Friday, February 08, 2019

70 years on earth

Today marked my 70th birthday.  Isn't that crazy to imagine?!  I suppose the saddest thing is realizing that I don't have a long time of mortality to look at.  Obviously I have no clue how long I have but all the fun years are over. Tired and achy.  But hey..I'm 70.  Some people don't even get to live that long.

Jocelyn and Steve and their kids arrived mid afternoon and M2T2 all arrived for dinner.  Marissa did a great job and providing us all with the KFC chicken bowls.

I had made my favorite birthday cake twice today.  I should have stuck with my standby recipe but this past week or so Cook's Country put out a similar recipe and had all the reasons why theirs was better.  It wasn't. So I dumped theirs in the garbage and started again.  And of course, this one was as perfect it could be.

I snapped a picture while Skyping with Dawn so she's included in the picture.  She is still nursing her leg and doesn't drive far.  But we talked as i did with Cara and Jordan.

I had asked all the kids to chip in whatever (I had said $10 but the kids thought it was not enough for a gift...but it was...however, they all sent more plus Cara send me a pair of warm slippers because she had forgotten the plan).  And the plan was for me to get a food processor...Cuisinart... which we did.  I am so excited to start trying to make bread in it. And I am SO excited to learn something new, despite being 70 perhaps there is time yet to learn a thing or two.

We attempted to get a picture with Robert and me and the 9 grandkids who were here. But these kids are nuts and sure aren't ever into sitting still nor sitting for a lovely picture.  I guess I just get what I get.  I doubt there will ever be a lovely picture of all 21 grands dressed lovely and looking at the camera.  That's for other grandparents.

Jocelyn worked so hard and so fast at getting some sweet pictures and I am so grateful.

The kids did a cute job at adding the Christensen's Birthday Banner as well as balloons.

Jocelyn and Marissa put in 71 candles on the cake (1 to grow on) and lit them and I almost managed to blow out all of them...missing 2 of them but I got those fast.

  Oskar was so near to me and didn't try to blow out the candles either.

 The twins...Honor and Oskar were inseparable. These are two of the silliest and funnest cousins.  PLUS they enjoy being around each other.

Here I am with my new food processor.

The Cleveland Museum of Art is planned for Saturday.  Sunday will be church and dinner and then we shall go back to being quiet, old and alone.  But life is wonderful.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

January in Ohio

Things are turning crazy here in NE Ohio.  Weatherwise...and grandboys-wise.  Weather was so mild and wonderful until last weekend.  I figured we'd get some snow and cold but I certainly enjoyed that it waited til almost the end of January to arrive.

Last weekend was a 4-day weekend for the school kids and Marissa had planned on teaching a class on MLK Day but due to the ice/snow/cold she had to reschedule for this weekend. The boys were coming then.  So instead they decided they could come for a sleepover.

The first big event was the making and eating of Kettlecorn ... which included finding kettle corn all over the family room floor but without even being asked, and he wasn't the one who made the mess, young  Simon took out the vacuum and got it all picked up. What a kid.  He's also a great snuggler.


And then there's the various games...naturally Wii heads up the requests but there's always the Legos in the basement or the dominoes or any variety of things to play.


Oskar and Simon went to bed a half hour later than normal but hey, it's Friday and hey, they are here with us.  But big boy Henry always gets to stay up later.  He played a few games with Robert or himself and then settled in to watch Hairspray with us.  We were able to explain what a crinoline was and how Bubba likes to tease his mom about needing to wear one.  He could also see an example of one in the movie.  I could see he was pretty sleepy by the end but he made it and then went right up to bed and was asleep before I even mounted the steps.

Breakfast included French toast and pancakes, home squeezed OJ which the boys brought from home because they own a juicer. I had to steal a sip from the last quarter cup...boy, can these kids inhale this stuff.  I, of course, had scrambled eggs.

I had found 3 small sets of Legos on the sale table at Walmart and had bought them for such a moment.  After the breakfast was cleared away, the boys set about to putting together their sets.  Henry was so helpful with Simon's dog.

