Ups and Downs
We all have them. Some have more ups than downs; some more downs than ups. And, with some you can't tell the difference. It could be a matter of perspective. It could be one's circumstances; it could be one's age; it could be how long the circumstances have been endured. I don't know much, but I do know that we have good days and we have bad days. Shoot, we have good hours, followed by bad ones. One minute Tom can be up and going, alert, anxious to get on with things. The next minute he may be disoriented, weak and shaking inside. I guess that's the nature of Parkinson's. This week we've been more up than down, though I am still plagued by aenemia that manifests itself in fatigue and shortness of breath--more than anything, that makes me mad.
Let me tell you what Tom did this week. He had called a fitness center last week for information and Monday he announced he wanted me to take him so he could see firsthand what they had to offer. We went, signed him up for four months and made an appointment for Wednesday to talk about personal trainers. He wants to regain some strength and weight and is determined to do everything he can to improve his condition. Neither of us is in denial. We know what Parkinson's does to the body, but we also know the research that supports the positive effects of exercise on PD patients. He starts with his trainer Monday.
Tuesday we went with a group of older adults from the church to spend some time at the river house of one of the members. We are very near the Tennessee River and there are many lakes, creeks and the like associated with the river. the house where we went is located on Lick Creek, at Parsons, TN, the sight of a Civil War battle. Most of our group enjoyed a ride on the pontoon boat, while the rest of us chose to remain at the house to visit and get lunch ready. Tommy had prepared his own version of pulled pork and others of us fixed slaw, potato salad, baked beans and dessert. After lunch I taught several how to play Chicken Foot, a domino game, in case it's not familiar to you. What a good time we had!
On the way to the house I noticed a field of cotton so full of open bolls needing to be picked that it looked like snow. The sight made me think of two things, completely unrelated. First, I thought of the Bible verse that tells of the "fields that are white unto harvest." No matter how many churches dot our landscape, no matter how many profess to believe, there are many remaining who need to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. That personal relationship is so much more than putting our name on a church register. What can I do to help with the harvest?
The second thought was of a tee shirt friends gave Tom one Christmas we lived in California. The shirt is white with a dark gray design of a cotton field. The caption reads: "Ski Mississippi." Any time Tom wears that shirt I imagine cotton in the fields at all its stages--each one is beautiful. The only stage that is not so beautiful is when the picker has done its job and all you see are brown stalks with white leftovers. Did those cotton scraps not quite measure up? Did they miss the bus? What will become of them? It seems like a waste. Nevertheless, it's only cotton. What if we went through the "fields that are white unto harvest" and ignored the ones who cling to the stalks, the ones that are left and ignored?
Tomorrow is Corinth--no visit with the oncologist, just infusion. We keep praying for healing, but these days I especially pray for a good attitude and for patience to stay the course. Will you join us?