Friday, September 20, 2019

SEVENTY & ME 2

Monday hits you.
 
Tuesday follows and out of no-where, it hits you, you love that dude.
You are alone with him.  You are spending more and more time together.
Because I am a sinner and a human loving someone more than myself is difficult.  I find my selfish self dealing with a lot of stuff.  Feelings that shouldn’t be that drown out the truth.
This crazy journey together is well how can I describe it,

indescribable something I attempt to do anyway.
Admit it!  Seventy and me, pain and discomfort are part of life.  Seventy is a stressful job.  Daily frustrations are more magnified.
I strategize toward making it through tough situations that change from one upset to anxious moment after another.
Lingering on the “what ifs” for every possible outcome only contributes to more anxiousness.
My go-to-list is before me, in that thick black book that sits on the night stand in my attempts to celebrate that book daily and to celebrate my amazing accomplishments of the day, the wins that deserve joy and thankfulness.
Another day has passed.  I fall asleep exhausted till suddenly, I am jolted out of an unescapable dream that threatens the very existence of a peaceful night. or sleep escapes.  From my pillow arises the grumbles of my insides.  Oh, the horrors of the mind, the brouhaha with Seventy and me as anxiety threatens, the demands of seasonal thoughts.  The shoulder blades tighten and creep up to the neck as I seek solace in a massage or a quiet pause.

Yes, Seventy and me, we are falling apart.
Why is it so easy to bound out of bed each morning with worldly expectations instead of spiritually minded ones? 
Did I say “bound”?  Well, you get the picture of what bounding might cause or threaten your mobility. The perpetual pressures associated with Seventy and me weigh me down.  Am I shouldering them in my own strength.
LOOK AROUND!

  Birds are a testimony of God’s care and faithfulness for his creation.  And he does it day after day.  It is redundant to think that God doesn’t care about Seventy and Me.  There is nothing outside his vision or control, so Seventy and Me will do fine.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

SEVENTY & ME

Living now with an "older adult", with me as one of them, is a stressful challenge.

Oh, the juggling day-to-day tasks is really the easier part.  The main contributor is the emotional part.
The thoughts, the feelings______I find that as part of taking care of this part of life is often writing them down.
It's challenging to THINK and focus thoughts, relegating them to their proper or intended places.  I'd like to think of myself as a wannabe proficient writer.  How extraordinary that I can even think.

Taking time out for early morning walks allow myself to relax and breath, the urban quality air in the common beauties my neighborhood provides.  It is a wonderful ritual to set this time to let my mind flow and rest on the feast of the sights God has provided.


It allows for a release of some of the pent up emotions and sets the tone for a calmer and less stressed out day.
At first glance I miss read "Advertise With Us" with "Adventure With Us".  It amused me as I thought to my self, "Is that what Seventy delivers?"  I am a Boomer!  I am a senior!  Yikes!
I get easily excited just to be alive.
For those of you young ones, get ready.  This is waiting for you.
What do I love about me in the now?

I don't care what others think of me.
My inner beauty is what counts.  I can read all day and stay in my jammies, discount at Denny's, and wearing quirky hats, watching the moon go to bed, and awesome sunsets.  Not to mention shaving my legs so much.  Honky Tonk is the most annoying song.

Past experiences have taught much drama is unecessary and being bolder than before.  Waking up at all hours of the night and not stressing about it.  Seniors,mothers of babies and care givers share that phenomon.

The best thing about Seventy and Me is knowing that life has a purpose and you will come out of it at a level you never knew existed.
You will be left with the profoundness of God's character and attributes, with his fingerprints all over each page, each season of your story.
 

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

CULTIVATING JOY: THE CROOKED CARE GIVER

CULTIVATING JOY: THE CROOKED CARE GIVER: "In much wisdom is much vexation."  ~Eccl.1:18 The book of Ecclesiastes is a painful book to read.   Arriving at conclusions...

THE CROOKED CARE GIVER

"In much wisdom is much vexation."  ~Eccl.1:18


The book of Ecclesiastes is a painful book to read. 
 Arriving at conclusions about things we do not want to think about and many things we do not want to confront.
The belief that we are lacking vital efforts and knowledge to attain desired results to extend life we attempt to accumulate that knowledge through the internet.
We perhaps are under the false perception that we can alter what God has made crooked.