I was able to help Oskar with his which was a lot more involved that the other 2 sets, ninjago whatever.  He needed some help with directional pieces.  How in the world do adult people manipulate those little pieces?
 Henry and his machine.  He even made the blade twirl on the carpet.

 Oskar was very proud of his set and even put the Warrior on the back of this (what looks to be me to be) killing machine.
 Here is Simon's doggie and fire hydrant.  I didn't bother explaining to him what the dog would the hydrant for...boys being boys will take that act and run with it.  I was content with the boys saying the dog was licking the hydrant.

 And of course each boy brought along their fur babies...and the 2 Eyeores are never far from Henry


Wednesday, January 16, 2019

12 Witnesses

I am not sure why suddenly I want to include on this blog what I research for the the Come Follow Me lessons but here I do it again. Plus I added a couple of my own comments.   1992 Liahona- Joseph Fielding McConkie wrote this:

Twelve Witnesses of Christ’s Birth

Print ShareThis thing was not done in a corner,” the Apostle Paul said of Christ’s mortal ministry (Acts 26:26). Indeed, the witnesses of the Savior’s birth were many and various.
In the Americas, Samuel the Lamanite prophesied of the signs of the Savior’s coming. (See Hel. 14:3–6.) And Alma wrote that Christ’s birth would be heralded by angels to those who were “just and holy” (Alma 13:26). In the nation of Christ’s birth, the testimony of his coming went forth in ever-widening circles—especially among those who were keeping the commandments and ordinances of the Lord and were filled with the Holy Ghost.
Gospel writers Matthew and Luke, for example, describe twelve witnesses to the Nativity. Although the individual testimonies of these witnesses are remarkable, their collective testimony constitutes a powerful witness of Christ’s birth. As their stories unfold, every appropriate element appears in its proper place. This is all the more remarkable since Matthew and Luke each tell different parts of the story.
The Nativity story begins with an angelic announcement within the temple’s Holy Place to a priest who, on behalf of his nation, had just been praying for that very event. It ends with the announcement of Herod’s evil designs upon the Christ child’s life. Within the story, we see the heavens opened to priest and layman, to man and woman, to old and young, to the mighty and the humble.
We see each called to be an important witness to this, the most beautiful of stories ever told.
The first New Testament witness of the birth of Christ was Gabriel, a messenger from the presence of God. Appropriately, this messenger made his initial appearance in the temple to a faithful priest of the Aaronic order, Zacharias, who was performing a ritual function on behalf of his nation—burning incense on the altar within the Holy Place.
In performing this duty, Zacharias represented the combined faith of Israel. His prayer was their prayer for an everlasting deliverance from all their enemies at the hands of their promised Messiah. The ascending flames of incense symbolized the ascension of that united prayer. As Zacharias prayed, his fellow priests and all within the walls of the temple united their amens to his appeal.
In response to Israel’s prayer, “an angel of the Lord” appeared before Zacharias, standing on the right side of the altar of incense and identifying himself as Gabriel, one who stood “in the presence of God” (Luke 1:11, 19). By modern revelation we know that Gabriel was known on earth as Noah, that he “stands next in authority to Adam in the Priesthood” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, page 157), and that he holds the keys of the “restoration of all things” (D&C 27:6–7).
The keys held by Gabriel made him an Elias—one who prepared the way before the Lord. How perfectly appropriate, then, for him to announce the birth of the earthly Elias—John the Baptist—who would prepare the way for the Messiah.
Who was this Zacharias to whom Gabriel appeared? He was one of the “just and holy” (see Alma 13:26), as was his wife, Elisabeth. Zacharias was a descendant of Abia, whose name meant “remembered of Jehovah.” Elisabeth, like Zacharias, was a descendant of priests (see Luke 1:5), and her name meant “consecrated to God.”
This noble couple were promised a child who would become the earthly forerunner of the Messiah. Because Zacharias did not believe Gabriel’s prophetic promise, he received the sign that he would remain “not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed” (Luke 1:20).
