Saturday, August 4, 2012


I played hooky from the nursing home in the morning and went kayaking. All alone. I was careful not to get wet so I could go directly to the Nursing Home afterwards. I watched an osprey couple in a nest feed their young. The male then tried to lure me away when he saw me approaching. I obeyed him and steered wide of the nest. The last thing I needed were osprey talons in my hair. When he was certain I was no threat, he veered off to go fish.
That's a good husband, I thought, watching him hunt for his family's lunch. Protection and provision. What more does an osprey family need?

I stopped home later to get Asherel, knowing Mom K would love to see her. When we arrived at the Nursing Home, Mom K was watching the Olympics. I checked the Activity Calendar and saw that "Shut the Box" games were going on in the Activity Center there.
"Let's go play Shut the Box," I said, "Go meet some people."
"OK," she said shrugging.
"Would you like to walk? Asherel can follow with the wheelchair in case you get tired., and I can help you with the walker."
"Yes," she agreed.
So we made our way to the Activity Center which was all the way down two hallways, and up the elevator. It was the longest walk she had done since arriving. She did well and made it the whole way. Mom K was directed to a table with two men. They were very kind, showing her how to play Shut the Box. This game is mostly luck with some simple addition skills required. As Asherel described it, "mindless." But it was a good challenge for old people who are struggling with remembering things and a nice way to meet people.
"It's an old Irish pub game," said the man across from Mom K.
"Then where's the beer!?" I asked. Maybe this game wasn't so bad after all.
"No beer," he said sadly.
I chatted with the man next to me- Dr.P.
"What are you a doctor of?" I asked.
"Zoology," he said, "PhD doctor."
The activity leader told me he had been the chancellor of a large university. This startled me. It was an incongruous place and activity for a man who had probed the depths of knowledge to be playing this silly little game of chance.

LIfe is sometimes filled with incongruities. We all end up in the same place, no matter how magnificently we soared. (Well, at least on earth, we will do. After that, there is a big difference in where we all end up for eternity.) In this gentle facility where Mom K now lived, she, like the Osprey I had seen, also had protection and provision. Of course that is not enough for any of us humans. I was trying hard to shower her with love, since that is critical as well. But the final essential ingredient necessary for human happiness, purpose and meaning, God alone would have to show her. I thought about how sometimes, when our abilities are reduced to such a level that we can barely lift our head, it is not always so easy to remember that we do have purpose, we still have meaning. Our Creator would not have offered eternal life to beings who were not created for a reason. That would have been cruel, like playing Shut the Box for endless hours knowing once we ruled the world.

As I was leaving, Mom K said, "But I have nothing to give you!"
I held her hand and told her, "You have already given me for years and years. Now it is my turn to give to you."

Jeremiah 15:11 (NIV)
The Lord said, “Surely I will deliver you for a good purpose..."

Romans 9:22-26 (NIV)
What if God, although choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath---prepared for destruction? [23] What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory--- [24] even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles? [25] As he says in Hosea: “I will call them ‘my people’ who are not my people; and I will call her ‘my loved one’ who is not my loved one,” [26] and, “In the very place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ there they will be called ‘children of the living God.’ ”

-save a dog-


  1. Vicky,
    Know that you and Arvo are often in our prayers. I know the next 10 yrs will bring similar challenges.

  2. thank you Cathi, i appreciate that very much.
    hugs back,