Wednesday, March 2, 2011

BEAUTY AMONG BRIERS...

Gratitude: A feeling of thankfulness and appreciation
Gratitude is the first word that comes to mind when I think of each and every one of you. My heart has swelled with overflowing emotion at your kind words, thoughts, and prayers. I have read each comment over and over this past week and they have given me strength in the face of adversity. I have copied and pasted them, printing them out, and securing them in my gratitude journal to remind me that friendship is a blessed and sacred thing to be thankful for. Thank you so much for the outpouring of support and love.

I will be away for yet a little while longer as I maneuver through a week of doctor visits for my mother, she was in the hospital most of the week last week and is home now. It is a lot to process, these rapid changes in roles, as I become the parent and she more childlike in need of care. Fridays appointment should put a label on her condition, a mere formality really, something we dare not say aloud which will make it all the more real. Not nearly as horrifying as cancer but in some ways much worse, the losing of ones self, of ones memories, of ones mind.

We plod this familiar path having stumbled down it with my precious mother-in-law, at least we are not so blind as to what is ahead in the next bend of the road. As heavy as all this sounds there have been little bits of uplifting beauty scattered among the briers. I first took notice of it when I looked out the window towards the east woods. There among the briers of the bare blackberry vines was a rogue clump of miniature jonquils blooming in all their colorful glory against a backdrop of prickly bare vines and crunchy dry leaves...The skeletal tree frames are beginning to cover their nakedness with new frocks of green colorful costumes coming to life, only just testing out the barest hint on the tips of their bony fingers... I find these layers of life quite interesting, the pleasant and the unpleasant that seem to blend and dwell together so seamlessly. One or the other always moving to the forefront blurring the other in the background...
This season of spring that is teaming with new life and the breath of beauty has taken the sting out of the dry prickly brittleness of emotion...
Filling it with fresh hope. Although their heads are bowed the sunny lemon yellow faces of the jonquils radiate joy. Their strong sturdy stems support them. Their vibrant green leaves are spread and lifted, outreaching to the heavens in a stance of praise...Though they stand in circumstances less than favorable, among briers and dry brittle leaves...
They don't let what surrounds them dampen their spirit or hamper their ability to thrive in the place they have found themselves planted. Often, out of adversity comes strength and stamina that we do not know that we possess. And, if we care to look beyond, there is a fullness of beauty among the briers.

P.S. For anyone who might be coping with a family member who suffers from Alzheimer's, dementia, or memory loss later in life I highly recommend the reading resource The 36 Hour Day: A Family Guide to Caring for People with Alzheimer Disease, Other Dementia's, and Memory Loss Later in Life (4th Edition). This was an invaluable resource in understanding and coping with the care of a loved one with a memory affected disorder that I discovered while caring for my mother-in-law.

25 comments:

Bonita said...

Sandy, I'm so sorry. I'm praying for you, your mom, your family. A dear friend has been walking this road with her mom for several years and I know, as you know, it's not an easy one. But if anyone can find beauty in the midst of trials, it's you sweet friend.

Pink Roses and Teacups said...

Sandy,

I'm so sorry you are going through this with your mom. Your post was beautifully written with love. Wishing you strength as you go through this journey.

Warm hugs,
Debbie from NJ

sonya said...

Hi Sandy,
A beautiful post as always, filled with love, saddness, and hope. I am praying for you dear friend. I know just what you are going through. This is when the Lord will carry you, just climb into His lap...
Thinking of you and remember I am here for you.
Blessings and hugs,
Sonya

Charlene said...

Sandy, You always say things is such a beautiful way! And the likeness of the flowers in spring & life is perfect. I pray that you will have strength & peace in dealing with what is ahead. You have walked this path before... YOU KNOW is not a pretty path for you or her. Not one any of us would choose. Know that you have company on the path with many of us walking the walk with you. We care for Hubby's 88 year old father with this (the last 4 years) & each day is darker than the one before. There will be light! HUGS!
Charlene
Thank you for the suggestion of the book.

Vee said...

I am so sorry that you are facing this with your mother after having already been through it with your beloved's. Still I know that God is weaving a beautiful tapestry and we can trust Him to know what He's doing. Keeping you tucked in my prayers. May your mother get all the support that she will need and that goes double for you and her caregivers. Always love...

Kasia said...

Sometimes it gets really quiet and sad in life. And then we stop our breath and hear, or it seems you hear, a knocking... It seems it's close by, but its hard to see where it's coming from, hard to guess whom is knocking to whom, or from which direction.

So when it gets really quiet, you listen intently to that lonely knocking, its hopes and dreams trying to get in. And its so beautiful once we find them...

We are all here together for a while, for a couple of moments, in that silence... When we look out our windows, we see such citrusy daffodils, we listen to he heaven and the earth as they wake up... But we also examine the night, which hides and takes away... but the most beautiful thing in it is that now your Mom can trust you completely, and you can embrace her completely, and show her that love is forever. You can show her that you hear her when she cries, even when she is so far away. You show her that you are her child, angel and star...