He remained mute until “Elisabeth’s full time came that she should be delivered.” It was then that Zacharias’s “mouth was opened” and he bore witness of the divine mission of his newborn son, testifying that he would “go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways.” News of these miraculous occurrences was “noised abroad throughout … Judaea” (Luke 1:57, 64, 76, 65).
We read that John was “filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb” (Luke 1:15). Indeed, “when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost” (Luke 1:41).
As a pure vessel who recognized the special nature of her own son, Elisabeth also testified and bore witness of the divinity of Mary’s son, crying: “Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.
“And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” (Luke 1:42–43).
Elisabeth concluded her witness by prophesying that “there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord” (Luke 1:45). She added her testimony to those who came before and to those who followed in declaring the divine birth.
John the Baptist
As Christ was, by birth, the rightful heir to David’s kingdom, so John was born the rightful heir to the office of Elias. He appropriately began his ministry, to “go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways,” by leaping for joy while yet within his mother’s womb (Luke 1:76, 41; see also Luke 1:15).
What a marvelous event it must have been: John leaping for joy; Elisabeth greeting her cousin Mary in the spirit of prophecy; And Mary responding by that same spirit. Again, we note how wondrously the witnesses and testimonies fit together: the testimonies of two women—the aged Elisabeth and the youthful Mary—each bearing a child conceived under miraculous circumstances. They, and even the unborn John, all rejoiced in the great event about to take place.
There could be no more perfect mortal witness of Christ’s divine sonship than his mother, Mary. From Gabriel she received the promise that she would conceive in her womb “the Son of the Highest” (Luke 1:32). Following that marvelous event, she testified, saying, “He that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name” (Luke 1:49).
Nephi gave us a perfect scriptural account of this most sacred event. “And it came to pass,” he wrote, “that I beheld that she was carried away in the Spirit; and after she had been carried away in the Spirit for the space of a time the angel spake unto me, saying: Look!
“And I looked and beheld the virgin again, bearing a child in her arms.
“And the angel said unto me: Behold the Lamb of God, yea, even the Son of the Eternal Father!” (1 Ne. 11:19–21).
Truly Mary was, as Gabriel told her, “highly favoured” and “blessed … among women” to have witnessed these miracles and to have given birth to the Savior (Luke 1:28).
We have no scriptural record of any words spoken by Joseph. Yet his righteousness and reactions to Mary’s condition bear testimony to his belief in Christ’s divine sonship. We know that he dreamed dreams and received instructions from angels. Further, we know that as he was faithful in keeping the law of Moses, so he faithfully heeded each divine direction he received.
He displayed unquestioning obedience in taking Mary, already carrying a child, as his wife after “the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost” (Matt. 1:20). He also “knew [Mary] not till she had brought forth her firstborn son”; named the son Jesus; fled by night with Mary and the child to Egypt; remained in Egypt until directed to return; and returned to Galilee rather than to Judea (Matt. 1:25; see also Matt. 1:19–21Matt. 2:13–23).
Each of these actions witnessed anew Joseph’s conviction regarding the child, the hope of Israel, the Son of God.
The Shepherds
On the eve of Christ’s birth in the stable at Bethlehem, shepherds watched over their flocks in fields not far distant. These were not ordinary shepherds, for it had been prophesied among the Nephites that angels would declare the glad tidings of the Messiah’s birth to “just and holy men” (Alma 13:26).
These shepherds bore their special witnesses to family, friends, and neighbors. Their experience was retold in the courts of the temple, and from there was to be told among all nations of the earth. Luke tells us that after the shepherds had seen “the babe lying in a manger … , they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child” (Luke 2:16–17). Such was the declaration of the angel who stood before them that holy night, that these “good tidings of great joy” should “be to all people” (Luke 2:10).
The Heavenly Choir
Following the angel’s announcement to the shepherds, “suddenly there was … a multitude of the heavenly host praising God” (Luke 2:13). The heavenly choir then sang to the humble shepherds of Judea: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men” (Luke 2:14). In this way, they heralded with music the Savior’s birth among the scattered remnants of Israel.
