It's a new day and a beautiful one in the Pacific Northwest at that. This is also day two of the countdown to 'Summer Vacation' for my girls. My son A has been on Summer VaK for a week and a half. Today also happens to be field day at school so there is excitment in the air. The girls still seem very excited about Home schooling for that I am very thankful. I do have decisions to make though. To attempt to be part of the public school extra curricular or not. There is MUCH discussion amongst the home school community regarding this. It will come down to a prayerfully made decision on our part. Organized sports and music lessons are very spendy and knowing my 5th (soon to be 6th) grader could participate in public school sports for a small fee and have many more practices compared to paying a VERY high fee and having one practice a week is a difficult decision. But do if I have convictions regarding public school they why would I subject my daughter in any aspect. Ahhhh, the road of constant decisions regarding the unknown...the future. What to do what to do.
In regards to Fostering we have about 3 more documents to complete, 5 smoke detectors to purchase and then the homestudy. I am excited and yet nervous. Just not knowing what lies ahead can sometimes cause tension. Not knowing how it will all work out but just knowing it will. Having faith this is truly Gods design and purpose and knowing He is orchestrating it, but knowing full well I am human and I make mistakes. So, just not knowing how it is all going to play out makes me wonder and makes me a little nervous. Knowing that the wisdom i will need and use will only be gained through experience, just like any job or life lesson.
I use to be a CNA (God Bless CNA's) in a nursing home. The hardest work I have ever done in my life. Physically and emotionally exhausting. It was not easy to keep my spirit in check working there. To see mortality at it's truest (darkest) form. There were those who were there for a short while before dieing with their loves ones gathered around them. BUT there were those who hung on for years in a near catonic state only to die alone in a stinky dark room.
I remember the time when this hit me the deepest. We had a resident who laid in bed most of the time and when we did sit her up in a chair she had to be secured into it so she would not slide out. She would lay or sit and constantly say "help." I so dreaded working her room. Transferring her was not an easy task. Not only was she about 5'10-5'11, she was buitl pretty solid and she was very ridgid. I was (and still am) 5'1 and a 1/2. Many times in nursing homes (I am sorry to say) the employees are minimal. Though many residents needed 2 person transfers there was usually no time to hunt down an available assistant and that would greatly impact their work also. So many times I would transfer my 'people' by myself. While transfereing this woman, she would become angry and violent. She would put the tips of her fingers together and try to jab at your eyes. I saw a darkness in her that I am still not sure today if was the spirit of the person she had always been or the one she had become due to strokes and illness.
It was about day two of working with her that I looked up at her wall after tucking her into bed and noticed the framed pictures hanging on the wall. One of a BEAUTIFUL raven haired lady sitting on a lovely, perfectly groomed horse. She was dressed in English riding gear, minus the hat. Another picture was of the same lady standing in front of a beautiful victorian farm house. There were other pictures of the same lady with what appeared to be family or friends. The pictures were of course, of this bedridden woman.
It was some months later and when I attended an estate auction on the outskirts of our small town. It was after arriving at this estate I found out it belonged to that very woman in the nursing home. Her children had decided to sell off her belongings and then sell the home. To walk around the grounds and see antique steamer trunks full of clothing from the 20's, dishes, Civil War horse halters, and many many items accumulated from years of living and it was being sold off while the actual owner laid in her bed just a few miles away wasting away. It was one of the moments when the darkness of life hit you. When the questions, this is what is left of a life lived? This is what it comes to? This is all I have to look forward to? It was disheartening. I did however purchase some of her dishes. They matched some of the pottery I already owned and so not only did I want to add them to my set, they also had some sentimental value to them as well.
This woman was still alive when I left the nursing home a year later. I never saw one person come to visit her. Not one. She did occasionally receive flowers, but that tapered off. She did eventually pass away (like we all do) and I pray she was able to move on into peace. It's funny, though I really did not like her I did feel compassion for her and I guess I still do.
Onto another story though, the brighter side of death you could say, was a woman admitted who was dieing of cancer. It was a pleasure to go into her room. Her husband and daughters were there during all of the daylight hours. They had several bouquets of flowers dispersed throughout her room and when you would walk in the sweet aroma would greet you. There was always talking and laughter and some tears. They were a family of faith and love. The difference was outstanding. To walk into her room was like walking out of a tunnel into the sunlight. She was not there very long. She slipped into a coma very quickly. The day I was assigned to her I was instructed to 'turn' her every hour with another assistant. Then one day, in the middle of turning her to her side, with her daughters present (the husband had just left to go for breakfast) she let out a deep sigh and just quit breathing. I looked at the other assistant and we both just rolled her onto her back and stood quietly. Her daughter gasped and said "oh mom" and I said "she's gone." Just like that. Oh so quietly and peacfully. Right in my hands a persons soul passed. I don't even know how to explain that. Only those who have experienced it understand. There really are no words. I do know this. When it is my time, if the Lord does not take me in the middle of the night, I do pray I am surrounded by my most precious gifts and that is my children. To leave this world with those who you loved with all your heart would be one of the greatest experiences.