Like trying to herd cats...

Many miscellaneous meanderings of a musing mother...

Thursday, July 5, 2007

And time passes....

I've been stuck.

Stuck in the sense that I don't know what to say about my Grandpa passing. How do you sum up that kind of thing? The profound and the mundane have wacked into each other and I don't know what belongs where anymore.

Life continues, even if I'm not ready yet. Grandpa passed on a Tuesday. On Thursday I volunteered at my daughter's end of year party at school. All that chaos and laughing and fun, and then I would remember that two days ago my Grandpa passed. How frustrating and yet comforting that time stops for no one. Hours pass. Days pass.

It's been three weeks. And yet it seems a lifetime ago.

And so here I am. Stuck. Not exactly knowing what to do with my experience - so many people don't want to hear the sad stuff. Sometimes I would start to talk about what it was like, witnessing the death of my Grandpa, and would be met with - "Oh stop. You'll make me cry." or I'd shut down, feel like I overshared, or that it was too deep to respond to a "so, how are you doing?" kind of question. Much easier to answer with the typical "oh - we're doing ok. At least he didn't suffer long. The outcome wasn't what I would have wanted, but given that we were going to travel that road, I'm glad it wasn't a long road." All true, but just scratches the surface. Finding the space and time to sit in the grief and ugliness of death has been tough. Such an intimate and overwhelming place to be.

So here I sit. Stuck. Wanting to move forward, and yet not knowing what to do with Grandpa. The funeral isn't even until the 25th of this month - there's quite the wait at Arlington Cemetary.

I will write about Grandpa. I will create space for closure.

Just not today.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Update on Grandpa...

I spent Saturday from 11:00am until 9:45pm at the hospital with my Grandpa. He is deteriorating - we were hoping that he would pull out of this, but it doesn't seem that it's going to work out that way - he is in kidney failure and is not responsive as of yesterday. We are in the process of transferring him to hospice care at my parents place, if he makes it there. I don't believe he will last more than 48 hours - unless God chooses to intervene otherwise. I have spent the majority of the weekend at the hospital and am getting ready to go back as soon as I finish this post.

This is a hard post to write because I really don't have a lot of words. I have noticed that with every hospice situation (Grandma V, Grandpa S, and MIL), I have turned inward like this. Funny that I have been through this enough to notice a pattern in my behavior. It is hard watching someone die - it's lengthy and short at the same time. There's this waiting and hurrying - hurrying to get to their bedside, and then... waiting. It's odd to catch myself in everyday things, to laugh, or buy groceries, and then be suddenly transported to the thin line between life and death. Very odd balance to keep. From the mundane to the profound and then back again.

Went to youth group last night and it was odd to be welcoming the new youth intern, talking about prejudice (the topic for the night), eating cake and trying to hold light conversation with people, all the while freezing every time the phone rang, or suddenly tears would well up for no reason. I am sure I seemed a basket case and perhaps should not have gone. It's the balance between wanting the world to stop until this is settled and having to keep committments.

On Saturday, I got to tell him I loved him many times, and in between the labored breaths, he mouthed back that he loved me too. His blue eyes were glazed over and very "old" - and they seemed so beautiful to me. Katie got on the bed and read him a story and he reached out to hold her hand. When he saw Jeff, he turned his head ever so slightly, eyes widened and mouthed, "hey, man" - just like he always did when he greeted Jeff. He breathed out a "God bless you" to my mom. Sometimes, he would just open his eyes and seem to look at something that I couldn't see - I always wonder what is going on inside the shell that we see. I wonder if he sees his parents, his wife. I wonder if he is remembering the stories of his youth. I wonder if Christ Himself is visiting. I wouldn't put it past Him. These are such very sacred moments.

I am off to sit in those moments. Will keep you posted...

Friday, June 8, 2007

Prayers Please!

My nearly 90 year old grandpa broke his hip almost three weeks ago. He had surgery to replace his hip and was sent a week ago to a nursing home for rehab before going back to live with my parents.

He has stopped eating and drinking and this evening they took him back to the ER at the hospital and we are not sure if he will pull out of it. Hopefully, once they IV some fluids and nutrients into his system, he will gain some energy and bounce back, but we are not sure. He is on oxygen right now and has lost about 10 pounds in the last week.

My dad sounded almost panicked tonight - he doesn't usually sound anything but in control, so that was unnerving. His mom (my favorite Grandma) died almost 8 years ago, and Pop-Pop is now the last grandparent living.

Please pray that God's will be done and that whatever happens, happens smoothly. I want him to pull out of this AND I understand he is almost 90 years old and is very weak. I want my daughter to see him one more time - his face lights up when he sees her and he loves to have her read to him. I want her to see him excited to see her one more time. I want her to connect with him one more time. I don't want her last time to see him in the emergency room with tubes and the like.

I don't want to see my dad cry. I don't know that I am ready to be with that and to comfort him - i don't know if I know how. I don't want this.

