dichotomy of life

Our trip to Ohio took an unexpected twist when we received word on Saturday morning that our beloved Aunt Lena (Mrs. Homer Beachy) passed away.  It was an incredible blessing to be able to be at both viewings and the funeral, to see friends we haven’t seen in many years — probably some that we haven’t seen since we moved away from Ohio over twenty-nine years ago.

An added blessing was that we were available to help Daniel’s mom, Sue, to attend the viewing on Monday afternoon as well as the funeral on Tuesday.  Sue lives in a nursing home in Columbus, Ohio, and I would like to give a SHOUT OUT to the United Bethel congregation at Plain City, Ohio, for the visits, their ongoing care for her and the way Jonas and Arlou Beachy, along with their children, Jamie and Clint, make Sue’s needs a priority in their lives.  But Arlou happened to be out of state this weekend, and so it was important that someone fill in for her.  Jamie would have done it, but we were there, and it worked out for us to do it.  I was so glad!  

Sue, having cared for her mom and Ralph’s mother at different periods in their lives, must have decided that she was never going to rock the boat when it comes to people caring for her.  As a result, she will almost never give an opinion about what she wants.  This is one thing that drives me crazy!  If she could just say she wants the blue dress instead of the green one — or that she would like the velcro shoes instead of the buckle ones, we could get ready so much faster.  Not being around her, we don’t really know what is best.  

But that is what she will say.  “Whatever you think is best.”  

By Tuesday morning, we found ways to help her state her opinion a little bit more, and she has good taste.  When she was walking out of her room, one of the orderlies paused in his rounds to say, “Sue!  You look really good!  In fact, you look great!”  I hope it pleased her as much as it pleased me.  I thought she really did look nice.  And we marched off to the funeral in style!

There was a most unfortunate happening this weekend, though.  I got sick.  

We had lots of stuff to do, and things went according to plans, but on Sunday night, comfy in the good bed in Raph and Gina’s spare room, I heard this whistling noise with each breath.  I didn’t feel tight, didn’t have the urge to cough, but the wheezing was distressing.  When I got to the store, I got some decongestant and thought it would be better, but I just felt “off” and wondered if I was getting sick.  We went down to Columbus on Monday morning, and went to the nursing home, got Sue dressed and combed and brought her out to the viewing.  We took her back in the late afternoon, hoping that she could get a good night’s rest and be able to enjoy the funeral the next day.  Daniel and I went back to the church for the evening viewing.  It was such a blessing to see the friends and relatives that we rarely (in some cases, NEVER!) get to see.  About the time the viewing ended, we left to meet our Rachel girl for some supper at a truck stop down on interstate 70 where it intersects U.S. Route 42.

I wasn’t feeling so bad when we got there — tired, maybe, and chilly, but halfway through the supper, I began feeling really, really terrible!  Shaky and shivery and achy and cold!  I hated to cut things short with Rachel, but all I could think about was getting home to our sweet bed at Greg and Valarie Chapman’s house in Plain City.  Daniel, bless him!  He was more than accommodating, concerned and encouraging, and we headed back to Plain City while my teeth chattered and the heater hummed.  Valarie made me some good peppermint tea, and it didn’t take me long to crash into my bed.  I lay there, miserable and sad, praying that I could feel better by morning.  I slept quite a bit, actually.  I vaguely remember Daniel coming up to bed and putting extra blankets on my side of the bed, and sleeping on the floor so he wouldn’t disturb me.

I was awake off and on all night, and every time I was awake, I would pray for healing.  I was supposed to share some personal reflections at the funeral, and it wasn’t something I would lightly entrust to someone else to read.  Along about two o’clock, I was sure that there was no way I was going to be able to do it, so I told the LORD that it was okay.  Daniel could read it, or the pastor could read it, but I wasn’t going to push it to be there when I felt so bad.  I went back to sleep, and when I got awake the next time, it was a whole new story.  I felt so much better!  Not completely well, but BETTER!  I decided that if I felt this much better, I could probably go along to get Mom/Sue dressed and be able to do my  responsibility at the funeral.

By the time I got up, I wasn’t feeling quite as good, but I took a shower, got dressed and felt vastly improved.  I wasn’t the least bit hungry, though, and declined any breakfast.  So we went into Columbus, got Mom ready, brought her out and went to the funeral.  I was able to give my reflections, and then, once the last “Amen” was said, we turned Mom over the watchful care of her niece, Alma Detweiler, visited with a few good friends, and we headed for home.

We weren’t on the way very long when I began to feel really rough.  I took my temp and it was 101.6.  It was easy for me to sleep, and Daniel encouraged me to sleep as much as I could. We made good time on the way home — stopping occasionally for short breaks, then back into the car.  We pulled into the driveway at Shady Acres at 8:40 pm.  Daniel set a record for travel in recent years with eight and a half hours.  I may have set a record for how many of those hours I slept. 

And now, today, I’ve set a record for how many things I was supposed to do and didn’t.  The school called.  Did I remember that I was to tell the story at elementary chapel this morning?  “Um. No.”  Dr. Riddle’s office called.  I had an appointment.  Did I forget? That would be “yes.”  I haven’t really been very cognizant of much of anything.  

Around ten this morning, I heard a “pop” and the electric went off.  Our trusty farm generator started and I figured City of Milford would be along shortly.  At noon, I realized that the generator was still running, so I tried to call, and got all sorts of run around with “please leave a message and we will dispatch a vehicle immediately” sorts of things.  When I told Daniel about it, he wasn’t too pleased, especially after it was an hour later and I still hadn’t heard anything.  I tried again to call and got the same message.  I didn’t leave a message this time.  About 15 minutes later a very apologetic gal called saying that their phones had been all messed up and messages hadn’t been going to the right places, and she was going to send someone right out.  She did, and the electric was back on about 15 minutes later.  I don’t know what the problem was, maybe a transformer or something.  No one else was out in the neighborhood as far as I know.

And so, I’ve sat on my chair, read, slept and taken medicine at intervals.  Finally ate a very small bowl of cheerios –which hasn’t come back up, but hasn’t really felt too good in my tummy.  As long as I have medicine in me, I don’t feel too bad, but as soon as it wears off, the fever goes right back up to over a hundred.  Which it is right now, so I am going to get off of here and see about getting something to make me more comfortable.

And I just want to say:  I think this all could have been averted if I hadn’t said that I almost never get sick.  Somehow, every time I feel a need to verbalize about my lack of catching things, I have cause to regret my audacity.

But I am going to try hard to get better.  No Small Group tonight, no Bible Study tomorrow morning, no case manager visit tomorrow afternoon.  We’ve tried to clear the decks of all activity. Rest and fluids and Ibuprofen. Oh, and if you thought you might come visit me?  Don’t.  Nobody needs this.  Even my family is keeping their distance.  I haven’t seen my grandbaby in almost a week, and that feels like serious deprivation.  But later tonight, I might skype with her and that will at least help a little.  

And there is cause for grateful praise.  We were able to go to the funeral.  We were able to help with Daniel’s Mom.  We came safely home.  And we ARE home.  So grateful.  So glad.



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2 responses to “dichotomy of life

  1. I think you were blessed to get all of that done before you headed home. Always want to be home when I’m sick. Hope your feeling better now !

  2. Praying that you will soon feel better.

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