Tag Archives: military spouse

A Journey…

journey-jpeg

This idea has been percolating in my head for a bit now and I’ve even been outlining.  Can you imagine? A pantser like myself actually outlining and mind-mapping?  It was fun, in fact.  It’s always been about the process.  Surveys done in social science classes, experiments and research…now you’re talkin’!

So, here goes.  We, dear reader, you and I, are embarking on our very own journey starting right here, right now (insert earworm here, never mind…I did it for you).

It is my wish that together we will help one another find hope in daily moments.  There are so many opportunities to not be humble or optimistic or purposeful or energetic.  Then again, there are so many little, everyday moments to find in the most obscure, random, downright surprising spots that I have been inspired to share them with you and ask you to share, too.

Do you have an unusual experience or nugget or story that seems to defy all reason, but still inspires you (and others) to not lose faith? Please share it here.

One of the places that seems to have sparked this journey for me is hospice.

My dad was put on hospice following a surgery gone wrong.  It allowed him to go home and be with family when he passed.  Fast forward several years and my mother was also put on hospice, but in a facility as her dementia had progressed to a point where she needed more care than she could get at home.  However, she was put on not because of some horrendous diagnosis, but because of a factor called “negative caloric intake”.  In other words what she was able to eat wasn’t doing her any good nutritionally.  Therefore, the powers that be thought she was “not long for this world” at that rate of speed.  She fooled them.  She ramped up her eating again and did something I didn’t even know was possible. She “graduated” from hospice.  And, in fact, when she did finally pass away, she was not on hospice.

So, both of those instances involved examples of hope.  Dad’s allowed him to be at home with loved ones in an environment he’d helped to create taking some of the powerlessness out of it for him and preparing him for the next step in his journey.

Mother’s was educating me (at least) that this was something that could also be overcome and was not a done deal or a “given”.  God still had the reins here, not us.  Humbling, to say the least and hopeful that she would get stronger and healthier (which she did for a bit).

Since then, I have begun volunteering with hospice myself and it is amazingly rewarding and hope-filled.  The wonderful folks I have had the privilege to meet are veterans who have, in some capacity, served our nation in the armed forces and we are now getting a chance to thank them for their service and sacrifice.  There have been veterans who served in World War II and some much younger who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Some are at home and just look frail, not truly “sick”.  Some who are fully aware and others I have heard of who seem to not hear a thing.  The one thing throughout that resonates is that the word HOPE is within the word HOsPicE.  It came to me one day by Divine Intervention no doubt, but just stood out in vast relief and has stuck ever since.  And I feel so lucky to be able to volunteer with such a terrific organization. It has the element of the military which I have such a place in my heart for (being a military spouse will do that to you) and being the beneficiary of hospice (by way of both parents) that it seemed like a perfect fit.  Couple that with a terrific angel of a volunteer coordinator and you’ve got yourself a winner!

What sorts of experiences have you had that were wrapped in Hope when it seemed like that would be the last emotion to be present?

I hope you have enjoyed this session of our journey and I look forward to our next leg.

 

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There’s something in the air

Beauty

 

I’m not sure what is behind it, but things seem a bit heavy lately or maybe it’s fragility I’m feeling.  Don’t get me wrong. Our nuclear family is doing well. We are all healthy and happy and strong. Truly nothing to complain about here, folks.

I’m not sure if it’s just the fact that there is so much access to information and others around the world at any given moment or if there really is an uptick in these sorts of things.

Recently I’d been following the journey of military spouse Jenna Hinman and her journey along with her active duty husband and their preemie twins in dealing with cancer. Jenna has been “rescued from cancer” to quote Jill Kelly, Jim Kelly’s courageous wife.

Then there’s Ben Sauer’s story. Ben was 5-years-old and a twin when he passed away three months to the day from the doctors telling them he had 2-3 weeks left. That was good news. So is the fact that Ben, too, has been “rescued from cancer”.

It just seems that more people are going through horrific amounts of strife and suffering. These are young people having to deal with monumental issues. Where are the happy endings? Why are so many people having marital difficulties? Why?

Our priest said recently that a young man was asked what he wanted out of life and he replied, “To be holy.” That was in 1930. The same question posed by the aforementioned priest yielded this answer, “I want an iPad Air.” Now we could chalk that up to immaturity, but an adult posed with the same question responded, “A Ferarri. I mean have you heard the engine on one of those things?”

We are broken in more ways than one, people. We need to embrace the goodness in life and draw strength from these challenges like my classmate (a year ahead) from Providence and his family are doing in their battle with cancer. They are leaning into God and squeezing every drop of joy they can from the multitudes being delivered by visits, email, phone calls and mail. I admire these folks who exhibit such extraordinary grace under pressure. I guess the point is, when life seems to be “too much” I, too, need to learn from others’ example and seek out the joy, harvest the laughter and make new memories. Thanks for letting me share.