"Consider what God has done:
Who can straighten
    what he has made crooked?" ~Ecc.7:13
Do we even think of God making things crooked and us thinking that we can alter what he has made?
Have we ever attempted to straighten that which we perceive as crooked only to arrive at its futility and pointlessness?
We become so emotional and less able to process a devasting diagnosis as Alzheimer's?
The belief that we are somehow lacking vital efforts in our straining for our own desired results as if it is our sole purposed to help God extend life one more day.
No amount of wisdom, knowedge, and experience will determine the end. 

"For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow." ~Eccl.1:18


Psalm 139:16
 "Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them."

So for those of us who are pious and brainwashed, we wrestle with what honestly goes on in our minds as givers of care.  We want to give care on our terms often undermining what you are trying to accomplish.   We often placate our minds by searching for just one more way, one more diet fad, one more essential oil in the quest for longevity instead of more time spent in God's Word .  The more time spent in that Word, the clearer will be your understanding of what to do. The more time you spend with your loved one and relishing in their presence,  
the more you will enjoy that crookedness.

That is the best part of crooked because that is one thing you can straighten.


Saturday, July 20, 2019

TO MY LAST BORN


Dear Last Little,
You were my last.
You were the beginning of final firsts.  Never again was I to feel tiny kicks growing inside of me.  Never again would I feel such pain of childbirth.
I wound up nursing my last baby, perhaps a bit longer.
The day I first heard your cry as you left the confines of the cozy bed in my womb was an absolutely last incredible experience yet bitter sweet as I fought such weakness, exhaustion, crabbiness, and hunger.  I looked at that little, monkey faced, bundle as she looked back at me and handed her over to her auntie.
The mid-wife’s apprentice, who I had been so mean to walked in with a bouquet of pink roses.  I was instantly ashamed of myself.

  Sylvie really was a sweet petit french lady who spoke with a deep accent.
 I was one of those mothers of “advanced maternal age” and was beginning an adventure like no other with you.

  You were my smallest baby.  I was 30 when I had my first baby and now at 40, I was to be an “older” mom.
  The hardest part of having a “last baby” is that it would be that last time of again anticipating the arrival of another.
I had come to the end of a chapter in my life of precious moments in life that would never happen again.
Thinking about those moments brings about many nostalgic memories.  The sweetness of cuddling a new baby.  I’ll always look back with fondness on those sweet moments as well as not expecting such a difficult birth.
I went into labor the day my mid-wife went on vacation.

  The anxiety and stress mounted as I had to get used to a new but very capable mid-wife.
I will always hold those memories and there will always be a special place for my youngest.

  No matter your age, you will never lose the title of being “My Baby”.
It was hard to win a race with a well napped toddler but God kept my heart strong enough and provided the energy and strength.
You got the most cuddles and hugs.  You were the last one weaned.
The stress of a teen in my mid-to-late 50’s was a process to be reckoned with.  Yet, we survived.
As the ribbon of childhood
unwound, to quickly, I witnessed the longer view that spanned from watching a new born to helping that same new born set up a college apartment.  It was a struggle to let you go. 
You were the last one to experience adulthood and struggled with “adulting” the most.
I never tire of staring at all the photos.
You were the wonderful closing of one chapter after another of adventures.  Don’t forget your roots and foundation.
I am forever blessed the Lord permitted me the opportunity to be your mother.
Love
Mom

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

My MIDDLE Little






DEAR MIDDLE DAUGHTER,
Not the oldest.  Not the youngest.
I will have to admit that often you went unappreciated.

A New Sister
All Things Yellow
As a middle daughter, I am aware that you received the short end of the stick, however, you were amazingly resilient.
You were strong and grounded and still are.  You got along with all sorts of people and made friends from all walks of life.
You constantly amazed me with the ability to constantly deal with older siblings who were at times being jerks and a younger one who was sometimes a pain.
You learned easily how to handle situations.  You were the child with pizzaz.  You worked hard to get to get things.

You were just another wanted, another girl, an ultimate gift.
Don’t ever worry for an instant that I did not love you.
You were the beginning of a personality that was totally different than your sisters, completely unique, a daughter to love and cherish.
There was so much about you to love and cherish.  You were different and new besides the fact that you slept away that first month as if to gain momentum for the days to come. 

