"Count it all joy when you fall into various trials."

Posts tagged ‘Wheelchair’

The Gift of God’s Love

A little over a year ago, I made the gut wrenching decision to place my dear husband, of almost 35 years, in a nursing home.  My friend, Lisa, had spent every spare moment helping me care for him, but he had failed to the point that he took more time and strength that we had.  It was a difficult year.

Joe had pretty well lost the ability to speak clearly and was totally bound to his wheel chair.  My birthday is November 11 and I knew that the he would not be surprising me this year.  He had always made a big deal out of my special day.  His love made me feel like a princess.

Birthday morning came, and I went to spend time with Joe and feed him lunch.  When I walked in, he was in the middle of the room in his wheel chair, holding the most beautiful bouquet of red roses I have ever seen.  He held them up to me with a lively sparkle in his twinkling blue eyes.  He smiled as I reached for them.  I leaned down and lovingly kissed him.  I was surprised and so thankful. roses I looked up at Lisa and knew she was the source of my blessing.

Joe then handed me a card.  Due to the ravages of the Parkinson’s disease, he had scrawled the smallest signature ever on the bottom of a lovely verse.  With tears in my eyes, I kissed him again and reached out and squeezed Lisa’s hand.  Friends such as Lisa fill the world with God’s amazing love.  I will never forget.

Lisa loved Joe.  Once she asked him to marry her and he said yes.  I asked them what they were going to do about me.  They assured me I could stay. It was our special joke.  When we would introduce ourselves to people, I would say this is Joe and I am his wife and Lisa is his girl friend.  Some people were scandalized, but I knew it was just God’s love that we shared.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, Joe left for heaven in January.  As my birthday arrives this year, I think back to the best gift I have ever received.  The memories are filled with a tinge of sadness and abundant joy as I recall how proud Joe was to be able to bless me with the beautiful flowers.  For Joe the blessing didn’t need to be understood, only deeply felt.

I love you Lisa.  Thanks for my best birthday ever.Thanks

Aside

Legacy of Love

She is always so glad to see me when I come for a visit.  I am watching her grow old.  She held me when I was born,  kissed my hurts, held me when I cried and when I fell down.  She stood by me when I married – and divorced.  She never waivered when I went through the crazies between marriages.  She has always been here for me.

Her memory is not as good as it once was yet she remembers all the important stuff.  When I take her shopping the arthritis in her knees require a wheel chair and she goes at it with enthusiasm and wears me out.   I never thought she would live to her 96th year but on Christmas Eve this year, she will celebrate her birthday.

She loves the Lord and her family.  She prays for each of us as we go through all the ups and downs of life.  Her two daughters had a total of six children who have sixteen children and there are even some great-grandchildren that I have lost track of.  She loves each of us no matter what.  We have disappointed her, hurt her, made her proud, made her cry, and surprised her.  Nothing moves her.  We belong to her and that means that we are always loved and always prayed for.

I know that one day she won’t be here and I will miss her.  I am so thankful that she is my Mom.  I know that I have been blessed to have her for such a long time.  I don’t take it for granted.

She was born in 1916 and times were so much different then.  She lived with outhouses and wood burning stoves.  She worked for a bank in the depression and her boss embezzled money.  She married my Dad and they took their honeymoon to Sioux City, Iowa, and stayed in a hotel for $2.50 a night and wrote home that it was too rich for their blood and moved to another hotel across town.  They began their life together with $25.  The rented a farm and raised a few head of cattle which they milked.  They had chickens, pigs and lambs.  The horses worked the land.  Eventually they acquired and a steel wheeled tractor.  (I loved the farm.)

Daddy got recruited by a distant relative to become a salesman   We moved to town and life changed forever.  She worked to supplement the family income as a secretary, a manager of a sewing machine sales outlet and still managed to be there for my sister and me.

When Daddy started traveling on the road all week, she saw to it that when he got home on Friday night that there was a hot meal and a welcoming family to greet him.  They were known and loved by friends and neighbors.

We moved to the city in 1961.  I had left for college and it was shock not to go back to our comfortable small town.  She carried it all with grace.  In the 90’s, Daddy left to go home and be with the Lord.  She had been his care-giver as he had Emphysema.  He just wouldn’t give up smoking when he found out.  He lived to his early 80’s.  She missed him very much.

Four years ago she married a man (who has COPD).  They take care of each other and keep each other company.  They have had health concerns the last couple of years.  He beat cancer and she recovered from a broken hip.  She walks with a walker but struggles getting up and down on her old knees.  The picture at the top of this post is their wedding picture.

When I go visit, I try to help her with organization and this year, I wrapped Christmas presents.  She loves to give to others.  Every year she says, “This might be the last time,” and I always say, “You don’t know that!”  And we don’t.

When you look into the eyes of your loved ones, value them and each moment that you have them.  May you leave a legacy of love just like my Mom is doing with her life.

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