Monday, December 21, 2009
2:18 p.m. Today's project was to mix up a very complicated batch of caramel cookies, with homemade caramel, no less! It is Heidi's first official day off as a teacher, and she helped me with the first couple of steps.
Much as I love to cook and bake with my daughter, Heidi is taking on an much more meaningful task today, that of taking her dad Christmas shopping. When I gave her the cash, it was a bit awkward and could seem self-serving, but Steve would not want to leave his wife without a gift under the tree from him for the first time in 28 years. So they are now out together at Target, looking to spend a very modest amount for a gift Steve can choose himself.
Heidi, the elder of my two daughters, and the one who still lives at home, is also the most responsible and pennnywise of our five children. This makes her a good insurance and pension beneficiary, and she will be our executor when we finalize a living trust (wise for those of modest means as well as for the wealthy!). As a Sunday school teacher she has a Holy Spirit anointing for making the word applicable to 10-11 year olds; as a public classroom teacher, she is very structured in her thinking. She also has a very great affection for family and family traditions!
As recently as three months ago, Steve was able to drive to specific locations, like the two Ralphs stores near us, Petco on Van Buren, Ace Hardware in the Woodcrest area, and to Saturday morning Bible study at church, by himself. I had begun doing the driving for freeway trips and vacations, because traffic was getting very stressful for him, and not knowing where he needed to turn, or not remembering our destination, made for too many sudden, dangerous lane changes. When he rear-ended me at a stop sign in Long Beach, Steve voluntarily said it was time for him to stop driving. It was a big loss, not having my husband drive as he always had, but we are safer on the road now, even though I've been known to make a few zany moves myself!
When the Social Security administration made me Steve's financial guardian, I knew it was also time to have him just go with me to the store, another blow to his independence. But his attitude has been good, even relieved, the same as when he lost his last job and said, "I won't be working any more." Truly a great burden and strain was lifted from him that day. And far be it from me to add any more stress, when just daily living is very hard for him now. Our whole family is pulling together to support Steve, because my children take "Honor your mother and father" (Exodus 20:12) very seriously!
Heidi was the first girl born on the Kruckenberg side in a generation, and her arrival was feted with huge baby showers. My late mother-in-law and Auntie Doris went to "Germantown" in Orange County for a genuine dirndl jumper for Heidi. [We have a cute portrait of the two of us, with me in a matching jumper I created, still in the living room]. She and Steve have always been very close. It's been a privilege to watch this little doll grow up to serve Christ, her family, and children on both sides of the Border. She is a faithful and loyal friend to scores of Christian young adults, as well as a fixture at Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night Bible studies. With her good sense and consideration for others, I knew she'd make the time for her dad today, and they just got back, full of secrets, and ready to wrap!
Psalm 127:3 says, "Children are a heritage from the LORD; the fruit of the womb is a reward." I surely agree! One day Heidi will become a "joyful mother of children" herself. (Psalm 113:9) I can't wait!