Friday, July 31, 2009

Day 61 Sacraments

A short night of sleep again
But managed to walk and start the day's journey.
Fatigue is still imminent.
Prayer and time are my sacrament.
Quiet solitude is my only hope.
When the way is hard it helps me cope.
Even in the midst of struggle
My body tries to resist and wriggle.
But my mind and spirit choose better
The memories of God's love letter,
"faith, hope and love abide"
And in that message I will forever hide.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Day 60 and still in the Sacred Sanctuary

When time affords it,
I always want to go somewhere quiet
To read, journal, reflect and sip coffee,
But truth is I already have some of the best places
Right here in this private sanctuary called home.

An ever so gentle breeze ruffles my caladium leaves.
The red and pink begonias sway to a silent rhythm called life.
A quail chants "Bob White."
Other birds sing simple harmonies.
Dogs whimper in competing cadence
and my heart, soul and spirit
all exist in perfect tempo.

Here is another collage of Dad with prismacolor, highlighters and digital image.

He continues to grow stronger. He continues to ask about home. He is getting the peg (feeding tube) out soon. He is eating 3 meals a day. He is walking stronger. He still has difficulty getting to the standing position. He still needs your prayers as do Mom and I.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

private sanctuary

Sitting in my private sanctuary
I feel safe and protected.
For a few brief moments
I shut out this world.
Its pain, suffering, and fears
Are not visible from this vantage point.
It's cold hard truth is non-existent.
Its cruel realities are forgotten.
I know I must leave this safe haven
And go about my daily tasks.
I wish I could stay in this sacred place forever.
That must be what heaven is like-
A safe, protected and sacred sanctuary.

Day 58 there's much to realize

(from day 44)

Today I relinquish all control

to God's perfect will.

Seeking only the calm

God can provide will

keep my spirit steady.

Acquiring a deeper hope

will revive my soul.

Knowing the

"peace that passes all understanding"

will be my mantra.

Monday, July 27, 2009

the way out

Unyielding walls
Unwieldy floors
I stumble along.
Trapped by bars
I created myself.
Unbreakable windows and
Locked doors,
The only way out is
Through the spirit
Of God's good graces.

Day 57 and becoming wordless

Wordless thoughts clutter my mind.

Angst and pain spill from my mouth.

Answers do not come easily even to questions asked too many times.

Fatigued body melts into many aches and pains.

Even more tired is the soul trying to keep pace.

Losing spirit of cheerleading.

God's love and mercies keep me going despite all the negatives.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Day 56-the fighter

Even though he asks about going home, he is patient and trusting. Decisions have been made for his recovery and healing without his consent and now that he could make some of those decisions, he knows the professionals and his family has his best in mind. If only I had his patience and faith. I still am learning so much from him!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Day 55 continued....through the eyes of....

Everyone who knows a person who had a stroke sees it differently. Doctors see a case. A name. A person who suffered great loss and must face the possibility of not recovering, a family that must face facts. Nurses sometimes see the same thing but often with more compassion. They see the family daily and know that they have fears and hopes and their own confusion caused by an unexpected illness. I see Dad's stroke as a horrible injustice to a God-fearing, faithful, servant of God, husband, and father. I see a fearful of loss situation causing many mixed emotions, pain and fatigue. Will he fully recover to be home with Mom and live a somewhat normal though cautious life for more years to come? Through Mom's eyes it's a scary "What if I lose him?" event and the "Why him? Why me?" thoughts. A woman of age and dementia who still does not fully realize the complete cost of such an occurrence to the body of a man who was always her strength and protector. But DAD! How must it look through his eyes, experiencing it, feeling it, being confused by it? Does he know what happened? Does he know how bad it was? Does he know how far he's come? Does he realize how much work is still ahead? Does he have enough fight left for the remainder of his journey? Do any of us?

Through God's eyes, He sees a man of quiet strength who can truly grow stronger in his faith, closer to his maker and inspire others who observe the journey.

Diversions can be relaxing! Balance!

Doing an online workshop on Vision Journaling over at

It's still not too late to sign up. The first lesson is in relaxation. Trying to relax is never easy for me and especially now while my Dad is in Day 55 recovering from a stroke. I have been writing and art journaling the whole process on my blog here; so this workshop will hopefully further the recovery for me. One thing people don't tell you about strokes...the family is in recovery too! I've posted my first vision journal piece here in this post. This just may be what I need. First, we must realize we need relaxation and are not getting adequate amounts. Then we need a good kick in the pants to make it happen. Thanks Kathryn!
(The face and picture of Kiawah sunrise are mine. Stamped words are mine. Using a watercolor bound book for these prompts. Paints are acrylic and watercolor and distress ink.)

