Friday, September 22, 2017

GOTTA' DO IT...

"You've got to get up every morning 
With a smile on your face,
And show the world all the love in your heart.
Then people gonna' treat you better, 
You're gonna' find, yes you will.
That you're beautiful as you feel."
Carole King's Beautiful 


I usually wake up with a smile on my face; that's my nature.  Smiling seems to be in my DNA...and that's a good thing...at least, I think so.  Good way to begin the day.

It would be marvelous if that feeling could last all day...or perhaps I should say if it would last the day.  Surprises pop up, right and left...first thing I know I've lost that happy feeling; my bad.

When I was a little girl, I so believed in wishes...that if I wished long and hard enough the wishes would come true.  Oh my!  I wizened up and realized prayer was the avenue I should be using.  Now I pray constantly...for ever so many things...but Michael is in the top spot.

Back to waking up w/a smile on my face...much too often these days the smile disappears being replaced by a frown...a not so soft tone...finishing touches are tears.

F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote: "The loneliest moment in someone's life is when they're watching their whole world fall apart and all they can do is stare blankly."

In a nutshell that's what transpires with many of my 'well intended wake-ups'...even tho' I determine each day to practice what I feel strongly about...love!  

I go over and over the love verses in the Book..and I believe every word but reality rears its' ugly head and like Fitzgerald said, "all I can do is stare blankly".   Guess what?  That gets me absolutely nowhere!  In my little mind I think my beautiful world is falling apart as I watch...and feel totally helpless.

What does one do in that circumstance?  Well, I'm learning what not to do...better yet, I'm picking up pointers on what to do...this falling apart business has got to cease and desist.  

This morning on Pandora the first music I heard was Blessed Assurance...how good was that...just what He ordered.  

Michael and I have made it to the latter part of our 80's...lots and lots of people don't make it nearly so far.  We are blest.

We have an awesome family; there are now 23 of us with more in the wings.  
We are financially able to care for ourselves and still live independently.
We have a safe haven...we have anything we want or need at our fingertips.
We have a multitude of loving friends; all around us.
We have good medical care; wonderful physicians.
Best and greatest is we have a Father; God has us in His arms and loves us.

So, I really have nothing to fear or dread; what I do have is a burning desire to do all I can to ensure that my loving partner has a comfortable, happy life.  Even though Parkinson's is trying to take over...I have a major role to play in this.

"When things fall apart, 
the broken pieces allow all sorts of things to enter
 and one of them is the presence of God."
                                                                Shauna Niequist 

I ask myself this...'Vasca, why do you fall apart and allow yourself to feel so broken?  Don't you know that God is in control of your life?  You tell people that you've turned your life over to Him but you must not be serious because look at you...just take a good, hard look at your heart.  God is in...He is in this with you...for keeps.'  

God is looking at me and knowing what I am going to do in these days before me.  I wish I knew but I pray that I can get up every morning with a smile on my face and show Michael all the love I have in my heart...and even though my heart feels like stopping, I've got to gear up and show him how beautiful our love is, how beautiful our life is and that's all because of the presence of God, our Father.

Michael deserves my best...my very best and trust me, love...I'm gonna' smile and show you the love I have.  You're gonna' love it, yes you will.  'Cause it's beautiful. 

From my heart...to yours, as always...
Vasca 





Wednesday, August 2, 2017

SHEEPISHLY YOURS...


"One of the things I learned the hard way was 
that it doesn't pay to get discouraged.
Keeping busy and making optimism a way of life
 can restore your faith in yourself."
Lucille Ball

I write to encourage others as well as myself...it's good therapy for me and I truly hope you find something in it as encouragement for yourself or perhaps you can encourage someone you bump into or already have in your life.  I certainly need encouragement...so much of the time.  Admittedly, I lose faith in myself as well.  And almost lose my faith where I shouldn't...my bad.

Recently, I found it quite easy to fall into feeling sorry for myself...another bad thing.  Michael and I have been going to therapy for four weeks...four days a week for two hours each time.  This has profited me probably as much or perhaps even more than it has Michael in that I have a drive inside me that I've not had...and believe me, I desperately needed it 'cause I'd been throwing way too many 'pity parties' for myself.

  
We've seen those that have all types of physical problems...problems that take grit galore to deal with...much more than what M and I are battling.  It's amazing to see how much effort can be expended from someone who can barely move a muscle but yet they do their best to learn how and what they can do to regain something they felt lost. 


"Always believe that something wonderful is about to happen"

Wonderful things happen everywhere, all the time...one just needs to keep their eyes open, their ears clean and their awareness on.  And oh, watching the caregivers with their charges...woohoo!  Wheelchairs, walkers, canes...you name it and they're in use.  Some caregivers look tired and rightly so.  It isn't easy being a 24/7 caregiver but people do it...lots and lots do it.  Why?  Because they care...they care a lot.  Some are spouses, kids, grandchildren, in-laws, friends, neighbors, professional nursing people.  

I never thought that M and I would be in this situation...who thinks about things like that?  Most don't.  They call growing older 'the Golden Age'...and one thinks about retirement and vacationing everywhere...growing old gracefully!  Who thinks about things like Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, Dementia, Cancer, Autism, Diabetes, Strokes, Pureed diets, Feeding Tubes, Dialysis?  Whew...that's only the beginning.  

Michael and I married and we promised to take care of each other...'in sickness and in health' was a part of our marriage vow and that's important to us.  I know sometimes people part due to circumstances beyond their control...but I pray that never happens to the two of us.

I saw this posted somewhere and it really grabbed my heart;
"I Promise...
I'm putting my promise into practice."

