Posts Tagged ‘lessons’

I put together a little video about my latest skiing adventure. I hope you get as much chuckle from watching it as I did making it!


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It has been so long since I have logged into my own blog that I could not remember the password. That may be good for the two of you that read this, but I’m not sure yet.

Do I have a good reason for dropping out of life? Or perhaps I should ask is there ever a good reason for dropping out of life. I wish I had a good answer to that question without relying on some old and pat cliché.

The past two years have not been good. Starting with the death of my mom on July 7, 2015, a very good friend on July 18, 2015, my father-in-law on September 5, 2015, my dad on October 9, 2015 and the list continues on like that for two years.

Of course many have told me that I am depressed or wallowing in the depths of despair and need to seek out “professional” help. I do not feel depressed and I am not wallowing anywhere (outside of the occasional times I get my wheelchair stuck in the mud).

What I do feel is reflection. Even now I have a very good friend in New Zealand, from playing on line games, who is only 35 years old, laying in a hospital bed, and feels like giving up. I also have another very good friend in NYC that is scheduled for back surgery on Tuesday for spinal stenosis. So this new year is not looking much brighter then the last two years.

It is very easy to ask why…but we all know why. What I ask is “Have I done enough?” Have I been there when people need me? Have I offered a smile, held their hand, laughed with them, cried with them. Could I have done more? These are the questions that cause me to reflect as I go into 2017.

My only New Year’s resolution is that I want to be a better person for people when they need me most.

In my book, regret is a much worse feeling then depression.

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sunshine_through_cloudsI thought I would use the title of my blog to do a little preaching at myself. Though I must admit that wallowing in sorrow at times is much easier. 

I do not need to reiterate how difficult the past three months have been for me. At times it has felt like I was at the bottom of a very deep, dry well; and the only help I got was someone threw me a shovel. That sounds rather dramatic, but there it is. 

As I am writing this, I am in my bedroom with the door closed and the lights off. That in and of itself is nothing rare. But what is rare is that in the living room of our home I am hearing gales of laughter and giggles from a bridal shower. One of my nieces is getting married next week and my daughter, as her maid of honor, is throwing her a shower.  

Laughter, fun, refreshments, hugs, gifts, etc. Everything that stand in stark contrast to how I have felt all summer is just a few yards away from me. Is that wrong? Of course not. Is it wrong that I just now answered a call from a good friend with news that he is getting married? Of course not! I am very happy for all of them.  

Yes life has sorrow and tears, but life also has so much love and happiness. Always look for the silver lining in whatever storm you may find yourself in. So taking another dose of my own medicine….life does go on.  

James 1:2-3 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 

So the trials of life will seem very burdensome at times and attempt to squelch our joy. But through it all, we can take comfort that the ultimate joy of Jesus Christ in our lives will produce an unshakeable faith. 

Something that my parents would have, and did tell me over the years. I must always continue to remember and live out the biblical truths that have been passed down to me.

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Dad, Mom and meToday finds me sitting in a room at a Hospice home. July, barely three months ago, I was dealing with hospice questions for mom. Now I am doing the same thing for my dad.

Perhaps you have been in a Hospice Center before. The room is spacious, has nice windows to look out at the well-kept grounds, a small kitchenette area, low lighting and warm colors on the walls. Everything designed to make a person “comfortable”, though that is the last thing I feel.

January of 2015, dad was living in his own home and taking care of mom as her sole care giver. The doctors do not really have a name or diagnosis for where dad is today with his health. They are calling it “Failure to Thrive”. We are calling it a broken heart.

Due to his rapid decline of his health, I had a health care agency coming to his home four hours a day, seven days a week. We were also going in every day to visit, prepare his medications for the day and monitor his life. One afternoon my brother and his wife arrived at his home and found him lying on the kitchen floor. Staying alone at home was no longer a safe option.

I then found a great assisted living home for him with a caring staff and only five other residents. It seemed like a wonderful solution, but dad’s overall health continued in a rapid downward spiral.

In just one month he had contracted pneumonia twice, fallen once, and had been in the ER six different occasions. The last time in the ER resulted in him being admitted as an in-patient and from there, to a Hospice home.

It is now difficult to wake him up, he no longer wants to eat or drink on his own, he has lost 15 pounds in three months, his overall body pain has worsened, and when he is awake, much of the time he is staring off into space. Two days ago at the hospital, he asked to be shaven clean because he was going to go meet Joan now. (Mom)

The nurses in the hospital were busy with other patients so I got some shaving supplies and went to work. I was very meticulous with the job, out of fear of cutting him, but in the end he looked clean shaven and it made him feel better. He had been sporting a small mustache since mom passed away, but he said that he wanted it shaven off to meet mom because she would not like it. So off it came.

Steve spent last night with him and I got here early this morning. I’m typing this at a table near his bed as I watch him sleep. He is resting peacefully and is in no pain or distress. He just tells all of us that he is tired and ready to go.

When he said his wedding vows 55 years ago, he firmly meant “till death do us part”. Mom was his love and his life while here on earth. Without her, his will to go on alone is completely gone.

How long we will sit vigil by his bedside, I am not in charge of that. God is in control of his life and the lessons for me as I sit here. God has not promised his people a life without sorrow. But he has promised to comfort us in our sorrow and to never leave us to face sorrow alone.

Matthew 5:4  Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4  Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.

Isaiah 43:2  When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.  When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.

Psalm 46:1-2  “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.  Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea.

Revelation 21:4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.

Psalm 119:50  My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life.

Romans 8:18  I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.

Psalm 18:2  The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

Psalm 23:4  Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

Psalm 34:18  The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Matthew 11:28  Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

John 14:1-4  Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God]; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.

The Bible clearly tells us that God is our comfort when troubles come our way. Dad knows this truth and has taught me this same truth, so that as I sit here and watch him slowly breath, his Savior, and his beloved wife, are waiting with loving arms to wipe away all earthly tears.

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