Day 55 Needs

The body tells us what we need.

We must listen.

The consequences or results are huge.

This is not news but sometimes advice we forget.

If tired-rest your body.

If sick-treat the cause.

If worried-pray to your Heavenly Father.

If lonely-talk to someone.

If hungry-eat something healthy.

If lost-search the scriptures for peace.

If hurting-have a good cry.

If forgotten-find Christ.

If speechless-listen to the Holy Spirit.

If deaf-listen with your heart.

If noisy-quieten your soul.

If happy-share it!

The list could go on and on...but you certainly get the message.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Day 54 and seeing the light

Finally, seeing some light at the end of this long tunnel I've been traveling.

Now if only I can find some rest for this weary body.

Life is not only not always easy but it is sometimes dark and mysterious.

The only way we find the answers or joys is to stay in its light.

God is that light.

His way is well lit.

We are the ones who step off the path and find the darkness.

His light is not always easily seen but if we follow His way and word....

The light is obvious!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Day 53 and no longer Silent Desperation

James Taylor sang it best! "Moving in silent desperation."

But the desperation is lessening. He is improving. Life is improving. We will make it!

God is still in charge and making good miracles for us!

Dad is walking stronger but still assisted.

He is having real meals!

He is communicating better!

Incontinence is improving!

Praise be to God!

His mercies are never failing and His love is amazing.

Trust Him! Follow Him! Share Him!

God is good! All the time!

All the time! God is good!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Day 52 fog and sun feelings

The fog settles above the grassy field

much like dread clings to one's heart.

A feeling of despair and fear can

weigh a body down.

Fatigue and constant thought makes

one feel like lost hope most days.

But a golden sun breaks through

the gray clouded sky and hope returns.

Peace is restored and with it

a feeling of resolve.

Your heart knows "I can make it another day."

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

When times are hard
lean on God.
When times are easy
lean on God.
When situations cause pain
trust God's healing.
When situations are peaceful
trust God's love.
When prayers seem useless
pray harder.
When prayers are answered
pray with gratitude.
When hope is all you've got
realize it's enough.
When miracles occur
shout praises to God.


Always the Pollyanna, I believe rose colored glasses can lessen the pains and troubles of life. Try it! When problems come and dthey will, simply put on the tinted shades and move through the difficulty with creative strides and positive faith in the outcome...see if it doesn''t seem a bit easier to tolerate. See if you don't see things more clearly.
Journey down the road called life...
Ignore the sadness and troubles.
Celebrate the joys and blessings.
Follow a path to grace.
Fill up on life's goodness.
Share its beautiful directions.
Express gratitude to a higher Power (GOD).
Realize your dreams and believe in their magic.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Day 50

He sits silentley

hands clasped

eyes shut

quiet strength

He speaks softly

words falter

mouth twitches

simple trust

He stand cautiously

feet unsure

weight unbalanced

unfailing will-power

He is recovering though difficult and much to go; he is recovering!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Day 49 and Dad's Journey continues....

Day 49 Sensible Lessons

From the physical walk to the spiritual one, today began with true lessons from above. Prayers were simple,"Help those I hold dear to be touched, healed, uplifted and peaceful this day. Amen"

Poem (below) came while walking before devotions....usually I work the other way. Scripture from Upper Room for today from Ephesians 3:14-21 had so many answers to all the questions that have filled my mind and soul recently. " knowledge...fullness of to do unimmeasurablly more than all we ask or imagine...Amen!"

Fearful of lazy Sundays because of the morning Dad had his stroke. Must let that go as I have so often prescribed to Mom to let go of the image of Dad slumped in the bathroom true healing and letting go comes. Maybe it's the letting go of negative images, thoughts and memories that can lead to true healing alone. Often those who do not believe in God talk of sending good thoughts and energy into the universe....well, those are prayers, no matter what anyone calls them. AND just maybe they are the very thoughts and energies that come back from the all powerful the form of healing, answers and new found faith.

I see God's answers in

a perfect morning sky.

I taste God's answers in

fresh fruit from the vine.

I smell God's answers in

a magnificent magnolia blossom.

I hear God's answers in

the voice of a dear soul.

I feel God's answers in

my peaceful heart.

It is time to stop questioning and accept God's answers. Thanking Him for all the wonderful healing that has already occurred and never looking back again...only forward!

