I am truly thankful for my Husband. He has been wonderful. We have shared many marvelous memories. The Lord has knitted our hearts together in His Love. I daily thank & praise His Holy Name for HIS Everlasting Love is priceless.
A Great Father
My husband has been a marvelous father. He respectfully nurtured and engaged our children as they were growing up. He has been a great role model. I am thankful that we raised our children in a great home environment.
I can truly say; GOD has been GOOD to me all of my life! I thank Him for HE has BLESSED me/us in ways that I cannot express in words.
The Lord has also brought us through much spiritual warfare. He has taught us invaluable Life Wisdom Lessons. Hold your peace because; “GOD WILL FIGHT YOUR BATTLES.” Daily He continues to grow us in HIS Grace Wisdom & Knowledge as we walk in the TRUTH of HIS WORD! We can always think of something to be thankful for. Regardless of what happens the Lord has taught us when you LOVE HIM “ALL things work together for the GOOD” “Where the SPIRIT of the LORD is there is LIBERTY.” II Corinthians 3
“GOD WILL take care of you!” I praise and thank the Lord for the liberty that we have found in HIM. I know that it is only by His grace that HE has instilled within us to know without doubt that HE always has our best interest at heart. “I once was young but not I am old, yet, I have never seen the righteous forsaken nor his seed begging bread.” Psalm 37
I am grateful to know that the Lord is omnipresent & I have “BLESSED ASSURANCE” knowing that everywhere I/we are HE is there. The Lord has allowed us together to see and visit much of this amazing world that was spoken into existence through JESUS CHRIST. There is still so much more to learn & see. One should be ever mindful that everywhere you are GOD is there. “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof. The world and them that dwell therein.” Psalm 24 I am thankful for the Lord allowing us to feel and experience His presence wherever we go.
We can always TRUST the LORD. HIS WORD teaches us; “BLESSED be the GOD & FATHER of our LORD JESUS CHRIST, who has BLESSED us with every SPIRITUAL BLESSING in the Heavenly places in CHRIST.” Ephesians 1 In the Lord you can discover everything that you will ever need for Life & Living & Eternal life. For this I am eternally thankful. We have learned that “true beauty comes from within.
~ Personal Tribute ~
Give honor where honor is due. I thank the Lord for the many GIFTS & TALENTS that He has given to my husband the father of our children. (As well as the many gifts that are inclusive of our family at large.) He has been and outstanding husband & father. He has been loving, strong, patient, firm, protective, at times unyielding and yet kind with our children.
He is a marvelous skilled Minister of Music. He has patiently directed many choirs and taught them the importance of “harmonic blending” to the degree you can hear a melodic ring when the harmony is on point. He can skillfully play any genre of music from Gospel to Classical Jazz and make the plethora of crafted key boards dance their own melodic tune.
“Your Gift will make room for you…” Proverbs 18 ~
He has excelled in the world of technology. He is an astute business man who has been an overseer and managed and mentored and trained many professional project managers within the corporate world. His natural temperament is extraordinary and resilient. He is able to relate to a plethora of culture, ages and diverse personalities. This is true if you are saved or unsaved. He can engage one on one or to a multitude on a multiplicity of spiritual and intellectual levels. But most important, he is a humble yet very strong Man of God. He can steadfastly exegete, teach, proclaim, expound and stand upon GOD’S WORD. He has indeed accomplished much to make this world a better place to live in for many.
He is the love of my life!
Together we daily welcome the presence of the Lord within our home and our lives. Our children are now adults. They are now establishing their own homes. Our love continues to grow. As the Word says; “PRAISE GOD from whom all BLESSINGS flow” THANK YOU LORD!
Life is so much more precious when you share it with someone you are on one accord with. In a consecrated marriage you love, respect, admire, enjoy & trust one another without question. Precious endless memories abound. Yet, life is full of mountain top and valley experiences. Henceforth we have together learned to major in its joys and minor in its sorrows. To soar and trust God in the valley or upon the mountaintops. TRULY GOD IS GOOD ALL the time! I Thank the LORD for there has certainly been much less times in the valley… I THANK the LORD for teaching us how to work together to bring up our children in a home of love, patience, understanding & peace. The Lord’s presence is evident for; “Where two or three are gathered together in my name I am in the midst…” Matthew 18
Life with God is precious
I BELIEVE that each & every day is a precious GIFT from the Lord. Know HIS WORD for yourself because; ALL HIS WORD IS TRUE! What is so precious about the Lord is “He is not a respecter of persons…” James 2 Take delight in the Lord be patient because in HIS time, “HE will give you “the desires of your heart” that are in HIS WILL for you… Psalm 37
The Lord is always there to help us. We in turn need to just reach out, submit and trust HIM! For: “I will look to the hills from which comes my HELP. My HELP comes from the LORD. ” Psalm 121 I am thankful the the Lord’s presence in our lives.
