These have been a long 5 months spent at the bedside of my sweet husband and best friend of 33 years. On November 19 Jesus held out his hand and beckoned, and Bob followed Him into a wonderful eternity we can only try to imagine. I'm so happy for him, that his suffering is past and is now forgotten in the joy of being in the presence of his Lord and all of those loved ones who went before him. Thank you, Jesus!
This holiday season will certainly be different than any before for those of us still here on planet Earth. We will try to create new traditions centered even more closely around the real meaning of Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Our little 2 year old granddaughter, Audrey, still doesn't know where Grandpa is. Up until now we've been able to tell her he's at the doctor. We're working on how to explain that he is with Jesus. She has kind of stopped asking, but I'm sure she'll remember eventually and I hope God will give us the right words. She and Grandpa were best buddies. Give us wisdom, Lord, please.
I am thankful for my wonderful family. All seven of our children and their families have been such a lifeline through all of this. Thank you, Lord, for taking us on through to that great reunion of believers that you've promised in Your Word! :)
Since the last post on this blog we've moved around a bit. We didn't actually leave the next day as hoped, but stayed a while because Bob's platelet counts were low. When we did get transferred to Golden Living Center in Walker Bob only stayed overnight and had to go to a hospital about 40 miles away because of low blood pressure and dehydration. We think they discharged him from Fargo too soon. After a week in Bemidji, he was transferred back to Walker where he is now.
Bob has been pretty stable and seems to be comfortable and fairly good natured about being in the nursing home. He likes the staff and they are all very sweet to him. One of the CNA's told him that it was generally agreed that they wish all of the residents were like Bob! His memory is very short, so if someone visits he promptly forgets they were there, but we remind him often of how many have cared enough to drop by. He's eating well, which is a good thing. I try to keep the TV tuned into something positive like Trinity Broadcasting or HGTV so I know there won't be any questionable programs on overnight. Bob has never been good with silence and solitude, so the TV is always on. I notice a lot of other residents do likewise.
Bob is finding it challenging and frustrating to form his thoughts and verbalize them, so I'm kept on my toes trying to figure out what he's needing. I can usually suggest a change of position or give him a drink or a snack and all is well. I try to use humor to let him know I'm not frustrated with his communication problems. I'm spending about 6 hours a day with him and I'm trying to be there to feed him his lunch and supper.
Most of Bob's sentences are non-sensical, but occasionally he says something meaninful. Yesterday he asked me if I had enough money in my pocket which I found very touching. It sounded like the old Bob concerned that I had lunch money for work. Today while watching a football game he said, "Good catch!" He asked me today, "Who's changing the baby?" I asked, "What baby?" He answered, "Sophie." He's mentioned a baby named Sophie on several occasions. This fascinates me because I don't know any babies named Sophie. Is it possible that he's seeing a baby who awaits us in Heaven? One never knows!
I'll be staying with Bob as described as long as needed. I'm glad to have this time to show him how much he's loved and to make sure he is comfortable.
We got moved to a private room a few days ago. This is part of the view out of our window. This is the roof of the Catholic church. Looks like a fun place to sit and birdwatch!
I'm hoping that tomorrow will bring a change of scenery for Bob and myself. I think I'm happier about it than he is. He won't get to go home, but will be much closer than we are here. Bob's being transferred to the Golden Living Center in Walker, MN where I hope he gets good physical therapy. I'll be 18 miles away at home and hope to spend the first couple of weeks being with him a lot before thinking about going back to work.
Right now, work is 12 miles west of home and the nursing home is 18 miles east, so that will be a lot of driving. If Bob needs long term care I may go job hunting in Walker. That would certainly simplify things...I think. I'm finding there are no guarantees or fail safe plans, so we take it day by day.
It will be nice to be home. I'll try to make sure they are taking good care of Bob. It's all I can do right now.
I want to babysit for Micah on Thursdays and Fridays, so I'm looking for a four day work week with Mondays off as well. That will mean working every weekend, but with Bob not at home that doesn't really matter. That way I can visit him on Monday, Thursday and Friday mornings and then work out some other days to visit along with Micah and Josh doing a little visiting. If I actually work in Walker it will be much easier to visit him every day for a bit.
So, that's what's happening right now. Bob is pretty quiet and not very perky. Thanks for prayers! :)
There are three magnificent churches right next to the hospital where we are staying. I've walked by them and wished I'd brought my camera, then I finally remembered and took some snaps. Wish we had churches like this where I live. They don't make them like this anymore!
