Sunday, February 9, 2014

Another Step of Separation

You probably know I've been caring for my parents for a little over a year now.  One of the saddest parts is the separation that I feel from my parents because they no longer act like my parents.

My mom and I developed quite a strong relationship over the years and we would often discuss things like the School District's budget, differences in school because of administrators, styles of churches, knitting vs. crochet, pretty much anything.  After many of our visits we would joke about how much we would talk and how we had "solved all the worlds problems now".

My dad who accepted Christ about 17 years ago (right before my mom and dad's 50th Anniversary) would talk about the Bible, how God had changed his heart about things, and how tender he was towards things of God.

Its pretty apparent that both of my parents have a progressive dementia, probably Alzheimer's Disease.  My mom has lost the ability to converse intelligently.  My dad doesn't converse much at all.  Both do an awful lot of talking tho.  My mom knows who I am, my dad does not (most of the time).  He knows I'm "Connie", but pretty sure he doesn't know who I am to him.

I have a room in the duplex and I've been sleeping quite comfortably in there with the door open until last night.  Actually, quite comfortably is probably not the right set of words.  I've been able to overcome "creeping myself out".  My dad has turned on the light a couple of times which is a pretty rude awakening.  He can wander a bit at night, which makes me a little freaky.  I actually had a dream one night that someone touched my bed and it literally woke me completely up.  The door alarm has woken me up with my dad leaving the house in his underwear.  But last night topped it all.  At midnight my mom touched my foot.  Scared me to death.  Funny thing is she wasn't trying to wake me up.  Don't think she knew where she was, she certainly didn't need anything, and was a little freaked out herself.  I couldn't go back to sleep without shutting and locking my bedroom door.  I don't think I can sleep tonight without shutting and locking my bedroom door.

It feels like a loss to me.  I'm having a hard time accepting it.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Been thinking about forgiveness....

Hanging out with old people makes you think and it changes the way you think.  My sister and I talk about it all the time.  She told me today that she feels like she can be more generous with someone who has been a hard person to get along with after dealing with our parents this year.  I get that!

I started thinking about it.  How hurt we can be by someone that we really want to have a good relationship with and it just feels so hopeless.  Would we say we're all right with having a bad relationship with someone especially when we know we're going to have to deal with them year after year, maybe day after day, maybe hour after hour.  Years of patterned behavior and conditioned responses.  We aren't really trying to build a relationship anymore, we are just trying not to get hurt anymore.  Don't we long for relationships full of love and respect, admiration, and joy?

I thought...people don't deserve forgiveness!  But I think people deserve to have good relationships, they deserve it so much that they have to forgive in order to get past the bitterness they've been holding onto.  I know I deserve that.  I deserve to spend my time enjoying the relationships I'm involved in.

I can't control the other half of the relationship, but I sure can control my half.  I may get hurt and it may not ever improve in the way I would like, but I know for a fact that if I don't do my part, forgive, and show grace and loving kindness, it will certainly NOT get better and I'll be unhappy with my own self.  There is no miracle where I hold out for someone else to miraculously change into the person I want them to be and then I can be nice.  It hasn't ever worked that way for me.

Hopefully I can take my own advice and put it into practice.  I'm pretty sure the people I have to deal with on a semi-regular basis will give me lots of opportunities to do just that.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Deep Thought While Raking

I'm a people pleaser. Let's just say the word "no" was not in my vocabulary for a long long time, unless I thought you wanted me to tell you no, like You: "Does this make my butt look big?", Me: "No". My happiness was solely based on what people thought about me, my so called accomplishments, especially if someone else noticed, and if I was making others around me happy. I honestly used to think that if others were happy, I would be happy. Needless to say I had a huge problem with approval. I sought it like the holy grail. Do you think it worked? It didn't? I couldn't make everyone happy, I couldn't find the unconditional love I wanted with people, and I surely didn't have everyone's approval.

It took me a long time to figure out that God loves me unconditionally and accepts me totally AND that this is enough. It started back in the late 80s and probably didn't really become saturated into my being until.....well, this week. No, usually I have a pretty good handle on it. But I can tell you, it is still a fight sometimes.

I've learned to think before I speak. I try very very hard not to say yes without thinking. Do I really want to do this? Does God want me to or is the guilt from others and not him? Is this something that I am doing just to make someone else approve of me more.

Now, think about this issue with me, and combine that with what I was taught growing up, Ask once, and don't beg. "Asking me more than once is just going to make me _____. (mad). I'll bet my son and my girls could fill that word in. It was how I was raised. My dad thought long and hard about things before he would answer. But his answer was in stone. You did not beg my parents to let you do things. This DID NOT WORK!! (btw it didn't stop me from trying)

I find myself at this stage of life getting very cranky when people ask me more than once to do something when I have already said no. At this time in my life, I think very hard about something before I say no, and sometimes it is very hard for me to say no. So when someone has a hard time taking no for an answer it isn't because they know the dilemma that I went through to get to the word no. Who knows what their psychosis is?

