Autumn

Autumn

Friday, April 5, 2013

If You Want to Make God Smile,

It was close to 0300 when I climbed from bed. My sleep had been fitful and I had a taste, like sand, in my mouth and my shoulders ached. Standard procedure. Her side of the bed was empty. I threw on my robe and explored the house.

Our house is fairly large and there are many places to hide. I was worried for her. I checked the usual places and finally walked to the other side of the house and down the east wing. At the very end of the hall at the door of what we refer to as the antique room issued forth a soft toned voice.

I stood and listened. More clearly than her was the music of rain and our windchimes. For just a second I felt guilty I'd forced our old cat to spend the night outdoors. Finally, I placed my hand on the door and pushed.

I peeked inside and she was curled on the bed. The only light issued from a small night light I keep in all rooms of our house. She sensed rather than heard me and turned, flipped her long hair away from her face and her tears became visible. She smiled and held out the cell phone and mouthed the word, mother.

I made the sign of the cross.

I turned to leave, walked back to our family room and took a seat to wait the outcome. I lowered my head and listened to the rain and the owls. Some little something way back in the recesses of my mind told me to get ready.

She walked into the room, wet faced.

She tilts her pretty face at me, smiles gently, then said, "She's old, Honey. She has no family left around her and I need her. (And here she firms her shoulders, looks away and with determination continued.) So this Sunday, after church, I'm driving to Georgia and bringing my mother home to live with us."

The house is silent. In three hours I need to dress in order to take on another day of labor and I don't feel good and I quickly mentally inventory my stash of sleep medications. Far off, thunder.

I had to try. "Didn't you consider my thoughts"

"Please, Sweetheart. I need her, and she'd old and sick and lonely."

My wife's siblings are far flung, different states. We do not, as they say, get along. I'm former military, an outdoorsman, shooter. Even though the Lord and I have an understanding, I'm not extremely religious. I do believe in my Lord and Savior but her brothers and sister, as a standing rule, keep the Bible tucked under their arms as they follow their daily routines. They shun weapons. Her brothers, well, prance. They can't even bait a hook for goodness sake. We argue.

With this in mind, if we have her mother in residence, I could envision our home as the newest Motel 6. Not gonna happen.


Our prior plans were to drive north, later this month, and collect her mother for a trip to Atlanta  The old girl has surgery scheduled at Emory, a routine procedure on her eye, and I was fine with the plans. But this, to move her into my home for the rest of the month (And, probably afterwards.) doesn't set well with me. I like my routine, my peace.

So we both sat and listened to the rain. Her stoic  Me, quick little glances her way....it's the tears don't 'ya know, the tears. Here's a woman, the love of my life, that has had to deal with the loss of her only son and both of her grandchildren. A woman as sweet as the world to others that sat by my bedside as the doctors whispered in her ear I had about four hours to live. (I made liars of them, by the way.) Those tears melted my heart.

If you want to make God smile, whisper to him your plans.

Stephen


36 comments:

  1. I am dense, am I missing something here? Did blogger screw up your post?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Mr Stephen, I have found that the things brought into my life that I most dread, that have the most potential to be a pain in the posterior, are the very things that end up blessing me and changing my life for the better. Good luck to you! As my grandpa use to say "Happy wife, happy home" :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Elaine. I'm sure this will prove out much the same.

      Delete
  3. (If my comment posts twice, please delete the first one)

    Dear Stephen,
    Sometimes the Lord asks us to leave our comfort zones (actually He does ask more than I would like)and do what pleases Him. I think you are doing just that.

    I also think the Lord is not pleased with religious people, just as He was not pleased with the Pharisees. He is only pleased by our admission of our sins, repentance, and acceptance of His atonement for it. No, I don't think it, I know it. His Word says so.

    Blessings,
    Jane

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It posted fine, Dear Jane. I shall bend to His will. After all, He didn't say life would be a bed of roses. Thanks, my dear Lady.

      Delete
  4. Indeed. Men plan, and God laughs.

    There was only one kind of pain that was too much for me to bear.

