Wednesday, December 12, 2018

A FEW CRACKS...


Everyone thinks I'm such a happy person   And...that I have it all together.
What they don't know is that I' feel I'm dying on the inside.
I don't have it all together.
I'm falling apart.

I truly love this time of the year...it's so special and makes me feel full of warm fuzzies.  I feel the love all around...most of the time.

This year is the first of what I can imagine most holiday season's will be much like this one.  Michael and I are living apart due to necessity associated with PD...Parkinson's Disease.  

People handle things such as this in different ways; you know, different strokes for different folks.      I wish I could say Michael is happy in this arrangements, but he isn't and I doubt he will ever be truly content.  If the situation was reversed and I were in his shoes I probably would detest it as well.  But as many say about things like this ;It is what it is.'  and so it is.

He appears much healthier these days and he imagines he has a position, a job managing things in Memory Care but he's wondering why he's never reimbursed for all his leadership in that job.  One does not argue with him about this because it's not real but if it tends to make him more satisfied day by day?  He can imagine whatever he likes...He's one of many who have delusions about such things.  

M thinks he and I are going to be moving into our little villa.  Of course that won't be happening either but he can dream about it.  On the other hand, he's always drumming up plans to escape.  He calls his residence a prison.  Sadly it is because he cannot go out unaccompanied by a responsible person.  Being locked up rings of a prison but it's necessary for safety of the resident. 

Being with him is good...the heartbreaking part is when I leave.  He follows me to the elevator cubbyhole, stands there watching me leave.  The double doors to the elevator space close and he's standing there...so wanting, so wishing he could go with me and he cannot.  So sad...so sad.

I remember my sweet mother in a nursing home prior to her death in 2005.  I cried every time I levt her.  But the difference between her and Michael is this.  She had a stroke and things didn't register with her.  With Michael?  Things lalong those lines register bigtime.  

I find I've changed a great deal.  I think it isn't noticeable to anyone but it's something inside me is changed...I feel so different and it's strange to me.  It's much like being two rather than just one...me, the Vasca I was and still am but something's changed.  

I meet, greet and smile because that seems to be my calling and my nature.  I want to leave each one I meet feeling better...and perhaps that one will pass it on and so it goes.  It's positive and good.

I don't feel sorry for myself or Michael; somehow we cope with each quake that comes along.   We know it is going to crumble a piece at a time but it will continue deteriorating.  The nature of Parkinson's.  

Oh how I know we are blest that Parkinson's is all we have to wrestle with; things could always be worse...much worse,  We are blest...really blest.

I've thought perhaps I should stop writing because I wanted this blog to always be encouraging,  And I doubt I'm encouraging these days; I don't want to be morbid or anything along that line.  

Sharing what is taking place between Michael and me is a release in a way...is it too personal?  Who is to say...but you know, I'm transparent.  So is Michael; he and I have talked much about that in the past...we want to be transparent.  I've certainly been that and then some.  An open book, lately it's all about...well, you know what it's about...don't you.?

Life changes...sometimes makes one's head swim.  There's a motto on my weather app that says,        "IT'S  AMAZING OUT THERE"...with a beautiful panoramic shot of scenery that really is quite beautiful.  Life is that way...amazing.

One more thing from Thomas Paine:
"I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress
and grow brave by reflection.  Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct will pursue his principles unto death.".

Thank you, Father for guiding me even when I'm wearing blinders.  You never give up on me and I am very grateful for that amond a myriad of other blessings.  Don't drop me, I'll try to do better.

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











   







Friday, August 31, 2018

INSIDE JOB...INDEED


Happiness is the new rich
Inner peace is the new success
Health is the new wealth
Kindness is the new cool.
Anonymous

Miss 'Smile's a Lot' here, on occasion gets a tad down and sad.  You possibly have similar times; most folks do.  I try my best to stay up but when my M gets 'lost' in his Parkinson's I tend to quake as do the aspen trees.  Do they quake, quiver or rustle?  Whatever.  I quiver inside.  

