Hope & Lessons I am Learning

End of death, sin, agony and pain.
Abundant joy and life everlasting.
Savior for the broken, imperfect souls in every one of us.
Triumph over addiction, hate, loneliness, depression and tears.
Everyone who asks has a mansion in His heaven.
Redeeming grace, love and forgiveness He gives His children.

These are the the blessings that my husband, my parents my grandparents are now enjoying, yet my frail human spirit misses them all and thinks of them daily. Part of me longs to be with them, yet I am still here. This means that my job is not yet done. Due to my Cerebral Palsy, I did not expect to be. Several people told my Barry to expect to be a widower at a young age. The irony is that God had other plans and took my husband first. just last year.

I had grieved deeply before.  But, my grandparents as well as my parents were all very ill, very elderly or both. In any case, I had time to get used to the idea. I had learned that it is better that they go Home, away from me, that for me to pray for them to stay with me is very selfish on my part. This did not come to me in a flash of great insight, but gradually. I lost them slowly, inch by inch. I was aware of the magnitude of their suffering whether they spoke of it or not. I felt it!

With Barry, it was very different. I felt like he was stolen from me and our daughter. I watched her do CPR on him. I saw him being yanked to the ground as the EMT’s arrived. After 33 years 3 months 1 day and 22 hours, he was just gone in the blink of eye, before my daughter could tell him that we loved him. There was no denial nor bargaining with God. I tried. I was reading the last few pages of the book by Don Piper, 90 Minutes in Heaven.  I was told by someone to leave – they needed room to move around. Like so many times before, I was in the way, my chair took up too much space, and it kept me from being where I should have in the bed, holding his hand. Suddenly, it occurred to me that this was the reason that God had me read the book. I was to pray my Barry back to life. I prayed and I prayed. I could not lose him now. In a few months we would be in a position to buy a home of our our own, out of a major city. His tests had actually shown stability and his blood sugar and blood pressure were down. Therefore, death seemed impossible!  Up until I left him at the funeral home for the last. time, I held out hope for a miracle! His face looked at peace, not contorted in pain. The constant pain made him have age lines that he may not have had yet, but for the pain, The lines were not present in younger years. The biggest lesson I learned was God/Jesus does hear and respond to our prayers. Barry was finally free of pain and constant self-doubt. He never felt worthy or good enough on this Earth! From the look of peace on his face, I knew that he finally felt good enough, loved enough. That was  a miracle!  (Matt. 7-8). Also, Romans 8: 28. However, I wanted it done here on Earth with me to witness it, but God wanted it done a different way! Until, I left him, I thought it may be the ultimate Joke. He looked like he was having the best sleep in ages! There was a small part of me that expected him to suddenly awaken and say “Gotcha good that time, didn’t I?

Who was going to take care of me? I certainly did not want my/our daughter to carry that burden. The truth is I need a lot of help with ADL’s, otherwise, called essential activities of daily living. These include: bathing, dressing, transferring in/out of bed etc. Another lesson I learned is just how much our daughter is like her dad. Just at the time that my income went down a great deal and my rent was going up well past my total income, my daughter found a place which she could afford, just as her dad had planned, away from the city. While the care-giving situation has not always been smooth (it takes 6 people to take the place of my Barry). Naturally, that doesn’t even count the spousal things that go into it! BUT, my point is that God provides! (Matthew 6). Again, (Romans 8:28). Sometimes, it is just enough, but He is taking care of me!cropped-doves.jpg2012

 

FINALLY, I  was reminded that;

Ableism

This is a summation of an article that I read for discussion in school, but it covers my own thoughts and feelings well, so I thought I would share it with others. I hope you find it worth reading. About 20% of us have some sort of disability. Therefore, ableism is a construct in our society that we cannot remove too soon. The problem is that it is deeply rooted in our vocabulary and in our subconscious. We need to stop viewing people with disabilities as defective and different (in a negative light). After all, we all have similarities and differences. In other words, we must do away with the idea that we need to be “fixed” and that we have no gift or talent to offer others. The ablest ideal allows us to marginalized, discriminated against and treated as though we have far less value than nondisabled people. (Zellwinger, 2015)

As a society, we often fail to offer full accessibility beyond getting in the front door – wheelchair ramps. After all, are wheelchair ramps, larger restrooms, curb cuts, larger dressing rooms etc. a huge bother for nondisabled people? Other accommodations can also include “braille, seeing-eye dogs/assistant dogs, ergonomic workspaces, easy to grip tools, closed captions … class note-takers, recording devices for lectures” and other services and accommodative devices or equipment. Lack of these restrict our autonomy and make us more dependent on others. Not only that, it takes away from our well-being and self-esteem. We begin to feel like a “burden.” More than that, a person with a disability often does not always have full access to healthcare. How does a person in a wheelchair get on an exam table? How does a nonverbal person communicate their problems and medical needs without a caregiver there? Medical providers need to be more aware of these difficulties (Zellwinger, 2015)

