Roller Coaster Year

So many things have happened this year that I am finding myself wondering “what’s next”. My mother in law passed away the end of March after battling kidney failure for two years, the result of heart catheterization dye when she caught RSV at a family birthday party and experienced an acute myocardial infarction. She had fallen in February and broken her hip; protocol dictates blood thinners be started to prevent blood clots, but due to her other medical conditions, she should never have been placed on blood thinners, especially not one that has no reversal agent. She literally bled to death over a period of a month. She had been getting tired of not feeling well, and her 95 year old body was literally worn out. So in a way it was a blessing for her suffering to be ended.

Just two weeks after Mom’s passing, a dear family friend died during a procedure after suffering a silent heart attack. He had been my own mother’s “gentleman friend” for several years, and a grandpa figure to my daughters. I had dashed up to the hospital to see him before he went to the procedure room and I was thankful I had the foresight to do so. I stayed with his daughter and son in law while the procedure was being done, and B kept apologizing, saying “I am so sorry you are experiencing this so soon after your own loss!” My mother would have expected nothing less from me. I wasn’t interested in feeling more guilty over not doing something she would have expected.

June brought an unexpected death of the husband of a cousin in my husband’s side. We all were devastated; he died in his sleep, no symptoms of anything when he went to bed the night before. I was thankful I had taken several photos at the family dinner in March after Mom’s service; R was in a couple of those pictures which his wife found comforting.

Our oldest daughter gave birth in September to a healthy baby girl. After experiencing a miscarriage last year and several complications during the pregnancy, we are all thankful for little one’s safe arrival. I had retired from my job just 3 days prior to her birth; timing is everything, they say, and it certainly seems to apply here. I will be caring for little one when her mama goes back to work in December.

In October, another aunt (sister to mother in law) passed away; she was also the mother of the lady who lost her husband in June. A trial of faith for sure, Aunt T had experienced multiple health issues of her own which required 24/7 care the last two months of her life. Her two daughters were grief stricken but at peace because her struggle was done.

The culmination of months of planning, our youngest daughter finally married the man of her dreams this past Saturday. They have dated since high school, and never looked back! So thankful for the blessings in our lives. Life is not always fair or kind, but having bright spots like new life and young love exemplified gives hope for our tomorrows. I am blessed and thankful as we head into the Thanksgiving season.

When You Pray But God Doesn’t Answer With The Miracle – Ann Voskamp

Some lean over gravestones and say: The miracle didn’t happen. And others lean over gravestones and say they got their miracle because she was a miracle, and getting to love her was a wonder, and every moment together was a miracle of grace and there is no other was to explain the extraordinary
— Read on annvoskamp.com/2022/09/when-you-pray-but-god-doesnt-answer-with-the-miracle/

Our family recently received a miracle in the birth of a healthy granddaughter. But so many times we have had heartbreak of our own. Feeling supremely grateful this morning, for every miracle I have ever received.

Tomorrow is indeed another day

open.spotify.com/track/5HqSwk6BUuFDI5UBMytoJA

Just in a rather pensive mood today. I retired last Wednesday, and our first granddaughter was born Saturday. Some scary moments but she and her mama are home and healthy. So many thoughts swirling today in the midst of my migraine haze.


Left unchecked, my imagination can frequently get the better of me. Gee, wonder where my girls’s anxiety comes from? I wonder what I could have done differently, maybe better, and realize that I need to focus on what I did right. Seeing some evidence of that now. As darling first daughter and her husband learn and connect with their precious baby, I have every confidence that her dad and I, “son’s” parents planted seeds that are coming to fruition. A miracle in itself.

Caturday

Memorial Weekend Musing

Sitting on my front porch, I listen to birds chirp, mowers hum, and the wind chimes adding occasional notes as the breeze stirs them. The routine noises of summer belie the stirring in my heart from the week’s news. Friends post their kids’s last day of school photos as the nation mourns over yet another horrific school shooting. A friend’s son died last week unexpectedly; only 22, “his suffering has ended“ is how she prefaced her social media post about when his memorial service and burial would be held. He was 2020 high school graduate; cheated of a graduation ceremony, and for whatever mysterious reason, now he will not realize his full earthly potential.

I guess when Jesus said “in this world you will have trouble,” he wasn’t kidding. I know growing up my mother always talked about enjoying childhood while I could, because “life is hard as a grown up.” Or, as my now young adult daughters say, “adulting is hard.”

