Monthly Archives: February 2018

“What Did You Really Say?”

It’s been crazy at Shady Acres.  Ever since Christmas, there’s been coughing and sneezing and fevers and bronchitis and most recently, strep and The Flu!  And this Delaware Grammy has pretty much had it all.  Within the last two weeks, BL, OGA and I have had strep and flu with the lingering cough that just doesn’t want to go away.

To make matters worse, last Wednesday morning, Valentines Day and all, right when I was feeling my worst, I picked up OGA’s breakfast medications and gave them to BL.  I spooned them into her mouth with her usual mashed banana and never noticed a thing.  After she had left for center, OGA, who was sick as a dog, came out, looked over the carefully prepared breakfast sitting at her usual spot and said in her most accusing voice, “Mare-Ann!  You gotta’ get my pills!”

I was sick.  I was tired.  I was fuzzy in my head.  And I was cross.  “I already have them out for you,” I said shortly, and went to get them from the medication area.  They weren’t there.  I looked over and saw that her morning pill box was sitting on the table, empty.  I could not remember setting them over for her, but I said, “Didn’t you already take yours?”

OGA was sick, too, and she wasn’t wanting to listen.  She just wanted her pills!  Wearily, I turned back to the cupboard.  I picked up the latched box that held Linda’s breakfast pill, and realized with terror what had happened.

Well!  That huge mistake set into motion a big old investigation, and reports and documentations, and so many things that I hardly felt I had time for and knew I didn’t have the energy for.  There are some interesting dynamics in this situation, but they are too complicated for me to go into them here.  Suffice it to say that this Delaware Grammy has had to miss out on a lot of things between being sick as all get out and sitting at at my desk, or in my chair, sorting through lots of records, and making reports and getting all the medications organized so that we can go to a pharmacy generated multiple dosing system within the next week.  It has been a mess, a big job, but there are “glory stories” written all over this past week, and I DO NOT WANT TO LOSES SIGHT OF THE GOOD STUFF!!!

So I’ve tried to keep my ears turned towards the eternal – listening for ways that I could help my husband, and to see what he needed ahead of time.  Most of the time things were going okay in, and it seemed like, if I watched really closely, I could anticipate what he might need, or if not, I could ask him.  Most of the time, he would let me get something if he knew I was in the area anyhow, but often he would protest that he was fine, and he didn’t want me to worry about him.  So the last ten days have passed without too much angst between us.

Today has been especially busy on the medications front.  I worked on emails and logs and  forms and copying medication cards all day.  Around 6:30 tonight, I realized that I wasn’t going to make it into the pharmacy with my carefully organized medications, and that I was also not going to be able to go to calling hours for Dr. Crabb.  I stood at the kitchen sink and felt like crying.  I knew I could go to the funeral tomorrow (probably!) but I wanted to go tonight and talk to the family and just be with them for a bit for old time’s sake.  But I still had ladies to feed, my cough had gotten more ticklish as the day wore on, and I didn’t have my reports completed.

Certain Man came in from doing chores and decided to rustle up a salad for his supper.  I offered to fix him something, but  he waved me off.  “You take care of the ladies,” he said.  “I got this.”  So, I made OGA and BL their supper, got BL into her jammies and back on her chair, then went back to my desk to work on some more reports.  About ten minutes into my work of entering the extra prescriptions that I’ve had this month for OGA, I thought I heard him rustling around in the kitchen.  I knew he had finished his salad, and I couldn’t figure out what he needed now.

“Sweetheart, ” I called from the study, “is there something I can get for you?”  (Sometimes after he has eaten his meal, he decides he wants something else, but it isn’t as predictable  as to what that might be since he has been trying to 1’cut back.”)

“Nope,” he answered cheerfully.  “I’m just gonna’ make some sweet tea.”  Oh, that’s right!  The pitcher was empty after supper.

“I can make that for you,” I say, as I get up from my desk chair and come back out to the kitchen.  “I’ll be glad to make that for you!”