The language of ableism leads to both individual oppression as well as societal oppression as a whole. Inclusion should be the goal. Such pejorative terms include: mentally retarded, moron, high functioning, incapacitated person etc. I realize that many of these terms are used to describe a condition, or level of a condition, but more work needs to be done to find and use language with a more positive connotation. As I have said previously, I prefer the term “challenged” because a challenge does not have a negative feeling; it is just something to be dealt with or overcome. Finally, it is very important to remember that not disabilities are visible, however, that does not make them any less real. People with disabilities should have the same rights to housing, employment, medical care, and educational access as anyone else who is considered nondisabled. In other words, they should be treated with respect and humanity individually and referring to them as a group. People with disabilities deserve to lead the best life possible.

My husband & Me Living Life With Physical Challenges, Not Disabilities

Zellwinger, J. (2015) 6 forms of ableism we need to retire immediately Retrieved from http://mic.com/…/6-forms-of-ableism-we-need-to-retire…

A Tribute to a Very Special Man – Grandpa Wally

I am so grateful to him. He was the first one who believed that my dreams were possible, in spite of Cerebral Palsy and other challenges that I faced.

A Tribute to my Grandpa, a man who taught life lessons. He taught me how to be strong in the midst of adversity and pain. Most importantly, he taught how to be loyal and love like there is no tomorrow because none of us are promised one more minute in this fragile thing that we call life.

rotary phone

A Few Sweet Memories & the Moon Goons –  A Short Story

A Few Sweet Memories & the Moon Goons

My Grandpa and Grandma moved to California in the summer of 1972; I was not quite eight years of age. They were leaving the cold, snowy winters and the hot, humid summers of Wisconsin for the easier climate of California. They had visited several times and liked the warm weather. I was very close to them both; they had even bought my first wheelchair when I was a toddler on one such visit.  Within a few months, they had found good jobs and a comfortable home to rent until their home was being built. One of the interesting things about going to spend the night with them is that there was a party line on the phone. I believe they shared the line with two other households. Each home had a different series of rings, like their own Morse code. When there was a call coming in, the households who shared the party line had to listen carefully. It was also quite possible that the conversations could be easily overheard; it was also quite possible that the call could be instantly interrupted by a strange voice because someone had to make a call or was getting a call. The trade-off was that the party line was considerably cheaper. It was also the age of rotary or dial phones. Many of you may be too young to recall these phones. They looked like this in the early 70’s. Dialing was much slower than, but it was a time of innovation and exploration. The push button phone started appearing a year or two later.

moon

It was a time when the moon was just being explored; it was a time when scientists, astronauts and much of the world was enthralled with that orb that we can easily view in the night sky on a black, mostly cloudless night. Watching moon landings and astronaut walks were the – must-see reality TV.

Now, I have set the scene for you, the reader. I spent the night with Grandpa and Grandma, as I often did. After supper, I played a hot game of Kismet with Grandma. Kismet was a dice game, very similar to Yahtzee. After a cutthroat game or 2, Grandpa invited me to the backpack patio because something very rare and special was going to happen, the two of us were going to take part in a unique ceremony; the Moon goons were going to come and eat the moon! To put it mildly, I was quite bewildered by this statement – sky monsters on their way to eat moon? What on earth?! Before I joined Grandpa on the patio, I just had to call my mother and tell her about this strange event! “Mom! You will never believe it in a million years; the Moon goons were going to come to eat the moon!” She asked, “Who told you that?” I could hear the snicker in her voice, and I was slightly offended that she did not seem to believe me. I told her that I would call after they ate eat the moon! After all, if Grandpa said so, it was going to happen! By now, Mom was laughing so hard that she could hardly catch her breath. I told her that I loved her and I would call later.

Soon, it was nearly dark, and we were ready. It was a bright, full moon. Grandpa started pacing and bouncing a tiny rubber ball. “Calling all Moon goons; we are ready for you to come and eat the moon.” I joined in, hoping they would come even faster if we both called out to them. Quite some time passed. Grandma’s voice was calling, “Daddy, will you join me for a moment, please?” (She always referred to him in this manner when their children/ grandchildren were around.)

It turns out that Grandpa had the wrong night. He explained to me about a lunar eclipse. Unfortunately, it was not going to occur until the following night. He explained that he was trying to make the event fun for me. I will admit that I was disappointed that there were no such things as monsters who ate the moon. But, I enjoyed the fun of it and learning about eclipses. Most of all, I loved spending the time with a precious man gone much too soon, my Grandpa.

Another Sweet Memory (March 27, 1925 – October 15, 1985

I should have re-posted this several weeks ago. My mind has been a little scattered of late.

So, My precious Grandpa, have a very special time on your birthday,

And know that I recall those Moon goons from long ago yesterdays,

Not to mention those little fish we caught while we enjoyed the sun rays,

Above is the Oceanside pier, 1 of our favorite places, as it looks these days.

