Thursday, October 18, 2012
I just finished booking my trip to the States. I'll be leaving Germany on November 12 and plan to stay in Florida til after Easter, almost 6 months. Walking on water, folks!
Monday, October 15, 2012
...and what a change my life has taken! I arrived back in Germany about 10 days ago, urged by friends and family to make it back to attend my graduation ceremony. I received my second master's in international theological education.
Then I attended a much-needed, 4-day retreat in Switzerland last week. Today I started back to work at the language school and have slipped into planning the annual international worship service at church this coming weekend. But I'm only here for a few weeks to settle my affairs here so that I can go back to the States for a few months.
Losing my dad has been traumatic on so many levels I can't yet begin to describe here. Now I have the challenge of walking through this time of grieving while at the same time handling the executorship of his estate. Those of you who know me know how much I love paperwork and bookkeeping. It is really going to take another of God's miracles to get me through this. But He is in the business of making miracles. In spite of the sometimes-overwhelming sadness, I'm also looking forward to seeing how he is going to work this together for my good and his glory.
I've gained a bunch of weight and am making a gradual fresh start here on SP. Since I'm selling my car here in Germany, exercise will be no problem for the next few weeks. Now that I'm back in my own kitchen, I can also be more careful of my eating and get out of the stress-eating habit. Will be off the prednisone taper soon, too, which will help get rid of some of the extra pounds and puffiness.
When I get back to FL in November, it will be time to inventory all of Dad's artwork, and pack up everything in the condo where he and Mom lived for some 25 years. There will be mementos to pass on to family members and friends, furniture to sell, accounts to settle. Stay tuned for the miracles.
Sunday, September 16, 2012
My dad passed away quietly yesterday morning at 5:30 AM. We had been able to move him to his hometown for rehab, and there were signs of improvement over the first few days. In the end, I think he was tired and ready to go. It's hard to know how much he understood his condition, but he would not have wanted to continue in this state for long. He may have known better than we did that he wouldn't be able to paint again and, for him, that spelled "goodbye" to this life. He had been so lonely without my mom who died two years ago.
I'll be in the States till the end of the month and will return to Germany to put my personal affairs in order. I'll likely need to return to the States shortly after that to take care of things here. Will keep you posted, but regular Sparking just isn't possible for now.
But YES, I'm taking care of me - and have some great support troups who remind me to do so.
Friday, August 24, 2012
...Dad is still hospitalized and I'm still in the States. He is able to walk with assistance and can understand quite a bit, but is still not completely aware of what happened, and has trouble expressing himself verbally. Today he had a feeding tube (PEC) put in because he's not yet able to get enough nutrition orally. This is actually a good thing, as it's more comfortable than the tube he's had up to know. And, of course, good nutrition is essential to his recovery.
We are praying that he'll be able to be transferred to rehab sometime next week. Right now he's in a hospital that's an hour away and it's a long drive twice a day. It will be nice if friends can stop in for short visits and also easier for me, especially now that my cousin has had to return home. She was here visiting when Dad had his stroke an extended her visit for over a week to be a help and support. We'll really miss her!
When we do get him somewhat settled, I'll need to get back to Germany to square away some of my personal business, and then maybe return to the US for awhile. Lots of things are still very much up in the air!
I'm taking care of me, exercising daily, maybe eating a little too much comfort food. The hospital cafeteria has a great salad bar and good soups at low prices so I've been taking advantage of that . I've had great support, especially in prayer power. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Sometime I'll share all the amazing ways that God has answered those prayers and revealed himself in the past week.
Prayer focus for the next few days -
a bed for Dad in our first-choice rehab place
wisdom for me in sorting out and making decisions, especially financial ones
safe travel for my cousin
no major effects of the upcoming tropical storm to further complicate matters!
Friday, August 17, 2012
Dad fell the night before I was to leave for Germany. In fact, I had already checked in online.
It turns out he had a "brain bleed" and he is now recovering in the hospital. He is able to speak but confused and his words are garbled. He is aware enough of what's going on to be very frustrated with the situation. We are praying for good progress this first week, as that is supposed to indicate what his long-term expectations can be.
I'm so grateful that I was still here and am able to be here for him now. And for Jesus our Peace and everpresent help in times of trouble. And for your prayers!
(Edited: to clarify that I cancelled my flight and am still in Florida!)
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