time for an update

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Well, things sure have been busy lately.  But then life is that way for everyone it seems.  If you find the secret to simplifying and slowing down, let me know!

We are very thankful that Dad now has a wheelchair that appears to fit his needs.  The process took trying 3 other chairs, spending some money in vain, and the daily testing of our patience. But what matters is that Dad is safe and comfortable and that seems to be the case now. His “broda chair” is almost like a recliner/lawn chair!  If anyone knows someone in need of a “Invacare Personal Back 10” for an 18” wheelchair, let me know.  I have a brand new one (used 1 week) to sell!

I am never quite sure what to say when someone asked, “how’s your Dad doing?”. Compared to his condition 2 months ago, he is doing great! He is eating well, is calm most of the time and has not fallen since the first week. Compared to the man we all know and love, he is not doing too well.  Communication is difficult, he needs total care, and at times the parkinsons/dementia creates uncomfortable situations. There are times when I go about my days and feel like this is our “new normal” and all is ok.  And then there are times when I sit with Dad and my heart says, “this is so not normal” and it hurts.

Each day holds it’s own level of anxiety, but God never fails to provide just enough strength, hope and grace for that day. Do I wish we didn’t have to walk this road? Of course.  But we know that God is in it.  There have been so many blessings along the way and so many lessons God has taught us. It is comforting to know that when God sends difficulties our way, He is up to something!

One thing that is so important along this journey is to keep a sense of humor. Of course humor is something Dad is known for.  The other day, Dad and I were down the hall near the nurses station and the phones were ringing and going unanswered.  It was frustrating Dad. He took my hand, raised it to his ear and said “hello?”. I had to laugh out loud.

Thank you so much for your prayers each day. They are a treasured gift!  Thank you as well for your calls and emails.  Dad’s wall is filling up with your cards, making his room warm and cheery. I made a poster to hang on the wall above the foot of his bed. Thought you might like to see it.

Dad's poster for web - Page 002

7 responses »

  1. I have shared the “hello” telephone conversation with others. With my sense of humor (or lack of) I found it so funny. Thanks for reminding me of life’s fun moments!

  2. thank you ruthi..
    another loving and informative post..
    love love love the poster..
    really liked the new wheelchair ..
    special blessings to all
    j

  3. Hi Ruthi,

    So good to read the update and hear how things are going. We’re glad Art has a wheelchair now that is right for him. Hope God provides a buyer for the other one. The poster is great and a powerful testimony for his caregivers of his life. The phone story gave us a good laugh. We are at James and Kyleen’s and we’ll tell the story at the table tonight. Sheila arrived (by plane) today and Brian is coming to St. Louis with Brian, Stefani and the boys Friday. We’ll all be together in St. Louis Fri. night and Sat. for Philip and Kami’s wedding Sat. night. We will miss you.

    Love you,

    Dad and Mom (Sylvia) De Jong

  4. Thanks for this good update, and the beautiful poster! It’s so wonderful you are reminding everyone including your dad who he really is in spite of the condition he finds himself in. This morning as we read the little Promise Book you all gave us at the 50 year celebration, we both said, “We haven’t heard how Art is doing lately.” And we prayed for you. The little promise book reminds us to do that daily. Thank you for that, and for the impact of all of your lives on us.
    Mary Anne and Les Harris

  5. I am glad you are still having moments of laughter with your dad.
    I’m sure he enjoyed hearing you laugh! That was probably why he did it..
    to make you laugh! He was always good at that. Keep the blog notes coming.
    I look forward to reading them whenever I see an update.

    It brings back memories of caring for Esther…… She had us laughing a few times, too.
    You are still in our prayers.
    Sandy

  6. What a special poster! What an incredible testimony you all are of His goodness and faithfulness expressed to each other in this new stage of life. We send our love and prayers.
    Rick, Tricia, Stephen and Grace Linnaea

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