Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: AGREE TO DISAGREE (05/04/17)
- TITLE: Shaken - and Stirred...
By Judith Gayle Smith
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Dynamite! I'll be home in a few days. I really enjoyed my twenty days in rehab - building muscle, relishing in the inexplicable joy of walking with less wobbling, less dependence on my power chair and learning to dance with a walker.
All that was required was an in-home safety evaluation, monitored by a physical therapist. We did not agree on how safe it was to go home. Granted, we could move Mike's hospital bed to the garage, making more room in the living room/bedroom. Hard to hide all the packed boxes in there prior to selling the house.
My main consideration was being able to navigate with my new walker from my living/bedroom was to get to the bathroom and back without falling on my face. Not agreeing, my physical therapist arguably negated our entire house, saying it was unsafe for anyone living in the house - including my Bipolar sister.
It was difficult - very difficult to hear our home so maligned by a complete stranger, with no lifeline thrown out but to simply walk away from the house and let the mortgage company do what they could. We lived here for eleven years - too ill to even think of maintaining the house, ie. gutters, roof, etc.
The discussion over what to keep and what to walk away from literally flattened my sister. "No, you cannot tell me what to keep and what to toss - don't make me decide," she wailed, alternating between sobs and open defiance. She has seven footlockers filled with jewelry paraphernalia and exquisite necklaces she's designed for over fifty years. She will not sell any because she makes "haloes for God" and she wants them to go to a museum after she dies. She is terrified that she won't be able to take them with her wherever and whenever we would move.
Unfortunately, we had been seeing the disrepair through rose-colored glasses. Time to sober up and see reality. But we weren't about to willingly concede my physical therapist's reality without agreeing to disagree even more.I had to leave after a two-hour visit that saw us all in tears.
I left word that none of Mama Jean's paintings would be tossed - Mike's mother was a wonderfully gifted artist, and we were blessed to have four of her incredibly beautiful paintings.
My physical therapist had to rush back to finish her report and recommendations, leaving us in a burbling mess. Tearing through drawers, trying to determine what to keep and what to toss - nightmarish.
The suggestion was to just take a few emotionally necessary items and junk the rest. That no one would be interested in buying the house until it was totally emptied of the clutter. I countered with perhaps a builder would like the size of the lot, raze the house and put up three houses in its stead. I rushed to get my reborn doll:: Dickie Dingledorf" before that beautiful little fellow would get lost in the melee. Dumping out my one purse, I grabbed my favorite animal purse, my huge stuffed leopard bag that I had made - and started throwing unfinished jewelry into it. I also craft jewelry - but totally willing to sell it...
I had to leave after a two-hour visit that saw us all in tears. I pawed through my jewelry that I had made, selecting the choicest - and pretty much gave the rest to Barb to squirrel away amongst her footlocker's jewels...
I tried to maintain my grief - again, I must trust our Lord, and when I got on the bus, the tears started and would not, could not stop. I hadn't been able to cry over losing Mike last month, but the floodgates burst after we took off back to the rehab center.
Has my faith been shaken? Yes, terribly. Have I neglected prayer in favor of arguing, not even resorting to the enjoyment of agreeing/disagreeing just for the artistry of the interaction? Uh huh. Praying for my sister, praying for myself, praying for those whose situations are similar, or even worse than ours. Did I feel better after crying and praying? Most definitely.
I must learn to "cast my cares upon Jesus," as the beloved hymn advises.
Pray - tomorrow is a new day - a fresh start, more prayers.
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