Sunday, October 25, 2009

God Gave me the Opportunity.....

A woman with the nicknames: Ma-ha, Slugger Maroo, Princess, Asbestos Mouth?
You may be thinking that people must REALLY disliked her. In all actuality, all these names were given to my Grams out of love. You see, my Grams was the type of person that would just 'grin & bare it'. In other words, a real even-keel individual that you take for granted will be there for you whenever you need her. But, then life gets busy and you tend to overlook keeping atop of those times.......

I never quite grasped how fast the time would fly between these two pictures, until the time was no longer available. My Grams went home to her Savior on October 23, 2009.

We got a call a few weeks back that Grams wasn't feeling too well, and was asking for family. She felt the Lord calling her home; her body didn't want to function as well, and she desired for loved ones to help soften the adjustment. At this time, I started to spend almost every night with her. Helping get drinks, helping to find assistance in turning, covering/uncovering her body with her afghan for temperature comfort. I was fortunate enough to take home a piece of this particular memory with me. Here's my Gram's afghan, that has found a new home on our chair in front of our fireplace:

Pictured above: Sage (3yrs old) with Grams last October, 2008 with her Afghan on her lap.
My Grams found breathing, drinking, adjusting, sleeping....all these things took such immense man-power, that she sadly said, "I still can't believe this is happening to me", and "I feel so helpless"....this coming from a woman not needing NOVOCAINE during dental-filling procedures! Yes, she had reached a breaking point, and YET STILL found reason to smile, and remained optimistic for what lay beyond the shortsightedness of life here on earth! Even though she felt ready to go before God took her, I believe He would use this time as a tool to prepare ME for the loss. We spent one night polishing our fingernails together; I had hoped that that wouldn't be our final night (the nurses told me that residents typically desire to be dolled up as they feel life slipping away), so I said a prayer and Bible verse with every stroke of that nail polish brush......just so I wouldn't break down and cry in front of her. Oh, the next night I lost it while praying with her, but at least the nail polishing party wasn't dampened with tears!

The night before Grams left us, my dad came to visit as well. We enjoyed the laughter of memories that Grams seemed to also enjoy as she listened. After my dad left, I took the opportunity to sing to Grams a few songs (each of my girl's favorite hymns, along with one of my favorites: "As the Deer"--a song they would happen to sing during Sunday church worship 3 days later), prayed for her to find peace, and held her hand so long that my fingers grew numb. You know the saying of "holding some one's hand so long that you couldn't tell where your hand ended, and theirs began"? Yes, I found out what that saying is all about.....but didn't mind a bit! Upon seeing us, one of the nurses stopped to tell me that she just loved watching me with my Grams, because one could tell the deep love I hadfor her as I talked and sat with her.

I also got the opportunity that I had been praying about. When I had my miscarriage in July, I told my Grams that I had bad news to tell her. Without hesitation, her hands flew to her mouth and tears welted in her eyes."You lost the baby!" Yes. We had. But, God gave me the opportunity to give her good news before she, herself, left us. The night before Grams died, I told her "Grams, we're going to be having another baby! The due date is in June--wouldn't it be a blessing to have a baby born on your birthday,the 9th?" (just deep breaths) "Grams, will you hold my other baby until I get up there to hold it?" ( again.....just deep breaths) Now, just because God gave me the opportunity to tell her, doesn't mean he gave me the opportunity to feel completely fulfilled by it. I had to keep in mind I wasn't telling her for MY sake, but for HERS. OH, I knew that if I had found out a few days sooner, she would have given me a huge smile when I told her. Beings as it was, I had to assume that she heard me, and assumed that her heart did a leap with joy. GOD GAVE ME THE OPPORTUNITY....EXACTLY the way that I had prayed for it!

PICTURED BELOW: Grams holding one of her 10 Great grand-babies, Sophie, at age 3:

We got the call on Friday that Grams was in the process of passing, about 2 hours from when my mother had left her side. Typically there are a few hours between the time that my mom would leave my Grams, and when I would arrive for the night. During this time, the nurses said that her roommate hold her hand (even though my Grams complained about having to live with a crabby roommate!), and that Grandma had slipped away peacefully and quickly between the calls the nurses made to us. We had all made it a habit to say goodbye to her as we left each day like it would be our last.....I always got a smile out of my Grams, as every time I left I said "If you see God, before I see you a place for me up in heaven!"...a smile everytime, until that last night I saw her. I knew then that Grams would soon be leaving us. Now that she has, she will be welcomed among angels, and with my grandfather. "PRINCESS" is now re-united once again with "ACE".......

