Thursday, June 16, 2011

Saying Goodbye Part 2

On Monday, I shuttled back and forth between home and my father in law's place. While I knew hospice and their nurses would take good care of him, it was ultimately my responsibility. A PVC pipe leading to my well pump broke during the night so I've been without running water in my house. While inconvenient, other matters were more important. My father in law was failing rapidly. He needed my love and reassurance to help him let go of this life to go on to the next. This was more important than any earthly need to me.

I brought my husband, his son, to see him oxygen, meds, and all. They spent a few hours talking and praying together. When I heard my husband say that both his parents would be there to show him to heaven I had to leave the room. I am only human after all. For the last eleven years I have cared for my in laws, buried my mother in law, cared for my husband with his cancer for the past six years, and now Saturday, I will bury my father in law.

After we left him, I tried restoring the water to my house. I cut the PVC pipe and tried to attach a new coupling. I fought with it for over an hour before giving up to try again in daylight hours. Even thought the couplings are the correct size, they won't fit into place. The whole pipe line needs to be replaced.

Tuesday morning came and I felt compelled to sit beside this man I've called "Dad" for twenty years. I held his hand, brushed my fingers against his temples, and talked and listened to him. Although the main thing out of his mouth was "Oh Lord." I knew he was praying. I sat and prayed for him and with him for many hours. I do not regret a second of it.

Until late Tuesday evening, I sat beside his bed until needs of my husband's had to be met. (Remember I'm the master juggler) He talked about his wife who passed away seven years ago and how much he missed her. I told him that she had waited long enough for him to join her. I heard him call out each one of his childrens' name and tell them he loved them.I felt so privileged to listen and be able to spend this time with him.

Somehow I knew earlier in the day it would be his last on this Earth. The old trained nurse in me judged his blood pressure falling, his thready pulse, his color,and his ragged breathing and the smell of death with each exhale. The non-nurse part of my mind reminded me he could last in this state for several days.  He grabbed my hand in both of his and told me he loved me as I left.

On Wednesday in the wee hours of the morning, my father in law slipped from this life to the next. He was 91 years old. He was comfortable and died in his sleep.What a great way to go. May we all go so peacefully. Yes, that's a ripe old age, but do you ever grieve less when your parent dies or for me, an in law? Granted he has only been my father in law for almost twenty years, but that's more than some people have been on this Earth. This has truly been an honor for me. Although heavy hearted as I write this, I feel like rejoicing at the same time.

As I met with his oldest son tonight, my husband's brother, the tears gave way to laughter as we remembered the years. Only a thimble full was I a part of. This too is a part of grief and healing. Tonight I will say a prayer of comfort for all five of his children, the slew of grandchildren, great grandchildren, and great great grandchildren at the passing of Erle Murphey and a life well lived.

As always keep writing and loving the Lord.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

A Dozen Hours Later

Yesterday, I posted about hurdles I was jumping for a couple of weeks now. Today, I'm accomplishing something. Yea Me! And thank you to my sister-in-law, Mary. Nope, the grass hasn't been cut, but will do this later when it's not 90+ degrees outside. Nope, the hedges haven't been clipped. Nope, the roof hasn't been swept and assorted other issues. I've still got a pesky clogged drain which is slower than molasses up north in the winter time. I'll be doing an all-call to my kids and their husband's soon to eliminate these other problems which have plagued me. So kids be warned...Momma is calling.

So what's the news, you wonder. I finished critiquing eight chapters in Thomas Wilson's new novel "No Rules of Engagement."  I've completed the three chapter edit for AM. Keller's newest romance, "The Emerald's Secret." Both should be e-published this fall. I've also completed edits on three more authors' works in progress.

I've also written 1,000 new words and completed another chapter in Zombie Apocalypse! I'm dancing the Snoopy dance of happiness. My deviant mind has twisted my characters to the breaking point. Egos, time crunch, race to find a cure, people dropping dead and coming back to life, and even did a zombie point of view.  Do zombies have a mind to have a point of view? Well, at least one of them does in my book. I figured there at least had to be the will to rage or/and feed, and why attack other people? I answered this question this morning. <Wicked, evil laughter!>The last is chilling and I haven't seen it done before so I figured why-not. At this rate this novella may become a short novel. My synapses have fired on all cylinders. It has been an amazing morning.

