leave my house but to go to work.
Like I said...not very good 'friend' material.
But I want to be. 
So I have decided, after a year in the making, to become good friends with several people - be nice - I mean, REALLY be genuinely NICE to people.  I can't be the funny, outgoing, full of energy and life of the party person I used to be years ago, but I can be nice. And kind.  Take time to be kind and seek out others needs and wants instead, of my own. 
So my New Years Resolution has been chosen...become BFF's with someone...just someone.  Maybe even more than just ONE someone, but several 'someone's.  You know, the one you go to lunch with - gossip with - laugh with - go on a 'girl's get away 'with -
Someone I can give a necklace to.