We are to be “As wise as a serpent, yet as harmless as a dove.” Matthew 10 Don’t allow bitterness or regrets to take root, time is too precious and you do not want to waste a lot of it in regrets. Take some time & draw closer to the LORD for HE WILL teach you how to “guard your heart” with diligence. Psalm 3
Women respect your husbands. Husbands respect your wives. Love one another fervently. Single men & women seek the Lord’s direction if you desire a spouse. Hide the Word of God in your hearts. You must learn to give up “Me”ness for “We”ness! A great marriage is possible but it takes dedication, discipline, long suffering, prayer, sacrifice, work & responsibility. Furthermore marriage is about mutual team work. Therefore, be willing to give and give in love. Don’t take one another for granted. Learn to be thankful for the time you share with one another
Truly the LORD is my/our Shepherd! We are living in an ever changing world that continues to move further and further away from His principles! Know this; Marriage God’s Way Works! Keep God as the Center of your marriage. There are those who will do and say just about anything… Do not fear or be discouraged, instead TRUST GOD, for HE WILL; “lead you in the Path of Righteousness for HIS Namesake…” Psalm 23 Honor God in your marriage and within your home. PRAY for DISCERNMENT! Stay connected & “PRAY without ceasing” all throughout your day.
TRULY GOD IS FAITHFUL! THANK YOU LORD for my husband the father of our Children. I Love You through ETERNITY. ~ Today & everyday; HAPPY FATHER’S DAY! ~
Preventive maintenance is a great principle to embrace within marriage! Maintain a point of excellence by making your marriage a priority! Plan and do exciting things together you both enjoy! Continue to nurture an environment where love and respect flourish! Appreciate the time you have together!
Check your attitude often! Instead of letting your marriage become a constant battle ground, really embrace the principles of God’s love! Instead of embracing the old cliché “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me…” Know that they do! Please, don’t just haphazardly say any and everything… Be considerate. Be open, transparent and honest! Having a good argument from time to time is good for both of you! But remain sensitive to one another! Disagreeing does not mean that you disapprove of the person! You just don’t see eye to eye on a particular point!
Life is not always positive in the sense that everything goes just how you or I may want it to go! There are and will be some times when saying what may be considered as negative can be very beneficial! It is how, when and why you say it that matters most! All too often denial is welcomed and no one wants to address the obvious! Many allow years to pass and not address important issues… Sweeping issues under the rug results in ineffective communication! The issues instead become part of the current relational dynamics when they linger in the background unaddressed! An honest constructive disagreement gives you time to vent your opinions…
We need to become open to having healthy dialogue! Saying what each other might not want to hear is not often received as edifying! Guess what if there were no negative there would be no positive! Your spouse may not feel good about hearing the Truth! However it is important to share how you are feeling! When your intent is to build them up so you both can grow and mature it reinforces a healthy bond! You entrust who you are to one another! Dealing with the Truth is imperative! Each spouse should want the other to continuously move towards maturity! So learn to “Speak the Truth in Love!”
What happens when you do not agree? Be willing to take responsibility for your actions! Surrender your ego… Never let pride stop you from saying you are sorry when wrong! Balance is always key to building a healthy marriage!
The Word teaches us “that death and life are in the power of the tongue and he that eats of it will eat its fruit!” Proverbs 18. Keep in mind that you can emotionally damage a person with your tongue! So begin to be a better steward of your mouth! There are millions of words to choose from to express yourself so please begin to think before you speak! Learn to discipline yourself and choose your words wisely! Some say it doesn’t matter because he or she is my spouse and… I think because it is your spouse it should matter even moreso. Learn to welcome and embrace true LOVE!
Why Most Marriages Don’t Last!
In the Sacramento Area you can find many interesting stories about couples that are indicative of what is happening everywhere all over the globe! Many couples are going through! But don’t be discouraged. Help is on the way!
