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Thursday, February 1, 2018

Your Dying Spouse 442 - From Barbara {FMF}

The secret of being a long term caregiver...

I am a guest on Andrew's behalf today.  An author, I am not.  A wife,  friend,  confidante, caregiver, and provider I am. There is that phrase again,  "I am".  Why is it important that self definition is one of the first anyone gives to a group, or a new person, other than people who are proving general daily services at the grocery,  restaurant, gas station / convenience store,  etc.   In daily services we accept our behavior is enough to define us.  Yes, how we interact is our definition. Only after we are a known introduced element,  do we justify our existence.   Looky here, see me, I exist, I am real.   There's that statement again. 

In a world, a universe were the smallest element, particle, and electrical current make a daily contribution without needing recognition,  we who are made up of many of these find it necessary.  As though the definition is what justifies our existence. 

Does definition justify our existence?  Or is it how we exist that justifies our imprint on the invisible legacy we leave everyday?

I believe it is the latter. Most people,  only influence the small space around them.   Few people have immense visible global impact.  In either case,  the first step of impact starts with the small space around us. 

Funny, matter does that all day and all night long.  Depending on what matter touches a favorable or unfavorable reaction is created. Oh,  lesson 1, even positive energy can collide with positive energy causing friction and distance. This distance creates space for other interaction. Then on the other hand,  positive and negative energy can meld together and create a favorable or unfavorable new influence. Even the melding action at first has counteractive responses at first. 

We are called to be Light in this world.  Small i am reflects of the I AM. To be a positive influence in the small space around us.  To be present, and only defined by our actions. Not our stereotype.

So,  my true and first i am statement is: I Am Be Loved of God,  I accept and acknowledge His Providence in my life and No one can take that from me. 

This is the secret of being a long term caregiver. Without the Truth of our existence peace in care-giving doesn't exist. I'm not saying it is easy,  it's not.   Your peace comes from a loving response inside yourself first. Love begets love. 

Our musical selection is Ferde Grofe's Grand Canyon Suite; do know that it's about 32 minutes long, but well worth it!



Andrew is is poor shape, and would be grateful for your prayers.

If you're interested, you can find Andrew's books on Amazon.

72 comments:

  1. Barbara - you are indeed a writer. This is a lovely post. So glad you shared with us. I especially loved this:

    "We are called to be Light in this world. Small i am reflects of the I AM. To be a positive influence in the small space around us. To be present, and only defined by our actions. Not our stereotype.

    So, my true and first i am statement is: I Am Be Loved of God, I accept and acknowledge His Providence in my life and No one can take that from me."

    A true and beautiful statement. A necessary reminder for me this night.

    Hugs, love and prayers to you both.

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    1. It is a honor to have touched your heart and mind. We all walk paths that require encouragement and direction. I pray your situation has a positive outcome.

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  2. Barbara, can I just say I loved your post. You touched on so many things that are close to my own heart. Knowing who we are—who I am REALLY—informs my thoughts, words, actions, decisions. When I live with the understand that I am Beloved of God? It doesn't matter what other things people use to identify me.

    This: "This is the secret of being a long term caregiver. Without the Truth of our existence peace in care-giving doesn't exist." YES. You shared it so well in this post.

    Are you sure you're not a closet author? ;)

    I continue to pray for you both.

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    1. I used to write youth ministry talks, many years ago. Yes, I suppose the writer is hidden.

      It is a honor to provide thought provoking reactions.

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  3. Hugs, Barbara! And hugs and prayers for Andrew, as well as you...And, I agree with the above statement...you ARE indeed a writer!

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    1. Thank you for the prayers. I'm certain that our prayer warriors keep much adversity at bay on our behalf.

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  4. It is nice to "meet" you Barbara. I have been praying for you and Andrew regularly. You are definitely a writer! Thank you for sharing today.

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    1. Thank you. The group has been a source of companionship for Andrew and me. It is a safe place for us to take off the public face and be sincerely honest.

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  5. Barbara this was deep and beautiful and it’s remarkable how your space MATTERS to the rest of us!!
    Continuing to pray and so thankful for your Post tonight!!
    Love,
    Tammy

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    1. Thanks Tammy. Love your incorporation of Matter. ☺

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  6. Indeed you are a writer! The best gift you could give to yourself is to accept that you are the writer of your own story, and as it were, the writer of the story of another for the moment. Prayers are with you and Andrew. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. Very good point. I tend to let daily actions write my words rather then placing them to pen and paper.
      Pen and paper is usually business processes. It was an cathartic joy to write for everyone today.

