Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Two Years Later

Dear Emily,

More than two years ago I was swept into my parents' aging vortex.

Nothing.

Not even raising five teenagers prepared me for the heartache, frustration,
and exhaustion of that battle.  I think of it as a battle, because I was at war
with doctors, nurses, siblings, and even the parents for whom I was advo-
cating.

Everything.

In my life was consumed by this.  My poor, loving husband watched his
wife wither into an old woman whose eyes were wrecked from crying.

Yet, here I am now, somehow on the mossy shore of the same ageless
river that once tried to drown me.  My parents are still fragile but happy,
sometimes.   I am older and wiser with advice:

1.  Before your parents lose their capacity to care for themselves, make
copies of EVERYTHING: driver's licenses, medicare cards, insurance
cards, birth certificates, social security cards, doctors, medications.  One
day every important document will scatter everywhere: in their cars, in
their shoes, in their silverware drawers, under beds, under dressers,
under water.

2.  If you can afford it, hire a home health care nurse to supervise the
dispensing of meds and to interface with doctors.  The medical world
likes to use vocabulary no one else can speak.  An advocate helps.

3.  Obtain a Power of Attorney before you need it.  Trust me, you will
need it.  It is the crown and scepter of parental care.

4.  Maintain one or two relationships to vent, whine, and even punch.

5.  Cast all your cares on the One who loved your parents from the womb
and maybe even more now that they are unable to care for themselves.

Love,
Lea

"Even to your old age I will be the same, and even to your graying
years I will bear you."  Isaiah 46:4

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Raising capital

Dear Emily,

Notice anything different?  Yep, I'm making myself use capital letters,
because I'm a grown up now.   As soon as my parents began to depend
on us kids more, I knew it was time to capitalize.

I've learned to capitalize the importance of trusting my siblings and to
delegate.   Another lesson is from Philippians 2:3, "Do nothing out of
selfish ambition or vain conceit . . . but consider others before yourself."
It is a capital offense to whine about the difficult decisions we must
make.

Ours have been capital parents, giving us all they knew to give, and
now it's our turn.

I've been in denial, pretending things were not slipping down that
slippery slope.   I've also been a hypocrite, thinking I was a devoted
daughter.   Now is when the rubber meets the road, and I pray I can
meet the challenge.

Which brings me to my favorite Alexander McCall Smith quote,
"Denial and hypocrisy get bad press; there's plenty of room for both."

Love,
Lea



Friday, November 22, 2013

beauty obsessed

dear emily,

when i was your age, i went days without moisturizer much less makeup.  
NOT because i was overwhelmed with keeping up with five children, but
because i had a makeup addiction.   the acknowledgement of my disorder
led me to fast beauty products for a season.

my poor husband never said a word except, "i like you better without it."
he also has said, "i like you better with some meat on your bones."  what
a gift.   him, not the extra 'meat'.

i realize now that my beauty obsession had its roots in a comment from my
father when i was young.  i have a gorgeous mother and not the kind of
beauty that requires eyeliner or even lipstick.   she rises from her sleep with
a pink flush on her perfect cheekbones.   i was proud when she walked the
halls of my highschool, because she was prettier than the cheerleaders.

when my dad said, "you will never be as beautiful as your mother," i thought,
"well, duh."  i don't think he meant to be cruel but was complimenting her, as
i was outgrowing my awkward, cygnet years.   he didn't realize how hurtful
the remark was to his seventeen year old daughter.

how kind of the Lord to give me a husband who loves my heart.  "beauty, oh
beauty, where is thy sting?"

now, let me just say that i have a loving relationship with my father, and i
still like makeup.  every barn needs a nice coat of paint.   this is a fun beauty
blog written by a young friend.  

love,
lea

"it came about when he came near to egypt, that he said to sarah his wife,
'see now, i know that you are a beautiful woman . . . '"  genesis 12:11






Tuesday, November 19, 2013

"Preaching to the choir"

Dear Emily,

Many people have a presumption about choir members, thinking we
are all goody-goodies.   nope.   I have a funny story to disprove it.

Caution:  leave this blog now if you can't take a little pg-13.   Some
of our choir members are in highschool and college, and they are
delightfully talented and refreshingly guileless.

In between services, some of us were standing in line in the ladies'
room, when one of our young choir members said, "I have a secret
admirer at school."

That got my attention.   "How do you know?"

"He leaves notes on my car."

Now, I was totally intrigued.  "What do they say?"

"The last one said, 'You have a great ass.'"

When I saw the horrified expression on the face of the woman NOT
in the choir,  I said, "I'm pretty sure, you can't say that in a choir
robe."

Love,
Lea

"When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, He said of him, 'Here is a
true Israelite, in whom there is no guile.'"




Thursday, November 7, 2013

tag, you're it!

dear emily,

it's been fun reconnecting with old highschool and college friends on
facebook.    no matter how much time has passed, we have an instant
rebonding that boggles my brain and delights my heart.  

it is not delightful, however, when people 'tag' me in photos.   my page
is smothered with odious pictures that i did NOT choose or want.    it
reminds me of my least favorite childhood game, 'tag.'   i would die a
thousand deaths once tagged, because i was never fast enough to tag
anyone else.   in my case, once tagged forever 'it.'

right now i have a photo, front and center, of my jiggly, fat arms.    i
haven't removed it, because i didn't want to hurt the person's feelings
who tagged me.   wow.   i just reread that and realize that i may need
counseling.    wait, just a sec . . .  ok,  i just untagged myself and feel
so much better.

now, there are still unflattering pics of my aging face but i'm resigned
to that.   when friends from my distant past first visit my facebook page,
they all say the same thing.

"look at your sweet face."  sweet is the new 'old.'

love,
lea

"but people do not pour new wine into old wineskins . . . " mark 2:22





Friday, November 1, 2013

still the one

dear emily,

i spied hans driving to work as i finished my walk.
this is unusual, because  he usually leaves before i
even wake up.   i know, no "here's your scrambled
eggs and bacon, honey."

my justification?   i would rather he remember me
from the night before than the morning before.

anyway, he motioned me to his car.

"they're playing our song."

we have a song?   i leaned in to hear shania twain's
twangy, "still the one i run to, the only one i belong
to . . ."

for dang certain,
lea

ps.   "love must be sincere.  hate what is evil; cling
to what is good."   romans 12:9

Friday, September 20, 2013

how will we know?

dear emily,

how will we know if we have raised our children well?    there are many
litmus tests, but i like the kindness test the best.


  • how do they treat the dog when no one is looking?
  • who do they prefer, the high and mighty or the underdog? (sensing a dog theme here)
  • are they generous to those in need?
  • what do i feel when they leave,  relief or sadness?


sadness, always sadness.   

our oldest son and his precious wife have been living with us for nine months
while they have been remodeling a home.   tonight they spend the first night 
in their own house, and i'm feeling just like i did when he  left for college.
but that unhappy feeling is laced with gratitude and hope.   i hope they visit 
often, and i'm grateful that, because they were such thoughtful houseguests,  
i don't feel one bit relieved that they're leaving.

well, i guess i could say that i'm relieved he grew up so kind.

love,
lea

"be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in 
Christ God forgave you."  ephesians 4:32