A great marriage really is definitely possible. Marriage requires love, commitment, patience and lots of work! Counseling is an alternative that helps and it can enhance your marriage. But your goal must be to work through the kinks in the marriage rather than let them persist. If you wait until your problems are seemingly insurmountable it will take some time to plow through your relationship dynamics!
There are times when counseling is sought just as a last resort! You simply attempt to appease one another and are trying to buy some time… When this is the case; by the time the couple goes to counseling the problem is so bad that they just want to find out which spouse is responsible for their marriage problems? They are often just seeking support and approval to justify why they act or behave in the manner in which they do? The fact of the matter is your communication skills are lacking to the point you have lost some of your objectivity.
You now need or desire a neutral third-party to help you see if you can revive the marriage and get it back on track?
You can and should also incorporate the Bible as wise counsel in your marriage. Not in a rigid legalistic manner but in a way to enhance your marriage! It is important that you marry someone who values the same life principles! However if this is not the case you can still consult the Lord’s Word! There is some superb, really great “stuff” in the Bible that many are not aware of! I mean this in a complimentary way! There are some great love stories as well as excellent examples of tests and trials. The Lord never intended for any of us to be unhappy and disappointed all the time… I suggest that you to go to Galatians 5 and learn the differences between the works of the flesh and the Fruit of His Spirit!
Please, don’t just read the Bible you must actually implement the principles into your own personal life and marriage. It is not wise to use the Word to manipulate or hurl insults upon your spouse! After all the Lord KNOWS what He is talking about!
If you have a friend that is having marital conflict encourage them to seek helpful ways to resolve it! It is important to respect your marriage as well as the marriage of others! When asked for advice make it a point to be objective! Don’t experiment on their marriage and suggest things that are harmful rather than constructive! Help them look at the situation from all angles! Sometimes a listening ear is all that is necessary to sort through the problem. Never support abuse on any level in anyone… Learn to be a better friend by encouraging them to do what is right!
What is so interesting is that as adults you can do as you please! That is, unless you simply have no self-control yourself and are rather compulsive. In that case you just cannot restrain or discipline yourself and you freak out at the slightest little thing! If this is the case you need to put yourself in check and seek out getting some professional help! By the way prayer really does work!
Please if you know that your spouse has a short fuse don’t try to purposefully set them off! This does not mean that you are to be a doormat! Choose your battles wisely don’t encourage abuse or dysfunction in yourself or anyone else. Don’t be an enabler!
So why can’t you make a decision to work out your problems? It’s because you have opted to go the way of the majority or just “do your own thing!” You can simply do what makes you feel good instead at the expense of your spouse? Live together and really be miles apart! But is it really good for you or your marriage! No! That’s called being selfish! At this point, the marriage has become more about “you” rather than about “us!” It’s my house, my car, my money, my furniture my name my, my, my… Somebody has a bad case of “Me”ness! No wonder you are in such a quandary! You have now or will be joining the not happily ever after club soon! That is unless you decide to make your marriage a priority! So get busy!
The first step for getting your marriage back on track is taking responsibility for your own actions! Stop behaving as though you are in the relationship by yourself! It is called being considerate! Your spouse is neither your servant nor parent! They are supposed to be your partner… Start treating your spouse the way you would like to be treated for starters! Celebrate your marriage! Encourage one another and if necessary encourage yourself like King David! Don’t let anyone steal your JOY! If you have get busy getting it back!
Why most marriages don’t last Part 1
It is important to make your marriage a top priority!
Marriage statistics ending in divorce continue to rise! Why is that? Spouses listen to everyone else except one another. Their marriage is no longer the top priority it once was. They desire to please their friends, relatives, neighbors, coworkers and sometimes congregations rather than one another or GOD!
You do not have to live on an island. You must continue to strive to improve and refine your marriage!
Don’t get me wrong there is nothing wrong with having good friends. Just don’t try to be like your friends. Especially if they are not married. Be original! If you notice you look different because you are different. Your temperaments are different and you like different things. So why is it when it comes to your spouse you listen to them rather than to one another. When you decided to get married you became a team. Or rather you should learn to commit to be partners in life. Build a great marriage and encourage those who are married to do the same. Encourage those who are single to cleave to the Lord as they seek to be married….
