Oh, how I love Jesus, oh how I love prompts from Ruth. If I didn’t have this pair, I would be a pile of mush on our hard frosted ground today.
I started my blog two years before the end of my teaching career. At that time my mom was struggling with early Alzheimer’s. We noticed a few things, but my dad didn’t want us to worry my sisters and me,; he certainly wouldn’t use the dreaded word.
I kept praying that they would both be okay until I retired.
Writing sustained me; my friendship with God, relationships at church, and teaching part-time at Judson brought me through to the other side after my much-loved career as a teacher-coach and staff developer came to an end.
For some reason, I’m feeling a need for a timeline today—
2014— I retired before I was ready, maybe. Two weddings and a funeral happened that first summer. After the weddings, which my mom sadly could not attend, my mom passes away… a blessing! My mom went to heaven, no longer slowly losing her memories, and sense of self.
2015— The focus now is on my dad, four years older than my mom, sorting out meds, selling their homes, and buying a condo. Now he’s the priority.
2016— Our church becomes a conflict zone this year. I lose my job at Judson, deciding I can’t afford the time and money it takes to get my Ed Doc, disappointment reigns.
2017— Back at Judson teaching in a new undergrad program that I loved but couldn’t commit to fully because of the time involved. We were in the midst of an exhausting rehab down to the studs of our new/old house with a lake view, feeling like we’re living in heaven on earth despite the time.
2018— Our beloved pastor resigns, who built our church with disturbing allegations that took two more years for us to digest and accept. He still has not admitted his mistakes publicly, but most of us realized that our church was never about one fallible person. God was and continues to be the head of our church.
2019— My dad falls, discovered by me 24 hours later, barely alive. He has a fantastic rehab experience, but PTSD symptoms plague me, especially when I drive to his place. We decided to put a caregiver in place; however, I continued to see him sometimes to do groceries, meds, and Dr. appointments.
2020— My dad has multiple falls, and we put 24/7 care in place, but I am still there often; in late summer, he twists and shatters his ankle, September 23, on his 95th birthday. At age 95 he has his surgery— pins, and plates and eight weeks of rehab followed.
I could only bang on windows at Rehab. We FaceTime on his iPad. it is a pitiful time. When I see my dad at his surgeon’s office, he doesn’t recognize me and thinks he is getting shrapnel removed from his foot in the Army hospital in England. He is right back on the battlefield.
My entire being tells me he has lost cognitive ability.
He is disheveled, wearing someone else’s too tight pants. His hair looked like Albert Einstein, his eyes wide saucers, and he smells like ****! The Dr. is also disturbed because rehab sent him four weeks too late for the first cast removal— now he has a pressure sore to treat.
I am heartsick, knowing it will be weeks before he can walk. I want to blame this new rehab, but I know that nurses are stretched with COVID-19’s protocols.
I can’t sleep. I can’t think straight.
… but writing helps…
My dad finally made his way home two Fridays ago. There is a lot to yay and nay about.
But at least the first week he walks.
The second week, he acted like he didn’t remember anything about walking. His whole body stiffens up, and he screams out like he is fighting in WW2 again. I think it is because of multiple caregivers that he doesn’t trust yet.
I looked up Ruth one day amid my mess and realize that I’m crying out for the SOS that writing brings. I want to share my stories again on my blog. God led me home to where I started. in my writing journey. I’m done with writing curriculum, done with writing books and querying for now. I feel so satisfied being back in the fold.
Today I desperately wanted to write about cues in my life, but this is what happened instead. I am in the midst of remaking my life in a way. God knows I’m a work in progress. And he leads me from moment to moment if I take the time to listen to him.
Maybe next week I’ll do cues. But for this moment, processing this through writing gives lifts my soul.
Thank you for your SOS Ruth and friends.