    Hers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Larry. I'll do my part.

      Delete
  5. You're a good man sir. If I knew the secret of His path for us, I'd surely share it. Yet, His life is, indeed, a mystery - as is His ultimate path for us all. I feel confident more good and not-so-good will come from this new chapter for you. Will keep you all in my thoughts and prayers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me, good man...we'll see one day. I hope so. Thank you, my good friend.

      Delete
  6. Heavy sigh . . . "more good THAN not-so-good" . . . .

    Need another caffine hit I guess . . .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bubba, I understand. I've only had two cups this morning. Thank you for the kind comment, and prayers. God bless.

      Delete
  7. I don't claim to know about god or "his will" but you take care of the people you love. Period. Whatever it takes. Ultimately, they are all that matter. Your a good man Stephen.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I understand entirely. My in laws lived with us for about five years. It was not always easy. They may return in the future, but we will have a different situation then.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As you so well stated, I'm sure it will not be easy but I do this for my wife, and in the end, she is my all....thank you, my friend.

      Delete
  9. For what it's worth (probably less than the proverbial two cents), it seems you're doing the right thing, and God will ease it for both of you. SW will be happier, too.

    Just let me know if you need a place to hang out for awhile; I'll put a fresh pot on. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Paul....I'm sure Delta will be ready when I call. I'd enjoy your coffee.

      Delete
  10. Sometimes we must do things that we really, really don't want to do. For the first 11 years of our marriage, we had my mother-in-law live with us. It WAS hell. But we made it - almost 50 years now. Looking back, I honestly don't regret it. She taught me how not to be. Sweet Wife is going to have a big adjustment too, along with the family. You are a good, compassionate man Stephen. The world needs more like you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My lovely friend....I beg to differ, at times I can be and am a bear to live with and Lord knows as hard headed as a stump when pushed to hard. But, thank you so very much for your kind and compassionate comment. God bless.

      Delete
  11. Let me know when you're going to be in Atlanta. I'd like to buy you a beer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd enjoy a beer with you, my friend. I will be in a place called Rosewell (check spelling) the 21st (late) and the 22nd. Of my schedule when there I no not...it shall be hectic. Thanks, Bubba.

      Delete
  12. I know you'll do the right thing for all those involved.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Deb...we shall soon know, perhaps. Thanks, Sweet Lady.

      Delete
  13. When my children were young, my wife's stepfather was dumped on us like an unwanted pet. He was with us about six months until his physical health and beginning dementia overwhelmed our resources. He moved into assisted living. Overall, I think it was a good experience for the kids; not so much for the wife.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sadly this is an all too frequent occurrence with families across our country, and I guess it's my turn. Thanks, my friend.

      Delete
  14. I'm up for a beer with Patch and Stephen.

    Also, Stephen, I'm all over Georgia, Bama, and the Florida panhandle these days.
    I have a pickup truck. You should drop me a line...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the offer, Bubba. As it stands the plan is for the MIL to spend the month...then afterwards perhaps have her purchase a home near us...she has the means. No firm plans as yet. As far as the beer...I'll need to play it by ear until I arrive in Atlanta. Her surgery is schedule for the day after our arrival and I'm still not sure where I'll throw by bedroll. Thanks, my friend.

      Delete
  15. I've opened my house to friends and family in need, but even I have limits. My lovely wife has and old friend who I won't let stay here. She comes with more drama that I care to have under my roof. I'm fine having her visit. I'm poiite, but even I have limits. She stayed here years ago and it was not a good thing. She had a young daugther at the time and we did it mostly for the kid.

    Hope things work out for you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Like you, I have my limits and very little patience. Thanks, my friend.

      Delete
  16. You have your priorities correct Stephen. It won't be an easy time, but you have just proved to SW that you are there for her and that you have her back.

    God is smiling - and so is SW :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Sweetheart...I'll always have her back. God bless.

      Delete
  17. Hang in there Stephen. Lu and I will be praying for you both.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, my good friend. It's nice to 'hear' from you.

      Delete