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Love and marriage are the greatest adventures in life, and they point they way to our relationship with the Almighty.

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Thursday, July 21, 2016

Your Dying Spouse 184 - Circle of Help {FMF}

Time for Five Minute Friday, the weekly timed keyword-inspired writing challenge hosted by Kate Motaung.

First, my apologies for not replying to comments nor visiting from last week's FMF. It was a hard week, and I spent a good part of it without the sight in my left eye due to an infection pressing on the optic nerve. I can sort-of see again, but it's still a fuzzy world.

This week's word is HELP.

I can do this myself!

No, I can't. Not anymore. I need help dressing, and bathing. Food comes from a box, sometimes via the microwave...and I used to be able to copy recipes like Alice Springs Chicken from scratch.

So, yes, I'm required to ask for help in a lot of things.

AND if that weren't enough I'm supposed to accept it gracefully!

Wait, There's more.

I'm still supposed to help people, even while wearing the humiliation of being helped myself.

Sheesh. This is just so...WRONG.

What the heck is God up to, here?

Could it be that this presumptuous Deity of ours is actually trying to make me a better person?

The nerve of Him!

He already created me perfect to begin with!

When I get to Heaven, God...we will have words.

Oh. Okay, then.

He's just reminded me that we can have all the words I want, but I'll be outnumbered Three to one...and one of those I won't be able to see.

Sigh.

So...anybody need a hand with anything?

The musical accompaniment for this post is...wait for it...



Marley update...he's received a lot of support, but STILL NEEDS HELP TO BE SAVED.

WE ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE!

If you have a mment, I'd like to ask you to visit Change.org to consider a petition to free a 'death row dog' who has been separated from his family for ten months over a misunderstanding. Marley was saved from Afghanistan by a US serviceman; please help make sure this story doesn't end in needless tragedy! Marley's gotten a lot of support...but he still needs our help.


If you can, please do leave a comment. I am trying to answer all, and I am failing, but please know this - I read and treasure each one.

Below are my recent releases on Kindle -please excuse their presence in the body of the blog. I haven't the energy to get them up as 'buttons' in the sidebar. You can click on the covers to go to the Amazon links.







Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Your Dying Spouse 183 - Choices: Parent and Caregiver

We're linked with Messy Marriage's From Messes To Messages...please stop by for some great resources!

The choices involved in caregiving can be hard. Perhaps the hardest is choosing where to put the bulk of your effort when you're needed in two places at once.

The situation that probably comes to mind is having a relatively young spouse develop a terminal illness when you've still got children living at home. The kids need care and attention for their development and their future, but where do you make the choices on what you can't fulfill?

It's easy to point to the almost cliched 'sense of entitlement' that American kids are supposed to have, being driven from music lessons to soccer practice to church youth groups by harassed parents. I mean, kids didn't have all this fifty years ago!

True, but our society's changed, and children need something like a resume to be able to get the best path through even high school. In sports, for instance, a child who wasn't involved in Pop Warner football in grade school will have no chance of making a high-school team. None.

Choices have to be made, but they have to be the best possible compromise for everyone...and they have to be choices that you, the caregiver, can live with when death ends your duty.

Some suggestions -

  • Talk about the situation as a family. Kids can surprise you by actively jumping at the chance to take responsibility, and to be part of the caregiving team. Give them a chance to give you 'respite time', and the opportunity to help their siblings. (Obviously, this bespeaks a level of maturity and does require some supervision and accountability.)
  • Reach out for help. Many churches have support groups that can help you not only cope with the emotional stresses of caregiving, but also the practical aspects, such as getting kids to activities when you can't.
  • Involve your ill spouse. Your husband may not be able to drive your son to football practice, but your son may be tickled pink to run his wheelchair to the bleachers so he can be at least a spectating participant.
  • Learn to say no in a compassionate way. Some needs and wants, you just can't meet. You have to be able to protect your spouse's interests, and your own, by not taking on more than you can handle. Everyone has a limit.
What do you think? What are some other ways to merge caregiving and your kids' upbringing?


If you have a mment, I'd like to ask you to visit Change.org to consider a petition to free a 'death row dog' who has been separated from his family for ten months over a misunderstanding. Marley was saved from Afghanistan by a US serviceman; please help make sure this story doesn't end in needless tragedy! Marley's gotten a lot of support...but he still needs our help.