The Congregational Church of Christ is the most modest of the three churches, but still fascinating to study. (Click on the images to make them bigger.)
St. Mary's is just to the southwest of the hospital.
First Lutheran is just across the street to the south of us. I loved the brick details and stained glass. I took a lot of shots of this beautiful church!
I loved this cool little brickwork above a side door.
I thought these pointy brick pyramids on top of the tower were a great bit of workmanship.
Just to the south of the Lutheran church is this very ordinary looking part of the old downtown of Fargo. I was happy to find a store called Art Materials a couple of blocks away.
That's where I bought my first Moleskine sketchbooks! I opted for the set of 3 Plain Journals and also bought a Sakura Microperm pen. Ready to sketch! I almost sprang for some cheap watercolors, but decided not to since I have some across town at my daughter's apartment. I just didn't want to drive that far! But some sketching will be fun and I do have some colored pencils in my purse.
Did a little walking around the neighborhood. The house up ahead planted sunflowers on both sides of the sidewalk so you walk through a tunnel of flowers.
We are here. I'm actually standing in front of the Congregational Church while taking this photo.
Part of the healing garden in front of the hospital.
The helipad is right outside of our window!
This is part of our panoramic view of the treetops.We're surrounded by older neighborhoods with many beautiful mature trees. A lot of them are cottonwoods and are very majestic.
We're hoping Bob will be discharged and sent to a rehab closer to home tomorrow or, at least, very soon. I'm kind of concerned about whether he'll get a good enough level of care at a nursing home, but we'll do the best we can and trust God to make it good! I look forward to sleeping at my own home and it looks like Josh and family are returning to the area again!! (Yes, they seem to enjoy making the trek back and forth from Kentucky!) Josh wants to be closer while Bob is going through these health issues and he's already got a job at the same store where I work. He will stay at our house while house hunting and then bring the family. I'll be glad for the company and to have more family here.
Son Bob, who lives in Longmont and has his business in Lyons, has been sending photos of flood damage at his shop. The whole thing was sitting in the river, but the garage door held up so he's hoping the mud didn't get inside. His construction trailer was still sitting where he left it outside the shop. Looks like he may not have as much damage as he could have had. Praise God! (At the time that I spoke to him he hadn't been able to actually get to the shop because of downed powerlines and a gas main that had to be shut off.)
I tease my step-daughter, Missy, that she lives in the shadow of an alien mother ship...
This water tower stands about 10 feet behind Missy's garage and in the event of a tornado would probably land on top of her apartment. I'm not sure what they were thinking building it this close to an apartment building. It wasn't there when she moved into her apartment two years ago. Anyway, it is an impressive sight to a hayseed like myself. This is where I'm staying while Bob is in rehab and finishes radiation treatments.
It's been a slow weekend. Bob's physician ordered bedrest for him so he can't be moved out of the bed until Tuesday when we hope the order will be changed so he can begin physical therapy. He has treatments until Friday and maybe a few more. We won't know until this next week. He seems to be doing well and didn't need the anxiety drug this last treatment. I'm glad of that because it makes him really out of things.
So, not much happening at the moment. I sit with him about 10 hours a day, but I'm learning to take breaks and explore Fargo a bit. I went to the mall today and shopped around in a Scandinavian import store. I found a copy of Flicka, Ricka, Dicka and the Big Red Hen, which is part of a series of books I read to my kids many years ago. I had to buy a copy for Audrey and Hazel. They don't write 'em like THAT any more! (I'll try to take a picture of it later and post it here.)
That's all for now. Things are winding down and I'll be heading out to get some supper and return to the mother ship for the night. :)
I'm not going to name the thing that the doctors say is going on in Bob's body. Instead, we believe that the name of Jesus is more powerful than any other name on earth or in the entire creation! We are praying and believing that he's healed by the stripes of Jesus from the top of his head to the soles of his feet! We would love for you to join in agreement with us.
Lots of sitting in the hospital room for the last couple of days. It's been good to sit and visit with Bob, daughters Micah and Missy, and having Josh and family come to visit for a while. (Little ones don't dig hospital rooms that much, so it was fairly brief.) We had quite a good prayer meeting with two of our kids on speaker phones. Hallelujah!
Trying to keep lists of things to do and the kids are helping a lot.