So I sit, savoring simple sounds of life around me. I have no answers for the suffering that abounds these days. I just keep praying for peace. Eventually I suppose we will each have it some way. I am grateful for my loved ones, and I do not take our days for granted.

Stress Flowers and Love

It is hardly surprising that healthcare workers are stressed, no matter what their role. I am not at the bedside directly, but my job is to get patients to beds from emergency room, surgery, or wherever they may happen to come from at our facilities. Recent changes to our leadership and processes have made an already difficult situation even worse. My husband works at the same hospital as a BioMed tech, so he understands the atmosphere of the hospital currently. So when I had texted that yesterday was a most definitely awful Monday, I came home to dinner ready and flowers in the table. With me on 12 hour shifts, he has discovered it is most helpful to have dinner prep done or underway by the time I get home if we want dinner before 9 pm. The one consistent thing in my life since our marriage has been dinner with him after I get home. For 30 years we have called when we get off work and said “I am on my way”, whether we are on time or delayed. But the flowers last night were a special surprise that he doesn’t usually do. Valentine’s Day he typically will buy a live rose plant to replant outside rather than “dead flowers,” as he puts it. Our dining room table is usually a chaotic mess of whatever hasn’t found a home in a drawer, file, or the shred box. Projects that he needs to fix, junk mail, books I am reading or want to read (because if those get to a shelf, they may or may not get read…), you name it, it all lays in a pile that would drive most professional home organizers up the wall. Marie Kondo does not live here, I do.

So as I review emails, texts, and my Lent devotional, and sip my coffee, I gaze at the wonder of pink lilies just opening their buds. These are a gentle reminder that my husband loves me and wants to make me happy. I also am reminded that long ago Jesus said, “…even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these” (Matthew 6:29) as he reminded his disciples that worrying is pointless. So I take comfort that I can try again another day to learn from my mistakes, and do better.

Clingman’s Dome

How to Bounce Back From Failure – Michael Hyatt

I personally believe that it is in times of failure, that the most important lessons are learned. You find the drive within yourself to get back up, to persevere, to keep going. 
— Read on michaelhyatt.com/how-to-bounce-back-from-failure/

Even though this article is written from a “business” perspective , it is also true of health care professionals dealing with the stresses of work. When patients die in spite of the best efforts of the health care team, we view that as failure, because our goal is healing and returning patients to their loved ones whole. Often we cannot accomplish that, and we become filled with self doubt.

Taking care of ourselves is more important than ever. If we don’t, who will?

Lazy Saturday Morning

I watch the sunlight turn my backyard into a green and gold haven while sipping my steaming coffee. Yes, steaming. Summer or not, my morning caffeine jumpstart just isn’t the same unless it is hot and black.

My ginger kitty lounges on the plastic lawn chair after his morning prowl. Our labradoodle sniffs and nudges him with her nose and he lazily swats at her with one huge paw, not lifting his head or moving the rest of his body, except for a slight twitch of his tail. If only I could be as nonchalant at life’s little aggravations. I savor these mornings when I don’t have to race the clock and be somewhere early.

The humidity and heat drive my adventurers inside. Soon Oliver the ginger tussles with one of our 6 month old kittens who insists on attacking him while he is grooming. It reminds me of when Ollie was the active kitten pestering our gray cat to the point that Viper’s once fluffy tail became a raggedy thinned down version of his once proud plume. Now the tables have turned and Oliver is the wizened elder who only wrestled to teach a lesson; but amazingly is gentle in the process, as though aware of his larger size and potential for injury of his smaller counterpart.

The kittens soon race around and around the racetrack that is our kitchen, dining room and living room. Up the cat tree in front of the picture window, down and around the corner to the kitchen, then back to a box in the dining room that needs transferred outside to the recycle pile. One a mini panther, the other a white pawed tuxedo kitty, they scurry and pounce in perpetual motion, Val the labradoodle joining in the raucous chase. Peace and quiet recede, waiting patiently for my return; it is time to get back to my own motion of household tasks.

10 of the Best Ballads in English Literature

10 of the Best Ballads in English Literature

10 of the Best Ballads in English Literature


— Read on interestingliterature.com/2020/06/best-british-border-ballads-poems/

I have always found old literature interesting. These ballads/poems have many versions, but the snippets given here are entertaining.

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