I've been reading Bob Goff's books and he is a fascinating gentleman; inspirational and I've laughed a lot, quickly moved to tears.  God does things to me; He leads and I stumble along behind but I get the messages...loud and clear!  The first book I read was "Love Does"...published in 2012.  This year he has a new one out, "Everybody; Always".  Amazing is how I describe this man and what God does with him...truly amazing. 

Anyway, moving along here...I've been searching for some time how to be more active (for want of a better description) walking w/God and doing what I feel He would like me to be about.

I've always been observant and notice most everything around me.  Now, since Michael and I are in a different environment for our Hot Date Sunday's there are many things to watch and store in my mine.  My memory bank is rapidly filling; it may even overload and crash...hope not!  

The Assisted Living dining room is usually full...of older people, of course.  After all, people, this is a Senior Living place.  We usually have a little table for two.  I noticed the very first Hot Date a tall, nice looking African-American gentleman came in and took a seat at a large table in the very back of the room, ordered and had his lunch all by himself.  I didn't notice anyone speaking or even acknowledging him.

For the next three Sunday's there he was again but sitting at a small table for two.  I couldn't get him out of my mind and thought about him every day.  

Surprise, yesterday I went to retrieve my mail and there he was standing in the foyer.  I walked over to him and told him I would like to ask him a question and he said okay.  Question..."Do you live in the Assisted Living building?"  "Yes ma'am I sure do".  V..."I thought so because I see you dining in there every Sunday.  You're alone, at a table for two so my husband and I thought of joining you but it wouldn't fit for three."  He smiled, we shook hands and I asked his name.  Doug...well, Doug, I'm Vasca.  D...unusual and hard name to remember.  V...yes, I know...just think of Alaska and he gave a big laugh and smiled.  Said that would help.  I found out some facts about his life; he found out some of mine and M's.  He's been on mission trips to Africa.  He thanked me for spending time with him and I imagine we'll be seeing more of him on Sunday's.

See, I was concerned about him and God put us together...neat, yes?  God does stuff and makes it so easy!   
"Happiness is an inward and not outward.
And so, it does not depend on what we have
but what we are."
Henry Van Dyke

I've not noticed a sense of competition among all these 'senior's'...oh, the parking lot has all kinds of cars...luxury on down or none, but no one seems to care or talk about those trappings.  For sure, most no longer own homes and conversations are everyday topics.  One doesn't hear arguments...at least not as a disturbance.  It's rather like 'this is the way we are...24/7'.  More like 'what we are'...that's good.

I'm transparent...you know me well by this time.  I'm really down to earth as in no-make up days most of the time.  Comfort, comfort...oh boy, that's wonderful.  Don't tell my boys or M that some days I stay in my jammies all day...even have had guests and hostessed in the jammies.  They look like regular clothes, after all.  

God knows me; He knows the real Vasca.  I don't have a double hidden in the closet for making a statement or impressing others.  I was probably uppity several years ago but I've bloomed.  Took time but I came around ~ I believe it's what God wants, don't you?

"He who enjoys good health is rich,
though he knows it not." 
Italian Proverb

One of the main reasons we're living here is for better health; especially for my darling Michael.  He is doing so much better.  He still has some delusions but at least, he's safe.  He also continues losing weight, gradually but nonetheless, he's losing.  I believe that's consistent w/Parkinson's.  Everyone who works with him loves him and I mean love!  He truly is a wonderful gentleman.  He's trying his best...all the time.  After all, our motto as Beall's is "Be All that you can be".  

"Kindness is a passport that opens doors and fashions friends.
It softens hearts and molds relationships that can last lifetimes."
Joseph B. Wirthlin

We didn't renew our passports since we knew we would no longer be travelling out of the country; not a good idea.  But we do have our 'kindness passports'.  They'll open doors.  Kindness and being nice will get one just about anywhere w/anyone.  Okay, not all people appreciate those niceties but it doesn't put a damper on it, does it?  Of course not.  Catch more bees with honey than vinegar.  I work on that 24/7 and it's successful; Jesus was kind and loving.  He showed the way;I want to be.like Jesus.  