Our attention now turns to Jerusalem. There an aged man, described by Luke as “just and devout” (Luke 2:25), had received the promise of the Lord that he would not die until he had seen the Savior. He was moved upon by the Holy Ghost to go to the temple. There he held the Christ child.
When the parents and the child entered the temple—Mary for the ritual of cleansing, and Joseph to pay the tax necessary to redeem the firstborn from priestly service—Simeon took the child in his arms. “Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word,” he declared.
“For mine eyes have seen thy salvation,“Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people;“A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel” (Luke 2:29–32).
Simeon’s declaration reached far beyond the understanding and hope of those of his nation, for he saw the universal nature of Christ’s ministry. He bore witness that Jesus was Savior to Jew and Gentile alike.
The marvelous testimony of Simeon was not to stand alone. Joining his special witness of the birth of Christ was Anna—an aged widow whose name means “full of grace.” A devout and saintly woman who had worshipped in the temple for many years with fasting and prayer both day and night, she was undoubtedly well known to those of the Holy City who faithfully sought the coming of the Messiah. She approached the holy family and thereafter bore testimony of the Messiah to those in Jerusalem who “looked for redemption” (Luke 2:38).
The Wise Men from the East
Matthew alone tells about the coming of the Wise Men some time after the Savior’s birth: “There came wise men from the east to Jerusalem” (Matt. 2:1). We know that the Wise Men were ignorant of the political situation at the time, for they sought Christ’s whereabouts from Herod: “Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him” (Matt. 2:2). No one who knew Herod would have endangered the life of Christ by asking such a question of him.
We also know that they were visionary men, for they were later “warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod” and consequently “departed into their own country another way” (Matt. 2:12). We also know from the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible that the wise men came seeking “the Messiah of the Jews” (JST, Matt. 3:2), thus following the pattern of witnesses that brought seekers of the Son of God to testify of him.
Our concluding witness is a most unlikely and reluctant one—Israel’s king, Herod the Great. Herod had made an alliance with the powers of the world: his friends were Augustus, Rome, and expediency. He had massacred priests and nobles. He had decimated the Sanhedrin. He had caused the high priest, his brother-in-law, to be drowned in pretended sport before his eyes. And he had ordered the strangulation of his favorite wife, Mariamne, though she seems to have been the only person he ever loved. Anyone who fell victim to his suspicions was murdered, including three sons and numerous relatives.
It was to this man, who personified the world’s wickedness, that the Wise Men from the East bore their testimony that Israel’s rightful king and ruler had been born. Herod would not have heeded the words of Simeon, Anna, or simple shepherds. But he gave credence to the testimony of these Eastern visitors whose credentials, whatever they were, established them as men of great wisdom.
The kingdom of God will never go unopposed in the days of earth’s mortality, the period of Satan’s power. Evidence of the anger and wrath of hell at the birth of God’s son makes the Nativity story complete. The glad tidings of heaven brought no joy to the prince of darkness nor to his servants. Herod, as Satan’s servant, responded to the testimony of the Wise Men with murderous wrath and sought to destroy the Christ child. Thus, the decree went forth that “all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under”—according to the time that Herod had inquired of the Wise Men—were to be slain (Matt. 2:16).
Other Witnesses
The Nativity story mentions twelve witnesses of the birth of the Savior and illustrates the pattern by which the knowledge of God is to be restored and to go forth once again among all the nations of the earth.
How will it go forth? By special witnesses—witnesses called and prepared in the councils of heaven. Who will they be? The old and the young, women and men, the learned and the unlearned—those who walk “in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless” (Luke 1:6), those who dream dreams, receive instructions from angels, and are filled with the Holy Ghost. So it has ever been, and so it must ever be.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Swaddling Clothes

