Yesterday was another one of those bitter sweet days filled with lots of memories and emotions. It began with an appointment with our new Social Worker who wanted to meet us as well as re-certify my wife for all her IHSS benefits. Everything went very well as we went over all the forms, recanted the history of events over the last three years, updated and increased the care needs for my wife from the previous year and discussed the regulations of the program and all the difficult necessities that she needed to inform us of as the course of the disease (in the natural) progresses.
As she was leaving the Social Worker mentioned that my wife and I were an inspiration to others because of our close relationship to each other and the care and love we demonstrated. I had mentioned earlier during the meeting that Piper and I have been best friends since high school. Both Piper and I were very thankful for the kind words, encouragement and assistance that we received yesterday. These meetings, as I am sure I’ve mentioned before, are always encouraging and heart wrenching at the same time. But they always give us a chance to share our faith and our total commitment to not giving up because of our solid faith in God and the truth that is contained in His Word.
Following that meeting we had a quick bite to eat and drove over to my folks home so that we could join my brother and sister in going through everything in the house and making the necessary decisions. This was another tough time as the three of us walked through memory lane with each box, bag, photo album or other miscellaneous items that we discovered. Every so often one of us would yell out “Wow!” or “take a look at this” or “Gee, I forgot all about this…” and then we’d gather together to look at each others treasures.
In the bottom of one box that I was sorting through, I came across a fuzzy photo of my Piper and I that was taken very near our wedding day. From the description on the back of the photo, it would seem that the main subject of the photo was supposed to be the flowers on the cactus in front of me that only opened one day a year. The picture immediately brought back a flood of memories of all the fun times my wife and I had in the months before our wedding day on
July 12, 1975. I can’t get over how young she looked in the
picture. At 21 years of age, she looked
more like she was barely 16! People used
to accuse me of “stealing from the
cradle” when we were dating. In fact
we were stopped one time as we walked downtown by the “downtown crazy lady” (Pepper…
any of you long time local folks remember her?) who loudly exclaimed the
proclamation of cradle theft!
What I remember the most is all the times that we laughed and rejoiced together! It was like were always giggling and having fun (hum… some things never change!!!) Those memories made me think about the verse in I Thessalonians 5:16 as I leaned over to turn the light out last night. In this verse the Apostle Paul was closing his letter to the church in Thessalonica with the encouragement to “Rejoice always.” (NKJV) Another translation says to “Always be joyful!” I think that is how I would describe my relationship to my wife over the last 42 years since we “officially” started dating on
September 15, 1970.
Through thick and thin we have always made the point to rejoice and as verse 18 of I Thessalonians five says “Whatever happens, give thanks, because it is God’s will in Christ Jesus that you do this.” (God’s Word) Let me clarify this for a moment though, we rejoice and give thanks because of our solid trust in the Lord’s promises to bring us through no matter how difficult or impossible the situations we face may be. While He is not the initiator of difficult occurrences, He is definitely the One to give us the final victory – every time! (See: 2 Corinthians 2:14)
So what will it be for you this weekend? Will it be a time to rejoice, be glad and give thanks? Or will it be a time to feel depressed, worried or defeated? For me and hopefully for you as well, there is but only one way to react… Strictly in accordance with the time tested, solid and unfailing truth of the Word of God – and that would be to “REJOICE ALWAYS!”
So, have a joyful weekend, stay in tune to His Word and keep asking yourself... “What JOYFUL REACTIONS am I expecting today?”