On caregivers, faith, family, and writing…

Archive for June, 2012

Ouch! My Halo Is Too Tight! | by Linda Brendle

I’ve written a lot in the last several months about saying good-bye to Mom. I’ve focused on the good memories, the poignant sweetness of my last few visits with her, and how much I miss her now that she’s gone. I’ve received lots of positive feedback, a lot of it similar to this recent e-mail from a friend.

Sue: I have also loved your posts about your mom; you continue to honor her as you did when she was still on earth and I give YOU honor in that.

My response: Thank you for your continued encouragement about my writing. Without the day-to-day stress, and especially now that her struggle is over, it has been easy to focus on the positive aspects of our relationship. I sometimes feel guilty about some of the negative things I included in my book, but they were truth spoken in love, and I think it’s important to tell both sides of the story. Otherwise people who are having negative experiences think there is something wrong with them. In fact, I just may have to write a post about that!!

As a caregiver I was told that I was an angel, a saint, the most wonderful daughter in the world. I didn’t feel like an angel or a saint, and there were times when I felt anything but wonderful. The longer I served as a caregiver, the tighter the halo got and the less appropriate the labels seemed. I wrote one post about some of my less than proud moments, but it’s time for another one for any of you who think you’re the only one having a hard time. (more…)

And Now For Something Completely Different | by Linda Brendle

On Tuesday I published a post called Enlarging My Territory.  In it I mentioned that I have submitted several articles to Red Letter Christians, “a blog by Tony Campolo & friends.” (more…)

A Photo Update of My Garden | by Linda Brendle

Five weeks ago, I wrote about the garden I planted and showed you a picture. It was pretty sad looking.

My Charlie Brown garden 5 weeks ago.

It’s still no prize winner, but it’s making progress. (more…)

Enlarging My Territory | by Linda Brendle

And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, “Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!” So God granted him what he requested. 1 Chronicles 4:10 (NKJV)

Even the most devoted Biblical scholar might miss this obscure verse, surrounded as it is on both sides with chapter after chapter of genealogical lists. But in 2000, Bruce Wilkinson wrote his best-selling book The Prayer of Jabez: Breaking Through to the Blessed Life and the prayer of Jabez experienced its 15 minutes of fame. Our pastor preached a four-week sermon series on the prayer, and our church offered copies of the book at a bargain price and gave each of us a half-dollar-sized medallion with the prayer etched on it. In the book, Wilkinson encouraged readers to prayer this prayer of blessing for themselves on a daily basis for the next thirty days and see what happened. I took the challenge and, in fact, prayed the prayer regularly for at least a year. (more…)

Ten Ways to Recognize a Real Biker | by Linda Brendle

I mentioned in an earlier post that I rode a motorcycle for a while. I started out on a Yamaha Virago 1100 that I called El Vira; but after fighting the crosswinds of South Dakota on a trip to the BIG rally, I decided I needed something heavier than 450 pounds, so I got a Harley. She was a 2002 Heritage Softail Classic, and I christened her The Blue Angel. She was big and powerful and shiny, and she had chrome in places I didn’t know bikes had places. (more…)

Just Let Me Feel Bad | by Linda Brendle

There is a scene in “Ordinary People” where Conrad is talking to Dr. Berger after Karen has killed herself. Dr. Berger is trying to console Conrad, but it’s not working. Finally, Conrad explodes in frustration.

“I feel bad about this! I feel really, really bad about this. Just let me feel bad about this.” (more…)

The Nature of Generosity | by Linda Brendle

I wrote last week about the Monster Zucchini  my neighbor gave us. Since then we’ve been the recipient of several other generous gifts. What makes people so generous with some things and not with others? Is it in the nature of the giver or the nature of the gift?

The second gift started with an idea from a friend of mine. I’d give you her name, but she’s a little shy. Anyway, her idea was that she wanted to make some sweet tomato relish and some sweet pickles. (more…)

Feeling the Emptiness | by Linda Brendle

When my first husband and I separated, Christian was 17 years old, and he took it pretty hard. For the first few days, he stayed with his dad, but that didn’t work out very well. I was temporarily staying with Mom and Dad, so he came over to bunk with us. The first night we sat up late talking through our grief and fear. At one point he asked where his home would be. I don’t think I really understood what he was feeling until today.

Wal-Mart Antics | by Linda Brendle

I first became a big fan of Wal-Mart when we got our motorhome, and I was even more enthusiastic after I became a caregiver. We never overnighted on one of their parking lots like many RVers do, but we lunched there quite often. Wal-Mart parking lots are generally easy in and easy out, even for a 40-foot vehicle towing a car, so if we were close to one around noon, we pulled in. After we ate, one or the other of us invariably suggested we run inside to pick up this or that. If we couldn’t find it there, we probably didn’t need it anyway. (more…)

Southridge Village’s Tribute to Mom | by Linda Brendle

Since Mom died on May 20 we’ve received a lot of sweet, heartfelt expressions of sympathy. There have been e-mails, notes on Facebook, cards, phone calls, and personal words of support. All of them have meant so much and have helped us deal with the grief, but I don’t think any of them has meant any more to me than the one we received today. (more…)

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