If you can, please do leave a comment. I am trying to answer all, and I am failing, but please know this - I read and treasure each one.

Below are my recent releases on Kindle -please excuse their presence in the body of the blog. I haven't the energy to get them up as 'buttons' in the sidebar. You can click on the covers to go to the Amazon links.







Sunday, July 17, 2016

Your Dying Spouse 182 - More Days Like This..?

I'm too ill to write much, and pretty disheartened. Barb's dad had a major setback after his great rally from a major stroke on July 3, 2016.

Doesn't look good.

I still believe in his miracle, that he came back from the first crisis long enough to have a few more conversations with the people he loves.

That is, in itself, a victory.

Don't turn away from God because He doesn't follow the teachings of idiot TV preachers who say you just have to pray in the right way (and send them some money) and all will be fine.

We work for the God who let that fate from which He caused Abraham to spare Isaac befall His own Son.

Christianity is not a children's story with a pastel, smiling Jesus.

Neither is life.

But at the end of it, there is Someone who loves us.

The musical inspiration today comes from Linkin Park...



If you have a mment, I'd like to ask you to visit Change.org to consider a petition to free a 'death row dog' who has been separated from his family for ten months over a misunderstanding. Marley was saved from Afghanistan by a US serviceman; please help make sure this story doesn't end in needless tragedy! Marley's gotten a lot of support...but he still needs our help.


If you can, please do leave a comment. I am trying to answer all, and I am failing, but please know this - I read and treasure each one.

Below are my recent releases on Kindle -please excuse their presence in the body of the blog. I haven't the energy to get them up as 'buttons' in the sidebar. You can click on the covers to go to the Amazon links.








Thursday, July 14, 2016

Your Dying Spouse 181 - Creating Survival {FMF}

Time for Five Minute Friday, the weekly keyword-driven timed writing challenge hosted by Kate Motaung.

This week's word is CREATE.

Well, that's an easy one. I have to create my own paradigm for living, my own reason to go on, every day.

And I have to create the life that supports it, and makes it possible.

I used to have a very different view of life; a profession ait which I had at least some respect (and which I enjoyed), reasonably good health, and things on my lifetime to-do list to which I looked forward.

And now it's all different. There's no profession, and I don't even talk with anyone except my wife...and her, not much, because it hurts to ta,, and I think more slowly than she does. Makes it tough on her.

There's no grand life plan, no to-do list that gives purpose to my free time. Why work pn projects that won't be finished, and that I can't even use?

And there' the thing. I have to change my thinking, to allow for the fact that I may still have some kind of future.

I have to create that hope in my heart, and create the mechanism by which it can be realized. In writing, say, I have to make up reasons to keep working on my unfinished novels, and not to just let them slide.

I have to create the reason for my own survival.

The musical inspiration for today's post comes from Phil Collins...





If you have a mment, I'd like to ask you to visit Change.org to consider a petition to free a 'death row dog' who has been separated from his family for ten months over a misunderstanding. Marley was saved from Afghanistan by a US serviceman; please help make sure this story doesn't end in needless tragedy! Marley's gotten a lot of support...but he still needs our help.


If you can, please do leave a comment. I am trying to answer all, and I am failing, but please know this - I read and treasure each one.

Below are my recent releases on Kindle -please excuse their presence in the body of the blog. I haven't the energy to get them up as 'buttons' in the sidebar. You can click on the covers to go to the Amazon links.









Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Your DYing Spouse 180 - Sheesh

Almost missed today's post, which would have been kind of a first, as I don't like not to meet a goal. And my goal here is to be consistent.

However...two abscessed teeth and the related damage to vision in my left eye (hope it comes back!) put writing pretty far down the priority list.

But not all the way, because in spite of a new chapter of pain, and having to re-learn depth perception on the fly (my left eye is covered by a homemade and hokey-looking patch)...there's good here, and that good is found in God's grace.

It's found in the fact that for whatever reason, I really don't resent this. It's not that I'm a particularly good person, and I can have a truly nasty temper (wanna play golf with me? I thought not). But the 'resentment gene', or whatever it is, just isn't there. It's really OK.