“Nah,” he said, pulling the Tupperware container down from the cupboard where we keep our family sized tea bags.  “I can make it.  I gotta’ learn how sometime.  You aren’t gonna’ live for– -gonna’ always be around to make the tea, and I need to know how.” He avoided looking at me as he dug the three teabags out and searched for the 4-cup pyrex measuring container that we use to make a gallon of sweet tea.

“Huh,” I said to him, “It’s true that I’m not going to live forever.  I think there’s pretty much evidence to indicate that none of us live forever.  But my question is, ‘What makes you think I’m going anywhere first???'” And I scrunched up my face at him.

And he didn’t even answer that question, at least not that I can remember, but he had the sense to laugh.  I washed the pitcher, measured in the sugar, he brought the hot, steeping teabags and dumped them in the pitcher and I stirred while he poured in the ice.  It turned out perfect in every way.  He could have done it by himself, it’s true.  He honestly does know how.  That little observation about the reason he should be “learning to make sweet tea” was completely uncalled for.

And now, I’m going to go put ladies to bed and then try to finish some more charting while he watches his beloved Ohio State play basketball.  It’s a quiet night at Shady Acres.

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The Face That’s Turned Away.

I pulled up my instagram account a bit ago, wishing I had a picture to share, and my heart caught at the one that filled the screen as a prospective “next share.”  It is a beatific photograph.  A bearded man is holding a baby against his face, kissing her chubby cheek.  She is beautiful, but looks exactly like she’s thinking what her Mama wrote when she sent the photograph.  “Why does this man with the itchy beard insist on kissing me every day?”

I cannot show it.

The man is Eldest Son.  The baby is Baby E, the little one that was placed in their home a little over three weeks ago.  I devour this little face with my eyes everytime a picture is sent, and everytime I long to show off to the world this newest grandbaby of ours.  I especially want to stamp her on my heart because, once again, we do not know how long she can stay.

But any time that a picture is shown on these places which we have come to use as the platform to show our precious little ones, this little one’s face must be turned away or blotted out  or obscured somehow so that her identity cannot be discovered.  I know all the reasons.  I know all the precautions.  I know all the rules.  I know all the laws.  And with my head, I say “yes” a thousand times to keeping our little one safe.

But my heart!  Ah, my heart!  It swells with wanting to share the miracle of a child, the wonder of a daddy’s love, her brothers’ pride, her Mama’s intuitive parenting and fierce, protective love, and that face- that sweet, round face with the pouty lips and pug nose!  Is she a beautiful baby?  I can’t tell. She’s wonderful.  She’s precious.  She’s sweet natured.

And YES!!!  She’s beautiful.  Of course she’s beautiful.  She’s one of our family.

So.   “Why does this man with the itchy beard insist on kissing me every day?”

For the same reason, Baby E,  that he tells you every day that you are beautiful.  For the same reason that he gets up with you when your mama is tired, and lovingly tends to your needs.  For the same reason your Mama opened her hurting heart one more time and let you in, and doesn’t hold back from loving you, even though it’s sometimes like a knife in an old wound when she realizes how much she loves you and how much she stands to lose.  For the same reason that three little boys rejoiced at your coming, love freely and with open hearts and hands, and in the carefree race of childhood, shove back the  “what ifs.”  For the same reason that your extended family watches eagerly for any pictures or stories that will help to make you more tangibly THERE in our heads as well as our hearts — All this because???

Because you are worthy of loving.  Because you are here.  Because you need a family, and frankly, we need you.  Ah, Baby E!  We will turn your face away for now, if needs be.  We will hearken to the ones who write the rules.  But we will not turn our hearts away  from you, nor our faces from The One who is writing Your Story.

In His Time.  By His Rules.  He is writing your story.  He sees your precious face.  Today I choose to trust Him to know the best plot, the best beginning, middle and ending.  He is a loving Heavenly Father.  He will hold you close to His heart.  He will do what is best.

And this Old Delaware Grammy’s heart will choose to offer a sacrifice of praise.

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