Hope and Perspective What a difference a few months can make! It has been a long haul of illness for my husband since he retired in 2020. He had to undergo cancer treatments at first, then the Covid Pandemic hit and in his weakened condition, that was all he needed, but of course he got it. He was hospitalized for 4 ½ months, but after many prayers and miracles, he was able to come home just before Thanksgiving. We were very thankful, indeed! When he came home, he was still on oxygen and using a walker to get around. A far cry from the robust, healthy man he had been before. He was 50 pounds lighter and had many side issues to deal with now that the Covid was gone. It had left a mark, that’s for sure. I am so proud of the hard work he is putting in to regain health and strength. It has truly been a huge effort for him and many times it has seemed like he was taking 2 steps forward and one step back, as the saying goes. But he didn’t give up and he continues to work hard.
Here we are, 6 months almost since he was released from the hospital. He is walking on his own, off oxygen unless he is really overexerting and he goes on daily walks that are a good stretch of the legs for anyone. Sometimes, in the day to day, I still can get discouraged at the way his illnesses have aged him. But, when I look back on how he was in the hospital as we literally fought for him to live, I am amazed at where he is today.
My message to everyone is that when things seem bleak, there are some things you can do.
● Pray hard and keep having hope and faith. Not everyone will have the outcome they desire, but believe that God knows what he is doing.
● Be an advocate for your loved one. Whether in sickness, when you need to advocate for their medical care, or in a school where you can advocate for your children, or just in cheering someone on and helping them know that they are not alone. So many people had to die alone during the pandemic. One of the miracles that we saw during that time was that my son was allowed to see his dad when that wasn’t happening anywhere! It was such a boost to his morale. Later, he was in a hospital where I could stay with him all day and be his advocate and ask questions about his care. I’ve learned to watch for miracles, even the smallest ones.
● Count your blessings and keep an attitude of gratitude. Some of the tenderest moments my husband and I experienced through all of this were the ones when we shed tears of gratitude for the blessings we had seen in our lives and for our marriage which is filled with love. No matter what the outcome, we knew that our love and family are eternal. That gratitude kept us sane and comforted.
● Do let fear or discouragement get you down. I had my alone moments when I would come home and kneel at the side of my bed and sob, pleading with my Heavenly Father to help my husband. While I know that many other people prayed these same prayers, for some reason my answers came in the way I had desired. So, I tell my husband that God must have a purpose for him to continue on in this life and we have taken that as an inspiration to work as hard as we can to get him totally recovered and to serve others more. Let your faith, not your fear, drive you to act on the things you learn from difficulty in life.
Going through this hasn’t been easy and we have had other family difficulties to go through at the same time. But, we trust in God and have faith in his plan for us. I know that He knows me and is mindful of me. More than anything, I have learned that as we have gone through the past couple of years and especially the past few months. One thing I know for sure is that everyone will go through hard things in life and the best thing we can do is learn from them and become a stronger person. I know that I have changed, I believe for the better, because of the trials we have had. I am grateful for that and I know that when difficult times come again, I will have more inner tools to use to help myself and my family cope with them
It seems like only yesterday that she was a young girl, celebrating her 5th birthday. As gifts, she had received a baseball and a bat! Her dad and uncle and siblings went out to play and on the first hit, the bat was broken and the ball was lost! It is nice that now, what was once sad is now a funny memory.
It seems like only yesterday that she was doing all that she could to help out her large family during times of need, giving her mother all of her babysitting money. Even though they were poor, they had fun times together.
It seems like only yesterday when she had her first real job. She bought herself a new blouse and gifts family. She felt so proud of herself.
Then, she worked at the ballroom selling tickets to the dance floor! The manager kept a close eye on her because all of the young men flocked to her booth!
It seems like only yesterday that she was married and then her strong, handsome husband was called up to serve in the war. Somehow they made it through those years. The children started to come and he worked so hard and so did she.
It seems like only yesterday that one day her husband was there with her, and then he was gone and she has had to go on alone without him.
It all seems like only yesterday, and yet very soon she will be 99 years old! Oh my, the things she has seen, the changes that have come and gone. Her children call her blessed and her life has been full of purpose. And she is my mom.
Written by Helen Reynolds of 3 Winks Design
The rules of this challenge were to create a story or poem using the work "washing" and only 83 words, excluding the title. Here is my attempt!
Washing and Wondering
by Helen Reynolds
Wash my hands.
They are clean for now.
How do I fill my time?
Cleaning, chopping, cooking, creating,
Washing in between.
What needs to be done?
Does someone need my help?
Washing. Cleaning. Washing. Wondering.
When will this end?
What am I learning?
Introspective washing and wondering.
Reading. Learning. Listening.
Patience. Kindness. Hopefulness.
Missing loved ones. Praying.
Appreciating and missing.
Washing my hands and my soul.
Hard things can help me grow.
Take a deep breath.
Prayer of Gratitude.
Smile, wash away tears.
The poem "Washing and Wondering" first appeared on 3 Winks Design on April 8, 2020.
by Helen Reynolds
3 Winks Design
The old house, with its over grown garden, was secretive and seductive! There were old fashioned roses trailing up the front porch posts and next to those were wildly growing lilac bushes. The big willow tree draping over the path made the entrance to the house feel hidden and private. Looking past all of the neglected foliage, one could see the front door with its weathered and faded paint that was once a cheerful red.
The house once belonged to Maren’s grandmother. Now it was hers. She had traveled to the old place from her loft in the city intending to clean it out and put it on the market. She had just been laid off from her job and since her savings would only last her a few months, this house sale was going to be a blessing to her financially. But now, looking at the house and seeing the garden that had once been tended and beautiful, she stood there remembering the time she had spent here visiting her grandparents. She had helped to harvest flowers for the dining room table and helped her grandmother dry lilacs and roses and create beautiful wreaths for the cherry red front door. Her grandpa had teased her grandma about the color of that front door saying it was “loud”. But her grandma had said it was cheerful and welcoming. Maren had known that her grandma was right.
I belong to a grandmother's blogging group. Every so often, the leader of the group puts up a writing prompt and asks us to share a short story. I've done it once before creating this page. You can find that story here. From now on, I will use this page to feature my stories. I hope you like them! Let me know what you think.
Story #2: Living the Dream
by Helen Reynolds
First published on 3 Winks Design
Story #1: Memories of Cookies and Bees
A mostly fictional short story
of 3 Winks Design