Sometimes, it’s pretty amazing to me…what kids pick up.  Kids are like sponges…they don’t make a sound, they don’t call attention to themselves…but, all the while, they’re soaking up everything around them — conversations, visuals, etc.

Last year this time when I was taking care of “Granddaddy”, I didn’t take notice to just how much the kids were watching me in action, listening.  Well, last night during dinner, I realized they “got” more than I thought they did…let’s see.

Hubby had left for his 6p-6a shift.  Daughter and Son were doing homework at the dinner table.  I’m at the stove cooking one of their favorite meals (fish sticks, corn, rice), and Son asks, “Ma, are you going to eat at the table with us again…let me put you a chair right here?”  “That’s ok, I’ll get it, baby” I respond.  “No, I got it Ma, I’m gonna have to take care of you anyway when you get old.” Get who?  I smiled, “OK, Son. Thanks.”

Now…lol.  I’ve already spoken here about taking a break from the elderly…still working on that.  But I thought I’d take a chance, after that enlightening comment lit up my reality, to share some feelings with the kids.

“Hey, can I tell you guys a secret?”  “Sure, Ma!”  There is no better way to get my kids’ full, undivided attention, than to tell them you’re gonna share a “secret”.  All pencils stopped moving, and there were four wide-eyes staring dead at me (I’ve told my kids some interesting stories about growing up…they’re always ready for the juice lol).

“Well, you guys know that Mama’s birthday is next month, and just then…when you talked about me getting old and all…I’m…umm, kinda trippin’ cos I’ll be forty in a couple of years…What is that about?! {they laughed}…Man, I can still remember being YOUR age!”  Now, this was no where near the juicy stories I’ve told before…but they began to think and tie things together just like they always do.

Almost instantly, Son says, “So Ma, they have diapers for grown ups?”  Son comes at ya front and center, boy.  “Yeah…they’re called adult diapers.”  “And that’s what Granddaddy had?”  “Yep…he couldn’t walk anymore…couldn’t get to the bathroom, you know?”  “So, you had to see all that?”  By this time, their faces are all wrinkled up, noses squished….and I’m trying not to laugh…seeing them piece together their thoughts of taking care of me, like I did Dad.

Finally, after taking it all in and assessing the situation lol, Daughter chimes in with her resolve.  Guess she thought she was callin’ “shotgun”.  “Ok A….I’ll clean the front, and you can clean the back!”  Folks, I tell ya…we all fell out laughin!.  Then, of course, they had to put their kid perspective on it…take it to the silly-giggly level.  Son says, “Uh uh, I don’t want the chocolate, I want the lemonade!”  “No, I’ll get the lemonade, you get the turtles {candy}!”   By now, I’m dying laughing LOL!!!!

Well, it looks like I’ve got MY diaper duty coverage in the bag.  I think it’s important to instill in our children that life is a cycle.  And just like our parents cared for us as babies, there may come a day when the parent becomes the “infant”…and the roles will be reversed.

Until then, as Daughter says, “Ma, you’re gonna be a Grandmama in chucks…I just know it.”  🙂

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Strength Without Muscles

October 11, 2007

welcome_back_mom.jpgThat’s the supernatural promise I heard ringing in the my heart over the last week or so. Strength without muscles. I look down at myself in this season of life and see nothing but skin and bones. Whatamy supposed to do with this? So, I cling to this promise for dear life, becoming one with it as He laminates us together.

I never saw it coming. No one in the family did. We made it through our ‘til next time soon‘ farewell. Only, next time came quicker than we thought, and brought with it elements that would forever change our lives.

Daddy has been diagnosed with glioblastoma, an aggressive malignant brain tumor/cancer. He’d only been in L.A. for two months. Before his relocation, he was totally self-sufficient (bathe, cook, clean, feed, drive at age 75). What in the world is going on?! After falling twice at his senior apartments and being taken to the emergency room, a CAT scan and MRI would eventually reveal the reason for his falls. Sure wish I could understand the reason for the reason sometimes…

I’m back from L.A. (I missed home so much…my babies made this beautiful banner for me), having spent the week with Daddy and my sisters and bros. We were all in reaction mode. No time to plan. Taking it all in as we could. We’re all siblings ‘from anotha motha’, but blood no less. Daddy had the tumor removed on Monday, but the report states it will grow back aggressively and his survival time is 6mos to 1 year. BUT, last time I checked His report, Father God was still the custodial guardian of seasons and times. At this point, I just want his final days, months, years to be joyous and happy ones.

I’ve been blessed to have very little experience with the death of loved ones. This is all so new, so awkward, so gut-wrenching, ya know? Right now, I don’t know how to prepare Daddy’s life for rehab and long-term care. Right now, I don’t know how to be the ‘big sis with the answers’ to my younger siblings AND convince the older ones to release the offense (He wasn’t there for me during my childhood either…but we still must HONOR him). Right now, I don’t know how to coordinate with doctors for his radiation treatment…I’m still stuck on “Daddy’s sick?”. Right now, I don’t know how to get him back to GA to be with more family AND arrange for 24-7 nursing care. Right now, I don’t know how we’re going to give Daddy the best AND cover the costs for the best. Right now, I don’t know how to feel…grief overwhelms me without warning and the pressure is unbearable at times.

BUT, right now, I thank God for His GRACE! Grace that is adequate for this time in all of our lives. I am grateful to God as He flexes his muscles when mine feel non-existent, or at best, like a bowl of melted jello. I give Him all my weaknesses and limitations, and He’s replacing them with His strength and provision beyond every ‘right now’. Yes, I boast in the fact that I don’t know. The weaker I become, the stronger the power of Christ can ‘know and grow’ in me. Ashe.Selah