Prefer not to have it, sure. But that's not what's happening. So...it's OK.

The other part of the grace is found in Sylvia, who has been sitting up with me through some long nights. She would much rather go sleep in the bathtub (yes, she does), but duty has called and she is less than six inches away.

Life's good. period.

If you have a mment, I'd like to ask you to visit Change.org to consider a petition to free a 'death row dog' who has been separated from his family for ten months over a misunderstanding. Marley was saved from Afghanistan by a US serviceman; please help make sure this story doesn't end in needless tragedy! Marley's gotten a lot of support...but he still needs our help.


If you can, please do leave a comment. I am trying to answer all, and I am failing, but please know this - I read and treasure each one.

Below are my recent releases on Kindle -please excuse their presence in the body of the blog. I haven't the energy to get them up as 'buttons' in the sidebar. You can click on the covers to go to the Amazon links.










Sunday, July 10, 2016

Your Dying Spouse 179 - The Miracle

If you've been following this blog, you may recall that my beloved father-in-law, Dick Schmeisser, suffered a massive stroke on Sunday, July 3, 2016.

Today he is having conversations with family, and the plan to bring in 'memory aids' has been shelved. It's not necessary.

The doctors say that he has gone through three months of 'optimistic' recovery in two days.

They call it a miracle.

I used to think that God grants miracles dispassionately, to make a point. The recipient was, to some degree, random...in the right place at the right time. But I may be wrong. I mean, look at Lazarus.

Maybe He saw a family that was broken-hearted, good people that needed one more I-love-you from their Dad and Grandpa, And maybe God's heart broke, too.

There's no medical justification for what has happened. None. On Saturday they were talking about permanent feeding tubes and a nursing home to the end of life.

Now...well, there's going to be therapy, but there's also a woman he's going to marry. (He's 79, and was widowed three years ago.)

Never give up. On yourself, on your family and friends, and most especially...never give up on God.

For some musical accompaniment, here's Mike and the Mechanics with "All I need Is A Miracle".


If you have a mment, I'd like to ask you to visit Change.org to consider a petition to free a 'death row dog' who has been separated from his family for ten months over a misunderstanding. Marley was saved from Afghanistan by a US serviceman; please help make sure this story doesn't end in needless tragedy! Marley's gotten a lot of support...but he still needs our help.


If you can, please do leave a comment. I am trying to answer all, and I am failing, but please know this - I read and treasure each one.

Below are my recent releases on Kindle -please excuse their presence in the body of the blog. I haven't the energy to get them up as 'buttons' in the sidebar. You can click on the covers to go to the Amazon links.










Thursday, July 7, 2016

Your Dying Spouse 178 - Something Big {FMF}

Time again for Five Minute Friday, the timed keyword-inspired writing challenge hosted each week by Kate Motaung.

First...Strawberry's doing great. She's learning to sing.

And my father-in-law is not doing so well after a massive stroke. Prayers for him would be appreciated.

This week's word is  BUILD.

One of the hardest aspects of looking into the abyss is that everything one does seems so futile. Why write, if it hurts to concentrate, let alone type...and you won't finish the work anyway?

It's awfully easy to quit doing, and just exist. To become a consumer instead of a builder.

And that's a slick slope, because once the habit gets ingrained it's very, very hard to come back.

I know. I've been there. I am there.

The climb back is hard, and it's got to be done with an acceptance of the pace that my condition will allow.

I'll never have the energy that I did before, but I've got something. I can do something small every day, something moving toward a goal.

And I can build on that.

The musical accompaniment is something that will date me, but what the heck...cue the one and only BURT BACHARACH!



If you have a mment, I'd like to ask you to visit Change.org to consider a petition to free a 'death row dog' who has been separated from his family for ten months over a misunderstanding. Marley was saved from Afghanistan by a US serviceman; please help make sure this story doesn't end in needless tragedy! Marley's gotten a lot of support...but he still needs our help.


If you can, please do leave a comment. I am trying to answer all, and I am failing, but please know this - I read and treasure each one.

Below are my recent releases on Kindle -please excuse their presence in the body of the blog. I haven't the energy to get them up as 'buttons' in the sidebar. You can click on the covers to go to the Amazon links.