It sure has been a roller coaster few weeks with highs and lows and plenty to keep me busy.
I was blessed to have two of my favourite boys come and stay last weekend. Ryan and Noah. Ryan came to spend the weekend with me while Ineke and Inge went down to Christchurch for a family wedding. Noah came for the weekend as his Papa and Mama had a work do to go to all day Saturday. The Lord sure does work in mysterious ways for not only was it a blessing to be able to spend some quality mother son time with my eldest son, but the Lord knew that Ryan would be needed to help out in a much more dramatic way.
On Saturday afternoon Roy's Mum (Nana to all her grandchildren) suffered a massive brain bleed (stroke) and was taken to Palmerston North Hospital. Ryan was able to organise things from this end and arranged to take Pop (Dad N) up to Palmy on the Saturday evening to spend sometime with Nana. At that stage the doctors were unsure if she'd make it through the night. On the Sunday after church Ryan again picked Pop up - no easy feat as Pop needs help (a lot of it) to get in and out of the car and is wheelchair bound, and Ryan again took him up to Palmy to see Nana.
I also went up to Palmy along with Joel and his girlfriend Tia to drop Noah off at home and then we headed to the hospital to see Nana. She was asleep when we got there and snoring and for a moment I was back in Roy's hospice room on the last day he was with us - boy that was a really, really hard moment and it has taken me a few days to work through the emotions that have resurfaced. You think that the wounds are well and truly healed over when in fact they are only lightly healed and it doesn't take much to break them open again. When I mentioned how I'd felt to the boys they said they had exactly the same reaction when they saw Nana.
At the moment Nana is relatively stable - although she is paralyzed down her right side and has little to no speech. The hope is to move her to the hospital here in Levin so it will be easier for Pop to visit her everyday and less distance for daughter Joc to have to travel to come and visit her parents. Meanwhile we pray. What do we pray for?? For healing - of course, but also that if it is His will that the Lord calls Mum home - it is very hard to see her suffering and Pop as well. But the Lord has numbered her days as He has for us all and He will call her home when His timing is right and not a minute, in fact not a second before then - so we also pray for the Lord's strength, comfort and peace to face the days and weeks to come and that in all things His will be done.
The Lord sends all sorts of situations into our lives that can stop us dead in our tracks for a while, be it sickness, a serious accident, a death, a debilitating physical condition, unemployment etc, etc. We can pray that the Lord will relieve us of the situation that we find ourselves in and He may well answer those prayers, but we shouldn't be sitting back on our hands expecting the Lord to answer the way we want Him too because it's not about our will but His will being done. God may yet give us what we ask for but it'll be in His timing not ours, so we need to make the best of the situation we find ourselves in. We have a responsibility to face the reality of the situation and we need to be pro-active so that we can cope with the path the Lord has currently set before us and should He answer our prayers the way we want further down the road what a blessing that will be.
So that was the lows of this past week - although even in the sadness of what has happened with Nana there has also been the joy of strengthened family bonds as this wonderful family that I have the privilege to be apart of does what it does so well, which is to be there for each other and support each other in times sadness as well as in times of joy.
So the last 2 weeks were not all sadness there were some highs too. Spending time with Ryan and Noah was definitely a high. Ryan and I took Noah for a long walk, we did lots of talking and we played a number of games of Carcassonne and Crib. Noah had a great time getting to know Uncle Ryan and Uncle Joel too when he came by for dinner.
On Thursday (Waitangi Day) Aimee and I had a stall at the Waitangi Day Gala run by the Rongotea Lions. It was the first outside market I've done since Roy died and it actually went really well despite the wind. We did have to battle with flying stock and toppling clothes racks but we soon got it all sorted and now know what we need to do to improve things for next year. Aimee and I work well together and the set up and pack up was a breeze. We're pretty good and putting up and taking down a gazebo. We both sold well and I was pleased to have taken along some Rawleigh products as they sold well too. I had wondered how I would cope if people asked where Roy was as he was well known in the area as he had been a Scout Leader up there when he lived in Sanson before we were married. I only had 3 customers who asked after him, 2 were shocked to hear of his death and the other wanted to know how I was getting on as he had purchase off me via email and therefore knew of Roy's death. So all in all it was a wonderful if tiring day and one we'll definitely do again next year - hopefully next year there will be no wind!
I have now been aqua jogging/swimming 3 times a week for 3 weeks - it isn't getting any easier to get out of bed in the morning at 5.45am esp as it's dark at the moment. I have this running battle in my head about staying in bed verses getting up. Getting up always wins in the end so that's good sign. I am really loving the aqua jogging/swimming and I feel so good afterwards. I have also made a whole lot of new friends and have even been invited to their Friday morning coffee get together - I suspect that the average age of these ladies is probably somewhere between 65 and 70 years of age so I do feel a little on the young side but it sure was nice to be included even though I couldn't make it due to other commitments. This coming week I hope to go swimming 4 mornings.
The other highlight of this past week is that on impulse I purchased an item that I haven't owned for at least 25 years I'd say if not longer. I saw it , I liked it, I tired it on and loved it so I bought it - what is it you ask - it's a dress. Those of you who know me well will know I don't do dresses or skirts - I'm a jeans, pants and shorts kinda girl. I think my weight loss and exercise regime has given me a new confidence to try new things and I'm starting with a dress.
I have only 4 days left before I will be moving into a new era of my life. On Friday (Valentine's Day) I will be turning the BIG 50!! I best make the most of the 4 days at 49 that I have left. The story goes that I was born very close to midnight between the 13th and 14th Feb, but by the time everything was done and dusted it was well and truly the 14th so that became my birthday. Something that you may not know about me is that officially my name is Johanna, but Mum and Dad decided to call me Jolanda instead -it even says that on my birth notice from the newspaper. This has made life a bit confusing at times, at one stage I even had an IRD number for each name!! In Holland they say that when you turn 50 you've seen Abraham (for the men) or Sarah (for the women) - apparently that means that I will have gained wisdom through experience. So does that mean that up until then I've been un-wise!!?? I guess that's much nicer than being told you're now 'over the hill' - that's enough to make anyone feel like they're ready for the scrap heap. 50 is the new 40 I say so bring it on :0) Even though it is another first to face I plan to enjoy it and spend a great day celebrating with family and friends.
Well I think that's it for this time. Next week I might even have some photos to post, we'll see if anyone takes any.
Wishing you all a blessed week.