Tuesday, August 30, 2016

LAUGH A LOT...

 

"You have no idea how good it feels to wake up every morning,
knowing you are mine and I am yours."
 
M and I have twin beds ~ because we sleep much better that way!  But you know, I love to look over and see my sweet one sleeping so peacefully...makes me feel secure and happy.  So what if we have 'bed hair'...dry mouths...I can scoot into his bed and make him say the three magic words...if he comes up w/them he'll get a cup of coffee.  He never misses! 
 
It's great to begin each day w/a smile...lots of smiles!  It feels good, ever so good.  M and I are one...one in Him...and it feels good, ever so good.
 
I copied a piece on "My husband is dying...caring for him is an emotional roller coaster...".  It's filed in my favorites section; I thought about deleting that site since I see the line many times each day...depressing? I see it as a reminder of our life and what's taking place...it pricks my heart to make better use of my time with Michael.  I don't want to waste precious moments...I want to focus on 'the here and now...today'. 
 
“Every morning in Africa, a Gazelle wakes up.
It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed.
Every morning a Lion wakes up.
It knows it must outrun the slowest Gazelle or it will starve to death.
It doesn’t matter whether you are a Lion or a Gazelle…
when the sun comes up, you’d better be running.”~ Author Unknown
 
Now, I'm not into running...honestly I am a klutz...deluxe!  I'd fall and ruin myself...that's why no one ever wanted me on their team in school.  Can't say I blamed 'em.  I'd rather go at an easy walk when the sun comes up...much safer for me and the one nearest me!  Might know my easy walk would turn upside down though...oh my!
 
Until 2010 M rarely had any illness; healthy as could be.  I was the one w/all the health problems but wouldn't you know he joined the club...and came up w/a real gem, Amyloidosis.  Rare, fatal, incurable.  We were initially terrified, but only for a couple of days ~ then we settled in for the long haul.  Here he is more than six years later and down to annual checkups!  Woohoo!
 
Amy (as we call Amyloidosis) must have felt it needed companionship so Parkinson's moved in permanently...new kid on the block.
 
We've been up, we've been down and we find it's much better laughing than crying! 
 
Really!  I like the way Dr. Seuss puts it
"From there to here, from here to there,
funny things are everywhere."
 
Like what? 
 
For starters I have a favorite pair of white pants...wore them to a doctor's visit earlier this month.  I thought they didn't feel quite right but didn't panic...until I took them off, got into my jammies that night.  Yikes, I had worn them backwards all day...ALL DAY! 
 
Not to be outdone, I put on my shoes the next morning to go 'gym-ing' with Michael.  Decided during the exercising that I had done something to my back 'cause one leg was shorter than the other...what in the world? 
 
Back home, took the shoes off and lo and behold...those shoes had special inserts and somehow or other I had put both inserts in one shoe, the other had none and I was totally lop-sided! 
 
I wrote on Facebook this week about our latest laugh...I have trouble sleeping so I was up for several hours during the late night and early morning.  The bathroom light came on and remained on for quite awhile...unusual because neither of us turns the light on to go to the bathroom during the night. 
 
Got a tad concerned so I opened the door and there was my handsome love...dressed and combing his hair.  "What do we have on for today?"  Well, nothing...and by the way it's midnight.  "You're kidding me, right?"  Nope, not kidding...you should get back in bed.  "Well, I saw you weren't in your bed so I tho't it was time to get up and start the day."  We laugh a lot 'cause we have lots to laugh about...at and with each other. 
 
We laugh about the time I made a 'garden salad' and he and the 4 boys insulted it and remember to this day about how terrible it was...and the time we were driving from one side of Greece to the other.  Michael asked the boys and me should we take an unfinished road to go across or continue northward on a real highway.  Now who do you suppose those 4 boys would vote with.  5 to 1 and I lost...well?  A group of Greeks were shoveling and raking the road and here we came...messing it up a bit.  They swore, they threw rocks and "I told you so, but you all wouldn't listen!"  We still laugh about that, among other things! 
 
Gene Wilder, that wonderful comic man died this week.  The main love of his live was the funny lady, Gilda Radner.  She said this about her cancer:
Cancer is probably the unfunniest thing in the world,
but I’m a comedian, and even cancer couldn’t stop me
from seeing the humor in what I went through.
 
