Inch by Inch

Friday, March 6, 2009

Well, again it has been a while since I have posted. I have not had the opportunity to sew and boy do I miss my creative play days - when you have that creative gene - it is almost necessary for you to play and create in order to stay healthy! Soon, I hope, I will be back to playing in my stash, caressing fibers, embellishing anything in sight.

The place where I originally placed my Dad turned out not to be the best fit due to his medical challenges so I have recently moved him again - even closer to me and try to visit him as much as possible. It seems to help his agitation to see a family member. Alzheimers is such an unusual disease and many of the symptoms come on quickly, such as extreme agitation, for seemingly no reason at all. Dad actually kicked out some windows at the previous facility while in an agitated state. I am hopeful that we can get past this particular stage of the disease soon. I am moving my mother in about 10 days from Arkansas nearby to Lake Jackson, Texas and she will be in an independent living facility next to Dad's, in the hopes that she can see him often.

Unfortunately, in the midst of all this, my dear Aunt Julie became gravely ill. I made it to her home in New Orleans to visit with her a day or so and had the honor of being with her, holding her hand as she passed into Paradise. She was an amazing lady and I already dearly miss her! Now, as her Executrix, I have had the duties of planning her funerals (yes, funerals, plural) - Aunt Julie was born in Arkansas, but lived most of her life in New Orleans - so she had funerals in both places. Although being 91 years of age, she still had many friends come pay their respects. Aunt Julie had been Dr. Alton Ochsner's personal assistant and surgical nurse for over 40 years in New Orleans at Ochsner Hospital. She was a champion golfer at the Colonial Country Club, an avid bridge player and member of the Louisiana Women's Bridge Association, enjoyed fishing and hunting in her younger days and took every dance class that Arthur Murray had to offer in her 50's and 60's. She never married, but always had a beau on her arm and a twinkle in her eye. At the age of 90 she even took a quick dip in my brother's hot tub wearing a hot pink haltered-top bathing suit (the only thing we could find that fit her) because she had never done it before! You gotta love it! A remarkable woman who lived a wonderful, fulfilled life. I am also charged with finalizing her debts, assets, taxes, emptying her home, etc. and because of this have been making round trips (7 hours) from here to New Orleans for the past few weeks. So this along with getting Mom and Dad moved and settled in has taken me away from sewing at the moment.

I was; however, fortunate to visit our local Guild's Quilt Show today. It was very enjoyable and encouraged me to be ready to stitch when the time presents itself. Such wonderful eye candy! And, I saw many friends that I hadn't seen in quite a while. Lots of hugs all around.

I have learned so much in the last few weeks - about life, about myself, and about the Lord's grace. It has been amazing to feel the strength God has given me as I walk through these challenges. He is teaching me to lean on Him and trust Him with each step I take. My BSF (Bible Study Fellowship International) group has been studying Moses this year which has also been lifting me up through this situation. Isn't it interesting how the right thing, word, person, just pops in when you need it? Those "God" things. The other night the stress of this situation caused quite a blow up between my husband and myself (which is truly quite rare) - we were just stressed and exhausted. This happened right before I went to my Monday night BSF class. Well, while studying about the Israelites and how they leaned so much on Moses and grumbled to each other instead of talking directly to God, - it dawned on me that I was doing the same thing. I was leaning way too much on my husband and grumbling to him when I needed to let off steam, instead of going directly to God. This was creating even more stress for us. Boy, I don't know why we forget so easily that God is always there, waiting patiently for us - ready to help. While driving on one of these recent trips, I saw a billboard that said..."Please talk to me today - I love you ... Jesus". Whoa! Such a simple request, but how often do we put it off and let the busyness of each day get in the way of our relationship with Christ? I am so guilty of that. God has been so good to me during this time - He has given me such loving and encouraging friends, a wonderful church family, the prayers of BSF members, etc. So, I think He deserves for me to answer His simple request and talk to Him each and every day. Well, I am really trying - after all He is the best friend anyone could ever have.
May you be graced with joy today and every day..... till next time ..... Jules


Stacy said...

Julie...just want to say I love you and am so encouraged and inspired by you! You are a blessing!!!!

FredaB said...

Jules I remember you planning the surprise 90th birthday party for your Aunt. It sounds as if she enjoyed every one of those 91 years.

It will be so good when you can get your Mom nearer to your Dad and seeing her may help him a lot. You have certainly had more then your share come all at once and I feel for you.

Will look forward to the days when you can start stitching again. You do such beautiful work.

Extra Hugs


Allison Ann Aller said...

Wow, Jules, it has been a challenging time for your family...
You set very high standards for yourself but to me it looks like you are handling all this with much grace.

I am so glad your parents will be near you so that life can settle down without all the traveling.

God bless you, friend, and hope you can start your glorious stitching again soon!

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