38 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 10-11-19

  1. This was posted on FB by a friend. I know who the man is who wrote this but I do not know him personally. It reminded me so much of Chas and TSWITW. I hung on to the phrase, “Lord Jesus, you know what it’s like to have a forgetful bride.”

    My Forgetful Bride

    This picture was taken in the North Carolina mountains in May of 2017, about a year after our son Kappel died in a motorcycle accident. Tish and I had slowly begun to find our feet, and to breathe a bit, leaning into the “new normal” of waiting until Heaven to see our boy again. Our marriage seemed to be surviving the stress of losing a child, as we found comfort from God, each other, and those friends and family who surrounded us with love. But, in the midst of all that comfort, we were also trying to navigate Tish’s diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease, and what it might mean for our future. I knew, in my head, that God had all things in His control, but still … I wondered if I really trusted Him for what might be next. And then … things with Tish began to quickly drift. She began to forget simple things, and then not-so-simple things. I often had to repent of my impatience with her.

    In the May of 2018 I planned a three week trip to Ireland. We would rent a car and wander the countryside. It would be a great escape, with no agenda and no pressure. On the second week of the trip, while we were driving up the stunning Western coast of Ireland, Tish looked at me and said “i’m not real sure who you are.” I pulled over and looked in her eyes. She was not joking. She did not remember that I was her husband. And that was the beginning of my new new normal. What would be next?

    On one of our last days in Ireland I was asked to perform for a group of about 50 American and Irish university students. I had met with their marvelous leaders earlier in the trip and shared my grief of losing my son in the blink of an eye and now, it seemed, losing my wife in slow motion. I performed one of my shows for them in the afternoon and was planning on performing another that night. Tish was tired and was already in bed before the evening performance. But, instead of a performance, the leaders asked me if I could just tell the students a bit of my recent story. I did. And then, the students asked if I would sit in the middle of the room while they surrounded me to pray for me. They prayed gently, but fervently. One of the leaders, who had also lost a grown son in an accident, prayed, thankfully, for the assurance and hope of Heaven, where “all will be made well”. Tears flowed. Then, a long silence. And then … then a young Irish woman prayed. She prayed simply. (I can still hear, in my head, the melodious timbre of her Irish accent) She prayed quietly, “Lord Jesus, you know what it’s like to have a forgetful bride.” And that was it. I laughed through my tears. This young Irish student probably had no idea how prophetically she had prayed. I was reminded, powerfully, in a flash, that Jesus knew, of course, better than me, what to do with a forgetful bride: Love her. I was reminded that I, with all my doubts and wondering and impatience, was His forgetful bride. And he … he simply loved me. He simply loves me.

    It has been over a year since that Irish prayer. Tish’s Parkinson’s Dementia is getting steadily worse. Today, we celebrated our 35th anniversary at a cabin in the mountains of North Carolina. I reminded her this morning, as I do every morning, “I’m your husband, and I love you.” This afternoon, when we returned from a marvelous late lunch at a stream-side mountain restaurant, she looked at me quizzically and said, “You’re my dad, right?” I gave her my standard reply (she asks this often) of “Nope. Your Dad’s been dead for 10 years and I’m a whole lot better looking than your Dad ever was”. She laughed and went to pet the dog.

    So … the days are getting very interesting for me. I wait, with great anticipation and joy, the soon birth of my first grand baby to our sweet Lily and her marvelous Ridge. God only knows what life with my forgetful bride will look like in the coming days. But, I know that as His forgetful bride, Jesus will keep on loving me. I will pray to do the same to all those dear to me, especially my bride.

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  2. Good morning all. Just here for a sec to the weekly funnies.

    I’ll be at meetings all day for “professional development”. I think they do that so we get a day away from students, but have to be students for a day. I might stop by at lunch.

    Otherwise, I won’t be around much. We have our annual Bible conference in the Ozarks, with no WiFi or cell signals. The young folks don’t do well when they can’t use their phones. There’s one or two spots on the grounds that get a weak signal, so that is where many of them hang out.

    See you Sunday!

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  3. Thanks for that Kim. We’re having our first ever stand off now. It just happened this morning. It’s over a small glass of orange juice. She thinks it’s stupid. I say, “no coffee until you drink your juice.”
    She said she hates living here. It isn’t nearly as good as Hendersonville, but it’s best for us to be here.
    My prayer is that I will have the strength, wisdom and patience to take care of her.
    She would hate living in an assisted living place. Really hate it.