Hopefully you did not get married to make each others’ life difficult. Or to get someone to take care of you. You can do badly all by yourself. Or because you felt you were getting older and the clock was winding down or simply because everyone else was married? Or just because! Hopefully you got married because you want to give and share of yourself within the sanctity of a committed monogamous growing relationship. To experience the greatest partnership between one man and one woman designed by God.
Think about it for a moment. Why did you get married? Was there a goal to accomplish something? You have two eyes, two ears, two lips, two hands, two arms, two legs and two feet. They actually work together in pairs better! If one can’t do something the other one will… Well when it comes to marriage you should work together with your spouse as well. Two working together can accomplish much and often much more than one! If you do not desire to work together then don’t get married. Or perhaps that is why you no longer want to be unmarried? You want to try something else or someone else? You want to give of yourself in a relationship were you both have the same basic principles and morals; here you are on one accord….
Many change partners like they are changing a pair of shoes! Fearful of being transparent and taking the time to really get to know your spouse you flee. Or you simply don’t open up to them and you two just coexist as strangers! Or listen to unwise, ungodly counsel or advice… Quite often everyone else knows what is going on before either of you. Your friends have become your confidants and you wouldn’t dare share TRUTH with your spouse. Well! That’s part of the problem!
Help for marriages
Marriage is not about keeping secrets from your spouse. It’s about sharing who you are and growing and improving yourself as well as encouraging your spouse… To remain committed when there is turbulence and then together learn to soar above it! In a good marriage when you truly like one another you become friends as well as partners! It is better to be open and honest up front rather than waste time year after year dodging the Truth.
If you have been married before please take some time in between marriages and get rid of the extra baggage. If you don’t it will soon become part of your current marriage and you will recycle the same ole junk! You can’t change what has happened but you can go forward and do some things differently…
What is so interesting marriage was really designed by God to be the ultimate relationship between one man and one woman. Two become one! Being together is a desired choice and you vow and commit to grow together and become partners for life. You made a commitment to honor God within your marriage? Or did you? Or until… Well nowadays people stay married as long or as short as they can tolerate one another and something better comes along? So they think? The grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence! It must be tended, fertilized and cared for to stay green and healthy! The grass is greener where it is watered, fed and taken care of’
Few really understand what true love is! “GOD IS LOVE” God is eternal and so is His love!
Love becomes optional to some in marriage and it is no longer the key adhesive that keeps the marriage together. This really is not love at all. Respect and commitment are secondary as well! This is “Intoxicating affections” that simply mimic God’s love. They don’t last!
Caring Enough To Listen=Communication
An emotionally safe marriage establishes a foundation of trust. Your partner is supposed to be your helpmate. Someone to help and encourage each other to improve. Someone to tell you when you are wrong. Someone to allow you some space, or room to think when needed. Someone to learn to love you the way God defines love. Marriage was meant to be a safe place to grow spiritually, mentally and emotionally. This is why God has given us healthy boundaries. Jesus died so we might truly experience God’s love. God is the only One that really knows how to love unconditionally. This is why it is important to consult Him often. No one is ever right about everything. Life is too short. God is quite clear about some things. Choosing to do otherwise will always cause some type of conflict. Our lives are supposed to be centered around God and His principles. It is very important to personally study and know His Word! When you know that you have stepped outside of those boundaries. Repent! Get back on track! If you have an addictive nature get help! God is able to keep you from falling! Never want to be right just for the sake of being right. This only hinders your relationship as well as your own personal growth.
Do not seek out someone to support you when you are wrong. This is one of the biggest problems in relationships. There are too many people who are willing to support wrong. This may give you some immediate self gratification. But in the long wrong it really just weakens you and will eventually erode the moral fibers of your relationship. You really are being the bigger person to simply just admit when you are wrong. It is not always an issue of right or wrong. Sometimes you just do not agree. Sometimes you just feel quite strongly about something. But it has not manifested in a way that you can explain it or define it. This is when patience is developed. In its abstract stage just wait until “a little more paint gets on the canvas”. This is why your relationship with the Lord is so very important! God really does know, in His time He will help you and guide you, when you allow Him. Remember His idea of Marriage is having a “helpmeet”. That has not changed. It is very important that you develop your personal intimate relationship with the Lord. Trusting Him will further help you to effectively communicate to your spouse or whoever.