In the beginning, I nursed you with the same intensity and focus I did with your siblings but you had other plans and weaned yourself early and took to the bottle.
Days tired me out more than before I had you, triple the stress and half the sleep but even on the weariest days, I loved you very much. I was never a perfect mom, despite my efforts but I will always love you.
Nine months before your birth went by like a whirlwind and then the earth-shattering moment you were placed by the mid-wife on my chest.


The excitement and anticipation of the gender reveal was replaced with you, another daughter.  With you, you obliged by arriving a week early so as not to interfere with Halloween.
Before you, I had suffered through the loss of three pregnancies.  Had I not suffered those losses, you would not be here.
  You would have been number six instead of three.
You followed the  ‘perfect first born” and the “strong willed second child”.  You had your squad of cheer leaders and was the life of the party.  Your sunny disposition attracted everyone who crossed your pathway.
The thought that I might not have had you, had I followed the mid-wife’s advice, to stop at two was unthinkable.
You, were the one stuck in the middle seat, extremely independent and the most joyful “little” to be around,
even though you were not coddled and cuddled as much.  The horror on my face, as I looked in the rear view mirror to find you standing in your car seat as we traveled down the freeway with a defient, non compliant attitude forcing us to take the next exit to deal with the situation.  

You got everything a lot earlier than your siblings.  You got your first job along side me in the nursery
Every minute I spend with you is joy.  You in part, helped to heal the losses.

  I am writing this because I want to thank you.  I have been privileged  to walk with you on part of your life journey that has been beautiful, exciting, and challenging.  It was difficult keeping up with your milestones in written form so this will have to suffice.
In spite of annoying everyone with your singing along with all the Disney movies, you had an amazing memory.  Your bed time chatter kept your siblings awake and constant bevy of activity.
Projects made you happy.  “Accidental cuts” in your tights on Sunday during craft time remained a mystery for a time.

Your unique laughter, the sparkle in your eyes and the happiness you radiate are a testimony to your joyful energy and love for God.
You continue to feel your best when interacting with people and life continues to be rich and fulfilling as you share your children with others.
So my darling, Hannah Joy, may the future draw you closer to God as you serve your little family and seek for the things of God.
Love,
Mom

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

DEAR DAUGHTER

Dear Daughter,
I am finding the need to say some things to you, my, oldest daughter.
You were the one from whom we learned the most and the one upon whom we tried the most.
 You were the one who became my second pair of hands, the “other mommy,” and even my substitute teacher from time to time.
I will never forget the moment leading up to your arrival.  When I saw you for the first time, I was so filled with overwhelming gratitude, the culmination of a five year wait.  I was 30, and we had waited so long.
1980

  We never made it to the polls that voting day in 1980.
Terrifying? Yes, but it was worth all the madness and magical moment of making me a mother.
The moment you were born, time appeared to stand still.  I just wanted to stare and study each of your features.  You were the epidome of perfection, our little Angel Baby as Annie in the church nursery later referred to you.
It had been a wonderful difficult moment.
June 1980
  Being placed on my chest for the first time was a surreal yet at the moment a weight of responsibility and the absurd thought that I had been so naive to have had a home birth as you were not in a favorable position going through the port.

Going through the agonizing unexpected pain for hours, I thought, I was going to die had it not for the encouragement of the midwife.  Yes, painfully natural. I watched the chiroprator/midwife unfold you and give you a gentle spine adjustment.
A month later we took you to a Dodger game on the fourth of July.  The fire works did not phase you as you gazed up into the sky as you did your first day of life.

Yes, Dear One,
I am sorry for all the mistakes I made along the way.


~ I am sorry that I expected you to be mature beyond your years and asked you to help all the time with the little babies that came along.
~ I am sorry that your academic education was lacking, although I knew you were very intelligent and could accomplish so much. I was too busy having another baby, nursing, and teaching phonics to consider what would be best for you.
~ I am sorry that at times my discipline was too harsh–not so much physically but verbally–as I demanded adult-like behavior from you during your childhood years.

~I am sorry for allowing you to go hungry to bed that one night when you were begging for a snack and you were satisfied with just a slice of bread and some water because you did not eat much for dinner.
~ I am thankful that you own your own faith.

~ I am thankful that God’s Word became precious to you and that you learned its ways and its truths.
~ I am thankful that your were more than the oldest child in our family, ruling over the rest of the children. You loved them and shared with them and gave your life to them and they loved you!  You put up with a brother that was active beyond years.

