Thursday, June 19, 2008

Return to the hospital

Tuesday, I visited Dad and stayed over until Wednesday when Lou and Amy arrived. There were some good moments. Dad and I went for a ride in the car to see his farm. We also had a sweet visit with Aunt Mable.

Overall, we were disheartened by our visits. It seems that Dad is not getting better. Dad has some confusion, loss of appetite, increased weakness, more pain, inability to complete his rehab sessions and uncharacteristic sadness.

Today Dad was taken from the rehab center to the hospital--ICU. Dad's doctor told Kay that Dad may not get better. Donna is with Dad and Kay and we will get a report later. We are praying that Dad will sense the presence of God. We also pray that he can be comfortable--without fear or pain.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles . . . 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Monday, June 16, 2008

Family Matters

Yay—We have a new beautiful and talented bride in our family! What a privilege to watch the inspiring and moving, sacred vows. We are pleased and happy to welcome Bethany!

Blessings on you Bethany for taking Dan’s name! We think he is pretty special as well. You provide hope that our family name may continue. This is something that none of Lowell’s sisters could do for our family. Thanks, Lowell & Sheila, and Dan & Bethany and we are counting on you, too, Steve!

Bethany your new last name will be repeatedly misspelled and mispronounced but it is a very worthy, good name. We are proud to have you wear it!

Bethany and Dan’s wedding dance was outstanding with spins and dips and twirls! The best wedding dance this elderly blogger has ever seen in my scores of years of attending weddings! I am at a loss to describe it but it was totally surprising and fun! So inspiring that even Lou and Rog got out on the dance floor!

All wedding moms know the difficulty of finding the right dress! Sheila and her family went through that grueling process as well. But it was totally worth it! Doesn’t she look beautiful!

It was great to have Steve home—all the way from Ecuador. He returns tomorrow to complete his Peace Corps term. Sister, Katie, was radiant and loved participating as a bridesmaid and joyfully endured a bit of Steve’s teasing.

And now for the wedding cake—oh dear, I didn’t get that picture! This will do though. Two foods were served at the rehearsal dinner that accompany most of our family celebrations. We credit our appreciation and weakness for ice cream to Grandpa. Dan had a farmer friend make the creamiest ice cream ever in two flavors—strawberry and chocolate peanut butter! But even greater or at least equal to that addiction is another Grandpa and family favorite that is seldom enjoyed at a wedding celebration. We knew this was a real party!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Where'd I put that cane?

Grif explained to me why our Segways were set on turtle speed at the beginning of our Chicago Tour but the three 25-30 year olds also on our tour had theirs set at the higher speed right from the beginning.

"Mine is probably set at turtle speed because I am young and yours is probably set at turtle speed because you are elderly."

So now you know.

I am proud to say that shortly after that discussion, we both got promoted to the higher speed. Whew!

It was an exceptionally fun and beautiful day for a great Grandma Day with Grif--notice that was not Great Grandma--not yet--not for a long time--or at least a few years--at least I hope!

Segway Tutorial 101 by Grif

Dining with Grif

It is such fun to visit with Grif! He comes up with such unexpected comments making me chuckle for a long time afterwards.

He ordered a hamburger loaded with onions and mushrooms. I told him that I was surprised because I thought it was unusual for kids to like those two foods at his age. Often people don’t start liking those kinds of foods until they are older. Grif smilingly responded with a rhetorical question, “Grandma, am I normal?”

The hamburger was obviously messy and as he was having a bit of trouble with pieces dropping out, Grif commented, “I am in a Murphy’s Law field. Get it?”

Sure thing. Got it.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Cantigny -- A Great Place to Hang Out

I love this picture of Grif just being relaxed.

And this is a typical explaining picture.

Just being a Junior Higher.

Exploring . . .

Enjoying the view

The newest tank

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Cute Attack!

Sarah, one of my favorite little neighbors, took her quarters and accessorized at the garage sale next door. Best of all she has a smile that brightens the whole block! Such a sense of style! She's a natural--a future fashion icon! Love that hair? I think she does it herself.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Requesting help is not on "My Favorite Thing To Do" list

My dad has been on my mind these last few weeks. It is painful to watch someone you love go through tough times. Dad is in a rehab/nursing home hoping to gain enough strength to return to his own home. That, however, is a long, discouraging process.

In addition to that, he has a big disappointment this week. He will not be able to attend the wedding of his grandson, Dan, on Saturday, June 14th.