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  4. Restless night for me. Paramedics were next door for the one troubled son who earlier this week had been back in jail; Cowboy is pacing (after a couple weeks of sleeping well through the nights) so I was up to let him out a few times. I keep waking up every 2 hours or so.

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  5. We have electricity and there was great rejoicing in the land.

    I have yet to see, however, if my “big” computer survived. It would not boot up this morning and was screaming last night when electricity was restored.

    We can’t remember how old the computer is 7-8 years? I hope we don’t have to find out if Carbonite is as good as Mozy for backup . . .

    Walk with a friend, vacuum, work and then my close friend from Hawai’i is stopping by (and bringing lunch).

    And I’ll probably join the rest of the world at the grocery store . . .

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  6. DJ, I tried to post this yesterday, but don’t think it went through. When you mentioned the potential vet bill, you said it was an estimate, and I’m not sure that an estimate limits the potential top amount.

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  7. It’s always possible it goes higher but when that’s the case they typically will let you know. I’ll tell them beforehand that if it looks like it’s going any higher to call me. But it’s unlikely I’d have them put her down just for a higher dental bill.

    The deal could be that they’d stop at the high point and then we’d talk about whether to do another procedure if needed later.

    However, I believe this estimate range (which is quite wide) is probably fairly on target with what they expect, given their experience in doing these procedures and having already looked at her.

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  8. I’ve already told them the cost for this is an issue as it is. I’ve had two previous very high vet bills in just the past few months (annual checkups and bloodwork for all 3 animals in July and Annie’s assessment visit last Saturday).

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  9. Ah, vet bills. With Duke’s wound earlier this summer and now Keva with the dog bite and now a ligament injury, this has been an expensive year. For Duke’s emergency visit to be sewn up, the vet really grimaced when she looked at the total on the computer. She then knocked off the $200 after hours fee. We were very grateful.

    Our son got pet insurance for his dogs when they first got them. It has paid off big time as their border collie has a form of epilepsy and needs daily medication and frequent check ups.

    Even with all the extra expenses this year, I don’t think having insurance for our guys would have made sense.

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  10. Pet insurance has improved, I believe, from its earlier days. With a younger/new animal I’d now look into it for catastrophic coverage, at least.

    Vet care has become so sophisticated (something I believe owners have demanded yet often later regret the costs for it). Overall, veterinary medicine has changed dramatically in the past 20-30 years and it probably reflects our society’s now more elevated view of family pets. We can argue whether that’s a good or bad trend, but it is simply the case now and many of us reflect that approach — vet care has simply followed suit.

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  11. You know how much I love my boy. I would go to a certain amount for him. Then I would weigh quality over quantity of his life. I wouldn’t do anything heroic that would make his last days miserable.
    All in all the way we lost Mo the cat was easy and peaceful. Her human stayed with her almost to the end. She slipped into some sort of state before she stopped breathing. She never acted like she was in pain.

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  12. smart phones. yuck. Mine wanted to update and I let it. Then it made me put in a passcode. If I wanted a passcode, I would have put it in long ago. After reading seventeen pages of licensing agreement, I know that I am not supposed to text and drive or ride a bike with headphones in my ears. And that they have possession of everything I put in my phone or use it for and can give out my phone number. Just so oldest daughter could say good morning to me in a text. It was worth it.

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  13. Weighing an animal’s age and other factors is where I usually go as well. When Ellie, my former beloved shaggy shelter dog was diagnosed with lymphoma, the vet said treatment often brings very good results. But there is no cure and she was almost 14 years old. I opted not to treat (he said lymphoma doesn’t cause pain, only a dramatic slowdown and loss of energy).

    Another dog, an Aussie, was diagnosed out of the blue with diabetes; he was only 6. I was going to have him put down as treatment results were uneven, according to my vet, but I emotionally just couldn’t bring myself to do it. The suddenness of the illness and diagnosis made it especially hard for me, decision-wise.

    I gave him insulin shots for 18 months and he actually had a very close-to-normal quality of life, it worked well for him. As soon as complications set in (which was inevitable, and I’d talked to my vet about this in advance), I decided to have him put down. I was glad I’d made the decision to treat, it was the only decision I was personally able to make at the time considering his relatively young age and my emotions over the sudden diagnosis (and the need to make a call, one way or another, within 48 hours). I’m not sure I’d ever do it with another dog w/a diabetes diagnosis in the future.

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  14. When my vet called me at work (it was a Friday) to give me the results of the bloodwork (which surprised even him), he said he was so sorry but that I’d have to make a decision whether to treat or have him put down within 24 hours as the blood results showed he’d lapse into a diabetic coma at any time.