No mater what the sickness, and how weird it seems, I beleive they can still see everything around them. U pray that you find that you find that light in your heart, just like you found the flowers in the woods, and keep it there.

With you,

Ceekay- Thinkin of Home said...

You continue to be in my thoughts. I took care of my mother her last few years due to cancer. I know what it is like to become the parent to a parent....to have to make such life changing decisions. Blogging will be here when you need it.

Dorthe said...

Dearest Sandy,

This is a very sad situation for you, and your beloved mother- it is terribly loosing one selves as you so right describes it- and I feel so sad for you sweet, that you now ,once more ,have to take a rough path, with a family-member, dear to you.

I hope I`m not speaking too close,dear,---but hope your mother ,in a not too far away time, will -For her own sake- not anymore feel what is going on with her- then she can live in peace, and be happy for all the kind and dear people visiting her.- I have experienced that with my mother in law- and she became happy, again , that way-and even we did not, it was better for her.
Sweetest Sandy- I send you warm, and loving thoughts- and hope you find strengh to go through this .
Hugs, and love-Dorthe
I

Kathy said...

I find your ability to find beauty and hope amidst such personal trial inspiring. I want you to know that although we have never met and I have never commented before, I consider you an influence in my life through your writing. As a daughter who has had to care for a mother I can sympathize with your challenge and will keep you in my prayers.

LiLi M. said...

Hello Sandy,
It is good to read that you have been supported by so many. Like you write in your post, the pleasant and the unpleasant seem to blend in perfectly. Of course I'm sorry to hear about your mother, but still, it is good that you can share this and that people support you.
Wishing you a lot of strength again and I know that you already have a lot, but just for the moments when you loose hope. Thinking of you, LiLi

Whimsey Creations said...

Sandy I'm sorry to hear about your mother. I'll be praying for all of you. Thanks so much for the book reference. My step-father is 86 and getting more and more forgetful. I try to be patient when he repeats and repeats and seems to be able to handle less and less things that he has to think about to do. Unfortunately I'm 3 hours away and only get up there every other Saturday so sometimes I don't really know if he's doing as well as he says when he calls. I'll try to find that book. Hugs!

Lesley said...

Sandy, I'm so sorry to hear your news. We are in the same situation with my MIL. She is in hospital at the moment, but hopefully, will be back at her care home soon. We feel so helpless, but at least she seems happy. I often think with this horrible condition, it is the family that suffers most. I hope you will all get through this, with heart and soul intact. Blessings

Diane said...

Sandy, oh dear friend, what I wish for you is comforting arms wherever you have to turn for help as this sadness happens....and for your mother...peace, perhaps blissful unawareness so that she is not upset by what is happening to her.
Warm hugs and love to you...
Diane

Lady Jane said...

My heart goes out to you and yours Sandi. My husbands dad had alzheimers and it is not an easy road to haul. You have such spunk girl that your mom is so lucky to have you on her side. Prayers going out to you guys.

Fete et Fleur said...

Thinking and praying for you and your family. Hugs to you dear one.

xoxo
Nancy

The Feathered Nest said...

Dear sweet Sandy, I'm so sorry about your precious mother ~ I will keep you all in my thoughts and prayers dear friend. Your writings are so beautiful in this post and so very true as well...there are so many seasons in our journey. Sending you big hugs and much love, Dawn

Kasia said...

Sandy, I just wanted to let you know That I've given you a stylish blogger award! Please check back to my latest post for instructions. :) It's just that your posts are always very inspiring. Your writing and pictures and your wonderful decorating are exceptional and I couldn't pass up the opportunity to add you!

Hugs,

Shopgirl said...

This is a beautiful post. To put into words is so hard, but you have been brave. I will pray for you and your mom, and remember hope! Hugs, Mary

daysease said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rebecca said...

Good Morning Dear Sandy
So sorry you are going through this hard time with you mom. I pray for strength and wisdom for you and that there will be a sweetness also in this time with your mom.
Your post today was lovely and shows your heart is in the right place.
Blessings
Rebecca

Createology said...

Sandy I am so blessed to find and follow your blog from Claudia at Mockingbird Hill Cottage. I adore your little pink bootie.
My prayers are with you and your family...

Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

Oh my dear friend as one who has walked a similar path with a loved one I can truly empathize with this path you currently walk on.

Please know I am here for you and am saying a prayer every time you pop into my mind.

LADY JANE said...

Dear Sandy,Strangely enough I don't know exactly how I got to your blog today...but I care for my Mom and if you EVER need to talk please stop by and visit or e-mail me! I will say a prayer for you and all those you love!

Ragamuffin Gal said...

Send a heart full of love to you ~ prayers of hope, peace, and joy my dear one. ~ Katie

The French Bear said...

Sandy, I am so sorry you have to be touched by this terrible disease, it drains all the life out the caregivers....what a daily struggle, I am praying and thinking of you often.....my heart aches for you...
Hugs and lots of love,
Margaret B
xx

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