Saturday, March 25, 2017

Being Christ

"We exist to be little Christ's, Not Little Ladder Climbers, Not Little Control Freaks, Not Little Convenience Dwellers.  Simply little giving Christ's.  Not ever in a way that's divine, but simply, always, and in every way, disciples.
The term "Christian" means exactly that- little Christ."  -Ann Voscamp

Lord, I am failing.  Please help me to be You to those I come in contact with every day.  Help me to love like You, be patient like You, give like You, be gentle like You, be kind like You, be joyfull in all things, and... to LOVE like You.  I know I already said that, but... thank you.  -Rachel

Monday, January 30, 2017

May my hands be Christ's

"There's more than a thousand ways for Christ to have hands in a busted world so the brokenhearted can find a deeper kind of whole." - Ann Voscamp

Lord, may my hands be yours.  Give me your heart and help me to see others the way you do.  Lead me and guide me where you want me to go.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Another visit with Tim

Yesterday I picked up Martha and we drove out to Newark for another visit with Tim.  He, like always, was happy to see us and eager to go out for a ride.  He seemed more there today, and when we got in the car I wanted to listen to Dad play his guitar and harmonica on CD for us.  It's like having a little piece of him on our visit, so I said, "Let's find Dad!"  As soon as I said that he looked right at me... probably thought I was a bit crazy.  Along the ride he looked at me and smiled just like he used to.  I love his smile and told him so.  Martha and I chatted on the ride, asking Tim a few questions along the way, but he didn't respond.  I noticed he had a small gash with a fading bruise above his left eye and couldn't help but wonder if he's being treated well... after all, he was being abused by a caretaker (who has been fired) not too long ago, and there is an investigation that is still incomplete.  When we dropped him off at his home he gave me a nice, sweet, tight (but not too tight) hug.  He hasn't given me one like that since our dad died.  Martha had gone to sign him back in, and I felt bad that she missed out.  He's usually in a hurry to get to the bathroom and isn't always so generous with his hugs, but you never know when he'll have a special surprise hug for you... you just never know.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Michael's haircut

He wouldn't pose for a photo, but Michael got his hair cut today.  He went to the barber for the 1st time since he was about 8 (he usually either buzzes it with the clippers or Flowbees it.  That's the haircutting machine that hooks up to a vacuum cleaner.) He had grown his hair so long, and he has so much of it that it was just too much.  He said he wanted to do something a little different with it.  He told the barber to leave it longer on the top.  He reminds me so much of my dad with this haircut.  Now when he pushes his food around on his plate while he's talking over dinner tonight, he will remind me even more of my dad than ever. :)

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Taking a Break

I am taking a much needed break from facebook (even though I really don't want to) to get my priorities straight.  I found it to be taking up way too much of my time.  I'm really not sure when I'll go back to it.  I've ordered a great book, The Broken Way, by Ann Voscamp, and am looking forward to it coming in the mail soon.  I even vacuumed, did 2 loads of laundry, washed, dried and put away dishes, and cleaned out the fridge before I left for work this morning.  It's amazing what I can get done when I'm not scanning through facebook all the time. :)

Sunday, January 08, 2017

Visits with Tim

On Christmas Eve Martha and I took a drive out to Newark to visit Tim.  Martha baked him an apple pie for Christmas and brought it for him to share with some at his home.  He was thrilled.  We had a nice ride and he seemed more alert today... less drugs, I'm sure of it.  When we got back to his place after our ride, he even posed for a picture with Martha and I, and with a smile on his face!

Yesterday I went to see him alone because Jim and Michele were visiting from Minnesota.  I told Tim that, and that Martha loved him and would come the next time.  He seemed a little zombie like when I picked him up, although he was happy to see me, as usual.   His shoe laces were all untied and I was afraid he might trip on them so I tied them for him.  He quickly ate his goodies, as usual, some baby carrots, wheat thins, and a few small store bought cookies.  I got my face in his in the car (at a stoplight) for some forced eye contact, and he looked at me with warm eyes and smiled.

Friday, November 04, 2016

Out For a Drive

10/28/16: So today I had a meeting reguarding my brother Tim.  About 10 people, caretakers, social worker, psychologist, nurse...  I wanted to address the fact that for the past year or so Tim has pretty much been a zombie and doesn't react to us.  In fact, the last time we had seen him he actually turned away several times when Martha and I tried to look at him.  Pretty much what I heard these people tell me in relation to my concern was that Tim is happy, he smiles, he has eye contact with them...  I was told that I don't see this probably because he is due for his next med ("happy pill") at 4:00, and we come at 2:30, meaning it's pretty much worn off.  Gimme a break!  They said that maybe Martha and I should come earlier, picking him up from Program.  I told them that he used to respond to us, and I passed around pictures of him happy and responsive, and a picture of him in a zombie like state.  Not sure I got anywhere with the meeting, but at least they know how I feel.  I ended up losing it and crying.  Hate it when I do that.

11/4/2016: Today I went to visit Tim alone because Martha had some other obligations.  He seemed maybe slightly less zombie like, although he was grinding his teeth when I picked him up and did it off and on through our whole visit, only stopping when I put my hand gently under his jaw and asked him to please stop.  I told him that he would be very sad when his teeth were all ground away and he could no longer eat apples and things that he likes, and that would make me sad too.  He ate the cut up apple and the peanuts and 5th Ave bar I brought him, but never looked my way and never smiled like he used to do up until last year.  I stroked the back of his hair and told him about why Martha wasn't there, and that she loved him and would probably be there next time.  I also told him that I would be going on a cruise and wouldn't see him for 3 weeks because of it.  I told him Hannah had a baby boy, asked him if he remembered Mom singing a certain couple of songs she used to sing him all the time (which I then sang), and we listened to Dad play his guitar and harmonica.  We got the standard chocolate frosty, which Tim downed in less than a minute, while I tried to keep his shirt clean by wiping all his messy drips.  I called Robyn (one of his caretakers) when I got home because she had mentioned something about Tim maybe being unhappy when he went out with us because maybe "his knees hurt" getting in and out of the car.  I told her that he doesn't act unhappy, but rather it's his complete lack of emotion that concerns us.  I told her if I waved my hand frantically in front of his face, I don't even think he'd blink.  It's almost like he's had a lobotomy.  I told her it's really heartbreaking to see him in this state.  She said she understood.  We'll see if things change at all.  I love him.  Sad he got a life like he did... but I know even he has blessings to count.