Friday, January 09, 2015

Lessons From the Edge

Well, I didn't plan to take a hiatus the past couple days, but I've been a bit under-the-weather - and entirely too pathetic to post. Not that I'm feeling stellar now, but I can think and type - so here I am.
OK. Excuses out of the way. Now, on to this week's lesson.

Bitter and Sweet really can go together.

Have you ever heard a person describe a situation as "bittersweet"?
My experience with bittersweet has been rather limited. In fact, I can only think of the times when a precious Believer has been escorted to Glory. Bittersweet for sure - as we miss the one we love so much, but rejoice in the fact that they are finally Home. Our heart aches and it is happy at the very same time.


This week I have seen a way - outside of funerals - in which bittersweet may be applied.
Tuesday at the end of Bible study I made the announcement that next Wednesday will be my last day on staff at Edgewood. And that is bitter. Very bitter.
Because I love those folks so much.
I delight in every interaction I have with them. Tuesday morning Bible studies lift my heart. The simple joy of creating something pretty with sparkles and glue makes me smile. It is an incredible blessing to know God is speaking through me to make a difference for today, and eternity. Oh, how I am going to miss singing with B. And teasing U. And witnessing M's growth in Jesus. And helping L solve problems.

Bitter. Bitter. BITTER.

So why would a woman in her right mind walk into a bitter situation like this one?

Because of the sweet.

In the weeks following my departure from work, we are going to do some significant remodeling of a bathroom. I am going to be repainting our guest bedroom. We're getting the carpets shampooed, cleaning out a closet, and moving a bunch of furniture. Not to mention, we're upgrading our TV package so we get the Big Ten Network.
Yet while all that is nice, none of it is sweet.
Our reason for the changes is what is sweet: We're getting our house ready for my 97-year-old grandmother to move in with us. (And, yes, the Big Ten Network is a necessity for her. Like, it's as important as her heart medication. *wink*)
You must believe me, friends, when I tell you there are enormous amounts of sweet all over this circumstance.
For various reasons, Grandma is needing more care than what she's able to receive right now at Edgewood. I can provide it for her at my home. (Not to worry. She has professional care-givers who will continue to maintain her medication and who will help her with showers, and any other medical needs which may arise.)
Besides that, she won't have to miss any more family functions. Rather than staying at her apartment because it is too much for her to navigate entering/exiting cars and climbing steps at my house, she'll simply walk into the dining room or living room - and there we'll be!
When I think of all the things my grandmother did for me while I was growing up - reading me stories; singing songs to me; bathing me; letting me play with her aprons; letting me play with Play-doh(!); teaching me card games; making me the world's best open-face-cheese sandwiches; playing games with me outside; taking me on a trip with my cousin out west when I was 10 years old; giving me her and Grandpa's extra car when I was in college, so I could live off campus - because they didn't want me walking/biking to campus; teaching me how to bake a pie crust; and the list goes on... It fills me with absolute delight to be able to give back to her.

It is sweet. Very, very sweet.

So this will be my last Lessons From the Edge post. While I intend to continue visiting my friends at Edgewood, my time there will be significantly reduced. And that is bitter. But the sweet I'm about to experience by having my grandmother here is going to be over the top. I just know it.

Bitter and Sweet really can go together.

Disclaimer: The ideas and opinions expressed in this post are my own, and may not necessarily reflect those of Vista Springs Living Centers.


Leah @ Point Ministries said...

Oh my, that is precious. I know you will be such a blessing to Grandma, and she to you. However, I will miss the Lessons from the Edge posts. Bless you, friend, as you minister to your Grandma.

Karen Hossink said...

Leah - Thank you.
Not sure what I'll write in place of these Lessons every Friday, but I trust God will give me a good idea. ;)

Mommy's coffee break blog said...

awww what a wonderful post Karen...really I got teary eyed reading it. I look forward to hearing about the new memories with Grandma living with you and with your continued visits to your friends at Edgewood. ((hugs))

Karen Hossink said...

Mommy - I knew you would be supportive of this decision, because of your own grandma.
Perhaps the new Friday posts will be a Grandma feature... Hmmmmm.

Sara K. said...

Wow, Karen! This is huge! What a special opportunity for you and your family. And what a generous, loving heart God has created in you. :)

Karen Hossink said...

Sara - Thank you. :)

km said...

My Gram has been gone since 2006, but I would have done the same. Treasure each day with her. My Gramp lived to be almost 93. He was able to live in his own home that entire time. But since 2006, I've cooked meals for him and filled his extra freezer. My kids got to take turns seeing him. We were all blessed by his presence. And in November we just experienced the bittersweet of his home going.