Having just finished Christmas and thinking about the story of the Savior's birth, we greeted the new year with the new program and new system of  Sabbath meetings.  For the 2nd SS class Robert and I were studying, again, about the birth.  Since there is little to cover 2 weeks, it becomes necessary to make our own study guides. We opted to separate the various people who made their way to greet the infant Messiah.  First up were the shepherds.  And this is what I found and posted here so I don't lose it:

And yes this comes from LDS sources:

Anciently, Jewish law proclaimed that only flocks designated for temple sacrifice could be raised near cities; Bethlehem being in close proximity to Jerusalem–the seat of Roman power and the Temple. Thus it was known to all that the firstborn male lambs from the area around Bethlehem,*  Beth Lechem in Hebrew means “House of Bread” and held no real significance until “He who would be known as the Bread of Life was born” (Ensign, December 2013, Come Let Us Adore Him,  commonly known as the City of David, were considered holy, and set aside for sacrifice in Jerusalem. (Even to this day in some parts of the Middle East this practice still exists.)
Generations of hereditary shepherds tended these sacred flocks, designated by Temple Priests from their youth and specifically trained for this royal task. It was an honor and a sacred duty. They were protectors and guardsmen of these special flocks and were willing to risk their lives for their sheep. 
They were taught and spiritually educated in what a sacrificial lamb must be like, and to make sure that these lambs were never injured, damaged or blemished. Such a shepherd was King David in his youth… on the very same hills.
In the spring, during lambing season, the bawling of sheep rang across the hillsides and fields of Bethlehem. The newborn lambs were brought to the Tower of the Flock–a large stone tower in Shepherd’s Field anciently referred to as Migdal Eder–where a ceremonially cleansing of the new lambs took place in a specified birthing room. 
These shepherds, under special rabbinical care, would routinely place the newborn lambs in a hewn out depression in a limestone rock known as “the manger” and wrap them in swaddling bands (strips of gauze-like cloth) to prevent them from thrashing about and harming themselves. Once they had calmed down they could be inspected to see if they qualified for temple sacrifice … “without spot or blemish” (see The Jewish Oral Tradition & Alfred Edersheim, The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah).
“And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered, And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn” (Luke 2:6-7).
A Type and Shadow or the Last Resort?
There are scholars of ancient scripture who believe that Joseph and Mary were directed by heavenly angels to the Tower of the Flock–Midgal Eder– for the birth of Jesus, the Lamb of God, the ultimate sacrifice!   
And that the newborn Jesus was ceremonially cleansed and swaddled with the same bands used on the tamyid lambs brought there for inspection before sacrifice, and laid in the hewn out limestone called “the manger.” Thus when the angel pronounced to the shepherds “And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger” there was no need for the angel to give these shepherds directions to the birth place because they already knew! (Luke 2:12)
Whether Joseph and Mary ended up at Midgal Eder, having been led there by Holy angels in symbolic testament of things to come, or whether they ended up in an animal stable as a means of desperation or last resort, we will not know until those details of Christ’s birth are revealed.   

There are two kinds of shepherds, one you hire, a hirling, and the one who is a shepherd, who lives with the sheep and makes them part of his life. The shepherd is the actual owner of the sheep. The relationship between the shepherd and the sheep is intimate, in that the shepherd names all the sheep. He calls them by name, and they come at the sound of his voice.

The sheep pens of old often had no actual gate on the pen. The shepherd slept across the doorway, making him the gate by which anyone would have to pass to get access to his sheep. The pens were often built with high walls lined on top with thorns for further protection. If something or someone did vault the walls and get in, the shepherd would put himself between the intruder and the sheep to protect the frightened animals. His body was used as the shield to protect them. The bond between the sheep and their shepherd was so complete that several flocks could sleep together in the same pen, but when the shepherds called to their sheep in the morning, the sheep would sort themselves into their respective flocks and would only follow their shepherd. They would not listen to the voice of a strange shepherd.