So, as I was raking, I was wondering, is this pattern one that was set from generation to generation. Is there a people pleaser in my past that had to get over it too? Or was there someone who just couldn't take no for an answer and this is the boomerang from that person.

There are some things that I think are pretty cool from all this:
God does love me unconditionally!
God wants me to ask him repeatedly and it doesn't bug him at all.
And anyone who doesn't like me is crazy! oh wait, maybe that's anyone who does like me is crazy!

Anyway, back to my knitting.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Change of Title Coming Soon...

Although I love it here in Illinois, my title is Connie, Crazy Connie, Miss Connie, Just Connie.

Today I am travelling to a location that will totally change my title. As I was packing my suitcase and some Christmas decorations, I thought quite hard about this change. Here are my favorite title changes:

Several young ladies and their gentlemen will be calling my Aunt Connie. This is one of my favorites, and to make it even more special there are a couple of greats who will also be saying "Aunt Connie".

Then there's the title I've had the shortest, Grandma Connie. Now believe me this one is pretty awesome. There's not much better than hearing your name with Grandma in front of it.

The ones I have the longest probably won't be said, although sometimes my brother Wes will call me sister, but my mom and dad probably won't say, "Daughter", though I will feel that sister love from my sister and brothers and that daughter love in a big big way.

It was funny when I realized that my favorite title is one that doesn't get used by many...but even just sitting here thinking about hearing it is bringing tears to my eyes. Mom, mama....this is the title I'm looking forward to the most I guess. Who knew?

Saturday, September 24, 2011

I wanna be a Michigander....

and so, I'm making some pasties. No no no, not those little things that cover your nipples when you're a stripper. A meat pie usually found in the U.P. but which can also be sometimes found in Northern Michigan.....

I had to go buy a rutabaga. Its way more rutabaga than I need, but I think if these turn out good, that rutabaga will get used up!

I always try to use the food in the house when Doug is gone, and so I started foraging in the freezer for some steak. I knew what I'd find....two nice little filets that are way too good to be used in pasties, but hey, whatever, I'm worth filet mignon pasties, right?

I had two potatoes left from the garden, nice big ones, and part of an onion.

So, I began to make some pie, if you know me, you know I can make pie crusts. I've had all of two pasties in my entire that we bought in the U.P. last spring, that was devine. The second was bought in Cadillac at the end of this summer, and was good, but not as good as the U.P. one. I think the difference was the I'm so excited.

The U.P, one was a circle of dough, no edge. The Cadillac one was a foldover, with a rolled/braided crust. So, I made one of each. If only you could smell them baking....I hope I don't burn my tongue.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A bookcase and a lot of selfishness

Sometimes, I don't even realize how selfish I am.

When we moved into the house and set up our bedroom upstairs, I didn't want a floor to ceiling bookcase cluttering up my pretty corner, so it went on Doug's side of the room. As you came in the room, you didn't see the bookcase, you saw my beautiful corner. That was about 8 years ago.

Now in the meantime my pretty corner definitely got cluttered up with a whole mess of knitting which I kept thinking, I guess I need to get something to put in that corner to hold my knitting.

Doug came home in March and had knee surgery in April. In order for him to get out of bed easier (my side of the room is much more spacious), I switched sides of the bed with him. We stayed
switched until he left. During this time, I realized how selfish I had been. There was very little space on that side of the bed, and a toe-stubbing experience for the less than careful to walk between the bed and the bookcase.

Now, while I can't move the bed, it is where it is and that's that (talk to Doug - he attached the headboard to the wall), I can move the bookcase, and I did! Cleaning it out, I even made room on the bottom shelf for my knitting stuff.

Sorry babe, had no idea how selfish I had been when we put that bookcase there!

And I think my corner still looks just fine!

Thursday, March 10, 2011


Oh the joys of Grandmahood! I can't begin to describe what it is like to have those faces look at you and say Grama, c'mere. I have a picture on my fridge from my Granddaughter Nina that says To: Gramba Cony. It is a picture she drew freehand. I'm not usually a will stay.

I pray daily for my Grandchildren (and Great Nephews), for them to accept Christ as their savior at an early age and commit their lives to serving him. I pray daily for my children to raise their children in homes that will honor God. I do this because I trust God wholeheartedly.

Today, I am left trusting. Not that things will turn out as I plan or as I want, but I am trusting that no matter what the circumstances of life or death that I will be found faithful. That my words will be honoring to God, drawing others closer to him and that if there is grief in my future that it will be obvious to others that it is His hands that support me.

For the last two days I have added a new prayer for my children, that they will also trust God wholeheartedly, that they will honor him, drawing closer to him in this time of uncertainty, that they will draw their strength from Him. I know that this, and only this, will make the burden easier to bear.