Monday, July 22, 2013

Slices On My Mind

       The Tuesday Slice of Life is hosted by Stacey and Ruth at Two Writing Teachers.       Here is where many link their posts to share what's going on in their lives, personal and educational. Come visit everyone's posts to read their summer slices!                   
                               Tweet at #slice2013!

         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. 



family time
         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!
squirrel entry
         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

Locusts serenade.
Anticipating August, 
Schools wait for teachers!  

Enjoy all your minutes!


34 comments:

  1. Linda, what a busy, full week. Yikes, a squirrel in your house! Our neighbor had a raccoon in their kitchen once when they were remodeling! I've read Breadwinner, but haven't completed the other books. You're facing hard things, I'm glad you have such good support. What fun to have a place on the beach for memory building with your family. Tuck a copy of Gift from the Sea in your bag. I never tire of reading it.

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    1. Thanks Ramona. What a wonderful idea. I have a small copy that will be just right! It is just beautiful, isn't it?

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  2. Linda,
    Thank you for sharing your post about being thankful...I will pray for your family that you all have a safe and wonderful time together at the beach...try to relax and enjoy every moment-there is no place like the beach/ocean! Also glad you joined in on cyber PD and the tweet chat! Have fun!

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    1. Thank you Amy! I appreciate the wishes! Wasn't the Cyber Pd fun? I learned so much, & became much more relaxed on twitter. I might see you there more often now, & I will remember about the bees!

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  3. Linda, your writing is so honest and open it almost always stirs deep emotions in me. I'm thankful for you and your perspective on life. Have a wonderful time with your family!

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    1. Thanks Max, I know it'll be a great time!

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  4. Linda, your post touches on such happiness and joy even amidst the difficult discussion and the sad times of life. Your point about visiting and sharing the burdens as well as the joys of life is so poignant - yet - I try to remember that many, in an innate attempt to be happy, avoid those who are sick, suffering or awaiting the end. It sounds like you and your family have the balance in place and know you need to find the joy in every situation.

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    1. Thanks Anita-there are too many blessings to not celebrate them!

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  5. Linda, such true and beautiful writing. The quote at the close is captivating -- I will add it to my favorites list. You shared so much of your heart today in this slice; you will be supported in thoughts and prayers by this community. Enjoy Captiva -- so relaxing!! Best, b

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    1. Thank you b! I know I will savor every minute looking at that water!

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  6. Linda I love your strength and positive attitude! My aunt is declining in a nursing home as well and it's heartbreaking to say the least. But, good for you . . . build your future and remember you are building a "new" normal. I love, love, love, the quote. Have a wonderful trip ;-)

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    1. So glad you like the quote, Lynn-a big boost I think. Thanks for the wishes!

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  7. We all love you and your family too. Thanks for checking in about how everything is going. Have you read One Thousand Gifts (Voscamp) yet? It is about gratitude. You have such a thankful heart and are such an example to me. I love that you are going back to Captiva and anxious for new memories. xo nanc

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    1. No, Nancy, haven't read that one, but I will be sure to look for it. It's going to be a good trip, I'm sure! Thank you!

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  8. Linda,
    You give a gift with the post. As I was reading your words, I was reminded that life is made of strength and struggles. You live in a beautiful way. Capturing the moments, holding on the the memories, and living into the future. Thanks for sharing and inspiring me to live well.
    Hugs,
    Ruth

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    1. Thank you Ruth-I agree. Life is a mixed up bag and sifting for the good parts is worth the effort for sure!

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  9. Thank you, Linda, for another dose of you. I wish we were in the same family and am so glad to get to know you here. Have a glorious trip...
    xo,
    Amy

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    1. Thanks Amy-I'm glad to get to know you, too!

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  10. A beautiful post Linda. Yes it is bittersweet, but you have loved ones around you and caring people to turn to. Have a wonderful time on your vacation. Sounds like it will be a lovely place to be for awhile.
    I have never heard that quote but it fits so well with what I am going through.

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    1. Thank you Beverley, and I just read your post. You are so right about the quote-go up those stairs! (not so easy, but possible!)

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  11. I have tears in my eyes reading your post because I remember a comment you made to me a few weeks ago about how hard it is that people don't visit your husband. How wonderful that your brother's family felt comfortable and happy to be there! You must have a very special family. Have a super time at the beach. Remember to Play!

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    1. Yes, indeed I will play, Margaret. I love being a water 'baby' all that I can. And it will be a delight sharing the ocean with Ingrid & Imogene, who've never seen it, & exploring more with Carter, who went with me before. Thank you!

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  12. You gave me a few tears today, Linda. Reading about you family coming and the time spent with your husband in the nursing home took me right back to visiting my mother-in-law. She often didn't know my name, but always remembered I was a teacher. She loved to sing, but when we would visit, her favorite thing was for me to take her to see the birds. The home had a large aviary and she loved to sit and watch them.

    You have some difficult times to come, but I so admire the way you are handling your life (not sure that handling is the word I want....). Here's to some happy memories being made on the shores of the ocean.

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    1. My mother-in-law had a bird aviary in her home too, Deb. What a pleasant place it was. Thanks for your comment; I know what's ahead, but life often has its ups & downs so I'll enjoy all that I can, like the ocean! And hearing about you at the lake!

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  13. Wow, so much to think about in this post, Linda! The first part is beautiful advice to family members in situations like yours -- that the visiting helps the other loved ones, and that so much joy can still be found in being together. I loved the ending too, about how you are "trying to build [your] own future". It makes me sad but it's so hopeful too. And your little haiku at the end makes me look forward to school! Have fun on your trip!

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    1. Thanks for your comment, Jennifer, after reading your post, I can see why you like my haiku. I went for a walk a couple of nights ago, & the locusts were here! That says autumn to me, seems too early.

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  14. Linda- Every time I read your blog I am inspired. You have taken a really hard situation and handled it with grace, dignity, and hope. How I admire that. Hope you have big fun with your family by the ocean. Really would love to get together sometime after you are back and before the craziness of school starts.
    Carol

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    1. Thanks Carol. Time for a nice cup of something at TC? I'll be in touch when I return! We'll be getting busy by mid-August, but not officially there until about the 20th.

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  15. Oh my goodness. Thank you for sharing from the depths of your heart. I see that you are carrying on with determination, and hope, and joy - even in the face of hard things and difficult jobs. What an inspiration. You will remain in my prayers.
    I am so glad you have such good support, and that you have made these days purposeful and memorable. I hope you have a wonderful trip to Captiva. Enjoy every minute! Is the Bubble Room still there? Thank you for the joy you spread to us all!

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    1. Thank you for reading! The Bubble Room was there two years ago when we stayed on Sanibel, so I assume so-we only toured it, but this time with more children we'll probably eat there too. These islands are so wonderful, and only my grandson and I have been there before. So exciting to show everyone else!

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  16. I am just back from my trip and catching up on what happened while I was gone. I know you are right this minute having a great time with your family, enjoy your days together. What a blessing to have your brother visiting. You have such strength, courage and grace. You are in my prayers.

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    1. Thank you Elsie-was a lovely time with my brother & family!

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  17. I love to hear how supportive your family is and how they show that love to you and your husband. Hope you are having a wonderful vacation.
    Juliann

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Having a conversation is a good thing!