164caoceanside

Photo credits: Google

Unexpected Blessing Continues to Grow

Eliana above, Mommy & Grandpa below

My Unexpected Blessing Continues to Grow

After quite a few years and many more prayers than that, I am so over the moon.

I have not been so happy in such an exceedingly long time and it could not come too soon.

Our daughter is expecting a baby, our baby, is having one of her very own to love,

I wish that her Dad, my husband Barry was here to share the blessing, not so far above.

However, I can imagine him knowing God’s plan before us, & showing off his beloved grand,

All around the majestic Heavens, while shouting louder than the biggest high school bands

“This is the best, most blessed grandbaby ever created by God’s wonderful and loving hands!”

It has been three months since I wrote about my little, but HUGE, unexpected blessing,

And for almost all that time everyone has been playing the gender game of guessing,

Whether a boy or girl is coming, Barry you knew, but you just were not even confessing,

But now we know that the baby is a girl you carried around so proudly without stressing.

My Dear Jesus, continue to bless and protect both my girls with love and good health,

I ask for enough years left so Eliana will remember me easily and with a wealth

Of sweet memories.

Hopes & Dreams @ Sunset

Kristie, you are on the precipice of the greatest adventure of your life. I cannot tell you how excited I am to watch you and love you on this journey. You will really begin to learn what unconditional is love as you fall in love with your child. Soak up every moment when you are the center of little Eliana’s world – you and Jesse. You are her first and most important teachers, helpers, disciplinarians…. Balance discipline with love and mercy – somewhere between Grandma Mary and me. I pray that you will develop skills like patience & discernment, a know that you know what is right. Be willing to stick up for her when necessary. Play with her and let her know that you enjoy her – smile and laugh with her. I love you & pray for you always!

My Eliana,

I hope and pray for you, my little granddaughter. Know that I have loved you from the moment I knew you existed! I hope we get to spend a lot of special time together because I want you to think of me as a fun Grandma! I treasure you just like I treasure your sweet Mommy and your dear Grandpa. I know he is sooooo proud of you and carried you all around Heaven before you were placed in your Mommy’s womb! I pray for you to have the best life you can have, and I am so proud that you are part of me and that I am your Grandma!

My Eliana Comes This Summer!
After Gender Reveal

We Are ….

We are made to love and be loved,

We are made to be overcomers,

We are loved more than we know,

We are made for many wonderful purposes,

And we are given the grace of gifts to do them all well.

Because He loves us, I wanted to share this good news with you.

We are so loved that the Lord Jesus died on the cross so we may live eternally.

We are meant to be as free as this pair of dolphins rollicking in the sea.

I Remember Dad….. Happy Birthday Pops!

Happy birthday! Memories of you are precious to me!

K-popawheely

I Remember Dad…..

I remember dancing with you Dad

Aren’t I light on my feet Dad?

I remember your uproarious laughter as I said it

The bear hug of a squeeze during our dance

You carried me to your room, sharing our little moment with Mom.

 

I remember resting on your shoulder Dad, with my arms outstretched like wings,

Buzzing all around the house we were, weren’t we?

Me laughing and you running

You zoomed me into the kitchen and swooped me down,

So I could give Mom a kiss, and she smiled.

 

I remember Dad and I, singing in the car loudly and with gusto,

As off key as possible, just to drive Mom nuts,

Her face was evidence of what she wanted and prayed for,

“Oh please, stop assaulting my ears!”
I remember Dad, swinging in the swing at Buddy Todd Park

And at home too…

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Have Courage & Be Thankful!

16 But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go, I will go, and where you stay, I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. 17 Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.” 18 When Naomi realized that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her. Ruth 1:!6

This took a great deal of courage for Ruth to go against the cultural expections. Her husband had died. According to tradition and cultual expectations, Ruth was supposed to return to her homeland and her people in Moab. Her sister-in-law had already started her journey back home. Naomi but she had love and compassion for Naomi, her mother – in – law. Ruth decided to go with Naomi to new place and a new family. The book of short but it and can easily be read in one reading time!

Courageous people tend to have a more thankful spirit. I am very grateful I have many, many things and people to thank in this life. Thank you God for all your blessings! My biggest one of late is still being created! Behind me are photos of Barry, my husband and my baby, who is busy with God, creating another miracle in our little family!

Unexpected Blessings are the Sweetest and the Best

After quite a few years and many more prayers than that, I am so over the moon.

I have not been so happy in such a very long time and it could not come too soon.

Our daughter is expecting a baby, our baby, is having one of her very own to love,

I wish that her Dad, my husband Barry was here to share the blessing, not so far above.

However, I can imagine him knowing God’s plan before us, & showing off his beloved grand,

All around the majestic Heavens, while shouting louder than the biggest high school bands

“This is the best, most blessed grandbaby ever created by God’s wonderful and loving hands!”

I am 8 weeks old due to appear August 18th, 2021