God has blessed me with a man who loves me beyond compare, and I was reminded of that once again last night. Evan and I were doing our devotions (Night Light by James & Shirley Dobson) together before going to bed. We read a story that was so touching. I can do no justice to the story by paraphrasing it, so I’ve inserted it below:
I rise early on this Friday, as I do every day, to prepare coffee and mix a protein shake.
The television news plays quietly in the corner. Flossie, my wife, is still asleep.
Sometime after eight, she begins floating out of slumber. I bring the shake to her bedside,put the straw in her mouth, and give her cheek a little pat as she begins to drink.
Slowly the liquid recedes.
I sit there holding the glass, thinking about the past eight years. At first, she asked only
an occasional incoherent or irrelevant question; otherwise she was normal.
I tired for two years to find outwhat was wrong. She grew agitated, restless, defensive;
she was constantly tired and unable to hold a conversation.
At last, a neurologist diagnosed Alzheimer’s disease. He said he wasn’t sure–a firm
diagnosis could come only from examining brain tissue after death. There is no known
cause for this malady. And no known cure.
I enrolled Flossie in a day care center for adults. But she kept wandering off the property.
We medicated her to keep her calm. Perhaps from receiving too much of one drug,
she suffered a violent seizure that left her immeasurably worse: lethargic,
incontinent, and unable to speak clearly or care for herself. My anguish gradually
became resignation. I gave up all plans of retirement travel, recreation, visits to see
grandchildren–the golden era older people dream about.
The years have passed, and my days have become routine, demanding, lonely,
seemingly without accomplishment to measure. Flossie has gradually dropped in strength
and weight, from 125 pounds to 86. I take some time to work with a support group and to
attend church, but the daily needs keep me feeding, bathing, diapering,
changing beds, cleaning house, fixing meals, dressing and undressing her, and doing
whatever else a nurse and homemaker does, morning to night.
Occasionally, a word bubbles up from the muddled processes of Flossie’s diseased brain.
Sometimes relevant, sometimes the name of a family member, or
the name of an object. Just a single word.
On this Friday morning, after she finishes her shake, I give her some apple juice,
then massage her arms and caress her forehead and cheeks. Most of the time her eyes
are closed, but today she looks up at me, and suddenly her mouth forms
four words in a row.
“Do you want me?”
Perfect enunciation, softly spoken. I want to jump for joy.
“Of course I want you, Flossie!” I say, hugging and kissing her.
And so, after months of total silence, she has put together the most sincere question
a human being can ask. She speaks, in a way, for people everywhere;
those shackled by sin, addiction, hunger, thirst, mental illness, physical pain–
frightened, enervated poeple afraid of the answer, but desperate enough
to frame the question anyway.
And, Flossie, I can answer you even more specifically. It may be difficult for you to
understand what’s been happening. That’s why I’m here, to minister God’s love to you, to bring
you wholeness, comfort, and release. Mine are the hands God uses to do His work,
just as He uses others’ hands in other paces. In spite of our shortcomings, we strive to make
people free, well, and happy, blessing them with hope for the future
while bringing protein shakes every morning.
By the time Evan finished reading the story out loud, I was sniffling and wiping away the stream of tears streaking my face. That man’s love for his wife was beyond immeasurable. He threw away all his hopes and dreams of the future so that he could care for his slowly dying wife . . . that’s LOVE! I just laid there in bed, staring at the ceiling, questions and thoughts flooding through my head. Then, Evan took my cheek with his hand and turned my face towards his.
He quietly said, “The answer is yes, baby.”
I lost it. The stream of tears turned into a flood. I hadn’t even verbalized the questions grappling my mind; questions of Would you do that for me? Would you want me? Yet, he knew and answered them. Evan pulled me close to him. I breathed in deeply and smiled through my tears. Sometimes I don’t realize how much this man loves me, and then he shows me in the simplest ways, in the most tender words. I love him so much, and this love goes beyond forever!
Change is like a curse word in my vocabulary. I absolutely hate change. Okay, I don’t hate it, but it’s not exactly my favorite item on the menu of life. I know, that’s kind of a funny statement coming from a Marine wife, considering that that cursed word is bounced around like a rubber ball in the military scene. Despite my despise for change, we’ve experienced some very welcome changes in the recent weeks. For starters, days before my husband left for the 9/11 Memorial trip, we got a new car! Well, not exactly new, but new to us. Our poor little Impala is hanging onto its last threads, and we’re just not so sure how much longer it can hold on. After having procrastinated for a couple months, I told my husband it was time. We had to get a new vehicle pronto! I was not about to let him leave for New York and have our only car poop out on me. Every time Evan leaves for anything, something goes wrong with the car. I pictured Ian and I getting stranded on a busy highway, with help from no one but some burly backwoods North Carolinian hillbilly with a crazy name like JimmyJoe. Nope, not happening. So, we got in our car and drove two hours away to find our future vehicle. After a long, frustrating, and exhilerating day, we drove back home with TWO cars . . . our Impala and our Grand Cherokee Laredo. Yep, we got a Jeep! And what a beauty she is. She rides/drives so smoothly. I’m in love!
That Jeep was one change I was more than ready for and eager to explore. Now we just have to get permanent base stickers put on it. Notice the flapping paper in the windshield. Yeah, that’s our temporary sticker. Without that, there’s no way I’d be able to drive on base with our awesome new Jeep, and we can’t have that!
