Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Saturday, May 24, 2008
After our day at the barn with Dad, I began thinking of what a wonderful privilege it's been to have him for my dad. He is a sweet christian man who has lived his life and taught his family to live according to Biblical principles. He has a gentle spirit and is so very kind. He looks for the good in everyone, even those who are so very hard to like or love. I received this story from someone, and I want to share it, as I think in many ways it reflects the character and spirit that is demonstrated by my Dad.
A man of 92 years, short, very well presented, who takes care in his appearance, is moving into an old people's home today. His wife of 70 has recently died and he is obliged to leave his home.
After waiting several hours in the retirement home lobby, he gently smiles as he is told his room is ready. As he slowly walks to the elevator, using his cane, I describe his small room to him, including the sheet hung at the window for a curtain.
"I like it very much" he says, with the enthusiasm of an 8 year old boy who has just been given a new puppy. "Mr Gagne, you haven't even seen the room yet; hang on a moment, we are almost there".
"That has nothing to do with it" he replies. "Happiness is something I choose in advance. Whether or not I like the room does not depend on the furniture or the decor--rather it depends on how I decide to see it".
"It is already decided in my mind that I like my room. It is a decision I make every morning when I wake up. I can choose. I can spend my day in bed enumerating all the difficulities that I have with the parts of my body that no longer work well, or I can get up and give thanks to Heaven for those parts that are still in working order."
"Every day is a gift and as long as I can open my eyes, I will focus on the new day, and all the happy memories that I have built up during my life."
"Old age is like a bank account. You withdraw in later life what you have deposited along the way. So my advice to you is, deposit all the happiness you can in your bank account of memories."
This is a great way to live, not just for the older folks, but for all of us. We can choose how we will respond to whatever circumstances come our way. It's a matter of choice.
Last night we went to the wedding of Lynn's nephew Brandon. He got married to Abby, a girl he has dated for quite a long time. (They seem really young, but I think he is 23). It was really a beautiful ceremony and the message was good, emphasizing the only way to have a long happy marriage is to make sure they put God first in their marriage. He used the illustration of a rope of 3 strands; If they only have 2 strands (Abby and Brandon) it will not be strong. But a rope of 3 strands, with God as the 3rd strand, cannot be broken.
This past Wednesday, all of us siblings, plus 2 spouses and a niece gathered at Dad's farm to have a work day in the barn. Dad had some old scrap metal that he wanted to sell. There is also, as we discovered, many other treasures (or junk?) that will need to be disposed of later. We knew we would need some help for this, so we had enlisted the services of Dean Short, a very spry 80-year old friend of Dad's. He brought a truck, trailer and a bobcat to assist with this rather daunting task.
Sunday, May 11, 2008
My sister, Brenda, asked me today what were some of my special memories of our mom. She had some specific incidents that she related. At first I couldn't think of a specific story. I remember things like the fact that in the winter she would always have hot oatmeal for breakfast before we left for school. ( She also watched faithfully for the bus, and let us know exactly when we had to get out the door in order to meet the bus.)
I also remember after my daughter was born, when she was 3 weeks old, I flew home to spend a couple weeks with mom and dad. I had an almost 3-yr. old son and my baby girl. It was a really stressful trip, as my planes had delays, and we got to Toledo airport much later than we expected to. She was there waiting for us, and very worried about us, and very glad to have her daughter and grandkids safely home with her.
At mom's funeral, so many people came up to me and told me stories about how my mom had helped them in so many ways, and how she was such an encouragement to them. I felt I learned things about her that I never really knew, and it was great to hear their memories.
It's been said that a mother will love you even if you feel like no one else in the world loves you. I think I've felt that way a few times in my life; and yes, I always knew that my mom (and dad, too) really loved me.
I found this poem, that I really liked, and decided to share it here.
A mother's love is something that no one can explain
It is made of deep devotion and of sacrifice and pain.
It is endless and unselfish and enduring come what may
For nothing can destroy it or take that love away.
It is patient and forgiving when all others are forsaking
And it never fails or falters even thought the heart is breaking.
It believes beyond believing when the world around condemns
And it glows with all the beauty of the rarest, brightest gems.
It is far beyond defining, it defies all explanation
And it still remains a secret like the mysteries of creation.
A many splendored miracle man cannot understand
And another wondrous evidence of God's tender, guiding hand.
Saturday, May 3, 2008
Last Sunday Lynn and I and Bob and Brenda went to Dad and Kay's. We had a nice lunch with them and then Bob and Lynn headed out to Dad's farm and Brenda and I took Dad and Kay back to the house. (It was kind of a sad day for Kay,as her nephew had died; her daughter Linda was coming up and they would be spending the rest of the afternoon at the funeral home). The main purpose of the trip for Bob and Brenda was to open up the Bee hives on the farm. We thought it would be interesting for Lynn to put on a Bee suit and be able to watch the process. Brenda and I also went out and watched. We didn't have bee suits, but the bees were pretty calm. It did make me a little nervous, but my interest and curiosity over-ruled my nerves. It was really fun to watch, and Bob & Brenda were really excited, because one of the hives still had bees and the queen bee was there. Brenda actually has some video on her blog of Bob opening up some hives (Benda-beesnest). (Sorry, I haven't learned how to put an actual link to her blog)