    I decided to put him down, left work early, called the office (receptionist said we’d have to just sit in the waiting room for our turn since we had no appointment and they were super busy); I just could not bring myself to do it. So a friend picked me up (it was probably 5 p.m. by then) and it was off to the veterinary hospital; I figured if he didn’t do well overnight, the decision might be easier. If he did well, I’d be better prepared to rethink things in the morning. It gave me some breathing room to research the issue and time to talk to some of my dog owner friends, including a neighbor down the street whose former dog had been diabetic.

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  15. Morning! Thanks for the article Kim. My closest friend is battling Parkinson’s and she is facing many lows of the disease. It is so hard yet we stand with her meeting every week and listening. There are days she no longer desires to live. She has an amazing husband and a great team of doctors at Mayo….but we could not meet this morning due to some side effects brought on by new medications they gave to her.
    In hindsight we are good with the call we made with Fly in her last hours. We are thankful she went to sleep and was quite restful in her last hour. Our Vet feels with the quick onset of the symptoms and downward spiral there would most likely have been nothing to do. He and the office staff sent us a condolence card…made us cry all over again. We love our Vet….

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  16. Me too for the cards — and I also love my vet (although he is so booked in advance now and I’m having to use one of the female partners this time with Annie; that’s fine, I’ve seen them before with the cat (the dogs always see the main guy) and I trust them. Still … I realize I’d feel more at ease if were my vet she was seeing for this dental issue. Sometimes he’ll see my name on the list and give me a call anyway to see what’s going on, he did that when I took Cowboy in once and he was off so we had to see one of the other vets).

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  17. When Misten developed problems with her rear legs, the doctor told me there were multiple options. I think one involved surgery, but it wasn’t sure to work, it was expensive, and even he said most people wouldn’t go that route for a dog that was already past ten. We went with medication for pain and for inflammation, and that was expensive (I think about three dollars a day), but at that point I knew it was only a matter of time, and it would give me a few more months with her to say goodbye. At that point it was actually her age that made me willing to do some form of treatment, though I suppose even if a young dog succumbed to the same issue, it would still have the same result.

    When my childhood dog (who had been “mostly my dog” simply because I’m the one who took the most interest in her) developed issues of incontinence (bowel and bladder both), my mom had already been struggling with what to do about her. She was wanting to move, and not wanting to limit herself to a place that allowed pets, but obviously she didn’t want to make decisions with a dog’s life for that reason. But she decided to put her down, and she called me at work to tell me. I went through the rest of the day sad and crying periodically. I wasn’t living at home, but she’d been my dog for the last ten years I was at home and then another year or two since. When I got home, Mom called me or I called her, and she told me the vet told her that she should be OK with medicine and she was still fundamentally healthy, so Mom decided to go that route.

    A week or two later I went off to counsel at camp. A couple of days after I came home, I casually asked my sister, “How’s Cricket doing?” She looked shocked and said, “Mom didn’t tell you?” I said with dread, “Tell me what?” She said, “Mom had her put down while you were off at camp.” Had I known that was still an option–somehow I thought it wasn’t–I’d have gone by the house to see her one last time, but I really thought she was pretty much out of danger, and so it hit as quite a shock.

    Misten was really the only dog I’ve ever been able to say “goodbye” to. Others were given away while I was gone at work or at school or whatever. With Misten I had time to be reconciled that she was fading, and on her last day I sat on the kitchen floor with her head in my lap for an hour or two. My husband said her face registered peace for the first time in days.

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  18. We had a little black-and-white, 6-toed kitten die of what used to be called “cat fever” back in the day (they have a vaccine for whatever that was now). We’d lost our prior cat to that as well, it was almost always fatal.

    Her name was Liz and I adored her. I was heartbroken (I was 11 or 12 when we found her and then lost her just a few months later). My dad buried her in the backyard, my parents knew it was imminent and so my mom took me out shopping, hoping it would all be over when we got home, which it was.

    When I made Annie’s dental surgery appt (it’s on the 22nd), they asked if I wanted to have the same vet who had seen her do the surgery. I said yes mostly because that’s protocol and makes sense, but everything in me wanted to ask if (my) vet could do the surgery (but I don’t think he does those, the 2 female vets have that as a specialty so I don’t think he’d be an option anyway). It’s hard to want a 2nd opinion when it’s all within the same vet office, I don’t want to insult anyone. But I know she does have a sore tooth that needs to be taken care of — it’s just the price that kills me.