I laugh a lot, as does Michael. 
I also cry...because my heart feels as if it is breaking. 
Is it?  I don't know ~ it's the only heart I've ever had. 
 
My tears come mostly when I'm listening to beautiful music...music just winds up my heart...I love it...it moves me...moves me to tears!  That's a good thing...I am grateful.
 
We're trying our best to do one day at a time...just one day.  Take all the good we can put into it...use it up...let our hearts overflow with the joy of the day. 
 
God had a plan for us from the get-go; He is still working it and us...He has things for us to do.  So...sometimes we look at each other and wonder what it is He's wanting us to do...and we're not sure.  Is that normal?  Who knows...we were never this age before so how can we know what to expect?
 
Well, we both think it's about stepping out of the boat...and walking on water.  It's about faith...faith that God is there for us 24/7...it's about remaining focused...
 
It's about "Don't be afraid; just believe"...and that's our motto.
 
From my happy heart...to yours,
Vasca  
 
 
 
 
 

 








Friday, August 5, 2016

BLOOMIN'

I'll tell you, there is nothing better
 in life than being a late bloomer.
I believe that success can happen
at any time and at any age.
Salma Hayek
 

Art Linkletter (many years ago) had a long running program about kids... "Kids Say the Darnedest Things" ...it was really a hoot.  And isn't it true that children do say hilarious things, unexpectedly?

Our youngest 'kid' was in college, lived at home some of the time, and he stepped right in it one day when he asked me if it was true that love was blind.  I told him I thought it was true most of the time and asked him why he wanted to know.  He replied, "Mom, Dad must have really loved you a lot."  I sputtered around and he (always the diplomat) said "Well Mom, you're a late bloomer."  Ha, ha!  But it's true; I was a late bloomer. 

I was very shy, very self-conscious and had a big inferiority complex...in many ways I felt like 'the ugly duckling'.  It took years for me to overcome those obstacles...but...I did it. 

Ben Fountain said, 'Late bloomer' is another way of saying 'slow learner.'  I was

When you are waiting for something to bloom...it seems to take forever and ever...like when you plant seeds and wait and watch...and wait and watch...whenever will they pop open? 

Several years ago a Chinese neighbor gave Michael some 'Jack in the Beanstalk' beans; she told him how to properly treat them and like a good boy, he followed her directions to a tee.  We had beautiful green vines with blossoms galore and then beans!  Yay for  us.  We planted some the next summer and they didn't do well at all...nonetheless Michael stashed some of the beans in a safe place for whatever. 

Fast forward several years to our new home in Fort Worth...Brookdale...and our lovely villa.  One daughter-in-law had the foresight to bring our old, needing paint, iron arbor from our cottage in Weatherford.  It was propped up here in our back yard for several months...finally Michael took it upon himself to place/set it and produced his small stash of beans that he had saved. 
 
 

He faithfully tended them...as in notching and soaking them...and planted them at the base of the arbor.  He 'barricaded' them/put in little red flags so the lawn people wouldn't damage the baby plants as they sprouted.  Out of all those seed he got three little plants...but hey, three's better than none!  They've had very special treatment and they grew; finally they began climbing on the trellis...woohoo!  We’ve gone out first thing each morning to inspect them...no promises of blooms though...oh, boo!

Several weeks have passed w/no signs and M decided perhaps the seeds were too old and would never bloom.  Since we live in a Senior Living place maybe the beans feel they are aging too.  You suppose?
 
Two days ago, I was looking out the patio windows and communicating with the beanstalk...aloud...okay, I know!  M was at the gym exercising...just me and Jack the beanstalk.  I watched it a long time and finally said, "You know, I am not in any way demanding this...it's just something that I would love for you to do and it would make me the happiest girl if you would simply show me a few blooms...not a lot but just a few...you don't have to if you don't want but it would be awesome if you did.  Could you please, please put out a few blooms for us?"
 
I was not in a good mood all day yesterday (sharp/snippy); seems at times nothing goes right inside me...my thoughts are jumbled, in a mess and it affects everything.  My bad, I know, but stuff happens.
 