If trust has been broken it is vitally important that you immediately make it a top priority to do whatever is necessary to begin to restore it. Don’t wait or put it off any longer, and let it continue to fester and ferment. This will become cancerous and further help to erect an emotional barrier. This greatly hinders intimacy. Remember intimacy helps you to be transparent. To openly say how you feel, what your needs are and how you deal with those needs is not always easy. But you must start. Quite often in life one has been hurt. They have been abused emotionally and or physically. Barriers have been erected. Unresolved issues are really the root cause of a lot of emotional outbursts. In some cases this can also hinder your ability to develop a strong healthy deep marital relationship. To fill that void in many cases you will just develop a lot of surface unfulfilling non threatening shallow relationships. Or you become a people pleaser. You often go along with the majority even when it goes against what God has said not to do. If this is the case you really lose who you really are. If you do not stand for something you will fall for everything. Did He not say “Don’t be conformed to this world but transformed by the renewing of your mind”? God does not want you to change like a chameleon just for the sake of acceptance. Nor does He want you to keep your hurts locked inside. God wants to transform you from inside out and help you discover a healthy balance. Pray and ask Him for direction or to place someone in your path to help you. Then listen and trust God. Learn how to respond differently. God really does know what has happened, is happening and will happen. If this has been the case start by opening up to Him. Remember God already knows. God is Omniscient! He knows everything. He is there for you and He really does want to help you become all that He created you to be.
Jesus came that we might be free. Not free to say and just do anything. Not free to dibble and dabble into any and everything of the world. He wants you to be transformed by the renewing of your mind. But free to live your life to please God. In many instances Biblical concepts have actually been laid aside and secular ways and very worldly social methods have been embraced and taken a stronghold. The ways of the world have become accepted and are quite commonplace within the Church. Lord help us! God wants to help you have a quality existence. God really can make a difference in your life and marriage. God will allow whatever you have been burdened by to lift. His yoke really is easy and His burdens are light. God is Omnipotent. Ultimately everything is under His control. He has all power! When you are burdened down by anything begin to commence to learn to give it to Him. How do I do this? By taking responsibility for your part and giving the rest to Him. God is more than equipped to handle what we cannot. Remember He created us therefore He knows all our limitations. He is just waiting for you to submit to His will and way. Then just wait on Him. Waiting can be hard. It is also an opportunity to grow spiritually and acquire patience. God has promised to supply all of our needs. Don’t always think carnally when it comes to your needs. God is more than enough and has healthy ways to fulfill all our needs. It is important to know as well that God has put in all of us a void that only He can fill. You can count on all of God’s promises!
As you grow spiritually you begin to mature. This will help you to develop as the person God intends you to be. God knows where you are but He does not want you to stay there. This also may require you to walk alone sometime. But know with God, you are really not alone at all. He did not leave us alone here on earth to be tossed to and fro. His Holy Spirit can fill you in a way that nothing or no one else can! When you allow Him to fill that void that only He can fill you will never have to feel lonely again. Nor do you have to carry any burdens alone. As you learn to trust Him you learn to lean on Him. He is able to anchor you! Jesus Christ carried the burdens of the world for all of us! You owe this to yourself as well as to your spouse. As you react and respond to them in a way that pleases God you help them as well as yourself. This will help you to point the finger properly. Meaning whenever you properly point the finger, remember the biggest finger points back at you. Always remember to check yourself as well as the person you are putting in check. Here is an opportunity for spiritual growth. This encourages them and reflects the spiritual benefits acquired by spending time with God. Remember as a help meet you want them to be all they can be for the Lord. You want them to break free of whatever strongholds they are shackled by. You want them to grow spiritually, mature and learn to give whatever hinders them to the Lord as well. Ultimately this is our purpose in life. It is not to please man; But to please God. Living to please God will help you immensely. As a matter of fact it is really easier.
