Moving All That Stuff!

 

Moving

By:  Katy Curry©

Moving.  Taking a person or persons and placing them in a new location.  It should be easy, right.  If I want to give my daughter-in-law a dress, I put it in the car, drive for two miles, and give her the dress.  Done!  It is moved!

It should be almost that easy!  When Abraham was alive, the people lived a nomadic life; they were always packed, just take down the tents, pack up the cooking stuff, put the kids in a cart and off they went to their next location!  Even then it was complicated, those huge tents!  The herds alone were huge and not always cooperative.

It is no better today.  Frank and I are moving, downsizing to a retirement home.  We are finishing one part of our lives and embarking on a new chapter.  We can bring little or nothing of what we have accumulated over thirty-seven years with us as that chapter in our lives finishes, the things, the stuff with it are necessarily leaving as well.  That should make it easy, right?  Welllllll, not exactly.  The china tea set from my great grandmother, she protected it all the way from Ireland!  The flatware that is sterling silver, the desk that belonged to my grandmother, the books I have accumulated that are a necessary part of my life, not novels, mind you, but study guides, reference books.  Then there are the art supplies, enough pictures to decorate two houses much less a two bedroom apartment!

As I look around me I have a mess, so much has already been thrown out, now the decisions about what stays and what goes.  What will the kids take?  Then my brother contacts me; he wants a few things too!

Jesus told us to store up our treasure in heaven, not here on earth.  He had an excellent point; not only can you not take it with you, but it sure is a pain to move around from point A to point B!

This “stuff” concept has been driven even closer to home for me during this particular move.  Frank is in the hospital.  He was diagnosed with sepsis.  I did not know if he was going to live or die.  The sepsis is gone, but there are other indications of an even more serious problem.  As I have watched my wonderful husband fight the sepsis, beat off a high fever being packed in ice, fade in and out of deliriousness, all this stuff has become totally unimportant.  Instead of worrying about where it will fit and looking forward to seeing it unpacked, it has become an encumbrance.   This stuff is right now not a blessing; it is a pain.

My point is, I need, we all need, to get over this having stuff!  We acquire it, accumulate it, pay a moving company a lot of money to pack it and take it to our new location and for what?  So we can say “Look what I have?”  We humans are so foolish!  We so quickly lose sight of what is truly important in life, sometimes even when the reality of it all is staring us in the face.

Our Savior, Jesus Christ must come first both individually and as a couple, He must be first in our lives.  Our second most important thing is our spouse or family, then our job, our church; our commitment to others, the stuff will come at one point or another.  The important thing to remember is that it is just stuff and worth a lot less than we would think, nothing in the grand scheme of things.

Jesus had the clothes on His back.  He was a homeless itinerant preacher.  His “stuff” was in heaven and what He shared with us was and is far more precious than the biggest diamond in the finest ring.  Each of us needs to develop a new perspective on “stuff.”

So, even if you have “stuff” that you truly need around you for your work or hobbies, stuff that brings you joy in your home, make sure it is there not for vanity but to give honor and glory to God.  It is a lesson I am working hard to learn.

So, on that note, would anyone like a pink and white tea set that is over one hundred years old?

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Follow up to Moving Furniture

IMAG0038[1]Oh what was intended as a time killer and a poor attempt at humor has changed to something so much more serious.  As my husband has had a turn in his health and ability to get around, moving furniture has now become something closer to making the house safer .  The big dining room table with the glass top must be sold and the tiny two person dinette table will sit in the dining room in it’s place.  The recliner in what I called my “Mom’s den”  will come back into the “guest bedroom” as the treadmill now fills that area.  Better he get his strength back there than having to step down into the garage, deal with boxes and the clutter that comes with a garage that is not as well as the heat and stuffiness of no air conditioning.

Things have taken a far more serious turn as I listen to him breathe, make sure he is breathing.  Afraid to go to bed, afraid he will wake up and decide to get up and fall yet again.  The first fall meant an ambulance and a trip to the hospital that turned into a nightmarish odyssey into a world of  understaffing with a never ending torrent of patients with all manner of needs streaming through door to the point there was no where to even stand and not be in the way.   He was kind of shoved into the corner of a one patient room while the second patient who was dying of lung cancer had a panic stricken episode of being unable to breathe which brought on a heart attack.    After hours and hours of working with that poor man, the nurses were able to move him to ICU, but forgot to give my husband food or water or start his IV (his fall was the result of severe dehydration).  He became so weak he was unable to pull himself up in the bed or turn on one side.

The following day, as his body began to recover from a lack of fluids his reason for dehydration kicked in, IBS.  Well, that was messy.  A well meaning CNA gave him one of those rolling thrones, giving him the feeling he could get out of bed, in his cramped corner while he was hooked to leads for heart, blood pressure, pulse, IV, just a web of tubes and lines.  He had his second fall and this time laid open his forehead and damaged his neck and shoulder.  He would up with 17 stitches, two black eyes, a bruised cheek and a lot of pain.  He was transferred to two more room on two different floors and was sent home Sunday.  Monday he fell again, I was asleep.  At least it was on carpet with carpet over it, good and soft.

So now it is no longer how to move the hutch,which is moved and looks so good, or move the desk, which is in it’s new location so I can be away and still hear everything his does, every breath he takes, it is about keeping him safe.

You know, you never know what life will hand you next.  I had so loved that glass table, now I see it as a threat.  The oversized coffee table that opened up to store the grands toys, another impediment to his safety.  Both go, neither to be missed.

I have to get some sleep, but will he fall yet again?  Will he aspirate his gatorade as he did earlier?

The lesson is be ready.  Life gives us wonderful things and we need to enjoy them, it can also hand us challenges, we must take them all in stride.  I am not doing the in stride part too well right now.

