I Need to Remind Myself…

Excerpt from Scrapbook of a Year and a Day: January 19, 2020 to January 20, 2021:September 17, 2020 :
Here’s what I need tonight – I need to remind myself that we can’t always see how things will work themselves out – and sometimes salvation comes in completely unexpected ways. I need to remind myself of the amazing things that I’ve witnessed and experienced in the last several years during times when I saw no solution and things looked pretty bleak.

Back in February 2017 I found myself in a position that seemed impossible. Mom was in the hospital with congestive heart failure and Dad soon followed her there with a UTI. They were on two different floors, both struggling to stay alive. I’d visit one and then the other – and then go home, on high alert, waiting for the phone to ring and for someone to drop some new crisis onto me.

Just two days before Mom was going to be released from the hospital into hospice care, a hospital social worker told me that it looked like the assisted living care facility wasn’t going to accept Mom back into her and Dad’s home because of her medical issues. I told the social worker that the assisted living place hadn’t told me anything about this, and surely they would have let me know, right? But she seemed pretty sure about this. So I called the assisted living place on Saturday and was told that Mom was going to be evaluated on Monday morning to determine if she could be brought back to her home. Which. Hospice needed to set things up for her – and they needed to know right then where they should send the equipment. I needed answers immediately. Finally, the assisted living lady told me (under her breath) that if she was me she’d be looking for another place for my mother and father.

I had two days to find a new home for my parents.

In a panic, I started calling other assisted living places and soon realized that the cost of the care my parents were going to need in the facilities would clean out their savings in a couple months. I thought maybe I could use my retirement savings to help them – but that wouldn’t last too long, either. And – honestly, I didn’t want to send my parents to some strange, unfamiliar place that looked like an institution. The thought came to me, then, that I should bring Mom and Dad into my home when they were released from the hospital, and provide the care myself. Scotty agreed to this plan and agreed to help. (I married an incredible man.)

I was still teaching full-time then – so this was going to be tricky.But I told the social workers at the hospital that I wanted Mom brought to my home when she was released on Monday. She asked me if I was sure – I think she was concerned about me – but I told her yes. It felt right. Hospice got in touch with me – bless them! – and, when Mom was brought by ambulance to our home, a hospice nurse came over and showed Scott and I how to care for her.

I’m so very glad Love guided me to make this decision for Moz. I’m so glad she was brought to our home, surrounded by our love. We spent the whole day telling each other how much we loved each other – and in the wee hours of the morning, while I dozed on the couch next to her hospital bed, she passed. I felt myself brushed by joy and peace and love, and woke to find she was gone.

So now I had to find a home for Dad – I’d promised Moz that she didn’t need to worry about him – that we’d make sure he was alright. Originally the plan had been to bring Dad into our home where he could be with Mom – but, now that she was gone, our home wouldn’t be the right place for him. He needed the kind of care that someone with skills greater than my own could give him. The social worker asked us if we’d ever looked into adult family homes, and gave us a booklet with names and phone numbers.

When I got home from the hospital after my visit with Dad and the social worker, I went for a walk – at this point I was completely emotionally and mentally stretched – feeling out of my depth and scared about the future – and I needed to find some peace for myself. And suddenly a rainbow arched across the sky – and it felt like a promise! – like Moz was there with me, reassuring me, telling me everything was going to be alright. I began making phone calls to adult family homes – and on the second call I felt I’d found the right place. My brother and I went over to check it out – there were bird feeders in the front yard, and cats and dogs – and I knew the woman who answered the door would have been someone Moz would have felt an instant kinship with. AND the cost of care for Dad would fit his budget!

I felt like a weight was lifted from my shoulders. We had found Dad’s new home – a place I didn’t even know existed a day before!

We just never know.

NOTHING is impossible to Love. NOTHING.

Making Friends with a Feral Kitty

Feral kitty eats the food I poured in his bowl
and then approaches me, cautiously, skittish,
not sure he can trust me, but wanting to trust,
and I reach out and scratch him behind his ears.
He rubs against me and nestles into the circle
of my arms, curls into a ball and purrs.
A perfect moment. Sweet and whole.
Is there anything finer than a feral
feline who trusts you?
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

Sparky the black cat 2

Paper Clips. Who could have guessed it would be paper clips?