Man looks from the outside. Too often what is temporal (temporary) is the focus. What is eternal is much more important. Take personal inventory and see how much you are caught up in superficial stuff. Too often worship becomes banal and ritualistic. God is put on a quick time construct. Too often the ways of the world are adopted and given more priority. Your goal should really be to live so that when you pass through this life, God will not be a stranger when it is time to meet Him face to face. This does not at all mean you live in a “fantasy religious zone”. God really can direct your path. He also wants us to enjoy life despite the serious situations that arise from time to time. God knows and looks at the heart. God is so very awesome! He really does know just what you need and when. He really does want you to have a rewarding and fulfilling marriage. You cannot change anyone. But when you submit to the Lord He can and will help you to change. This is true of anyone that is willing to submit to Him. “God is not a respecter of persons.” This in turn will strengthen your inner spiritual life. You will begin to reflect the brightness that God’s internal Comforter provides. This also makes way for a balanced life. Any seasonal disappointments, trials, situations, past or current issues that arise will not define what the sum total of your life is all about. God wants to be included in every area of your life. Remember He is Omnipresent! God will help you rise to each of the challenges life presents and see you through each and every one of them. God wants to be the captain of your soul! His peace surpasses the understanding of man!
Communicating with the Lord is very important. Meditating on His Word is important. Applying what you are learning is crucial. As you spend time with Him He will help you to communicate effectively with your spouse. Take time to listen to your spouse. Then take some more time to listen to God. Remember it is necessary to listen attentively and objectively in order to hear. Be willing to make whatever changes that are necessary to take responsibility to improve your part in the relationship. God is able, willing and ready to help you. God is always just a prayer away……
Hopefully you now have a better understanding of the basic principles of communication in marriage.
Next: See Developing Intimacy
Now that I am over fifty I can really look at things through my Mother’s eyes. My compassion has grown. It is such a gorgeous day. I know Mom would have loved the brilliant sunshine and stunning blue skies. Today we took her some beautiful flowers. My Mom always loved fresh flowers, she will always be alive in my heart. There are times that I miss her dearly; but I have peace knowing that she is resting and happily present with the Lord. She will always and forever be alive in my heart. There are times that I miss her dearly; but I have peace knowing that she is resting and happily present with the Lord. I can look back and be thankful of the times I spent with her.
In her later years my Mom gradually began to say what I now call a “slow goodbye”.
My Mother was a very strong willed woman. I was her only daughter among my many brothers. I will always remember how she reminded me that she prayed that the Lord would give her a daughter. It was actually just abreast a few months of her forth decade in life that I was born.
I believe that by this time she had a pretty good handle on being a parent since I was her ninth child and as I said before her first and only daughter.
My Father labored many hours away from home providing for our family. My Mother adorned me with all the girly trimmings for as long as I can remember. Frilly Priscilla curtains festooned my bedroom windows along with my white high standing white wrought iron bed. I think I wore pink nylon and organza dresses with embroidered flowers with matching bloomers and pink satin ribbons to adorn my hair seems like forever to Church. Let’s not forget to mention how I had to stay up while she pinned curled my hair with bobby pins on Saturdays for curls on Sunday. This was almost until I was thirteen years old. I eventually was able to turn in my white socks for cinnamon colored stockings.
My Mother was born in the early 1900’s and that was the thing to do way back then for a girl child. I was especially elated that she spent many hours laboring at her much ravished Singer Sewing machine fabricating me a plethora of uniquely designed everyday dresses. When school started there was one for each day of the week. She even made me a red plaid Dr. Kildare dress. I can remember her up and about sewing more nights than I remember her sleeping and resting. I now realize the many sacrifices she made for me. Coming from such humble beginnings makes you really appreciate the preciousness of time.
I have learned that time in fact, is really a precious priceless gift.
Years later on another occasion I can remember the day my husband asked her if he could marry me. Since we were so young I was a bit queasy as to how she would respond. He had graduated early from high school at sixteen. So I had chosen not to be present. My Mother was in her late 20’s when she married. Here I was a mere 17. I could only wonder what she would say. She had planned that I go on a college tour and………. But whatever my then, husband to be said to her, he won her over, from that moment on. It was at that time that they bonded. He became another son to her. We were engaged for one year. When our very own daughter was born she adorned her with the same delicately made pink embroidered dresses.
Each time one of my children were born (we had four more sons) she came to our home for an extended visit. We spent many nights just enjoying the company of one another. I always appreciated the way she respected and loved our children and my husband. I knew somewhat, but it was not really until her “Home going” celebration that I realized just how special her relationship was with my husband. My husband paid a tribute to her by playing one of her favorite hymns “His Eye Is On The Sparrow>” . It was at that moment he shared with the many guests that were present, that in over thirty years there had never been a cross word between them. I don’t know many son-in–laws that can say that! These are just a few of the many memories that I cherish to this day. There are so many many more.