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  7. "We are called to be Light in this world. Small i am reflects of the I AM. To be a positive influence in the small space around us. To be present, and only defined by our actions. Not our stereotype."
    Your words are beautiful! Thank you for blessing us with them. Praying God's comforting embrace holds you and Andrew close. God bless.

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    1. I am pleased to bring comforting words that encourage reminders and growth. Thank you for prayers they keep us safe.

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  8. Beautiful writing, dear Barbara, beautiful testimony.
    Blessings of His peace and Providence for you and Andrew.
    Prayerfully ~ Wendy Mac

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    1. Thank you for the use of Providence. His Power in our life is more poignant then we can see with human eyes.

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  9. I am continuing to pray for you both with love.

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    1. Thank you Paula. They helps us daily.

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  10. I'll be reading this post again and again, Barb. It's packed with a lot of truth ... and I want to savor each one. Praying for you and Andrew.

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    1. Beth, Thankful you find encouragement and direction in the words God gave me to share.

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  11. Praying for you both. You most definitely are a writer Barb, but most importantly - you are both Beloved!

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    1. Carol, thank you. Being His creation is our gift to share.

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  12. Barbara. Not a writer? I DO NOT AGREE. Thank you for allowing us, a community of mostly women, to love your husband! Please give him the gentlest of embraces and tell him he is loved. And his Beloved is calling - oh I will miss that man. xoxo

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    1. Susan, I am the grateful one. Being gone 12-14 hours most days, everyones care of Andrew gives me great comfort to be a provider. A support system only technology could have provided. God's Blessings to all of you.

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  13. Without the truth of our existence, peace in caregiving doesn't exist. Oh how I can identify. I can go home from it every day. Still, I need to tell myself I am beloved of God several times a day. Bless you Barbara. Yes, you are a writer! And a trophy! I pray for you and Andrew often. Thank you for stepping in for him. In everything he is going through, he thinks of others first.

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    1. Mary, glad you know your source of strength. Andrew is naturally a caring person, although he doesn't like to self identify himself accordingly. As much as he's been a source of wisdom for the world, he is daily a source of wisdom for me. He has been from almost the moment we meet. I am thankful others can benefit from his wealth.

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  14. Barbara, thank you for your presence here. We know you exist and we know of your value from your beloved husband. Caregiving is not easy. I can attest to that, although I still can retun home from it daily. Still, to know I am beloved by God is vital throughout every day! I continue to pray for you both.

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    1. First reply didn't go through so I thought I lost it. Oh well, you get two!

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    2. Mary, we gotta love technology and its ability to cause us to pause. Glad you double checked. This is my chest time using blogger, and I hate to get my resident guru to touch my phone. Lol.

      I'm amazed at the amount of support technology has provided us. A group of God loving people we otherwise would have never had the privilege of knowing.

      Being able to find breathing room from caregiving is vital. Only in the last year have I been graced with local extended family that pull me into a more normal life style, reminding me & preparing me for a life of non-caregiving. And as most of you might image, Andrew pushes me out the door to build that life. Again, his caring for others attribute.

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  15. Barbara, you may not be a published writer, but this post shows you certainly could be. Of course I'm praying for both you and Andrew every day.

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    1. Janet, thank you for your encouragement. The prayers do keep our life surrounded and protected. When disaster tries to engulf us, there is a sense of peace that is followed by provision.

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  16. Barbara, you are indeed a writer! I loved reading your post. And this: "Without the Truth of our existence peace in care-giving doesn't exist." And yes, "Love begets love." I pray God will bless you richly as you continue to care for your husband. May you both know His presence in a very real way and gain strength to carry on. You both are an inspiration and a testimony to the goodness and love of God even in such tough circumstances. Love and hugs to both of you! So glad to read your words today.

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    1. Gayl, thank you. I'm pleased the words gave me touch your mind and heart. Walking our journey usually doesn't feel inspiring, nonetheless we both embrace the challenge of this world knowing God's grace holds us and eternity will be our destination.

      I have to say. Your name reminds me of part of my ancestry. My family of origin is a meeting pot. An blend of Scottish, Irish, and British.

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  17. Barbara, repeat after me, "I am a writer." Praying for both of you.

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    1. Sandra,yes the Power of Positive thinking and statement. I have Ben asked to write again, let's see if the second measures up.

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  18. Barbara, I don't agree - You are a writer!!! You are a loving and beautiful example of all a caregiver should be. We are blessed to have both of you in this community. Praying for you both this afternoon.