We all gathered around for a bedside memorial at the nursing home that the the nurses put on as a closure. During this ceremony, one of the nurses shared that she got the pleasure of telling Grams one day that someone (ME!!!) would be coming to take her for an outing outside. The nurse said from that moment on, she was a different woman; grinning, excitedly picking out her sweater, full of talk and excitement. The nurse said she would never forget how good it made her feel to see someone so excited over spending time with another. Here were pictures from her last two outingsthat the nurse spoke about:
ABOVE: Our last picture with Grams, on the Bike Trails

Sierra, 2 yrs, hitching a ride on Gram's wheelchair while at the zoo

Now that she has left, I keep wishing I would've taken her on more trips those last few weeks. I keep thinking I should've come to the nursing home earlier that day and been alongside her when she passed. I then force myself to accept the realization that it is all out of my control. I am not the one in control. God is. What happened is what was what was meant to be. My grams lived a good life, and left everyone whose lives she touched with pleasant memories of her. In fact, she made each of her Grandchildren and great-Grandchildren homemade block quilts and homemade hook rug wall-hangings, here are my girl's, pictured BELOW:

My wall-hanging from my childhood bedroom, that is now hanging in our "BOOK Nook ":
YES! Our future baby has a wall-hanging waiting set aside for the day he/she is born. What a special Great-Grandma to have, with such a vision for her Great-Grand children's future, even before she knew of him/her. She gives of herself, even after she is absent among us. God Bless her legacy!

Please, pray for her remaining family to be continually blessed in our memories of her, so that the comfort we seek in the loss of such an exceptional woman will draw showers of love. The Family Visitation will be Tuesday evening, and the Funeral will be on Wednesday early afternoon. Please keep the family in your prayers if you think of it at these times.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Like a Thief in the Night.....


Now, brothers, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, "Peace and safety," destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. 1 Thessalonians 5:1-3

When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains. You must be on your guard. You will be handed over to the local councils and flogged in the synagogues. On account of me you will stand before governors and kings as witnesses to them.Mark 13:7-9

And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. Revelation 20:12-14

Friday, October 9, 2009

My Grams

In the past I have always been uncomfortable in discussing death and thinking about death......God is changing me in this respect. He has broken away my inhibitions by completely submerging me in the concept. I have dealt with 2 close deaths so far this year, and will be sadly expecting another one shortly. My mom's mom in January, you can read the full story here: Grandma Has Left Us . The next, quite interestingly, someone whom I had never met, read it here: God's Baby . My third one I'm mournfully anticipating is one of a woman whom I greatly admire, respect and love: My dad's Grams. Her need for support and company right now, far outweighs any uncomfortablness I have of the situation. I have prayerfully, but confidently set aside any apprehensions of experiencing such a loss in person, and am wanting and desiring to be a part of her miracle with her!I have thoroughly enjoyed spending the recent increase in time with this special lady, someone who I've always "known", but yet not, in a sense. When you REALLY get to "know" someone, it is typically in their times of difficulty--how they react to others, how they react to discomfort, how they react to unexpected situations. My Grams is an exceptional lady who I currently have the blessing of getting to know on a deeper, adult level in her final days with us. She is someone who has always been familiar to me in my life journey, someone who I will be deeply hurting for, while in her absence.
If you were familiar with the basics on my Grams, you would find she was born in 1920, had 3 children (my father being her only boy) & lost her hard-working husband to a heart condition early in life. So has lived contently alone for the past 30 some years--spending most of her waking hours watching Mass on TV and praying with one of her many rosaries.

Spending several hours alone with her in a nursing home room, you would ALSO find out that she is an exceptionally selfless individual. When I spend the day with her, she wants to make sure my feet are up, wants to make sure my husband is functional without me, wants to make sure I have enough light during her sleep hours to read the book I can't quite focus on anyways, wants to make sure I am eating and drinking....all the while, not being able to meet her own basic needs. Most people would be focused on having help with various desires....not Grams. While overlooking her own needs, she is continually looking to have mine met.

