It has occurred to me lately that eventually either our bodies will fail us or our minds will. At least, this has been my recent experience.
My earthly biological father has been dealt the dementia card. My earthly “second” father’s body failed him, yet he retained his remarkable brain up to the end of his earthly existence. We laid my second father to rest a few days ago.
The greatest gift he ever gave me was the recognition (that as I was slowly losing my biological father and anticipating a future as an only child without any living parents), of the gift of belonging. Belonging to a family that had embraced me going back to the second grade. Belonging to a tight-knit, hard-working, foul-mouthed, fun, Lutheran, huggy, emotional, loud, loyal, Chinese stir-fry out-of-a-can loving family. He knew that I needed that support, and He knew how valuable that was (and would continue to be) to me. In his later years, especially after my dad was diagnosed with dementia, he formally claimed me as his daughter, in words and action.
I will never forget the sweet time the Lord allowed with him four days before his death. I sat by his bedside at the Hospice House and read scripture verses to him. Amazingly that day he was awake, alert, not-agitated and peaceful. He would rest his eyes as I would read scripture verses to him from 2 Corinthians, Psalms, and Titus. He reminisced about his trip to Israel, getting baptized in the Jordan, feeling close to Jesus Christ when he was in Capernaum, and how he did not enjoy all the garbanzo beans while there. As I was getting ready to leave he grabbed my hands and mentioned how cold they were, and like any good father would do, he held them until they warmed up again.
Death is, perhaps, most difficult to the degree we loved the person who left us. And, I don’t know what is worse, losing my sound-minded earthly father somewhat suddenly, or slowly continuing to lose my earthly biological father day by long day. Both are almost unbearable, yet, the Lord continues to give me daily strength and the eternal assurance that above all our trials here on earth, He is my Heavenly Father who has claimed me as His child and Who loves me even more than my earthly fathers could.
As I pushed forward and backward the seemingly heavy vacuum and saw the white pup hair that was being taken away little by little, I lost it. Literally had a breakdown right there in the living room. The room was quiet except for the hum of the vacuum. It did not matter that no one was around, I could not help but bawl uncontrollably thinking of our beloved Gidget and the fact that we had to put yet another dog down...
What do you do when you lose a beloved pet? Kelly Sue shares her and her husband's journey through their grieving process of losing their beloved dog, Gidget, and how Barkin Dogs Rescue found them not one, but two new pups to adopt and love!
I will never forget the excitement I had going into a meeting with one of my professors, Dr. J back in grad school. I had the idea of launching a Christian clothing business from way back when and he had a side business that helped start-ups. I came prepared with all my notes, my hand-drawn ideas scribbled into a notebook from years ago and a prototype of a zip-up hoodie that had embroidered crosses and verses stitched all over it. I was so excited! See, Dr. J, now this is what I’m talking about! See this cool hoodie??!! It’s a nicer, higher-end product that I really think people would buy! He, of course, has far more knowledge than I and he is asking questions and pondering it all…thankfully not anything like “Shark Tank”; I would never have survived that type of questioning. He was genuinely being a kind fella and hearing me out. At the end of our meeting (as I am walking out) he asked me to write a “Theology of a Hoodie.” K…. hmmm….ok. That’s it? What on earth does he mean, I thought? I also thought, are you kidding me dude, you know full well how many books and papers we must write in graduate school and now you are asking me to (for fun) write a theology of a hoodie?!
Well, here it is almost 8 years later. (BTW I still do not know exactly what he was asking for, however, I have a far better understanding of hoodies after creating and selling them for almost 3 years now). “Theology” means a theological theory or system” I am going with just the theory or system; my guess is that was what he was asking for?
So, here is my brief explanation of how the system works, at least in my case.
Don’t ya love it when someone visibly looks shocked (not fake-shocked for like a tip or something), but, really stunned when you casually mention that you are about to turn 50?! ME TOO!! Hey, I’ll take fake-shocked sometimes. As I ponder this new year, the running thread at the forefront in my mind is about turning 50 in October. Can I lose 20-30 lbs. in that time frame? Is that even possible? Does that mean completely giving up sweets and bread? Will my legs ever look like they did in my 30’s? What can I do to my face/neck/hands to get ahead of this aging thing?
Then I swing to other side and think, really, why does it even matter? Why does it matter if some stranger thinks you are younger than you are? Like you are cheating the system somehow, like you got better genes (jeans?) than someone else? I mean, does it truly matter?!