Sunday, July 28, 2013

we're {not} so fine.

this was my {not} so fine view from wednesday thru friday afternoon.  breaks home to sleep & love on my children, but most of my waking moments were watching pjm breathe-in, out, in, out- after a {not} so fine full-blown, over the top seizure on wednesday morning.  somehow, God had it all timed perfectly.  i was actually with pjm when it took place which is bizarre as i never visit on wednesdays-sweet brown eyes had modified days during the school year so i have made a {not} so fine habit of avoiding the wednesday "visit" & it was easy to rollover this into summer.  well, this command seizing performance by pjm was certainly my most frightening life experience-especially because he is unable to communicate.   i held his hand while the staff tended to him until 911 arrived.  those vows of "sickness & health" resonated in my ears between his labored breaths. 

like every other facet of this {not} so fine demented disease, there was no medical explanation as to why the seizure took place.  as i drove back to the hospital friday, i was mentally sparing with God about the why & the unfair & the pure exhaustion of the past few days.  i, of course, did all of the yelling & God did all of the listening like perhaps the vast majority of our verbal altercations.  i was so pissed off pjm faced yet another challenge with no medical explanation other than this stupid disease itself.  i wanted to scream "uncle" at God claiming defeat to this wicked & twisted disease that has pjm in a half nelson.

saturday morning, i lay home in bed thankful pjm is back at his "home away from  home".  i pick up my bible out of obligation...guilt, in fact, because in the middle of this crisis i defer to reading a girlie novel & decorating magazines.  often, the bible is arduous for me like an archeologist, painstakingly brushing the dust off an ancient artifact. i awkwardly read the verses written centuries ago & have no idea how they apply to middle aged me sitting comforatbly atop of my mattress miles away from jerusalem.  i am currently reading the book of matthew & there is a story about some dissatisfied workers in a vineyard-we happen to have vineyards in our town & i love wine so there is more connection to this story than most.  a farmer goes to town about 9:00 am to find a day laborer to perform some task in his vineyard.  the worker agrees to the daily wage & begins his work.  said farmer continues going back & forth to town hiring several more laborers throughout the day.  at days end, he pays all of the workers the same exact amount regardless of the number of hours they actually worked.  of course the first guys are enraged because they have worked far more hours but still only receive a dollar.  sucks for the day laborers that busted their asses all day for the same wage but, what the hell does this have to do with me & pjm & a grand mal seizure?

God never promised me a life free of challenge.  God never promised troubling circumstances would be passed out evenly like playing cards in a game of old maid.  God never promised to answer my whys & whens while i screamed at him for answers.

dear God.
sorry for the {not} so fine temper tantrum on friday.
you promised to always provide & you have-even in the middle of demented.
you promised to give strength, even when i feel weaker than a daisy
 grasping dearly to its petals in a hurricane.
you promise a peace that passes all understanding & while i still wrestle with this,
i know there is eternal life for pjm-me-our children which grants me calm.
thanks for your impeccable timing on wednesday-
did you laugh when i jumped up & asked if pjm was having a stroke?
i know, lame {not} so fine question.
pissed off {not} so fine day laborer

and a side note:
a lullaby plays throughout the hospital whenever a baby is born.
it's a gentle reminder that new life & hope are happening 
so very close to me during this {not} so fine sickness.

Friday, July 12, 2013

puttin' snarky on the shelf for a bit...

so five months from today i will be celebrating the big 5-0 {feels entirely impossible} but my drivers license, passport as well as a very yellowed & aged birth certificate all reflect a birthday of 12/12/1963.

in honor of that aging milestone, i have decided to attempt a handful of tasks for the next five months before celebrating the BIG 50.  today marks the beginning of month one and here is what the next 30 days holds for me.  i am placing "snarky" on the shelf.  yep, in this teeny blog world of mine some of you may not know i have this sarcastic, cutting edge to me but i do.  those snarky comments roll off my tongue much like a pad of butter runs off a freshly grilled cob of corn.

