Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The full range

9:11 p.m. Today's project was to visit our son-in-law Nick's parents John and Kathleen for our annual exchange of little gifts at Christmas. It was a "Nick and Heather" day (reminiscent to me of the "Nick and Nora" movie series of the 1930's), because we went on from the senior Loves' home to the kids's place.

Nick and Heather decorated their REAL Christmas tree today! This was not just an excuse to visit them, but true excitement on my part, because every day is a festive day for me in the Lord, especially during the season when we commemorate His birth. Heather also needed some Mary Kay eyeshadows for our oldest son's fiancee. Another thing that made the day special, is that Nick is no longer allergic to pine trees as he was in childhood when he was prone to asthma attacks. That was also a reason they haven't wanted any pets. Heather grew up with dogs of course, but allergies prevented that option for Nick. Praise the Lord for His healing and grace!

In their driveway before we exited the Jeep, I was having a text "conversation" with our youngest son who had the bright idea of bringing home an English Bulldog puppy for Steve, "so Dad won't have to walk the dogs any more." I let him know that not only would a crying puppy be totally unsettling for Steve, but the labs provide him with exercise and companionship. And we have never housebroken a puppy in 28 years--all of our dogs have been at least a year old when they were given to us. "Besides, I am completely overwhelmed already, " I let him know, and it would be too much for Steve to handle training a dog. So I feel reasonably confident that an English Bulldog puppy won't be coming home with Steven tonight...

This evening, watching Steve forget how to wrap a present made me reflect on this week's Alzheimer issues. He lost a pair of shoes for a couple of days; items will be left in all kinds of random places if I don't remind him to put things back where they came from; he was eating some pot pie and somehow the fingers of his left hand were in his food, while he still had his fork in his right. And sadly, his speech and general facial expressions are becoming more limited.This morning, I took him upstairs to change into his better jeans for our visits later in the day, but when I came back from my hair appointment, he hadn't changed!

It's at times like this that I ask God to give me the patience and compassion of His own heart, as well as the wisdom to know when I'll need occasional help with Steve's daily activities. I am sporting a bruised, swollen hand from part of a dog crate slamming into my knuckle when Steve mishandled it on Monday. (Normally, I wouldn't even needed to be involved in folding up the crates for moving into a different area, but he couldn't figure it out). It hasn't slowed down my shopping, wrapping, cookie making or banking activities, but it is visible evidence of a need for help here at home.

There's a prayer about knowing what I can't change, and knowing what I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. I'll add, Lord, give me the wisdom to get help, and to know when that time has come! In disturbing circumstances of any kind, it's always wise for believers to fall back on James 1:5:

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

I have been getting all of the documentation and forms in order with our long term care insurance company, so that the only step left to take was to call the Bright Star agency and make an appointment for a caregiver to get started coming over for a couple of hours to meet Steve and begin to assist me at home. While in the Altura Credit Union parking lot, I called the director-owner Rob and discussed a tentative start date for next week. I just need to double check my paperwork and see what categories of help Steve is in need of.
From visiting, to business, to future planning, today's projects went well, kept my faith strong and my confidence in Christ secure. That makes for a wonderful day!

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