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Sunday, April 27, 2014

A wonderful day of baseball...

Last Tuesday, my youngest had a baseball game.  He is a varsity player at the high school.  The season hasn't been what everyone wanted it to be...parents and players, but it is almost over.  Needless to say, it's been a tough one in the scheme of baseball seasons.  In the scheme of life...it's an inconvenience and something that is unpleasant.  But in the big pic...(as the cool kids say)...not a big deal.

So Tuesday, I was ramping up to complain and be negative when two of the cutest kids and their momma showed up to watch the "big boys" play baseball.  The baseball team had gone to an elementary school and put on a clinic before the season got going and these little guys had gone to it and convinced their busy mother that they had to come to a game.   Luckily, I know this mom from church and was so happy to see her and spend time with her.  She's one of those "super moms"...works, looks amazing and has the cutest, politest and most pleasant boys.  I am sure she had other things to do but I, with my big 17 year old boy, was humbled that she would bring her guys to see him and the others play.

We sat in the grass and the questions those boys asked took me back to when I had little guys.  "Why is that guy wearing all that stuff?"  "Why is Howie standing on that hill to throw the ball?"  "Why is that guy standing behing the guy who has all that stuff on?" and on and on.  I talked with these two cuties the whole game and their mother let me and I dreamed about being the grandmother to little ones and how precious that must be.

Howie pitched and he did very well.  He is the guy that goes in when the game is out of control and there are loaded bases with no outs and the kid manages to keep the ball down and throw strikes.  But honestly, I was so wrapped up in the sweet boys and the game, that Howie could have totally screwed up and threw belt high strike after strike and I wouldn't have cared. I was so busy looking at those sweeties with their faces covered in lollipop juice and the velco sneakers and the innocent questions about baseball and life. At one point, the little one asked me where my dad was and I had to laugh and ask "you mean my husband?"  He said, "no, the guy you are always with, Mr Jim, your dad?"  As we walked over to Jim, I explained that Mr. Jim was my husband, like his dad was his mom's husband and his father...but it was so freakin' cute and who cares if he got it?  Sometimes, I thought as I explained it to him...Jim acts like my dad and I guess sometimes I act like Jim's mother so I guess he is not that far off.

The game was over and the boys got to visit with Howie and they really wanted to see the catcher but it was a bitter loss and he didn't come out before their mamma took them home.  But, they did get to watch the "big boys" and have a lollipop and I got to have them on my lap and talk about things that really matter.  I got to explain baseball and ask them about their little t-ball team and I got to feel the activity of a couple of busy boys in my lap.  I got to fly them over my head and tell them how fabulous they were and what nice boys they were and how I enjoyed them.  And I did...a lot!  It turned out to be the best baseball game of the year.

I learned last Tuesday a big lesson.  I learned about how some things, while not the way you want them to turn out, are really not a big deal.  I learned that High school baseball is not a big deal and that who you are in adversity and when things go wrong...figuring that out is a big deal.  I also learned that a couple of little boys can make everything right in the world when they are not your own and you can be taken back to when they were.  That time in my life was so hard and so sweet at the same time.  My boys were hard to corral but easy to love and now that they are big boys...I honor that momma and her work and her time that she spends loving these two.  These boys were the cutest guys I have spent time with in a long time and cannot wait to do it again.

In ten years, that mamma will be in my shoes.  She will have big boys, maybe one at college and one in high school.  Probably, she will be wondering where the time has gone because I know she doesn't feel that way now.  Hopefully, she will be sitting at a baseball game and if the season is tough, I hope someone with little boys shows up and returns the favor to her.  To help her see that it is not such a big deal...it's just baseball and even though it's intense, it is not life.    

So thank you Sara...for bringing those cute boys to to the game, for giving me a trip back to when I was you (kinda) and to remember how absolutely precious that time was.  You are doing an amazing job with those boys and any time you need a babysitter...you can call me and my dad, Mr. Jim, and Howie and we would love to corral them, play with them, give the blow pops, and velcro their shoes closed.  It would be an honor.

Love,
Terry

We'll tawk tomorrow,
I love you all,
Terry

Friday, April 18, 2014

Not just another Holy Thursday...