As the Lord’s covenant people (members of Christ’s church), he treats us as his sheep. He also expects us to act towards others in our callings like under shepherds to the good shepherd – Christ. In Ezekiel 34:11 – 16 (I recommend you read these beautiful verses) the Lord talks about what he will do for his sheep. He uses the following verbs to demonstrate what he will do: search, seek, deliver, gather, feed, bind up, and strengthen. In each of these verses he demonstrates how he will search out his lost sheep, how he will deliver them from the wild beasts, etc.

The Lord expects us to be binding up the wounded hearts, seeking for the lost souls, feeding those in our charge with love, doctrine, and care. He expects us to protect those for whom we have been given charge from those who would harm them. That means both inside and outside the Church organization. This also means that we need to get to know each person in our classroom, each person in our family, those in our assigned responsibilities, and become their most ardent defenders, their patrons, their caretakers, their leaders.
Being a shepherd is a position of responsibility. The Lord will hold each of us responsible for the exercise of our duties in caring for his sheep. These sheep may be our brothers and sisters, but the Lord has called us to each be watchful over each other. Getting back to our God is supposed to be a family effort, a community effort, a Church-wide effort. None of us can do this alone. We need each other. We need to defend each other, protect each other, feed each other, and strengthen each other. This is what makes us true shepherds in Israel.

Wednesday, January 09, 2019

My mom's tall nutcrackers

These are the two remaining nutrcrackers that belonged to my mom.  Mostly hers were Christmas ones of various sorts.  Those are given or gone but these I decided to keep.

One is a baker (me) and one is a carpenter/handyman (Robert).  They are currently sitting on the front window but they travel around the home and they bring me such joy to see and to remember that mom loved them, too.

Monday, January 07, 2019

Samuel Eddington, missionary

This morning I opened my emails to find this lovely paragraph from Sam, serving in Indonesia...the land of his mother.

The other day we were chatting with a very poor, but very sweet family, and we held a picture of Jesus Christ and asked their little daughter who it was.  She replied "Tuhan(Lord) Yesus! He's my hero!"  The first thing it made me think of was seminary; every time we said that Brother Hatch was our hero, he would brush it off and say "Jesus Christ is my hero, and he should be everyone's!"  I'm certainly still grateful for the time I spent in seminary, and I'm honored I'm still remembered in the seminary classroom.  

Patsy and Carol

These two wonderful women still fill my heart with worry and sadness.  Patsy is still in the hospital with pneumonia and today will have an EKG.  Not sure what's happening with her heart but I sure hope someone lets me know.  Carol was fine in calls with me for over a week but Saturday afternoon she had slipped again into wondering about her mom's house...who sells it, is it sold, where's her furniture, are there papers that she (Carol) needs to sign.

It's so heartbreaking.  I cannot do anything for Carol other than to answer her phone calls.  Just seem to need to concentrate on Patsy at the moment.   Robert wants to plan a couple trips to the temple, depending on various storms that usually hit us in January and altho that's a great desire, I also feel the need to be close to home and Patsy.

Yesterday was our first 2-hour block of church meetings and it all went well.  It didn't seem strange to me at all.  Hanging around afterwards talking to Linda B was normal.  We just got home sooner than had it been a 3-hour block.  So of course altho our roast was up to temperature it was not as stringy as we prefer it to was that or the cut of roast wasn't good.  So after dinner I put it back in the oven with the gravy and we will see what it'll be for sandwiches.

Friday, January 04, 2019

January 2019

We had a lovely Christmas and now comes the New Year.  Perhaps the most amazing bits of this winter so far is the we have not had a winter so far.  Today we are at 50 degrees.  May be this way tomorrow.  Lovely sun, too.  We enjoyed a New Year's Day dinner with the M2T2s.  Good start.

Patsy is still in the hospital with pneumonia and wishing she could go back to her place at Parkway but her blood O2 levels are still too low.

But look who flew in for lunch today.  I wanted to shoo him off but Robert said, Don't.

Monday, December 31, 2018

Rounding out 2018

So December has come to an end but what an end!
  We spent Christmas Eve at M2T2's home where the boys were so excited about the coming of Santa.  The special moment came when this year, Henry read from Luke 2

and then read excellently The Littlest Angel. 