    Guess I’ve just been with my vet for SO long and we know each other so well that there’s a confidence that’s been built up through the years. He also understands that finances are an issue sometimes for me, but I’m not sure that would have affected the estimate even had he given it. (But, for example, my vet said ideally the dogs should have their teeth cleaned but he saw no medical threat by putting that off a while due to expense — that was when we were in for the big annual checkup in July; it was already expensive enough). I will get a 10% discount for having the surgery done on a Tuesday (which is their regular “dental” surgery day when they try to schedule those things altogether). Anything helps.

    Cowboy’s also on a new brandname medication for arthritis which really is helping. But it’s $50 a month. Maybe it’s making his occasional midnight pacing more comfortable? Hadn’t thought of that! I was told by the vet that there is an online rebate program I can sign up for but I haven’t done that yet.

    Cowboy is still good on the walks, seems to be himself 95% of the time (he’ll have moments when he seems a little dazed, mostly in the middle of the night, and his hearing no longer is good). I know the goodbyes for all of them are coming around a corner or two, but the gradual aging process really does allow you to process that loss in bits and pieces in advance a little bit more.

    Always hard, though, no matter what.

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  19. I am sad reading about pets dying. We have experienced it with one dog, two cats, and one kitten (a stray that lived in our carport and thought our car tire was its mother). Only the dog was put to sleep at the vet’s office, but the kitten died at the vet’s office. I had named the kitten Puffkin. I could only pet it when I found it asleep. It was not here for long. One day I found it injured out in the yard and it had maggots in its wound. A dog or cat had torn it up. We carried it to the animal hospital but it was too late. I think I paid a bill for the exam and felt foolish for taking it in. I did not receive a card for the kitten or for the dog which was put to sleep. That would have felt good to have received one.

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  20. We’re making ourselves sad today. 😦

    On a more upbeat note, Annie now hangs out during the day mostly in the igloo-shaped dog house in the backyard. It’s so funny to see her in there. None of my dogs have ever used it (I bought it when I had different dogs quite a long time ago and it followed me to this house but had been in the garage until the big garage cleanout a year or two ago).

    We’re getting some wildfires in northern LA County now. 😦 There’s some wind where I am, but not a lot yet. We’re out of the major fire zone areas but the smoke in the air reminds us that they’re not all that far away.

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  21. My brain feels pulled in many directions. I am trying to work out logistics for getting everyone to the CLI dinner on Thursday. With Aty now having double vision I am having to figure out how to transport people who don’t drive at night.
    I’m arranging for Art to print out my article for critique tomorrow, and I have to find a devotion to use in the morning and think of snacks for people who don’t do gluten, and find a way to get them from the store.
    I am prayer secretary for my new Bible study group and we all have needs to keep up with. And I have selected a Bible verse to memorize for that. And since I lead next week I have to prepare to teach on the life of Joseph. I did receive a Prime order of Allistar Begg’s book, The Hand of God, that is about Joseph so I will try to use some passages from there as well as the Bible, but mostly I will use the Bible for constructing the lesson.

    Art has also said he needs a new sports coat for the CLI event and with the tax extension on Oct 15th, he has no time to shop so I am looking online but chances are what I order will not fit (I guess about 25% of the time I get something for him that fits).

    Karen is still getting over pneumonia so I need to spend phone time with her. And my brother’s car has been in the shop more than on the road for several weeks now so he has not been able to help lately.

    Each of these things by themselves is not a big deal, but put them all together and my brain feels scrambled.

    And I wait for my progressive glasses to arrive and see if they help.

    Sorry, I am glad to have so much to be busy with, but just need to relax over it all.

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  22. Getting services for the mentally ill or mentally challenged can be quite daunting. I have more understanding as to how many ended up homeless. Husband is good at paperwork. After twenty six years in the military and however many with the Olympics and the school district and adopting eleven children, he can do paperwork. But this is ridiculous.

    We just got off the phone with a new case manager, through the military, and a forty five minute process took over two hours. And the electric guys have never come back with an estimate for the work required for becoming a certified family home, so he called yet another electrician. We will see.

    I am glad I just work with the children and not the paperwork.

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  23. Beautiful day here. It seems we are beginning the rainy season. Sunny in the mornings and hard rain in the evenings.
    There is a top of the hill yard sale involving a number of homes so I may go wander around later, since I am at the top of the hill and it is just a stroll.
    My weakness is always books, I can avoid buying most everything else.

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