September 13, 2013 | My Jottings
Oh, it feels like fall here this morning. I love it. I had to get up in the middle of the night to close some windows because our top sheet, thermal cotton blanket, quilt, and top blanket we use so the dogs don’t make the quilt dingy weren’t enough to keep us warm. It will be time to turn on the furnace soon, and it was only two days ago that we had the central air on. Years ago when we had to be aware of every dollar, I would try to delay turning on the furnace until the first of October each year, but I rarely made it that late. The final weeks of September almost always turn cold in northern Minnesota, and this year seems like it will do the same.
The dogs are noticing the temperature difference too, because for the first time in months they’ve both wanted to burrow down under the covers at night instead of sleeping on top. They’re our own personal little space heaters. I have no idea how they breathe down there.
Michael and I took our Fosters out to dinner last night and to a movie. We had fabulous Vietnamese food at one of our favorite restaurants, and brought so much home we’ll have it again tonight. Michael had Spicy Beef Cashew, HOT, and I had Spicy Chicken Cashew, mild. And how could we not share an order of Spring Rolls, dipped in tangy fish sauce?
We saw a movie last night that I absolutely loved. You may remember that I like slow, meandering, nuanced, meaningful movies, and this one fit the bill. If you like action and explosions and lots of laughs, Still Mine would not be for you. It was beautifully filmed in rural New Brunswick and I got the itch to become a Canadian about ten minutes into the movie. I’m not sure children should see the movie because of some unexpected and jolting language and one scene of intimacy between husband and wife (not graphic), but please watch the wonderful trailer by clicking here.
When I told my friend Su we were going to see a movie about an older man making all the changes necessary to care for his wife who has dementia, she asked me, “Why would you want to see that?” and I understood what she was saying. She wondered why I would pay to purposely see something that was probably going to be sad. I answered, “Because I want to be encouraged.” I knew from seeing the trailer that the man loves his wife and wants the best for her, and struggles to make adjustments to her disease. Each day Michael and I walk this path of Parkinson’s, I need help. I need help because I don’t like him hovering when I’m getting meals ready, unable to tell me why he’s there. I don’t like him blurting out two-word phrases to me that make no sense, that I’m supposed to interpret and can’t, even after 10 frustrating minutes. I don’t like that we are now couch potatoes since watching television is what we can do together. I don’t like that I have to tell him when and how to brush his teeth. I don’t like that I have to tell him fifty times a day “Take big steps!” because he forgets how to walk correctly, shuffles and almost falls. I don’t like that there’s a walker sitting in our living room, waiting for Michael to change his mind about using it. And do you see? All these “I don’t likes” are a big problem aren’t they? That’s why I need help. I need the Lord to change my attitude every day, sometimes many times a day, so I will whip the selfish-poor-me lenses off my face and put the look-how-blessed-you-are-to-be-able-to-pour-out-love-on-your-husband lenses back on. Sometimes I do look through those latter lenses, and everything comes into focus. How much Jesus loves Michael and wants to show that love through me. How fortunate we are that we work in our home with two remarkable Fosters who are like family. How rich we are to have the history we have, the children and grandchildren we have. How the Lord is a refuge to us and a very present help in trouble. (Psalm 46).
So I loved the movie. It portrayed the frustration the husband Craig had with his wife’s forgetfulness and diminishing personality. We saw him snap at her, feel so remorseful, and lovingly apologize. We saw the fruits of decades of faithfulness. We saw how he realized that this was going to be their road, and all the practical (if not misunderstood and quirky) things he did for Irene to smooth it out for her.
Yes, I cried. And I also felt very encouraged. I want to be like Craig (played by James Cromwell, who was amazing). If you aren’t daunted by a slow, thoughtful and touching movie, you might want to see it!
Changing topics now, lovely little Louisa will be arriving in a few minutes, and I’ll be watching her today. She is walking all over the place at fourteen months, eating up a storm, being a fan of peanut butter, red bell peppers, all pastas and tomato-ey things, laughing easily at her three older siblings’ antics, and reaching for Grandma every time she sees me. I like that just a little bit. 🙂
Here’s a picture of Michael and me, taken last week. He’s still mine. And I’m still his.
And here’s a quote I read recently that applies to the movie we saw last night, to our own situation, and maybe it will apply to something you’re experiencing as well.
Love is not a vat that you fall into randomly. Love is saying I see everything about you, good and bad, and I am still committed to you. ~~ Tim Keller
I hope your weekend is blessed, dear family and friends. What are your plans?
Thank you for stopping by here….
I am grateful for the truth of your post, Julie. I, too, learn when I face the difficult, even scary things in my life, and in the lives of those around me. I learn to be a better human being, more like Jesus—which is my goal for myself. You are a strong inspiration to face Reality, praying for grace.
Roberta, this is my desire too – to be transformed into the image of Christ. Sometimes it’s almost laughable how far from His character I seem, but I’m so thankful He’s still working with me. Thank you for praying for grace for us. What a perfect thing to pray for. Hugs to my New York friend… xoxo
I can totally relate to your comments about your struggles. I have cared for my mom as she went down the road of dementia over the past 12 years. She lived with us for 9 years before I made the difficult decision to put her in the care center a little over a year ago. She is almost 94 and it is hard not to wonder why God does not release her into a new body and mind. I know my situation is different in that it is a parent and not a spouse but I feel your pain and agony.
Read Psalm 91:4: “He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge.”
Zephaniah 3:14 “Sing, O Daughter of Zion; shout aloud, O Israel! Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, O Daughter of Jerusalem.” Then Zephaniah 3:17 adds comforting words: “The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.”
When you are frantic this verse promises the He quiets you with His love. He rejoices over you with singing! I know you enjoy music so use it to lift your spirits through songs of praise. I just read these verses when preparing for my Bible study this week and they immediately came to mind when I read your post.
Thanks for sharing the Tim Keller quote.
Dearest Carrie, Thank you for these powerful scriptures that went straight to my heart. They are the truth I needed to hear at the moment I read them. It’s always so good when you know someone really understands…I thank you for sharing here so others can read part of your story too. Here’s what I’m taking into the rest of the day, tonight, and the weekend: He delights in me and is quieting me with His love. Tears of joy… xoxo
I too am grateful for the truth of your post Julie. I have a feeling I will be facing these types of challenges as well in the future. I pray I am as honest about it as you are. And that I will continue to seek to be gracious about it. Love you ~
Oh, Tauni, if I know you (and thankfully I’m blessed that I do!), you will handle whatever challenges are ahead with grace and truth and love and total reliance on the Savior. My heart wrenches a bit to read what you’ve shared… xoxo
There is a book ~ I didn’t know it had been made into a movie. Looks like a me movie.
And you already know I continue to pray into your situation ~ & thank God always that He brought you into my life. 🙂
It’s a me movie too, Ganeida. Let me know if you ever see it. And your prayers and friendship are treasures to me, dear Ganeida. So grateful to The Lord for you….