Blinded by the Light

There is a fine line between Light and Darkness.

Yet somehow, they define one another.

The contrast is bold and blunt.

The lines, defined and thin.

As the Light changes, the Darkness diminishes.

Even without the blinds fully opening, the Light still wins.

As the Light filters through the blinds, casting shadows on the ceiling I am aware of the irony.

The blinds are designed to keep Light out, yet it still filters through, challenging the Darkness to give way.

Darkness, blinded by the very light it is designed to keep out.

How ironic that the blinds actually cast the Light.

Even more ironic when the Light is so bright it blinds.

Isn’t that how Grace works too?

Grace infiltrates the darkness that blinds us, shames us, and even threatens to change us.

Grace penetrates in spite of Darkness and forges new openings, new beginnings, and new hope.

Tomorrow is a new day.

Let the Light come in!

Let it penetrate, infiltrate, and define.

May you be blinded by the Light that overcomes the Darkness.

And may you be filled with fresh Hope as the blinds give way to Grace.

Spring Emerging

Household Faith

Standing on the edge of the newly uncovered deck following 14 straight weeks of snow and ice cover, I heard new sounds.  After the long silence of winter, the neighborhood was slowly coming alive.  Someone rolled a trash can to the curb for morning pick up.  Two voices were conversing down the street.  A dog barked.  A car splashed in a mud puddle as it drove by.  A different dog barked.  Someone walking their dog in the pre-dusk light jingled a set of keys as they passed by.

Fourteen looong weeks of bitter cold, harsh winds, every kind of precipitation possible.  I’d almost forgotten the sounds of spring. 

Another day passed.  Suddenly there was a set of robins hopping across the leftover snow streaks in the front yard.  Orange and purple painted the western sky at dusk.  And the once frozen soil was becoming mushy with the thaw that comes with spring.

Later that night.  The wind howled and the sky flashed!  Out of nowhere an unfamiliar crack of thunder startled us from sleep.  The sounds of spring were emerging. 

Then days passed and the rains kept coming.  Not forty days and forty nights, for that promise had been made long ago, but the rains came anyway.  Unceasing, relentless.  The yard only half thawed became first a stream, then a river, and then a small lake.  The streets were full. The rivers broke their banks.  The miniature icebergs scraped at the bridges and underpasses.  The rains came.  The water stayed. 

And then, without warning, on a mid-afternoon it came.  Faintly at first, but the colors brightened, then doubled, then connected one span of the sky to the other.  A full double rainbow graced the Eastern horizon.  Hope was restored.  Spring was emerging.

Tonight, a quiet surprise.  Somewhere beyond the housetops echoed the coo of the doves.  Our town has an abundance of doves, but they have been absent since winter set in.  But tonight, they were here, calling to one another, calling to us.  Spring emerging brings the coo of the doves, which in turn brings hope and inspiration and courage.

Spring emerging is bittersweet.  No more ice and snow in which to complain, but rather sunshine and rain in which to accept.  Never perfect yet always right.  Spring emerging in sound, in site, and in life.

 We live in four seasons.  The calendar marks the days, but the seasons put a mark on our hearts. Acutely aware of the passing time, seasons forge their own path in their own time, which then becomes our time.  We don’t choose the timing or the path, but we are full participants in both. 

To welcome the spring is also to embrace the fall.  To bask in summer is also to anticipate the winter.  In seasons we are tested, bruised, battered and torn, yet somehow restored, made whole, and at last completed.  Not in our own time, but in Time as it’s given.

News Comes Callin’

Unspoken-ness

Close to Home,

Far away,

News comes callin’

Passed away.

Feel the pain,

Start to Pray,

Mind is racin’

Snatched away.

Reaching for words to give comfort,

Struggling to understand Grace.

Livin’ with hope for the future,

Yet limited by this time and space.

Hope will know the answer.

Faith will mark the time.

Love will keep us searching

For the purpose in this life.

Close to Home,

Far away,

News comes callin’

Passed away.

Feel the pain,

Start to Pray,

Mind is racin’

Snatched away.