~ I am thankful that you found the ability to  develop good plans for your own life, including your marriage and your own children.
~ I am thankful that you chose to live your life to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.
~ I am thankful that you were more than an experiment for your father and me.
You were our blessed firstborn, our joy, our beloved one.
Thank you for being our precious daughter who knows Christ in spite of our errors and misjudgments. Thank you for allowing me the privilege of being your mother.  Thank you for the precious memories I have today because you were part of my life.
"It gives me great joy to find my children walking in the truth..." 
3 John 1:4

–Love Mom
Your Mama


P.S. For those of you parents who may be reading this, please consider whether there is something you should say to your kids before it may be too late. One way or another, death will separate you for a time…if not for eternity.
************
RAINBOW BABY # 1 click here

Thursday, May 23, 2019

ANNIVERSARY TRIP, JUNE 3,1987

Wednesday, June 3, 1987
We walked over to Sanborns (restaurant) on the Reforma to eat breakfast.

We are trying to heed the advice of one of our children, "Don't do all missionary work, but have some fun."  It's all been fun so far.
Sanborns was very different.  Saw no Americans.  They had a "Buffet Breakfast" (Almuerso)  Dad had chile con huevos (scrambled eggs drenched in chile/salsa) and I had huevos rancheros (sunny side up with salsa).  We had tortillas and coffee.
We then walked to the park that they have made where the former Hotel Regis was.  As we sat in the park and looked at the reconstruction, we were amazed.  After two years, they are still taking out rubble from the Prado Hotel and other buildings.  Dad said they were even working at night.
We saw the Bellas Artes. 
 (Palace of Fine Arts) is a prominent cultural center in Mexico City. It has hosted some of the most notable events in music, dance, theatre, opera and literature and has held important exhibitions of painting, sculpture and photography.)
   It looked the same, maybe sunken a little more but the sidewalks and streets are all patched up.  We took some pictures.
The sun was out, but after we returned to the hotel it became cloudy.
Dad left to go to San Augustine.  I'm here with the stuff.  He wants to advise friends that we are here.  Also he wants to get info. about going to Ixmiqulpan where Eleanor Timmerman and the Bible School are.
We would like to go there Thursday and return to M.C. (Mexico City) on Saturday to be in the service on Sunday.
Dad's journey to San Augustine:
He went to the Santa Clara bus station and it wasn't there anymore.  Since he had been in Mexico last the subway had expanded to Indios Verdes where you get the San Augustine bus.
We found Francisco's wife at home where they live next to the church.
She told Loren that Silvestre was near there and they would find him. Soon he came.
Silvestre had come to meet us at the airport.  After waiting for a long time, Sil was told the plane would come at 11pm.  He and Carmela waited all night for us and decided to go home.
Loren came back with Sil and Carmela to the hotel.  Carmela said Dad looked the same but she wouldn't know me if she'd met me on the street.
Carmela brought us a couple of "Carlos Quintos" (Chocolate cookies of some kind)
There were glad embraces and we all went to dinner nearby.
Arrangements were made for them to pick us up with our things tomorrow.
Sil will go with us.  We talked about so many at the dinner table.  They are rejoicing that there are more believers both in Cuautempan and here in MC.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

EPIC ANNIVERSERY TRIP ~1987

It was June 2, 1987 with high anticipation and excitement that Dad took Mother on a two month trip back to Mexico to visit the land they had dedicated so much of their life to.