Paper clips.  Who could have guessed
that paper clips would become
my talisman? Two years ago I needed one.
There were none to be found
in my entire home. I took a break
from my paper clip search to run errands.
A few hours later my car was stalled –
bum alternator – and I was waiting
for a tow truck. A few hours more –
after many wonderful adventures
and new heroes and friends met –
and I was picking up my car
from the repair shop when I looked
down and saw a paper clip winking
up at me from the pavement.  A symbol
of prayers answered. A symbol of supply.
A symbol of protection. A reminder
to trust.  A wink to make me laugh out loud.

And it has been paper clips ever since:
On the floor of my dad’s doctor’s office;
on the stairs at work during a challenging day;
on a sidewalk as I grieved Mom’s passing.

Just when I feel the most alone,
and the most bereft, a paper clip will appear
to remind me that I am always connected
to Love. A paper clip will appear to bring
me a smile and a lift to my heart.

Paper clips. Who could have guessed
it would be paper clips?
– Karen Molenaar Terrell
yellow paper clipP.S. I found an interesting article on the invention of the paper clip.  The article states: “During the Nazi occupation of Norway in World War II, Norwegians made the paper clip a symbol of national unity. Prohibited from wearing buttons imprinted with the Norwegian king’s initials, they fastened paper clips to their lapels in a show of solidarity and opposition to the occupation. Wearing a paper clip was often reason enough for arrest.”

Wow! Hail to the humble paper clip!

“Trust.”

“Peals that should startle the slumbering thought from its erroneous dreams are partially unheeded; but the last trump has not sounded, or this would not be so. Marvels, calamities, and sin will much more abound as truth urges upon mortals its resisted claims; but the awful daring of sin destroys sin, and foreshadows the triumph of truth.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

Taking the dog for a walk,
the shooting star got my
attention when it flew across
the heavens on the evening
of November eighth. I stopped
in my tracks, looking skyward,
alert now, and the voice said,
“Trust. Everything is happening

as it needs to happen.
Don’t be afraid. Trust.”

And crap. I knew then. I knew
who’d won the election – why
else would I need to be reassured?

I went inside. And saw my fears
confirmed. And felt weirdly

stilled inside. Holding on
to that message: “Trust.”

The voice didn’t say what was to come
would be easy, or without struggle
or challenge. It didn’t provide
details of how, where, when or why.
It just said, “Don’t be afraid. Trust.”

And the earth rises now.
Thirsty for Truth. Joining in Love.

Crying for justice.
In the streets. From the rooftops.
Through the wires of computers
across the world.

“Everything is happening 
as it needs to happen.
Trust,” said the voice of Love.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

 

trust

A Sermon on Sermonizing

I had a kind of epiphany last week.

I was musing about why it is that we sometimes feel the need to step in and “take over” for someone else who has been given responsibilities and duties that we think are important. What makes us think that we can do better than the other individual? Why can’t we trust them to do the job they’ve been given?

It occurred to me that by not trusting others to do their job, we aren’t trusting God, either.

If I think that I, as an individual, need to push someone else out of the way and do his job, then I am limiting God, the power of Good; personalizing the concept of competence; and taking on a false sense of responsibility.  If I think the world is dependent on me to keep it going, then it’s possible that – just maybe – I have a kind of an inflated sense of my own place in it. 🙂

There was a day last week when I got this close l—l to sermonizing on someone. It was obvious to me that this other person needed the enlightenment of my great wisdom. But as I drew breath to launch into my pontification, a voice said, “Wait. Trust. Respect.”  And in that moment I realized all at once that we ALL have access to Truth and Love – that no one is somehow shut off from it – and that no one else needs me “to set him straight.”

And how freeing that was for me!

Okay, I have to include this little clip from My Fair Lady. I just hafta…  🙂

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t3mC4485Ue0

“No doubt but ye are the people, and wisdom shall die with you. But I have understanding as well as you; I am not inferior to you… What ye know, the same do I know also: I am not inferior unto you.  Surely I would speak to the Almighty, and I desire to reason with God.” – Job 12 and Job 13