This past weekend brought with it some wonderful new things! Summer had taken its toll on me, and I was so done with the sweaty warmth and buggy heat. Eager for Fall to hit, I found myself saying nearly every day, “I can’t wait for Fall! I’m so excited to start wearing sweatshirts again!” I probably drove Evan crazy with how often I said it. I’d even send him text messages at work. I became a psycho maniac, burning Fall-scented candles and wearing sweatshirts around the house. Last Thursday, I even decided to go to Dunkin’ Donuts and use my coupon for a free pumpkin spice latte. Considering my bad experience with lattes at Dunkin’, it’s amazing I even went there. But who can ignore a free coupon? The reason I say I’ve had bad experiences at DD is that every time I’d get a latte, they’d always put way too much syrup, no matter how many times I’d tell them to not put too much. I like sweet drinks, but I’d rather drink coffee flavored with syrup not syrup flavored with coffee. So, I waltzed in with my free coupon and got my drink. That drink forever changed my view of Dunkin’ Donuts. One sip, and I felt like I had tasted a bit of heaven in a cup. Ever wondered if Fall has a taste? It does; in a pumpkin spice latte from Dunkin’ Donuts! I will never get a pumpkin spice latte at Starbucks ever again! This is one change I’m going to keep.
Fall in a cup
I was hoping my over-enthusiasm for Fall would subliminally let God know how ready I was for the cold weather. Well, He more than subliminally gave me my wish. We woke up Friday morning, and Fall had dropped in like a bomb! It was 63 degrees outside! Evan had the day off, so to celebrate, we threw on sweatpants and sweatshirts, bundled Ian up, and enjoyed breakfast outside. The celebration didn’t last too long though, because the wind had picked up and our coffee was getting cold. Suddenly hit with the itch to go out for the day, we made up a list of errands and went on our way. First stop: Petsmart, to get some things for Sierra. When we pulled up to store, we had no idea what lay in wait for us inside. Petsmart donned a sign outside, saying that they were having an Adopt-A-Thon for cats. Just for fun, Evan and I decided to look at the cats. We stopped at the first cage, and one of the kittens hissed and clawed at Evan. He yanked his hand away and proclaimed, “And that’s one of the reasons I hate cats!” Neither of us were really cat people; we’re prefer dogs, so that’s why we never expected the feelings that would take over our bodies and souls when we came across Gemma. She was in a cage with two other kittens, lazily sleeping with her front legs hanging outside of the cage rungs. We asked to hold her, and I knew we were in trouble when she nestled deeply into Evan’s arms and purred contentedly. One of the adoption members exclaimed that Gemma had chosen us. At that moment, we turned to butter. All negativity toward the feline race melted away into oblivion. Within hours, Evan and I adopted our 5-month old kitten and had everything she needed to begin her life at our home. We don’t regret our decision one bit. She’s a sweetheart. I was concerned about how she’d handle our son, but I’ve never seen a cat so patient with a baby. He’s flat-out sat on her, and she just merely moves away to avoid being squashed to death. She hasn’t brought out her claws to him once, even when he slaps her in attempts to pet her. It’s as if she recognizes that he’s too little to really understand the proper way to treat her. Has Gemma turned us into those major cat people? I wouldn’t necessarily say that. I have a feeling she might be the only cat we own. She won our hearts and that sort of feat can only be accomplished by a special kitten.
I swear she loves my husband more than me. lol!
The following day, we decided to go out to a local park and take some Fall family photos. Evan took most of the pictures, and I think he did an incredible job! We’re in the process of choosing a name for our upcoming photography business, but we keep drawing blanks. We’re open to suggestions! 🙂
I absolutely LOVE smoothies, but no place makes better smoothies than Smoothie King. My sister-in-law works there, and I’m so glad she does, because I would have never known about this place. It’s a good thing we don’t have any Smoothie Kings where we live. I’d be there all the time, and heaven knows how bad that would be. We’d have to put a slot in our budget specifically for smoothies. We’re already having to budget for my ridiculous coffee addiction; a smoothie budget would just solidify my ever-growing craziness. Today, Ian and I decided to go visit my sister-in-law at work. I did want to visit her, but I just secretly wanted a smoothie. hehe! I raced into the store, my child-like anticipation building. I couldn’t wait to pick out my smoothie! One look at the menu, and I gulped. So many choices! TOO many choices! That kind of thing is a heart attack waiting to happen for a person like me. Never give someone who can’t ever make up her mind a menu of a million different choices. I didn’t even know where to look first! I asked my SIL what was good, but she narrowed it down with, “They all are.” *sigh* I decided to choose only one section of the menu to look at and just choose from that section. My SIL pointed out something on the other side, and I nearly panicked. It was outside of the section I was looking at. You see, being an indecisive person makes things so complicated, so the first thing I do is to try narrowing down my options by sticking to one part of the menu. Like, before I go into a fast food place, I decide if I’m going to have chicken, salad, or a burger. That way, I’m only looking at the specific section of the decision I made. Heaven help any restaurant that is out of whatever I finally do order, because they don’t know the agony I’ve been through to make my final decision! Anyway, back to Smoothie King, I finally decided on some passion fruit type smoothie. All the flavors in it were tropical, and it was the best thing I’d ever tasted! I let Ian have some, and he absolutely loved it! Below is a picture of him dancing; that’s how much he loved it. lol!
I got another picture text from Evan today. Yay! It’s a picture of the New York Skyline, and if you look in the left part of the background, you can see a speck that is the Statue of Liberty.
For a while I’ve been wanting to do a blog but never really had the courage. I wasn’t even sure I’d have the time, but now I most certainly do. My husband is in the United States Marine Corps, and we just recently found out that we’re expecting our first child! Talk about a whirlwind. We haven’t even been married for three months, and I’m pregnant already. This definitely was not in the plans, but plans change, sometimes out of our control. 🙂 I’d currently been looking for a job. That was difficult enough, but now that I’m pregnant, no one seems to want to hire a pregnant woman. *sigh* So, here I sit, with more than enough time to blog. We’ll see how well this goes!