Hi all,  it seems like it's been forever since I blogged.  I've been in a weird place and haven't been the most pleasant person to deal with. I am looking so hard at 50 that I can taste it and it's freaking me out a bit.   I also started reading the "Bible in 365 days" and it is confusing and weird.  It's not so much that I don't believe there is a God...someone or something much bigger than me but the whole way things were back then and what are we are to take from it.  So, needless to say, I am falling away some and trying to wrap my head around faith, love and who we are supposed to be in this life. Tough to admit because I like my faith wrapped up all neat and tidy.  

Earlier in the week, I admitted a man to hospice that was pretty young and pretty sick.  I mean, this guy had been ill his whole adult life.  He went about his life, ill, and had kids, worked and set up his wife for the future.  As a matter of fact, I never even knew he was ill for most of the time I knew his family.  He just made the best of his life that he was given.

Sitting on his couch explaining what  Hospice care is, he asked a number of very direct questions that, at first, took me off guard.  "How will I die, and procedurally, what happens after with my body?"  I sat still...trying to act unfazed as his wife cried softly by his side. I answered each question one by one and waited for the next one. When he finished, I asked him to think of anything else he wanted to know.  He didn't think he had anymore questions and wanted to "get the show on the road."  I stated that he seemed ready and it must be hard to say goodbye to which  he replied, "I've already made my mind up, but I'm sure it's going to be hard for my family" and got quiet.

The show got on the road that day and I've been making visits daily, thinking he would have a few days before we got into the hardest part of the process.  Yesterday morning, I got a call from his wife saying he wasn't doing well.  I arrived 15 minutes later and could see that we were already getting close.  When he said he was ready, he really was.  I told the wife to go and get a breath of fresh air if she wanted, thinking we were in for a long day. When she got back, I had washed up the patient and fixed the sheets on the bed.  I told her to get in and she snuggled up next to him and grabbed his hands and arms.  She put her face next to his and told him how much she loved him and that he was a wonderful man.  She thanked him for their time together and I watched him settle down and relax.  I excused myself from the room because the intimacy of that moment was exactly what every human being wants when the chips are down.  They needed to be alone. 

About 15 minutes later, when I walked in to check on them, she was still with him, holding his hands and arms, her face close to his, with tears running down her face.  "I think he's gone" she said knowing it was true.  And he was.  He had a small grin on his face and the furrowed brow that had made it's home between his eyes was gone too.  He had let go in the arms of his cohort of 30 years, his fighter when he was too sick to fight himself...his soul mate. 

I stood there in shock at the profound quiet in the room and the peace that had taken over.  I quietly thanked my God for such a sweet and quick passing and for all the things that came together for it to be that way.  She just stayed in place, holding him and feeling the warmth drain from his body, trying to remember.  I could see she was so sad yet so relieved that he was finally out of pain and at peace.  Most of her last year was about supporting him and being his soft place to land when things got tough.  

As I finished my work at the home, I sat in my car and thought about God and religion and who we are supposed to be.  I thought about who I would be should Jim get ill.  Would I be able to support him and be his soft place to land when the chips were down?  So far, in our lives, I haven't been. I thought about the deep abiding love between humans, the deep love of our kids, our significant others and even folks we don't know. I thought about my understanding of God...which is  love and  how sometimes religion doesn't focus so much on that.  Some religions, probably all at one time or another, have it wrong. 

Yesterday was Holy Thursday and I didn't make it to the service.  I felt like I had already got to glimpse into what I think the face of God is...a grieving wife, now widow, who held and loved her husband out of this life into the next one.  Funny thing is,  she wasn't anything fancy or overly equipped...she just loved him her whole life and had the strength to keep going when she really would have rather given up.  They had  a connection and abiding love that is present through the good, boring, bad and even through death...what I know and believe of the love of God for us.  

Yesterday, I saw that love plus the test of time, illness and death...a glimpse of pure, holy love.  I think that is what we are supposed to be working towards here...in our lives...right now.  The love that transends the human issues and we get the heart to heart connection and really hear each other.  Seems to me lately, when I am farthest away or questioning my faith the most, I am witness to this kind of strength and love...what I call the holy times...the times when I get to see the face of my God in the people I care for.  

Yesterday was Holy Thursday or Maundy Thursday or Thursday, April 18 and I got to see the face of God in a sweet wife as she loved her man out of here.  I would say that was church enough for one day.

We'll tawk tomorrow,
I love you all,
Terry