Sunday, April 22, 2012

Two out of three

9"21 p.m. Today's project was to visit with Kriss and Marisela and our new grandson Clark in Long Beach. Clark is a major light in my life right now, and we thought of some ways I could be a little more hands-on with him this visit.

Steve had had a very bad morning, coming downstairs with a caregiver with an angry face, and refusing to sit down and take his medication, even though he usually enjoys it mixed in applesauce, and gives a smiling greeting to me when he enters the kitchen. After experiencing Steve's brother Larry's generally pleasant demeanor up until the day he died, I never imagined my husband of 31 years would glare at me like I was the devil when I kissed him good morning! But it's happened three times this week.

After his medicine kicked in, he had dressed, eaten, and a devotional was read to him, Steve leveled off. While I finished my devotions, ate, packed a lunch, and got ready for church, he and the caregiver spent some time in the backyard with Jada. Tough time leaving, because he went out the front door when I told him to go to the garage and get in the car!  (The caregiver had of course unbolted the door on his way out). I retrieved him from the driveway and got him belted into his seat, arriving at church only 5 minutes late. Praise God we got a handicapped spot!

There's a saying, "Tough times don't last, but tough people do!" But with my arthritis, having to feed, lead, seat, fasten jeans, seat belts, and diapers; and the twisting motion of placing his clenched hands on banisters, shopping carts and safety railings is causing me to doubt that saying! Life with Steve is getting very painful. He acts like a mute "dead weight" that needs to be prodded or lightly pulled, and turned to face in the right direction in order to move along when we walk into church or even around Kriss' apartment today. A strictly physically handicapped person would likely assist in any way possible, out of consideration for their caregiver.  Or if they were truly helpless, they'd still thank their caregiver!And Steve currently has no rational thinking process that would include concern for others. Praise my Jesus that He gives me "grace to help in time of need,"  (Hebrews 4:16)

After church, we left for Long Beach somewhat later than planned, because I decided to check the radiator fluid level. I raised up with the very heavy hood of the Jeep while Steve watched with little interest from inside the car. Imagine--his major hobby in life for decades was repairing and maintaining our vehicles! In order to take the cap off before the Jeep cooled down, I set up a fan to cool it, filled the radiator's receptacle and we were on our way, enjoying our pack lunch.

We shakily made it up the apartment stairs, hallelujah, even with the landlord's pesky Pekingese yapping underfoot on each step, and our delightful visit began! Pictured above, is Kriss' older brother Sean, who with his fiancee Pam came in the door shortly after we began our visit. Two out of three sons ain't bad, especially when the youngest son lives hundreds of miles away. We shared a lot of laughs, Steve stayed calm and cheerful, and we were able to enjoy original music online by artists that Kriss and I both know,. Kriss also precisely brewed Sean and me some Starbucks "Blond" coffee. The three of us talked about Kriss' plan to attend auto mechanic school, and the tools they will soon inherit from Steve, who has no recognition of the massive tool chest that was with him 35 years of his life as a maintenance technician in the plastics industry.

Papa John's pizzas rounded out our visit, and Steve and I took our leave shortly after I helped give Clark a bath with his mom's guidance. We drove home in light traffic, fed Jada, and are now preparing for a fresh new day. Things are not easy these days, but I am encouraged to keep at it with Steve for as long as possible by Galatians 6:9-10, and may you be encouraged also, believer:

And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especialy to those who are of the household of faith.                                             


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