Having lived so many years alone, my Grams is content and thankful in any one's presence, therefore one can't help but feel the same in hers. In fact, when I think of my Grandma, the first word that comes to mind is "peace". Everything about her is peaceful--her posture, her facial expressions, even the mood she puts out onto people for them to reflect back. In the company of others, she patiently waits for an opportune moment for conversation to come up......if none does, she will continue to sit peacefully with a smile on her face, all the while putting you completely at ease. Since we all would know what she is TYPICALLY like, it makes it a peaceful time to spend time with her NOW, knowing that she is completely happy with only smiles and silence if necessary.

I recall the first evening in her nursing home that I was blessed in spending with her. She was to be having her first shower.....something that in a nursing home is terribly unflattering, leaving no room for her typical discretion. I unquestionably volunteered to stay with her, knowing that for ANYONE, it would be a humiliating experience as a first time. Being familiar with my Grams unselfish nature, I knew she would've had me go, had I not volunteered. What a woman! She is always ready to face anything coming at her with a smile and confidence, no questions asked, no complaints to be filed. She is the perfect example of what I strive for in being submissive. Not submissive in that she lets others walk all over her...but submissive in that she respects others enough to bipass her own agenda.

That same night, I enjoyed her simple pleasure in me brushing her hair, holding her hand while falling asleep, and cozying up alongside her in her "new" and unfamiliar bed. We both knew that that bed would take some getting used to, so I think we both recall that evening with great pleasure, knowing that our simulated "slumber party" made the adjustment THAT much easier for us both. I stayed as late as a could, all the while bringing up childhood memories for both of us to enjoy. This memory is one of my favorite memories with her, because it was the first time she let me into her uninhibited heart.

Even though my grandma is now struggling for deep breaths, has to be turned over by having her body manually adjusted by others, and is limited with how much she is able to say.....she continues to keep a smile on her face while she remains optimistic about her short-term future. She knows what is around the corner, she has spent many years and many hours praying and waiting for this upcoming moment. Spending time with God in reverence and patience is something my Grams is familiar with.....and something that has greatly prepared her for her current life experience. I ask that you pray for her continued strength, and for a continued absence of pain to make her exit a "PEACEFUL" one....something she would be familiar with.

I am on my Grandma's lap, my brother Grant is next to us
My cousin Jody, my sister Heather, my cousin Amy

Typical silliness associated with memories of our Gram's house. Yes, that is me, resting a top of my father's head. Yes, those are Cheetos in my ears & nose. Yes, that is a Chocolate Covered Cherry hanging out in my mouth. Yes, this is our Christmas picture at my Gram's house that year.......

I sincerely appreciate you taking the time to read about this remarkable woman. I know this will be an immensly difficult time for us, no matter how prepared we are for it, and no matter how ready my Grams is. Please surround my family with prayers when we cross your mind in the next week.

God Bless.
Ms. Salubrious

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Blessed Be Your Name


I'm sure we could easily find excuses to seperate us from our Savior.....excuses that give rationalization for us not having to submit to Him. Excuses such as cancer, unemployment, infertility, drug & alcohol addictions, depression, disbelief, loss of loved ones, and broken relationships to name a few. Many of us 'deal with' some form of "possible" daily barriers such as these. Barriers to happiness, barriers to God.

But what some people have figured out, is that these "barriers" can instead become "bridges" to God. It's a matter of perception, really. Perceiving possible problems as, instead, being blessings. Maybe you have heard of someone viewing cancer as a blessing? Sounds odd....but some people do! They do this by looking at the problem as a way to draw closer to their maker.

When you have a relationship with someone (like God), you draw closer to them as you share more....whether it's sharing experiences, sharing insights, sharing burdens, or sharing simple talk.
Sharing with God these burdens that we carry, essentially passes them onto Him, and off our own backs--"lightening the load" you might say! God WILL carry them for us, we just need to acknowledge Him and accept His help.

SOMETIMES these barriers are even needed for us to lean on His strength, and in doing this, putting aside our own. I have found that when God feels me puling away in my pride, self-confidence, and abilities......usually He finds some way to pull me back in, so that I acknowledge Him. Wether it be unfortunate circumstances......or blessings.

We can let our problems consume us, or we can consume them with the help of God's strength. Are you rationalizing an excuse as to why NOT to accept God's strength to enhance/replace your own?

Thanks for reading, may the Lord bless you in your pathway towards Him!
Ms. Salubrious

Sunday, October 4, 2009

So You Have The FLU...Now What Do You Do?