Michael came in that evening; twinkling eyes, smiling from ear to ear; said "What would you think if something happened that you wanted so badly and had just asked for?  A surprise."  I turned into one giant happy face because I knew it had to be Jack, our Beanstalk.  He took me out and there it was...rather, there they were because there were lots of blooms popping out...it wasn't too old after all.  Jack had his sprouts up...listening; wow!
 
 
A gentle word, a kind look,
a good-natured smile can work wonders
and accomplish miracles.
William Hazlitt
 
That's exactly what I had given our Jack...a few gentle words, a lovingly kind look and a good-natured smile...and you know, it worked.
 
Every day is fresh and new...so, I am trying to set a positive tone for each new day...to be kind, more patient, smile more...speaking gently rather than harshly. It's up to me whether I bloom and make life pleasant (not only for myself but others) or wilt and fade away.  I believe the beautiful bloom is the better choice!  You think?
 
"Success can happen at any time and at any age."  Even for me and our handsome beanstalk! Way to go Jack...love you...and bloom on!
 
From my heart...to yours,
Vasca  

Thursday, June 16, 2016

ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE


 
The Gratitude Diaries...

Well, hello there...after a break I'm back...six long months!  So much has taken place, so many changes in our lives...ever so much of everything.  Perhaps you've missed me...and then again, perhaps you haven't.  Either way, I'm hoping to be back in the groove...so to speak...whatever 'the groove' is!  We'll see.
 
I've prayed and pondered about what to write...so many things to write about but what first?  I keep coming back to 'gratitude'...so gratitude is it for this first post of 2016.
 
I discovered this poem...it's lengthy but I'm thinking it's worth reading.
 
Be Thankful
Be thankful that you don’t already have everything you desire,
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?
Be thankful when you don’t know something
For it gives you the opportunity to learn.
Be thankful for the difficult times.
During those times you grow.
Be thankful for your limitations
Because they give you opportunities for improvement.
Be thankful for each new challenge
Because it will build your strength and character.
Be thankful for your mistakes
They will teach you valuable lessons.
Be thankful when you’re tired and weary
Because it means you’ve made a difference.
It is easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who are
also thankful for the setbacks.
GRATITUDE can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles
and they can become your blessings.
Author Unknown
 
 
I'm thankful that I don't have everything I desire.
      Gives me something to dream up...for M.
      Well, M sometimes wishes we had a car,
      but wow, he's discovered how fun his golf cart is!

I'm thankful for the difficult times.
     God has provided opportunities for growth...
     I don't want to be 'little person'...I want?  A big heart.

I'm thankful for my limitations.
     God is providing opportunities for improvement.
     Patience is becoming my middle name.

I'm thankful for each new challenge.
     God is providing me with ways to improve my strength
     as well as my character...one challenge is met,
     another is waiting in the wings!

I'm thankful for my mistakes.
     God is providing me with wisdom to realize I must move carefully...
      to bite my tongue & be gracious, speaking kindly.

I'm thankful when I'm tired and weary.
     God is teaching me more about compassion and tenderness...
     giving me the opportunity to share.

I'm thankful for the good things in life.
      God is showing me how to be thankful for the setbacks...
     showing me that we are definitely not alone!
    
Skipping a proper definition of the word 'gratitude'...here's what an 88 year old lady said, when asked the secret to her good health.  "Always be happy and to be happy remember these words...Attitude and Gratitude".

So...Michael and I are changing (aren't we all); we aren't 'growing old'...oh boy, we're just old.  However...we're not finished just yet...that's what we keep saying.  We think God surely has something else in mind for us to do. 
Attitude is important and we have it...anyway,
my attitude for life has definitely become one of great gratitude...
that's what I'm about. 

"Father,
I need nothing for myself...nothing, for you have so richly blest me...all my life.
You've helped me through the many ups and downs...and helped me smile through it all.  How wonderful that is.  Michael and I have some problems but they aren't bad problems because you've held our hands through the dark times and turned on the lights.  How wonderful that is.  I am most grateful, most thankful to you for everything.
In your son's name, Amen."

From my grateful heart...to yours,
Vasca