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Friday, March 15, 2019

An Unexpected Chapter

An Unexpected Chapter

Most of you know when one says, “I’m beginning a new chapter in my life.” that it is usually planned, a goal met, maybe a change in professions. The one I am about to share is one that I not only did not plan but made the decision in about five minutes as I was about to help my older sister to settle in her house after her back surgery. 
You see, her friends and daughter had warned me, you are NOT ready to see what she lives in. My sister even told me, just be ready when you get there. When I notified her friends that is she is being discharged from her rehab facility (earlier than expected) one of them texted me, “that house is not ready for her!” She, her friend, had even bought her a new mattress and box springs while she was in rehab. As I drove in her driveway, I began to understand. The trailer had overgrown vegetation, had “stuff” all over the place, looks like had never been painted…  But the worst was yet to come. If you have ever seen the TV show “Hoarders,” that is what I walked into. One friend was there to help her and had on a hospital mask! I began to bring her clothes, toilitries, etc. in, and I was met with not only was it dark, but musty, no flooring, and then I looked at her furniture that was covered in trash, garbage, …I won’t go into further detail, but I actually felt sorry for her dog that had to live there while she was away, that her friends and neighbors cared for.

With tears in my eyes, I told her, I am not going to leave here without you. One of her friends told her, I”m going to call Adult Protective Services if you stay here. I replied, “If she does not, I will.” My sister has a plethora of medical issues and living in those conditions, I can understand why. She replied, “I have been living here for years and I can’t leave Matilda (her dog) here again.” We finally convinced her to come to our house to recover from here surgery and get better. How long and what we will do to address her living conditions is still up in the air. My wife asked me last night, “What have you decided to do after the doctor’s appointment Tuesday?” I replied, “I haven’t got that far yet.”

I’m writing this blog to say that you literally never know what tomorrow brings. Celebrate the now. Be thankful for the blessings in your life. for the last several years, my wife and I pray together each night before going to sleep. We hold hands and remember the “moments” of that day. Some examples of those are, watching TV, cooking together, grocery shopping together, going to a movie, or one of favorite is going to watch a professional sporting event. We are careful to pray for others in our life group (Sunday school class) at church. And finally we both say how thankful we are for having each other in lives. We also try to find ways to serve each other in some way every day. I’m saying be thankful for the small things in life to really “stop and smell the roses.”

Most all of you here on Twitter I have come to know you, I have met personally, others through your tweets seem to know your personality and your love for kids,  and just know you inspire me everyday. We all know how important that creating safe and healthy relationships is the foundation of what we do.  NEVER take those relationships for granted! Cultivate those here on Twitter. As you come to cross paths, you will find that everyone is what they are here. The ones I have met face to face (you know who you are, and I’m afraid to list as I might miss some) I truly thank you for your friendship, your inspiration, your help, and most of all your impact on kids’ lives that you touch every day. Thank you for your support through the four or so years here on Twitter. As Angela Maiers says, “You matter to me!”