Thursday, June 3, 2010

Prayer for a Normal Day...

Prayer for a Normal Day

Normal day,
let me be aware of the treasure you are.
Let me learn from you, love you,
bless you before you depart.
Let me not pass by in quest
of some rare and perfect tomorrow.
Let me hold you while I may,
for it may not always be so.
One day I shall dig my nails into the earth,
or bury my face in the pillow,
or stretch myself taut,
or raise my hands to the sky and want,
more than all the world, your return.

Mary Jean Iron

I saw this quote over at the uber talented Orange County Photog, Tara Whitney's blog.   

What I  would blog about, on a normal day, is not what is on my mind or in my heart today.  I am finding, the longer I try to squelch whatever words are on my fingertips, the longer the rest of my words come to a complete stop. 

So feel free to skip right past reading on these days when I am a "Debbie Downer..."   Just know I am okay, but being real.  I have always turned to the written word to make sense of my world.

But, did you know you all help?  Every heartfelt comment or email brings a measure of comfort.  Every offer of help, every offer of listening or just being there, it all helps.  All of the prayers?  I feel Dad, and myself, and my family being covered in prayer. 

In case I forget to tell you, seeing all the ways you show up to tell me I am not alone, it all helps. 

Normal day...

I wake up to find my head is throbbing...  I trudge through the day, breakfast, school bus, shower, hospital, Target, school bus, hockey, baseball, hockey, baseball, bed, bed, bed.  Lather, rinse, repeat.  

I am here.

And I am not here.  I try to soak in the peace and solitude of being alone for one last quiet morning of blogging.  I am preparing.  I've purged our closets, sorted out the drawers, donated all of the too small clothes, that were bought just a little too big, not long ago.  

Its the last day of school.  I long for it, I dread it.   

I've stocked up on sunscreen, bug spray, swim shorts, and gatorade.  We made travel plans.  We're going to hockey camp, baseball tournaments, Junior Golf lessons, swimming lessons.

I am ready.

I am not ready.  

We brought Dad home yesterday.  It is good to be home.  It doesn't resemble home.

Its a house in the midst of being packed up.  We're moving... they are moving.  44 years of life packed up in cardboard.  It seems suddenly so unimportant to be moving.

I am hopeful they will like their new place.  Its big and roomy, with lots of light, and its all brand new.  Even the dishwasher.  It's my mother's first one in 74 years.

I am doubtful.  

He may not want to go.  I don't know if he wants to go to the new place.  He railed against my mother yesterday.  Who is this showing up?  He does not want morphine.  He does not want more nursing care.  He does not want the furniture rearranged.  He doesn't rail, normally, he doesn't rail.  

He wants to decide.  He will decide.  We will let him decide.

Normal day... 

its a new normal...

every day. 


  1. You are so courageous and wise to process your days like this. Such a hard time for every one of you. Your father is railing against all the losses age and failing health are imposing on him. Your mother too - and the loss of the companion she knew. And you, you are seeing the diminishment and suffering of the parents you knew while you try at the same time to provide a nourishing environment for your children....Monumental!!!

    When you whittle away done to the bare bone of things, we are here to serve life. When things are difficult like that for me - I ask myself what can I do in service of life in general, of the lives I love, of my life. Little acts of love - listening, feeding, getting children to their activities, holding a hand - all serve life. They seem inconsequential sometimes but they are the stuff of life. Just be in each moment, doing what you are doing, knowing you are not there to save but to serve.

    I think you are quite amazing.

  2. Thank you, my friend, for speaking your truth. I've had the same problem lately... My words drying up because ofnthe words I don't want to say, deal with, be sad about.

    Just know I'd rather hear the real you than the you that you wish you were right now. I love you and am praying for you. And hugging your dad from here. It has to be hard to be a grown man, feeling like a scared boy. And it has to be hard as a daughter to know which one of those you're supposed to comfort.

