Random Acts of "Kindness"

Posts tagged ‘inspiration’

STILL HONORING THE MAN

I knew my husband was a man of honor. This morning I opened the bible to Job 30. Normally I DON’T LIKE to open to Job. It usually alerts me to rough water. Today was different. “I wore my honesty like a garment.” Christian song early morning reminded me that I am loved. I am extremely fortunate in many ways. Our son moved home more than eight years ago to help his parents. I am not alone in the house. Yesterday it SNOWED. More than 3″. He took care of the steps and the sidewalk. I had started on the steps with a broom — only to quickly discover that there was too much snow on the steps already. I had planned to go to a Veteran ceremony but the snow changed my plans.

My husband enjoyed helping others. He was quick to give away stuff he was no longer using. I’m sure he is happy that the insulin he no longer needed has been given to a couple of people whose finances made getting insulin difficult. His clothes are also going to a couple of out reach places.

I have over 30 photo albums and piles of photos that never made it into an album. I found an album that I had put together using a photo service. I planned to send it to one of my husband’s sisters until I looked at it closely. I made the album when my husband and I returned from a trip back to his home in Maryland. We visited with three of his sisters, enjoyed a visit with his childhood friend and experienced more than a foot of snow arriving on the day we were scheduled to come back home. The pages are full of my memories of the trip. Since it was one of our last trips together, going through the pages with my notes — “A fellow at breakfast told stories of bear hunting. I was concerned that we would be in that area. The fellow told me not to worry. A note on one of the pages not only told the short story, but mentioned the bear hunting checkpoint sign.”

I’ve mentioned that I’m aware that I walk to a different drummer. I’m aware that I receive “help” from my “friends in high places.” I was wondering why I hadn’t noticed “help” from my husband. Sorrow does strange things. This morning I not only remembered my daughter needing a new battery in her car before she returned home. She had used her car with NO PROBLEMS taking her father back and forth to the doctors. She had moved her car in front of the house to make packing easier. She learned a new battery was needed when she planned to leave.

I’m an early riser, soon after my husband passed, I took my pens and books and calendars into the kitchen closing the door to not wake those who were sleeping downstairs. When I went to retrieve my pens they were gone. I remembered I had pens in a valentine box given to me by a dear friend. Opening the box, I found a red silk pouch containing a message. “This represents a: Life, b: Endurance, c: Hope, d: and Change.” It had a drawing of a butterfly and a personal note that I’ll keep private. It accompanied a butterfly magnetic pin. Last present and note I received from a special man.

HONORING THE MAN

It is with great sadness that I share the news that my husband of more than 55 years has passed over to the other side. We learned in September that he had pneumonia, then the mass in his lung was small cell cancer. He survived time in the hospital, kept his humor and quality of life. Chemo and having to wear oxygen began to take its toll. He did not like to wear the oxygen. He did not want to be a burden on me. He did not like the sore throat. He did not like that it hurt to eat. His favorite food became oatmeal with lots of butter, potato soup with lots of butter and chicken noodle soup with LOTS OF BUTTER A friend shared that her sister with cancer liked POTATO SOUP WITH LOTS OF BUTTER.

We applied for and received a handicapped parking placard. We submitted a form for handicapped parking. HE DID NOT NEED EITHER.

Although his body was responding to the chemo, masses were shrinking in his lungs, other parts of his body said this is enough. He passed over in the hospital at 1:18 in the morning. Both my son and daughter were there. They are having trouble sleeping in the one o’clock hour. Nights can be difficult. It depends on the track m y mind wants to take.

At first I was ANGRY. “Why did you leave me?” Then I realized I was being selfish. He DID NOT WANT to be handicapped. HE DID NOT WANT to be a burden on me. HE DID NOT WANT TO have to wear oxygen.

These thoughts and more in the same vein have helped during this time of “PROCESS.” Many things have been delayed. I’m not going to list them. I have been aware of “help” from the other side for many years. Now my husband has joined the team. Is he adding to the merriment. It is hard to tell. The Saturday when our daughter was heading back home, her car wouldn’t start. Although she used her car for trips to the hospital with out any troubles, she NEEDED A NEW BATTERY.

Cell phones and computers have a life of their own. Slowly, very slowly, I’m taking care of business. I’m dotting the i’s and crossing the “t’s”. And tomorrow will be another day.

MISSING THE MOST

I originally thought that I would write a thought ramble about what I had accomplished this year. That thought changed to missing — but this is not going to be a ramble of the people and companions that I’m missing. Instead it is going to be about the parts of my body that have changed, because of age or negligence. This is in no particular order. One part is no more important than the other.

