Saturday, September 1, 2012

Matthew 6:8 to San Clemente

10:29 p.m. Today's project was to take the Metrolink train to San Clemente, a popular surfing beach in south Orange County. Steve and I received two free round trip tickets for maintaining a Fastrak account, which when using their transponder, allows a driver to use special lanes to bypass traffic jams any time of the day or night. And on the 91 freeway between Riverside and Orange counties, a tie-up could happen at 2:00 in the morning! Putting our kids and some of our extended family on our account has really eased the angst for weddings, graduations, and family parties.

With just a week left in our home for Steve, I decided that today would be perfect for a trip to the beach. On descending the stairs to the kitchen, I discovered that our usual 5:00 a.m. Saturday caregiver hadn't arrived, and had to call him at home at 6 a.m, because the agency mistakenly told him he wouldn't be needed this morning!  We had a non-negotiable departure time of 8:30 from our house, to meet a non-negotiable train boarding time of 9:15! With packing our meals, making all arrangements for the dog and house and doing 3 loads of laundry to cope with Steve's nightly accidents added to my morning devotional schedule, this was not a morning to lack help!

God knew that, and Elias, a believer with a true servant's heart, came quickly.

Your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him, Jesus said in Matthew 6:8.

Elias quickly got Steve ready, fed him breakfast and placed him in the car for me, while I finished my morning business, devotional, nutritional, sartorial, and practical. Steve and I arrived at the station in plenty of time, and got a close handicapped space. We slowly walked toward the platform, validated our tickets, and I asked the question that had weighed heavily on my mind, traveling with a virtually helpless husband,"Will we have to change trains at some point?" "No," the agent replied, "You just stay on this train to the San Clemente pier." Matthew 6:8!

The walk to the train platform was up an elevator, across an overhead breezeway bridge, then down an elevator to the boarding area. A few hundred people had gathered, fully ready for the beach, with chairs, boogie boards and even umbrellas. Steve and I were only going to sit in any shady, grassy spot we could find, enjoy the cool breezy weather, watch the surf, watch the people, watch the pelicans flock overhead, and stay off of the uncertain walking area [for Steve] known as "sand." This would be an ultra-relaxed day for us, with no pressure except to take care of Steve's needs before heading back!

The train was very cool and comfortable, and I seated Steve next to a window so he could enjoy the scenery. I do confess to doing a bitty bit of Mary Kay business, but after an excellent finish for my team's production in August, despite major trials with my dad and Steve, it was time for me to relax!
As long as my cellphone stayed charged on the train's wall socket, and Steve just enjoyed staring wordlessly out his window, I alternated between dozing and pointing out places of interest, like streets in his hometown of Orange.

Our day went beautifully, and so did our ride home, except for the fact that Steve kept staring at the back of the seat in front of him, and at the floor. (He'd had his afternoon meds so that wasn't the problem). I thought, "Oh well, he's lost interest in looking out the window," and  I dozed off. Suddenly I heard him exclaim, "Those bastards!" while he was fully awake and still staring at the floor! I'm grateful to the Lord that nobody turned around or noticed. I told him, "There is nobody bad on this train; look out the window; and please talk quietly." He said, "Oh sorry," and everything went smoothly as we sped into Riverside. I pointed out to him the neighborhood we lived inwhen we were first married-- even the street, and he paid attention. In a great moment of clarity shortly after a few more miles, Steve looked over at the cemetery on Central Avenue we drive past constantly, and spoke out, "That's where my dad is." Lorenz is actually buried at the National Veterans' Cemetery at the south end of town, as is Ruby his mother. But for Steve to think of a sentence, and have a coherent thought in a timely manner was a very good accomplishment for him. His dementia manifests itself randomly. But bless the Lord for providing that moment. Matthew 6:8!

Despite suddenly serious struggles getting off the train, in and out of the elevators, walking, and then seating himself in the Jeep, Steve persevered, once his head was turned in the right direction and he followed my instructions. But I wasn't going to let those things spoil our day, not with all that our Heavenly Father had provided.

Believer, He knows what you have need of --even before you ask!!

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