The ramp guys are back finishing up the ramp. They kind of wondered when they saw that Josh and I had laid boards across the unfinished portion so we could get Bob to the hospital on Saturday. They thought that was quite ingenious of us!
We're awaiting the doctors' decision about when Bob goes to Fargo. It will be either today or tomorrow.
God is good, all the time! He is doing good things in Bob's body and in our lives. Thank you, Father!
The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
My son Josh and d-i-l Jess (parents of Nathan and Starry)
Click on photo to go to Josh's blog.
Daughter Micah and Adam (parents of Audrey and Hazel)
Before Audrey's birth...obviously.
'Simple pleasures are the last refuge of the complex.' ( Oscar Wilde)
“All around you, people will be tiptoeing through life, just to arrive safely at death. But, dear children, do not tiptoe. Run, hop, skip, or dance, just don’t tiptoe.”
Tony Campolo as quoted in "The Irresistible Revolution" by Shane Claiborne.
Grandson Nathan Aslan Richards
What a little sassyfrass!
Love that little face!
Granddaughter Danielle Starry Hope Richards
Feb. 3, 2012
A little doll!
Clever use of feet!
Granddaughter Audrey Rayne Yliniemi
Hazel Jane Yliniemi
Our little peach.
My Pen and Ink Blog
MY BOOK REVIEWS
"We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased." C.S. Lewis
I live in the northwoods of Minnesota on a small farm with my husband, Bob. Our seven kids ranging in age from 22-51 are strewn around the country and we're proud of all of them!
I love to read (especially English literature), write, draw and sing. I'm also learning to play the fiddle and tinwhistle. My main goal in life is to become more like Jesus and make Him the center of my life. (I say goal because I haven't arrived yet!) My prayer is that my children will also live this out. Thanks for dropping by!
"To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket-- safe, dark, motionless, airless--it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable."~ C.S. Lewis, British scholar and novelist. 1898-1963
My husband's great-grandfather, Hans Langseth. He's in the Guninness Book of World Records for his beard, which is 18-1/2 feet long in this photo. It is recorded as 17-1/2 feet because 12 inches of it were left on him when it was cut after his death.
Books Read from 2007 to the Present (in no particular order)
Fyodor Dostoevsky-Peter Leithart
Beyond Personality-C.S. Lewis
Green Dolphin Street-Elizabeth Goudge
Through Painted Deserts-Donald Miller (still reading)
Light From Heaven-Jan Karon
Blue Like Jazz-Donald Miller
Searching for God Knows What-Donald Miller
Hamlet's Dresser-Bob Smith
Crazy Love-Francis Chan
Breaking Intimidation-John Bevere
John Bunyan-Kevin Belmonte
One Writer's Beginnings-Eudora Welty
Agatha Christie-An Autobiography
Castle Blair-Flora L. Shaw
If You Lived Here, I'd Know Your Name-Heather Lende
The Irish Country Doctor
The Irresistible Revolution-Shane Claiborne
Bread and Butter-What a Bunch of Bakers Taught Me About Business and Happiness by Tom McMakin
I Capture the Castle-Dodie Smith
The Pastor's Wife-Sabina Wurmbrand
No Holly for Miss Quinn-Miss Read
Kabul 24-Henry Arnold
Reflections on the Psalms-C.S. Lewis
The Hollow Hills-Mary Stewart
The Homecoming of Beorhtnoth-Tolkien
Smith of Wootton Major-J.R.R. Tolkien
Leaf by Niggle-J.R.R. Tolkien
The Child From the Sea-Elizabeth Goudge
The Shack-William Young
You Gotta Keep Dancing-Tim Hansel
The World's Last Night and other Essays-C.S. Lewis
Letters of C.S. Lewis
In the Beginning-Chaim Potok
Space Trilogy-C.S. Lewis
On Stories and other Essays on Literature-C.S. Lewis
There are two kinds of people: those who say to God, "Thy will be done," and those to whom God says, "All right, then, have it your way." C.S. Lewis
Borrowed From Bread and Roses
Our minds need many kinds of exercise, and creativity which uses mind and muscles is a source of balance and a wellspring of joy. A woman who walks in the woods, who makes a lampshade, who bakes a loaf of bread, who refinishes an old chair, has not time for bitterness and depression.
-The Pace of a Hen by Josephine Moffett Benton
You can't get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me. C.S. Lewis