Recently I have found myself in a planning phase. If you know me well, you know I am a planner. It has served me well professionally and personally. Planning helps me get through things. If I know what is going to happen and the details are covered, I can relax and cope with what is ahead. So I have been planning.
On the mundane side of planning, I am planning to get our kitchen painted. I was given some money from my Mom at Christmas and decided the best use of it was to update the kitchen with a fresh coat of paint. Here is a look at the before - stay tuned for the after. (Counter tops are on my wish list for the update but those will have to wait for awhile.)
I'm also planning an organized, functional office. Dennis' "man cave" has been his office. As such, I did not maintain that room. It was his area. Now however it is my job to go through it and make it functional for the future. Dennis was fine with me doing this but it is turning into a major project. At this point I have decided to sort so I can determine what we will need in the future and then get a friend to help me decide what to do with the remaining items. There are electronics that I have no idea if they are something that is current and should be sold or out of date and should be trashed. Let's just say there is a lot more stuff in the room than is needed.
On a much deeper level, I have done some pre-planning with our church staff for the celebration of Dennis' life after he has been fully healed and enjoying the splendors of heaven. I'm not done with this planning and it is not easy to do. It will be the last thing I can do for Dennis and I want it to glorify God first and honor the man of God he has always been. Please remember to pray for this aspect of our journey.
Some planning is just thinking through the days ahead. I am a firm believer that we need to live in light of Matthew 6:34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.-ESV Last night I found myself planning too far down the road as to what is ahead for us and it overwhelmed me. I know from experience that God's grace is there whenever I need it. It is never early but it is also never late. In the days ahead, this will be true as well.
Our day-to-day lives are complicated at this point. Dennis' care is intense. I am so grateful for the aides who come twice a day to help with his morning and evening care. It gives me a chance to get a shower in the morning and relax. I also enjoy their company in the morning and in the evening it gives me some good, quality time with Brooklyn.
Each day involves medication preparations and administration, repositioning Dennis as he can't turn himself, changing and cleaning him, answering when he calls, endeavoring to figure out what he may want or need, finding something to keep him entertained, laundry - lots of laundry, finding coverage if I need to get away, making food he likes and can eat with as little assistance as possible ... you get the idea. And this is just the things I do for Dennis. It does not include the normal things of life that we all do for our families. Yes, I am tired. Yes, I am sometimes not as patient as I wish I was. Yes, I get tired of it all. Yes I feel like this most of the time.
But, this season of life also has its blessings. I am learning to slow down. I'm learning to not sweat the small stuff. I'm learning there are more important things than a perfectly clean house. I'm learning that God is the great provider and meets each one of our needs on time and in ways that amaze me. I'm learning the value of friends. (Seriously, without them I'm not sure how I would survive.) And most importantly, I'm learning to trust God in new and wonderful ways.
How is Dennis?
Dennis is mostly stable but recently has been having some pain with movement. When we set him up in bed or lay him down it is painful. The hospice staff believe this is from his joints not being moved so we have added some range of motion to his daily care. This is painful when it is first started but it is not long before Dennis sighs with how good it feels. Please pray for his pain in movement. He does not like to take any heavy duty pain medications as they leave him more tired than he already is so we are using Tylenol at this point.
Dennis still enjoys having visitors. As you can imagine, his days can be long and mundane. If you live in the area, he would love a visit. He sleeps a lot in the morning but afternoons and early evenings are often a good time to stop in and see him.
- Pain management. Dennis does not have much pain but when he is moved it is very uncomfortable.
- Communication. At times it is frustrating for everyone when Dennis wants to convey something to us and we can't figure it out.
- Brooklyn. Please continue to pray for her as she processes all that is happening.
- Ellen. Please pray for good rest and wisdom as I balance my various roles of wife, mom, care provider, advocate...