The Year 2020

I sit here trying to remember my last post date. I know it’s been far too long.

It’s been long enough that the format for this site has changed again. Why do we have to mess with what works? Is there always a ‘new and improved’ way of doing things? As many of my older readers know, it’s not so much the fear of change, the dread of a learning curve, but just missing the old and familiar. The comfy chair that fits you just right, and you know you’ll feel safe and secure in.

To say it’s been a wild and crazy year world-wide is an understatement. We’ve all had the ‘old and familiar’ way of doing things knocked from beneath us. Our lives have spun out of control, and some are still twirling, hoping to cease that motion on some remembered ground of what life was once like. Here in the United States, we are still in a political mess of who will be the next President. I don’t do politics on here, and generally not on any social media. I definitely have my opinions, but I don’t care to spend precious time battling them out. God is in control, and I have faith-rest that it will work out in His timing. It may not be an easy ride, I may not agree, but it will be taken care of. My job is to keep applying what I know the Bible says about each and every situation. My biggest responsibility is to applying it with love, using patience and consideration for all. My biggest battleground is myself, and each minute of the day at times, reminding myself of that love, patience and consideration.

Long before Covid-19 hit everyone’s radar, my personal life began it’s own spiral. With all the items that were thrown at us, by the time the Virus hit, it wasn’t much to consider for me. I had too many other devastating items taking place. This post isn’t about feeling sorry for the last year and a half, no matter how much I would like to wish it all away. It’s about sharing with my readers. The one’s that follow this blog, the one’s that read my books. And if you’ve read my books, you know I write about the hard parts of life. The parts we’re ashamed of, the parts we want to forget, the parts we don’t want anyone to know about. We all have them, and they have been forgiven, and forgotten in the broad scope of eternity. Out of the rubble, there is hope, and sunshine to be shared.

I left my job as Activity Director at our local nursing home in August of 2019. I loved the job, but my health wasn’t fairing well with the stress of working full-time. My husband was also struggling physically. Acting in ways that were very different for him. Ways that were scary to me since I had worked in nursing homes for so many years, and knew about some of the symptoms. Ways that a 59 year old shouldn’t be acting. After a general diagnosis from our local doctor in September, my husband was referred to a neurologist. After waiting several months, my husband was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease at the end of February.

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My world, our world was forever changed. Hopes and plans for our future were swept away with just a few words. I was devastated, hurt, angry, and I wanted to run away. Very far away. My husband has never been much for expressing his emotions, and I know he felt many of the same things. But I’m a fighter, and he buries his head. The more sand he can scoop for protection, the better. All the while I’m shoveling it away in bucket-loads. It has probably kept us together for 36 years now. But I know it has not been the peaceful existence he would have preferred.

In the midst of all this, two of our daughters were struggling in their marriages. One ending in divorce, another in separation. Four precious grandchildren involved. Again, not what we would have planned or wanted for their lives, and I know not what they wanted. But this road of life is treacherous at times, and it takes all of our being to get through the dangerous curves and drops. Both daughters are now living further away than what I ever would have wanted, but they keep close contact, and we have had wonderful visits with both of them just recently. Those times are precious!

Selling the house we had lived in for 15 years was another hurdle. It was the only home our youngest remembered. So, the first of June, we moved in with our oldest daughter and her three children. Her husband had started a job a couple hours away and was staying with friends from their church until they could move. For four months, during lockdown, we had the privilege of having three of our grandchildren right with us. God knew the timing, He knew I needed help physically and mentally. It was a cherished time for me…for the grandchildren, it may have been different! Our daughter and husband are now living a couple hours away, but they are so good about traveling to see us almost weekly.

As I read back over what I’ve written, I shake my head in amazement. I wouldn’t have planned the last 18 months. I would have run if I had known! Recently, my mother has been moved to a memory care unit. My father cared for her for several years while still working full-time. Again, with the Covid-19 restrictions, it has been frustrating. But she is doing well, and I talk with her often now. I am relieved for my father, and have appreciated the time we’ve been able to spend with him.

I have debated on whether I should take down my posts from when our daughters were married, the pictures I shared on here. I’ve had this blog for several years now, so I’ve shared our lives.  I’ve used it as a way for my readers to get to know me better, or at least that was what I was thinking when I started it. But it is therapy for me to write on here. I still cherish those posts, and the pictures. Those men our daughters married will always be part of our family…the fathers of our granddaughters. Nothing will change that. So for now, I will leave them, and I hope our daughters will understand that it is not for disrespect for their lives now, or for our new son-in-law. But it is what has made us what we are as a family. The good and the rough times we’ve shared.

My husband is doing very well on the medication for Parkinson’s Disease. He went from struggling to dress and shave to being able to do those ADL’s on his own. I am thankful. It gives us a bit more time to process this Disease and what our options are. For now we are renting from our oldest daughter and son-in-law, our son and youngest daughter living with us. Their help and support right now is making life easier.

That’s been our life in a nutshell. Again, not to feel sorry, but to let you know that I’m still here. I appreciate your prayers, and support for my books. I will write no matter what happens. I always have a story to tell. But my readers make it real, and very dear.

My newest release was in June. It is the first book in a series of four books about a very special family. Of course! 😉 The books are all written, several years ago as a matter of fact. I’m currently doing rewrites on the second in the series. I had hoped to have it out by the end of the year…but you just read the post! You may find the first book right here: https://www.amazon.com/Sweet-Hope-Jonathan-Elisabeth-Defined/dp/1708481419/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=deborah+ann+dykeman&s=books&sr=1-1

I’ve enjoyed sharing our life with you. Thank you for reading! Now go and make this day the best that it can be!

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Faith

Bad Things

None of us are without pain or regrets. This life really hurts at times. After a couple weeks of reading some pretty heavy stories about child abuse, this is very fresh in my mind.

When I was first married, I attended SUNY Cobleskill, taking some classes in Early Childhood. I had always loved babysitting as a teenager, and I knew I wanted to be a mother as quickly as I could. (As it turned out, I found out I was pregnant with our first child just a few weeks after starting those classes. This was after a couple of years with infertility and dealing with all those issues. So my college career was cut short after that semester.) Another reason I took those classes was to work for Headstart. I did some volunteer time there, and what an eye opener that was! This is not to say that it was a bad program, only that I observed different parenting than what I had seen before, and it wasn’t always good. I am sure any school teacher could say the same.

I want to use the words, fascinate or intrigue here, but maybe shock would fit better. I am, and will continually be shocked, fascinated, intrigued, and even physically nauseous at what a person may go through in their life.

And still grow up to be a person that is whole.

God has given our bodies and our minds, our souls an incredible ability to heal. And that’s what fascinates and intrigues me. That’s what I write about. Just as a tiny tree may be walked on, the leaves torn off, and the weather tortuous to it…only to stand tall once again…so we are as people.

I personally will never understand the awful things God allows in our lives, and especially the life of a child. They arrive in this world a tiny bundle of expectation and potential, only needing protection, love and training. And to some, this is not important, and not taken seriously. Some abuse this privilege of a child…horribly. But I do know that God does not observe this lightly.

Luke 17:2 King James Version (KJV)

It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.

No, I do not understand, and someday I will ask God “Why?” But I do know that these terrible, tough times build character, and make a person stronger. I’ve lived it in my own life.

It is very difficult to be thankful in the midst of adversity. It is sometimes more than we can stand to stay in a situation when we want to run. But just as the picture above says, the bad things can, and do put us on the path to the best things in our lives. The key is faith. Faith won’t take away the problem, and it won’t make it better. But it does keep you looking ahead, and striving for more. It gives you hope.