Tuesday, September 20, 2011

If Something Is Hurting You Might Just Be Doing Something Right.

What does Eleos look like these days, that is the most common question. 

Well, I feel our home is now adjusted to having five children, one a teenager. The one and only shower gets a work out, that's for sure ; )

Eleos is still a jewel, so precious. 

We're well over thirty now and I stand in awe each week of how big God is because I just don't know how we do it. I've started praying, seriously for a big van for deliveries, food purchases; trips to the store. Also praying for a second oven. Hey, you never know! =)

Each week, some steps are hard to take. A long walk to the door, sometimes swallows me in sadness.

It always starts with the neighbors, Mrs. Jewel and Mrs Barbara. They are usually in good spirits, both in their eighties. Mrs. Jewel is a little thing, loves to talk about her kids who never come to visit. Mrs. Barbara always has such funny hair, the kids always like to see what it looks like this week.  Sometimes she's having a panic attack, nothing a little prayer doesn't help. I've only known it to get serious once, which put her in the hospital for a week.

Next it's on to Mrs. Wanda, Mrs. Ruth, Mrs. Angie, and Mrs. Wilma. Mrs. Wanda is a quiet one, keeping mostly to herself. Mrs. Ruth was our first, she has been in and out of the hospital, some nights she feels sick and I take her dinner. I will be honest, I wonder each time I knock... will she answer. 

Mrs. Angie is such a hoot, she is almost completely deaf. The kids LOVE it when I call her on Thursday mornings. I yell at her, "HI MRS. ANGIE, IT'S KATI WITH THURSDAY MEALS; I'M BRINGING YOU LUNCH TODAY!" she always says, "OH"... "OH, YEAH" ... "OK" We always chat for a bit while the children walk down the sidewalk to Gram Wilma's. Angie talks a lot about her kids and often about how terrible it was losing her husband.

Then of course, it's on to Gram Wilma's house. She has a special place in our hearts. You will see her when you drive up, sitting behind her glass door waiting for a shadow to walk up the way. She is almost totally blind. When the children take her drawings, she always holds them upside down, trying to make out what they are. She always says, "Oh it's beautiful" =) She hugs tight and waves goodbye through the glass door, watching the shadow drive away.

We stop next at Mrs. Mildred's home, she just celebrated her 90th birthday, the balloon we took her still  hovers over her old broken living room furniture, walls telling stories of once upon a time. "My kids never visit me anymore", she says, "they're all too busy now." "All I have are these pictures to keep me company now."

Mr. Walter is just around the bend, he's new. One of our younger ones, just past 60. His body is broken and trying to raise two teen girls.

Mr. Clifford and Mrs. Wanda are next on the stop, along with their friends who are always there for lunch. Mr. Clifford is such a hoot, 90 years old; he gives the kids a hard time ; ) Mrs. Wanda is ever loving, always sweet. Sometimes they send us out the door with popcorn or even an ice cream bar. Jordan always wears a pretty dress for Mr. Clifford ; ) We take four meals here, so they can eat together with friends.  

It's a drive back into town as we visit Mrs. Juanita, Mrs. Nell, her caregiver, Mrs. Brown, and Mrs. Virginia. All sweet ladies only two or three blocks from each other, neither one knowing the other. I can't really explain the sweet simple joy I have when we walk into these sweet ladies homes and see pictures of our family or pictures the kids have drawn tacked to their walls.

They think of us too. 

Driving across town now to our perfect mid-way stop, Mr. Norman and Mrs. Joan.  Lovely is the word we use to describe Mrs. Joan, sitting always in her chair looking out at the beautiful birds and trees; working her crossword puzzles. Stricken by stroke, she has no other choice. Ornery is the word we use to describe Mr. Norman, always making us smile. Absolutely crazy about them, is the phrase we use to explain the way we feel about those two.

We stop next at Mrs. Mary's home. I have never met Mary, only her caregivers and her son. Her son does many things for the community and called me because he thought it would be a nice change of pace, someone else cooking on Thursdays. Mrs. Mary has Alzheimer's.

From there it's on to Mrs. Doris and Mr. James' house. Mrs. Doris' son just had his leg amputated, so I take a meal for him as well.  I've never met Mr. James, only talked with him on the phone. He never goes outside and when Mrs. Doris is leaving, I can't deliver lunch, because can't get to the door. He is always a joy to talk to on the phone and Mrs. Doris and I exchange conversation out on the porch, it's always nice.

We drive next, around the corner to our Granny Wilson's home. Always sitting at her table reading her bible, we tap on the window. She greets us with  a hug and we usually talk about the birds and plan our Saturday breakfast together.

From that Grandma, it's on to another, my mom. Not always such a great encouragement and probably one of my biggest complainers, (yes there are complainers) I just get to love on her this day, it always takes a little extra Jesus ; )

From there, it's around the corner and up the road to Mr. Bill. Sitting in his wheel chair opening the door as we walk up the way, he always gives a smooch on the cheek. He is another, always talking about his wife and children. His wife passed thirteen years ago, he always shows me the picture. One of his sons died right before, he always talks about how he could have done things different.

There is a break in time as we drive the country roads to the next homes, four people total. Dodging pot holes, and racing against the time, it's starting to get late in the lunch hour. We stop and visit Mr. Phillip and Mrs. Connie, always sweets involved. ; ) Then it's a stretch over to our last two, Mrs. Carol and her husband. He makes things, like guns and knives, and loves to show and tell. They have been so very sweet to donate a bug collection and lots of old magazines to our little homeschool = ) 

Oh, there are some not mentioned and some no longer on our route. As we drive by, we are sad; they've died or moved to a care home. Just two weeks ago, I sat next to a dying woman, unable to eat or drink, prayed with her, tried to share with her a glimmer of hope. She passed two days later. Then there are the ones, who surprise us. They seem fine and then all of a sudden, they're gone either passed or to a care home.

I walk up most stairs with a heavy heart. As the list grows my heart gets heavier, wishing there was more time. Wishing I could do more for each one, spend more time, help more. It's like almost everything in my life, God keeps reminding me... you're doing enough, for now.

It's hard mentally sometimes, as it should be. When it gets that way, I remember something Daniel told me one day almost two years ago when I was, what felt like, completely broken...

"Investment sometimes hurts, that is why people don't do it. You will lose someone, or be hurt by someone, sometime. It is easier to keep everything on the surface. When you love someone, you are vulnerable to anything." 

That is something I think of often as people are sick, lonely and wanting to talk just a bit longer; or even dying. When it hurts just a little, I remind myself it's because we're taking the time to care.

I say this not to pat myself on the back, my any means but to encourage you:

If something is hurting... you might just be doing something right. 


Related Posts:
A Snow Date
Eleos Update
Love Starts at Home
Making Sweet Love on a Bad Day


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