PRODUCTS that I would personally take if I came down with Flu symptoms are listed below. It is probably a worthwhile idea to take MORE things to raise the immune system than LESS....simply because the more varied support your body receives, the better it will be able to fight off the invading virus. Some of these are things to be taking regularly beforehand as a preventative, read more in this BLOG posting: Why do People opt out of the Flu Shot & What is Virus Shedding? Natural Fighters include:
  • Vitamin D3 --between 10,000 IU's -15,000 IU's /day for the duration of the illness, then cutting that in half for several days before going back to the preventative 5,000 IU's a day as a preventative. Here's ours: Vitamin D3
  • A extremely HIGH QUALITY multi mineral/vitamin that does not contain iron or copper, here is the brand we take: Super Supplemental Vit. & Min. w/o Iron (Natures Sunshine) We typically take 2, 3x day...but would "up this" to 4, 3x day during an illness. Keep in mind that you will need to get your body accustomed to this strength in nutrition gradually BEFORE you come down with something, so as not to force the body into "shock detox mode" while also fighting the Flu.....if you normally take it, your body will know what to do with it in a virus situation.
  • Zinc --ours from Natures Sunshine has 25 mg in each tablet. When coming down with an illness, we will take them throughout the day, up to 5-6/day totaling 125-150 mg. Zinc Link
  • High quality Bioflavinoid Vitamin C--1,000 mgs 4-5 times a day. There is high anti-inflammatory activity with Vitamin C as well as anti viral potential Vitamin C Citrus Bioflavonoids
  • INFLUENZINUM remedy, available for purchasing at:
    OSCILLO COCCINUM remedy, only taking doses shall symptoms GREATLY and NOTABLY worsen) GRIPPE HP from Energique. ALL three remedies can be tried out a an hour apart, until finding one of the 3 that slightly relieves symptoms. When one is discovered, one can take it whenever symptoms notably worsen. Take remedy 15 min. away from food/drink. Store all REMEDIES away from anything electrical.
All of these should be available at natural health stores in your area. These are all nutrients that can lessen symptoms, shall you exhibit some. But depending upon how healthy your body is, will make all the difference in your severity of symptoms and length of illnesses. Here are a few other suggestions:
  • Elderberry, Goldenseal, Echinacea are all herbs that can be taken in extract, syrup, capsule or drop form to give the immune system a huge boost as it's fighting. Here's an absolutely phenomenal product that has all 3 of these, plus zinc and Vitamin C: ACF (Accute Cold & Flu Formula) by BURIED TREASURE. They have "PREVENTION", "CHILDREN'S" and "FAST RELIEF" formulas on the market. If I had to pick one herb mixture to along with the above vitamins, minerals and remedies, it would be this product! Opting to take only one of these? Highly consider going with Elderberry! Taking two doses of elderberry flavonoids per day for prevention of flu, increasing to at least 4 doses upon exposure, increasing to every 2 hrs if flu symptoms begin. Here's a fabulous "TRADITIONAL MEDICINE" article on Elderberry's effectiveness: Elderberry flavonoids bind to and prevent H1N1 inf...[Phytochemistry. 2009] - PubMed Result

Looking for a natural disinfectant spray or hand sanitizer to keep on hand for when you're out and about?

  • Silver Shield Gel and SILVER SHIELD W/AQUA SOL from Natures Sunshine are the products you are looking for! Silver is a naturally occuring, God-given nutrient that kills bacteria and viruses on contact. Use the silvershield as a spray in the air surrounding you, on surfaces and on hands/face when out and about to be killing bacteria naturally and harmfully. Natures Sunshine leaders took Silver Shield with them on their trip overseas to work with Leprosy--no shots, just kept using Silver Shield to protect themselves. No one in their group got sick or had any changes in their blood test results (like alcohol hand sanitizers do!) This product can also be sprayed onto any wound to dis-infect it, in the nose or mouth to fight respiratory, throat or sinus infections, can betaken taken orally to fight any infection, and is even gentle but effective enough to use in the eyes with any eye irritations or viruses/bacterias!

In fact, SILVER is such a good sanitizer, there is a company called NORWEX that now weaves silver threads into their micro-fiber clothes to keep them from getting mildewy, along with killing bacteria on contact: NORWEX PRODUCTS or e-mail Heidi to see prices or order products:

Thanks for reading, may the Lord bless you in your pathway towards natural health!
Ms. Salubrious

******None of the above statements have been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. All of the information in this BLOG is strictly for educational purposes. This BLOG should not be used to treat, diagnose, or prescribe for a condition you feel you may have. If you have any health concerns, you should see a competent practitioner. ******