Usually Robert nor Marissa can get through this enchanting little story without crying and having to pass the book along to someone else.  This year, I think the tears came from hearing Henry step into that role.

After the kids went to bed, Marissa, Hank, Robert and Andy Trefethen went outside, in the dark, to assemble the trampoline which the parents gave the boys.  The tramp filled up the entire back yard but wow were the boys excited!

We were invited to spend Saturday (Dec. 29) with Trefethen and most of Christensens at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History and then eating pizza, made by Hank at Marissa's home.  Christensens had called Marissa on their way to her home as a wonderful Holiday Surprise.  It was lovely to have the cousins happy to be together.

 Robert had Hank stand on this first and then the kids all had their turn.

 Lunch of homemade pizzas followed with Hank and Marissa tending to the oven.

Coy enjoyed getting some ice cream from his Uncle Hank.


This night we had gone to bed as usual.  But I was awakened by the phone ringing which was odd since usually the ringer is turned off.  Somehow, as fortune would have it, I must have switched out the phones and had one that rang next to my bed.  Funny how the Lord works, isn't it?

We had been to visit Patsy twice on Saturday. The first was to undecorated her room of Christmas items. The 2nd was after our big day with the Trefethen and Christensens.  I had noticed she was low on juice bottles so we took her some. She hadn't been very well...had had a cough when she was at our home on Christmas and I thought this might lead to something bigger.  And Bigger it did.

The nurses had taken a X-ray of her lungs with a portable machine but at 12:30am Sunday, the doctor decided he needed a better picture since she was not short of breath.  I was notified that she was going to be sent to Cleveland Clinic Avon.  I fell back to sleep but at 2:20am the phone rang again and this time it was the ER doctor telling me that Patsy had pneumonia and the start of sepsis.  He went over her Advance Directive and asked if we were still of the same mind that she be given only Comfort Care.  We are. This means that Patsy would be given the barest of essentials...meds, oxygen...but no pricks, no prods.  The next few hours I tossed and turned trying to figure out if she was going to if I had any control over this.

It's time like these that I am confused over what my direction is. Am I worried about her money as in will it last?  Am I worried what will happen if she dies and how will I handle the funeral. For me a graveside service is all that's needed. When Johnny died, she needed to have her friends come and comfort her.  Now, when it's her time, I don't need the comfort of these friends who have seldom if ever come to see her, nor have they called.  I can be comforted in having her enjoying the next stage with Johnny and Jeffrey and everyone else.  But what would Patsy want?

I went to church and Robert and I decided we would go see her after church.  Right at the end of meetings my phone rang (actually my Apple Watch buzzed as I was walking out of the chapel) and it was the social worker telling me she was responding to the O2 and meds and looked to be feeling better. She wondered if when she left would she be returning to Parkway and by what means...our car or an ambulet.  I said by ambulet since it would probably be the easiest way to get her back to Parkway.

We visited her and she was eating lunch and looked so much better.

We visited her again Tuesday morning ( Monday I knew her British friend Sharon was coming as well as Johnny's nephew and wife, Frank and Janice) and she so did not look good at all.  Her hands shake so badly that I didn't think she was going to be able to eat nor drink anything without it falling on herself.  

But I can only leave Patsy in God's hands.  It's not about me nor my worrying.  As Robert continues to remind me, we are born to die. It's all about mortality. It's what we agreed to.  So I continue to try and keep my worries at bay.

Tuesday was New Years Eve.  We went to bed later than usual but fireworks awoke us at midnight...just enough that we could in our slumber mumble Happy New Year and return to sleep.

It's been quite a year.  A great family reunion, Patsy and Carol losing their minds a bit, the death of my sweet Niko, a fantastic visit to Elder Day, and the holidays.  It's a wonderful thing to have a knowledge of the Gospel of Jesus Christ alive and well in my life.  Now we have a new plan for church...a 2 hour block of meetings on Sunday and a new course of scripture study meant for family as well as individuals.  I wonder what 2019 will bring?!

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