No church services to perform today, so I actually was able to sit at my computer. My fingers flew across the keys only stopping three times in six hours to medicate my hubby, fix him some lunch, and answer the phone. I feel energized being able to do what my heart desired.

My biggest challenge in writing Zombie hasn't been the story line, the characters, the plot, nor the's been time. I've gone full tilt for ten days now almost nonstop with little breaks to sleep. It seemed like there was always someone I had to meet, somewhere I had to be, or something I had to do and the list kept getting longer. Now, I realize today is only a small reprieve, because tomorrow will bring its own set of issues, but for right now...I'm lovin' it.

Keep writing and loving the Lord.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Another Week of Hurdles

Well, I've been hard at it in everything but writing again this week. My father in law and husband's care has had me jumping through hoops and leaping over hurdles. I feel like I have run a marathon and at the same time standing still.

I've put out fires (figuratively), juggled care, and handled family issues to the point where there is no energy left to create. I've put everything else on a back burner which are now scorching all dishes. I am now eight chapters behind in editing others, four chapters behind in two novels, and basically, I understand these are all my own timetable.

Breathe, Jo, breathe! Have a nurse's aide fired, breathe. Discuss diet and nutrition with food servers, breathe. Discuss options and quality of life of loved ones, breathe even though you are making life altering decisions. Perform a wedding, smile and breathe. Perform a christening, smile and breathe. Listen to jokes from my grandchildren, laugh and try to breathe. Keep everyone updated, grimace and breathe. Counsel drug addicts, breathe. Out of school for a month, sigh of relief and breathe.

I'd had such plans for my time off from studying. The grass was going to mowed, hedges trimmed, the roof swept, and write. I am now into my second week of four and none is done. I've written about new 500 words in Zombie Apocalypse which the rough draft should be finished, edited six chapters, and made no marketing effort on the two books I do have on the shelf (read zero sales). Have not published my first of five children's books. Have not launched my e-publishing company. A whole long list of have-nots. Breathe, Jo, breathe.

So what have I done in the past few weeks? I've brought smiles to others, reinforced love and care. While I may not get rich doing this in a material sense... the rewards are limitless. God had more richer plans for me than I had for myself. While I scurried between place to place, I found peace and strength to do what needed to be done. Some of the most difficult decisions I've made in my life have been accomplished this week. Not that I wanted to make these decisions, but they brought better understanding and compassion to the forefront. Whether it's a life beginning or ending, or even somewhere in the middle...God is still in control.

As always, keep writing and loving the Lord.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Life Gets in the Way

Although as many of you know, I'm the master juggler but this week my writing stopped. Life was once again caused the trickle of creative flow to dam. My father in law had a heart attack.

At 91 years old, any heart problem becomes major. It's the part that all medical power of attorneys hate. Decisions of life and death, what care is needed and wanted, and a variety of other issues came into play. It was ultimately my decision by what he has told me over the years of his final or semi final wishes. The burden is immense. If he had died, it would have been a quick matter, but he hasn't yet. SO began the long process of sifting through his desires and his ultimate desire to join his wife who passed on a few years ago.

All my best laid plans of starting my own publishing company on Smashwords, finishing Zombie Apocalypse: Redemption, uploading and publishing my children series of stories has been sidelined until further notice. This is one of those things which is more important than what I want. I did finally decide on a name and created a logo for the company and feel like I'm letting down the other authors who were/are joining me. I've even lost my President's List standing at my college. Ah, the life of a juggler who is dropping a ball here and there as I go on.

I find just writing this blog difficult. In the midst of this I find myself performing marriage services, counseling, and other duties with the imminent death of my father in law hanging over my head. Realistically this process could take days, weeks, or even months. Writing has become impossible, and editing anything equally challenging. My cell phone rings whenever I try to put fingers to the keyboard. Story lines and dialogues are unfocused even though I have full outlines and character sketches. I lack the ability to put it all together.

Y'all are not forgotten.

Keep writing and loving the Lord.