Day 49 He's still the same man inside!

and rapidly becoming the same man outside....

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Day 48 Memories past

My Dad made this wagon for Matthew (my son who is now 24) when he was still working in the textile mill. He always said it was the one he wanted as a child.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Day 47 and EVERY picture tells a STORY

Deserving Dad needs a chance to keep on inspiring, influencing and enjoying people!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Day 46 - Words from various sources today!

Mountain high.
Angels sigh.
Never cease
Seeking peace.

Growing hope.
Always cope.
Joy appears.
Love peers.

Believe grace.
Steady pace.
Mercy lives.
Heart gives.

Ask God.
Get nod.
Sins forgiven.
Say Amen!

Hymns praise.
Thanks raise.
Trust love
From above.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Broken Wing lessons

A broken wing butterfly

did not let his defect

stop his exploration of the floral feast.

With only a wing and a half

he still maneuvered

each blossom with such precision.

The message is obvious:


but even more!

We should not allow a tiny glitch

to paralyze our enjoyment of life.

We should not permit a disability

to end our progress in life.

We should not let setbacks

cause a cessation to living

in any way.

Remember the lesson when

you feel like you are flying half throttle.

Take a deep breath,

head for the sky, and

full steam ahead!

day 45

He still tells colorful stories, even more so after the stroke (brain attack.) They aren't always clear and believable but it is wonderful to hear his voice. It is marvelous he knows us. It is terrific he is going to be walking with a walker very soon. It is fabulous he will eat soon. It is awesome he is still with us! God has blessed us greatly and I will thank Him every day.
We ask for miracles
and we get a new sunrise every morning.
We ask for hope
and we get to start over each day.
We ask for love
and we receive much from family and friends and God.
We ask for peace
and we see a beautiful sunset.
We ask for forgiveness
and God lavishes it on us.
We ask for joy
and God gives us a bird's song.
We ask for anything
and God knows best.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Day 44 and God Can!

from day 28

God can do the impossible.

God can restore health.

God can change outcomes and minds.

God can answer prayers.

God can give peace.

God can perform miracles.

God can do it all.

I believe in the impossible.

I seek health for Dad and Mom.

I trust change.

I pray for answers.

I need peace.

I want a miracle.

I know God can do it all.

Recovery continues ever so slowly. You don't realize what impact a stroke has until you witness recovery. What happens in an instant can change lives forever.
I so appreciate all the prayers being sent up for Dad and Mom. It's hard for her to be without him.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Day 43

from Day 27

She found her comfort in pie in the sky ideas. Dreaming and hoping were her survival skills. Trusting her Pollyanna nature got her through most tough situations. "Less is more" and other simplictic ways of living kept her safe and sane. She preferred quiet over chaos and like small intimate family gatherings better than crowded events. She never minded days upon days at home. Actually it became an addiction. Creativity and imagination were her drugs of choice and she used them heavily. Weaving words in her journal, meshing images in a collage or painting, leaning on a scripture passage and through prayer, she made sense of all things this way. It helped her sort out emotions, troubles and situations. Finding her purpose in life, following her own instincts and leading the map set before her became clearer when being true to herself.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Dried up prayers bring hope too!

Fluffy white pillows float on a blue bed of sky
But the prayers dry up on my tongue.
Fatigue settles over my body and
The will to go on is gone.
It feels more like I've been sleeping on a bed of nails.
But the birds circling in songs of praise
Pull me off the painful surface.

I see the half moon
Fading into the sunrise and I realize I can battle another day!

Day 42 and...

He's still got the heart of gold I've always admired!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Day 41 and discoverying more about patience

than I ever wanted. Stroke recovery is slow. Agonizingly slow. For the patient and the family. You cannot rush it. You can only enhance it with therapy, waiting, hoping and lots of prayers.

Some days are better than others. Sometimes he is alert. Sometimes sleepy. Sometimes talkative about nonsensical things. Sometimes he can respond and answer completely normal. It is frustrating at best. It is the lesson in patience I guess I've always needed. I just hate he had to suffer a stroke to teach me. Perhaps we will be stronger than ever!

from Day 27

words flow from my pen

fears build up in my mind

hope grows in my spirit

prayers lift from my soul

God speaks to my heart

peace returns

Friday, July 10, 2009

Day 40 Caregives need care too!

Thanks to all the notes, emails, surprises, calls, comments, and PRAYERS we are getting there one slow step or word at a time!

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Day 39 searching for answers still

Day 26

There's a place

deep within your soul

where strength resides.