Dad will turn 90 years old on July 5th. It would brighten his days to receive mail. Therefore, I am requesting friends, family, blog readers, anyone whether you know him or not, to send Dad a birthday card. It would be great if he could get as many as 90 cards. The cards could start arriving now—any day—because it would be more fun to get a few per day instead of all of the cards on one day. If you have a favorite Bible verse or want to write a sentence of encouragement that would be bonus but anything at all would be fine--funny or serious. Dad has a great sense of humor and a very tender, sweet spirit.

This is bold and humbling to make this request! I am the worst card sender on the planet. Even so, here is Dad's name and address and I am hoping that some of you will send greetings and bring joy to my dad.

Walter Gisel
Fairlawn Haven, Room 174
407 E. Lutz Rd
Archbold, Oh 43502

A very heartfelt thank you to you!!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Still sweating or is that glowing. . .

Run for the Animals, is a 5K & 10K held the first Saturday of June as part of the Cream of Wheaton celebration. This year the Cosley Foundation was raising money for River Otters, Bobcats and aviary habitats. As noble as that is, I must admit that it did not factor into my decision to participate. I also only noticed today that it is not called a Run/Walk.

So as I review the situation, I am thinking that probably this was my last year as a participant. Some people exercise because it is healthy and for all of the right reasons but I must admit that I am more motivated by the social aspect. Today, I shuffled alone as my walking/jogging partner, Lois, was out of town. I did not see one other person participating that I knew, although as I read through the results list, there were a few—it is just that they were so far ahead of me and half my age! There were no family members or friends to cheer or call my name because frankly they really do have much better things to do and it wasn’t as if this was my first time or that I was a true competitor and possibly they had already gone home by the time I passed by. It was unseasonably hot and humid. I stopped at all three water stations for a quick drink whereas some years I have never stopped. And I walked one stretch. What a wimp! So this one didn't quite meet my social requirement. It was way more serious than that! I finished 11 out of 14 in my age group—not even close to the middle which is always my goal at a disappointing 38:49.9. That is one mile in 12 minutes, 29.9 seconds. I always thought a 10 minute mile would be good goal.

But then again, I finished.
And I lost a couple of pounds during my sporadic training.
And it felt good to participate.
And my dear hubby told me at least ten times that he was proud of me.
And same hubby went a got a large Jamba juice for me while I participated and had it to me within two minutes of when I finished.
And I have a new long sleeved t-shirt.
And when I slept in the car as we drove home from Ohio today, Bob thought it was because of the 5K.

Perhaps next year, I could pay for the registration fee for a few of my friends and ask them to let me dash across the finish line right before them so that I do not come in completely last. But then there is a limit to what even good friends will do. Anyhow, I can still happily participate in the aptly named Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot and those proceeds go to feed the hungry.

It is a good time to join the cheerleading squad. Grandson Kent ran the 10K this year! I am still proud that I signed him up for his very first 5K several years ago. Today, Kent finished at 49:59.9 which was 136 overall and 2nd out of 6 in his age group. He told me that he also had to walk some and that he threw up and still finished with a great time! Now that is worth cheering about!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Reminders to myself

Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest? Luke 12:25-26

Dad was moved to a rehab center on Wednesday about two blocks from his house. It was a blessing to get into that center. We were told by several people, “It is very hard to get a bed there.” The caretakers are kind and attentive. The nurses are patient and good. They let us call and talk to them.

Dad has an infection in his lung—similar to pneumonia and fluid around his lungs. He sleeps much of the time. The nurse told me that getting better is a tenuous balance. He needs rest but he also needs to be upright some for his body to heal. That is why they do physical rehab and have him sit in a chair but encourage him to rest as much as possible also. It will be a long recovery for Dad. A young healthy body recovers slowly from pneumonia. It is even slower for an older person. Dad also has some additional health concerns.

Adjusting to a rehab center is difficult. I am sure that is common. Ten days ago, Dad would get up and shower, dress himself, take out the garbage, get the mail, take his own medicine (and he was doing it correctly.) Now, he must use his call button every time he wants to go to the bathroom. As I left him on Saturday, I told him to try to obey the caretakers. I cried as I left to begin my four hour trip back to my home. He has begged to go home—and that absolutely breaks my heart!

I need to guard my mind and not jump to conclusions. At one time, I am thinking that Dad will not recover and that we should let him die at home. But then there are other times like tonight. Dad had a very good evening. He was not confused. My stepmom pushed him around in a wheelchair because he wanted to visit with some other residents. He seemed peaceful and relaxed. The nurse told me that I will be surprised at how he will progress. She was very encouraging.

This I know. God has promised, “I will be with you.” He knows our days. Wherever we are in life, we need to trust and remind ourselves that God is in control. I will try to stop anticipating. For tonight, Dad is resting and I am thankful.