An unfamiliar world

surreal worldAnother day in this upside down world. I have had some news of my husband which assures me that he is comfortable and being treated but will be there a while longer. Tough news but at least some answers are forthcoming.

The world for most of us remains surreal. Safely at home but having to clean groceries or leave them in the garage for several days. I am only cleaning the things needed immediately and with just me those are not many. I guess not spending much money is a blessing.

thank-you-clipart-for-powerpoint-8Life is certainly different and certainly interesting. One has no idea what tomorrow will bring. It helps us to take stock of what is really important in our lives. I am so grateful for all the friends and loved ones who have called, texted, or emailed.

I am also grateful for all the kind words from my Word Press friends. This is a wonderful community and helps me not feel so alone.

“And this too shall pass”

problems-piling-upSince my husband developed this UTI life has not only been abnormal because of  Covid 19 but also because of dealing with someone who can’t think straight. It is better but not totally gone. God bless all those who live with an Alzheimer’s patients. I really don’t know how you do it.

The anxiety has taken its toll on my mental health and my body. IBSD has flared up after being gone for quite a long time. I know that all of this will end but I want to hurry it up. Living as we do we are mostly alone. We have some family here but they are unable to help much. It is not the day to day help I miss but the comfort of hugs and contact with friends. I am a person who knows the comfort of human touch. I count on it. It is what I miss the most. With my husband not well I feel very alone.

some-things-take-time-stay-patient-and-stay-positive-things-22810906This is my time to spend time with God and that has been helping. I also keep in mind my grandmother whose favorite quote was  “and this too shall pass.” She had such strength and faith.

There are many who are suffering much more that I and I hope they can find the resources they need, stay well, and survive the physical and financial crisis. There will be many to help in the days to come and it is up to us to do what we can.

 

Remember my favorite quote:

‘ALL WILL BE WELL, AND ALL MANNER OF THINGS WILL BE WELL’

Julian of Norwich.

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”

It seems that this pandemic has brought out the best and the worst in people. I have heard stories and seen people hoarding things with not thought for others. I have also seen neighbors getting food for people at risk and offering whatever support is needed.

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This quote from Charles Dickens seems to sum it all up:

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”

― Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

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This says it all and fits as well today as when it was written. It sums up succinctly everything that is going on. All the foolishness, all the wisdom, all the greedy people, all the giving people.

Nothing seems to have changed since the time of Dickens.

Rely on God

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There is so much fear out there…..with good reason. For those of us in places not usually touched by war, bombings and attacks fear may not be an everyday thing. We are not used to it. But we are now. We are concerned about our safety and the safety of our loved ones. But God tells us to rely on Him.

Proverbs 3:24-26 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

24 If you sit down,[a] you will not be afraid;
    when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.
25 Do not be afraid of sudden panic,
    or of the storm that strikes the wicked;
26 for the Lord will be your confidence
    and will keep your foot from being caught.

Food and kind thoughts

Our church makes up bags of goodies for homeless people. It has a variety of items in it…some food items, hygiene things (like toothbrush) and a $5.00 bill. I try to have one in my car at all times. Several places that I stop at a light there are people wanting a hand out of some sort. Every single person that I hand a bag to has said “thank you and God bless you.” I know the bags don’t solve the problem but even small things can make a difference.

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If you can manage it keep something in your car to give to those in need. It doesn’t have to be as complex as what the church makes up but it will be received with gratitude. I have a friend that has some small food items she carries. For those who are hurting anything will help. Add a note with a kind thought to it. “God loves you, you are important, you matter.” Whatever you can come up with. Those notes do make a difference.

Cancer aftermath

I have several friends who have had cancer and are in remission. When this happens people begin to see them as back to normal. Most people are unaware of how much courage is involved in continuing to move forward. There are periodic scans and you have to wait for results. It can be a time of nail biting and stress.

after cancer

Chemotherapy also can have devastating consequences. The medicines that make you well can also cause major problems with the well systems in your body. There are many things that can go wrong from failure of other organs to hair, skin, teeth problems. It is not an easy path.

Hopefully the future will bring us closer to our own immune system removing the cancer from our body without hurting anything else.

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Remember those who struggle with the aftermath of cancer treatment. They need our continuing compassion and support.

Change AGAIN!

It is amazing to me that things can be going along perfectly and the something throws the whole thing out of whack. This week has been like that so far. It is time to regroup and rethink.

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Life is never boring. There is always something that brings excitement whether it is good or bad. The trick is learning to back up, accept the changes and move forward again. Even the good things can move you off track. As someone who like routine I am always surprised by changes. It is as if my brain doesn’t even put it in as a possibility. My husband used to go to work at 6:30 in the morning when he wasn’t due until eight. He said he got lots of work done before everything started to fall apart. He planned for changes.

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Maybe leaving room for changes would help to keep me from being stressed by them. Just plan a space for things to be different than I planned. Even if that space is not on paper but only in my mind. Those of us who like order and lists resent changes. I think I will put “change” down on my list for each day.

The angels flapped their wings

Have you heard about angels? In one of his fantasy books C.S. Lewis implies that they move to fast for us to perceive them. They are only visible when they slow down.

I am not sure about wanting to actually encounter an angel. I have an idea that they are pretty impressive to see. Have you ever noticed that in the Bible almost every time they appear the first words they speak are “FEAR NOT!” That should give us an idea of what they are like.

One of my favorite stories about angels was told my Madeleine L’Engle at a conference I attended. It is such a sweet story that I decided to share it here.

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There was a religious school in a neighborhood. Many of the children there had families who experienced fighting, yelling and sometimes abuse in the home. One little boy was always falling asleep in school so one of the nuns asked him if he was able to sleep at night at home. He admitted that there was usually lots of yelling and the he was frequently frightened and pulled the covers over his head to try and disappear. 

The teacher told him not to worry. That night she would send four angels to stand at each corner of his bed to keep him safe. The next morning she asked him if the night went well at home. He told her that he was not frightened at all…the angels were there but could she cut down the number of them? The flapping of their wings was keeping him awake.

This is such a wonderful story and an example of the power of belief.

A great place to meet

Our knitting group meets on Tuesdays. The place we meet is so nice. The friendship Coffee Company. There are couches and comfortable chairs in addition to the regular dining tables. If we can we try to get the couch. Sometimes the group is just two or three and sometimes more.

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The atmosphere in the cafe is such that it seems to encourage people to talk to one another. It is not unusual for us to meet new people almost every week. Reaching out to strangers we find so many with lots in common with us. The conversations and interesting and stimulating.

friendship coffee

It is a wonderful thing to have a place where people feel so comfortable that they can converse with those around them and meet new people.

Life and death

Years ago I was distressed by  a family’s loss. In an auto accident one young daughter was killed. I felt that her life had been cut short. A minister friend had a different perspective. He felt that each of us has a life span that is ours alone….just as we are all individuals.

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I was reading a novel today and came across a similar thought that was attributed to the Gullah people of coastal South Carolina and Georgia. The book is “Gullah Secrets” by Susan Gabriel. Living near and having cared for Gullah people I have always respected their wisdom.

An elderly Gullah woman says: “Like a story, every life on earth has a beginning, a middle, and an end. Sometimes a story lasts only hours. Sometimes days, years, or decades……It is not about the lucky or the unlucky. The good or the evil…..Life and death are in an eternal dance just like that whirlwind. Wind and sand. Sand and wind. A dance across time.”

This vision of each of our lives is comforting to me. My birth and death are mine and are as unique as I am. Life and death. They both continue.