I’m missing my memory. It is most aggravating when I’m speaking and my voice freezes. I CAN NOT find the word that I want to say. Or I lose my train of thought. Since my father had Alzheimer’s disease, memory loss plays a part in my life. I know it is not a concern when I head off to get something, arrive at the location and have no idea what I came for. I have found that if I stay for a minute or two, remain calm, the purpose usually returns. I miss being able to remember what I planned to buy at the store. Writing a list helps. I miss being able to remember the food I have cooked, how often I’m repeating the same foods. I miss being able to remember good times that I have had. Writing thought rambles help as does writing things down in my calendar.

I miss my height. I haven’t measure it, but I think I’ve lost two to three inches. Cabinets that I could reach are no longer possible. The step I purchased to help my grandchildren reach the sink now has a new purpose — to HELP ME! I’m learning that I need to pull out the step stool more often or use a ladder. I have rearranged some of the cabinets — at home and at the camper — to make it easier. Clothes that fit fine are often too long.

I miss my sight. I used to be able to thread a needle. Now I have a number of glasses. Trying to determine which one to wear for a task is becoming a challenge. I LOVE my trifocals for driving and shopping in the store. I DO NOT like them for reading or cooking or painting. My eyes don’t seem to be able to easily adjust to the task at hand. I have a new pair of reading glasses. I always pick the lens that will allow me to read the smallest print. The glasses don’t work well for working on the computer because of the distance involved.

I miss my energy. In days gone by, evening was when I accomplished a lot. I could easily weed the garden, clean the house and other routine tasks without a problem. Now I know that whatever I want to do must be done in the morning. By early afternoon I’m lucky if I have the energy to make supper. Naps help — so does the slow cooker.

Thankfully I still have most of my hearing. Thankfully my health is good. We won’t talk about the weight issue or the trouble with my knees. I’ll soon be 75. Not too bad for an aging Dame!

TAKING STOCK

I really like the fall season. I like the cooler temperatures and the changing of the leaves. I don’t know what the reason is but the fall season also brings on a depression. I don’t know if it is because winter is coming or the seasonal changes.

Fall came early this year. The drop in the temperature at night reminded me that summer was almost over. I knew that there would be many warm days ahead. Suddenly I started thinking of what I have accomplished and what I have failed to do. When I realized that my thinking was more negative than positive, I looked for positive.

Now I will admit that I had HELP! First I did a belly flop on the deck at the camper. Luckily I didn’t break anything. Various body parts PROTESTED. Our granddaughter was on hand to witness my fall and did a great replay for her parents.

Back home, I took Robin for her morning walk and ended up cutting my head on the latch to the gate. Head wounds bleed profusely and I left a trail of blood down the sidewalk, up the stairs and into the house. I had lovely red hair for a few hours. I didn’t want to wash my hair until the wound had a chance to firm up.

My daughter asked what “my friends” were trying to tell me. I really didn’t know. BUT I started to take stock. I didn’t have a thought ramble ready to publish so I sat down and wrote two. My weight has been creeping up again. I’m still trying to find the right food plan for me. I decided that I would cut back on the wine. I would limit it to two glasses. My next decision was to exercise on a regular basis hoping that would help my flexibility. I started, then life interfered again.

On a beautiful summer day, my husband and I visited the zoo. I asked him to call our oldest daughter. When he tried, he learned that his phone had lost ALL contact information. When we went to the phone store, we learned that they could NOT restore his phone book. I had been considering giving up my flip phone for a smart phone. My family was having trouble understanding me when I talked. It was an EXPENSIVE afternoon. We left the store with TWO new phones. They COULD NOT transfer my phone book to the new phone. Days later, I still DON’T have all the numbers entered.

Something is still going on. Last night I noticed that the watch band on my Fit Bit watch was only holding on by a thread. When I contacted the company, they asked me to send a picture of the watch. I used my NEW phone to do that. BLOCKS are on, I was successful in taking the picture, but NOT in sending the photo to them.

In the past few weeks I have been reminded about a couple of things. Deepak Chopra shared that the greatest gift he could give to the world was to show up as himself. I realized that is what I have been trying to do. Whatever the situation, I help when I can and try to be open to learning. I also recently learned that as important as it is to forgive others, it is even MORE IMPORTANT TO FORGIVE YOURSELF.

THANK YOU ARLENE

I have to admit that I was undecided. I watch my sodium but when we eat out, I have NO control over the salt that is added for seasoning. I try the best I can to make smart decisions. Eating out caused my weight to go up 3 lbs. The temperature increased and the weight hung on. And MY KNEES HURT!

I’ve read that one pound of weight puts 4 pounds of pressure on the knees. In my lifetime I have tried so many diets that promised a lot and did not deliver. If I’m honest, I have to admit that when I’m stressed, I nibble. I try to stay with food that is healthy, but that doesn’t always happen.

I was trying to figure out what to do about my weight. Of course more exercise would help but my body parts are not helping right now. I decided that watching my food intake would be a good decision. But what should I do? Everything I thought of didn’t seem right. I DIDN’T WANT to start a diet.

