It has been a most encouraging week at Shady Acres.
Aunt Dottie and Cousin Donna brought supper on Monday evening. Do you remember Monday evening? It was cold and rainy and so miserable. Aunt Dottie had made the best potato soup that you could ever want to put in your mouth, and between her and Donna, there was seven layer salad, soft, yeasty rolls and a chocolate puddingy dessert that needed toothpicks to keep the plastic wrap off the mile high whipped cream. It was wonderfully nourishing and comforting and delicious.
After unloading the wonderful food, Donna went back out to her vehicle and brought in the loveliest plant for our new sun room from the ladies of our church. It was absolutely gorgeous! I wanted to take a picture, but my battery needs to be charged — so for now, I will just tell you about it. This was a great blessing to me because I know that both of these gals have so much to do, and it took effort to bring supper. And the plant is a precious reminder of how my friends at church are rooting for me. I can seriously feel the prayers.
JR and Linda stopped to cheer me up, and Jimmy stopped in with some wonderfully delicious St. Patrick’s Day food — Irish Soda Bread and some Irish Fudge. Lester B. stopped by to swap shop talk about knee replacements, Cecilia’s Mom and her case manager and nurse stopped by (Cecilia had a birthday this week). Yesterday, Jimmy brought Emma around for the afternoon, and she brought more Irish food. Several kinds of bread and cookies — and more fudge. We spent some good hours together. Emma had foot surgery a couple of months ago and ended up with an infection which resulted in lots of pain, and more time off her feet than she had planned. We had much to talk and commiserate about. She is a good friend, and she didn’t even mind when I slept in my chair while she was here. I was blessed by the fact that she did all that special baking with her foot in a big old boot and lots of pain. That Emma-girl is tough!
Then last night, another comrade in suffering, Kim Landis, stopped by with supper for my family — way more than she would have needed to bring, but it was greatly appreciated. Homemade lasagna, tossed salad, warm garlic bread and this chocolate brownie cake kind of thing. We had so much that Eldest Daughter’s family came to help us eat, and there is still stuff left. Kim had her knee done the week after I had my first one done, and she has had a rough way to go. It is doing better now, and she is back to work, but it hasn’t been an easy week for her — I think that five ten hour days in a row were just a little much — Which made the sacrifice of making supper for us even more appreciated. It was delicious!
After supper last night, my Sweet Mama and my Youngest Sister stopped by to visit. That chirked me up, too. It was so good to see them. Youngest Sister wanted to borrow some videos and my Sweet Mama just wanted to check up on me. We had a good visit, and I was blessed by the laughter. Middle Sister keeps close tabs by phone, and she was here to visit earlier in the week. Middle Sister has had more than her share of pain, and it is a great comfort to have my heart bathed in her understanding, compassionate love. My sisters and my Sweet Mama always make me feel like they are in my cheering section. And they are safe places for me to be myself.
Today was one of those days when I wanted to sit in my corner and cry. I tried to sleep in my bed again last night, but finally had to waken Certain Man so he could see that I got back down stairs safely. Once down here, I slept pretty well, but this morning the pain was intense. I was greatly discouraged. I worked on some financial stuff for the church, got some deposits ready for the bank, paid some bills, shed some tears of pain and frustration, then remembered that my physical therapy gal was coming, so I took my pain meds, made a hot cup of coffee, and answered the telephone.
It was my Sweet Mama, telling the wondrous story of being taken out for lunch by JR and Linda. She and Aunt Dottie are fans of the Chinese cuisine (Something that Certain Man and I haven’t developed a taste for at this point of our pilgrimage) and so JR and Linda made arrangements to take them out to lunch. They were at a great buffet in Georgetown and she (actually, it sounds like ALL of them) had a wonderful time. Just hearing about the good time raised my spirits a whole lot, and when my Physical Therapist got here, I was actually feeling cheerful — in spite of the pain.
