Patiently sitting in a straight back uncomfortable chair in a sterile doctor’s office with my Dad waiting on the Dr. The room was filled with the necessary equipment for exams and procedures, the ominous looking machines with scopes attached and monitors glaring at us. Although, that captured my Dad’s attention, he was most enamored by the picture on the wall. You have seen them, the almost cartoon like drawing of a beach with the Wooden beach rental chairs and an umbrella in the middle. This picture prompted a memory of more than 50 years ago of a young teen age boy, earning gas money during the summer on Clearwater beach and my Dad began to talk about the job of putting out the chairs, the fact that it was $2.00 a day to rent them. “It wasn’t a bad job, but when I got the job with the City as a Lifeguard, it was a pay raise and a promotion. I was the one in charge on the beach.” A sweet conversation ensued about his time working on the beach.
I believe with all of my heart that the ocean is God’s best work! It is my happy place. I do my best work on the beach, listening to the waves crash, watching the waves creep up the sand, but never go too far, and simply soaking in the vastness of the deep blue-green ocean. When trouble abound, I head to the beach for clarity and direction. My Dad instilled in me a love for the big beautiful body of water, from my first swim in Clearwater beach at the ripe old age of 3 weeks.
Sweet memories of times gone by are more available than the simple things of now, like, what was eaten for lunch or how long he has to stay in rehab. I was reminded this morning, that we need to reminisce and we need to reflect on our journey with God as well. Through all of our good times, today and yesterday, God is with us, He reminds us of what He has done in our lives, through the lessons from Deuteronomy 8:2-3:
“And you shall remember
the whole way that the Lord your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not. 3
And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord
Lord, help me to foster those memories and not get frustrated with answering the “today” questions over and over again.  The Holy Bible: English Standard Version
. (2001). (Dt 8:2–3). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
My slumber was abruptly disturbed at 5:37 am, “Mrs. Kicker, this is Solaris rehab calling, it is not an emergency, but we wanted to let you know, your Dad fell this morning and has a couple of “skin tears”. Throughout each day that I am not living out of a suitcase at my brother’s lake house, I get a variety of phone calls, texts or facebook messages about my Dad’s condition, asking for a decision about his care, just letting me know what has happened or a general report on his condition.
You see, in just a few short weeks, we have gone from that ominous Power of Attorney, “just in case something were to happen”, to a daily deluge of health decisions, financial decisions, and business decisions. A constant drip, drip, drip.
In essence, my life and my family’s life have been put on hold during this season. Little did we know that when we received that phone call that my Dad had fallen and was in the hospital, that I would spend 8 days in FL, and then come home only for weekends in the weeks that followed and that pattern will continue for the foreseeable future.
I have grown weary, weary of doing good. That is what this is right? caring for a parent, is good.
29 He gives strength to the weary and strengthens the powerless. 30 Youths may faint and grow weary, and young men stumble and fall, 31 but those who trust in the Lord will renew their strength; they will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not faint.
Isaiah 40:29-31 has such a good reminder of how the Lord will give me strength as long as I trust in the him and seek his direction. Every morning I seek the Lord, ask for direction in my decision making about my Dad and strength to carry through.
My bucket is getting full of the constant drips, but I will not let it overflow!
My big girl pants didn't fit today. And quite frankly, I just didn't want to put them on, they are tight and pinching me. I am tired, and I am weary.
This week has been filled with visits to the hospital, visiting Rehab facilities, Dr's offices, a Pharmacy, banks, lawyers, accountants (Dad's office) clothes shopping, cleaning 20 years of dirt, and a mound of laundry (truly a Mound!)
So today, my big girl pants just didn't fit. After the morning visit at the Rehab, another trip shopping to try and find some clothes that would fit, another load of laundry, I found that I was exhausted and needing rest and a mental break. When at home, I love a Sunday afternoon nap, curled up with a good Christian novel, escaping through the pages to experience another place and time. Rest came this afternoon through the pages of a well written novel and a solid nap.
Writing and watching the brilliant oranges and pinks of the sun setting over the lake at my brother's house with the calico cat that came with the house laying beside me and reflecting on the past week.
I am reminded of all of the people that have touched my life this week. The bigger than life receptionist at the hospital with her stylish golden hair against rich cocoa skin. Thelma, greeted me with a bright smile and kind word every time I walked in. Kayla, a daytime CNA, who is a petite spitfire with a long blond ponytail and an authoritative gentleness, she chose her profession well. The adorable "candy strippers" (I am sure that is not what they are called now, but they were back in the day) 70 plus year old ladies with Fiona Headbands and brightly colored bows adorning them, that offered a word of encouragement and a magazine to pass the time.
And then, I encountered some crabby and not so nice people that probably should have chosen different professions, one not dealing with people all of the time.
I strive to have a smile on my face and be one of those people that make a positive impact during an encounter, like Kayla or Thelma or the little old ladies handing out magazines. But, I am sure there are days that I fall into the Crabby category and shouldn't be around people.
With God's grace, I can start over, put on my "Big girl" pants, be Joyful and make a positive difference in someone or a 100 someone's life today!