"I felt a nice, fresh breeze a moment ago. Where has it gone to?"
- Tennessee Williams, in 'The Glass Menagerie'

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

"Saint Betty"

It's true what they say -

"Behind every great man stands an even greater woman."

and my grandmother is living proof of it.

She has been taking care of my grandfather since the day they were married (I mean, isn't that what we're for, taking care of our men?)  ;)  and she has especially been doing so over the last few years due to his advancing Alzheimer's disease.

It's been a long and grueling disease,
one that has both worn out my grandmother
and taken away my grandfather all at the same time.

But Saint Betty
(yes, Saint Betty - as she has been dubbed this by all, not just one but all of Hospice)
has become my hero.

She has refused to put him in a home unless she just absolutely-could-not-do-it-alone anymore.

...and now?

We're on the brink, I think, and it's not easy.
Not for me.
Not for my family.
And especially not for Saint Betty.

You see, she's stuck by him.
Through thick and thin.
And because she made that vow.

And if that isn't the definition of a saint, then I don't know what is.

I'm crying as I write this, and I'm not sure at this point if it's tears of sadness...
                 ...or tears of relief...
                                  ...or possibly even tears of joy (?)...
...because my grandfather is about to be released from what has had to have been his own personal hell
...and because my grandmother is about to be released from her own personal hell
...and because I love them both.  With all my heart.

I'm not ready for this.
None of us are.
And I don't think you ever can prepare yourself for this.

But there is, without a doubt, a special place in Heaven for "Saint Betty"
and she will never in a million years know how much more I love her for doing what she has been doing.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

...and He will make me strong.

I can't sleep, so guess what I'm doing??

If you guessed writing, then you are precisely correct.

Tonight, I heard a really cool story about how my new-found-friend Jennifer and her husband met and wound up married.

(She kept thinking that she was "talking too much," but little did she know - she was kind of inspiring me.)
        ...inspiration tends to be a recurring theme in my life these days.  :)

Jennifer kept talking about that every time she crossed a path, even before she met her husband, she prayed about it.  She prayed for God to give her the answer, the decision, that He wanted for her... not what she wanted...

...how many times have I made a decision simply because it was a decision that I thought was right for me?  and how many times have those decisions wound up being ones that I wished I hadn't made?


...that would be multiple times.
(more in the long ago past than in the recent past)

I know it's not something that I can change overnight, but I'm thinking that I'm going to begin adopting Jennifer's habit (it's what I should've been doing all along, I am aware).  After all, He is the way, the truth, and the life, right?

...then He will know exactly where I need to be.
...and He will lead me to exactly the right decisions.
...and He will make me strong.

...and strength is all I need to get me through.  :)

Monday, May 23, 2011

Stressed = Happy and at Ease (for now)

Things can be so strange sometimes...
...like right now...

I'm so stressed with all of the time-consuming school work that I'm having to do
(because I am taking two - count that, two - classes in May term, which means they only last three weeks)
but yet...

I feel strangely at ease... and happy.


It's relieving, actually.
I'm enjoying this.  :)

(now it's back to school work... and then sleep)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Through the storm, comes sunshine.

There's truly not words to describe the crazy-ness that has been my life (and the world around me) for the past couple of weeks.

I was so worried about my Chemistry final... and my Math final... and my this, and my that...

...but April 27 changed all of that.

I realized that all of my seemingly trivial and torturous things in my life
aren't so trivial and torturous afterall.

Within a matter of hours, a tornado the size of multiple football fields touched down (and stayed down) all the way through central Alabama.  Well... guess where my home town is?

Central Alabama.

Complete and total devastation.

My heart dropped multiple times that night, and I cried multiple times that night, waiting to find out if friends and loved ones were even still alive.

(thankfully everyone that I know or am close to that was in the storm is safe, by the grace of God)

...but like I said, there are literally no words to describe it, and since a picture says a thousand words, here's a few from Concord, Alabama, two days after the storm...

...somewhere right in there, by the road, used to be Hill's Carpet...

...and on the top of that hill, where the pink "wall" is?  A friend of mine's house used to be there...

...the opposite side of the road from Hill's Carpet...

...amidst the rubble and remnants of people's homes...

...see that coal plant off in the background?  Not one person that lived in this area had ever been able to physically see that plant before.  Not even in the winter...

...it doesn't matter where you moved to, the devastation was there - and there was no making it look any better...

...that church bus?  It used to live about a half mile to a mile back down by the road...

...this one got me the most... just over that hill is one small neighborhood and then another hill... and just over that hill?  Even more devastation than you've seen in these pictures.  Miles upon miles upon MILES of devastation through Pleasant Grove, Alabama (and then further east).

...even these pictures don't convey enough words for you to understand. 

You don't realize EXACTLY how bad it is until you're standing amidst the rubble,
watching people scramble to save even the tiniest things from their homes,
the seemingly irrelevant things that have the very MOST amount of memories attached to them.

Those are the things that really get you thinking...

...are my problems really that bad?

And guess what?

The answer is no.
They're not.

Because in a split second, in an instant...
...it can all be gone,
blown away,
without warning.

In an instant, thousands of people lost their homes and hundreds lost their lives.

(and I have been being silly enough to think that my personal problems are big enough to fret and worry about??  What have I been thinking??)

On a little bit brighter side, though...

through the storm, comes sunshine.
and that sunshine from this particular storm?

I have a distinct feeling it's going to be a pretty and bright sunshine.
Perhaps brighter than sunshine.