my mom taught me by word, but more importantly by example, that old adage "if you cannot say something nice, don't say anything at all".  once i fled the nest and more importantly her listening ear, i learned & refined my skill of making insightful comments that drip with a coating of bitchy.  kind of like a beer-battered onion ring...that outside crusty jacket that has been bathed in oil sapping every ounce of nutritional value the slender ringlet of onion once contained.  my snarky words, while speaking a petite slice of truth, dip in a greasy batter of 100% bitch.

dear God.
i know those battered bites of bitch i so comfortable serve are my very core.
why, God, do they flow so naturally from my mind & lips?
You say in the book of James that anyone who considers herself godly, yet doesn't keep a tight rein on her tongue not only deceives herself but You.
help me bite my tongue-for just 30 days-and allow Your love, grace, goodness to flow from my mouth.
sorry i have deceived you.
how have i accumulated half a century of years, and yet still have so much maturing to do?
almost 50 year old kindergartner

Monday, July 8, 2013


remember that little blond, adventuresome girl who happens into the home of the three brown bears while they are out for a walk?  she enters their dwelling, testing their chairs, porridge, and beds.  each time she has to try all three and declares the first two are "too much" and "too little", but on her third attempt she finds the one that is "just right".

somedays i feel like that golden locked girl...especially on tuesdays.  as i make the 40 minute drive heading back to "the gardens", the days between visits has either past at lightening speed or a snails pace.  very seldom does it feel like the perfect amount of time has passed.  as i wander inside to find my sweet broken husband, it seems he is overly interested in seeing me {a tad too affectionate...} while other occasions, he looks through me and longs to be anywhere but at my side.  never does our time together feel "just right".  i leave and head back home so often with tears burning the back of my eyes and my throat feeling thick with grief wishing to have more years with him while concurrently longing for it all to come to an abrupt end.  driving away from him never will feel "just right".

like goldilocks, i am searching for the middle.  a path that leads to content...a "just right" of rest-peace-comfort in my heart absent of a longing for a little bit more or a teeny slice less.  in ecclesiastics 3, God speaks of a perfect time for everything:  birthing, dying, healing, killing, scattering, gathering, weeping, laughing.   the author continues on stating God makes everything beautiful in His time, but has left us in the dark to trust both His plan and timeline.

dear God.
i long for that "just right" feeling i was so accustomed to prior to "that day" almost four years ago
when life was turned on its end for our sweet family & pjm.
but You remind me "there is a season for everything, every activity under heaven"
including dementia.  and sickness.  and mourning.
and you instruct me to make the most of life in all seasons, this is Your gift to me.

thanks for being my "just right" in the middle of earning my pro wrestling status in this battle of too much and too little.


Monday, July 1, 2013

fire alarms & hearing tests

so while i was recently visiting pjm, the fire alarms were being tested.  the noise was an obnoxious "ERRR-ERRR-ERRT" accompanied by some flashing ceiling lights.  pjm was oblivious to the commotion while other residents sought the front door {which is on a delay so they cannot leave unaccompanied}.  a pack of residents & caregivers congregated outside just beyond the front door in hopes of escaping the annoyance.  another gentleman paced the lobby floor like a tiger in too small a cage.  his hands clenched over his ears while donning a miserable grimace.  i remained seated as the staff made it clear it was just a test-not an emergency.  it was somewhat amusing to see how the residents try to process this annoying stimulation within their different stages of dementia.

here is the dialogue i had with a sweet elderly resident:

her:  what is all of that noise for?  and those lights?

me:  oh, they are testing the fire alarms.

her:  testing?  they are testing?

me:  yep, just to make sure everything is working fine-to keep all of you safe.

her:  well tell them they can stop now.

me:  stop the noise?  i think the testing might take a bit longer.

her:  tell them to stop.  my hearing is working just fine.  tell them they can stop testing my hearing-i can hear that noise.

me: .... {smile-thanks for the giggle}  excuse me, miss elderly resident says her hearing is working just fine and you can stop the noise now {i say this to the empty space between her & me}

her:  thanks...that helps {the lights and alarms are still blaring so i am unclear how i was of assistance-perhaps it is just comforting to be heard even if the desired solution didn't come as quick as desired}

this is how some tuesday go...a little laughter that eats away some of that overwhelming sphere of sadness i so often feel on visiting day.