Sudden Hard Turns

She got the call today, one out of the gray,
And when the smoke cleared, it took her breath away.
She said she didn’t believe
It could happen to me.
I guess we’re all one phone call from our knees
We’re gonna get there soon.

–Mat Kearney, “Closer to Love”

I got the call myself this past Wednesday morning: my mom has been taken to hospital. I knew she hadn’t been feeling herself the day before, but I didn’t expect it was this bad. Kidney infection. I rushed over to the ER feeling anxious, more anxious than I had expected I would. She was asleep, and really groggy–not waking up. I was alarmed but the staff reassured me she was sleeping well, and needed rest more than anything.

Over the last few days we’ve learned that the infection had seeped into the bloodstream (boo) but was a bug that was very responsive to basic antibiotics (yay), so it should be on the easier side to treat. She’s still in hospital as I write on Sunday afternoon, four days later, and may or may not be released tomorrow.

But I’ve also come to appreciate how fragile my mom really is now, at 75 and after three decades with Parkinson’s Disease. Her mental acuity is duller, her speech is quieter, it’s harder for her to put into words what she’s thinking. There’s no way she could manage her own care now, and the move into a nursing home, which I’d kinda didn’t want to do last year, turns out to have been a good thing.

At present, the kidney function numbers and the blood test numbers are all moving in the right direction. This doesn’t appear to be more serious. But, of course, when it’s your mom, and it’s a hospital, you start to think about such things. Fortunately, I can say (at least today) that unlike my dad, there isn’t anything I haven’t said to her yet that I need to. And so in that regard, the idea of perhaps having to do this drill over something more serious someday doesn’t leave me with the feeling that I have unfinished business. Having the call come that my mom is in the hospital was a sudden hard turn that threw me on Wednesday. But it wasn’t as hard a turn as it could have been. For that I’m grateful.

“Spiritual Warfare”

This past Sunday I had the third of my scheduled pulpit-fill-ins as I subbed for the vacationing Pastor Garey Eakes at Silverbrook UMC. While they haven’t yet posted the audio for the sermon–and when they do I’ll post the link–I spoke on spiritual warfare, taking my cue from Chapter 5 of my book, Waiting For Life. We all do live in a world at war, whether we recognize it or not. It’s up to us to learn what it is, and how to fight against it, so that we can become warriors in God’s army.

More later when they post their link!

Practicing The Empty Nest

Between June 29 and July 22, I have only three days with a kid in the house…otherwise, it’s just my bride and me, and the dog, alone, for the first time in nearly 19 years.

David is off with Jeremiah Project, working through the summer as their intern, finding projects for the kids to work on. Sarah is in Europe right now, with her school trip to Madrid, Barcelona, Provence and Milan…then she too will be on JP duty with her brother for a week.

In the meantime, we get to be just us. We get to go out to dinner together, which we did hours after taking Sarah to the airport. We get to have friends over, and make the foods *we* want to have, like we did tonight. We get to go hang out with good friends elsewhere, without worrying about the kids or having to get anyone anyplace. And we begin to get a sense of what it will be like in a couple of years when we’re doing this full-time, as the yearlings will actually take flight.

We get to sleep in on weekend days or days off, not having to rush anywhere, We get to curl up with the dog and absolutely make her day with all the attention. And if we decide to pop over to a movie, or go out for a drink…there’s nothing stopping us.

I really think I’m going to like the next chapter!