He didn't have a wardrobe, fancy trappings, nor did his group.  Lived and travelled lightly, He connected and that's what I must do...connect.  He uses ordinary people like us to do things we never dreamed of.  Just think!!!  I tell strangers what He has done in our lives and they tell me "it gives them chill-bumps".  Me, too.  

Two people; one born in his parents bedroom in a small oil town; the other born in the upstairs bedroom of her grandparents simple house on a rental farm in the country.  God finagled it to get us together and in spite of M's declaration 'that girl (Vasca) will never set foot in my car!  Well, he learned 'that girl' ended up owning half of everything he possessed.  I think God smiled at that.  Big smile...oh yes!  Yes!  

Happiness, honest and truly, is an inside job.  You follow God, put yourself in His hands and happiness is yours.  It is certainly ours and we plan to keep it like that...all the way to the finish line.  Like Paul wrote about finishing the race.  Keep on keeping on.  No matter what happens...no matter.  God is good, all the time...no matter what.  We love Him and are thankful all the time...no matter what and we're hanging in there...good times and the not so good times...no matter what.  And we can laugh and laugh when we're standing up, wrapped in each other's arms, giving kisses...telling each other we must be careful or we'll fall over backwards together.  God is so good...all the time. 

Yes, yes.  

From my happy, peaceful, healthy and kind heart...to yours,
Vasca


Sunday, August 26, 2018

TWINKLE, TWINKLE...

Permission to publish art from Dennis Cox

I'm far from perfect, but I'm on the doorstep of 'worth it'
Unknown 

You ever think about twinkling?  I do; I think about it quite a lot.  I'm basically a happy person and I really work at it.  Of course, I have tearful moments; until recently I had lots of them but they're sort of passing away.  I had a few seconds worth this evening but poof...they dried quickly. 

I dream a lot; but I do my dreaming at night while I'm sleeping.  Since I have difficulties getting to the sleep stage I try thinking 'happiness, positivity' and what I can do to pass it on.  That helps a bit.

You see, I think I was given an opportunity to do some more things in and with my life.  Michael told me once that he believed God kept me going because He had more for me to do.  And I believe him.
I want to 'twinkle'...really 'twinkle'.  All for God...oh yes! 

"It's impossible to make your eyes twinkle if you aren't feeling twinkly yourself." 
Roald Dahl


That's what this post is about, in part. Getting twinkly.  If you'll hang in here you may get my drift.  Hope so!

Honestly, I do a lot of silly things...silliness is a form of  happy things for me.  

Like?

I am definitely not athletic.  I'm a stumbler...all thumbs...cannot throw anything but straight at my feet...yikes!  Absolutely no one ever wanted me on their team.  Oh but once I was on a bowling team and I was the most improved bowler of the year.  Yay for me.  I hit a hole-in-one on a real gold course once w/M and the 4 boys but wouldn't you know it.  None of them were watching so they never believed me but trust me, I did.  I was so proud.  

A few years ago, Michael took me under his wing, (actually took pity on me)  tried to teach me to hit the trash basket with wadded Kleenex, paper towels, anything at hand.  I couldn't do it.  He didn't give up and now?

Seriously, when I'm waiting in a doctor's office...or the eye research study...I'm in the room alone for quite a spell so I wad up Kleenex and practice shooting at the trash basket. I did so Thursday and proud to announce I'm getting better.  I also practice in my bathroom and I'm excited when I hit the basket. 

Having four sons plus Michael?  They all were accomplished 'spitters'; not wanting to be left out I decided to try my hand at spitting.  I watched Jack teach Rose in "Titanic" and w/a few tips from Michael I did it.  Hey, I was overboard happy with my new feat and measured my 'spits'.  A few people thought that was more than disgusting but that hasn't stopped me. 

