Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Hand of Providence, and a Touching Moment

Dear compassionate and caring readers,

A few months ago I found a new interest, thanks to a chance passing of a poster at our local YMCA. I learned that Providence Hospital here in Everett has an impressive number of ways to volunteer in their hospice program - everything from setting up fund-raising events to reading to a patient, from riding a motorcyle to vacuuming a house, from sewing quilts to keeping vigil while a patient passes away.

This opportunity to be part of alleviating the pain in someone's last few months, weeks, days, or minutes on earth found a certain place in my heart and intrigued me, so I attended an informational session and started gathering information on how I could be of help. (For those of you who are similarly interested - there are many ways to help and I can give you more information if you wish.)

I found they are in desperate need of sewing materials for pillows, lap quilts, blankets, mattress pads, and hospital gowns, and I posted a Facebook status asking if anybody had old clothing/sheets/shower curtains/batting/stuffing. I got several responses and I am so excited! I'm so grateful to those of you who are graciously donating materials - it means the world to somebody. The volunteer coordinator told me that their volunteer sewing teams will bring in bags of pillows, gowns, et cetera for the patients in one morning, and they'll be gone in a matter of hours.

At the informational session I attended, I sat next to an elderly woman whose husband had recently passed away. She was 87 years old (and didn't look a day over 70, at least, with soft skin and a sprightly step) and her husband had passed away in October. She said, "I'm not ready to help with hospice patients yet, but I would like to do office work. I appreciate so much the help you gave me during his illness before he passed away, and I would like to give back somehow."

As we left that evening to return to our cars, a tiny vignette played out that in a single instant spoke to me of both her fresh loss, and her many years of marriage and companionship. It broke my heart, but on the other hand I was reminded that as they say, the only thing better than new love is old love.

We walked out the front door, and she said goodnight and went to her car. Pausing at the passenger door, she said quietly to herself, "Oops - wrong side again."


Mrs H
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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Where oh where was the One Ring?

Dear faithful readers,

Some of you (I acknowledge my sister in this number) will claim that the ring was found at the bottom of a lake.

Not so.

A few days after the ring went missing, I ordered a bookshelf from Staples. It came on Monday and the next morning Gary assembled it for me. I was in the office rearranging boxes of books (ahem) in order to make room for the much-needed furniture. From deep beneath the desk, I pulled out a box in which we keep all of our printer reams and lifted the paper out.

There, in the bottom of the box, lay my ring.

My theories are as follows:

1) The day I lost the ring, I went to class. Before class, I printed out my notes guideline. If the printer was out of paper, I would have reached into the box to refill the printer. The ring conceivably could have slipped off, unnoticed, and like Marilla's amethyst brooch sank to the depths.

2) (And this is the more plausible theory) When I came home from school, imps stole the ring from my finger and hid it from me, just to cause trouble.

Many thanks for your prayers and encouragement, my friends! I am happy to be reunited with the Ring of Power.


Mrs H
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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Happiness That is Love

Dear readers, single and wed alike,

Valentine's Day has recently passed, and so the topic of love has been much fashionable in the news and popular media of late. I retrospected on the state of wedlock and my felicitous meeting with the man that was to become my better half, and determined it worth our collective time to share my budding thoughts with you.

In the moment of our union in the presence of God and many witnesses, it seemed to me that we instantly became one. I never felt a moment of dissonance or timidity in his presence, and felt the bond of friendship and companionship that truly God Himself has ordained for the coupled man and woman. Love was, as they say, in the air, since we met through the flight school which we both attended. We were married in the spring of 2009 and it has not been yet a full year of wedlock for us. Embittered and disillusioned couples are quick to inform us that love does not last, but I do not give their dry words merit. New wine should not be poured into old skins; I have seen the deepness of love, intertwined with the love of God, grow only stronger with time. It is this pure and holy love of selflessness that I pursue, not a fleeting and self-satisfying passion.

Mr. H is indeed all I could have asked for in a husband. He is patient, which is a requisite counterweight to my impatience and headstrong manner. He is slow to anger and always forgiving, and in reciprocation I am learning to be myself more forbearing and less aggrieved.

Several days before Valentine’s Day, I lost my wedding ring. This was in my eyes a tragedy – not only was the ring valuable in monetary terms but it had a special sentimental value. Mr. H had chosen it for me, a quality increasing its significance in my eyes. It was a token of his love, but Mr. H wisely reminded me that it was just that – a token – and that in life things get lost. The true gift is the love that the ring represents!

The one place where we cannot yet reconcile our differences is a small matter of what pilots call OAT – Outside Air Temperature. He is always an oven, and I am always a refrigerator, so drives are punctuated by the continual rolling of windows up and down, and the heater blasting on and shutting off.

But this is minor in the grand scheme, and it is Mr. H’s precaution to anticipate and fill my every need that brings the warm glow of appreciation and love to my heart; he thoughtfully prepares me food when he knows I will be coming home hungry, cleans the house when I am busy with work and school, turns his movie down when he sees me take out my phone to make a call, buys me small gifts out of the blue.

I am continually learning new things about this man I call Mine. Most recently, I happily informed him that in order to keep our tub clean, I had put a scrub brush in there so that we can scrub the walls after a shower if it looks dirty. He looked surprised and said he was already scrubbing it after showers. I looked in the shower and saw only the bottles of soap and my body-scrub brush. The innocent look on his face told me what he had been using!

My lover is mine, and I am his; Happy Valentine’s Day. Did I mention that I found my ring today?


Mrs H
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