Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Parts A,B & C

9:22 p.m. Today's project was to lead my discussion group at Bible study at church. I'd lost some time earlier in the morning, because of strange ups and downs that had me tearing up in happiness, and then the opposite emotion, devastation, all in the same short hour.

Tears of joy came on as I thought about my daughter and her husband and their quiet, happy life in Redlands with their two doggies, embarking on the hunt for a house to buy in my hometown. How pleasant to be able to walk halfway across a beautiful part of town filled with Victorian homes in safety, simply to get dinner at the Olive Market, a local restaurant and caterer. Home is a real sanctuary from the demands of profession and the intensity of their joint ministry. How glorious it is the see God's perfect match for your child in tastes and temperament! God rewards those who serve Him in single contentment, and wait on His timing for the greatest blessing life here on earth holds. "He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the LORD,"  Proverbs 18:22 says. (or a good husband, I would add)! Marriage is the highest and most blessed gift God has given to His children, aside from our salvation, that can be enjoyed on this earth!

Yet, what had me in tears are the spectres that hang over their heads: his impending blindness and the inherited early-onset dementia that plagues our family. There is no telling which, if any of our children will get Alzheimer's, and there may be a cure before they reach middle age. Just, in 1980 when I met Steve and his family, no one even knew that his father Lorenz' dementia was genetic. It was thought that old aluminum pans used on the farm were at fault. Lorenz died in 1984 at age 69, when Heidi was 6 months old. But there was no real assurance that Steve's and his older sister Linda's forgetfulness would become any more serious with time. He went on to enjoy a brilliant and lucrative career in the plastics industry, and we raised our family in the Lord, through good and tough times that any family will face. But we always had the promises that were first spoken to Israel from Isaiah 43:1b-3a:

"Fear not, for I have redeemed
I have called you by your name;
  You are Mine.
When you pass through the
  waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they shall
  not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire,
  you shall not be burned,
Nor shall the flame scorch you.
For I am the LORD your God,
The Holy One of Israel, your

Imagine the family's shock and devastation when Steve's older brother Larry began having memory problems! That sad news caused us to make financial preparations in case Steve became afflicted. Larry died at age 58! By now, the handwriting was on the wall: the Kruckenbergs are all at risk.

The counsel I give to my children is fairly simple:"Live your life to the fullest! Get your education and find a profession you love, in which you can serve God and others. You have no time to waste--don't fritter away your life!"  And they are each and every one industrious, involved in helping others, always seeking to better themselves and others, reading, studying, making good use of their time, (I think they may have had a teacher for a mom)!

Thinking about my children gave me Part A of the morning's breakdown. Then a song called "Held" came into my mind from hearing it last night on our local Chriatian station. The chorus roughly says this:

"This is what it means to be held, and to know how it feels when the sacred is torn from your life and you survive... " At first, I comfortably said to myself, thinking of my relationship with the Lord, my family, ministries, friends and my thriving Mary Kay business, "I'm not just surviving, I'm (mostly) thriving."  But then in my mind I heard again the part about "when the sacred is torn from your life," and thought, "Lord, what is more sacred than marriage?!" and allowed myself to really grasp the devastation of what has happened to us in just the last 6 months. That was morning breakdown Part B,

I struggle to make myself see the real Steve within a shell of a man who can no longer independently eat, walk, talk, stand, grasp items of any size, sit down, dress, open or close a door, hold a glass, or care for himself. At times, as we are walking (or I'm nudging him along, is more like it), I snap out of the slow and careful routine of our times together and suddenly ask the Lord, "Is this my husband?" 

Is this my husband?

My discussion group was fully attended today. Our sharing, conviction, teaching one another, was rich, and so energizing for me. We had a marvelous morning, capped off by a challenging video. I then went over to my friend Debbie's for a visit before Steve's bus would arrive back at home. Her husband and ASteve are friends and enjoyed their mutual interest in vintage cars and sandwiches at Jason's Deli. The two of us laughed, ranted and shared many topics of conversation, and were in high spirits until time for me to leave. Then came the inevitable question, after I mentioned some of the troubles Steve is having:  "How are YOU doing, Dana?" (there's no squirming out of answering because my girlfriends wait for an answer!) It was Breakdown Part C, but I felt so loved and cared for as I just cried along with her, while she held me tight and prayed for me in the tenderest way imaginable.  It was the Lord Jesus with blonde hair and a lavender sweater...a tear-stained lavender sweater.

"This is what it means to be held..."

1 comment:

  1. So glad you have that support network. We all need to live one day at a time.

    Hugs and prayers,