Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Being Able

The morning activity at the nursing home was flower arranging. I wheeled my mother in law into a little room connected to the dining room, where flowers were spread out all over the table.
"Where is everyone?" I asked the aid who was filling vases with water.
"I don't know! But Gert, it is up to you to help me or we won't have any flowers for our lunch table and lunch is in twenty minutes."
So Mom K set right to work arranging flowers while the aid trimmed the stems. One of the nice ladies we had met earlier, Jo, showed up right before lunch, and the aid begged her to help too. Residents were already eating by the time Mom K finished the last vase.
"I'm not very good at this," she said.
"But you are all they have," I reminded her, "Sometimes, all it takes is showing up to be the star of the show."
"That's true," said Jo.

I ran into the Physical Therapist as we finished lunch. There was some talk of moving Mom K's room closer to the hub of activity so she could be checked on more easily and quickly. I was wheeling her down to look at the room they had in mind. The PT told me that it would be a good idea on many levels.
"If she had a walker with a seat so she could sit when she got tired, I think she would be able to walk to the dining room with it down the road. That is a doable goal with the closer room," she said. Mom K seemed happy with that idea.

So I ran out right away with Asherel and bought the sitting walker and returned shortly after Mom K had finished lunch. Asherel, my all purpose daughter, quickly put the walker together for us. It will definitely take some training and strengthening before Mom K can use it safely, but I am glad she will have goals. Goals are important in life, whether arranging flowers to brighten lonely tables, or to regain a modicum of independence. I remember reading what people with horrific health issues and declining skills advised to help keep the spirits up when the world seems to be closing in around you. Don't look at what you are losing, what you can't do. Look at what you are able to accomplish, even the very little things. And do them the very best you can, trusting that God doesn't always paint sunsets...sometimes the sky is just grey, but it doesn't mean He has stopped painting altogether.

Jo looked at Mom K's flower arrangement with a critical eye.
"What if we move just this one flower to this vase, and make this one all roses?" she asked.
"OK," said Mom K.
Jo shifted the flowers and both ladies looked proudly over the table filled with the completed vases. Then the two new friends headed off to join the others for lunch, sitting at a table fragrant with the simply, but beautifully arranged fresh flowers.

Deuteronomy 31:8 (NIV)
The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.

Ephesians 3:14-21 (NIV)
For this reason I kneel before the Father, [15] from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. [16] I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, [17] so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, [18] may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, [19] and to know this love that surpasses knowledge---that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. [20] Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, [21] to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

-save a dog-

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