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Archive for February, 2014

PAM CROPPED 2013                         How do you feel about name-tags?

I attended a high school reunion last summer; I had not seen my classmates since the mid 1960’s.  To my disappointment, organizers did not hand out name-tags. I was able to recognize a few people with the help of faces that I’d seen on facebook, but name-tags would have made the mingling much easier.

Mom pinned my first name-tag onto my cardigan sweater before sending me off for my fist day of kindergarten. I guess she wasn’t confident that I knew my own name!       3-1-blog

 Insert your name in the following scripture passage each time you read the word, “you.”

“May the LORD bless you and keep you.

May the LORD smile down on you

And show you his kindness.

May the LORD answer your prayers

And give you peace (Numbers 6:24-26 ERV).”

 

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PAM CROPPED 2013

A PHONE

  My Dad believed in communication. When working second shift, as General Electric security guard, he faithfully called home. With four daughters and one son, he never knew who would answer the phone. He had difficulty in discerning which of the four daughters was on the other end of the line but we adjusted to his hit and miss hellos.

As he went through his options, he’d get around to the right daughter eventually. As he aged, and we settled in different areas, he looked forward to our spasmodic phone calls to him and Mom. He was hard of hearing and did not always get the gist of conversations but loved hearing our voices. He passed the phone back to Mom, waiting for her summary.

 God waits to hear calls from his kids too. Are you at the other end of the prayer line? The LORD who made the earth, the LORD who forms it to establish it, the LORD is His name, says this, ‘Call to Me and I will answer you and tell you great and wondrous things you do not know (Jeremiah 33:2-3 HCS). You need never worry; he knows your voice and calls you by name.    

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PAM CROPPED 2013

2-14 BLOG

My heart throbbing in my ears, pounds out the message…

They have taken her away.

Emptiness in my stomach is not due to lack of food, but the absence of my bride of sixty-five years. Memories carry me back across decades to that first encounter,   hearing her teaching a Sunday school class in a city mission. Her abiding faith anchors our family in storms of life.

Old age, an uninvited guest invades their lives. When did the falls and bruises begin? As aging issues progress, her health deteriorates to the point of not being able to turn over in bed. The contentious caregiver daughter-in-law is not able to lift her rigid body; bedsores develop confirming her need for professional care.

Will she be okay at the nursing home? What if she falls out of bed? Can they get her to eat?

Anxiety and bitter loneliness overwhelm him.

For more than half a century, we have lived, worked and aged side-by-side. Now, I stand alone in fear and deafening silence. I should be there if she wakes up. She’ll be confused.

He feels helpless, unable to turn back the clock, or restore her health. She once tenderly ministered to others as a home nurse;  now with signs of dementia, depends totally upon strangers. Family members try to console him, with explanations that she rests in a safe place; she receives the attention she needs.

Stooping with weakened bones and a heavy heart, I walk the rooms of the house we shared.

Wish we never left the old home-place.

Several years earlier, they sold their family home, accepting the generous offer of a son and daughter-in-law to live with them. Paying their way, they willingly share social security money from a rubber-band bound black billfold.

He longs to rush to her side, hold her frail hand in his once more. Things he once took for granted, he now cherishes.

If only I could… pass my tea bag along to her for a second dunking, tussle her braided hair, rub her clammy brow and kiss her once rosy cheek…

Nursing home staff curtails visits; she needs undisturbed rest.

Does she even know I come? Lord, are you taking her home?

The facility promises to call if there is any change in her condition. A small table in the formal dining room holds the cold, indifferent black telephone. They vowed to call; he must not miss it when they did.

Waiting becomes an obsession; hour-by-hour, day-by-day, he stands watch and strains to hear the phone ring. Nothing else matters; he must know about his precious Belle.

He feels closed off from the world around him. Family members know the seriousness of his plight. Nearly deaf  for years, his desire to hear the ringing of the phone seems unlikely. Hearing and understanding simple conversations are difficult under the best of circumstances.

It is amazing; during his vigil, he can hear the phone ring! He is heart of hearing. He hears with his heart what his ears no longer can. He deals with the loss of his love.  Life goes on.

Dear granddaughter,
I am rocking on the back porch. Grandma enjoyed rocking out here so much. I miss her. I’m 90 years old, and hope to join her soon. Your aunt is addressing the envelope for me
. [Letter that I received in 1968]

At age 91,  he stumbles into my aunt and uncles bedroom telling them about a visit from an angel. Digitalis no longer strengthens his weary heart. It stops and he slips into eternity.

Hearing aids are beneficial to those who experience hearing loss. The heart is a hearing aid that does not require batteries;  it keeps a steady beat powered by love.

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PAM CROPPED 2013

SONY DSC

If a parent or guardian calls their child by their full given name, they are in hot water. If the parent repeats the first name with a “disappointed” tone of voice, a reprimand is not far behind. I visualize an accompanied shaking of the head no and pointing of the index finger in the child’s face. In many ways, Simon Peter was like a child, undisciplined and hasty.

“And the Lord said, ‘Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.’ And he said unto him, ‘Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison, and to death (Luke 22:31-33 KJV).”  Oh really,  Simon?

 “And he said, ‘I tell thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest me (Luke 22:34 KJV).”  

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