Learnin’ to live for the moment,

Tryin’ to live life today.

Thinkin’ about no tomorrow

Isn’t the way we’re taught to play.

Who’s to know the reason,

The time, or the place?

Who’s to know the season

When we meet Love face to face?

Close to Home,

Far away,

News comes callin’

Passed away.

Feel the pain,

Start to pray,

Mind is racin’

Snatched away.

In loving memory of our dear friend, Roger Gilles LeBel–Gone too soon.

Keeping the Mind Busy

Diagnosis Dementia ~ Prognosis Hope

In the world of Dementia there is a fine line between keeping the mind busy and keeping the loved one occupied.  It would seem busy work might stimulate the senses over and over without a memory to keep track of passing time.  

Seriously.

I’ve been told so many things about needing to keep activities on hand to keep my mom busy and/or occupied. We have adult coloring books from every genre. We have word find books, crossword puzzle books, and Sudoku.

They work for a while, depending on the day. I was looking for activities that might help on the days Mom was bored by the books. I stumbled upon Dementia-minded dominoes and color/shape matching cubes. They’re interesting, but haven’t held Mom’s attention for long at a time as of yet.

My sister-in-law was looking for something Mom might enjoy at Christmastime when she stumbled upon this “new” version of the old number-slide game. Remember these?  This is one of the first handheld devices used to entertain little hands and it didn’t even need recharged!  It was about 4” square in size and was “church-approved”. My grandmother carried one in her purse. My aunt remembers playing with one in church when she was a child! And I am sure all of my cousins remember it too! It was always a challenge to get the numbers in order from 1 – 15 and probably took a good deal of the sermon time to make it happen!

My brother and sister-in-law brought this little gadget to our house around Christmastime and Mom spent hours getting it in order. She’d mess with it until she got it all in numerical order, then proudly leave it on the table.  Sometimes it would take her all afternoon, but she’d stick with it until it was in perfect order.  A day or two later I would mix up the numbers. Before bedtime, Mom would have it back in order. We did this off and on for a couple of weeks! It seemed to be very satisfying for Mom while she worked to get it exact! 

This morning the number slide was in order. I had a little time so thought I’d mix it up so Mom would have something to do with her hands if she got bored this afternoon. But today was different.

The numbers would not move.

In fact, they wouldn’t even budge! 

I took it to my husband for closer examination. I thought maybe Mom had bent the edges down with a pair of pliers to keep it in order. But when I handed off, I realized something else! Discolored, sticky streaks on the bottom of the otherwise shiny surface.

Yep!

Glue residue. With perfect fingerprints!

Mom had GLUED the numbers down. In numerical order.

Now NO ONE could mess up her work this time!

Or EVER again!

The first handheld, church-approved, family heirloom is forever glued into perfection. Not ONE number square even wiggles. It is one solid, handheld device in perfect order from one to fifteen!

Which brings me to a whole new set of questions!

  • Where is heaven’s name did she find glue?
  • Where is the glue now?
  • And when did she do that without someone catching her in the act?!!  (Have I told you we have a nurse on duty 48 hours a week and my mother is NEVER left alone?)

Quite obviously, in the world of Dementia, keeping someone occupied does not correlate with redundant repetition!

Unspoken-ness

Unspoken-ness On Death and Dying, On Life and Living

Noun: A series of thoughts or words that are never spoken out loud, yet have meaning and purpose and value.

Unspoken-ness. It is a condition I have pondered for many months now. Maybe longer. Sometimes unspoken words hurt too much to say out loud. There’s an underlying fear that if I speak them, they become real and sometimes reality is too much to bear.

Other times unspoken words are hidden with the intent of protecting the listener. Sometimes they are memories, glimpses of a time past.

Unspoken-ness is a practice. It is polished and effortless because it has been with me for so long. I wonder about these words and thoughts and ponderings even before I understand them. I work through them over time, realigning the content with the reality—fact checking my heart with my head.

We simply hold these words for whatever reason, yet they never really pass away. They stay with us. They speak even if unspoken. They have meaning without definition. They plant seeds without harvest.

%d bloggers like this: