Monday, March 9, 2015

when believing is seeing



“It’s often been said that “seeing is believing”, but in many cases, the reverse is also true. Believing results in seeing.” 






It wasn't even the chocolate, as tasty as it was, that got me.  No, not that.  It was the Whitman's tiny yellow box that finally made me openly weep.

My mom used a box very similar to this one, when I was young, and put her bobby pins inside.  It rested on the shelf next to the big Kentucky Fried Chicken Bucket, where her curlers resided.  For years they laid on the orange paper-lined shelf in the bathroom.


The events from that day last week just could not be "boxed," or compartmentalized in my head any longer.  The grief escaped in streaming tears, and heaving sides.  I'd been storing up.   

I had chemo earlier that day.  It went fine.  I was even up for visiting mom right afterwards.  Her building is just blocks away from Roger Maris, where I go for treatment.

Mom was in her wheelchair, waiting, for a free haircut being done in a room down the hall.  It had been months since she had it cut and was truly excited to have it done.

So when it was close to her turn I was shown where to push mom, down the hall, outside of a storage room with a sink, where the stylist was working.  

Her exasperation in having mom show up, flashed across her face instantly.  "Mary Ann, are you wanting a haircut, too?"

Mom says, "Well I think its been a few weeks."

"No," the woman says, "Its been months, and you are long overdue.  You should have tried sooner.  I've been doing these all morning, I had hoped to be about done."

 Her response is sharp and I blanche at her tone.  

And I am already in "battle mode."  How am I going to "fix," this?

I gaze heavenward, asking for His guidance.

I'm tired, nauseous, and ready to go home, and yet I feel I am needing to stay for some reason.

The stylist is midway through another woman's haircut as mom and I wait, and watch.

So I begin talking in earnest.  I simply start asking the hair dresser questions, about herself.  I quickly learn, the woman has much to say.  

Her responses are sharp at first.  She has been doing hair for almost 60 years now.  She is 79 years old, just like mom, but in good health, and just trying to stay busy since her husband passed away.

So I listen, and support.  I smile, and nod.  I compliment and encourage.


It occurs to me, her clients are hard of hearing, and often have trouble making a complete sentence themselves.  It must be hard to feel the "reward," in what she is doing. 


Soon, its my mom's turn.  And I barely need to say a word, our "beautician" as my mom would call her,  is still telling us her story.  We are her audience.

And slowly, she softens.  Her tone changes to a little less sharpness.  She cuts, then form waves with mom's hair and begins expressing how beautiful my mom's hair truly is.

Thank you, God, for these grace-filled moments.  

My belief, helped me to "see" her.  And in turn, it felt like she would be able to "see" my mom.


I slipped a 5 dollar bill into mom's hands before I turned to go.  She winked back at me.  

I had just watched my mom get a haircut in which she had no say.  Nor any mirror.  No input on the style or how it should look.  She was in a wheelchair, with hair falling freely all around her.  How did this become my mom's life?  



It was a few days later, when I was looking around the house for a container to house my own bobby pins, that I saw the Whitman's box.  

My bobby pins are tucked away, much like moms used to be.  The beauty of the parts of my mother still present with us, pinned together with the memories of who she used to be neatly resting inside.  


*********************************************





The boys went with Rick to the Minnesota High School Hockey Tournament, for 4 days.  The tickets were a huge gift to us, and we were so thankful for them!  Several boys that Nolan skated with last summer were skating in the tournament, and Nolan loved cheering them on.

Even for him as a hockey player, sometimes, believing is seeing.

We were also excited for some new hockey opportunities to come our way, for Nolan.  Our world continues to expand, and we're ever so grateful when new things present themselves.


So I stayed home and rested and healed.  My friend Steph left the new "Believe" Young Living Essential Oil, and the necklace infuser, on my door step the other day.  

Love, doesn't even begin to describe how much I adore this gift.  I should do a whole post about being introduced to Essential Oils and how much I am learning about them and using them.

Saturday I felt well enough to both go with my friend, Anne, to get pedicures, and also get my hair cut.  


I have a big care conference for my mom today.  We will discuss the possibility of her permanent placement in the Skilled Nursing Care side of Bethany.  


Has believing ever resulted in "seeing," for you? 


















32 comments:

  1. How wonderful that you knew to hold your tongue till you'd asked for help. I'm glad your mom got her hair cut that day. It must be hard on both those in the nursing home and those who tend them in any way. You helped the hair stylist by listening to her and helped your mom by her getting her hair cut. How serendipitous to have the oil with the same word that seems to be your manta. Wishing you continued energy.
    Nonnie

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    1. The oil with my word on it was a wonderfully thoughtful gift by my friend! The timing of it was beyond perfect :) Thankful for your sweet words and well wishes~

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  2. Not all would have had such grace and patience in that situation, and because you did, you brought out the best in the "salon" woman and your mother's plight that day. You're a beautiful soul. Just that.

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    1. I'm working on it Karen- its not easy- I assure you. I've spent many years in which I would have walked away, or spoken out. My views have changed so much- I can't do a lot to take care of my mom which would be my first choice- so I just try to make it the best I can, whenever I can be there. Thank you for speaking so kindly...

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  3. Oh Vicky... I cried when I read your beautiful post. I wish I could say I would have done the same thing, but I probably would have told the B off. You are a true inspiration, dear Vicky. I continually keep you and your Mom in my prayers.

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    1. Hehe- you and so many others- Katie- and I think that serves us well at times, too. Somehow, not conceding this time, just felt right. I even think, I needed my mom to feel, she was in good hands and to not feel harsh reality of her surroundings so much. Thankful for your prayers!

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  4. Vicky, when I was little I used to love those little Whitman's boxes with the lid that came off and could store treasures. I was right there with you when you described the flood of memories. My mom is going away from me in a different way through Alzheimer's but it is incredibly hard to see her struggle with things that would once have been second nature. I'm so grateful your mom has you to help her maintain her dignity and open doors where walls once stood. You are grace personified.

    I'm so glad you took a weekend to rest and take care of YOU and that you are learning about essential oils and their healing properties. The doTerra OnGuard I sent is the same oil as Young Living's "Thieves" oil and has so many uses. It's one I try to never be without. doTerra makes an OnGuard lozenge that I always pop when I have to be in crowded places and don't want to pick up a respiratory bug. (Other than that I do not use the oils internally.) But I do apply them to skin and diffuse. LOVE the necklace. And you look stunning in that photo. So, so pretty. Love to you.

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    1. Prayers for you, Robynn.
      You are a good friend to Vicky. May God continue to bless you and your Mama. Alzheimer's is such a long goodbye....

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    2. Robynn- you've put it in words that describe so perfectly what it is like, "it is incredibly hard to see her struggle with things that would once have been second nature." Amen. The doTerra you sent me- was what introduced me to the idea of the oils. Then another breast cancer survivor and friend of mine, invited me to a class with Young Living oils and Thieves does remind me of OnGuard- I've used them both!

      Jackie and Robynn, you both are such loving, kind and supportive friends and I am so blessed by both of you! Sending much love and praying for you and the journey you are on with each of your moms.

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  5. I agree with Karen Ann, the previous poster - most would not have had the same grace you showed toward the hairstylist, but it was the right way to treat her. Your sweet spirit probably made her day.

    Glad you were feeling well enough for a pedicure - it is beautiful! I'd love to hear how you feel about the Essential Oils. I'm considering trying them out for myself - mostly to help calm my nerves.

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    1. I truly love my Essential Oils and I am still very much a beginner, but just putting them in the diffuser for aromatherapy is wonderful. There are so many uses for them, and they are so natural- if you are interested at all, I'd find someone who can help you attend a class and try some!

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  6. I try very hard to read the mood, the expressions and the tone and I REALLY TRY to diffuse situations, but I'm not always successful with the other person, or myself.

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    1. Me either- and truthfully, I could perhaps write an entire blog illuminating those very things. But I try to put it out there, here, that I'm trying to change, in a consistent manner. I so often feel I am writing this for myself first - the beauty is all of you coming along and joining in- so powerful when you don't feel like you are alone :)

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  7. Vicky, I am so impressed with the grace you showed in that moment. I don't know that I would have done so well, not when tired or nauseous at least. I'm grateful for that example to emulate when a day comes that I need to show grace. Which is, perhaps, pretty much every day, right? Ah, the opportunities. Sometimes I rise to the occasion. Other times, I come up short. Always something to strive for. Again, thank you. :) And I absolutely adore both your hair and toes, girlfriend! You look fab! :)

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    1. We all fail at times and I am purposely sharing a time when I didn't to encourage myself too. I've had too many times, too many ways, too many everything where I've felt I could have done better. So now, my goal, as simple as it may be, is to do better as often as I can. Plain and simple :) Much love to you~

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  8. Oh dear Vicky,
    So many memories came rushing back as I read your post. I could visualize where my Mom kept her bobby pins. I have her vanity and stool and have kept the drawers the same, Each time I open one, the flood of who she was rushes in. I wanted to hold you as I read about your tears and heaving sides. This process of walking another home is such a learning about what matters, about putting old hurts to rest as you are now the caretaker.

    And what a perfect day to hear about you, your mom and the stylist. Her sharp tone, you, in battle mode ready to protect your Mom from her cutting remarks and then...and this just touched my heart...you looked up. That's my lesson. You looked up.

    You, my dear teacher, looked up for His guidance. And everything changed as you cared about the lady who was hurting too, there cutting hair after losing a husband.

    After a day when I have been in the battle mode with several of my students who fell short and disappointed themselves and me..I wish I had looked up. Tomorrow, thanks to your reminder, I'll look up and then listen with an open heart.

    And speaking of hair cuts, yours is just gorgeous. :) :)Your hair, your toes, your smile...you..just beautiful! Beautiful inside and out.

    Oh sweet friend, what a gift you are to me! May God bless you and keep you and hold you in the palm of His almighty hand!
    Love you to the moon and back!
    Linda

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    1. Sweet friend,

      I am still so surrendered at times, feeling as though without guidance and gentle nudges from Him, I don't have a thought in my head to know enough to get me through. So that former Psych. practitioner came out, and with his guidance, I was able to get through it. Thank you for your kindest of words, always- and if you come away with some small thing that helps you, than I am truly honored and blessed. Love you dear one!

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  9. Oh dear Vicky where to start! Your story about your mom moved me to tears this morning. The beautician obviously was struggling and you offered kindness. It's exactly what I've been praying for, more kindness. There is such a great need for it in our world and the Holy Spirit is happy to supply it if we'd only ask!
    I love Young Living oils!!! So happy you have found them. I didn't even know there was such a thing as a neck diffuser. I use my diffuser next to my bed every night. Have you tried Peace and Calming? My fav!!
    I was actually in Minnesota this past weekend and saw some of the high school hockey games on the TV's in the restaurants we were eating in. So exciting!! We went to Rogers to look at a house that my son and his fiance were interested in buying. Did I ever tell you my #2 son is a police officer in Coon Rapids? So we will continue to make many trips north over the coming years.
    Big hugs to you and your sweet mom. You are so often on my mind <3

    Deb

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    1. Deb- that is so neat to have a son as a police officer in Coon Rapids! Rogers seems like a nice community as well- gotta love the outlet mall :) I love so many of the oils and diffuse them by my bed often too. I like Peace and Calming, Joy, Lavender, Purification, etc. Purification overrides hockey stink really well :)

      I felt really lucky being in the moment with my mom and having the clarity and peace, through His help, to assist in the situation.

      Big hugs right back to you~ thank you for your kind words and support always~
      xxoo

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  10. It can be so difficult to just stop and listen to someone who has rattled your last nerve. I don't suppose anyone took the time to listen to her on that day, or maybe on many days. She needed your kindness, she just didn't know it :-) I imagine your mom feels beautiful!

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    1. I so felt like, my mom, just needed me to run interference for her. She is so diminished in her capacity to fend for herself in some of these situations, and I just feel compelled to jump in and help if I can.

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  11. You and your Mom are touching more lives than you will ever know.
    You have a kind and gentle soul.
    I love you, and I pray for you continuously....

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    1. Jackie- we are so connected through this journey. I also think of you morning and night, friend, sending love and hope, comfort and peace, always.

      Love you dear friend~

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  12. My mom (78) got her first iPhone several months ago. No computer. No internet other than her phone. She's learned how to click on links. I'll be sending this link today.

    This is so powerful, Vicky. So much love and grace and gentleness.

    Thank you. It's universal. We all need this, daily.

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    1. Your kind words speak to me, Julie, thank you. My goal is to live as present each day as I can, and its become easier to embrace, when the tomorrows are so uncertain. If today is the last one, I want to lay my head down this night, knowing, I did as much as I could, despite how small it might be. xxoo

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  13. What a beautiful post.
    My example of believing, then seeing:
    I believe in your goodness and so I'm constantly seeing it.

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    1. You always humble my heart, dear friend, thank you. xxoo

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  14. Vicky I cam across this and maybe it's good to show your doctor.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2015/03/10/bc-agency-hails-experim_n_6841786.html?

    Last fall, Keating, 67, joined a clinical trial in Vancouver that sequenced the genome of her tumour to recommend treatment. She was put on a drug typically used to treat high blood pressure and within five weeks the cancer was barely detectable.

    "When you've lived with cancer for five years and you're trying to beat the dragon that's breathing behind you, when finally someone says to you 'We can't see any (cancer)', first of all you're incredulous, kind of in a state of shock," Keating said in an interview.

    "It takes a while. It took me and my husband a couple of days for that to set in."

    Keating's doctor treated her as part of a B.C. Cancer Agency study into personalized onco-genomics, or POG — an experimental method of examining tumours to identify potential treatment.......

    While the technique could be years away from widespread clinical use, the researchers hope it could one day allow doctors to customize treatments to each patients' individual tumours and improve their odds of survival.

    Dr. Howard Lim said that in Keating's case, the genomic sequencing identified a specific protein as the driving force behind her cancer. His team identified an existing blood-pressure medication known to block pathways to that protein.

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    1. Hi Vic- yes- genomics is hugely popular! We do have a program, here, at Roger Maris, and Dr. Panwalkar and I have discussed it. So many new approaches to treatment are surfacing every day, its just a matter of finding the ones that will work and keep working :) Thanks for the great info- its truly exciting!

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  15. Believing has always resulted in seeing for me....since I turned 27...it was a knowen of mine. BUT it hasnt been latley...it's like I am all upside down for the first time in years and everything I always thought or did...eludes me. I truly believed in everything...to the point I saw much and was blessed by that. now it seems I dont know what to believe...that is so not like me...so reading this was reminder that somehow I have to pull myself up by my boot straps and find that belief in me again! Thank you for the beauty of this post...and all those things that tie you and your mom together are priceless to read. Much love to you and continued prayers.

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    1. I will pray that you do, Peggy Sue. I know what a challenge it can be to have the rug ripped out from underneath you, and suddenly nothing feels familiar or known. In time, friend, I believe you will find your stride again- just keep going!! Forward, honey, its the only way through! Love to you~

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  16. Dear, dear Vicky,
    You are a true picture of letting Jesus live and love through you. I see Jesus in you. When we are weak, He is strong. It’s an ultimate test, how we respond to difficult situations/people, especially in times when we aren’t feeling our best either. You looked up, prayed for the Lord to help you and He did. He spoke through you knowing this woman needed someone to hear her. The choice is always ours. The more surrendered we are the more we can see. Believing is seeing....so beautiful, so true. I believe it’s the only way we really can see. In our pastor’s message today he said when the true Christian serves others, people will see Jesus, if we do things to glorify ourselves, well, people will only see us, and that will be our reward. It sure made me think about why I do what I do. I see Jesus in you, Vicky. A surrendered life, not complaining, not snapping back, just looking up and then reaching out to a lonely person even though you didn’t know she was lonely, Jesus knew. You amaze me and inspire me. There you are fighting the battle of your own life, plenty to whine about or lash out about, but you don’t, you do what Jesus would do....reach out, encourage, surrender.

    I share some of the same memories of my mom also.....storing bobby pins and such in the same ways, plus being particular about her appearance and beauty products. She also had to let go of so much as she battled cancer (not bc) until she passed away. She let go graciously as your mom has. I think it’s harder on us in many ways.

    I’m so glad you were able to rest and heal, and pamper yourself with the pedicure and haircut! You look beautiful from head to toe!

    I need to send you an email sometime. I recently learned I have a cousin, one I don’t know at all, in your area. He’s actually the son of one of my first cousins. Wouldn’t it be wild if you knew him and his family though?!

    Hugs and prayers always,
    Nina

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I welcome what you have to say. Thanks for taking the time to grace me with your thoughts and words!

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