Keeping my eyes open, listening to others while watching my love working for all he's worth...I've learned such great things and broadened my thinking.  A new me?  Well, not quite but an improvement that should help me be a better person.

M and I do homework and now that the therapy is finished w/professionals it's up to me to be the coach.  Me, who is in no way athletic or agile...I'm a klutz deluxe but hey!  All this therapy watching has somehow helped me to walk w/o staggering.  Never would've thought it.  

M's ability to improve is on our shoulders; we must keep the momentum going.  We're charging ourselves w/daily tasks that we mustn't fail to do.  So, what is our retirement going to be like from now on?  Hmm...
gonna' be pureed diet for a spell longer...
gonna' be physical exercise regimen twice a day...
gonna' be ah-ing vocal exercises twice a day...
gonna' be memory challenges whenever the coach says...
gonna' continue being happiness & love 24/7...
gonna' continue walking with God...He knows all the right moves !!!

(Rights to use these cartoons purchased from Dennis Cox) 

"The more things you do,
the more you can do."
Lucille Ball 

A while back, every morning I would tell myself...aloud...
Vasca, this is a new day.
You have the choice of making it a good day or a bad day.
I choose to make it a good day and do my best to...
be kind, loving, compassionate, forgiving, serving 
and helping others as best I can.
God, please help me to be like you want and know I can be.

I became negligent; shouldn't have!
Tomorrow morning I plan to resume doing it...
it's something extremely important and helpful...to me!

From my heart...to yours, 
Vasca 




Thursday, May 11, 2017

FOREVER, EVERYDAY...YOU AND ME...


"It's not gonna be easy,
It's gonna be really hard.
We're gonna have to work at this...every day,
but I want to do that because I want you.
I want all of you, forever,
                                                   you and me."                Ryan Gosling, The Notebook...

                                 
Well now, I smile when I think about love...you know there's puppy love, first love, late love...all kinds of descriptive terms.  The one I'm writing about is the love Michael and I found in each other.  We were young...oh so fresh! 

We promised to love, honor...so many words we said together...and we've kept our promises.  Oh my, that was such a long time ago and the life we've had?  Out of this world; the places we've been and the sights that we've seen?  Never did we dream of such a life.

We believe God put us together for a reason; there was a plan and we stumbled along with it.  You remember we had a 'rocky' first meeting when Michael announced to his friends, "That's one girl who will never set foot in my car."  Indeed?  'That girl' ended up owning half of everything Mr. Michael owns, to this day.  Me, the shy one, knew what I wanted and with God's help I got just that.  M happily ate his words...he's smart.

I suppose there are marriages that are perfect; I don't personally know of any and ours certainly hasn't been.  But...we worked at it 24/7.  People have asked me how we've stayed so happily married for such a long time.  My answer has always been that we worked for it...24/7 and each of us gave it 100%. 

Argue?  Of course we argued; we continue to this day...oh brother, do we ever challenge each other.   But...we choose to try to make the best of every situation...Life 101?  Sure helps.  

This caught my eye the other day:          "What is Life?
They say it's from B to D.
From Birth to Death.
But what's between B and D.
It's a "C".  So what is a "C"?
It is a Choice.  Our life is a matter of Choices.
Live well and it will never Go Wrong."
 

In life we have choices of all kinds...all of us.  Life can go along quite smoothly, no bumps in the road and for me, the bumps I had were taken with a smile.  That's the way I have always been...I could be on my death bed and 'how are you, Vasca?  Oh, I'm fine...just fine'...must've been born smiling! 
Michael is a magnificent leader; I believe he was a born leader.  No bumps for him; never any health problems...until?  A double whammy...Amyloidosis followed by Parkinson's; quite a boulder rather than a bump. 
Health blips are frightening...you know that from your own experiences.  I've had two encounters with near death; M says God wasn't finished with me, that He had things in mind for me yet.  I believe that must be the case.  Someone said "You were given this life because you are strong enough to live it."  I don't know who's responsible for that but it's applicable.

Here I am, here's Michael...we are together and we're between B and D.  We're in C as in
Choices.  Talk about choices, oh my!  Every day begins with a choice...I think it's more 'the choice'.  I choose this "Create a vision that makes you wanna jump out of bed in the morning" and do my best to make it a good day. 

I realize every day is in no way going to be goody-two-shoes happy; but...but...I set the tone for the day and I can make it or break it.  It's up to me; sure Michael is here but these days I am and must be the stronger one. 

I have 'foot in the mouth' disease; try as hard as I can my mouth just doesn't cooperate!  But I also apologize...my sack runneth over with apologies and Kleenex.  But...but...I'm doing a little better each day...day at a time.
The two of us have reached a clearer understanding of what life demands...each of us must give as we also must take.  Is it easy?  Are you kidding?  No such thing as easy between B and D.  It's harder than hard and I suspect/expect it will become more difficult with time.

However, God works wonders and gives strength as needed; I trust Him that He knows when and how much we are going to require. 

Michael rises many mornings with a song on his lips and how can I do anything but make the happy choices when my love is singing the Hallelujah Chorus, Star Spangled Banner, Hello Dolly, Old McDonald, the scales, Santa Claus is coming to town (in May?). 
Kinda' makes me wanna' jump out of bed and sing along.  You oughta' see us sitting on the patio, drinking Hazelnut coffee (my mom was a Hazel...she wasn't a nut), petting a little baby bunny while watching the wren's tending their babies in M's planter.


And...I remember,
"It's not gonna be easy,
It's gonna be really hard.
We're gonna have to work at this...every day,
but I want to do that because I want you.
I want all of you, forever,
you and me."
My mission's cut out for me; I accept...it's beautiful and God, I thank you for it.
From my heart...to yours, Vasca