Thursday, September 6, 2012

"I don't know, I'm making this up as I go!" Indiana Jones

Gary and a "friend" go for a ride.
It felt a little like "Florida Weather" today.  We enjoyed a bit of rain even though the air was warm.  It was a welcome relief from the heat of August.  Having the windows open felt so good and I was able to do some pruning in our tiny garden without sweating.  The forecast is for more hot days ahead, and like most season changes, the Fall weather will not come suddenly. There will likely be warm days with cool nights, and a few more rainy days, mixed with less and less heat, before we are into the cooler days and nights of Autumn.   Seasons change gradually and sometimes imperceptibly here.

Gary and I are in the midst of more changes and that has me feeling a bit off balance.   Come to think of it, we have been making a string of adjustments for several years, and just when things are rolling along with a certain level of care giving, or our schedule, his health declines, and we need to make new arrangements. This is true for many of us who are involved with a progressive illness, or even raising children.  This life is constantly changing.  In a July Post  I mentioned that we would not be able to continue at the Adult Day Health Care program for various reasons.  This was the start of another transition.  Here it is September and we have already been making some changes.  Each week, we now have some "in home care giving," and Gary and I are enjoying some one-hour outings together with a friend helping us.  These activities have substituted nicely for the program.  (I've included photos of some of these great times with our care-givers and our planned "outings.")

Sampling at the Farmer's Market Outing - Aug. 2012
Checking Light bulbs at the Lowes Outing - Aug. 2012
Trying out the W.C.
But just like the occasional changes in the weather, we have had some changes of our own.  Over the summer, Gary's mobility and balance has really decreased.  It's kind of like when a little baby begins to walk, and they make a step or two, and drop to their knees, then they do it again, but step farther before dropping down again, then pretty soon they walk all the way and never go back to crawling.  BUT it's in reverse for us.  We have a "hard" day, and then a few good days, and then a couple of  "hard" days, and then a good day or two, and then pretty soon the "problem" is constant and he never goes back.  SO, we begin to "transition" when we start to see a pattern developing and that is where we are at right now.  In the middle of making arrangements to get even more help.  The wheel chair gets more use and makes it possible to do more and he wears the gait belt all the time, so we can stabilize him but we're looking for more help, and it is a time-consuming process.
Enjoying the Gene Autry Museum Aug 2012
 I wish I could slow things down and keep Gary the way he is for longer so things could stay the same.  I don't like change when it means less "normal'...when it means more distance between us....when it means others doing the things that I want to do for him.  BUT...I can no more control this disease than prevent Autumn from coming. 
Friendly Valley Billards Aug. 2012
Each season has it's own unique pleasures and pains.  We love how freshly fallen snow looks on pine trees, but we don't like driving on icy roads.  We enjoy the beach, but don't like the sun burn.  What's to love about the new season Gary and I are approaching?  I don't know yet.  We are in transition.  But I DO know that there are things about the season we are leaving that I have loved.  Gary talks to me with his eyes.  He knows me, or at least feels comfortable with me.  Old and new friends and our church has come around us.  The physical demands on me have motivated some weight loss.   There's a few.

When I'm tempted to feel anxious or scared about the unknowns or confused about what kind of care to choose, I am not always, but usually praying "God, I don't know what to do, but I know that YOU do.  So help me patiently trust as you unfold Your plans in our lives."  I know He will continue to provide for us exactly what we need, when we need it just as He has all along.

King Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, said that "God has made everything beautiful (appropriate/good) in it time."  Ecc. 3:11.  This being true I am sure that even this transition, is also beautiful, for it causes me to depend on the Lord and cling tightly to Him just as a child is led across a busy street by his parent until he is safely on the other side. 

Mark Twain, Coffee and a Pastry Sept. 2012

"The mind of a man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps."  Proverbs 16:9

"He who gives attention to the word will find good, and blessed is he who trusts in the Lord."  Proverbs 16:20


  1. Thank you, dear one, for your wise words!! I am learning from you. praying and thanking the Lord for HIS continued care for you and Gary

    1. Much appreciated Wanda. I KNOW many are praying for us and that is such a comfort.

  2. Dearest Laurie,

    I can relate so much to many things the Lord is teaching you and taking you through by my caring for my mom through her many years of disability and death and now caring for my dad in the last season of His life. Through trials like these, God doesn't allow us to depend on the things that for some of us would be easy to find our peace in- structure, order, and routine. But, instead we get something better- we get to abide in Him and be stretched in our faith, knowing that He is working out His sovereign eternal purposes for our good, He is doing a work in the people around us, and all for His ultimate glory. What a blessing to learn to joyfully submit our will to such an absolute, all powerful, all wise and holy God (Isaiah 44:6). Miss & love you, dear friend! Lori

    1. So many of my friends are going through similar trials, with caring for their parents, especially. These are probably the best "learning" times for us, and I pray that as the "dross is consumed, the gold will be refined" Miss you too.

  3. Laurie,

    Yes, making it up as you go. Every dementia patient is different they say, and so we have to make it up as we go. I am so glad to share our journeys through our blogs, I reflect that our blogs, like this journey with our husbands, seems to have a life of its own. You are brave in the LORD and beautifully chronicle that here.

    I also am trying to find joy in small things--like pictures. I enjoy these pictures and am so glad you can post them here. Does your husband reflect on his changes? Does he know about your blog? Mine doesn't think he is changing yet and he doesn't know about my blog.

    Hugs and prayers,

    1. Gary doesn't really communicate verbally anymore so I don't know if he realizes how much he has changed. I have told him about the blog, but I have know way of knowing if he understands what it is. Thanks for sharing and being brave with me.

  4. Mom,

    I love these pictures! I also love that this is not entirely unique, but a continuation of how you have always enjoyed one another's company. If Dad asked you if you'd like to go along to the hardware store with him, you usually said "sure"...and if he wanted to stop in yet another bakery to try out their cinnamon roll, you would again say "sure"... "How about a trip to the nursery to check out the moss?" "Sure!" And it went both ways. He'd join in on the things you enjoyed as well.

    Even though he can't say so now, I'm sure that he is happy to come along on these outings with you. What a blessing that even now in this difficult time you are able to enjoy these times together.

    Just read this yesterday - from Ecclesiastes 9:9 - and it reminds me of Dad.
    "Enjoy life with the woman whom you love all the days of your fleeting life which He has given to you under the sun; for this is your reward in life and in your toil in which you have labored under the sun."
    Glad he has enjoyed you for so many years.

    Love you,

    1. It turned out to be a fairly hard day, so your comments are very encouraging and came at just the right time. It's nice to remember the easier times, and I'm so glad we have you to walk through this with us, my dear.
      Love you too,

  5. Laurie..... thank you so much for sharing these sweet pictures.... they are priceless!!

    I tried to tell David about my blog..... but he never understood, but that's okay.... I've felt all along my blog was for me and anyone else that might happen to read it and needed the information at the time.

    My only advice would be...... enjoy every moment you have together, and it looks like your doing just that!
    Hugs and prayers....

    1. Thanks for the good advice, here, and last week too.