The Fog is Lifting

I worked a half day this morning seeing patients via Telemedicine still. We are still very busy with primarily Covid patients. We pray this surge will improve in the next few weeks if this trends here are like elsewhere. However, only time will tell.  The days are still exhausting, but helping ao many people is worth it!

This afternoon I tried to get much needed tidying up accomplished. I am weeks behind, but definitely made more progress today than I have in a while.  

My daughter had a good first week of school! She is excited about Forensics and will audition this next week for the school’s fall musical.  This year is off to a much better start than the past and I am very grateful to God for that.  Last year was challenging in many ways for her, so to see her renewed spirit makes this mom’s heart delight.

I have a writing project brewing in mind. What that means is I need to spend some of my down time working on that. The past weeks I spent most “down time” doing the bare minimum duties and honestly  escaping by watching British comedies and dramadies. It was all I had energy for. 

However,  I feel a lot more energy this week , again thanks be to God and it seemed to all happen after two events: a dramatic upseting phone call and a dream.

The emotional phone call with drama last week  (details unimportant) made me start sifting thru some of the back burner grief I had just been too spent to even think about.  My husband, Ted was awesome and listened as I verbally processed so much emotion.

This led to a dream that was so vivid. Daddy , Lana (my stepmother who passed 5 years ago on Aug 23) and my stepdad Steve (who passed 7 years ago) were all there.  It was so peaceful and joyful. I don’t recall many details apart from all 3 of them being present and just a warmth and joy and feeling od serenity.

Interestingly enough right as my mind was leaving the deep REM sleep and entering that light sleep just prior to  waking up out of the dream I said aloud in my dream, “I guess I am processing grief in my sleep.”  I feel in many ways I did. 

It is still early days yet, but the heavy fog is lifting, light is breaking through, and my energy level as I said is beginning to rebound.  I share these details for me of course to process but also in case others need it too. 

I thank God I grieve with hope. I am thankful for my wonderful support. I am thankful for the dream. I am even thankful for the minor inteepersonal conflict that led to some down and dirty grief processing. I look forward to what the Lord has in store for me apart from my obvious profession as a Nurse Practitioner.

Lamentations for Daddy

I miss you today

But I miss you every day

Since you went away

But sometimes my mind

In preservation thinks you are fine

Just at home where we last spoke

Before the phone call when my heart broke

Though many events unfolded that morn

Somehow my soul knew you were on your way HOME

Not the temporary place we are passing through

But the eternal home with the Maker and the Saints

Though I miss you today

And every minute to come

I could never selfishly call you back from home

You are free , fully healed and at peace

So for now I will treasure the lessons and memories

And keep missing you each moment

And some moments I cry

But I also rejoice in hope

Because soon we will reunite in the blink of an eye

Out with old… well not all of it

Dad thrilled to have his traditional black eyed peas and cabbage for New Years Day even in the hospital

Happy New Year! As most of us are all too thrilled to put 2020 behind us as it proved a challenging year for most with a global pandemic and all, I too join in the hope of a better 2021. The reality that it won’t come overnight is manifested by my Dad’s hospitalization 2 days ago and the revelation on New Year’s Eve that he is currently in acute renal failure. He suffered a stroke on June 12 this year. He has overcome many odds and has made quite a recovery, but had a ways to go. Then on Saturday things began to change. His appetite decreased. He started complaining of pain. It was then I knew for certain something was wrong. My Dad not only has a pretty good pain tolerance, he is also quite stoic. To say he is not a complainer is an understatement. So when he called out in pain, I knew something significant was going on. I will spare all the details about the first ER visit and things missed by that ER doctor. It does not really contribute to my point.

So Dad has non-COVID pneumonia and acute renal failure. Thankfully his pain is improving and we are watching and praying for his kidneys to do the same. Today what he wanted the most was to have his traditional New Year’s Day meal with black eyed peas and cabbage.

This is an age old tradition to have good luck and prosperity for the upcoming year. It was something he has always done. My mom (his ex-wife) is his current caregiver and had prepared it for him. We just had to confirm with the nurse he had no dietary restrictions. Once we did, as I was visiting him today, I was able to meet Mom in the parking lot (only one visitor allowed in the hospital a day due to Covid restrictions as cases are peaked now) and get his requested meal and take it to him. He perked up and enjoyed his meal! It was good to see him so happy! It was good to see him actually wanting to eat as his appetite had been poor for a couple of weeks.

What strikes me the most as I reflect on this moment is this: while a clean slate, a fresh page, a new year is something we all want, need, and even crave there is something to be said about holding on to what is good from the past.

Out with the old and in with the new is too simplistic and not really gratifying. There is so much old that is valuable and even necessary. It feels like tradition is an endangered species. Cue the Fiddler on the Roof opening music. But seriously, Tevye is right,”Without our traditions, our lives would be as shaky as… as… as a fiddler on the roof!”

We are to seek and hold fast to what is good! This means hold onto what is good. Hold onto the old that is good as we seek what is new that is good. We must quit throwing the baby out with the bath water.

For today tradition in the form of a simple meal brought a 70 year old man who has worked hard all his life to provide for his family, who endured a divorce and all the aftermath, who care for his second wife until cancer took her too soon from him, who is spending out his days with a mind that is alert and a body that shows the toll of time. Today tradition brought some small joy to a man I love who has had a pretty rough week.

Yes we want to turn loose the ties that bind and break the yokes of oppression. But let us not be so hasty to cut every tie and chain only to find later that one of those chains was actually an anchor.

Happy New Year!