I don't know what my grandpa's relationship with God is like. For the most part, he has turned infantile in his thinking. He spends most of his time coloring fuzzy posters and doing 50-piece puzzles and easy crosswords. It's always been hard to have a coherent conversation with him - mostly we were ears for him to talk to. I don't know where he stands spiritually. I know God does, and I am resting in the knowledge that my God is able to visit and relate and comfort my young-minded grandpa.

Please pray for us.

Thank you.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

The company I keep (though longing to get rid of!)...

Ok. Enough is enough and I am freaking out. Just killed a spider. Now, normally (as if there is such a thing in cat-herder land...) spiders are not a huge issue - sometimes I even let them crawl on a piece of paper and then fling them back into the natural world from whence they came. But today.

Today. Is. Different.

Allow me to list the company I am keeping.

Recently found evidence that a distant, suburbian relative of Mickey is camping out in our snack drawer while I am in peaceful sleep. Found a fruit roll-up with a hole in the package and a couple of bite marks - thought it was strange that Katie would sample and put back. Then noticed a baggie of pistachio nuts had a suspicious hole in it and a lone nut randomly left in the haste of retreat. Hmmmm..... DH emptied said drawer and left traps (which remain emtpy). That part of the house is now dead to me. Which is unfortunate because it is where I keep my food. (stomach growling).

Killed TWO wasps in the house - am thinking there is a nest somewhere.

This morning, walked outside to find swarming termites on the front step. I think there is actually a village being established - pretty sure I saw some mini election signs and a traffic light. Captured some in a plastic bag and called Terminix.

Now a spider? PLEASE. I am starting to feel like I have walked into the nature channel. I have walls. And windows. And a door! for goodness sakes. All these should indicate a level of boundaries. Boundaries that should not be breached by wild animals.

And yet, I am sharing space with animals without names. Ugh.

Makes me want to go shopping. And I am itchy.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Dealing with my book addiction...

I read this post of Clemntine's (What's Up, Buttercup?) this morning, and boy has it set my head a-thinkin. Such an important message for me - I will post this and then go sit on my couch and spend some time with God in His word.

This was the response I left to her post:
Oh my. Did you ever just speak to me through that. I have the tendency to do the same thing. How could I be able to apply scripture and understand it, when there are really smart people out there who have been schooled in theology and biblical history and culture - who am I to think I could interpret the bible with the same kind of wisdom of these people? I am not in their league (I can't even remember to change the laundry or where my grocery list is!) - so I buy or borrow their books and try to absorb God's word through their word. And if that is my only diet, no wonder it feels watered down, no wonder my faith feels weak.
My eyes have been opened (again!) - this is not the first time I've been made aware of this tendency of mine. And then I wonder at the freshness of scripture when I read it by itself, no commentaries or books. How it speaks to me - so personally. God is so good not to give up on us, even when I choose to give up on Him.
I will still continue to read those books of mine - they are wise and annointed writers. However, I will choose to read their words only AFTER I have spent time with God in HIS word.

Off to do my bible study and then dive into some Psalms...

This is the day that the LORD has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it!

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Eavesdropping at the mall...

Overheard this gem of lovingkindness between a young man with a walking stick and his boy who was around 5-6 years old:

"Now remember: if I can't hit you with my cane, you're too far away"

Good times.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Questions and thinking and jumping and trusting...

Do you trust me?
Then jump!

As I stood in the (bewilderingly cold) pool, my Katie was on the ledge, so badly wanting to jump to me but so terribly scared to make the leap.

Would you come closer?

No, I did that the jump before. You can do this.

(*pause*) - I'm still in the shivering cold water - she is in the warm, hot sun...

Do you trust me?


Then jump! (...*pause*...)

But I'm afraid.

Do you think I would let you get hurt?


Do you know that I love you?


Do you know that I am paying attention?


Then, jump!

(*pause*) - I have almost forgotten my name, the water is so cold. And yet I wait with outstretched arms at the ready for her courage to kick in... She starts to jump, bends her knees, and then just as quickly, the fear kicks in and we are back to square one...

And as I am shivering in the pool, I am hearing the quiet whispers of my Encourager. This coversation sounds extremely familiar to the ones I have with Him.

I want you to do ___.

But I am afraid.

Do you know that I know the outcome?


Do you know that I love you?

Yes... I think.

Then jump!

But what if I find I can't swim in this water? What if I sink?

Do you know that you don't have to - that I will catch you if you find you can't swim?

Yes... I think.

Do you think I would neglect you and let you get hurt?


Do you know that I am paying attention?


Then jump!

The next time God asks me to jump, I hope I remember how absolutely sure I was that Katie would not get hurt, that there was no way I would allow her to get in any kind of trouble. I just wanted her to stretch a bit, to flex her trust muscles, to trust me, to trust herself, to face her fear and move past it. I had the utmost confidence in her ability - for pete's sake, she had just jumped from the ledge moments before! I knew the outcome would be success, I knew she had the skills. She just had to see that in herself.

That must be how God feels about me. Totally knowing the outcome, knowing my ability matches the challenge - just needing me to trust Him.

Do you trust Him?

Then jump!