Isn’t it funny how a little encouragement goes a long way. My therapist couldn’t have been more encouraging. She tells me that I am doing exceedingly well. She is suspicious that some of the pain might be from being on my leg too much, (Yesterday was too pretty a day to stay inside. I asked Certain Man to take a stroll with me around our yard. I wanted to see the crocuses, blooming so profusely by the front walk. I wanted to see where my day lilies have started to poke their heads up through. I wanted to see the tulips and the hyacinths and daffodils in their various states of beginning to bloom. I wanted to see the lawn and the trees and the sky and the sun. I was careful. I took my walker, and we walked slowly. It was a great encouragement to me!) Anyhow, she thought part of the pain might be the price of the fiddler from yesterday, but she was thrilled with my progress, and she keeps telling me how well everything is going. There is nothing like being told that you are way ahead of schedule to make you feel a whole lot better. This was a great encouragement to me.
And then tonight — Kent and April and their little people came to our house with supper. April had marinated some pork chops, made salad, prepared potatoes for baking, had a big pot of long string beans with bacon, and made “Dirty Dessert” with Oreos and pudding and Cool Whip. Kent grilled the pork chops to perfection on Certain Man’s big old grill, and what a feast we had again!!! I ate in the shelter of my chair, but the group of people at the table made an effort to include me in the conversation, so I didn’t feel left out. This meal again, seemed to be exactly what we needed. It was especially a treat because I NEVER make pork chops. (Maybe twice in all the years since I’ve been married.) It just isn’t something I felt brave enough to try. These were delicious, and everything else was done to perfection. So special.
Each of our meals suited the day they were brought so perfectly, and nourished our souls as well as our bodies. Each one seemed to be planned by, not only the cook, but our Heavenly Father as well. It has just been an incredible blessing — and encouragement to me.
And then, in the middle of all the chatter tonight, the door to the utility room opened from the entryway and there was Youngest Son and his Lovely Wife. They are around for the weekend, and tomorrow, Lord willing, the children of Certain Man and Certain Man’s Wife will gather for breakfast together. We will miss Youngest Daughter, far away at college, but we will enjoy the company that is here, and be happy together. Late tonight, our far away, almost-a-daughter, Lupe called from Guatemala, and it was a precious time together. She sounded so happy, so mature, so much herself. It did this old heart good, and was a great diversion from the troublesome knee!
The pain this week has been more than I bargained for. There have been some days when I didn’t quite know how I was going to cope. But look at what God planned for me on every hand! He has spoken love to me through the visits, the cards, the food, the friendships, the phone calls, Xanga comments — and I look at all He’s done and I am greatly encouraged. And it won’t always hurt this bad. It is better now than it was last week, and “they” say it will continue to improve. It still looks like a long haul ahead, with hours and hours of rehab. And I know from experience that won’t be much fun, but I also know from experience that it is worth it. By God’s Grace, and in His presence, together we can make it.
So! Blessings to all of you, my dear friends and family. If I missed you somewhere in this missive, I apologize. I am truly sorry. So often in the past, I have not written this sort of thing for fear of missing someone, but this has meant so much to me over this past week that I decided to give it a whirl! It is a good reminder to me, too, of how other people have sacrificed so much to help me, and I feel so unworthy, yet so overwhelmingly grateful! Thanks so very much!
This morning, I looked over to where the sun was dancing all over my window sill, and caught sight of such a pretty splash of emerald blue among a cluster of daffy down lilies, and remembered that I had forgotten to mention one of my bestest visitors of all yesterday. Cousin Joanie came in, surprising me with her easy humor and graceful glide. She brought me this vase full of daffodils that were blooming around her farmhouse, and she had stuck a whimsical blue butterfly in the midst — making my heart lurch with joy and hope. She visited a while, then confessed that she had a terrible headache, and skedaddled on home, but left me much encouraged and blessed. The flowers are so cheery, and I am blessed.