Those of you who know me well are very aware that I do not mince words. I may not be the most articulate and sometimes I lay it on the line before taking the time to clean it up for public consumption. So, I hope you will forgive my frank nature as you receive this message. Sometimes in the crappiest of situations, it is possible to find a silver lining.
The crappy situation that my family is currently living with is the fact that my daddy is not doing well. He is 85 and over the years has endured heart stints, quadruple bypass surgery, a kidney disease that resulted in the removal of one of them, has been cured through surgery of colon cancer, cured of stage 4 lymphoma through chemo and in recent weeks he has had a bad cold that weakened him, ended up with a Urinary Tract Infection that further weakened him, and is now dependent on other people to help him with most everything.
All of this just really stinks. The silver lining is that it gives our family an opportunity to show how much we care for one another. This is especially evident as my three sisters and I and all of our husbands step up to take shifts to help. One of my sisters and her husband who live less than a mile away from my parents take on more than their fair share and my nieces and nephew-in-law nearby have regularly been available as the needs have increased.
One person in particular who as stepped up to the plate is my oldest niece Emilie. Emilie has had a rocky road in her life and in our family. I was in middle school when she was born and I immediately fell in love with her and I enjoyed helping take care of her when much in my sister’s life was difficult.
Emilie made some decisions that resulted in spending some time behind bars and has struggled with drug dependencies. Fast forward through a lot of stuff, she’s been sober for almost 2 years and is working her way towards becoming a contributing member of society and our family. The silver lining in all of this is that in the past she worked at a rest home and has also spent some time taking care of elderly people in their homes.
She now has the availability, skills, experience and abundant love to help our family as we need help caring for our daddy. She is showing incredible maturity as she cares for her Papa in the most delicate and personal needs, and has become a source of comfort and compassion to my mama, her Mema.
There are so many blessings to count as we live with a difficult time in my daddy’s life. We have the memories of his leadership in so many ways before he mentally and physically became unable to lead. We have the memory of all of the ways that God has blessed us with miraculous healing in some of his past significant health issues. We have the assurance that God is with him and all of us who care for him now, and we have the knowledge that this life is just a beginning of the life to come for all who trust, believe and desire to be a part of the Kingdom to Come. And, we have no concerns about Daddy, as we know he has lived his life as a “kingdom here and to come” sort of person. No one knows how long we have left in this “kingdom here” before we move to the “kingdom to come”.
My hope is that in the remaining time that we have before us with my daddy and later my mama, and others who are close to us, we will do all that we can to properly honor and care for them as we live as hopeful people for the kingdom to come. Let us honor and appreciate every stage of life that comes before us.
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Claire – Silver Lining Blessings in Crappy Situations … 05.15.2017
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