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My slice this week has much to do with support. Many of you know that I’ve had some tough times these past few years, but I am so grateful for the support I receive from everyone. Just the way people show they care with a smile and a ‘How are you?’ is like a big hug. Here are three things that happened this past week that are the things I keep in the grateful scrapbook of my mind.
My brother, sister-in-law and niece came for a visit. This is the first time they’ve visited since my husband has really declined and entered the nursing home. I know it had to be so hard on them to go, to see him as he is now. But they did, every day, and they acted as if it was just what we usually do, visited and laughed and hugged. My dear sister-in-law, like a sister to me, is a talented pianist, and she played the piano while we, including those residents who could, sang old songs, watched my granddaughter Ingrid sing (and dance a little) and she kept it up for a long while. If you know someone who has a loved one in a nursing home, please remember that it helps for you to visit too. Never mind that the resident doesn’t know you or realize you are there, your friend or relative knows and will be grateful.
And-in addition to visiting my husband, we had such fun just being together, talking about past times, eating dinner at my daughter’s and at a favorite restaurant. Even going to Ikea was doubly fun with them! I am sad that they live so far, but we manage a couple of times a year if we are lucky, and talk often!
After they left, a squirrel ate through a screen and came into my kitchen and ate some bread. Luckily when I came home, he scurried right out. I was upset, and I felt like I couldn’t leave the windows open when I left the house-arrgh! But I have also been reading The Breadwinner Trilogy by Deborah Ellis recommended by Tara from A Teaching Life, about Afghani children in refugee camps. I soon realized that a torn screen was not something to worry over, in fact, it was petty, and I got the screen fixed and the repairman heard me say I was going on vacation, so did it in a day!
Finally, I met with the hospice people last week to talk about future plans. I need to do this, although my husband’s passing may not happen for a long time. It was hard, but these two people, the chaplain and the social worker, anticipated beautifully what wishes we might have, showing knowledge as well as kindness. They made me feel good during those challenging few hours! How could I not feel blessed with such people in my life?
Finally, I’m going on a vacation to Captiva Island next week, with both my daughter’s family and my son’s family. We have rented a house right on the beach, and I am so excited to be back on the ocean again, I want to have this time with my family, and to make beautiful memories again with my grandchildren. I am trying to build my own future, through my move and writing, teaching and making new friends. But it is bittersweet.
This quote is a favorite; I hope it may be meaningful to you too!
“The vision must be followed by the venture. It is not enough to stare up the steps—we must step up the stairs.” Vance Havner
Schools wait for teachers!
Enjoy all your minutes!