In the midst of this turmoil, my husband’s sister phoned. She is older. She SUCCESSFULLY LOST more than 30 lbs in less than a year. Thankfully health problems didn’t cause the loss. She ate more vegetables and fruit. She walked more and stopped eating after 6.00 PM. She restricted her beverage after 6 to ice water.

Sounded good to me. Except I can’t stop eating after 6. But I decided to WATCH sodium, try to get more protein and walk more. Several health articles have emphasized additional protein for senior citizens. The amount of protein suggested is 100gm.

Restricting sodium is not EASY. If I have shredded wheat for breakfast, no sodium is in the cereal. Cheese is high in protein but it is also high in sodium. Thankfully Swiss cheese is lower but is still high in protein. Bread is very high in sodium, but some crackers are low and the new sandwich thins are also lower than bread.

Drinking more water helped. I LOST the three pounds of water weight. Just in time because the temperature heated up. We had a week of temperatures that were in the high 90’s.

Sadly once the water weight was gone, weight loss stopped.

MEMORY LANE

We came home from the camper on Tuesday. We weren’t home very long — maybe a half hour when our phone rang. It was a person that I have known for many years but don’t speak to often. I was happy that I was at home to talk to her.

Wednesday morning, I found a cookbook published in 2004 at our campground. A new one is being compiled this year and I was curious what recipes I had shared before. Looking through the cookbook, I found four recipes that I had submitted. One recipe for chocolate frosting I had forgotten. One recipe I had resubmitted. I also found many recipes submitted by friends who no longer camp there. One written for a rum cake brought laughter.

Back in the city, I had shopping to do. While I was at the store I overheard a woman mention she wanted to wait for the mother of a child that she had taught in school many years ago. She recognized the child. When I asked how she knew the child, she mentioned she had a good memory, the mother had posted pictures on Facebook.

Leaving the store, I passed a younger gentleman who asked me how I was, addressing me by name. He used my name two more times. Evidently he knew me. His face was vaguely familiar but I couldn’t place him. I mentioned that he looked familiar but I didn’t know where I knew him. He told me that he knew me from Unique, a clothing store that has been gone for more than 10 years. I did not work at the store, although I probably shopped there often. My memory is not what it used to be. I was surprised that he remembered me.

Later that evening, I found an exercise DVD that I had searched for at the camper and at home unsuccessfully. I also found two books that I had forgotten. Both books will go out to the camper for reading when the temperature climbs again.

While we were still at the camper, I realized I had NOT planned meals. The summer before, I had used our slow cooker often, keeping the heat outside. Making the supper when I had energy in the morning, having supper ready at night when I was tired.

INGENUITY

RAIN, Rain, rain and more rain. Just watch my garden grow. And IT DID! Because of the rain, we stayed in the city. Our neighbor’s rain gauge measured more than 8 inches in May. It measured more than 1 inch , one week in June. Our garden grew. So did the WEEDS.

Once upon a time I had no problem kneeling to pull weeds. Sadly that is no longer the case. If I get down, I have a hard time getting back up. Not to mention that my knees LOUDLY PROTEST kneeling on them. To make life even more interesting, the weather changed from comfortable temperatures in the 60’s to uncomfortable 90’s. When I was younger, the high temperatures didn’t bother me. Sadly my body isn’t as flexible as it used to be.

PROBLEM — WEEDS, FERNS, ground cover, thistles –EVERYWHERE. Even with the wet ground, they were not easy to pull. I needed equipment. I needed to get down into the ground to get the roots up. I needed to be able to kneel or sit on the ground. NEITHER was an option.

When we lost a huge tree in the tornado, we kept two pieces of the trunk. They stand on either side of the steps going up to the deck. When I stood next to the trunk, I used the tree for support and balance. Moving away from the trunk, my balance was a bit shaky. I decided to bring a cane out to the camper. While I was thinking about the cane, I remembered a walking stick my husband made for me many years ago. I found it standing right next to the microwave, waiting to be used.

The rain brought mosquitoes. I was forewarned about the problem in an e-mail. The person who warned me mentioned she used a hat, covered by netting to protect her face from the bugs when she walked her dog. Still at home, I ordered the netting and found a hat. I was set. Except at our campground they spray for mosquitoes. The second day we were there, I heard a helicopter spraying the lakes.

Mosquitoes might not be as big of as problem, but the flies still were. In fact they LIKED my ears. The hat helped. It protected me from mosquitoes and flies. It provided a little bit of shade for my face. I could easily see through the screening. The netting was long enough that I could tuck it into the front and back of my shirt.

The hat didn’t help with the temperatures. I tried to work in the garden before the temperature climbed. I quickly discovered that wind made a BIG difference. If a breeze blew, it was more comfortable. I got a timer and set it for 10 – 15 minutes. Sometimes I stopped before the timer went off. Sometimes I didn’t hear the timer. Sometimes the roots were too strong for me.

Thankfully my husband took pity on me and HELPED!

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