Monday, October 10, 2016

I am turmoiled....

It was a gloriously successful day at my job.  There are lots of reasons but for the most part, our students are happy as proved by our recent Student Satisfaction Survey.  I have been in Anaheim for 14 months and the results of this survey show that our team is making a difference. 

Pre-FTD (Fronto temporal Degeneration) I would have called Gary immediately upon receiving the fantastic news and shared with him.  My reaction today was to pick up the phone and then I realized, I can't call him much less have him understand what I was saying.  So, I shared the results with my team and felt good.  However, the gap of not having Gary to share my wins with really hurts. I am grateful for how good God has been to both me and Gary.

After work, I headed to the Chiropractor and then off to see Gary.  I got there right after his soup and took over feeding him his main course.  He ate voraciously and drank two glasses of juice and one of water.  I know this will create work for the angels later in diaper changes, but he has not been having good bowel movements and I'm sure it is due to lack of water.  (Who would have ever thought that I would be writing a blog about "poop"?)

After dinner, I removed his bib and started talking to him.  I told him about my results of the day and the increase Student Satisfaction Survey Results.  In the old days, he would have congratulated me and asked what I was going to do to improve them next time. He always pushed me to better excellence.....but, today he looked at his dinner napkin and put it in his mouth.  No response.  No praise. 

As I sat there feeling sorry for myself, I realized that he has been reduced to a man sucking on his dinner napkin.  Who am I to feel sorry for myself?  How obnoxious of me.  I thought about Gary being a child of God and knowing that he is so loved.  I still don't understand the "why" of this horrible disease. 

I thought of Gary when we used to do great things together.  Like when we went to Haiti in 2010 after the Earthquake.  Those thoughts are so real since Hurricane Matthew just plowed through Haiti, killing hundreds.  If Gary knew, he would be so sorrowful.  Here is a picture of him helping to build a house in Haiti.

 gary in white shirt with the tan hat....

I was contemplating leaving for the night when my phone rang.  It was a work call and I answered while sitting next to Gary by saying, "Hello, this is Ada."  Gary instantly said, "Ada Potata.  Ada Potata."  He knew I was there.  I took the call in another room and then went back to him. 

One of the angels had moved him next to the sofa so I sat down on the sofa and held his hand.  He picked it up and kissed the back of my hand.  Those moments are so very precious. 

Just yesterday, I was also there when we were sitting quietly and he reached over and held my hand.  No words, but the love was flowing.

The times at "The Happy Place" are always full of stories.  All the residents have their own personal story.  Like Marietta.  I sat with her yesterday at lunch and she is obviously enamored with Gary. She is over 80 and always tells me how attractive he is.  She asks if he is my father and I explain that he is my husband.  She tells me that she is sorry for me.  I try to engage her in conversation after she talks about her deceased husband.  I asked if she has children and she says "Yes, I do."  When I asked how many, she said "Two, I think."  She could not tell me how many children she has nor whether they are male or female.  How horribly sad.  She said, " You know, I just don't remember things very well anymore."  I told her that it was okay and that we should just enjoy the coconut cake on her plate.  She said that she would like

Tonight, when I left the unit, I proceeded to the parking garage.  There was no one there.  I have no reason to be afraid.  However, I heard a different alarm near the back of the garage and was concerned about it.  I walked to the back near the electrical room to see if perhaps it was an electrical alarm or perhaps a system alarm.  I also manage a multi-million dollar building at work and am concerned about such things. 

I quickly realized the alarm was merely the back service door that someone had entered or exited without the use of a code.  The more shaking revelation was the white, unmarked van that was parked next to the service elevator.  Next to it was a gurney, flag-draped.  I instantly realized that someone at the facility had died.  A Veteran.   How horrible.  Obviously, they take bodies out the back door.  Good practice so as not to upset the residents.

What a sobering thought.  These people that I have come to love will all die.  Gary will die.  We all do.  So, what is it that we can do? The only answer is to make sure we are right with the Lord so we are ready when the time comes. 

I hope that all these wonderful people that I have come to love know this fact and that they are ready for Heaven.  If not, how do we get the point across when their brains have left us?  Does God have a provision for those who can't know him and accept him?  I am turmoiled.....

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