Little did I know until much later on in life how those memories would get me through the changes, challenges and transitions that her life encountered. Age has a way of creeping up on you. It gradually robbed her of all her much adored independence, gifts, talents and strength that she profusely exuded. My Mom was always a strong figure in my life. I always felt as a child that she was so stern. This of course is understandable since I was her one and only daughter. She was a very intelligent an educated woman. She was well respected by her academic colleagues. It was when I was in Jr. High that she entered into teaching. She wore many hats as a wife, Mother, teacher and actively took on many roles and a list of responsibilities at her place of worship. She was an advisor and confidant to many pastors. Let’s not forget her excellence as a seamstress, gourmet cooking skills and passion for gardening!
I said all of this to give you a poignant illustration of what was. … I can remember her telling me how she was beginning to feel strange in this body of hers. That that person looking back at her in the mirror was beginning to be quite interesting. How her body just would not do the simple tasks as she wanted. After she retired and well into my adult years she continued to sew, cook and garden. But slowly and surely her strong physical stature begins to slightly so ever bow. I would drive up and spend the day with her often. I can remember her equilibrium suddenly changing and her many falls. Osteoporosis gradually began to take its toll on her ever shrinking frame. Her once tall and grand stance resembling a much shorter humbled bowing position. The many bruises on her arms and head. But thank God no fractures or broken bones! She would jokingly say her hard head now came in handy. But she remained determined. I can remember the garage door falling on her. I asked her “What were you thinking of? You don’t’ even drive!” Here our roles begin to reverse.
My Mom loved to write and faithfully would journal her daily thoughts and dissipating activities. Her memory filled cherished journals and her Elementary Primers are my most treasured remnants. It was in her journals I have her recorded memories of her much expressed LOVE for me, her long gone sister, brothers and parents. Who all went before her, of her many friends and acquaintances, my brothers and especially her loving relationship with me, my husband and our children.
My Mom as I said was articulate and had no problem expressing herself. in anyway. She could even discuss the sports statistics with my husband; as well as discuss God’s Word or any current or past News topic. Her home cluttered with memorabilia and a library of books along with an assortment of various nursery foliage inside and out. As time began to take its toll she asked me in a very cognizant moment to promise to allow her to stay in her own home until the Lord called her home. She did not want to loose that part of her independence. Her home was a place for any and all to come to and enjoy her wonderful cooking and company. I lived an hour away so she would come for weeks and stay and visit with my family. But no matter how much she enjoyed herself “there was no place like home“. My mother never learned to drive therefore she had to be chauffeured and transported. I spent many hours up and down the freeway taking her to the Dr, shopping and to run errands. I had a brother who lived right around the corner from her and one that actually lived with her. But since I was her only daughter that would not do. At times it was okay. I did not mind because that was time I looked forward to spending with her.
As time passed her health began to decline. Her physical condition began to deteriorate to the place that she sometimes lost control of her bodily liquids. Rendering the necessity of subscribing to adult disposable undergarments. This is what happens often when one reaches their later silver years, especially so after having bore eleven children. My adult son who lived fifteen minutes away would frequently drop off a supply for me from Costco and visit with her. He would also give me an update on her condition.
Gradually Mom had succumb to cocooning and not venturing outdoors much. Her many falls finally made her yield to a cane. I can remember taking her to the Dr. for therapy so they could assist and teach her how to use a much dreaded walker. They stressed how she should try to walk uprightly as much as posssible. I can still remember the day when I was taking her to the car and she suddenly began to fall. I immediately lowered myself under her to brace her impact with the driveway. It was then I knew that there would have to be more changes. Her eyesight began to dim and arthritis began to painfully embrace her hands. Then there was her eye surgery, and……. Sewing and needle work gradually had to be set aside. I can see in her journals the gradual shift in her once brilliant almost flawless penmanship. I can see etched on the pages fragments of broken words painfully scribed and thoughts left arrested in mid air.
