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Showing posts from December, 2008

Advent

Things are better. Circumstances haven't changed, but my approach and attitude have.

I am looking forward to Paris and excited to visit Europe for the first time. We'll be visiting not only France but Belgium and England as well.

We just booked our reservations for Greece and Italy for Nov 2009 and I'm pretty thrilled about that as well. I am so amazed at how far Jonathan has come in his enthusiasm for travel- this was my man who once said he saw no reason to ever leave North America.

This holiday season has been quite a whirlwind with travel, work, and social activities. I took some time to slow down last weekend and spent the whole day on Sat baking with my best friends. We made 11 different types of cookies/pies/breads and split the whole lot before heading home. I am blessed to have such wonderful friends who are so supportive.

I'll blog about the Vegas trip [including my review of Thunder down Under] when I return from Europe after the New Year.

And now, for the next t…

Caregiving

Early this morning I took my father to his cataracts surgery. And as we went over all the paperwork and preliminary procedures I had the same thoughts I always do when taking my parents to medical appointments:

Who is going to give care for Jon and I when we are older?

Who is going to take us to early morning appointments?

Who is going to make sure that we aren't left in emergency room hallways without a way to use the restroom (The doctors did this to my mother and if I wasn't there to advocate for her then what...) ?

Who is going to make sure that our multiple doctors don't prescribe meds that run counter to each other or interact in harmful ways (been done to my parents multiple times, but thankfully I noticed and corrected)?

Who is going to hold our hands when we have to go in for surgery?

Who is going to clean up our bathroom when we have a stomach flu and get sick everywhere?

Who is going to love us?

I see the future for us as elderly seniors and it scares me.

I was a paid ca…

The Power to Crush a Spirit

We all have the power to crush another's spirit with our words. Whether out of carelessness in not holding our tongue (I've been guilty of that) or out of deliberate and calculated maliciousness (yep, I've done that too), we have great power to inflict damage on others.

James 1:26, says If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain.

Proverbs 13:3 says, "He who guards his mouth preserves his life, But he who opens wide his lips shall have destruction.

1 Peter 1:15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;

"Keep your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking guile. Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it." (Psalm 34:13)

Today my father vented his frustration and disappointment in my deficiencies as his daughter. "We took care of you when you were little, why can't you take care of us better now?" "…

Travel and Other Thoughts

The days are moving at a fast clip lately and I feel like I'm just trying to hang on. There is so much to keep tabs on, so many things scheduled, so much to do. I have to keep remembering to breathe and focus on the quiet holiness of the season.

Over then weekend (Dec 6th-7th), Jon and I drove to NYC with our good friends Dani and Clayton. It was Dani's 3rd trip into NYC and Clayton's first. On the schedule was a viewing of Radio City Music Hall's Christmas Spectacular, dinner at Paesano's in Little Italy, enjoying NYC from atop the Empire State building, taking in the sights at Rockerfeller Plaza and lunch at Stamatis in Astoria. We stayed at a cheap but decent hotel in Queens, right in Chinatown a few blow from the last stop on the 7 subway. Dani seemed to have a good time as usual, despite having to hobble around on a broken ankle with a boot and crutch, but Clayton seemed less than impressed (although he said he had a good time). I don't think he's the c…

Thanksgiving 2008

Jon and I spent Thanksgiving in the Chicago area visiting family. Jon's brother lives is Des Plaines with his wife and their son. It was almost 7 years since our last visit and for many of those years we'd been wanting to go back for another Thanksgiving (if for no other reason then Jon's brother is the turkey MASTER, making the best turkey I've ever had). The family moved there after college and has remained there ever since. In fact, of all the Parks offspring, they are the only ones that have lived in the same area of the country since getting married. (Meanwhile, we have not lived in one city for more than seven years. Having a home now should alter that and allow us to really settle into our community for a long time. )

It was a very relaxing vacation. I know for many of you visiting your relatives never seems like much of a vacation (more like a chore), but we had a great time. Our entire trip involved a series of delights - shopping, eating delicious food and sl…

Difficult

It's no secret that I've always adored my father.

I looked up to him, I respected his opinion, I continuously sought his approval, and I longed to be like him - intelligent, educated, cultured. During my childhood, whenever my mother went into one of her rages (screaming obscenities, throwing things, crying) I would turn to my father in fear, who would reassure me that my mother was simply crazy and displaying an irrational psychotic reaction likely due to her pent up rage and sadness at being abused so often by so many prior to her life with him. He would say this in a cold and clinical manner directly in front of her, which would fuel her rage further. He treated me as though we were equals; both doctors manning the asylum. It was definitely inappropriate and dysfunctional to speak about my mother in this way to a child, but I think it was his attempt to lessen the scarring of the verbal abuse pouring out of my mother's mouth.

As a child, when I asked my father why he …