You never know

it's there until it's needed

and it rises up.

It keeps you going

when you think you can't.

It makes you stand

when you almost fall.

It makes you sing

when your think

you will cry.

Strength is a resource

God gives to all and

He keeps the reservoir full.

It never runs dry.

Trust Him!

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Diversions are helpful!

Creativity, art, reading, movies always provide an excellent escape. Dad is making slow but steady progress and I have been able to squeeze in some creative play to divert my weary mind and tired body.

Day 38

Day 26


Send your strength to my fatigued body.

Grant your peace to my weary mind.

Give your love to my fainting spirit.

Allow your joy to fill my hurting soul.

Know your answers are found in God.
Believe your hope is found in God.
Trust your love is found in God.
Accept your strength found in God.
Increase your faith found in God.
Realize your joy found in God.
Have your peace found in God.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Day 37 the skies part

The clouds part and I glimpse a peek at heaven....

do I see my grandparents, Harry and Lois, and other departed loved ones?

The clouds break through and I see a bit of heaven....

but wait, I'm not ready; I still want to see my son wed, grandchildren,

a home at Fernwood.

The clouds separate and I get a glance at heaven....

grassy fields, flowery meadows, happy faces.

The clouds split and I peer into heaven....

healing, joy, peace, and goodness.

The clouds open and I sneak a look into heaven....

Dad's stroke never happened; 9-11 is a myth; families are intact.

The clouds break up and I have sight of heaven....

life is good; there is hope; prayers are answered.

The clouds divide and I gaze into heaven....

or is it heaven on earth?

Monday, July 06, 2009

Day 25 of 36

The Master's cooling touch is like a parent's

hand on a child's fevered brow.

His love is a healing balm on an inflicted loved one.

Making life's journey one of calm solace,

He leads the way to joyful days

of purpose and meaning.

Dad is continuing a slow but steady recovery. It could take many months or longer but I still find hope in the Lord, peace in His word and comfort in prayers lifted by so many faithful prayer warriors. Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Day 35

I stand on the edge of life's battle.

War is hell.

I don't know whether to retreat or surrender.

My feet are made of lead.

My heart is broken.

My life is in limbo.

God alone sustains me.

God is my sweet refuge.

To Him I cling.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Day 34 and it still feels possible!

Day 22

ear hurts

mind jumbles

heart breaks

spirit weakens

soul alters

stomach aches

body tires

legs twitch

heart pounds

head burns

mind races

faith falters

BUT...God can do all things, what man can't. He helps you overcome obstacles. He heals and solves. He strengthens and blesses. He lifts and holds. He touches and graces. He restores and saves. He can and will do what you need. Ask!

Friday, July 03, 2009

day 33 and it's still so hard

Day 20

No place to cry

No time to cry

No energy to cry

No tears to cry

Day 21

a Sunday of solace

became a day of fear

a man in his senior prime

was attacked by his brain*

suddenly he could not

talk, walk or eat

after two weeks of much sleep

he entered rehab
speech and movement began to return
but will he be the man
we all knew and loved?
so many questions still unanswered
but it's time to quit asking
and accept the blessings as
they come slowly

*(strokes are called brain attacks)

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Can't believe it's been a month

Day 14
6/13/09 930 PM Saturday

Dad's in rehab!!!!

Day 15
6/14/09 1245 PM Sunday

Two weeks ago Dad was beginning a long journey as a stroke victim. Today I was able to talk with him on the phone as he sat in the chair. Mom and I have been up and down emotionally, physically, mentally; strained but we are trusting and believing God for miraculous healing and recovering through the expert care of Carepartners in Asheville. (So much for physicians and nurses at Mission giving us hope.)

Mom is dealing with diverticulitis and me with IBS. Terry with Loneliness. Matthew with distance.

Lost and alone
Is how the turn of the earth can leave you.
All is peace and joy one moment then a horrible change in the body can leave one helpless---speechless---no motor control or ability to control one's own actions. But the grace of God and the expert hands of professionals can certainly turn the earth back.


Day 31

In some ways, it's been a long, long month and in some ways it's been fast. Sitting and waiting in the hospital was terribly long. Driving the long drive from my house to Mom's to Asheville was long. Expecting greater strides in recovery is not long enough. I know strokes take much time to recover from. I also understand everyone is different. Some days will be miraculous and others heart breaking but hope is essential and prayer is a must. God must have time to work His medicine that is like no doctor's or therapist's. He can heal, change and improve anyone's situation. Believe and take heart!