To My Husband

I Love You Now, Even More

Katty Curry©

Kathy and Frank Cruise writing

As I sit in our living room and watch you sleep,

I think back all those years, now thirty and seven and remember.

I remember when you were so tall and straight and proud.

I remember friends calling you  Li’l Abner, a with your six-foot frame.

I loved you then with all my heart, I love you now, even more.

 

I remember finishing the crossword puzzle with you,

Remembering those cues, looking at each other with questioning eyes;

“Is that a word?”

Then celebrate with another cup of coffee as we conquered yet another puzzle.

I loved you then with all my heart, I love you now, even more.

 

The baby would cry, and we would both jump up, one to heat the milk,

The other change his clothes, so proud of our newborn son.

The look of wonder and pride in your eyes as you watched your newborn son.

I loved you then, I love you now, even more.

 

I remember the tender way you held me, your powerful arms so strong and firm.

I remember your eyes, how they would sparkle and dance;

How your laughter, so smooth and carefree would ring through the house.

I loved you then with all my heart, I love you now, even more.

 

I see you now, aged and bent.

I watch you struggle with your cane

to navigate a room.

I see you struggle just to eat and fear what is yet to come.

I loved you then with all my heart.

I love you now, even more.

To me, you are still that tall, strong man

Who filled a door, and held me gently in his strong arms.

To me, your eyes still sparkle with chips of blue.

You are precious and what you were, to me you are.

I loved you then with all my heart, I love you now, and will forevermore.

Dolls on a Shelf

dolls

As adults, we have all had wonderful old dolls. They are different for each of us, some tall, some short, some blonde, brunette, lots of hair, no hair. They are all very different and diverse but in every case, very precious to each of us; bringing a source of comfort, love, joy, frustration, sometimes even anger or tears. We take them out periodically and spend time with them, then when some moment happens, the dinner is done, the church service over, the magic hour chimes and we put our dolls back on their shelf, at first somewhat casually and as time goes on, more and more carefully.

As we mature and move on with life our dolls watch our achievements with joy. The excitement and demands of life, eclipse them; our own families, careers, life in general. Our dolls just seem to become crowded out with other seemingly more pressing or more interesting avenues and undertakings that life presents to each of us. We do not mean to ignore them, time just gets away. Today turns into tomorrow and tomorrow into next week or next month, and so it goes.

Sometimes the dolls feel lonely, overlooked, forgotten but they wait, trying to be patient, hoping their people will notice and remember they want to share in those happy and new things. Yet as much as they may knock on the glass, their people do not think these old, dusty dolls would fit or they are just too busy to notice. The dolls never stop loving, but a new sadness enters into their eyes and hearts.

Eventually, either the appointed time rolls around and it is time to take the dolls off the shelf again. But wait, one doesn’t seem quite right. The doll is broken. How did this happen? Why didn’t we notice? Our heart breaks, we didn’t realize if only we had spent more time with both the dolls. As we put that doll away, sadly, with tears and prayers, we look to our remaining doll; it looks much frailer than before. We explore different possibilities to make our remaining doll safer, and put it even more carefully on its shelf.   Bring in others to look after the doll, after all, we have families of our own, jobs to do, appointments to keep ….

We continue with our life and check  to make sure our one remaining doll is in good hands. We  take our precious doll off the shelf ever so carefully, and promise we will not take it granted; but as happens, the loss of the one doll becomes a memory and we forget. We still take the other lone doll out, but less and less frequently. Then one day we come and our remaining doll, oh no. Wh-Wha-What has happened!

Next comes the mad rush to the hospital, the painful decision, the transfer to hospice.  Our doll, in its last days has once again become real, and as we watch the one that raised us, skin so pale, translucent, hair, so thin and white, our parent smiles that smile always made things better; from when the bully down the street called us a name, to when we fell off our bike and scraped our knee.

“Mommy.” “Daddy.” we say, heart again broken, tears flow freely as we remember all the times we could have spent but something else seemed so much more important or vital or interesting. We think of all the times we argued when we could have stayed quiet.  We spent so much time doing the ever so important things forgetting what was truly important,  wasted precious time. Time we wish we could have back, but it is gone.

Then, in a moment, that precious doll, that precious parent is gone. The tears run down our cheeks in great torrents, our tummies hurt from the pain crying and trying not to cry.  No time for mourning, put grief aside; there is too much to do; arrangements to make, the service, the burial, the reception to thank those who came.  Then come the thank you notes to write, the attorney’s to see.  Finally, the things that belonged.

“Some day this will be yours.” we remember hearing.  We laughed and said, “I know, I know, but I’d rather have you.”  Now the reality hits.  Now as we hold that ring, that pendant, sobs wrack our bodies  and those sobs come and come. We remember the conversation, we pick up another item and remember the day we gave it to them, the pleasure on their face.  But with them come the “if only’s.”  These drive us to more action, to dull the ache, the hurt, the regret.

A year goes by we are getting it together. We visit that empty shelf less, our tummy hurts less, as long as we don’t think too hard or too long.  “It was a blessing it happened as peacefully as it did.” we share as others inquire how we are doing.  But, oh, what we would give for one hour, with our parents again. We remember their love, their smiles. We ask, “Have I made you proud?” There is no answer, we can only hope, for our dolls are gone, only memories remain.

The story does not end here, for as you and I turn around, we realize that shelf has become ours. We live in our homes, call the kids, but they are so busy with their own lives, all those important things to do and people to see, they take us off the shelf on special days: birthdays, some holidays, church on Sundays. We see their Facebook posts, try to send enticing emails, but, we have become the dolls on the shelf.