Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Where Am I?

Conversation with MIL last night...

Hubster:  Do you know where you are?

MIL:  Of course.  The same place I was last night.

Hubster:  And where is that?

MIL (exasperated):  Well, HERE, of course!

ba-dum dum.

Living the Dream

Every weekday morning, if I have budgeted for it, I stop by a coffee shop located in a local grocery store.

Truth be told, sometimes I stop for the company rather than the coffee, even though those who know me well will testify that I bleed caffeine.  This shop offers me a free drink of my choice after I have purchased twelve.  That, in addition to my "gold card" status, allows me to have a couple of free drinks every two weeks or so.

The manager of the coffee shop and I have become friends of a sort.  She knows the days I don't feel well, because most of those days she is hurting, too.  She had back surgery a few years ago, and every time rain is threatened, she aches.  We commiserate over our shared pain on those days, talk about her son and his girlfriend, my MIL, her new house, and anything else that comes to mind.  I offer her free tickets to concerts that I score from work, and every now and then she'll offer to let me have my coffee at the refill discount or share expired cookies with me.

In my mind, we understand each other.

Today when I stopped by, she was busy.  Always moving, always finding something that needs doing, she rarely has time to chat.  Today I could tell she was in more pain than usual, but when I asked her about how she was doing, you wouldn't have known it.

"Just livin' the dream, Kiddo.  Just livin' the dream."

This from someone who regularly works 40 - 60-hour weeks.


From A Deeper Story

The Pledge We Make by John Blase

(Quoted from A Deeper Story)

Just the other day my friend
asked So how are you doing?
Each day she valiantly battles
Cancer the Dragon so she has
no patience for palliative puffery.
I shot her straight and told her
of the blue sadness that hung
heavy over the months of summer.
Her response to my revelation
was stunningly nonchalant:
Sure, you live so close to your heart.
Now maybe others have sensed this
about me but with God as my witness
no one has ever made that declaration
to me until she did, just the other day.
Her words did not make it all better,
she’s tasted too much chemo to hold
such illusory notions but what she spoke
did clarify my summertime blues.
And isn't that the pledge we make when
we make friends, to help each other
love the heart we have?

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Rubber Ball

Do you remember being a child and playing with rubber balls?  No matter what the size, you could throw them and watch them bounce...and bounce...and bounce.  The only thing about the bounce is that it eventually comes to an end.  The ball doesn't bounce forever on its own.

That's the situation we're dealing with now, but in a different vein.

Mother-in-law gave us quite a scare this past Saturday.  Normal pulse rates are from 60 - 100.  Hers was running in the 30 - 40 range.  The Hospice nurse told us that when her pulse rate stayed that low consistently, it was likely her pacemaker had given out, and we needed to call.

So we called.

Fairly certain it was soon time for her to meet her Lord, we also called in the family.  We had relatives coming out of the woodwork for the entire day Saturday.  They visited, read scripture, prayed, and sang hymns while they were there.  MIL joined in the singing, requesting hymn after hymn.

She had a blast!

Sister-in-law spent the night to keep an eye on MIL.  We went to bed, sure we'd be awakened in the middle of the night.

Instead, MIL decided to bounce back.

Oh, she is decidedly weaker, and she now sleeps 95% of the time, but she also sits on the side of the bed or in the recliner.  She listens to books, visits with us, and eats.  If all goes as planned, she will be transferred to SIL's home on Thursday for the next two weeks of her journey here on earth.

On Sunday she told us that she'd been hearing a Voice.  The Voice told her that she would not have very much longer on earth, and that she would meet her Lord soon.  She said the Voice was very comforting, and she is not afraid of what is to come.

She knows where her ball will stop bouncing.  She just doesn't know exactly when.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

The NaNoWriMo Monster

(Drawing courtesy of SpaceStationNathan)

NaNoWriMo begins in a couple of weeks, and I'm scared to death.

I wrote last year.  I wrote over 15,000 words.  But...

I got in the way.

I began to look at it as more of an obligation than a gift.  And I don't do well with obligations.  As The Girl said, when I tried to get her to help me clean the house this week, "I don't like to be told what to do."

So when it got hard, I saw it as something that was trying to tell me what to do.  Because of that, I quit.

I didn't make the time for it, like it was the most important thing I wanted to do, but I avoided it because it seemed like something I had to do.

One of you made a very astute comment when I was going through this.  You said something like, "You are having so much trouble because you WANT TO want to write."  Truer words were never spoken.  So I stopped.  Not because of the commenter, though! But because it brought to light what I was actually feeling! I owe the commenter a lot of gratitude for letting me see what I was blinded to at the time.

The thing is, once I saw what I was doing, I stopped writing.  Completely.

Oh, I missed it terribly.  But every time I put a finger on the keyboard, my mind froze into a block of ice and I couldn't squeeze any words out of it to save my soul. That went on for months.  I couldn't write anything for the church group, blog posts, and I even had trouble with my name sometimes.  (just kidding)

Thank God that's least for now.

I have a new story outline for this year, but here's the deal...I do NOT want to get caught in the same trap again.  I want to write because I want to write - not because I have a deadline of so many words by such-and-such a time.  I want to enjoy it!  I don't want to be bogged down with a deadline.

So I have decided that MY NaNoWriMo will be a little different this time.  Instead of concentrating on the word count, I'll concentrate on the quality. Instead of trying to win, I'll try to enjoy. Instead of being stressed out by the process, I'll enjoy the blessing of the ability.

And we'll see where it all goes.