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16 June 2008

Horse Oil Painting by Laurie Justus Pace

18 x 24 inches
The Rare Gallery, Jackson Hole, Wyoming

For inquiries: Laurie

Dad is sawing logs in the next room. Bless his heart as he is pretty frazzled with Mom still in the hospital. He is a brave trooper. Yesterday morning as he drank his coffee sitting with me in the living room he said, "I feel like I am in the service again. I wake up in strange beds in strange places and have no idea what is on the other side of the door when I walk through it." Spoken with such dignity for an Alzheimer's patient. We are hoping mom is released today from the hospital, if not Dad will continue his stay here with us.

Mom looked quite a bit better at the hospital yesterday. She is not very hungry though. The nurse walked in and said, "as soon as the IV is disconnected I need you up and walking and we need to see a productive bowl movement." The nurse disappeared as lunch appeared.

As I lifted the cover on the plate, out of the corner of my eye I saw her flinch and draw back. It was fried chicken, black eyed peas and mustard greens. I would flinch too even if I had not just had surgery. She admitted to my brother and I she had only eaten orange jello the night before. She claims it really sat like a brick on her stomach and she did not want to eat. She skipped her scrambled eggs as well earlier that day.

I summoned up my deepest scowl and turned to face her with my eyebrows knitted together and in my quietest mommy voice I said, "You can't go home until you poop, and you can't poop until you eat, so if you ever want to get out of here to go home you must eat, walk and poop."

Those large green eyes filled with tears of laughter as they gazed at my younger brother and I standing firmly together. We managed to coax ONE BITE of the white meat off the chicken breast into her along with two bites of the wheat roll and maybe half of the yellow jello. Dad waited patiently watching and then with permission he polished off the yellow cake with chocolate icing. Last I heard she did eat dinner last night and had ordered French toast for this morning.

Two questions:
Is there a manual out there for bringing up parents?
Do all hospitals serve jello at every meal?

I can't help but appreciate the frustration the Lord must feel with each one of us as he hovers closely as all fathers do. I can hear his thoughts "If you do this, than you can do that. BUT you must do this first." Of course it is always something we do not want to do.

A friend sent me one of those pass around emails. I am not a passer of those BTW, my email is usually clogged full and I can't read them all, but hers are usually pretty good. It was called God's Cake. If you tried to eat Canola Oil by itself you would gag. Same with dry flour or raw egg. The 1/2 cup of sugar would even bring you to a gag point all at one time. BUT if you mix it all together it makes a yummy cake. And of course remember it was NOT instantaneous, it had to bake in the oven for 30 minutes.

Nothing in our life happens when we are waiting for it to. We cannot weigh our life by the 1/4 cup of Canola Oil or the two raw eggs; we must see how it works as it is stirred together and then of course baked for the allotted time. No matter where you are in life, be patient and wait upon the Lord. He has plans for you. Your journey will not be all good. We all face suffering in our lives and if we didn't than we would never appreciate the joy and the good things. Can't have one with out the other. Sometimes our suffering is part of the plan for someone else to learn something. We are all interwoven together. We must support each other in times of good and in times of bad.

I always fall back upon the simplicity of Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Think about it. Treat others as you want to be treated. The world would be a better place in moments if we all did this.


“As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;” Psalm 103:13

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Laurie Justus Pace Contemporary Texas Artist


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