I will attempt to capture some of those moments from their journal and focus on highlights as the entries are typed single lines, no paragraphs, 25 pages, diary form.  Some entries are Dad's and others from Mothers.  They capture the essence of their relationship with each other and God.
JUNE 2:
(Mother writing)
We woke up this morning at 4:30 a.m.
Just the excitement of "D" day, "A" day (anniversary) or "A" day (Mexico).
Ed drove us to the airport.  (entries written while at airport)
We are on the upper level of LAX which is for departures.  We can look out the windows and see the Aero Mexico airplane which is suppose to leave at 9 a.m.
Since we are early, Dad is out to get his exercise!
I'm sitting here watching our bags and writing.  We blend in well with all of the others with their bags and baggage.
It seems strange, just the two of us going to Mexico.  It has been a long time since we've gone alone. (at least me).
We are in the waiting room near the air strip.  We board at 8:30.  On the plane at 9:10.
They announce they are fixing something in the cockpit or engine.
Will be a 20-25 min. delay.
Plane still delayed.  They took us off, gave us vouchers for breakfast and new boarding passes.
Still delayed, they promise to tell us if we'll take off on this plane at 1:00pm.
WE ARE LEARNING PATIENCE.
WE KNOW THAT WE ARE IN HIS HANDS!
Dad's gone walking AGAIN.  For me walking to and from plane, waiting area, breakfast down and upstairs, to front desk is enough exercise.
1:30 pm walked a mile to MEXICANAS D C 10-15 jumbo jet leaving for Mexico City, non-stop, servicio "AZTECA DE ORO".  (In other words, an up grade.)
1:45 plane moving!  Announcing temperature in MC, 70 degrees and cloudy.
Arrive in 3 hrs., take-off time 2:15pm.
Served dinner, chicken cacciatore and steak
Coming into MC it was dark, cloudy, and raining with lightening.  Arrived at 6pm.
At the airport God was especially good to us.  As we waited for our baggage without a special free push cart, a woman pushed one at me and ran off never returning.
After getting our tourist cards stamped and signed, we proceeded to customs.
They waved us through without looking at our bags.
Outside the airport, we had to get a ticket for the official taxi.  One woman with little baggage was in the same cab.  As we went through the city and saw a lot of re-construction.
The lady commented that she and "todo el mundo" raised money to give homes to the people who lost them in the earthquake 2 years ago and then the government was selling them which made her mad.
We had a good taxi driver who found us a reasonable hotel (CANCUN) at $14 just off Reforma as the one suggested was under re-construction.
So here we are tired at 8:30pm but praising God for all he's done today--for giving strength, wisdom, and patience.
Dad's gone out to look for something to drink  (LOL).  He bought a can of coke, $350 pesos or 29 cents.  The peso is 1, 260 to the dollar.  We are using the calculator.
We will close the day doing our Bible reading, in Spanish for a change.
It's been a long day since we left Castaic at 5:45am. 
(To be continued)

Friday, May 17, 2019

AN EPIC JOURNEY~1964

Little did I know this would be my last trip to the land of my formative years.  I was fifteen.  It was June 1964.
Kathy

Leaving Nogales Arizona, we set out  with anticipation and high expectations as we crossed the border into Mexico.
My brother and I were "escorting" my uncle and aunt with their three young daughters to visit my parents work on the mission field.
Far from the massive investments Mexico has presently to connect the countries main towns and villages with safe and reliable roads navigating travel in 1964 was a wild experience and sometimes scary.
Mother, Dad, Ted, Sarah

All seven of us crowded into the 1963 VW Bus Double cab pick up with a canvas top over the back and those vinyl bench seats that make you slide when turning a corner.
Front:Tom,Don,Kathy, 2n row, Nancy, Ruth,Julie, Back row, Dad, Ed, Ted, Sarah,Becky

It was a long trip as we headed toward Mexico City and into the heart of the high Sierra Norte where we lived.
Uncle Ted and Aunt Sarah had contributed considerable funds toward the building of our home and wanted to see the fruit of their contribution.
Night travel became tricky and dangerous.  Periodically Uncle Ted would call out "I think we are lost."  Ed would reply from the dark back,  "Are we following the rail road track?"
Kathy, Julie, Don, Nancy, Ruthie, Becky, Ed

The empty coffee can was passed around periodically to pee in or many stops at the roadside, behind bushes.  Everybody in passing trucks knew why we were stopping, tooted their horns, and yelled out while passing.
  One night after avoiding running over a mans legs as he worked under his truck in the middle of the road it was best to only travel during the day.
We lumbered on, Ed did most of the navigating and translating as he was more proficient in the language than I as Ted drove on.
After a last bone jarring stretch of the road we reached our destination, the end of the vehicle road.
That last steep incline,was to much for that VW.  Church was just being let out so all the men and young people literally pushed it up onto the property.
We had arrived, almost, tired and exhausted and greeted by my parents and the whole congregation.  What a welcome.

We still had to hike up to our house with the luggage.
In the next few days, Dad introduced Ted to the work and showed him around.  They took a hike up the mountain to see the orchids.  We celebrated Kathy's birthday before they left.
Ruthie, Julie, Nancy, Becky, Tom?, Kathy with birthday cake

This visit from Ted's family meant a lot to Dad.  Dad was always appreciative of his family's support.
Ed and I spent the rest of that summer with the family before going back state side to continue my education.
 
LAST SUMMER in Mexico