Please keep your laughter under control...I know, I know.  Okay, it keeps me out of mischief.

Another 'happy thing' I do is play beautiful music on my i-pad when I'm out and about here at the Vantage.  I also played it in the eye clinic last Thursday.  The doctor loved it.  They didn't know I was privately practicing my basket shots .

Also  I smile at everyone while greeting them...must've been born smiling.  We exchange pleasantries and I like to find something to compliment them about and that brings happiness all the way around.  A super sweet, older gentleman followed me down the hall today and told me he knew something...that I was always happy and it was contagious!  Love him. 

Some folks have such troublesome things in their lives and sometimes there's just not much one can do to physically help but a conversation helps...a touch...a smile...just some one thing personal.  It shows you care.  I've met some of the sweetest, nicest people here who seemed to be 'alone'...I mean absolutely alone.  It causes me to be even more thankful for my wonderful family.  I want to help people feel some relief, some feeling of 'there's some help here'.  And of course there is...God is watching and will help.  We simply must share His news.

Some time back I was reticent to talk about God and what He does for us;  that was my bad and I overcame it.  I believe going to China helped me break from that mold and I'm no longer 'afraid' to talk about what He stands for and for all the awesome things He's done in my life...in the life M and I have made together.

This post isn't about anything in particular...I feel like shouting from the top of the buildings...everywhere...how happy I am...I want to twinkle, twinkle, twinkle.  I pray it is contagious.  Happiness and twinkling sort of go hand-in-hand...to me, at least.  No demand that you agree with me...we're all different, right?  Good thing, good thing. 

Unfinished business...there's someone out there that needs encouraging; I'm keeping my eyes and ears open...watching and listening so I won't miss whoever that is.  God knows and He's tending business.

Here, where I now reside, we have wonderful drivers to transport us where we need to go.  One of them and I were talking the other day and somehow we drifted into 'near death experiences'.  Now I know not everyone would want to hear about some things...but there are just as many who are interested in hearing such experiences from those they trust to be serious and sane.

My friend recounted a near fatal heart attack some years ago and thankfully pulled through it.  It completely altered his life.  God does that.

Here's mine:
I suffered a serious back and neck injury.  My head/neck was always at an awkward and painful extreme right angle so I was given muscle relaxers and arthritic medications to ease the condition.  

To make a long story short, one evening Michael rushed me to the ER since I was seriously ill.  No wonder, I had only two units of blood in my poor bod.  I'd had absolutely no symtom's.

The next evening my family was called in and seems I was 'going...going'.

A few days later a nurse that I didn't recognize came in; she remarked how much better I looks than when she last saw me.  I told her I only remembered one thing; she asked what it was.

I told her I remember I was flat on my back in the hospital bed and suddenly I sat up and was looking at a beautiful, long hall lit with sort of ethereal lighting; someone was waiting for me.  A large double door at the end.  Then...I said in a very big voice, "I AM NOT, I AM NOT" and promptly lay back down and went to sleep.

She said, "Honey, no way...you never moved the entire time and I stayed right beside your bed.  We thought we were losing you and trust me, you never moved a muscle or said a word."

I didn't share that experience with anyone for years; I finally shared it with Michael.  He looked at me and said God was not finished with me.  I suppose he was correct since that was my second experience at death's door.  I must be a Rubbermaid, more bounce to the ounce, right?  Right! 

Perhaps this isn't the 'best post' I've ever written but it was on my heart to do so.  Here you have it...full of renewed determination to do more for others...encounters with those who need a bit of sparkle in their day...passing happiness on so someone else will pass it on to someone else.  God knows and He so cares.  I pray that when my time comes to leave this earth I will be used up.  

A beautiful woman said, "We are all of us stars and we deserve to twinkle:.

So, my friends, twinkle...twinkle...a little sparkle never hurt anyone.  

From my sparkling heart...to yours,

Vasca