  3. You are amazing and you will be okay. I am praying for you all. xoxo

  4. Vicky, this was so powerful.....and painful. The poetry and your words captured so much of the truth of life. I loved this transparency and look at what "normal" is. Even though I try to find the humor in most things I usually do it from a distance, because most of life isn't funny when it happens. I choke over what I wish I could say sometimes.

    I'm glad you're giving your dad space to be the person he normally isn't. I pray for grace and endurance for you. This is terribly hard and sometimes, unbearable. My love to you.


  5. I hear you and my heart wraps itself around you ... all of you ... as you adjust to this new normal. Thank you for allowing us to be part of that process.

  6. Vicky, if your words were not so authentically heartbreaking, I'd be doing cartwheels to let you know what a fantastic writer you are. You have expressed this journey in a truly amazing way...and it resonates deeply with me. I have walked a similar path. And I am devastated that you are required to walk it now. Praying for you daily! Love you so very, very much!!! Janine XO

  7. Your post is very powerful Vicky. I feel your sadness and happiness all wrapped up in one. All your feelings are normal, but please remember to get lots of rest. Rest is good.

    A special blessing to your parents.

  8. I am so sorry that you are going thru such times, but I believe that God will see you thru it all! Just take things day by day and be patient with yourself. Allow yourself to feel all of the emotions that are running thru your head. Feel them all. I will continue to pray for you and your family.

  9. Your words touch the depths of my heart...being there myself. No one really knows or can feel any one else's pain....and I won't even try to say that I do. I will say that you know that I love your Dad...and he is in every daily prayer of mine.
    I love you, Vicky.

  10. Moving is very hard for older people. I understand your Dad. My Dad was the same My Grand Mother was the same. I always say its better for parents to die in their own homes.
    Sometimes it is cheaper than you think to get a little help to come a few days a week to cook and clean.
    But a new smaller place with less to do is more cheerful especially if you are closer to family.
    Keeping my Mom at home was easier for me because otherwise I would be sitting with her in another place all day. This way she was with me and tagged along and it was difficult and not difficult depending on how you looked at it.
    Everything in life is a learning experience. We always learn and we should look at it as learning.
    Take care Vicky

  11. I am so sorry for the heartache of this move for all involved. Vicky, you are truly a beautiful soul. Take good care of yourself. Remember that you are doing your best and your love and dedication are evident to all who know you. Hugs...

  12. It's alright to write about what you actually feel. No one can be cheerful 24*7 365 days a year. I do wish I could be of help to you. I wish your dad no pain and good health. I also ask God to give you the strength to deal with this on a daily basis. Your parents might not like it in the new place, but at least that brings them closer to you. Human company is something they need more than materialistic things and you've made sure they get that. God bless you and your family immensely and I wish God is easy on your Dad. A big hug to him and your Mom

  13. My father and mother have just moved in to a nursing home in my town. They share a large double room. Mom has Alzheimer's. Dad suffered a stroke/heart-attack in December. They have been married 64 years! To see such dynamic, vibrant people enter such a fragile stage in life, and knowing that at 92, Dad could pass at anytime (he is so weak), is difficult, and yet, what more can we ask of him? Of her? They parented my brother and me very well, I think, and now at age 60 (me) I am starting to realize that it is time to let go of them, one at a time. Death comes to all of us, and they have had a wonderful life together. My job as it were, is to make them comfortable and hopefully feeling safe and 'at home' for as long as possible. They are at a wonderful care center. But some days it's hard to visit them (I visit 4 times a week--I teach school) There is less and less to talk about. They are winding down and losing track of the world.
    Is it fair that our society keep the elderly from passing naturally? Our technology can give them life, our medicines can control their lives, but is there any QUALITY to their lives? I ask this question because I wish they could be in their own home and be independent. They were SO independent for SO long. And then, I wonder about my own 'ending'. Will my sons be there for me? Will I be institutionalized?


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