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    1. Joanne, it does appear that I have officially arrived. ☺
      Thank you for the prayers. They influence our daily life.

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    1. June, thank you. A protective force of a thousand angels lives here.

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  20. Barbara, I agree with the others- you are a writer! This was so well said. Praying for you and Andrew!

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  21. barbara, i concur with the others. you are a writer. beautiful! you and andrew are in our prayers. what you said about caretakers is so true. i am one part-time. my husband has had some strokes and i need to watch out for him. it is nothing like what you must do. blessings in the weeks ahead.

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    2. Martha, we pray for you and your husband. I'm thankfully your journey isn't as involved as ours. Nonetheless, we have learned comparison of who has it worse is relative. Our journey started almost 16 years ago. Thankfully not constant until the last 7 years. So there was time to mentally prepare.
      Sudden caregiving is traumatic for all involved, so do self care. It will keep you avoid care provider and wife.

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  22. I just read every now and then. Found cuz of comments on Kara Tippetts site one time. Have said a prayer for you guys every now and then when I read. I guess your story is part of a long running series of thoughts in my mind... death, God's purpose and plan in all things for believers, trusting in the hardest hard, love of husband and wife... It's so beautiful to see the trust you have in the God who has all of this under His control, even when it seems impossible, and the acknowledgement you give to Him. It encourages my heart. Thank you. Keep on keeping on for Him. I know you'll be rewarded and kept. ((Prayers & hugs))

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  23. Barbara, Thank you for writing in Andrew's stead. I appreciate what you shared with us, Andrew's blog community. Glad you've managed thus far. Still praying.

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    1. Norma, thank you for being our encourement community. God's Blessings.

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  24. I really enjoyed reading this. I liked the connections you made to science. It reminds me of an article I read years ago about those who made the great Cathedrals. Largely 'unknown' creators of masterpieces of art and architecture. Yet what they created together is awe inspiring. Great reminder.
    You are doing a great work.

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  25. Praying for you and Andrew. You were a great fill in for a special friend. Peace.

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  26. Barbara, there were so many nuggets of wisdom in this post. You certainly provoked my thought, and that is what writers do. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. Tundra, food for thought and soul, I was only His instrument. Thank you.

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  27. Lifting you and Andrew up in prayer, even as we speak, Barbara. Thanks for sharing your heart ...

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    1. Thank you for your support through this journey.

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  28. Wow, this is beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing this and lots of strength and joy in helping Andrew.

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  29. Well done my friend. We keep you and your homey in our prayers!

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  30. As a caregiver for my husband for nearly 3 decades, I understand the "I am." Rarely did anyone acknowledge my separate existence from Jerry... it was always about him. And still is even though he is in a nursing home. But I know that "I am" one who belongs to God. I am forever thankful for Hig love and grace in my life. I take up such a small space, yes, but He loves ME as His child.

    Jerry and I continue to keep Andrew and you in our prayers. We pray that God provides you both with whatever is needed in the moment. Blessings always.

    P.S. I so LOVE the "Grand Canyon Suite"... have watched it on PBS so many times. Such beauty and majesty from God's hands. ♥

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    2. Decades of caregiving must take a toll that I'm only half way through.
      In the last year or so, I've been graced with people who have walked similar roads and push me to have individuality. They inquire about Andrew and pray and wish he could be apart of the things we do. Then they move back into a normal flow of life. For me it's a mental and emotional resting place.

      I pray you have that in your life. Until these people appeared by God's grace did I have a conscious knowledge of my need.

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  31. Good to read something from you, Barbara. Thank you so much for sharing. Hugs and blessings to you both!

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  32. Barbara, "small i ams reflect I AM" My favorite line, and yes you are a writer. Your words flowed with ease giving us a powerful message. May He bless you and Andrew today. In Christ, Julie

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    1. Julie, thank you. I'm but an instrument.

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  33. So true and profound, Barbara--"Love begets love." I'm praying that the love you feel for Andrew and Andrew's love for you only grows sweeter and deeper as these precious and fleeting moments pass. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us today!

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    1. Beth, thank you for your insight for the coming journey.

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  34. I love this, Barbara ... "the first step of impact starts with the small space around us." Yes.

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  35. Thank you for filling in for Andrew. Your words are so important. We are called to be a light to others. Being present in the moment and loving well is what we are called to do by God. Blessed that you shared your thoughts. Praying for you and Andrew.

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