After her series of mini strokes her posture changed again along with her hymn singing and speaking. Her voice used for the many altar prayers now quieted, and her singing voice now only emitting a brittle scratchy throaty noise. The walker now obsolete and the need for a much needed yet regretted wheelchair. Along with a shower and bath chair and all the other paraphernalia that are needed when one cannot easily attend to all of the personal hygiene necessities. I purchased a padded desk lap pad to try encouraging arts and simple crafts, along with a mini water fall to solicit a tranquil environment, with soft soothing music in the background. Her living room now begins to shift from her antique furniture to a padded sofa for her to look out the window at her once lovingly attended garden. Her bed room now housed a hospital bed that she just could not get used to, her physical position gradually shifting from flowered bed linen. Life and her many once enjoyed pastimes became a thing of the past. Her once strong frame. Only a mere silhouette and her limbs delicately extended on her now almost immobile body. Although often a somewhat slight questioning frown.
She would light up whenever I saw her. No longer was she able to call or I call and talk to her on the telephone. This is when her slow good bye became a reality.
Must my Mother come live with me? The doctors are now giving up on her she is now in her upper eighties. I can remember how impressed they were with her intelligence she could sail through all of their mental tests. She would tell them her name the date and current news. How many children she had and where she was; then names all the presidents of the United States. But now gradually the signs of Alzheimer’s had begun to replace her many cherished memories. The Drs. now recommended that she be placed in a home. My live in brother now getting more and more frustrated. Which was really his warranted fears seeing our Mom gradually disappearing. The visits now fewer by her many friends. She can no longer attend her much loved worship services. She no longer enjoyed the walks around the block as I pushed her in her wheel chair. So she was kept inside gradually becoming a prisoner in her much loved abode. All besides her family who knew her were able to remember her as she was. Although there were a few who could see that this once articulate poised woman was beginning to wear like a fine fabric. Her appetite had begun to diminish significantly as well. I got her a nifty bed table to straddle her lap. We would prop her up with pillows on each side. There were times when she just wouldn’t eat without assistance. How ironic after all those years of serving others. So it became a challenge to see what would suit her palette. Well we will just have to feed her. Yes again the Dr.’s have now given up hope.
But yet Mom is still holding on. She has really begun to say her slow goodbye.
I, along with much anxiety and ambivalence begin to go and look for a care home for Mom at my many brothers insistence. One closer to me so I could see her daily. I now know that some care homes are just dreadful. Some are seemingly peaceful on the surface. But I knew within moving her would only hasten her good bye. Her once strong voice was echoing in the corridors of my mind “There is no place like home.” I reluctantly wrote the much dreaded family letter to inform all of my brothers that this is where we are. What do we do? They have wanted me to put her in a home for sometime. A few had ideas but none came to fruition of course. My live in brother now hesitantly took care of her household finances. Since he never married or had children he opted to vacate his varied career. Therefore Mom was his occupation. He could do as he pleased and Mom had a family member there in the evenings. Whatever else she needed I would try to accommodate. He would always call me and let me know her status when I was away. Sometime it worked and sometime it didn’t. So what do you do? I just wanted her to be as comfortable as possible.
Now again it is time to make more changes? My brother does not one someone in the house full time. What do I do? I am not able to care for her in our home. The Dr. says her care could run into the thousands and and …………… So what do I do? Mom must have known that that was one decision that I just could not make or did not want to make for her. That was one decision that I know she made with the Lord. So it was in her sleep, in her home late that night in January when my brother called and said; “Mom is gone.” I’m like, “gone where?” I suddenly remembered one day when she wanted to go back home.
She pointed out her window and told me she wanted to go home. “Mom you are home.” She wanted to see her “Papa.”
I took out a huge atlas I had purchased for her and showed her she was in California at home and Arkansas was very far away. She just looked away. Then it dawned on me. “Mom’s gone” my brother said again. I knew that Mom had starting leaving a little bit at a time. She was just trying to give everyone a chance to adjust. I knew now that she had made the transition. She had gone on to be with the Lord and all of her other relatives that she had been missing. She had slept away at home peacefully; just like she wanted. Now she was at rest with the Lord.
My Mom had finally said Good bye……..
There are many issues around taking care of an elderly parent or parents. Who does what and when? Just enjoy them as much as you can while they are here. Try and let them make their own decisions for as long as they can responsibly do so. Treat them with respect and dignity although they become childlike. In the last days of course you will have some regrets? If you patiently treat them the way you would want to be treated you will have peace knowing that you did all you could do to make them comfortable. Remember you never know how your latter days will be? But they will and can be overshadowed by the many many cherished memories! And yes of course you will always miss them. So shower them with LOVE while they are still on this side of HEAVEN!